A salvage chokerman secures cable around a log after a spectacular one-vehicle accident spilled logs into the ditch about a mile west of Lake Cowichan. Logging truck driver Keith Hankins of Ladysmith walked away from the wreck, shaken up but uninjured. An estimated $50,000 damage was caused to the rig, which was hauling lots for T.D. Carter of Chemainus, and apparently struck the shoulder of the road at the top of a slight curve. (April 11, 1979 Lake News photo)

LAKE FLASHBACK: Cowichan Lake restructuring, Lady of the Lake loses one entry for ‘94, and Youbou slams door on new water system in ‘79

We’ve also included a picture from 1979 of a logging truck accident. Do you remember it?

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:

In the Lake Cowichan Gazette of April 8, 2009, the idea of restructuring local government around Cowichan Lake was still on the front burner.

In preparation for another public meeting at the end of April, a committee has been struck to investigate interest.

Joe Allan, who has spearheaded the move and is on the committee, said there is a good mix of residents sitting with him.

“We had a really good meeting on Wednesday night,” said Allan. “The committee is really informal right now, with me chairing the meetings. It could become more formal later.” He said the committee will make a report to the next meeting about where things stand now.

Allan said the effort is now being called restructure because amalgamation isn’t accurate. Amalgamation is the combining of two existing municipalities and doesn’t include rural areas.

“I think a lot of people have misunderstood what we’re trying to do because we were calling it amalgamation,” said Allan. “Calling it a restructure study, it’s just more accurate.”

The restructure committee also includes Hazel Beech, Katherine Worsley, Sheila McFarlane, Carol Blatchford and Bruce Ingram of Lake Cowichan, Pat Weaver, Pat Foster and Brooke Hodson of Electoral Area I (Youbou-Meade Creek) and Guy Patten, Ray Wear and Elaine Eddy of Electoral Area F (Skutz Falls-Cowichan Lake West).

“We’re looking for someone from the Lake Cowichan First Nation, the Meade Creek area and someone from Caycuse,” said Allan.

Restructuring was looked at in the early 1990s, with a study done by Sussex Consultants Ltd. The study looked at the consequences of restructuring the Cowichan Lake area from Paldi to the west end of the lake into a single municipality. It was, essentially, an update of a study done in 1989-90 by R.A. Rabnett and Associates.

“I think it’s better if this time around we don’t include any politicians on the committee,” said Allan.

25 years ago:

In the Wednesday, April 6, 1994 issue of The Lake News, we learn that “for the first time in years, the [Lake Cowichan] Curling Club is reported to have no entry in the Lady of the Lake contest. Marie Bergstrom, to whom the entrants names must be submitted, confirmed Monday that she did not expect any entry from the Curling Club.

A Club spokemsan told The Lake News that it had not been able to find a suitable entrant. The deadline for entries passed last evening. Up to Monday, The Lake News could identify only three entries, though others were known to be in the works. The three definite entries were: Co-op: Rhonda Rajala; Legion: Jamie Merchant; and Riverside Inn: Jessica Peters.

Up to nine entries were expected by deadline, said Bergstrom.

“I know that others have their entries but I haven’t received them yet,” she said Monday. Organizations from which entries are expected are: the Kinsmen Club, the Kiwanis Club, the Lions Club, the Cowichan Lake District Credit Union, the Village Market, and the Royal Purple/Elks Club.

40 years ago:

“More than 200 people on Sunday noisily put a damper on any prospects of a sophisticated water system being installed in Youbou,” said The Lake News of Wednesday, April 11, 1979.

Vociferous complaints by villagers of intrustion into their affairs by the Cowichan Valley Regional District will effectively kill an attempt to install a community-owned water system. Regional director Olive Baird said she was “shocked” by the response of the ratepayers at the informational meeting. She said, however, that the people made it clear they did not want a complete water supply system and she will recommend to the regional district board that ongoing studies be halted and that plans for a system be pigeon-holed.

“Actually, after the shock of being attacked by my own people wore off, I realized that there will probably be many more controversial confrontations to come,” Baird said Tuesday. “I am a doer, not a sitter, and I firmly believe our town has a good future,” she added, suggesting that many individuals support her desire to make sure the community doesn’t stagnate.

At one point during the meeting Baird was charged with a possible conflict of interest. A resident suggested that Baird’s Trucking, a family business, could benefit by the possible $1 million water line construction. Josef Horyna said that if Baird’s Trucking got the contract, the community would expect Baird to resign. Baird said later that the family firm would be at a disadvantage because of her involvement with local government, rather than an advantage.

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