”The Lake Cowichan Secondary School and Cowichan Valley Open Learning Cooperative grad class of 2012 toss their caps in celebration of their freedom before the graduation ceremony on Saturday, June 23.” (Lake Cowichan Gazette, June 27, 2012)

”The Lake Cowichan Secondary School and Cowichan Valley Open Learning Cooperative grad class of 2012 toss their caps in celebration of their freedom before the graduation ceremony on Saturday, June 23.” (Lake Cowichan Gazette, June 27, 2012)

Flashback: Loads of school stuff and some earthquakes, too

A look back at the history of the Cowichan Lake area

Welcome to Lake Flashback. Reporter Sarah Simpson has been combing through old newspapers with the assistance of the Kaatza Station Museum and Archives so we can jog your memory, give you that nostalgic feeling, or just a chuckle, as we take a look at what was making headlines this week around Cowichan Lake in years gone by.

This week around the Cowichan Lake area…

10 years ago

It was a decade ago, so says the Lake Cowichan Gazette of June 27, 2012, that School District #79’s Board of Trustees stuck out their necks and put their jobs on the line to submit an unbalanced “restorative budget” to the province and the headline of the day’s paper noted that “Trustees not backing down”.

“School Board 79 trustees held another rally in support of their restorative budget on June 20, in Duncan. Approximately 130 people attended, and this number included individuals from the Council of Canadians, trustees from up-island, teachers’ representatives from Nanaimo, Victoria, and Surrey.

“Support continues to pour in for the board’s budget from across the province, says Duncan Brown, a SD79 trustee, evidence that Cowichan is not the only district facing funding and program cut-backs. One issue that remains forefront in the minds of trustees is that of the legal right of the province to fire a democratically elected board. To investigate this issue further, the board voted to hire an independent lawyer.”

In other school news of the day, LCSS got a new principal.

“Students are officially finished for the year at Lake Cowichan Secondary School, but before they were completely done with last minute assignments, exams, and of course the grad ceremony, students and teachers learned that their new principal, taking over in September, has been chosen.

“Nicole Boucher is currently the vice principal at George Bonner Middle School in Mill Bay, but come September she will be commuting from her home in Duncan to Lake Cowichan. Boucher already has a history at LCSS as she was vice principal at the school from September 2003 to June 2006, and says she already has a great working relationship with the teachers and staff at the school.”

25 years ago

“Five quakes concern residents” topped the July 2, 1997 edition of the Lake News. I feel like the paper missed an easy, clever headline. It could have read “Five quakes shake up residents” but oh well.

The story went as follows:

“An earthquake measuring 4.6 rocked the Town of Lake Cowichan and surrounding areas last Tuesday morning. Reports say the quake hit at approximately 6:45 a.m. This quake was followed by two quakes of the same magnitude, one in Kelowna, and one on the mainland the same day. Thursday of last week, two more quakes, much smaller, hit Mission and Seattle.

“The earthquakes were the discussion at Town Council that evening. Councillors talked for almost 45 minutes on emergency preparedness and [about] working alongside the CVRD. The concern was for who would be in charge and would [the] CVRD emergency co-ordinator overstep the[ir] bounds. The message was loud and clear from most councillors that what the Town of Lake Cowichan decides to do, they will do, with no interference.”

I wonder if that’s the same today?

In other news of the day, five kittens were found abandoned, in a box, at Centennial field.

“They are now being looked after and are up for sale at the Pet Emporium in Lake Cowichan. It’s believed the kittens were not left long before being found, as they were in fairly good shape. It’s reported that the kittens were shivering when found but are now doing fine.”

Who does that?

40 years ago

Here’s some more from the June 23, 1982 edition of the Lake News. We get to learn a little more about what went on that week as the week following, the paper shut down for a holiday! Imagine that!

Page 3 reported “Stop park erosion, BCFP told”.

“The provincial ministry of the environment will be asked to contact B.C. Forest Products, telling the company that the wash from the weir is damaging the shoreline at Saywell Park. The ministry will also be asked to tell the company to correct the problem.

“In a letter to the village, regional water manager A.B. Hollingshead said he had been to Lake Cowichan himself to see the problem.

“‘The erosion to which you refer is occurring immediately downstream of the control structure as a result of flow expansion and a strong return eddy. I am informed that this erosion occurs mainly during the high flow winter period when all gates are fully open. These gates must remain open in accordance with the licence operating rules to minimize such surcharge and to prevent excessively high lake levels.”

And finally, some graduating students won big awards and accolades, according to the same edition.

“Good students were honored at an awards presentation held at Lake Cowichan Secondary School Thursday, June 17. The highest academic awards in the Grade 12 class went to Doug Lange and Colleen McMahon. The citizenship award also went to Colleen McMahon. Tops in business education was Darlene Knott and Angie Friesen was the leading Grade 12 student in home economics. Joni Johal was the top Grade 12 student in industrial education and Andre St. Cyr and Manjit Bains were the top students in physical education.”

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