Ron Denman

Ron Denman

Archives will be ready by the end of summer

Connecting the community with its storied past — one piece at a time — has always been what the Chilliwack Museum and Archives is all about.

Connecting the community with its storied past — one piece at a time — has always been what the Chilliwack Museum and Archives is all about.

Take the gold ring with tiny sapphires and pearls sitting in a glass display case.

Chilliwack resident Lorraine Beger donated the beautiful family heirloom piece to the museum recently with the blessing of her family.

Her grandfather, Edward, originally presented the ring to his wife, Jessie, on their 50th wedding anniversary.

The artifact with deep roots in the community was proudly displayed at the museum fundraising launch last month, as an example of the vast and significant archival collection to be housed in the new facility.

Beger was thrilled to be in attendance to help celebrate the recently finished 4,000 sq. ft. addition to the Archives.

“Tonight I can say the building is complete,” said Fred Feistmann, museum board president.

Construction on the addition has been underway for months, and the final phase will be the installation of the museum-quality rolling shelving on tracks.

Feistmann thanked the City of Chilliwack, and Coun. Pat Clark in particular for championing the cause of expanded archives.

“Pat we wouldn’t have had this without you,” he said, adding kudos for city staff and the project contractors and sub-contractors.

“We certainly do need this expansion, and it will be so good for them to be able to get the collection under one roof.”

Before the expansion, archives staff had to manage with just 1,500 square feet.

“To have this space is a dream come true,” Museum director Ron Denman told attendees.

The fundraising goal is to raise the remaining $45,000 or so needed to complete the shelving project and accoutrements.

“By the end of the summer, we will have everything in here and we’ll be able to see what we’ve got,” said Denman.

One sorely needed item is an updated microfiche reader.

“We do our best to conserve what we have here,” Denman said in conclusion. “I hope you all walk away today thinking about the Archives as a worthy cause, tonight, tomorrow and into the future.”

(This version of the story has been revised from the original to correct factual errors.)