Get the creepy-crawlies in Qualicum Beach

The Qualicum College Inn was the scene for the 1977 eco-horror classic, Ants: It Happened at Lakewood Manor. - Submitted photo
The Qualicum College Inn was the scene for the 1977 eco-horror classic, Ants: It Happened at Lakewood Manor.
— image credit: Submitted photo

Many people in Qualicum Beach know Graham Beard as the go-to guy if they find a fossil or want to know what a dinosaur had for dinner, but not so many know the retired teacher also once helped foil an attack by ravenous, flesh-eating ants that were intent on taking over the world.

It wasn’t easy and there was more than one casualty to the tiny monsters, but Beard wasn’t alone in his fight. He had Robert Foxworth, Myrna Loy and Suzanne Somers on hand to help.

Fortunately, even though the ants were real, the blood and piles of bones were not.

Beard, more well known for his paleontological expertise, helped save the world in the 1977 thriller, Ants, It Happened at Lakewood Manor.

That’s where the other local star of the show comes in. Lakewood Manor was played by The College Inn in Qualicum Beach.

The film — somewhat less than a box office smash — came to the attention of Qualicum Beach Museum manager Netaja Waddell recently and when she heard about the local connections, she knew it would be perfect to show at the Qualicum Beach Historical Society’s next open house, slated for 1:30 p.m. on Jan. 3 at the Qualicum Beach Civic Centre.

The film was not the vehicle that made Somers famous, nor was it Myrna Loy’s finest moment, coming in the twilight of the silent film star’s career. However, Waddell said it will likely provide some more locally-oriented thrills and chills.

“It will be a good chance for people to see Graham as a young man,” Waddell said. “He had dark hair.”

Of course, the movie will also provide a glimpse into a bit of the history of the Qualicum College Inn as well.

Admission is by donation.


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