From left, Town of Lake Cowichan mayor Ross Forrest, CVRD Area I director Klaus Kuhn, CVRD Area F director Ian Morrison, and Cowichan Lake Recreation Commission chair Sheila McFarlane, cut the ribbon to the Cowichan Lake Sports Arena’s upgrades during a grand opening celebration, Saturday, March 12. (Tyler Clarke photo)

From left, Town of Lake Cowichan mayor Ross Forrest, CVRD Area I director Klaus Kuhn, CVRD Area F director Ian Morrison, and Cowichan Lake Recreation Commission chair Sheila McFarlane, cut the ribbon to the Cowichan Lake Sports Arena’s upgrades during a grand opening celebration, Saturday, March 12. (Tyler Clarke photo)

Lake Flashback: Tax hikes, school squabbles and seal-coating

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

“CVRD tax increases hit Cowichan Lake the hardest” was the headline that likely nobody would have been happy to read and it was on the front page of the Wednesday, March 16, 2011 Lake Cowichan Gazette.

It turned out the politicians weren’t too happy about it either.

“The three Cowichan Lake electoral areas are the hardest hit by the Cowichan Valley Regional District’s 2011 budget, and local politicians aren’t happy about it,” was the first sentence of the story.

“Overall, I’m not pleased with the increases,” Town of Lake Cowichan Cowichan Valley Regional District (CVRD) board member Tim McGonigle said.

“The town sees the biggest increase of the electoral areas, with homeowners facing an 8.89 per cent increase. Second hardest-hit is the Youbou/Meade Creek (CVRD Area I) electoral area, with an 8.45 per cent increase. Cowichan Lake South/Skutz Falls (CVRD Area F) is third, with an increase of 7.76 per cent. All of the CVRD’s 10 remaining electoral areas have smaller requisition increases, from Shawnigan Lake’s 2.18 per cent, to the City of Duncan’s 6.6 per cent increase.”

Bus services and funding for the Cowichan Sportsplex were blamed for some of the increase.

Also a decade ago, “Another $50,000 grant provides employment” was a nice headline to see.

“More out-of-work Cowichan Lake residents can expect to find employment at Lakeview Park and the Cowichan Lake Education Centre (CLEC), this spring/summer. This is thanks to another approximately $50,000 grant from the Ministry of Housing and Social Development.

“Although the specifics of what will be done with the grant have yet to be worked out, Lakeview Park and CLEC manager Dalton Smith said that it’ll likely go toward 16 weeks of employment for four participants and one supervisor like last time.”

“This will go toward Lakeview campsite improvements,” he said.

25 years ago

It was a big week this week 25 years ago. The March 20 edition of the Lake News was happy to announce the opening of the new Honeymoon Bay Elementary school.

“Honeymoon Bay students were moving out of the Community Hall, which they have called school for at least the last year. They were moving into their brand new school which is now ready and waiting for students to return from the spring break.”

Also 25 years ago in school news, the Lake Cowichan Teachers’ Association criticized the board’s presentation regarding amalgamation.

“Lake Cowichan Teachers’ Association is criticizing the prepared presentation the school board presented to a Ministry committee on amalgamation. On March 17 Wilma Rowbottom, chairman of School District #66 gave a presentation approved by the board, opposing amalgamation with Nanaimo, Duncan, and Lake Cowichan to the Restructuring Steering Committee in Victoria.

“Amato Fantillo, president of the Lake Cowichan Teachers’ Association said in a letter to Rowbottom that the LCTA is dismayed with the submission and suggests that if any proposed cuts by this board affects teachers’ jobs or work loads then teachers should have had the opportunity to respond before the submission was presented to a Ministry committee.”

The presentation noted SD66 could manage to reduce their budget by four per cent but the LCTA was concerned that would mean a loss of jobs and reduced workloads.

40 years ago

Logging was at the top of the news in the March 18, 1981 edition of the Lake News as BCFP cut back its work week.

“B.C. Forest Products, in a move to slash its inventory of logs, is cutting back its logging operations at Caycuse and Port Renfrew to four days a week, starting March 20. The one-day-a-week layoffs which will affect 275 Caycuse and 300 Port Renfrew loggers, will continue until May 30.

“The BCFP move is consistent with a pattern of layoffs due to ‘poor market conditions’ that has formed this winter as first the Western Forest Products Honeymoon Bay sawmill shut down and then WFI’s Gordon River logging division was laid off. BCFP also plans to completely shut down its logging operations at Caycuse and Port Renfrew for two weeks starting April 13. The Honeymoon Bay sawmill was shut down for the month of February for the second year in a row and the reason given was the same both years — poor market conditions.”

Also, the seal-coating debacle was back in the news as “Cowichan-Malahat MLA Barbara Wallace has asked Finance Minister Hugh Curtis to intervene in the long standing squabble that has failed to decide if automobile paint damaged by the disastrous seal-coating of Highway 18 is covered by ICBC. Wallace has pushed hard to get the highways department to pay the deductible on paint as it has on broken windshields, but she has had no success so far.”

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

historyLake Cowichan

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

Just Posted

Cowichan Valley Capitals defenceman Logan Rands pokes the puck away from Alberni Valley Bulldogs forward Talon Duff. (Elena Rardon/Black Press Media)
Offence sags as Cowichan Capitals reach midway mark

Caps score one goal in three games as pod season continues

BCYP Minister for the Southern Interior, Aislinn Dressler of Fernie said the Youth Parliament being virtual was a great way to learn about how the BC Parliament was operating. (Photo contributed by Aislinn Dressler)
Applications open for Islands Youth Parliament

Applications must be received by April 23

Someone used this counterfeit $50 to pay for items at the Hospital Auxiliary Thrift Store in downtown Duncan in April 2021. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Duncan businesses warned of counterfeit cash

Fake $50 passed at Hospital Auxiliary Thrift Store

Martin Drakeley, North Cowichan’s manager of fire and bylaw services, says the municipality’s fire halls have responded to more fires than usual this spring. (File photo)
Dry weather, wind leads to more brushfires this spring in North Cowichan

‘Be safe. Be fire smart. Be situationally aware.’

A large crowd protested against COVID-19 measures at Sunset Beach in Vancouver on Tuesday, April 20, 2021. (Snapchat)
VIDEO: Large, police-patrolled crowds gather at Vancouver beach for COVID protests

Vancouver police said they patrolled the area and monitored all gatherings

A teacher-librarian in Nanaimo was fired in 2019 for checking out an age-inappropriate graphic novel to a student. The discipline agreement was published Wednesday, April 21. (News Bulletin file photo)
Nanaimo teacher-librarian fired for checking out too-graphic graphic novel to student

Teacher had been previously disciplined and suspended on two occasions

Aria Pendak Jefferson cuddles ChiChi, the family cat that ran away two years ago in Ucluelet. The feline was missing until Courtney Johnson and Barry Edge discovered her in the parking lot of the Canadian Princess earlier this month. Aria and her parents were reunited with ChiChi in a parking lot in Port Alberni. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
An Island girl’s wish is answered as her cat came back

Courtenay family reunited with cat that went missing in Ucluelet in 2019

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

Vancouver Island Connector and Tofino Bus is putting a 41-passenger electric bus through its paces in a three-month trial run between Nanaimo and Victoria. (Photo submitted)
Electric bus on trial run serving Victoria-to-Nanaimo route

Vancouver Island Connector and Tofino Bus trying out 41-seat electric coach for three months

FILE – The Instagram app is shown on an iPhone in Toronto on Monday, March 19, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
Judge acquits B.C. teen boy ‘set up’ on sex assault charge based on Instagram messages

The girl and her friends did not have ‘good intentions’ towards the accused, judge says

Kai Palkeinen recently helped a car stuck on the riverbed near the Big Eddy Bridge. While the car could not be saved, some of the driver’s belongings were. It’s common for vehicles to get stuck in the area due to significantly changing river levels from Revelstoke Dam. (Photo by Kai Palkeinen)
“I just sank a car’: Revelstoke resident tries to save vehicle from the Columbia River

Although it’s not permitted, the riverbed near the city is popular for off roading

Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Huawei, walks down the street with an acquaintance after leaving B.C. Supreme Court during a lunch break at her extradition hearing, in Vancouver, B.C., Thursday, April 1, 2021. A judge is scheduled to release her decision today on a request to delay the final leg of hearings in Meng Wanzhou’s extradition case. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Rich Lam
B.C. judge grants Meng Wanzhou’s request to delay extradition hearings

Lawyers for Canada’s attorney general had argued there is no justification to delay proceedings in the case

B.C. Premier John Horgan announces travel restrictions between the province’s regional health authorities at the legislature, April 19, 2021. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. sees 862 more COVID-19 cases Wednesday, seven deaths

Recreational travel restrictions set to begin Friday

Most Read