Christmas party, 5th December ’22

Instead of a members’ meeting we hold a Christmas Party in December. There is no speaker and no club business meeting. Instead we have a pot luck and sit and chat.

In the past we’ve had a full sit down Christmas dinner, pot luck style.  It has been suggested that maybe an appy/finger-food style event (also pot luck) would be easier on the membership?

To indicate your preference, please fill out this very short google form which will stay open for two weeks from today.  A second form will go out in two weeks time for food planning, based on the results of this survey.

Christmas Party Planning Form (part 1)

Where: Burnside Lawn Bowling Club, 274 Hampton Rd, Victoria, BC V8Z 1H1 (the usual meeting place)
When: Setup at 5:30 pm, guests 6:00pm to 9:00pm

Field trip: Ella Beach, Sooke Pot Holes for gold panning, October 30th ’22

It was planned to be a two-destination trip; first to Ella Beach in Sooke for an hour and a half rockhounding and pebble picking, then moving on to the Sooke Potholes for gold panning…

Sean: “Due to the rather heavy amount of rain, we elected not to attempt to pan in what is now a raging river. So we went to the secondary site, Ella Beach.

There was a rather large storm a few nights prior that ripped up the seabed, dumping normally deep bedded sea life on the tides.”

Arlene: “It was a slightly damp morning (tongue in cheek) (“atmospheric river” – ed.), and due to the Sooke River swelling its banks Sean decided to call off the gold panning part of the trip

Ella Beach however, was a delight.  Everyone was decked out in rain gear and other than an initial bit of a downpour when we first arrived, it cleared up and was quite an enjoyable morning.   After a couple of hours it started showing signs of getting wet again and we packed it up

There were a few treasures found including a “very first flowerstone” find, an actual small clear agate, as well as some interesting washed up sea creatures and shells, a beautiful huge abalone shell, and assorted interesting rocks. 

Sean: “We spent a few hours combing the beaches finding interesting rocks. One actual agate (surprised), a lithium purple rock yet to be ID’d; as well as sea urchins, scallops, one abalone shell and other stuff not normally washed up on beaches.”

Arlene: “Sean was amazing at his rock identification as usual and was kept busy answering questions as we sauntered slowly down the beach, eyes to the ground as only a true rock lover travels. 

We had a fellow traveller with us for a good hour – a big seal lion who kept pace with us and talked to us all the way up, eventually, like an hour later, joining his crowd out in the water near the end of the beach.  There was so much kelp, dead wood and crud at the tideline in the water that it was hard to differentiate his companions who were out there somewhere and also very vocal.” 

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Seen in the workshop – October 2022

We are THRILLED to be back in the workshop!

We’d particularly like to thank Brian Macmillan for getting the Genies going again, Rachel and Orin Sawry for running the Thursday workshops and Yvan for all the background work with the Silver Threads centre and running the Saturday workshops.

This would be a good time to mention that we are looking for a volunteer from the membership to take on the position of Workshop Manager now that it’s up and running again – please email for more information.

Here are some pictures of the workshop getting going again – click on the pictures to see them larger.

Rough to Ready show ’22

Our October show – the Rough to Ready Member’s Fair will be held on the weekend of October 15th and 16th this year. As usual it will be a the Leonardo Da Vinci centre in Victoria.

The idea behind the Rough to Ready show is to allow members to dip their toe into the arena of selling their rock-related creations in a safe environment. Members’ applications for tables at the show are prioritized and selection criteria for spaces favour beginner/club sellers.

If you’ve run out of storage for your creations, or would like your hobby to become somewhat self-supporting, this is the show for you to present your wares.

Our goal is to support club members by providing a safe and comfortable non-competitive sales venue in which to showcase their stone related talents, collections and small businesses, in addition to furthering education and advancing everything handmade and collected in the realm of lapidary, stone and crystal. We prefer that glass and plastic items as well as “fake” or knock-off items be excluded from your product offerings. This may be a first event for newer artisans and we aim to keep the vibe friendly and encouraging.

Please complete this Vendor Application Form before September 20th if you would like to participate in the show.

Rendezvous 2022

Rendezvous 2022 was held in Coombs at the fairground from June 2nd through June 6th, 2022. It was well-attended with both tent and RV campers. Despite changeable weather and rain, the field trips were full and the workshops and demonstrations also filled up. For a taste of what was on offer see the photo albums below (there was more on offer, but these are the events I have photos for).

Field Trips on offer:

Horne Lake Caves

At the guide centre we were provided with helmets and headlamps. Our guide, Ryan, took us on a 20 minute walk uphill to the cave entrance. The walk is dotted with interpretive signs of the landscape. The entrance to Big Bend Cave is gated and locked. The floor of the cave is in its natural state as a river bed and requires some nimbleness to navigate.

Our guide
Walking along the original river bed
Squeezing up through a narrow passage towards the exit

Click on an image to see it larger, use your arrow keys to move between images

Mt Arrowsmith

The trip to Mt Arrowsmith afforded the chance to see Dallasite in its original form as part of basalt pillow lava as well as red, green, blue(ish) and purple jaspers. Thanks go to Jim Jeffs (Parksville club) for leading the trip, providing insightful explanations and organizing the gates to be unlocked for access.

Click on an image to see it larger, use your arrow keys to move between images

Formation of basalt pillows:

Argonaut Mine

The Argonaut mine is an idle open pit iron mine. Active from 1951 until 1957 its minerals were used in the steel manufacturing industry. Minerals to be found are magnetite, garnet skarn, epidote skarn, calcite, marble, pyrite, limestone, diorite and actinolite. The trip was led by Jim McKinnon (Parksville club) who provided good interpretation of what was available and how to find it.

Introduction by Jim McKinnon

Argonaut Mine introduction

Click on an image to see it larger, use your arrow keys to move between images

Carving rock bowls – demonstration

Gary Veitch from the Duncan club demonstrated how he carves rock bowls. He uses a Makita Wet Stone polisher that he has modified to keep the powdered rock out of the workings. Gary shapes and sands the outside before starting on the inside. It takes a couple of days to produce a finished bowl from a rock.

Videos of the process (playlist with 5 short videos)

Exposing and cleaning fossils – demonstration

Russ Ball from the Courtney club explained how he uses an air scribe to clean out the matrix surrounding fossils to better expose the structure.

Workshop: Tree of Life Pendant

Allison Gallant and Cari Taylor (Victoria Club) stepped in at short notice to give a great workshop on making a Tree of Life pendant.

Showcases in the Arrowsmith Hall

Here are some of the showcases set up in the Arrowsmith Hall

Island Area Rocks and Minerals: there is a lot of information in each picture, so I’ve left the picture size large – click on a picture to see it bigger, or download it to enlarge it even more.

Rocks of the USA by Grant and Angela Bailey. there is a lot of information in each picture, so I’ve left the picture size large – click on a picture to see it bigger, or download it to enlarge it even more.

Unusual fossils from the Vancouver Island Cretaceous: there is a lot of information in each picture, so I’ve left the picture size large – click on a picture to see it bigger, or download it to enlarge it even more.

Vancouver Island Rocks


Our auctioneer in action

General Photos

Field trip: Meade Creek, Shaw Creek, Cowichan, May 29th ’22

Field trip to Meade Creek and Shaw Creek north of Cowichan lake. We have two locations for this months field trip, that are relatively close to each other.

One: Meade Creek; Rhodonite, Potential gold, Laurel Stone

Two: Shaw Creek; Rhodonite (More then at Meade), Jasper (bright red and black kind), Potential Gold, Laurel Stone.

Same as Meade, just more of it and better….

Suggested things to bring:

  • Gold panning pans
  • Water (for drinking)
  • Rock hammer
  • safety glasses (eye protection)
  • gloves
  • hiking boots or good treaded running shoes
  • food (optional)

Meeting location: Juan de Fuca center parking lot at 9:00 am, see red circle on attached map.

Juan de Fuca Rec Centre meeting place