In 1920 the League of Nations was founded, Arthur Meighen became Canada’s ninth prime minister, Agatha Christie published her first mystery, and Nelson celebrated its first official library.
On Tuesday, Oct. 27 at 7 p.m., the Nelson Public Library celebrates its 95th birthday with fun, entertainment, door prizes, delicious things to eat, and the launch of a new cookbook with a literary twist. All are invited.
The evening’s entertainment includes the appearance of Gretchen Hatt Gibson, daughter of hotel proprietor Edwin Phair (the library stands on the former site of the Phair hotel) played by Susan LeFebour, plus some musical surprises. Displays, door prizes, and plenty of time for socializing are all part of the program.
The event is also the official launch of the library’s new book Pairings: a compendium of beloved recipes and books from the chefs of Nelson. The gorgeous 144-page full colour cookbook features inspired recipes from 27 Nelson chefs with mouth-watering photographs by David Gluns, as well as reading recommendations from the chefs themselves.
Appetizers and desserts provided by Nelson’s restaurants are on the evening’s menu. Copies of the cookbook will be for sale, with proceeds to benefit the library’s collections.
Books and reading have been a part of Nelson’s history since news agent Gilbert Stanley became custodian of Nelson’s first reading room in 1891. By 1899 a Nelson Miner reporter had trouble finding his way through the library — by then located at Baker and Ward streets — because of the crowds. Now in the digital age, the library has changed dramatically, but some things have stayed the same.
“The Nelson Public Library remains one of the busiest small libraries in the province,” says chief librarian June Stockdale. “We’re tremendously proud of our library, and we’re expecting a great turnout to celebrate this milestone birthday.”