The Museum’s Blog

Lecture: Brilliant and Quirky: Pioneer Stories You’ve Not Heard Before

Time and Date: 7 pm, Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Location: Rotary Gallery of the Courtenay and District Museum

Speaker: May Q. Wong

Tickets: $5 for Historical Society members; $6 for general public. Advance tickets recommended. Tickets can be purchased over the phone by calling 250-334-0686 ext 2.

The dynamic May Wong presents fascinating stories on unsung characters of early Victoria from various cultural communities.

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Comox Valley Chamber Reaches Milestone

The Comox Valley Chamber of Commerce was first founded as the Board of Trade in 1913. It was incorporated on March 22, 1919 and in 1948 the name was changed to Chamber of Commerce.

The first building was constructed from donated supplies and volunteer labour in 1958 on Cliffe Avenue. Once the building was completed and funding was secured from the City, students were hired to provide tourist information. The new location was perfect for the arrival of the “Deuce,” the logging locomotive donated to the City of Courtenay from the Comox Logging & Railway Company.

In the 1970s times were tough for the Chamber, but good ideas were created. Frank Lockwood came up with the idea for Market Days and Ruth McKellar produced Citizen of the Year awards.

This year the Chamber of Commerce will be celebrating their official 100th anniversary at the Native Sons Hall on Saturday, September 28, 2019 at 8pm. Tickets are available online or in person at the Chamber office.

Periodical Wisdom: September 2019

It’s harvest time! Who wouldn’t want a brand new Massey-Harris binder? And while you’re at it, how about a new tractor too?

They both look great on paper but may not have been within everyone’s reach as this advertisement is from The Nor’- West Farmer magazine of July 21, 1930. By then the effects of the Great Depression would be noticeable.

All kinds of helpful hints, advertisements and practical “how-to” advice can all be found in periodicals from our archival collection.

September 2019 Watershed Moments

Here is the latest newsletter installment of an image from the museum’s award-winning book Watershed Moments – A Pictorial History of Courtenay and District.

Photo credit: Division 2 class from the Fanny Bay School, 1939. Teacher Irene Jones is standing on the far right of the photograph with the boys. CDM 984.39.1 Page 179.

Photo caption: “From 1926 until 1942, about half the students at the two-room Fanny Bay School were of Japanese descent. Their fathers worked for the Kagetsu Logging Company, which had a sizeable operation in the area. It was important to the families to preserve their culture, and the children would often entertain their classmates with costumed performances of song and dance. They brought lunches of raw clams, rice balls and seaweed to eat alongside their friends.” Page 178.

It’s All There in Black and White: A Visit by Premier J.D. MacLean

A brush with “celebrity” for Valleyites in September of 1927 when Premier J.D. MacLean officially opened the new consolidated schools. The article from the September 8th edition of the Courtenay Free Press goes on to list some interesting statistics about the growth of education in BC.

With legacy support from the Bickle Family and the Comox Valley Echo.

School Programmes

Summer may be coming to an end, but that doesn’t mean the fun has to stop!

Join the Courtenay and District Museum with your group or class and explore our various educational programmes. Topics cover early settlement to volcanoes, to dinosaurs and more!

Click here for more information on the different interactive educational experiences we offer all year long.

Merville – 100 Years and Counting Part 9

Merville’s importance as a soldier settlement precipitated the Prince of Wales’ visit to the Comox Valley on September 26, 1919.

The Cumberland Islander of September 27 covered the event and you can read that story below.

But what about those little details that didn’t make it into the article? For example, the royal car was part of a “parade” led by A.B. (Charlie) Ball down to the Agricultural Grounds. Jeff Hannay presented an ice cream cone to his Highness in the middle of the main street. And the royal route? It was E&N Station, down main street to the Agricultural Grounds, Dyke Road to St. Joseph’s Hospital, Back Road to admire the view and then off to Merville.

Bonus Photo
Medallion given out to commemorate the visit

Bonus Bonus
There is film footage of the Prince’s visit to Merville. (Yes, you read that right). Here is a link to the video. The Comox Valley section starts about 8 minutes or so into the footage.

AGM Coming Up

The Annual General Meeting of the Courtenay and District Historical Society will take place at 6:00 pm on Wednesday, September 25, 2019 in the museum Rotary Gallery. New members welcome!