Welcome to Lake Flashback. Reporter Lexi Bainas 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…
Ten years ago:
The Lake Cowichan Gazette of Feb. 7, 2007 was happy to trumpet the news: “Bargain Shop chain moving into old Co-op Store building”.
Everyone, including the paper was thrilled to see the iconic building returning to use.
“The old Co-op Store, which was officially sold last week, won’t be empty for long,” the story said.
“The Bargain Shop will be leasing the building and plans to open in mid-May…We take possession of the building on April 2, said Rick Brink of Nanaimo, regional manager for the company. “We’re looking at opening on May 15. We want to be open before the May long weekend.”
“He said the Bargain Shop will initially employ about 16 people then look for more for the busier summer months.”
25 years ago:
While we’re talking this week about The Storm of the Century, the Lake News of Feb. 5, 1992 had its own weather story.
“Major storm causing flooding and wind damage” howled the headline under a picture of Lakers paddling a canoe down their street.
“Residents by Saturday were recovering from three days of flood, winds, mini-twisters, falling trees and hydro failure. Even Shaw cable chose Friday night to have a breakdown of its service,” said the story.
“Five Hydro crews have been working round the clock and we’re still busy at it; BC Hydro reporting that power would not be restored to Caycuse until Sunday.
“George Holman, foreman of the highway crew, closed a stretch of South Shore Road detouring traffic to the car bridge. Ray Miller, Lake Cowichan Village foreman, has also been keeping an eye on things around the clock.
“Some people have asked for sand bags, which we’ve supplied,” he said.
“The river and the lake are the highest I’ve seen,” said Miller, but he has only been here since 1985.
40 years ago:
In the 1970s, forest industry layoffs were big news in Lake Cowichan. The Lake News of Feb. 9 offered the headline: “Production at Bay ‘near normal” and then explained: “While not all the workers laid off by Western Forest Industries’ Honeymoon Bay mill several weeks ago have been recalled to their jobs, production at the mill has nearly returned to normal.
“We were at a heavier-than-usual work force,” said mill manager Don Hammond, who indicated that the company’s present staff of almost 300 was normal for operations there. Only 23 of the 80 workers laid off in early January because of a chip disagreement between two forest companies, are still off the job.
“Hammond said production at the mill was higher recently because the company was running a second shift. Normal production, however, has been limited to one shift in recent years. Chip shipments to B.C. Forest’s Crofton pulp mill are still well below the 400 units shipped there daily until January.”
Compiled by Lexi Bainas, Gazette