Flashback: Phone scams, needles, and back to work for loggers

A look back at the history of the Cowichan Lake area

“The Lake Cowichan Minor Hockey Association awards were presented on Sunday, April 1. The following are the 2011-12 LCMHA award winners. Christina McCleod Memorial Trophy, most dedicated female player, Katie Ferguson; Peter “Scooter” Hawryluk Memorial Trophy, coach or manager of the year, Kristy Convery; Bill Lowe Memorial Trophy, outstanding contribution by an executive member, Steve Vatcher; Tom Trottier Memorial Trophy, most sportsmanlike defenseman, Nathan Andersson; Larry Eddy Memorial Trophy, player personality of the year, Nic Brown; George Peterson Memorial Trophy, hockey personality of the year, Lonnie Ferguson; Ryan Sahm Memorial Heart Trophy, Bantam player with the most heart, Cale Mackie; Wayne Palliser Memorial, unsung forward player-kid that sets up the most plays and gets little recognition for it, Stephen Vatcher; LCMHA official of the year, Zack Payne.” (Lake Cowichan Gazette/April 4, 2012)

“The Lake Cowichan Minor Hockey Association awards were presented on Sunday, April 1. The following are the 2011-12 LCMHA award winners. Christina McCleod Memorial Trophy, most dedicated female player, Katie Ferguson; Peter “Scooter” Hawryluk Memorial Trophy, coach or manager of the year, Kristy Convery; Bill Lowe Memorial Trophy, outstanding contribution by an executive member, Steve Vatcher; Tom Trottier Memorial Trophy, most sportsmanlike defenseman, Nathan Andersson; Larry Eddy Memorial Trophy, player personality of the year, Nic Brown; George Peterson Memorial Trophy, hockey personality of the year, Lonnie Ferguson; Ryan Sahm Memorial Heart Trophy, Bantam player with the most heart, Cale Mackie; Wayne Palliser Memorial, unsung forward player-kid that sets up the most plays and gets little recognition for it, Stephen Vatcher; LCMHA official of the year, Zack Payne.” (Lake Cowichan Gazette/April 4, 2012)

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

A phone scam was plaguing the community this week a decade ago and one resident was doing her part to alert her neighbours.

“Recognize it, report it, stop it” was the headline and Tammy Caruso has the story for the April 4, 2012 Lake Cowichan Gazette:

“Local Honeymoon Bay resident Sharon-Ann Dube has been the victim of a recent phone scam involving her computer. She received a phone call from a man who claimed that he was from the Windows support team and that they had been receiving error reports from her computer. Her computer had been quite slow lately so she was somewhat convinced that what he was saying was true. He had her sit down at her computer and walked her through steps to show her the infected areas. He then took over her computer with his mouse and continued showing her places within her system that were apparently ‘damaged.’

“It was at that point during the conversation that he told her she needed to purchase a protection plan.” She didn’t pay right away and hung up to call the local computer shop, whose owner told her to turn off her machine right away and bring it to him. She did and he fixed it.

“Dube reported the scam to the RCMP as well.

“Some people can feel embarrassed when they are victim to scams, but don’t be. It happens to many people. ‘It was a lesson learned and now I need to pass the info on,’ says Dube.”

And just to get you shaking your head at the state of the world, you could still purchase a three-bedroom, 1.5-bath (with a third roughed in) home, close to the river, a park, the footbridge and the centre of town for $230,000 just 10 years ago.

A four-bedroom, three-bathroom Tudor style home on Greendale Road went for $215,000. Even riverfront property was within reach.

A large six-bedroom home with three baths and a fully self-contained suite downstairs, just steps from the river was $476,000.

Can you imagine those prices today!?

25 years ago

I imagine this story wouldn’t make the news today, given the societal issues we currently have.

“Hypodermic needle threatens health of 8-year-old child” was the headline on the April 9, 1997.

Susan Lowe reported: “A bike ride to a corner store sent an 8-year-old Lake Cowichan boy to hospital for tests of the HIV virus, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C, after Nathan Edgar with 10-year-old brother, Jesse Patton discovered four hypodermic needles along the roadside.”

Unfortunately that’s all the information I had about it so hopefully everything turned out OK in the end!

Also on the front page, was “Cop ends chase” — a story about, well, a police chase.

“The chase began after the Duncan Highway Patrol attempted to stop a red Ford truck, checked for speeding on radar westbound on Hwy #18 near Tansor Road. A chase ensued after the truck accelerated, hitting speeds of 150 km/h, Sgt. Best of the Duncan Highway Patrol reported.”

“As the chase neared the Town of Lake Cowichan, Constable Martin Nowoselski of the Lake Cowichan RCMP attempted to stop the truck from heading into the downtown core.”

He used his police vehicle to stop the truck, causing $3,300 in damage to the police cruiser and destroying the Ford. It’s believed alcohol was involved as charges were being considered against the Ford’s driver.

40 years ago

The Lake News of April 7, 1982 reported that “School District 66 elections will be wide open this year. The four school trustees to be elected this fall will be elected at large by the voters of the entire district. The school board decided earlier this winter that it would be fairer if trustees were not elected separately for the village and the rural areas.”

Also, a request to build a new gas station was turned down.

“The Cowichan Valley Regional District board of directors at its March 24 meeting turned down an application from Mayo Holdings to change a residential lot at the corner of Highway 18 and Skutz Falls Road into a commercial lot. Mayo Holdings had asked to have the lot’s designation changed so that a gas station and small store could be built there. A well-attended public hearing was held March 2 during which residents expressed fears that traffic would increase at the corner.”

Some gas station owners worried their business would be cut. Other residents warned of noise issues as well. Ultimately the request was turned down.

And finally some good news: “Workers’ return gives economy a shot in the arm” was the headline.

“The paycheques are back. The return to work of most loggers and the scheduled callback of 69 veneer plant workers at Youbou is breathing new life into the economy of Cowichan Lake.

“After months of layoffs, loggers at British Columbia Forest Products Ltd. Port Renfrew and Caycuse operations were back at work long enough to be able to take home some pay.

“The return involved hundreds of loggers and mill workers and puts thousands of dollars into the marketplace.”

historyLake Cowichan

 

“Town of Lake Cowichan employees Kelly Bergstrom and Bob Elliot, from left, were busy flushing the water mains on Tuesday, March 27. Originally scheduled to have the job completed in March, the recent cooler weather has put them behind as they can’t do this type of work when it is cold. The colder weather means the fittings may be frozen and can crack when being opened, as well as the water being flushed onto the street may freeze, causing a slippery and dangerous situation for drivers. The water has a chemical mixed with it before going into a defuser mounted on the back of the truck and released onto the street. The chemical dissipates the chlorine that is in the town water before it enters the storm systems and ends up at the final receiving fresh water which could be the river or the lake. Most of the chlorine would have evaporated naturally as the water flowed through the system, but if the hydrant is too close to the receiving water, the chemical will ensure the chlorine is completely gone before the flushed water enters the fresh water system.” (Lake Cowichan Gazette/April 4, 2012)

“Town of Lake Cowichan employees Kelly Bergstrom and Bob Elliot, from left, were busy flushing the water mains on Tuesday, March 27. Originally scheduled to have the job completed in March, the recent cooler weather has put them behind as they can’t do this type of work when it is cold. The colder weather means the fittings may be frozen and can crack when being opened, as well as the water being flushed onto the street may freeze, causing a slippery and dangerous situation for drivers. The water has a chemical mixed with it before going into a defuser mounted on the back of the truck and released onto the street. The chemical dissipates the chlorine that is in the town water before it enters the storm systems and ends up at the final receiving fresh water which could be the river or the lake. Most of the chlorine would have evaporated naturally as the water flowed through the system, but if the hydrant is too close to the receiving water, the chemical will ensure the chlorine is completely gone before the flushed water enters the fresh water system.” (Lake Cowichan Gazette/April 4, 2012)

“These needles were found by two brothers, 10-year-old Jesse Patton and eight-year-old Nathan Edgar after a driver threw them onto the road.” (Lake News/April 9, 1997)

“These needles were found by two brothers, 10-year-old Jesse Patton and eight-year-old Nathan Edgar after a driver threw them onto the road.” (Lake News/April 9, 1997)