Although many people were fed up with all the snow in early January 2009, especially after another six inches had just fallen, five-year-old Alicia Pocock and her nine-year-old brother Matthew of Lake Cowichan were delighted. “We’re making a snow chimney,” said Matthew. With all the snow, schools were closed that day because of “unsafe road conditions.” (Lake Cowichan Gazette, January 2009).

Lake Flashback: Penny Drive, Salmonid Enhancement woes from ‘94, and some fun from 1978

Do you still fondly remember the huge, annual winter sale at Dorothy’s Style Shop?

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 Nichole Stock Penny Drive is already approaching the $3,000 mark and there’s still five weeks to go before the Variety Club’s Show Of Hearts Telethon, where the Penny Drive proceeds will be presented.

There was, as of Friday, $2,868 in the Penny Drive account at the Royal Bank and Ken Stock, father of the late Nichole Stock, said there’s plenty of change still to be rolled and deposited.

“There’s money I’ve got here at home that hasn’t been added to the account,” he said. “You walk around this house and it’s nuts. There are pennies everywhere.”

The Penny Drive should get into full swing by the middle of January, said Stock, with the local schools starting their reg- ular campaigns. As well, many businesses have Penny Drive cans and jars to collect money.

Stock is hopeful they can get close to last year’s record total of $10,000. The Penny Drive, which was established 18 years ago, has raised more than $70,000.

“I’m not sure what to expect with the economy the way it is right now,” he said. “I never under-estimate peoples’ generosity here. One thing I’ve learned is that when times are tough people at the Lake step forward.”

Stock said the seniors’ centre is one of the driving forces behind the Penny Drive’s success as well, with members willingly rolling millions of pennies and other change. They got started before Christmas, with the first pile of change sent over.

The Variety Club’s Show of Hearts Telethon is on Global TV Feb. 14-15. Since it was established in 1965, the Variety Club has raised more than $140 million for children with special needs, much of that through the telethon.

We’re sure many readers can remember the old days of the Telethon, when there was actual in-studio entertainment by stars like Leonard Nimoy, who came to Vancouver annually to help the campaign.

25 years ago:

The headline “Salmon in Beaver Creek wiped out by pollution?” in The Lake News of Jan. 5, 1994 sounded like a grim start to a new year.

Let’s find out what happened.

Hundreds of coho and chinook salmon, trout, and some other fish are lying dead in Beaver Creek.

Art Watson, president of the Salmonid Enhancement Society, says all the salmon in the creek may be gone. That could affect the creek for years to come because the smolts which have been killed would have returned to Beaver Creek to spawn.

He said the cause is almost surely pollution, though it is not known where it came from.

The Ministry of Fisheries and Oceans in Nanaimo has been notified and has promised to send an inspector this week. He will take dead fish back for inspection as well as taking water samples to try to find the source of the pollution.

“I was told that if the source is found, a charge will definitely be laid,” said Watson.

Watson said he first heard of the dead and dying fish from a man whose name “I forgot to ask”.

“The area owes him thanks,” he said. Anyone who sees a fish in distress in the village should notify Watson or village authorities at once.

Beaver Creek flows into the Lake west of the museum, passing under South Shore Road near the laundromat.

Mayor Earle Darling said that there has never been a problem with Beaver Creek and if the fish are dying it can only be because “someone has dumped something into the creek”.

The area was logged many years ago and the creek is not stable, he said.

The Salmonid Society carried out considerable work on Beaver Creek some years ago, cleaning out garbage that had been thrown into it and restocking it.

Their efforts were so successful that there was a plan to divert a branch of the creek to flow through Saywell Park so that the salmon could be watched spawning. Preliminary work was done but was later abandoned.

40 years ago:

As I mentioned last week, this time of year saw The Lake News take a break, but I have found an old “first of the year” ad from the Lake Cowichan Co-op store of that period.

Let’s take a peek at those prices.

Bone-in Grade A blade beef roast: $1.69 per pound. And what about everybody’s old-timey favourite, Maple Leaf Brand Beef Steakettes: a two-pound carton for $2.99. And then, there’s Money’s white mushrooms at $1.19 per pound.

There’s also: Snoboy Idaho potatoes: $1.59 for a 10 pound bag and Sunkist Arizona sweet oranges: three pounds for 89 cents.

You could buy two one-pound blocks of Co-op margarine for 69 cents back then, and two tins of Co-op “Boston style” pork and beans for 69 cents.

***

Another item prominent in January 1979 was the Dorothy’s Style Shop Annual Winter Clearance Sale offering 30, 40, and 50 per cent off all sale items, which included “Dresses, short and long, Skirts, short and long; Palazzos; Party PJs; Jumpsuits; Blouses, Sweaters, Pants: fortrel and garabdine; Ski Jackets; Duffel Coats; Sweater Coats; Housecoats; Tops, Pantsuits and Dresses; Pant Suits; Skirt and Blazer Suits; Uniforms; and Loungewear”.

This huge event was eagerly awaited by stylish women from all over the south Island and the store was packed to the doors for the first few days of this sale every year.



lexi.bainas@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

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