Everything old is new again

Betty Edwards donates her dishware collected through John Fraser's General Store in the 30s, 40s and 50s

Betty Edwards with the complimentary dishware handed out by John Fraser's General Store.

The ‘new’ exhibits for the summer include “The Bridge Party”.  In the days before television, DVD’s and computer games, people oft times socialized by playing cards.  An afternoon of whist or bridge constituted an opportunity to hone your card skills and catch up on what’s happening in town.  Bridge parties were one such social event.  This would often afford the hostess the right occasion to show off her minor hostessing skills and provide her guests with cookies or finger sandwiches cut out in the shape of clubs, spades, diamonds and hearts.  There were bridge  clubs and tournaments held on a regular basis.  Would the card players that used to and/or still do play bridge call and give us a bit of information on bridge playing in Quesnel?  How does a bridge tournament at the museum sound?

Manager Elizabeth Hunter and I spent an enjoyable afternoon recently with local author and historian Betty Edwards.  Betty (as in Walter and Betty Edwards from Kersley) is just a wealth of information about life in the Cariboo, during the 30s, 40s and 50s in particular.  At this time, Betty donated dishes to the museum.  The reason these dishes are so special and of historical significance is they were promotional items from John Fraser’s General Store.  In the olden days, businesses would often show appreciation to their regular customers by giving them gifts such as dinnerware.  Now there was a little catch to this – you only received one a month.  So each time you made your monthly trek to town to pick up groceries, you received another piece of that china.  One month it might be a serving platter, another could be the cream and sugar set.  Eventually, you would wind up with a table full of dishes.

Be certain to stop in at the museum and see these.  By the way, Betty is including this story in her new book about life in the Cariboo.

Many stores would have giveaways like John Fraser did.  For example, CD Hoy gave away engraved silver trays and Overwaitea had engraved silver trivets.  We need to convince Randy Erixon to loan his to the museum as he has both!  It’ll take a bit of convincing but in the interests of preserving local history I’m sure we’ll persuade him – eventually.

Hope to see you as you “pass time” at the museum.

It may make a difference to all eternity whether we do right or wrong today.

– James Freeman Clarke

Honey Affleck is chair of the museum commission and regular Observer columnist.

Just Posted

PHOTOS: cedar swag workshop a hit at Wells Winter Kick Off

Wells locals and visitors created some festive decor at the weekend event

City of Quesnel hosts public hearing on potential recreational cannabis store

The meeting takes place tonight in City Council chambers

Quesnel could see more snow Friday

Warmer weather will remain until end of the week, according to Environment Canada

TNG receives rural dividend funding

The Tsilhqot’in National Government will be able to achieve certification through the lSO

Police aim to prevent retaliation after Hells Angel found dead under B.C. bridge

IHIT confirms Chad Wilson, 43, was the victim of a ‘targeted’ homicide

25% of Canadians still won’t say they use pot, survey says

Statistics Canada poll says Canadians on average were 18.9 years old when they first tried pot.

Canucks’ 50/50 jackpot expected to surpass $1 million

The guaranteed prize for one lucky winner will be $500,000 minimum when Vancouver hosts LA Nov 27

The latest advent calendar trend: Holiday cannabis

A Canadian company is giving people from coast to coast a new way to celebrate the Christmas countdown.

B.C. woman allegedly threatens to rip out intestines of American man

A Kamloops-area woman is accused of harassing and threatening to disembowel an American man

Vanderhoof one of 5 northern communities to get funding for housing projects

34 affordable rental units to be built in the district for seniors and families

B.C. model looks a lot like expanded taxi industry, ride-hailing group says

Ridesharing Now for BC says it had hoped the bill would be more customer-driven like in other cities

Otter makes a snack out of koi fish in Vancouver Chinese garden

Staff say the otter has eaten at least five fish

731,000 Canadians going into debt to buy prescription drugs: UBC

Millennials and those without private coverage were more likely to borrow money

Most Read