“Local Royal Canadian Legion members Sam Jones, Earl McIntyre, Edie Wort, Lola Sinclair, and Fred Neault, stand with their colours outside of St. Christopher’s & St. Aidan’s Anglican Church, Sunday, November 7, after helping with the church’s special Remembrance Day service.” (Nov. 10, 2010 Lake Cowichan Gazette/Tyler Clarke photo)

“Local Royal Canadian Legion members Sam Jones, Earl McIntyre, Edie Wort, Lola Sinclair, and Fred Neault, stand with their colours outside of St. Christopher’s & St. Aidan’s Anglican Church, Sunday, November 7, after helping with the church’s special Remembrance Day service.” (Nov. 10, 2010 Lake Cowichan Gazette/Tyler Clarke photo)

Flashback: A boy’s birthday food drive, Remembrance Day, and Highway 18 damages

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

Let’s start this week off with a happy story, shall we? Bringing the happiness this week is Jacob Marcelic, who a decade ago had just turned nine. For his birthday, young Jacob opted to celebrate with the gift of giving. The story went like this:

“For local boy Jacob Marcelic, turning nine years old became an opportunity to give to those less fortunate than himself. Rather than have his friends bring him gifts, the upbeat youngster insisted that they bring non perishable food items instead. His birthday party, held October 30, resulted in three laundry hampers full of foods being donated to the Lake Cowichan Food Bank. ‘The food going to other people who don’t have this stuff makes me happy,’ he said, explaining why he gave up birthday presents.

“We were surprised at the amount each kid brought. Each one brought a bag full,” his mother, Tiffany, said.

“These donations were brought into Lake Cowichan’s Country Grocer, where, thanks to both Shaw and Campbell’s both matching all items donated, they will be tripled.”

What a nice story to hear. Good enough for the Nov. 10, 2010 Lake Cowichan Gazette’s front page.

In the same edition, Cowichan Tribes members reminded the community they are not poaching the fish in the river.

The page 2 story: “Fish counts underway on Cowichan River” explained:

“There’s something fishy about the group of nine Cowichan Tribes members who have been spearing fish from their inflatable river boats, but it isn’t related to poaching, as many have assumed. The fish they are collecting are already dead. “Year after year people say that we’re poaching,” fish counter Philip Joe said. “This is a seasonal count.”

“Cowichan Tribes have been partnering with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans for the past seven to eight years on this project, which aims to count and sample the dead fish that turn up on the Cowichan River.”

25 years ago

School district news again made the Lake News’s front page, back on Nov. 15, 1995 under the headline “Must cut costs by April”.

“It appears school districts in the province will have until April 1996 to design proposals which would enable effective cost cuts as an alternative to amalgamation.

“School District #66 administrators and locally elected trustees are frustrated with government over the amalgamation threat. They claim when the issue was presented earlier last year it became a non-issue; being placed on the ‘back burner’ only to reappear on the ‘front burner’ with no warning.”

The front page of the Nov. 15, 1995 edition also featured a touching story related to Remembrance Day.

“A downpour of the previous day and night had subsided, the lowering black clouds with rain in their bellies hung heavily over the surrounding hills. The haunting strains of the Last Post raised remembrance in old hearts and old comrades as Lake Cowichan reached in memory across 77 years to November 11, 1918, and the wars in between. It was 50 years exactly since the end of World War II.

“It was a bigger crowd than usual at the cenotaph in Central Park. It would be the last Remembrance Day service at which Gordon Loutet would be Master of Ceremonies, a role he has filled for 30 years.”

40 years ago

In big bold print: “We’ll have to sue to get a fair shake” was the headline that dominated the top of the Nov. 12, 1980 Lake News. If you’ve been following along, you’ll know this had to do with the state of Highway 18 after botched upgrades broke hundreds upon hundreds of windshields.

“Lake Cowichan motorists with damage claims because of Highway 18 may have to sue to get their due. And if the highways ministry and the paving contractor responsible stick to their positions they might end up fighting each other in court, too. This scenario has been set by the highway ministry’s sudden refusal to honour a commitment that it would pay the deductible portion of ICBC claims placed by vehicle owners whose windshields have been broken by flying rock.

“A spokesman said that all claims are being forwarded to the contractor, effective Oct. 16, but Duncan Paving Ltd., the contractor that did the month-long seal-coating job on the Duncan-Lake Cowichan Highway, refuses to pay the claims. The government and the contractor at odds, the citizen may have no choice but to take one of them to court to get his $50 deductible back.”

This was no doubt not the end of the story. We’ll follow it along as it appears in the papers of old.


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