Parent John Elzinga splashes down into the dunk tank at the Palsson Elementary School fun fair, as seen in the May 12, 2008 issue of the ‘Lake Cowichan Gazette’.

LAKE FLASHBACK: A coat of arms and a locomotive for Lake Cowichan are front and centre this week

Lake Cowichan gets a coat of arms, and the loan of a locie, while Lake Days plans hit high gear

Welcome to Lake Flashback. Reporter Lexi Bainas has been combing through oldnewspaperswiththeassistance 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 weekaround Cowichan Lake in years gone by.

This week around the Cowichan Lake area…

10 years ago:

The Lake Cowichan Gazette of May 14, 2008 announced that the Town of Lake Cowichan now had a coat of arms, flag, and flower.

“Town council first proposed the idea two years ago and sent an application to the Governor General’s office,” the story said.

“This is very special for the community to have a coat of arms,” said Mayor Jack Peake.

“The mayor said the Latin at the bottom of the coat of arms reads: Abundance in the shadow of mountains.”

“It will cost the town $2,600 to get the coat of arms, which will now appear on town vehicles, as letterhead and at town hall. Council has also lately had a flag designed, that will be flown at town hall.

“Finally afer a year of consulting the community, the Lake Bloomers Garden Club has chosen the fawn lily as the town’s official plant.”

25 years ago:

“Locomotive arrives here at last!” said the headline on The Lake News of May 12, 1993.

“Under lowering skies and with lots of mud underfoot, Lake Cowichan’s newest locomotive arrived in style Saturday, on a low-bed truck.

“The Type-B Shay locomotive, code word ‘Baluster’, weighs 50 tons, so, after the task of getting it off the truck onto the tracks the ground was churned up like No Man’s Land.

“People followed the progress of the locomotive all the way from Ladysmith whence it came.

“One lady from the BC Forest Museum said: We’ve all been rooting that Lake Cowichan would get it. You needed it.

“She said she is a train enthusiast and drove from Ladysmith, stopping frequently to photograph truck and load as they went by, then passing them and stopping for another photo.

“The locomotive…was loaned to the Kaatza Historical Society, which operates the museum, by the Ladysmith Railway Historical Society, after much soul searching.

“Some in the Ladysmith Society didn’t want to lend it but something had to be done with it because politicians had taken away the Society’s place to keep rolling stock; they supported a housing development instead.

“The locomotive is on loan for five years by which time the Society may have found a new place.”

However, 25 years later, it still sits beside the Kaatza Station Museum in Lake Cowichan.

40 years ago:

Back in The Lake News of May 10, 1978, we learn that preparations for Lake Days were well underway.

“The committee has been meeting regularly to iron out the details for Cowichan Lake Days which will donate the proceeds from this year’s event to the Kaatza Historical Society’s museum project. This year’s festivities will include the Lady of Lake pageant, a teen dance, salmon barbecue, logger sports, a parade, a double header senior men’s ball game, breakfast on the town, kiddies sports and many other attractions.

“Chairman Ross Forrest, who is heading the committee with treasurer Tracy Forrest and Marlene Neuffer, said most of the events that were held last year will be continued this year. However the logger sports competitions will be scaled down slightly with seven events held instead of the 11 held last year.

“He said log birling and other events that use the tank will not be held because of the high cost of building the tank and the problems of moving it from the grounds after the event.”

And who was running for Lady of the Lake in 1978? Lisa Branting, Andrea Fong, Tracy Haugland, Cindy Nielsen, Christine Thompson, Cathie Cameron, Linda Louise Galeazzi, Carrie Marie Jutras, Laurie Lee Scott, Donna Susan Cook, Susie Hajdu, and Becky Olson.

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