“A step in the right direction: Umbrellas were as welcome as walking shoes Sunday when about 65 Little Leaguers marched 10 miles to raise money for baseball equipment for the Cowichan Lake areas. Boys, girls, and some adults encountered heavy rain during walkathon, but Little League presidents Barry Wilson declared the fund-raising endeavour a success.” (Lake News, May 27, 1981)

“A step in the right direction: Umbrellas were as welcome as walking shoes Sunday when about 65 Little Leaguers marched 10 miles to raise money for baseball equipment for the Cowichan Lake areas. Boys, girls, and some adults encountered heavy rain during walkathon, but Little League presidents Barry Wilson declared the fund-raising endeavour a success.” (Lake News, May 27, 1981)

Flashback: No water, rocks thrown at RCMP, giant flagpole, water sport season

A look back into Lake Cowichan’s history

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:

There was no water for Lake residents this time a decade ago after a “hairline fracture leaves much of the town without water access” according to the June 1, 2011 Lake Cowichan Gazette’s front page.

“Water service was down for many Town of Lake Cowichan residents, the afternoon of Saturday, May 28. Residents’ lack of water lasted for a few hours, and was a result of a water break off of one of the town’s main lines, on River Road, near North Shore Road,” wrote editor Tyler Clarke in the front-page story. “Specifically, a hairline fracture on a brass fitting underground sparked the water break.

“We bypassed the system,” the town’s superintendent of Public Works Nagi Rizk said, shortly after water service was restored around 7 p.m. “Good thing the system allowed us to do the bypass.”

“Although the problem had been bypassed at that point, with water service restored to residents, it doesn’t mean it’s been fixed, Rizk said at the time.

“As he spoke, shortly before 8 p.m., water continued to shoot upwards out of the hairline fracture, with a team of Public Works employees waiting for the line to drain so they could repair it.

“We can’t [repair it] when the pressure’s so high,” Rizk said. Public Works crews continued to work on the problem into the night.

“The water break is part of the age-old problem of an aging infrastructure, Rizk said; perhaps a result of the dated street, which resonates more on pipes than newer streets do.”

While public works crews were getting wet with that wild waterline break, local RCMP said those getting wet and wild at the lake for the first long weekend of the season, were careful.

The Cowichan Lake area coasted through its first tourist-filled long weekend of the year relatively unscathed, thanks to a combination of cool weather and local RCMP efforts. “People were respectful,” Lake Cowichan RCMP Cpl. Krista Hobday said, of the weekend’s visitors. “We’ve made it a point of being out the Friday night to set the tone,” Hobday said, adding that RCMP go on to maintain a presence throughout the weekend. “We’re more the chaperones at a school dance. We’re there to make sure everyone has a good time and is respectful.”

Let’s hope this year is a repeat of a decade ago.

25 years ago

Mischief was afoot 25 years ago according to the Lake News of May 29, 1996. Do you know where your teenagers were?

“A noisy party turned ugly and dangerous for Constable Mike Cain after local youth pelted rocks at his cruiser, causing $300 damage to the car. One rock narrowly missed hitting Const. Cain in the head which, Sgt. Merchant said, could have easily killed him.

“Police are actively seeking those youth responsible and Sgt. Ron Merchant of the local RCMP is putting the blame on parents.”

The officer noted it’s easy to be “very critical of the youth and their lack of responsibility in this incident” he believed much of the responsibility laid with their parents.

It was also 25 years ago that the old locomotive was put in its resting place at the Kaatza Station Museum with a little help from a giant crane from Crane Force Ltd.

40 years ago

You’d need to be around the lake at least 45 years or so to remember the departure of “Canada’s Biggest Flagpole” from Caycuse on its way to Calgary for the Stampede.

“The 200 foot tree, when erected on the Stampede grounds will be the tallest flagpole in Canada, according to Bob Macmillian, manager at the B.C. Forest Products Caycuse division. BCFP is donating the pole to the Stampede. The tree was moved to Youbou where it was loaded on four rail cars Monday, in preparation for shipment to a barge Thursday or Friday.

“The tallest flag pole in Canada is currently the one at the Canadian National Exhibition in Toronto which is 184 feet high. Macmillan quipped that the Caycuse camp got the job of finding and shipping the pole because ‘they always call on Cayuse when they need a tough job done.’”

How’s that for a neat story?

In other news, the edition of the Lake News declared it would be the “Biggest, bestest summer season” as “thousands expected here as water sport takes over.”

“Lake Cowichan will be the objective of province-wide attention as media, athletes, tourists and local people take part in one of the most action-packed summers ever.

“The activity starts traditionally with Cowichan Lake Days June 12, 13, and 14 and will be sustained virtually throughout the whole summer with events arranged by the Lake Cowichan Waterski Club. Thousands of waterski enthusiasts will visit the Cowichan Lake area as scheduled top-notch competition unfolds. Television cameras will focus on Lake Cowichan, competitors and organizers will be interviewed and local businesses will benefit from an injection of tourist dollars as a result of the action-filled schedule arranged by the waterski club.”

First up was the B.C. Summer Games followed by provincials and a barefoot and jumping tournament.

As former reporter and proud Laker would say, “hoo boy!”


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

historyLake Cowichan

Just Posted

The city-owned lot at 361 St. Julien St., which has been home to a temporary homeless site for more than a year, will be sold and plans are to build a three-storey mixed-use development there, Peter de Verteuil, Duncan CAO explained at a recent council meeting. (File photo)
New development planned for homeless site in Duncan

Lot on St. Julien Street would see three-storey building

Historian and longtime Citizen columnist T.W. Paterson photographs the historical wreckage of a plane on Mount Benson. Paterson recently won an award from the British Columbia Historical Foundation. (Submitted)
Cowichan’s Tom W. Paterson wins award for historical writing

British Columbia Historical Federation hands Recognition Award to local writer

This electric school bus is the newest addition to the Cowichan Valley School District’s fleet. (Submitted)
Editorial: New electric school bus good place to start

Changing public transit like buses to electric really is important.

CVRD to increase enforcement after audits reveal that curb-side recycling contamination in the district is well above acceptable limits. (File photo)
CVRD reports contamination in recyclables well above acceptable levels

Increased enforcement planned starting this summer

Old-growth logging protesters block a road on Monday, June 14. This is not the blockade at Honeymoon Bay referred to in the story. (Facebook photo)
Old-growth logging protesters block RCMP access on road near Honeymoon Bay

Police were on their way to enforcement in Fairy Creek area when they were stopped

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

BC Ferries’ newest Island Class vessel is experiencing an issue with one of its thrusters off the Algerian coast. Photo courtesy patbaywebcam.com.
BC Ferries newest vessel having mechanical issues in Mediterranean

Island 4 will be repaired in Spain before crossing Atlantic

A vial containing the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is shown at a vaccination site in Marcq en Baroeul, outside Lille, northern France, Saturday, March 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Michel Spingler
mRNA vaccines ‘preferred’ for all Canadians, including as 2nd dose after AstraZeneca: NACI

New recommendations prioritizes Pfizer, Moderna in almost all cases

Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum speaks at a press conference in August 2019 about provincial government approval of the city’s change to a municipal force, joined by councillors (from left) Mandeep Nagra, Allison Patton and Doug Elford. Members of the National Police Federation claim there is still no transition plan in place although Surrey RCMP’s contract with the city is due to end March 31.(File photo)
Elections BC approves petition application for referendum on Surrey policing transition

Application was filed under Recall and Initiative Act by the widow of a Surrey murder victim

There were 255 babies born in Victoria in May 2021. (Black Press Media file photo)
Pandemic baby boom makes for a busier Vancouver Island Father’s Day

Victoria’s 255 babies born in May up almost 10 per cent over last year

Queen’s counsel Paul Doroshenko, a Vancouver lawyer, has been suspended from practice for two months after admitting that his firm mismanaged $44,353.19 in client trust funds. (Acumen Law)
High-profile B.C. lawyer suspended over $44K in mismanaged client trust funds

Queen’s counsel Paul Doroshenko admits he failed to supervise his staff and find or report the shortages

House Majority Whip James Clyburn, D-S.C., center left, reaches over to Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., joined by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., center, and members of the Congressional Black Caucus as they celebrate the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act that creates a new federal holiday to commemorate June 19, 1865, when Union soldiers brought the news of freedom to enslaved Black people after the Civil War, at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, June 17, 2021. It’s the first new federal holiday since Martin Luther King Jr. Day was created in 1983. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Biden to sign bill making Juneteenth a federal holiday

New American stat marks the nation’s end of slavery

Athena and Venus, ready to ride. (Zoe Ducklow - Sooke News Mirror)
Goggling double-dog motorcycle sidecar brings smiles to B.C. commuters

Athena and Venus are all teeth and smiles from their Harley-Davidson sidecar

Kimberly Bussiere and other laid-off employees of Casino Nanaimo have launched a class-action lawsuit against the Great Canadian Gaming Corporation. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
B.C. casino workers laid off during pandemic launch class-action lawsuit

Notice of civil claim filed in Supreme Court of B.C. in Nanaimo against Great Canadian Gaming

Most Read