Old Cemeteries Society (Victoria, BC) 1995 Tour Schedule Tours are every Sunday at 2 pm in various locations as noted, with RBC (Ross Bay Cemetery) tours on 1st and 3rd Sundays. RBC tours assemble at Bagga Pasta in Fairfield Plaza opposite the cemetery at 1516 Fairfield Rd. For more information call 598-8870. Admission to tours is $5.00 for non-members and $2.00 for members. All proceeds help the research, preservation and teaching activities of the Old Cemeteries Society. All guides are volunteers. Feb. 19 RBC. Black History. The first tour of the year marks Black History Month and the many black pioneer families who are buried at Ross Bay Cemetery. Led by Jonathan Johnson of the BC Black History Awareness Society. Feb. 26 Shady Creek Cemetery. This year is the centennial for Shady Creek United Church and the tour will recognize many of the church's founders who lie buried in the picturesque cemetery nearby. Located at 7180 East Saanich Rd. March 5 RBC. History of Ross Bay Cemetery. John Adams will explain why the site was chosen, how it developed and why it is considered western Canada's finest example of a Victorian era cemetery. March 12 Downtown Burial Sites. This tour will start at Bastian Square in front of the Maritime Museum (where there are graves of hanging victims), stop at the old Fort Victoria Graveyard and St. Andrew's Cathedral (memorial windows and crypt) and finish at Pioneer Square (the Old Quadra Street Burying Ground) and the Christ Church Cathedral crypt. March 19 RBC. Shipwrecks. Glenn Perlstrom will describe many of BC's most famous shipwrecks and visit the graves of some of those who died in them. March 26 Chinese Cemetery. At this time of year the Chinese community prepares for Ching Ming or "The Pure Brightness Festival" and visits the cemetery to clean and decorate ancestral graves. Charlayne Thornton-Joe whose grandfather lies buried here will lead the 2:00 p.m. tour and explain Chinese burial customs. Meet at the foot of Crescent Road, off King George Terrace. (She will also lead a morning tour of Chinatown followed by lunch. See details in "Special Events and Field Trips". April 2 RBC. Chinese Graves at Ross Bay. The Ching Ming theme continues at RBC where the oldest Chinese graves date from 1873. Learn why many of them were exhumed and about the storm in 1909 that washed others away. April 9 St. Mary the Virgin Churchyard. This beautiful Metchosin cemetery is ablaze with wild lilies at this time of year. Learn about the Witty and Weir families and other pioneers, then see a demonstration of how to grow your own lilies. 4354 Metchosin Rd. April 16 RBC. Tombstone Symbolism. This Easter Sunday tour will examine Christian and other symbols found in the cemetery. (See also "Floral Symbolism" on Sept. 17). April 23 Vancouver Field Trip. Join the Society on its one-day spring tour to Mountain View Cemetery and other Vancouver burial places. See details in "Special Events and Field Trips". April 29-30 Heritage Cemeteries Symposium. Two days of discussions, slide shows and workshops about the history and preservation of BC's heritage cemeteries. Pre-registration recommended. See "Special Events and Field Trips". May 7 RBC. Literary Tour. A wide range of writers from Emily Carr to Jack Hodgins have used RBC in their works and many other writers are buried there. Also visit the grave of the librarian who chased a cougar away from the Public Library steps. May 14 Our Lady of the Assumption Cemetery. Enjoy the rural charm of this Roman Catholic churchyard which serves the local white community and the Saanich Indians. Gabe Bartleman, a Tsartlip Elder, will explain the First Nations respect for their burial places. Meet at the church, 7742 West Saanich Rd. May 21 RBC. In the Name of Love. Yvonne Van Ruskenveld will describe some of Victoria's most famous (and infamous) romances of a by-gone era. May 28 Sooke Field Trip. Learn about Sooke's pioneer families and have lunch at the Sooke Region Museum, then visit several of the area's heritage cemeteries, including that of the Muir family, with tour leader Elida Peers. More information and registration in "Special Events and Field Trips". June 4 RBC. Echoes of Distant Wars. The Crimean War, the U.S. Civil War, the Riel Rebellion, the Boer War, World Wars I and II and other wars all have veterans in RBC whose stories will be told by John Azar. June 11 Jewish Cemetery. BC's oldest operating cemetery contains many well-known names from Victoria history, including Canada's first Jewish judge. (Men please wear a hat). Corner of Cedar Hill Rd. at Fernwood Rd. June 18 RBC. City Fathers. The 7th annual Father's Day tour to the graves of Victoria's deceased mayors will once again be led by a living one. June 25 St. Stephen's Churchyard Tour and Display. Tour this idyllic churchyard at BC's oldest church at 2:00 p.m. From 1 :00 pm to 4:00 pm visit the special exhibit of the research and inventory of St. Stephen's Churchyard conducted by the Old Cemeteries Society during 1994-95 with assistance from the British Columbia Heritage Trust. Located at the end of St. Stephen's Rd., off Mt. Newton Cross Rd., near Saanichton. July 2 - Sept. 3 Gossip in the Graveyard Summer Series. Lively, entertaining tours are held three times a week at Ross Bay cemetery during the summer. Join us on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7:00 p.m. and Sundays at 2:00 p.m. for a memorable experience. Meet at Bagga Pasta. Sept. 10 Holy Trinity Churchyard. This old-world churchyard beside Patricia Bay contains a who's who of North Saanich pioneers, plus the grave of former Lieutenant Governor Pearkes. Located at 1319 Mills Rd. at West Saanich Rd., near the Victoria International Airport. Sept. 17 RBC. Floral Symbolism. One of our most popular tours each year interprets the language of flowers as depicted on tombstones of the Victorian era. Tour guide Dr. Vivian Rich provides a lively, entertaining commentary you won't want to miss. Sept. 23 -24 Weekend Field Trip to Cumberland. An overnight train and bus excursion to the interesting Comox Valley will feature a tour of the Cumberland Museum, a guided tour around the former coal mining town and visits to the community cemetery and the Japanese and Chinese cemeteries where many miners lie buried. For details and registration see "Special Events and Tours". Oct. 1 RBC. Heritage Trees. Ross Bay is an arboretum of great variety. Tour leaders Fred Hook and Jennifer Lort provide commentary about the trees, their histories and folklore. Oct. 8 Royal Oak Burial Park. Women's History Tour - Part 1. The first of a three-part series to mark Women's History Month will visit the graves of Nellie McClung and other notable women. Meet inside the main gate, 4673 Falaise Dr. Oct. 15 RBC. Women's History Tour - Part 2. Visit the graves of an Arctic explorer, a photographer, Suffragettes, BC's first female land owner and other remarkable women of early Victoria. Oct. 22 Pioneer Square. Women's History Tour - Part 3. Discover some of the women of the fur trade, a seafarer, a former slave, a reluctant midwife and others of the colonial era. Meet at the corner of Quadra St. and Rockland Ave. beside Christ Church Cathedral. Oct. 28 & 29 "Ghost Bus-tours". Bus tours to haunted sites. See "Special Events and Field Trips" for information and registration details. Oct. 29 RBC. Annual Ghost Walk. Always our most popular tour (500 attended last year) so we have six guides at two separate times to keep groups small: 1 pm and 3 pm, leaving from Bagga Pasta. Reservations not required. Nov. 5 RBC. Guy Fawkes Day. You would be surprised how many connections with the Gunpowder Plot can be found at RBC if you really stretch your imagination. Exercise your mind and learn about Victoria's history. Nov. 12 Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Funerals. This special program will start at 10 am at Hayward's Funeral Chapel (1625 Quadra St.), BC's oldest operating funeral company, to discuss funeral arrangements and customs around the world, have lunch, visit Mortimer's Monument Company then proceed to the Royal Oak Crematorium for a tour and demonstration at 2 pm. No reservations required. Join us for all or part of this program. See "Special Events and Field Trips" for additional details. Nov. 19 RBC. Murder Most Foul. Another one of our most popular tours will include some of the old favorites told in past years, but add some new hair-raising stories of true murders in old Victoria. Nov. 26 Brethour Family Cemetery. See one of Victoria's least known, but most interesting burial grounds, then visit the Saanich Pioneer Museum for tea and a tour. Meet at the Brethour Cemetery, corner of East Saanich Rd. and Ocean Ave. beside the Victoria International Airport. No reservations required. Dec. 3 RBC. Unsolved Mysteries. Glenn Perlstrom dips into his files of Victoria whodunits which have never been solved. Test your detective skills against the experts. Dec. 10 Pioneer Square. Christmas Tour. Enjoy hearing true stories of Christmas in old Victoria at one of BC's oldest burying grounds. Meet at corner of Quadra St. and Rockland Ave. Dec. 13 RBC. Emily Carr Birthday Tour. This special tour is held on Emily Carr's birthday and will visit the graves of many of the characters she knew, with brief readings about them from her colorful writings. Meet at 2 pm at Bagga Pasta as usual. SPECIAL EVENTS AND FIELD TRIPS Write to OCS, Box 40115, Victoria, B.C., V8W 3N3 or call 598-8870 for reservations and additional information. March 26 Chinatown Tour and Lunch. (Optional outing before the Chinese Cemetery tour at 2 pm). An in-depth tour of Chinatown includes 3 temples, a mah jong parlor and the Chinese School. Lunch at one of the best restaurants. Starts at 10 am. $25 per person includes Chinatown tour, lunch and tour of Chinese Cemetery. Deadline for Chinatown tour and lunch reservations March 19. (No reservations needed for Chinese Cemetery tour only which begins at 2:00 pm). April 23 Vancouver Field Trip. An escorted one-day bus excursion to Vancouver and New Westminster cemeteries. Price including box lunch $50 per person. Deadline for registration April 10. (Option: Meet the group in Vancouver at Mountain View Cemetery, 33rd and Fraser at 2:00 pm and join in the tour of this one cemetery. Cost $5 paid at the start of tour). April 29 - 30 Heritage Cemeteries Symposium. An informal gathering of people interested in knowing more about old cemeteries anywhere in BC or sharing what they already know. Slide presentations about current cemetery projects, workshops on recording, conservation, research and computer technology. Field trips to several Victoria cemeteries and a supper and tour at historic St. Stephens Church and Churchyard. Cost $70 non-members; $60 members before April 1; $80 and $65 after April 1. May 28 Sooke Field Trip. Meet at Sooke Region Museum for tour at 11 am (shared transportation from Victoria can be arranged), followed by lunch and an afternoon's outing to the Muir family cemetery and several other little-known cemeteries of the area. Cost $15 per person. Registration deadline for lunch May 20; no reservations required for cemetery outing which will depart from museum at 1:00 pm. Sept. 23 - 24 Cumberland Field Trip Weekend. Leave by E & N Dayliner on Saturday morning and return Sunday evening. Saturday afternoon tour of Cumberland village and the museum, then the community cemetery and the Japanese and Chinese cemeteries. Supper in the community hall. Accommodation in Courtenay. Sunday visits to cemeteries, museums and sites in Courtenay and Comox. $150 non- members; $135 members. (Includes all transportation, lunch and supper on Saturday and motel based on double occupancy). Registration deadline Sept. 12. Oct. 28 & 29 "Ghost Bus-tours". Get into the Halloween spirit by finding out more about some of Victoria's most famous ghost stories and haunted places. Escorted bus tours last about 2+ hours and visit about 10 sites, getting out at 4 of them. Tours start at 7:00 pm downtown on both Saturday Oct. 28 and Sunday Oct. 29. Registrations by mail before Oct. 20 or by phone after Oct. 20 at 384-2895. Cost $15 per person. (Don't forget our Annual Ghost Walk on Sunday Oct. 29 at Ross Bay Cemetery). Nov. 12 Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Funerals. No reservations are needed for this special program. Join in all or part of the day's events, starting at 10:00 am at Hayward's Funeral Chapel (1625 Quadra St.), then from 12:30 to 1:30 at Mortimer's Monumental Works (709 Kings Rd.), then at 2 pm at the Royal Oak Crematorium (inside the gates at 4673 Falaise Dr.) If you need assistance with transportation, please call to arrange. BOOK A TOUR FOR YOUR SCHOOL OR CLUB Throughout the year the Old Cemeteries Society conducts specialized tours for many groups, generally at Ross Bay Cemetery, but other cemeteries can be included. Topics can be customized to suit the nature of the group and tours can be arranged for almost any time during the week. School groups have become a specialty and many teachers include a unit on Ross Bay Cemetery. A charge of $5 per adult and $2 per student is requested. >From October 16 to 31 Glenn Perlstrom will lead his famous Halloween Ghost Tour for schools at a charge of $2 per student. Book early because these tours usually fill up quickly. To make inquiries or reservations for any special tour call 598- 8870.