2011 ADVOCACY, AWARENESS & PLANNING
AWARD OF HONOUR
The Delta Heritage Advisory Commission
On March 29, 1910, a major celebration was held to mark the opening of a new swing bridge connecting the farming community of Westham Island to the District of Delta. One hundred years later, almost to the day, the community came together once again to commemorate the bridge with an event officially titled "Spanning a Century", but affectionately referred to as the Westham 100.
The Westham Island Swing Bridge is a significant historic engineering structure and something of a rarity today. Understandably, Delta’s Heritage Advisory Commission wanted to recognize the centennial of this significant community heritage landmark in an appropriate fashion. A sub-committee was struck, including, among others, Westham Island residents, Delta Farmers' Institute, Delta Museum and Archives, Reifel Bird Sanctuary, Delta Libraries, and Delta Chamber of Commerce. Donations and in-kind contributions came from the farming community and related businesses, and catering was provided by celebrity chef Bruno Marti and his students.
A large percentage of the many volunteers who made the event possible live and work on Westham Island. Several are also related to Westham farming families, and a number of descendants of the first settlers attended the celebration. Nearly 300 Deltans enjoyed a day of ceremonies, a five-star lunch and special programs and activities. The venue was a Westham Island heritage barn older than the bridge itself. Formalities included the unveiling of a plaque and an interpretive panel.
On one unexpectedly warm March day, a single lane bridge which had connected Deltans for a century was officially recognized as a symbol of unity between the communities of the past and present