Storytelling event helps build up a community

It was meant as a way to help celebrate the District of North Saanich’s 50th anniversary this year.

North Saanich longtime residents and storytellers Bernard Horth and Wallace du Temple

It was meant as a way to help celebrate the District of North Saanich’s 50th anniversary this year. Yet, the second Jubilee storytelling session at the Mary Winspear Centre Tuesday night seemed to be more about friends coming together at a community centre.

Longtime North Saanich residents, authors and noted citizens Wallace du Temple, Bernard Horth, Anny Scoones, Colleen Jewell and Terry Melville took centre stage to tell tall tales (most of them were true, they assured us) about life in North Saanich.

What was seen as people arrived at the Charlie White Theatre were hugs, handshakes and plenty of smiles — it was like a big family reunion.

That too, was part of the storytelling on stage. Families came to North Saanich when it was a small, rural farming community — and to this day many of those aspects still exist and were celebrated on stage.

From du Temple’s story about an early mail order bride (or groom, in that case), to Scoones’ revival of a historic farm and Jewell’s recollections of the beginning of a local riding club, the stories were rich with local flavour.

Melville said it best during his presentation:

“Everyone has a story … and only too often they are never told until the obituaries.”