Summer 2022 | qMAS Issue No.6
qathet Museum & Archives Newsletter A quarterly newsletter with updates on museum ongoings and history tidbits!
INSIDE THIS ISSUE: ʔahʔǰumɩχʷ - 2 In a Suitcase - 4 Summer Poem Anthology - 6 Upcoming Programs - 8
Summer programs in full swing! Summer programs with the Museum are currently running until the end of August, including plein-air painting sessions as pictured above. Join us at different beach side locations to learn about the history of the location while you paint! Register for this program here: https://www.powellrivermuseum.ca/plein-airpainting.html Above : Palm Beach Plein Air Painting, July 2022.
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A little bit about the history of ʔahʔǰumɩχʷ... by Sharon Taylor
Willingdon Beach is the heart and soul of Powell River. It is here that residents and visitors alike come to relax, play, and enjoy community events such as concerts, the annual Easter Egg Hunt, international events, such as the B.C. Bike Race in July, and of course to view the magnificent sunsets for which qathet is known. The history of the beach reaches far back in time. The traditional name for the area is ʔahʔǰumɩχʷ (Ah joo mieux) which means “clear ground” in the ʔayʔaǰuθəm language. For thousands of years the Tla’amin peoples lived at seasonal camps all along the coast, including the Westview and Grief Point areas. This area, now known as Willingdon, was important for catching small tasty chum in the near-by creek. The Tla’amin people would camp here in the fall when the salmon ran up the creek, while smoke-drying these fish. The area was also good for collecting cedar roots which were harvested in preparation for weaving. Cedar being a sacred tree for the Tla’amin people is used in many different ways. The grassy sections of the area were used as a sports field. And the clear flat ground at the beach allowed canoes to land easily on the beach, which they still do today when they arrive for special events held in the park, like the Canoe Journey. In addition, the Tla’amin people would often walk up a trail from the beach to Cranberry Lake, to pick wild cranberries and other berries and plants. Of course, fishing here at ʔahʔǰumɩχʷ was very accessible. All sorts of traps were engineered and used to catch fish and other food sources from the ocean. One trap involved setting up a net next to the barnacles which would catch perch and rock cod. Another method was that someone would take branches and scare the herring towards the shore where others were waiting to catch them. They also made fish traps with rocks in a variety of geometrical shapes. As the water went out with the tide fish would be trapped in pools of water making them easier to catch. They also used harpoons and hooks. All these methods allowed the Coast Salish people to sustain large populations and settlements.
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The colonial origins of Willingdon Beach Trail come from a logging railway. Up until 1910, the Michigan-Puget Sound Logging Company railway dumped its logs at the site of the mill in Townsite. When construction of the Mill started in 1910 the railway grade was extended to a new dumpsite known then as Michigan’s Landing (now Willingdon). The logs were dumped and sorted there. A home was built for the foreman of the log pond and booming grounds. He also ran a small dairy farm close to the beach. Eventually more shake cabins were built. There was a scarcity of houses in the new Townsite so the Powell River Company (PR Co.) also leased part of the beach for houses. When logging in the surrounding area ended in 1918, the rails were lifted and the PR Co. removed the ties. By 1923, 73 people called Michigan Landing home. The Landing was a convenient spot to live as residents could walk the railroad tracks to and from town and the mill site. However, it became too populated and in 1926 the PR Co. wanted to use the land; the dwellers were given a seven days notice. The rail ties from town site to Michigan Land were removed in 1926, and in 1927 the beach and surrounding grounds became a park. On July 1, 1927 Michigan Landing was officially renamed as Willingdon Beach when Lord Willingdon, who was then the Governor-General of Canada, made a visit to Powell River. The railway grade became known as the Willingdon Beach Trail. Willingdon Beach has from been part of everyday life for generations and has served many different needs. When visiting the park, imagine how people of the past shared this same area that we enjoy today. No matter how the land was used by different people, we have all had the pleasure of sharing natures gift of beauty!
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In a Suitcase by Kayla Reed
qMAS Research Support Officer Varvara Zilinsky (1861-1950) was born in Voloca, Bucovina, a region which was under Austrian control at the time of her birth. She lived there with her parents; Konstantin Ilia and Iliana Paulenko, until she met Marco Zilinsky, and married him in November 1880. Though the Bucovina region has at times been part of Austria, Romania, and Ukraine, the Zilinsky family was culturally Romanian, and wedding customs, in accordance with their regional culture, involve the entire community. In traditional Bucovinian culture, a man must go to the home of his prospective bride accompanied by his parents and ask for her parents’ permission to be married. On the same day, a dowry and wedding date must be decided. Three weeks before their wedding date, the priest of the local Orthodox Church announces the upcoming marriage to the community. This tapestry was hand woven by Varvara from flax yarn and given to Marco as part of her wedding dowry. The flax plant, Linum usitatissimum, has been cultivated for thousands of years for use in textiles. After the plant is harvested, the inner fibers are removed from the stalks, spun into yarn, and frequently dyed. The yarn used by Varvara was then coloured using natural dyes from plants and minerals local to her hometown such as weld for yellow, madder roots for red, and black from tannin-heavy tree bark. In 1898, an agent from the Canadian Land Office visited the Zilinsky’s hometown of Voloca offering 160 acres of farm land to anyone willing to settle the prairies of Western Canada. The offer was too good to refuse, and so in April, 1899 the family immigrated to Canada. They took a train from
Above: Varvara Zilinsky’s Flax Tapestry. ID 1996.162.1 Czernowitz to Hamburg, Germany and on April 26, 1899, set sail aboard the S.S. Brasailia, landing in Halifax, Nova Scotia on May 9th. Following their arrival in Canada, the Zilinsky family made their way to the prairies carrying just one suitcase and one bundle of clothes between them. Amongst their most important belongings inside the suitcase was Varvara’s tapestry, a material reminder of their homeland. The family settled in Saltcoats, Saskatchewan where they farmed the land for many years before leaving those freezing winters behind and moving to Kelly Creek in 1924. Again, the old woven tapestry made of dyed flax yarn travelled with the family, this time to the mild climate of the qathet region. After she was laid to rest at Kelly Creek’s Holy Cross Cemetery in 1950, Varvara’s beloved tapestry remained in the possession of her family for decades. In 1996 it was donated to the Museum after spending well over one hundred years with the Zilinsky family.
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! Accommodations Needed ! We are currently looking for accommodations in Powell River for an upcoming staff member at the Museum: the Curator of Collections and Exhibitions. If you have a lead, please contact us at 604-485-2222.
Objects from the Collection Learn more about objects from our collection, like Varvara Zilinsky's flax tapestry, by visiting our website here: https://www.powellrivermuseum.ca/ objects.html
Learn about objects like this Hand Maul !
Beach Scavenger Hunt We have free Willingdon Beach Scavenger Hunts to pick up at the Museum once again throughout the summer! Every child who participates can come back to the Museum and receive a participation prize.
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Summer Poem Anthology by Elijah Ackerly
qMAS Summer Interpretive Guide For the summer edition of the qMAS newsletter I have chosen to share a selection of poems from our archives. The likeness these poems share, are the poets’ incredible ability to use letters to dust off the noise and haste which can blinds us to the beauty of the summer season. Further, all of the poets chosen have spent some of their lives in the qathet region, whether for a short period of time or many years. The poets write with an incredible warmth on themes of nature, life, beauty, love and the human experience. In reading and selecting the poems to share, I was ruminating on how these poets in the past were also privy to the mural-like sunsets we have the gift of seeing each evening. Particularly, Wilma’s poem, “Malaspina Skyfire”, which assuredly was written against the backdrop of a cotton-candy sunset of a warm summer’s night. I encourage all readers to take a few moments out of your day and read the words of those who came before us. To ask ourselves what can we learn from them? Upon realising we are really no different than people in the past we can read their words wholly, and digest the wisdom they offer. The works I have highlighted are by : Wilma Mary Mitchell, Olive Devaud, and Mary Anderson. Wilma grew up in Powell River by Cranberry Lake. In 1995 she won many awards for her poetry from the National Library of Poetry.
Malaspina Skyfire Sitting, by the ocean shore watching the ships sail by, Sundown, sets on the strait raging, fire be-sets the sky. Earthly, object erase colour shadowing ebon silhouettes, Spreading, gathered prism hues feeding, flames to the sunset. Clouds, roll along a fiery, horizon blown out, on a warm, western breeze exploding, spectacular, blazing hues in Malaspina’s drama with the sea. Nature, displays, her finest array waves, spark, alive and, aflame, Twinkling, billion of diamonds no, artist’s brush, could explain. The weary, sun, sets to rest on the very, last ocean crest, smoldering, away, spark of day bidding final, farewell west. by Wilma Mary Mitchell
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Olive, in her own words: “…Wishing to see the great Pacific / Her love, for which, became terrific; / This wonderful world of lakes and hills, / Not too hot and no winter chills, / Is kinder, means more in a friendly way; / Kindness so great, she decided to stay. / Then a Swiss, with a name beginning with, ‘D’, / Took her under his wing, so she could be / A home-loving wife… it’s forty years / Since she came to Powell River; the outlook clears, / The place and the people are dearer yet, / Most other years she will soon forget”. Mary (1882- 1980) was a local poet who began writing in her 80’s. She published more than a hundred poems many of which are available in her book, “Progress of Madness, Saltspring Island, My Mulligatawny and Unpublished Poems”.
We Love Thee for Thy Beauty
The world at peace, is the sight one sees When the world is white with snow. Look over the mountains, over the trees; There seems to be peace in the sunlight glow.
Old moon! Old moon which wanderest forever in our sky; No snow to crown thy mountain speaks, no stream to sally by – art thou of moulten lava shaped, from earth’s volcanic side, or flotsam from that boundlessness where God and time betide? From whence thy mighty strength to lift these oceans from their floor and circumscribe their boundry line along the rocky shore. Oh! lovely aura of the nightsymbolic of the ties and sweet subjectiveness beneath infinitudes of skies. Oh! worthy monator on highdear lofty minded moon – we have loved for thy beauty and not just for that alone!
Look out to sea, and the lazy waves Scarcely sound as they lap the shore. The sea-gulls flying pass lazy days, They seem to have plenty, yet have no store. The ships come to drifting peacefully down, They seem to be part of the ocean too. Why should they hurry to reach the town, While travelling’s good and the skies are blue? When skies are serene and the world is white, How peaceful is everything then! The splendour of nature is spread in the sight Of observant children of men. The land is fair, and the world’s at peace, Our noisy traffic is made to hush. Look up to the hills, let your labour cease; You will gain far more than if you rush. In silent places, alone with your thoughts, Drink deeply of nature, observe her ways; Thus peace may into your soul be wrought, To stay with you all the rest of your days. by Olive Devaud
Resurrection Faith, by dint of veiled futurity, the stuff of man’s infinitude could beto live again, to see and to be seenor black, or white, or something in between. by Mary Anderson
Upcoming at qMAS Fall 2022 Program Guide to be released in September To stay up to date, follow us @qathetMuseum on
MEMORIES OF THE MILL CALL FOR MEMOIR SUBMISSIONS Only one month left to submit your memoir about the paper mill!
DEADLINE for memoir submissions:
September 1st, 2022 EMAIL Joelle at firstname.lastname@example.org visit our website for more info: https://www.powellrivermuseum.ca/me moirs.html
Guest Speakers and Dates to be announced soon!
4790 Marine Avenue Powell River, BC V8A 4Z5 Tuesday to Saturday 10 am - 3 pm email@example.com 604-485-2222 www.powellrivermuseum.ca