WEST SHORE News Through the Decades, week of Feb. 25

Looking back through past issues of the Goldstream News Gazette

Langford making another effort to drill for well water, a bomb threat that turned out to be a hoax, a decapitated dog and the kidnapping of a Metchosin man are some of the top items pulled from the files of past issues of the Goldstream News Gazette.


Colwood administrator Joe Calenda warns the City of Colwood that when the dust settles on current First Nations land claims, the municipality could resemble a “Swiss cheese.” According to Calenda, none of the claims by the Songhees, Sooke and Beecher Bay bands, members of the Te’mexw federation, can be satisfied because that land is fully developed. Consequently the province will be looking to Ottawa to free up federal Crown land, of which there is no shortage within Colwood’s boundaries, including Royal Roads University grounds.

Also making the news the week of Feb. 25, 2005: Colwood Fire Department assistant chief Geoff Amy calls it a career. The 40-year member of the volunteer service officially hung up his hat on Jan. 31, saying that if he was a piece of firefighting equipment, he would have been retired long before. And, Langford makes another effort to drill for well water. The city is set to dig into another effort at supplying irrigation water for Centennial Park and boulevards along the top half of Jacklin Road. A previous attempt was initially successful, with record water flows from the well on Harry Eng Place. The well failed however, when the rock collapsed because the casing wasn’t put in far enough.


The B.C. Environment Ministry leaks a plan to make Esquimalt Lagoon a provincial park. News of the planned park designation surprises Colwood mayor John Bergbusch, who said he had been trying to get information from environment minister Moe Sihota. The news was released after an internal document dubbed a communications calendar was released to the News Gazette via fax by accident. A spokesperson for the Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks said he was surprised, but not embarrassed that the confidential document got into the hands of the media.

Also making the news the week of Feb. 25, 1995: A bomb threat turns out to be a hoax, after B.C. Transit and emergency response crews cordon off a View Royal neighbourhood for several hours. A man phoned B.C. Transit’s Victoria office and said there was a bomb on board bus No. 8016. The bus, in Esquimalt at the time, was driven to the parking lot at Shoreline community school and evacuated. And, vandals torched a vacant Langford House at 2462 Millstream Rd. The blaze was set about 10:30 p.m. while police believe a party was still going on in the house.


The body of a decapitated dog with its paws cut off was found at the side of the road on the 700-block of Latoria Road. Believed to be a smaller breed such as a spaniel or poodle, the dog had also been skinned. It was not possible to determine whether the dog had died or whether it was still alive when the mutilation started.

Also making the news the week of Feb. 25, 1985: Colwood RCMP Const. Dave Glancie testifies he spat at a man he was arresting, after the man spat on him, and that he saw Const. Ken Moser punch and kick the man in the Colwood detachment cells. Glancie testifies in Victoria Provincial court during the trial of Erroll Clarence Barrie, who was charged with three counts of assault, obstructing a police officer and mischief after police were called to investigate a domestic dispute. And, police in Colwood and the United States continue to search for people involved in the kidnapping of a Metchosin man at Taylor Beach. Donald Ralph Walters was seen being forcibly placed on a float plane at about 9 a.m. and was later located unharmed in Seattle, Washington. Kidnapping charges were laid against Donald Fraser, and James Ray Chapman.

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