Through the Decades for the week of April 15

A rare school budget surplus and a secret proposal in Colwood are among stories pulled from past issues of the Gazette.


The Sooke School District has a rare budget surplus and is asking for ideas on spending the funds. District staff and trustees are hosting public meetings to gather input from parents and other stakeholders. In total the district expects $65-million in operating revenues and In Sooke School District, the increase amounts to a total of $233 per student over the previous year.

Also making the news the week of April 3, 2005:

An 11th-hour demand from Colwood council that Royal Bay developers double their waterfront park dedication will likely be turned down. A legal opinion obtained by council indicated the City was bound by the development agreement from 1998. Developers hope to begin construction of the second phase which will see construction of a waterfront village centre and school site along with more than 1,500 homes.

And, speaking at Bear Mountain, Tourism Vancouver Island CEO Dave Petryk said he anticipates that within 10 years, the resort area will have the same reputation Whistler enjoys as an international tourist resort destination. Bear Mountain president Len Barrie praised Langford Mayor Stew Young for helping make the resort such a success, adding the community also deserves credit for making it such a tourist attraction.


A development proposal for the Royal Roads property has been submitted to the City of Colwood, but the document is being kept secret, the Gazette learns. Coun. Ernie Robertson said Mayor John Bergbusch mentioned the project during an in-camera council meeting asking councillors to keep mum about the development plan. The proposal calls for residential and commercial development of the 200-hectare federal portion of Royal Roads. Coun. Margo Whitbread said Robertson’s assertions of secrecy were “garbage” but when the Gazette tried contacting city administrator Barry Bennett to get a copy of the developers report, Bennett said “My instructions from the mayor, are to keep this under wraps and it’s for council’s use only.”

Also making the news the week of April 3, 1995:

A 14-year-old Langford boy is taken to hospital after being struck by a suspected drunk driver while the boy was riding his bike on Sooke Lake Road. After knocking the boy off his bike, the 1986 Oldsmobile Cutlass ran it over and dragged it along the road, while leaving the boy lying on the road. The driver, Ross Elton Storry, was picked up and arrested later after dislodging a cement barrier and knocking over a stop sign. The boy was taken to VGH, where he was treated for a concussion, broken shoulder and minor cervical fracture.

And, a 75-year-old woman being treated at Victoria General Hospital contracts necrotizing fasciitis, also known as the flesh-eating disease. Dr. Ernie Higgs, a doctor in the case would only say the disease had affected the woman’s abdomen and had since been stopped.


A month-long undercover investigation results in the arrest of 10 people and the seizure of approximately $2,400 worth of cocaine. The operation, centred around John’s Amusement Centre in the 700-block of Goldstream Rd., sees undercover officers make six marijuana and four cocaine purchases and one for MDA, leading to a search of a home on Luxton Road, where the cocaine was found.

Also making the news the week of April 3, 1985:

An asphalt-making plant that a local official called “a time-bomb waiting to go” has stopped ticking for now in Langford. Residents living near Capital Asphalt, tucked between a propane storage tank and a wood frame warehouse on Jacklin Road, are relieved when their complaints and subsequent Capital Regional District intervention force the company to stop its installation work.

And, the Goldstream Gazette joins the British Columbia and Yukon Community Newspaper Association is arguing that Canada Post is using it monopolistic position to unfairly compete with BCYCNA member papers for the flyer delivery business. The BCYCNA wants to see the federal Crown corporation Canada Post forced out of the business where there is a newspaper or door-to-door company available to provide delivery.

– compiled by Arnold Lim

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