5561 Wharf Ave
Sechelt, BC V0N 3A0

#117 - 1100 Sunshine Coast Hwy
Gibsons, BC V0N 1V7

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(Background image: illustrated map from a Union Steamship tourism brochure ca. 1925)

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SECHELT, BC, CANADA — April 25, 2008 — Sunshine Coast real estate agent Gary Little has today donated to Habitat for Humanity a rare 16th century engraved sheet showing four plans of fortified towns in what is now the northeastern area of France near the border with Belgium: Charlemont, Avesnes, Landrechies, and Beaumont. This visually stunning large parchment sheet will be one of the featured items in Habitat for Humanity's live auction at its annual "Hammer'N'Swing" fundraiser on Saturday, June 7 at the Sechelt Seniors Activity Centre.

The four plans on the sheet are rendered as bird's-eye views and are hand coloured. One of the plans shows three people in local 16th century dress and each plan has a small attractive cartouche decorated with scrollwork. Latin text on the reverse side recounts the history of the towns.

The sheet is from Civitates Orbis Terrarum ("Cities of the World"), the very first atlas of town plans and views covering the entire world. It was published in Cologne, Germany between 1572 and 1617 and is an important work from the earliest days of organized cartography.

This groundbreaking atlas was co-published by Georg Braun (1541-1622) and Frans Hogenberg (1535-1590). Braun was the editor of the work while Hogenberg engraved most of the plans. Six volumes were ultimately published incorporating 546 town plans and views as they existed 400 years ago.

"We are grateful to Gary for his generous donation and we hope this inspires others in the community to donate other interesting items for our fundraiser auctions," said Charlie Russel, Chairman of the Board for Habitat for Humanity Sunshine Coast. "It is also very appropriate for an organization such as ours, with a goal of integrating affordable housing into modern communities, to receive a gift which provides a unique insight into the state of town development almost half a millennium ago."

The theme for this year's "Hammer'n'Swing" fundraiser is "Going Green", in celebration of recent Habitat for Humanity initiatives to build Habitat homes which are easier on the environment while making energy use in the homes more affordable.

Tickets for the June 7 fundraiser go on sale May 1st at the Habitat ReStore and the offices of real estate agents throughout the coast. The cost is just $15 per person which includes buffet dinner & dancing as well as eligibility to participate in both a silent auction and live auction. Anyone having items to donate for the auctions should contact cassandra.gierden@hfhssc.org.

Information on the donated items and the names of the donors will be published on the Habitat website at www.habitatsc.ca in advance of the event.

There are many ways to volunteer or support Habitat for Humanity Sunshine Coast. Please visit our website at www.habitatsc.ca to learn more.

— * —

Habitat for Humanity Sunshine Coast is a local affiliate of Habitat for Humanity Canada. Habitat is a non-profit organization working for a world where everyone has a safe and decent place to live. Its mission is to mobilize volunteers and community partners in building affordable housing and promoting home-ownership as a means to breaking the cycle of poverty.

Gary Little is a realtor® in the offices of Royal LePage Sunshine Coast in Sechelt, British Columbia. He is well known for his interactive maps of the Sunshine Coast available on the internet, including a real-estate-for-sale map ( map.garylittle.ca ), a rental property map ( rentalmap.garylittle.ca ), and a George Vancouver exploration map ( www.garylittle.ca/van250.html ). He has written several articles on the history of the Sunshine Coast, many illustrated with historic maps from his own collection.



Tzaddi Gordon, PR Chair, Habitat for Humanity Sunshine Coast
Tzaddi.Gordon@hfhssc.org or 604-741-9900

Gary Little, realtor®
Royal LePage Sussex
5485 Wharf Ave., P.O. Box 65
Sechelt, BC V0N 3A0
Cell: 604-741-5347
Office: 604-885-0299
Fax: 604-885-0298

For an appointment to photograph the town plans, contact Gary.

This news release is located online at: http://www.GaryLittle.ca/pr-20080425.html
See also Habitat for Humanity's site at http://habitatsc.ca/news/sunshine-coast-real-estate-agent-donates-rare-16th-century-town-plans-to-habitat-for-humanity/