Sharing the Past at Christ Church

The national historic site in Hope is collecting stories for a community project

Over the summer Christ Church National Historic Site launched an initiative to gather the history and stories of people living in Hope.

The goal of the project, funded in part through the New Horizons for Seniors Program, is to bring seniors together to share and listen to each other’s stories.

“The opportunity to share stories from their past is our primary goal, but the secondary goal is to provide the participants with a chance to mingle, to visit, to stray from stories of the past to those in the present and learn from one another,” said project coordinator Marilyn Manuel.

New Horizons for Seniors is a federal grant program offered through Human Resources and Skills Development Canada that supports projects led or inspired by seniors that want to make a difference in the lives of others and in their communities.

“We are collecting the stories of people because once they are gone, the stories are lost,” said Manuel.

“Particularly poignant and memorable for me is the loss of lifetime resident Herb Wells. Herb perished in a fishing accident off Saddle Rock this summer. The week before, he participated in and shared his stories with us. It is strange, and remarkably poignant to hear his voice playing back to you and knowing that he is gone. But, his stories will live on.”

The final collection of stories – to date there are 54 – will be transcribed next summer and sent to the Hope Museum, with a copy to be retained at Christ Church National Historic Site.

“The short term goal is to collect these stories before they are lost to time; the long term goal is to work with Inge Wilson at the Hope Museum to coordinate a community project that will work towards publishing a sequel to the community history book ‘Forging a New Hope 1858-1958,’” said Darla Dickinson, supervisor of Christ Church National Historic Site.

The Sharing the Past project needs volunteers to come forward to share their stories, to connect with one another and to listen about all that Hope had and has to offer.

Sharing the Past takes place every Thursday at 1 p.m. at Christ Church National Historic Site, 681 Fraser St. Transportation through Care Transit to and from the meeting can be arranged if needed.

For more information, contact Manuel at 604-869-9703, christchurch1861@yahoo.com, or visit Christ Church on Facebook.

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