This week in 1991

School shuffle, long distance, and mill upgrades

Welcome to Lake Flashback. Reporter James Goldie has been combing through old newspapers

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:

 

Parents from the two Lake Cowichan elementary schools are upset that while Palsson Elementary is “too full” and requiring some classes be taught in portable units, the two other schools in the area (A.B. Greenwell and Yount) still have lots of room.

Trish Mayea, whose son spent two weeks in a portable at Palsson before his class was moved into the main school, said she doesn’t understand why students would be registered at Palsson when there is plenty of room at other schools nearby.

This concern was echoed by parents from all corners of the Cowichan Lake district.

In Youbou, parents took issue with the use of portables at Palsson after losing one of their teachers to that school.

“I think [your school is full] when you put students in a portable. We are not that far that they couldn’t have sent the extra students here,” said Lauri Meanley, chair of the Yount School PAC.

Candace Spilsbury, the school district’s director of elementary education, said it wasn’t their intention to hold regular classes in the portable at Palsson.

“It wasn’t until we realized how many students were enrolled that we decided to change that. Normally we would have moved them to another school, but in late spring we arranged to have a portable for Palsson,” said Spilsbury.

 

25 years:

 

B.C. Telephone is preparing to take a vote on whether to offer free calling to Duncan for users of telephone exchange 749.

Customers will be deciding between the choice of free calling to Duncan with a $2.90 monthly increase, or to leave the system alone.

If approved, the company will begin implementing the change for 749 customers in 1992.

The phone company has decided to hold off one year before taking votes from customers on the 745 exchange, which means unlimited calling to Duncan would not be available until 1993.

Area F director Joe Allan is not satisfied. He told the Lake News he doesn’t understand why B.C. Telephone is going this route. At the most recent CVRD meeting, Allan moved that the board write a letter to the phone company asking it to include both 749 and 745 numbers in its upcoming vote.

The motion passed with only one director, John Ward of Area I, voting against.

 

40 years:

 

BC Forest Products plans to spend $3.2 million in the coming months on a project the company says will both make the lake cleaner and increase productivity at the mill in Youbou.

The company will install two log decks and facilities for handling log bundles delivered from the new dry-land sort in Caycuse. There will also be a new machine shop and hammer hog, a machine used to produce hog fuel.

The mill’s manager, Jim Bigland, said by handling logs in bundles, the company expects to substantially reduce the number of logs lost as “low floaters” and “dead heads” in the lake.

“It will mean a cleaner lake for residents in the area and for other users,” he told the Lake News.

When the Caycuse dry-land sort is complete, logs will be bundled on land there, then floated over to the Youbou mill where they will then be broken open and fed through the machinery, including two new “barkers” that strip the bark off the logs.

The old hydraulic barker has been in use for more than 20 years and will be donated to the B.C Forest Museum in Duncan.

Compiled by James Goldie, Gazette

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