Lantzville Historical Society founding member Armand Caillet has provided the society with copies of the minutes of the Nanaimo-Cedar Farmer’s Institute from 1914 to 1922. There were other local farmer’s organizations prior to 1914 but several of these appear to have merged in that year. Several local farmers were active members of the Institute including George Copley and F.R. Ware.
The institute’s minutes record the member’s interests in making a farm economy function. They supported a Farmer’s Market, group purchases of seeds and had opinions on a number of government regulations. They didn’t like bears, cougars (which they always refer to as “panthers”) and competition from Asian immigrants.
From the minutes:
Jan 3rd, 1921. Moved by T. Mitchell that this Institute recommend to the Minister of Public Works, that the Canadian Thistle and all noxious weeds be cut along the roadways of Vancouver Island. Carried.
Moved by G. Copley that the common broom be placed on the noxious weed act. Defeated
Dec 18th, 1916. Mr A.J. Benson, as manager of the Farmer’s Market, reported a great improvement in the same since he took office. The market was $69 in debt when he took office and at the present time is only in arrears $10. A great increase is shown in the amount of produce now being sold and with the loyal support of the farmers, the market should eventually be a flourishing one.
A motion was passed that the Institute donate to the Committee of the Farmer’s Market the sum of $15. The same to be used towards making the present market building presentable.
Mar 6th 1916. A communication from the Victoria Board of trade dated Jan 24th was read re-appointing a representative to act on the Board Committee to discuss ways and means of insuring the domestic supply of farm products on Vancouver Island and adjacent islands.