Lake Cowichan’s Katie Ferguson, left, Chelsea Major, second from left, and Sara Ferguson, far right, pose with Delaney Collins, from the Canadian women’s national hockey team, during a pre-Olympic rally. (Gazette photo)

Lake Flashback: Firefighters parade, water meters roll out, and Lakers protest hockey goons

Hockey at the Lake used to be exciting, but in 1979 the action got a bit over the top

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 front page story of Oct. 14, 2009 was “Town buys first 700 water meters”.

“The town will be purchasing 700 water meters from a company called Corix Utilities, [which] will supply the meters and install 605 of them, with town staff to install the other 95 meters. It will cost the town $549,708, of which $400,000 will be covered by a grant.”

Nagi Rizk, town superintendent of public works, reported to council at its public works committee meeting last Tuesday that three companies put in bids, with Corix the lowest bid.

“Public works cannot match the contractor on installation because we would have to hire more people,” said Rizk, although he added that it would be cheaper to have town employees install 95 of the meters because of where they would go.

“The town has decided which houses will receive meters in the first phase, but won’t divulge that information yet; residents will be notified when a meter will be installed at their homes.”

Rizk said it will take two months to install the 700 meters at the water line entrance to each property. Homes that already have meters would simply have to be calibrated to the town’s system.

“It’s a two-month installation that should meet the deadline of Dec. 31,” said Rizk.

Councillor Tim McGonigle asked that, once the meters are installed, whether they would help find leaks right away.

Yes, said Rizk, noting that water can be turned off at a specific home and if the meter continues to record water use, that would indicate there is likely a leak.

That, he admitted later, would only show a leak on the line to the house.

Although water meter billing won’t begin until meters are installed in every home, the town plans to begin reading them right away and may even send out mock bills. Reading the meters will be a snap, with a town employee simply having to point a signal receiver in the direction of meters, which will each have a different code. The information would be stored electronically.

Council talked of having a public meeting with the meter supplier in attendance.

25 years ago:

A front-page story from The Lake News of Oct. 12, 1994:

“The first-ever firemen’s parade and demonstrations marking Fire Prevention Week fascinated kids and adults alike Sunday.”

All the district fire departments were there in full force: Lake Cowichan, Honeymoon Bay, Youbou, Mesachie Lake, and Caycuse. Duncan came along to help. And the Ronald McDonald safety house was brought to teach kids how to get out safely when there’s a fire.

With sirens whooping and dogs barking, the big red fire wagons rolled sedately to Saywell Park.

There, firemen offered demonstrations of how to put out a fire in a propane camp stove; how they use the jaws of life (with a car brought by Grant Daly from Youbou for the show); and how a car is raised by air bags to get someone out from underneath.

There was a demonstration of fire fighting with foam by the ministry of forests.

Winners of the school essay contest were Danielle Sirup, Grade 7, Lauren Anderson, Grade 6, and Amanda Smith, Grade 5. Each won a $20 video gift certificate. Smokey the Bear was a noticeable favourite with the kids and there were refreshments and cookies for all.

The affair was organized by a committee composed of Dick Newman, Ray Bourassa, and Gordie Sirup.

40 years ago:

“Hockey executive protests violence: Goons here” screamed a headline on The Lake News of Oct. 10, 1979.

A hockey game held here Saturday has been protested with charges agains the visiting team of perpetrating a “disgusting display of high sticking, slashing and rough play.”

Bob Bates, governor of the Lake Cowichan Junior Bairds, and manager Doug Bondue jointly filed the protest again the Saanich team.

The protest has been sent to Bruce Naylor, secretary and Bill Shaw, president of the South Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League. A copy also was sent to Lloyd Ferguson, president of the Saanich Minor Hockey Association.

In the letter the Saanich coach is accused of encouraging his players to use goon tactics. The game ended in a 12-2 victory for Saanich.

The first period was a closely fought match, ending in a 3-1 lead for the visitors. At the end of a chippy second period, Saanich was leading 7-1. The third period deteriorated into a bloody rout, with one local player having several teeth knocked out, another two with bloody noses and a third suffering a badly bruised hip from a viciously-thrown crosscheck.

The letter suggested that the entire Saanich hockey excutive be suspended.



lexi.bainas@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

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