The Maple Ridge Lapidary Club is turning 60 this year, and has lots to show for it.
The Maple Ridge Lapidary Club 2018 Rock and Gem Show takes place from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Feb. 24, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Feb. 25 at Pitt Meadows Heritage Hall, 12460 Harris Road.
The club was started in 1958 by Laurie Meggait, a rockhounding teacher at Maple Ride secondary. His students became the first members.
They used to meet in basements, garages and greenhouses for club activities until they found their first permanent club home – in the basement of the old arena complex.
When the arena was torn down to make room for the municipal hall, the club relocated to its present home along Fern Crescent.
Meggait and the members of the club used to go on field trips every long weekend and they explored every part of the province. They would go into the mountains, the valleys and streams, looking for rocks.
“It’s kind of like looking for gold,” said show chair Carol Barnett, while looking at Meggait’s collection in a showcase at the club.
“It’s really looking for rock that has become exposed over time. So they would go in different areas and look for particular types of rock that were considered somewhat valuable,” she explained.
Today the majority of rock hounding is done beyond Hope.
“So up the canyon or up the Coquihalla. Or even up the number 3 [Crowsnest Highway] to Princeton and those areas there. That’s where the volcanic activity was in the day,” said Barnett.
The upcoming show will feature a display of the Meggait’s rock collection, including rocks collected from mines across northern British Columbia.
There will be vendors with rocks and minerals and lapidary supplies, a daily live auction at 2 p.m., hourly door prizes, demonstrations and displays and a children’s craft corner. A snack bar will also be open.
A lapidary art raffle will be held with five prizes handcrafted by club members up for grabs. Tickets are $5 each and only 400 will be sold.
Admission is by donation.
The club is planning a 60th anniversary barbecue and celebration party in July.