Victor Last

As a result of a U\T graduate field trip, involving studies in the Meaford\Thornbury & Beaver River area, Victor Last saw for the first time the escarpment, the remarkable waters of Georgian Bay and the countless fields of ripening apples. Fate was with him when he discovered an advertisement in the Globe and Mail for a geography instructor in the small hamlet of Wiarton. The rest is history. Last taught both physical and cultural geography at Wiarton District High School for twenty-nine years before retiring from the teaching profession in June of 2000. His passion for geography was both fueled and complemented by his passion for travel, both overseas and in the Peninsula. He soon discovered that the Peninsula, in spite of its small size, contained an incredible variety of physical features, second to none.

Last also became aware of Wiarton’s history, one spade at a time, as he prepared new flowerbeds around his back garden, Roman follie, at his Hillcrest home. Here artefacts of all sorts were waiting to be uncovered. From Victorian coins, to English pottery, glassware, porcelain doll parts, nails, tools, and bones, they all helped to unravel the story of past life in the town. Last discovered early in his career the strong presence of history in Wiarton, and the Peninsula, which in recent years has become an engaging pursuit seeking out early photographs and postcards of local life and preserving them.

During inclement weather, and especially during COVID times, Last “time travels” by digitizing his vast collection of 35mm slides taken during his early travels in Canada and overseas. He plans on publishing a few books of his retro photos that he feels will be of interest.

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