Stephanie Harris, left, and Inga Gerard are two of the organizers of a 20-year reunion to mark the closing of the Eaton’s store in Nanaimo. (CHRIS BUSH/The News Bulletin)

Former Eaton’s employees will get together to remember store’s heyday

Department store used to be an anchor tenant at Woodgrove Centre but closed in 1999

It was once an anchor store at Woodgrove Centre, and for some, it’s hard to believe it’s been closed for 20 years now.

Eaton’s shut its doors for the last time in the fall of 1999, and so former employees have decided a 20-year reunion is in order this summer.

“We decided, everybody’s getting old, we’d better do it,” said Inga Gerard, who is organizing the July 13 event with Stephanie Harris and Glenna McCaffery.

More than 80 people are expected, possibly from as far away as Toronto. Gerard said with about 120 people working at the department store at any given time over the years, with even more during the Christmas seasons, “there’s so many Eatonians.”

“It was an absolutely wonderful place to work in the hey years,” Gerard said. “In the last couple of years they went into receivership and that’s not very pleasant.”

As loss prevention manager, she said she was the very last person to leave the store when closed. Having worked for Eaton’s since the mid-1970s, she left with fond memories.

“They cared about the people,” Gerard said. “Lots of great store managers and lots of good people, really.”

The reunion is being held at a private residence on July 13, from 3-8 p.m., and there will be dinner and goodie bags and organizers are thankful to Woodgrove Centre for offering gifts.

For details about the event, call Gerard at 250-758-5786, Harris at 250-390-4243, or McCaffery at 250-802-9852.

READ ALSO: Box of old movies recovered from Winnipeg Eaton’s store in 1940s contains ‘lost’ film



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