During the 24 years that I have been a member of the Union Club, I have gradually become aware that one of the qualities I like best about the Club is the retro-style ambiance. I often point out to my friends and guests that coming into the Union Club is like entering the set of a Humphrey Bogart movie in terms of surroundings and general ambiance! It is beautiful, and also reflects and respects the style and good taste of the past. This authentic milieu is distinct and set apart, it is a retreat from the faster and more voracious Body-Politic that surrounds us.
The Billiards Room at the Union Club contributes to and is a part of this retro milieu; the room has been in continual use for billiards and snooker-related activities for over a century! The tables and the soft green lights contribute to the general authentic retro ambiance. The same type of full size tables still grace many historic homes and castles in Europe. As such, the billiards room has a kind of understated elegance, and quietly contributes to the retro style that graces the building as a whole.
As part of the Union Club we respect the past and honour those who are no longer with us. For example, we have a Billiards Memorial Totem located on the east wall of the Billiard Room. This is an antique cue case that we use to honour the memory, by way of a small brass inscribed plaque, of the names of players who are no longer with us.
We have also inserted a time-capsule tube into this totem! It is scheduled to be opened in 100 years time. This adds character and depth to the already excellent totem. We are using an anodized aluminium tube as a protective cover for rolled pages. Once it is sealed it will be both water tight and air tight and, hopefully, it will protect and maintain the enclosed information for 100 years.
We have included information related to three themes:
- The billiards room milieu is highlighted because this is a billiards memorial Totem. We have included pictures and statistics related to our billiards and snooker activities. We review our activities, and this may be interesting for comparison purposes. Some things change over time, and some do not. If there is a group of people playing snooker at the Union Club in 2118 they may well be interested in these types of comparisons. We also have included some individual player page profiles of current member/players; these are interspersed throughout, and add a personal touch.
- The purpose of a time capsule is mainly to provide “a snapshot in time” and therefore we are including information and references to current events at the Union Club. We are focusing on the first six months of 2018 as our snapshot in time. For example, the recently established custom of giving featured artists increased visibility at the Union Club is colourful and progressive, and I know they enjoy having their work displayed in our beautiful retro milieu. Other current developments, such as the possible election of our first female President, would surely be a sign of the times at the Union Club! There are many other samples of information that are suitable such as the recent heritage designation of the building, the Union Club finances, formal menu, and so on.
- The City of Victoria. We are located in Victoria, at the Union Club, and some of the details related to occurrences that coincide with our “snapshot in time” provide genuine context and perspective. For example the “100 Year Johnson Street Bridge” is a perfect story to coincide with the launching of our (100 year) time-capsule. Another example is in regard to the current Victoria real estate market; this may be of interest to future residents! In fact, there is much more relevant information than there is space (ie: pages). In the end, it is very interesting to select and locate information that will provide some anchor points to this “moment in time”.
Our plan is to complete the assembly of the time capsule by mid-summer of 2018. Following this, which includes adding pages to the outside as well as the inside of the anodized aluminium tube, we will shrink wrap the whole package, and it will be placed in the billiards memorial totem for posterity; scheduled to be opened in 2118! Once this is accomplished we will seal the totem, probably in the early fall season and well before the end of the calendar year.
So, this is a small project, and very local to the billiards room, but it seemed a good candidate for a UC blog post! Thank you for taking time to read about our remembrance totem.
Best Wishes to enjoy the spectacular blush of the spring and summer season on beautiful Vancouver Island!
Brian W. Johnson, Club member