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Flashback: Citizens of the Year, future of forestry, and Honeymoon Bay zoning

A look back at the history of the Cowichan Lake area
“Citizen of the year for 1997: Lola Sinclair. Sinclair accepted the honour at last week’s Cowichan Lake District Chamber of Commerce dinner. At right: “Community Service Award for 1997 was presented to Doug Liske by Marie Bergstrom for his work on the Logging Sports each Lake Days.” (Lake News/Feb 25, 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

“Citizens celebrated at Chamber of Commerce AGM dinner” was the top headline in the Lake Cowichan Gazette of Feb. 27, 2013.

“Mike Bishop is this year’s recipient for the 2012 Citizen of the Year Award, and Robert Bell received the 2012 Nichole Stock Community Service Award. Both men attended the meeting and were in awe of being chosen. In the short biography that introduced him, Bell was presented as an ‘unsung hero’ through the countless hours he has spent in over 20 years with the Salmonid Enhancement Society, as a dog-walker and critter-lover in general for the SPCA, as the manager for the Lake Cowichan Minor Hockey Association Midgets when his son, Jeff, was coaching, and for making the most remarked-on Lady of the Lake floats for the parade.

“As Citizen of the Year, Bishop was chosen for the immense amount of work he did in spearheading the Summer Nights in 2012, a weekly Saturday night event that brought many community members out throughout the summer.”

A doctor shortage was also in the news a decade ago.

“The Cowichan Valley has been part of a pilot program to improve primary health care services and ensure all B.C. citizens who want a family doctor are able to access one by 2015. On April 1, the government of B.C. and the B.C. Medical Association will launch A GP for Me, the new province-wide program. Since June 2010, the Cowichan Valley has been one of three communities to collaborate with BCMA on finding solutions to the doctor shortage problem that has been plaguing the province.”

We all know how that’s going.

25 years ago

The Lake News of Feb. 25, 1998 featured a list of those who’d made the principal’s list at LCSS.

“Grade 12: Mike Blatchford, Anthony Luk, Christina Quenville. Grade 11: Sara DeBodt, Robbie World, Mark Riishede. Grade 10: Sarah Lang, Tim Neufeld, Lisa Allen, Justin Carsley. Grade 9: Tina Lum, Grade 8: Alaina Tuba.”

Also 25 years ago this time, “Cowichan/Ladysmith MLA Jan Pullinger got a new title last week following the provincial cabinet shuffle. She is now minister responsible for Human Resources. Pullinger had been Minister of Small Business, Tourism and Culture but that changed last week and with the shuffle of Cabinet, Dale Lovick, former Speaker of the House and Pullinger’s husband was named minister responsible for labour and aboriginal affairs. This is the first time in B.C. politics that a husband and wife has served on the provincial cabinet.”

40 years ago

It was a busy time around the region, if you read the Lake News of Feb. 23, 1983. Four stories made the front page of the paper and all were pretty big ones. Here are three:

First: “Forest industry will never be the same again: Bennett” was the headline.

“Premier Bill Bennett told Cowichan Valley reporters last week that he thought the B.C. forest industry would never return to its former glory.

“‘The most optimistic forecasts don’t indicate a return to the levels our industry operated at in peak years,’ he said in Crofton Feb. 15.’”

Second: “Caycuse parents fighting to keep lone school, fear death of their town.

“Vociferous Caycuse parents crowded a school board meeting in their community Monday night in an effort to head off featured closure of their school. Concerned that their community might die if the only school there were closed, the parents marshalled their arguments and demanded answers from the trustees. The School District 66 board of school trustees had travelled to Caycuse School to hold its regularly scheduled committee meetings and to discuss the future of the school with the residents. No decision was made at the meeting, although one should be made soon so that the detailed planning could be started, according to schools superintendent Denis Therrien.”

Third: “CVRD ponders H.B. zoning fate”.

“An important discussion which could have a major effect on the development of Honeymoon Bay was scheduled for tonight’s meeting of the Cowichan Valley Regional District board.

“Frank Walker, area director for Honeymoon Bay, said Tuesday that he planned to ask the regional board to let the whole proposal for the townsite suggested by its owner — TAL Developments — go to public hearing. He said he wants to give the public a chance to speak on the entire plan proposed by the developer, rather than just parts of it.”

”Paul Watson of TAL Developments Inc. shows Premier Bill Bennett (seated, left) and entourage development plans for Honeymoon Bay townsite. Victoria firm hopes to get its plans through CVRD meeting tonight, Wednesday.” (Lake News/Feb. 23, 1983)