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Flashback: A big award, a new place to dine, and the Premier’s backing

A look back at the history of the Cowichan Lake area
“Only 16 and nearly $20,000 later, Nichole Stock has again beat all her own records raising in one year, $4,211.98, $480 more than she raised last year for the Variety Club telethon. To date Nichole Stock has raised $19,826.11 since she began collecting pennies when she was nine years old.” (Lake News/Feb. 18, 1998)

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

It was a big deal for one student this time a decade ago around the lake. According to the Feb. 20, 2013 Lake Cowichan Gazette, “LCSS grad wins prestigious award.” But which one?

“Although she is already busy pursuing her post-secondary academic studies at the Kelowna campus of the University of B.C., 2012 grad Jorden Matson returned to LCSS on Feb. 18 to receive the Governor General’s Academic Medal for 2011-2012 from school principal, Nicole Boucher.

“‘It feels like a lot of hard work paid off,’ Matson said when she saw the medal. ‘I think I took every course that I could here, as far as sciences go.’ Boucher congratulated the former high school student on her academic achievement. Matson is presently enrolled in the faculty of science at UBC. She says she hopes to major in either biology or chemistry, and eventually work in a lab and do research. Science just seems to be her forte.”

Well done Jorden Matson!

From one school-based story on the front page to another, “Although school closures loom, talk must now focus on needs” was the headline.

“In the aftermath of the Feb. 6 school district meeting at Quamichan Middle School, when the axe fell on ten potential district schools, the community will have one more chance to voice its wishes on March 2 in the LCSS gym.

“’Everything’s just happening so quickly,’ BCTF local 66 president Chris Rolls said. ‘So on Feb. 25, we’re holding an extra meeting, ‘Let’s Talk’ to prepare for the next community consultation meeting.’

“Rolls is concerned that for the Mar. 2 meeting, everybody in the community is on the same page about what they want. ‘I’ve talked to all three PACs to make sure that we’re headed in the same direction,’ Rolls told the Gazette. ‘And that direction seems to be: we don’t like what the district is proposing, but we can’t fight the closures any more.’ With that in mind, Rolls wants to hold a meeting for everybody to come together and discuss what the community wants and needs for the Lake children in view of the pending changes.”

25 years ago

The Lake News celebrated its 40th anniversary around this time in 1998 but that wasn’t the only news of the day. In the Lake News of Feb. 18, 1998 “A&W proposes interest in coming to Lake Cowichan.”

We know how the story ended, obviously but let’s look at how it began.

“There were the rumors but last Tuesday those rumors turned to fact when it was reported that an A&W restaurant may be coming to Lake Cowichan. The owners of the A&W franchise, KGM Holdings, who also own the A&W in Duncan, are looking at occupying the Country Wide Realty office site for the new A&W Restaurant.

“Despite rumors that A&W will be finished in April for a May opening, [owner Garnett] Miller told councillors that the restaurant is currently only in the drawing stage. He will bring the drawings to council upon completion but warning councillors that A&W take their time on these things.”

A new dog bylaw also stood out in the paper’s news and events.

“For a dog running at large, (any dog being elsewhere than on the lands of premises of the owner or person in control of the dog), impound fees for licenced dog will be $25, unlicensed, $50. It will cost $65 licenced and $90 unlicensed for a second offence and ($90 and $115) for a third or subsequent offence.”

The fines only went up if at-large dogs did damage or hurt people or other animals.

40 years ago

The premier was on their side, so says the Lake News of Feb. 16, 1983 to Honeymoon Bay residents.

“Premier Bill Bennet has thrown his support behind frustrated property owners at Honeymoon Bay who have been urging a speedy approval of a new subdivision proposal.

“Bennett minced no words Tuesday as he told a group of residents and others that he would like the Cowichan Valley Regional District to expedite approval of an application to rezone the recently purchased property.

“Bennett visited the townsite during a two-hour tour of the Cowichan Lake District. He also was shown Olson Manor in a visit prior to giving a dinner speech Tuesday night in Crofton.”

Also on the front page, “Schools amalgamation ‘inevitable’: Vander Zalm” said.

“Amalgamation of the Lake Cowichan and Duncan school districts appears to be inevitable, according to Education Minister Bill Vander Zalm. He made the comment in a radio interview Wednesday, Feb. 9, during a visit to Duncan.

“‘In Cowichan we certainly have what appears to be a natural. Lake Cowichan and Cowichan (Duncan) could be amalgamated.’

“He hedged his comment, however, by adding, ‘we would not do it without getting a very good reading — some consensus — from the districts and within the community but it certainly appears as if a considerable saving could be brought about.”

“Whiskin acclaimed Citizen of the Year: Harry Whiskin (right), the 1982 Citizen of the Year as proclaimed by the Cowichan Lake District Chamber of Commerce, receives plaque from Mayor Ken Douglas during chamber’s annual installation. Mayor Douglas noted that Whiskin was recognized by the chamber as a man who has helped people in his community during the past 50 years.” (Lake News/Feb. 16, 1998)