Eric and Agneta Lundberg of Lake Cowichan were the delighted recipients of a million dollar lottery win in March 1993.

Lake Flashback: Youbou Lands goes on and on, Lundbergs millionaires, taking sides about movie house conversion

Everyone was delighted when popular long-term residents see their lottery numbers come up big

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:

Everyone was talking development at Youbou a decade ago, as huge plans for the old sawmill site were mulled over.

“The proposed Youbou Lands development has changed significantly since the first public meeting last August. The developeres proposed 2,500 at that time, then dropped that to 2,200 homes,” said a story in the Lake Cowichan Gazette on March 17, 2008.

“Last week, Thomas Kreilein of the Youbou Land Development Group, said the latest plan for the 248-hectare site is for 1,800 homes, although he was quick to suggest that number is still negotiable.

“The plans have changed dramatically,” he said. “There’s now about 50 per cent green space, compared to about 35 per cent when we held our first public meeting.”

“Part of this parkland will include an extension of Arbutus park with seven acres being added. That’s gone up because the developers agreed to give up some waterfront at the west end of the property as parkland and 16 acres above the proposed commercial area would be a gift to the Cowichan Valley Regional District, with affordable housing on about half of that as well as an area for a ball diamond or soccer field.”

Despite these changes, howowever, there was still a long, long way to go to bring that proposed development to fruition, and the process dragged.

25 years ago:

They have won a million” screamed the headline in The Lake News of March 17, 1993.

“Eric and Agneta Lundberg of Lake Cowichan have won a million, the first people ever in the Cowichan Lake area to win a million dollars on the lottery. The lucky ticket was purchased by Agneta March 10 from Leona Thompson, at the Royal Purple booth at the Lake Cowichan Consumers’ Co-op Store.

“The ticket’s been lying around the house and I figured I’d better get it checked before I lost it,” Agneta says.

It was last Saturday while the Lundbergs were in Honeymoon Bay that they stopped off at the Post General Store and Agneta learned she was a millionaire.

Rene Forge was working and ran the ticket through the machine. Because the machine was taking so long, Forge told Agneta that “something big is happening,” Agneta says.

“You’ve won more than $10,” Rene said. When they got the print-out it was Rene who said, “You’ve won a million dollars,” says Agneta.

“I looked at the print-out and said, no, it’s $100,000, and that’s when Rene said it was a seven-digit number, that it was in fact a million,” says Agneta.

The Lundbergs won on the double dip, the winning numbers 3, 6, 9, 39, 46, 47.

“My first reaction was the machine had made a mistake,” says Eric.

Rene told The Lake News that at first he wouldn’t believe it.

“Although they say their lifestyle will not change they are sure of two things that will be done with some money.

“The kids will be looked after,” says Agneta. Eric promises that his mother, who is 85 years old and living on the mainland will benefit.

Eric and Agneta, who have lived in the Lake Cowichan area for decades, have two grown children, Brian, living in Honeymoon Bay and Nancy on the mainland. Eric is a teacher, employed by the school district for 31 years. At 60 years of age, he has no immediate plans for retirement.

John Clark, director of instruction for the school district, said the Lundberge are “The nicest people. We’re all so glad for them.”

40 years ago:

“Hearing split on theatre conversion” is a quiet Lake News headline for a tempest bubbling in a teapot on March 15, 1978.

“About two dozen people attending a public hearing Thursday were evently divided on whether the owner of the Lake Theatre should be allowed to convert the building to an apartment.

“Strong opposition to the proposed zoning change from commercial to residential came from Walter and Rod Tipton, proprietors of Tipton’s Outboards, located adjacent to the theartre building. They argued that converting the building for use as apartments will cause problems for their business in the future. One of their main concerns is that a tank for testing outboard motors is located only 23 feet away from the theatre. They said that when windows are installed on the side of the building, the noise of revving outboards will disturb the tenants who will complain about boat motor repair operation.

“Theatre owner Lachman Sanghera wants to gut the inside of the theatre, which he says has lost money for the past three years, and install 12 single bedroom apartments.

“Walter Tipton told the meeting he purchased the property his business now occupies because it was zoned to allow the sale and service of boats and that a move to re-zone the adjoining property would be a step backwards.

Repairing outboard motors is noisy work and the conflict with apartment residents, especially if they are seniors, would be immediate, he said, adding he was also concerned about vandalism to the boats.

Sanghera countered “that there would be fewer teenagers around the building when the apartment is built as there is now because the dwellings are only one-bedroom units and not intended for families with children.”

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