Author Hazel Elves (who later became a Freeman of Lake Cowichan) surveys her first literary effort in December, 1977. It was a racy book about life in the carnival released in time for the Christmas market. Elves wrote a column for The Lake News “when she isn’t attending meetings in her capacity as a village alderman or running her family bike shop. Her book, It’s All Done with Mirrors highlights the escapades of a young lady initiated into the carnival by her father.

Conflict, conflict, and conflict: it seems we couldn’t get enough of it

Folks were tied up in knots, one way or another, in mid-December in days gone by at the Lake

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:

The never-ending J.H. Boyd School saga was in the news again Dec. 19, 2007 as “Town councillor says she’s not in conflict, will vote on J.H. Boyd” was the headline in the Lake Cowichan Gazette.

Lake Cowichan councillor Kristine Sandhu was also a member of the Cowichan Valley school board and concern had arisen about her having a foot in both camps when discussing what to do about an offer to purchase the problematic school site.

“It is an opinion that I don’t have a direct or indirect conflict in this matter,” she said in a prepared statement at the previous week’s council meeting.

Duncan Brown, vice-chairman of the Lake Cowichan Ratepayers’ Association, believed she was in a conflict of interest.

“It’s outrageously in conflict. In one way, she’s the seller of the property, so how can she vote on it?”

25 years ago:

In The Lake News of Dec. 16, 1992, it was hard to miss the headline: “Community Hall crackdowns concern council”.

What could it mean? More costs to anyone renting the facilities at either the hall or the nearby arena was the answer.

Cowichan Lake Sports Arena manager Bruce Tilbury had told council that arena and hall renters needed to have liability insurance.

Coun. Dennis LaForge wasn’t happy the way anyone renting for personal use was getting gouged, the story said.

“I’ve heard from some people that you have to sign your life away in order to use the hall, just in case something happens. I’m concerned, because we are the Village, we must have this facility to supply for the public,” he said.

Tilbury commented that “anyone renting the hall is responsible,” and added that a lot of facilities now require users to have liability insurance.

The insurance crackdown has not just come from fear of being sued, but from government restraints as well.

“Those serving food must now have a FoodSafe certificate,” the story said.

Coun. Leon Portelance said, “I’d hate to see communiy halls come to the point where they are so hard to use for the public.”

40 years ago:

Sex was on the front burner in The Lake News of Dec. 21, 1977 as “Life-Living opponents walk out of meeting.”

A meeting had been scheduled between the Lake Cowichan school board and opponents of sex education in schools but a five-member delegation headed by Joanne Wilson and Rev. Erwin Fuhrmann walked out rather than discuss their objections to the program in the presence of the coordinator, Yvonne Green.

“We can’t and won’t talk with Mrs. Green here,” said Wilson. “We want to talk to someone in authority.”

According to the story, “an intense confrontation ensued” as board members argued that they needed resource people to answer questions.

“Wilson argued that the opposing group could not be as critical of the program with the coordinator present,” the story continued.

“We’ve been shunted around from place to place but no one will ever give us a yes or no answer to our questions,” Wilson said.

“Why don’t you try us?” board chairman Bernice Sawkins asked the group.

They didn’t.



lexi.bainas@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

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