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 exciting enough news to make the front page of the Lake Cowichan Gazette’s June 15, 2011 edition. “Town to get $400,000 for the second phase of water metering” was, in fact, the top headline.
“The Town of Lake Cowichan has been successful in its bid to get a $400,000 Towns for Tomorrow grant from the provincial government to help pay for the second phase of its water metre project.
“‘We’re happy, and it’s a good chunk to finish it off,’ mayor Ross Forrest said, shortly after the announcement was made last week. The grant pays for up to 80 per cent of the approximately $500,000 cost of the second phase, with a cap of $400,000, which the town has hit.
“The key for us will be finding out water breaks,”Forrest said. “And, we will.”
“With water meters in place, water leaks, such as the one found recently on King George Street, will be more quickly detected.”
Also a decade ago, the same paper reminded residents to “Get ready to fill the boot with donations at weekend tournament”.
“One of June’s biggest events is coming up this weekend, complete with a magical new theme; Disney. ‘So, some people will be dressed in costumes over the weekend,’ key organizer Nick Sohye said. Other than the new theme, organizers are sticking to the motto, ‘if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it.’ The same as previous years’ Muscular Dystrophy Slo-Pitch Tournament, events will begin Thursday, June 16, with a firefighter’s parade through various Cowichan Valley communities.”
25 years ago
The muscular dystrophy fundraiser was the big front page news of the Lake News of June 19, 1996, with the Mesachie Lake Fire department hauling in $23,100 for the cause when all was said and done after their 17th annual softball tournament.
Did you know that back in the day, long before he was the mayor, Rod Peters’s nickname was ‘Porky’? It’s true!
Peters was the subject of great attention at the event’s annual auction with the Youbou firemen buying him for $300 to be their team’s bat boy and the Lake Cowichan firemen donating $300 more if Youbou would keep him.
Also making the Lake News’s front page was discussion about the CVRD’s “attempt to intrude on Village control and growth.”
“CVRD has intruded on this Village’s autonomy before, and council just wants safe guards,” the story begins. “This statement made at last week’s council meeting by Mayor Earle Darling has opened up a wasps’s nest with everyone from the top administrator at CVRD to the village and director of Area F pointing fingers at each other.
“Darling stated that council’s cautionary actions regarding a joing Official Community Plan with CVRD are not caused by a personality conflict between himself and area directors but to ensure village council’s future control of the growth and governance of the village.”
40 years ago
“CUPE warns school board of demands” was the headline on the bottom of the front page of the June 17, 1981 Lake News.
“School District 66 is going to have to offer a more attractive package if it wants to reach an agreement with its employees who are members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees, according to a union negotiator.”
That is a warning indeed!
“Murry Gray, who is the senior CUPE official in the central Vancouver Island region, said Tuesday, ‘The problem is that they’re not coming up with enough money and fringe benefits.’
“CUPE has asked for an increase of $3 an hour across the board, and is also demanding ‘catch-up’ increases ‘where required,’ according to Gray.
“He said that wages for some categories of his union’s members in Lake Cowichan have slipped behind those offered in other districts.”
Also on the front page, it was reported that Lisa Calleberg was the 1981 Lady of the Lake, while Jackie Lamb and Corrie Logan were named first and second princesses respectively. The Lady of the Lake events were part of the greater Lake Days celebrations which, as reporter Lexi Bainas reported, “could bring in a record amount of money for distribution to the communities this year as large crowds enjoyed cool weather and good times at the annual celebrations.”
Bainas reported that “at least $7,500 was earned Saturday at admission gates and concessions, according to Lake Days treasurer Brenda Cartmell. Chairman Gerry Soroka said that based on these figures, a projection of total earnings from various enterprises would bring revenues to a record amount.”
“I hope every year is a record year because everybody benefits,” said Soroka. Sadly, we know now that’s no longer the case.