Nicholas and Peggy Abkhazi in their garden in Fairfield. Abkhazi Garden is opening for two separate public events this month, including a first-time Nov. 11 marking of the wartime heritage of the former property owners. (Courtesy of The Land Conservancy of British Columbia)

Nicholas and Peggy Abkhazi in their garden in Fairfield. Abkhazi Garden is opening for two separate public events this month, including a first-time Nov. 11 marking of the wartime heritage of the former property owners. (Courtesy of The Land Conservancy of British Columbia)

Wartime heritage, volunteer efforts part of November tours at Victoria’s Abkhazi Garden

Remembrance Day opening a first for Fairfield site

Two November events at Victoria’s Abkhazi Garden will commemorate its war heritage and the volunteer efforts that earned it the site a provincial heritage award in 2020.

For the first time in its history, the garden, operated by The Land Conservancy of B.C., will be open on Remembrance Day (Nov. 11) for small group tours from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The opportunity will allow guests to reflect on the war heritage of the garden’s namesakes, said site manager Cherie Miltimore in a release.

Nicolas Abkhazi, a Baltic prince who fled his homeland at the beginning of the Bolshevik revolution, enlisted with the French, but was captured by Germans during the Second World War Two. His friend and soon-to-be-wife, Peggy, was interned in China during her travels there at the beginning of the war. The two created their garden on Fairfield Road after being wed and settling in Victoria shortly after the war.

Visitors interested in booking a Remembrance Day tour can call 250-896-0864 or email volunteer@conservancy.bc.ca.

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Abkhazi Garden will also host an event at 11 a.m. on Nov. 22, in recognition of their volunteers whose work earned them an Outstanding Distinguished Service Award from Heritage BC in 2020.

The Georgian Ambassador to Canada, Konstantin Kavtaradze, will also be in attendance at the event, Miltimore said. He will receive a painting of the garden from local artist Ann Nolte.

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