"Scientist from University of Victoria measures the approximate height of the meteorite from eye witness reports. [Geremy] Tatum Visited Lake Cowichan and Youbou to meet with witnesses on Saturday. He will log the data and will hope to make an educated guess as to where the meteorite would have landed." (Lake News, Nov. 8, 1995)

Lake Flashback: No to a community garden, a meteorite, and a fire chief retires

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

It looks like a decade ago, there was “Little interest in a community garden” according to the headline of a report on one of the Town of Lake Cowichan’s regular council meetings.

So goes the story on page 6 of the Nov. 3, 2010 edition.

“There is little interest in a community garden at Lake Cowichan Secondary School at this time, Town of Lake Cowichan councillor Bob Day reported during the town’s Tuesday, Oct. 26 meeting. As such, the area at LCSS previously allocated for a community garden can be used by the Town of Lake Cowichan to plant trees, which can be later transplanted elsewhere in the community. This idea will be discussed during the Town’s next Parks and Recreation meeting. Communities in Bloom is interested in helping out in the Lake Cowichan Secondary School’s Neighbourhood of Learning project, with the school’s greenhouse and gardening programs.”

Also at the meeting, the Advisory Commission was close to drafting updates to Lake Cowichan’s Official Community Plan, which receives updates every five years.

“After one or more meetings, councillor Bob Day reported that the plan will be ready to be looked at. One interesting suggestion brought up during the group’s latest, Thursday, Oct. 21 meeting, was the allowing of residents to house up to six chickens in their yards. Current bylaws prohibit the housing of poultry in town limits. ‘It seems like a policy to promote healthy living and the idea that food doesn’t have to come from a factory,’ Day said.”

Council also “discussed the drafting of a Wood First Policy, which would serve to make a priority of the use of wood products in local buildings, such as what is currently taking place with the Cowichan Lake Sports Arena upgrades.”

25 years ago

Well, it turns out that those claiming to have seen a meteorite were right!

As reported in the Lake News of Nov. 8, 1995, “A scientist from UVic visited Lake Cowichan and Youbou Saturday to meet with eye witnesses who saw the meteorite of Oct. 21.

“Geremy Tatum, scientist from the University of Victoria and B.C. representative on the Meteorites and Impacts Advisory Committee to Canadian Space Agencies, said he came to Lake Cowichan because witness recollection was excellent and there was substantial evidence that it was, in fact, a meteorite that was seen in the area.”

How cool is that?

“Witnesses re-enacted their experiences for Tatum, who arrived with measuring instruments. Tatum was interested in measuring the angle, height, and approximate speed of the meteorite.”

Also, it was in the same Lake News edition that readers were informed that the school districts of Cowichan and Lake Cowichan were meeting to discuss amalgamating.

“Cowichan Lake school district representatives met for the first time with Duncan school district reps Friday in Lake Cowichan to see the possible amalgamation of the two districts. The reason for the meeting, Pam Campbell, chairman of the board of School District #65 (Duncan) said, was because there is a belief there will be an announcement made by the Ministry on the issue in the next two weeks.

“Campbell said the Ministry has announced that currently there are 75 school districts and it’s looking at reducing the number to 50. Ultimately the decision will not be made locally, nor in Duncan. The decision will be made by the Ministry and both districts would like the opportunity for dialogue with the ministry before any decision is made, Campbell said.”

40 years ago

Remember a while back when Gail Misener chastised town council for the town being too dirty and told them she had the time to clean it up herself if they wouldn’t? Well, the Nov. 5, 1980 edition of the Lake News reported that Misener put in a formal bid “for any possible clean-up contract.”

Misener “appeared before council Oct. 28 to explain the proposal she had made to clean up the garbage that litters our streets. She had suggested that council hire her, on a contract basis, to pick up the litter. But before any hiring is done, council will see if a union agreement would be violated and if the village can afford it.”

In other news of the day, it was 40 years ago that Lake Cowichan fire chief Tom Gordon announced “my time has arrived” and stepped down from his role.

Gordon had served in the position for 11 years.

“I think you know when the time has arrived,” he told the mayor and aldermen. “The time has arrived for me.”

Also on the front page of the Nov. 5, 1980 Lake News, the mill at Honeymoon Bay got a new life.

“The Honeymoon Bay mill will survive a recent purchase by three big forest companies. And times probably will be better for the mill and workers. This assurance was given Tuesday by the president of Western Forest Products Ltd, the new name of a company which evolved from a recent group purchase of Rayonier Canada Ltd.”

WFP president Jim Buttar, said there was no intention to close the mill.


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