WEST SHORE NEWS: Through the Decades for the week of Dec. 16

News and notes from decades gone by

Armed robbers at a racket club, David Cameron elementary school penny pinchers, a teenager acquitted of impaired driving despite a blood alcohol level more than twice the legal limit, and a Langford man accidentally setting his own car on fire are among the headlines pulled from past issues of the Goldstream Gazette for the week of Dec. 16.



David Cameron elementary school’s Grade 4 class is full of proud penny pinchers. The class becomes the top fundraising class at the school, and also beat out classes at eight other schools on the West Shore. The fundraising includes a sizeable coin donation by Ryan Berzon, which was so large he had to wheel the donation into the class.

Also making news the week of Dec. 16, 2005…

Highlands mayor Mark Cardinal is “very pleased,” after Mr. Justice Malcolm Macaulay rules that there is “no substance” to the allegation the four councillors who voted in favour of the controversial Bear Mountain development were in conflict of interest. The Highlands Preservation Society had pursued legal action seeking to overturn rezoning bylaws authorizing the Bear Mountain golf course. Macaulay dismisses claims that the four councillors were in conflict because they received campaign contributions from LGB9 Development Corporation, the company behind the Bear Mountain development.



This week is a busy one for volunteers at the Western Communities Christmas Hamper fund, as the annual project wraps up. Much of the activity comes in the last four days, says chairperson Joe Fawcett. Volunteers have been collecting donations of food, toys and money since the first week of December for needy families in the western Communities and 600 hampers will be filled in time for delivery to local homes.

Also making news the week of Dec. 16, 1995…

RCMP officers stop a suicidal man from jumping off the pedestrian overpass at Helmcken Road and the Trans-Canada Highway. The man was walking on the outside of the overpass when four officers arrived at around 4 a.m. Moments before, police received reports the man had left VGH and threatened to commit suicide. One officer convinced him to swing one leg back over the rails and distracted him while the other officers came up behind him and subdued him.

And, a Mill Bay teenager who had been tried in court on a charge of driving with a blood alcohol level of over .08 has been acquitted. Defence lawyer Brad Hickford told the News Gazette that the judge found “ the police did not have reasonable and probably grounds to make the demand” for a blood sample. The case began when Western Communities RCMP responded to a 2 a.m. crash in which a 1975 Volkswagen Rabbit hit the rocks beside the highway. The 17-year-old driver was taken to hospital for treatment of facial injures where blood samples were taken from him that showed a blood alcohol level between .168 and .188, more than double the legal limit. The teen’s staggering and his bloodshot eyes at the accident site, Hickford said, could have been symptomatic of shock induced by the crash.


A Langford man inadvertently set his 1983 Dodge Charger on fire by spinning his tires in an effort to get his vehicle out of a ditch alongside his home. Colwood RCMP were tipped off and said Dennis Harvey attempted to get out for over an hour before the car caught fire. The vehicle was a write-off by the time Langford Fire put out the flames.

Also making news the week of Dec. 16, 1985…

A 600-name petition to be presented to B.C. Transit is coming from the Juan de Fuca Seniors Association, who are protesting the use of parking facilities by “Park and Ride” customers of B.C. Transit. According to Jack Cockrell, a seniors association representative, more than 60 of the parking spaces which are allotted to seniors by the Juan de Fuca Parks and Recreation Commission are being used by transit users.

And, a Courts West night custodian and a friend escaped from armed men attempting to rob the racket club’s safe. Police are still searching for two men who entered the building, tied up the couple and attempted to break into the safe before their plans were foiled by the escape of the two individuals.

The custodian managed to untie he and his friends’ hands, then they ran out of the building, pulling the fire alarm on the way out. The two stood on the Island highway and tried to get help from passing motorists.


– Compiled by Arnold Lim

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