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Library celebrates 90 years

The joint was jumping Friday evening, Sept. 24, as the Gibsons and District Public Library marked its 90th anniversary at a gala birthday bash.

The joint was jumping Friday evening, Sept. 24, as the Gibsons and District Public Library marked its 90th anniversary at a gala birthday bash.

Shawn Cardinall, chair of the library board, welcomed the 250 guests gathered at The Club in Gibson's Landing to celebrate with an evening of food, storytelling and music.

Cardinall gave a brief recounting of the history of the library, founded by the Howe Sound Farmers' Institute in 1914. She described the library's progress from the original wooden box of books which circulated among various homes and stores, through the first library building on Wynn Road built in 1955 by the efforts of the Gibsons Kiwanis Club, the hiring of the first staff in 1980 to the present where the community is served by the well-situated 7,000 square foot building with a 65,000 volume collection and a staff of eight.

Cardinall recognized the contributions made by the residents of the Sunshine Coast over the years with particular emphasis on those of Gibsons residents Jules and Jean Manil. Jules was one of those behind the establishment of an independent Library Association in 1952 and presided over the construction of several library buildings over the next 30 years. Jean was a dedicated long-term library board member and volunteer and helped to start the Gibsons Library Foundation, which this year was the recipient of a generous bequest from the Manil family.

Greta Guzek unveiled her painting of the library. The work was commissioned with a cash donation from the Rotary Club of Gibsons and framing from Westwind Gallery. The painting will hang in the library and poster copies will be available for sale to supporters.

The Sunshine Coast Botanical Gardens Society helped commemorate the anniversary with the presentation of a tree to be planted on the library site in the near future.

Cardinall also announced the winner of the 90th anniversary-writing contest conducted over the summer months. The winning entry from among the 22 submissions was a story entitled "Time and Space" by Michael Wilson. Wilson's prize is a framed poster of the anniversary painting.

Library board member Pat Stuart then recognized Cardinall's contribution during her eight-year tenure as a library trustee and five-year term as board chair by presenting her with the B.C. Library Trustee's Association Super Trustee Award. This award is presented annually to a trustee who has made a major contribution to their local library.

The festivities continued with eats at the tapas bar and entertainment by speakers Andreas Schroeder and Howard White and was topped off with dancing on the overflowing dance floor to the celtic-bluegrass sounds of the Vancouver band The Paperboys.

The evening's gathering was a fitting tribute to the 90th anniversary of Gibsons most-used and most-loved community resource and a milestone for which local citizens can be justly proud.