”Hi-stepping high school students keep pace with running addict Al Howie of Victoria as he heads for home city Saturday from grounds of Lake Cowichan Secondary School. Howie ran alone from village to Victoria in seven and one-half hours while delivering $289 raised by LCSS students for Timmy’s Camp Shawnigan during a recent local run for the handicapped. Running with Howie for photographer are (left to right): Jim Ketch, Terry Peterson, Dianna Bourassa, Deven Woodland, Helenja Cummings, Lisa Crawford, Debbie Currie, Lynda Riggs, Gulnasia Khan and Frances Swain.” (Lake News, March31, 1982)

”Hi-stepping high school students keep pace with running addict Al Howie of Victoria as he heads for home city Saturday from grounds of Lake Cowichan Secondary School. Howie ran alone from village to Victoria in seven and one-half hours while delivering $289 raised by LCSS students for Timmy’s Camp Shawnigan during a recent local run for the handicapped. Running with Howie for photographer are (left to right): Jim Ketch, Terry Peterson, Dianna Bourassa, Deven Woodland, Helenja Cummings, Lisa Crawford, Debbie Currie, Lynda Riggs, Gulnasia Khan and Frances Swain.” (Lake News, March31, 1982)

Flashback: Student fundraising, a hero and a $25,000 error

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

It was beginning to look at lot like graduation time, a decade ago this week in Lake Cowichan. “Raising funds for a dry grad event” was the headline in the April 4, 2012 edition of the Lake Cowichan Gazette, and it seems the students did well with their bottle drive.

“Saturday’s dry-grad fundraiser went off without a hitch, collecting nearly $1,000 in bottles from local Cowichan Lake residents,” wrote Tammy Caruso. “Julie Foster, dry-grad coordinator says the grads still have many fundraising activities planned to raise money before they head out from June 28 to June 30 to go white water rafting near Hell’s Gate in the Fraser Canyon on the mainland. Volunteers and grad students attended Saturday’s event to help drive and collect from all areas in and surrounding Lake Cowichan.

“LCSS and the graduating class are appreciative for all of the continued support that aids in making the dry grad event a success.”

Teenagers dominated the headlines of that paper, it seems as the second story was about teen hockey.

“High performance players gather at the Lake,” wrote Dennis Skalicky.

“There was a full house at the Cowichan Lake Sports Arena on the weekend as the male Under 16 Region Camp was held locally. Players from Vancouver Island and the Central Coast were in town at the camp that is designed to instruct and prepare players for future opportunities in the High Performance Program. This is a great opportunity for kids to play against players from outside their own association and for the best to play the best.

“Lake Cowichan was chosen because of the access to ice time and that it is a central location on the south part of the Island where most of the players come from. You could almost feel the tension in the air as the players waited for their final interviews on Sunday afternoon to see who made the team.”

25 years ago

“Small school district ‘no longer justifiable’ says former SB chair” graced the front page of the April 2, Lake News. Things sure changed in between the announcement the boards would join and the actual combining of the two, the paper explained.

“It has been four months since School Boards #65 and #66 amalgamated to form Cowichan Valley School District #79. Our local trustees’ opinions on amalgamation vary, with trustee Pat Weaver being the most outspoken opponent. With the exception of Weaver, what is now being said about amalgamation, is greatly different than one year ago.

“Trustee Wilma Rowbottom has now a more optimistic attitude towards the amalgamation. Rowbottom, who was chairman of School District #66 prior to amalgamation, and who, just over a year ago described herself as ‘dead’ when she learned of the amalgamation announcement, says now that small school districts are no longer justifiable. The problems that have arisen with amalgamation such as the complexity of the changeover and the costs involved, will be worth the effort once things are worked out and running smoothly she says.”

In other news of 25 years ago, the winners of the Lake News’s Easter Colouring Contest were named. Do you recognize any of these folks? They’ll be much older now!

In the 5-6-year-old category, Jeannie Bogaards took first with Serene Zabok and Mandie Foster second and third.

In the 7-8-year-old group, Marissa McCallum won with Cari-lynn Yablonski and Matthew Foster second and third.

Jenny Johel took the 9-10-year-old group beating out runners-up Jocelyn Lundberg and Mark Edwards.

“The work was exceptional, and it was obvious that many children spent a lot of time on their projects,” said the paper.

Wondering what those kids are up to today…

40 years ago

A hero got his due this week 40 years ago, according to the Lake News of March 31, 1982.

“Hero logger rewarded after local fire drama” was the headline but it wasn’t a soap opera type of drama. It was a matter of life and death and deserving of some serious kudos.

“A Victoria logger who rescued a Mesachie Lake co-worker from a forest fire last October has been given an award for bravery by the Workers’ Compensation Board. Lyle Hallberg was fighting a fire at Harris Creek in the B.C. Forest Products Renfrew division when Will Goranson of Mesachie Lake was hit by a burning tree. Goranson’s clothes caught fire and his hands and arms were burned. The wind changed direction, putting the men in danger. Gornanson couldn’t make it to safety, because of his injuries, so Hallberg returned to drag him out. Witnessess said Goranson would have died if it were not [for] Hallberg’s action. Hallberg received a plaque, a bronze medallion and a $1,000 cheque.”

Wow!

And finally, in the same edition, “Lake Cowichan village council has decided that the village should not have to pay $25,000 extra because a contracting firm ran into additional costs while constructing the new village water pump house. On the recommendation of its engineering firm, council decided March 23 not to accede to a claim by Standard General Construction Ltd. that the extra should be paid to cover a costly ‘sheet-piling’ experiment. The construction firm had taken a sample of the soil fairly close to the sight of the pumping station to determine what sort of ground it had to work with. Once excavation started, however, it was discovered that the ground was denser and wetter than had been expected.”

The error cost the firm $25,000.

Oops.



sarah.simpson@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

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“Band students wield rakes during landscaping at Olson Manor as part of fundraising for exchange trip to Amherst, Nova Scotia.” (Lake News, March 31, 1982)

“Band students wield rakes during landscaping at Olson Manor as part of fundraising for exchange trip to Amherst, Nova Scotia.” (Lake News, March 31, 1982)