Joan Bowler joyfully rises from her baptism in the Cowichan River Sunday, Aug. 9, 1993, as Rev. Len Olson, who performed the ceremony, and Bruce Wilson, share her moment. It was the first river baptism in the community in many years.

LAKE FLASHBACK: Cowichan Lake wows visiting athletes, mourning a fire chief, and oh, those prices

Jim Sidhu dies suddenly, Co-op ad makes you shake your head, NAIG comes to the Lake

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:

“Games participants wowed by Lake” boasts the proud headline in the Lake Cowichan Gazette of Aug. 13, 2008.

The Games in question were the Cowichan 2008 North American Indigenous Games.

“They went off without a hitch in Lake Cowichan last week as athletes traveled from all over the continent to compete in canoe racing and volunteer with the Games.

“The weather was beautiful and the lake was sparkling when NAIG began on Aug. 4 and Cowichan athletes shone in the traditional canoe races. Team BC took home 30 canoeing medals, and placed fourth. They won 113 medals overall.

Coach Agnes Harry said rowing on Lake Cowichan was a change for her athletes, as they are used to practising in the ocean. “But it was a good change,” she said, adding that her rowers did very well considering they were a smaller team.

“They are all pretty strong athletes,” she said.

25 years ago:

Lake Cowichan was mourning the death of former fire chief Jim Sidhu when The Lake News published its Aug. 11, 1993 edition.

Let’s read about it:

“One of the most popular and progressive fire chiefs Lake Cowichan ever had died suddenly last Tuesday evening. A memorial was held at Lake Cowichan United Church on Saturday.

“Jim Sidhu, 48, and his wife, Barbara, were visiting the Ross Webbs at their houseboat on the North Shore. Sidhu had been swimming, say witnesses. He climbed out of the water and sat in a chair.

“Unexpectedly, he slumped backwards into the water. Webb, helped by Barbara Sidhu, got him out but resuscitation failed to revive him. Ambulance personnel could do nothing for him.

“An autopsy showed that he had suffered a massive heart attack, said police later.

“Sidhu and his wife, Barbara lived on MacDonald Road. He was a self-employed trucker, hauling cement around the Island. His family came from the Punjab and was living here when he was born. He attended school in the village, including Lake Cowichan Secondary School.”

40 years ago:

Because The Lake News, 40 years ago this week, was closed for staff holidays, I am taking the liberty of hauling out another advertisement from that period.

C’mon, you know you love to read these.

This one is from the Lake Cowichan Co-op.

The special of the week was Grade “A” roasting chicken (5-7 lb. average): 99 cents a pound. A blade roast (bone removed) was $1.49 per pound, a one-pound tray of Olympic pork sausages was $1.29, and those midweek meal favourites, pork or veal chopettes were $1.19 per pound.

Kraft mayonnaise was being offered at $1.53 for a 750 ml jar, and the same company’s smooth or crunchy peanut butter was $1.05 for a 16 oz. jar.

Listerine mouthwash was $1.99 per bottle, and Co-op margarine was offered at $.59 for a three-pound package.

Two-pound bags of York frozen hashbrowns were offered at 47 cents each, and Co-op unsweetened orange or grapefruit juices were priced at 89 cents for a 48-ounce tin.

Ah, the good old days…

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