From the Gazette in 2009, Dave Van Ek and Lara Elliott walk together under a row of baseball bats after getting married in a ceremony near home plate at the Sky Dome in Mesachie Lake on Saturday. The couple met five years ago at the 1/2 Cutz Draft Slo-pitch Tournament and decided to get married at the 2009 tournament.

Lake Flashback: Midnight rescue on lake, power failure during searing heat, and Dawn Coe on championship trail

Bonus item: a wedding at home plate at the Sky Dome? Why not?

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 Aug. 5, 2009 edition of the Lake Cowichan Gazette featured a startling headline: “10 rescued from lake after 2 boats collide Saturday night”.


Let’s hear the story, from editor Doug Marner:

Ten people were rescued from Cowichan Lake Saturday night after two boats collided near Bald Mountain at Marble Bay.

According to the police, a moving boat hit a stationary boat just after 11 p.m. The Lake Cowichan RCMP, two B.C. ambulances and the Honeymoon Bay Fire Department, with its rescue boat, responded to the call.

The Lake Cowichan Fire Department, after completing a call on North Shore Road, also responded with assistance.

“Alcohol is not suspected,” said Const. Mark Skinner, who noted that all 10 people were treated for minor injuries and as of Sunday afternoon only one person remained in the hospital.

“None of the injuries was serious,” said Skinner. “The incident is still being investigated.”

The Honeymoon Bay Fire Department off loaded its boat at the Cowichan Lake Marina, while other rescue operations were done off Peri Road at Marble Bay, with other boaters taking the people to shore.

Skinner said the collision could have been more serious, especially with the incident happening at night.

“That’s why they have lights,” he said. “Given that there’s so much traffic on the lake, we don’t have too many collisions.”

All those on the two boats are believed to be from Victoria.

25 years ago:

“Wow, what a week” says the headline in the July 27, 1994 edition of The Lake News.

What was going on?

“Heat seared itself into the record books, the wind roared, the power went off: it was a week to remember weatherwise.”

The Village works department recorded a temperature of 102 Fahrenheit (38 Celsius) last Friday, a record in recent times.

But the temperature was in the 30s nearly all week. Sunday night, after gusty winds, the power failed throughout the area about 6:30 p.m., in time to spoil most people’s dinners.

Power was off from Nanaimo south but B.C. Hydro reported that the event that most affected us occurred when a giant cottonwood tree, five feet in diameter, fell across the road near the Mayo Road and Cowichan Lake Road junction. It took out four spans of the 60,000 volt transmission line as well as cross arms.

That is the main line from Duncan to the entire Cowichan Lake area.

“It was a mess,” said a Hydro spokesman.

Power was not restored until 4:40 a.m., only to fail again in isolated parts of the district at 5:20. It was not fully restored in Lake Cowichan until 8:15 a.m. Tuesday.

Stores had been doing a brisk business in fans, and air conditioners were not easy to come by. There wasn’t enough rain to measure during the week.

40 years ago:

On the front page of the Aug. 8, 1979 edition of The Lake News we read: “Coe faces biggest test of young career”.

Lake Cowichan’s beloved super-ambassador spread her wings and flew over many golf courses until her untimely death but this was from before she was famous.

“Lake Cowichan’s Dawn Coe will face the biggest test of her golfing career next week. She will be competing in the Canadian nationals at Cornerbrook, Nfld. and a win would be a long step forward on her march towards the women’s professional golf circuit.”

The 18-year-old won a berth on the B.C. team, which will tee off in Cornerbrook Aug. 13-17, with an impressive string of appearances this year to add to the accolades collected in the 1978 campaign.

Coe’s most recent important win was capturing the B.C. junior women’s championship in Kamloops with a score of 159, good for a two-stroke victory over Nancy Callen of Victoria.

This was the second time she pocketed the championship.

This week Coe was playing at the President’s Cup tournament at Shaughnessy and Capilano clubs. This tournament, which is essentially a warmup for the nationals pits B.C.’s best women against each other.

Just Posted

Accused killer Colin John found unfit for trial

The man accused of killing a Chemainus man more than three years… Continue reading

Lydia Hwitsum to run for the Green Party in Cowichan-Malahat-Langford

Hwitsum served eight years as chief of the Cowichan Tribes

J.H. Whittome’ is still with us as a downtown landmark

From one angle, Whittome history is Duncan history

Richard Peter pivots to para badminton

Duncan’s Paralympic champ making Parapan Am debut in new sport

New owner, new era for junior B Islanders

Carl Ollech takes the reins at Kerry Park

B.C. sockeye returns drop as official calls 2019 ‘extremely challenging’

Federal government says officials are seeing the same thing off Alaska and Washington state

Groups ready campaign to help young voters identify ‘fake news’ in election

The media literacy campaign to focus on identifying misinformation and suspicious sources online

Big rally in northern B.C. draws attention to continuing lumber crisis

Mayor Joan Atkinson says about 400 workers have been directly affected by the closure of the Canfor mill

Orangeville Northmen take Minto Cup at Langley Events Centre

Swept best-of-five series 3-0 over Victoria Shamrocks

Expanded support to help B.C. youth from care attend university still falling short

Inadequate support, limited awareness and eligibility restrictions some of the existing challenges

Ethnic media aim to help maintain boost in voting by new Canadians

Statistics Canada says new Canadians made up about one-fifth of the voting population in 2016

UPDATE: Crown cross-examines B.C. father accused of killing daughters

Andrew Berry is charged in the deaths of six-year-old Chloe and four-year-old Aubrey in 2017

Dog attacked by river otters, Penticton owner says

Marie Fletcher says her dog was pulled underwater by four river otters in the Penticton Channel

BC SPCA overwhelmed with cats, kittens needing homes

Large number of cruelty investigations, plus normal ‘kitten season’ to blame

Most Read