On the front page of Lake Cowichan Gazette of Dec. 23, 2009 we discover that generosity and Cowichan Lake really go together.
Just below a picture of folks hard at work on the Christmas hamper project, is the story: “Christmas dinner in lower Centennial Hall”
Dr. Eric Olson and his family are having Christmas dinner in lower Centennial Hall and they are inviting people to join them for a meal.
“Anyone who might be alone on Christmas Day and has nowhere else to go, they are welcome to join us,” said Olson, who owns a catering company. “We just want to share the spirit of Christmas with others who might not have the opportunity.
It was the tradition at The Lake News that ever year at Christmastime, we published an issue full of stories, poems, and pictures from the area’s school children.
Here are a couple from 1994:
Crystal Snowdon, in Grade 7 at Stanley Gordon, wrote in “Christmas Is”:
Christmas is a special time for all of the children in the world.
Hurry, hurry, Santa yells! Reindeer get ready to fly. In the North Pole, Santa lives.
Stockings hung on the fireplace. The star on the Christmas tree.
Mrs. Claus packs the bag with presents as Santa gets ready for the big night.
Santa’s elves help make everything right.
In the sled the toys go. Santa yells: Ho! Ho! Ho!
Also from Stanley Gordon’s Grade 7 contingent, we have Stephen Bell and his poem, “Santa”.
Santa Claus is coming, coming to our town.
All the kids are happy, for miles and miles around!
He’s coming with his reindeer, and his big red sleigh,
With all the wonderful presents on a Merry Christmas Day.
Meanwhile, the pencils were flying at A.B. Greenwell, too.
Heidi Padjen, then in Grade 4 wrote the following:
Christmas lights are hung so bright, rats run through the halls at night.
It wakes me, what a sound! Oh, here comes Santa with a bound.
‘Santa, Santa’, I say loud. He hears me calling round.
Mom says, ‘Sweetie Pie, go to sleep’ and I say: ‘No. Yippee’!
So Daddy gives poor Santa a break and he says, ‘Poor big mate’.
From Yount Elementary, there are a few more entries.
Mohan Bains (Grade 1) gets to the point, writing: “We wrap up presents. I like to hide them under the tree. I like Christmas.”
Melanie Sayers (Grade 1) gives us the full rundown: “We went to our Auntie Junes and then to Grandpas then we go to vickies. When we got home I open my stocking, then we have breakfast and open presents. I’ve seen Santa in Duncan. I’m going to write a letter to Santa for a Barbie Van and a doll with three colour hair her name is colourful Candy.”
Now, the Christmas issue of Dec. 19, 1979 was my first ever with the Lake News. In those days, we never corrected any of the spelling in the submissions from the students.
If you want to really realize how long ago that was, I have discovered a page of items from J. H. Boyd School including the following:
Christmas by Lorne Scheffer (Grade 1).
“I like Christmas. I like Christ masbe cause Santa gave me a trane. I want a motocross. All of us should love Jesus.
Christmas by Kristine Buskey (Grade 1)
“I like Christmas for my frends to play houes with me. I like gifts. We give gifts. I like Christmas. I love Jesus. I would like a dolly.”
Peter Fothergill (Grade 2) tells a story but keeps his eyes on the prize.
“Once there was an elf. He went into a candy store. He said, ‘Can I have some cookies and can I make some cookies?’ They said: ‘Yes, but you better be careful’. He went to work as hard as he can but the just fell in the cookie mis and when the cookies were finished, the elf is a candy cane. Anyway, I would like to be a candy cane!”
Another group talked about the weather.
“I like winter because you can build snowmen,” wrote Doug, aged eight. “You can also make snow forts. Sometimes my dog slides in the snow. And all our steps our slippery. And most of the time the trees are covered with snow and so is our house roof. And sometimes when you look in the sky you get a sore head.”
Kevin Foster, also aged eight, wrote: “I’ve always liked all of the seasons. But I like winter best and I’ll give you some reasons for it is the time for snowflakes to fall. And when the ice forms over the puddles. The best time of winter iw when Christmas comes. that’s why I think winter is really neat.”
Diana, aged eight, adds her story to the mix, saying: “I think that winter is the best season of them all. Especially winter is the funest season. When you go outside you can feel the nice breeze in the air. My sister and I go outside. We get a red nose when we make our snowman. In the morning when the sun peeks through the trees I see my sisters and my own snowman melting and all I see is a pudle of water.”