Welcome to a new column to the Oak Bay News, Pages from the Past, looking back at what was happening this week in Oak Bay in decades past.
We begin with the Aug. 25 issue from 1999, when national champ lawn bowlers and a crime arrest anchored the front page.
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Sixteen-year-old Heather Battles brought Oak Bay Lawn Bowling Club its fourth national junior ladies title in as many years.
Heather returned home with the gold from the Canadian National Junior Girls’ Championship in Toronto.
Heather wasn’t the only member of the family making rolling to wins on the green. Heather’s younger sister, Shannon, 14, also bowls and placed second to Heather at the B.C. Championships earlier in the season.
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On the crime front, a 41-year-old man was in custody in Port Alberni facing several charges of fraud committed both in Oak Bay and up-Island.
The man had been arrested by Oak Bay Police for similar crimes and police said he had been “extremely busy from Nanaimo north” pulling a con identical to the one he used to fleece local businesses for hundreds of dollars.
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Leading council news this week in 1999, Uplands residents planning a facelift to their garden or home were advised to first consult the “Uplands Design Guidelines” brochure.
“Intended to preserve the original intent and character of the Uplands, municipal council’s committee of the whole last week announced the new set of guidelines was complete and many were pleased with the design and layout,” the News reported.
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Fast forward to this week in 2005, when the Oak Bay News also marked the week with an Aug. 25 issue.
Leading the front page was the news that the then-proposed Shannon Oaks development was back before the public for review, in a substantially revised format than what had initially been proposed.
With the new design showing the results of significant public input, developers the Baptist Housing Ministry Society were hosting a series of public sessions to garner further feedback.
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The seismic upgrades to the Oak Bay fire hall were also well underway by Aug. 25, 2005.
The $279,740 upgrade, intended to help the landmark building on Monterey Avenue withstand future earthquakes or tremors, included 15-centimetre-thick concrete wall installed around the interior of the existing brick wall on the lower floor, the News reported.
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Finally, Gonzales Co-operative Preschool – then part of the neighbourhod for more than 50 years – found a new home at St. Philip Anglican Church.
The preschool was having to leave its place at Willows elementary due to that school’s burgeoning enrollment following the closure of several other School District 61 schools. It had previously been housed at Oak Bay High School.