100 YEARS – Centennial celebration kicks off in Alberni

Alberni residents are invited to come to ADSS and help the city commemorate the first city council meeting 100 years ago.

Alberni Valley Museum curator Kirsten Smith examines the fine petticoats of a 1912 garment that will be part of Twin Cities Turn 100

Alberni Valley Museum curator Kirsten Smith examines the fine petticoats of a 1912 garment that will be part of Twin Cities Turn 100

One hundred years ago, the first official meeting of Port Alberni city council took place. This Sunday, April 1 city residents are invited to come and help the city commemorate that historic event at Alberni District Secondary School.

Outdoor activities start at 12:30 p.m. and the ADSS lobby will open at that time. Events include vintage cars on display, horse and buggy rides, hay rides, First Nations carving demonstrations and a 1912 photo display.

At 1:30 p.m. doors to the auditorium will open for seating, for those who have tickets.

The official event begins at 2 p.m. with a documentary video Big Trees, Big Water: A City is Born; the Port Alberni centennial poem, presented by Wendy Morton; greetings from all levels of government; a centennial proclamation; First Nations welcome, singing by Timbre Choir and dancing by Pat Cummings School of Dance.

The event will conclude at approximately 3:30 p.m. when refreshments will be served.

The weekend also signals the opening of Twin Cities Turn 100, the Alberni Valley Museum’s new exhibit. The museum will be open on Sunday from 12–5 p.m. for people to come and view the exhibit after the kickoff celebrations at the high school.

Twin Cities Turn 100 focuses on the buildup to 1912 and through incorporation, curator Kirsten Smith said. The exhibit examines the coming of the railway and influx of people to the region: who was coming, how were they getting here?

The city’s ‘building blocks’ at the time were the school, the fire department, water service, electricity and communications. “All those little bits and pieces that make a city,” she said.

The exhibit will include many child-friendly components, such as a passport stamp series, Lincoln Log building area, paper dolls and a dress-up area.

Large black and white photographs are featured on the walls.

Typical rail baggage is stacked in one corner. Alberni historian Jamie Morton wrote the text for the exhibit.

A 1912 garment, on loan to the museum from noted Vancouver fashion historian Ivan Sayers, is featured in one of several display cases.

The exhibit will also include some of the museum’s own 1912 artifacts, such as a firefighter’s hat, the first official city seal and a black hat thought to belong to first mayor A.E. Waterhouse.

“Once people get here they will find (the exhibit) engaging,” museum director Jean McIntosh said. “Kirsten’s done a good job with the colour and graphics.”

Tickets to the inauguration event are still available at Echo Centre and the museum until the end of the day on Saturday. A few may be available at the door on Sunday.

Admission to the museum exhibit is by donation.

editor@albernivalleynews.com