World Masters Games 2017 Champion Douglas Monds with his four silver and one gold medal. World Masters Games 2017 Champion Douglas Monds with his four silver and one gold medal.

July 2017: Death cap mushrooms abundant and early in Oak Bay

Murder mystery movie films on local site, donates to Victoria Hospice in lieu of location fee

Natural Resources Canada confirmed the fungus Amanita phalloides, known as the death cap mushroom, was found in Uplands on a boulevard on Ripon Road Sunday.

Mycologist Brenda Callan received an email from colleagues Adolf and Oluna Ceska identifying the deadly mushroom.

The mushrooms, which usually grow in urban areas in Victoria and were first introduced on the root systems of non-native trees, tend to spring up around fall following the first set of rains. However, the mushrooms have sprung up earlier this year, likely because they were in an area that was well irrigated.

A movie production company filmed a murder-mystery series episode at a scenic Oak Bay location and donated $21,000 of its proceeds to the Victoria Hospice Society.

The scened was filmed at the private residence of Black Press owner David Black, who donated his property as one of four locations in Oak Bay for the fourth episode of Hallmark series Gourmet Detective. Instead of paying for using the property, Black and the production’s location manager Paul Russell, decided it was better to donate the $21,000 to the Hospice Society.

A study conducted by moneysense.ca named Oak Bay the place to live in B.C. Oak Bay also scored as top three best places to live in Canada. North Saanich came in fourth, and the District of Saanich came in 11th overall.

Not bad B.C., not bad, but Oak Bay does outshine others in ways that are hard to match, scoring fairly high on criteria such as having a robust economy, high wealth and incomes, home affordability, low taxes, being transit friendly, health accessiblity, low crime and weather.

Douglas Monds caught the attention of many as Oak Bay News’ oldest carrier in 2016.

This year, the 88-year-old stole the spotlight after bringing home five medals from the World Masters Games in New Zealand. Originally from Auckland, Monds said the trip overseas in April was a three-pronged one: to visit his friends and sister in hospital, and to compete in the worldwide competition.

“I won five medals at the competition, one gold for hammer throw, silver for shot put, discus, weight throw and weight pentathlon,” he said. “I’d hate to come back with nothing.”

Monds has competed in five different World Masters games since 1998. This is his first time winning gold in hammer throw. “You feel kind of pride in yourself, I suppose, that you can still do it,” he said.

Every year Monds enters the BC Senior Games. He holds the Canadian record for poll vault in his age group and holds several more Canadian records in his age group for hammer throw and weight pentathlon. Until he retired in 1994, Monds worked in physical education, and didn’t want to let his fitness slip away after retirement. He took up paper delivery and athletics on his own time, only recently dropping his carrier route due to knee pain. “More or less, jogging did my knees in,” he said. “I can’t walk around very well, so I retired [from delivery].”

Undeterred, Monds intends to continue his athletic career, training to compete in the BC Senior Games in Vernon this coming September. He will no longer participate in poll vaulting but plans to stick with hammer throw, which doesn’t require the same painful movements as running does. The long-time athlete throws the hammer at Oak Bay High’s cage until September.

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