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WEST COAST CULTURE AUGUST 2009

Jumping in to Help!

Pages 10-11


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CO N T E N T S Established in 2005

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AUGUST 2009

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Peninsula Country Market – Spriggs Honey

The Regulars

Of Whales and Plastic

The First Word .............................4

Juan de Fuca – The Story Behind the Name

Business Profiles ...........8, 24

Some Enchanted Morning Bonnie McKechnie: Local Champion Summertime Bucket List

Island Dish .....................................14 Footprints .........................................16

Pop Goes the Weasel

What’s Happening ..........22

Facelift For Saanichton Corner

Sudoku ................................................27

Which Nut are You on the Family Tree?

Walkabout ....................................30

Failed Communications, Part IV

Zais Astrology.........................32

* Cover by Rachel Krueger

The Last Word ........................38 Seaside Times • PO Box 2173 • Sidney, B.C. V8L 3S6

Publisher, Advertising: Tim Flater • 250-686-1144 • sales@seasidetimes.ca • publisher@seasidetimes.ca Editor-in-Chief: Allison Smith • 250-544-4022 • info@seasidetimes.ca • editor@seasidetimes.ca Website: Tige Johnson • Mosaic Internet Designs • tige@mosaicdesigns.ca Printed by: International Web Express – Island Office 888-364-2500


Baby Steps Although we may think that here on beautiful southern Vancouver Island we have largely missed the current economic recession and remain relatively unscathed, we have all seen signs and symptoms and some local businesses have closed their doors. Recently the U.S. Gift and Home Industry launched an action plan called The 3/50 Project. It goes like this: Pick three independent retailers in your community that you would miss if they closed, visit them and spend $50 in each one. Based on U.S. stats, if even one half of the population spent $50 per month at those three stores, it would gener-

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ate $42.6 billion in sales. Obviously Canadian stats would reduce that figure proportionally for our population, but you get the point. For every $100 spent in locally owned stores, $68 returns to the community in taxes, payroll and other expenditures that support other local businesses and their employees. Spend at a national chain store and that figure drops down to $42. Community involvement works both ways. Many retailers believe being involved and giving back to their communities is the right thing to do, and cheerfully donate to a wide variety of local causes.

When businesses “give back,” the people in the surrounding neighbourhoods appreciate the support and respond. Businesses rely on their neighbours, and it’s up to all of us to make our towns and communities special and to continually celebrate the good fortune we enjoy by living in this gorgeous area. The 3/50 Project may be a baby step in weathering recessionary economic times, but it’s a step in the right direction. Invest in the businesses in your own community and build the economy through local employment. Shop locally when you can and develop relationships with the business owners and employees. We’re all in this together, and we’ll all come through it together if everybody does their part. Enjoy the issue!

Tim Flater

Publisher

Neil Laing – 250-656-2919

Jim Laing – 250-652-2923

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Peninsula Country Market – Spriggs Honey Bill Spriggs and Cicely Meek have been vendors at the Saanich Peninsula Country Market since 1993 and their black and yellow “Spriggs Honey“ banner has been the constant indicator of their presence. There have been big changes since they first arrived at the Saanich Fairgrounds site, but its pleasant rural ambiance, the friendliness of the other vendors, the fresh produce, the coffee, the goodies, the crafts and the music have been the reasons for their loyalty to the market. Spriggs Honey is regularly located between “The Bread Lady,“ a stall run by the Harper family, and the “Sock Makers,“ run by Marjorie and Ron Date. For many years Bill and Cicely took their four beehives up to the fireweed country in July to take advantage of the huge expanse of these flowers which grew up following the logging of forest land in the Chemainus Valley and in the Boyd’s

Road area to the West of Sooke. Now however, their bees stay at home at their property on Edgelow Street in Gordon Head and produce a delicious honey that comes from the

Successful beekeepers must be constantly vigilant to keep their bees healthy and their colonies alive. Bill was born in a little community on the Island of Montreal called Baie d’Urfe. He came to Victoria in 1955 where he worked with the B.C. Parks Branch until he retired in 1988. Bill looks after the observation beehives at the Swan Lake, Francis-King and the Elk-Beaver Lake Nature Centres. Bill has two girls; Alison and Noel.

nearby arbutus trees and the vines of the wild blackberries. Of course the residents in their neighbourhood also benefit from having the fruit trees pollinated by his diligent insect army.

Cicely was born in Esquimalt and at 20 she left to seek her fortune in England. Her travels took her to France, Germany, Scotland, Malta, and eventually back to Victoria where she worked for many years at the UVIC library. Cicely has four children; Tony, Tanya, Sue and Sarah.

Beekeeping is more expensive and not easy nowadays due to the continual presence of the Varroa mites and an adult bee disease called Nosema.

Bill and Cicely spend much of their time gardening, beekeeping and keeping in touch with neighbours and family.

With every $25 donation towards the Aquatic Centre Elevator Fund Raising, you will be entered to win a

First Down the Slide Pool Party*.

Donations support the elevator installation alongside Panorama’s new waterslide. This will assist in funding what will be the first waterslide in North America that will allow people with mobility challenges to share in the enjoyment of a waterslide ride. All donations can be dropped off at Panorama Recreation Centre and will be eligible for a tax receipt. *Enjoy the first ride down the waterslide with you and 20 of your family and friends for a 1 hour pool party. Swim Party to occur between Oct. 2 - 5, 2009. Date and time to be arranged with the Aquatic Coordinator, Dustin Ray-Wilks. Draw will take place on Oct 1st, 2009.

www.panoramarecreation.ca

1885 Forest Park Dr. North Saanich www.seasidetimes.ca

250.656.7271 AUGUST 2009

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photo courtesy Ian Jansma

Of Whales and Plastic by Chris Genovali, Executive Director, Raincoast Conservation Foundation I had spent the entire day hiking solo around Trutch Island on B.C.’s central coast looking for the feces of canis lupus for Raincoast Conservation Foundation’s wolf research project. Trutch doesn’t have a lot of distinguishing features and the landscape became somewhat uniform in the stupefaction caused by 10 hours of bush whacking. I tried several routes, but was unable to locate the designated

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pick-up spot on shore. Sundown was approaching. My colleagues called me on the handheld asking where the heck I was. I spotted a familiar peak across the water on Campania Island and told them I was scrambling down to shore opposite from that landmark. The sky began turning spectacular shades of gold, purple and pink as we headed back to where our mothership was anchored. Marveling at

Plastics impact the health of our oceans and wildlife. Plastic bag litter has a lethal effect on countless numbers of seabirds, turtles, whales and seals annually.

the multi-hued sunset, we suddenly encountered an enormous fin whale, with calf, in close proximity to our little aluminum skiff. We lingered as long as we could with the fin whales before returning to the boat in the last rays of sunlight, savouring one of the greatest whale experiences we’d ever had. When the IUCN released its annual 2008 list of threatened species of cetaceans (whales, dolphins and por-

www.PeninsulaStreams.org

On behalf of our marine ecosystems and future generations, we commend

Thrifty Foods

Saanich Inlet Protection Society

for their leadership in eliminating plastic bags from distribution.

www.raincoast.org www.galianoconservancy.ca

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photo courtesy Chris Darimont

poises), it was encouraging to see that humpback whale populations in the Atlantic may now be approaching pre-whaling levels. Until a few decades ago, commercial whaling severely depleted many of the fin, blue, sei and humpback whales that inhabited B.C.’s waters. Over the last 25 years, the global moratorium on whaling has given these species an opportunity to recover, but for reasons not fully understood, their populations have been slow to rebound in the North Pacific. Because a census of many of B.C.’s marine mammals has not been done, Raincoast recently completed six years of systematic surveys from Vancouver Island to the Alaskan border. Aboard our research vessel, Achiever, a team of scientists recorded observations of all marine mammals, seabirds and garbage. To date, Raincoast has surveyed over 14,000 kilometres of ocean and logged over 1,100 sightings of whales and dolphins. For every two sightings of cetaceans, we had one Research Vessel “Achieverâ€? – Doug Brown sighting of garbage. When the final calculations of density are complete, garbage may be the most abundant “species.â€? We are working in conjunction with Duke University to complete our analysis of animal abundance and distribution. Later this year we will release our final report on marine mammals, seabirds‌and garbage. s‌a d ga bage.

Did You Know?

Countless plastic bags end up in our ocean, causing harm to marine wildlife. Researchers calculate there is six times more plastic than plankton in the Pacific Ocean. Many marine animals and birds mistakenly ingest plastic or become entangled and choke on plastic bags that are afloat. Surface-feeding species of birds, such as albatrosses, shearwaters, petrels and gulls are the most susceptible to eating plastic debris. Even whales have been found washed ashore with stomachs full of plastic bags. It is estimated 100,000 marine mammals and one million marine birds die each year because of plastic litter in the world’s oceans.

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The Roost Farm Centre – Corner Charm! You’re the One” has proven to be the most popular choice of the four pizzas offered. It features Cowichan Valley roasted duck, caramelized onions, gorgonzola and roasted pear with walnuts finished with a balsamic glaze. The dinner menu also includes appetizers, salads and desserts such as Blueberry Cobbler; the latest creation by Chef Christian Collins using the farm’s own blueberries.

by Arlene Antonik There’s no gas at this corner station but it’s worth stopping by to fill up anyway. As hungry locals know, the Roost Farm Centre at the corner of McTavish and East Saanich Roads is the place to go for a “Roost Riser” breakfast and organic coffee, and for homemade soup and a mile-high sandwich on fresh-baked bread at lunch-time.

Now you can eat dinner at the Roost too. The wood-fired oven menu is available from 1 to 9 p.m., Thursday through Saturday. Owner Hamish Crawford and his son-in-law, Dallas Bohl, met the challenge of building a wood-fired oven and having it ready for this summer. “Our first two pizzas were incinerated,” Dallas confided. “We’ve got it worked out now though.” Pizza patrons agree. “Local Ducky,

“We offer farm-fresh produce at the Roost,” Hamish noted. “We grow most of our own fruits and vegetables and have four acres in Hard Red Spring Wheat. “We mill the grain right here and use the finished flour in our bakery to make up to 10 different varieties of bread and lots of baked goods every day.” Hamish was born in Scotland, came to Canada in 1965, and settled there for awhile. In 1989, he bought the 10-acre site in North Saanich which was a bare field at the time

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and built his home, Highland House Farm. Over the years he has developed the property in an environmentally-friendly way to provide locally grown food to the community. The bakery and garden centre opened in 2002 and are managed by Hamish’s daughter Sarah and her husband, Dallas.

chicken in an arc further than the eye can see and would certainly startle anyone at the landing site. Asked the purpose of this, Hamish responded with a shrug and a twinkle in his eye. The farm’s next initiative is to open its own winery in the summer of 2010. Two acres of grapevines already grow Siegerrebe and Marshall Foch grapes which are expected to produce about 5,000 bottles of white and red wine. The idea is to have people sit outside under the trees enjoying woodfired pizza with a glass of the farm’s own vintage.

The barnyard is a noisy place with Nobby the turkey, chickens, sheep, rabbits and white doves all vying for attention. The golden pheasant struts around looking magnificent in his plumage of red, golden-orange and blue. The farm allows Hamish to pursue his many hobbies which include the growing of pumpkins. He built a greenhouse where two gigantic specimens with luxuriant foliage increase their girth by up to 35 pounds a day. Their roots suck up the farm’s well water at the rate of 20 gallons daily. Hamish is aiming to win first prize at the Saanich Fair on Labour Day Weekend and believes he is well on his way to success as these pumpkins are each expected to weigh over 300 pounds by the end of August.

Fresh local food and drink in a charming country setting; who could resist? Cheers! Photo caption: Hamish Crawford and Dallas Bohl trying out The Roost’s new wood-fired oven.

What to do with them after the Fair? “Well, the sheep like to eat smashed pumpkin,” Hamish advised sheepishly.

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Be amazed and entertained in a way you’ll never forget!

Community involvement is a big part of what the Roost Farm Centre is all about. The farm participates in many local events, such as the Flavour Tour hosted by North Saanich each August. When touring the farm, watch out for the rubber chicken cannon. With a roaring blast, it shoots a rubber

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www.ecocruising.com AUGUST 2009

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Pier Profile! Chelsea Maier by Lisa Makar, General Manager, The Sidney Pier Hotel & Spa I always say that this is a beautiful hotel in one of the most fantastic spots in the world but the thing that I am most proud of is our amazing team. They are hardworking professionals; many of whom also volunteer, both globally and within their community. So I decided to profile one of these great people, CafÊ Georgia barista Chelsea Maier. Chelsea just returned from Africa and I wanted to tell you about this exceptional young woman and what she has accomplished. In 2004, the society For the Love of Africa was formed by a group of volunteers who went to Tanzania to build a preschool. Chelsea’s mother was one of those involved. She took Chelsea back to Dodoma in 2006 to continue work on the project. Chelsea said that she had a hard time; witnessing first hand so much poverty, starvation, disease and AIDS orphans. Yet they were the most beautiful and loving people, andshe fell in love with the country and knew she had to go back some day. Two years later Chelsea took a year off after high school to raise money to fund a new project – building a centre for over 150 HIV/AIDS orphans. Fortunat-

ely, Chelsea came to The Pier in search of work and she has been a bright and beautiful face behind the counter every day. She remembers our guests and what they like, provides exceptional service and makes a mean latte! Chelsea put on a fundraising event at The Pier in November of 2008 and it got her off to a great start. After considerable time and energy, her team raised $21,000! In May Chelsea and six others boarded a plane to Africa.

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2538 Beacon Avenue, Sidney 250-655-9700 www.sidneypier.com/haros

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They started from the ground up – literally! There was just raw land and they had to do everything from digging up roots to laying out building measurements. They hand mixed cement and filled the foundation bucket by bucket because there was no electricity. They built the walls by moving 50-pound bricks by hand. On top of all of their hard work, they found time to visit homes with vital gifts of shoes, food and soap. According to Chelsea they heard enough sad stories, saw enough hope and learned enough life lessons and values to humble them for the rest of their lives. What Chelsea did is truly inspiring! Come by the cafÊ some time to meet Chelsea and hear about her amazing journey. formerly Piccolo Restaurant

Local Woman Raises Money For Wells of Hope Star Toole, a Saanichton woman, recently spent 10 days in remote areas of Guatemala with the organization Wells of Hope, which drills for water for villages that are in desperate need of a clean source. Star soon realized that the drill being used was unable to drill hundreds of feet through rock to reach water anymore and new equipment was desperately needed. Wanting to help, she decided to raise funds to put towards the purchase of a new drill and set a fundraising goal of $10,000. On July 25 Star jumped tandem from 10 thousand feet with an experienced skydiver to raise funds. She sold raffle tickets and picked the winner after landing safely.

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In addition to this event, Star has set up an account at the Sidney Bottle Depot for anyone who wants to donate their returnables to Wells of Hope. Star plans to return to Guatemala next year, and hopes to get a group of 10 people together to join her. If you’re interested, or wish to donate money towards purchasing a new drill, please contact Star at 250-483-5306 or email star4wellsofhope@gmail.com. For more information on Wells of Hope, visit www.wellsofshope.com.

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Juan de Fuca – The Story Behind the Name by Martin Blakesley A couple of months back, the magazine’s name change, and Allison’s question – “What’s in a name?” – got me thinking about a historical character whose name change leaves a lasting mark on this coast. Born around 1525 to a Greek Orthodox family on the Greek island of Cephalonia, Ionnis Phokas fled in 1538 as Sulieman’s Ottoman armies overran the island and rounded up 13,000 of its children. The young man deck-handed his way to Italy and – who knows why – took the name Apostolos Valarianos, meaning “Valiant Messenger.” He spent most of his working life as a mariner and a pilot in the service of the Spanish, and this explains his second name change – King Philip insisted his sailors convert to “the true faith” and many took Spanish names as well. Now Juan de Fuca, the former Valarianos may have been the Juan Griego (Juan the Greek) captured by Sir Francis Drake off Valparaiso, Chile, in 1578, and whom Drake took with him as he sailed north, up the West Coast, looking to found Nova Albion for his Queen and fill her coffers with Spanish booty. Whoever he was, he apparently piloted Drake’s Golden Hind as it coasted north, possibly as far as modern day Oregon, maybe British Columbia and perhaps even Alaska. Either he brought prior knowledge

of the northern reaches of this coast with him, or he acquired it en route. In 1587, returning from the Philippines on board the Santa Ana, de Fuca was (again?) captured by the English, relieved of cargo worth 60,000 ducats (apparently his retirement fund), and deposited at thennot-so-fun Cabo St. Lucas. Three years later found him sailing north (again?), perhaps, like Drake, in pursuit of the fabled Strait of Anian, the much-sought waterway believed to lie diagonally across The Americas, running northeast to southwest. By the mid-1570s, efforts to find its entrance had swung around, away from the ice-ridden north Atlantic to the Pacific, where it was believed the entrance would be easier to locate and negotiate. Juan de Fuca’s claim to have discovered the Strait, his descriptions of its gold- and silver-laden interior shores and his claim that he passed all the way through and back were not taken seriously by the Spanish. Nonetheless, he accurately located the western entrance to a broad passage, sweeping inland and leading into “a very much broader sea” between the 47th

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and 48th parallels; he described “an exceedingly high pinnacle or spired rock like a pillar” uncannily similar to the 150-foot formation located near Cape Flattery, off Tatooche Island and now known as “de Fuca’s Pillar;” and he spoke of “diverse islands,” possibly The San Juan and Gulf Islands. These are things, it’s argued, that Juan de Fuca couldn’t have described unless he had actually been there to see them, or had learned about them from someone who had been there before. Having never recovered from the loss of his fortune in 1587, and having received neither recognition nor reward for his alleged discovery, he returned to Cephalonia, where he died, ‘ancient’ and disillusioned, in 1602. He was initially buried as Juan de Fuca, in disgrace because of his conversion to Catholicism. Only recently was he re-interred in a Greek Orthodox cemetery, beneath a marker identifying him as, once again, Ionnis Phokas. Was this “valiant messenger” the first European to cast eyes on our shores and speak of its promise? We may never know.

AUGUST 2009

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Summer Tapas Time by Jennifer Bowles

There is a hallmark, cringe-worthy scene in the movie The Great Outdoors where our beloved John Candy orders the “ole 96-ounce prime aged beef steak.” If he finishes he gets a T-shirt, bragging rights that he licked his plate clean and hopefully a complimentary gastric bypass. As he sweats profusely through the ordeal, his kids cheering him on, his fork shaking as he brings the last morsel of meat to his quivering lips, I couldn’t help but think that less is more. There are many styles of dining, but one of the most appealing to me and one that has made a tremendous impression on the western palate is “Tapas.” Hailing from Spanish roots, tapas is small, bite-size morsels and sharing plates which are grazed on over the course of an evening and on into the night, eating in stages if you will. This way of eating and sharing is conducive to conversation, wine and taking time to enjoy the experience. Tapas and small plate recipes are as varied as the number of people who eat them. There are no rules and no limitations as to what you can make and so here I will share with you three dishes that I love sharing with friends over a glass of wine and some beautiful summer sunshine. Try this for your next evening gathering and I am certain you will reap the benefits of its welcome departure from steak and potatoes.

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Roasted Red Pepper Crab Cakes With Curry Aioli 2 Red Peppers – roasted, seeded and peeled 1 jalapeno, finely diced 1 cup mayo 2 tbsp. lime juice 1 tbsp. curry powder 2 cans crabmeat (mostly leg meat) 2 cups fine breadcrumbs Finely dice one of the peppers and set aside (Aioli) – In a food processor combine mayo, 1 red pepper, lime juice and 3/4 of the curry powder. Blend until smooth Set aside 1/2 of mayo for sauce to accompany crab cakes. In a large bowl combine crabmeat, jalapeno, diced red pepper and a few spoonfuls of the sauce. Add some of the breadcrumbs, check if mix binds

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together into cakes. If not, adjust breadcrumbs and sauce until the desired consistency is achieved. Form into cakes about 1.5 inches across and 3/4-inch thick.

Home health care you can trust

Place cakes in the breadcrumbs and pat into the cakes. Fry over medium heat in a bit of oil and butter until the outside develops a nice golden crust and cakes are warmed through.

Mussels & Chorizo in Spicy Tomato Broth ½ pound fresh local mussels 2 chorizo sausage links sliced 2 cloves garlic 1 small can diced tomato ½ cup good white wine 1 tsp. dried chilli flakes Heat a teaspoon of olive oil over medium-high heat in a large pot (with a lid) and brown chorizo. Add the garlic and chilli flakes and cook for two minutes. Add wine and tomatoes, bring to a simmer and then add the mussels. Cover the pot and cook until the mussels open â&#x20AC;&#x201C; about 4-5 minutes. Be sure to throw out any mussels that donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t open.

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Remove from heat and serve in a large bowl with some torn fresh basil and French bread to soak up the glorious broth.

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Mediterranean Chicken Salsa 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts seasoned, baked and diced

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2 fresh SunWing tomatoes

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seeded and diced ½ small red onion â&#x20AC;&#x201C; diced

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3 sprigs chopped fresh oregano

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2-3 pita breads â&#x20AC;&#x201C; lightly oiled, rubbed with fresh garlic & grilled Combine the first five ingredients in a bowl and season with a really good pinch of salt and pepper. Let the flavours combine in the fridge for 30 minutes.

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Prepare the grilled pita and use a cookie cutter to cut it in to bite-sized rounds or just tear into pieces for a more rustic presentation. Spoon the chicken on to the pita and serve.

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ENJOY!!! www.seasidetimes.ca

AUGUST 2009

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Broadmead and the Bog: R.P. Rithetâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Legacy by Carole Pearson Rithetâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Bog and the upscale residential area located off Royal Oak Drive are remnants of Robert Paterson Rithetâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 1,200-acre Broadmead Farm. R.P. Rithet, as he was known, was a wealthy Victoria businessman with

many enterprises to his credit. In 1871, he established R.P. Rithet and Company, a firm of importers and commission merchants for groceries and liquor coming into the province. In political life, Rithet served one year as mayor of Victoria in 1884 and sat as a member of the Legislature

from 1894 to 1898. While he and his family lived in a luxurious home in Victoria (Hollybank on Humbolt street), Rithet also owned farmland in Delta and Saanich. The latter property was purchased in 1893 and was originally a wild cranberry swamp. Rithet had

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Part of the farm was for growing grain and raising chickens but Rithet mostly used it to indulge in his real passion â&#x20AC;&#x201C; breeding thoroughbred race horses. His Broadmead (or Broadmede) Farm was named after a prize stallion he owned and Rithet even purchased additional land from his neighbour, Harry Heal, to build a race track for his horses, property now occupied by Royal Oak Burial Park. Harryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s father, John Heal, was one of the first settlers in the area, having bought 50 acres of land 30 years prior to Rithetâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s arrival. Harry purchased adjoining property while his brothers, Fred and Charlie, bought land on West Saanich Road, part of which later became Healâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Rifle Range. The original Heal home on Royal Wood Place served as the first post office in the BroadmeadRoyal Oak area. This was torn down in 1914. In 1948, some of the remaining Heal property was sold to the Veteranâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Land Association which built houses to accommodate returning soldiers following the Second World War. As a tribute to the war veterans, the streets in the development, like Falaise Drive, were named after wartime battles.

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part of the land drained and cleared for farming. George McMorran, whose descendants are well known in the Cordova Bay area, was hired to oversee this work and, during his nine years of employment, more than 300 acres were cleared.

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As for Rithet, he is remembered locally with Rithet Street in Victoria and the bog that was part of his land holdings. Local seniors remember childhood days of ice skating on the frozen bog. They describe groves of Garry Oaks and Douglas fir trees and riding trails where stores, parking lots and houses now stand. To the west were hayfields that stretched off into the distance, crossing where the Pat Bay Highway runs today.

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Irelandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Guinness family, owners of the Guinness Brewing Company, later bought Rithetâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s property and developed the area for residential and commercial use but kept its original name of Broadmead Farm. Photo caption: Saanich Archives 1980-020-004 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; McMorran and R. Maynardâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s son preparing a stump for blasting on Rithetâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Broadmead Farm.

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West Coast Wood Designs 9851 Seaport Place, Sidney westcoastwooddesigns.com AUGUST 2009

17


Some Enchanted Morning by Wendy Hacking It had to be either Bucky or me. One of us had to blink if I was going to continue my dawn bike ride down the spine of this small Southern Gulf Island. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d already met Buckyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s twin freckled fawns. Tiny, unsteady and unworldly, the fawns wobbled to the side of the road when I approached, led by their fleet-footed mum. But Bucky stood his ground, which happened to be smack in the middle of the road through the Enchanted Forest. He gave no indication if he would leap right, left or straight onto me.

Meeting up with Bucky is but one of the joys of early morning bike rides. At dawn the few vehicles this bike rider encounters are heading to the early ferry and most give wide berth and a wave with a curious glance as they whiz past. Otherwise itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s just me on my sturdy bike in the early light of the day, wheeling in the direction of the Enchanted Forest. This is the time of day when the air is heady with the perfume of honeysuckle, nascent blackberries, tinder dry grass and aptly named skunk cabbage.

I considered my options and their consequences and decided a short walk with my bike past Bucky would stretch my legs and ensure bikus intactus.

Usually the Enchanted Forest beckons for a practical reason; the road through the forest is long and flat. This gives me time to catch my breath and rally my courage

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to assault THE GREAT HILL rising up and curving around the cliff over the harbour at the end of the forest. I figure Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m saving our health care system thousands of dollars by having a free cardiac stress test every morning when I crest THE HILL without chest pain or a wheezing spell. My true motivation, however, is twofold: itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s harder to push my big old bike up THE HILL than it is to ride up the darn thing and boy is it fun to roar down the other side, wind whistling by. I have also learned, however, after ingesting my share of bugs, that clamped lips are prudent during the descent. The Enchanted Forest has a magical side, too. One morning, after pausing to check out the commotion in the farmerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s field near the forest, what I had thought was a big white rock in the distance turned out to be a ewe giving birth to one lamb, and then to another. As I respectfully peddled away, approaching the Enchanted Forest, I heard the unmistakable sweet notes of Early One Morning wafting on the still, cool air. An unseen flautist was wandering the hidden trails and bogs of the forest, out for an early practice. It made me want to draw up the big rocking chair and wait for the Friendly Giant to appear, but I biked on. When the road finally meets the sea, the reward for the crack oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; dawn start is a sunrise of bruised pink and orange, a snow-covered Mt. Baker glistening at the horizon. Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s time for a stretch and a guzzle of water before heading back home. What might await in the Enchanted Forest this time? AUGUST 2009


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what’s happening | august 2009

Thursdays until August 27 Royal Victoria Marathon Sign-Up Raincoast Conservation Foundation Tent, Sidney Market 250-655-1229, marathon@raincoast.org Join Raincoast’s Marathon team, an official charity of the 30th annual Royal Victoria Marathon held October 11th, 2009. Run or Walk the Full or Half Marathon, 8K Road Race or the Kid’s Run all in support of Raincoast Kids!

Sundays until September 6 Peninsula Celebrations Society Summer of Rockin’ Sounds Concerts

Sidney Beacon Pavilion, Beacon Park, 2 - 4 p.m. 250-656-2229, sshields@telus.net Sunday afternoon concerts featuring bands such as Paul Wainwright, Fat Hat Cat, Kumbia and The Naden Band.

August 3 - 7 August 10 - 14 Mr. Organic’s Summer Camps for Kids

Vantreight Farms, 250-655-9156, www.friendlyorganics.ca An organic summer camp for kids designed to help educate children on the importance of local agriculture and organic methods of growing food! Pre-registration is necessary; cost is $90 per week.

August 7 - 15 2’s and 3’s Art Exhibition

Artspring, Salt Spring Island, 3 - 7 p.m. daily 250-537-1322, sculptor@stonefishstudio.com A free exhibition of two- and three-dimensional art by island artists Julia Lucich (a painter and illustrator) and Allan Crane (sculptor).

August 8 Free Community Concert

Sidney Beacon Pavilion, Beacon Park, 3 - 7 p.m. www.westcoastacoustic.ca Nine acts and three hours of live music from the musicians of the Feed the Soul CD. Bring a blanket and enjoy some great music from talented local artists!

August 14 & 15 Island Comedy Festival – Stand Up For Mental Health Mary Winspear Centre Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 1 and 8 p.m. 250-656-0275, www.marywinspear.ca Legendary comedian Mike MacDonald (Just For Laughs, Comedy Central, Letterman, Showtime etc.), David Granirer and the comics of SMH. All festival proceeds go to SMH Island programs, the CFB Esquimalt

Military Family Resource Centre and Island Rotary Projects. Tickets $45 each.

August 15 B.C. Aviation Museum Hangar Dance

1910 Norseman Road, 8 - 11 p.m. 250-655-3300, www.bcam.net Dance to the swingin’ tunes of the Bob Morrison Orchestra. Buffet and cash bar. Tickets $20 per person. Call the museum between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. to book now!

August 20 Between the Tides

Island View Beach Regional Park (Central Saanich) 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. 250-478-3344, www.crd.bc.ca/parks Meet at the picnic area off Homathko Rd., off Island View Rd. During a low tide at Island View Beach it doesn’t seem like too many animals could live here. You’ll be surprised what we can find. Join CRD Regional Parks as we explore for the creatures that make Island View Beach their home. Be prepared to get your feet wet! All ages welcome.

August 22 Heather McLeod Trio

Muse Winery & Bistro, 11195 Chalet Rd., North Saanich Wine tasting, 6 p.m, music 7:30 - 10 p.m. 250-656-2552, www.musewinery.ca Come for an enchanting evening of jazz-blues with the Heather McLeod Trio, an all-female band consisting of piano, vocals, trumpet and Saxophone. Appys will be served during intermission at 8:30, and are included in the ticket price. Come and enjoy this magical event with us and feel free to bring your dancing shoes. Tickets $30.

August 23 Afternoon Picnic

Saanichton Green, Saanichton, 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. 250-544-0636, www.saanichtonvillage.ca The Saanichton Village Association will host this picnic which will feature games, music, hopefully great weather and good things to eat! It will be a mixer for the association’s members and a celebration of the SVA’s second anniversary. Come and meet your Saanichton neighbours!

August 30 Jennifer Louise Taylor with Good Company

Butchart Gardens, 7:30 p.m. 250-652-4422, www.butchartgardens.com Jennifer Louise Taylor has toured Canada and the US, and been a guest studio musician for CBC national radio. From the acoustic roots tradition, her songs weave a tapestry, both fun and meaningful. Adults $28, youth $14, children $3, and yearly passes are valid. Music samples can be found at www.myspace.com/jenniferlouisetaylor.


Bonnie McKechnie: Local Champion Not all of you may know her name, but local Bonnie Mckechnie’s star is definitely on the rise. She is a national level Figure champion and will be competing in the 2009 CBBF Canadian National Figure & Fitness Championships at the Massey Theatre in New Westminster on August 15th. Bonnie has been competing since 2004. The first step was a regional show in Vancouver and she was soon hooked, winning the Sandra Wickham Fall Classic. Wanting to see if she could do well at a Provincial Level competition, Bonnie worked really hard to bring her physique up to par with the other women competing at that level. She won the Provincial Level and there was only one more step – the Canadian Nationals. Bonnie won her class and since then has been competing to get her pro card, so she can compete at a pro level in the U.S. Bonnie’s success is due in large part to the support she receives from various businesses that have been beind her since 2004. They include Stone Trends, Travelodge, Weedman Canada, Poskitt Roofing, Cole’s Roofing, The Body Barn, Rodco Designs, LifeFlight International, Hypersport, Salon J and Esso. Without their sponsorship, she says, her goals would have been unattainable as it’s very expensive for the travel, hotels, suits and lifestyle of an athlete. Another huge support system has been Bonnie’s friends and family, including her fiancé and Trainer Christian Gregory, Dietician Nadia Nardi, mother-inlaw and son. “Ever since I was little,” Bonnie says, “I looked at magazines such as Muscle Mag, Oxygen and Fitness RX and thought to myself ‘wow, that is something that I would like to strive for, being in shape and healthy.’ I just didn’t know how to get there.” With the help of a large network of sponsors, family and friends, Bonnie’s dream became reality, and she thanks everyone for believing in her. Bonnie Mckechnie can be contacted at bonbonpro@ hotmail.com. For more information or to buy tickets for the 2009 CBBF Canadian National Figure & Fitness Championships, visit www.masseytheatre.com. SEASIDE TIMES

www.seasidetimes.ca

AUGUST 2009

23


Transformers: Reinventing Vantreight Farms by Arlene Antonik “Food comes from God and God sends it to Thrifty’s.” This was the response of a child to the question “Where does our food come from?” Many of us, especially the younger generation, are getting further and further away from the land which grows our food. Those of us who live on the Saanich Peninsula are luckier than most. We travel through the countryside and beside farmers’ fields on our way to our daily destinations, often to the city for our work or entertainment. How much thought do we give to what is going on in those fields that surround us? At Vantreight Farms on Central Saanich Road changes are underway. Last year, Ryan Vantreight, 32, the fifth generation of his family to work the farm, became general manager. He is transforming Vantreight from a wholesale operation growing daffodils, cabbage, cauliflower and lettuce into a retail food operation as well. “We want to reach out to the community with naturally-grown, local produce,” he said. “People

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want to know where their food is coming from and we want to connect consumers to our farm.” Vantreight Farms has 750 acres in production on the Saanich Peninsula – approximately 400 acres are owned and 350 acres are leased. Over 25 different fruits and vegetables such as raspberries, pumpkins, Brussels sprouts, and Jerusalem artichokes as well as daffodils, tulips, and gladiola are grown in the fields. Inside the 165,000 sq. ft. state-of-the-art greenhouses, another 30 or so varieties of fruits and vegetables including strawberries, radishes, beets, bok choi and even purple carrots are grown under the supervision of Head Grower Eric Doublier, who joined the farm in August 2008. He is assisted by 15-20 full-time staff and up to 600 seasonal workers. At the peak of the daffodil harvest, there can be 200 workers on the farm at one time. General Manager Ryan Vantreight “The greenhouses allow us to start production in the winter,” Ryan noted. “Produce is ready earlier than it would be in the fields and we have three crop rotations in a season rather than one.”

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Ryan has started several “direct from the farm” initiatives. There is an on-farm market open between 9:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday, and Vantreight Farm stands can be found at the Sidney Summer Market, the Mayfair Market and the Peninsula Country Market at the Saanich Fairgrounds. A Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Box Program is available on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. The boxes are filled with 10 varieties of produce that change with the seasons and are available in three sizes. For now, customers pick up the boxes at the warehouse at the farm but as the program grows, more pick-up locations will be designated throughout the community. Produce from the farm is also being sold to local restaurants. “People want to eat home-grown produce,” Ryan pointed out. “Restaurants are reacting to that by including more locally-grown food in their menu items.” For the first time, Vantreight Farms is hosting summer day camps for schoolaged children under the tutelage of “Mr. Organic,” a.k.a. Dave Friend. Campers earn a “Diploma of Dirt” by learning about such things as good bugs vs. bad bugs, irrigation, composting and companion planting. The farm also offers a six-month intern program where aspiring farmers are rotated through the various aspects of the business from test crops to marketing. With all these changes taking place, what does Ryan see for the future of the farm? “People are recognizing the importance of becoming more self-sustaining on this Island with regards to food production. Our farm plans to be part of that by providing nutritious and healthy food in an economically and ecologically sustainable way for many years to come.” Ryan has a keen interest in viticulture. “I’ve already picked out the slope on Mt. Newton where the grapevines would grow,” he divulged with a laugh. “It’s in my 10-year plan.” However, finances and a large mortgage are an ever-present concern. Ryan’s father

and farm owner, Ian Vantreight, has been working hard to garner community support for the “Hill Project” which would see 32 acres of nonarable, non-Agricultural Land Reserve property next to the North Saanich border developed into 89 mixed-housing units, green space and walking trails. This revised plan (an earlier one was deemed to be too high-density) is currently under consideration by Central Saanich Council. “The bank has the Kirsten Neilson at the Vantreight Farm Market. farm at the moment,” Ryan acknowledged. two. Will he carry on the legacy “We need to develop this as the sixth generation to work non-farmable land so we can the farm? Only time will tell. keep working the farmable In the meantime, Ian and Ryan land. We’ve tried hard to make Vantreight continue to transit clear to the public that this form their farm into a modernis what we need to do so the day operation with close confarm can remain as it is and not nections to its customers. be sold off in parcels which is In the child’s mind who was the only other option we have.” asked where food comes from, Vantreight Farms has existed food comes from God. If so, He for 125 years through five gen- depends on the strong backs, erations of the family. Ryan’s market savvy and perseverson Cassius has just turned ance of our farmers. Two Locations: 1933 Keating, Central Saanich

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AUGUST 2009

25


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Sudoku Puzzles August 2009 Keep Your Brain Healthy The Alzheimer’s Association recommends doing puzzles like Sudoku to strengthen brain cells and the connections between them.

Instructions Each Sudoku has a unique solution that can be reached logically without guessing. Enter digits from 1 to 9 into the blank spaces. Every row must contain one of each digit. So must every column, as must every 3x3 square. * Sudoku Solutions can be found on page 35.

Middle of the Road

3 7 6

4 9 1

1

2

8 9

Easy Breezy

7 4 2 4 1 6 5 1 9 7 3 4 6 4 1 2 5 4 8 9 1 2 9 3 1 6 8 7 2 8 9 2 3 7 6 3 Quiz: B.C. Day Trivia

6 4 6 3 9 4 2 1 5 8 2 1 6 5 4 3 7 1 2 1 3 9

1. Which is the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies? 2. B.C. has what for most of its eastern border? 3. What are the 150 islands off the northwest coast of B.C. called? 4. What B.C. city’s name also means “fish appendage?” 5. What river enters the sea at Vancouver? 6. What legendary creature is rumoured to live in Lake Okanagan? * anwers at bottom of page

Hardly Simple

2 9 6

9 7 4

3 8

8 4 5

6 1

5 1 4. Salmon Arm 5. The Fraser River 6. The Ogopogo 1. Mt. Robson 2. The Rocky Mountains 3. The Queen Charlottes www.seasidetimes.ca

5 2 8 4

3 7

2 9

6 3 2

4 AUGUST 2009

27


Summertime Bucket List by Sandy McElroy “Summertime and the living is easy” goes the song. But if it’s so easy, how come it goes by so fast? Already the back-to-school ads foreshadow the increased demands that fall brings. Each autumn I seem to sing the blues as I lament all the things that I did not make time for during the summer. This year I have created a “Bucket List” of things I want to do before Labour Day comes. Each week I will visit a new farmers’ market. With so much wonderful produce grown here on the Peninsula I plan to feast on local fruits and vegetables for the rest of the summer. I’ll also be keeping my eyes open for local crafts and artwork that I can set aside for holiday gifts. Making berry jam is also on my to do list. In our family this task is shared. My wife makes the blackberry jam and I make the raspberry jam. She does the hard work by picking her berries while I take the easy path and buy mine. I have made a promise to go for a swim in a local lake. I have never been a big water

The

baby so this promise will be a surprise to both friends and family.

don’t do near enough of; thanking people who have provided excellent customer service.

An easy item for the list will be a picnic with family and friends. My backpack is beside the back door waiting for to be filled with treats, snacks and beverages. The pack will help us get beyond the crowds who limit their mobility by carrying heavy coolers or overloaded picnic baskets.

You know the people I mean: the checkout person at Thrifty Foods who actually looks at you and makes the brief interlude while you are paying for your groceries a time that brightens your day, or the person at Cornish Cards who helps you to find the perfect bereavement card when your eyes are close to spilling the tears that you have been trying mightily to hold back. I hope to keep this pledge all year.

There is something that I

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I also plan to make time to relax on a sunny afternoon with a good book. Books are often a winter evening refuge for me and in the summer I always seem to go, go, go. This year I plan to settle down with a good book on at least one sunny afternoon in the back yard. Perhaps most importantly, I want to make someone near feel special. I don’t know how or when but if I pay attention I’ll know when the opportunity presents itself. The challenge will be to grasp the moment and have the wisdom to act. Already the days are getting shorter and my calendar is beginning to book up for the fall. I am going to tape this to the front of the fridge and get working on my Bucket List – it’s time to enjoy this all-too-brief Peninsula summer! Sandy McElroy can be contacted at mcelroy@pacrim.ca.


Pop Goes the Weasel by Robert Alison Weasels have an image problem. These animals are much more common locally than you’d think, but they are so secretive that they’re not often observed. Whether you know them as weasels or ermine, their reputation is tarnished by largely undeserved disreputable slurs. A “weasel-faced” person is somebody with thin, sharp and unattractive features. People who are “weaselly” are sneaky and treacherous and to “weasel out” means to evade an obligation e or responsibility. All o tthose negative inferences have made e ssome people dislike weasels without ever w having seen one. h Weasels are the ssmallest North American carnivores. There ic aare three species, but only one, the ermine, o occurs on Vancouver Island. The other two species are the least weasel and the long-tailed weasel. It is not too difficult to imagine how members of the weasel family might get a blemished reputation. It is true that they sneak around, mainly at night. They are very secretive, stealthy and go to great pains to remain concealed. Ermine are white in winter and mainly chocolate brown in summer (when they are often called stoats). They are exceedingly active, and vigorously poke and prod into every nook and cranny looking for food. They are so agile they can easily squeeze into the tightest of places. As well, they are accomplished climbers. There is almost nowhere they can’t go, except water; they hate to swim. Ermine are not considered an important pest species on Vancouver Island, although they sometimes raid chicken coops. Occasionally, they find their way into private homes, mainly seeking mice. They are strict carnivores and eat mainly small rodents, and in that regard, they are quite beneficial. They’re solitary animals, active year-round. Scientists confirm they are very productive and produce litters of up to 13 young. Diseases and other factors tend to keep their numbers in check though. Look for ermine along the sea coasts and along creeks and other waterways. Some individuals are quite daring and curious, and don’t be surprised if one approaches; a result of its inquisitive nature. Historically, ermine pelts were used to decorate the ceremonial robes of kings and clergy. These days, they are still trapped for their fur and about 10,000 are taken in British Columbia each year by trappers. Recently, ermine numbers on Vancouver Island have been dropping and researchers currently consider the animal to be “at risk.”

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AUGUST 2009

29


Getting Lost in Malta by Linda M. Langwith

Being a native Vancouver Islander, I am naturally attracted to rocky outcroppings in the middle of the sea, so it was perfectly natural to visit Malta. This quirky country in the Mediterranean has some rough edges, but perhaps thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s part of its charm. Aging cars spouting noxious fumes, pot-holed roads and confus-

ing signage are a challenge. Vacant lots full of rubbish, rubble and cacti contrast with urban excavations of giant and mysterious limestone bowls, brightly painted boats on turquoise bays and enough history to read like a blockbuster movie. September is a great time to visit

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Malta. Just before the autumn rains, the sun is not so scorching and there are fewer tourists thus better deals to be had on accommodation and car rentals. The latter are cheap enough, if you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t mind a â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;beater,â&#x20AC;&#x2122; but beware of the Maltese who treat the roads like a Formula One race track. While there are plenty of selfcatering options, we stayed at the Intercontinental in St. Julianâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s for a little resort-style pampering. When we sallied forth in our â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;rent a wreckâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; we first headed for Valetta, a compact little capital city rich in history and full of Old World charm and streets that ride like a roller coaster down to the sea. Designed by the Order of the Knights of St. John in the 16th and 17th centuries, Valetta was declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco. We checked out some of the sights, including St. Johnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s CoCathedral, built for the Knights as their place of worship and burial, as well as the Grand Masterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Palace, now the seat of Parliament. Malta isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t all about knights though. The National War Museum documents the struggle against German bombardment during the Second World War. Maltaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s entire population


was awarded the George Cross medal in 1942 for their bravery and steadfastness, which just goes to prove that islanders are a special breed. On other days we went further afield, taking in a Phoenician glass factory where one of our party had the rare opportunity to make a vase from start to finish, while the other tourists just got to watch.

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A trip to Marascala, a typical fishing village where colourful blue and yellow boats bob up and down on a lapis lazuli sea, led to a lunch of local fish soup on the quay followed by shopping for Maltese lace, olive oil and wine. A visit to Hagar Qim prehistoric temples that predate the pyramids by 500 years was well worth the appalling roads and hopeless directions. High on a seaside cliff, with the sparkling Mediterranean stretched out to a hazy horizon, Hagar Qim, like many other prehistoric remains on Malta, could really benefit from proper signage and an interpretive centre, but unlike Stonehenge, one can still touch the stones and feel their power.

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Our brief time on Malta reaffirmed those qualities of self-reliance and resourcefulness â&#x20AC;&#x201C; so much a part of island living. We learned to bring our own toilet paper rather than rely on the two squares handed out by the old women who run the washrooms, and we discovered that getting lost isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t so scary after all.

Facelift For Saanichton Corner The Saanichton Village Association is proud to announce a partnership with Central Saanich Public works department. Working together, the corner of Patterson Road and East Saanich Road been cleaned up and planted. This corner is now an attractive entrance to Saanichton Village. Mitchell Excavating donated 14 yards of topsoil and 2.75 hours of trucking.

Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a science centre, gift shop, bookstore and kidsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; playzone combined.

The corner; before (above) and after (below).

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Zais Astrology August A ugustt 2009 by b y Heather Hea eath Zais (heather_zais@telus.net) Aries A riiess m arcch 2 1 - aapril march 21 1 9 19 TThe he ssun un n sshines on fu un on fun and entertainment for you you u this th s month, m for includ in udin ng all all ages. including Take time time to enjoy Take or develop devvelo op yourself op yourse or or creati tive e ttalents. allents. O creative Others will be be interested in ntere restted in what wha you will have to o show show them. the hem. m. It’s important importa to have reviiew your re you ourr direction dire di rectio on and an nd seee which whic ich h path pa you want n to take. review Rela Re laxa xati xa t on will wililll allow allo al low w a bit bi off insight in insig ight ht to show w you the th way. th Relaxation w a lline in tthe he ssan and an d. Y You g go oo h do. Draw sand. orr others Taurus april 20 - may 20 The full moon lunar eclipse on the fifth will focus on your status or professional aspirations. Circumstances will cause you to review these one way or the other. Any decision is better than waffling as certain actions are expected of you. A stall in financial matters can be to your advantage later, so don’t sweat it. Expand your interests or investments later in the month. Time will work for you now. Gemini may 21 - june 20 Your ruling planet Mercury catches up to Saturn this month. Their combined energies can slow or stabilize communications of all types – work with it. Look through boxes or files to locate information you will need in the near future. Talks will lead to choices regarding home or base of operations for you or those close to you. Daydreaming can be a catalyst for you to consider other locations or occupations. Cancer june 21 - july 22 The full moon lunar eclipse highlights your finances this month. Lay out a budget if it will make things easier for you or those you deal with. Clarity is important now for all involved. Make payments where necessary, so credit won’t become an issue. There is opportunity for monetary increase, gifts or a bonus. With the planed Venus in your sign be charming and negotiable. You are ready for positive change. Leo july 23 - august 22 Mate or partnership matters are in focus under the full moon lunar eclipse this month. There is added support from the combined energies of Jupiter and Neptune creating idylic circumstances. Travel could end up with expenses paid and be like a holiday or ‘honeymoon,’ even if it did not start out that way. You can expand and get others to work with you equally. Lay out legal and financial data. A time to sell. Virgo august 23 - september 22 Your steady attention to the job and important details will be noticed by those who count. Your kind manner can influence others to be more productive as well. In turn, they

will step aside when you want to advance. Your intuition is increasing as your confidence grows. You go through some soul-searching. This helps you focus on your goals and plan of action to get there. You are needed. Libra september 23 - october 22 Your romantic ideals cause you to daydream or speculate. Make sure there is something to back it up before you disturb the status quo. Reality checks can be a hard landing. It’s fun to fantasize in any case. You will have some luck this month, so small gambles are okay. Entertainment can be unusual or moving. There is a message there for you. Your needs and desires undergo change with the lunar eclipse. Scorpio october 23 - november 21 Home and property matters need decision or revision. That shifting feeling won’t be permanent as it could be just the waves against the boat. It’s a great time to take a cruise and contemplate your future. Doors open for you with buying and selling – you have the midas touch right now, for yourself and others. Important events relate to family. Small weddings or celebrations in a home setting are favoured. Your popularity rises. Sagittarius november 22 - december 21 Keep moving forward, even if it seems the brakes are on. Matters over distance need extra time to gel or complete, so relax. Your imagination is strong and you will come up with new or better ways to handle circumstances. Some will see you as a genius or ‘psychic’ when it all turns out just fine. This is a good time to seek information or get further education. You will do well. Capricorn december 22 - january 19 Your finances get a boost or income is received from a different source. Do any required paperwork to make it all run smoothly. Revise spending habits or credit arrangements where necessary. You can feel like a winner when all is said and done. Pay attention to anything associated with government, taxes or the law; others want their say. You feel a sense of power, but you need to use it wisely. Aquarius january 20 - february 18 Strong feelings of love can seem like a dream or déja vu. Relationships can lead to marriage or other serious commitment. Circumstances can be ideal or like a wish come true. Timing is always the key to everything. You can see how your past has led up to where you are today; it’s not so bad. The influence of the lunar eclipse, Jupiter and Neptune in your sign can be magical. Pisces february 19 - march 20 Pay extra attention to health and work matters of yourself or others. Some changes need to be made. Get an official assessment if additional ‘clout’ is needed. Proper rest will be important to avoid burnout. Visit shut-ins or those with mobility problems. Dreams can give you important information about events or the future; make notes. Unexpected or unusual experiences are likely. Break old patterns to become more efficient, leading to success.


Suzanne Huot photo

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Which Nut are You on the Family Tree? by Pene Beavan Horton they’ve inherited genes that predispose them to heart disease or Alzheimer’s or cancer… so they can take preventive measures where possible. Others hope to find themselves related to all the Royal Houses in Europe; but what grabs most of us is the human interest.

Thousands of Canadians and millions of researchers globally are immersing themselves in their family history. Why? What’s so fascinating about ancestors who’ve been dead a long time? You’re alive and well and living in Sidney, and Great Uncle Harry expired in 1900. What’s exciting or relevant about that? Let’s take a look.

The Smiths decided to compile a family history, a legacy for their children and grandchildren. They hired an author to write their story, but wanted to gloss over the fact that Great Uncle George had left this world via the Electric Chair.

Genealogy is comforting. It’s the antidote to Future Shock, clones and test tube babies. Genealogists like feeling connected to people who have contributed to who they are now.

The author told them he’d handle it. “Great Uncle George,” he wrote, “occupied a chair of applied electronics at an important government institution, was attached to his position by the strongest of ties, and his death came as a great shock.”

It’s disconcerting to discover that you’ve inherited your great-grandmother’s double chins, but gratifying to find that your artistic talent stems from a great uncle who painted miniatures in the 1800s.

Gillian Mead, family history expert who lives in Sidney, has been doing genealogy

Some people do genealogy to see if

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for the past 30-plus years. She warns, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Genealogy starts out as a minor hobby and almost always ends up as a major obsession!â&#x20AC;?

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Researching your roots has never been easier; internet technology has given genealogical research a major boost. How to get started? Visit The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saintsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Family History Centre at 701 Mann Avenue in Victoria which is open to the general public Monday, Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 12.30 p.m., Tuesday and Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. On Saturday afternoons, the Centre provides classes on family history research. The Church offers free use of computers with free access to many databases, including www.familysearch. org, a comprehensive Web site that helps you start from scratch or do in-depth research. Send for a free Tracing Our Ancestors in Canada brochure from the National Archives, 395 Wellington Street, Ottawa, Ontario, KIA 0N3. Find information on census records, births, deaths, marriages, land ownership and military records at www.archives.ca. Search www.ancestry.com and www.ancestry.ca for shipsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; passenger records, vital statistics, census records and many other useful topics. In Saanich, a genealogy group meets on the third Thursday of every month at the Presbyterian Church on the corner of East Saanich Road and Canora Way-Airport Road. A member of the group, Judi Warrington, kindly offers free advice and help at 250-656-8741 or email her at Judiwarr@pobox.com. This brings us back to why a lot of ancestors whoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve been dead a long time are so fascinating; itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s simple. Little by intriguing little youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll discover why itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s delightful and engrossing to find out exactly where you fit on your family tree, nutty or not. In the end, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not your ancestors youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re searching for, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s yourself.

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Failed Communications – Part IV by Joseph Fasciani As Ian reflected on his branch’s history, and his role in it, he turned on his computer and started to go through his emails. He expected nothing out of the very humdrum reportage he got day in and day out, and today was surely no exception. That was when he caught a curious statement from Virginia Lee, an FC branch woman in the field in Afghanistan. She was writing about an encounter she had with what she called “a very odd clan of people, who don’t appear to belong to a tribe,” and their powerful, influential collective psyche. In that part of the world, Ian knew that everyone belonged to a tribe or large clan; no one was exempt. He knew full well that, as Aristotle remarked, “a man without a city is either a god or a beast of the fields.” It was quite impossible to survive very long in many parts of the world without one’s being in such a relationship. It wasn’t a matter of choice; it was a

matter of life or death. In Afghanistan and many other nations one’s very identity and entire life was determined by the clan and all its ramifications, for good, bad, or indifferent.

teller and you pretty well have it, except this clan is very small indeed.” Posted to a Canadian regiment as an interpreter, which she certainly was, of course, being fluent in seven languages, she was also assigned to “Failed Communications” branch, and secretly sent it far more than transcripts of intelligence gathering. In this clan she felt she had found her lifetime “gold strike;” more than enough to keep her going after she left the Service and wrote about what she had learned.

Lee’s comments went on to explain that the clan shared abnormally high psychic abilities, so much so that its members were suspect as soon as the clan was mentioned. As she put it: “Think Gypsy fortune-

“These people tell me that for the West to blame Osama bin Laden for its September 11th attacks is more than wrong, it is self-blindingly foolish, and shows the rest of the world that the Western devils care more for their public image than helping their people to understand what has really happened. According to them, their clan frequently dreams collectively. It

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is their long-time practice in the morning after waking to share within each family what they dreamt of during the night. After their supper, the elder from each family would gather with his or her counterpart from all the other families, and they would again share these dreams. As there were only seven families in the clan, say 45 members all together, this can be reasonably done on a daily basis. â&#x20AC;&#x153;One day about eight years ago, the elders shared strikingly similar stories of how the Islamic people of the faith had been living for more than a century under the domination of the West, doing little more than simply enduring. People did not know which was the greater evil: their selfish, corrupt rulers who kept them in ignorance or the Western traders and merchants who kept them in poverty. One day a snake appeared, but not like any snake anyone had ever seen before! This one was immense, many leagues long, and wider than a great mosque. It was black from beginning to end, and slithered through many nations every day, from the Caspian Sea to the Arabian Gulf to the Straits of Hormuz. Daily it made a great circle route, and returned to where it had started, ready to begin again the next day.

â&#x20AC;&#x153;If a puzzle has a thousand pieces, how many have to be connected or in place before the whole is revealed?â&#x20AC;?

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â&#x20AC;&#x153;After nearly three hours of excited discussion and debate, the elders finally agreed on an interpretation. The snake was oil; the immense wealth it had brought to a few hundred families in the Islamic world community was the source of so much misery for the all-too-many.â&#x20AC;?

EN

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â&#x20AC;&#x153;The snake did not kill people directly, but as it made its way from place to place it crushed villages and toppled sacred sites, uncaring because it was unknowing. Yet at every nationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s capital city, it would go to the palace or government house and pause for a moment. There it shortly coughed and spat up gold bars, then slithered forward to more chaos and destruction. Thus the people died from want, although the snake did not mean to harm them.

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Virginia Lee went on to write that â&#x20AC;&#x153;while these are very far from the Afghani resistance, they made sure in every way they could that what they were about was not easily known to the Taliban supporters who surrounded them.

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For even the smallest detail could be â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and all too often was â&#x20AC;&#x201C; misinterpreted by the freedom fighters, and a childâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s innocent remark could be devastating to a village.

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If a puzzle has a thousand pieces, thought Ian, how many have to be connected or in place before the whole is revealed? This latest communication from Virginia Lee now struck him as having connections with other bits and pieces he could recall. To be continuedâ&#x20AC;Ś www.seasidetimes.ca

'SQTIXMXSVWTEGIWXMPPEZEMPEFPI *SVQSVIMRJS  VGKVMPPLSYWI$WLE[GE 4VSGIIHWXS'STWJSV'ERGIV AUGUST 2009

37


THE LAST WO R D As you may have read in Chris Genovaliâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s article in this issue, surveys done by Raincoast Conservation over the last six years recorded that for every two sightings of cetaceans, the foundation had one sighting of garbage. Luckily, we didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t see any garbage on our ecotour yesterday, but we did see lots of Orca! What incredible animals they are. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m sure everyone on the boat left with a stronger sense of responsibility for the marine environment; I know I did! As for â&#x20AC;&#x153;disturbingâ&#x20AC;? the whales, our guide was extremely careful to follow the rules for whale watching vessels. We had to stay a certain distance from the Orca, even to the extent of backing up if they seemed to be heading our way.

I was reminded yesterday, once again, of how happy I am to be back home on the Island and how lucky I am to be living in what must be one of the most beautiful places on earth. I was invited to go whale watching and a group of us set off with Jeff Wonnenberg of Emerald Sea Adventures. Part of me, I admit, was a little bit hesitant at first. I hate the idea of â&#x20AC;&#x153;disturbingâ&#x20AC;? the whales (or other sea life) in their natural habitat, but at the same time I understand that perhaps if weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re able to actually see the amazing marine mammals and seabirds that live in in this area weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll be more likely to want to protect them.

The Orca we saw were the Resident J pod, led by almost 100-year-old matriarch â&#x20AC;&#x153;Granny.â&#x20AC;? Following closely behind her was her son, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Ruffles.â&#x20AC;? Jeff mentioned that wherever one is, the other is sure to be close behind; Orca have very close ties with their family. This is also the case in the First Nations culture. Orca represent the voyager and are rarely seen alone. They symbolize family and are one of the most powerful symbols in the underwater world. After my adventure yesterday, I am left with a renewed sense of how fragile and amazing our world is, and how it needs our protection more than ever. Editor-in-Chief

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AUGUST 2009


Traditional and Contemporary

Arts & Crafts Through August 30th â&#x20AC;˘ 10 am - 4 pm daily â&#x20AC;˘ Free Admission! New Location! Community Arts Centre, Tulista Park, Sidney 9565 5th St. (at Weiler) 250-656-7400

The CACSP gratefully acknowledges the financial assistance of the Town of Sidney, the District of North Saanich, the Municipality of Central Saanich and the BC Gaming Commission.

Seaside Times - August 2009  

Think of our publication as an extra dimension of our community space, a place where the West Coast culture is treasured and celebrated. We’...