Christmas Lights at the Japanese Gardens: Fri Dec 19

Bring family and friends to see the annual, magical display of lights at the Japanese Gardens, Dinner Bay.

We are open: every night from 5 - 7 pm from Dec 19th, up to and including, Jan 1st. Closed Christmas Eve.

Sneak preview after the Santa Ship, on Saturday, Dec 13th from 5 - 7 pm.

Volunteers have worked hard to adorn the gardens with thousands of lights and ornaments to make this a special experience. Come join us for hot cider, cookies, and holiday ambiance. Donations appreciated.

For further information please contact Ingrid (250) 539-5024

posted December 2014

Last Chance Christmas Market: Sun Dec 14

Merry Crafters — Last Chance Christmas Sale at the Ag Hall from 10 am - 2 pm this Sunday.

Mayne Island produced and hand-crafted.

For further information please contact Cecila

posted December 2014

Island Health Eliminates On Call Nursing on Mayne Island

Island Health has eliminated on call weekend nursing coverage on Mayne Island.

 Island Health has announced that a realignment of nursing services to increase home and community care support means that there will no longer be a first call relief nurse on Mayne Island during weekends. This announcement is being published in its entirety in the next issues of Driftwood and Island Tides and is posted on the Mayne Island Health Centre Association (MIHCA) web site and the Mayne Island Info Facebook page.

We have been advocating for increased home and community care nursing coverage on Mayne and welcome this part of Island Health's announcement.
We were not, however, expecting this increase to come at the expense of our on call nursing services. That possibility was never discussed with either Mayne's medical team or the MIHCA board. In fact, we have been lobbying for and awaiting a permanent replacement since our on call nurse retired in the spring of 2014.

We were taken completely by surprise when Island Health gave us two weeks' notice that our on call nursing position would be eliminated effective November 21st, 2014. Galiano residents have also lost their on call nurse under the same circumstances.

What does this mean?
 With the exception of one weekend in four - when Dr. Losier will be available on island - all on call coverage will be by provided by phone. Barb Edwards, Mayne Island’s Unit Chief for BC Ambulance Services, notes, “This reduction in on call coverage will greatly increase the number of medical emergencies that need to be sent off island by either water taxi or helicopter, at significant cost to the health care system.”

What happens now?
 While we are very disappointed with this decision and the process by which it was reached, we will continue to work with Island Health, our medical team and our counterparts on Galiano to look for creative ways to fill the gap created by the elimination of this position. We will also make every effort to have a strong voice in any future decisions that affect health care delivery on Mayne. —Your MIHCA Board

Comments or questions? Island Health Ministry of Health

Phone or write to Island Health:
Island Health 
1952 Bay Street

Victoria, British Columbia 
V8R 1J8 Toll-free phone number: 1-877-370-8699.

You can also contact our local MLA Gary Holman in person or by mail:

Saanich North and the Islands Community Office

2393 Beacon Ave.
Sidney BC, V8L 1W9

Telephone: (250) 655-5711. Toll-Free: 1-855-955-5711. Fax: (250) 655-7398. Email:

MIHCA would like to hear from you too! If you have contacted or plan on contacting any of the above, please send us a copy to or drop a copy off at the Health Centre, Attention MIHCA.

A message from Dr. Losier regarding the elimination of our on call weekend nursing coverage.

It is very unfortunate that after 15 years of dedicated nurses serving our community, we have lost our on call weekend nursing coverage as of November 21st.

I strongly disagree with this decision to eliminate our on call nursing position. As the practicing physician on Mayne since 2001, I have spent over 2000 nights on call — something I could not have done without the support of a nurse.

I am also deeply concerned that Island Health Rural Health managers made this decision without any prior consultation with or input from our medical team.

The elimination of this position is being offset by increased home care nursing, but I believe the on call position could have been combined with more home care nursing hours.

At a meeting after we were informed of elimination of the on call position, I provided the Rural Health Managers with what I felt were strong and valid arguments to incorporate the on call role into the new home support nursing position, but Island Health was firm in its decision.

While I am extremely disappointed in this turn of events, I remain committed to our community and my patients.

With care and respect,
Juliana Losier, MD CCFP.

For further information about the contents of this announcement please contact MIHCA Board member Lindsay Allan

posted November 2014

“Wassail”: Fri Dec 19

“Wassail” with Elisabeth Jahren & Stephen Cropper and Friends.

Songs to drive the cold winter away. Music from several traditions including poetry, stories and audience participation carolling.

Friday, December 19, 2014 at 7:30 pm - Doors open at 7 pm. At St. Mary Magdalene Church.

Tickets: $15 (including beverage and snack) at the door, or to be sure from Happy Tides or Miners Bay Books.

For further information please contact Stephen (250) 539-2206.

posted November 2014

Lions Club Christmas Bingo: Sat Dec 13

The Lions Club will hold its annual Christmas Bingo at the Agricultural Hall, Miners Bay, on Saturday, December 13th, after the departure of the Lions Santa Ship. Doors open at 7 pm.

Combine a visit to meet Santa Claus with an evening of fun playing bingo.

Proceeds from the Lions bingo games go to support the Lions scholarship program. So your evening of fun and games at the Lions Christmas Bingo will assist the further education of Mayne Island youth. Prizes for Bingo are generously donated by Mayne Island businesses and individual donors. Everyone is welcome!

For further information please contact Dennis Watts

posted November 2014

Lions Santa Ship Comes To Miners Bay: Sat Dec 13

The annual Christmas Santa Ship, sponsored by the Mayne island Lions Club with the Parks and Recreation Board and the Thrift Shop as co-sponsors, will dock at Miners Bay on Saturday, December 13.

It is scheduled to arrive at 2:45 pm. Mayne Island Firefighters in full gear and Lions Club members masquerading as reindeer will escort Santa, riding in a fire truck, to the Agricultural Hall, where he and Mrs. Santa will distribute gifts to the children of our island community.

Bring your children and grandchildren. Santa is scheduled to leave Mayne Island at 4 pm, and after his departure, there will be a bingo in the Ag Hall sponsored by the Lions Club. Everyone is welcome, and a Merry Christmas to everyone from the Mayne Island Lions Club.

For further information please contact Allan Evans

posted November 2014

Your Emergency Program on Mayne: Wed Dec 3

Sessions on Wednesday, Dec 3rd 2014, 11 am to 4 pm. Lunch is included. At the Mayne Island Community Centre.

Many questions are asked: What is Emergency Social Services (ESS)? What is a Reception Centre? Why do we need it? Who reports to whom? Who is in Charge? What is my Role? I am already a Neighbourhood Contact; should I have ESS Training? What is a telephone tree? Where do ESS volunteers and Neighbourhood Contacts fit into the overall plan? What buildings are safe? What about our children? What about Evacuation Plans?

While possibly we can't answer them all, we are going to try: Wednesday, Dec 3rd 2014.

11 am - Noon: Overview of the Emergency Program on Mayne Island and how we fit into the regional and provincial structure.

12 - 1 pm: Lunch.

1 - 4 pm: Pat Haugh, Deputy Area Co-ordinator, will conduct a training exercise, designed to help volunteers learn and practice procedures during an incident. The topic for this exercise is "Longer Term Power Outage". Most of us can cope with 2 days but what if it is a longer term?

Come & learn about the planning to cope with this situation and to help us determine our "readiness" to help ourselves, our families, and our Community Members.

We would like to increase the overall knowledge and understanding of the Emergency Program as well as offer more training for Emergency Social Services (ESS). ESS volunteers assist those who may be displaced by a house fire or in the case of a larger scale event, operates a "Reception Centre" for registration, family re-unification, lodging, food, or emergency clothing. Although these jobs are rarely called upon, we do need trained volunteers to to perform them.

Can’t make the whole day? If you are only able to attend the morning or the afternoon session please let us know which session(s) you will attend.

We need to count you in for lunch so please reply by Dec 1st to or Gerrie Wise, (250) 539-5148 or Irene Barrett, (250) 539-5070. For further information please contact Gerrie Wise

posted November 2014

Is there a cougar on Mayne Island?

Is a cougar making a stop-over visit to Mayne Island? Expert opinions vary.

On Tuesday, November 18, at about 4 p.m., one of Mayne's two permitted fallow deer hunters was checking out the old deer farm with a partner, who saw a yearling fallow chased by an animal. The grass was tall, so he only saw the top of its back. He described it as, "a little darker than a golden retriever", which the hunter confirms is the colour of a cougar. Ten minutes later, they found a carcass of a freshly killed deer. "It was a classic cougar kill," the hunter said, "they'll grab the animal by the front shoulders, pull it down, bite the neck and squeeze. They actually suffocate them."

He believes the puncture wounds in the neck are too far apart to indicate it was a dog's canine teeth. He explains, "Dogs usually hamstring an animal. I'm out there virtually every day. If there were any wild dogs running around and had the capability of doing that to a deer, I'm sure we'd have seen it by now. I'm fairly experienced with kind of stuff, and I'd give [the odds to be] 90% cougar and 10% something else."

The hunters took photos of the carcass and sent them to the RCMP.

We contacted the RCMP asking for their response to the report and for suggestions on precautions islanders should take if there is a big cat on the island.

The RCMP forwarded our email to Peter Pauwels, a Conservation Officer for the Ministry of Environment with twenty-one years of experience who had already seen the photos, and he quickly got back us by phone.

He stated: "On Southern Vancouver Island, we are called out to verify unknown predator kills twenty to thirty times a year. It is my opinion that the deer was more likely to have been killed by a dog than a cougar. It is difficult to verify species predation by photos alone. In this case, the puncture wounds to the throat are consistent with either cougar or dog, but the way it was fed on is much more indicative of a dog."

Further, he explained, "I can advise that we have received no recent cougar sightings on Mayne Island. In my experience if there was a cougar on a relatively small island, such as Mayne, we would have received multiple sightings by now. If a cougar makes it to Mayne Island there would very likely be dead sheep showing up as well. Sheep are much easier to hunt than Fallow Deer. However, it is impossible to prove anything one way or the other based on those photos alone."

With two experts expressing mainly differing views, where does that leave residents? Constable Jon Lane of the RCMP advised that, "At this point, notices have not been officially put out, however, to err on the side of caution, I've contacted the school."

After being contacted by the RCMP, Mayne School Principal Matti Girardi got in touch with BC Wildlife. “They recommended we exercise caution, so we sent out a notice to parents and have set limits to where the students can play in the woods around the school.”

The local hunter who found the carcass believes there is no reason for any action to be taken at this time. He told us that if it’s found that livestock are attacked, people are threatened, or pets are attacked, then the Ministry may attempt to track the animal. However, this may be unsuccessful because cougar are secretive and difficult to find. The hunter believes that the cougar will leave the island of its own accord when it needs to mate.

Best advice: if anyone spots or photographs a cougar, or finds an unusual kill, contact the RCMP.

In the meantime, the public is advised to visit the Ministry of Environment's web page called, Safety Guide to Cougars, which offers good advice about how to avoid cougars, how to keep children, pets, and yourself safe.

Article by Bill Maylone & Jim Traversy

posted November 2014

A Medieval Christmas: Sat Dec 13

Banquo Folk Ensemble celebrates the Yuletide season with an afternoon of festive Early music, performed on vocals, fiddle, flute, recorders, smallpipes, cittern, mandolin, hurdy-gurdy, xylophone, surpeti, percussion and more!

Saturday, December 13th 2:30 pm at St. Mary Magdalene Church.

Tickets $15 at the door, or in advance at Farm Gate and Happy Tides.

For further information please contact Lael Whitehead (250) 217-8533.

posted November 2014

4th Annual Christmas Light Parade: Sat Dec 20

Photo by Toby Snelgrove
Dress up your truck, car, horse, tractor, motorcycle, bicycle or sleigh with bright colourful lights & decorations! All motorized vehicles and two or four legged creatures are welcome to join the parade, which starts at 6 pm on Saturday, December 20th.

We’ll be assembling along Fernhill Road, in front of the school, at 5 pm. The parade will proceed down Fernhill to Miners Bay and end at Maynestreet Mall with refreshments and treats for the kids and adults. Santa & Mrs. Santa will be there, and we’ll be offering prizes for the best lit floats!

Please bring a donation of non-perishable food for the local food bank. Sponsored by Sunny Mayne Bakery, Home Hardware, Tru Value Foods & J. Griffin Hauling.

Please contact John at (250) 539-0887 or Rose at (250) 539-2820 for more information.

posted November 2014