‘Santa at the Co-op was a big success with not only small children, but even his helpers had a big kiss for him, for the job he does so well. Sitting on Santa’s knee is Kimberly Knott (left) and Nina Padjen (right).” (Lake News, Dec. 20, 1995)

‘Santa at the Co-op was a big success with not only small children, but even his helpers had a big kiss for him, for the job he does so well. Sitting on Santa’s knee is Kimberly Knott (left) and Nina Padjen (right).” (Lake News, Dec. 20, 1995)

Flashback: Vandals, a new pub, and development delays

Remember these stories from Cowichan Lake?

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

“Van smashes into the front of Youbou’s Mini Mart” was the top story in the Dec. 22, 2010 Lake Cowichan Gazette.

“Precautionary measures at the Youbou Mini Mart helped prevent the theft of an ATM’s contents, during the early hours of Sunday, Dec. 5. During this time, the driver of a van that had been stolen from Chemainus drove through the front of the store, causing considerable damage to the front of the building.”

“They went for the ATM, but it was empty and open so they didn’t take anything,” cashier Juanita Thompson said. A loud alarm sounded immediately after the loud crash, alerting neighbours two-fold as to the break in. The prospective thieves became simple vandals, as they weren’t awarded enough time to grab anything, upon finding nothing in the ATM.

If that wasn’t bad enough, vandals got to Christmas lights in town as well!

“Upon investigating why the Christmas lights on the Kaatza Station Museum’s locomotive were not working, Cowichan Lake Chamber of Commerce Visitor Business Centre coordinator Katherine Worsley discovered that they’d been tinkered with. She found that one section of the lights had been cut through cleanly — likely with wire cutters. The automatic timer that controls when the lights go on was also tampered with. Oddly, it wasn’t destroyed or taken. Instead, mischief-makers switched it off.”

What Grinchs!

25 years ago

The front of the Dec. 20, 1995 Lake News bore good news for Honeymoon Bay and the area overall as “the workingest man in town says the Cutthroat Tavern in Honeymoon Bay will be open May 1.” Hey, it’s not exactly a gift in time for Christmas but the news of an opening date was good.

“The workingest man in town is, of course, John Rotenburger, who says he likes working. ‘It beats watching Oprah,’ he puts it laconically. He is the operator of Sturgess Place, finished not long ago as a tourist lodge. John did much of the work himself as well as working on the suites he operates as an overflow from Sturgess Place. They’re back of Dr. Egan’s former office on South Shore.”

The part of the story I liked best is this: “Incidentally, Sturgess Place may have had more Christmas lights than any other place in town. Rotenburger said it took him seven hours to put them up. Sure, he did it himself.”

Also on the front page of the Dec. 20, 1995 Lake News, was a piece about the Cowichan Valley Regional Directors voting on a pay cut.

“Newly re-elected chairman to the Cowichan Valley Regional District, Joe Allan, stunned directors at last week’s meeting with his recommendation of remuneration cuts to directors and his announcement of restructuring committees. Allan estimates remuneration cuts to directors would save an additional $145,000. And nearly $30,000 would be saved per year by restructuring meetings.”

I wonder how that turned out? We may find out as we comb through future editions of the Lake News.

40 years ago

With Dec. 17, 1980 Lake News headlines like “BCDC queries industrial park need” and “Police want hurry-up action on building site” and “Merchants demand action on parking violations” you’d hardly know it was the holiday season in Lake Cowichan. It was, but the Kids Kitchen cookie class took a back seat to hard news in this edition.

“The British Columbia Development Corporation may back out of any involvement in developing an industrial park here, a corporation executive warned this week. And small businessmen in the Cowichan Lake area whose hopes for a local industrial park have been kicked around like a football may find themselves out of luck — and at least in one case, out of money.”

Uh oh, that doesn’t sound good.

“Peter Breeks, vice president of the B.C. Development Corporation, which provides funds for the development of such facilities as industrial parks, said Monday that, since the Meade Creek industrial park project seems stalled permanently because the land is now unavailable, BCDC must ‘re-evaluate’ its position.”

In other news, “School District 66 has been told that if it doesn’t get moving on the land swap with the village, or property at South Shore and King George Streets, the RCMP, who have been trying to get a property for a new police station, will look elsewhere.

“The land, which was first proposed as a potential site for a police station under Mayor Bert Brown’s village plan a few years ago, has been unavailable for development because the school board and the village council have been wrangling over a place to put the school district maintenance shop.”

And finally, it looks like the all-day parking on South Shore was drawing the ire of merchants.

“Mayor Ken Douglas told Lake Cowichan Village council at its Dec. 9 meeting that he has had complaints from merchants about all-day parking on South Shore Road. He said he plans to discuss the situation with merchants and with the RCMP before suggesting any action to council. Co-operation from the police is necessary if any plans for parking restrictions are to be successful, he said, noting that without co-operation, bylaws couldn’t be enforced.”


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

historyLake Cowichan

Just Posted

Condemned building of the Twin Gables Motel in Crofton is not safe and yet a teen has been climbing around on the roof while others were ripping the siding off the building. (Submitted)
Destructive behaviour by teens wreaking havoc on Crofton

Residents becoming fed up with the constant vandalism and fires

This tractor was stolen from Providence Farm near Duncan between May 6 and 7, 2021. (Submitted)
Tractor stolen from Cowichan’s Providence Farm

John Deere X300 model was swiped between May 6 and 7

The organizers of the annual 39 days of July festival hope to return to live shows in Charles Hoey Park this year, like in this photo taken in 2019, but audiences at the show may be limited to 50 people due to health protocols. (File photo)
39 Days of July hoping for outdoor events in Duncan this summer

Annual music festival will run from June 25 to Aug. 2 this year

Cowichan Valley WildSafeBC coordinator Amanda Crowston teaches a Grade 5/6 class at Ecole Cobble Hill last fall. (Submitted)
The bears are back in town and so is WildSafeBC

The bears are back in town so keep an eye out, reminds… Continue reading

B.C. Labour Minister Harry Bains in the B.C. legislature, May 13, 2019. (Hansard TV)
VIDEO: B.C. to provide 3 days of sick pay for COVID-19 absences

Province will support employers on cost, labour minister says

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, April 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 rate creeps up again, 600 new cases Wednesday

One more death, 423 people in hospital with virus

B.C. Agriculture Minister Lana Popham takes questions in the B.C. legislature in 2017. (Hansard TV)
UPDATE: B.C. will fund another year of fresh fruit, vegetables, milk in schools

John Horgan government working on school meal program

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Surrey RCMP is releasing sketches of a suspect in an “indecent act” at the Coyote Creek Elementary playground on April 30, 2021. Police said the suspect was clean-shaven “during some interactions” and on “other occasions had stubble outlining a goatee and mustache.” (Images: Surrey RCMP handout)
Vancouver mayor-elect Kennedy Stewart addresses supporters in Vancouver on Sunday, Oct. 21, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver mayor says there’s no time to redo details of drug decriminalization plan

Kennedy Stewart says a federal election could see the small window of opportunity close on the city’s bid for an exemption from criminal provisions on simple possession of small amounts of drugs

These are just a handful of Vancouver Island’s missing person cases. Clockwise from top left: Lisa Marie Young, Lindsey Nicholls, Micheal Dunahee, Jesokah Adkens, Belinda Cameron and Emma Fillipoff. (File photos courtesy of family members and police departments)
Could Victoria skull fragment bring closure to an Island missing persons mystery?

Skeletal remains found in Greater Victoria have not yet been identified

Premier Mike Horgan received his first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. (Facebook/John Horgan)
More than 50% of people eligible in B.C. have received 1st vaccine dose

‘We’ve made extraordinary progress together over the past few weeks,’ says Premier Horgan

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the shooting of a Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation woman in the Ucluelet First Nation community of Hitacu on May 8. (Black Press Media file photo)
Indigenous woman shot by police was holding a replica gun, says Ucluelet First Nation

Woman has been identified as a member of the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation

Most Read