Dawn Coe-Jones awards Leila Chastrand of Cordova Bay with the title of B.C. Junior Girls’ Championship. (July 31, 1996)

Dawn Coe-Jones awards Leila Chastrand of Cordova Bay with the title of B.C. Junior Girls’ Championship. (July 31, 1996)

Flashback: Surprise $10K, golf honours, no scrounging law

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

Marie Severson’s passing a decade ago left a surprise for a worthy group according to the front page of the Aug. 3, 2011 Lake Cowichan Gazette.

“Anyone can do with a surprise $10,000, and the local King George Affordable Housing Society is no exception. The organization, which runs the Evergreen Place, recently received the surprise funding, after it was found out longtime local woman Marie Severson had left the money to the group in her will.

“She was never a resident of the Evergreen Place, building manager Sam Beldessi said, but was still an integral part of the local seniors group. ‘She was a great moral supporter of mine. Whenever she saw me she had something nice to say,’ Beldessi said, of Severson, who died in October of last year. ‘She was a great supporter of several of the service clubs… We never would have imagined she’d leave us $10,000.’’”

“Check your bills, warns local senior” also made the news 10 years ago this week.

“A recent trip to the bank was a shocking one for local senior John Maas, who discovered that he was out over $700 for a cable television service he thought he’d long since cancelled. ‘The big companies, they take your money, and you have to pay… You have to pay,’ Maas said. ‘So, check your bills!’”

And finally, it was a guilty verdict for an assault on a police officer, according to the Gazette’s second page.

“Over a year after assaulting a Lake Cowichan RCMP officer, Larry McKenzie has been found guilty. Appearing in court Tuesday, July 26, the verdict was read out as a $200 fine and a victim surcharge of $30, to be paid to Victim Services. The incident itself took place June 26, 2010, outside Lake Cowichan’s Esso Station.”

25 years ago

It was a big weekend for a young golfer 25 years ago this week at the B.C. Junior Girls’ Championship at March Meadows.

The Lake News of July 31, 1996 reported: “Two honours in one, not only did Leila Chastrand of Cordova Bay win the title of B.C. Junior Girls’ Championship but she also won the Dawn Coe-Jones trophy which was presented by Coe-Jones herself. Chastrand’s score in the Dawn Coe-Jones B.C. Junior Golf Tournament held at March Meadows Golf Course over the weekend was 79; Coe-Jones showed up to hand out the trophies to all the winners in the tournament. Coe-Jones learned to golf at March Meadows located in Honeymoon Bay, and sponsors the tournament every year. Adrian Zuyerdwyn of Mount Breton won in the playoff for the boys with a score of 71.”

In other news that week, “Block 177 permit denied. Council seeks more information” was the headline.

“Village Council has turned down a request from South Shore Acres for a temporary permit for Block 177. Council has said a permit will not be issued until certain requirements are met. Block 177, located just west of Lakeview Park is owned by South Shore Acres LTD, which is made up of 44 shareholders. Some shareholders are also members of the Lake Cowichan Water Ski Club, but not all members of the Waterski Club are shareholders. South Shore Acres intends on leasing out part of the land to the Waterski Club when they get the temporary permit.”

Let’s hope the news of 40 years ago is a little more informative!

40 years ago

Wednesday, July 29, 1981 was the date of the Lake News that featured many tributes to Robert Strachan.

Reporter Lexi Bainas tells us:

“There is talk of ‘the end of an era’ as tributes pour in from friends and foes after the death of former New Democratic party leader Robert Strachan July 21. Mr. Strachan, renowned as an indefatigable fighter during his political career, lost his battle with lung cancer last Tuesday at Royal Jubilee Hospital in Victoria. He was one of the last old-time politicians who, fired with a strong, uncompromising believe in their party, stumped the province from one end to the other,” wrote Bainas.

There was also another ending noted on the front page of the July 29 Lake News.

Long-time Lake News columnist Liz Brown has retired. Her column which sparkled with whimsy, reminiscences and bits of trivia originated in Caycuse. When she moved to Lake Cowichan she brought her wit with her and continued writing for many years until deciding recently to put her typewriter in mothballs for a while. A proverbial ‘rich uncle’ is at fault.

“Liz actually had one of those legendary characters, and he has left her some money, so she is going to retire from writing a column. Her future plans include a trip to Peru, she said Friday.”

And finally in the July 29, 1981 Lake News: “Final word is law: No scrounging at area dump”.

“The Cowichan Valley Regional District has denied scroungers access to its regional incinerator dumps, despite attempts to have an exception made of the Meade Creek site at Cowichan Lake. The decision was made at the July 22 meeting of the CVRD board of directors.” Hazel Beech and Toni Paletta-Haslam’s motion to allow scrounging at the Meade Creek site was defeated.


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