“Representing the school district, legion, and Kaatza Station Museum left to right are Georgie Clark of the museum, Wilma Rowbottom of School District #66 and Ernie Spencer, representing the Legion. The museum and Legion, along with the Village will each take a piece of the old wood shop.” (The Lake News)

“Representing the school district, legion, and Kaatza Station Museum left to right are Georgie Clark of the museum, Wilma Rowbottom of School District #66 and Ernie Spencer, representing the Legion. The museum and Legion, along with the Village will each take a piece of the old wood shop.” (The Lake News)

Lake Flashback: Soapboxes, woodshop split, taxes down

Remember these stories from Lake Cowichan?

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

Well here’s a wholesome story I dug up in the April 13, 2011 edition of the Lake Cowichan Gazette. Is there anything more wholesome than soapbox racers?

“With snowy images of the not-so-distant past still fresh in Cowichan Lake area residents’ minds, a youth group was on-hand last weekend to remind people of the excitement associated with racing down Stone Avenue in hand-built soap box racers,” wrote then-editor Tyler Clarke. “Introduced during last year’s Lake Days event, soap box racing has quickly become a popular annual event, with key organizer Joseph Bott reporting 20 additional soap box kits sold so far, this year. ‘We’re anticipating it’s going to be big,’ he said. ‘We have people returning, and new people participating.’”

In other news in the same edition, “Campaigns begin at Cowichan Lake” with area politicians taking to the mics with their platforms.

“Cowichan Lake was a hotbed for federal politics, Thursday, April 7, with the area’s leading politicians — NDP Jean Crowder and Conservative John Koury — making their attempts to push the local undecided voters toward their side.”

Koury said that there are no ifs, ands or buts about it; the election in Cowichan-Nanaimo riding is between the NDP and the Conservatives.

25 years ago

The big news of the day back on April 10, 1996, according to the Lake News was that School District #66 was splitting its old wood shop into three.

“The LCSS wood shop, which was once the historical Mesachie Lake School, is to be divided up between the Village of Lake Cowichan, the Kaatza Historical Society and Royal Canadian Legion Branch #210.

The three sections would have very different uses, according to the front page article.

“The Legion…plans to use the lumber to build a wheelchair ramp making the Legion building handicap accessible.

“The Village’s section will be moved to the Public Works Yard where it will be used as a staff lunch room facility.

“The Kaatza Historical Society will be using their section for display purposes as well as a workshop.”

The pending amalgamation of the school district with other districts hastened the shop’s dismantling.

“The removal or dismantling of the wood shop became imperative when the school board approved building a new wood shop.”

Also way back 25 years ago, there were nine candidates in the running for the 1996 Lady of the Lake crown. Nicole Clarkson, Shelby Sanders, Celina White, Marylee Castley, Deanna Chance… and I’d love to tell you the rest but that story turned to the next page and I only have the first page! If you know who ran for 1996 Lady of the Lake let us know!

40 years ago

Not sure if there’s ever been a better headline than “Big debt payoff provides savings to area taxpayers”.

It’s not a headline you’d see nowadays, that much is true.

But, on the top of the April 8, 1981 Lake News the tax news shone like a bright light.

“Taxpayers will pay less to operate the Cowichan Lake Sports Arena in 1989 than they did in 1980,” said the story. “This situation, rare in these inflation-ridden days, is the result of a huge reduction in the debt the arena owes. Because the arena has paid off one mortgage, the amount that has to be paid out annually on loans has dropped from $85,985 to $23,870. This drop of $62,115 has allowed the arena commission to bring in a smaller budget than last year in spite of the wage settlement won by the arena’s union employees that adds $32,786 in salaries and $8,880 in salary benefits to the expenditures.”

Meanwhile, Lexi Bainas reported that “Lake Cowichan’s long suffering motorists, who have had to duck flying stones as they watched the condition of Highway 18 go from bad to worse were given new hope this week with the announcement that the highway will be repaved with a scheduled May start.”

That, no doubt, would have been just as welcome news those days as the tax savings!


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

historyLake Cowichan

Just Posted

Nurses at the Cowichan District Hospital are thanking the community for following the health protocols during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Pictured from left are nurses Jacqueline Kendall, Melissa Bustard and Heidi Ferris. (Robert Barron/Citizen)
Pandemic year like no other, Cowichan nurses say

May 10-16 is National Nursing Week

Island Health’s new Wellness and Recovery Centre at 5878 York Rd. is now planned to be open in the fall. (File photo)
Wellness and Recovery Centre now to open in the fall

Three community dialogues scheduled for May

B.C. Centre for Disease Control data showing new cases by local health area for the week of May 2-8. (BCCDC image)
Vancouver Island COVID-19 local case counts the lowest they’ve been all year

On some areas of Island, more than 60 per cent of adults have received a vaccine dose

A nurse gets a swab ready to perform a test on a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 clinic in Montreal, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Island’s daily COVID-19 case count drops below 10 for just the second time in 2021

Province reports 8 new COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island Wednesday

Before you take on a pet, make sure you want to have it for life. (Sarah Simpson/Citizen)
Editorial: A pet is a lifetime commitment

Tons of people are getting pets during the pandemic, some for the first time

Prince Rupert was one of the first B.C. communities targeted for mass vaccination after a steep rise in infections. Grey area marks community-wide vaccine distribution. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. tracks big drop in COVID-19 infections after vaccination

Prince Rupert, Indigenous communities show improvement

The bodies of Carlo and Erick Fryer were discovered by a local couple walking on a remote forest road in Naramata on May 10. (Submitted)
Kamloops brothers identified as pair found dead near Penticton

The bodies of Carlo and Erick Fryer were discovered by a local couple walking

Municipal governments around B.C. have emergency authority to conduct meetings online, use mail voting and spend reserve funds on operation expenses. (Penticton Western News)
Online council meetings, mail-in voting option to be extended in B.C.

Proposed law makes municipal COVID-19 exceptions permanent

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

A nurse prepares a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in Kelowna on Tuesday, March 16. (Phil McLachlan/Black Press)
British Columbians aged 20+ can book for vaccine Saturday, those 18+ on Sunday

‘We are also actively working to to incorporate the ages 12 to 17 into our immunization program’

The AstraZeneca-Oxford University vaccine. (AP/Eranga Jayawardena)
2nd person in B.C. diagnosed with rare blood clotting after AstraZeneca vaccine

The man, in his 40s, is currently receiving care at a hospital in the Fraser Health region

Canada’s demo Hornet soars over the Strait of Georgia near Comox. The F-18 demo team is returning to the Valley for their annual spring training. Photo by Sgt. Robert Bottrill/DND
F-18 flight demo team returning to Vancouver Island for spring training

The team will be in the Comox Valley area from May 16 to 24

Saanich police and a coroner investigated a fatal crash in the 5200-block of West Saanich Road on Feb. 4, 2021. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Police determine speed, impairment not factors in fatal Greater Victoria crash

Driver who died veered across centre line into oncoming traffic for unknown reason, police say

Ladysmith RCMP safely escorted the black bear to the woods near Ladysmith Cemetary. (Town of Ladysmith/Facebook photo)
Bow-legged bear returns to Ladysmith, has an appointment with the vet

Brown Drive Park closed as conservation officers search for her after she returned from relocation

Most Read