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 big week for Cowichan Lake Community Services a decade ago this week as they scored themselves, and the community, a new set of wheels.
Tyler Clarke reports:
“Cowichan Lake Community Services has become more mobile, with the addition of a 17 passenger bus to their resources. ‘We got it for our programs, for transporting kids, and for the community,’ Community Services’ office coordinator Angie Fournier said. ‘We used to have a van — one of those big cargo vans — but they’ve been controversial,’ she said, adding that various safety concerns have arisen with regard to the vans. They’ve been without the van for a year, leaving some local groups that made use of it in limbo for their transportation needs.”
In the same edition, Clarke put the word out that there’d be a bottle drive for a local woman battling cancer.
“This Lake Days weekend is bound to result in households accumulating some bottles. Luckily, the Palsson Elementary School Parent Advisory Council has a worthy cause for bottle donations, during a bottle drive the following weekend at Saywell Park.
“A press release from the school states that local mother Brenda Montgomery was diagnosed with multiple myeloma — a cancer of the blood — this past winter. Brenda is the mother of Hannah, a Grade 1 student at the school, and until recently worked at the Kaatza Childcare Centre in the infant and toddler room.”
“Brenda is currently unable to work and it is unlikely that she will be able to return to work for some time because of the cancer treatment, type of cancer, and the nature of her job,” the press release states.
“Due to funding cuts in the childcare system, Brenda’s health and disability benefits have been reduced, making things even harder.” Let’s hope a lot of empties were collected that week.
25 years ago
“RCMP warn parents of suspicious adult male” was the headline on the top of the Lake News of June 5, 1996.
“A suspicious adult male has been seen on the old rail bed to A.B. Greenwell School, displaying pornographic photographs,” read the story. “On Friday, May 31 at 2 p.m. a resident found a male learning against a tree. This male had laid out pornographic pictures along the trail. The pictures were in a line leading up to his location and were held down by sticks. The male departed upon the arrival of a local resident.”
Police warned parents to send their children to school via an alternate route.
The death of long time local resident Dick Watson, 75, was reported as well, on the front page of the June 5, 1996 Lake News.
He died in a head-on collision on the Malahat May 30.
“Sgt. W Best of the Duncan Highway Patrol said the collision occurred approximately 10:30 a.m. The vehicle Watson was driving, a 1988 Oldsmobile, was travelling northbound and was about half a kilometer north of the Spectacle Lake turnoff when it crossed over the centre line and collided with a 1988 Nissan Mini Van driven by Reginald Welcher, 50-years-old, of Duncan.”
Welcher and his passenger were ultimately OK but Watson was not.
“Sgt. Best says there was no apparent cause for the collision — no alcohol involved, good road conditions.”
And finally, after some speculation, Councillor Jean Brown finally confirmed she would run for the mayor’s seat in the coming November election.
Her three issues: a cemetery for Cowichan Lake, a walking path along the Cowichan River in Lake Cowichan, and better public relations between the Village and community groups.
40 years ago
Have times sure changed. Forty years ago this week, according to the June 3, 1981 Lake News, “the largest group of candidates in recent memory will be vying for the title of ‘Lady of the Lake.’
“The hard-pressed judges will have to choose among 11 girls, each of whom has been sponsored by a local club or business. The candidates are getting training in make-up, and general deportment before they have to make their public appearances, according to the pageant organizers, the Kiwanis Club of Lake Cowichan.
Also four decades ago in the local paper, “School District 66 will be administered by a locally chosen superintendent starting in the fall of 1981. Jean Brown, chairman of the School district 66 board of school trustees announced at the May 26 board meeting that Denis Therrien of Rossland, B.C. has been chosen for the job.”
And finally, this week 40 years ago, “Lake Cowichan has been urged to adopt an ambitious plan of land annexation that would more than double the size of the village. Derek Pratt, of the Cowichan Valley Regional District’s planning department, who has prepared five alternatives for a village community plan for Lake Cowichan village council, said Friday that he is recommending that council choose an alternative that would increase the area of the village from 746 acres (298 hectares) to 1,871 acres (740 hectares). This proposal calls for the village to annex 325 acres in areas south of the Cowichan River, south and east of the current village boundaries, plus expand northwards in the Greendale Road area and properties adjacent to the Cowichan Valley Highway, and westward to include Lakeview Park and the waterski club property.”