Nanaimo has plenty of interesting history, which is likely why the community-run Nanaimo Historical Society will be celebrating its 60th anniversary celebration on June 20.
From early settlers to the ensuing coal mining industry, and local characters to family lineages, once a month the 50 or so members meet to discuss and record Nanaimo’s roots, as well as other interesting history on the Island and across B.C.
“People who are interested in history tend to linger on, I suppose,” laughed David Hobson, society president. “For us, it’s the elixir of life. There are a lot of people here who are interested in history.”
As the new president, Hobson added he would like to focus more specifically on Nanaimo history.
“We’ve had lots of authors in focusing on B.C., but my feeling is we should focus on our community. As an example, for this coming year I’m hoping to get people to come out and talk about the 100th anniversary of The Great Strike of 1912-14 which really had an enormous affect on Nanaimo and the mid-Island,” said Hobson.
The strike affected coal communities from Ladysmith to Cumberland, and in 1913 became violent when homes were burnt and at least one person died.
The society, formed in 1953, will officially celebrate its diamond jubilee June 20 from 7:30-9:30 p.m. at Bowen Park Complex by inviting city council members, Nanaimo Archive staff and other local history buffs to the event.