A trek through time with Wiarton resident Victor Last
Local history and photography aficionado Victor Last, of Wiarton, is bursting with excitement to present “A Traveler’s Guide to Wiarton” at the Wiarton Arena and Community Centre on Oct. 24.
“Everything came together like serendipity. I got really excited about it,” Last said about his experience of pulling the presentation together.
In an interview, Last said the word “traveler” - not “tourist” was chosen quite consciously for the title of his show.
The presentation, hosted by the Town of South Bruce Peninsula Municipal Heritage Committee, consists of over 200 photos, which allow Last to “go into the homes of people,” he said.
Where a tourist is “a person who visits Disneyland and comes back,” Last’s show will depict “travelers” as defined and inspired by Paul Bowles’ 1949 novel, “The Sheltering Sky” (which was made into a film of the same name in 1990).
“A traveler has no idea how long he’s going to stay, where he’s going next,” Last said. “They’re there to become part of the community.”
The photos Last will present, all of Wiarton, are from 1870-1929.
The audience will see “maybe a funeral, a wedding, lots of parades, military men on horses” and “boy scouts that are very scary; these are the original Baden-Powell Scouts,” Last said.
One historical scene captures This photo of Berford Street in Wiarton, circa 1890, is one of about 200 photos which will shown by Victor Last, of Wiarton, at a presentation at the Wiarton Arena on Oct. 24. cattle being herded down Brown Street.
Seen through Last’s artistic eye, viewers will experience intimate vignettes of everyday life on the streets, in the homes, at work and in the parks of Wiarton.
“It’s the little bits in the corner that you’re drawn to,” Last said. “You’re going to see the detail.”
In preparing the show, Last would sometimes take one section of a photograph and blow it up full size, letting the zoomed in image reveal a story and “a way of life.”
Two or three of the photos were taken more recently by Last himself, he said, adding, “I have taken liberties” by rendering the photo of a historical site in sepiachrome to emulate a vintage photo.
Last became especially animated when he gleefully described two older photos, which he referred to as the “clinchers” of his presentation. One is a scene circa 1890 of about six people sitting atop a rock slab on the “north park on the top of a hill before the road went through,” he said. “That photograph was just a knockout.”
The second is a photo of a boat in Wiarton harbour with “people dressed to the nines” on three decks and about 100 people on the dock, also “dressed to the nines.”
To register for the presentation, call the South Bruce Peninsula town hall at (519) 534-1400, extension 122.
Admission is the donation of a non-perishable food item for the Peninsula Community Food Bank. The presentation runs from 1-4 p.m.
Remediation work has not yet begun at the Cabot Head Light Station, but a public tender will be published in the near future and work is planned to begin this fall, a spokesperson for Fisheries and Oceans Canada said in an email, Oct. 4.
“It was anticipated that remediation work would begin in midSeptember; however, unforeseen minor procurement challenges have resulted in a slight delay for the project,” Rosaleen O’Mahony, Communications Advisor, Communications for Fisheries and Oceans Canada said.
O’Mahoney said the DFO recognized the importance of the Cabot Head Light Station to the community “and are working diligently to have it reopened as soon as possible. We are hopeful that remediation work will be complete and it will be safe for the public to visit the site in the summer of 2019.”
Ahead of the site’s anticipated re-opening, Northern Bruce Peninsula council learned from staff of concerns of Dyer’s Bay and area residents about traffic to the popular tourist destination should it re-open.
After several options were considered, council decided at its meeting in Lion’s Head on Sept. 10, to send out a request for proposals for alternative methods of transportation - such as a shuttlebus or by boat - to the Cabot Head site next year. Council hopes to receive innovative proposals, which will address residents’ concerns by minimizing traffic along the route. It was noted in the staff report that if a solution is found for alternative transportation, it could also represent an opportunity for a new business on the peninsula.
SERVICE TIME 10:30 A.M.