Efforts renewed to protect Halfmoon Bay history


Halfmoon Bay has a long, unique, and fascinating history of Indigenous use, European exploration, commercial logging, smuggling, and summer recreation. Many historical records and artifacts are still found throughout the area and in private homes.

Concerned that this history may be lost as old cabins are replaced by newer homes and old memories fade, a few years ago Don and Sandi Cunliffe created the Halfmoon Bay Heritage Endowment at the Sunshine Coast Community Foundation. “We are enthusiastic students of area history and we were concerned that it may disappear if it isn’t collected and preserved,” Sandi said. 

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Capital in the Halfmoon Bay Heritage Endowment is preserved in perpetuity, while the earnings provide an annual grant to the Sunshine Coast Museum and Archives to support programs and activities that protect the history of Halfmoon Bay. These include the acquisition, preservation, and storage of important records and artifacts, as well as mounting displays and interpreting the area’s history to the public.

“The Museum and Archives preserves, presents, and celebrates the history of the Sunshine Coast,” said Matthew Lovegrove, manager and curator. “We are excited to grow our collection of Halfmoon Bay records as part of this collaborative project.” 

Thanks to generous gifts from the Cunliffes, the capital of the Halfmoon Bay Heritage Endowment stands at more than $15,000. However, that generates only a small grant to the Museum and Archives each year.

“We hope to at least double the amount held in the Endowment,” Don said, “so that the Museum and Archives can increase its collection and enhance its presentation of the history of Halfmoon Bay.”

The Cunliffes, the Museum and Archives Society, and the Community Foundation have embarked on an effort to raise awareness about the history of Halfmoon Bay and the risk of it being lost if steps aren’t taken to identify and protect important records and artifacts. On July 10, they invited some local residents to Coopers Green Hall to hear about the endowment and the processes by which the Museum and Archives receives, collects, and preserves historical items. Further meetings and events will follow to continue the awareness building and fundraising. 

Anyone having records or items of historical significance to Halfmoon Bay is invited to contact the Sunshine Coast Museum and Archives at scma_manager@dccnet.com. If you are interested in helping to reach the fundraising goal, please contact Sunshine Coast Community Foundation at sccfoundation@dccnet.com

– Submitted by Wendy Francis

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