Former members of the Lake Cowichan ice skating club

Former members of the Lake Cowichan ice skating club

Early 1980s saw major flooding and new seniors housing

Early 1980s saw major flooding and new seniors housing

The death of a young man — who was parasailing high above Cowichan Lake while being towed by a boat below — occurred in August of 1980 while horrified friends watched from shore.

Things were apparently going well as the flyer became airborne then picked up speed high above the lake when something went wrong.  According to a witness interviewed in the Lake News, the man was thrown out of the hang glider which “appeared to have crumbled,” falling several hundred feet to his death in the water below.

December of 1980 brought massive flooding to the area, resulting in the Meade Creek bridge being washed out as well as big log jams at the Robertson River bridge.

The basement of the Elks building on North Shore Road was flooded as were other buildings along the river.

Riverside Drive and portions of South Shore Road were all flooded due to rain and snow melt.

The river washed through the old machine shop, as it had done on several occasions in years past, causing much havoc for many. Over the years several of the roads downtown were raised which solved the flooding problem.

In June of 1981 the biggest school reunion ever — Lake Cowichan High School 1947-1962 — took place in the village.

According to the late Trevor Green’s Greendale Journals “about 800 of [former students of LCHS] assembled from near and far to celebrate,” He added that “Since the village has not the facilities to cater for this mish-mash, [the guests] will be in Duncan for much of the time.”

In reality, many of the happenings took place in Lake Cowichan and turned out to be, according to those who attended, a wonderful and memorable weekend.

August 1981 saw the new seniors housing complex, Olson Manor, nearing completion. Situated on the river across from Central Park, the housing units were a welcome addition to the town. The official opening took place on May 4, 1982.

Gladys Howe, nee Lomas, who for decades has been described as “the first white baby to be born in Lake Cowichan,” died here on August 23 at age 82.

A quick check of the B.C. Archives website reveals that baby Annabella Maud Fraser was born here on February 11, 1894. Annabella Maud Gosse (nee Fraser) died March 7, 1976 in Vancouver, B.C.


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