Welcome to Lake Flashback. Reporter James Goldie 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…
The Cowichan Lake Community Forest Cooperative is seeking a partnership with the Pacheedaht First Nation with the hopes it will lead to the logging of more fibre, on a 50-50 basis. The announcement was made at the group’s annual general meeting this week.
Tom Jones, the co-op’s registered professional forester, said a letter of intent has been sent to the Ministry of Forests.
“So I suppose they’ve received it, have it and are wondering what to do with it,” he said. “The desired outcome is that the Pacheedaht and the co-op reach an agreement for 50,000 cubic metres a year.”
The forest co-op made a profit of about $44,000 last year.
The Forest Workers Memorial Park is well on its way to completion with a foundation in place and some yellow cedar carvings by Zak Stolk in the works. More than 100 memorial bricks, at $100 each, have already been sold.
The co-op has also established two $500 bursary for students at Lake Cowichan Secondary School.
The Lakeside Estates properties are moving quickly according to one of the real estate agents handling the account since it went onto the market. Nasim Charania told the Lake News that only eight out of 50 properties remain during the first phase of development.
“Purchasers have come from Victoria, Prince George, Calgary, Vancouver and the Cowichan Valley. They are building good exclusive homes,” she said. “People who are coming here are buying our lifestyle. They like hiking and recreation and want a quiet life getting back to nature.”
Clearing for Phase 2 has begun, but their popularity will depend on next year’s housing market.
Charania notes that waterfront property values have begun to soar, in some cases up 60 per cent over values just a few years ago. She anticipates that current low interest rates will make for brisk sales next spring.
Next week Youbou residents will go to the polls to decide whether they want the Cowichan Valley Regional District to take over recreational facilities in the community. The decision will have long-term implications for the area.
Arbutus Park, the community hall, the little league park on Saseenos Point, and a small strip of land near the ball park owned by the school district are all included in the proposed takeover.
Writing in the Lake News, Manfred Tempelmayr said,
“None of the facilities are money-makers and no matter who owns them funds will have to be spent on upkeep and maintenance. If the taxpayer doesn’t come up with the necessary money, chances are no one will,” he said.
Most of the facilities — valued at about $100,000 all together — are owned by B.C. Forest Products, which has offered to give away the entire recreational package. They will also provide $5,000 for repairs to the community hall.
The Youbou Community and Benefit Association has operated the rec facilities for more than 20 years. Its members, most of whom no long live in Youbou, want to get out of the recreation game, too.
“We don’t know what will happen if [the referendum] doesn’t pass,” said YCBA secretary Harry Blatchford. “After the referendum the committee will step down. If we can’t get another committee, the doors of the hall will close.”
Youbou mill manager Jim Bigland would not comment on what the company will do if the referendum does not pass.
Compiled by James Goldie, Gazette