“Raising money the novel way, Len Smith takes first leg of LCSS marathon at the push end of wheel barrow while Norm Brooks (right) stands by to take his turn wheeling 89-pound Greg Smith, 9, around the 10-mile course Sunday. Duol raised $600 in pledges for Terry Fox fund.” (Lake News, Oct. 1 , 1980)

Lake Flashback: Scavenger hunt, safes not safe, money raised

Remember these stories from Cowichan Lake?

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

A scavenger hunt took over the Cowichan Lake area thanks to the Lake Cowichan Royal Canadian Legion.

Lake Cowichan Gazette editor Tyler Clarke explained in the Oct. 6, 2010 edition.

“If a group of four strange-looking people ask you to take a photo of them doing something odd on Sunday, Oct. 17, don’t be too concerned. as they’re likely taking part in the local Royal Canadian Legion’s scavenger hunt.”

“It’s all done with digital cameras,” organizer Janice Neiser said, of the scavenger hunt.

“Teams of four are chosen at random out of a hat, and then set forth in the community for about three hours, taking off in vehicles and on foot to complete 30 tasks teams are provided a list of beforehand. Along with the list of tasks comes a digital camera, so they can prove that they’ve accomplished what they’ve been asked to do.”

“And then they come back, three hours later, laughing,” Neiser said.

“Tasks include photographing certain things, dressing up in a certain way, and a multitude of other interesting, sometimes difficult, tasks.”

“It always has to have team members in the photograph,” Neiser said.

“Although most people stay in the Cowichan Lake area, they’re free to go wherever they want. During the last scavenger hunt, one group made it as far as Paldi in search of a bird nest.”

Sounds like fun!

Also a decade ago, everyone learned about Denice MacLean’s little secret: backyard chickens.

“If not for a sign in her front yard advertising eggs for sale, one wouldn’t be able to tell 22 chickens and two ducks were housed in Honeymoon Bay resident Denice MacLean’s backyard,” wrote Clarke. “A quick stroll behind her home reveals an interesting back yard. Although it’s on the small side, there’s plenty of space for the group of birds to flap around and forage for food within their pen.

“I’ve always liked farm animals,” MacLean said, gazing over her birds.

Although those in the CVRD can raise chickens, Town of Lake Cowichan bylaws prohibit livestock, including chickens, from being raised within town limits.

25 years ago

The Lake News of Oct. 4, 1995 declared “Doman’s new village could be outstanding”.

Did that development ever happen? There was a lot of promise about it, according to the CVRD and a front page story.

“Doman Industries’ proposed new village east of the Skutz Falls Road at Three Mile could be an outstanding example of good planning. That is the hope of Cowichan Valley Regional District officials. Director Joseph Allan, saying that he has worked on the negotiation with Doman’s for two years, told the Lake News he is pleased with the way they are going.

“To be built in phases, the village will eventually offer 127 residences, down from the 140 originally planned. Some 75 per cent of the total development will be green space.”

A burglary 25 years ago left the writers at the Lake News wondering “Do they collect safes?”

“For the second time in three months, the safe at Lake Service Garage has been stolen. Police haven’t recovered the first one yet. It was stolen June 21. Now the thieves — if they are the same thieves — have a second one to go with it. Police reported that the thieves got away with about $1,000 this time in cash and cheques. Don Fern said that staff arrived Thursday morning to find: a window on the side street broken out with an old tire; a stout plastic window smashed inside the building; the new safe that had been bolted to the floor gone. An old safe that won’t lock (it’s used only as fire protection for documents) pulled into the middle of the floor and left as though the thieves were leaving a message: get this repaired, we’ll take it next time.”

40 years ago

The Lake News published with pride in the Oct. 1, 1980 edition that the paper was third best of 68 publications of its distribution size that belong to the B.C.-Yukon Community Newspaper Association.

The previous year it took top spot.

In other pretty good news, the “LCSS marathon, Kiwanis, others raise $4,000”.

“Terry Fox cancer fund collected at least $4,000 last weekend in Lake Cowichan and it was a real run for the money with the high school carrying the torch. In the 10 mile marathon, LCSS students raised an estimated $3,500, half of which will go to the cancer fund and half to the school’s gym fund.

“Stanley Gordon School students and teachers — 138 strong, the largest single group in the run — raised an estimated $2,500, half of which will go to the cancer fund and half to the school’s gym fund.

“The Kiwanis Club of Lake Cowichan sponsored a tag day Friday night…and raised $1,157.62 for the fund.

“According to Lil Fern, who has had a donation depot at the Lake Service Garage, donations from groups and individuals collected at the garage totalled $1,126.”

“I think this community has something to be proud of,” Fern said.

And last but not least, Village council stopped waiting and seeing and finally decided to protest the condition of Highway 18 between Lake Cowichan and Duncan in a story titled “Highway gets blast from council, finally.”

“I think we’ve given them a long enough time without formal complaint,” Mayor Ken Douglas told aldermen last week while urging the council to take action. Douglas described the highway as “downright unsafe”.

historyLake Cowichan

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