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Saanich Pioneer Museum Society’s Talk and Tea keeps history alive

Saanich Pioneer Museum Society member Susan Myerscough holds the book The Sinking of the Iroquois

There are a lot of people on the Saanich Peninsula with working knowledge of the region’s diverse history.

That’s why the Saanich Pioneers Society invites many of them to give talks to the public at their museum in Saanichton about those long ago stories.

This month, says society member Susan Myerscough, the subject will be the S.S. Iroquois, a steamship that sank off the coast and remains to this day a part of local legend. The museum itself has a few artifacts from the stricken vessel, including a desk fashioned out of wood from the ship. As well, she said, many people might know of the  ship’s propeller on display at Sidney’s Iroquois Park.

If people want to know more about it, the museum welcomes  on Feb. 23 Joan Neudecker, the author of The Sinking of the Iroquois: Fact and Fiction.

The museum’s Talk and Tea events can host up to around 50 people in the building. They have been running for years in the late winter and spring and in the fall — about six times a year in all. Myerscough said they cover a variety of subjects with one of the more popular topics the Mount Newton Valley — one of the places first settled on the Saanich Peninsula.

“That one was very popular,” she said. “There seem to be a lot of people interested in that area.”

The intimate setting of the museum gives each Talk and Tea a relaxed atmosphere — an important factor for the speakers, who aren’t necessarily professional public speakers, said Myerscough.

“This is a comfortable space. It’s not intimidating.”

That also allows people in the audience to ask questions afterwards and enjoy some social time after each presentation.

Talk and Tea takes place Sundays at 2 p.m. at the Saanich Pioneer Museum (7900 East Saanich Rd. The cost is $5 for society members, $7.50 for non-members.

Coming up in March, said Myerscough, is a talk on the Wilkinson family and later on she hopes to have a presentation from local 4H members on the occasion of their 100th anniversary this year.

Heritage Week at the Saanich Pioneer Museum

The Saanich Pioneer Museum will be open next Thursday through Sunday during Heritage Week in B.C. Various items rich in local history will be on display, all with a nautical theme. There will be information on and pictures of First Nations canoes, history of the ferries on the Island, shipping activity around the Peninsula and of the steamships that plied local waters.

To learn more about Heritage Week in Saanichton, visit www.saanichpioneersociety.org.


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