Chief Cyril Livingstone is the first to carve on the Spirit Pole, as carver Cary Newman looks on as Lake Cowichan kicks off the pole’s journey around B.C. before it finally welcomes everyone to NAIG 2008.

Lake Flashback: Spirit Pole arrives, bus fails to show up, and faller has lucky escape in this week’s selection

We’ve got a big celebration, a major disappointment, and an all-too-common injury of bygone days

Welcome to Lake Flashback. Reporter Lexi Bainas has been combing through oldnewspaperswiththeassistance 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 weekaround Cowichan Lake in years gone by.

This week around the Cowichan Lake area…

10 years ago:

On May 7, 2008, the Lake Cowichan Gazette was celebrating a multicultural effort.

“Saywell Park burst into a cultural kaleidoscope Thursday for the Spirit of Cowichan celebrations and was already in full swing by the time the opening ceremonies got under way. The weather was cool and the sky overcast, but that didn’t deter the enthusiasm nor the attendance.

“Following a prayer by Lake Cowichan First Nation elder Georgina Livingstone, Chief Cyril Livingstone welcomed everyone to the celebrations. Calvin Swustus, chairman of the Cowichan 2008 North American Indigenous Games board of directors, and Charles Parkinson, CEO of BC 150, also welcomed everyone.

“The historic Spirit Pole, which will tour another 46 B.C. communities over 13 weeks before standing permanently in Duncan for the Cowichan 2008 North American Indigenous Games, got its first public carving by Chief Livingstone, followed by Parkinson.

“Oh, it was very special,” said Livingstone, who admits he could have kept carving. “It’s a wonderful opportunity to celebrate our culture. I’m so proud.”

Samantha Oliver, Brodie Elzinga and Lauren Frost were the first youth to carve the pole before a multitude of people lined up much of the day for their chance to carve a piece of history.

The Tzinquaw Dancers wowed the captivated audience with their colourful, intricate moves and the Spirit of Cowichan Drumming Group had people clapping and tapping their feet.

Grade 5 students Marigold Arbic, Damon Doucette, Lucas Post and Lauren King-Nyberg were kicking up their heels with Metis dance instructor Beverley Lambert of Surrey, to Metis jigging and fiddling musicians playing the Red River Jig.

“It’s all about getting the kids involved,” said Lambert, who refused to even start her show until she got some young support.

Ribbons of colour fluttered in the wind as the Senior Line Dancers performed the maypole dance.

25 years ago:

On the May 5, 1993 edition of The Lake News, there was disappointment in the air.

The promised bus to Duncan, scheduled to start May 1, didn’t materialize.

However, “Mayor Earle Darling told council he is still optimistic. BC Transit, which was to operate the buses three times daily in each direction, at a price of about $2 a trip, has been hit by a $500K buget cut by the provincial government and is now reassessing its priorities.

The Lake Cowichan buses, already bought, are sitting in a garage in Victoria, council was told.

“Tariff rates have been set and everything is ready to go,” said the mayor.

Council had understood that funds had been provided in the 1992 budget and that these funds had to be used “within a time frame,” the mayor said, adding, “We satisfied all the requirements and the time frame,” he said.

“Yet BC Transit can’t sign authorizing documents because the funds are not there. There will be a meeting of the Board of BC Transit in May and nothing can be done until then,” he said.

The mayor said he understood that BC Transit intended to implement plans for new bus lines ahead of expanding existing ones, so that looks hopeful for the Lake Cowichan bus.

“I feel that it will come about but it is very frustrating,” Darling told council.

40 years ago:

In The Lake News of May 3, 1978, we learn of an incident that was all too common 40 years ago.

“Faller seriously injured at Port Renfrew” was the headline.

“A Lake Cowichan faller is in a Victoria hospital after a near fatal accident on a B.C. Forest Products logging stand near here.

“Bill Marsh, a faller with the BCFP Renfrew division, was injured when a 17-metre slab of cedar struck him as he was falling a tree two metres in diameter early last Monday morning (April 24, 1978).

“The accident occurred on the Granite Creek 6000 spur line 18 km northeast of Port Renfrew.

“Herb Halliday, BCFP bullbucker, said he and Marsh’s partner were standing nearby watching Marsh fall the tree because the slab was split from the rest of the tree and they thought it might be a problem. The tree appeared to roll as it was falling and the slab split and struck Marsh as he was attempting to escape, pinning him beside a windfall, Halliday said.

The windfall has to be bucked before first-aid workers could get a stretcher under March.

BCFP spokesman Brian Berkey said a doctor and paramedic were flown to the site from Victoria’s Royal Jubilee Hospital by BCFP helicopter. They landed 15 metres from the scene and took March to Royal Jubilee. Hospital authorities reported Marsh in “fairly good condition.”

Halliday said he visited Marsh in hospital and said he would be in traction for several weeks. He said Marsh had both legs broken as well as several ribs and his nose.

Lem Traer, who was killed in a falling accident last year, was the last serious accident at the Renfrew division.

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