Lake Flashback: More pennies, church debt, and Citizen of the Year

Remember these stories from Lake Cowichan?

“That’s a lot of hundreds, but it adds up to only $5,000 which really isn’t much in the world of debt. Rev. Dr. Cullene Bryant, Minister of the Lake Cowichan United Church needs to raise that money which would get the church out of debt. They need to raise a lot more for the church to run efficiently. (Lake News/Feb. 7, 1996)

“That’s a lot of hundreds, but it adds up to only $5,000 which really isn’t much in the world of debt. Rev. Dr. Cullene Bryant, Minister of the Lake Cowichan United Church needs to raise that money which would get the church out of debt. They need to raise a lot more for the church to run efficiently. (Lake News/Feb. 7, 1996)

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

It was that time of the year around the lake when the pennies were being collected. The Feb. 9, 2011 Lake Cowichan Gazette had, on its front page, like every year around this time, news of the Nichole Stock Penny Drive.

“This year’s Nichole Stock Penny Drive contributions to the Variety Club Show of Hearts Telethon are looking great, with over $6,600 raised so far. ‘We’re still getting them in,’ Lake Cowichan Seniors’ Centre manager Bruce Bunting said, of the copper coins. ‘We can still roll them.’ Volunteers at the Seniors’ Centre have already started rolling the coins, and have plans of rolling more before the fund-raiser wraps up next week, in advance of the Feb. 12 to 13 telethon. The challenge now, is to get over the $7,000 mark, Bunting said. This is the first year the Lake Cowichan Seniors’ Centre has taken over the penny drive, after the local Stock family chose, for personal reasons, to hand the responsibility over to them.”

The future of public transit was also being questioned on the Gazette’s front page.

“What would you like the future of public transit in the Cowichan Valley to look like? Transit representatives made an attempt at finding this out during an open house, Sunday, Feb. 6. A modified bus was set up outside of Lake Cowichan’s Country Grocer, where people were invited to fill out surveys, provide verbal input, and learn more about local transit in general….And there were a lot of questions and concerns to handle, with people popping in and out of the bus throughout the afternoon visit.”

25 years ago

Money dominated the front page of the Feb. 7, 1996 Lake News. On the top page was the header “Minister says Lake Cowichan United Church is broke”.

Well that’s no good.

“The Lake Cowichan United Church is broke,” said the story, written by Susan Lowe. “Rev. Dr. Cullene Bryant, minister of the church said the church is $5,000 in debt with only an active membership of 35. ‘If the church can’t support itself, it can’t pay my salary and it can’t pay its bills. We are $5,000 in debt now. If this continues each year, it won’t be long before we are $25,000 in debt,’ she said.

“The basic problem, according to Bryant is the church is funded only by the congregation. The church is not funded by a diocese, nor any outside organization. Bryant’s salary, the bills, and up keep are paid directly from membership donations. ‘Two dollars thrown into the collection plate just isn’t going to cover it,’ Bryant said.”

Also on the front page was the headline “Still time to put Nicole (sic) over the top.”

“Nichole Stock, 14, leaves this weekend for Vancouver to donate the Cowichan Lake area’s donation — collected by her — to the Variety Club’s telethon. The money is used to help sick children.”

As of that edition of the paper, she’d raised $2,315.47. She wanted to beat her $2,500 total from the year before.

40 years ago

It was a big news day on Feb. 11, 1981 according to the Lake News as Lois Longfield got recognized as the Cowichan Lake District Chamber of Commerce’s Citizen of the Year.

“Mayor Ken Douglas, in announcing the selection before an audience of about 140 persons, described Mrs. Longfield as a person who was ‘never in the limelight but quietly did things for others’. He said Mrs. Longfield ‘never had an ill word for anyone, showing a tolerance for human frailty combined with an understanding of human potential.’”

Wow. She sounded like a fantastic woman. At the same event, Ted Forrest, the president of the Chamber, was hopeful more people would join the club, stressing “that it is not ‘a businessman’s clique.’”

In other news, “Pickets remain: One union settles as strike lingers” was another headline.

“Garbage collection and disposal in Lake Cowichan was blocked again this week by picketing arena workers, although the employees at the incinerator reached an agreement last week with the Cowichan Valley Regional District.

“Negotiators for the arena workers and the CVRD met Monday, Feb. 9,” according to IWA negotiator Hans Post, “and it was then that an offer was made. Until the regional district makes a decision, the arena workers will continue picketing the incinerators,” Post said.

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