Proprietors of the A.D. Hardie store were insistent that they adhered to appropriate business practices during the First World War

HISTORY: Old-time ad was convincing for Metchosin store

Merchants played on people's patriotism during First World War

Veterans and their service are much on our minds at this time of year.

The advertisement for the Metchosin General Store in the Fall Fair and Exhibition catalogue of 1919 emphasizes this sentiment over a full page. On the day the armistice was declared the proprietors hoisted the Union Jack and flew it until the last member of their firm arrived home.

The ad relates how disastrous the war had been for businesses, but some, like the Hardie store, had “WON OUT by keeping to strict, fair and honest business practices.”

They boast of their contribution to activities in the district, the personal service they give and that their prices are better than city or mail-order prices.  The last sentence reads:  “If you desire to help the district you live in, and support an institution financed by men who fought for you, THEN PATRONIZE ‘The Metchosin General Store.’”

The store was built in 1911 and closed in 1957. It carried every imaginable thing a farmer and his family needed, from groceries to livestock feed and hardware. Over the years it served as the stage and bus stop, and combined with the post office it was a community gathering place.

•     •     •

Please visit Old Barn Books every Sunday 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., located on Happy Valley Road behind the Metchosin Fire Hall. Book sales are the major fundraiser for the Metchosin Museum Society. We rely on both the donation of used books (drop box under the stairs) and the patronage of readers to help us preserve the artifacts and history of our community.

•     •     •

If you need information or would like to share your historical stories, contact Wendy Mitchell, president of the Metchosin Museum Society, at 250-474-4651 or by email at wendyncmitchell@shaw.ca.

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