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  • Writer's pictureAndrew Lamb

Small Groundbreaking Event in 1888 for the First Anglican Church in Kamloops

On May 16, 1888, Canon Cooper and the building committee of the Church of England congregation in Kamloops (better known as the Anglican Church today) met to break ground at the site of their new church. This small event was in preparation for the much larger cornerstone ceremony that would happen one week later with the Masons.

That Saturday, May 19, The Inland Sentinel published an article on page 5 about the "sod-turning" event. Next to it, a large announcemnt from the Church of England inviting Kamloops to attend the upcoming cornerstone ceremony.

To read the digitally archived newspaper article, you can visit the Thompson Nicola Regional Library's newspaper archive. Otherwise, read on below for the article found in the May 19 Inland Sentinel.

The Inland Sentinel

Saturday, May 19, 1888


The Corner Stone of St. Augustine to be Laid by the Lord Bishop of New Westminster.

The First Sod of the Foundation Turned on Wednesday Last.

For some weeks past it has been evident that the members of the Church of England were stirring themselves in the matter of church building. A grant of $500 given by a gentleman in England would have been lost if the erection of a parsonage or church had not been begun before the 31st inst., so every effort was made, and those efforts have been successful in getting a building fairly started before the expiration of the month. A description of the plans a further particulars will be given next week.

Canon Cooper is working indefatigably to have all preparations complete for the ceremony which is to take place at eleven o’clock next Thursday morning.

On Wednesday the building committee met on the ground, laid out the site, and then Canon Cooper with uncovered head cut the first sod “In the name of the Father and of the Son and the Holy Ghost.”

The Lord Bishop of New Westminster will arrive at Kamloops on Wednesday and remain till Thursday evening.

An application has been made to the M. W. the Grand Master, A. F & A. M, to issue his permission to the lord bishop to lay the stone with Masonic honors. An answer has not yet been received, but under any circumstances the ceremony will be both an imposing and interesting one.

At a meeting of the Building Committee held on Friday evening, it was resolved that tenders be called for the material for the erection of the church and for the workmanship, according to Mr Burnyeat’s plans and specifications. Mr A McGregor was appointed to complete the concrete foundation and arrangements for laying the corner stone.

On motion it was resolved that the nave of the church be 51x26 feet, the cost not to exceed $3000, and that provision be made for the erection of side aisles, at a future date.

A resolution was passed that the church be called St Augustine, after the first archbishop of Canterbury.

Check out the blog's "From News Archives" category for more old newspaper articles about the churches of Kamloops.

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