Victoria Lapidary and Mineral Society

2018 Gemboree – Part 3

Allana Shillito (Gemboree Committee Chair):


Saturday morning was spent at a rock quarry in Jordon River. Giles LeBrun had known for some time that there were fossils at this quarry. What is extraordinary about this spot is that it represents where the plutonic (volcanic) portion of the lower Island meets with the ocean sediments. As a consequence, we were able to find fossils that had been mineralized. Vugs (volcanic air pockets), with their calcite crystallization, and other assorted and unusual types of crystallization were typical “finds” at this intersection of rock formations. The afternoon was spent at a local Sooke location called Ella Beach. This beach is one of the “pebbliest” beaches around and kept most of us with our heads down looking for that special discovery. Saturday evening was highlighted by an impromptu potluck meal and an informative session on how to use the rock and mineral identification materials Laphound News – Aug 2018 Page 5 provided in the goody-bags that we each received at registration. Sean Maier did a great job helping those interested in using the information provided to identify their treasures found during the day.


Sunday began with the Sooke Lions Club putting on a great pancake breakfast with sausages, blueberries and fruit salad. Following breakfast, the Island Zone meeting took place under the shade of conifers at the campsite. Finally, after the zone meeting, a tail-gate sale and auction concluded the Gemboree for this year.

Flint Knapping

Bruzz Bethel gave a demonstration of flint knapping in the campground.

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Jordan River Quarry

The Jordan River Quarry and Sandpit produces rock for road building, but the rock is full of fossils and crystals.  For a wonderful few hours we were given free rein with hammers, chisels and buckets to discover and collect to our heart’s content.

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Ella Beach

Ella Beach is a pebble beach fairly close to the Sooke River Campground.  The large variety of rocks that create the pebbles give an opportunity to find (and identify) your favourites.

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