Pioneer stories and costumes will be part of a Victorian Tea at the historic Anglican parish of St. Anne and St. Edmund on Saturday, July 25.
For more than a century, the little log church behind Wembley Mall has stood as a symbol of the faith, determination and courage of the early pioneers of this area.
Reverend Andrew Twiddy said St. Anne’s is probably the most photographed building in Parksville.
“Many people drive by St. Anne’s everyday. I hear people say they have seen the outside and always wanted to know what it looks like on the inside,” he said.
In fact this summer St. Anne’s Church is open on Tuesday afternoons from 2-5 p.m. and Twiddy is inviting people to come and learn the history of Parksville’s pioneers.
“It is the oldest public building in the whole district and it is beautiful and charming,” he acknowledged and added: “it is there for the whole community and I want everyone to get a chance to see it because it is part of our common history.”
The first church to be built between Nanaimo and Comox, St. Anne’s history began in 1893. Twiddy said in July they like to commemorate the anniversary of the church with a special Strawberry Tea.
He said the event includes a delicious dessert served by ladies in costume in the St. Edmund church hall from 1 to 4 p.m. at a cost of $12.
He said at 1:15 and 3 p.m. they will have people dressed in costume re-enacting stories about the pioneers in the old log church.
Twiddy said one of their members who is involved with the historical society has put together eight vignettes of the pioneers whose burial plots are in the St. Anne’s cemetery and they give a glimpse into what life what was like back then.
“We have photos of the pioneers that go back over 100 years and information on who they are and where they came from,” he said.
This year the public will have a chance to meet five immigrants who arrived in Parksville between 1909 and 1913. They are Percy Rushton, Mary Middleton, Elizabeth Joan Stanley Foster, Hanley Kyle and Elizabeth Harrison. The tea goes from 1-4 p.m. on Saturday, July 25 at 407 Wembley Rd. in Parksville.