Woodland Jewellers

Woodland Jewellers

Museum features Woodland Jewellers artifacts

One of the unique displays donated to the Museum of the Cariboo Chilcotin this year is a display featuring early watchmaking.

One of the unique displays donated to the Museum of the Cariboo Chilcotin this year is a display featuring some of the early watchmaking and repair tools and records from Woodland Jewellers.

“The display includes such early tools as the watchmakers’ anvil and lathe that are no different than you’d find in a modern day machinist’s shop today, just a little smaller,” says Geoff Bourdon, who has joined the family business not only as a watch and jewellery repair person, but as a jewellery designer/crafter.

The watch bench in the museum display was used by E.G (Tony) Woodland in 1933 when he first started repairing watches for people in the old MacKenzie’s department store on Oliver Street (later bought by Field’s).

The poster boards commemorate decades of Woodland Jeweller’s history in Williams Lake. The jewellery store is the only third-generation family business in Williams Lake. Tony founded E.G. Woodland and Son Jewellers in 1933. His son, Ralph, took over the business in 1965, and Ralph’s daughter, Cindy Watt, followed suit as today’s owner manager.

Some of the watches on the watch repair board in the museum display have been patiently waiting for their owners — some for 50 years, Bourdon says.

The red book in the display dates from 1948 and is one of the original hand-written repair ledgers of every watch that Tony, and his son Ralph, worked on.

The display also includes some references to community involvement.The musette (woodwind instrument also known as a piccolo oboe) in the display belonged to Tony, who was part of the community band.

Tony was also founder and charter president of the local men’s curling club and his personal curling rock forms part of the display.

Tony took his first rink to a Prince George bonspiel in 1935. Tony, A.J. Tyson, Harry Taylor, and Roderick MacKenzie (MacKenzie’s store owner) made up the team. The men’s curling club was officially formed in November 1949. That same month the women’s curling club was formed with Mrs. Tom Bishop as the charter president.

Starting with Tony, all three generations of the Woodland family have taken an active role in community affairs. Geoff is retiring from city council this year and for several years has donated his creative handiwork for items auctioned at the annual Hospital Gala coming up in November and the Diamond Dinner fundraiser for the Child Development Centre and Women’s Contact Society.

Tickets for this year’s hospital gala ring raffle are now available at Woodlands. Staff there will show you the ring as well.

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