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
The Lake Cowichan Gazette’s front page on Sept. 12, 2012 featured news of the recent Terry Fox Run.
“Despite the overcast and drizzly weather, 60 walkers, runners, and riders participated in this year’s Terry Fox Run on Sunday, Sept. 9. Participants were able to choose between taking on the 10 kilometre challenge out towards Skutz Falls, or the 5 kilometre, slightly easier route, down the Trans Canada Trail and back along Greendale Road. The run’s start and finish line was at Saywell Park, and at 10 a.m. Dick Newman signalled the start of the walk. Beforehand, Katherine Worsley lead the singing of ‘O’ Canada,’ and participants were welcomed and given last minute information by Jean Cozens, one of the organizers. Participants were also led through some warm up exercises by Bernadette Knowles. With Queen’s ‘Fat Bottom Girls’ blasting across the park, Knowles had the crowd stretching, jumping and generally having a good time.”
While many were out doing good, others were contributing to a crime spree around the lake as evidenced by the headline “End of summer crime wave sweeps Cowichan Lake”.
”It’s been a busy couple of weeks for the Lake Cowichan RCMP. In what could be called a mini crime wave throughout the Cowichan Lake area, police have been responding to calls to everything from vandalism to suspicious fires.”
25 years ago
“Precautions advised to cottage owners” was a headline in the Lake News of Sept. 17, 1997.
“With summer over, Lake Cowichan RCMP are reminding all those who may have summer cabins on the lake or river, that if they are closing them up for the season, to remove any valuables for safe keeping. Sgt. Poitras of the Lake Cowichan RCMP also suggests removing any flammable liquids such as gasoline, or kerosene.”
In other, more terrifying news, “17-year-old youth pulls the trigger on Community Services”.
“Police are investigating an assault on a Community Services employee here in Lake Cowichan where an employee of the Cowichan Lake Community Services had a gun pointed in their face by a 17-year-old male youth.
“Lake Cowichan RCMP said the incident occurred on Wellington Road Sept 4. Following a discussion with the Community Services employee, the youth is said to have pulled out a gun, pointed it in the face of the employee and pulled the trigger. The gun, which police say is a pellet gun, was either not loaded, or failed to fire.”
Police did arrest the youth and take away his gun.
40 years ago
The Lake News of Sept. 15, 1982 featured a story about vending machines at Lake Cowichan Secondary School on the front page.
“The school board will look at what kinds of food are made available to students in vending machines at Lake Cowichan Secondary School, despite vehement objections of one trustee.
“Trustee Bill Routley, when the idea was raised, said ‘I’m opposed to spending time on this.’ He said it was like the old case of leading a horse to water just to have him balk at drinking it. The best efforts of the board to stock school vending machines with nutritious food would be negated when the students could walk a short distance away and buy all the junk food they wanted, he said.”
In grocery store news, “K&R here fights for survival, closure proposed” was also on the front page of the Lake News of Sept. 15, 1982.
“The K&R store in Lake Cowichan will close Oct. 23 unless the Retail Clerks Union agrees to re-open a wage contract, an official of the grocery chain said Tuesday.
“Walter Large, an accountant with the Vancouver Island group of stores, said that if the union agrees to a wage roll-back affecting the 12 employees at the store here, the store will not close as scheduled. Large said that his company has negotiated with the B.C. head office of the union and is still hopeful a meeting can be arranged to discuss readjustment of some clauses in the two-year agreement which expires next spring.
“He noted that employees at the store had written to the union indicating they were prepared to take a cut in wages in order to save their jobs.
“‘We’ve indicated to the union that we’re prepared to talk,’ Large said. ‘They haven’t indicated that they are prepared to do anything’.”