Burns Lake's Oldest Building "Celebrates" 90th Anniversary

John Crawford

A special celebration will be held in Burns Lake Sunday, to mark the 90th anniversary of the village's oldest building.

St. John's Anglican Church was built in the late 1920's, by Reverend J.H. Kerr and local resident Baynard Keddy, and opened its doors on August 25th, 1929.

[PHOTO:   St John's Anglican Church, Burns Lake  (1934) -- courtesy Lakes District Museum Society]

[PHOTO:  St John's Heritage Church today (2019) -- courtesy Lakes District Museum Society]

It was built using materials from the old Anglican Hall which had previously stood on the site, with windows from churches in the Toronto area. 

The church bell, which is still in the steeple, was locomotive bell donated by Canadian National Railways. 

The community celebration on Sunday begins at 12 noon, but Lakes District Museum curator Michael Riis-Christianson says it's not just to honour the past, but also to kick-off a compaign to reopen the church as a public building.

"The church has been the scene of weddings, funerals, it even served as a school classroom for a period during, I believe, the 1940's; it's the oldest surviving heritage building in Burns Lake and undeniably the most beautiful -- it was sold to the municipality and was designated a municipal heritage building in 2005, but since then it's been largely closed because it currently doesn't meet occupancy codes for a public building; the last people to use the church, ironically, were my wife and I -- we were married there in 2012," he explained.

Sunday's birthday celebration will include a barbecue-by-donation, a silent auction, a historical display and a lot of other fun activities.

[PHOTO:   Michael Riis-Christianson, Caitlyn McMahon, Teaira Bishop, Rachel Fehr (Lakes District Museum Staff) ]



Celebrating 90 Years of Service

St. John’s Heritage Church 125 First Avenue, Burns Lake, BC August 25, 2019






12:00 Hot dogs & Beverages (by donation)


12:15 Silent Auction Opens


01:00 Celebratory Addresses




- Mayor Dolores Funk


- Address from Bishop Lehmann of Caledonia


- Lakes District Museum Society


01:15 Commemorative Bell Ringing (One Toll per Decade!)


01:30 Cutting of the Birthday Cake


02:30 Barbecue Ends



03:00 Silent Auction Closes Activities throughout the Day...


Guest Register - Sign it and get your name in our time capsule!


Tours of St. Johns Heritage Church


Photo Board - Step into history with our period photo frames! (Bring your own camera)


Souvenir Sales - Souvenirs of the Event Available for Purchase (Proceeds to Museum Society & Church Fund).


Silent Auction - Bid on a selection of items.


PARKING There is limited parking along First Avenue. In the interest of public safety, we ask that you park your vehicle at the downtown parking lot (across from Alternative Grounds) and walk to the church. SPECIAL NOTE: There are no washroom facilities on site.


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