Our love for the heritage and history of Vancouver Island runs deep, and it seems we are continuously finding wonderful things to photograph and learn about. The Courtenay/Comox area of Vancouver Island is a place we don’t visit often enough, and when we get a chance to we really enjoy capturing a bit of the essence of the place. As the island was being settled and developed in the mid 1800′s, churches were a huge part of forming the communities that have since become our towns and cities.
Join us today as we take a brief look at St. Peter’s Anglican church.
Originally built in 1891 after the area became a parish in 1871, the original church is no longer on the property. Rapid growth in the Comox area created a need for a much bigger facility, and in 1939 it was decided to demolish the original structure in favor of building a newer, larger building. This is the result of that development. The bell and white cross are preserved from the original facility and really bring the past forward to the future and add a lot of character.
The cities of Comox and Courtenay are nestled in a deep valley surrounded by high mountains that run down to the ocean. It’s one of the key reasons my mom fell in love with the island, and why we moved out here in 1980. There are all sorts of elements here; ocean, mountains and forests. You can literally ski the hills in the morning and enjoy a lunch on an ocean-side deck in a short-sleeved shirt in the afternoon.
A hundred years ago, however, things were not that easy for people. The winters can be quite brutal here, sometimes seeing prolonged periods of deep and cold snow. The earliest pioneers must have toiled and suffered at times when trying to create a new life for themselves and their families. It’s this level of dedication and determination that is so utterly profound, this steely willpower that makes people do what must be done to survive and move society forward. We find inspiration in their stories.
The stonework in this fence is absolutely exquisite. Each stone had to have been carefully picked, placed and installed. The wrought-iron gate is slightly reminiscent of older European heritage sites, and in turn it adds character as well.
Never one to avoid a challenge, Vancouver Islanders are a hearty lot. You can travel the island from north to south and see evidence of this in all our communities. It’s with an honest sense of pride and love that we call this place home.
Many thanks for joining us today as we check out this historic church. We really enjoy sharing these photos and stories with everyone, and we love to hear from all our visitors so please feel free to leave us any comments you may have.