Flashback: An unexpected delivery and school board expected to deliver on cost cuts

A look back at the history of the Cowichan Lake area

“Fred Wagner, outside his home at number seven Cottonwood North.” (Lake News/Sept. 10, 1997.)

“Fred Wagner, outside his home at number seven Cottonwood North.” (Lake News/Sept. 10, 1997.)

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

The Sept. 5, 2012 edition of the Lake Cowichan Gazette was chock full of news. Here’s one good news story:

“At 6:25 a.m. on the morning of Monday, Aug. 20, Laura Foglia and Steve Boddam welcomed the arrival of their second child, Ashtyn. But wait, there’s a twist. This baby wasn’t born in a hospital or at home, he came into the world at the Lake Cowichan detachment of the B.C. Ambulance Service.

“‘We were paged at 6 a.m.’ said Jamie Hockin, the lead attending paramedic on shift at the time. ‘They said someone was in the parking lot, so we went outside.’

“Foglia’s water broke while she was still in her vehicle being assessed by Hockin.

“‘My partner [Rob Sutton] brought over the gurney and we got her [Foglia] into the ambulance, but we didn’t have enough time to transport her to the hospital. A couple of minutes later the baby was born.’

This was Hockin’s first experience with delivering a child, but he says he didn’t have much trouble staying calm.

“Baby Ashtyn was seven pounds 11 ounces, and 19.5 inches long.”

What a story!

In other news of the day, Lake Cowichan mayor, Ross Forrest went diving for bottles and cans during the annual Cowichan Lake and River Stewards Cleanup on Saturday, Aug. 25. Forrest spent the day with Roger Hunter, Cowichan Water Board coordinator, and Kenzie Cuthbert, a local professional guide. They spent the morning between the Cuthberts’ property and Skutz Falls. ‘It was absolutely fantastic,’ said Forrest. ‘There’s no houses, nothing from there to Skutz Falls. It’s so peaceful.’ The group collected four bags of garbage and recyclables, and didn’t finish up their day until around 5 p.m.”

25 years ago

“‘Where do I live?’” asked Fred Wagner on page 3 of the Lake News of Sept. 10, 1997.

Wagner knew where he lived, he just didn’t know the proper address. The story was about him living in one house with three addresses!

“Lake Cowichan, Cottonwood Street resident, Fred Wagner only recently learned that he is listed in three different places with three different addresses and only one is the correct one. The important listing however, with B.C. Tel — who supplies 911 with addresses — is wrong and it would appear his neighbour’s addresses are also wrong in the phone book.”

Oops! That’s a mistake that could have had terrible consequences.

“Wagner, 63-years-old, is very concerned. ‘I had a stroke in June and I often have my grandchildren staying with me here,’ he said, reiterating what might happen in an emergency if 911 has a wrong address.”

In other news of the day, page one of the Sept. 10, 1997 Lake News reported that a pilot was rescued after a plane crash on Cowichan Lake.

“A plane crash on Lake Cowichan near Caycuse last Sunday was perhaps among the quietest and most uneventful crashes to have occurred. No one in Caycuse was aware of it — the crash site was abandoned by the time RCMP arrived and no other emergency crews were called out.”

This is an odd one.

“According to Lake Cowichan RCMP, the crash, involving a small Republican Sea Bee float plane with only the pilot on board went down in Lake Cowichan at about 6:10 p.m. Thursday evening.”

The pilot, Roger D’Amico, and his friend Les Fekete, were flying their planes together and the two connected via radio about D’Amico’s mechanical troubles and intention to land on the lake.

“Fekete took up position behind D’Amico’s plane which he then observed cartwheeling to the left and crashing into the lake. Fekete immediately landed his plane, swam over to D’Amico who could not swim, and dragged him back to his plane. D’Amico’s plan sank very quickly.”

The two then flew back to Sidney in Fekete’s aircraft.

Wow.

40 years ago

The Sept. 8, 1982 edition of the Lake News brings us back to the drama in the school system as “layoffs, cutbacks, even school closures are being discussed this week as school district employees and trustees grapple with the problem of how to meet provincial restraint guidelines.

“The School District 66 board of school trustees is being forced to make $111,213 worth of cuts from the budget for 1982 and is looking at reducing expenditures by another $250,000 to $300,000 in 1983.

In other news, “RCMP use dog to nab boat theft suspects” was an attention-grabbing headline.

“Lake Cowichan RCMP, with the help of a four-footed colleague from Colwood, have nabbed two Victoria men who stole a boat and fishing rod in Youbou. Police were called to Youbou about 6 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 5 when they received a call that a rowboat had been stolen from the shoreline near Ben’s Marina. Local residents chased them away, saying that the police were on their way.”

The two men made a run for it, but one was caught.

“The other escaped and was apprehended with the help of a tracking dog from Colwood. Both men are facing charges.”

historyLake Cowichan

 

“Splish-splash, children about to take a bath jump off highway bridge in Lake Cowichan at the Big Pool. This activity took place on Monday, the last day of the holidays and it signifies the nose-dive of summer as care-free days for school-age children are over for another season. They were all back to school on Tuesday. What a fall from summer!” (Lake News/Sept. 8, 1982)

“Splish-splash, children about to take a bath jump off highway bridge in Lake Cowichan at the Big Pool. This activity took place on Monday, the last day of the holidays and it signifies the nose-dive of summer as care-free days for school-age children are over for another season. They were all back to school on Tuesday. What a fall from summer!” (Lake News/Sept. 8, 1982)