The Vancouver Island Zone of the British Columbia Lapidary Society (BCLS) is one of the groups of rock and gem clubs in British Columbia. Our Zone is composed of six clubs on Vancouver Island.
Each club asks for three delegates from the membership. Delegates then attend three meetings a year.
The purpose of the meetings is to share information, discuss issues related to rockhounding on Vancouver Island, and to communicate between Island clubs and the provincial organization.
Most meetings include a meal and become a social event. Also, most years, one club sponsors a weekend event called Gemboree, that includes, field trips, auctions, eating and socializing.
The Parksville & District Rock & Gem Club hosted the Gemboree in 2009. Our Club, along with the rest of the Clubs on Vancouver Island will host the joint Gemboree/Rendezvous in 2022.
Current Delegates to Vancouver Island Zone Meetings:
|May 2020-2022||Cynthia Jones
||Doreen Patterson||Judy Mitchell|
|May 2022 – 2024||
|Judy Mitchell||T.B. D.|
|May 2024-2026||Judy Mitchell||T.B. D.||T.B.D.|
Vancouver Island Zone – A Brief History
In 1976 the Cowichan Valley Rockhound Club asked the Lapidary Rock and Mineral Society of British Columbia (LRMSBC; later which became the British Columbia Lapidary Society, BCLS) for information about forming a Vancouver Island Zone (VI Zone).
In November the LRMSBC replied. The letter states,
” The purpose of a zone is for the clubs to get-together, hold a meeting, discuss problems or offer suggestions. Minutes are kept of this meeting and forwarded to the Society to be read at the Quarterly meeting for reference and discussion.
The first thing to do is to contact the other clubs as to whether they wish to form a zone. A chairman and secretary/treasurer would be appointed at the first meeting. The zone would receive an operational grant in the amount of $100 yearly from the Society General Fund. This grant is to assist the zone in sending a representative to the quarterly meetings. The Secretary would be supplied with envelopes and stationery from the Society office.”
The Cowichan Club then contacted the other VI Rock Clubs. In a letter from the Cowichan Valley Club, clubs were told,
“A Zone representative from each club would attend the meetings and report back to his or her own club. The Zone Chairman would attend the Vancouver meetings.”
In 1977 the VI Zone was created with three member clubs. The representatives were called delegates, and initially varied from one to three from each club.
As other clubs made inquiries about the Zone, more information was documented. In a 1977 letter from the Secretary-treasurer of the VI Zone to the Powell River Club, it is stated that:
“the purpose of the Zone is to promote good fellowship and exchange ideas… The idea is for the delegates from each member club of the Zone to meet and discuss Zonal matters and those matters which should be brought up at Society meetings”.
In 1977 the first Gemboree was held. The Notice states, “Everybody Welcome”. The notice also states,
“…each Club is requested to donate a gift of some kind for a prize….the funds raised from these (sales) will be used to carry on the work of the Zone and help pay the delegate’s expenses when attending Society meetings, etc.”
At the April 1978 Zone meeting delegates made a motion that was accepted “that gas expenses should be paid to all delegates to the Zone meetings.” (Note – there is no reference to this motion originating from any of the member Clubs.)
At the October 1978 meeting “the matter of travelling expenses was again discussed”. A flat rate was proposed and accepted.
In 1978 another attempt was made to recruit other VI Clubs to join the Zone. This letter states
,” …the Vancouver Island Zone of the LRMSBC was formed. Its main purpose was to bring together, at least once a year, the various clubs on the Island to enable members to exchange information and to increase fellowship. There is no financial obligation to the participating clubs. The Zone also promotes attendance at various club functions which develops more interest in our hobby and allows visiting members to observe the work done by the Host Club.”
“Due to the increasing costs of sending delegates to the quarterly meetings of the BC Society in Vancouver the Zone raises monies from their annual “Gemboree” to assist in paying for the attendance of ONE Zone representative at these meetings instead of each club being burdened with this expense. At the present time the BC Society helps by allowing the Zone $100 per year. The Zone representative reports back to the clubs.”
“The Zone meets quarterly, prior to the Society meeting, and the meeting is attended by three delegates from each Club at which time any questions or problems their Clubs might have are discussed and, if necessary, can be taken to the Society meeting by the Zone representative.”
In 1981 the Nanaimo Club withdrew from the Zone, leaving two Clubs. The delegates agreed to “recommend to their clubs that we continue with only two clubs in the Zone at the present time.”
In 1982 Courtenay Gem and Mineral Club joined the Zone.
In 1984 Parksville and District Rock and Gem Club joined BCLS and the Zone.
In 1988 the Alberni Valley Rock and Gem Club is listed as a Zone member, and is listed by LR&MSBC (Now BCLS) as a member for 1989.
Ripple Rock Gem and Mineral Club of Campbell River is listed in 1989. This completes the clubs listed for Vancouver Island.
Gemborees have been held almost every year since 1977. 2011 marked 35 years of Gemboree.
The Gemboree scheduled for 2014 has been cancelled.
The weekend Gemboree scheduled for 2015 was changed to a one-day event in September.
The Cowichan Valley Rock Club hosted the 2016 Gemboree on July 8-10. It was held at Camp Creina south of Duncan. It was a success.