Welcome to Lake Flashback. Reporter James Goldie 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…
10 years ago:
The provincial government had sweepers on Highway 18 and Youbou Road this week remove loose rock that has surfaced as a result of the seal coating.
“But it couldn’t sweep away the controversy as more and more motorists are complaining about damage to their vehicles,” wrote Doug Marner.
A ministry of transportation representative said the sweeping on Highway 18 will continue “for as long as possible”, and the speed limit has been reduced to 80 km/hour. Passing is not permitted either.
The government acknowledged that it inspected the seal coating project as it progressed and signed off on it after a final inspection.
A claims office for vehicles damaged by rocks on the highway has opened in North Cowichan, and Mike Long from the Ministry of Transportation insisted the office would be properly staffed.
“Rest assured, we’ll have something set up properly,” he said. “People should realize, though, that this isn’t a place to go to get a cheque cut.”
25 years ago:
The Town of Lake Cowichan has voted to oppose the opening of a beer and wine story in the Riverside Inn.
Councillors were evenly split on the issue, however, Mayor Earle Darling cast a deciding vote against the business.
Council will now send a letter to the manager of the Liquor Licensing Branch voicing is opposition.
Coun. Jean Brown introduced the motion in support of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), which submitted a letter and petition (with 68 signatures) opposing the store’s creation.
“I believe we have enough liquor outlets,” said Brown. “I would like to see council take a stand and send a letter to the Licensing Branch, saying it supports these people.”
Coun. Leon Portelance, who opposed the motion, said “prohibition does not solve problems. Education does… It’s better to leave it up to the citizens to make the decision.”
MADD’s letter was mostly signed by people living within the vicinity of the Riverside. The letter alleges that the roads in that area are “constantly used by drinking drivers when they feel like dragging.”
The Lake News reports there are currently six liquor outlets within approximately one kilometre of the Riverside.
40 years ago:
A traffic barricade has been installed at Lake Cowichan Secondary School with the aim of stopping the town’s young, heavy-footed motorists from blasting out of the parking lot and onto South Shore Road.
The Lake News reported: “The parking lot has long been the spot where local youths congregated in their cars to shoot the breeze, smoke, drink refreshments and ogle the ladies. All that came to a halt when the barricades were put in.”
Chipper trucks coming around the bend with low visibility have made it a dangerous intersection already, with school bus and pedestrian traffic in addition to the joyriders.
School district traffic supervisor Ernie Towle said the local police were concerned “about these young fellows in their cars coming out of there three abreast.”
Dave Ahlers, a resident near the school, said the barricade was long overdue citing many “near tragedies” in the area.
Compiled by James Goldie, Gazette