Victoria Genealogical Society
GENEALOGY & VGS NEWS Archive - 2014

Archive of news bulletins and announcements from VGS and beyond.
Our most recent news articles are located on our VGS Home page.


Media Event Surrounds Return of Historic VicPD Charge Books

posted 27 Nov 2014

VicPD media event Nov 26 2014This morning at 10:00 am, the historic black and white cruiser "Car 40" arrived at the VicPD Headquarters in Victoria with lights flashing and siren wailing.  On board were representatives of the Victoria Police Department, the University of Victoria and the Victoria Genealogical Society (VGS), along with 5 historic VicPD charge books dating back to the 1870s and a hard drive containing the digital images.  Enthusiastic members from all three organizations and local media were on hand to greet them.

The media event continued on the third floor of VicPD Headquarters, where Chief Constable Frank Elsner gratefully received the returning Charge Books and enthusiastically applauded this joint initiative.  Pat Acton, VGS President, talked about our society's commitment to community projects, preserving our heritage, and the need for respecting the lives of all ancestors.  Heather Dean, Associate Director of Special Collections at UVic Libraries expressed gratitude for the opportunity to digitally preserve these historically significant documents.

VicPD Charge Book media eventAt the start of this project, the Victoria Genealogical Society teamed up with the Victoria Police Historical Society after learning that a part of our history could be lost forever if not for proper documentation and preservation. Their common goal was to digitally preserve and make accessible this irreplaceable historical information. The two agencies contacted UVic’s Research Partnership and Knowledge Mobilization (RPKM) Unit to match those needs with UVic expertise and to facilitate collaboration between both agencies and the university. Staff in the UVic Libraries’ Digitization Unit has now digitized the Charge Books using their state of art flat bed scanner in a secure environment. They hope to make it part of their digital collections in the near future.

VGS has now begun the indexing stage of this project under the leadership of VGS member Sheila Watts. VGS volunteers will use the high quality images to index their contents which include details of charges laid in early Victoria between 1873 and 1876.  This index will then be posted on the VGS website for ease of research.

Thanks to the media for covering this event.  The Times Colonist titled their article "Victoria Police records offer a glimpse of life in the 1870s", and it was also featured on the Vancouver Sun site.  View the Victoria News article "Historic police charge books returned to VicPD after digital preservation" for their coverage.  CTV, Vancouver Island also aired their piece called "19th Century Victoria Crimes", and UVIC published a news advisory "Historic charge books return to VicPD with a techno twist".

VicPD Charge Book media event

Chief Constable Frank Elsner, VicPD with a recently scanned 1870s Charge Book
and project partners Pat Acton, VGS president and
Heather Dean, Associate Director of Special Collections, UVic Libraries

Further snapshots from this joint media event ...

VicPD Charge Book media event  VicPD Charge Book media event  VicPD Charge Book media event  VicPD Charge Book media event  VicPD Charge Book media event  VicPD Charge Book media event


VGS Joins VicPD and UVIC in Media Event - Wednesday 26 Nov 2014

posted 25 Nov 2014

Historic Charge Books Returning to VicPD with a Techno Twist
Thanks to the Victoria Genealogical Society and UVic Libraries

VicPD Historical Society's museum on Caledonia Avenue, Victoria BC CanadaA public event to be held on Wednesday, November 26th, marks a milestone for one Victoria Genealogical Society (VGS) project. The location is the Victoria Police Department (VicPD) Headquarters at 850 Caledonia Avenue where, at 10am, their classic 1940's patrol car will be arriving with some important passengers and cargo. It's a public event so mark your calendar to drop by and enjoy the fun as it happens.

The cargo in question is historic VicPD handwritten charge books from the 1870's. These books are part of Victoria's rich history and document the past in a very unique way. The handwritten charges range widely from the expected but none the less colourful 'being a rogue and vagabond' type of entries, to the morbid 'murder' entries, to the more curious entries like 'abandoned ship', 'reckless driving (of horse and buggy)' and 'shooting fireworks'. Of course the names are always of interest to family history researchers, whether they are the names of those charged or the names of victims, arresting officers, etc.

In the above photo: On the glass cabinet is a charge book on display
in the VicPD Historical Society's museum on Caledonia Avenue, Victoria BC.

The project to digitally preserve these books and make their contents more accessible to the public had been on the mind of VGS member, Sheila Watts, ever since she first heard about them during a presentation to the VGS back in 1993. But the project truly came to fruition in October of 2013, when she arranged a fateful meeting between the Victoria Police Department's Museum and Historical Society and VGS Executive Committee members Claudia Boorman (Webmaster) and Merv Scott (Project Director).

Merv and Sheila behind jail cell door at VicPD MuseumThe result of the meeting was a formal Joint Project between the parties. The next challenge was to find an third party to perform the actual digitization of the books and to the rescue came the staff of the University of Victoria (UVic) Libraries' Digitization Unit.

The books were carefully moved to UVic this past summer where their staff have been working diligently to scan them using the modern technology at their disposal. Uvic's work is now done and these historical and delicate books are being returned to the VicPD using Car 40, under the watchful scrutiny of VGS President Pat Acton. VicPD's Chief Constable, Frank Elsner, will be there to greet Car 40 as it and its passengers and cargo arrive at the VicPD Headquarters. At that point the books will formally be returned to the VicPD and VGS volunteers can then begin focusing on the next stage of the project, to recruit and train VGS volunteers to index the images taken.

The media are being invited on Wednesday November 26, 2014, so set your recorders and watch the news papers or, better yet, drop by on Wednesday at 10:00 am  to watch the fun in person.

In the above photo: VGS members Sheila Watts and a worried Merv Scott
are behind bars at the VicPD Historical Society's museum, Victoria BC.


Honoring Veteran Ancestors & Launching Veterans Cemetery Book

posted 9 Nov 2014

Dall military keepsakes on displyOn Saturday morning, November 8, the Victoria Genealogical Society honored the memory and lives of veterans by hosting a public event at our Resource Centre here in Victoria BC.  Several of our VGS members manned their own displays of family military medals, old photographs, keepsakes, records, and memoirs, and were eager to talk to visitors about their veteran ancestors and their research.

We were also pleased to welcome the Director of the LGen. E.C. Ashton Garrison Museum in Saanich, which preserves and publicizes the histories of Victoria's 741 Communication Squadron, 11 Service Battalion,  11 Field Ambulance, 12 MP PI, and their predecessor corps. Their display included a vintage uniform jacket and mask, medals and photographs, just a small selection of what can be viewed at their museum.

WW1 uniform jacket and maskHarvey Buckmaster, VGS member and the compiler and editor of "The Veterans Cemetery, Esquimalt BC, God's Acre" was also on hand to launch this newly revised book.  Now an impressive 230 pages, it lists 2888 burial marker records for those buried at The Veterans Cemetery between 1868 and 2013. The book also includes the names on the 7 plaques located in the chapel at the cemetery and the 91 names for those with scattered ashes. All names in the book are indexed for easy searching using the included plot map.

Harvey has put much time and effort into this project since 2004, and in recognition of his dedication and work, he was presented with a VGS "Above and Beyond" award certificate.  Shown in the photo is Merv Scott, VGS Project Director, Pat Acton, VGS President, and Harvey Buckmaster with his award and a copy of "The Veterans Cemetry", hot off the press.

 Harvey Buckmaster, editor or VGS Veterans Cemetery book with Merv and Pat


New Publication Announcement: Veterans Cemetery, Esquimalt.

posted 7 Nov 2014

Book Cover: Veterans Cemetery, Esquimalt BCThe Victoria Genealogical Society is proud to announce the release of their latest publication titled "The Veterans Cemetery, Esquimalt, British Columbia ", revised and updated 2014 Edition by Harvey A. Buckmaster, Compiler & Editor. It replaces the original edition published in 2000.

Veterans Cemetery has been an honoured final resting place for those that served in Canada’s military since 1868 when Rear Admiral George Fowler Hastings of the Royal Navy purchased one acre of land for use as a cemetery from the Puget Sound Agricultural Company, a subsidiary of the Hudson’s Bay Company. The sailors knew this piece of land, which was once a turnip field, as "God's Acre" but officially it was the Royal Navy Cemetery. The cemetery was consecrated by the Right Reverend George Hills, the first Anglican Bishop of British Columbia, on July 14, 1868. In 1927, the Gorge Vale Golf Club acquired 150 acres of land surrounding the cemetery from the Hudson's Bay Company. When the Department of Veterans Affairs took over the cemetery in 1947, it became known as the "Veterans Cemetery". The cemetery was designated as a National Historical Site by the Government of Canada in 2006.

“It has been an privilege to be involved with this project because of its historical importance and its recognition of the important role that many Canadians and their families have played by serving in our military forces” said Harvey Buckmaster, the compiler and editor of the new edition. Buckmaster, a retired university professor from Calgary, has been compiling and indexing the cemetery’s grave marker inscriptions for the Victoria Genealogical Society since 2004.

“Ron Demaray was the driving force for the 2000 edition” said Buckmaster, “and I have worked diligently to ensure this important work lived on, by adding the information for the new burials from 2000 to 2013, and improving the contents of the 2000 edition by reformatting existing files and providing additional genealogical information whenever possible”.

The 2014 book has 230 pages and contains the complete inscription for each of the 2888 burial marker records. The book also includes the names on the 7 plaques located in the chapel at the cemetery and the 91 names for those with scattered ashes. All names in the book are indexed for easy searching using the included plot map.

The Victoria Genealogical Society is grateful for the financial support received for this project from the following donors:

The book is available for sale for $30 at the Victoria Genealogical Society Resource Centre at 947 Alston Street in Vic West (phone 250-360-2808) and can also be purchased online using credit card or PayPal account – simply visit our VGS publications page, select the book and click on the ‘Add to cart’ button.

This VGS News Release about the launch of our Veterans Cemetery book  can also be downloaded in PDF format.

 For further information contact:
Merv Scott, Project Director
Victoria Genealogical Society


Heralding Our VGS Journal, and Call For Submissions

posted 5 Nov 2014

The Victoria Genealogical Society publishes a quarterly journal for the benefit of its members and subscribers.  We have indeed been fortunate to have skilled and dedicated editors to bring you interesting and varied articles, tips and news items four times a year.  We can all be extremely grateful for the time and energy required to produce such professional publications.

When our past editor Kate Jones stepped down this past summer, the reigns were taken up by Kathleen Lowe. She has already produced an impressive September / Autumn issue, and is now working on the winter edition.

November 11th is the deadline for getting a story or article into the next VGS Journal. We've got lots of room for your article, and we need your help to fill the pages.  This is your opportunity to share some of your research stories, or perhaps tales about the successes and challenges faced by your ancestors.  We're interested!  So please send whatever you can to And please spread the word by passing along this message to other members you know.

John (Jack) Alexander Sinton, VCIf you haven't taken a close look at one of journals recently, you will be impressed.  Here's a teaser about our September journal that will tempt you to read more.

John (Jack) Alexander Sinton, was a doctor, a world-renowned scientist and a war hero who was born in Victoria in 1884. Winner of the Victoria Cross and Fellow with the Royal Society, Sinton became the only man in the world entitled to include the post nominal letters VC and FRS after his name. But because his family moved to Ireland by 1901, his Victoria connection has been lost to history — resurrected in an article written by Bart Armstrong for the Victoria Genealogy Society's Journal. Read “Forgotten international war hero and eminent scientist’s story…” in the Autumn 2014 edition of The Journal.

If you have a VGS membership, you’ve already received your copy of The Journal. If you are currently not a VGS member you can order back issues. Just check out the VGS Journal page on our website for more information.


A Special Guest Presenter

posted 27 Oct 2014

Speaker Vice Admiral (retired) Nigel Brodeur with Sherri and Pat at VGS meetingOur recent October Speaker Series event featured retired Vice Admiral Nigel Brodeur, and he didn't disappoint the roughly 60 people, members and non members, who attended. Nigel is a native Victorian who was born here to a most distinguished naval family. After graduating from Royal Roads military college, his own remarkable naval career took him to all corners of the globe, but it was back here in Victoria where he chose to live upon his retirement.

His presentation on October 9 focused on Canada's naval heritage and included many wonderful photographs and accompanying anecdotes. His knowledge about the creation of the Royal Canadian Navy and its many challenges was not only a historical review but included many of his own family's stories. And his review of Canadian naval heroes and their stories, many from our coast, was a reminder of the sacrifices many have made for us.

VGS member Sherri Robinson was given the task of formally introducing the Admiral at the outset of the evening and thanking him at the end of his presentation. Her poignant and personal remarks made it clear that Sherri treated her role as an honour rather than a task. It was a wonderful and informative evening.



Honouring Remembrance Day at the VGS Resource Centre - Nov 8

posted 24 Oct 2014


Date: Saturday, November 8th
Time: 9:00 am to noon - DROP IN  - NOTE SPECIAL TIME
Cost: Entrance by donation. Half of all proceeds will go to the Poppy fund.

We're trying something new in honour of Remembrance Day this year. Instead of a workshop, we're offering a drop-in session with multiple manned displays - interaction encouraged!

  • A number of our members will have family items on display and will be happy to answer your questions.
  • We will also have Ted Leaker, the Director of the Ashton Armoury Museum in Saanich with a display of items from the museum. We will be happy to answer questions about tracing your family members who were in the military.
    • Ashton Armoury Museum
      We represent 39 Signals Regiment, 39 Service Battalion, 11 Field Ambulance, and 12 Military Police Platoon. These are the communicators, drivers, cooks, warehouse staff, clerks, mechanics, medics and military police that provide support services to 39 Brigade, which is the Reserve Army formation in British Columbia. We are part of 3rd Canadian Division, the Regular and Reserve Army formation in Western Canada.
      The museum showcases the above units and their predecessors back to WW I, with historical information back to 1603.
  • As many of you know, we do have military information at the Resource Centre.  Please check our VGS online catalog for details, and browse our shelves while at the Resource Centre.

Please come into the Resource Centre to help us honour our military families, to meet some of our volunteers and guests, and see what we have to offer for research.


VGS Launches New Facebook Page "VicGS"

posted 25 Sep 2014 -

As part our new emerging VGS strategic plan for promoting our Society, VGS Vice President Lauren Pinkerton has announced the launch of our new VGS Facebook page.  Available to the growing number of Facebook members, Lauren has already started to post genealogy related information and photos.  Facebook also allows others to post information on our "wall", as well as add comments to existing posts. 

We hope to make the "VicGS" Facebook page a vibrant and "happening" place. Please visit us online and be sure to "like" us, and even share our link with friends.

VGS Facebook Page "VicGS" screenshot


Kickoff of VGS Fall 'Speaker Series' Draws Large Crowd

Posted 16 Sept 2014

Pat withspeaker Monica at VGS monthly meeting Sep 11 2014The VGS Executive Committee's experiment with the format of our monthly gatherings proved popular on the opening night, September 11, as the Gordon Head United Church Hall was full to the brim. Now dubbed the "Speaker Series", VGS President and MC for night, Pat Acton, kept business to a minimum so she could welcome not one, but two speakers for the evening. Each of the speakers gave excellent presentations to the large group of members and guests who attended.

Before the break, local family researcher Monica Sheridan gave an entertaining and sometimes poignant recounting of her journey to find her father's birth heritage and the circumstances that lead to his adoption. Monica's presentation included wonderful explanations of the research tools and techniques she used in uncovering her family's story. She is currently working on a book about her grandmother's story.

Pat withspeake rHelen Edwards at VGS monthly meeting Sep 11 2014After the break, Helen Edwards, who is very active in Victoria's heritage scene, showed a 6-minute video filmed by William Harbeck in 1907 showing the streets and buildings of downtown Victoria, and a boat ride in the Gorge Waterway. Her added slide presentation offered further details on the major landmarks, biographical information on William Harbeck, and her insider knowledge of the efforts taken to restore this film and bring it to the public domain. Her keen interest and knowledge of Victoria's buildings and history was very evident.

This version of the 1907 film of downtown Victoria has descriptive text and background music added by "BC History":

Bev with Tim, guest from England, at VGS monthly meeting Sep 11 2014For further information on both these speakers, visit our VGS past meetings page.

Also at this September gathering we welcomed Tim, a visitor all the way from Exeter, Devon, England. Tim had been corresponding with Bev Harvey, leader of our very capable VGS Queries team, to get help finding information on his ancestors.  They included some local dignitaries and pioneers, including familiar surnames such as Langley, Walkem and Rhodes. George Anrhony Walkem, his maternal great-grandfather, was third premier of BC from 1874 to 1876.  Tim was in town for only a couple of days and met with Bev to pick up additional records she had collected for him. Happily he managed to fit in our meeting as well. Enjoy your trip to the Rockies, Tim!

It is always a pleasure to welcome out-of-town researchers and visitors at our meetings, workshops and our VGS Resource Centre.




Explore the VGS Resource Centre - FREE on 6 Sep 2014

6 September 2014   ~   Special hours: 11:00 am to 3:00 pm   ~   PLEASE JOIN US!

September 6, 2014 is our "Explore the Victoria Genealogy Society Resource Centre" day.

What do we have at the VGS Resource Centre?

Who can use our many resources?

Why become a VGS member?

Come and join us for coffee, tea and goodies while finding out all about us. See some of the things that we have done in the past year. Meet some of our volunteers who are there to help you in searching for your family.  It's a FREE day for all.

Genealogy is our passion. The Resource Centre is full of information, knowledge from our volunteers, support for your searching, and scheduled workshops to guide you on your quest.  Come join us!



Posted 4 Aug 2014

Victoria Police Officer Albert Harwood and his motorcycleThree new audio stories have been added to the Voices of the Past memory project. Listen to Albert Harwood, WWII veteran and retired Victoria Police Officer, as he tells us about working in a radium refinery, his experiences with circus elephants and a war time memory about running his 'speed buggy' into the back of a Tiger tank.

In October, 2013, the Victoria Genealogical Society (VGS) launched the "Voices of the Past" memory project to promote the importance of recording and preserving family history stories and personal memoirs. Since then, Merv Scott, VGS Project Director, recorded a number of varied and interesting stories at seniors homes and at recording sessions at the Greater Victoria Public Library. These digital audio files have been edited and posted on our "Voices of the Past" website, designed by Claudia Boorman, VGS Webmaster, along with a text summary of each story and an accompanying photo. Stories are grouped on separate "theme" pages such as "Military", "Business and Occupations", "Arts and Entertainment", "School Days" and more. Listen to these recordings and you will understand why we believe these short glimpses of the past are so worth preserving. Current and future generations will certainly learn from and enjoy these stories.

Since our launch of the Voices of the Past memory project, the VGS has received welcome attention from the media and support from other organizations. The VGS is also proud to report that, in May 2014, the Saanich Archives endorsed the VGS "Voices of the Past" program. "We will also be offering Saanich residents the opportunity to have their Voices of the Past recordings preserved at the Saanich Archives for posterity" says Merv Scott, Project Director, Victoria Genealogical Society.

If you or anyone you know is interested in contributing stories to this worthwhile project, please contact Merv Scott - - to set up a recording appointment or for more information.



Celebrate Canada Day - VGS Resource Centre Revised Schedule

Posted 23 Jun 2014

The VGS Resource Centre will be CLOSED on Monday, 30 June 2014, and Tuesday, 1 July 2014 to give our volunteers and members time to enjoy the extended Canada Day weekend.

Our summer hours will take affect on Wednesday, 2 July 2014 - visit our VGS Resource Centre page for further details.


Victoria Genealogical Society supports 151st Victoria Highland Games

Posted 21 May 2014

Another successful Victoria Highland Games was held this past weekend at Topaz Park. Thousands of visitors attended the Games this year and enjoyed the wide variety of competitions, music and refreshments. And thanks to a handful of volunteers the Victoria Genealogical Society was well represented again this year.

Volunteers helped in a variety of capacities, by creating the displays, photocopying materials, stuffing inserts into the brochures, constructing and tearing down the tent, as well as playing host to the many visitors to our tent. This year our volunteers also played host at the Heritage Tent during not one but two presentations that we gave on tracing Scottish ancestry. Both presentations were well attended and the numbers through the tent were also high, so it was a good weekend from that respect too.

Thanks to all the volunteers who helped to make this happen!


Go Ancestor Hunting While At The Victoria Highland Games & Celtic Festival - May 17 & 18, 2014

Posted 9 May 2014

Victoria Highland Games LogoThe Victoria Genealogical Society is going to the Victoria Highland Games on May 17 & 18.  Your ticket to this year's Highland Games also provides free access to seminars on tracing Scottish ancestors and the opportunity to talk to the experts about breaking down any 'brick walls' in your Scotland family history research.

HHave you ever wondered if your family tree holds Scottish princes or Reivers? Would you like to learn if you are related to a certain Scottish tennis star or TV celebrity Chef? The good news is that Scottish genealogy is so easy to research that this seminar is appropriately titled "Tracing Your Scottish Ancestors From Your Sofa".

It's a chance to sit down and listen to presenters from the Victoria Genealogical Society as they discuss key Scottish records to look for and the most useful internet tools and databases. There will also be some free prizes and plenty of opportunity to ask your questions. The seminars will be held in the Heritage Tent located in the Middle Field on Saturday from 12-1:15 and repeated there again on Sunday from 1:45- 3:10.

If you can't make either of those times don't fret. The Victoria Genealogical Society will also be hosting an information and presentation booth throughout the weekend, located once again amongst the Clan Tents. Look for their tent, ask your research questions of their volunteers, and enter a raffle for a free membership so you can have unlimited access and borrowing privileges of thousands of family history research books, maps and databases at their Library and Resource Centre located at 947 Alston Street in Victoria.

If you can't attend the Highland Games, you can still learn more about genealogy by visiting the Victoria Genealogical Society's website at where you can now order their youth activity book "Who's in Your Family Tree?" and have it mailed anywhere in the world for just $5 plus postage.


VGS Publications Can Now Be Purchased Online

Posted 2 May 2014

Buy VGS publications iconEffective immediately, VGS publications can now be purchased online using your credit card OR PayPal account.  Simply visit our VGS publications page on this website, select your book and shipping destination, and click on the "Add to Cart" button.

Two books are currently available for sale:  "RESEARCHING IN VICTORIA - A Catalogue of Genealogical Resources" (updated and release in Oct 2013), and "WHO'S IN YOUR FAMILY TREE?  step-by-step guide for the Detective in Your Family" (a genealogy workbook for children of all ages, released Sep 2011).  Both books are available in soft-cover printed format.

VGS books can also be purchased in person (cash or cheque only) by visiting our VGS Resource Centre, or by attending our VGS general meetings.


New Online VGS Membership System Launched

Posted 30 April  2014

VGS membership page iconAs of May 1, 2014, the Victoria Genealogical Society is implementing a new online membership registration system that allows you to join or renew your VGS membership from the VGS website.  You can also pay your membership fees online, using either your credit card OR PayPal account.  Both types of payments  are processed by the secure PayPal services.

This important launch comes just in time for our new VGS membership year, which runs from July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2015. But there is no need to wait until then, because starting May 1, any new memberships and renewals will be attributed to the new 2014-15 membership year.  New members joining now will receive membership benefits for the months of May and June for free.  So it pays to join now!

We also encourage existing VGS members to renew now before the summer break and their membership expires.  We are counting on your continuing membership to support the many wonderful VGS services and benefits that you have come to enjoy as current VGS members.

It's never been easier to join VGS, now that you can do it online from the comfort and convenience of your own home.  Please visit our new VGS membership page for more details.

As always, we thank you for supporting VGS.


Thrifty Foods Smile Card Fundraising Program - Starting Again

Posted 27 April  2014

Thrifty Smile Card Fundraising Program
Thrifty Foods Smile Card Fundraising Program now approved

Here is an easy way to support our Library.

Thrifty Foods has approved our participation in their Smile Card Fundraising Program for another year. Members and non-members are invited to support our Library by reactivating the Smile Card you previously received from the VGS, or pick up a new Card from us. Smile Cards are available at the Resource Center and are free for members and non-members. Please do not ask for a Smile Card at a Thrifty Foods store as other Smile Cards will not be linked to VGS.

Thrifty Foods Smile Cards work like most other gift cards you may have seen, but when you ‘load’ money into your Smile Card, Thrifty’s makes a donation to our VGS Fund Raising drive for new books and subscriptions for our Library. Thrifty’s donation is equivalent to 5% of what you’ve ‘loaded’ or paid into your Smile Card….which clears up the misconception that your card is only loaded with 95% of what you paid and the other 5% was sent to VGS. False. Thrifty’s pays the 5% from their revenues which is a real win for you.

Even if you only shop at Thrifty’s occasionally you will be helping our Library.

Our Smile Card holders can pay by cash or credit card when they ‘load’ their Smile Card at the Customer Service counter or a cashier in any Thrifty’s store they shop. Remember to load your Smile Card before your groceries are rung in.

Members in the Thrifty’s loyalty program still collect points when they use the Smile Card to make a grocery purchase and the balance remaining on your Smile Card shows on the receipt. Smile Cards can be re-loaded so don’t throw them away!

If you have any questions about the Smile Card program, please contact Merv Scott at - NOT Thrifty’s. Merv has a contact at Thrifty’s to sort out our questions.


VGS Silent Auction was a Great Success

Posted 6 April  2014

VGS Silent Auction 2014Our March general meeting was the scene of our annual VGS silent auction fundraiser, and was far from silent. The fun filled evening included games, a raffle and live auction for themed baskets of goodies, and lots of laughter.

Betty Thacker, who was the force behind the Silent Auction team this year, reports:

A big THANK YOU for a successful Silent Auction 2014, to everyone who participated:

  • Our planning team: Heather-Ann for her colorful description and bid sheets, and Barb for assembling the creative baskets and for her magic in setting up the Auction items;
  • Linda Schaumleffel, our dynamic MC and Auctioneer, for the entertaining way she managed to pry loose all those toonies and loonies - even the most serious member was up smiling and laughing at her antics;
  • VGS Silent Auction 2014, auctioneer and bidderHelpers and cashiers: Barb, Colleen, Rick, Shelagh, and Walter;
  • Our excellent refreshment team;
  • Dave for helping with set up;
  • Claudia for website updates and acting as official photographer;
  • Individual members who donated auction items: Carman’s delicious carrot cake, Denis’ Epicure products, Susan’s daughter’s jewelry, Cindy’s donations of wines, silver and sarongs, Diana’s beautiful afghans;
  • Oak Bay United Church’s Thrift Shop for supply of borrowed items;
  • The many businesses whose generous donations are listed on our donors page;
  • All who attended, placed bids, and left with a lighter wallet!
    A reminder to successful bidders: please remember to thank the businesses on behalf of VGS when you use their vouchers or obtain their services.

Well done everyone!


Thrifty Foods Smile Card Program Limit Reached

Posted 29 Jan 2014

We are excited to report that our Library Acquisitions Fundraising Program has been a resounding success again this year and our Goal has again been reached! Congratulations to all our members and friends who participated by taking and using one of our Thrifty Foods Smile Cards. With over 100 Smile Cards being used by our members and friends we reached our goal limit of $2000 set by Thrifty Foods. That funding is sorely needed to continue providing Library resources like the popular library edition of Ancestry.

If you have balances remaining on your Thrifty Smile Cards they still work so use up them up.

More good news - Thrifty Foods has invited us to reapply for funding from their next fiscal year’s Smile Card Program, which begins May, 2014 - so don’t throw away your Smile Cards as we may be able to access this fund again. Watch for further news on this website.

If you are afraid you may lose your Smile Card in the meantime you can always return them to our friendly volunteers at the VGS Resource Center.


If you have any other questions about the Thrifty Foods Smile Card Program, please email Merv Scott at


The Victoria Genealogical Society Silent Auction, March 13, 2014

Posted 21 Jan 2014

The 2014 VGS Silent Auction has started! While the Silent Auction evening will be held at our regular members’ gathering on March 13th at the Gordon Head United Church, items are now available and bids are being accepted. Be sure to check our donors' page daily for new items being received for auction.

The bidding process is already in place at the Resource Centre. Drop in to the RC, have a coffee and a chat and look at the Silent Auction Binder which displays available items. See something you like (e.g. gift certificate for the a certain restaurant)? Place your bid now. The friendly RC volunteers will be more than happy to assist you.

See an item you’d like and don’t want to go through the auction process and see your prize going to a higher bidder? A final price has been established; meet that price and the prize is yours right now.

Prior to the actual Silent Auction on March 13th, the Silent Auction Binder will be at the February 13th evening meeting. Bids will be encouraged and accepted that evening.

And mark your calendars for the actual Silent Auction evening which will be held on March 13, 2014 at Gordon Head United Church. The evening will consist of both a ‘silent’ and a fun and decidedly ‘un-silent’ auction with a guest auctioneer. Cash or cheques will be accepted for payment for the items. Betty and her team advise bringing an extra supply of loonies and toonies for the surprising elements of the un-silent auction.

Even though the bidding process has started we are still looking for more items to auction. Do you have a skill you can contribute? (e.g. help someone start a family history scrapbook)? Or perhaps you know a local business that you think would support the VGS in return for advertising in our Members’ Update (distribution approximately 300 people), and Resourcefully Yours (distribution about 900 people)? Check our VGS events page for details.

Contact Betty at for more information.

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