Standing proudly in front of their new home in Lake Cowichan is the second half of the Vietnamese ‘boat family’. The members are left to right: Nga Xuan, her mother Bi Nguyet Lam, father Lao Hour Ngo, brother Vy Xuan Ngo, and sister Hong Xuan Ngo. (The Lake News, March 5, 1980)

Standing proudly in front of their new home in Lake Cowichan is the second half of the Vietnamese ‘boat family’. The members are left to right: Nga Xuan, her mother Bi Nguyet Lam, father Lao Hour Ngo, brother Vy Xuan Ngo, and sister Hong Xuan Ngo. (The Lake News, March 5, 1980)

LAKE FLASHBACK: Marner Missed, curling casualties and a family reunited

Welcome to Lake Flashback. Reporter Sarah Simpson 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.

Welcome to Lake Flashback. Reporter Sarah Simpson 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.

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This week around the Cowichan Lake area…

10 years ago

Saturday night means hockey in Canada and it was certainly a special hockey night in Lake Cowichan the first Saturday in March of 2010 according to the Lake Cowichan Gazette of March 3, 2010.

“What will make the game in Lake Cowichan unique is that the final score won’t matter much to either team or to the fans. What will matter is that once again the local community is coming together to support one of their own. When word got out that a local boy, John Hieta needed a special vest to help control the side affects of Cystic Fibrosis things started to happen quickly. Laurie Long Johnson started a fundraising campaign that once again showed how generous the folks around the lake can be.”

It wasn’t just about the game either. It started out months before with a “hugely successful” bottle drive and turned into a community project drawing the attention of those who grew up in the area but had since moved on.

“Part of that fundraising campaign is this hockey game between the Appollos and a Victoria Firefighters team,” wrote publisher Dennis Skalicky. “Rod Sidhu, who grew up in Lake Cowichan, is bringing the firefighters team up from Victoria.”

The Gazette of March 3 also featured a touching tribute to late editor Doug Marner by then-MP Jean Crowder.

“Doug covered events big and small because it was important to ensure the whole community was represented in the paper,” she wrote. “Doug’s insistence on covering the everyday events of life in Lake Cowichan reminds me of how important our local newspaper is to all of us. The big media conglomerates only send reporters to small communities for tragedies, or sensational stories. The conversations over how best to run a town or what matters most to people in their daily lives don’t get covered. The small triumphs of a great turnout at a charity event will never lead the evening news. But these are exactly the stories that keep us connected in our communities.”

25 years ago

After learning of budget cuts, Lake Cowichan RCMP were in no mood for leniency when it came to doing their jobs, so says the March 1, 1995 Lake News. The Mounties made it clear they were not babysitters and parents needed to start looking after their own children — or else.

One of the fall-outs from Monday’s tough budget will be stiff fines when your kids are caught breaking the law. Sgt. Ron Merchant says that RCMP personnel are being cut sharply across the country and this will affect Lake Cowichan.

“We will not have time to babysit kids anymore. We are getting tired of it. That is the parents job.” As a result, when kids are picked up, they’ll be kept at the detachment and parents will have to go and get them. For simple possession of alcohol there may be a fine of $50, and for drinking in public $100. If the kids can’t pay, the parents will have to, he said.

Parents are liable for kids actions until they reach the age of 18. Many parents do not seem to understand that they are liable, that they should know where their kids are and what they are doing, Or that the law is enforceable.

This past weekend a mother arrived at the detachment to complain that police were “rude” to her daughter.

“She should have been concerned about what her daughter was doing at night with liquor on her,” said Sgt. Merchant.

This sounds like information that is still useful to remember today.

Also on the front of the March 1, 1995 Lake News we learned curling was a contact sport 25 years ago.

“Police are still investigating a fight a week ago Saturday following a bonspiel at the curling club. Sgt. Ron Merchant, RCMP, said that things got so far out of hand that two local policemen were required and he called in another from Duncan.”

A young man got his nose broken; another was knocked unconscious and was taken by ambulance to hospital; a pellet gun was taken off a youth. A car smash on the South Shore Road bridge closed the bridge for quite some time. The fight seems to have broken out between some Victoria young men and local men, he said. One young man was kept in jail overnight, partly for his own safety.

Who knew curling could be so rough?

40 years ago

It was a good news story the first week of March, 1980 when the Lake News reported “Whole boat family reunited” on the front page.

“It was an emotional reunion. Grandma ran down the front steps in her stocking feet when her little grandchildren came up the walk. She joyfully embraced the three children, thrilled at the first sight of her third grandchild, who was born and spent the first three months of her young life in a refugee camp on the other side of the world.

The long-awaited second half of Lake Cowichan’s boat family arrived Thursday.

A mix-up in Victoria had sent half the family to Duncan instead of Lake Cowichan and it took six days for the error to be spotted and the family was able to reunite at their home in Lake Cowichan.


sarah.simpson@cowichanvalleycitizen.comLike us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

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