“Timbe-r-r-r!” was the headline on this front page photo back on Jan. 8, 1997. “Winds, reportedly reaching almost 90 mph, ripped through the Cowichan Lake area bringing down trees, hydro lines and telephone cables. This car, on the highway to Mesachie Lake, drives under one of the many trees which had been blown down. It’s held up only be telephone lines.” (Lake News/ Jan. 8, 1997)

“Timbe-r-r-r!” was the headline on this front page photo back on Jan. 8, 1997. “Winds, reportedly reaching almost 90 mph, ripped through the Cowichan Lake area bringing down trees, hydro lines and telephone cables. This car, on the highway to Mesachie Lake, drives under one of the many trees which had been blown down. It’s held up only be telephone lines.” (Lake News/ Jan. 8, 1997)

Flashback: Searching for a surgeon, an epic storm and Broadbent boos banks

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

The Jan. 11, 2012 edition of the Lake Cowichan Gazette featured Lake Cowichan athlete Curt Knippelberg and his quest to find an affordable brain surgeon.

Editor Dorian Geiger wrote: “21 is typically a pretty care free age — unless you’re Curt Knippelberg. Knippelberg suffers from a cyst on the pineal gland in his brain. Discovered in 2010, the cyst impairs his cognitive performance, induces dizziness and affects his balance. Pineal cysts are not typically fatal but if left untreated can wreak severe problems on an individual’s neurological system. Knippelberg played hockey growing up in Lake Cowichan, among other sports. However, the young athlete was forced to hit the sidelines due to his condition. ‘I was an athlete so it was pretty hard to handle. Everything gets worse with physical activity so I had to shut everything down for now,’ said Knippelberg.

“Knippelberg has looked to world-renowned surgeons in Los Angeles, India and Korea. He said Dr. Hrayr Shahinian of L.A. is the best in the world and that the well-known brain surgeon has been discussing Knippelberg’s options with him via Skype appointments.

“However, the surgery to remove his cyst through a surgery with Dr. Shahinian would come with a $150,000 price tag — a price Knippelberg thinks will take far too long to fundraise for, hence his global search for an affordably priced surgeon. ‘He’s [Shahinian] the best but that’s going to be a year from now. To me, waiting that long, I just can’t do it,’ said Knippelberg.”

Also in the same edition, “Cowichan labour boss dead at 67” was a top headline.

“Veteran woodworker, union boss, forestry politician, negotiator and family man Roger Stanyer lost his battle with cancer Dec. 29. He was 67. IWA leaders remembered Stanyer as the workers’ friend, and a tactician with timber-firm brass.”

25 years ago

“Director calls for proper emergency planning following storm” was the front page headline of the Jan. 8, 1997 edition of the Lake News.

This was in the aftermath of the famed winter storm of 1996.

“After hydro was out in his area for three days, Joe Allan, director for Cowichan South/Skutz Falls, is calling for a meeting of emergency planning co-ordinators of the CVRD to be held Monday, Jan. 14.

“Emergency planning has been discussed, in the past, for major earthquakes, but Allan said improved coordination and proper planning is required for times like last week when areas were out of hydro for three days. Co-ordination between those responsible for clearing and salting roads, hydro, and telephone personnel must be improved, he said.

“Snow, wind, rain and flooding all hit the Cowichan Lake area over the period of a week, with unconfirmed reports that wind gusts reached 90 mph.

“Complaints from all over the area came in; windows were broken by the wind, basements flooded, heavy snow and wind blew down hydro and telephone lines. Lake Cowichan area was out of hydro New Year’s Eve and remained off for 18 hours, coming back at 5:45 p.m. New Year’s Day.

“A small area in Skutz Falls was off for three days, and areas of Youbou, Mesachie Lake, and Honeymoon Bay were out for days as well.”

Poor Bob Piechnik on North Shore Road “had a big old cherry tree come down, narrowly missing his house, he said.

“Wade Hatch had part of his roof blown off at 5 a.m. The roof landed in his neighbour’s yard and he suffered flooding in his basement and leaks in his living room as a result.”

40 years ago

“Jobless cheer battling Broadbent” was the headline atop the Jan. 13, 1982 edition of the Lake News.

Gerry Soroka had the story:

“Federal NDP leader Ed Broadbent battled on behalf of the growing ranks of the unemployed in a fiery speech Monday which attacked banks, foreign corporations and the federal government.

“Broadbent accused the Liberals of turning the 1980s into a ‘decade of despair’ and called on the government to recognize that ‘1982 has to be the year where unemployment had to be the most important political question in Canada.’

“The leader of the national New Democrats, who is on a national tour of high-unemployment areas, spoke to about 550 people, many of them unemployed, at the Cowichan Community Centre theatre. They greeted his attacks on the government and especially the banks with cheers and applause.”

Meanwhile, the paper also reported that “Merchants have high hopes for 1982”.

Lexi Bainas reported on this one:

“Lake Cowichan merchants sounded a positive note last week when asked about their Christmas sales and their hopes for 1982. The entire Cowichan Lake area experienced a disappointing year in 1981 and retail business people didn’t escape the malaise. They appear, however, to be digging in, determined to survive despite short-term prospects of gloom and doom.”

It’s always nice to start a new year with high hopes!



sarah.simpson@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

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“NDP leader Ed Broadbent addresses large crowd while MLA Barbara Wallace and MP Jim Manly look on Monday night. About 550 persons gave touring federal leader enthusiastic applause during speech which took swipe at Liberals and banks.” (Lake News/Jan. 13, 1982)

“NDP leader Ed Broadbent addresses large crowd while MLA Barbara Wallace and MP Jim Manly look on Monday night. About 550 persons gave touring federal leader enthusiastic applause during speech which took swipe at Liberals and banks.” (Lake News/Jan. 13, 1982)