The first of six ‘Memory Socials’ will be hosted at Chuck Bailey Recreation Centre. (City of Surrey)

‘Memory Socials’ to record oral histories of Surrey locals

Historical organization wants to hear your memories of life in Surrey

The Surrey Historical Society will host the first of six planned “Memory Socials” in Whalley on Saturday, Sept. 22.

The Surrey Historical Society (SHS) is hosting the sessions to provide opportunities for pioneers and their descendants to meet and share their life stories in a relaxed atmosphere. They were awarded with a cultural grant from the City of Surrey to undertake the initiative.

The society will be working with neighbourhood history clubs and senior’s organizations over the coming months to collect and record these stories, and note their significance within Surrey’s cultural and historical heritage.

The first session will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Chuck Bailey Recreation Centre, located at 13458 107A Ave. A light lunch will be provided.

“Surrey has a long history with many stories to be told and the connection of its residents to that history and their contributions to it can only be a benefit to all,” said SHS president Michael Gibbs.

“The society shares the importance of connecting our senior population to each other and the greater community. The SHS also realizes that important memories of our city’s past are being lost when seniors are separated from their neighbourhoods and friends by the inevitabilities of life,” said Gibbs.

Gibbs explained that trained oral historians will be present at each social, and written interviews will be posted on the society’s website after the sessions. SHS members will also accept artifacts, such as letters and photos, for curation by the City of Surrey Archives and Museum of Surrey.

Future socials will be held in other Surrey communities, including Fleetwood, Newton, Port Kells, Cloverdale and Ocean Park. The workshops will be held on the third Saturday of every second month. The locations of those sessions will be announced closer to the dates. Each session will focus on gathering memories from the neighbourhoods they are gathered in, but all are welcome to come and share stories.

There is no pre-registration required. For information, call 778-593-9989.

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