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:
Lake Cowichan was looking at the idea of seaplanes landing at Cowichan Lake Marina in February 2007.
In a story with the headline: “Public has until Tuesday to comment” in the Lake Cowichan Gazette of Feb. 21, 2007, it was clear that town council wanted to hear from the community on a two-year temporary commercial use permit application by Parallel Aviation.
Mayor Jack Peake said, “We’re proposing the two-year permit that will allow us to assess the situation.”
Tom Dryborough, president of Parallel Seaplanes Inc., which is based on Shawnigan Lake, said in an email, “Parallel Seaplanes Inc. has been using Cowichan Lake for our seaplane training for the last five years, however, as you are aware, we are not based there.”
The story also shared that at the time of the public discussion, “there is no indication in the application how many planes would be based at the marina or how many flights a day could be expected.”
25 years ago:
In the Feb. 26, 1992, version of the The Lake News, we discover that loggers were worried about what was happening at MacMillan Bloedel’s Franklin/Cameron division and Fletcher Challenge’s logging operations around Cowichan Lake.
It was the opening of the long-running battle over the need for a clause in Tree Farm Licences tying them to local jobs, a battle that came to a climax years later with the closing of the sawmill at Youbou.
“Monty Mearns, second vice president [of IWA Local 1-85] told The Lake News on Friday that ‘workers were being told there would be work for a fewer number of people and the company would contract out. ‘Employees would not agree to that. We see it as a lockout,’” said Mearns. “’The guys that own the trees have to give more commitment to the workers.”
Joining Mearns in his concern was Bill Routley, president of IWA Local 1-80.
Both wanted to see Tree Farm Licence holders shoulder more responsibility for forest workers.
Routley attacked Fletcher Challenge.
“They are playing a vicious game with lives. They refuse to discuss things…500 people are being affected by the layoffs at Fletcher Challenge,” he said.
40 years ago:
Let’s take a look at the back page, instead of the front of The Lake News of Feb. 23, 1977.
The Lake Cowichan Co-op had a full page grocery ad. Check out these food prices.
Fresh, whole roasting chickens were 89 cents a pound, pork loin roasts were $1.19 per pound, with centre cut pork chops at $1.39. Everyone’s favourite sandwich meat (chicken loaf) was 89 cents a package and veal cutlettes were $3.99 for a five-pound carton.
B.C. apples (MacIntosh, delicious etc.) were offered at 79 cents for a five-pound bag and mushrooms were a princely 99 cents a pound.
Read ‘em and weep.
Compiled by Lexi Bainas, Gazette