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
Just in time for the start of the summer season, “River teaches lesson to yet another tuber” was the headline on the front of the July 4, 2012 edition of the Lake Cowichan Gazette. It happens every year and in 2022 search and rescue organizations have taken to warning would-be tubers of the hazards even before the season begins in an attempt to curb the callouts.
Anyway, this time 10 years ago, “At approximately 6:30 p.m. on June 30, paramedics, RCMP, the Lake Cowichan Fire Department and Search and Rescue were called out to Marie Canyon, near Skutz Falls, to rescue yet another person from the Cowichan River. The young man had apparently lost his tube after missing the spot he and his friends had identified as the end point of their afternoon river adventure. The victim apparently sustained a minor head injury after losing his tube in the rapids, but according to his friends, he was able to pull himself from the water and wait for help.”
Be safe on the river this year, please.
In other news of a decade ago, “Police raid North Shore Rd. home grow-op” was a headline on page 3.
“On the evening of June 27, neighbours next to a North Shore Road residence noticed a flurry of activity as police executed a warrant for a grow operation. Sgt. Voller could not disclose the kind of investigation that led to the warrant, but he did say that it was a Controlled Drugs and Substances Act warrant, and he did confirm that it was a grow operation. Police have yet to apprehend a suspect, and no charges have yet been laid. Police arrived at the home at approximately 5:45 p.m., and were there until at least 9:30 p.m. extracting marijuana plants and related paraphernalia. ‘And anything related to the warrant,’ says Voller. ‘We also seized a loaded, 12 gauge, sawed off shotgun,’ stated Voller.”
25 years ago
“Davidson nominated for national award” was big news according to the Lake News of July 9, 1997.
“Michaela Davidson of Lake Cowichan has been nominated this year for the Canadian Woman Entrepreneur of the Year. Davidson was nominated by the Cowichan Lake District Chamber of Commerce and is now hoping to be among the six provincial finalists shortlisted from B.C. Seven other regions will also have six finalists.
“The key to her success, she once told us, has been her marketing — which initially she had not planned on doing herself. However, she will tell you that time and time again, where others have failed, Davidson has had to climb in — market herself, and comes out on top.”
Also 25 years ago in the same edition, we learned logging trucks were on the radar of authorities.
“Logging trucks were pulled over last week while the Lake Cowichan RCMP in conjunction with the Motor Vehicle Branch checked the vehicles and loads for safety. In a press release, Sgt. Poitras said that as a result of three logging truck accidents in the past two months, the inspections on commercial vehicles were carried out July 2.”
40 years ago
“Probation is punishment in death fight,” was a headline on the front of the July 7, 1982 Lake News.
“The man who was responsible for the death of Eric Eugene Erickson of Lake Cowichan in a fight Aug. 14, 1981 pleaded guilty in a Nanaimo court June 18 to a charge of assault causing bodily harm.
“John Carl Shirley, 19, also of Lake Cowichan, had been charged with second degree murder but the charge was changed by the Crown prosecutor. Shirley was given a two-year suspended sentence with probation and ordered to do 500 hours of community service work.
“Shirley had been charged following an incident in which a minor traffic accident on Greendale Road led to a fight near Little Beach, about 11:15 p.m. in which Erickson, 67, was killed.”
In other news, a hotel development was moving right along 40 years ago.
“Red Cedar Estates — a Victoria firm which plans to develop a large block of property on the Cowichan River — has vaulted its first hurdle and secured agreement in principle from Lake Cowichan village council for the project.
In a rather news-heavy front page, “Reluctant brass get H.B. invite” was the third story.
“The Cowichan Valley Regional District will ask three cabinet ministers and all the principals of the various companies involved to a meeting of the CVRD board in Honeymoon Bay to discuss the future of the Honeymoon Bay townsite.
“Forests Minister Tom Waterland, Housing Minister James Chabot and Municipal Affairs Minister Bill Vander Zalm will be invited to listen to the concerns of Honeymoon Bay residents.
“The CVRD has butted its head against a stone wall for some time, trying to get some answer from the companies involved, to no avail, according to [CVRD chair Gerry] Giles.”