Good morning, everyone.
I have a few more events to tell you about -- some of which are occurring locally (in Victoria, I mean).
Attention: Victoria and Saanich residents!
First: I will be leading a walking tour of ST. STEPHENS CHURCHYARD, South Saanich Cemetery, for the Old Cemeteries Society of Victoria, and the talk is already advertised on their website.
"[Sunday] April 1st. St. Stephen's Churchyard. this picturesque country churchyard is the final resting place for many pioneer families of the area, including A. C. Anderson of the Hudson's Bay Company.
His great-granddaughter, Nancy Anderson, author of The Pathfinder, leads today's tour to her ancestor's grave and those of many of his interesting contemporaries.
Meet at the Churchyard, 7921 St. Stephen's Rd., off Mt. Newton Cross Rd, in Central Saanich."
Warning! Plot out your route. I get lost, mostly because I forget that the main road the church is close to is Mount Newton Cross Road, and I usually end up way out at the end of the peninsula and have to turn back.
I will be arranging that the little church is left open and we can explore this beautiful building and hopefully speak a little about its history, too.
The tour will start at 2:00, and it will be put on rain or shine; it is expected the tour will last about an hour.
There's a charge for this group -- $2.00 for members and $5.00 for non-members, and tours are held regardless of weather.
If it is raining, you will find my sister and me under striped-blanket Hudson's Bay umbrellas -- I think that's appropriate.
There are quite a few of my family members buried in this churchyard, other than Alexander Caulfield Anderson and his wife, Betsy (Eliza) Birnie.
At last I will be able to tell people the stories I have about her -- and, believe me, there are not many at all.
There are no photographs of her either, but I can give you a good idea of what she looked like when I show you images of her mother, and of her eldest daughter in her old age.
When you see these pictures, you will understand -- absolutely -- what Betsy would have looked like both as a young woman, and when she was older.
I sometimes look at the Saanich photographs in the B.C. Archives to see if I can find her image amongst those of other earlier settlers.
I know exactly what she looked like; I would be able to identify her if I found her, but so far I have not discovered her amongst the images of early settlers.
So with A.C. Anderson and his wife buried in the churchyard, that is two members of my family.
One of Anderson's sons (the most interesting of the lot, I think) is also buried here with his wife and daughter.
One of my aunts is buried in the same grave -- a sad story indeed.
To tell her story, I will probably have to tell my grandfather's story as far as I know it.
And two other family members -- descendants of Agnes, A.C.'s daughter and older sister to my grand-father -- are buried to the east, in a newer section of the graveyard.
So, eight members of my family are buried in that cemetery!
Other than A.C. Anderson, only a few furtraders are buried in the South Saanich cemetery (so far I have found one only).
So after I finish with the Anderson family, I will speak of him, and about other early settlers who Anderson would have known.
I don't know how many I will be able to cover, but whatever information I dig up and do not have time to relate I will post on this website for anyone who wants to read about these early settlers.
Oh, and my maternal great-grandfather was South Saanich Church's so-called "Father Christmas;" I wonder what I can safely say about him?
That should pique your interest!
I will have books for sale at this event, as at the event that follows.
This time I will ensure I will bring plenty!
Attention: all Vancouver people!
My second upcoming talk will be in front of the BURNABY HISTORICAL SOCIETY, and it will be a power point presentation.
The meeting will be held on Wednesday evening, May 9th, at 7:30pm., in the Carousel Pavillion at Burnaby Village Museum, 6501 Deer Lake Avenue, Burnaby.
(Further instructions tell me that the Carousel Pavillion is located across from the Shadbolt, away from the main entrance.)
Many years ago (in the 1960's) I worked one summer in the Burnaby Village Museum, dressing up in Edwardian-style clothing (long brown skirt and puffy blouse, with hair wrapped around a "rat") and standing behind the counter in the general store.
I remember the rusty old egg-beaters and butter churns on display; little did the managers of the place know that I had grown up with those old-fashioned implements, and my mother shopped in a general store that was little different than that Edwardian-period replica.
I think I might just come over early to enjoy a tour of the place.
It has been suggested that I speak for about three-quarters of an hour.
As Burnaby didn't exist at that time, this will not be a local history talk, but a story of Alexander Caulfield Anderson's explorations in 1846 and 1847, and the difficult years that followed.
I have a few stories that are not in the book that I think some people might enjoy.
I hope to see you there.