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Dateline Cowichan: Christmas always for Cowichan kids

Dragon Dance outside a shop named Kwongsangs in Duncan Chinatown.  - courtesy Cowichan Valley Museum and Archives
Dragon Dance outside a shop named Kwongsangs in Duncan Chinatown.
— image credit: courtesy Cowichan Valley Museum and Archives

There was a time, long, long ago, when the Leader devoted much space to reporting on school concerts. Sometimes, it seemed every child who put so much as a nervous toe on stage was named.

Case in point: Duncan Consolidated Elementary School Christmas party in 1934 held in the Agricultural Hall (near the old Mound). The Leader reporter wrote lovingly of the program, reserving greatest praise for the “brilliant” operetta Columbus presented by principal H. E. Blanchard and Mrs. Blanchard.

“Wilmer Van Norman took the lead as Columbus; John Dick was the president under the Spanish monarchs to sponsored the voyage of the Genoese explorer; Henry Langlois was King Tapioca of the West Indies; and Lloyd Leeming was Banana Bill, his prime minister.”

Also on the program were the students of York Road School (now a pre-school next to McAdam Park) under the direction of Miss Gwen Owens and Miss A. Staples. They performed The Four Seasons, a selection of folk dances.

Performing the Dance of the Flowers were Dan Aldersey, Barbara Cochrane, Betty Forrest, Shirley Maitland, Mitsuko Nakashima and Betty Powel. Stanley Banner, Jimmy Bonsall, Jimmie Cain, Billy Forest and Robert Hanham were among the students in Santa Claus is Coming.

1934: tires

Joe Brennan, owner of Joe’s Tire Shop, announced the business had installed a new machine with a full circle tire-retreading mould to replace a contraption that retreated one-third of the tire at a time.

1934: holidays

Cowichan Valley forest camps would be shut down for a period of 10 days for the observance of the Christmas season; Hillcrest and Mayo mills would also take a holiday break, it was announced.

1934: fires

Miss C. A. Bonner’s store at Koksilah was saved by Duncan Volunteer Fire Department when an oil shed adjoining the building caught fire. The roof of the shed and some store supplies inside were lost.

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