Heritage Tea honours the British

The annual Heritage Tea at Fort Ostell Museum offers immigrants and their descendants a chance to reflect on their roots, and newcomers to see more about the residents and history of Ponoka.

By Yvonne Dick

The annual Heritage Tea at Fort Ostell Museum offers immigrants and their descendants a chance to reflect on their roots, and newcomers to see more about the residents and history of Ponoka.

“Every year we honour a different group of immigrants. In the past we have held teas for the Dutch, German, Filipino immigrants among others,” explained museum co-ordinator Sandy Allsopp.

This year’s theme was a salute to the British Isles. While you might think this means England, you’d be only one-quarter correct, “The British Isles include England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales,” says Allsopp.

Included in the display of British Isles treasures was a family wedding afghan from the descendants of Mrs. Levi Davis, who was the first to arrive from Wales in 1904; a beaver pelt top hat from England, a Bible that belonged to Neil Macdonald dated 1918, and some of the famous Belleek pottery.

Barb Greshner, with the museum, describes a trip to Ireland her family took a decade ago. “We didn’t even realize we had reached Northern Ireland until we got to the Belleek factory, and they wouldn’t take our money there so we had to go to the bank and change some.”

The Belleek pottery technique involves multiple firing of the clay, first the main piece then accent pieces that are added.

The Heritage Tea could be said to be a success, with tables full of scones, shortbread, apple cake, tea, and people chatting.