West Shore News Through the Decades: Week of March 25

Goldstream Gazette going back through the decades

The death of cancer pioneer Ken Willoughby, Bear Mountain spreading smoke and ash over Florence Lake, a penniless woman burned out of her trailer home, and Langford passing a bylaw to prevent the opening of a hemp store are among the headlines pulled from the past issues of the Goldstream Gazette going back through the decades for the week of March 25.


Given 18 months to live when diagnosed with prostate cancer in 1992, Ken Willoughby beat the odds and spent another 14 years fighting for changes that have improved the lives of countless other patients. The Colwood man and his wife started the first support group for prostate cancer patients on Vancouver Island in 1992 and after a non-political march to the legislature in 1998, helped push for a cancer clinic that was opened on Vancouver Island after many previous government promises for one fell flat.

Also making the news the week of March 25, 2006:

Florence Lake residents are growling about Bear Mountain’s burning with complaints coming in about smoke and ash in the air resulting from burning debris for the development on Skirt Mountain. The smoke was so thick at one point residents couldn’t see the other side of the lake. Nearby homeowners, some asthmatics, complained there was no notice given to them about the potential for burning nearby.

And it’s now going to cost you to stop and smell the roses at Royal Roads University. As of May 1, RRU charges $12 for adults, $7 for youth, and $2 for children to tour their Japanese, Italian and rose gardens as well as the lower lakes and walled garden area. Revenue is meant to help offset the millions needed for upkeep of the site.


The Happy Valley Hemp store was supposed to celebrate its opening day but instead their doors remained closed because a bylaw change came just in time to prohibit it. “That kind of business is not welcome in Langford,” Mayor Stew Young said. Hemp store proprietor Patti Delisle, said Langford council never really gave her a chance, saying they judged her based on one word on her window.

Also making the news the week of March 25, 1996:

Local park petitions are hitting high gear as the Langford mayor suggested a ball diamond might be a fitting memorial for a baseball player killed in a car accident. Tiffany Forrest died in a car accident which may have involved drugs and alcohol, and neighbours started a petition to name a park after Forrest and collected approximately 5,000 signatures thus far.

A man caught taking scrap metal from a marine store told the judge he thought the scrap was free. Despite that Matthew Kent Dixon, 20, pled guilty to theft under $5,000. Asked why he pled guilty if he hadn’t intended to steal, Dixon’s lawyer said there were “extenuating circumstances.”

And local RCMP officers have new guns and more firepower. Western Communities RCMP began handing in their six-shot revolvers for 15-round, double-action Smith and Wesson pistols. The six-shooters lacked the power and didn’t provide officers’ with as much protection as the new model, said Insp. Paul Cheney.



A penniless woman burned out of her mobile home says she has no choice but to defy the Capital Regional District and move back into her replaced trailer at Goldstream Trailer Park without an occupancy permit because she cannot afford one and moves back in knowing she may face the consequences.

Also making the news the week of March 25, 1986:

The future of diverting  young offenders could be grim when the federal government withdraws funding for a youth diversion program. Funds are being pulled from the Pacific Centre and local politicians and organizers are concerned about immediate and long-term effects. The program encourages youth to accept and take responsibility for actions by facing the victim and making restitution.

– Compiled by Arnold Lim


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