The theme of Family Heritage Days 2014 was 70 years of incorporation. Saturday’s events and displays ranged from the old Logging Truck Parade to the induction of two Lake Cowichan residents to the sports wall at the Cowichan Lake Arena.
Today, CVRD Area I Director Pat Weaver’s memories go back to the logging and the unions that started here but mostly it was the people and the volunteerism, “It was a good place to raise your kids, it’s just a small community, you know everybody’s looked after and you know when you are doing something wrong because they tell you that too,” she flashes a quick smile and ends “it seems not much has changed that way.”
Leo Murk and his wife Maureen came to the Saywell Park Gazebo to purchase their hanging flower baskets from prepared by the kids at Lake Cowichan School. Maureen remarked “we saw the ad in the paper and we came running right down, we were here at ten o’clock to get our baskets” Good thing too, they were selling out fast.
Don Watt and Vic Laughlin from the museum in Port Alberni were admiring the steam train that Lake Cowichan Museum displays. “It’s just like the two spot we have in Port Alberni.” Their admiration of heritage goes beyond looking as they both drove here so their vintage logging trucks could be part of the logging truck parade. Morris Duggan and Trevor Cardin both had the oldest trucks both from 1946, Duggan insisted his friend Cardin take the trophy as he had won one last year.
Port Alberni’s Richard Neva was awarded a Most Unique Logging Truck for a Hayes truck he has built from the frame up “I have been working on it for fifteen years and it’s only half finished” he quips.
More heritage was on display at the Kaatza Station Museum where Barb Simkins remembers participating in Heritage Days from 1987-88 “ The car shows, all the different displays we have had and the interesting people that come back year after year.” Like Lake Cowichan resident Herb Branting who regularly visits the museum never tires of seeing heritage displays showing the past. “There were a lot of jobs here at one time, there isn’t now, the industry has changed a lot over the years.” Branting remembers “at one time Lake Cowichan had the third highest per capita income in Canada, we had a mine here too, a couple of them, lots of work”.
Lake Cowichan Animal Rescue Society entertained the crowd with a parade and an obedience show of dogs which included Eighteen year old Poppy.
In Saywell Park Mayor Ross Forrest, Franklin Shue and Gearld Thom were here to unveil a dedication plaque to the organizations who made the floating dock and park amenity improvements possible. “With grateful thanks on behalf of the residents of the Town of Lake Cowichan.”
The Kaatza Art Show and Sale at the Upper Community Hall was busy with their annual event. This year 20% of the money raised from sales of selected artwork was to be donated to “Miss Shaker Mill” Lady of the Lake Contestant Alexandra Werk, the money will be used to help fund her 2015 trip to Japan to learn it’s language and history.
Part of the communities sports heritage was recognized by Mayor Forrest at the Cowichan Lake Arena, Plaques were presented to two local sports figures Waterskier Rod Tipton and Hockey Player Brian Lundberg “It is super humbling and very nice to be up there with all the other recipients,” is how an emotional Lundberg felt after the unveiling of their wall plaques. Rod Tipton says “It is so nice to see all my friends, I have always had great friends in Lake Cowichan, It’s the nicest place in the world to live.”
Permanent plaques can be viewed on the sports wall of fame at the Cowichan Arena.