‘It was a great week for Jan Pullinger, MLA. She accompanied Andrew Petter, the new Minister of Health to Lake Cowichan. He credited her with saving the Youbou mill. Left to right, Jan, Petter and Sam Beldessi, president of the Cowichan Seniors. Pullinger and Petter were visiting the Seniors’ Centre.’ (Lake News, March 6, 1996)

‘It was a great week for Jan Pullinger, MLA. She accompanied Andrew Petter, the new Minister of Health to Lake Cowichan. He credited her with saving the Youbou mill. Left to right, Jan, Petter and Sam Beldessi, president of the Cowichan Seniors. Pullinger and Petter were visiting the Seniors’ Centre.’ (Lake News, March 6, 1996)

Lake Flashback: A new library, Peewee sports, and a resignation

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

A new library was coming to town announced the top headline on the front page of the March 2, 2011 Lake Cowichan Gazette.

What’s more, it was going to be big and nearly free!

“A new public library in Lake Cowichan, roughly twice the size of the current facility, will open to the public by 2013, at the latest. And the $1 million project will cost local taxpayers close to nothing,” wrote then-editor Tyler Clarke.

“The library we’re providing to the town will be bigger and better,” library representative Rosemary Bonanno said, comparing the new facility to the current one, which is hiding behind the Island Savings Credit Union, where it has been since 1988. The new facility will be located on the town’s main strip, at the South Shore Road and Renfrew Avenue intersection.

Also a decade ago, “A life-saving hero and a community leader were both celebrated last week, at the Cowichan Lake District Chamber of Commerce Annual General Meeting.”

Blake Sprague was named Citizen of the Year for attending to Lake Cowichan resident Chris LeBoulch with a three-and-a-half-inch spiral nail sticking into the middle of his chest, moving with his heartbeat.

Local baseball coach Micah Anderson was named the recipient of the Nichole Stock Community Service Award.

25 years ago

It was a sad week 25 years ago when the Town lost legendary sausage maker Art Howe. He was 95 — just four days shy of his 96th birthday.

Gone with him, according to the Lake News of March 6, 1996, was his popular sausage recipe.

“Howe was handed the recipe for the sausages by his father, but [second wife Anne] Patrick said Howe has not left the recipe to anyone. ‘It was something we discussed many times. It was just his decision and it’s something we shouldn’t question,’ Patrick said.”

The week before, however, according to the same paper, there was good news. The PeeWee A team won the semi-finals and were headed to Island Championship Playoffs!

It wasn’t until the fourth paragraph of the story, though, that readers learned it was likely a hockey team, and only then because the Island Championships were being played at the Cowichan Lake Sports Arena.

Regardless, it was a big deal.

“This is the first time in a decade Lake Cowichan has had a PeeWee team get into the playoffs,” Ken Coloumbe said.

40 years ago

A small headline in the bottom right corner of the front page of the Lake News of March 4, 1981 noted the resignation of the town’s clerk.

“Ralph Tuckey, clerk-treasurer for the village of Lake Cowichan, handed in his resignation at the Feb. 24 village council meeting. In his letter, Tuckey said he plans to leave March 21, 1981 after little more than a year in his position.

“Asked for the reason behind his decisions, Tuckey said ‘I’d prefer not to comment on that,’ but added that he had been thinking about it ‘for some time’.

“Tuckey said he could not say what would be done if a replacement is not found by the time he leaves. That would be a council decision, he said.”

In other news of the day, repairs to the Youbou Hall were given the green light.

“The Cowichan Valley Regional District has approved the spending of $11,059 for repairs at the Youbou Community Hall.

“Area ‘I’ director Don Studds said that part of the money will go for fixing the washrooms in the upper hall. The rest of the money is for general upgrading and repairs.”

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