“An angel tells part of the Christmas story while shepherds and angels keep watch during the Yount School Christmas nativity pageant.” (Lake News, Dec. 22, 1980)

“An angel tells part of the Christmas story while shepherds and angels keep watch during the Yount School Christmas nativity pageant.” (Lake News, Dec. 22, 1980)

Lake Flashback: Workers cleared, Jaws used, payment sought

Do you 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

“Town employees cleared, again” was the header on page 2 of the Lake Cowichan Gazette of Dec. 29, 2010.

In it, then-editor Tyler Clarke wrote about how two town employees accused of a potential hate crime in Lake Cowichan were cleared, for a second time. Local man Bill Hanson had accused the two of spray-painting a homophobic slur on his fence, on March 2 of that year.

“The home-owner had videotaped the two men in front of his fence, spray-paint in tow, marking on the ground where the town’s water shutoffs were located. Hanson accused the two of spray-painting a homophobic slur on his fence while they were at it; an accusation now deemed by RCMP to be false.”

“The samples from the fence were compared by the National Centre for Forensic Services Lab to the remaining samples, as well as the contents of several spray paint cans used by the town employees for marking water meters,” the RCMP said. “Results of the tests completed have now been received, and indicate that the paint from the fence did not originate from the same source as the remaining samples.”

“The Island District General Investigation Section and the Lake Cowichan RCMP detachment also investigated Hanson’s videotape footage. This same footage was also released by Hanson to the media, complete with accusations against the two town employees.”

“The evidence shows that they could not have done it at that time,” Lake Cowichan RCMP Cpl. Krista Hobday said. “We have every reason to believe that the two suspects were clear of any wrongdoing. This information exonerates them even further.”

25 years ago

The Lake Cowichan Volunteer Fire Department’s new Jaws of Life were used for the first time to rescue a trapped man on Highway 18 on Dec. 23, 1995 according to the Lake News of Dec. 27, 1995.

“Peter and Charlotte Sinclair were travelling eastbound in a 1980 Chevrolet Caprice Classic on Highway 19 when the vehicle lost control, went into the oncoming lane, spun around and landed in the ditch in the opposite direction in which it was travelling.

“According to Duncan police at the scene, Charlotte was the driver and did not suffer any serious injuries but her husband, Peter, a passenger, was trapped inside the vehicle.”

“We simply ripped the door off to free him, it took us about two minutes with the new Jaws of Life,” Cowichan Lake Fire Chief Dick Newman said.

“Peter Sinclair was transported to Cowichan District Hospital but is not believed to have suffered serious injuries.”

In other auto news of two and a half decades ago, the “Lake Service Garage closes.”

“Lake Cowichan’s historic Lake Service Garage has closed down — probably forever. Proprietor Don Fern told the Lake News that the province’s Environment Branch ordered a major environmental cleanup.”

“I can’t afford to do it,” he said simply.

“The Garage has served Cowichan Lake area for 70 years. In the distant past, there were few rules about contamination and it was inevitable that over 70 years some contamination would occur, he said.”

“It’s like bringing in lower speed laws and charging everyone with an offence who travelled faster before the laws came in,” he said.”

40 years ago

The Dec. 22, 1980 Lake News featured “Payment sought” as one of its top stories of the week.

“Pacific Logging will be asked by a group of Youbou homeowners to pay the bill for a clean water system at Coon Creek. The families on the water system complained this fall that logging activities by the company were ruining their water. At a meeting Dec. 9, the users of the water system decided that they would send an itemized bill to Pacific Logging in Victoria.

“Pioneer spokesman Jeff Abbott said Saturday, Dec. 20 that the clean out had taken eight men about three hours.”

“The wing dam was plumb full of gravel and there was three feet of silt in the holding tank,” he said. “The company has said that there should be no more problems this winter because they are not logging the area now.”

Also in the same edition, School District 66 was left looking for cash.

“Widely differing statements from two government officials have left the School district 66 board of trustees with the spectre of trying to find an extra $40,000-$50,000 in a tight budget year.

“The trustees decided at their meeting Dec. 16 to try and solve a problem of conflicting statements from education ministry officials by getting all the people concerned in a room at the same time and pinning them down. The problem is centered around financial aid from the provincial government to help pay for a locally hired school superintendent.”



sarah.simpson@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

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