Reta Kvaas, queen of the royal party for Pitt Meadows Day in 1947. (Pitt Meadows Museum).

LOOKING BACK: No escaping Pitt Meadows Day at museum

Pound on steel or learn about lost gold.

June 1 is upon us, as is Pitt Meadows Day.

Our two museum sites are at the heart of the action on Harris Road and we are almost ready to host the hundreds of visitors we see on this very special community celebration day.

If there was a museum in Pitt Meadows 70 years ago, they would hardly be feeling the same pressure of getting ready for the public. Why you may ask? Because there was no Pitt Meadows Day in 1949. Why you may ask? Because the flood of 1948 caused cancellation of that year’s celebration and there was no will to bring it back until a newly formed Pitt Meadows Lions Club reactivated the event in 1952.

This year, at the Old General Store site of the museum, we will be opening our new Miss Pitt Meadows Day display in the newly refurbished living room area of this heritage building.

Funding for the project was made possible with generous memorial donations made in the name of our past president, Annette Code, who passed away in 2017.

This room is now transformed into a light and bright space that features a case with our Miss Pitt Meadows objects and ephemera.

The exhibit also contains blown-up images from the 1947 Miss Pitt Meadows Day, when Reta Kvaas was crowned queen.

In a timely donation of images this past April, we found a picture of Kvaas when she was crowned queen and, also, one from when she represented the event as past queen.

SEE ALSO: Museum Week in Pitt Meadows, Maple Ridge.

There is nothing unique in this as we have a host of images of queens and past queens from Pitt Meadows Day, but this is the first time we have one showing how much a queen can grow when the event is five years, not one, later.

Since 1952, Pitt Meadows Day has continued uninterrupted and this museum and society has participated in some way for almost 30 years now – and we have grown up, too.

We are open at both our sites from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Pitt Meadows Day and will be featuring our new Slumach’s Gold escape room and the Miss Pitt Meadows room at the General Store site.

At the Hoffmann site, we hope to have our smith in and our lathe running and our friends from the Fraser Valley Engine Club out back of the building.

Also, new at the Hoffmann site this year will be the children’s anvil centre and exhibit. The anvil comes to us from the North Vancouver Museum and the exhibit was produced by last year’s student, Maddy Martin.

– Leslie Norman is curator of the Pitt Meadows Museum.

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