North Cowichan turns 140

Councillor John Koury tells the story of the District Municipality of North Cowichan, which was incorporated in 1873.

On June 18, the District Municipality of North Cowichan turned 140 years old.

The municipality, thought to be one of the oldest in Western Canada, was incorporated in 1873.

At the time, Canada was just turning six years old and B.C. was two.

North Cowichan was the fifth municipality to be incorporated by B.C.

“North Cowichan is old,” North Cowichan councillor John Koury said in a press release. “I could not find an older incorporated local government west of Winnipeg, also incorporated in 1873.

“When I think of all the nation-building history that led to incorporation and that since grew between North Cowichan and Manitoba, I can’t help wonder what a rich, dynamic, humbling story we have to share with the country.”

The municipality is the largest in land mass on Vancouver Island, and it covers a larger footprint than the 13 municipalities that make up the Capital Regional District, according to Koury.

“I try to tell our story everywhere I go. I am proud of our history. I connect our success with our past and present to plan for the future,” he said. “We have the fundamental elements in place to chart a new prosperous path for growth in keeping with the spirit and tradition of the hard work that brought us here.

“From all of us who have benefited from this rich history, Happy Birthday North Cowichan.”

Koury says he raised the idea of a 140th anniversary celebration several times with North Cowichan council, but a decision was made to look instead at holding an event to mark the municipality’s 150th year in 2023.