It was February 1960 and movies like Auntie Mame, The Little Rascals and Stalag 17 were showing at the local movie theatre, now North Shore Road apartments. Meanwhile the Lake News was entering its third year of publication.
Political hopefuls were speaking locally at public meetings in anticipation of upcoming elections. According to the February 11, 1960s Lake News editorial, one such meeting attracted “twenty-six Grade 12 LCHS students to hear speaker Mr. Tim Buck, national leader of the Communist party of Canada.” It was hoped, the editorial opined, that the other political parties would send “equally able speakers.”
It was a busy time and a busy town. The prominent Scandinavian Club held regular events such as a Valentines Day dance at the old community hall — on site of present day Seniors Centre — while the Elks held their equivalent, a Valentines social featuring the Melody Lads orchestra. Not to be outdone, the hard working folks of Youbou staged a Valentines Cabaret, which proved to be a great success. The local bowling alley — situated behind present day Forest Workers Memorial Park — was a popular pastime for many.
The local churches all held regular, well attended services throughout the area including the Honeymoon Bay Baptist Church and the Lutheran Church of Canada held in the Youbou Community Church.
On the more serious side, the local Kinsmen Club advised residents to remember to stop in at the local health centre to get their polio vaccine booster shot. A series of locally held mental health lectures were well attended (with a minimum 50 attendees per lecture) and featured professional speakers.
The Lake Cowichan Volunteer Fire Department’s January 1960 report showed that the department responded to “four fire calls — all chimney fires — with no property damage.” Two nightly training sessions, one general meeting and two instructional films Care of Fire Department Hose and Chemistry of Fire were held for the members.
One of the hard news items that month was a collision between a Honeymoon Bay Transport Company chipper truck, which is size of a logging truck, and the Western Forest train. The accident occurred about “a mile from Lake Cowichan on the Mesachie Lake Road.” Train engineer Mr. K. McCaskell and brakeman, Mickey Mitchell saw the truck approaching and jumped off before the collision. Reportedly, the locomotive was knocked off the track while a “large stump” stopped the truck.
Lake Cowichan High School hosted the Annual Senior Boys Mid-Island Basketball Tournament in February with eight teams participating including the Lake Cowichan Lakers. The gym was decorated in various team colours and mascots by Lakers and their schoolmates. The top three winners of the tourney would eventually go on to the island then B. C. finals.
A teen town baking contest attracted eighty-five entrants, all students from several Cowichan Valley high schools, who competed in the B.C. Power Commission sponsored contest. The Lake Cowichan High School winners included Sonja Neilson, who took home a hand mixer; Ann Tiesu, a travel iron; Judy LaForge, a fry pan; and Diane Stewart, a sandwich toaster. One of the judges was LCHS Home Economics cooking teacher, Miss Weise.
Local stores ran weekly ads in the local paper announcing specials such as an electric clothes dryer on special at $188.88 at the local Marshall Wells Hardware Centre. Coro Fashion jewelry could be purchased at Reeks Jewelers for a dollar while margarine, a “two pound block,” could be had at the local co-op grocery store. Bargain prices were offered for “several lakefront lots, each between 100 to 150 foot of lake frontage.” A more expensive option available was a two bedroom, full basement home featuring “hot are furnace and electric hot water” with asking price of $7,000.
Research archived Lake News issues Kaatza Station Museum.