West Shore News Through the Decades: Week of Mar. 18

A rough day for George the cat, the 10-year-anniversary of the Goldstream Gazette and more are in this week's Through the Decades

A racoon lover facing eviction, a teenager who assaulted four people in 48 hours, a rough day for George the cat, the 10-year-anniversary of the Goldstream Gazette and the future of the E&N Railway are among the headlines pulled from past issues of the Gazette going back through the decades for the week of March 18.


One-third of all Sooke District students aren’t completing high school and superintendent Brian Fox raises the issue for school trustees. He notes local 2004-2005 completion rates were approximately 68 per cent, a full 11 per cent below the provincial average. Among B.C. school districts of similar size and composition, Sooke has the lowest completion rates.

Also making the news the week of March 18, 2006…

On the opposite side of the spectrum, students from the Sooke School District put on a fine showing garnering five of 12 Youth in Action Awards. The awards, sponsored by six local associations and businesses, provide regional awards to students nominated by their schools in categories include academics, practical arts, community service and perseverance.

And a helicopter was needed to assist Langford Fire Rescue with the rescue of a man who fell near Mt. Wells Park. The 72-year-old man was with a group when he slipped on moss and banged his head on the rocks.


A racoon advocate says she is being evicted from Fort Victoria RV park for helping injured racoons, but the landlord says she and 17 RV residents are being evicted to make room for a road widening. The racoon lover’s problems began last September when she showed up at a View Royal town council meeting with an injured racoon. She told council it had been injured when a tree was felled at Fort Victoria and asked for an amendment to the town’s tree cutting bylaw, requiring developers check trees are free of wildlife before cutting them down.

Also making the news the week of March 18, 1996…

The future of E&N Railway looks brighter this week in light of local MLA Moe Sihota’s announcement that Canadian Pacific Railway will use a new freight line to finance passenger service. E&N headquarters will also be relocated from Montreal to Nanaimo.

And a teenager who assaulted four people in 48 hours will be spending five months in custody. The youth, 15 at the time of the attacks, cannot be named. He first attacked a man and woman near Ruth King elementary school while wearing brass rings. The assaulted man was cut near his left eye, the woman had a cut lip. The next day the teenager attacked another male youth, kicking him approximately 20 times and rendering him unconscious. In addition to the jail sentence, he has to take anger management classes.


March 14 was a rough day for George the cat. Not only did he get stuck at the top of a tree on Goldstream Avenue with a crowd of people staring at him from below, but he was mistaken for a cougar. Colwood RCMP responded to their first “cougar sighting” of the year only to find a rather frightened cat. George made it safely down the tree.

Also making the news the week of March 18, 1986…

A thief made away with $1,800 worth of “paper” gas following a break and entry at the Payless station on Sooke Road. The culprit made off with the coupons after prying open a back wall panel to gain entry.

And the Gazette turns 10 years old after three friends, George Manning, Mike Crossman, and Verne Percival, opened the Gazette with money borrowed from Crossman’s father and mortgaging against his 32-foot sailboat. The Gazette’s first office was a storage shed with garage-style doors.

– Compiled by Arnold Lim