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Storm Riders: Vancouver Island Military Museum

The Storm Riders series aims to celebrate the strength of our industry while highlighting some of the many ways businesses have overcome the challenges resulting from COVID-19. We are proud to showcase how the following businesses have adapted while celebrating the people who are at the heart of what we do. In this post, we hear from Brian McFadden at the Vancouver Island Military Museum in Nanaimo.       

 

Why do you do what you do?

I believe it’s important for future generations of Canadians to understand our country’s proud military history, traditions, and achievements. How else can we honour the tens of thousands of veterans and their families who sacrificed so much to bring peace and freedom to millions around the world? I am proud to be one of dozens of volunteers at the Vancouver Island Military Museum who work hard to keep their memory alive; how else can we express our gratitude for the sacrifices they made? For those of us who volunteer at the museum it’s an honour and privilege to help preserve our military history. If we don’t, who will?

What do you want people to know about the Military Museum?

The Museum is a charitable society wholly supported by donations and staffed by a dedicated group of Veteran volunteers and those interested in preserving our nation’s military history.  Our staff guide visitors and explain the displays which include thousands of artifacts entrusted to us by local families.  The museum is home to British Columbia’s largest Veterans Wall of Honour.  This wall of over 400 black granite plaques, purchased in memory of a family member or friend, recognizes the service of a Canadian or Allied veteran.

The spark to own/work in this business must motivate you each day. – what are some of your past experiences that have contributed to this spark?

My motivation comes from the experience of meeting visitors and being able to explain or answer questions about a particular war or conflict in which a family member has served.  These experiences are bittersweet and it saddens me to hear people (especially young people) say, “my grandfather, father, mother, etc., were in the war but they are now dead and my family never spoke about them; can you help me?  People regularly bring in an artifact and want to know what it is, or what it was used for!  Many times visitors know little or nothing about Canada’s military history or our country’s contribution to world peace.  After a tour, an all too familiar refrain from visitors is, “Why don’t we know about this stuff, or I never knew about that “.  This is why we do what we do!!

The Storm Riders series highlights how island-based businesses are adapting to new challenges brought on by COVID-19. If you’re a business and would like to share your story, please contact Darsey at darsey@tourismvi.ca.


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