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The following article first appeared in "The Low Down to Hull and Back News" in the August 09, 2017 issue. Reprinted with permission.

Looking to lighten up your wallet?

By Ben Bulmer

It's a staple of summertime events in the Gatineau Hills and has been around so long that items once considered too modern are now welcomed as antiques.

GVHS auction
Gatineau Valley Historical Society member Louise Schwartz holds up an antique birdcage at the 2010 GVHS auction. File photo.

The Gatineau Valley Historical Society 54th Annual Auction takes place at Old Chelsea's Hendrick Farm Aug. 19. GVHS treasurer and auction organizer Shirley Brown said the longevity of the auction means some of the antiques are coming by for the second time. "I think we're getting some of the stuff back," said Brown. One person who donated a collection of antique tools was sure her father had purchased them from the auction a generation ago.

This year, the GVHS has added an extra drop-off day when people can bring in donations. Brown said the auction is looking for items that ideally can fit into a car. Big sofas and huge wardrobes are out, as buyers simply can't carry them home. Brown said the auction welcomes an array of pieces, from antique furniture to old school tools and farm equipment, to vintage household goods and collectibles. Although the guidelines indicate that "nothing modern" should be donated, Brown said they will welcome mid-century modern pieces, which are all the rage - in the early years of the auction, they would have been considered too contemporary.

The treasurer said the auction - which is the GVHS's only fundraiser - raised $4,000 last year and saw around 85 people attend. Five years previously, attendance would have been at around 150 and Brown thinks the popularity of online shopping may explain why the number has declined. But online shopping misses the fun and excitement of a live auction. "There's no time for hesitation," said Brown. If it catches your eye, you have to go for it.

The GVHS auction takes place from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Bidding starts at 9 a.m. Viewing takes place between 5 and 7 p.m. Aug. 18. Donations can be dropped off between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Aug. 11 or between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. Aug. 18. Donors can choose to receive a tax receipt for 100 per cent of the sale price or a cheque for 50 per cent of the sale price. For more information go to: www.gvhs.ca.