By the way: Cowichan businesses honoured

• Congratulations to Merridale Cider, who won “Best in Show” and a gold medal for their Traditional Cider & Silver medal for their House Cider at TasteBC 2013.

• More congratulations to Shawnigan Lake’s Steeples Bar & Grill. Groupon contacted Steeples’ Darren Cole to say his restaurant was voted number-one by Groupon’s customers in satisfaction for 2012!

• And still more congratulations to Wedderspoon Organic (manufacturer of the year), Chemainus Theatre Festival (non-profit business of the year) and Lush Eco Lawns (green business of the year) all of who were honoured in the Vancouver Island Business Excellence Awards, Jan. 24 in Nanaimo.

• Sixty-one-year-old Peter Spohn (perhaps better known as Grandfather Heron) tells us he has decided to ride his bike wherever possible. He’d like to see more community promotion and infrastructure to encourage bike riding for fitness and a lower carbon footprint. “Let’s get busy doing our small part for a better future and have fun and fitness along the way,” he writes.

• Add two more community stalwarts to the list of local Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal winner. Lake Cowichan Fire Chief Doug Knott, a 34-year volunteer received the honour from Lake Cowichan Mayor Ross Forrest and MP Jean Crowder on Jan. 22. Heart and Stroke Foundation heartbeat Colleen Marsel got hers at the Feb. 4 Heart & Stroke Celebrity Breakfast Chair 2013 from Janice Krall, Heart & Stroke Vancouver Island area manager.

• Deb Savory Wright, Chairwoman for  KidSport Cowichan tells us employees of the MNP Duncan office donated a cheque for $475 to the program through an in-house jeans day campaign.

• A trivia nugget: David Turpin, president and vice chancellor of the University of Victoria — who will step down from his post with the institution on July 1 after 13 years in the job — is a native of Duncan.

• We had a big smile on our faces after a recent visit from Shane Doucette of Island Canine Care. Shane tells us that when he finishes renovations on his Cowichan Lake Road home, he plans to use the leftover material to build a new News Leader Pictorial paper drop box to replace the one in his neighbourhood that’s getting little run-down. Thanks, Shane!

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