“Lake Cowichan mayor Ken Douglas accepts keys to new fire truck from manufacturer’s representative Paul Sparks as Fire Chief Jim Sidhu and former fire chief Tom Gordon look on.” (Lake News, March 11, 1981)

“Lake Cowichan mayor Ken Douglas accepts keys to new fire truck from manufacturer’s representative Paul Sparks as Fire Chief Jim Sidhu and former fire chief Tom Gordon look on.” (Lake News, March 11, 1981)

Flashback: A bun in Grandma’s oven, night hunting and the Green Machine

Remember these stories from Lake Cowichan?

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

Talk about a shocking headline to read! The front page of the March 9, 2011 Lake Cowichan Gazette was one for the ages:

“Local grandma gives birth to granddaughter” was the lead story, which was full of happiness and cheer.

“With gray hair on top of his head, local man Wayne Lucas, 62, surprised his friends in 2009 when he told them his wife, Sue, was pregnant. What surprised them more was that his son, Derek, 38, was the father.

“Wayne’s positive outlook on the situation confused those he’d tease with this information, until he shared the details, and that Sue, Derek’s stepmother, was a surrogate, and was carrying the baby to term for Derek and his wife Gena. Derek and Gena, 39, had been together for over eight years, finding themselves unable to have a baby.”

That’s when Sue stepped in.

“In her late 40s, the mother of three grown children said that family has always been important to her….Oliver, Derek and Gena made the announcement during Thanksgiving dinner. Sue helped explain the situation, through a shirt reading ‘Grand baby on board,’ and featuring an arrow pointing downward.”

Baby Ava was born March 31, 2010 and was about to celebrate her first birthday.

That makes Ava coming up on 11 now. Happy birthday!

25 years ago

According to the Lake News of March 13, 1996, The Valley Fish and Game Club wrote a “strongly worded” letter to the B.C. Attorney General challenging “the presumed rights of aboriginals to hunt at night with lights.”

The story went: “Recently, in the Shaw Creek area three elk and deer were shot at night and police arrested four Saanich residents. The shootings occurred within 100 metres of houses, said Scott A. Grass, president of the Club. He noted that it has been claimed that aboriginal rights permit hunting with lights at night (pit-lamping).

“Please correct me if that statement is false. We cannot continue this mollycoddling of poachers,” he said. The Shaw Creek elk herd is protected by law.

Grass went on to say that there were nine similar court cases in various stages and the Club had spent $25,000 protecting the herd from poachers.

Also making the paper, the Pee Wee A Lakers were headed to provincials in Mackenzie, B.C., despite not winning the Island title.

40 years ago

“Hail the Green Machine” led the Lake News of the day for March 11, 1981. What’s this all about? Why, a fire truck of course!

“The long-awaited ‘green machine’ has arrived at the Lake Cowichan Volunteer Fire Department. The latest addition to the department’s fleet of trucks delivered Thursday, March 5, is a pumper truck with a capacity of 840 gallons per minute — 35 per cent more than the old pumper.”

The cost? Just $65,000. What departments wouldn’t give to have a new truck for that price nowadays!

Also on the front page were cries of “get off our hill” from residents to a logging firm in Youbou.

“Youbou residents protesting against pollution of their drinking water by logging activity have told Pacific Forest Products to ‘get the hell out of our watershed,’ area regional representative Don Studds said Tuesday.

“Youbou Creek and Coonskin Creek, both of which are tapped by the mill and by residents, suffered flooding damage during this winter’s heavy rainfalls, and Pacific Forest Products was blamed following recent logging in the watershed.”


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