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December 13th, 2014...
Archives Hours
During the month of December, the Community Archives will be open its regular hours until December 19th. It will then be closed for the holidays and reopen on Thursday, January 8th, 2015 at noon.

If you wish to visit the archives on January 8th or 9th, please Email the archives or leave a telephone message and you will be contacted by staff. We look forward to assisting you in the new year!

December 6th, 2014...
Mission's Candlelight Parade

On December 4, 1997, a Mission City Record front page news headline exclaimed: "Friday is parade night." Inside the issue there was an article by Heather Stewart about why it was so special and not to be missed. She wrote: "'s the feeling about the Candlelight Parade that is important. It's a feeling of community, togetherness, and just plain fun……The Mission Candlelight Parade is fine start to the holiday season and its true meaning." (Mission City Record: Dec 4, 1997).

The origin of the night time parade dates back to 1984 and has been held every year since then except in 2006 due to the weather and safety concerns. Click Here to download our fun Candlelight Parade History Quiz. Visit our Facebook page this week for the answers.

The Mission Community Archives houses information about the annual parade - a very special Mission tradition - through its records from many sources, including: the Mission City Record, the Mission Downtown Business Association, the Mission Regional Chamber of Commerce, photographer, Noel Hall, and Mission schools who have entered floats in the parade over the years such as Dewdney Elementary, Mission Secondary, Deroche Elementary and Windebank Elementary.

Due to the significance of the event to the community, the archives is interested in obtaining a more comprehensive record of the parade. If you or anyone you know has information, photographs, film footage or memorabilia, please email the archivist, Val Billesberger.

November 29th, 2014...
Archives Holiday Tradition

Mission Community Archives
On November 28th, volunteers gathered in the Archives for the 21st annual tree decorating. Every year, each new volunteer contributes an ornament for the tree - some are homemade and others have been especially selected. The result is spectacular! Come by the Archives and see it.

November 22nd, 2014...
Pioneer Family Records Donated

George and Sarah Topper moved to Mission in 1912 with their nine children, ranging in age from two to twenty-two. According to family records, they initially lived in a tent on the present site of the Mission Community Archives due to a shortage of rental houses.

The following year George and Sarah purchased 12.5 acres along Parr Avenue at the foot of Mt. Mary Anne where they operated a family farm and built their home. Up until now, the Community Archives had minimal information about the Topper family which has a street named after them.

Donated by a great-granddaughter of George and Sara, the records are mainly photos of the Topper family's life in Mission (over 600) that document their farm, weddings, birthdays, their children, including the 3 sons who served in World War I, their spouses and children. There are also many photos of the early days in Mission, including: the first Steelhead School where their daughter Zella taught; the first built hospital where their daughter Mable worked as nurse; the Strawberry Festival and 1948 flood.

"These family records" stated Archivist Val Billesberger, "are a treasure trove of information about the life and achievements of an early pioneer family, our community, and specific events that impacted Mission's development. We are extremely grateful that the family decided to donate their records to the archives. Their records are an invaluable addition to the community's collective memory."

November 15th, 2014...
A Day of Remembrance

Val Billesberger Photo
Mission Community Archives
A record number of people attended this year's annual ceremonies to honour veterans in the Clark Theatre on November 11th. Many stopped to view the special poster exhibit by the archives, featuring documents and images about local World War l veterans.

Unexpected Response from Local Schools...

On Thursday, Archives volunteer Jean Chalifoux completed the delivery of archives document cases to EACH of the 19 schools that participate in the district-wide School Archives Program founded by the Community Archivist. Jean travelled over 130 kilometres to complete the task!

Due to the delay to the 2014-15 school year, the delivery of the boxes was later than usual and resulted in some unexpected responses from the schools. "For the first time in the history of the program," stated Archivist Val Billesberger, "I received a call from an elementary school requesting their box. I was so impressed with their commitment to the program!" And, Jean Chalifoux reported that at many of the schools he was warmly greeted by staff who were pleased to receive their box.

Now in its 14th year, the program helps to ensure that the documentary heritage of schools is collected and preserved in the archives on an annual basis for present and future generations to use. It is the believed to be the first program of its kind in British Columbia. Click here to read more.

November 8th, 2014...
Treasured WWl Map in Archives

Last month, the Community Archives participated at the University of the Fraser Valley's Great War Day which was organized to commemorate the centenary of World War I. In preparation for the event, Archivist Val Billesberger selected for digitizing some of the treasured records housed in the archives that document Mission's contribution to the war effort.

Among the items she chose was a large scale annotated map titled "Roads, Railways & Water Supply C.E. Cdn. Corps 23-9-18" which Richard Skeleton, a GIS Technician for the District of Mission, digitized. The map was among the items collected by Tony Taulbut, Mission's first "curator and archivist."

Through some initial research conducted by volunteer Jim Hinds, it was discovered that the map was used in the Battle of Canal du Nord, which was one of a series of attacks made by the Canadian Corps as part of what is called the Hundred Days Offensive of World War l. "

During the event at the university, a direct connection to a Mission veteran and the map was revealed by a visitor to the Archives booth staffed by Jim Hinds. Through follow-up research conducted by volunteer Samantha Eastman and the Archivist, staff was able to confirm that Antonio Donatelli, the oldest son of pioneers Gaetano and Carminella, who was born and attended school in Silverdale, fought in the Battle of Canal du Nord.

Anthony Taulbut fonds / Mission Community Archives

A member of the 72nd Battalion (Seaforth Highlanders of Canada), 4th Brigade, Canadian Infantry, British Columbia Regiment , Antonio arrived in France on September 6th, 1918. Three weeks later, on September 27, he was instantly killed by machine gun fire during military operations in the vicinity of Bourlon Wood (marked with red arrow on map). He was buried at Quarry Wood Cemetery in Pas de Calais, France, Plot 2, Row C, #37 (area circled in red on map).

You may view the map and other records from World War I at the annual Remembrance Day ceremonies at Heritage Park Centre.

October 25th, 2014...
20th Anniversary Celebrations

Val Billesberger Photo / Mission Community Archives
A special thanks to all those who made the 20th anniversary celebrations of the Community Archives & Library Buildings on October 29th a success. Archives volunteers (from left to right) Loretta White, Margaret Dobbin and Barbara Glover assisted at the event by distributing special bookmarks designed by Archivist Val Billesberger which were very popular.

READ about the remarkable lives of women whose records have been acquired by the archives through the Paths & Pathfinders: Women of Mission Program. Be sure to VISIT our Facebook page this Monday, November 3rd to find out who is being profiled next.

October 25th, 2014...
The 20th anniversary celebrations of the Community Archives & Library Buildings will be held on October 29th from 2:00 to 4:30PM starting in the library.

Below is the program of events that have been organized:

  • 2:00 PM - View Poster Exhibit by Community Archives, Tours of the Library (2-4 PM) & Refreshments

  • 2:15 PM - First Nations Drumming

  • 2:45 PM - Mayor Ted Adlem & Dignitaries

  • 2:50 PM - Cake Cutting

  • 3:00 PM - Guided Tour of the Archives

  • A very special thanks to the staff of the Mission Library, especially Heather Scoular and Cora Kollin for organizing the joint celebration!

    October 20th, 2014...
    2015 Nomination Forms Online for Annual Celebration of Women
    Archives staff is busy planning celebrations for the 20th anniversary of annual celebration of women which is being held on October 3rd, 2015. Since the inauguration of the program in 1996, the Community Archives has recognized and built its holdings about ninety-seven local women who have helped shape the community through their work.

    Women to be honoured in 2015 will be selected from nominations and we need your help in identifying potential honourees. Within your organization or business there are undoubtedly women who are inspirational to others through their achievements at home, work and /or the community. We encourage you to use a nomination form to let us know who they are. Click here to download a form.

    A nominee must have resided or presently reside in the District of Mission, Hatzic Prairie, Hatzic Island, Dewdney, Deroche, Nicomen Island, Lake Errock and/or McConnell Creek and has made or is making contribution(s) that benefit others.

    The nominator must submit, on two pages or less, biographical information about the nominee, including her length of residence in the community, field of endeavor and personal attributes along with 2 letters of support for the nominee from family, friends, organizations etc. The deadline for submissions is March 31, 2015.

    For additional information, please contact the Community Archivist, Val Billesberger, by calling 604 820-2621 (Thursdays or Friday afternoons only) or send an email to the archivist, Val Billesberger.
    October 11th, 2014...

    Archives under construction, 1994
    Mission Community Archives / Dominion Construction Company Photo

    Archives Celebrating Milestone
    On October 7th, 1994 a dream was realized. A custom-designed, state of the art facility providing optimal space for Mission's documentary heritage was officially opened. The building was filled to capacity by people who came to witness the historic event - the first facility of its kind in the community and the Fraser Valley.

    The Community Archives was constructed as part of the new library complex which opened earlier that same year. The planning, constructing and opening of the new Mission Community Archives facility involved local government officials and personnel, members of the Mission District Historical Society, citizens of the community, contractors, architects, conservators and many more.

    On October 29th at 2PM, there will be a joint 20th anniversary celebration with the library. There will be displays about the construction and the vital role these two information resource centres serve in the community. Mark the date on your calendar so you do not miss this milestone celebration! Watch for further details in the upcoming weeks.

    October 5, 2014...
    Mission's Notable Women for 2014 Honoured

    The 19th Annual Celebration of Women was attended by over seventy-five people, including: MLA Marc Dalton, Mayor Ted Adlem and Councillors: Dave Hensman, Jeff Jewel, Tony Luck, Larry Nundal, Jenny Stevens, Nelson Tilbury.

    A commemoratve album of the event will be posted on the website this month that will include images taken by Taneane Twele, the official photographer for the event.

    A special thank you to all those who assisted Archivist Val Billesberger with the planning and staging of this year's event - Emily Drain, a university student hired through a Canada Summer Jobs Program Grant; archives volunteers: Polly Betterton, Keith Billesberger, Margaret Dobbin, Barbara Fehrmann, Barbara Glover, Kim Lund, Sheryl McKamey, Sheila Roberts, Lisa Thomson, and Loretta White; the staff of Cedar Valley Mennonite Church; the student volunteers who served refreshments: Lex and Tatty Mitchell from Heritage Park Secondary along with exchange students Antonia Ehlers (Germany) and Eva Jakobs (Holland); and our generous sponsors: Business & Professional Women's Club of Mission; Cory Cassel, What's On Mission! English Tarts; Ferncliff Gardens; Gorilla Gardeners; Lloyd's Cleaners; Magnolias On First; Rivendell, Second Stage Housing, Mission Community Services; Sues Copy Place; and Taneane Twele Photography.

    September 29, 2014...
    Join us for an Extraordinary Afternoon!

    There are only limited tickets left for the 19th Annual Celebration of Women. Don't miss this inspiring event at which the accomplishments of Elspeth Bowers, Eden Donatelli-Green and Joan MacLatchy will be celebrated along with 40 women previously honoured through the event. You may purchase tickets online or in-person at English Tarts on First Avenue and the Mission Community Archives.

    BC Culture Days - a Success!

    More than 70 people attended events held at the Community Archives as part of local celebrations to mark BC Culture Days.

    Guests partook in an interpretative tour of the Our Home Town mural by Dean and Christina Lauze of D'Arts which was given by volunteer Margaret Dobbin. Many viewed the interactive exhibit Dear Mission guided by volunteer Loretta White and left personal comments about the images by photographer Noel Hall. You may view some of the visitors' comments by visiting our Facebook page.

    The highlight of the afternoon was the Stave Falls Scottish Dancers who performed 12 dances with the Our Home Town mural as their backdrop. It was simply amazing! A special thanks to dancers lead by instructor Sarah Stubley: Karen Boag, Kimberly Brew, Megan Hansen, Emilie Kvist, Colleen Loughran, Jennifer McMyn, Aneko Nagai, Alicia Bevilarqua, Aimee Milliard, Olivia Bowes, Kristina Brew, Isabelle McMyn, Alexis Fulton, Alxis Selvey, Sarah Fabricius, Teya Henyecz, Peaches Kehler and Fern Gwyn.

    Mission's Great War Legacies

    On Friday from 10am to 4:30pm, visit the Mission Community Archives "Great War" display at the University of the Fraser Valley. Staffed by volunteer Jim Hinds, the information table will include information about Mission's WWI veterans along with letters from the front, photographs and more. For more information about it, visit our Facebook page this Thursday, October 2nd.

    MISSION STREETS.... NEW information has been included in the street story named after Naranjan Grewal. Click here to read the updated version.

    September 20, 2014...
    BC Culture Days Events
    The Mission Community Archives will stage the following events as part of local BC Culture Days celebrations in Mission. Please join us!

  • agriCULTURE: Our Heritage exhibit by the archives at the Mission City Farmers Market from 9am to 1pm

  • Tours of Our Home Town Mural by local artists Dean & Christina Lauze of D'Arts at: 11am, 12 noon, 1pm and 3pm

  • Dear Mission will feature 20 contemporary images by photographer Noel Hall in the Mission Community Archives from 11am to 3pm.

  • Stave Falls Scottish Dancers will perform at the Mission Community Archives 2pm

  • Tours of the Archives will be given at 11:30am, 12:30pm, 1:30pm and 2:30pm. Learn how your home town's heritage is being preserved!

    Watch for more information about events on our Facebook page this upcoming week.

    1920s Night: Fun, Fashion & Flappers!
    Get your tickets for a HISTORICAL 1920s Fashion Show by the Mission Museum on Sept 25, 2014. Archivist Val Billesberger and Volunteer Coordinator, Betty Robertson will be models. Don't miss this FUN, ENGAGING event that will be a memorable experience. All proceeds will benefit the Mission Museum.

    September 13, 2014...
    Dear Mission Exhibit Opening
    As part of local celebrations to mark BC Culture Days, on September 27th the Archives is opening an exhibit titled "Dear Mission", which will feature images from the extensive holdings of contemporary photographer Dr. Noel Hall that are housed in the Archives.

    The intent of the exhibit is to engage visitors by having them view an image not for its aesthetic or historical significance but for its ability to trigger memories and stimulate conversation about what defines Mission and makes our community unique. Visitors will also have the opportunity to leave their personal comments or messages on each photograph which will be used to engage others.

    Be sure to visit the archives between the hours of 11am and 3PM on September 27 to express your views about your community and to find out what others are thinking.

    Archives at UFV Great War Day
    On Friday, October 3rd, the Community Archives is participating in a special event sponsored by the University of the Fraser Valley to commemorate the centenary of the first Canadian military expedition during World War I.

    The event will include a poster display about Mission's involvement in World War I; a compilation of "Letters From the Front" sent by Mission soldiers along with other news published in the local newspaper between 1915 and 1919; reproductions of photographs and documents; and information about the unique "living memorial" that was built to commemorate those who served their country in the time of war.

    Be sure to VISIT our Facebook page for more information in the coming week…..

    September 6, 2014...
  • Mission's Agriculture Heritage...A new multi-year exhibit series on Mission's agricultural history is being developed by the Community Archives through a partnership with the Mission City Farmers Market and the Economic Development Department of the District of Mission.

    The first poster exhibit will be on display at the Farmers Market on September 27th as part of local celebrations for BC Culture Days. It will showcase some of Mission's rich agricultural heritage and illustrate how it was an essential part of the area's economic, social and cultural development.

    Be sure to visit the Farmers' Market to see the display and shop for fresh and local fresh fruits, vegetables etc.

  • Annual Celebration of Women...The Mission Community Archives is opening their 19th annual Paths and Pathfinders: Women of Mission exhibit on October 4, 2014 at 1:30 PM at the Cedar Valley Mennonite Church Auditorium.

    The event provides a forum to celebrate the achievements, hopes and dreams of women. Since 1996, the lives of 94 local women ranging from entrepreneurs, educators and politicians to artists, athletes, caregivers and community activists have been celebrated and their records preserved in the Archives.

    Tickets for the event may be purchased ONLINE. or at the Mission Community Archives.

    August 29th, 2014...
  • Another Good Year for SAP...Over the past few months the Community Archives has been collecting boxes from each school in the Mission area as part of our School Archives Program (SAP) - the first known program of its kind in the province.

    Founded by Archivist Val Billesberger 14 years ago, the program plays a very important role in actively preserving the heritage of each school. At the end of the school year, the items collected in the boxes are inventoried to make them accessible for present and future generations.

    Some of the great items we acquired this year include: yearbooks from Ecole Mission Secondary, Hatzic Secondary, Heritage Park Secondary, Christine Morrison and Valley Christian; group photographs of students and staff from Albert McMahon; a DVD of the 2005 Christmas Concert titled "What is Christmas?" from Cherry Hill Elementary; and photographs of students, staff, and sports teams from Dewdney Elementary dating back to 1998! Most of the schools also included their newsletters which are full of invaluable information about programs, activities and special events held during the year.

    The Archivist is very grateful that even during this turbulent time all nineteen schools who participate in SAP contributed records. Come to the Archives and check out the program and items we've collected over the years.

    Click here to read more about the School Archives Program.

  • Archives Plans for BC Culture Days...During the summer with the assistance of Emily Drain, hired through the Canada Summer Jobs Program of Services Canada, staff at the Community Archives put together a special program of events as part of local celebrations for BC Culture Days. Starting this upcoming week, please VISIT our Facebook page to find out details

    August 23, 2014.....
  • NEW STREET STORY You can find out about the street named: Wren - READ Street Stories

  • SPECIAL VISITORS Recently descendents of Emma and Harry Barnett family, pioneers of Mission, visited the Community Archives to add to their family records and visit the street that bears their name.

    Angela Slater and Jenn White donated an oil painting by their great grandfather and thirty-eight photographs documenting the 1982 reunion of Mission Japanese, 40 years after their evacuation.

    The Barnetts were very involved in the Japanese community that once totalled over 80 families. Harry assisted families with their business affairs and Emma taught kindergarten for their children to help prepare them for entry into the local school system.

    The family records include the kindergarten registers meticulously kept by Mrs. Barnett, documenting each child's name, birthdate, and attendance from 1929 to 1942. The last entry is March 26th. Over the next several months over 600 Japanese were uprooted from Mission.

    Click here to view of photograph of the Barnetts great granddaughters and great great grandson.

  • MISSION'S NOTABLE WOMEN - READ about the remarkable lives of women whose records have been acquired by the archives. Please VISIT our Facebook page every Wednesday to find out this week's featured notable woman. This past week the biography of Sue Nicholson (1955 - ), the founder of a family owned business that is recognized as a "community staple" in Mission, was added.

    August 16, 2014.....
  • New Acqusition.... This past week surviving records from the Fruitvale Rebekah Lodge No. 41 were donated by members of Helen Swan's (former secretary) family. The Lodge was instituted in Mission on June 3rd, 1920 with 6 charter members and was operational until 1994. The records include a detailed membership register (1920-1994) and photographs. If you or anyone you know were a member of the lodge, please email
  • the archivist.

  • Rockin River Music Festival Fundraiser - Last Saturday, 10 individuals for the Mission Community Archives joined ranks with 7 for the Museum to form a clean-up team to raise funds. A special thanks to Kristin Parsons, Executive Director of the Mission Adopt-A-Block Society, for her excellent coordination and to all our amazing team members: Keith and Val Billesberger, Emily Drain, Hazel Godley, Jacqui Govereau, Robin Gregory, Hailey Froggatt, Joanne Hanuse, Beth Harris, Sheryl McKamey, Bruce McKinnon, Greg Peterson, MiKayla Ponting-Wetteland, Sheila Roberts, Sara Race, Dan Shepard, and Dawn Smaill.

  • Celebrating ONE Year - On August 22 we're celebrating our 1st facebook birthday. Celebrate with us by SHARING our Page and Posts, helping to bring us to 200 likes before our birthday!!! Be sure to visit our Facebook page on August 22nd and see our NEW look!

  • MISSION'S NOTABLE WOMEN - READ about the remarkable lives of women whose records have been acquired by the archives and visit our Facebook page every Wednesday to find out this week's featured notable woman. This past week the biography of Carol Hine (1958- ), the founder of SAINTS - an animal rescue service and sanctuary for senior and special needs animals - was added.
    August 9, 2014.....
  • MAY POLE DANCING VIDEO You can see a video of the Fraser Valley Academy of Dance performing their May Pole Dance in "Heritage Square" during Mission Fest on July 26th by visiting the Community Archives Facebook
  • page. Please share this link with others.

  • NIGHT ON THE TOWN - gift basket that was raffled off during Mission Fest on July 26th was claimed this week by Kimberly Craig. The basket - valued at over $200 - contained gift certificates for Boston Pizza - Mission, Dewdney Schnitzelhaus, Magnolias on Main, Mission Station Grill, Opening Night Theatre, and Silver City Mission.

    August 1, 2014.....
    MYSTERY QUEST: The Community Archives houses over half a million images from our local newspaper - most of which date between 1960 and 1998. Overall they provide the most extensive photographic record of our community dating from 1940 to 1998. Many are undated like the image below of the Prawn Garden Restaurant on First Avenue. We need your help to find out what year it first opened and the date of the above photograph. Archives staff have been able to determine that this popular chinese food restaurant opened someone between 1958 and 1961. If you or someone you know can answer any or both of these questions, please email
  • the archivist. Help solve this mystery - please share the link to this page with others and ask them to do the same.

    A FUN-FILLED DAY - On a beautiful, blue-skied Saturday over 100 people explored the Archives during the festivities of Mission Fest. Paying homage to Mission's Historic May Days, visitors took in the Archive's exhibit and slideshow, played games, and took guided tours of the OUR HOME TOWN mural.

    Guests also enjoyed the opportunity to earn a free raffle ticket, for one of our three amazing gift baskets, by collecting all the stamps in their Historical Society Passport.

    Archivist Val Billesberger was thrilled when Rosanne Crapo (nee Murch), the 1969 May Day Queen stopped by for a visit and shared her recollections of the celebrations when she was crowned.

    The highlight of the day was a performance of the traditional May Pole Dance, performed by Fraser Valley Dance Academy, who then taught the dance to members from the audience!

    A big thank-you to everyone who worked to make this day so successful, notably our wonderful sponsors who donated items for the gift baskets that were raffled: Black Bond Books Mission, Boston Pizza Mission, Dewdney Schnitzelhaus, English Tarts, Grab-A-Java, Iron Lotus Yoga Joys Expressoway Coffeehouse, Karlas Teas, Magnolias on Main, Mission Station Grill, Opening Nite Theatre Society, Rose Brier Cottage, Silver-City Mission, Sweet Spot Café, The Pantry Natural Foods, and Wallmart. The raffle raised over $200 for the Archives and our sister operation, Mission Museum!

    You can view photographs of Mission Fest at the archives by visiting our Facebook page.

    2014 HONOUREES NAMED - Planning is underway for the 19th annual Celebration of Women which is being held on Saturday, October 4, 2014. Three women will be honoured this year, joining an esteemed list of 94 others. The 2014 honourees are:

  • Elspeth Bowers: an expert in family literacy who has contributed over 35 years to fostering a love of literature to children in the Fraser Valley.
  • Eden Donatelli-Green:An Olympic medalist, Eden challenged many rules and laws in the sports world, paving the way for future young speed skaters, who she inspires and coaches today.
  • Joan MacLatchy: A prominent politician and community volunteer, Joan influenced the future of Mission with 12 years spent on council and continued involvement with numerous groups.

  • Tea and refreshments will be served and there will be a must-see photographic exhibit about this year's honourees and those from the past. The celebration is held at the auditorium of Cedar Valley Mennonite Church auditorium from 1:30 to 4:00. Tickets to this wonderful event are available for purchase at the Mission Community Archives.

    Make it a point to mark the date on your calendar and purchase a ticket to attend this annual memorable event that celebrates the great work of women in our community!

    July 19, 2014.....
    Poster by Val Billesberger

  • MISSION STREETS.... The street story on D'Herbomez has been corrected thanks to Daphne Sleigh, a published author and BC historian. This week she donated her translation of Un Missionaire D'Autrefois by P. Besson which clearly establishes that the grotto was dedicated in 1894, not 1982. You can find out the fascinating story behind this street and many others by READING Street Stories

  • Revisit Historic May Days - Gift Basket Raffle Fundraiser - On Saturday July 26, during their annual MissionFest event, the Archives and Museum will be raffling off three amazing gift baskets made possible through the generous support of the local business community.

    Between 10am and 4pm, you may purchase tickets at $2 each or three for $5 at either the welcome table in front of Mission Museum or at the Community Archives.

    The Night on the Town gift basket is worth over $200 and includes: restaurant gift certificates to Mission Station Grill, Dewdney Schnitzelhaus, and Boston Pizza, Opening Night Theatre tickets, a flower arrangement from Magnolias on Main and SilverCity movie passes!

    The Head of the Class gift backpack is worth $140 and is filled with over 30 essential and fun school items ncluding: a backpack, stainless steel water bottle, washable markers, geometry set and two child Cineplex movie passes donated by archives volunteers and Walmart.

    There will be more about the gift baskets, including photographs, posted on our Facebook
    page this upcoming week.

    A special thanks to What's On Magazine! Mission for promoting our event in their latest publication and to all of the businesses that donated items for our raffle.

    The funds raised will be used to assist with the operation of the Community Archives and Museum - both volunteer-based operations.

    July 12, 2014.....

  • MURAL PLAQUE INSTALLED - On Thursday, July 10th, Alex AuCoin of Nutek Sign Creations installed the commemorative plaque beside the "Our Home Town" mural. Stop by to see it - the mural is located on the exterior west wall of the Community Archives building - and please email us
  • to let us know what you think. You may view video clip of the installation by visiting our Facebook page

  • MISSION'S NOTABLE WOMEN - Read about the remarkable life of Catherine Winifred Jack who was honoured in 2004 through the Paths & Pathfinders: Women of Mission Program and visit our Facebook page every Wednesday to find out who is being profiled next.

    July 5th, 2014.....

  • ANATOMY OF A PHOTOGRAPH -The image of First Avenue featured in this week's Glimpses of the Past was one of the190 donated to the Archives by Carl Klenk, a collector of old postcards and photographs, in 2007.

    Similar to many of the images housed in the Archives, there was very little information about it. The Archivist looked for clues in the image itself and assisted by volunteers Dawn Smaill, and Donna Rash was able to collect enough information to actually date it. Here is how they did it…

    In the foreground of the photograph - on the left-hand side - staff noticed a small sign on the ground leaning against the building which read: "P&M GARAGE." Through a partial list of pioneer businesses compiled years ago by Historical Society volunteers and Donna consulting the local newspaper, it was determined that the garage dated back to1920 BUT in another location. So…

    The Archivist searched the assessment rolls and confirmed that Edward Matthews, one of the proprietors, moved the business to the intersection of First Avenue and Birch Street in1923 - the building in the photograph. However…

    Dawn noticed a very prominent, unique roofline in the background that definitely matched Mission's Provincial Police building which opened in early 1945. And…

    Since the business sign was propped against the building, staff continued their research based on the premise that the business had closed just prior to or after the Police Station opened. Once again the Archivist consulted the assessment rolls and was able to confirm that the property was sold part-way through 1944 and the change in ownership fully documented in 1945. Finally…

    The mystery was solved by being able to date when the Police Station opened and when Mr. Matthews no longer owned the property.

  • MISSION'S NOTABLE WOMEN - Read about the remarkable life of Polly Vishloff who was honoured in 2004 through the Paths & Pathfinders: Women of Mission Program and visit our Facebook page every Wednesday to find out who is being profiled next.
    June 28th, 2014.....
  • MISSION'S NOTABLE WOMEN COUNTDOWN - Commencing on July 3rd, there will be a weekly post on the Community Archives Facebook page about an individual honoured through the Annual Celebration of Women.

    The annual event is part of a Paths & Pathfinders: Women of Mission Program which was founded in 1996 by Archivist Val Billesberger to facilitate the preservation of local women's records and celebrate the diverse contributions of women to the community. To date the records of over 80 women have been added to the holdings of the Mission Community Archives through the program.

    This new feature launches a countdown to the 20th anniversary celebration of the program in October of 2015. The goal of the online countdown and companion publication of women's biographies is to celebrate the lives of Mission's remarkable women preserved through the program.

    To discover and share information about our community's notable women, every Wednesday please visit our page

  • ROCKIN RIVER MISSIONFEST FUNDRAISER - In addition to being selected to participate in a cleanup of the Rockin River Musicfest event in August, the Mission Community Archives and Mission Museum are being giving an additional opportunity to raise money by selling tickets to the popular musicfest.

    All you have to do is purchase your tickets online and in the Promo Code box on the form please enter 2014HIST. Each ticket sold using this code will raise additional funds for the operation of the Community Archives and Mission Museum.

    Help MAKE HISTORY be preserved for present and future generations of the community - use our promo code when you purchase your online tickets - THANKYOU!

    June 21st, 2014.....
    Each week our homepage column Glimpses From the Past features a photograph or image of a document dating anywhere from the 1890s to the present that reveals some aspect of Mission's storied past.

    Within the Mission Community Archives extensive holdings, however, there are many items with little or no information. The Archives has decided to reach out to the public for help by featuring 'mystery items' in Glimpses From the Past on a monthly basis.

    Archivist Val Billesberger explained: "There are so many items that lack identification and we do not know the story behind them. I think there is the potential to solve these 'mysteries' through our virtual audience."

    This week the first MYSTERY QUEST is being featured. Please share it with others and ask them to do the same. THANK YOU!

  • June 14th, 2014.....

  • REVISIT HISTORIC MAY DAY - On July 26th, the Archives along with Mission Museum is planning a fun-filled day for all ages from 10am to 4pm. The theme is May Day, an annual event in Mission for 60 years. There will be May Pole Dancing by Fraser Valley Dance Academy (weather permitting), a scavenger hunt, prizes, exhibits on May Day and more… for more details in the upcoming weeks.

  • SPECIAL RECOGNITION TO ARCHIVES - The 2013-2014 Annual for École Mission Middle Secondary School includes "special thanks" from the yearbook staff to the Mission Community Archives. The write-up in the annual includes the archives logo and the following statement: Because of a community that is concerned with the preservation of our heritage, we are able to better understand through photographs who has helped contribute to make this school such a unique place. A special thanks to Val Billesberger for her time and consideration.

  • SCHOOL RECORDS DONATED KUDOS to all of the staff at the following schools who contributed records for the 2013-1014 school year this past week through the School Archives Program: Albert McMahon Elementary, Deroche Elementary, Dewdney Elementary, École Mission Middle Secondary School, ESR Elementary, Hatzic Elementary and Secondary, Heritage Park Secondary, Mission Central Elementary, Riverside School, Silverdale Elementary, Summit Learning, and West Heights Elementary. More records are expected this month from the remaining schools in the district and two private schools: École des Deux Rives and Valley Christian.

  • June 7th, 2014.....
  • MURAL NAMED - It is official - Our Home Town - is the name of the mural painted to commemorate the 120th anniversary of the District of Mission in 2013.

    More than 40 people attended the dedication ceremony held on June 2nd, the same date that the municipality was incorporated in 1892.

    President Mike Scudder presided at the event during which mural artists, Dean and Christina Lauzé of D'Arts unveiled a plaque acknowledging them along with the major contributors to the project: the Mission District Historical Society, the Mission & District Soap Box Derby Association, the Province of British Columbia, the District of Mission, the Mission Community Foundation, the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 57 Mission, and private donors.

    A Special Achievement Award was presented by Archivist Val Billesberger to Dean and Christina for "their extraordinary mural that embodied the unique spirit and historical legacy of the community and their contribution to public art in Mission."

    Mike Scudder recognized the generosity of Chris Lindgren of Spider Broadcasting for filming the event, and Jim Shaw, Store Manager of Mission Save On Foods, for providing refreshments. He also thanked the members of the committee who planned and organized the event: Val Billesberger (chairperson), Polly Betterton, Margaret Dobbin, and Loretta White.

    In September, an interpretative guide to the Our Home Town mural will be launched on the Archives website.

  • CLASS OF 1974 DVD DONATED - The Mission Secondary class of 1974 is holding their 40th reunion this weekend. Yesterday Robin Adair, a former TV journalist who is an alumni of the class, donated to the archives a 16 minute commemorative DVD that he produced featuring the recollections of class members. A wonderful addition to the archives holdings!

    Mission Community Foundation
    - This week the Archivist received the first cheque for the distributable earnings from the Mission Historical Society Archives Fund (#079) that was established to assist with the operation of the archives. If you are interested in contributing to the fund, visit the Foundation's website for more information, including the option of setting up a monthly automatic withdrawal to the fund. If you donate, please remember to state your funds are for the Mission Historical Society Archives Fund(#079). Thank you!

  • Adopt-A-Block Society's Annual Spring Clean-Up - The Mission Community Archives was selected by the society to participate in their litter clean-up on May 3rd. In addition to reducing litter in the community, the event raised $400 for the Community Archives! A very special thanks to the volunteers who served on our team: Ken Boleen, Darlene Boyle, Jean Chalifoux, Cindy Delaet, Margaret Dobbin, Samantha Eastman, Barbara Glover, Peter Haffner, Glen Kask, Heather Johnston, Sheryl McKamey, Bruce McKinnon, Chris Race, Donna Rash, Gary Rayco, Dawn Smaill, Kim Sund, Clint Sund and Keith and Val Billesberger. You rock!

    May 31, 2014.....
  • MURAL DEDICATION UPDATE - On June 2, artists Christina and Dean Lauzé of D'Arts will be among the special guests attending a ceremony to unveil a plaque dedicated to them and all those who contributed to make the mural on the Archives building a reality.

    Made by Nutek Sign Creations of Mission, the plaque will be on permanent display adjacent to the mural on the exterior west wall of the Community Archives building.

    All members of the community are invited to attend the dedication ceremony which begins at 2:00PM inside the Mission Community Archives. For details please view invitation

  • LOCAL AUTHOR HONOURED - Daphne Sleigh, a published author and BC historian who is a frequent visitor to the Mission Community Archives, is being honoured at the Awards Banquet of the British Columbia Historical Federation on Friday, June 6.

    At the event, Daphne will be awarded an Honourable Mention in the Federation's annual Historical Writing Competition for her recent book The Artist in the Cloister, a biography on the life and works of Father Dunstan Massey, which was published by Heritage House Publishing in 2013. Congratulations Daphne!

  • SIX WEEK SUMMER JOB OPPORTUNITY - The Mission Community Archives is STILL accepting applications from students aged 15 to 30 years of age for a six week position: Community Collections Assistant. For details about the job and eligibility requirements please view job posting.

  • May 17, 2014.....
  • MURAL DEDICATION JUNE 2 - At 2PM on Monday June 2, the Mission District Historical Society will officially unveil a commemorative plaque naming the new mural and acknowledging the artists and major contributors to the project.

    Completed in 2013, the mural was designed by Christina and Dean Lauze, a renowned Mission artist, in collaboration with the Community Archivist and the approval of the Mission & District Soap Box Derby Association. This unique and historic public artwork connects viewers to Mission's history and pays tribute to the community's unique heritage preserved by the society.

    The positive and unifying influence of the mural is captured in some of the comments Archives staff and volunteers have received about it including: "Mural - the pride of Mission...Well done - a community gem!...Awesome display of Mission's history...Mural - an artistic treasure."

    Bordered by the Museum's beautiful Edwardian Garden on one side and the Mural on the Archives Building, Archivist Val Billesberger believes that "a new 'public space' has been created in the downtown area which, in addition to parking, could also be used for holding special programs and events. She has therefore proposed to the municipality that the new space be named "Heritage Square" to identify it as both a focal point and new gathering place in the downtown area.

    Come and see for yourself on June 2nd. Everyone is welcome to attend this special mural dedication ceremony at the Mission Community Archives at 33215 Second Avenue at 2:00PM. For details please view invitation

  • March 29, 2014.....
  • ANNUAL VOLUNTEER RECOGNITION - As part of local celebrations to mark National Volunteer Week in Canada, the Mission District Historical Society will be hosting its annual volunteer appreciation event on Thursday, April 10th starting at 7PM in the Mission Community Archives.

    Each year volunteers dedicate countless hours to the preservation and celebration of community history at the Mission Community Archives and Mission Museum. The annual event is held to formally recognize and present service awards to each volunteer for their contributions and length of service.

    The special guest speaker at this year's celebration is Kat Wahamaa, Chair of the Mission Cultural Resources Commission, which was founded in 2008 by the District of Mission to help shape and sustain regional cultural activities. Everyone is welcome to attend.

    March 22, 2014.....
  • The Mission District Historical Society which operates the Community Archives, Museum and Heritage Places Branch is having its annual general meeting on Wednesday, March 27th. Starting at 7PM in the archives, the special guest speaker at this year's meeting is Ron Coreau of the Fraser Valley Health Care Foundation. He is doing a presentation on Mission's innovative "person-centered community of care" facility which is officially opening in June. Everyone is welcome to attend.

  • On March 20th at the annual general meeting of the Mission Regional Chamber of Commerce, President Sean Melia, presented Archivist Val Billesberger with records compiled to commemorate the 120th anniversary of the organization (1893-2013) for preservation in the Community Archives

  • YOUR STORIES: Our Heritage, a joint exhibit by the Community Archives and Museum, will be on display at an open house of the Chartwell Retirement Residences on March 30th. During the event, Archivist Val Billesberger will also host a fun "Jeopardy" style game developed by archives staff on Mission's heritage. Everyone is welcome to attend.

  • March 15, 2014.....
  • Last week descendants of George and Sarah Topper who came to Mission in 1912 met with the Archivist about donating their family records to the Community Archives. Their many photographic records include an image of George and Sarah with their nine children posed by the tent they lived in when they first arrived in Mission which is close to where the Community Archives is located.

    Val Billesberger, Community Archivist, stated: "The donation of the Topper family records not only complements existing records of Mission's pioneers but also enriches our holdings of materials related to the early development of the community. We are tremendously excited about adding these unique family records to our holdings."

  • Researchers in the Community Archives this week included students from Hatzic Elementary School working on their entries for the 2nd Annual Heritage Fair.

    A district-wide event organized by the Mission Community Heritage Commission, winners at the local fair move on to the Regional Fair held in Abbotsford next month. If you are interested in serving as a judge for the Heritage Fair, please email
    Jim Hinds, Co-chair of the Commission.

  • Three new volunteers joined the staff of the Mission Community Archives this past week! Two of the new staff will be serving as the archives first "virtual volunteers." If you are interested in finding out more about variety of volunteer opportunities at the Community Archives, please contact us by telephone 604 820-2621 or email

  • March 8, 2014.....
  • Today is International Women's Day. Eighteen years ago on this date, the Mission Community Archives launched its Paths & Pathfinders: Women of Mission Program. Through it, the records of women are preserved in the archives for the use of present and future generations and an annual celebration of women is held in October to acknowledge their contributions.

    Women to be honoured in 2014 will be selected from nominations and we need your help in identifying potential nominees. Within your organization or group there are undoubtedly women who are worthy of recognition. We encourage you to use a nomination form to let us know who they are. To download a form, click here. The deadline for submissions is April 30, 2014.

  • A special thanks to our partners Mission Library and members of the Marion Sharpe family who attended the special event held on February 26th to honour the legacy of the former librarian who recently passed away. The Archives exhibit featured images and documentation of Marion's many contributions to the development of the library in Mission.

  • This week 24 students from the University of the Fraser Valley Graphic and Digital Design Program conducted research in the Community Archives for a special project they are working on about the Fraser River that is sponsored by Lanka Jewels. We will post the link to their portfolio exhibition when it is completed next month. Karin Jager, Program Coordinator plans to do more projects with the Community Archives.

  • The Mission Community Archives is participating in the Cedarbrooke Retirement Residence Open House on Sunday, March 30th, 2014. A joint exhibit of the Community Archives and Mission Museum titled: Your Stories Our Heritage will be on display and Val Billesberger, Community Archivist, will host a "jeopardy-style" fun game developed by the Archives called Mission Trivia at 3:00PM.

  • THIS can find out the story behind the street named: Kunimoto Court - READ Street Stories

  • March 1, 2014....
  • The Mission District Historical Society who operates the Mission Community Archives, is having its annual general meeting on March 26th at 7PM in the archives. The special guest speaker is Ron Coreau of the Fraser Valley Health Care Foundation who will be doing a presentation on the new, innovative residence and care centre in Mission. Everyone is welcome to attend!

  • Check out the Spring 2014 edition of British Columbia HISTORY for an article by Archivist Val Billesberger on the records housed in the Mission Community Archives documenting our sport's history which have been donated by Eden Donatelli Green, Mission City Record, Charlie McPherson and Western Canada Soap Box Derby Association. The journal is a publication of the BC Historical Federation

  • During the month of February, the Community Archives new visitor registrations increased by 47% compared to the same period last year.

  • If you or someone you know has any information about Manson Elementary School, please visit the archives during our regular hours of operation or email the Archivist

  • The Mission Community Archives is participating in the Cedarbrooke Retirement Residence Open House on Sunday, March 30th, 2014. The theme is home town heritage - details about the event will be available next week.

  • 33215 2nd Avenue, P.O. Box 3522, Mission, B.C. V2V 4L1  Ph. 604.820.2621
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