Ken Spencer checks the rising water around his house this week in 2006. He lives at the corner of Pine Avenue and Cowichan Avenue

Storms strike, Ditidaht have plans, fire loss down

Welcome to Lake Flashback. Reporter James Goldie has been combing through old newspapers with the assistance of

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


Caycuse and Nitinat have been hardest by the storms that pounded the Cowichan Lake area this past week.

Caycuse, which has 10 full-time residents, was without power for six days. It was only restored Sunday night, and phone service is still unavailable. To make matters worse, the road to Caycuse has been barely passable since the last big storm in November.

However, this did not stop the community from holding its annual Christmas party on Saturday.

“People asked whether it was still on,” said Caycuse fire chief, Bruce Wilson. “Of course it was on. This is Caycuse, we can always put it on. We just had generators going and it was fine.”

Nitinat lost power two days ago. It was the second time this month the 320 residents were without power.

“People are pretty used to this sort of thing out here,” Ditidaht Police Service Const. Shane Rappel said.


25 years ago


Negotiations are in progress between the Ditidaht First Nation to acquire more than $9 million in land claim settlements. If made, this settlement would cover claims arising from areas which include the Carmanah.

Separate from this potential settlement, the band is planning a $1.5 million building development. Band administrator Brian Cofski said it is a project that has been in the works for some time.

“We are just waiting for one final piece of financial information,” he said.

Other building plans for next year include a convenience store, gas station and coffee shop with outdoor patio. Cofski said they hope to build a motel with eight rooms overlooking Nitinat Lake.


40 years ago


Fire loss in the Lake Cowichan Fire Protection Area dropped considerably this year, from $141,000 in 1975 to $42,000 in 1976.

Fire chief Tom Gordon told the annual fireman’s banquet and ball that the dramatic reduction in fire loss will make the insurance underwriters “smile, smile, smile.”

This year the Lake Cowichan Volunteer Fire Department responded to 28 calls compared to 44 the year before — a reduction of about 36 per cent.

Gordon highlighted some of the other work done by the department this year, including the implementation of a more intensive training and upgrading program. The result: more of his volunteers passed the qualifying exams to become fire-class firemen. He also noted a 78 per cent boost in attendance at fires and practice sessions.

“This is very good considering men are away at work on different shifts during the 24 hour period,” he said.

Compiled by James Goldie, Gazette

Just Posted

Breakers battle into girls soccer provincials

Kelsey takes aim at top-eight finish

Enjoy family fun as the Mercury Players present ‘Beau Jest’ in Duncan run

Jim Cleough directs James Sherman’s comedy about the results of an innocent deception

Duncan man arrested for arson

A 27-year-old Duncan man was arrested Saturday, May 11 after allegedly starting… Continue reading

Cowichan Valley Regional District’s affordable-housing strategy moves forward

Board signs three-year financial agreement for initiatives

Mill Bay Garden Club show: be there or be garden deprived

This show has it all — great food, beautiful flowers, plants to purchase, garden vendors

Rescuers finally persuade Eiffel Tower climber to come down

The official said the man was ‘under control and out of danger’ on Monday night

B.C. sends 267 firefighters to help battle Alberta wildfires

Out of control fires have forced evacuations in the province

LETTER: Fletcher ‘blurs reality’ on B.C. union public construction

Bridge, highway projects awarded to companies, not unions

Killer of Calgary mother, daughter gets no parole for 50 years

A jury found Edward Downey guilty last year in the deaths of Sara Baillie, 34, and five-year-old Taliyah Marsman

Federal government funds millions to help B.C. police spot drugged driving

Many police departments have expressed wariness about using the only government-approved roadside test

Judge: Mississippi 6-week abortion ban ‘smacks of defiance’

The new law would prohibit most abortions once a fetal heartbeat can be detected

Oil companies, 24-cent gap between B.C., Alberta to be focus of gas price probe

Premier John Horgan called the spike in gas prices ‘alarming’

Motorcycle deaths spike 50% since 2017

Riders were most likely fatally crash on the weekends compared with the rest of the week

Mother of accused charged in death of Surrey teen girl found in torched SUV

Manjit Kaur Deo charged with ‘accessory after the fact’ in 2017 death of Surrey teen

Most Read