Lady of the Lake in 1993, Nicole Bonenfant, sold poppies for the Royal Canadian Legion. Volunteer Andrea Bates has just finished her session and is handing over to Nicole in this photo from ‘The Lake News’.

Lake Flashback: Suprising legal move, pranks net time in pokey, and voters give candidates a pass

Halloween a wild time in the late 1970s; voters in 1993 weren’t in a bother about the election

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:

“Lien put on Palmers’ property” was the headline on the Nov. 5, 2008 edition of the Lake Cowichan Gazette.

“Don and Luanne Palmer couldn’t believe it early last week when they learned that a lien has been put on their property by a local contractor who hasn’t been paid for work done cleaning up the diesel spill.

The Johel Group of Lake Cowichan, whose company Johel Brothers did some subcontract work at both the old Gas-To-Go service station and the Palmers, apparently hasn’t been fully paid for the work.

“We just couldn’t believe it,” said Don Palmer. “Now we just have to wait to hear from our lawyer about what comes next.”

Palmer said it’s not their fault that the diesel leaked into their yard and it was through the Ministry of Environment, that his yard was dug up.

“We had nothing to do with that, we’re just the victims.”

Dave Johel, president of Johel Group, said Monday that it’s just a legal thing to cover themselves.

“We’ve done work on properties and done this before,” said Johel. “We’ve got nothing against the Palmers. Our lawyer said this is what we should do, so that’s what we’ve done. I feel bad for them. It’s unfortunate. Unfortunately, they’re in a bind. We’re all in a bind. The only rights we have is to put a lien on the property.”

He couldn’t say how much the lien covers. Johel Group has also put a lien on the old gas station.

25 years ago:

According to The Lake News of Nov. 10, 1993, Lake Cowichan voters were unusually uninterested in the municipal election.

“Twenty candidates spoke at Lake Cowichan’s all-candidates meeting last week [but] there were only about 60-70 in the audience, most of them relatives of candidates,” says the lead story that week.

In a format that mixed school board and council candidates together, it would have been hard to follow any debate so the paper tried to sort things out for readers by quoting pithy comments from various hopefuls.

“Jack Peake…noted that the Village is in the early stages of permanent change. Its roads and sidewalks are in dire need of repair.” Pat Weaver “complained that though so much money is being spent, we are told zilch”, and Buck Hollingdrake capped the evening by pronouncing, “When all is said and done, more is always being said that done.”

40 years ago:

“Halloween pranks got out of hand” shouts The Lake News headline on Nov. 8, 1978.

We’d better investigate.

A suspected kidnapping and the lock-up of several area juveniles in the fire hall for a few hours highlighted this year’s Halloween night shenanigans, which RCMP say were the worst in recent years.

As usual, the focus of the mischievous activities was the CNR trestle on South Shore Road, which area youths have used as a launch pad for countless dozens of eggs and other assorted missiles.

This year, however, the activity got out of hand early when a Victoria woman called Lake Cowichan RCMP from the bowling alley to tell them her husband, after having the family car pelted by eggs, had gone in pursuit of the culprits.

When police arrived, they were met with a badly damaged vehicle and a rumour that the woman had been “dragged off into the bushes”. RCMP combed the trestle area but found no trace of the woman, who was later found in a friend’s home in good conditiion. She had apparently never been apprehended by any wrongdoers.

However, the scene had been set for a hectic evening for police, who blamed the greater fervour of the youths to the good weather conditions which prevailed on Halloween. In order to quiet the teenage mob, RCMP gave warnings that anyone not off the streets would be carted to the firehall. About 16 disbelievers were escorted to the hall by RCMP and members of the Lake Cowichan volunteer Fire Department, where they were detained until the activity subsided, about 11 p.m.

Eggs were still flying thick and fast, though.

At least one egg thrower learned the hard way that tossing eggs can be a painful experience. An RCMP spokesman said one irate motorist was seen returning to his vehicle with a bloody hand after giving chase to the egg thrower.

“You seem to have a wound on your hand,” the policeman said to the driver. “It’s nothing compared to the wound he has,” the driver replied.

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