It’s tradition here at the Chronicle, (and many other newspapers), to look back on the most popular stories of the past year. Here’s a list of Ladysmith’s top news makers.
10) Owners of the Traveller’s Hotel hope to break ground in 2020
Michael Roethe and his family purchased the famed Ladysmith establishment in 2018, and have begun the process of restoring the heritage building.
The Roethe family is keen to maintain the heritage aspects of the hotel. They hope to make the Traveller’s a boutique hotel with approximately 20 rooms. Downstairs will be an open concept restaurant and bar.
They hope to break ground by summer, 2020.
9) Ladysmith area’s most valuable home assessed at nearly $6 million
The most valuable residential property in the Ladysmith area is a secluded waterfront acreage with spectacular views of the sunrise over the Gulf Islands.
BC Assessment released a New Year’s list of Vancouver Island’s top 100 valued residential properties for 2019, and the Ladysmith home ranked 70th on the list.
8) Light Up parade delayed due to medical emergencies
Ladysmith’s largest event of the year was delayed after a pair of medical emergencies occurred along the parade route.
BC Emergency Health Services also responded to two motor vehicle incidents in Ladysmith, which caused a delay in ambulance response times.
Overall, the parade was delayed by over 45 minutes. Once the medical emergencies were cared for, there were no other issues.
7) Ladysmith man arrested for armed robbery and jewelry theft
39-year-old Ladysmith man, Dustin Williams was charged for robbery of beer and wine store and theft at jewelry store in Nanaimo.
The robbery charge stems from an armed robbery June 5 at the Best Buy Liquor Store on Jingle Pot Road, when Williams, who had his face covered, allegedly pointed a firearm at a clerk, stole money from the cash register and fled. Police found evidence that furthered their investigation into the robbery after they arrested Williams and searched his residence.
6) Eight arrested in Chemainus for drug and property crimes
Officers from the North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP detachment, with assistance from the Vancouver Island Emergency Response Team, conducted the search in a house on the 9300-block of Chemainus Road that is allegedly involved in drug trafficking and property crime.
The RCMP Street Crime Unit had began an investigation following numerous reports from area residents regarding drug and property crime activity around the residence.
As well as the eight people, police found two ounces of suspected crystal methamphetamine, a half of an ounce of fentanyl, numerous stolen property items including high end power tools, chainsaws, mountain bikes, identification and counterfeit currency in the house.
5) Wrong house visitor has Ladysmith RCMP suspicious
A short man “looking for a friend” at the back door of a Ladysmith home has attracted the attention of the RCMP.
A resident in the Colonia Drive area contacted the police Sunday afternoon after stopping what is suspected to be break-in in progress.
“An unknown male in his 20’s having short dark hair, approximately 5’6”, was interrupted as he attempted to gain entry into the home via a sliding patio door on the rear of the house,” Ladysmith RCMP Staff Sgt. Ken Brissard said in a media release.“Conversation ensued, whereby the suspect claimed to looking for his friend and he now realized he was at the wrong house.
4) Nanaimo-Ladysmith about to find out by-election results
Paul Manly became the second Green Party MP elected to the house of commons in Nanaimo-Ladysmith’s May byelection. Manly won with 37.3 percent of the vote.
Manly was later re-elected in the October 21 general election with more than one-third of the vote. In both elections, conservative John Hirst was the runner up.
In his victory speech, Manly said he would continue to work hard for Nanaimo-Ladysmith and be accessible, accountable and responsive.
3) Police asking for help locating missing Ladysmith man
Frederick “Freddy” Seward was reported missing on July 22.
Since the missing persons notice was issued, there have been reports on social media that Seward has been found.
2) Old Town Bakery displays Coast Salish inspired gingerbread house
Every year for the last 15 years, Geoff Cram has prepared a gingerbread house to display at Ladysmith’s Old Town Bakery. He’s tried a variety of different houses over the years, like a Dr. Seus themed house, an ugly Christmas sweater factory, a train, and more traditional European themed houses. This year, Cram wanted to do something Canadian.
The gingerbread house features a Coast Salish big house, a mountain shaped like a bird, and a moon based on work by Comox artist, Andy Everson. Cram drew inspiration for the mountain from a peak on the way to Tofino that — to him — always looked like a bird taking off in flight. There are also gingerbread stars, and gingerbread people in Cowichan sweaters suspended from the ceiling.
Cram consulted with one of his employees, who is Coast Salish. She asked her family what would be appropriate for the piece.
1) Pamela Anderson Returns Home to enjoy peace and solitude of Ladysmith
Pamela Anderson is perhaps the most famous Ladysmith resident of all time. After years in Malibu, Marseille, and travelling the world, Anderson has finally returned home, and says her best work is “yet to come”.
Anderson granted Black Press an exclusive interview to discuss how she’s enjoying her time back in Ladysmith, what she’s been doing since coming back, and what her plans are for the future.