Barb Gossman

Colwood’s traditional Strawberry Tea celebrates 30 years

Tea and craft fair features strawberry shortcake this weekend at Colwood's Church of the Advent on Mount View Road

With a giggle and a grin Bev Somers plops a berry onto a fresh whip-creamed portion of cake. The dollop of cream came at the capable hands of Donna Brandle and before that, Barb Gossman cut the cake and doled out the berries.

They are the young-at-heart type of women who  refer to themselves as “the girls” who started the Strawberry Tea three decades ago.

“When I first moved to the West Shore I didn’t have very many friends,” Somers said. “So I joined this church.”

The trio, along with Darleen Terlson, started as friends in the young mothers group that met on Thursday mornings.

“We didn’t have a nursery and we didn’t have funds, so we started this fundraiser,” Gossman said. This year, the 28th at Colwood’s Church of the Advent (the first two were held in St. John the Baptist), is the 30th consecutive strawberry tea.

They attribute longevity to friendship and fun.

“You have to have champions. We persevered and believed in it,” Brandle said.

It started with serving 50 slices of cake on a Thursday afternoon. Now they require 50 volunteers, working in shifts, to feed the masses.

“We have had up to 500 but we usually serve about 300,” Brandle said of the now weekend event.

The tea, with craft sale added a couple decades ago, is as much about camaraderie and inclusion as fundraising.

“Some people you see and you don’t get to know them. When you work with them you get to know them,” said Gossman.

“All ages get involved,” Brandle said. “That’s a real draw I think.”

With the nursery built long ago, the money now goes into general coffers for things like youth programs. “We also try to support outside of our church, like Compassionate Warehouse or the food bank,” Brandle added. “We’re not just thinking of ourselves.”

 

The Strawberry Tea and Craft Fair is Saturday, June 8 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Church of the Advent, 510 Mount View Rd. in Colwood.

 

 

Just Posted

Light wind sends half of Swiftsure yacht fleet back to shore early

Many racers return overnight in unusual race conditions

Leaving dog in hot car can result in $75,000 fine, prohibition from owning animals, prison

B.C. SPCA received 800 calls last year about dogs left in hot cars

Radio Host Erin Davis pens Mourning Has Broken following death of her daughter

Book by North Saanich woman gives advice to others struggling with grief

Bed Races on Beacon champs ready to defend their title

Race takes place July 7 on Beacon Avenue, raising funds for the Peninsula Youth Clinic

Belgian man searches for family of fallen First World War soldier from Victoria

Mark Edward Berton attended Victoria High School and has his grave in Flanders Field

WATCH: Thousands enjoy sunshine at second annual Village Block Party

Cook Street filled with local food, music and more

Social media giants in hot seat as politicians consider regulations in Ottawa

Committee members will also grill representatives from Facebook, Twitter

Wildfire crews watching for dangerous wind shift in High Level, Alta.

The Chuckegg Creek fire is raging out of control about three kilometres southwest of the town

UN urges Canada to take more vulnerable Mexican migrants from Central America

The request comes as the United States takes a harder line on its Mexican border

Mistrial declared in Jamie Bacon murder plot trial

Bacon was on trial for counselling to commit the murder of Person X

B.C. VIEWS: Money-laundering melodrama made for TV

Public inquiry staged to point fingers before 2021 election

Canadian homebuyers escaping high housing costs by moving to secondary cities

In British Columbia, exurbs have grown in the Hope Valley and Kamloops

Feds lay out proposed new rules for voice, video recorders in locomotives

Transport Canada wants to limit use of recorders to if a crew’s actions led to a crash

Most Read