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
June 20, 2012’s Lake Cowichan Gazette was chock full of news with headlines from “Vandals deface museum caboose” to “Cycling enthusiasts to once again brave the circle route” catching the eye.
First, those naughty vandals:
“Sometime between Sunday night, June 10, and Tuesday morning, vandals managed to leave their mark on the caboose sitting in front of the Kaatza Station Museum. Museum curator Barbara Simkins told police that she was last at the museum on Sunday evening, and when she arrived at work on Tuesday morning, she saw the blue spray painted letters across the orange of the caboose.
“Const. Kevan Cramner says that RCMP don’t have any suspects, but they are hoping that anyone who witnessed this act will step forward. Simkins said it breaks her heart to see something like this happen. ‘It’s the time the volunteers have put in,’ she says. ‘To say nothing of the money that’s been spent. To have someone come in and do that is heartbreaking.’”
Next up, the bike riders:
“On June 23, cycling enthusiasts from around the province will be taking part in the Victoria Gran Fondo starting in Victoria, and passing through Port Renfrew, Lake Cowichan, Duncan, over the Malahat, and back into Victoria in a grueling 10-hour bike ride.
“David Sudbury, one of the organizers and instigators of this event, which started formally four years ago, says that this 269 kilometre performance cycle tour is for cyclists who take riding seriously. ‘We look at those guys who are training each weekend.’ Most of the cyclists who participate already ride between 100 and 120 km on their days off, either ex-racers or those that are training for other events. But he adds that the ride is also a way to ‘demonstrate what tourism looks like on a bike. This ride calls you, it beckons you to see what’s up there (around the next corner). A lot of riders are fixed on the kilometres, but it’s not about the kilometres, its about the geography and the environment.’ However, many of the riders do not realize how tough this route is, says Sudbury.”
25 years ago
“Five injured in HWY 18 accident” was one of two traffic incidents on page 2 of the Lake News of June 25, 1997.
“Five people were injured in a single vehicle accident which occurred Sunday on Highway 18 near Hill 60. Police are not identifying the driver of the car at this time, Sgt. Poitras said, as charges may be pending. The accident occurred when a Pontiac, driven by a Lake Cowichan woman, went off the road, into a ditch. The vehicle, police said, was destroyed. The injuries were not life threatening.”
In the second incident, “South Shore Road was blocked to traffic for nearly two hours Monday morning after a logging truck rolled, near the entrance to Lakeview Park. Sgt. Poitras said the driver of the logging truck, who has not been identified by police, received minor injuries.”
And finally this time 25 years ago, “The millionaires — well millionaires in the currency of human kindness — converged on Mesachie Lake as area firemen hosted their annual auction on the weekend. The auction raised $23,500 to fight Muscular Dystrophy. This is in addition to the $3,000 contributed by a raffle won by Mike Langer, of Duncan. He won a six-piece barbecue set and $50 worth of meat.
“After the auction, in the Firemen’s softball tournament finals, Lake Cowichan defeated Youbou 15-6 after a powerful rally in the seventh. Lake Cowichan remained undefeated throughout the tournament.”
40 years ago
In a story seeming to taunt us as the rainy weather continued into June, the Lake News of June 23, 1982 declared that “It’s a scorcher, more to come”.
“The first day of summer arrived this week almost unnoticed as the Cowichan Lake area basked in an extended heatwave. The hottest days during the recent hot spell were Friday and Saturday June 18 and 19 when the mercury soared to 33.5 degrees Celsius, according to Ian Cairns, weather recorder at the Mesachie Lake research station.”
In something that just doesn’t happen in this day and age, the Lake News of June 23, 1982 warned its readers that the “news [would soon be] closed for vacation”.
“The Lake News will be closed for a week starting Thursday June 24, while the staff enjoys a brief vacation. No paper will be published June 30.”
You know what they say, the news never sleeps!
And finally, “a group of Youbou water users who receive occasional complements of mud with their creek water was deciding this week whether to sue Pacific Forest Products Ltd. Pacific Forest Products owns land above Youbou where its contract loggers have been creating havoc for users of the Pioneer Water System and Canning Utilities. About 70 households have had their drinking supply, taken from Coonskin Creek, polluted by run-off and mudslides caused, on at least two occasions, by logging activity.”