West Shore news … through the decades for Jan. 16, 2015

We look back at top news stories from the past 10, 20 and 30 years in the Gazette

Winter weather, phoney letters to the editor and sewage planning in Colwood are among the top news items pulled from the files of past issues of the Goldstream News Gazette.


The West Shore fails to escape the clutches of winter, as heavy snow blankets the region. The sounds of children’s laughing and screaming as they play in the white stuff contrasts with the wail of sirens from emergency crews that are being kept busy.

Also making news the week of Jan. 16, 2005: Assessed property values on the West Shore, like the rest of Greater Victoria, are soaring, as the numbers jump by upwards of 24 per cent over the previous year. And, the Belmont senior boys and girls basketball teams opened 2015 with victories, the boys over highly-rated St. Michaels and the girls over Stelly’s.


A phoney letters to the editor investigation by the News Gazette results in Colwood resident Betty Gray claiming her signature was forged on a March 1994 letter alleging “irregularities” at Colwood city hall. A separate letter hand-delivered to the paper’s office over the New Year’s Day weekend that contained potentially defamatory statements also proved to be bogus, and turns out to be related to the falsified fax attributed to Gray. Two other Colwood-related letters received in 1994 turn out to be false, with names and phone numbers unknown to the people who answered the phone.

Also making headlines the week of Jan. 16, 2005: Langford Mayor Stew Young is angered by the theft of his prized 1957 Chevrolet Bel-Air car from a local transmission shop. The car is later recovered and two young men are charged with the theft.


Colwood’s “strip planning” comes under attack from Capital Regional District directors analyzing the CRD sanitation and water committee’s proposed six-year capital works plan that calls for the Old Island Highway strip that includes car lots and restaurants connected to a sanitary sewer system. The plan also proposes that the areas of Belmont Park and Esquimalt Lagoon also be hooked up, given their history of problems with sewage disposal.

Also making headlines the week of Jan. 16, 1985: Candidates Bill McElroy and Frank Bell are gearing up for the campaign to sit as View Royal director on the Capital Regional District board. And top Belmont High automotive student Rick Petillion, who graduated the previous June, earns a trip to Las Vegas for the Pacific Automotive Show, put on by a non-profit group of auto wholesalers and retailers.