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Back in the Day on the West Shore: Is it a bird? A plane? Santa? No, it’s Tommy Douglas

Plus, merchants post Christmas deals, circa 1969
Two employees from The Trader’s are pictured going all out to deliver a colour television set to a customer living near Glen Lake. The snow along the driveway was a foot deep, but the two men made the delivery “without mishap.” (Courtesy of Juan de Fuca News Review, Jan. 8, 1969)

Stories are taken from the Dec. 16 and 23 editions of the Juan de Fuca News Review, published in 1970.

The communities of “Canada’s southwestern corner” were divided heading into Christmas over the issue of a new arena.

Langford and Colwood residents had voted overwhelmingly in favour of constructing a new facility, set to be called the Centennial Arena, but Metchosin residents did not meet the 60 per cent approval rate needed to pass the arena’s construction. Metchosin was set to fund nine per cent of the $750,000 project, which Langford and Colwood said they could make up on their own.

There was a bit of an animal-based crime spree going on in Metchosin, with 12 per cent of the sheep in the area having been taken down by loose dogs in 1969. To tackle the issue, the province later declared the area from Six Mile House to Sooke a “sheep protection area” and required dog owners to pay a $5 licence fee.

Still on the crime beat, somebody wasn’t in the giving mood over the Christmas period, as a goldfish and guinea pigs was stolen from the Metchosin Playgroup, held at St. Mary’s Church Hall on Metchosin Road, for the second time. “Why would people go out of their way to hurt four and five year-old youngsters?” asked the playgroup’s director, Mrs. E. Carolsfeld.

While other communities were dealing with dogs and arena delays, Sooke was preparing for the visit of Tommy Douglas, then leader of the newly formed New Democratic Party and MP for Nanaimo-Cowichan-The Islands. Douglas was scheduled to hold a town hall event on Jan. 29, to recap events that had happened over the past few months in Ottawa.

And for people who left their Christmas shopping to the last minute, the Colwood Pharmacy advertised gifts for her (chocolates, perfumes, toiletries, lighters and fine stemware) and gifts for him (bar accessories, wallets, pipes, humidors and Italian decanters).

READ MORE: Back in the Day: A time before Sooke


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About the Author: Goldstream News Gazette Staff

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