It looks like 2019 might be Party Time in Merville as that community will be celebrating its 100th Year birthday that year.
It was in May, 1919, that the first meeting of the Merville settlers was held. These hardy folks were among those being given acreage by the Canadian government so that they could start farms and populate the far reaches of Canada. Merville was one such far flung area and there are still founding family members scattered about the region on productive farms.
Amazingly enough, even though Merville was very much a frontier town in 1919, by September of that year, even Edward, the Prince of Wales, had paid it a visit and had planted a commemorative tree. So who knows, they may even be able to entice a modern day “Royal” to come for a visit again.
As Merville was named after its sister community of Merville, France, and perhaps, too, it might be able to reach out to the locals there to send over a representative in 2019 as well.
As the Big Yellow Merville hall is in the geographic center of Merville, the Merville Community Association (MCA) board is working towards raising funds to get all the renovation projects at the Merville hall completed in time for a big, Merville wide centennial celebration at the hall’s fifth Annual Heritage Fall fair in September, 2019.
Early in the new year, the MCA board will start to organize committees to take on various aspects of the celebration and the additional renovations. The board is reaching out to citizens in the Comox Valley who would like to get on board and run with these committees. There is a great resource book called History of Merville 1919-1985, written by descendents of the early settlers, that also includes first person accounts of the pioneers. This book might be at local bookstores and there is definitely a copy at the lovely, Courtenay Museum.
If you would like to get involved with this initiative, the MCA has a website (www.mervillehall.ca) and you can reach us by telephone (250-339-4249).