Student fundraiser, a $25,000 hero and mistake – Lake Cowichan Gazette


Welcome to Flashback Lake. Journalist Sarah Simpson has combed through old newspapers with the help of Kaatza Station Museum and Archives so we can jog your memory, give you that nostalgic feeling, or just a chuckle, as we let’s take a look at what was making headlines this week. Cowichan Lake in years past.

This week around the Lake Cowichan region…

10 years ago

It was starting to look a lot like graduation time ten years ago this week in Lake Cowichan. “Raising funds for an event for dry graduates” was the title of the April 4, 2012 edition of the Cowichan Lake Gazette, and it seems that the students did well in collecting bottles.

“Saturday’s dry graduate fundraiser went off without a hitch, raising nearly $1,000 in bottles from local Cowichan Lake residents,” wrote Tammy Caruso. “Graduate Sec Coordinator Julie Foster says the grads still have plenty of fundraising activities planned to raise money before heading out June 28-June 30 to go white-water rafting near Hell’s Gate in the Fraser Canyon on the mainland. Volunteers and graduate students attended Saturday’s event to help drive and recover in all areas of Lake Cowichan and surrounding areas.

“The LCSS and the graduating class are grateful for all of the continued support that helps make the graduation event a success.”

Teens dominated the headlines in this newspaper, it seems the second story was about teen hockey.

“High performance players congregate at the lake,” wrote Dennis Skalicky.

“There was a full house at the Cowichan Lake Sports Arena over the weekend as the Regional Men’s Under-16 Camp was held locally. Players from Vancouver Island and the Central Coast were in town at the camp designed to educate and prepare players for future opportunities in the high performance program. It’s a great opportunity for kids to play against players outside their own association and for the best to play the best.

“Lake Cowichan was chosen because of the access to ice time and the fact that it is a central location in the southern part of the island where most of the players come from. You could almost feel the tension in the air as the players awaited their final interviews on Sunday afternoon to see who made the squad.

25 years ago

“Little School District ‘No Longer Justifiable,’ Says Former SB President” graced the April 2 front page, Lake News. Things certainly changed between the announcement of board memberships and the actual combination of the two, the newspaper explained.

“It has been four months since School Boards 65 and 66 merged to form Cowichan Valley School District 79. Our local administrators’ views on the merger vary, with administrator Pat Weaver being the most outspoken opponent. With the exception of Weaver, what is being said about the merger now is very different from what it was a year ago.

“Trustee Wilma Rowbottom now has a more optimistic attitude towards the merger. Rowbottom, who was School District No. 66 president before the merger and who just over a year ago described herself as “dead” when she learned of the merger announcement, now says that small school districts are no longer justifiable. The issues that have arisen with the merger, such as the complexity of the change and the costs involved, will be worth it once things are settled and run smoothly, she says.

In other news from 25 years ago, the winners of the Lake News‘s Easter Coloring Contest have been nominated. Do you recognize any of these people? They will be much older now!

In the 5-6 year old category, Jeannie Bogaards took first place with Serene Zabok and Mandie Foster second and third.

In the 7-8 age group, Marissa McCallum won with Cari-lynn Yablonski and Matthew Foster second and third.

Jenny Johel took the 9-10 age group beating finalists Jocelyn Lundberg and Mark Edwards.

“The work was exceptional, and it was evident that many of the children spent a lot of time on their projects,” the newspaper said.

I wonder what these kids are doing today…

40 years ago

A hero got his due this week 40 years ago, according to the Lake News of March 31, 1982.

“Lumberjack Hero Awarded After Local Fire Drama” was the title, but it wasn’t a soap opera-type drama. It was a matter of life and death and deserved serious congratulations.

“A Victoria logger who saved a Mesachie Lake co-worker from a forest fire last October has received a Workers’ Compensation Board bravery award. Lyle Hallberg was fighting a fire at Harris Creek in BC Forest Products Renfrew Division when Will Goranson of Mesachie Lake was hit by a burning tree. Goranson’s clothes caught fire and his hands and arms were burned. The wind changed direction, putting the men in danger. Gornanson was unable to make it to safety, due to his injuries, so Hallberg returned to drag him. Witnesses said Goranson would have died if he didn’t [for] Hallberg action. Hallberg received a plaque, a bronze medallion and a check for $1,000.


And finally, in the same edition, “The Council for the Village of Lake Cowichan has decided that the Village should not have to pay an additional $25,000 because a contracting company faced additional costs during the construction of the new village water pumping station. On the recommendation of its engineering firm, council decided on March 23 not to grant a request from Standard General Construction Ltd. that the extra should be paid to cover an expensive “sheet piling” experience. The construction company had taken a soil sample close enough to the view of the pumping station to determine what type of soil they needed to work with. Once excavation began, however, the ground was found to be denser and wetter than expected.

The mistake cost the company $25,000.


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“Students in the group wield rakes while landscaping at Olson Manor as part of a fundraiser for an exchange trip to Amherst, Nova Scotia.” (Lake News, March 31, 1982)


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