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‘Mr. Qualicum’ shares stories

Art Skipsey, 86, who has long been referred to as Mr. Qualicum, now has book with that title which recounts his days growing up in the Alberni Valley and his experiences residing and being a community leader in Qualicum Beach.  - BRENDA GOUGH PHOTO
Art Skipsey, 86, who has long been referred to as Mr. Qualicum, now has book with that title which recounts his days growing up in the Alberni Valley and his experiences residing and being a community leader in Qualicum Beach.
— image credit: BRENDA GOUGH PHOTO

BRENDA GOUGH

NEWS Contributor

The man known as Mr. Qualicum now has a book about his life and judging by the large crowd on hand for the launch, Art Skipsey's publication could become a best seller in these parts.

Skipsey's book of memories, as told to Lorne Tetarenko, is called Mr. Qualicum and during a book launch Feb. 4 the long-time Qualicum Beach resident shared some anecdotes about his rich and interesting life on Vancouver Island.

The short walk down memory lane took place at the monthly meeting of the Qualicum Beach Historical and Museum Society.

Much to the delight of the large crowd gathered at the Qualicum Beach Civic Centre for the event, Skipsey's nostalgic accounts included a glimpse into his past as a Scout Leader and, of course, his experiences as Mayor of the town.

Current Mayor Teunis Westbroek was emotional as he thanked Skipsey for being a mentor to him when he decided to delve into Qualicum Beach politics and said: "I hope I haven't disappointed you."

While some tears were shed, there was also plenty of laughter, especially when Skipsey pointed out that he was fiercely Canadian to the point that he wears nothing but Stanfield's underwear.

The 86 year-old who has been a role model for leadership in the community said he treasures the time he had growing up in the Alberni Valley and his years residing in Qualicum Beach.

"My life has been so rich," he acknowledged.

He also encouraged his audience to write their stories for future generations before it's too late.

"The history of this land is short and rich and we need to let people know about it."

The book, which includes photos, Skipsey's family history, outdoor experiences with the Scouts, politics and his active retirement, has been five years in the making and Skipsey thanked those who made it possible.

He gave a shout out to Janet Dunnett who transcribed all of the interview tapes and to Lorne Tetarenko who compiled and edited the book.

Proceeds from the sale of the book are going to the Vancouver Island Palaeontology Museum Society.   The books are $15 and can be purchased at the Qualicum Beach Museum, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary next month.

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