Finding nothing to smile about, three young beachcombers hold up unwelcome collection of glass gathered at Ashburnum Beach. Marguerite Alberts (left), her sister Michelle, and Samantha Coleman helped collect three bags full of dangerous glass. (The Lake News, July 16, 1980)

Lake Flashback: Missing man, thieves and seniors

Remember these stories from Cowichan Lake?

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 missing 21-year-old had the attention of the community according to the Lake Cowichan Gazette of July 21, 2010.

“Family seeks missing 21-year-old” was the headline and the story following revealed that Tyson Mogg was missing.

“Family members’ concerns have led local RCMP to keep their eyes open for a missing Honeymoon Bay man. Tyson Mogg, 21, was last seen on his red 10-speed bicycle near South Shore Road in Honeymoon Bay at approximately 7:30 p.m., Thursday, July 15.”

“He was upset when he left, and it’s not like him to leave like that,” Mogg’s stepmother Kathleen van Buiten said, while distributing Missing posters around the Cowichan Lake area. Mogg lives in a trailer on van Buiten’s property in Honeymoon Bay. Having searched all plausible places for Mogg, the family went to the Lake Cowichan RCMP with their concerns.

“He’s left of his own volition,” Lake Cowichan RCMP Cpl. Krista Hobday said, adding that no foul play or force is believed to have taken place. After disappearing Thursday, Mogg’s family checked with his bank, finding out that he used his convenience card in Lake Cowichan on Friday night. He did not show up for work Monday morning. Now, Mogg’s family believes that he’s still on the Island. If not the Cowichan Lake area, he might be in Duncan, where he grew up, or in Victoria, where he knows some people.”

25 years ago

It was the same old story this time 25 years ago as the July 19, 1995 Lake News reported once again about the ongoing crime in Lake Cowichan. This time it hit the Riverside Inn.

“Burglar alarms have been installed at the Riverside Inn and none too soon. Before the alarms could be activated, an enterprising burglar broke in last Wednesday. Stolen was the change from a vending machine and a small amount of liquor, reported Sgt. Ron Merchant, RCMP. As in a number of recent break-ins, the total taken wasn’t much. Youngsters are suspected.”

Also gracing the same front page was a story entitled “Affordable housing is nearer reality.”

The story was about the retention of an architect to work on a much-requested 12-unit housing project on Cowichan Avenue.

“An application has to reach the provincial government in less than two weeks, says Coun. Leon Portelance, chair of the Works Committee of council. Twelve housing units are to be built on Cowichan Avenue, but don’t harbor much hope of getting one.”

“We have enough applications from local people to fill them all,” says Coun. Portelance.

“The development will be in three buildings consisting of four three-bedroom units, three, two-bedroom, four one-bedroom and one unit with handicapped accessibility. The development is being carried out by CARA, a non-profit organization as affordable housing, open to people with low and medium incomes,” said the story.

40 years ago

A seniors centre was top of mind for many in Lake Cowichan 40 years ago this week, as demonstrated by a lengthy front-page story in the July 16, 1980 of the Lake News.

“The president of the Lake Cowichan Old Age Pensioners organization has again chided School District 66 officials for delay in freeing a piece of land for a senior citizens drop-in centre.”

Art Bedford said in a letter to the Lake News, “Possibly members of the school board would rather see school buses, tractors and sundry junk, which, I might add is an eyesore to the community, sitting on a fine piece of land, than a building that would be an asset to the community and a joy to the OAPO now and in the future.”

Stern words coming from Bedford there.

He also said, “I fail to see how our elected officials of the school boards…can make property available…wait a year, then after we get community, federal and provincial support plus pledges from local organizations [make] conditions that they know we cannot meet.”

The story went on to explain that the pensioners group “has not yet received the land because of a property transfer tie-up between the school board and the village council.”

Later in the piece, however, Lawrence White, School District 66 acting secretary-treasurer, said no promise was ever made.

“All the board ever did was go on record as agreeing in principle with the overall plan for the property,” he said. “The board has never told Mr. Bedford that the pensioners were going to be given the piece of land.”

The Lake Cowichan 50+ Activity Centre is currently off of South Shore Road.

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