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
With summer weather having arrived and more likely on the way, the headline of the Aug. 10, 2011 Lake Cowichan Gazette got quickly to the point: you might want to behave at the Lake.
“Police keep busy busting alcohol-swigging rowdies” was the headline and the story went like this:
“Alcohol-consuming visitors have been keeping Lake Cowichan RCMP busy ever since the warm summer weather broke through. ‘It’s almost always alcohol related,’ Lake Cowichan RCMP Cpl. Krista Hobday said, of calls-out and arrests. The most notable alcohol-related incident took place Friday, July 29, at Saywell Park. ‘A bus load of people arrived from Victoria and thought it was appropriate to sit and drink at Saywell Park,’ Hobday said. ‘Do they think it’s just one giant campground when they get off of Highway 18? What are they thinking? They’re not.’ Two garbage bags full of empties were confiscated from the bus load of visitors.
“With a large influx of visitors will always come more incidents, Hobday said. ‘You always have more people out and about and they don’t always employ common sense,’ she said.”
Copper wire theft also made headlines this week back in 2011, though it’s been a common offence over the years.
“Cutting through a chain link fence, thieves made off with approximately 100 feet of copper wire, some time between July 29 and Aug. 2. The wire, valued at approximately $200, was taken from the BC Hydro field station located at the end of Cowichan Avenue West. The theft of copper wiring has long since been a problem in the Cowichan Lake area. The copper is hawked to scrap metal dealers. Usually, it’s telephone lines that are stolen.”
25 years ago
“‘Brittany’ fund aids girl in coma” was the headline of the Aug. 14 1996 Lake News and it was a story of the community helping one of their own yet again.
“‘We rallied for Ryan De Bodt and Rachel Walshe. We’ve done it before.’” was how the story began, noting a history of the community helping each other over the years.
“Friends of a very special Lake Cowichan girl have started up a fund to help her family financially while she is in intensive care in Children’s Hospital in Vancouver. At press time she was in a coma. Brittany Dycke, 11, has bacterial spinal meningitis and had surgery last week to replace two valves in her heart, according to Anne Newman of Lake Cowichan community services. Britney is also facing another operation to replace her pacemaker. Community Services has started the fund to help the girl’s mother Julie Dycke.
“She’s a single mom raising three kids,” said Newman. “She works as a hairdresser but she can’t work while her daughter is in hospital in Vancouver. She’s got her hands full.”
“The girl is well known to community services workers as an affectionate child with very special needs, according to Newman and Carol Blatchford.”
And what would an August edition of a Lake Cowichan-area paper be without mention of the Youbou Regatta?
“The sun shone and there was just enough breeze to cool a hot day as Youbou gathered for its annual regatta at Arbutus Park Saturday.
“All the usual ingredients for fun were there: a parade, swimming races, various skill-testing contests, a water-ski demonstration and a volleyball competition. The only disappointment for Youbou Recreation Commission organizers was that the promised hot air balloon, which would have given riders a view from well above the community, did not arrive.”
Well that’s a bummer!
40 years ago
There was a heat wave this time way back in August of 1981 as well, according to the Lake News of Aug. 12, 1981.
“Relief soon? Mercury hovers near record high” was the headline.
“Cowichan Lake residents have been sweltering through one of the hottest periods on record, but relief is on the way according to the Environment Canada Weather office at Sidney. Meteorologist Dennis Gallagher said Tuesday, “the heat wave is on the way out. Today is the last hot day.”
“The mercury at the Mesachie Lake Research Station shot up to 38 C (100.4 F) Saturday, Aug. 8 according to station recorder Ian Cairns.
“Although research station records don’t go back that far, temperatures in the area have been that high twice before, according to longtime residents, Cairns said. Cowichan Lake sweltered through a temperature of 101 F in the 1930s and again in the 1960s. he said.”
Were those records broken this year?
The Lake News of Aug. 12, 1981 also reported that a “local man faces murder charge in Clausen death.”
“Paul Richard Kocurek 32, of Duncan, was charged Aug. 5 with first degree murder and remanded to Aug. 12 for election of trial method, after Lisa Clausen, 15, was found dead Sunday, Aug. 2.
“The girl who had been out jogging before dinner, apparently stopped to help a man who said he was having difficulties with his car.”
And finally, “Island Shake ‘plans to rebuild’ razed mill.
“Island Shake and Shingle has refused to pay its former employees severance pay on the grounds that none is necessary because plans are in the works to rebuild the mill, which was destroyed by fire May 6, 1980 according to a company spokesperson. Former workers have been attempting through their union — the International Woodworkers of America — and now through arbitration to get the company to admit the mill was permanently closed down so severance can be paid.”