“Only two weeks after battling a fire at a local business, Mountain Man Services, the Lake Cowichan volunteer fire department put their skills to the test again when they were called to extinguish a fire that broke out in the abandoned school board office, early in the morning of November 29.” (Lake Cowichan Gazette/Dec. 5, 2012)

“Only two weeks after battling a fire at a local business, Mountain Man Services, the Lake Cowichan volunteer fire department put their skills to the test again when they were called to extinguish a fire that broke out in the abandoned school board office, early in the morning of November 29.” (Lake Cowichan Gazette/Dec. 5, 2012)

Flashback: School building fire, new hall for Youbou, bald headed cops, and more

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

“RCMP suspect foul play in fire at old J.H. Boyd school,” made the front page of the Dec. 5, 2012 Lake Cowichan Gazette.

On Nov. 29 at 9 a.m, the Lake Cowichan RCMP were called in to assist the volunteer Lake Cowichan Fire Department at a fire that broke out at the old J.H. Boyd school site. After the fire was extinguished, an RCMP fire investigator attended the scene and it was determined the fire was of a suspicious nature.

“The fire broke out on the inside of the building, near an entrance which was spreading into the rafters of the structure. The quick, professional response by the local fire department extinguished this fire. As a result of this fire, the floor and ceiling are unstable and potentially dangerous.”

Of course it wasn’t the first time the firefighters had to visit the old building.

“They have been called numerous times over the years because of fires being set in the empty buildings on the property. The Town of Lake Cowichan has a derelict building bylaw in place and letters concerning this bylaw have been sent to the owner of this property, among others, in the past.”

A doctor shortage and what council was doing to remedy it (see what I did there?) was on the list of issues at the Town of Lake Cowichan’s bi-annual public meeting.

“Mayor Forrest reassured everybody that they are doing everything they can to try to attract doctors. He said they are working at it, and that they have talked to VIHA about it.

“‘At our council meeting on Dec. 11, there will be representatives from VIHA and the Physician’s Recruitment Centre to let the public know what they are doing to try to attract doctors to Lake Cowichan,’ Forrest said. ‘So I’m asking everybody, when we have our meeting on the 11th, come to the meeting and show VIHA and the Recruitment centre that we really have a big concern, that the community is concerned and cares.’”

25 years ago

It seems fire department-related news is a trend this time of the year.

This time 25 years ago the Youbou “Fire department holds open house for new fire hall” according to the Lake News of Dec. 3, 1997.

“Rhiannon Ferris may be the prettiest young lady ever to sit in Youbou’s historic 1935 fire truck. And she probably won’t remember it, since she’s only 20 months old. She was one of the many attending the official opening of Youbou’s new fire hall Sunday. It’s that smart blue two-storey building on the lake shore near the post office. As one fireman said: ‘it’s the best fire hall around.’

“Jack Waite, Cowichan Valley Regional District director, cut the ribbon officially opening the new fire hall. Frank Raimondo, CVRD administrator, was among the many guests.”

In other news of the day, “Cops for Cancer campaign raises $13,000 to date, locally”.

The story was written as peculiarly as the open house was. Read on:

“If nine bald cops stopped nine bald men with nine bald tires, how many tickets would be handed out?”

Yes, that’s what it said.

“Who knows? But one thing is sure. The cops’ hats wouldn’t fit. They’d be balanced atop their ears. Even Supt. Cec Weigum RCMP commanding officer Vancouver Island District admitted that. When you shave the head bare, hats don’t fit anymore.”

It took a while to get here but, here comes the newsworthy bit.

“The cops, aided by civilian volunteers, raised more than $11,000 for cancer research Saturday by having their hair cut off. Some people pledged their dollars to have it cut; others put up money to do the cutting. By the following Monday, the total reached $13,000.

40 years ago

“Car thief nabbed in Banff” was a top headline in the Lake News of Dec. 1, 1982.

“A Lake Cowichan man who stole a car last weekend was only able to enjoy the fruits of his illegal labours for one and a half days before landing in the clink for four months.

“A 1976 Toyota Corolla belonging to Robert Ferris was stolen from in front of a private home sometime after 10 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 27. Two days later, Joseph Mario Durand of Lake Cowichan was picked up in Banff, Alberta with the stolen vehicle.”

Durand had put stolen plates on the vehicle.

“Due to speedy proceedings at an Alberta courthouse, he was arrested, charged, convicted and sentenced by 10 a.m. Tuesday morning. “

If only the court system worked that efficiently today!

In other news, “Total 154 men in make work” was a bit of an odd headline but the news was good.

“A second work project has started at Pacific Forest Products this week, according to divisional engineer Ken Hart.

“This second program will employ 14 workers and was scheduled to start today (Wednesday). Hard said it should continue until roughly the end of March. The project brings to four the number of work programs created in the Cowichan Lake district under Employment Bridging Assistance Program — a joint federal-provincial program which has put 154 people to work in this district during the past three weeks.”

historyLake Cowichan

 

“Rhianon Ferris, 20 months, sits in the historic 1935 truck still owned by the Youbou Fire Department. Youbou has more modern equipment now. She was one of those attending the opening of the Youbou Fire Hall.” (Lake News/Dec. 3, 1997)

“Rhianon Ferris, 20 months, sits in the historic 1935 truck still owned by the Youbou Fire Department. Youbou has more modern equipment now. She was one of those attending the opening of the Youbou Fire Hall.” (Lake News/Dec. 3, 1997)