100 YEARS: Businesses of 2012 get in on Port Alberni’s centennial action

Port Alberni Centennial Committee unveiled a poster featuring a historical photo of Valley businesses and regions from 100 years ago.

Alberni Valley Museum director Jean McIntosh

Alberni Valley Museum director Jean McIntosh

The Port Alberni Centennial Committee is offering businesses of today the opportunity to celebrate the businesses of the past with a unique poster campaign.

The committee has designed a poster with the 1912–2012 logo and featuring a historical photo of businesses or regions of Port Alberni from 100 years ago. Members unveiled the first two posters last week at Bare Bones Fish & Chips, where owners AC and Steve Evans joined Steve Kalugin from Investors Group in receiving the first two posters.

“It’s about awareness of the history and of the centennial,” Jean McIntosh said.

“We always recognize when we put up historic photographs, people just dive into them. They love them.”

The impetus for the poster campaign came from a couple of places, she said. Several years ago during heritage week the Alberni Valley Museum ran a similar program, asking businesses to put up historic photos of their establishments for the week.  The committee also thought it would be a good way to get the word out about the centennial while also involving the public.

While Investors Group and Bare Bones were the first two businesses to jump on board, “response has been great,” McIntosh said.

The posters are free to businesses that want to sign up. Please call Cathy Bagley at 250-720-2522 or e-mail her at Cathy_Bagley@portalberni.ca.

Museum staff and volunteers will ensure an appropriate historical photo from 1912 is provided—either an historical photo of the building or the general area. While this can be time consuming, the museum has dedicated some of its time and centennial budget to this project, McIntosh said.

The museum has a good number of photos from 100 years ago just waiting to be displayed. “It would be great to get as many photos out as possible.”

McIntosh hopes businesses will also embrace a costuming element to the promotion, encouraging window displays with a centennial theme or allowing employees to dress in period costume for special events. The Bank of Montreal already did something similar when staff celebrated the financial institution’s centennial late last year.

The committee is planning a re-enactment of the first council meeting on April 1, and there is also a homecoming planned for B.C. Day weekend, Aug. 3–6.

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Have you checked out the City of Port Alberni’s centennial link on its Internet homepage? It features information on future celebrations and homecoming weekend, as well as ideas on how businesses and individuals can get in on the fun. You can find the website at http://www.portalberni.ca/centennial_overview.html.

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Thanks to Harold Hamilton for bringing by some material and inspiration for future centennial columns. I encourage anyone else with ideas, photos or memorabilia from the city’s centennial to call me at the News, 250-723-6399, e-mail me or comment on our website at www.albernivalleynews.com. I could spend the next 300 days in the archives and not uncover all the stories of 1912, so I welcome the input.

 

Susan Quinn is editor of the Alberni Valley News.

editor@albernivalleynews.com