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Mystery jug unearthed

This engraved silver jug belonged to a former Campbell River garden group and the current organization is trying to sleuth out its history. - Photo submitted
This engraved silver jug belonged to a former Campbell River garden group and the current organization is trying to sleuth out its history.
— image credit: Photo submitted

The mystery of an engraved silver jug belonging to a former Campbell River garden group has captivated the imagination of the present day garden club.

President Elizabeth deMunck was recently contacted by resident John Coyle informing her that he came across the beautifully etched vase when he was clearing out his storage cupboard. He knew nothing of its background except that he recalled being given it by a friend about 10 years ago. The friend told Coyle he had stored it on a shelf in his home for many years. Coyle knew that deMunck was a member of the present day Campbell River Garden Club and hoped that it could be used once again, rather than collecting dust on a shelf.

There are few details gleaned from the inscriptions on the jug other than it was presented in memory of a Theo Morison of the Campbell River Horticultural Association. Following a recent search of the museum archives, the former acting director, Sandra Parrish, unearthed a large garden club scrapbook and that revealed details of a very active horticultural association founded in October, 1956. The first executive included Mr. R.V. Morison, Mrs. Lynn Elford, Mr O. Thulin, Mr. M. Olivier and Mr. Wm. Mansfield. The minutes of the meeting show that the vase was presented to Mr. Morison in memory of Theo Morison, which one assumes must be his wife. It was formally encribed “The Theo Morison Memorial Award” and was donated by a Mrs. L. (Marie) Idiens. A search of the web shows that Idiens was the chairperson of the Tourism and Publicity Committee of the Chamber of Commerce.

The scrapbook covers details of club activity and minutes of each meeting until 1965. Unfortunately, there is no companion scrapbook in the archives giving later history but it appears the Tyee Garden Club was the successor to the Horticultural Association. One item that is known is that a Mrs. Shirley Smith was the last recorded recipient of this award and she was married to Bob Smith, an employee at the Elk Falls Mill.

The present day garden club members are hopeful that publicizing the appearance of this very fine looking jug will bring forward information which will result in a fuller understanding of the jug’s history.

They will then be in a position to consider reviving the tradition of this memorial trophy and secure its place in the records of future garden organizations.

Please contact club president Elizabeth deMunck if the reader has information that would assist in learning more about this interesting jug. Contact her  at e.demunck@shaw.ca or by phone, 923-0578.

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