The Big Band era of Chemainus. (Photo submitted)

The Big Band era of Chemainus. (Photo submitted)

Allester lit up homes as an electrician and dance floors as a musician

Long history of talented musicians and groups in Chemainus

William Mackie Allester came to Chemainus with his wife and young family in 1923.

The Allesters camped in Halhed’s orchard (now Kin Park) while house hunting.

Will was an electrician, wiring many Chemainus homes as well as the Chemainus Planer Mill.

He was a choirmaster at the Anglican Church for many years, often taking choral groups to compete at Music Festivals between Nanaimo and Victoria.

Will led the Chemainus Dance Band and played violin for extras at club dances. It seems Chemainus has quite a long history of talented musicians and groups.

More great historical photos and stories can be viewed at the Chemainus Valley Museum, 9799 Waterwheel Crescent. The museum’s hours in February are Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m.-3 p.m.