THE LAND CONSERVANCY WELCOMES AMBASSADOR OF GEORGIA TO ABKHAZI GARDEN
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 15, 2017
Victoria, BC – The Land Conservancy of BC (TLC) was honoured to welcome His Excellency Konstantine Kavtaradze, Ambassador of Georgia to Canada, for an on-site ribbon-cutting ceremony at Abkhazi Garden on November 10, 2017, at 2:00 p.m. to recognize the Georgian connection to Abkhazi Garden and officially reveal the new entrance gate.
His Excellency Konstantine Kavtaradze, Ambassador of Georgia to Canada, and Cathy Armstrong, TLC Executive Director, both said a few words about Abkhazi Garden. Following the outdoor ceremony members of the press were invited to attend a reception with TLC donors and volunteers at 6:00 p.m. at the Teahouse at Abkhazi Garden where His Excellency Konstantine Kavtaradze provided a presentation for guests about the history of Georgia and its links to the Abkhazi family.
“Abkhazi Garden in Victoria bears the name of Nicholas Abkhazi, representative of the old noble Georgian family, whose story is closely linked to the history of Georgia,” said His Excellency Konstantine Kavtaradze. “In 1918, after almost 100 years of absence from the political map, Georgia – one of the ancient kingdoms and oldest Christian countries in the world, regained its independence and started its journey to build the new democratic Republic. Father of Nicholas Abkhazi, Major General Konstantin Abkhazi was one of the founding fathers of this Republic. Young Nicholas was involved in the process of transforming the country into a European liberal democracy; it was fascinating for him to see how Georgia was rejoining European family of nations. He was there in 1921 when this transformation was brutally interrupted by the military invasion from the north. In 1923 Konstantin Abkhazi was prosecuted and shot by Bolsheviks for his love and devotion to his homeland. Nicholas and his mother Elena were forced to flee Georgia. After years of hardship in Europe Nicholas found refuge in Canada. When living in Georgia, his dream was to build his own house on the land of his ancestors, but finally, after reunion with his beloved wife Marjorie (“Peggy”) Pemberton-Carter, he found his new home in Victoria, British Columbia. They transformed this rocky piece of land into a beautiful garden known as Abkhazi Garden. By saving and preserving this piece of land residents of Victoria and TLC preserved part of common Georgian-Canadian heritage, they preserved memory of the Nicolas and Peggy Abkhazi.
“To recognize the Georgian connection to Abkhazi Garden and to express our appreciation for TLC, which saved, preserved and developed this Garden, it would be my pleasure and privilege to visit Victoria and meet those individuals who contributed to the success of the Garden.”
“We were honoured to welcome the Ambassador to Abkhazi Garden and provide an overview of the history of its acquisition and share information about the lives of Nicholas and Peggy Abkhazi,” said Cathy Armstrong, TLC Executive Director.
“On the eve of Remembrance Day it feels fitting that we celebrate their lives and accomplishments including this Garden, but also recognize the trials they experienced,” said Frances Sloan Sainas, TLC Board Chair. “Peggy and Nicholas both spent time in Prisoner of War camps in World War II. Nicholas in Germany and Peggy in a camp near Shanghai. They lost one another for 13 years, but came together in this space to create this peaceful legacy that we are honoured to continue today.”
About Abkhazi Garden
A heritage home and community garden, Abkhazi Garden was created by Prince Nicholas and Princess Marjorie (Peggy) Abkhazi in 1946. This was the year they married and settled in Victoria, after living separate lives touched by both privilege and tragedy. They immediately began to develop their one-acre property, and continued to maintain and improve the garden throughout their lives together. After their deaths the Abkhazi Garden changed hands and in February 2000, with community support, TLC purchased the property to save it from becoming a townhouse development.
Located at 1964 Fairfield Road, Abkhazi Garden is open to the public from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday throughout the fall and winter, and is open daily from April 1 to September 30. Admission to the garden is by donation.
About The Land Conservancy of BC
TLC is a non-profit, charitable Land Trust working throughout British Columbia. TLC’s primary mandate is to benefit the community by protecting habitat for natural communities of plants and animals. Founded in 1997, TLC is membership-based and governed by an elected, volunteer Board of Directors. TLC relies on a strong membership and volunteer base to help maintain its operations.
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