"Thousands of Canadians did all they could to persuade Quebec to stay in Canada. They marched, sang, signed petitions, even went personally to Montreal for Friday's giant rally. But artist Trudy Amman, of Lake Cowichan, did better than most. Not having a Quebec flag, she made her own and being an artist, it was great. She's the proprietor of the Hen House Art Gallery on Greendale Road." (Lake News, Nov. 1, 1980)

Lake Flashback: Music at the Lake, a meteorite, and broken windshields galore

Remember these stories?

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

“Local musicians rock Centennial Hall” was one of the top headlines in the Nov. 3, 2010 edition of the Lake Cowichan Gazette.

“Music returned to Lake Cowichan’s Lower Centennial Hall, Thursday, Oct. 28, when the monthly Music in the Lake evening of live music got the audience’s toes tapping. As every month, the evening’s music started off at 7:30 p.m. with an open stage of local musicians. Performances began with host David Lowther, who performed a couple of humorous songs on guitar, the second of which with wife Mary Lowther accompanying him on the clarinet.”

“I learned before most people did, that it’s best for the media to now know what you’re up to,” he said, introducing his first song, about a drug smuggler who has been busted by the police, and scorned by the media.

“Long-time local man Brad Colwell followed, with a performance of a few personal love songs. A highlight of his performance was the second song he played, which he’d initially written and played to a woman in Lake Cowichan shortly after his arrival in town, 35 years ago.”

Also in the paper of the same date, “J.H. Boyd development to be made up of affordable housing.”

The topic was brought up at a town council meeting.

Editor Tyler Clarke’s story started like this:

“The long-talked about development of the J.H. Boyd property was brought up again during the Town of Lake Cowichan’s Tuesday, Oct. 26, regular council meeting. The discussion came in response to a letter and map John Kelly and Jon Roler submitted to council, with proposed changes to their development plans. The site stretches from the end of Oak Lane, and includes two cul-de-sacs. The new subdivision plan includes 28 lots, which Kelly and Roler assert in their letter conform to the existing P1 zoning….”

25 years ago

“Was it a meteorite they saw?” That’s what writer Susan Lowe wondered in the Nov. 1, 1995 edition of the Lake News.

“National Research Council representatives in Victoria are looking for a meteor which was sighted and may have landed in the Cowichan Lake area Saturday evening Oct. 21. Between the hours of 8:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. five people reportedly saw the meteor right in Lake Cowichan and Youbou. The blueish light was first observed between 8:30 p.m. and 9 p.m. at the Cowichan lake Education Centre. The second sighting occurred at Camp Andy approximately 9 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. and a third separate sighting occurred in Youbou when it was observed over the Youbou Mill at approximately 10 p.m.

“Denise McArthur of Duncan was at the Cowichan Lake Education Centre Saturday evening with a Beaver and Cub camping group. At approximately 8:30 p.m. Denise, along with another camp leader, Wayne Schellenberg saw what they described as a blue light moving quickly across the lake. They only saw it for a few seconds before it disappeared.

“Both McArthur and Schellenberg said the object made no noise, had no smell and although it appeared to go into the lake, there was no evidence of any contact; no splashing noise or sound.”

40 years ago

“Windshield business by the carload keeps body shops busier, richer” was the notable headline on front of the Oct. 29, 1980 Lake News.

“Three auto-body shops in the Cowichan Lake area are busier than usual replacing windshields since the ministry of highways seal coated the road between Youbou and Duncan.

Al Kotscherofski, of Al’s Body Shop in Lake Cowichan said that “just about ever windshield in Lake Cowichan has been replaced, some of them three or four times.” He said he thought that the glass companies in Duncan we’re probably getting most of the work, but some of it has still been coming to the local body shops.

The problem was so bad Kotscherofski said if it continued he might have to put in a window shield crew on a temporary basis.

“Ted Stevens of GT Collision said he thinks the number of claims may be as high as 800. He said he thought the only way to solve the problem was to get the people who make the decisions out to see the condition of the road.”

“All we’ve got to do is drag those turkeys up here from Victoria so they can see all the rocks,” he said.

In other Lake news of late October 1980, it sounds like the local ranger station was to be phased out.

In fact, that’s just what the Oct. 29 headline said.

“Ranger station to be phased out” topped the story that began: The Lake Cowichan ranger station will probably be eliminated by a re-organization of the B.C. forest service. As part of a province-wide program of consolidation and re-organization, the area covered by the Lake Cowichan, Duncan and Langford Forest service field offices have been lumped into one district which will have its headquarters at Duncan, said the report.


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