THROUGH THE DECADES: For the week of April 27

Dead rats sent to Colwood city hall, Langford council bans hemp products and 7-11 pulls “skin” mags, all made Gazette headlines


Two dozen teachers angrily walk out of the Sooke School District offices after hearing trustees will not ask for firm class size and composition limits for grades 8 through 12. Trustees emerge from an in-camera session with a prepared statement read by chair Wendy Hobbs saying they respect “teachers’ dedication and value their input into public eduction.” She goes on to say they have not spoken to the B.C. School Trustees Association yet, nor have they stated an official position.

Also making news the week of April 27, 2006:

The story of a dramatic car-jacking is likely a lie. A 43-year-old Langford man tells police he was robbed of his black Dodge Durango after claiming he pulled over to help a man who appeared to be lying on the side of the road. The story, as told to police, was the man on the ground pulled a knife, saying he was dying and demanded to be taken to the hospital. Instead police are investigating whether a more common criminal transaction was occurring when the alleged car-jacking took place. RCMP aren’t ruling out the possibility that it was a drug transaction gone bad. Police are considering criminal charges against the driver.


Colwood councillors and staff smell a rat, again. Mayor John Bergbusch reveals that three very smelly dead rats had been mailed to Colwood hall last Christmas. His revelation comes after councillors receive bogus invitations to a barbecue at the mayor’s home to celebrate the year of the rat.

Also making news the week of April 27, 1996:

A Saturday night ruckus on Sooke Road was like “an episode of COPS,” according to an eyewitness. Staff Sgt. Dale Dichrow of the Western Communities RCMP says four adult men were arrested after police investigate 911 calls about a group of men fighting with weapons.

And, Langford council intends to ban the sale of hemp products in the municipality. City councillors vote to ask staff to prepare a bylaw that would effect such a ban, despite the impassioned pleas of a hemp shop proprietor. Norm Cholette, part owner of Happy Valley Hemp, begs council to give his store a chance, and it doesn’t sway councillors.


Four Sooke residents are arrested for cultivating marijuana following three house raids by Sooke RCMP. The marijuana was halfway through its growing stage and has an estimated street value of $3,500, according to the police.

Also making news the week of April 27, 1986:

Nels Hansen, 79, is staying at the Salvation Army men’s hostel after a fire that originated in his bedroom spread and forced him out of his home. He heard an “explosion-type noise” before getting out, unhurt but shaken, from a fire that may have started due to some faulty wiring. Estimated damage to his residence was $10,000.

And, the 7-11 convenience store on Goldstream Avenue is joining a nationwide movement and will be clearing its shelves of Playboy, Penthouse and Forum magazines as of June 1. The company decides to remove the men’s magazines following government inquiries showing a connection between such publications and violent acts, a Southland Canada Inc. communications manager tells the Gazette.

– Compiled by Arnold Lim