Nanaimo Museum exhibit honours local veterans

People can catch a glimpse of Nanaimo's military history at an exhibit of wartime artifacts at Nanaimo Museum.

People in Nanaimo can catch a glimpse of this city’s military history through an exhibit of wartime artifacts honouring Canada’s veterans at Nanaimo Museum.

The exhibit features dozens of items, on loan from Vancouver Island Military Museum for Remembrance Week.

“We did this a couple of years ago with Vancouver Island Military Museum and it has grown each year, so this year’s exhibit is a little bigger again,” said Debbie Trueman, general manager. “We have a couple of things from our textiles collection in the exhibit, but everything else is from the military museum.”

The exhibit offers a glimpse into the lives of local men and women who served Canada during past conflicts through photographs, uniforms, medals, paintings and other items, including a gas mask, designed for children, that was stored under school desks in case of a poison gas attack.

Nanaimo’s military camp is depicted through photographs made during the Second World War.

Model ships and aircraft will be displayed too along with clothing and uniforms worn by people from Nanaimo.

“One of the uniforms on display is from a local family – donated by his son, who unfortunately just passed away as well – so it has a localĀ  connection for us,” Trueman said.

The uniform was once worn by Capt. Joseph Carpenter, who served during the First World War and raised the Nanaimo Independent Company. The uniform features a hat badge design that is a replica of the Nanaimo Bastion.

A print of former Nanaimo mayor Frank Ney, reflects his roles in life as military veteran, politician and real estate and tourism promoter by depicting dressed in a military uniform, as mayor an as a pirate.

Vancouver Island Military Museum will soon move into Nanaimo Museum’s old building in Piper Park and plans are being made for the two museums to work together.

“Since they’re going to be right up the street, we’re hoping to a lot more collaborative things by way of programing and exhibits, so we’re pretty excited about that,” Trueman said.

The exhibit runs until Thursday (Nov. 10).

For more information, please call Nanaimo Museum at 250-753-1821 or visit the museum website t www.nanaimomuseum.ca.