A Retired Facilities Manager of the Centre for Plant Health describes Saanich Peninsula volunteer Joan Gibb as the “heart of Dominion Brook Park.”
In 1999, Gibb was instrumental in the creation of the Friends of Dominion Brook Park, a society which has now succeeded to return the park to a vibrant and popular place for residents of the Saanich Peninsula to spend time.
“I became involved with the Park as a favour to a dear friend,” explained Gibb.
“She asked me to sit in and just listen at a meeting of the interested parties regarding the Park. She was the same person who involved me in the Peninsula Garden Club by offering me cookies and, needless to say, my involvement with the Park became more doing than listening.”
Shortly after, Gibb became the first vice-president of the society and since then has held various positions including executive positions, acting as the field director, working hands on as a grounds worker and as the park’s unofficial archivist.
“Because of my involvement with the Park, not only as a grounds worker, but also identifying and cataloguing the plant material, I was asked to work on the Dominion Experimental Farm photos and textual material at the Sidney Archives,” explained Gibb, adding that at the time, the collection was the largest in the archives with over 4,000 photos.
With access to material at the archives, the identifying and cataloguing of plant material went quickly for Gibb and because of her work with the photos, she was asked to do a picture display featuring the Dominion Experimental Farm for the Museum. The piece now resides in the Centre for Plant Health Pavilion.
Apart from her work with the Friends of Dominion Brook Park, Gibb has also been involved in the Peninsula Garden Club and the Newman Farm Project.
Gibb said volunteering with various organizations gives her satisfaction of working towards a goal and completing it.
“It’s a matter of working with great people towards a common goal,” she explained. “Without volunteers in every field, we would be a poorer community. It’s fulfilling to be of service to something that is of interest to me.”