Lake Cowichan Seniors Line Dancers performed at Me & You Night in Youbou on Saturday, March 13th. (Lake Cowichan Gazette, March 17, 2010)

LAKE FLASHBACK: Criminals, a gale, and an obstacle overcome

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

It was hard to comb through the March 17, 2010 Lake Cowichan Gazette and find proper news stories as the Gazette was still suffering from the loss of Doug Marner. I did find a police report though and people always love to read those so let’s dig into it.

“Lake Cowichan man to serve 60 days for thefts” was the headline and a 19-year-old Lake Cowichan man was convicted of a dozen theft-related charges and ordered to serve 60 days behind bars.

“The charges related to a rash of thefts that took place in the Cowichan Lake area between May and December 2009 and included three counts of mischief under $5,000; one count of mischief over $5,000; three counts of theft under $5,000; two counts of theft over $5,000; two counts of break and enter and dangerous operation of a motor vehicle, and four counts of breaching conditions. The man was found guilty of 12 of the charges and was handed a three-month jail sentence but will serve just 60 days plus 15 months’ probation. All other charges were stayed.”

There was also a headline in the same edition that read: “Minor Hockey issues warning concerning solicitations”. Staci Nelson, president of Lake Cowichan Minor Hockey Association reported: “A minor child is going door to door soliciting persons on behalf of Lake Cowichan Minor Hockey Association. We wish to advise that this person is not a member of Lake Cowichan Minor Hockey and no one should be handing out money to him. Lake Cowichan Minor Hockey has notified the RCMP of this situation and they are looking into it.” Yikes.

25 years ago

How’s this for small town news: 200 attend annual wildlife smorgasboard award’s night. I love this. This is not news in big cities but it was on the front page of the Lake News of March 15, 1995.

“More than 200 members, guests, and friends of the Valley Fish and Game Club gathered for their annual dinner and award night, Saturday in the Honeymoon Bay Hall.

“Dinner was a smorgasboard of an enourmous variety of game. It included elk and moose sausage, black bear meat, oyster fritters, sweet and sour duck, turkey, beef, ham, moose, deer, elk meat, salmon and more.”

This next line gets me.

“With salads, vegetables, and desserts prepared by the wives and girlfriends of the members.”

That line would make news this year, too. But for a different reason. Nevertheless, a good time was had by all, as they danced the night away. Though “one member commented, ‘there is no cougar meat this year’.”

Heavy winds also made headlines in athe March 15, 1995 Lake News.

“It was a wild blow!” it said atop the story, which read: A booming gale roaring in from the southwest last Thursday with gusts up to 60 miles an hour, tore up trees, downed concrete utility poles and left a mess of live wires in a dozen places. Rain hissed like sling-shots almost parallel to the ground. It was the second major gale in three weeks.

40 years ago

I’m not usually one to take pleasure in others’ misfortune but I had to smile when I saw this story in the March 19, 1980 Lake News: “Car thief’s trip goes flat when police stop to help”. The headline hooked me and I just had to learn more. It didn’t disappoint.

“A hitch-hiking car thief who accepted a ride from two RCMP constables will have his travels confined to jail corridors for the next nine months.

“Douglas Clifford Hicke of Victoria was charges with car theft after he told the police that the reason he was hitch-hiking was because a car he had been driving had a flat tire. He also volunteered that he had stolen the car. He had picked up the car in Victoria and got as far as Caycuse before his mishap.”

The ordeal cost him nine months in jail and another 18 months probation.

In other news, this week back in 1980, the land deal was completed and a home for seniors surmounted a hurdle.

“The final transaction has now been completed to clear the way for the construction of a senior citizens housing project in Lake Cowichan. Two lots on the river adjacent to the bridge have been purchased by the Cowichan Lake Seniors Citizens Housing Society — a group made up of members of three local service clubs, the Kiwanis, Kinsmen and Lions of Lake Cowichan.

“The lots were acquired from Pete Olson, who sold them for half their market value.”

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