The Heritage Park Museum launched their new oral history book detailing stories from Terrace’s past on Saturday, May 12.
Preserving the Past for the Present: An Oral History Project is a collaboration of five years of work between the Heritage Park Museum and members of the Terrace community, dating back as far as the 1920s.
“We knew that there are some people in the community with wonderful stories and some of them were getting older, some of them were passing away,” said Lane McGarrity, adjunct curator of the Heritage Park Museum. “Knowing that we were going to lose those stories if we don’t act on it and gather them up… we felt it was our responsibility to take care of that.”
The book contains 40 stories from countless hours of recorded interviews between project coordinator Melanie Pollard and museum curator Kelsey Wiebe, who worked part-time with members of the Terrace community and region since 2013 to gather stories from just before the Second World War to present day.
Some of the speakers at the launch event included MLA Ellis Ross, Mayor Carol Leclerc and Terrace & District Museum Society President Maggie Baxter.
“The people that we’ve interviewed have come from different walks of life, different generations even,” said McGarrity. “They all have unique stories and unique perspectives. It really brings together what we like to think Terrace is and what it means to the community.”
One of the stories that immediately comes to McGarrity’s mind comes from resident Ed McFadden who recounted his experience of the Terrace mutiny during the Second World War, the longest lasting mutiny in Canadian history.
“He was here during the war and was stationed here and participated in the mutiny, and later came back to settle here,” he said. “That was a cool one, just because I’ve done a lot of research on the mutiny myself.”
There are plans to conduct a few more interviews from some residents that weren’t included in this edition, so there are talks of a second edition being published sometime in the future. The book is available now at the Heritage Park Museum and will be available later this week at Misty River Books. Copies will also be given to the Terrace Public Library.