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
“Drunk teen arrested after his shoe prints found on vandalized car” is not the kind of headline a small town wants to see with any great frequency but such was the lead story on the cover of the May 2, 2012 issue of the Lake Cowichan Gazette.
“An 18-year-old Lake Cowichan man faces mischief charges after his shoe prints were found on a crime scene. Saanich police were called to SilverCity Victoria at Tillicum Centre late Saturday night by a 17-year-old who came out of a movie and found his Honda Civic extensively damaged.
“A large piece of cinder block was used to smash the rear windshield and the side mirrors were bent and broken. There were also running shoe imprints on one of the windows as if someone had unsuccessfully tried to kick out the glass.
“An intoxicated teenager was found passed out on the hood of a nearby vehicle before he apparently made his way to the backseat of the car and again fell into a slumber. The shoes the intoxicated teen was wearing matched the print left on the car window, police said.”
In other news of the day “the council meeting that took place on Tuesday, April 24, started off with the candidates for Lady of the Lake introducing themselves and getting a chance to meet Mayor Ross Forrest. Mayor Forrest welcomed the candidates and encouraged them not to be nervous.
“’This is always an exciting time of year when the Lady of the Lake delegates come and visit us for the first time,’ began Forrest. It’s always nice for us to have the opportunity to listen to you and see how you’ve grown from now until the crowning in June.’”
25 years ago
“TimberWest — the same name but a whole new company” was the top headline on the front of the May 7, 1997 Lake News.
“Perhaps the most important aspects of the sale of TimberWest are two things. First, the shares will be moved into B.C. and Canadian ownership, and there will be a board of directors, not one single owner. This news came from Erik Bentsen, formerly of Lake Cowichan and now vice president of TimberWest and who is in charge of coastal logging.”
The second most important aspect? Not sure! We only have the first two pages of this particular newspaper and that story continued onto page 28! If you’re curious, visit the Kaatza Station Museum and ask for the May 7, 1997 edition of the Lake News to read it in full.
Choral fest ’97 was the only other news we can report on and according to the headline, it was “an evening of accomplishment.”
“Children of all ages are given the opportunity to come together to perform. Every school in the Cowichan Lake area has their chance in the spotlight and they all shine. This is Choral fest.
“The theme this year was With One Voice We Sing. And the students did extremely well, singing some old favourites…to more unfamiliar but just as enjoyable numbers.”
40 years ago
“Village ‘loses $40,000’ under new deal” wasn’t the best news on the front of the May 5, 1982 Lake News.
“The village of Lake Cowichan will receive $40,000 less than it expected from the provincial government’s revenue-sharing program this year. The cutback has resulted from a change in the way that the government funds certain programs such as social assistance.
“All of last year, Lake Cowichan village council was under the threat that if the village population passed 2,500 and became a town, then about $33,000 would have to be found to pay for our share of welfare costs. The new provincial program, while it removes welfare costs from municipalities, is so arranged that the village comes up $40,000 short.”
Meanwhile, “it’s going to cost more than one million dollars for the Village of Lake Cowichan to solve its drainage problems. Lake Cowichan village council asked an engineer for recommendations and was told in a report that $1,230,370 worth of work is necessary.
“The mayor and aldermen had decided that a study was needed after two winters of drainage problems.
“Mayor Ken Douglas, describing the report as ‘excellent’ said he thought it would give the village guidance in conjunction with other projects, such as paving or upgrading streets. The problem is cost.
“‘If we’re talking of spending $30,000 per year on this, we’re looking at a 41-year-project,’ he said.”