“A sea cadet in silence at the cenotaph in Lake Cowichan on Remembrance Day. Behind is Rev. Don Hatfield; chaplain and Jeff Abbott, MC.” (Lake News, Nov. 19, 1997)

“A sea cadet in silence at the cenotaph in Lake Cowichan on Remembrance Day. Behind is Rev. Don Hatfield; chaplain and Jeff Abbott, MC.” (Lake News, Nov. 19, 1997)

Flashback: Garbage drama, more RCMP appointed, school board saga continues

A look back at the history of the Cowichan Lake area

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

Riveting news this week 10 years ago as the Lake Cowichan Gazette of Nov. 21, 2012 reporter that the “Town reviews recycling contract”.

Hold onto your hats.

“The town’s garbage and recycling collection contract with BFI Waste Management (previously WSI) will expire in Aug. 2013. According to Ronnie Gill, the town’s director of finance, this is an opportune time to ‘review the recycling contract and investigate the feasibility of providing these services in-house in conjunction with the implementation of a residential organics program.’ Gill delivered her report to mayor and council at the Public Works Committee meeting on Nov. 6. ‘The benefits of recycling are now apparent and the organics program will be just as successful. The benefits are twofold: becoming a green community and the cost savings,’ says Gill’s report. The town currently has $260,000 in its equipment reserve fund that could be used towards the purchase of a split body truck, but needs to budget $60,000 for one-time start-up costs to implement the service. ‘The start-up costs include purchase of bins and an estimate for public education, information sessions, workshops and general awareness work,’ said Gill. ‘The $60,000 is a one-time cost and we may want to look at not recovering that’.”

In the same edition under the headline: “RCMP probe dog attack, shooting” was a story about a dog being shot.

“Lake Cowichan RCMP responded to an incident of a dog being shot in the Cowichan Lake Road area, which is located outside the town boundary of Lake Cowichan, on Nov. 15. Local RCMP Cpl. Larry Olson says that to date, the investigation indicates that three uncontrolled dogs aggressively approached a man out walking his two dogs. ‘The man and his dogs were reportedly backed in to a ditch by the three large breed dogs, when a neighbouring resident came to his aid. This man fatally shot one of the three dogs,’ reports Olson.”

25 years ago

“L.C. RCMP numbers up” was a big headline in the Nov. 19, 1997 edition of the Lake News.

“The Lake Cowichan Detachment member numbers will be increasing by two, bringing the force up to eight. The additional members will enable the detachment to carry out new programs recently initiated to combat criminal activity in the area, Sgt. Jerry Poitras said.

“The detachment has been operating short handed for about the last three years and the additional members are a welcome change, he added. The members became available due to a re-allocation of resources in the lower Mainland and Victoria.”

Also, in that edition: “No more chairing for Allan”.

“He’s sat in the CVRD chairman’s seat for the longest time in history and announced last week that he will not run as chair for the upcoming term. Joe Allan, Director of Area F (Skutz Falls/Cowichan South) and chairman of the CVRD said he’s calling it quits as chair after four years — and some of those years, Allan said, included the most stressful issues the CVRD has had to deal with.

“Allan told the Lake News that now longer chair, he will not be as constrained and will be able to devote his time exclusively to those issues regarding his area.”

40 years ago

So there was a bit of a mix up in our newspaper collections for this week 40 years ago, so instead you’re getting next week 40 years ago — but just a little bit as we have to save something for next week as well! Thanks for understanding!

So next week 40 years ago was after the election and after all the drama surrounding the school trustee vote… there was even more drama with regard to the results.

“Trustee election disputed, recount sought” was the headline on the front of the Nov. 24, 1982 edition of the Lake News.

“A recount is being sought by Buck Hollingdrake, the senior trustee who was bumped from office by a narrow margin during School District 66 elections on Saturday. Hollingdrake is disputing the elections of trustees Jean Brown and Bill Routley, the latter squeaking by Hollingdrake by only 30 votes, according to figures officially signed by returning officer Grace Slobodan.

“Hollingdrake also will formally protest to the ministry of education the conduct of clerks at the polling stations. He charged Tuesday their conduct probably cost him the election based on official returns. Hollingdrake charged Tuesday, in announcing his decision to seek a recount, that an estimated 300 votes are missing.

“‘I just want to find out where they are,’ he said, stressing that he was not accusing anyone of wrongdoing.”

A bulletin atop that story, which must have been breaking news just before it went to print, noted that “Returning officer Grace Slobodan has ordered a recount following a protest by Trustee Buck Hollingdrake who lost by an official 30 votes.”

historyLake Cowichan


“Trustee election dispute, recount sought” was the story. From left: John Ward, Jean Brown, Bill Routley. (Lake News, Nov. 24, 1982)

“Trustee election dispute, recount sought” was the story. From left: John Ward, Jean Brown, Bill Routley. (Lake News, Nov. 24, 1982)