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If your ancestral line traces back to Parksville-Qualicum with names like Wallis, Lowery, Dunn, Renz or Cheney, you may be connected to the crew who first built the pretty and beloved St. Anne’s Anglican Church in Parksville.
Got McKenzie, McKinnon, Harris, Cooper, Kincade or Gaetzen in your family tree? These are the names of some of the men who began the construction of one of Vancouver Island’s oldest churches in 1894.
St. Anne’s still has an active parish, though they use nearby St. Edmund’s for some services. Parish records show that the church’s first baptism was for Emily Jane Hume, daughter of Robert Hume and Charlot Emily Hickey, on August 12, 1894. The first wedding united Thomas Kinkade and Sarah Coqulamat on October 24, 1896. As an aside, the Kinkades’ son Thomas Kinkade Jr. built the Shady Rest Hotel in Qualicum in 1924, now the Shady Waterfront Restaurant & Pub.
If you get the chance to visit St. Anne’s, note the stone font that was donated by Mrs. Cooper in 1921 in memory of her husband Rev. Canon Charles Cooper. He first initiated the building of the church in 1893 – at the time there was no place of worship between Nanaimo and Alberni. Also look for the east window, a gift from E.B. May in 1938, in memory of his wife, Dorothy May.
In early 2012, our Facebook fans showed their affection for this tiny church with reminiscings of baptisms, weddings and funerals they’d attended there. Susan Jane Watson told us how she cherishes her visits to the gravestone of “baby Christina” each year. Christina Morison passed away at just 6 weeks old in July of 1897. Though Susan has no connection to Christina, visiting the baby’s grave has been a special part of her trips to Parksville since she was young, something she now shares with her daughter, Carly.
Visit St. Anne’s Anglican church at the corner of Church Rd and Wembley Rd, next to Save On Foods in Parksville.
Source: The Parish of St. Anne and St. Edmund website
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