Flashback to 40 years ago: St. Christophers Church in Mesachie Lake appears to be settling in for [a] long season among stark winter trees. However, if [a] bid by [the] Anglican church to get village permission succeeds, the landmark will soon be relocated in Lake Cowichan. Anglicans want to move the church here because most of its congregation is from the village and concern has been expressed about vandalism to the structure. (Lake News, Dec. 12, 1979)

Lake Flashback: December Madness hits the lake, Joe Allen named chair, golf club needs buyer

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

The front page of the Lake Cowichan Gazette on Dec. 9, 2009 featured some “December Madness”.

Santa Claus rode into Lake Cowichan on a fire truck Friday night and was met by some enthusiastic youngsters. The kick off of December Madness was met with a cool, clear sky and colourful Christmas lights all around town.

Councillor Jayne Ingram and her Christmas Light-Up Committee put a lot of effort into getting the town ready for last weekend’s December Madness and she’s still excited about what’s happened. “I still go around town to look at the lights because it looks so beautiful,” said Ingram. “The most common comment I’ve heard from people is how welcoming it is with all the lights. I haven’t heard one complaint from anyone, just the compliments.”

The bright colours at the entrance to town, in Central Park and in Saywell Park, as well as on many homes and businesses provided a guiding light for Santa’s tour around town, as well as in Youbou, Mesachie Lake and Honeymoon Bay. Although the final verdict isn’t in, it appears businesses did alright with their December Madness. “From what I saw, many businesses seemed to be doing well on the Friday night at least,” said Katherine Worsley, manager of the Cowichan Lake District Chamber of Commerce. “I think people were out to look at the lights.”

25 years ago

The front page of the Lake News this week 25 years ago told us that Joe Allan was re-elected chairperson of the Cowichan Regional District for the coming year, 1995.

At the inaugural board meeting of the Cowichan Valley Regional District on Dec. 7, Allen thanked the board for the honour of being the chairperson for 1995. He discussed what direction the board should take in 1995 and the key issues to be expected.

Two major items he said would be solid waste management and liquid waste management continuing from 1994.

“Nineteen-ninety-five will also be the year that this board will have to find a solution regarding an office building that is adequate of our needs and accessible to all residents of the Cowichan Valley,” he said.

Also making headlines 25 years ago today was the absence of a Lake Cowichan float in the Christmas parade. “There was a reason. No float was built this time. Usually, a Christmas float is built and it takes part in a number of Christmas parades. This year, four of the parades were on the same day,” said Marie Bergstrom. They were at Chemainus Nanaimo, Victoria, and Sidney. The float could’ve been present at only one of those parades and, of course at the Lake Cowichan parade.

“It wasn’t worth all the work for just two parades,” said Bergstrom.

40 years ago

The lead story in the Dec. 12, 1979 Lake News was “Golf club scrambling for buyer”.

Two members of the March Meadows Golf Club took their group’s quest for assistance to the village council Thursday, Dec. 6. Norm Boden, the club pro, and Les Peak, the club president, had earlier approached the Cowichan Valley Regional District to ask that the district either buy the facility or assist in some other way because the club was having difficulty financing its operations. The club does not own the land and must look for ways to raise money to run the golf course Peak said.

Also making the front page back in December of 1979 was “Jolly good Christmas, say merchants”.

The annual onslaught of Christmas shoppers has started on the local scene, according to several village merchants. Jack Peake, owner of Marshall Wells Hardware, says that shopping for Christmas started a little earlier this year. At his store, ‘useful’ items are popular this season.

“They are buying power tools, and standard kitchen appliances, like irons and toasters, rather than frivolous items,” he says. His business is up about 25 per cent from last November to which he credits to the circulation of a catalog, something the firm didn’t do last year. Joan Hieta, of the lake Delicatessen, expects the upcoming weekend to be a “big one”.

She says the customers who have come in and looked over her stock, have a later return to check again. They’re not just checking the prices she says. “If they find what they’re looking for they don’t seem to care about the price.”



sarah.simpson@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

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