Seaside Times December 2010 Issue

Page 1


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december 2010

T his M onth December 2010

Saanich Peninsula • Greater Victoria • Langford • Colwood

The First Word

4 9 Weatherwit 10 Sumptuous Garden 12 Forbes & Marshall 14 Get Out! Nature Lesson 22 Island Dish 26

page 62

Things You Should Know … Holiday Edition

A December Weather Forecast Gifts That Grow

We All Say The Darndest Things

Kayaking Victoria & The Peninsula Our Homing Salmon

Smell The Coffee

32 44 Raincoast Update 55 What’s Happening Zais Astrology 56 57 Sudoku Last Word 62 Coffee and Chocolate Pairing For Christmas

The Captain and Kermode

Arts & Entertainment Calendar What do the stars hold? For all the addicts

The History of the Christmas Tree On the cover:

Christmas Ease

Read About Some Great Local Businesses!

Pauline Olesen.........................................................................10 VI Tanning Centre....................................................................16 A Touch of Saltspring Art and Craft Fair.........................................30 In-Room at:

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first wo r d

Things You Should Know … Holiday Edition Mistletoe Commonly used as a Christmas decoration, the tradition has spread throughout the English-speaking world but is largely unknown in the rest of Europe. According to Christmas custom, any two people who meet under a hanging of mistletoe are obliged to kiss. The custom may be of Scandinavian origin, as it was described as early as 1820 by Washington Irving in his The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon: “The mistletoe was commonly hung up in farm-houses and kitchens at Christmas, and the young men have the privilege of kissing the girls under it, plucking each time a berry from the bush. When the berries are all plucked the privilege ceases.”

Babylon and Rome. The Babylonians would typically return farm equipment that they had borrowed during the year, while in Caesar’s time Janus became the symbol for resolutions because he had two faces that could look to the past and into the future. Today we make New Year’s Resolutions to try to improve some aspect of ourselves. Popular resolutions include quitting smoking, losing weight and getting out of debt. This sounds good but the sad truth is that most of us break them well before the year is out. In fact, a recent study found that 22 percent of people give up on their resolution in the first week and, by the end of March, more than half of New Year’s resolvers have fallen off the bandwagon.

New Year’s Resolutions

New Year’s Traditions and Superstitions

The popular tradition of making New Year’s resolutions has origins in ancient

There are many superstitious traditions that began years ago but have

lost their meaning in present day. Typically these traditions were enacted to influence their luck in the coming year. The New Year’s Eve parties we all know and love began due to the belief that what one did on the first day of the year could affect their luck. This is why parties go past midnight and into the New Year and also why they involve lots of family and friends. When the clock strikes midnight it’s common for us to kiss our loved ones and make lots of noise to celebrate the beginning of a new year. While most of us do this without thinking about it, there is a superstition behind it: traditionally, people kissed each other to ensure that the relationship lasted for the rest of the year and they made a lot of noise as they believed it would scare the evil spirits away. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from our family to yours!

Tim Flater

Central Saanich Optometry Clinic Dr. Paul Neumann

Welcomes Dr. Gurpreet Leekha

Dr. Neumann and the staff of Central Saanich Optometry Clinic would like to welcome Dr. Gurpreet Leekha to our team. He comes to us from Coquitlam, B.C., and before that New York City, where he received his optometric education and then stayed to practice for five more years before returning to B.C. Publisher, Advertising Tim Flater 250.686.1144

Advertising Sales Sherry Ashbury 250.686.1973

Gurpreet loves to volunteer his time, from giving free eye exams to children here in B.C., to visiting Chile in 2007 and Mexico in 2001 and 2008, providing free eye exams and eyewear to the underprivileged in those countries. He is able to conduct eye examinations in English, Spanish and Punjabi.

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Editor-in-Chief Allison Smith 250.813.1745

Gurpreet has special interests in the links between psychology and vision, and enjoys the challenges that come with specialty contact lens fitting and treating eye diseases. He also has undergraduate degrees in Chemistry and Film Studies from Queens University.



Printed 12 times a year in Richmond, British Columbia by Rhino Print Solutions. Reproduction in whole or in part is prohibited. Reproduction requests may be made to the editor or publisher at the above contacts. Views of contributors do not necessarily reflect the policy or views of the publisher and editor. Staff of the magazine cannot be held responsible for unsolicited manuscripts or photographs.

Sidney Lions Food Bank Christmas Hamper Drive by Ken Pleasance, Sidney Lions Club The origins of the Sidney Lions Christmas Hamper Program are unknown, but a history of the Sidney Lions Club written in 1990 reveals that Christmas Hampers were distributed to needy families at least as early as 1970. As the years progressed and the program became more established, support from the community grew. As a result, the scope of the Christmas Hamper program also grew, permitting assistance to be extended as far as Elk Lake. In 1983, the Christmas Hamper program received extraordinary support from the community, raising over $11,000. Over the years, many stories of gratitude have been received from recipients of the program. In one case, a lady who opened her door to find a Lions Club member with a box of groceries burst into tears. She explained how her husband and son had moved to Sidney from Ontario but shortly after arriving, her husband suffered a major heart attack, making it impossible to continue working, and, because of his short period of employment, he had no medical plan. They had bankrupted themselves trying to cope with this situation and were facing foreclosure on their home. There was not enough food in the refrigerator to make one meal when the hamper arrived. The Lions member, with tears running down his face, reported what he had found to the rest of the Club, and avowed that the Hamper program must never be permitted to stop when there were people in such need. The Sidney Lions Food Bank is now a separate society from the Sidney Lions Club, enabling it to issue charitable donation receipts. It has its own Board of Directors and operates with one part-time paid administrator and 30 volunteers. Collectively, these volunteers put in over 200 hours per month. No remuneration is paid to directors or volunteers. Last year, the Sidney Lions Food Bank distributed an estimated $400,000 worth of food (84 tons). This represents a significant increase over the previous year. In September 2010, 1,006 people living in 365 households received a food hamper. The food bank is funded by the donations of local residents with support coming as well from such organizations as the North Saanich Fire Fighters, The Sidney Fire Fighters, The Central Saanich Fire Fighters, the Ambulance paramedics and the Posties Food Drive. Additionally, there are many food and fundraising drives organized by local schools, churches, businesses such as Fresh Cup, local clubs such as the Torquemasters car club and Peninsula realtors. Major fundraising is held each December to support the Program. Cash donations are preferred to actual food goods as the Sidney Lions Food Bank can increase its buying power by almost two to one by bulk and case lot purchases. Cash also enables the Sidney Lions Food Bank to obtain an inventory of nutritious foods for distribution on an ongoing basis. The Sidney Lions Food Bank also supplies food and milk for breakfast and lunch programs in a number of local schools. Contact the Sidney Lions Food Bank at 2297 Ocean Avenue, Sidney, 250655-0679,,

december 2010



A Break With Tradition

hristmas dinner is always held at our house because that’s the way I like it.

From shrimp cocktail swimming in red sauce to steamed pudding with boozy hard sauce, I’ve prepared the traditional holiday meal for my three brothers and their families since our parents passed on the turkey torch some years ago. This year was going to be different, but not because I didn’t want to do Christmas dinner. While I was decorating our front door with cedar boughs I managed to fall off the stepladder and break my leg. In three places. Ten days before Christmas. My will to do dinner was thwarted by painkillers that left me with an “N” sticker on my crutches and mentally in la-la land. My three brothers offered to collectively take charge of the Christmas feast. All I can say is it was the drugs that made me let them do it. My brothers were born within 18 months of each other and are as fiercely

by Wendy Hacking

competitive as brothers can be. Whether wooing the girls in high school, bashing the puck in hockey or acquiring the latest car, each brother has spent an awful lot of time trying to outshine the others. So it came as no surprise that my brothers decided to stage an “Iron Chef Christmas Dinner” where each of them would take one course of the meal and would compete with the others for the title of “Top Christmas Chef.” If I had been able to think straight I would have called the whole thing off and made reservations at the nearest restaurant for December 25 at 5 o’clock. Stealthily, for the week before Christmas, my brothers shopped, prepped, tasted, basted and boasted. When they arrived at my house on Christmas Day afternoon with multiple coolers and bulging shopping bags I was banished to the family room. Although I couldn’t see what they were doing I could hear them: raucous laughter, corks popping and a lot of banging of pots. What wor-

ried me the most is that the aroma wafting from the kitchen didn’t exactly smell like turkey. They wouldn’t forget to roast the turkey, would they? Scorecards were at each of our places as we gathered around the Christmas dinner table. Grace was said, wine was poured and each brother proudly served his surprise contribution. Course #1: three plump fresh oysters done Rockefeller style, perfect for a family of bivalve lovers. More wine preceded course #2: turducken! Accompanied by an array of tiny vegetables, the turducken tasted much better than it sounds. And finally course #3: a deconstructed plum pudding with a light brandy scented crème anglaise. What a scoring dilemma! Which brother was named Top Christmas Chef? With seasonal hoho-ho we called it a three-way tie which, of course, led to the only decision that could possibly be made for next year: a Top Christmas Chef Cookoff. I think I’m going to enjoy our new family tradition, without having to break any bones.

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Season’s Greetings

Don Bellamy

Beverley McIvor

Ross Shortreed

Renee Colonnello

Craig Walters

and Happy New Year! Jeff Bryan

Please Share Your

Good Fortune With The

Lisa Dighton

William Bird

Karen Dinnie-Smyth

Jim Allan

Roy Coburn

Gaye Phillips

Rene Blais

Deborah Gray

Jack Barker

w eatherw it

A December Weather Forecast by Steve Sakiyama Hi. I am Steve Sakiyama and I am a meteorologist. I teach atmospheric science at Royal Roads University and apply my skills with the B.C. Ministry of Environment. I recall a comedian, the late Richard Jeni, asking “what do meteorologists forecast anyways … meteors?” “Over the next few days, no meteors will come flaming down, although there will be a sprinkle of space dust at 3 a.m. Now for the long term forecast I have exciting news! In 10 million years a huge meteor will barrel into the Pacific – putting an end to life as we know it. But don’t get your hopes too high as these long term forecasts aren’t that accurate.” Actually, the term meteorology comes from the Greek word meteoros meaning “high in the air,” and the modern definition has to do with the science of the atmosphere – in other words, the weather. Now forecasting a meteor collision in 10 million years is pretty tricky stuff. In the same way, long-term weather forecasts (even a month ahead) are also pretty tricky. Very smart people apply lots of messy science stuff to do this, and are quite aware that predicting the long range weather details are like finger paintings of what in reality is a grand masterpiece. This gives meteorologists an “all knowing” twinkle in their eye, and it isn’t from space dust. Having said how challenging it is to forecast the weather a month ahead, I am going to attempt a difficult feat. Drum roll please … . This issue will start a series of weather forecasts for each month and provide a post-mortem on the previous month’s forecast to see what worked and what did not. In order to avoid embarrassing my esteemed fraternity of meteorologists, I will try to reference the work of those brave scientists who are experts in this field but admit to adding guesswork for entertainment and educational value. Now if you are not too worried about weather details on specific days but more interested in generalities, then science can provide some insights on SEASIDE  TIMES

what could happen. One majestic phenomenon that affects our weather and makes longterm forecasting a bit easier is the “El Nino” and “La Nina.” We are now in a La Nina pattern, which is a current of cooler than normal, equatorial surface water that flows from the coast of Peru westward across the Pacific and is most intense during the winter. Such a massive transport of cool water changes the energy balance of the ocean in the Pacific and as a result affects global weather patterns. For southwest B.C. this means wetter and cooler than normal for December. In fact, La Nina is forecast to be with us until the spring of 2011, so expect more of the same into the new year. Now you could escape to Arizona for the winter, as the effect of La Nina in those parts means warmer

and drier than normal conditions. The rich just get richer don’t they? Since December is a month with holiday celebrations and a time with friends and family, for sentimental and scientific reasons I’ll forecast a white Christmas, and snow to end 2010 so we can slip into the new year with a rush. We might even see a meteor streaking by Christmas Eve. For more information on La Nina and seasonal weather forecasts, visit and index_e.html#forecasts. If you have any questions about the science of weather, email me at info@ I also have a weekly weather blog, complete with a weekend forecast for Victoria, at

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Glass Goddess – Pauline Olesen by Jennifer Bowles

Before I was assigned this writing project, I had never heard of Piers Island. Googling revealed that it was in front of me every time I traveled on the ferry from Swartz Bay. Divided exclusively into private residential lots, Piers Island is an “invite only” destination. With my invitation to visit Island artist Pauline Olesen secured, I unsurprisingly selected the stormiest day to make the short crossing in a water taxi owned and operated by Brian Smiley from EcoCruising Tours. After about a 10-minute voyage, I arrived safely and as the bow of the boat nudged the wharf, I gathered my sea legs and disembarked. “Hi! You must be Jen,” Pauline Olesen said with a pretty smile. “That’s me!” I replied. With the rain dancing on my cheeks and wind blowing, we loaded into Pauline’s golf cart, which is the only kind of motorised vehicle used on Piers

Island. Off we zoomed to Pauline’s studio along an unpaved path. We arrived at her home and entered through an archway of blackberry vines and climbing rose hips. Settled inside, on went the coffee and we began to chat. Born and raised in Victoria and a graduate of Belmont High School, Pauline has spent the majority of her life in Victoria. As a former insurance adjuster, Pauline says she always had a love for art brewing inside her. Having studied art in high school and taking some water colour classes, she began her career as an artist by painting ceramics. After that she fell in love with glass. “I got hooked on the light, the colour and the way it glows” said Pauline. Her stunning work is created through a process known as glass fusing. The idea behind this process is that separate pieces of glass can be fused together when they are put in contact with each other. Chemicals and minerals added to the glass change everything from opacity and colour to melting point. As Pauline opened the door to her studio, I was enveloped by heat. The studio houses a four-foot kiln that was in the final stages of firing her latest creation! A work table was snug against the wall and a shelving unit against the window displayed her incredible creations. With rain pelting against the studio roof and grey clouds hovering, Pauline’s glass creations beamed like rays of light on a dark day. The colours were remarkably vivid; Pauline describes them perfectly as “juicy,” with a color burst effect. A rectangular black-and-whitestriped footed plate entitled “Piano” stood out among the pieces for sale. An intensely red maple leaf with deep texture and movement was showcased on the wall and a vibrant red-eyed tree



frog, complete with rich orange bulbous fingers, popped from where it hung. My absolute favourite was a whimsical four-foot crocodile with piercing yellow eyes and ribbons of scarlet scales running the length of his back – show stopper! Pauline’s glass creations also extend to chic jewelry including stunning necklaces and bracelets created together with her husband Steve Cruise who makes the glass beads for each piece. Her work is seen in The Gallery at Mattick’s Farm, Homefront Ideas, Miraloma on the Cove, Fandango’s in Sidney and Brentwood Bay Resort & Spa. After meeting Pauline and seeing her art first hand along with the fascinating production process, I was very intrigued. If you would like to try your hand at this incredible art form, visit for a list of her workshops and a chance to meet her in person. For those who can’t wait, Muse Winery in North Saanich is hosting an event on December 11 and 12th. The event will showcase other artists including Pauline and is a must for everyone to see! Not only is each of Pauline’s pieces striking and unique, they would be a wonderful complement to any space. Her success is no surprise today with clients all over the world and I can’t wait to see what she creates next!

sum ptu o us gar den

Gifts That Grow

Rob Bond (pictured) and partner John Doyle are the proprietors of Doyle & Bond Home and Garden on West Saanich Road. Their goal is to create stunningly beautiful spaces for home and garden. With The Sumptuous Garden, landscape designer Rob spreads his knowledge and passion around the Saanich Peninsula.

by Rob Bond

Winter gardens are underrated and overlooked as a source of pleasure. Truth is, your garden can be a yearround delight. Carefully chosen winter plants provide garden structure and deliver the cheer of January flowers. Why not carry that Christmas bling through winter by giving garden lovers gifts that grow? Mahonia charity (pictured at right) is a dramatic, vertical evergreen with large, holly-like leaves. Long, brightyellow sprays of flowers appear in December and January. A cold snap will turn the leaves bright red – yes, as if to compensate for our suffering. Plant this baby where you can enjoy its performance from the warmth of home.

and candles create patterns of light to illuminate winter plants. Now’s a time to think big: one large candlestick can make a statement. Position lights to be viewed from a dining room or kitchen window. Light as dusk falls.

Mirrors also boost a winter garden. There’s unnoticed potential in blank fences and walls. Positioned carefully, a mirror is like a secret window to a magical corner of your garden. Lastly, statuary is a wonderful addition to a garden. But remember, less is more. You should see no more than one piece at a time. Sculpture should never be up front, but be placed in the middle or backs of beds and partially hidden by foliage – as if to be discovered by chance. We all love surprises, don’t we? Photos courtesy Carol Clemens.

Grevillea victoriae, one of my favourites, flowers December through February, but the buds are a show in themselves. Grey-green leaves provide the backdrop for bright russet buds and orange flower bursts. Witch-hazel ‘Arnold’s promise’ is a fab, vase-shaped, deciduous plant whose sprightly flowers begin to whorl around its branches in January – a treat on grey days. Bright yellow petals hanging from intense red centres stand up to the horrors winter throws at them, guaranteeing a sumptuous look in your winter garden.


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We All Say The Darndest Things by Michael Forbes

Forbes & Marshall are the hosts of 98.5 The OCEAN’S popular morning show. They are one of the only married morning show teams in Canada and have two children, Noah and Adam. Join Forbes & Marshall weekday mornings from 5:30 to 10:30 a.m. Riding in the car the other day, Lisa and I were talking about some sort of dilemma we were having about something in our lives. You know those things that seem like a big deal at the time but a month later you can’t even remember what it was that was troubling you? At one point, we just threw our hands in the air and had pretty much given up on a solution. Then, as the conversation got quiet and we both thought about it a bit longer, our nine-year-old son Adam asked innocently: “What would Bon Jovi do?”

to a lot of the same experiences but they do process things a bit differently. Most times, what passes through their information filter doesn’t include stress, a demanding work schedule or a family feud with a big ol’ helping of ego. It makes their world view much less tainted with “stuff.”

It seems that when we start life we say goofy and outrageous things because we are just gaining maturity or figuring out how our mouth works. When we become elderly though, sometimes we seem to spew things that are irrelevant to a conversation or downright inappropriate.

His question was so out of left field and utterly ridiculous that we couldn’t help but laugh about it all the way home. Where in his head did he ever get the idea that the life experience of a big haired ‘80s rock star could be the blueprint for all that ails us? One thing is for certain though, whenever we have a problem, we now have a catch phrase we pull out of our back pocket that will surely break the tension.

We had an experience once that Readers Digest would probably love to get its hands on. It was less to do with a little kid’s noodle in the development stage and more to do with a underachieving mouth. When our boy Noah was about three, he simply could not pronounce the word wasp. We were at a picnic site at Goldstream with a group of friends and, despite a fire, we were just swarming with them.

The thing is, children live in the same world as we do and are privy

You know that silence that happens sometimes in every conversa-



tion where everybody is talking and then nobody is? It was at that precise moment that our rosy-cheeked toddler yelled “I hate WOPS!!!” Waaaa? What did he say? Our friend Bruno (who just happens to be Italian) had a look on his face as if someone had stuck him in the backside with a sharp weenie stick. He then noticed that our little guy was flailing his sippy cup around like a madman trying to swat the flying menace. Bruno laughed the loudest and longest. Man, that was funny.

Ever had Aunt Shirley tell you in front of a group of people about the embarrassing medical procedure she just had or, at your friend’s wedding, just happen to mention to the bride and groom that it was a shame that he dumped his old girlfriend whatsername? It may be way out of line but she may have an excuse. Brain shrinkage. Yup, particularly the frontal cortex, the site in the brain that acts to inhibit unwanted thoughts and behaviors. So, go ahead Aunt Shirley, tell her she looks fat in those slacks … it’s science!

december 2010

get o ut !

Kayaking Victoria & The Peninsula by Frank Gee

The Get Out series is aimed at reminding us how lucky we are to live on southern Vancouver Island – one of the most diverse and livable places on earth! All my adventures are from the basis of a family with pre-teen kids. Get out and enjoy! Kayaking is big with the over50 types, but it is also a wonderful family activity. Why? Paddling is easy to do in fair weather. A double kayak is virtually unsinkable, providing inexpensive access to our marine surroundings. Also, instant entertainment abounds for the younger family members: eel grass “forests” on a

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sandy bottom, anemones, crabs and sea stars on the rocks, graceful kelp beds further out … the distractions are ever changing. Don’t forget to look up, a nosy harbour seal or river otter may be checking you out! Don’t rush out and buy a kayak: rental shops are located in the Inner Harbour, the Gorge, Brentwood Bay, Sidney and many locations up Island. Start the family adventure with a “double” (two-seater). Preschoolers can sit with a parent or have a private play area in the centre storage compartment (found on touring kayaks) … floatation jackets

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always on, of course! One or two bigger kids can occupy a forward cockpit, paddling or not; one parent can easily manage this load with a double equipped with a rudder. The Inner Harbour offers calm waters and lots to look at. If paddling west of the Johnson Street Bridge, be mindful of heavy traffic from pleasure boats, ferries and float planes (stay really close to shore). Upstream of the bridge offers views of everything from boat building to metal recycling to the quiet of Vic West residential areas. The channel leads under the bike-pedestrian Selkirk Trestle towards the reversing falls of the Gorge (the turn around point). The Gorge, above the falls, is full of eel grass beds which shelter many types of critters. A marine perspective delivers a much different view of the residential areas of the Gorge. Brentwood Bay would be the starting point for a quiet exploration of Tod Inlet or a slightly more adventurous outing south to Mckenzie Bight or north to Coles Bay. Sidney is an excellent start point for an hour or day. The varied shoreline of rocky reefs and pocket beaches between Sidney Harbour and Tsehum Harbour provides lots to see, with yacht traffic being another distraction. Sweep into Roberts Bay, a bird sanctuary, or explore the northern side of Tsehum Harbour, keeping an eye out for the local river otters or seals resting on the rock islets. Always give marine wildlife lots of space. If they start to

look at you or move from their position as you approach, then you are too close. On the adventure side of the equation I would suggest Dock Island and the Little Group or Coal Island’s rugged shoreline, both off the mouth of Tsehum Harbour. A daytrip to Sidney Island or Portland Island, both in the national park, would be something to build up to. A few hints for the successful family kayaking trip: choose a nice day; wind, cold and rain could make it miserable for everyone, but that doesn’t mean this isn’t a four-season activity! Snacks and drinks are a must; put the kids in charge of passing them out so they have full access to them. Let the little ones bring a toy or two; they may just put their heads down and play, leaving the wildlife viewing to you. I also give the kids a waterproof camera; they have taken some remarkable pictures! Finally, don’t paddle for longer than an hour without stopping to get out and stretch; I suggest 30 to 45 minutes. The beauty of kayaking is in its simplicity. Exploring every nook and cranny is so fun. With kids, the tiniest of islets and rocks become landings worthy of exploration. While I highly recommend taking a course or two after you have decided this is an activity you might like to pursue, it really is as easy as just slipping into a PFD, sliding into the cockpit and gliding out onto the water (well, with a few marine essentials on board, too). Get out and try it. There is a whole new world to explore.

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december 2010


Summer Never Ends at VI Tanning Centre


by Leia Smoudianis

any of us feel the winter blues and wish we could escape to a sunny destination. For Peninsula residents, the next best thing is located on Beacon Avenue at VI Tanning Centre.

Over two years ago James Greenwood, owner of VI Tanning Centre, opened his first tanning salon, formerly located at 2310 Beacon Avenue. James did not expect to find himself one day owning a salon but, after following his wife’s advice, he is now the proud owner of VI Tanning Centre. Today James’ salon is situated at a new location at 1022360 Beacon Avenue in Sidney. For those who haven’t tanned before, there is an abundance of information available at the salon. All staff have completed the Smart Tan certification course and are able to help new clients determine what is appropriate for their skin type. It is also ensured that every client has the correct safety eyewear. At VI Tanning Centre you will find Ambition 250 tanning beds with a 20-minute maximum time and a stand-up bed with a 10-minute maximum time. The Ambition 250 beds are designed for comfort and even distribution of UV light. While the beds have Super Power UV lights, the fan keeps clients cool and comfortable while tanning. For those who prefer tanning in a larger space, the stand-up bed provides more room and maintains even exposure of UV light to the body. In order to maximize the benefits of tanning, the salon provides a variety of high quality tanning lotions. The top brand carried at the salon is Devoted Creations. From among the lotions, the client can choose from a selection of scents and darkness levels which will further extend the results of tanning. Ed Hardy manufactures a popular line of tanning lotions with streak-free design and tropical scents that make your tanning experience seem like a mini-vacation. In addition to tanning beds, VI Tanning Centre provides


teeth whitening is fast, effective and 100-percent safe for the enamel. With business booming in the winter months, James has introduced a new promotion. Clients can purchase 200 tanning minutes for $55 from now until the end of the year. VI Tanning Centre also offers gift certificates; perfect for birthdays and the upcoming holidays. For those looking to purchase something for the avid tanner, you can find a large selection of high-end tanning lotions that any tanning enthusiast would covet. The vast selection of services provided at VI Tanning Centre may soon be available in other locations – James hopes to open a second location in Uptown Centre – but for now is on the waiting list for a location.

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spray tan services. Spray tans are applied using a handheld spray gun, allowing for even and all-over coverage. Many clients prefer spray tans as it provides them with a personalized tan at the colour level they desire. Spray tans provide a natural looking sun-kissed glow and are perfect for special occasions.

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Beverages are an important part of successful entertaining and pairing your food with a complimenta ry drink is highly recommended. Wine’s are a great accompaniment to seafood. Below are some suggested pairings to create a delightful fusion of flavours:

of your next special event by choosing

Salmon- A light red such as a Pinot Noir will bring out the complexity of flavours. If a white wine is desired, Chardonnay or Pinot Gris would be an ideal selection. Prawns with a tangy sauceA Gewürztram perfect for bringing iner is out tangy or spicy flavours and complimenting the incomparabl e taste of prawns. Seafood AssortmentIf a variety of seafood is being served, a Chardonnay or Pinot Gris are great versatile wines that will compliment a diversity of flavours.

from our many deliciously prepared deli

Thrifty Foods also has an assortment of non-alcoholi wines and sparkling c juices that are a refreshing compliment to our seafood platters.

* Platters may

not be exactly as shown * Items subject to availability

Please note that

24 hours notice

Let our Seafood experts create an unforgetta ble platter that will make your next function an overwhelm ing success.

is required.

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The Catered Christmas

“Yes, good idea. I’ll do that,” “I’m catering a little Fiction by Linda M. Langwith replied Alexssa. When she Christmas get-together,” did call, only the answering announced Alexssa over lattés machine responded and the message was not reassuring. with Marcia at Fresh Cup. “Just a few acquaintances on the committee. To show them my appreciation for choosing “We’re busy delivering orders right now. Please leave my little sea front garden to be on the tour, of course.” your name and number and a brief message and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can,” the voice said chirpily. “Guess it was worth spending a small fortune on that pricey gardener after all,” replied Marcia with just a hint Alexssa rushed into the kitchen where of sarcasm in her voice. “Who are you going to use?” Bernadette was mixing the cocktails. “Yum’s. They do the most divine dinners, and you “What am I going to do? What if they’ve forgotten? know how I detest that whole messy business of cooking. What if the order’s mixed up?” spluttered Alexssa, feeling I don’t have to lift a finger. You’re invited of course. Since an imminent asthma attack. Bernadette wanted to giggle Max dumped you it’s the least I can do. Oh, and by the but restrained herself. “Where’s my husband? He’ll have way, I want you to be the first to know,” Alexssa said to do something.” Alexssa’s voice was almost a screech. in a loud whisper. “I’ve made the Lexus ad at last!” “He’s entertaining the guests in the library.” Marcia could feel her cheeks burning. To be “But we’ve got no hors d’oeuvres. The caterers reminded of her divorce and then this! Featured in were bringing them,” she wailed. the Lexus ad on the back page of “Bellisimo!” Life wasn’t fair! She stabbed at the froth on her latté. At that moment Marcia blew into the kitchen in a cloud of Chanel No. 5. “What’s the matter Alexssa? You look “Bernadette is going to help out serving the drinks like you’ve been hit by a falling grand piano!” Her brittle and food. She’s such a treasure!” enthused Alexssa. “I’m laugh was like a thousand shards of glass to Alexssa. going to give her a bonus!” That was another sore point. Bernadette should have been Marcia’s housekeeper but “Guy will have to go to Thrifty’s and get some little Alexssa got in there first after Mrs. Ledbetter went into the cocktail thingies and some barbecue chickens.” retirement residence and didn’t need her services anymore. “That won’t cut it with this crowd. Why don’t you Alexssa was prancing around on her flagstone solarium, just send Bernadette home to her family and cancel the admiring her brand new sumptuous teak dining table with dinner?” she suggested. “I’ll make some excuse that the matching chairs and plump cushions. The sea sparkled you’ve suddenly come down with stomach flu. That’ll and glinted beyond her impeccable garden that spilled down clear the room,” she chuckled in spite of herself. to her own private little cove on Land’s End, or “The End” To Alexssa it was a life ring, and a face-saving one at that. as she called it if anyone asked where she lived. Dinner “Yes, go and tell them I’m sick. And send Guy in here.” Off would appear effortlessly and everyone would applaud and Marcia went, giving a little skip in her red Jimmy Choo shoes. congratulate her on pulling off yet another culinary tour-deforce. Cocktails in the library were for 6 p.m., then dinner in “Well, as you don’t need me now I’ll go home to my the solarium at 7 p.m. The caterer was to deliver the goodies family,” announced Bernadette, taking off her apron and at half past five. It was past 5:30 and yet they’d not appeared. putting on her coat, hoping to make good her escape. “I expect they’re quite busy tonight,” reassured “Yes, yes, of course,” replied Alexssa. Distractedly Bernadette. “Why don’t you call them if they’re she shoved $500 in her hand. “Just take it and go. not here by quarter to six?” she suggested. Consider it your Christmas bonus,” she added. Bernadette couldn’t believe her luck.

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“Thanks Mrs. Boulton,” she called cheerily as she went out the kitchen door, adding “Merry Christmas.” When Bernadette arrived home to her little bungalow in Sidney she was greeted with shrieks of joy and excitement from her four children and her husband Tim. “Would you look at this,” laughed Tim, ushering her into the kitchen. There on the table was a feast straight out of Dickens. “It arrived precisely at 5:30 from an outfit called Yum’s. And there’s a card from someone called ‘Marcia’ offering you a job.” Linda is the author of the mystery suspense novel “The Golden Crusader” published by Twilight Times Books. You can contact her at


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Complimentary SEASIDE  TIMES

underground parking

What Makes Truly Great-Tasting Coffee by Helen Yates Recently, while waiting for a friend, I stumbled upon what turned out to be a well-known local café called Fresh Cup. As I walked in the door of this bustling café, I was welcomed by the distinct aroma of coffee. Now, I’m used to the smell of coffee but never this intense. In fact, everywhere I stood the mouth-watering smell swirled around me. I ordered my usual cappuccino and was delighted to see mountainous rich foam which I love. You see, I don’t care what anyone says about coffee, whether it’s good for you or bad for you … bottom line it’s the friend that never argues and I love it unconditionally. I sat down in a cozy corner and quickly realized that it was one of the best cappuccinos I’ve tasted: full bodied and rich without tasting burnt or bitter. While I sat indulging my morning ritual, I noticed an older gentleman walk in with an armful of coffee bags. All the locals seemed to know him and he bantered back equally, then stocked the bright purple bags onto the shelf with care. I saw him go behind the counter and pour himself a coffee. As he walked towards me, I took the opportunity to say hello and asked: “Excuse me sir, where do you buy your coffee?” He introduced himself as Mel Townley and sat down beside me, eager to share his answer with a grin. “We roast our own beans right here on site.” Because the cappuccino I just had was noticeably better than most, I started asking Mel more questions and he was happy to oblige with detailed answers. “We’ve been roasting on the Peninsula for over 10 years now and we roast in small batches every couple of days to keep it really fresh, because that affects the taste,” Mel said with the conviction of a passionate Roastmaster. Yes, I found out that Mel was not just stocking a shelf, he is the Roastmaster for what happens to be two Fresh Cup

locations in Sidney and Saanichton. His family was the first to introduce the tradition of coffee roasting to the Peninsula after his son discovered what truly fresh coffee was all about. “While on vacation, Jim discovered a Roastery in Costa Rica and was adamant that he would only open a café if we started to roast our own beans,” said Mel. As Mel and I continued to talk, another cappuccino showed up mysteriously at the table and I was happy to carry on the conversation. Mel invited me back to the Roastery. “We use only certified organic green coffee,” he noted. He walked me through the roasting process and explained that they invented this particular roaster, called the Roastaire™, which uses hot air to evenly roast the coffee. I also found out that not only does this roaster make great tasting coffee, it is also very environmentally friendly. It uses 80 percent less energy and produces 85 percent less emissions than a traditional coffee roaster. My cappuccino started to taste better and better all the time as I learned about the different beans and the various countries they came from. Mel described the variance in bean types and compared it to wine making. As we walked back to the café, he shared how exciting it was for him to take over the roasting operations almost eight years ago and it’s evident that for him, it’s all about the relationship of freshness and taste. “Roasted coffee stales quickly like any other food,” he commented. Back inside the café, he helped me select a bag of fresh beans as I was entertaining that weekend and wanted to share with my friends what I had learned about fresh coffee. As I walked out of the busy shop it hit me: The key to truly great tasting coffee? Freshness.

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té Si vous approuvez, veuillez apposer votre IfNuméro(s) approved,deple Veuillez vérifier votre épreuve et cocher: P Adresse signature au bas de Nom cettede page et la télécopier à this page and fa l’entreprise Courriel Site Web Mesure à prendre votre conseiller médias aujourd’hui même. Consultant Numéro(s) téléphone Annuaire ndeature lesso n toda Si vous approuvez Admiral´s Roofing Pour des corrections,Adresse VOICI L’ÉPREUVE DE VOTRE ANNONC Rubrique veuillez communiquer For corrections, signature aucocher bas d WebVeuillez ATTN: Paul Pellowavec votre conseillerSite votreOrthographe épreuve et médias dans lesvérifier 48 heures. Media Account votre conseiller mé Nom de l’entreprise 5417 WEST SAANICH RD Si vous approuvez, veuillez apposer votre Courriel I Admiral´s Roofing Pour des correctio Numéro(s) de téléphone Annuaire signature au bas de cette page et la télécopier à t VICTORIA BC V9E1J9 ATTN: Paul Pellow avec votreRubrique conseill Adresse votre conseiller médias aujourd’hui même. C CANADA Site Web Orthogra oofing 5417 WEST SAANICH RD Pour des corrections, veuillez communiquer F Pellow VICTORIA BC V9E1J9 Si vous approuvez, veuillez apposer votr avec votre conseiller médias dans les 48 heures. M Some travel only a few miles upstream to spawn, while Salmon are an intersignature au bas de cette page et la télé SAANICHCANADA RD others migrate more than 2,000 miles upstream, all homing to national treasure. NoDavid James votre conseiller médias aujourd’hui mêm C V9E1J9 their natal sites. Silver at sea, male salmon species turn bright serious examination ral´s478−4593 Roofing fax 1 866 725−6046 ; toll 1 877 478−4593 877 Pour des corrections, veuillez communiq red or multicoloured when spawning. Some, especially males, of the natural heritage N: Paul Pellow avec votre conseiller médias dans les 48 James David

Our Homing Salmon by Robert Alison

grow large prominent snouts with protruding teeth. Vancouver Island WEST SAANICH fax 1 866RD 725−6046 ; toll 1of877 478−4593 14661997AB would be complete without mention of salmon. They are BC V9E1J9 Several salmon species occur off Vancouver Island: pinks, dORIA key elements of our marine ecosystems and they spawn ADA chinooks, coho chum. Pinks are/the abun14661997AB 14661997AB /1TD 3UWWP / Eand / 2506521818 Y /most /P /3/N/ P5−6046 / E /abundantly 2506521818 / Y / / P / 3 / N / / E / ADI Page of /1sockeye, ; toll 1 877 478−4593 in some of our local streams and rivers. In fact, *14661997AB*


dant of the Pacific stocks.

it’s difficult to imagine Vancouver Island without salmon. / Y / /David P / 3 / /N1−667038233 / / E / ADI Page 1 of 1 HB01 / James 703823314661997AB / TD / 3UWWP / E / 2506521818 Research shows that salmon home by following their s David Some species are very large, such as the chinooks, which noses: each tiny freshwater tributary has its own chem725−6046 ;/ toll 1 877 478−4593 HB01up David / 1−667038233 weigh to pounds. Others Roofing 100818 8866 / TD can / 3UWWP / James E /130 2506521818 / Y are / somewhat / P / 3 /Admiral´s Nsmaller. / / E bouquet. / ADI /Page of 1 salmon olfactory organs allow ical The 1sensitive They also vary in taste: sockeye salmon (pictured) are reput-

the fish to follow the chemical odorants upstream to their 1997AB ed to be the tastiest of the/ group. Some species, such as Roofing 100818 es David /Admiral´s 1−667038233 (VIC)Victoria Roofing / 1102 / Roofing Contractors / 1102 sources. Tests show /that salmonContractors whose noses are blocked chum, travel enormous distances at sea, averaging some 40

home. 1997AB / (VIC)Victoria TD / 3UWWP / E of / 2506521818 / Y / Contractors / P / 3 / N / cannot a day over a period several years. / Roofing / 1102 / E / ADI Page 1 of 1 oofingmiles / 100818

Salmon are/ “anadromous,” which means they spawn in 1−667038233 a / James David/ Roofing Contractors / 1102

freshwater but migrate to the sea to grow. At maturity, they precisely and unerringly to the exact tributary where ral´s home Roofing / 100818 they hatched as tiny fry. Chum and coho salmon spend one to three years at sea; chinooks Contractors one to eight years at sea. Victoria / Roofing / 1102 Sockeye salmon stay in their natal freshwater for up to three years, then spend an additional one to four years at sea.

Roofing Victoria Since 1976

Some salmon populations have declined, but local Salmon Enhancement Programs, involving salmon hatcheries, are in place. Hundreds of thousands of young salmon are released each year. This year, over 1,000 salmon were fitted with radio transmitters to trace the movements of the fish. The idea is to get specific information to help manage local stocks. One major local concern is salmon farming, which focuses on Atlantic salmon, which are not native to the Pacific Ocean. Using chinook salmon genetic material, researchers have produced giant, fast-growing Atlantic salmon for farms located along the B.C. coast. There are fears that sea lice in the farmed salmon could spread to passing wild stocks. As well, some researchers are worried about the “Trojan gene hypothesis.” The problem is that farmed salmon are supposed to be sterile, unable to breed with wild stock in case of escape. But, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the technology is only 98 percent reliable and some escapees could breed with our wild salmon, producing transgenic wild salmon. We shouldn’t take our salmon for granted – conservationists warn that it is vital to safeguard their genetic integrity.

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Christmas Traditions on the Peninsula by Georgina Bourdeau

Christmas is a time for reflection and family tradition. What is important to us and what is not? Traditions take us back to a time when life was simple. We look upon them with fondness and almost a spiritual sentiment. We do not have to look too far to find that the Peninsula is abundant with family traditions. Volunteers come together at The Shoal Center across from the Sidney Library and put on Breakfast with Santa. The men and ladies cooking up the breakfast are as jolly as Santa himself as they dish out hotcakes, juice and sausages galore for a reasonable price. Then when the family is full, it’s off to see the big man himself. The Santa’s helpers are endearing. Their enthusiasm for this special occasion is contagious. The Sidney Shutterbugs Camera Club graciously takes pictures of your children on Santa’s knee at no cost. Props to them at a time when everything Christmas costs something, and I personally give them my Warm Fuzzy award and applaud their Christmas spirit. Santa is looking oh so jolly and even those a little skittish soon warm up to him as they sit merrily on his knee whispering Christmas hopes and dreams. Every year the locals come together and watch the Sidney Sparkles Santa Parade. Standing in line waiting for the parade to come down Beacon Avenue, children are perched on their dad’s shoulders sucking on candy canes which will ultimately get stuck in kadad’s hair. Anticipation builds as the first float appears, adorned in Christmas finery. The lights on the float a kaleidoscope of colours reflecting off the windows of the local businesses. Lyrics from Christmas carols float in the air as the watchers start swaying, tapping their feet and singing along. It is a feeling of community at its best, coming together to share love and camaraderie if just for one night. A quick stop at the many local coffee establishments for hot chocolate topped with copious amounts of whipped cream give us the needed energy to continue on this grand adventure, then it’s onward to the Lighted Sailpast Boat Parade.

Looking at the stock they have brought in for the Christmas season, they have made shopping easy and enjoyable. Everything is offered at our local businesses that will more than meet the requirements on your Christmas list or to decorate your house in splendour. Don’t forget about the local craft and art fairs. Our local artists are brilliant in their craft and workmanship. Can’t find a gift for someone who has everything? Your problem is solved here – with the enormous variety you will be able to pick a gift that will have a special place in someone’s heart and home. The Peninsula shines all year round but at Christmas it is a display of good heartedness, splendour and creativity. Traditions have been established and carry on as all good things should. So for this Christmas season, check out the Peninsula’s Christmas traditions – you won’t be disappointed!

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The winds off the seashore at the pier are brisk. Locals huddle in their coats but there is calmness and serenity amidst the onlookers. One cannot even fathom the enormous amount of effort it took to turn these boats into lighted masterpieces. Out of the darkness they glide toward us. The reflections from the lights look like fireworks upon the water’s surface. It is breath-taking, a magical moment like no other that captures our hearts and imaginations.

Sending love and best wishes for the holiday season to all our fun and fabulous customers

Shopping on the Peninsula is a tradition as you greet the local owners and staff by name.

778-426-3356 •

Mon.-Sat. 10-5:30 pm • Sun & Holidays 12-4 2378-B Beacon Avenue, Sidney, BC

(Look for us in the courtyard)

december 2010


island dish

Christmas Ease by Jennifer Bowles

Last year I spent Christmas at the Beach Club Resort in Parksville. Our goal was to keep it super simple and stress free. Time was also of the essence because we were to arrive in the early part of the afternoon on Christmas Eve and wanted to be able to just relax and unwind without slaving over the stove all night! This menu was a dream and encompasses some real classics. The best part is the main course can be made and left to build flavour all afternoon with nothing more than the occasional stir. If you are so inclined, make it the day before and have it ready to go for whenever you need. Pour yourself that glass of wine and throw your feet up in front of the fire. Take a moment to yourself, you deserve it! Enjoy!

Appetizer 1 bunch green grapes ½ cup cream cheese ½ cup blue cheese 1 cup toasted, chopped nuts (your favourite) Blend cheeses together, cover grapes with cheese mixture and roll in toasted nuts. Pop into fridge and leave until you are ready to serve. These are incredibly yummy and surprisingly refreshing!

Main Course: Beef Bourguignon ¼ cup olive oil 2 pounds stewing beef, cut into chunks 4 carrots, peeled & cut into chunks

Return meat to pot and sprinkle in flour. Cook, stirring for 1-2 minutes. Splash in good brandy, cook for 1 minute. Pour in wine, scraping brown bits from bottom of casserole, and add at least one cup stock, or more, to just cover meat. Stir in tomato paste, add bouquet garnis and bring to simmer. Cover and put in oven for 2½ to three hours. Before stew is finished, heat a skillet over medium high heat, fry bacon until brown, remove and set aside. Sauté mushrooms and pearl onions in the fat until brown. Return bacon to the pan, add a splash of stock to deglaze and set aside. When the stew is done – the meat is tender and falling apart – remove bouquet garni and discard. Set casserole over heat, season and simmer to reduce sauce. Add the bacon and pearl onions and 1 tablespoon of butter.


New Purses & Scarves From Turkey 2367 Beacon Avenue, Sidney 250-654-0070 • SEASIDE  TIMES

Preheat oven to 325°. In a large oven-proof casserole, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Working in batches, brown meat then remove and set aside. Add carrot and onion and sauté for 3-4 minutes. Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute.

This is now ready to serve over mashed potatoes, buttered egg noodles or baseball-sized Yorkshire puddings!

Distinctive Jewelry


1 medium onion, sliced 2 cloves garlic, peeled & crushed 2 tbsp. flour 2 tbsp. tomato paste 1 bottle good red wine (Burgundy preferably) Bouquet garni – (bayleaf, parsley sprig & thyme sprig) 2 cups beef stock 4 slices good bacon, cut into chunks 1 small bag frozen pearl onions 1 pound mushrooms, halved 1 splash brandy

After the main course, you really don’t want to delve into a ridiculously heavy dessert. My go-to dish every time for an easy sweet treat is chocolate covered fruit. Whatever is in season works perfectly: apples, pears and tropical fruits and, believe it or not, plain potato chips are a huge hit! Place slices of your desired fruits and chips on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Melt desired chocolate in a double boiler on low, then drizzle over assorted fruit slices. Watch the amount of chocolate if you are going to serve chips, too much can make them soggy. Place in a cool area to firm up chocolate. Serve with shortbread or gingerbread cookies or use as a garnish for any seasonal coffee drink! Happy holidays everyone! Enjoy!



9:58 AM

Page 1

The Snow Theory by Kyla Spelt

a visit to the dentist’s office should make you feel this good.

It was that time again. The new-fallen leaves crinkled under the weight of her boot-covered feet, the wind swirling her hair about in a frenzied mass of curls. She shivered in the cold, bundled her jacket closer and exhaled, a puff of condensation erupting from her chapped lips. They were dry and cracked and longed to be hydrated but she’d forgotten her Blistex at school. Snow was coming, she could smell it. She could smell weird things like that, like when her mother was in a bad mood or when it was Halloween time. No one said anything but she still knew.

Experience the ultimate in Comfort and Relaxation on your next dental visit.

When she was walking alone she felt like she was in another world – the trees bending to the howling wind or the strands of grass seeming to whisper as she passed by. The week-old sloppily carved jack-o’-lanterns would grin at her and urge her to walk faster. Grey clouds rolled across the sky, further proving her snow theory. For once it seemed like there was no other people around even though she was well aware of the children playing hopscotch a block over.

You are invited to experience the ultimate in comfort and relaxation at Vancouver Island’s newest state-ofthe-art dental office in Sidney. From the most luxurious new dental chairs we could find, to fully digital equipment and an entertainment system second to none, we are committed to providing you with state-of-the-art dentistry in a peaceful relaxing environment.

She hummed to herself, her jeans rubbing together making a reassuring “cshk cshk” noise with each step. Her bag bumped against the back of her legs, a text book jabbing into the soft skin in the crease of her knee but she had no care. She relished in the moment of her seemingly perfect world. It was then that she felt something wet land on her cheek. She tilted her head up to see plumes of white cotton falling from the sky.

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She knew it.

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With Warm Christmas Wishes From Knick’s

7103 W. SAANICH RD. AT WALLACE in Brentwood Bay at Trafalgar Square



at the Sidney Pier Hotel & Spa


Photo: Rita Steenssens

december 2010


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Cherishing The Family We Have and who their grandparents and greatIn 1994, a man in East Kelowna by Pene Beavan Horton grandparents were. found a handful of sepia photos and a couple of tintypes in a battered trunk If we don’t do this, perhaps a hundred years from now in his father’s barn. His father had recently died, and Freddy some future family member will find a faded album of had no idea who these people were. There were no identifying photographs and wonder who we were. Will they guess names on the photographs. from our photos that we lived and loved just as passionately as they? Will they care? Yes, if we love each other, stick with This wouldn’t happen to us now. We have digital photos. We each other (or what’s left of each other) and raise our chilstore them on our computers. We email them to everyone we dren to be “wise and noble.” know or put them on facebook … but what if a great-grandchild of ours finds a memory stick with 693 photos on it and But how much better to put names to doesn’t know who these people are except these dear faces while we still know who that they must be family? Or, what if, like they were – if we could claim this lady as floppy disks, memory sticks become obsoour great-grandmother and this gentleman lete or our hard drive breaks down? as great-grandfather William. If we knew them – their hopes, fears and accomplishAll our great-grandchild will know is ments – we’d know ourselves better. We’d that once upon a time, this family, like belong to our past and know where we’re Freddy’s – these people, dressed in their headed. We’d be a part of our own “once Sunday best, had their photos taken for and future family,” with a definite place in posterity. She’ll know that, once, these our community and a place in the minds families lived, breathed, loved, fought and hearts of our descendants. and clanned together. Perhaps sometimes they hated each other, but they Is it ever too late to care, too late to change cared enough to be photographed for the way we are, unless we think it is? each other and their descendants. Once Adapted from The Apple Valley Review, they enjoyed griddle cakes and cucumber The Once and Future Family, Issue 1, Vol 2: Nov/Dec 1994. sandwiches for tea, once they gossiped, dreamed, shared hopes and fears. Once the women cleaned house, made puddings, sewed clothes, leafed through catalogues, rinsed their hair with lemon juice or vinegar and exchanged geranium slips. Perhaps they kept a cat, perhaps the men played cards or gambled or took their sons fishing.

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Once these people were very much alive, and they trod this earth and breathed this air just as we do now. Did these four little girls grow up to be those young ladies grouped around their mother? Did they giggle in the dark and whisper secrets to each other? Did they “laugh all their laughter and cry all their tears?” We don’t know. We don’t know who they were. A family is worth having, worth keeping, worth working for. It’s worth being a part of, it’s worth cherishing and remembering and keeping track of. A family is what gives our life meaning and definition. It’s what makes us different from each other, yet part of the whole.

An impossible dream? There are no perfect families? Families don’t have to be perfect to work, but we do need to remember that no material possessions are worth more than the light in a child’s eyes. We need to cherish the family we have, even if it’s broken. Cherish the pieces. Cherish the photographs and records and teach our children who they are




A family is there to provide a safe, comfortable, welcoming environment for its children. It’s there to support, sustain and love its members.

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Artisans Christmas Gift Gallery Creative Work by Area Artists and Crafts People Painting, Sculpture, Pottery, Woodworking, Glass, Weaving, Quilting, Metal Work, Folk Art and more … On weekends, Artisans will be in attendance to demonstrate their techniques

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by Moira Gardener Sitting on the sunny glass-enclosed patio at the Prairie Inn one morning, I spent a delightful hour with Ed and Joan Price, the originators of A Touch of Saltspring Art and Craft Fair. These down-to-earth folks were gracious enough to give of their time to discuss the spirit of the event. Long time crafters themselves, they’ve become the backbone of the show, making sure things move the way they should. Their desk and floor at home are piled high and, like Santa, they’re checking lists twice so nothing is left out and all the gifts on display are homegrown. They also have an extended family of elves to carry out the many details that make the fair successful. So how did it all begin? It was June of 1991 and a group of crafters were sitting at the Saltspring Summer Market busily writing cheques to shows they were going to participate in. A consensus came from their natural camaraderie and they asked “why not have our own show in Victoria?” One of the crafters was a man with expertise in events so they turned to him: “You know how to do this, help us make it happen.” So after consulting their calendars they agreed on December because no one was busy then. Originally named Touch of Saltspring, the show began with 40 participants in its first year and was held at the Propat Legion Hall on Gorge Road in Victoria. The second year they found a home at the Saanich Fair Grounds. Eventually outgrowing this venue, in 2004 the fair settled at Panorama Recreation Centre in North Saanich. The Centre was just opening its doors to outside events and they became the first, with a whopping 230 crafters and artisans. Touch of Saltspring also added that little preposition “A” to include other Canadian crafters and artisans as part of this annual Christmas event. This is the community coming together to enjoy original, unique creations for stockings, tree trimming or gift giving. From traditional First Nations art to woolly warm things and cute cuddly ones, it’s all there to tantalize your senses. Listen to wonderful classical guitar, smell homemade kitchen aromas and fill your eyes with helpings of

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colour and shape while meeting talented residents.

I got a chance to meet and share with Patti Anthony, one of the floor managers for the show and a crafter herself. I asked her what keeps her coming back?


“It’s the friendly, inviting, positive energy and the sense of community, she replied. Patti shared one occasion when a happy shopper commented: “You don’t need to go anywhere else: this show has everything,” then proceeded to prove it by creating their own small display consisting of a hand-crafted place mat, pottery wine glasses, cheese, sausage and honeyed mead.

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I also asked participant Brad Prevedoros why he takes part in the fair every year. “Aside from the event’s obvious success,” he said, “it’s the spirit of the thing.

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If we were to boil it down to its essence, all agreed that A Touch of Saltspring has community spirit and, at a time of year when we stop to celebrate the things that really matter, I’d say that was plum perfect.To think: it started with a group of crafters sitting around writing cheques. Moira Gardener is a Freelance Writer and may be contacted at

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“There’s still that sense of camaraderie amongst the crafters and artisans. People gather together for the show and to visit. Perhaps you’ll catch up with a neighbour you haven’t seen in a while. The timing is also perfect: it’s not too early, but in keeping with the season. The home cooking, greatly appreciated by the participants, always helps too.”



s m ell the co ffee

Coffee and Chocolate Pairing For Christmas by Steve Sheppard

Perhaps this was my favourite research yet! Over the past month I’ve eaten what has to be a year’s supply of chocolate (sigh) and indulged in a lot of coffee drinking … (sigh, again). The Christmas season is always a plethora of chocolate and coffee moments, so I thought I would put together some ideas on how you can combine these two popular vices. Before we start … you can not pair stale coffee and cheap chocolate together and expect anyone to be touched, moved or inspired, so seek out fresh coffee and the best chocolate … your guests are worth it and so are you! Coffee is the perfect accompaniment to chocolate, and the unique nuances often bring out the flavours – much like wine. Coffee’s aromatic flavour notes like berries, caramel, cocoa, flora, nuts and spice excite the palate and when they’re paired with different chocolate, the flavours of each sip of coffee and nibble of chocolate are greatly enhanced … flavour³. Coffee takes on complex and rich

flavour notes unique to its region of origin, creating nothing less than a worldly taste tapestry for your tongue. For example; a dark roast blend can be elegant, with a layered complexity of delicate floral, citrus and herbal notes. Latin American coffees are most familiar to most

Brazilian & Columbian roasts – chocolates with cashews, almonds or peanuts. Experiment with dark and light chocolates. Costa Rican roasts – milk chocolate, fruity chocolates, butterscotch-flavoured chocolates.

coffee drinkers because Central and South America produce more coffee than any other growing region. Coffees from Latin America are celebrated for great balance, medium body and a clean finish. A tangy brightness and consistent quality make Latin American coffee ideal for blends.


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Coffees from the Asia-Pacific region are popular for smooth, earthy and exotic flavours, with low acidity and full body. In Africa, the original birthplace of coffee, the coffees generally have a rich flavour, sparkling acidity, unique floral or fruity wine-like qualities with medium to full body. Here are some suggestions as to how you might want to bring your coffee and chocolate party together:

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Espresso roasts – dark chocolates, chocolates with caramel, chocolates with hints of cinnamon and nutmeg. Ethiopian – try dark and fruity chocolates; especially lemon-flavoured chocolates. French roasts – try dark chocolates, chocolates with roasted almonds or hazelnuts or any chocolates with caramelized sugar. Guatemalan - dark chocolates, chocolates with caramel, chocolates with hints of cinnamon and nutmeg, any vanilla-flavoured chocolates, wine-infused chocolates. Italian roasts - dark chocolates, chocolates with caramel, chocolates with hints of cinnamon and nutmeg, chocolate with nuts. Kenyan – milk, white or dark chocolates, sweet chocolates, fruity chocolates, cream-filled chocolates and wine-infused chocolates. After all the coffee and chocolate talk I think that’s what I’m putting out for Santa this year, instead of the traditional cookies, milk and carrots. The reindeer might feel a little left out, but we need to caffeinate Santa to keep him going! I wish everyone a very “Merry Christmas” and healthy New Year!


Peninsula Players are on the Move! by Glen Brown

he local theatre company Peninsula Players has moved into the former Saanichton School on Mt. Newton X Road, just a two-minute drive from the Village. They have settled into their new home and are currently rehearsing for their upcoming production “The Wind in the Willows,” a hilarious pantomime. Adapted and directed by veteran Director Richard “Dick” Mells (pictured), this is a production that promises plenty of fun entertainment for the entire family. Attending the pantomime (or “panto”) is a Christmas tradition in Great Britain and most other Commonwealth countries. The entire family would trundle down to the local theatre or community hall for this annual ritual. You would think with all the technological advances and distractions competing for our attention that the panto would decline, but to the contrary. A recent graph shows its popularity since 1670 climbs steadily to the present day! “Wind in the Willows” is the second panto presented by the Peninsula Players. “Aladdin,” also directed by Dick Mells, was hugely popular with local audiences. The Players have decided to take their show “on the road,” so the play will open December 10 at the Brentwood Bay’s The Centre followed by shows at The Berwick in Royal Oak and Sidney’s Mary Winspear Centre. I asked Karen Lenz, one of the principal cast, what prompted her to get involved with “Wind in the Willows.” “I loved the idea of being in a family theatre pantomime that calls for lots and lots of audience participation and injects joy into the community!” she said. “I am further delighted by the diversity of age and culture in our cast that Director Richard Mells has attracted. Dick believes in passing on the torch of theatre to our youth, as well as involving all other ages.” Dick Mells brings a lifetime of achievement to our Peninsula community. He has been a professional actor, director, teacher and administrator and has written, produced and directed the Opening Ceremonies for the Canada Games on two occasions. When asked “Why a panto?” Dick was happy to point out that

this is all about fun and involving the community. There’s good versus evil, triumph over tragedy, slapstick – all kinds of good stuff. Don’t be surprised if you see members of your local council, fire department, police and other local characters up on stage in various “cameo” roles. This is about a celebration of our community and it is a great deal of fun. Did you know? A.A. Milne wrote a stage play based on “Wind in the Willows” called “Toad of Toad Hall” in 1929. “Wind in the Willows” was a 1985 Tony Award-nominated Broadway musical. Monty Python made a comedy/musical film “Wind in the Willows.” Disneyland has a ride called “Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride.” The pantomime traces its roots to the Middle Ages. The first “true” panto was staged in London in 1717 “Wind in the Willows” will play at The Centre December 10th, 11th and 12th; The Berwick in Royal Oak December 16th, 17th and 18th and at Sidney’s Mary Winspear Centre December 22nd, 23rd, 27th, 28 and 29th. For more information about the Peninsular Players visit their website

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Sam and Theo, undoubtedly brothers, have totally different personalities. Both of them are gorgeous, marmalade creatures who keep themselves impeccably clean. Sam is large and lethargic, Theo definitely neurotic. He’s spent years chasing his own tail, trying to pounce on it and chew it. The extra night he spent in that icy cardboard box may have caused his paranoia, because he tends to hide and peer out from under the bed while Sam dozes peacefully on top of it. They often sit together, arms around each other, eyes slitted with pleasure, and when their fluffy white tummies are rubbed they start to purr like baby generators. Theo kneads the lap he’s sitting on, regressing to kittenhood. In a world where bad news prevails, Sam and Theo are evidence that sometimes good news wins. Instead of freezing to death on the banks of the Bulkley River, these two ginger cats are well loved and cuddled and groomed and fed and probably have no recollection of their journey from icy cardboard box to a fleecy cat bed in luxurious surroundings. This may be a small victory of kindness over cruelty, lost in the wider context of worldwide terror, but it is significant. It says that some people – hopefully many people – still care.

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When the two scruffy little mites arrived in Victoria, Sally took them to the vet and they were bathed and de-flea’d. They had shots. They were tenderly fed and looked after, to the point where Sam now weighs 16 pounds and Theo 14 pounds.

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This is how Sam and Theo became a cherished part of Sally and Ian’s household eight years ago.


The next morning, on the same walk, unbelievably, they found kitten number two, also in a cardboard box, also mewing painfully. Jonny and his Mom now had two bedraggled, skinny little kittens … what to do with them? Toby promptly emailed her siblings and other family members to ask if anyone wanted two ginger kittens. Toby’s sister emailed back: “Yes, please …” so Toby put the kittens on a plane and they flew to Victoria.



More hasty searching revealed a cardboard box shoved behind a tree stump. Inside the box was a tiny ginger kitten, wet, frozen, scruffy, skinny and trying to claw its way up the slippery cardboard. “We’ll take it home,” said Toby.



Out for a walk one winter morning, crunching along the icy bank of the frozen Bulkley River in Telkwa, northern B.C., Toby Coupé and her small son heard a pitiful noise. “Mom, it sounds like a kitten!” said Jonny, stopping to peer into the snow laden bushes. “Maybe it’s hurt!”


by Pene Beavan Horton



A Tale of Two Kittens


december 2010


GPS Traveling by Derek Peach


n some long-ago psychology class I learned about operant conditioning and dead pigeons. The poor little beasts were taught to peck at a certain spot on a city map of say, Dresden, and then they’d be locked into the clear nosecone of a bomb, dropped over said city and their pecking would carry them straight to the crossroads of the target. Brilliant classic conditioning; unfortunate use of pigeons. We have come a long way with guidance systems since those pigeo-cidal days and now we have ones that talk to us. Recently we drove around Spain with a little 4 x 6 electronic gizmo stuck to our windshield and it told us how to get places, but just because it worked didn’t mean we always liked it. 103-2537 Beacon Avenue (in the Cannery building) Sidney 250.656.5606

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A few years back, the Americans improved the lives of all those people who wanted to know to within a few feet just where they were on the planet by removing a built-in error margin in their satellites, and by that simple act they greatly improved the accuracy of global positioning systems and made them the electronic toy of choice for the digital literati. Now these lovers of all things small and beepy could drive between the pillars of the Arc de Triomphe instead of into the Seine, an accomplishment cheered by digiophiles but lamented by the rest of us. In one of its manifestations, this GPS featured a talking map that took us to any destination known to the computer. We drove around Spain with this gizmo stuck onto the windshield, following its instructions. If the location wasn’t known, we would be offered guidance to someplace similar, much like your friendly stewardess saying they’d run out of single malt scotch but had lots of apple juice. If some local council had changed an intersection to a roundabout, we would still be told to proceed to the intersection and make a left turn. You can see the difficulties implicit

in such mis-directions. After a while, we took nothing for granted. Like HAL of Space Odyssey fame, the little devil would wipe us out in a moment without our constant vigilance. Even when life was not at stake, dignity was. If there was a street indentified as a street on any map in the known world, then Electric Betty would send us down it. She didn’t care that the “street” had once been a goat path. She didn’t care that we could get wedged between buildings and be forced to reverse the entire length of the village, with everyone in that village pointing and laughing at us. No, she just chattered on in that crisp, friendly voice, telling us she was “recalculating.” We started talking back. “Recalculate, my ass; just get me outta here!” was one of our more common responses. That brings up a final point. The voice was just too calm and unrelentingly nice, as if we should really care that the machine that had just told us to broadside a tractor trailer had done so as a sexy movie star. What is needed if these devices are ever going to take the place of a spousal navigator are more realistic responses. We offer the following as a start. In place of: “In 100 metres enter roundabout,” use: “Omigod, another traffic circle!” For: “Go 256 kilometres to destination,” use: “Put ‘er on cruise control and relax.” For: “Arriving at destination,” try: “You’re here now. Open your eyes.” And for that ubiquitous, annoying “Recalculating” we need one of these: “NO! You fool. We’re all going to die! Well, screwed that one up nicely, didn’t you? Why won’t you ever ASK someone for directions?” Finally, for comforting background cruising along the freeway, some soft cooing sounds like contented pigeons would be nice.

Christmas Hazards For Our Feline Friends by Dr. Ellen Guttormson

For we humans, the Christmas Holiday time is one of happiness, good food, presents and special time spent with family and friends. For our special feline friends though, this can be a more hazardous time of the year and we must be vigilant of potential extra sources of danger during the holiday season. Things to watch out for can be grouped as follows:


Many people are under the assumption that Poinsettias are very toxic and this is not correct. These lovely plants are very alkaloid though and can cause significant irritation in the mouth and upper gastrointestinal tract, thereby leading to mild nausea and vomiting. Mistletoe is more dangerous and has the potential to cause cardiovascular problems, but again, usually only causes gastrointestinal upset. Lilies, often found in Christmas flower arrangements, are a very different proposition. Ingestion of only small amounts of this plant material can be deadly, causing acute kidney failure.


Chocolate, coffee, onions and onion powder and sweet alcoholic beverages are some of the food items to keep away from cats. Discarded turkey fat, although not toxic, can cause vomiting if eaten in enough quantity. Turkey bones are much more dangerous and can cause foreign body blockages and even puncture of the intestinal tract.

Tree Hazards

Bright shining lights and multiple electrical cords can be very attractive to cats, especially kittens and young cats. Playing with and biting into

these may cause electrocution. Glass ornaments can be broken and the shards, if ingested, will cause huge damage to the intestinal tract. Those with string or yarn may cause blockage and other problems. The same goes for tinsel.

climbing the Christmas tree. I have seen more than one cat over the years injured by a falling tree after the cat’s climb has unbalanced it.

In more than one instance I have had to do abdominal surgery to remove things such as tinsel, string, yarn, ribbons and thread that started out as part of Christmas tree decorations. These can cut through the intestinal wall, in which case peritonitis is a terrible consequence.

Cold weather brings on the need for antifreeze in our cars, and even a small spill of radiator water containing ethylene glycol antifreeze can cause irreversible kidney damage and death.

Even water at the base of the tree may be hazardous if either amended with fertilizer or if it becomes a growth medium for bacteria, in which case drinking this water may again cause vomiting and diarrhea.

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Please make sure that you are using only non-toxic, environmentally safe antifreeze products. Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year – and keep your furry friends safe.

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Conversations From The Past: Sir James Douglas by Valerie Green wished me to have a good education Have you ever wondered what it in Scotland so I was sent back there. would be like to sit down and talk with some interesting characters from Greater Victoria’s past? If (I knew I would be treading on dangerous ground with my so, wonder no more. In a series of upcoming “interviews,” next question). imaginary conversations will be conducted with some wellQ: Were your parents ever married? And did you ever see known (and some lesser-known) men and women from your mother again? Greater Victoria’s colourful history. Although these conversations are merely creative figments of my imaginaSJ: (Gruffly) No to both questions. My father later tion, they are all based on fact. The first in this married a white woman, Jessie Hamilton, in series of “Conversations” is with the Father of Glasgow and I had three more siblings. British Columbia himself, Sir James Douglas. Q: Tell me about your career in the fur (Interview conducted in August of 1875). trade and how that began. I had been warned that Sir James Douglas SJ: I joined the North West Company could be very forbidding due to his over-bearwhen I was 16 and shortly afterwards set ing manner and enormous stature. Despite sail aboard the Matthews from Liverpool for this, I refused to be intimated by him and Montreal. Later I was assigned to Fort Wildecided to simply treat him with the respect liam, travelling there by canoe. I had many he deserved. adventures over the following years and evenQuestion: May I ask about your early life, Sir? tually joined the Hudson’s Bay Company after Where were you born? they amalgamated with North West. Sir James: I was born in Demerara, British Guiana, Q: When did you first arrive in British Columbia? And but I left there as a child and moved to Scotland. is it true you always carried 45 volumes of British classics with you on your travels plus a History of England, a French Q: Why was that? dictionary and numerous textbooks? SJ: MyAdfather wasx a4.925 Scottish merchant owned sugar Nov 1 3.75 copy.pdf 11/1/10 who 8:31:41 PM SJ: I arrived In 1825 when I was twenty-two. And, yes, I plantations there and my mother was Creole. My father brought many books with me. I have always loved to read. I first served under John Tod at Fort McLeod and was later posted to Fort St. James under Chief Factor William Connolly.

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Q: I believe Chief Factor Connolly became your father-in-law? SJ: Yes, I married his daughter, Amelia, in the custom of the country. Her mother was a Cree Indian. Q: So, like you, she was of mixed blood. SJ: (a growl and a reluctant nod) Humph. Q: I believe you were later formally married with benefit of clergy in February of 1837?



SJ: Yes, Lady Douglas and I were married by the Reverend Herbert Beaver and we had a wonderful family – 13 children in all, although they didn’t all survive infancy. We lost so many babies. But, we had five daughters and one son who all survived to adulthood.






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Q: Tell me about Cecilia, the daughter who married the Fort doctor. SJ: (For a brief moment a warm smile crossed his stern countenance) Ah, yes, sweet Cecilia. She died a few years ago you know. Such a dear lass. Married Dr. Helmcken who was a good husband and father. My other daughters all did well too – except for Alice. Stupid girl. She eloped with some flyby-night when she was only seventeen. Knew it wouldn’t last – and it didn’t. She got an American divorce from him later. Q: And your son, James?



SJ: Never understood him! Didn’t live up to his potential. He could have done well because he had a good education in England but he refused to work hard. Q: Hard work was always important to you, wasn’t it? From the days of the establishment of the Fort, you insisted on a strong work ethic for everyone, right? SJ: Of course! Work hard, be courteous to your fellow man and uphold the British traditions at all cost. Always control your temper too – and, of course, be obedient to the Company.

(He then returned his attention to the papers on his desk. I stood and thanked him for his time to which he mumbled something incomprehensible and waved me away. I had obviously been dismissed)! Two years later, in 1877, the “Father of British Columbia” died of a sudden heart attack after complaining of chest pains while talking with Dr. Helmcken, his son-in-law.


Q: I believe you yourself had a quick temper as a young man, Sir?


SJ: Yes, but I soon learned to keep it under control! Q: Tell me about your first impressions of Victoria when you landed here in the 1840s. SJ: It was the ideal location for a trading Fort. A perfect Eden. We had to get along with the native people though and learn to respect them. That was important.

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Q: And what was your proudest achievement, Sir? SJ: There are so many. Being elevated to the position of knight commander in 1863 was one. I rose from company employee to chief factor and then from governor of Vancouver Island to governor of the Crown Colony of British Columbia. No easy feat I can tell you. Q: An incredible achievement indeed.

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Christmas in the Village: Heritage Acres Celebrates the Holidays Pioneer-Style by Carole Pearson An old-fashioned Christmas celebration awaits visitors to Heritage Acres. Operated by the Saanich Historical Artifact Society (SHAS), the outdoor museum is decked out in all its festive finery for six evenings in December. Located on Lochside Drive north of Island View, Heritage Acres covers 29 acres but most of its displays are not visible from the highway. Hidden by trees are a “village” of historical buildings moved onto the site and ones built there in recent years. The origin of the Heritage Acres collection came from Willard Michell’s desire to hang on to some of the old farming equipment he, his father and grandfather had used. The Michell family are long-time farmers in this community. “He could see all this stuff he worked with was disappearing,” says David Hopkin, president of SHAS. “He began collecting these old items and filled his barns with them.” In 1974 the Society leased property on the north side of Island View Road and the Museum began to take shape. The old vehicles and farm machinery was spread out over the 23-acre location. For smaller items, a large building was erected to house them in displays. This was officially opened in 1980 and named the Willard Michell Building in honour of the man who started the collection.

the old buildings moved onto the site is the Moody Gossett Building (“one of the oldest metal buildings in Canada”), shipped to Vancouver from England in 1860 as a house for Colonel Moody and ending up in Victoria where the B.C. government purchased it in 1930 for use as a workshop until it was donated. Another historic building at Heritage Acres is the old 1913 Saanichton schoolhouse, transported from Mt. Newton X Road and restored in the late 1980s. The school already had electricity but new indoor plumbing was added and the former teachers’ room converted into a kitchen. During Christmas in the Village, visitors can come into the schoolhouse and enjoy a selection of hot food and beverages served from this kitchen. Saanich Historical Artifact Foundation President Donna Hunter prepares the chili herself. Last year, volunteers served up 18 litres of chili to hungry visitors, she reports. “There’s hot dogs, soup, chili, assorted sweets, tea, coffee and hot apple cider,” Hunter says. This is always a popular place to stop and

Over the years, the collection of artifacts has grown through donations. Hopkin says people often phone up the museum. “They’ll say: ‘We just bought a house and there’s this stuff or there’s this thing … .’” Heritage Acres volunteers put in a lot of hours restoring and repairing items that arrive in various states of deterioration. Besides the old farm machinery and motor vehicles seen on the property, there are photographs, old radios, dishes and an amazing amount of memorabilia and odds and ends from everyday life long ago to be found in the Michell building and other exhibits in the village-type setting. These include reproductions of a pioneer chapel, a log cabin, a general store and a garage, all plainly built of wood. One of

people come back year after year. For Christmas in the Village, a number of community organizations such as the Lions and Kiwanis will take responsibility for decorating one museum exhibit each. Up go the coloured lights, pine boughs and shiny ornaments in a friendly competition where visitors vote to select the “best” Christmas display. Over in the Newman Boathouse, Santa awaits to hear children’s Christmas wishes. The inside of the building is decorated by local Girl Guides so this is really a community effort. The Vancouver Island Model Engineers will have their trains running for a ride into the darkness to view the Christmas lights in the trees. The night air may be cool and the woods dark but hearts will be light and spirits cheerful at this reminder of Christmases long ago. Cost is $10 per carload. Christmas displays are open December 3rd, 4th, 5th, 10th, 11th and 12th between 5 and 8 p.m. Heritage Acres is located at 7321 Lochside Drive, Saanichton. Phone: 250-652-5522,,

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by Chris Genovali, Executive Director, Raincoast Conservation Foundation Captain Brian Falconer has headed Raincoast’s Marine Operations Program for the past eight years, overseeing the operation of our coast guard certified research vessel, Achiever. The running of Achiever has been central to Raincoast’s science, outreach and conservation efforts as it serves as an unparalleled platform from which to carry out a wide range of activities including research initiatives, film projects and educational programs. After leading the effort to acquire Achiever, Brian (pictured) directed a major refit that transformed it into the safe, capable and tough vessel we see today. The 68-foot steel-hull sloop-rigged Achiever operates eight months of the year between Dixon Entrance and Queen Charlotte Sound on B.C.’s central and north coasts. Brian is a licensed maritime captain with a 90-ton ticket who has logged tens of thousands of hours captaining commercial vessels on the B.C. and Alaskan coasts, but his formidable expertise goes far beyond the realm of technical competence as a mariner and boat builder. Brian has the

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unique ability to inspire by bringing people to wild places and immersing them in a new world that more often than not translates into a truly magical experience. Fifteen years of working in the ecotourism industry as the owner and operator of Maple Leaf Adventures coupled with his extensive knowledge of coastal B.C. honed the skills which have made Brian such a highly respected figure on this coast. Achiever is also an invaluable part of fulfilling Raincoast’s responsibilities to manage and monitor the enormous guide outfitting territory we purchased in 2005, effectively ending the commercial trophy hunting of large carnivores in that vast area. Building on the success of our aforementioned acquisition, Brian has been spearheading Raincoast’s effort to acquire a hunting territory like no other – the primary place in the world where the kermode, or spirit bear, roams. Despite a restriction on killing spirit bears, trophy hunting of black bears – which carry the recessive gene that causes the kermode’s white coat – is allowed. Our purchase will not only protect one of the rarest bears in the world, it will also safeguard the genetically unique rainforest wolves we have studied for a decade. This new 3,500-square-kilometre license lies next to our existing hunting tenure. We have now secured an agreement to purchase this hunting tenure and only have a few months to raise the necessary funds. With your help we can take this historic step. Please visit for more information. Photo of Brian Falconer courtesy Doug Brown. Kermode bear photo courtesy Larry Travis.

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Rediscovering the Child Within You by Georgina Bourdeau

taying young is the in thing nowadays. It is a trend that infuses the mind, body and spirit with an agelessness that is profound and enlightening. We may not be able to turn back the clock, but we can rediscover the child in us and embrace the simple pleasures of discovery and play.

face. If it turns into a torrential downpour, escape inside and invite the neighbours, friends or your mate to a game of Dominoes, Monopoly or Clue. If you are feeling particularly competitive try Risk or a rousing card game of War. Play dress up, pick a new recipe to try out on your friends and invite them over for a tea party.

The Peninsula is a treasure trove of adventures year round. Celebrate the fall leaves. Go ahead, walk through them and kick up your feet. Search for the perfect leaf to frame for your living room. Admire the trees adorned in their autumn finery or those now left exposed, leafless and vulnerable. Chrysanthemums smile and nod their heads as ornamental grass blows in the breeze. Enjoy the antics of the local squirrels as they bound across the neighbourhood, chattering and flicking their tales in a mad race to collect nuts. Keep these images fresh in your mind. When you get home, take out paper, cardboard or canvas. Draw what you saw. Bring out the paints, a kaleidoscope of colours: burnt orange, harvest yellow, crimson reds and earth browns. Use your fingers, paint brushes or kitchen utensils. Let the images run free. Get messy and enjoy the process of bringing what you viewed to life.

There is a playground beside Sidney Library where you can make new friends or invite old ones and chatter away as you ease your body into a gentle workout.

We are blessed to be surrounded by the majesty of the coastal rainforest. There are a vast amount of trails to explore. Even a short walk will expose you to the forest wonderland as it prepares itself for the winter months ahead. Take along a pad of paper and pen and be inspired. Look through the eyes of a child at the emerald moss that clings to the tree bark, at the pinecones that carpet the forest floor and the spidery fronds of ferns. Imagine gnomes and sprites and things that bite. Now let your pen run rapid across the paper with childlike wonder, a story, a thought or a poem. Be infused by the beauty that surrounds you. Imagination is boundless and freeing if you find a way to unlock it.

Walk down to the pier. Watch the sailboats bob on the waves, collect sea glass and bits of driftwood. Turn over small rocks and watch baby crabs scurry away. During the next blustery day, take courage and watch the waves tumble and fall with a magnificent unruliness. Stop off at a store and buy your favourite childhood treat: a chocolate bar, candy or ice-cream? Check out the stars at night and then come inside and make some hot chocolate with marshmallows. Finally curl up with your favourite bedtime story. Remember: 70s is the new 50s! If you can’t come up with anything to do take the grandkids for a walk – they will jog your memory, rub off on you and make you young again.

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Is it raining outside? Find your boots and your rain jacket. Explore the puddles as prisms of colours and light are reflected upon its surface. Walk through them and if you dare … jump, laugh and let the raindrops kiss your upturned

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december 2010


Life at The Inn After the war, my Dad thought he’d like to be the proprietor of an Old English Country Inn, so in 1951 he bought The Fulford Inn on Salt Spring Island. Although in the 1950s the Fulford Inn may have looked like an Old English Inn, inside the patrons were mostly hard-working, hard-drinking loggers. Hunting was big in those days on Salt Spring. Every Sunday night during hunting season there would be several cars waiting for the ferry back to Victoria with one or two deer strapped onto them. One of my jobs was to dump the garbage into the creek near the Inn. It all seemed normal at the time; the tide would come in and wash the garbage out to sea. The cans would rust away in the salt water and seagulls

by Bill Coleman and crabs would eat anything edible. Getting to school required a ninemile ride on a school bus. I was lucky and rode on a modern bus that had upholstered seats; not like the Isabella Point bus that had only wooden seats! Every few weeks a man would come to Fulford by boat and bring a projector and a film. Chairs would be set up in the Community Hall and all of Fulford’s inhabitants would turn out to see the movie. TV became available in the ’50s and we were able to receive fuzzy black and white images on one or two channels. It was also the time of the introduction of the ballpoint pen, although it wasn’t

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approved by the teachers for school work. In those days, when you bought anything at Paterson’s store they just wrote down the items in a notebook and kept a tally until you came in to pay the bill at the end of the month. Gasoline was provided from a hand pump: you pumped a quantity of fuel into a glass cylinder until you reached the desired number of gallons as indicated on the scale on the side. Then you pressed the lever on the handle of the filler hose and gravity did the rest! The pump is still there today, although not in service. In school I always wondered why I had such a hard time memorizing poetry but I, like most of the young guys, could tell from 100 feet away the make, model and year of every car on the road. Unfortunately, there were no automobile identification questions on the school exams! The good times on Salt Spring ended for me in 1955 when Dad sold the Inn and we moved to Victoria. I often visit Salt Spring now and am always amazed at how, even though the population has grown and many new and expensive homes have been built, a lot of things haven’t changed a bit. Fulford village still has the same old buildings standing as when I was a boy, the old Paterson’s store is still there, the road up Mount Maxwell is just as bad as it was in 1955 and the Fulford Community Hall is still in operation. The old Cy Peck ferry with Captain Maude at the wheel is long gone, but the cars still roar down the Fulford Valley road past the “new” Fulford Inn, hoping to catch the ferry before it leaves the harbour.

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We Can All Be Giants by Doreen Marion Gee I felt like a giddy starstruck teenager with jello knees. It was the thrill of a lifetime to interview Michael French, well-known director, and Jim Byrnes (pictured), world-renowned actor and musician. Both men were jittery with excitement about the new film of Rick Hansen’s heart-wrenching climb over the Great Wall of China: Heart of a Dragon. French is at the helm of this mesmerizing movie and Byrnes brings his strong acting chops to the whole project. This eyepopping slide show of stunning oriental landscapes is also a poignant tale of personal courage and tenacity in going for the gold. Its messages are deep and profound regarding human possibilities and the whole concept of “disability.” In the area of human achievement, Rick Hansen put British Columbia on the map. Following an accident that paralyzed him from the waist down, Hansen has proven himself to be more “able” than most of us. His heroic “Man In Motion World Tour” spanned 40,000 kilometres through 34 countries, raising $26 million. Rick Hansen is a paragon of limitless human potential. His remarkable story has inspired Michael French ever since he saw Hansen’s triumphant welcome in China over 20 years ago. Heart of a Dragon zooms in on two agonizing days in Hansen’s marathon as he struggles up The Great Wall of China, pushing himself to the breaking point. Jim Byrnes was the obvious choice to star in the film as the jaded reporter. Like Hansen, Byrnes has conquered his own personal Everests. Despite losing both legs in a car accident, Byrnes has enjoyed a hugely successful career in movies and the music world. Most people can only dream of what he has accomplished. That is a major theme in this film: Each one of us harbours infinite potential. Both the director and the actor surprise me with a disconcerting statement: “We are all disabled in some way.” They believe that many people are handicapped by the limitations they impose on themselves and are disabled by their own negative perspectives. The director wants people everywhere to leave his film with

this message of hope: We all have personal obstacles to overcome, but inside everyone is the courage and the power to make their dreams come true. In the film backgrounder, Rick Hansen comments on the China tour and the film: “It (the tour) taught me the value of teamwork, perseverance and that if you try hard enough, anything is possible. My hope is that the film will continue to raise awareness of the potential of all people and will encourage others to believe in the power of a dream.” Jim Byrnes confidently tells me that he always believed that he could do anything he wanted, before his injury and afterwards. There is no “us and them,” he says. Everyone has challenges to deal with in their lives. Rick Hansen teaches us that we are all alike in our ability to rise above these limitations and still shoot for the stars. The movie is about all of us. This haunting film left an imprint on my mind and soul but one special line

by Hansen is gilded in my memory: “We can all be giants!” This is a call to action. Hansen is a crusader for all of us to run like lions and soar like eagles. It is up to each one of us to use and exceed our potential, turn our dreams into reality and be “people in motion.” Photo courtesy Doreen Gee.

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december 2010


It’s a Code Three! Saving Lives With The Canadian Coastguard Auxiliary by Arlene Antonik A 36-foot pleasure craft with three people on board has lost power and is drifting into a busy shipping lane; night has fallen and two fishermen are reported missing; a converted trawler has broken free of its moorings in a high wind storm, has heeled over on nearby rocks and is in danger of dumping oil and gas onto the beach.

marine community of the Saanich Peninsula, the Gulf Islands and, on occasion, the San Juan Islands. In 2009, the highly-skilled volunteer crews were tasked 53 times, saved five lives, assisted 27 people at risk and assisted in the preservation of property valued at approximately $2.8 million.

When a Search and Rescue team is on-call, their pagers summon them to action for these kinds of emergencies and more.

“Our primary mandate is to save lives, which means we need to get to the scene of the incident quickly,” Vern continued. “We have two rigid hull inflatable boats, one moored in Tsehum Harbour in Sidney and the other in Brentwood Bay. They each have two 200-HP engines and have the capability to travel at speeds of up to 40 knots.”

Trouble on the water can happen fast and be terrifying. Each year, about 200 Canadians die in boating accidents and 6,000 boaters are seriously injured. “When a page comes through from Victoria Coast Guard Radio tasking us with an incident,” Vern Totten (in picture on the right) explained, “our crew of four has 15 minutes to get to the boat. If it’s a Code Three, we know life is in peril.” Vern is a member of the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary (CCGA), Pacific Region, Station 36 which serves the

These vessels cost approximately $250,000 each with an annual operating cost of between $60,000 and $80,000. There are also ongoing equipment, maintenance and training expenses.

There is no charge to those rescued, so where does the money come from? “We receive some funding from the Canadian Coast Guard, B.C. Provincial Gaming Grants and Grants-in-Aid from

each of the three Peninsula municipalities,” Vern advised. “However, most of the money comes from private donations which are critical to our operations. We’re able to issue tax receipts through our administrative arm, the Saanich Marine Rescue Society.” Besides responding to emergency calls, the members of CCGA Station 36 promote safe boating through education and conduct boat safety courtesy checks upon request. This bow-to-stern inspection includes such things as checking anchor lines, fire extinguishers, lights and life jackets. There are currently 40 members serving in this station and more members are welcome. Recruits are accepted twice a year and should have their Pleasure Craft Operator and Radio Operator certificates and basic first aid before applying. Training is ongoing. When not on-call (a rotation of one week out of four), members report for classroom and open-water training where they learn and practice 78 search and rescue skills. Once a year this includes “in the water” training which in our 43° sea water



gives these dedicated men and women first-hand knowledge of how quickly hypothermia can set in! Recent Parkland Secondary School graduate, James Gartshore (in picture on the left), eighteen, is a new recruit of CCGA, Station 36. Why has he decided to take on this challenge? “I like volunteering and helping other people,” said James. “I grew up boating with my family and look forward to learning more of the skills needed in search and rescue. I might look to the Coast Guard as a career one day.” If you feel inspired to get “on board” with this life-saving work, check out the website at or email for further information.

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It’s What Your Coffee Pays For • Level Ground pays an average of 26% above “Fair Trade” price to the farmers. This directly supports the pickers and their families by offering scholarships, medical insurance and clothing by being“hands on”in the communities the coffee is grown in. Because of this, the best quality beans are reserved for us to serve to you! • Our coffee is air-roasted in small batches right here in Saanichton – since 1997. • The coffee is roasted-to-order to provide maximum freshness for us to serve.

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december 2010


We Are What We Eat … Aren’t We? by Pene Beavan Horton My gran lived to be a cheerful 96 or maybe 97, at this point I can’t remember. But I do remember that she never went on a diet. She ended up as a fairly plump old darling, with a body type that used to be dubbed “a fine figure of a woman.” She didn’t know that she was what she ate. She cheerfully ate whatever was there to be eaten: garden produce from their own garden, she made white bread and cakes and she drank lots of tea several times a day … enjoyed cream if she wanted it, sugar if she wanted it … the point being that she never worried about what she was putting in her mouth. Practically a hundred years later and I worry about everything I put in my mouth or on my skin. I’m conditioned to thinking that almost everything is bad for us except organic unprocessed home grown vegetables and free run eggs … I feel guilty every time I eat processed food. I think of the slaughter of dolphins

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in Japan, every year, 23,000 of them until the sea runs red with their blood, and I’m afraid to eat tuna because it probably has dolphin meat mixed in, not to mention loads of mercury. Which puts me off fish, period. Even the smaller ones.

the toxins in our shower heads are killing us? We all have to die sometime, and wouldn’t it be better to die a bit sooner and a lot happier than to fret about sick building syndrome, death by cosmetics, or, as a result of all the worrying, death by stress?

Gran never knew about the dolphins, but she did eat lamb chops with enjoyment. I guess she never thought of them as lambs. She also enjoyed steaks – no one knew about mad cow disease in her day. It probably didn’t exist.

Times have changed drastically since my little gran lived out her life – her only real worry being how many unwanted cats people were going to throw over her daughter’s hedge because everyone knew that Marge Eva would take care of them. At one point there were 36 cats all licking up cat food on their little saucers, to the staccato accompaniment of the saucers clicking on the kitchen f loor. From what I remember of both my gran and my aunt Marge, they were happy eating white bread and taking care of my brother and me and looking after the cats. It’s hard to believe they lived their whole lives in the sunny expectation of good things to come, not crouching under the barrage of bad news that we are now subjected to.

But can you actually imagine a dayto-day life in which you aren’t worried about the stuff we eat? When you don’t have to wonder – is this meat full of antibiotics? Are these maltreated chickens full of hormones or bird flu? You used not to inspect canned goods to see where they came from … they mostly came from right where you lived or else from Great Britain. You didn’t have to wonder if the peaches had formaldehyde in them. Where’s this thought going? Would it be better not to know how awful everything is for us and just live and be happy without having to think that

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december 2010


Peninsula Singers Present “Hang The Holly” One of the great issues around Christmas, argued intensely in households around the Peninsula, is the importance of doing things the way we’ve always done them versus trying something new. Of course, what sort of Christmas tree should sit in front of the fireplace gets pulled into the argument – should it be something old and traditional, like a fir or pine? Or should it be an environment-saving, pre-assembled plastic version we can be store away till next year? On this great issue, the Peninsula Singers will offer some advice with a hilarious ensemble of sopranos and altos in “The Christmas Tree Feud.” It’s all part of the Singers’ entertaining Christmas show filled with favourite Christmas songs done up in new arrangements like Mel Torme’s “Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire” or something recent, such as Victoria’s David Foster’s “My Grown-Up Christmas List.” This 55-voice show choir will entertain with costumes, props, choreography and surprising appearances by that “real famous guy all dressed up in red,” aka Little Saint Nick, who will pop up in an ensemble version of the Beach Boys’ “Little Saint Nick.” The mastermind behind all this is Glenda Korella, artistic director and conductor of the Singers for the past 10-and-ahalf years. “I love Christmas because there are so many songs that tell the story of the spirit behind this holiday,” says Kor-

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A traditional feature of any Peninsula Singers concert is focusing on a young, new talent from the area. This year, 16-year-old harpist Christina Chwyl will shine, performing Canadian composer Marjan Mozetich’s “Song of the Nymphs.” Adding much to the holiday spirit, Christina will also accompany the Chorus on several numbers. Profits from the concerts go to support the Saanich Peninsula Hospital Foundation’s Music Therapy Program. The audience is also invited to bring non-perishable items for the Sidney Lions Food Bank. Thrifty Foods, Helping Hands and the Peninsula News Review are concert sponsors.

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ella. “I love reminding people of the beautiful memories they have from past Christmases and I enjoy creating a sound that leaves our audience with beautiful, new memories.”

Emma Cusi

10408 Resthaven Dr., Sidney, B.C. 250-217-2139 •

Concerts take place Friday, December 3 and Saturday December 4 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday December 5 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $10 for kids under 12 and $20 for adults. No HST! Available at Mary Winspear box office, 2243 Beacon Ave., Sidney or at 250-656-0275. Box office hours: Monday to Friday 9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m./1 to 5 p.m. and Saturday 1 to 4 p.m. For more information, visit Photos courtesy Tom Watson.

Peninsula Players Christmas Pantomime

Nov. 22nd, 23rd & 27th @ 7:30 p.m. Nov. 28th & 29th @ 2 p.m. Seniors/Students $15, Adults $18 (plus hst)

Mary Winspear Centre For more information 250-656-0275 •



Illustration 718.2608632

Wind In The Willows ©  Sophie Blackall

december 2010

December EveningsPuzzles Sudoku

the CRD tents near theMiddle main of the Delicious Road harmonies for the Beaver Lake parking lot. holidays! Tickets $15 available in advance (call # above) or at the door.

December 5

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9 1 2 December 14 5 Canadian Club of Victoria Meeting 6 9 5 3 Fairmont Empress Hotel 4 B.C.5 3 7 9Victoria, 1 8 2 p.m. 250-370-1837 7 president of 4 9 2 Kathryn Laurin, Camosun College, will present 6vision for the College and her its role in our community. $35 9(includes 8 tea). Reserve by 3 7 December 9th. 9 2 6

6:30 - 8:30 p.m. 250-507-2336 dates/bookings Keep Yourfor Brain Healthy Open House The Alzheimer’s Association recommends doing puzzles like Sudoku CENTRE to strengthen brain cells and the connectionsTHE between them.For Active Living 50+ 1229 Clarke Rd., Brentwood Bay Instructions (adjacent to the library) Each Sudoku has a unique solution that can be reached logically without 1-4 p.m. guessing. EnterWinter digits fromMarket 1 to 9 into the blank spaces. Every row must Sidney 250-652-4611 contain one of each digit. So must every column, as must every 3x3 square. Beacon Plaza, Sidney We are officially re* Sudoku can be found on page 60. 10Solutions a.m. - 4 p.m. dedicating our new name and celebrating the gift of a New The excitement and variety Horizons Grant to expand our of a market all winter long! programs. You are welcome to All proceeds to the Help Fill a Hardly Simple participate in activities such as Dream Foundation. aerobics, dancing, weaving, painting, woodwork and much more. Complimentary refreshments. Peninsula Singers Present

Saturdays & Sundays Until December 19

December 3-5

what’s happening | december 2010

Residential Lights Tours & Escorted ButchartDecember Gardens Tours2010

3 8 2 Happy Holly Days Puzzle by 9 4 6Dec.73 & 4 @ 7:30 p.m. December 18 December 10-12 Dec. 5 @ 2 p.m. Traditional Roast Turkey Mary Winspear Centre, Sidney Last Chance 4Craft Fair What fewCommunity 8 250-656-0275 6 9 Christmas Christmas people know is Meal that there is actually “Soup’s such On,” a thing “mistletoe Peace as Lutheran Church kissing Dec. 10th & 11th 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. 3 2 7 1 5 etiquette:” when a man kisses 2295 Weiler Ave., Sidney a woman $20 adults, $10 children (no hst). Dec. 12th 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. under the mistletoe, he- 1needs 11:30 a.m. p.m. to pick one Mary Winspear Centre, Sidney berry from the plant. When 1 5 4 9 250-656-0275 Everyone welcome!all the berries December 3-5 have been picked from the mistletoe, you are Admission $3. actually no longer allowed to kiss underneath it. Touch 1 5 4 of Saltspring 3 But will you letDecember that stop you? Christmas Show 2010 20 December 11-12 Panorama 2 7 1 Recreation Centre Genesis Hair & Esthetics

10 a.m. - 8 p.m. Friday, A Christmas Inspired Winter Wonderland Skate 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Sat. & Sun. Art Exhibition & Sale Exceedingly Panorama Evil Recreation Centre 250-655-0967 Muse Winery, 11195 Chalet Rd., 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. Puzzle by 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. 250-652-3211 Featuring over 230 crafters 250-656-2552, Free skate with Santa, Jack Frost and artisans of Salt Spring, and the Grinch! Tons of Christmas Look for unique and original art B.C. and Alberta. Get your fun for the community. Please Christmas shopping done all pieces to surprise, delight and in one place! Admission bring donations for the inspire those special people $4 for a 3-day pass. Sidney Lions Food Bank. in your life. Artists will be in attendance both days and we will have an excellent selection of gift baskets prepared with Wreath Making (Drop-In Event) Muse Wines and treats for the First Night body, soul and palate. Elk/Beaver Lake Regional Park New Year’s Celebration (Saanich), 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. Panorama Recreation Centre 250-478-3344 North Saanich 11 p.m. Join CRD Regional Parks Soundings Vocal Ensemble Ring in the New Year, Peninsula interpreters in the spirit of Presents “Hallelujah To Ya!” style! Gather with friends and the season to make a festive family for fun, food, music and Dec. 11 Gordon Head United Church wreath. Food and money dancing – what better way to Dec. 12 – St. Mary’s Anglican Church donations welcome (proceeds to a local food bank). Meet at 250-544-4393 start the New Year!


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4 3 December 11-12 2


4 4 3 7

December 31


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Puzzle by

Zais Astrology – December 2010 by Heather Zais ( Aries (march 21 - april 19) Dreaming of far-away places can become a reality – make appropriate plans. You need some quiet time away from pressures. Take a detached intellectual look at your future to get a better perspective; emotions mislead. You are lucky.

Libra (september 23 - october 22) Changes or endings are close to home or family. Do your best to balance everything between them. Repairs or restructuring may be necessary. Be more security conscious. Mars conjoining Pluto can escalate situations. Take care.

Taurus (april 20 - may 20) You seek stability in shifting sand. Contact those in the know. Some joint financial matters need attention. Get all the data together. Be in touch over long distance. This will prove beneficial down the road. Relax for now.

Scorpio (october 23 - november 21) Venus in your sign adds a sparkling or attractive quality that others are drawn to. Opportunities increase. Look at the practical side when making a choice as you don’t want a lot of “issues” to clutter up your future path.

Gemini (may 21 - june 20) Discussions lead to a move for you or them. It comes down to practical reasons regarding home or base of operations. This can be temporary or long term. You can see how your dreams or ambitions are likely to unfold. Travel.

Sagittarius (november 22 - december 21) Relationships have an impact on your finances. Some private negotiations are positive and you pull it all together. There is some luck in the air. The sun in your sign puts you in the spotlight. Enjoy the attention or accolades.

Cancer (june 21 - july 22) How much further do you want to go on your present path? Hanging in too long is not always positive just because it is familiar. Expand your horizons. You may be surprised at what or who is waiting for you. Make connections.

Capricorn (december 22 - january 19) Pay attention to what is happening around you – all is not obvious. There may be health issues for you or those close. Wait for indications of the way things are before you speak up. You need room to manoeuvre or leave.

Leo (july 23 - august 22) Slow your pace a bit to enjoy some relaxed time or entertainment – ‘tis the season. Add a little romance or rekindle it in a cozy atmosphere. You don’t have to spend a lot to impress them. Further your knowledge or experience.

Aquarius (january 20 - february 18) You shine in the eyes of VIP’s or those in power positions. Your extra effort is noticed and makes a difference to the outcome of events. Ways are discussed to increase income. You are motivated to help others now.

Virgo (august 23 - september 22) Stay close to home or family for the holiday season. Changes take place that need your attention. You have a way of making others feel calm or secure – it’s a good thing. The power of Mars gives you an added boost of energy.

Pisces (february 19 - march 20) You are selected for special mention or promotion. Others see your real value in the scheme of things, so don’t be shy. Positions are changing. Patience pays off. Accept gifts or perks that make the season especially enjoyable.

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december 2010

Sudoku Puzzles December 2010 Keep Your Brain Healthy

The Alzheimer’s Association recommends doing puzzles like Sudoku to strengthen brain cells and the connections between them.


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 60.

Hardly Simple

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

Middle of the Road

6 8



9 1 5


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

5 8 7 6

Puzzle by

What few people know is that there is actually such a thing as “mistletoe kissing etiquette:” when a man kisses a woman under the mistletoe, he needs to pick one berry from the plant. When all the berries have been picked from the mistletoe, you are actually no longer allowed to kiss underneath it. But will you let that stop you?

Exceedingly Evil

Puzzle by



5 2 7

4 3 2


4 4 3 7


3 5 2 6 1

9 1 4

8 2 8


Puzzle by


If The Trees Could Tell … by Debbie Sherwood

Oh, the stories these trees could tell … Have you taken the time to explore Dominion Brook Park lately? Many residents zip along the stretch of East Saanich Road between Bazan Bay Road and Lowe Road, possibly not realizing that a venerable historic park lies beyond the stately sentry of 50-foot cypresses.

little picnic hut you still see today, near the southeastern boundary, is an actual station from the rail line. Around 30 years ago roles and responsibilities changed for the Experimental Farm. Further impacted

There is much to enjoy at Dominion Brook Park: native and exotic shrubs and trees in a magnificent natural landscape; ponds and the eponymous brook and architectural features such as hand crafted stone bridges, a sunken garden and breath-taking views of the now-named Salish Sea. The Park has a storied past which dates back to 1912 when it was created for the Dominion Experimental Farm as a horticultural demonstration garden and for public use. The original architect was W.T. Macoun (the Macoun apple is said to be named for him). Macoun’s shopping list of plants and seedlings from around the world still exist in local archived records. Plant material was ordered from well-known nurseries in Britain, France, Holland, Germany, Japan and the U.S. For decades the Park was a popular place for outings and social gatherings, drawing folks from near and far. Train buffs will know that the B.C. Electric Interurban Railway route traversed Park grounds. The charming

by funding cuts, park maintenance became a low priority and the once jewel of North Saanich, neglected and abandoned, was overtaken by wild growth to become unrecognizable. In the late 1990s the Park’s story developed into something of a hybrid (pardon the pun) of Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella. A citizens’ group, led by locals John and Katie Dawson, formed the Friends of Dominion Brook Park Society, dedicated to rehabilitating the Park and protecting its unique heritage. The Society successfully recruited financial and in-kind aid from three

levels of government – federal, provincial and North Saanich – towards its long-term goal of restoring the Park to its former glory. A special stewardship agreement exists today between the Society, the federally-run Centre for Plant Health and the District of North Saanich to ensure the rehabilitation continues. Member support and recent grants from the Saanich Peninsula Foundation and the B.C. Real Estate Foundation enable the Society to implement further enhancements such as improved accessibility, new plantings, and to embark on an ambitious project to restore the magnificent Rhododendron Ravine. Much of the Park’s regular maintenance is done by the Society’s members. Together they have clocked thousands of hours weeding, trimming and raking. On Wednesday mornings from April through October you can see them in action. Thanks to their dedicated efforts, today the Park is once again a location of choice for pleasant strolls (dog friendly), picnics, weddings and even a macabre film shoot. For more information about Dominion Brook Park and the society, visit www. Better yet, enjoy the Park with your friends and family and let it set the scene for your own story. Photo: Farmers’ group picnic, circa 1930. Courtesy Sidney Archives.

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5 3 2 9 1 4 7 8 6

7 9 2 4 6 5 3 8 1

8 1 7 2 6 3 9 4 5

4 9 6 5 7 8 2 3 1

1 8 5 3 9 2 6 7 4

9 2 3 7 4 6 1 5 8

7 6 4 8 5 1 3 9 2

2 4 8 6 3 7 5 1 9

3 5 1 4 2 9 8 6 7

6 7 9 1 8 5 4 2 3

Exceedingly Evil Puzzle by 4 1 8 3 9 2 7 6 5

6 3 5 1 8 7 4 9 2

9 5 4 7 2 3 8 1 6

3 2 6 9 1 8 5 4 7

1 8 7 5 4 6 2 3 9

2 6 3 8 5 9 1 7 4

8 4 9 2 7 1 6 5 3

5 7 1 6 3 4 9 2 8

5 1 7 9 4 8 6 2 3

Hardly Simple Puzzle by

2 8 4 3 6 1 7 5 9

9 6 3 2 5 7 1 8 4

8 4 9 5 1 2 3 7 6

1 3 2 4 7 6 5 9 8

7 5 6 8 3 9 2 4 1

4 7 8 6 2 3 9 1 5

3 9 1 7 8 5 4 6 2

6 2 5 1 9 4 8 3 7

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We hike three times a week and are familiar with our hiking areas. This day our trail group started out as usual. Because of the rain we’ve had lately, we discussed the trail conditions as a safety measure. This beautiful sunny and cold day at Tod Creek was a welcome relief for our hiking group of humans and dogs. On our return trip one of the dogs, Tanner, just disappeared when the ground beneath his paws gave way. It happened in a heartbeat and it took us a while to see where he’d ended up. A chocolate lab is very hard to see in forest foliage 70 feet below you! Tanner had slipped and slid to the bottom. Thankfully, he was somewhat trapped near a small eddy just a few feet from the raging waters, but it was obvious the soaked cliff wouldn’t support his weight for long. Tanner tried a few times to get back up the slope, howling pitifully, then waited patiently for us to try to rescue him ourselves. The only place the dog could stand out of the water was on slippery logs and we feared he would fall into the fast waters and be gone. It was time to call the professionals. We called the Central Saanich Fire and Rescue and the group arrived quickly.

The Rescuers by Peni Fitzpatrick are carried out only when they have enough crew available to stand by for emergency calls. Rescues such as ours are viewed as excellent training opportunities – it could have well been a child or other person in distress. So how do these rescue teams get so fit and experienced? The teams train in many ways, including at the Boulders Climbing Gym at Stelly’s Secondary school. It’s a great facility, with a wonderful plan for expansion, and benefits the community in many ways. The planned expansion of the climbing wall will offer even more

opportunities for firefighters to train and familiarize themselves with ropes and stay fit. All of us on the trail that day, and hopefully everyone reading this story, will fully support the expansion. Perhaps without the confidence gained at the Boulders Climbing Gym the outcome would not have been such a happy one. It is heart warming to know that our lifeline is looked after by people like Fire Chief Ron French and his team of four career staff and 38 volunteers. They are a shining example of professionalism and we’re lucky to have them in our community. Please follow this link and feel free to pass it on to your friends: www.

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The team treated the rescue of a beloved dog with all the compassion they’d show if he was human. Tanner was fine after his ordeal but went straight to the vet for a quick check, warmth and food. It was an amazing rescue and I had to ask the rescuers where they got their skills. To my understanding, this was the third time the team had been involved with a steep angle dog rescue. They class such responses as “public assist” and they

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december 2010


last wo r d

The History of the Christmas Tree Then it happened. Almost overnight Christmas trees sprang to life and became a symbol of Christmas! What happened? In England, Queen Victoria and her husband, Prince Albert (who was German), were seen in a drawing standing next to a Christmas Tree! The Victorians had to do it! It spread across the ocean, as America was enthralled with the Victorians as well. By the time 1900 came, Christmas Trees were well-entrenched and decorations became a big business. Many companies started making ornaments, but most Americans still liked home made items and edible treats on their trees. Electric lights soon appeared as well. What town, city, or community does not have a Christmas Tree now?”

tree, so I looked it up and thought I’d share what I found with our readers.

I haven’t put up a Christmas tree for many years now. I’ve moved into my last three homes on December 1st, and by the time I’ve finished unpacking and deciding on the perfect spots for all my regular décor, putting up Christmas decorations is the last thing I feel like doing. Even so, every year my rubbermaid containers of Christmas decorations are added to with an ornament here or a string of beads there, and even though I’m moving just before Christmas again this year, I want to put up a tree. There’s something about decorating that gets you in the festive spirit; a feeling that I think just isn’t present in an undecorated house. I started wondering about the origins of the Christmas

“What we call the modern Christmas Tree was first done in Germany in the 1500s. Christians began decorating their homes with evergreen trees and branches and some made structures that resembled the pyramid shape of trees out of wood.

Roy had just been saddled with an unthinkable print deadline.....

In the U.S., the Christmas tree was not something well-known until about 1830. Before that, early Americans thought that symbols like these were pagan. In fact, the Puritans wanted to keep Christmas sacred. It was not to be a joyful occasion. They even made laws that were current up to the 18th century against decorating and caroling! Annie was panic stricken, but knew exactly what had to be done...

wha Annie goin t are , g to we do? !?!

Courtesy Season’s Greetings and Happy New Year to our wonderful readers.


no problem Annie, we’ll get onto that


cAll RhIno...


In a heartbeat, the RhIno PRonto! team leaped into action...

Roy was over the moon!

ooks se job l the ! Get the astic client fant e to th !

, Deadline met l ta gi di h tc top no b! jo print…great





december 2010

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