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Lake Flashback: Weather bomb, pharmacist sentenced, park plan

Welcome to Lake Flashback. Reporter James Goldie has been combing through old newspapers with the assistance of

Welcome to Lake Flashback. Reporter James Goldie 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…


10 years ago:


This week many Cowichan Lake residents were still bailing water after a “weather bomb” hit the area causing power outages, major flooding and structural damage to homes. On Wednesday, Sutton Creek rose so much that most vehicles could not get through on South Shore Road. The CVRD Emergency Social Services department prepared an emergency shelter at Centennial Hall to house Honeymoon Bay residents cut off by the flood, but in the end it was not necessary.

John Rowley, Honeymoon Bay fire chief, said it was the worst rainfall in the area since the early 1980s.

Heavy winds left large sections of forest looking splintered, and some creeks were filled with wood debris. Pastor Terry Hale lost the roof of his house thanks to the strong gales. The same happened to Sylvia Johnson on Johel Road.

“I was at the church when my daughter phoned… She said, ‘Mom, you’d better come home, the roof’s been blown off.’ I thought she was kidding.”

The government is approving compensations under the Disaster Financial Assistance program for people who suffered uninsurable losses due to the storm.


25 years ago:


Peter Raymond Eng, a former pharmacist at People’s Drug Store (previously Pharmasave) in Lake Cowichan has been sentenced to 18 months in prison after being found guilty last week of theft over $1,000. Eng must also pay restitution to the pharmacy’s owner Maurice and Lucy Harper in the amount of $48,000.

Through testimony and exhibits, the prosecutors showed the store had a $64,000 shortage, and at least $21,000 of that money went directly into Eng’s bank account as cash deposits and the rest was either stored in a daily planner he kept or else was spent.

Eng started working for the Harpers in February 1988. He was arrested in December 1989.

Lucy told the court that she once witnessed Eng take $50 from a customer and pocket it moments later. She said when Eng worked behind the till, he often did so with the cash register drawer open, which meant it was not registering an accurate balance.

Michael Coleman, Eng’s lawyer, did not call any witnesses.


40 Years ago:


At the town council meeting this week, representatives learned the provincial government is looking for the village of Lake Cowichan to take over Lakeview Park.

Grace McCarthy, minister of recreation and travel, sent a letter to council making the petition. She offered assistance from her parks department planning services branch to prepare a “master site development plan” for Lakeview. She also said the branch would clean up and repair the developed portion of the park before turning its title over to the village.

Until May of this year the park was managed by the Kiwanis Club of Lake Cowichan, who had done so for 17 years. The Lake News reported that seven Kiwanis members who sat on the Lakeview Park board resigned at the end of May “because of frustrations in getting proper funding from the government to run the park.”

The provincel took over administration of the park at that time.

Village administrator Bill Chappell was instructed by council to meet with some one from McCarthy’s department for an exploratory discussion about the park.

Compiled by James Goldie, Gazette