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Museum fundraiser heightens historical awareness

Educational experience about our own area starts with the murals

The Chemainus Valley Historical Society is inviting the public to an evening of memories and stories at the Chemainus Valley Museum. The ‘Memories Unveiled’ event will provide the stories beyond the murals.

“The whole idea behind this is it’s a fundraiser and just making people more aware,” said Ron Waller, who assumed the role of president following the society’s annual general meeting Feb. 21.

Tickets for the Saturday, March 16 event are $25 each, available by calling 250-246-2445. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the program runs from 7-9 p.m. that includes refreshments, door prizes, silent auction, a raffle and 50-50 draw.

If you’ve ever wondered what was happening beyond your favourite mural, this is when you’ll find out. It will also include personal anecdotes and the Memories of the Chemainus Valley book as well as humorous stories from special guest, mural gazer Craig Spence.

Proceeds will help to continue preserving and sharing the wonderful history of the Chemainus Valley.

All the murals begin with a scale model or rough draft before the real thing takes shape.

“What we are going to be doing is displaying the maquettes,” added Waller.

“People don’t know we have them. We’re storing them for the mural society. The ones we don’t have up on the walls, we have special materials to wrap them.”

The society that runs the museum includes operations manager Trina Lambert and curator Leslie Moore. Those on the volunteer board with Waller following the AGM include: vice president Margaret Hyde, treasurer David Lambert, secretary Val Galvin, past president Linda Tucker and directors Amy Brophy, Darcie Edwards and Donna Nolan.

The museum has been closed for the season and will reopen again soon in the spring. The fundraiser is a great way to kick things off for the 2024 season.

Waller, for one, is looking forward to it, as the museum attracts locals and visitors from around the world.

It’s an educational experience and an eye-opener for many locals who come in as well. No one knows that better than Waller.

“I started here three years ago,” he said. “I was considered the guy who knew everything about Chemainus. Do you know how much I’ve learned since I’ve come here?”

Suffice it to say it’s a lot.

Some stories circulate by word of mouth, but with the museum, “you have to be accurate,” Waller stressed.

He’s talked to museum visitors from many locales, with U.S., England and New Zealand residents being among the most prominent. And more volunteers are always being sought to greet them.

“Part of the volunteering is you meet all these people,” noted Waller. “You get to brag.

“The people that come here, I love having conversations with them about Chemainus. People are fascinated by this little town.”

Waller added the hope with more people helping is to eventually have the museum open seven days a week instead of five.

Don Bodger

About the Author: Don Bodger

I've been a part of the newspaper industry since 1980 when I began on a part-time basis covering sports for the Ladysmith-Chemainus Chronicle.
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