“Lake Cowichan Secondary School students Justine Carlow and Sara Ferguson direct people to Lake Cowichan’s Country Grocer, Sunday, April 3, during a hot dog fundraiser for earthquake/tsunami-ravaged Japan.” (Tyler Clarke/Lake Cowichan Gazette April 6, 2011)

“Lake Cowichan Secondary School students Justine Carlow and Sara Ferguson direct people to Lake Cowichan’s Country Grocer, Sunday, April 3, during a hot dog fundraiser for earthquake/tsunami-ravaged Japan.” (Tyler Clarke/Lake Cowichan Gazette April 6, 2011)

Lake Flashback: Earthquake relief, pools, politics and Lady of the Lake news

Remember these stories from Lake Cowichan?

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

Earthquake and tsunami relief for Japan was top of mind for students during a fundraiser the first week of April, 2011, according to the Lake Cowichan Gazette.

“Cowichan Lake area residents proved their love for Japan, Sunday, April 3, by donating $1,269.02 during a hot dog sale fundraiser at the Country Grocer.

“There were a lot more people than I thought there would be,’”one of the key organizers, Justine Carlow, 14, said. “It was very successful.”

“Many of the students who took part in the hot dog fundraiser are part of the group of local delegates who plan on travelling to Lake Cowichan’s Japanese sister city of Ohtaki/Date City, in July. During their visit, they plan on passing on the funds they’ve raised to Ohtaki’s mayor, who will in turn give it to those in need, as a result of the recent earthquake/tsunami; likely those in the hardest hit area of Japan; Sendai.”

Also a decade ago, the Lake Cowichan Gazette reports campaign signs for the May 2, 2011 federal election popping up around town.

“Hoping for re-election in the Nanaimo-Cowichan riding, of which the Cowichan Lake area is included, is NDP MP Jean Crowder, who is running against Conservative hopeful John Koury and the Green Party’s candidate Anne Marie Benoit. The Liberals announced Brian Fillmore as their candidate for the local riding,” said the story.

25 years ago

“EDC chairman resigns” bellowed the headline from the front page of the April 3, 1996 Lake News.

“In an emotion-charged meeting, the Economic Development Committee last week sadly accepted the resignation of its long-time chairman, Dennis LaForge, and rapped off letters to Council and CVRD asking them to get together and decide on how to fund the EDC. EDC members were upset by the fact that their funding has been sharply cut. Ron Smith, their staff Economic Development Officer has been cut to half time. Council, which had previously provided $20,000 a year toward the $60,000 budget of the EDC, reduced funding this year to $10,000.”

The Lake News of April 3, 1996 also had a report on the status of a potential community pool.

According to writer Susan Lowe, “A November referendum on the Cowichan Lake Leisure Pool is just too early said Mayor Earle Darling. He was responding to figures brought forward by the CVRD, showing cost breakdowns of the pool.

“I’m not in favour of a referendum at this time because I will not leave behind a major debt load for years to come, when I leave office,” Darling said, suggesting that the costs to build the pool are too high and too heavy a tax burden.

It’s pretty safe to say from the lack of a pool in the community that we all know how this one turned out.

40 years ago

There was high drama at a Lady of the Lake meeting, reported the Lake News of four decades ago today.

The April 1, 1981 edition reported a “stunned reaction” after local Lady of the Lake committee members learned of a rule change that rendered the 1981 Cowichan Lake candidate ineligible to attend the PNE pageant.

Kiwanis spokesman George “Webster told a Lake Days Committee general meeting that the 1981 Lady of the Lake instead will receive another ‘special’ prize such as a vacation trip.

“The change of rules by PNE officials could have scuttled the chances of current Lady of the Lake Pinder Rai, to appear at the annual Vancouver exhibition, but Kiwanians received the assurances of officials that the rules would be waived for this year only to accommodate those communities which were caught by surprise.”

The rule change was that candidates had to have been selected within the 12 months preceding the August pageant date.

“In the case of Pinder Rai, her ascension was more than 12 months before the 1981 PNE pageant which would have technically meant that not she, but the girl chosen this year would have been the eligible entrant.”

In the end Rai, represented the community at the PNE and her successor was awarded a ‘special’ prize.


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