Three for the road was a bit too much for a cycle as Kinsmen Club members hammed it up during the Kinsmen Community Garage Sale in November 1977. Joining the fun, from left, Gordon Loutet, Gary Demings, Dave Hayes, and Gerry Janzen.

Lake Flashback: Cats, rats, and grandstands: quite a surprising mix of goodies this week

The cat came back, but it was decades late to get the rats. Were they hiding under the grandstand?

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 cat came back, but it wasn’t the very next day,” says a story in the Nov. 28 issue of the Lake Cowichan Gazette.

When John and Mara Hudson and their family moved from Honeymoon Bay to Lake Cowichan on Sept. 1, they brought their three cats with them. They were all outdoor cats, but the family agreed they should stay inside until they got used to the new neighbourhood on Johel Road.

Unfortunately, K.C., a female cat, managed to get out on Sept. 4.

“We put ads in the Gazette, including that we thought she could go back to Honeymoon Bay,” said Mara. “We got a few calls from people who thought they might have seen our cat, but nothing for certain.”

Time passed.

Early in the morning on Nov. 14, grandmother Dorothy was up, as she often is, to let one cat in and another out. That’s when Mara heard a cat meowing and got up to see what the problem was.

“Mom can’t see that well and she didn’t notice that it was K.C. at her feet,” said Mara. “She had come home. She was dirty, her fur was matted, and she was skinny.”

It didn’t take long for word to spread thoughout the house and everyone got up to greet K.C.

25 years ago:

Covered stands again for Centennial Park?

In The Lake News of Nov. 18, 1992, the idea came up again.

“After Lake Days celebrations were almost washed out this year, resulting in a $5,000 loss for the event, the village is looking into ways of covering the stands. The parks committee made reference to its work to council and later Ray Miller, works superitendent, told The Lake News that a light tarpaulin structure is being considered.

“Asked if the result would be a sort of Skydome — a retractable roof — Miller grinned and said, ‘Sort of’.”

It remains to be seen whether the plan is feasible, he said.

The roof of the grandstand was taken off after an engineer from Victoria warned that in an earthquake it could be dangerous, the story said.

40 years ago:

“Rodent problem getting out of hand!”

It was a headline in The Lake News of Nov. 30, 1977, but it could have been written this year as mice have been reported showing up everywhere.

What was called “The Rat Committee” — made up of the chief public health officer and two members of the Union Board of Health Committee — were studying a “widespread” problem on Vancouver Island back then.

But in Lake Cowichan, Alderman Hazel Elves, village representative on the health board, said the growing rat problem is “due possibly to the last year’s mild winter not disposing of some of the young and a possible slackening of rat control by individual homeowners who may not realize that for every rat seen or caught there are a dozen unseen.”

Elves also said the compost pile may be instrumental in attracting rodents and suggested compost should be stored in a confined, well-covered place. She also suggested alerting local residents of the problem as a means of dealing with rodents.



lexi.bainas@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

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