CHEK Upside: 98-year-old writes her first ever book

CHEK Upside: 98-year-old writes her first ever book
Cole Sorenson/CHEK News
WatchElizabeth Laugharne has spent the past year chronicling the history of St. Mary the Virgin Anglican Church's stained glass windows.

Oak Bay’s Elizabeth Laugharne has nearly done it all in her 98 years, whether it was administering vaccines in Panama or winning the Registered Nurses Association of B.C.’s Award of Excellence.

But she’s never written a book, until now.

“As a health professional I had published articles over the period of my career but nothing like this, this was absolutely new,” said Laugharne.

St. Mary the Virgin Anglican Church is home to 54 stained glass windows and as one of the archivists for the church, Laugharne was enthralled by their history.

“It became quite fascinating to me and as the years went by I thought to myself I wonder if I should do a book,” said Laugharne. “Somebody said that would be a good idea and that was the beginning of what I’ve called a journey.”

It was a long process that involved both a graphic designer and an editor, but after a year of hard work the book, entitled Messages in Glass is now complete. Both the church and Laugharne couldn’t be happier with the result.

“Of course I’m thrilled, my purpose is to help to inform the world or encourage the world to be informed about the treasure that we have within the walls of this church and to see that they’re preserved for in perpetuity,” said Laugharne.

“Liz is such a firecracker,” said The Reverend Canon Craig Hiebert.

“So full of energy even at 98 and to take on a project like this which I knew from past experience of seeing graphic design work put together would’ve been a big job, but she didn’t flinch,” added Hiebert.

As for if Laugharne will attempt a second book?

“Not me,” she laughed.

The book is available at St. Mary’s Churchmouse bookshop, with all proceeds from the book going to the preservation of the stained glass windows.

READ MORE: CHEK Upside: Island guitar builders preparing entries for international competition

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Cole SorensonCole Sorenson

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