Sunday, September 25, 2011

                                                                                                   October 7, 2012

1663 Peninsula Road

St. Aidan's on the Hill Anglican/United Church
Ucluelet, B.C. Canada

Ucluelet British Columbia is a small natural harbor town on the west coast of Vancouver Island. Vancouver Island is 290 miles long and a 1 1/2 hour ferry ride from the mainland of British Columbia. To then get to Ucluelet is another 2 1/2 hour drive through small towns and then across the mountains. Until the 1950's the only access was by car to Port Alberni about in the center of the Island, and then by boat, probably the rough and ready Lady Rose. In fact, until the 1970's only a gravel logging road could be used for the the trip up one side of the mountain "switch backs" and then down the other side to the wild west coast rain forest that lead to the highway along the ocean and to Ucluelet at the south end and Tofino, an even smaller town, on the north end. When you reached Ucluelet all purchases cost 20 cents more per pound because of the freight charge. Today a paved road extends all the way to UclueletTofino, and Pacific Rim National Park. (See Link 3.)

Ucluelet means "people of safe harbor" in Nootka, the name of the Native Peoples that first populated the area. In 1870 a trading post was established and settlers followed in 1890. In 1898 the Presbyterians built the first Mission. In 1903 a lighthouse, telegraph station and lifeboat stations were added. The town became incorporated in 1952 and today there are 1500 residents.

Ucluelet, British Columbia, Canada

St. Aiden's On-The-Hill sits at the top of the hill at the intersection of Peninsula Road and Main Street, the street that leads down to the waters of Barkley Sound and the town pier. Across the street from the church is the Coop making this corner the hub of the town. The church was built by the Anglican Diocese of B.C. in 1952. The prominent bell tower with the cross on it was added at a later date. St. Aiden's is named after a Celtic saint and for that reason Celtic liturgies are used from time to time. The minister is shared with the congregation of the Anglican church in Tofino and lay people help in leading the service and music. The entrance door to the church is on Peninsula Road, the opposite side of the church to what is seen in the photo above. The sanctuary is in the left side of the church photo with the altar in the punch out area where the window with the cross can be seen. The sanctuary can seat 60 to 100 people, however, in the early 1970's only about 20 people actually attended the 9 am Sunday worship service. Joan Scander the present minister reports even less than that in the pews on Sundays. The church at 1663 Peninsula Road is also rented out for community events.

On September 16, 2010 the Westerly News published an article announcing the plans to sell St. Aiden's.  A celebration of its 60 years of worship was held later in that month. (Link 4.)

Thank You: For additional information about the church to Joan Scander
present (2010) minister at St. Aiden's.
Note: St. Aiden's was attended by Suzanne Wilson when she lived on Long Beach in the early 1970's. Her husband was the district school librarian.
Photo:Taken in 2006 by SW.


God, be with the persecuted Christians through out the world. Amen (SW.)

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