Lake Flashback: Weir, March dies, debt court

The front page of the Jan. 17, 2007 Gazette announced that a house on Cowichan Lake Road, damaged by fire, had to be condemned.

In the Jan. 19

In the Jan. 19

Welcome to Lake Flashback. Reporter Lexi Bainas has been combing through old newspapers with 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


The front page of the Jan. 17, 2007 Lake Cowichan Gazette announced that a house on Cowichan Lake Road, damaged by fire, had to be condemned.

Cowichan Lake folks were up in arms about keeping small rural schools open. “Anger, frustration and a steely resolve to stick together” described the Lake Cowichan Ratepapers, fighting for Yount School.

Another evergreen topic that came up in the Jan. 17, 2007 Gazette was, “Cowichan Basin plan calls for raising weir.”

A huge section of the paper was dedicated to the Minor Hockey Jamboree. The Novice A/B Lakers White team included such future NHLers as Katelynn Ferguson, Evan Rowbottom, Quinn Major, Devon Smith, Keegan Fairbrother, Raimund Mullin, Chelsea Major, Miles Brooks, and Hunter Hieta while the Blues included Dredyn Fontana, Kevin Stewart, Kahlil Fontana, Luke Martin, Emily Vaugh, Shauna Johel, Ethan Bottomly, Chase Convery, Stephen Vatcher, Nathan Andersson, Nikolas Coumont, Luke Wiersma and Aaron Croteau.

40 years ago


On Jan. 19, 1977, the Lake area was mourning the passing of two very different parts of its history.

Charlie March, whose name had become “synonymous with Honeymoon Bay” and who had been “a man of great strength until his illness three weeks ago” died at age 78. The son of pioneers Henry March and Edith Wardroper, he had helped his family with the family farm.

But the town of Lake Cowichan was also bidding farewell to a historic building that week: Elve’s Enterprises bike shop on South Shore Road, just about the last of the old fashioned frontier-style stores that boasted a wooden verandah out front, was torn down.

And, in other news, there was hope that the curve towards the river might finally be taken out of South Shore Road just west of the car bridge.

“Someone is going to get killed there eventually,” claimed Bill Chappell, Village of Lake Cowichan administrator.

Other headlines included “Mesachie sewer on fritz” and “Kinsmen to bribe local blood donors.”

58 years ago


We couldn’t get hold of a 1992 Lake News this week, but we did find a Jan. 15, 1959 edition. Let’s take a look.

On the front page, it says: “Small Debts Court Judge C.L. Anderson has announced that cases will be heard at his residence, Honeymoon Bay, by appointment.”

Reeks Jewelers urged the lads to step up: “Valentine’s Day is coming, fellas! Getting engaged? Let us order the ring for you now.”

Another item redolent of those times, in the Kinsmen news, says: “Joe Bohemier, chairman of the Polio Drive, reported that arrangements for the campaign were well under way.”

If you were musically inclined, this 1959 paper announced that a special reduced rate would get you into the two final Victoria Symphony concerts in Duncan.

Finally, the Lake was a chatty place back then, and the paper shared: “Bob Telfer of the RCAF, now stationed at Cold Lake, Alta., has been visiting his parents, Mr. and Mrs. A. Telfer of Lake Cowichan.”