Circa 1990–Village of Lake Cowichan councillor Earle Darling and village clerk Pat Akerly (1986 to 1990). Darling served as town councillor from 1984 to 1990 and mayor from 1991 to 1996.

Rolli’s Pages of History: 1990–a blast from our past

Rolli Gunderson reviews the events and happenings of 1990.

A local ambulance caught fire and burned while transporting a patient to Cowichan District Hospital. Apparently no one was hurt during the incident. A rash of break-ins in the area hit the Honeymoon Bay Store for about “$6,000 in stolen goods” (VCR’s, cigarettes, tobacco, a microwave oven and cash). As well, Buffalo Shake and Shingle mill reported a theft of cash and other items including tools as well as an “indeterminate” number items being stolen from A.B. Greenwell and Stanley Gordon schools.

Cowichan Lake arena celebrated 20 years of service by hosting The Best of Times, an ice show presented by the local skating club. The local Consumers Co-op store (situated in the building that is presently Fields department store) reported a stellar year in sales and paid a two percent dividend from profits to members.

Pat Akerly, administrator of the Village of Lake Cowichan, was replaced by Pat Durban who took the reins in January. Town council approved, in principle, the building of a new restaurant. Named ‘The Last Spike,’ it was located next to Saywell Park. The project planner was Victoria businessman Ron Girard. The restaurant was built then later named The Rail’s End, which was changed some years later to The Trail’s End after the nearby Trans-Canada Trail. Today the restaurant is known as Jakes at the Lake.

Joe Mrvic and Art Howe, Lake Cowichan’s two oldest citizens in 1990 both turned 90 that year. Mrvic was quick to point out to anyone who would listen that it was he who was the oldest, not Howe. A spokesman for the Logger Hut Restaurant announced they were considering building a second story onto their building to accommodate a neighbourhood pub in addition to the restaurant. (Anyone remember if this ever happened?) In March of 1990 the house of long-time local 100 Houses resident Dorothy Clode burned down. Not long afterward the Lake Cowichan United Church went up in flames. (Note: The church and the residence were both rebuilt on their previous sites.) It was also the year that the Lake Cowichan Credit Union celebrated its 40th anniversary.

The Village office announced that more houses would be built in the village that year than for many years past. In April “a group of six people in the Skutz Falls area announced that they have formed an organization known as HARVEST, which will recycle garbage.” It was the first in the Cowichan Valley. The Toronto Dominion bank (as it was then called) announced the upcoming installation of a bank machine at the local branch. (NOTE: The bank later moved from Lake Cowichan to Duncan with several long-time staff members either moving with the bank or retiring).

During the month of May, local RCMP reported seizing “135 immature marijuana plants from the nearby woods (forest) after a tip from a citizen.” The local ambulance unit acquired a 4-wheel drive ambulance which made access easier when reaching people in difficult places. Mayor Don Gordon unveiled a plaque, set in a local park, honouring pioneers of the area. Local businessmen complained to Council that their business taxes had increased by up to 600% since 1985. The police laid 20 charges, ranging from liquor offences, impaired driving, the Narcotics Act, assault, theft and creating a disturbance during the Victoria Day holiday weekend in May. Sod was turned on the property in which the new Cowichan Lake Seniors Centre would be built. (The centre opened May 15, 1991.)

Described as “Lake Cowichan teenage swimming sensation,” Leanne Wilkinson was then swimming in women’s events rather than juvenile events and had placed second in the consolidations in the Canadian Summer Nationals held in Toronto. Swimming with a Victoria swim team, she hoped to compete in the 1992 Olympics and the 1994 Commonwealth Games. (Source: Lake News, January 12, 1992 issue.)

 

 

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