Nobody ‘mooved’ to deal with loose cows on First Avenue – Chronicles From The Past

Ed Nicholson shares the top news from November 1913, 1938 and 1963 in his monthly column.

November 1913

An unnamed local entrepreneur accumulated a large amount of cordwood while clearing his land in Cedar. He began to ship the fuel by barge to Vancouver in November of 1913, and it sold well at a good profit. The demand was created as a result of the local coal strike.

Ladysmith residents were very excited about the November announcement of plans to build Canada’s first Astrophysical Observatory. A 72-inch telescope was to be installed in Saanich, 227 metres above sea level.

The location was chosen for “the large number of evenings with clear skies and unpolluted air.” [Note: Construction began in early 1913 and by 1917, Canada had the largest reflective telescope in the world, eclipsing the previous record (Mt. Palomar in California) by 12 inches. The observatory is still in use today.]

At a city council meeting, Alderman J.A. Knight complained that Ladysmith had a serious problem with cows running loose on First Avenue. The mayor promised that he would investigate, but no one ‘mooved’ that the local bulls should be involved.

The Chronicle received “a keg of herrings” from Mr. Frank Ellison of Cowichan Gap. [There was no indication of whether the herring were red or not.]

November 1938

The Aggie Hall advertised for a live-in caretaker. Remuneration consisted of free fuel, water and light, and $20 per month.

Fall apples went on sale in Ladysmith. The price was 75 cents per box. Bartlett pears were also available for the outrageous sum of 60 cents for 50 pounds!

In a front-page editorial, R. S. Wood expressed his concern over the growing “juvenile problem” in Ladysmith.

In his opinion, there were three categories of individuals creating concern: the vicious, the weak and the rebellious. Although he did not believe that “Mendelian assumptions of heredity” were the cause, he did state that “some individuals are just not meant to be parents.”

According to Mr. Wood, small towns like Ladysmith “should pay more attention to environmental and living conditions and ensure that appropriate extra cultural activities for six- to 16-year-olds were provided to detract the youth from delinquency.”

November 1963

On page one of the Nov. 14 edition of the Chronicle, it is reported that at its regular monthly meeting, School District 67 debated a request from Ladysmith Elementary School PTA for a grant of $100 to purchase a used television set. The motion was defeated.

As one farseeing trustee remarked, “If we buy a TV set for them, then soon every school in the district will want one and we just can’t afford it.”

School Superintendent Robert Price agreed. He pointed out that the district would soon face heavy expenses for new secondary school programs.

Several trustees commented on their belief that the board would have to watch their pennies for the next few years.

On page 12 of the 16-page newspaper, there is a notice of election for school trustees to be held on Nov. 25. By coincidence, the Returning Officer for the School Board election was none other than R. S. Wood. (see above)

Ed Nicholson, Ladysmith and District Archives

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