West Shore News Through the Decades, for the week of Nov. 27

Langford slate re-elected, vandals wreck SD62 vehicles and a local truck driver is a hero; headlines from past Gazette editions


There are no winds of change in Langford, as the entire mayor and council is re-elected, but there are changes in Colwood. Two newcomers, Carol Hamilton and Dave Saunders, are elected as first-time councillors, while Jody Twa hangs on to the mayor’s seat.

Also making news the week of Nov. 27, 2005:

Metchosin elects a new mayor, well, sort of. Former Metchosin mayor John Ranns defeats Karen Watson, who was seeking a third consecutive term. Ranns regains the mayor’s chair after serving two terms as a school trustee.

And, a West Shore firefighters calendar features calendar girls who can set hearts on fire and put out the flames themselves. Twelve female firefighters show a different side of themselves in the Female Firefighters of Metchosin, Sooke, Highlands, Otter Point and Langford. All profits go to raise money for fire and life safety educational programs for children and seniors on the West Shore.


Vandals cause thousands of dollars in damage to eight maintenance vehicles owned by the Sooke School district.  A surveillance tape shows three darkly-dressed individuals walking through the district’s works yard at approximately 3 a.m., with one carrying what appears to be a tool box. They loot the vehicles, stealing several tools, staffers’ personal belongings and stereo systems.

Also making the news the week of Nov. 27, 1995:

Local police credit the “heroic efforts” of a local truck driver bringing in an out-of-control vehicle to a safe stop on the Trans Canada Highway. The “hero” noticed a pick-up truck behind him on the highway swerve suddenly and hit another vehicle. He slows his company truck down and brings the swerving vehicle to a halt on his bumper on the side of the road. The driver of the vehicle had suffered from a diabetic attack while driving.


A Langford man is watching his property steadily erode away into a drainage ditch and is prepared to take court action to reclaim his back yard. Norm Nunn is miffed when his next-door neighbour installs a culvert in the drainage ditch that separates their two properties from the Luxton fair grounds. The makeshift culvert is off centre and he surmises that water might back up onto his property.

Also making the news the week of Nov. 27, 1985:

Heavy snowfall causes challenges throughout the West Shore. Several cars are abandoned on local roads when 16 centimetres of snow falls on the Island in two separate dumps. Even the Sooke RCMP experience intermittent power outages that leave them without working phone systems. One man even threatens to blow up Metchosin’s district offices if his roadway isn’t cleared.

And, a local thief let his sticky fingers do the work to winterize his cars. Possibly prompted by the year’s first snowfall, the thief strikes twice in the Glen Lake Road area one evening, making off with the battery out of one car and draining the antifreeze out of another, according to a Colwood RCMP report. Debra Chidlow assumes her battery was dead when her car wouldn’t turn over and calls a tow truck who charges her $15, only to discover there wasn’t a battery there to be charged. A bottle of rye inside the car wasn’t touched.

– Compiled by Arnold Lim