West Shore News Through the Decades: Week of June 1

Exploring past headlines pulled from previous issues of the Gazette

Former prime minister Stephen Harper’s promise to help build a sewage plant, a record number of car thefts on the West Shore, fingerprints on a loonie bank leading to an arrest, police left searching for hours following an imaginary gunmen and a Spencer student saving a life with artificial respiration despite failing the written exam are among the headlines pulled from past issues of the Goldstream Gazette going back through the decades for the week of June 1.


Fromer prime minister Stephen Harper’s stop on Vancouver Island swooned local Conservative supporters. More than 150 business leaders and politicians packed the Empress Hotel to hear him speak. Among the topics were Harper’s concrete commitment to Greater Victoria coming in the form of funds to help build a sewage treatment plan in the Capital Region.

Also making news the week of June 1, 2006…

It looks like May will surpass the record of 23 vehicle thefts set in April of this year. West Shore RCMP dealt with 18 car and truck thefts and three thefts of motorcycles from May 15 to 26, with five reported on the night of May 25 alone. Cpl. Brian Kerr believes the thefts are likely the work of the same three or four individuals. Most of the thefts were reported in the Triangle Mountain, Sooke Lake Road and Jacklin and Dunford Road areas.

And a 29-storey condominium development on Sooke Road got a tentative green light from Colwood council after an energized but polite public hearing Monday. Council passed third reading by a 5-2 vote to change the Official Community Plan to increase the height restriction to 105.3 metres and increase density.


Fingerprints identified on a loonie bank two years after a break-in led to a conviction in Western Communities Court last week. The man pled guilty to breaking and entering with the intent to commit an indictable offence, getting probation for six months. He was also ordered to pay $350 in fines and victim surcharges. The man had broken into a home in January of 1993, making off with 50 loonies and a cordless phone.

Also making news the week of June 1, 1996…

A man high on cocaine kept police busy for hours. The man had police holed up for three hours searching for an imaginary gunman. Western Communities RCMP Staff Sgt. Dale Dichrow said the police were summoned to a residence where the man had reported seeing someone with a gun in his garage. He claimed some people were out for him and locked himself in a shed. Police were on the scene for three hours, calling in a general investigation unit, two Saanich police officers and police dogs in an attempt to find the supposed gunman. “The guy was on a three-day coke trip,” Dichrow said.

And Colwood council has passed what it hopes to be the first and last expropriation bylaw. Under the Municipal Act, the City has the right to expropriate lands for right of ways, in this case the Colwood trunk sewer. Council is currently in negotiations with the owner of the property, said Mayor John Bergbusch. The property owner will be reimbursed for the property expropriated in accordance with current land assessment values,” he said. “We don’t like to do this and only do it when absolutely necessary,” he said.


Stephanie Rohdine saved the life of a seven-year-old paraplegic girl in a gas station, using artificial respiration to bring the child – who had completely stopped breathing – back to life. The Spencer student had taken artificial respiration in a school course – and had originally failed the written exam, but passed the true test by saving a life.

Also making news the week of June 1, 1986…

The Pacific Centre for Human Development says it’s discovered a high incidence of sexual abuse victims among its student body. It was revealed a large number of the PCHD students have been abused or have witnessed it. The information was revealed just as the Sooke School District is planning to initiate a new program to safeguard students from sexual abuse.

And a Colwood RCMP officer facing criminal charges will continue to work until a decision is delivered. The officer was charged with perjury as a result of denying he threatened to shoot the kneecaps off an arrested man. The constable later admitted to making the threat.

– Compiled by Arnold Lim

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