Lake Flashback: A look back at a landslide election victory and strolls through a pair of Christmas issues

Welcome to Lake Flashback. Reporter Lexi Bainas 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:

“Forrest’s landslide mayoralty victory is 2008 story of the year” said the Lake Cowichan Gazette on Dec. 31, 2008.

Let’s read: “Even Ross Forrest’s staunchest supporters didn’t expect the landslide victory he achieved in the Nov. 15 municipal election for mayor, when he garnered 848 votes compared to incumbent Jack Peake’s 246 and Stan Pottie’s 89 votes.

If they had, perhaps they wouldn’t have campaigned as hard as they did.

In many ways, Forrest’s campaign began more than 30 years ago, when as a young man in Lake Cowichan he was involved in minor hockey, minor baseball and running the hugely successful Appollos slo-pitch tournament held every Labour Day weekend.

He has also been chair of the Lake Days Committee and in 1996 was named Citizen Of the Year.

It was the connections he made in those days, especially with the youth of the community, that came to roost in the election. With a voter turnout of close to 71 per cent, many of them first-time young voters who know Forrest by his first name, it paid off big time.

“It’s really helped me knowing people,” said Forrest.

Although Forrest loves to talk sports, especially about his beloved New York Yankees or the Toronto Maple Leafs, he just as easily slips into a conversation about local politics.

That likely comes from his growing up in a house where politics were a way of life. His late father Ted served as an alderman before getting elected as mayor for one term in the 1980s.

“I love Lake Cowichan and I’ve always been interested in making it the best place to live,” said Forrest. “I think it’s a great place to raise a family.”

25 years ago:

Because The Lake News used to close for a week during the Christmas season, we’re a little short on old news, so we are presenting a few items from the 1993 version of ‘Christmas is for Kids’.

Here are some Christmas stories from Palsson School kids back then:

Mark Edwards, a Grade 2 student, wrote: “What Makes Christmas Special? 1) A warm cuddle with your mother 2) Giving something to somebody else 3) Helping other people 4) Receiving special guests 5) Having a family dinner 6) Having a special tree 7) Santa is coming to town.”

Richelle Orza, a Grade 4 student, wrote: “Christmas means when your family gets together and friends get together and others, too. Christmas means getting along and peace. It means you have a quiet supper and happiness. Christmas means you decorate a tree and you sing songs. You put some presents under the tree and Santa puts some presents under the tree. Sometimes other people like Moms and Dads friends and neighbours do, too. Joyful is when you have a good time and you are playing with a friend. When you are happy and other things, too. That’s what Christmas is about.”

Also on the same page are some greetings from folks and businesses past including Post General Store, Lake Cowichan Auto Supply, Fat Cat Fish ‘n’ Chips, Bella Sorella Pizza, Ken Leach Chartered Accountant and The Village Market.

40 years ago:

There were similar entries in the 1978 ‘Christmas is for Kids’ edition of The Lake News, but what we’ve done instead for that year for your holiday enjoyment is include items from a page of photos.

Every one of them was taken from a school that has since closed up but many of the folks shown still live here or have relatives here, and we all can celebrate those great memories.

Here we see the Nativity scene from J. H. Boyd School’s Christmas show in December 1978.
Caycuse Elementary students and families packed the community hall for the 1978 Christmas concert.
Yount’s Janzen twins pose with the school’s Christmas Cheer Fund in 1978.
Stanley Gordon School students stage a skit in December 1978.

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