History’s Headlines: Bombs away at city hall

A look back at what was making news in Oak Bay this week in 1987 and 1997

This week in Oak Bay

This week in Oak Bay

Jennifer Blyth

Oak Bay News

A bomb scare closed the Oak Bay Recreation Centre’s lounge back in September 1987, keeping rec centre and municipal hall employees off the job for several hours, the Oak Bay Star reported Sept. 23, 1987.

“Oak Bay Police Chief Andy Anderson told the Oak Bay Star Monday that someone called the police department’s switchboard about 8 p.m. Friday night saying ‘This is not a joke – there’s a bomb at the rec centre.’” The caller also made reference to a bomb at municipal hall.

While nothing was found Friday evening, a suspicious package was found outside municipal hall Monday morning and the CFB Esquimalt Fleet Diving Unit was called in to detonate the package.

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Opposition was mounting to a Capital Regional District-proposed above-ground pumphouse at Oak Bay’s Windsor Park as part of the East Coast sewage interceptor project. A delegation of approximately 20 people was expected to converge on council chambers Monday, after the Star went to press, to protest the proposal and present a petition. The newspaper’s letter’s pages echoed the concerns.

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Trash was the topic of the day this week in 1997.

While it may seem old hat how, some 18 years down the road, at the time, the move to curb-side garbage pick-up was front-page news.

A number of residents voiced concerns to council, largely concerned about seniors’ difficulty in hauling their containers to the curb. While Coun. Frank Carson opposed the all-or-nothing approach to garbage pickup – citing the seniors’ concerns – councillors decided that bringing garbage to the curb was more efficient than having two types of collection systems.

Council was unanimous in the cancellation of the annual spring clean-up, traditionally offered by the municipality, a move that was expected to save Oak Bay $54,000.

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Oak Bay mountain biker Trish Sinclair was also in the news this week in 1997, heading to Switzerland for the World Mountain Biking Championships. A fourth-year member of the Canadian National Team riding alongside Olympic silver medallist Alison Sydor, Sinclair was the BC Cup overall winner and placed third in the Canada Cup.

What it cost – 1987

Bee Cee Liquid Honey – $1.49

Ayler Boston Beans – 69 cents

Bunsmaster Bakery – Apple pie, $2.19