Lake Cowichan Secondary School Grade 12 student Juliana Pool performs a mash-up of songs on the piano during the school’s talent show, Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2011. Pool both sang and played the piano on songs like ‘Sweet Home Alabama’, ‘Free Falling’, ‘With or Without You’, and others. (Tyler Clarke/Lake Cowichan Gazette)

Lake Cowichan Secondary School Grade 12 student Juliana Pool performs a mash-up of songs on the piano during the school’s talent show, Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2011. Pool both sang and played the piano on songs like ‘Sweet Home Alabama’, ‘Free Falling’, ‘With or Without You’, and others. (Tyler Clarke/Lake Cowichan Gazette)

Lake Flashback: Test skipped; ‘Lake News’ sold; mill shutdown

Remember these stories from Lake Cowichan?

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

“Local students skip assessment test” was the first headline on the second page of the Feb. 16, 2011 Lake Cowichan Gazette.

Then-editor Tyler Clarke explained more:

“Grade 4 students at Palsson Elementary School decided to skip the Foundation Skills Assessment test in record numbers, this school year. In all, 42.8 per cent of Palsson Elementary School students skipped the test, up from 21.6 per cent during last year’s testing. ‘I am not in support of the testing,’ Palsson’s Parent Advisory Council head Belinda Waller said. ‘All it’s turned into is ranking the schools.’”

Waller was referring to the annual ranking of schools done by the Fraser Institute think-tank.

“Local school board trustee Diana Gunderson agrees with Waller, and added that the scores generated from the Ministry of Education mandated exam should be taken with a grain of salt. ‘Students don’t get anything for this,’ she said. ‘It’s not on their report card. As such, not all students take the test seriously…. To me, the results are so unreliable, and of little use,’ she said. ‘It takes valuable time away from teaching, and what I see as actual education.’ It can also be damaging to the community, she said.”

25 years ago

It was 25 years ago this week the headline in the Lake News of Feb. 21, 1996 announced, “Thomson Newspapers to buy Lake News” — a marriage of the local paper to Thomson Newspapers — a major Canadian communications company.

“The Lake News will join the company’s Vancouver Island Group, which includes the Duncan Citizen, Victoria Times Colonist, Nanaimo Times, the Nanaimo Daily Free Press, the paper in Parksville and the Campbell River Courier Islander.

“Frankly we are delighted that we are placing the Lake News in such good hands,” said paper owner Ron Kenyon.

Also topping headlines in that edition: ambulance cuts. No doubt if you asked Cynthia Blenkin if she was glad ambulance service was available at the lake, she’d agree vehemently (see next week’s Flashback for more!) But to the Lake News of Feb. 21, 1996, cuts were on the table.

“She’s one woman looking for others to support her fight against ambulance personnel cuts proposed last week. In response to an article carried in the Feb. 14 edition of the Lake News, ‘May cut full-time ambulance attendant’, Eileen Pilkington of Lake Cowichan has started her own petition.

“They will be throughout Cowichan Lake, available in almost every business for the public to sign. She intends to send the petitions to NDP leader Glenn Clark, MLA Jan Pullinger, Minister of Health Hon. Paul Ramsey. Pilkington maintains that if the full-time ambulance attendant position in Lake Cowichan is cut, our service will suffer. She is hoping the communities of Cowichan Lake will support her fight and is aiming to collect a minimum of 3,000 signatures for her petition.”

40 years ago

The Lake News of Feb. 18, 1981 reported that the WFI mill shutdown was extended by another week.

“The shutdown of the Western Forest Industries Honeymoon Bay sawmill, scheduled to end Feb. 23, has been extended another week. The new tentative start up date is Monday, March 2, according to mill manager Don Hammond. He blamed a gloomy market picture for the extra shut down, saying that ‘market reports are very bad.’ About 240 workers have been affected by the closure. The mill was also shut down the month of February in 1980 for the same reason.”

Also making headlines this day 40 years ago, “Aldermen clash in strike talk backlash”.

“A Lake Cowichan alderman has accused the Cowichan Valley Regional District of tying the hands of local representatives during recent negotiations with the arena workers. Ald. Roger Hamilton asked Ald. Hazel Beech, who is a member of the arena commission, and was present at the contract negotiations of the two Lake Cowichan representatives — herself and Bob Hall — if she had actually taken part in the talks.

“‘I heard that the Lake Cowichan representatives had nothing to say,’ Hamilton said at the Feb. 10 council meeting. Hamilton, an arena employee, was one of the workers on the picket line. Council had expressed concern at its Jan. 27 meeting that control of the negotiations had slipped from the local arena commission to the regional district in general.”

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

historyLake Cowichan

Just Posted

Sierra Acton, regional district director for Shawnigan Lake. (file photo)
New parkland in Shawnigan creating connections

Used to created parking for the popular Masons Beach Park

By protesting uninvited in First Nations’ territories, conservationists are acting in a neocolonial or paternalistic manner, says Huu-ay-aht Chief Robert Dennis. Photo by Heather Thomson
A closer look: do Vancouver Island First Nations support the war in the woods?

First Nations/environmentalist old growth alliance uneasy, if it exists at all

Chris Wilkinson
Chris Wilkinson column: This could be the worst thing done to you during the pandemic

As a result, all of us will contend with more ‘scarcity’ thinking and mindset.

The Crofton trailer park home where the bodies of two people were found. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Mom still waiting for answers after daughter and her fiance found dead in Crofton

Pair discovered dead in their Crofton home in May identified as Rachel Gardner and Paul Jenkins

FILE – Perry Bellegarde, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, takes part in an event on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, July 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous Peoples Day must be a ‘call to action’, says Assembly of First Nations chief

Discovery of children at Kamloops residential school site must lead to change, Perry Bellegarde says

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

Chilliwack secondary school’s principal is apologizing after a quote equating graduation with the end of slavery in the U.S. was included in the 2020-2021 yearbook. (Screenshot from submitted SnapChat)
B.C. student’s yearbook quote equates grad to end of slavery; principal cites editing error

Black former student ‘disgusted’ as CSS principal apologizes for what is called an editing error

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross. (Photo by Peter Versteege)
BC Liberal leadership candidate condemns ‘senseless violence’ of Okanagan church fires

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross says reconciliation isn’t about revenge for past tragedies

A coroner’s inquest will be taking place at the Capitol Theatre in Port Alberni for the next week. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Teen B.C. mom who died following police custody recalled as ‘friend to many’

Police sent Jocelyn George to hospital after intoxication had gone ‘beyond the realm’ of normal detox

FILE - In this Nov. 29, 2020, file photo, Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta. Nassib on Monday, June 21, 2021, became the first active NFL player to come out as gay. Nassib announced the news on Instagram, saying he was not doing it for the attention but because “I just think that representation and visibility are so important.” (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
Nassib becomes first active NFL player to come out as gay

More than a dozen NFL players have come out as gay after their careers were over

Penticton Indian Band Chief Greg Gabriel speaks to the Sacred Hearts Catholic Church burning down early Monday morning, June 21, 2021. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Penticton band chief condemns suspicious burning of 2 Catholic churches

Both Catholic church fires are deemed suspicious, says RCMP

COVID-19 daily cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day moving average to June 17, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections drop to 90 on Sunday, 45 Monday

Pandemic spread dwindles as 77% of adults receive vaccine

Emergency vehicles are parked outside of the Wintergreen Apartments on Fourth Avenue. (SUSAN QUINN / Alberni Valley News)
Port Alberni RCMP investigate stabbing on Fourth Avenue

Two men were found with ‘significant’ injuries near Wintergreen Apartments

A blood drive in support of 1-year-old Rielynn Gormley of Agassiz is scheduled for Monday, June 28 at Tzeachten First Nation Community Hall in Chilliwack. Rielynn lives with type 3 von Willebrand disease, which makes it difficult for her to stop bleeding. (Screenshot/Canadian Blood Services)
Upcoming blood drive in honour of Fraser Valley toddler with rare blood condition

The Gormley family has organized a blood drive in Chilliwack on June 28

Most Read