Dateline Cowichan: Cowichan debates war hero honours

North Cowichan Reeve Don Morton, right, inspects the situation as the Crofton pulp mill celebrates production of its on millionth ton of pulp on Oct. 25, 1963. - Jay Powley
North Cowichan Reeve Don Morton, right, inspects the situation as the Crofton pulp mill celebrates production of its on millionth ton of pulp on Oct. 25, 1963.
— image credit: Jay Powley

The Great War of 1914-18 attracted more Cowichan men (and a few women) per capita than anywhere else in Canada. And the valley wished to recognize its fallen.

In January 1921, citizens were asked to vote on three “war memorial schemes.”

Scheme 1: continuation of the old scheme of a cairn at Duncan Court House at a cost $1,000 plus voluntary labour. Scheme 2: erection of a memorial cross in Duncan and a cairn on top of Mt. Prevost, cost $2,500 plus voluntary labour. Scheme 3: erection of a tuberculosis hospital in connection with Duncan’s King’s Daughters’ Hospital, cost $8,000.

Fundraisers had already collected $705, mostly subscribed by the public and fraternal groups.

A Leader display ad cautioned citizens to read the funding guidelines carefully.

“If you vote for Scheme 1 or 2 you NEED NOT specify how much you will give. The sums involved are much smaller than in the case of Scheme 3. If you vote for Scheme 3, you MUST state how much you are prepared to subscribe to it. If this scheme is not adopted you are not bound to give that exact amount,  but you undertake to give something to the fund in any case.”

1921:  homes

Returned soldier W. J. Wood bought a Gibbins Road property from A. C. G. Luckman through Messrs. J. H. Whittome & Co. Ltd. Mr. Wood had been living at Somenos before deciding to move to Duncan.

1921: floods

When land near Lake Quamichan was affected by continual winter flooding, the Quamichan Lake Drainage commission let a contract to widen the outlet from four to seven feet at bottom. This would improve about 235 acres, they said.

1921: property

At tax assessment time, no one at North Cowichan could recall who had purchased the old agricultural show grounds at Maple Bay. Councillors called on the public to help them find the owner of the 20-acre spread.

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