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…
10 years ago:
Seal coating on Highway 18 and Youbou Road have lead to a spike in chipped and cracked windshields. Motorists have had the choice of following a pilot car along Highway 18 or taking Cowichan Lake Road.
According to the Ministry of Transportation’s website, the seal coating project “provides a new wearing surface free of pavement cracking, minor potholes and distress and preserves the asset.”
Mike Long, a communications officer for the ministry, said everything is being done to minimize loose gravel from causing damage to vehicles.
“You would be surprised the amount of science that goes into making sure there’s the best surface possible with the least damage to vehicle,” he said, adding that the final stage of the seal coating will be a sweeping away of any loose rocks.
“This is believed to be the most cost-effective way to make improvements to the highway,” he said. “Paving would cost 10 times as much.”
The project cost is $1.6 million.
Long said motorists whose vehicles have been damaged can file a claim with the Ministry of Transportation.
25 years ago:
This week Lake Cowichan’s new United Church opened for its inaugural Sunday service with more than 200 people in attendance. Reverend Ann Pollock, who was the minister when the old church burned and who led the campaign to build the new one, came back to take part in the service.
The new church comes with a price tag of close to $1 million when factoring in all the new fittings and accessories. According to the Lake News, at the time of its reopening, the new facility “clearly pleased everyone with its bright openness.”
The current minister, Maggie Enwright, officiated at the service. Enwright compared the trials of the congregation to those of the Jews whose temple in Jerusalem was sacked and burned by the Babylonians. The Jews rebuilt their temple, following their exile.
“We have been forced to worship in Youbou,” Enwright said. “That wasn’t an exile like the ancient Jews but we are glad to be back in our own church.”
As the church official, choir and congregation entered the new building for the first time, the one parishioner carried a Bible from 1890 which survived the fire at the old church.
A new piano was donated by Steve and Colleen Smith, in memory of their son, Darryl.
Lunch was served and the church remained open to allow people a chance to look.
40 years ago:
Residents of the Cowichan Lake area are being warned to be on the lookout for rabid bats and to keep their distance should they spot any.
The warning from public health officials follows a case in which a resident of the 100 Houses subdivision found a dead bat in her yard earlier this summer, and turned it in.
The specimen was sent to a federal pathology lab in Lethbridge, Alberta, and this week the results came back confirming the bat was indeed rabid.
Joy Rogers, who reported the bat, found another in yard shortly before the results returned.
“I don’t know if it was rabid,” she told the Lake News. “But you don’t usually see bats in the daytime.”
Public health inspector Larry Hogg encouraged people who find dead bats to turn them over to officials from his office for testing.
“So far there has been no human involvement at all with rabies,” he said, warning that a rabid bat could bite someone, passing on the disease through its saliva.
Compiled by James Goldie, Gazette