WEATHER GETTING YOU DOWN? VISIT SOME OF THESE COMOX VALLEY MUSEUMS!

We know you appreciate our Comox Air Force Museum!  You visit us in person, on our Facebook page, and by subscribing to our website posts!       But did you know there are a number of other museums in the Comox Valley community?   The Alberni Project - HMCS Alberni Museum and Memorial is located in downtown Courtenay.  The museum emerged as Lewis Bartholomew researched the history of the HMCS Alberni.  The museum is open Tuesday - Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  Or you can check it out on their website or on Facebook.       The Courtenay and District Museum and Palaeontology Centre can be found in downtown Courtenay.  Open Tuesday - Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., this museum celebrates the natural and cultural history of the Comox Valley.  Available on Facebook as well as their website, they have some online exhibits for you to check out.     Located in Cumberland, the Cumberland Museum and Archives tells the story of the people of Cumberland. They are open Tuesday - Saturday from 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. and on Sunday from noon till 5:00 p.m.  Have a look at their website and follow them on their Facebook page.       The Denman Island Seniors and Museum Society is open to the public in July and August.  While thinking ahead to your summer break, have a look at the website connection to see how the Activity Centre is used.  You can also find them on Facebook.       Located in downtown Comox, the Comox Museum houses the history of Comox and the area...

WHO WORKS IN OUR MUSEUM’S LIBRARY?

As with all activities in our Museum, our Library depends on volunteers for its success – for us, the key person is Allison, our Librarian.   Allison was a member of the AFIS staff in the 1990s, then worked at 19 Wing Medical Centre. Since retirement from the Public Service of Canada, she has been a member of the library staff, spearheading the work needed to keep the book and photograph collections, along with the collection records, in excellent order. She is a wealth of knowledge about our collections and helps point all the volunteers, as well as our visitors, in the right direction as they approach her with research questions.  She is always gracious and makes time for all of us.         Dan works with Allison to sort newly purchased and donated books.  He chooses books that will be offered in the Gift Shop.  This process helps the Museum purchase new books to augment our collection.  Dan is also a member of the Photo Process team; he is the energy behind the massive collection of aircraft photos.               Carol is Team Leader for the Photo Process group.  She came to us with an arts and photography background as well as skills with infographics.  She has been instrumental in devising the system we follow with donated photographs.  In addition, she oversees the scanning of our logbooks, and helps work on research projects.             Val is a member of the Photo Process team.  She works with Carol to sort, number, file, and scan donated photos.  She also...
OUR LIBRARY’S CENTREPIECE ~ THE TABLE!

OUR LIBRARY’S CENTREPIECE ~ THE TABLE!

The Library’s centrepiece is the table you see as you enter the room!  “The table is unique in that it was built for the Museum using beams salvaged from the deconstruction of Hangar #1. Larry Toovey kindly donated his time, tools and skill to construct this table to preserve a piece of 19 Wing’s Heritage. The story behind the beams makes the table even more unique. The beams were some of many hundreds used for the construction of hangars across Canada built in support of the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan. The beams were cut in the early 1940s from old-growth Douglas Fir from British Columbia’s forests. The trees that provided the beams for Hangar #1 were at least 150 years old at the time. The Museum is proud to display such a beautiful and unique piece and is very grateful to Larry for building it for us.” (credit David Stinson and Allison Hetman).   Along the way, it gets some special loving care to keep it in good repair:             The table is a gathering place for Museum meetings, volunteer committee meetings, volunteer special events, school presentations, and tour groups. It is the gathering spot for our air cadet groups.  It is the work table for those of us who volunteer in the Library.  It is the work table for those who come to do some research.  It is indeed a special spot!     In my next post, I’ll introduce you to some of the volunteers who work in the...
WELCOME TO OUR MUSEUM LIBRARY!

WELCOME TO OUR MUSEUM LIBRARY!

Have you had the good fortune to spend time in our Museum Library?  It has quite the history: “The Air Force Indoctrination School (AFIS) opened at CFB Comox in 1982 to give CanadianForces (CF) officers and non-commissioned members serving their first tour on an air base a sound introduction to air force operations, history and heritage. Being a school, particularly in the time before the Internet, a library was a ne- cessity to provide students with appropriate reference material. When AFIS moved to Building 11 in 1986, the Library, still small, was located upstairs in the student lounge. The Comox Air Force Museum (CAFM), founded in 1982 as a small collection of artefacts in Building 22, also moved to Building 11 in 1986, developed greatly and was accredited as a CF Museum in September 1987. In October 1994, CAFM acquired a large collection of over 2500 books, thousands of photographs, hundreds of periodicals, dozens of aircraft models and many military artefacts from the estate of the late Geoffrey Rowe of Victoria. This magnificent gift became known as the Geoffrey Rowe Collection – the donation was recognized by the official naming of the room as the Geoffrey Rowe Memorial Library in June 1995. When AFIS closed in 1996, the library material not transferred to Winnipeg, and all of the Geoffrey Rowe Collection, became part of CAFM. The Library moved to its current location on the north side of the ground floor of Building 11 in October 2003 after the Totem Times, the 19 Wing newspaper, moved elsewhere. The Library is the “information arm” of the Museum. The book collection now...
LEST WE FORGET

LEST WE FORGET

On Friday, our Volunteer Coordinator and Museum Programme Manager, Jon Ambler, travelled to CARIHI Secondary School in Campbell River at the invitation of the staff to speak to the students at their Remembrance Day Assembly.  A former Wing Commander and veteran, Jon reminded them of hard won freedoms, but also of their responsibilities.  He set these within the school’s Remembrance Day theme: Our National Anthem.  I’m sharing a section of his presentation here with you in the hopes that when you next hear and sing our National anthem, you’ll think a little more deeply about our country… that you will not only be reminded of times past, but also of times present… and that as adults, that you might share these thoughts with the young people in your lives…   “… it is my privilege to join you today as we gather, as Canadians, to remember, in this 150th year of our confederation. I appreciate the effort that has gone into creating this remembrance event: you are showing respect, which I, as a veteran, and on behalf of veterans, very much appreciate. I also like the idea of framing our comments with reference to our National Anthem, and for me, and it’s no surprise, the central words are: “Oh Canada, we stand on guard for thee.” But what is Canada? What makes us Canadians? It is not simply a matter of living in the geographic area called Canada, or talking about hockey, or complaining about the weather, or drinking Tim Horton’s. I believe that Canada is an idea, a shared idea, which has become a national identity and a value system. Canadian core...
REMEMBRANCE DAY IN CANADA

REMEMBRANCE DAY IN CANADA

Canada’s first Remembrance Day service was held on November 11th, 1919, at 11 o’clock.  It began as a way to honour those people who had given their lives in World War I, more than 65,000 of them.  A minute of silence across the country marked the end of the war exactly one year before, at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.  Originally called Armistice Day, the name was officially changed to Remembrance Day in 1931. Although people believed that war on such a huge scale could never happen again, WWII broke out in Europe in 1939 and lasted until 1945.  Remembrance Days in Canada added to their honour roll more than one million Canadians who served in WWII.  Some came home safely, but many died at Dieppe and other battlegrounds far from home.  Others were lost in the skies and at sea. At this time, we also honour the nurses who comforted and healed the wounded… the farm, factory, and office workers who did their part in the war effort… the families who scrimped on food and skimped on fuel, and went without luxuries so that soldiers would be better clothed and fed… the wives and mothers who packed parcels for loved ones overseas ( hand-knitted socks, chocolate bars, letters… )… those who opened their doors to the awful news that a brother, a son, or a husband was missing in action, or had been killed… But the Second World War wasn’t the last.  From 1950 to 1953 Canadian Troops fought in the Korean War.  There was the Second Boer War, and then the...

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