Report on our outing to the Comox Air Force Museum and more, March 12

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Just days before social distancing was introduced in BC, a group of 20 members enjoyed an eventful Out & About trip to Comox and Cumberland.

The outing started with a guided tour of the Comox Air Force Museum, including an informative presentation from the Museum staff about the history of the base and the museum.  Special thanks to Deputy Director Sgt. Mike O’Rourke for an excellent tour.  Packed full of wonderful artifacts and displays, this museum commemorates the role and history of 19 Wing Comox (CFB/RCAF/RAF), documenting significant achievements in West Coast Military Aviation History.  There was much more to see than we had time for, so many of us will likely want to return to browse further when the museum reopens.  For those who want to dig even deeper, the museum research library holds over 6000 volumes, with a database of titles available on the museum website.

Following the Airforce Museum tour, it was time for lunch at Locals Restaurant in Courtenay.  Already a favorite of many, this restaurant was participating in the Comox 2020 Dine Around Festival, with a special 3-course lunch menu on offer for $25.  Many in our group enjoyed this special treat, including main courses such as pan seared snapper fillet, rounded out by choices of soup, salad and delicious desserts.

With our energy restored by lunch, it was time to make the short hop to Cumberland, and a visit to the Cumberland Museum and Archives.   This surprising museum is home to the extensive archives and artefacts of the community of Cumberland, which was established as a coal mining camp in 1889. Once again, our wonderful Social Chair, Joanie Miller, had arranged a group tour that brought to life many stories about the town`s history and inhabitants. The tour included exhibits that interpret various aspects of the community and its history and people, and even a walk through a replica coal mine.  Thanks to our very knowledgeable tour guide, Marianne Bell.

If you are interested in photography (or the history of BC residents for that matter), the black and white images by Japanese photographer, Senjiro Hayashi, are rare and not to be missed!  The Senjiro Hayashi Photo Studio opened in Cumberland in 1913 and operated until 1929. The Cumberland Museum holds over 700 glass plate negatives depicting local residents from a wide range of socioeconomic and ethnic backgrounds. 35 new framed prints of these stunning images, donated by the Nikkei National Museum, are on display.

Rounding out an already full day was one last stop at the Cumberland Bakery a few blocks away.  Participants came away with bags of freshly baked goodies and headed home (where most of us remain (more or less), to this day!)



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