Project aims to reveal stories from Highlands’ past

Past and present Highlands residents are being asked to contribute memories and photos for the project's gathering stage.

Past and present residents of the Highlands are being asked to share their memories and photos as part of the gathering stage of the Highlands Oral History Project, an effort that’s being launched by the heritage select committee.

The project aims to chronicle residents’ stories and experiences from the past to shine a light on what daily life was once like in the community. The project was influenced by previous work done about pioneers and the Highlands.

“We realized that we wanted to get people’s insights and recollections (from those) who were more recent pioneers,” said Sally Gose, committee chair.

Taking a look back is important for a multitude of reasons, she explains. “I think it really shows the community and the social fabric of this place and how we came to be, and it’s often in learning about the day to day of people’s lives that you get that appreciation for a community.”

Gose spent summers in Highlands during her youth before moving back to the area in the 1970s while attending the University of Victoria. Having left again, she moved back for good in the late 90s.

“I did a lot of [hiking] when I was a kid and I love these woods and these places have always felt very safe to me. I knew that ultimately, I wanted to come back here. It sort of felt like where I belong,” she said.

The information gathering phase of the project remains in its early stages.

But already Gose said she has been fascinated by the stories of one long-time resident who has seen drastic changes in the area’s lakes, with bays having been created where there weren’t any before, due to lower water levels.

Gose believes the committee will need about a year to gather all the information it needs to put the project together. The information gathered through the interviews will be used for educational purposes in publications, presentations, exhibits and Internet productions in the future.

To share some of your memories of Highlands, contact Gose at sgose@telus.net or by phone at 250-474-3403.