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
“Camper shot twice, allegedly mistaken for bear” was a top headline in the Sept. 28, 2011 edition of the Lake Cowichan Gazette. It was exactly what the headline says, but it could have been a lot worse. Then-editor Tyler Clarke reported:
“Scared of what goes bump in the night, a camper allegedly grabbed a gun and shot his friend twice — once in the arm and once in the face, last weekend. The incident took place Saturday, Sept. 24, during a camping trip along the Nitinat River.
“Two 22-year-old men were camping, and had a licensed firearm they’d intended to make use of shooting clay pigeons with birdshot. At about 5 a.m., one of the men became spooked by what he thought was a bear outside his tent. ‘One of the males discharged his firearm in the direction he thought the bear to be,’ Lake Cowichan RCMP Sgt. Dave Voller said. The numerous shots were through the tent. The firearm was presumably filled with the same birdshot used to shoot clay pigeons. ‘The river is filling up quickly with salmon, so there’s no lack of bears at this time.’
“The man drove his friend to the Youbou area, where he was then picked up by an ambulance, and brought to the Cowichan District Hospital, and then the Royal Jubilee Hospital in Victoria. He’s currently in intensive care, in stable non-life-threatening condition. Both of the men are from out of town. The bear has yet to be found.”
25 years ago
It was a local election countdown according to the Oct. 2 1996 Lake News. “Two seats open on council and at least one on school board,” the paper said. The story went like this:
“Most of the current politicians will be running again this coming November during the local election. There are two seats open on council presently. Councillors Jean Brown, Jack Peake and, Leon Portelance have announced they will run again. As Brown will run for mayor, that leaves her seat open as well as former councillor Garry Gunderson’s seat who will not be running. He resigned last spring. Mayor Earle Darling has announced he will be stepping out of local politics and councillor Jean Brown has said she will be running for the mayor’s seat. All current councillors with the exception of Jack Peake have said they will not run against Brown for mayor.”
“Residents frightened over new ‘option to buy’ proposed by developers” also appeared in the Oct. 2 1996 Lake News.
Susan Lowe reported: “Residents paying pad rentals in Ben’s Marina have been given a four month timeline to buy their plots for $50,000, in some cases before their rented land is turned over to the public market for sale. New owners who bought 4.6 acres of what was known as Ben’s Marina have plans on turning the area into a private club, and calling it the Cowichan Lake R.V. Park. The new owners, Wally Shoemay from the mainland and Gordon Halkett of Nanaimo brought the land this month.
“According to Lois Gage, director of Area I (Youbou/Meades Creek) new owners of Cowichan Lake R.V. Club must seek approval by numerous government agencies before any new development of plans take place.
“‘I’ve simply advised the residents to sign nothing, to pay nothing other than their pad rentals until CVRD has taken a look at this,’ Gage said Friday. The plans, especially the letters residents received last week have them frightened. Many of the residents, pensioners, have lived in their homes for many years and planned to live their lives out on the Marina by the water.”
40 years ago
It was bad news for readers of the Lake News back in 1981 as the front page of the Sept. 30 edition warned readers the Lake News price was being increased.
“The cost of your local paper is going up — but only by a little bit. Cost of single newsstand copies increase by five cents to $.25 effective Oct. 7 and home delivery increases to $1 from $.75 per month. Annual mail subscriptions increase to $10 from $8.
“Twenty-five cents for a newspaper — that’s cheaper than a cup of coffee. And it’s better for you.”
“Seniors Home ready for occupancy” was the top headline of the Sept. 30, 1981 Lake News.
“Olson Manor, Lake Cowichan’s senior citizens home, will be ready for occupancy Thursday, Oct. 1. Clean-up crews were in the building last week, removing the last of the construction debris, according to George Webster, chairman of the Lake Cowichan Senior Citizens Housing Society. Webster said that housing society officials have viewed the suites and ‘everything’s beautiful’.”
Now, if only we could get more housing today!