Black History Month Church Service
Sunday, February 12th
Central Saanich United Church (formerly Shady Creek Church)
7180 East Saanich Road
Service starts at 10:15 am
Karen Hoshal, BCBHAS Board Member and a direct descendant of Charles and Nancy Alexander will speak during the service. Charles and Nancy were part of the earliest settlers, arriving in 1858. Charles helped build the original Shady Creek Church and was one of the first lay preachers.
Tea, coffee, and home-made baked goods are available after the service.
You can show your appreciation by making a donation.
Adjacent to the Church is the Shady Creek Cemetery. The Alexander plot is one of the largest family plots. Charles, Nancy, several of their descendants; and other pioneers such as Fielding Spotts are buried here.
At the easterly end (right side of the photo) is the plaque, unveiled in February 2000, designating the arrival of these Black settlers as an “Event of National Historic Significance”. The plaque was commissioned and installed by the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada.
BLACK PIONEERS IN BRITISH COLUMBIA
In 1858, nearly 800 free Blacks left the oppressive racial conditions of San Francisco for a new life on Vancouver Island. Governor James Douglas had invited them here as promising settlers. Though still faced with intense discrimination, these pioneers enriched the political, religious and economic life of the colony. For example, Mifflin Gibbs became a prominent politician; Charles and Nancy Alexander initiated the Shady Creek Methodist Church; John Deas established a salmon cannery; and the group formed one of the earliest colonial militia units, the Victoria Pioneer Rifle Corps.
Images for Shady Creek Church, Shady Creek Cemetery, Historic Sites and Monuments Board plaque: ©BC Black History Awareness Society, All rights reserved
BCBHAS Black History Month is funded in part by the Government of Canada – Department of Canadian Heritage, and Province of BC