Guests were briefly drawn back in time for a delightful surprise at the official opening of Delta’s new community archives on Friday, Jan. 7.
Mayor Lois Jackson, wearing period costume along with her fellow councillors, unveiled a handwritten book documenting the first municipal council meetings in Delta.
The piece was donated by resident Tony Wideski, who had recently presented the book to the mayor after storing it for the past 40 years.
It contains the minutes of the very first Delta council meeting on the evening of Jan. 12, 1880 through to March 1887.
Jackson donned white gloves to handle the donation and placed it in a display case by the entrance of the archives.
“We graciously accept this wonderful gift from you,” she said to Wideski. “This is a humbling moment for all of us ladies and gentlemen, because this book is the beautifully handwritten record from the first municipal council meetings of the Corporation of Delta.”
The new community archives was standing room only at the ceremony, with many on hand to honour respected Delta fixture Edgar Dunning, who passed away at 100 years old in October, after whom the archives’ new reading room is named. His 101st birthday would have been the day of the opening.
The archives was moved from the basement of the historic 1912 Delta Museum building in Ladner Village to a renovated space in the former Delta courthouse at 4450 Clarence Taylor Crescent.
The new home has been built to protect the Delta Museum and Archives Society’s rich collection of historical documents as well as the Corporation of Delta’s records from changes in temperature, humidity and light.
The $675,000 project was completed with funding from the municipality, province and federal government, which each provided $225,000 through the Infrastructure Stimulus Fund.
The new archives are open to the public Tuesday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.