Darlene McKenzie came in to the Mission as a volunteer last November and has stuck around through all the weird changes of the last few months. That should tell you what an unflappable soul she is!
While I tried to keep up with day-to-day things, Darlene took on a couple of ongoing projects, most significantly, the archives. As we streamlined the office in preparation for the move to the church, it was decided that anything dating from before amalgamation (2007) should go to the UCC archives.
We got in touch with the archivist for our region, to get guidelines for what was actually wanted: things like registers, annual reports, meeting minutes etc. We had documents going back to 1899 in no particular order. I remember looking through them a few years ago with Shirley Mitchell and doing a bit of sorting and labeling, but basically we now had to go looking for the wheat to separate it from the chaff.
Darlene M. was the ideal person for the task. She chipped away at it for weeks until there were a dozen or so neatly labeled boxes ready to go.
There are some things we kept that aren’t going to Archives, either because they don’t fall under the guidelines, or because they’re not quite ready to go. Archives is interested in historical photographs, but they want them labeled with names if possible. We have a LOT of photographs, mostly without identification. We will be asking some church folk to look through them over the next months in hopes of filling in some blanks.
There are also a few documents and artifacts, found either at church or Mission, that I would like to share with you all at some point. In the fall, once Pastor Beryl has settled in, I’m hoping to have a small exhibit, probably in the church basement.
One of those artifacts is the cup pictured here. It reads: U.C.P. Annual Contest, 1926. There is no further explanation as to what the “P” in UCP stands for. Was this a contest in a specific sport? Ping-pong? Pétanque? More likely it stands for “United Church Picnic.” Anyway, on the other side of the cup, you can see that Centenary won the mystery contest in 1926, and then Verdun United - one of SouthWest’s predecessors - has been added as winner for 1927 and 1928 (Woot woot!). There was room for more years and winners to be added but unfortunately, further United Church exploits in the three-legged race and ring toss failed to be recorded for posterity.
But I digress. What I really want to say is Thank you to Darlene M. - for accomplishing this important work, sure - but also for being such good company while she did it.