West Shore news … through the decades, week of Feb. 6

A new NDP candidate, a man helping a burning co-worker and a mutilated vehicle made news in past issues of the Goldstream News Gazette.


John Horgan wins a lopsided victory for the New Democratic nomination for the Malahat-Juan de Fuca riding. Horgan, a 45-year-old management consultant, defeats his only opponent Julie Thomas, taking 171 of 215 votes at the Our Lady of the Rosary Church hall in Langford. Sitting Liberal MLA Brian Kerr is not running for re-election, so Kyara Kahakauwila, Rick Spencer and Cathy Basskin are vying for the Liberal nod.

Also making the news the week of Feb. 6, 2005:

Despite an exhaustive 83-page report by fire investigator Ray Aitken, the cause of the Oct. 14 blaze at Happy Valley school is listed as “undetermined.” The report indicates the fire is suspicious and likely not accidental. In fact human involvement was the only cause not eliminated in the course of the investigation.

And, the chair of View Royal’s community development advisory committee reveals allegations over how council treated the committee and how the committee treated the general public in regards to the Thetis Cove development application. In notifying mayor Graham Hill of his resignation, Richard McMahon describes his experience as “frustrating” and accuses council of continually accepting “lower-tier development proposals, while gaining few amenities when compared to neighbouring jurisdictions.”


Plans for cycling path projects improvements please local riders. They claim victory after an announcement by the provincial government that a six-kilometre section of the Galloping Goose will be resurfaced for commuter and recreational cycling. The $2.8-million project will see the trail paved from the Town and Country Shopping Centre in Saanich to Atkins Road in View Royal. The project also creates overpasses and underpasses to move cyclists across the Trans-Canada Highway and other major roads.

Also making the news the week of Feb. 6, 1995:

The new Vancouver Island Regional Library board reaffirms that construction of a new main Western Communities library branch will move ahead at the corner of Sooke and Kelly roads. In a 17-6 decision, the board votes Jan. 28 to proceed with a deal already struck with Equitex Realty. And, Frank Mitchell, brother of Metchosin Coun. Bob Mitchell, says putting more bite in the municipality’s land-use bylaws is needed to deter the one per cent of the population who are prone to breaking laws. Some suggest a $5,000 fine –  most jurisdictions issue fines around $400 at first –  but Frank Mitchell insists a $10,000 penalty is needed as a deterrent.


A man caught in the middle of a blaze at Marlam Logging Supplies on the corner of Jacklin Road and Goldstream Avenue avoids serious injury when he is rescued by a fellow employee. Mike Wenban was thrown down and rolled on the ground by Blair Cambrey as fire began to spread to Wenban’s clothing. A kerosene heater had ignited some gasoline that had spilled out of a portable generator. Damage was extensive to the basement of the building, and trucks from all three Langford fire halls respond to the blaze.

Also making the news the week of Feb. 6, 1985:

A City of Victoria solicitor is asked to investigate the legal implications of removing lifeguards and rafts from Thetis Lake park, which it oversees. A plan to remove the six life rafts and eliminate the lifeguard program is being considered as a way to save the City approximately $30,000 a year. Most of the incidents involving lifeguards are basic first aid, but sometimes they’re used as a babysitting service, according to parks director Al Smith. And, View Royal resident Ron Howard is at a loss to why his car was so senselessly destroyed. His 1964 VW Beetle was stolen Jan. 4 while he and his 10-year-old son were attending a scouting sleepover in the Marigold Scout Hall in Saanich. The car was found abandoned and demolished on Prospect Lake Road, having been taken for a joy ride, rolled at least once, set ablaze, then pushed off a 20-foot cliff. An axe was apparently used to mutilate the hood.

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