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
“What would you like to see Lake Cowichan’s upcoming elementary school look like?” That was the question posed to residents under the Feb. 16, 2011 Lake Cowichan Gazette story “Public feedback sought in new elementary school plans” by then-editor Tyler Clarke.
“The community has been very generous with sharing their ideas during preliminary discussions for what might make sense to co-locate at a Neighbourhood of Learning Centre at the proposed new elementary school,” Cowichan Valley Regional District Board of Education chair Candace Spilsbury said, in a press release. “It is now time to more formally engage with the public and give them the opportunity to write down their further suggestions and opinions. We hope to hear from a lot of people.”
Also back in 2011, “Councillor Jayne Ingram has suggested that the Town of Lake Cowichan’s proposed water park be named a spray park from now on. The councillor brought up the suggestion during the town’s elected officials’ Tuesday, February 8, Sustainable Planning and Development Committee meeting. A water park brings to mind slides and pools, Ingram said, adding that what the town is proposing — with spray instruments and other such things — the title of spray park more readily comes to mind.”
25 years ago
The good news, according to the Lake News of Feb. 14, 1996, was that the community put fundraiser Nichole Stock, then 14, over the top for her fundraising goal. She raised $3,430.96 for the Variety Club Telethon.
The rest wasn’t as fun.
First up, the Village’s clerk-administrator resigned.
“Pat Durban, for years on the staff of Lake Cowichan, recently as clerk-administrator, has resigned. A successor has not yet been chosen. Durban is returning to Ladysmith, where he was formerly deputy clerk, and where he still lives. He will become the manager of administrative services, he told the Lake News. He denied that he is leaving because of problems for him in Lake Cowichan.”
“I have enjoyed working here,” he said. “It’s been a busy six years, and I wish the community well.”
“He said a job he wanted in Ladysmith opened up, he applied, and he got it. And that’s why he’s leaving.”
And finally, “Local ambulance personnel at Lake Cowichan were not responding to a rumor that Keith Chance, the area’s only full-time ambulance attendant is to be laid off or moved away. However, it is known that the provincial government is cutting back on ambulance services. Recently it eliminated the full time ambulance position in Tofino.”
I’m relatively certain people don’t schedule their emergencies. As it stood, Chance only worked Tuesday to Friday.
40 years ago
The Lake News of Feb. 11, 1981 reported that “a School District 66 official will meet with the mayor of Lake Cowichan in an effort to achieve some progress in the long delayed problem of moving the district’s maintenance shop.
“The board of school trustees at its Feb. 3. meeting asked Bill Routley, chairman of the buildings and ground committee, to meet Lake Cowichan mayor Ken Douglas and discuss the land which is to be exchanged by the village and the school district.
“He was asked to determine exactly where the property lines lie and to check into the land swap thoroughly. Public works is negotiating for the RCMP, in the hope that a new police station can be built on the site of the current maintenance shop.”
Also according to the Feb. 11, 1981 Lake News, the village was in for a bit of a windfall.
“The village of Lake Cowichan will receive a grant of $206,397 this year as part of the provincial government’s revenue sharing program. The unconditional grant will give the village $35,262 more than it received last year, and the revenue will be welcome because changes in other government policy have cut the village’s amount of available tax money.”
There’s a catch though.
“The grant money will come to the village of Lake Cowichan in nine installments, with the first coming in April, according to village clerk Ralph Tuckey.”