The Bulkley Valley Museum is now home for many of the documents and history of the now dissolved Smithers Lions Club.
When museum curator Kira Westby heard the Smithers Lions Club was closing its doors, she reached out to club member Mike Wylie to see if the museum could preserve some of the 56-year history of the club.
The museum, Wylie and the club members worked together to “put together a really well thought-out representative sample of the club’s history,” Westby said.
The collection includes items such as the original charter document, club minutes, five scrapbooks (one for each decade) and special items including their meeting bell and gavel.
The museum and Lions were also able to facilitate the donation of the Telkwa Lions Club bell and gavel to the Telkwa Museum in the process.
Along with the donation of their artifacts, the Smithers Lions Club “kindly provided a cash donation to assist with purchasing the special acid-free archival boxes that are needed to hold the scrapbooks,” Westby added.
“This preservation of artifacts and archival material from the Lions Club is a great example of the role of the museum,” Westby said. “As curator, I need to consider not only what is old or from the past, but also what might be of interest to the community in decades to come.”
Museums everywhere are starting to collect items in this more active way, she said.
“This year, many museums, including ours, collected photographs or other material related to the COVID-19 pandemic and the initial shutdown, knowing it will be of interest in the future.”
“Collecting material from local organizations while they are still active is especially helpful, before things disappear” Westby said.
For example, this past year the museum took in scrapbooks documenting the history of the Northern Saddle Club and some of the families and individuals involved in that organization, which is still very active.
Westby encourages any organizations in the Bulkley Valley and surrounding areas to share their history for future generations.
Contact Westby for more information by phone at 250-847-5322, email to email@example.com or through the museum’s website at www.bvmuseum.org.