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

SD61 to install new water fountains over lead concerns

They’re installing 350 new water fountains in local schools due to concerns over elevated levels of lead in the water system

West Shore firefighters band together to support men’s health

More than $8,200 raised for Movember campaign

Holiday gift wrapping tips and tricks

Streamline your process to avoid the hassle

Omnibus zoning bylaw sent for revisions to prevent blanket upzoning in downtown Victoria

More than 10 downtown properties identified by Downtown Residents Association

UPDATE: Four vehicle crash on Sooke Road snarls traffic in Colwood

Sooke Road reopens to traffic in both direction

VIDEO: That’s a wrap: Be a Santa to a Senior packages ready to go out

Program hands out more than 600 gifts to Greater Victoria seniors

Owl found dead after eating rat poison leaves B.C. woman concerned

After finding the owl on her Surrey property, Christine Trozzo says the poison is a concern for kids

Change to CPP death benefit panned as insufficient to cover funeral costs

Funeral Services Association of Canada lobbied governments to raise the value to $3,580

Shelbourne Community Kitchen vies for $20,000 prize

Epicure Foundation, based in North Saanich, will give five groups $20,000 each

Woman in Nanaimo accidentally hands over diamond ring with spare change

Incident happened Wednesday at about 7 p.m. at parking lot near Nanaimo’s boardwalk

B.C. woman brain injured in crash as a baby gets $1.1 million in damages

Trial heard the woman was 16 months old, being carried by her mother when they were both hit

Optimistic Victoria whale watching company invests in new vessel

Banner 2017 tourist season helps Prince of Whales decide to boost service

Victoria cycling advocate makes pitch lor lower speeds on local roads

Group points to evidence suggesting 30 km/h speed limit would save money, lives

Most Read