Published by the Townsite Heritage Society of Powell River 6211 Walnut, Powell River, BC V8A 4K2 WINTER 2013 'Twas two months before Christmas Childhood memories of Christmas preparations — Townsite 1940 By Bev Falconer T here were lots of jobs to do before Christmas. Mom had the Edith Adams Christmas Baking booklet which listed all the preparations you should be doing every week before Christmas. One of the first things to do was take care of the overseas mail. The Christmas parcel to Aunt Dorothy in Australia had to be sent in October because it was a long boat trip and also because the boats weren’t sailing on a regular schedule because of the war. They went on different days, times and routes so it would be harder for the Uboats to find them. We mailed Canadian cards much later. If you just signed your card then tucked the flap inside the envelope it cost only 2 cents to mail. If your card had a written note and was sealed it cost 3 cents like regular mail. My brother Doug and I sealed envelopes, put on stamps — and very important — put TB stickers on the back. TB is a terrible disease — a neighbour of ours had it and had to go to Tranquille Sanatorium in Kamloops for a year. Now that we have a classy new post office we have a key so we can collect mail from our own box. Before that, at Christmas we had to stand in a long line at General Delivery to get our mail. One day there was a tape across the end of an envelope with a word printed in heavy black letters —“CENSORED.” It was my Aunt’s Christmas letter from Australia which had been opened and read. Did they think she was a spy or something? Mom said Uncle Eric was in the Merchant Marines and if my aunt had mentioned the date his ship sailed that would have been blacked out as it could have been helpful information for the enemy. I thought about the posters we saw in the post office and in magazines — “Loose Lips Sink Ships” and “The Walls Have Ears.” This was quite exciting to think of secret agents lurking everywhere. The next big job was to make the Christmas cakes and puddings. Getting the pans ready took a long time. Mom had a set of three different sized cake pans. She cut out one waxed paper and three brown paper liners for each pan. using the brown paper wrappings we saved from things we bought at the company store like school supplies, shoes or material. Then we thoroughly greased each paper. Mom opened her Purity Flour cookbook — the fruit cake page was marked with brown spatters and Mom’s notes for changes in the recipe. We started preparing ingredients. Mom poured boiling water over the almonds to blanch them, and the sulphur used in paper making. That sulphur also tarwhen they cooled Doug and I slipped the skins off them. nished silver quickly. Our good silver-plate cutlery had There was a box of ordinary SunMaid raisins and there to be polished for Christmas dinner — and guess whose was also a box of the huge, sticky Muscatel raisins to job that was! The everyday cutlery had to be done at go in the cake. the same time. Each piece had to be rubbed with Silvo, “Can we have some Muscats to eat,” we pleaded. It polished with a clean rag then washed and dried. I hated was only at Christmas we got them and they were soooo the feel of the Silvo on my fingers — it makes your skin good. feel tight and dried out. “You may have four each — they are very expensive.” The other thing that is a pain to do is the dusting. That Then mom washed the raisins and we checked them is my regular Saturday chore anyway but it is worse at and picked off any stems. Christmas because of the Christmas cards. My parents Once the batter was in the pans Doug and I were very get a lot of them and mom stands them up on top of helpful with cleanup — we licked the spoon and wiped the piano. So they all have to be taken down before I the bowl clean with our fingers! dust and put up again when Mom and Dad also made I am finished. It seems such marshmallows and TurkMORE CHRISTMAS MEMORIES a waste of time — who is ish Delight as gifts for their going to notice a little dust friends. After the gelatin, Using dad’s work socks for Christmas stockanyway. But Mom said I was water, sugar and vanilla were ings and checking them for holes. the one wasting time thinking cooked together for the Mom wrote down gifts and who they were about it so just get on with marshmallows we all took from and we had to have our thank you’s the job! The week before turns beating up the clear written by the first of January. Christmas I also had to polish liquid with the rotary beater. all the furniture with Hawes It took ages before it even We got our longed-for Frisky Flyer sleigh one Lemon Oil. I liked doing that started to turn white and get year — but no snow. because I loved the lemony thick and our arms were just Our Bolo bats were a favourite gift. smell — and it did make the about dropping off by then. We phoned grandparents Christmas affurniture look shiny new. AnAfter the mixture had set in ternoon. I hated to talk on long distance other last minute job to be a pan mom cut it into cubes because it sounded as if they were speaking done was washing spills and and rolled them in toasted from Timbuktu. The line was all crackly, I fingerprints from doors and coconut. Mmmm, they were couldn’t hear what they were talking about cupboards or anyplace else. so soft and delicious. I just and had to keep saying, “I beg your pardon”. This year some friends are closed my eyes and rolled my I tried to get out of it but Mom said it was coming for Christmas dinner tongue over the soft blob and important to Nana & Papa to talk to us. and this lady is a really fussy wished it would last forever. housekeeper. People say you Bought marshmallows are Pulling dried wishbone with pinkies. Whocould eat off her floors. Mom nothing compared to them. ever held the bigger piece when it broke was got in a real stew worrying There were other preparasupposed to have their wish come true. about this. We had to clean tions for Christmas I didn’t What are your special memories from the bathroom especially well enjoy so much. The Townsite Christmases past? because behind the locked air often smelled putrid from 2 door this lady could give it the “white glove check” for dust and probably look in the medicine cabinet. Christmas was sure going to be different this year. We have always gone to Vancouver to spend Christmas with our grandparents, aunt and uncle. But this year our cousins were evacuated from Scotland because of the war and are staying with Nana and Papa. Now there was no extra room for us, so we stayed in Powell River. Because we were staying home this year we did something we hadn’t done before — hiked along the pole line searching for a Christmas tree. We examined dozens of them before agreeing on “the one.” We sawed it down then hurried home carrying it between us, breathing in the spicy evergreen smell. It was getting dark by the time we arrived and our fingers felt like icicles. We soon recovered when mom made us cups of hot cocoa. Dad bought a string of special lights for our tree — they were glass candles and liquid bubbled up inside of them. Doug and I put the tinsel on the branches. It was beautiful, and this year it was our very own tree! The Elementary School Christmas concert was an exciting event in December. It was at Dwight Hall which was packed with people — they were even standing around the sides and back. Hundreds of kids waited in the big side room fidgeting and poking, fussing with their costumes, talking, laughing, arguing and worrying. Teachers shushed us all and tried to keep order. I thought the best part of the whole show was the act done by Raymond and Melvin Rees — oh those Rees twins! They were dressed up as highland pipers with little bagpipes that Mr. Dicker, the janitor, made for them. They were supposed to march back and forth across the stage while someone played the real bagpipes offside and we sang “A Hundred Pipers and a’ and a.’” At a practice one of the boys wasn’t paying attention and made a mistake. All the kids in the class hooted and hollered and Mrs. Buckley saw this would get a laugh so she told them to keep it in the act. She was right. The whole audience howled. That wasn’t the only time the twins were in the spotlight this Christmas. There was a life-sized manger scene set up in the Catholic Church yard. One night the priest got a call to inform him that the twins had just gone down Second Street on their sleigh — and they had taken baby Jesus for a ride. Three days before Christmas I just didn’t know how I could wait any longer. But I wasn’t going to complain to mom or she would sure find some work to keep my mind off it! Community Forest funds for Henderson House W e would like to acknowledge the completed and ongoing projects that are a direct result of funding we have received from the Powell River Community Forest Reserve Funds. Thanks to this funding, we have been able to complete these projects at Henderson House: • Acquired and installed lighting fixtures, switches, and the like •Completed interior and exterior painting •Installed handicapped walkways and landscaping •Demolished derelict workshop/carport •Reconstructed stone retaining wall along property line •Restored fir floors Soon to be completed: •Cabinetry in kitchen •Creation of on-site parking 3 Living museum H enderson House is entering the last, last stages of readiness to become the “living museum” of life in a frontier town during the very early years of the last century that we’d planned for the community. The fir floors are being patched and refinished as we speak, and the next step will be “dressing” the rooms in appropriate furnishings and ornaments to reflect what we know of Dr. Henderson’s family life in the House from 1910 to 1938. If you’ve been looking for a good home for grandma’s dining room suite, or grandpa’s favourite Morris chair, bedroom furniture or china service, or kitchen stuff, please give us an opportunity to see if it can find a home at Henderson House. Objects may be donated for use on loan, or may be permanent donations and will be acknowledged with a charitable tax donation receipt based on market value. Where appropriate, donations will be identified with a card acknowledging the source and family history of the donor. If you have something that can be part of this living, community legacy please contact our office at: 483-3901 or [email protected] shaw.ca. Heritage Supplies Repository Y ou know that old door or window you found in the basement when you bought your “new” Townsite home, or that vintage light fixture or medicine cabinet that was replaced by a more modern version and tucked away in the attic? Too good to throw away, but you’ll never use it again and now it’s just taking up valuable space… right? Well, have we got a proposition for you! Townsite Heritage has long been committed to promoting the restoration of all of our beautiful heritage buildings and providing advice and resources to owners who’re engaged in re-discovering the beauty in their character homes. If you’ve got a piece of original Townsite architectural salvage that you’re willing to let go to a new home, we’re prepared to warehouse it and make sure it goes to a restoration project right here in Townsite. Please help us re-cycle and re-use your surplus bits and pieces of Townsite’s architectural heritage by contacting our office at: 604 483-3901 or [email protected] It might be a light switch, a garden gate, a support column or any of the many original elements from our historic properties. Crossroads Village 604 485-5481 www.qualityfoods.com Robert Dufour tel • 604 485 8381 [email protected] 4 It’s been 20 years! Works Consulting has been providing top quality service to Powell River clients since 1994! Call me to see how I can help your business with... Printing, brochures, cards, flyers, forms, signage, laminating, report writing and publishing. Heritage Afloat! Heritage Week is Feb. 17 – 23 B ritish Columbia is blessed with an abundance of water, and most of our towns and cities have been built next to lakes and rivers, at the ocean’s edge, or where rivers enter the sea. When we built roads and railways on land, they linked bodies of water to create a complete transportation network. Even today our economic future depends on the continuing availability of efficient and effective shipping to reach the world’s markets. Join us Tuesday to Thursday at the Town Centre Mall from noon – 4 or Friday and Saturday at the Recreation Complex from 3 – 7 pm Friday and noon – 4 on Saturday. Enjoy the displays, photos and heritage information, and take a moment to renew your membership. TOWNSITE WALKING TOURS Looking for ways to entertain your guests? The Townsite Heritage Society invites you to join a walking tour of the Historic Townsite available during July & August. In the meantime, we will be happy to give you and your guests a tour of the newly restored Henderson House Visit us at 6211 Walnut Street Tuesday to Friday, noon – 4 pm Souvenirs & Gifts Now available at the office T he Townsite Heritage Society offers a variety of gifts and souvenirs suitable for anyone interested in history, and especially, Powell River history. Drop in and have a look. Here are some of the items we offer. Postcards & Art Cards: A wide range of cards picturing various townsite images and locations. The Hulks, by John Campbell. A definitive history of the great cement ships in the Townsite harbour ($15). People of the White City, by Emma Levez Larocque. Stories from the Powell River mill. Includes fascinating interviews with the people whose lives were so closely tied to their work. ($20). Various magazines focused on historic construction. Includes Amerian Bungalow Magazine and BC Magazine each featuring articles about Powell River's Townsite. Group tours are offered year-round, by appointment. Find out more by calling 604 483-3901 5 What do you need to win? Summary Criteria for the Townsite Garden Awards Each year the Townsite Heritage Society offers its Garden Awards to residents who demonstrate their green-thumb (and more) skills in our neighbourhoods. Just how one wins is not all that complicated — below are the criteria used in judging entries. If you would like to know more, get in touch with us at the office, by phone or email. And good luck to all. Spring Fling Best Mixed Border This garden will display vibrant spring colours and continue to be in bloom for most of the spring season. This mixed border garden will be recognized for consistent growth, colour and variety during the summer season. Most Improved Mixed Border This mixed border garden will be a noticeable improvement over previous years and is recognized for improved growth, colour and variety. Most Improved Garden This garden will be a noticeable improvement over previous years and is recognized for improved growth, overall condition, colour and variety. Best Garden Structure A little different category that recognizes anything unique in design of garden structure. It could be a pleasant gazebo, garden shed, vintage garage or garden pond sympathetic to heritage architecture and detail. Best Garden Overall Probably the most prestigious garden award to recognize exemplary design, complexity, colour, variety and condition. Best Kitchen Garden This award is made in most cases for the abundant vegetable garden with overall variety, good productivity and festive appeal. Best Container Garden Pots, pots, pots. This award recognizes colour, variety, pot design and placement to accentuate the site. Best Commercial Garden Commercial properties are recognized for overall improvements, maintenance, beauty and curb appeal. You’re invited! Edie Rae’s Café is now serving dinner featuring steak and ribs with a wide choice of delicious appetizers. Nightly martini and drink specials. Thursday to Saturday, 5 to 9 pm 6243 Walnut Street At the 6 NS TIO IE A V D ER E RES .483. 3) 4 04 6 (33 Townsite Home & Garden Awards Winners for 2013 T he Townsite Home & Garden awards have a long history, originating in 1917 with a Garden Contest sponsored by the Powell River Company. The awards program helps to recognize the efforts of owners of well-maintained homes and gardens. This year the Society is once again partnered with RONA, Springtime Garden Centre and Mother Nature to present gift certificates and a plaque or framed certificate to each winner at the reception held in their honour. And the winners for 2013 were... Home Awards Grand General Home Award James & Ruby Tyerman 5807 Maple Ave Grand Heritage Award Grant Thomas 5744 Marine Ave Most Improved Molly Arial 5468 Maple Right: Grand Heritage Home Below from left: Grant Thomas receiving award from Ann Nelson as the Grand Heritage winner. Susan Gagne (left) receiving Best Kitchen Garden award with Ron Romero. Annita Molenar with her Best Overall Garden award. Garden Awards Best Overall Garden Annita Molenar & RobertVan der Zalm 5492 Marine Best Mixed Border Don & Millicent Sharp 6345 Poplar Best Containers Gregory & Jean Coooke 5641 Maple Most Improved Garden David Roundell & Graham Winter 6286 Oak Most Improved Mixed Border Breanne Beckthold 5762 Maple Best Kitchen Garden Ronald Romero & Susan Gagne 5440 Maple Spring Fling Patrick Rowe & Mary Parrish 5440 Marine Best Outdoor Living Space Bryce McKenzie & Melissa Fuller 6293 Poplar Best Commercial Granada Restaurant 7 8 T • J he an D ua ig ry e 19 st 29 er • Mother’s Day Weekend 10 May 2014 A successful event needs two things for success: 1. People willing to show their homes as part of the Heritage Home Tour, and 2. Volunteers to act as Tour Guides and to staff Henderson House. Contact the Society office if you are interested in either opportunity: 604 483-7901 or email [email protected] Coming soon! HERITAGE HOME TOUR 2014 Returning in 2014, our biannual Heritage Home Tour opens up classic Townsite homes for visitors. See the traditional construction of early Powell River homes. Talk to homeowners and hosts about the home's features and history. 9 Townsite T PAINT-UP 2014 he Annual Paint-up campaign is just one of the many activities the Townsite Heritage Society coordinates to promote pride of ownership and beautification of our Historic Townsite. A fresh coat of paint is a wonderful way for homeowners to showcase their heritage architecture. A carefully planned exterior paint scheme will further accentuate heritage features and really bring out the character of the home. If you are interested in having your home considered this coming spring, please contact the Society office at 604 483-3901 or email us at [email protected] Some of the criteria include: 1 House is an original Townsite home with the façade being at least 60% original. 2 House is owner-occupied, not a rental. 3 House is in need of painting. Until 1955, the Powell River Company who built and owned the town, kept the homes in top-notch shape, maintaining them and painting every five years. Now, the Townsite Heritage Society helps residents learn about heritage conservation through activities and services to promote those same values. Doing it right 10 11 The Townsite Heritage Digester Advertising in the Digester Advertising in the Townsite Heritage Digester supports the work of the TH Society and helps make this magazine possible. Please contact us to place your ad in the next issue! SIZE AREAPRICE Business Card: 2” x 3.5" 7.0 in $ 25 Double Business Card 14.0 in $ 35 ¼-page: 3.5" x 4.875" 17.0 in $ 45 ½-page: 7.5" x 4.875" 36.5 in $ 75 Full page: 7.5" x 10" 75.0 in $ 140 The Digester is published by the Townsite Heritage Society of Powell River. It is distributed to every household and business in the Historic Townsite, current members of the Society who reside outside the Townsite, and to selected locations around Powell River. Submissions and suggestions should be sent to the attention of ths Coordinator. Townsite Heritage Society 6211 Walnut St, Powell River, BC V8A 4K2 tel 604.483.3901 fax 604.483.3991 e-mail [email protected] Ads larger than ¼-page, other than specified sizes, are $2.30 per square inch. Reserve your ad space by contacting the THS Office by telephone, fax (604 483-3991) in person, or by email ([email protected]). Everything you would like to know about Powell River's Historic Townsite is to be found* online at www.PowellRiverTownsite.com Layout, graphics & printing by Works Consulting [email protected] • 604.485.8381 Distribution: 1000 copies Copyright © 2013-2014 • Townsite Heritage Society All rights reserved Printed in Canada We’re here to help you! Drop by the THS Office at 6211 Walnut Street, or get in touch us at 604 483-3901 or [email protected] We have photo albums, reference books, maps, paint chips, suggestions, and a wealth of stories to share. Winter Hours: Tuesday to Friday, noon – 4 pm. * Okay, we may need to look it up for you, but it is a good place to start! g Membership & Volunteer Form Please complete and mail or drop off this form to the Townsite Heritage Society office at 6211 Walnut St, Powell River, BC V8A 4K2 townsiteheritagesocietyofpowellriver E-mail us at < [email protected] > Yes, I would like to be a member for 2014 $5 Membership Your donation of time as a volunteer, or a cash donation, both go far in helping us to engage in projects in support of our Townsite. Cash Donation $10 $20 $30 $40 $50 Other $ Yes, I am willing to assist in volunteer efforts for the Townsite Heritage Society. Please, sign me up to help with: Office Volunteer Walking Tour Guide Digester Newsletter Delivery Henderson House Guide Blackberry Street Party Gardening Or I can: How to reach me Name Address Postal Daytime Phone Evening Phone Email 12 The Townsite Heritage Society acknowledges the financial assistance of the Province of British Columbia.
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