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The following article first appeared in "The Low Down to Hull and Back News" in the August 10, 2016 issue. Reprinted with permission.

GVHS auction: 53 years strong

by Tess Allen

For the 53rd time, the Gatineau Valley Historical Society (GVHS) is asking Hills residents to dig up and share a few pieces of their own personal histories in the name of a good cause.

The 2016 GVHS Silent Auction & Bake Sale is slated for Aug. 20 at Hendrick Farm in Chelsea, and the group will once again be accepting donations for the auction at the last minute.

"It's a different kind of auction in that we never know what we're going to get because people only bring the items the night before, so it's always a bit of a mystery," said GVHS treasurer and auction coordinator Shirley Brown. "But in all our years, we've always gotten great, great stuff. People are very supportive; they save up their treasures and bring them to us... It's become a tradition."

Brown said the organization's only annual fundraiser seems to go through trends year after year in terms of the items it attracts. This helps keep things interesting, she said.

"One year we had a whole bunch of iron beds and another year we got a bunch of silver cutlery and candlesticks... and then other years we'll have tons of chairs. Last year was a chair year," she said. "It's just whatever people find and decide to bring us, but we usually have a pretty good selection of furniture and smaller items like glassware, decorative items, special books, or antiques."

One particularly interesting item already collected for this year's event is what Brown describes as "a huge spinning wheel."

"Believe it or not, somebody had put it on the side of the road. One of our members stopped the car and brought it over," said Brown. "We have no idea where it came from or whose it was, but it's kind of fun."

In years past, the auction has raised about $5,000 for the GVHS from the sale of about 200 items - funds that Brown says "keep [the organization] going."

Residents can drop off "anything collectible... no vacuum cleaners or anything like that," at Hendrick Farm at 3 Chelbrook Road from noon until 7 p.m. on Aug. 19. Viewing of the items will take place from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. that night and from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. the following morning. The event will get started rain or shine around 9 a.m. with the help of auctioneer Revel Stewart. Donors receive a tax receipt for 100 per cent of the cash sale or a cheque for 50 per cent of the selling price if the amount is $10 or more.

The event will run from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Questions can be directed to auction@gvhs.ca.


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