On Sunday, April 9, the Ucluelet and Area Historical Society (UAHS) will host its annual general meeting.
Shirley Martin, UAHS secretary, invites locals to come out and join a roundtable discussion on the old Wick Inn.
“A lot of people think that the Wick Inn at Chestermans is the original Wick Inn. It’s not,” says Martin, who has lived in Ucluelet for 65 years.
In the early 60s, Robin Fells, a young entrepreneur from Vancouver, arrived to the West Coast and fell in the love with the area. He bought the land at the end of Wick Road and constructed a destination resort called the Wickaninnish Inn.
The Inn had 22 rooms, a dining room and a lounge with an iconic drooping roof. Fells operated the rustic getaway for ten years.
“To those of us that grew up here, it was such a big part of our lives,” Martin recalls. “It was a great employment opportunity for all of us teenagers out on the West Coast.”
The old Wick Inn would close by fall 1977, a few years after Parks Canada took possession of the land that encompasses the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve.
It was eventually partially demolished and transformed into the Wickaninnish Interpretive Centre. In 2012, the facility was renamed the Kwisitis Visitor Centre. The old lounge, now a restaurant within Kwisitis, is the only part of the original Wick Inn that still remains.
Martin remembers collecting mussels on the beach for mussel chowder. She encourages anyone that ever worked at the original Wick Inn to attend the meeting and share their stories.
The meeting will commence at 2 p.m. at the Ucluelet Community Centre. Coffee and appetizers will be served following the discussion.
“Robin Fells is planning to come. He is a young 91 years old now,” says Martin.