• Last year, the local Sikh community donated $4,000 for the Cowichan District Hospital Auxiliary to use, and they determined the best option was to pay for a medication refrigerator at the community health services offices. This month temple representatives, together with community health staff, applied a recognition plaque to the fridge so that all staff utilizing this secure storage apparatus know who supported its purchase.
• The families of Edward and Annie Evans held a reunion, with 102 attending on July 8.
Edward (descendant of James Evans) and Annie lived with their seven children on the farm where the Island Savings Centre now is, and eventually moved “into town”and built Eddie’s Esso and the Thunderbird Motel on the farmland next to the highway, both which are now gone.
Three of their children have died but the other four were able to attend, two still living in the Cowichan Valley.
• Youth and families from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints held a pioneer themed fireside at the Old White Methodist Church on the Trans Canada Highway in Mill Bay this past Sunday.
The fireside highlighted moments from Mormon pioneer history of crossing the plains to Utah, at times with great hardship and sacrifice. The youth also learned about some local Island pioneers, the Copley family, believed to be the first members of the church to settle on Vancouver Island, and have some of their family members buried in the church graveyard.
The stories of faith and fortitude will help inspire the youth as they embark on Trek, a re-enactment of the early Mormon pioneer journey that will see the youth dressed in pioneer clothing, and pull handcarts over 20 miles to gain appreciation and perspective of that original journey.
The youth were delighted to share the evening with North Cowichan mayor Jon Lefebure, several members of the Mill Bay/Malahat Historical Society and even the great-great-granddaughter of the original Copley family, Terri Holman from Nanaimo.
The historical society was particularly impressed with the details that were presented about the Copley family and the comprehensive book the Holman family brought containing stories, genealogy and many pictures of one of the first families to settle in Mill Bay/Shawnigan Lake area in 1875. The Historical Societies in the Mill Bay area plan to turn the Old White Church into a museum.