Equipment sprawls in the street after hitting the CN trestle on South Shore Road during the rush hour. (The Lake News Dec. 5, 1979)

LAKE FLASHBACK: Remember swine flu? Bosnian conflict? Moving St. Christopher’s? It’s been a while

From worldwide stories to those close to home, we’ve a real cross-section this week

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 area…

10 years ago:

The Lake Cowichan Gazette of Nov. 25, 2009 really shows it’s 10 years old with this headline: “Swine flu vaccination clinics resume on Wednesday”

Do you remember H1N1? Swine flu? What a scare that was in 2009! Let’s read:

“All B.C. residents are now eligible for the H1N1 influenza vaccine and the provincial health officer is hoping that available supplies around the province are used up as soon as possible. That means the swine flu vaccination clinic will resume in Lake Cowichan.

The clinics started in the Kaatza Health Unit, but when demand became too much the clinics were moved to Centennial Hall. Several clinics were cancelled because there wasn’t enough of the vaccine across B.C. to meet the demand.

Dr. Perry Kendall, B.C’s public health officer, said that the demand for the vaccine was not as high as he expected after designated priority groups were expanded, so rolling the immunization program out to the general public has taken place ahead of schedule.

“While we do not yet have enough vaccine to administer to everyone who is now eligible, given that our clinics are operating at less than full capacity, it is only fair to open it up to the rest of the population so that any and all British Columbians who want to be vaccinated can do so now,” Kendall said. “This may mean clinics run out of vaccine and are forced to close until additional supplies are obtained, but it is preferable to have vaccine in people’s arms rather than sitting in fridges.”

Kendall said about one million B.C. residents have now been vaccinated. Another 258,000 doses arrived in B.C. Thursday and another 640,000 doses are expected to arrive late next week. That will bring the total for B.C. to about two million, or half the population.

If next week’s batch arrives on time, that will indicate that production problems at the manufacturing stage have been solved, he said.

25 years ago:

“LCSS grad is held by Serbs” was the frightening headline on the front page of The Lake News on Wednesday, Dec. 7, 1994.

“Sgt. Thomas Moran, 28, who graduated from LCSS in the early eighties in a hostage or detainee of the Serb forces in Bosnia. He is a member of the United Nations Peacekeepers serving with the Royal Canadian Dragoons.”

He and some 250 other solideirs remain at their observation outpost. Moran is a tank crew commander. Keith Moran, his father, who lives on Greendale Road, told The Lake News of his predicament and other members of his company. They are not with the other Canadians who have also been held.

In a letter to his father on Nov. 6, before the hostage taking took place, he wrote of the seven and a half hour flight from Ottawa to Croatia. Followed by a nine hour bus ride into the mountains of Bosnia to camp, about 28 miles from Sarajevo. His group mans observation posts on the Serb side of the confrontation line. He points out that only Canadians are allowed by the Serbs to man the outposts.

“We have a British exchange officer and he has been threatened with his life, because he is not Canadian,” said Moran in a letter.

“The Muslim snipers pick off about a dozen civilians a week,” said Moran. He writes that he is very sorry for the people and has been giving an old man some of their extra food, when there is extra, to feed his wife, sister, and three kids.

“The busiest place in town is the cemetery, new graves by the dozens. There isn’t much a lowly sergeant can do,” he said.

40 years ago:

“Mesachie ‘Loggers’ Church’ move proposed” was a headline on the front page of The Lake News of Dec. 5, 1979.

“St. Christopher’s Church, a Mesachie Lake landmark since 1950, may become one of the sights of Lake Cowichan if a proposal by the local Anglican church congregation is approved.

The Anglican parish of Cowichan Lake has asked the village council for permission to put the church on its Cowichan Avenue property.

The Loggers’ Church’ was built in 1950 by the Stone family of Mesachie Lake. Mrs. Carlton Stone laid the cornerstone, wich will come with the church, if the move is approved.

The little wooden church has always been a favourite setting for local weddings. It has also been popular with photographers, who have featured it in several articles across the province…The reason the church is being made available is “possible vandalis”’ and a general decline in interest in the church by Mesachie Lake residents.

The church building and its adjoining property was offered to the Anglicans in early November.

The Stone family has decided that after supporting the church for years, they wanted either the diocese or the parish itself to take over the ownership of the curch. It was suggested that perhaps the church could be moved to Lake Cowichan.

The parish council was told at their regular meeting Nov. 18, that the church was available. They voted to approve the idea in principle, and ask the congregation for their opinion at a general meeting the following week. The people of the parish gave the project their unanimous consent Nov. 25.

Rev. Burton Rodgers…approached the village council last Tuesday and was given the go-ahead provided that the parish would have to pay to have the sewer line moved and an easement registered in the land registry office, and met all requirements of all zoning bylaws.

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