The many visitors to the Gibsons and District Public Library last Saturday afternoon to celebrate the library's 100th anniversary were greeted by a song written by volunteer songwriters with musician Lowry Olafson leading the group.
"From a box to a building in a hundred years," goes one lyric. And that's how it all started - a box of books, mostly classics, that were shared among avid readers in the pioneer Gibsons of 1914.
The first building intended as a library was built by Kiwanis volunteers in 1955 and funds were raised for it by selling peanuts. The present building on South Fletcher was dedicated in 1996.
Some of the characters from years of literature arrived in costume last Saturday to help remind today's readers of great authors.
Corey Green as Harry Potter and Linda McTurk as d'Artagnan from the Three Musketeers were easily recognizable. A mysterious poet murmured the lyrical words from Ulysses by James Joyce - it was not so easy to guess the author. Medusa (Johanna Rzepa) and Sitting Bull (George Morice) hung out together.
"Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see." Mark Twain (aka Mac Dodge) told me. Pat Drope dressed as Pearl Buck reminded everyone that the author had been a Nobel laureate, as did Willow Smith dressed as Toni Morrison, the first African-American woman to be honoured with a Nobel Prize.
The library's board president Manjit Kang mingled with library trustees and politicians who came dressed as themselves. Manager/ librarian Tracey Therrien considered the day a success.
"This is a nice way of celebrating," said visitor Loretta Macklam.
Those who weren't busy talking to the literati were perusing Janet Genders' giant crossword puzzle and asking for a new one to be posted every month. (For those still puzzling over the willow cabin clue, the answer was Viola, a character from Twelfth Night.)
The Driftwood Players Story Theatre put in an appearance with Bryan Carson as a splendid wizard and Yvy Makosso singing and reading. Was that a baby in Joanne Bennison's arms - a love child by the woman who wore the scarlet letter in the book of the same name?
The puppet show was a great hit with the kids and many adults. Sandy Buck's life-size puppet character was suitably awed by the guitar melodies of Matthew Lovegrove.
Festivities continue throughout the 100th year with a short story contest - entries to be submitted by Sept. 15. It's open to anyone in three categories: child, youth and adult, on either theme: What does the library mean to you? or What will the library of the future look like?
For more on the contest, ask the librarians or see www.gibsons.bc.libraries.coop
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