In this photo from the ‘Gazette’ of Dec. 16, 2009, we see Rev. Vikki Marrs leading a group of 25 Youbou and Meade Creek residents in singing Christmas carols at Sunset Place in Meade Creek. This special festive gathering led to other locations in Youbou as part of the You ‘n’ Me Nights social group.

In this photo from the ‘Gazette’ of Dec. 16, 2009, we see Rev. Vikki Marrs leading a group of 25 Youbou and Meade Creek residents in singing Christmas carols at Sunset Place in Meade Creek. This special festive gathering led to other locations in Youbou as part of the You ‘n’ Me Nights social group.

Lake Flashback: Drenching rainfall, 300 houses, hamper campaign

And there’s a picture of locals going out to sing carols. Why not gather the gang and do the same?

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:

The Lake Cowichan Gazette of Dec. 16, 2009 reported “On the eve of Cowichan Lake Community Services distributing the Christmas hampers, the response has been incredible, according to coordinator Angie Fournier.

“It’s amazing how so many groups, businesses, the schools and people in general have contributed,” she said. “We really appreciate it.”

Even during the interview with the Gazette on Monday, the Cowichan Lake District Chamber of Commerce and the Honey Pot Pub in Honeymoon Bay dropped off some donations.

The chamber’s Katherine Worsley dropped off numerous gifts and nonperishable food and presented $107 cash raised from the 50-50 draw at its Christmas dinner. Right behind the chamber was Cindy Kruk, manager of the Honey Pot. She had $90 in cash raised from a recent turkey and ham draw and also had a couple of boxes of toys and food.

The Lake Cowichan Fire Department’s second annual toy run on Friday night and Saturday at Lake Cowichan Country Grocer was another great success.

Fournier said the amount of food collected was down, but there appeared to be more toys and the amount of cash donations was very good.

“It was another great job by them,” she Fournier. “We really appreciate their efforts.”

Lake Cowichan District Minor Hockey also did very well with its food drive at the arena on Dec. 4-5. Fournier, who is on the executive of minor hockey, said the amount of food, toys and cash donations easily blew their previous contributions out of the water. In the past, minor hockey made a cash contribution, including $100 last year.

“We’ll definitely try to do that again because it was so successful,” she added.

25 years ago:

The question on the front page of The Lake News of Dec. 21, 1994 wondered if 300 more houses were coming west of Neva Road.

“Yet another major subdivision is being planned for an 80-acre site west of Neva Road on the Youbou Highway. The Lake News was told by Joseph Allan that up to 300 houses are in the plan at present…The Bon Street Group has acquired approximately 80 acres, said a press release. The new owners will be planning a single family residential development…and will be constructing the homes through a wholly-owned subsidiary called Ironwood Homes.”

The Village of Lake Cowichan and the CVRD were to be part of the planning, it was promised.

An unofficial advisory board is being set up…Rod Peters has accepted one of the positions from the village and Allan has accepted one of the positions from the CVRD.

There were concerns.

Peters is president of the Ratepayers Association, which has been unsuccessfully urging council to set up a village planning commission. Allan wants to see an area joint planning commission with the village, Area F and Area I. Allan told The Lake News that he understood the developers intend to apply to have their property taken into the village. He said he is concerned about the impact on the village sewerage system of the new buildings going up.

“I don’t want to see any more sewage effluent going into the river,” he said.

40 years ago:

Everybody loves a weather story.

On the front page of The Lake News, a massive headline screamed “Worst rainfall here since ‘72. Cowichan Lake residents are downright drenched.”

What? Only since 1972? If you remember those years, you’ll remember we had some spectacular pre-Christmas rains back then. When I arrived at the Lake in November 1971, it seemed like it rained 40 days and 40 nights.

So, how bad was this December 1979 rainfall after all?

“A B.C. government meteorological station at Mesachie Lake Experimental Station has recorded 356.3 mm of rainfall already this month. That makes the 178 mm recorded at Sidney airport weather office look like a spring shower.

(My rough translation of that into the prehistoric inches I understand means we’d had about 14 inches of rain in the first three weeks of that damp December. Whew!)

The result of the downpour has been blocked culverts, leaky roofs, and some flooded basements in the Lake Cowichan area. Village administrator Bill Chappell said that the Quamichan Avenue area has been particularly hard hit.

“There is a natural watercourse there,” he said. “Another 24 hours of rain and there will be real problems.”

The weather office blamed our old friend, “a warm flow from the southwest”. (The Pineapple Express hadn’t been invented in those far-off days.)

The heaviest downpours had occurred in two 24-hour periods: Dec. 13-14 when 70.2 mm fell and the second was Dec. 16-17 when 81.0 mm fell.

Meanwhile, local businesses have been sporting buckets in their aisles to catch drips from leaky roofs.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Tim Schewe
Drivesmart column: It’s the highway’s fault!

One component of Vision Zero (our current road safety strategy) is highway design.

Moira Mercer spent her summer riding her e-bike around Cowichan Lake and beyond, collecting any empties she found along the way. (Submitted)
Lake Cowichan 2020 in review — conclusion

What were your top stories from 2020?

Staff meetings can be difficult when everyone has his own agenda. (Mary Lowther photo)
Mary Lowther column: Garden additions at request of staff

I’ll sow the catnip in flats on the seed table inside

Sarah Simpson
Sarah Simpson column: Snowballs fights and dead spiders

Even if it doesn’t end up how we hope, it’s the trying that matters most.

Justin Kripps of Summerland and his team have competed in Olympic action and World Cup competitions in bobsleigh. (Jason Ransom-Canadian Olympic Comittee).
QUIZ: Are you ready for some winter sports?

It’s cold outside, but there are plenty of recreation opportunities in the winter months

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19: Provinces work on revised plans as Pfizer-BioNTech shipments to slow down

Anita Anand said she understands and shares Canadians’ concerns about the drug company’s decision

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Tourists take photographs outside the British Columbia Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday August 26, 2011. A coalition of British Columbia tourism industry groups is urging the provincial government to not pursue plans to ban domestic travel to fight the spread of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. travel ban will harm struggling tourism sector, says industry coalition

B.C. government would have to show evidence a travel ban is necessary

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
‘Targeted’ shooting in Coquitlam leaves woman in hospital

The woman suffered non-life threatening injuries in what police believe to be a targeted shooting Saturday morning

Everett Bumstead (centre) and his crew share a picture from a tree planting location in Sayward on Vancouver Island from when they were filming for ‘One Million Trees’ last year. Photo courtesy, Everett Bumstead.
The tree planting life on Vancouver Island features in new documentary

Everett Bumstead brings forth the technicalities, psychology and politics of the tree planting industry in his movie

JaHyung Lee, “Canada’s oldest senior” at 110 years old, received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. He lives at Amenida Seniors Community in Newton. (Submitted photo: Amenida Seniors Community)
A unique-looking deer has been visiting a Nanoose Bay property with its mother. (Frieda Van der Ree photo)
A deer with 3 ears? Unique animal routinely visits B.C. property

Experts say interesting look may be result of an injury rather than an odd birth defect

Standardized foundation skills assessment tests in B.C. schools will be going ahead later than usual, from Feb. 16 to March 12 for students in Grades 4 and 7. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. teachers say COVID-affected school year perfect time to end standardized tests

Foundational skills testing of Grade 4 and 7 students planned for February ad March

Most Read