Lake Flashback: Yount closure protested, tax hikes, Jaws of Life

The possibility of closing Yount Elementary School in Youbou was still front and centre.

“Don’t close our school

“Don’t close our school

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…


10 Years:


The possibility of closing Yount Elementary School in Youbou was still front and centre. The Gazette reported, “School district senior staff were given a failing grade by the public at the Jan. 15, 2007 information meeting about the proposed closure of Yount Elementary School.

“The main criticism was that too few details were provided to explain the costs of keeping Yount School open with just 13 students.

“The meeting was told that Yount ran a $90,000 deficit in 2006/07, compared to $71,660 in 2005/06 and a $2,911 deficit in the year before.”

The biggest cost, according to district secretary-treasurer Phil Turin is $259,551 for instruction. He also showed a $94,642 cost for maintenance. Other figures…indicate that only nine per cent of Yount is being utilized.

“That is a lot of money for what we get,” Lauri Meanley, chair of the Yount parent advisory committee said about the instruction cost. “I don’t believe it.”

25 years:


Under the headline “Taxes Up?”, Lake Cowichan residents learned in The Lake News of January 1992 that the village was planning to raise property taxes by seven per cent that year.

“Mayor Earle Darling noted that the various items in the provisional budget may change up or down before the final budget is approved but the total is not likely to change much.

“One major increase is the library allocation, up from $16,200 to $30,900, caused by abrupt reallocations by the library system.

“General government costs will be up substantially from $128K last year to $181,500 this year…Some things are down. Public health drops from $74,500 to $62K.”

Mayor Darling was sanguine.

“We know we cannot continue to raise taxes. We have to make do on the money we have available,” he said.

40 years:


A front page story from The Lake News announced that the Ramcos Car Club of Lake Cowichan has launched a fundraising drive to purchase “a rescue tool called Jaws of Life”.

If you didn’t know we were without one before that time, you know now.

“Ramcos president Dave Whisken said the device, which utilizes a hydraulic pump, will be donated to the Lake Cowichan fire department.

“The tool was designed mainly to aid in removing accident victims from crushed cars…to pop open doors to crushed car frames to free people trapped inside. The machine is fully portable and is capable of exerting six tons of force to shear away tangled steel on any vehicle.

“Whisken said club members think the device will be a welcome edition to the fire department’s equipment.”

Compiled by Lexi Bainas, Gazette