“The area’s youth Scouting commissioner Brian Crockett, at the campground on the Bald Mountain Peninsula’s Camp Woodlands Scout/Guide Camp, which saw overnight campers and international radio communication, Saturday, Oct. 16.” (Lake Cowichan Gazette, Oct. 20, 2010/Tyler Clarke photo)

“The area’s youth Scouting commissioner Brian Crockett, at the campground on the Bald Mountain Peninsula’s Camp Woodlands Scout/Guide Camp, which saw overnight campers and international radio communication, Saturday, Oct. 16.” (Lake Cowichan Gazette, Oct. 20, 2010/Tyler Clarke photo)

Lake Flashback: Scouting return, fish biting, and election looms

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

The Scouts were making a comeback in Lake Cowichan, according to the Lake Cowichan Gazette of Oct. 20, 2010.

“After a brief hiatus of Scouting activity in the Cowichan Lake area, a few Cowichan Valley Scout bigwigs have pledged to kick some life into the local branch of their organization this year.”

“There are so many other activities available that people went other ways,” deputy council commissioner Bill Thow said, which is unfortunate. “It creates a network of friendships that last for a lifetime. It develops skills that are useful not just for camping, but are life skills.”

“The Cowichan Lake area’s rich history in Scouting makes it all the more surprising that the organization has fallen by the wayside. The area represents a 60 year history of scouting, with four active groups at its peak, including groups in Lake Cowichan, Youbou, Honeymoon Bay, and Mesachie Lake. Although the Scouts fell by the wayside, the similarly orientated local Guides have persisted. This left a gap for local boys interested in outdoors, survival skills, and camping, with Guides being an all girls group, whereas Scouts are co-ed.”

Also in the same paper, there was a “Suspected arson in Lake Cowichan”.

“A Lake Cowichan man could face life in prison following a Friday, Oct. 8, evening blaze set to an occupied fourplex unit in Lake Cowichan. Lake Cowichan Cpl. Krista Hobday said police arrested a 54-year-old man, well known to police, following a suspected arson attack on a fourplex on Lake Cowichan’s Stanley Road.

“It wasn’t a random act; it was targeted. People in general don’t need to worry there’s an arsonist running around Lake Cowichan,” Hobday said. Witnesses tipped police off after someone used a lighter to start the inferno, Hobday said.

“Witnesses saw (a man) enter the unit and saw him come out and within minutes the unit was in flames,” she said.

25 years ago

“Elks annual fish derby pays off big” was the headline on the front page of the Oct. 18, 1995 Lake News.

“Well maybe not big if you’re used to winning Lotto 649, but big for fisherman accustomed to sitting in a boat in the rain to catch a 1 lb trout. Mike Paton went home with $300 first prize for his 5 lbs. 13 oz. fish and runner up Jerry Melissa took away $150. John Liske, in charge of organizing the event reported that it had earned $2,59 for fish enhancement in the lake and its watershed. Some 200 fisherman took part and more than 50 fish over 1 pound were weighed. In addition to the cash prizes, there were donations by merchants valued at approximately $2,000. In a draw for ticket sales the winner was Joyce McDonald.”

In the same edition, Mayor Earl Darling had a plan.

“Village-SD66 may work together” was the headline and the story went like this:

“Mayor Earle Darling presented a major new initiative to council last week: a partial melding of the work of the Village and the School District. He has already met with school board trustees and Brian Hoole, the superintendent, he said. He came prepared with the precedent to prove the idea is workable. Councillors watched a film made by Richmond, B.C., where the City and School District 38 have combined on many projects.”

The goal was to save funds wherever possible.

”Coun. Gary Gunderson, who is also a school trustee, noted that the idea of cooperation isn’t new, but it just never got going in this district. In the past self-interest and empire-building may have got in the way.”

40 years ago

Turnover was imminent in local politics this time four decades ago, according to the Lake News of Oct. 15, 1980.

“There will be at least one new face on the village council after the election Nov. 6. Ernie Burns, a councillor with six years experience, has decided not to seek nomination for a fourth term as alderman. ‘No I am not running this year,’ he said Monday. ‘I’ll take a breather and let someone else do it. I’ve got enough to do around home.’

“The other alderman whose two-year term expires this year is Hazel Beech and she indicated Tuesday that she will be filing nomination papers for another try at a council seat. Beech has been splitting her time between her councillor duties and her work as a regional representative for the district south and east of Cowichan Lake — Area F — and she has not decided whether she will try for a second term as regional director. Her current stint at the Cowichan Valley Regional District is also finished this year.”

Also sharing the front page of the Oct. 15, 1980 Lake News was the announcement that the H.B. mill was shutting down for two weeks.

“Western Forest Industries Honeymoon Bay mill will shut down for a two week period ending Nov. 3, a management spokesman said Tuesday. Manager Don Hammond said the usual October shutdown was in anticipation of a later, winter closure because of an oversupply of timber to WFI’s major customers — Japan. He said that 183 hourly workers will be laid off. The company decided to close early so that it would not have to keep the mill heated during an expected closure in the winter.”

historyLake Cowichan

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The firefighters at the Mesachie Lake fire hall could soon be working out of a new retrofitted building if the Cowichan V alley Regional District is successful with its application for a $350,000 federal grant to fund the project. (File photo)
Major retrofit planned for Mesachie Lake fire hall

CVRD applies for $350,000 federal grant

Dog owners, from left, Marlyn Briggs with Nayla, Marjory Sutherland with Effie and Mick, and Christina Godbolt with Conon walk their pets frequently at the Chemainus Ball Park but are growing increasingly concerned about drugs being found discarded in the area. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Puppy requires emergency treatment 3 times after ingesting drugs from Chemainus parks

Dog owners walking in Chemainus parks urged to take caution

The Cowichan Valley School District is holding an online session to discuss the future of Koksilah Elementary School, closed since 2013. (File photo)
What’s the future of the old Koksilah Elementary School?

The district is hoping to collect feedback on options for the future of the school.

Jim Neiser of Neiser Sales, Service & Rentals Ltd. died suddenly on Jan. 4. after suffering an apparent cardiac event at work. (Submitted photo)
Prominent Lake Cowichan businessman Jim Neiser dead at 63

Lake Cowichan Mayor Bob Day said the long-time laker will be missed.

The Judy Hill Gallery took home top prize for its window display during the Christmas season from the Downtown Duncan BIA. (Submitted photo)
Business notes: Judy Hill Gallery wins festive window display contest

A look at what’s going on in the Cowichan business community

Toronto Public Health nurse Lalaine Agarin sets up for mass vaccination clinic in Toronto, Jan. 17, 2021. B.C. is set to to begin its large-scale immunization program for the general public starting in April. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
B.C.’s COVID-19 mass vaccinations expected to start in April

Clinics to immunize four million people by September

Black Press file photo
Investigation at remote burned-out Vancouver Island cabin reveals human remains

Identity of victim not released, believed to be the owner of an SUV vehicle found parked nearby

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Angela Waldick is the new team photographer for the Nanaimo NightOwls. (Nanaimo NightOwls photo)
Half-blind photographer will help new Island baseball team look picture-perfect

Nanaimo NightOwls say legally blind team photographer is making history

The District of Saanich’s communications team decided to take part in a viral trend on Thursday and photoshopped U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders into a staff meeting photo. (District of Saanich/Twitter)
Bernie Sanders makes guest appearance municipal staff meeting in B.C.

Vancouver Island firefighters jump on viral trend of photoshopped U.S. senator

School District 57 headquarters in Prince George. (Mark Nielsen, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter)
Prince George school district settles with sexual abuse victim

Terms were part of an out-of-court settlement reached with Michael Bruneau, nearly four years after he filed a lawsuit

Surrey provincial court. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
New COVID-19 protocols set for provincial courthouses

The new rules were issued on Jan. 21, and took effect immediately

Police in Vancouver looking for male suspect who allegedly spat and attacked a store manager for not wearing a mask, at 7-Eleven near Alma Street and West 10th Avenue just before noon on Dec. 17, 2020. (Vancouver police handout)
VIDEO: Man spits on 7-Eleven manager over mask rule, sparking Vancouver police probe

‘Unfortunately, the store manager sustained a cut to his head during the assault’

The Vancouver-based SAR team successfully rescued two lost snowshoers off of the west side of Tim Jones Peak in the early morning of Monday, Jan. 19. (North Shore Rescue photo)
B.C.’s busiest SAR team raises alarm after 2021 begins with fatality, multiple rescues

‘People beyond ski resort areas of Seymour, Grouse, and Cypress go without cell reception,’ SAR warns

Most Read