West Shore News Through the Decades: Week of Mar. 4

From a mother's pleas to a van-load of injured students and more in this week's Through the Decades

A mother pleading to the public for information on her daughter’s disappearance, acidic fumes closing down London Drugs, a man who crashed into a van-load of elementary school students and more are among the headlines pulled from past issues of the Goldstream Gazette going back through the decades for the week of March 4.


On the third anniversary of Marilynne Neill’s disappearance, her mother makes an emotional plea for anyone with information to come forward. The case was recently reclassified from missing person, to missing person where foul play is strongly suspected. Rachelle Warner said she is more interested in recovering her daughter’s body than seeing those responsible brought to justice. Neill disappeared Feb. 16, 2003 a day before she was to appear in court on drug-related charges.

Also making news the week of March 4, 2006…

Pub owners hire a consultant to help fight proposed changes to patio smoking regulations. Although the proposed changes to redefine the definition of a patio that came without public consultation were shelved to allow for public process, businesses are complaining of a campaign of harassment against those allowing smoking on their patio areas.

And Metchosin took the first step towards rescinding land use Bylaw 444 by passing unanimously a motion to return the property to commercial recreation zoning as it was before. The proposed rezoning would allow a class “A” golf course or a mini golf course and luxury resort to proceed as planned. The developer Tony Wasilenko complained saying council “jumped the gun.”


A contractor who hauled demolition debris to a Metchosin property had to haul the material away again by order of municipal staff. The material had been dumped on the flood plain of Veitch Creek. Rick Wheatley, of D&R Wheatley Excavating said his crews had merely dropped the material where the property owner requested. They removed the materials at their own cost and without incident.

Also making news the week of March 4, 1996…

The London Drugs at Colwood Corners is evacuated after a hazardous material catches fire, sending sulphuric acid fumes throughout the building. One woman is rushed to hospital and three others complain of a burning feeling in their throats. The fire stared when dimethylsulfoxide was heated in the pharmacy, creating sulphuric acid.

And a man who crashed his car into a van-load of Happy Valley elementary school students in View Royal 15 months ago is sentenced to two years less a day in prison and banned from driving for the next 10 years. He’s convicted of impaired driving and dangerous driving causing bodily harm. His vehicle swerved across the double solid line on the Island Highway as he travelled to Victoria from Ladysmith, eventually hitting the minivan returning from a field trip. Five students are injured and James Etter had a blood-alcohol level of .203, more than 2.5 times the legal limit.


More than $2 million in “no strings attached” transitional grant money is given to Colwood and Metchosin. Colwood receives more than $1.67 million and Metchosin gets just over $500,000 based on $150 per capita on Colwood’s 11,164 population and Metchosin’s 3,464, to assist in meeting costs associated with newly incorporated status.

Also making news the week of March 4, 1986…

Colwood RCMP are on the hunt for tire slashers who caused approximately $1,000 worth of damage on Peatt and Strathmore roads. Eleven tires on nine separate vehicles are slashed.

And Colwood RCMP call in a police dog and handler to sniff out a man hiding in Six Mile House. Two officers called for the dog after arriving on the scene. The dog sniffed out the suspect, who is found with both of his hands bleeding.

– Compiled by Arnold Lim

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