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Lake Flashback: Body of Missing Man Found, Earthquake Preparedness and Council's Beer Gardens Debate

Mayor Ross Forrest addresses the crowd at a public meeting. Tragic news of missing man found. Ohtaki delegation confirmed. Earthquake preparedness urged.

Lake Cowichan Mayor Ross Forrest, accompanied by council members, delivered a speech to speaker David Ridley and the rest of the audience at the Town of Lake Cowichan public meeting at Centennial Hall on Monday. Welcome to Lake Flashback, where reporter Sarah Simpson delves into the archives with the help of the Kaatza Station Museum and Archives to bring you a trip down memory lane, a sense of nostalgia, or a good laugh as we explore the headlines from the past in Cowichan Lake.

A decade ago, a heartbreaking headline graced the front page of the May 28, 2014 Lake Cowichan Gazette. The discovery of the body of Rodney MacKinnon, a missing Lake Cowichan man, shook the community. His remains were found near the Fairservice logging-road network, a familiar area to him, after an extensive search effort by Cowichan Search and Rescue. Despite the tragic outcome, family and friends continued to search for the intelligent, caring, and artistic gentleman.

On a brighter note, the arrival of a large delegation from Lake Cowichan's sister village of Ohtaki was confirmed, promising an exciting visit with 19 kids, office staff, teachers, and adults, including Ohtaki's mayor. The cultural exchange between the two communities was a highlight amidst the somber news.

Turning back 25 years to the June 2, 1999 edition of the Lake News, an alarming story about earthquake preparedness caught readers' attention. The importance of being ready to assist in rescue efforts during a major earthquake was emphasized by Rob Hutchins, chairman of CVRD and Mayor of Ladysmith. The sobering message served as a reminder of the need for community readiness in times of crisis.

In the same issue, a proposal from VisionQuest Recovery Society to lease the CLEC Centre for addiction recovery purposes sparked discussions within the council. The potential 25-year lease agreement raised questions and prompted further meetings to explore the details of the proposal, ensuring transparency and community involvement in the decision-making process.

Fast forward 40 years to the May 30, 1984 edition of the Lake News, where vandals wreaked havoc at the Marble Bay scout camp, causing extensive damage to the property. The senseless destruction left the camp in disarray, prompting a response from the Lake Cowichan RCMP detachment to investigate the incident.

Meanwhile, a heated debate over a new beer garden policy stirred controversy among council members as they grappled with the increasing requests for permits in the Cowichan Lake district. The balancing act between endorsing permits and addressing substance abuse issues in the community led to a clash of opinions among councilors, highlighting the complexities of governance and public policy decisions.

In conclusion, the historical snapshots from Lake Cowichan's past serve as a reminder of the community's resilience, challenges, and ongoing efforts to navigate through adversity and progress towards a brighter future.

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