Saanich Pioneer Society celebrating 80 years

Heritage Festival this Saturday at the Log Cabin in Saanichton

Pat Gait and Norma Sealy have a conversation in the Saanich Pioneer Museum’s parlour. The museum celebrates its 80th anniversary this month.

Saanichton’s venerable Log Cabin Musuem is celebrating its 80th anniversary this month.

To mark the occasion, the Saanich Pioneer Society is throwing a party and inviting everyone on the Peninsula and further afield to come and enjoy the festivities.

Society spokesperson Norma Sealy says their Heritage Festival on Saturday, July 20 will take people back in time and celebrate the pioneer spirit of the early inhabitants of the Saanich Peninsula.

“The Log Cabin Museum is the oldest, purpose-built museum in B.C.,” she said. “People come in and see the rooms, the big fireplace, and think it was someone’s home at one time.”

Construction of the cabin started in 1933 — the first log was rolled into place by then-Premier S.F. Tolmie, who officially opened the museum on July 1, 1933.

Since then, the building has been home to a museum and archives — and even a temporary municipal hall and district offices when Central Saanich became a new municipality in 1952.

Today, the museum  is open Saturdays from 12 to 3 p.m. and is available for group tours at different times.

One of their modern projects, said Sealy, is the digitizing of their archived records — a massive job for their volunteers who are spending a lot of time entering date manually and scanning documents into digital files.

As always, Sealy added the Society is looking for new volunteers, especially folks with archival or library experience.

The Heritage Festival will bring local history alive with vintage cars, old horse carriages, costumes, demonstrations and displays.

In addition to kids activities provided by Panorama Recreation and food from the Central Saanich Lions Club, there will be music by Water in the Crawl Space and the Village Squires, a Barbershop singing group.

The Festival runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the museum, located in Saanichton Green Park, off East Saanich Road and Polo Park Crescent.

For information about the museum and archives, visit www.saanichpioneersociety.ca.