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
“Holly-wichan; Cowichan Lake film site for TV series” was the headline of the day in the Nov. 16, 2011 edition of the Lake Cowichan Gazette.
“Lake Cowichan might not feel like Hollywood but last week the area was treated to some glitz and glamour as the Canadian-made television series Dark Waters of Crime was shot on Vancouver Island,” wrote editor Dorian Geiger. “Filmed over a period of six days from Chemainus, to Gordon Bay to the outskirts of Lake Cowichan, Dark Waters is a documentary style TV series, reenacting murders where water played a significant role in the crime.”
Dark Waters’ producer was Sylvie Peltier.
“Peltier said the role water plays in the murders being documented is what makes the series so intriguing. “Water is very important because it destroys all evidence and makes the investigation that much more difficult,” she added. Not only does water muddle investigations, it also makes filming that much more difficult.”
Also making the paper a decade ago was the ages-old tradition of the November wildlife warning.
“On Nov. 8 the Lake Cowichan RCMP released a statement warning the public of recent cougar and bear sightings in the area. The public warning stems from a cougar sighting on the 7700 block of the Old Cowichan Lake Road. The animal appeared twice on a resident’s sun deck and was unafraid when confronted by the property’s owner.
“RCMP are concerned because a popular walking trail runs adjacent to where the cougar was spotted near Old Cowichan Lake Road. They advise outdoor enthusiasts to be cautious when traveling in this area. The RCMP also highlighted the fact that bear sightings have taken an unusual climb in recent weeks.”
25 years ago
“Election results: Women heavy council” declared the Lake News of Nov. 20, 1996.
“Preliminary voting results are showing a town council which will be predominately women; all incumbents for the school district regained their seats, Joe Allan will continue as Director of Area F and a tie has taken place in Area I between Lois Gage and Jack Waite.
“For town council we are looking at three women and two men with Jean Brown as mayor, councillors Pat Foster, Hazel Beech, Jack Peak and Dennis LaForge. Leo Portelance, incumbent was not voted back in. There will be a recount for school trustees as Tara Daly and incumbent Buck Hollingdrake’s numbers are only two apart. Incumbent Pat Weaver topped the polls with 802 votes and Wilma Rowbottom won her seat back with 685.”
Also making headlines 25 years ago, “TimberWest told zero logging in Youbou”.
“Three Youbou residents have given TimberWest an ultimatum threatening to become radical if the forest company logs in close proximity to residential homes in Youbou. TimberWest is listening and as of last week are reconsidering their harvest plans.
“Bob Cannon, Neil Merrick and Jack Waite held meetings with representatives of TimberWest last week. ‘We told them that we will only accept zero logging around the residential area. We have given them until Tuesday (of last week) to give us an answer,’ Cannon told the Lake News Thursday. Cannon then issued a letter to editorial departments of the media as he had not been satisfied with TimberWest’s answers and they had started logging Tuesday.”
40 years ago
The cost of water in Lake Cowichan was to double in 1982 according to the Lake News of Nov. 18, 1981.
“Water users on the village water system will have to pay twice the amount for water in 1982 than they have been paying, about an extra $70 per year starting in January,” said the front page story.
“Lake Cowichan Village council learned at the Nov. 10 council meeting that the village will be $64,874 short in paying its bill for the water improvement project carried out this year. Village clerk Pat Akerley, in her report to council on the shortfall, said that she anticipated that expenses for the village water system would be $142,874 in 1982. Anticipated revenue would be only $78,000 leaving a shortfall of $64,874, she said. She suggested two ways of dealing with the problem, pointing out at the meeting that the water system, like the sewer system, is supposed to be able to pay for itself. Council could either increase rates charges or could increase the parcel tax to raise the necessary funds, she said.”
“‘This is bad news but I don’t see any way around it,’ she said.”
Also bad news was the other front page headline: “Struggle continues to keep bus service”.
“Passenger bus transit in this area has been nearly non-existent in recent years, but Lake Cowichan village council does not want to lose what is left of it. The village will send a letter to both Cowichan Valley Stage Lines owner Stu Buckman and the superintendent of motor carriers saying that council is ‘very concerned’ about the possibility that the service will be discontinued. CVSL has applied to be allowed to cease offering passenger service as of Dec. 1, 1981.”
Their rationale was that the service was barely being used.