We’re living through history – so write it down

The Port Moody Station Museum looks to gather pandemic memories from local residents while they live through the global COVID-19 crisis

The Port Moody Station Museum wants to change your thinking that history is just something from days of yore recorded in musty books and seen through dusty antiques.

We’re living history right now, in the midst of the massive societal and economic upheaval brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, said one of the museum’s coordinators, Markus Fahrner.

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And he said he’s hoping Port Moody residents will record their thoughts and observations to be donated to the museum’s collection so future generations can get a sense of what it was like to live through the current health crisis and the changes in daily routines it has precipitated.

“Over the years, we have learned how important it is to have a wide variety of voices involved in history telling,” Fahrner told The Tri-City News, adding that the exercise can even prove therapeutic.

“By encouraging people to focus on the history at hand, it helps them to focus energy into creating these documents rather than simply mulling over the negative and scary aspects.”

Brianne Egeto, a manager and curator at the museum, said personal documentation of such a momentous event offers an “intimate glimpse” of its impact that can’t easily be captured in traditional recorders of history-on-the-fly like newspapers.

She said that documentation can comprise personal journals, letters or emails to family members, even photos of “the busy place that is now empty.” All materials donated to the museum will be catalogued for future exhibits and research, and in accordance with regulations in the Privacy Act of Canada.

Fahrner said as much as the pandemic has made people anxious and fearful, it has also fostered a newfound sense of collective spirit.

“It will give a sense of belonging and stitching together,” he said.

• To learn more about the Port Moody Station Museum’s live history project, as well its virtual initiatives while its physical doors are closed, go to www.portmoodymuseum.org, visit its Facebook page or email info@portmoodymuseum.org.

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