100 years later, Irish eyes still smiling on linen store on Government St.

The Irish Linen Stores on Government Street has hit a new milestone, and could be in line for another soon.

The shop, which owner Maura Fitzgerald Lamb likes to say offers a tiny slice of the Emerald Isle and a step back in time, is celebrating its 100-year anniversary at its current location.

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Irish Linen first opened in Vancouver in 1910, and a branch was opened in Victoria in 1913. It operated in this city in a few spots in the downtown core until settling at its present location at 1019 Government St. in 1917.

The other milestone on the horizon could be new ownership.

Fitzgerald Lamb, who with business partner and sister-in-law Barbara Lamb bought the business from the Norrie family in 1977, is considering selling the business.

“It’s really getting to be time to hand it on. I can’t keep going like this,” she said with a laugh.

Lamb said she’s hoping to find someone who will approach the store with the same kind of love and passion she has for the place.

“I’d like to see someone carry on the tradition,” she said.

The store has changed very little since it opened its doors at the current location in 1917. It continues to sell the same traditional Irish linen in the same manner, from specially designed shelves and glass cases.

Fitzgerald Lamb, who was born and raised in Galway, said the store has been busy and has maintained a solid reputation in Victoria, as well as with tourists from around North America because of the authenticity and quality of the goods as well as the innate Irishness of the place.

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