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Anachronistic thrills at Festival of Volunteers

I have had the rare pleasure of having a local newspaper delivered to my door (seriously, our paperboy must be stockpiling them for a Piñata-making party), and after reading through the agenda in the two-page ad for the Festival of Volunteers, I see now that they’ve buried the lede.

My co-author Jen has already covered the altruistic reasons to head out to Royal City Centre this Saturday for the Festival of Volunteers. But even if you have zero interest in volunteering, it will be worth it to come out to see Mayor Wayne Wright take Gov. James Douglas (d. 1877) to task for allowing cheeky Victoria to steal away our birthright as capital city of British Columbia.

Up until 1868, New Westminster was the capital city of British Columbia, before that honour was snatched away by Victoria. Find out how such a historic injustice could have occurred! Join Mayor Wayne Wright for a spirited discussion with Governor James Douglas (first Governor of B.C.) on the merits of restoring the Royal City of New Westminster as B.C.’s rightful capital.

Source: Festival of Volunteers ad, page B2 & B3 of The Record

Actors from The Royal City Engineers Living History Group will play Sir James Douglas, Lady Amelia Douglas, riverboat captain John Irving, New Westminster’s first Sheriff Chartres Brew and a Royal Engineer. It gets better: Colin Barrett of the Delta Police Pipe Band (warning: autoloading audio files if you follow the link) will play a period bagpiper, skirling away! 

The historical re-enactment portion of the Festival of Volunteers is from 11am to noon. The actors will be available for photos by donation, with proceeds going to support The Royal City Volunteers. 

Other events include: 

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5 Responses

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  1. Ruth Seeley says

    Ok I'm glad it's not just me – trying to get a copy of our local papers is an exercise in almost constant futility – they deliver about 50 papers to an apartment complex with oh, about 800 people on unspecified days at unspecified times – I'm lucky to get a copy four times a year!

    And I love the fact that they're doing a re-enactment – will have to go now.

  2. Briana Tomkinson says

    It came up at the Tweetup, actually. Everyone there had problems with irregular newspaper delivery.

  3. Jocelyn Tomkinson says

    The local papers are supposed to be on Wednesdays and Sundays, which means your paper deliverers are supposed to come starting on Tuesday and Saturday to deliver the papers to you. However – given my own dodgy history as likely the only four-wheeled papergirl for the New Westminster Now, I'm not surprised nobody gets their papers!

Continuing the Discussion

  1. Tenth To The Fraser » Blog Archive » Debating History linked to this post on February 2, 2009

    […] past Saturday at Royal City Centre and the anachronistic thrills my co-author Briana referred to here did not […]

  2. Like an old house, New West is blessed with ‘good bones’ | Tenth To The Fraser linked to this post on January 27, 2013

    […] the commercial centre of the Lower Mainland has moved downtown and (to our chagrin) the political centre remains in Victoria, our birthright has gifted us with some of the best […]



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