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History buffs take note

B.C. history fans in Qualicum Beach will want to mark Feb. 5 on their calendars or risk missing out on a talk by Salt Spring author Marlyn Horsdal.

Horsdal is an editor and writer who, in 1984 co-founded Horsdal & Schubart Publishers with her husband, Michael Schubart, and ran the company until it was sold in 2002. She was educated at Queen's University and the London School of Economics.

She will be the feature speaker at the monthly meeting of the Qualicum Beach Historical Society, which starts at 2 p.m. in the Qualicum Beach Civic Centre.

Qualicum Beach Museum manager Netanja Waddell said Horsdal will speak about the subject of her latest book, The Judge and the Lady, which is a fictional account of a romantic interest of B.C.'s so-called "Hanging Judge" Matthew Begbie.

In 1858, Begbie became the first Chief Justice of the Crown Colony of British Columbia in colonial times and in the first decades after confederation of Canada.

He was Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United Colonies from 1870 to 1871 and, following British Columbia joining confederation in 1871, he served as the first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the new Province of British Columbia until his death on June 11, 1894.

Horsdal is a talented writer and presenter, having had her first novel, Sweetness from Ashes named as one of the best fiction titles of 2010 by January Magazine.

The event is free for Historical Society members and by donation to members of the general public.

• The Qualicum Beach Museum is putting out a call to area residents to get a jump on their spring cleaning.

The invitation to scour basements and attics, said museum manager Netanja Waddell, comes as museum staff and volunteers gear up for one of its key fundraising events of the year, the annual May garage sale.

"We are putting out a call to the community, looking for good-quality items," Waddell said. "This is one of our bigger fundraisers and we heavily rely on this to be a success."

She noted the museum is open to accepting furniture and other larger items, which can be dropped off at the museum, located at 587 Beach Road, Tuesday and Thursday afternoons.

The garage sale runs on Saturday, May 11.

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