British Columbia History

BC Historical News Feb 29, 1972

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: l-H,Ui..',
Vol. 5 No. 2
February, 1972
■ Published November, February, April and June each year by the
British Columbia Historical Association, and distributed free to
members of all affiliated societies by the secretaries of their
respective societies. Subscription rate to non-members: $3.50 per
year, including postage, directly from the editor, Mr P.A. Yandle,
3450 West 20th Avenue, Vaneouver 8, B.C.  -
Hon. Patron:
Hon. President:
Past President:
1st Vice-President:
2nd Vice-President:
Sec. & Editor:
Executive members:
Lieut.Gov.  J.R. Nicholson
Dr Margaret Ormsby
Mr H.R. Brammall
Mrs. Mabel E. Jordon
Mr G.T. German
Mrs J. Roff
Mr P.A. Yandle
Mrs H.R, Brammall
Fir F    Street
Mr H.B. Nash
Society Notes & Comments
B.C Books of interest
Book Reviews:
Squee Mus
Shakespeare in Vancouver
Death of a Railway - C. McAllister
With the Nisei in New Denver - G. Suttie
Letter re Nitinat Triangle
FRONT COVER: Ralph Edwards, well known as the "Crusoe of
Lonesome Lake" and saviour of the trumpeter swans in B.C. EDITORIAL
In -my capacity as Secretary as well as Editor for the British
Columbia Historical Association it is my doubtful privilege perhaps to
be knowledgeable of the "where's" and "why's" of the Association. To
such an extent has it become apparent to me that the newer members should
know what their affiliate membership means to them that I thought this
might be an opportune time to tell it 'as it really is'.
Every paid up member of an affiliated society is a full active
member of the parent body, with the privilege of expressing opinions within
the aims and objects of the Association right up to taking an active part
on Council, by becoming a society delegate and becoming President or any
of the table officers.
The aims and objects as set forth in the Constitution are as follows:
"To encourage historical research and stimulate public interest in
British Columbia- history; to promote the preservation and marking of
historical sites, relics, natural features and other objects and places
of historical interest and to publish sketches, studies and documents".
Such a declaration of purpose seems to me a very broad scope for
activity and includes every geographical, physical and social aspect of
this beautiful province which I am proud to call my home. To belong to
an historical society one must have a feeling about history and therefore
must find a certain personal gratification for continued membership.
Some members have a passive attitude toward involvement in an organization,
but it does not seem realistic to me that this should be a majority
decision. Every member should see that if at all possible his or her
Society has full representation at all Council meetings and that the
Secretary of that Society send into the Editor a reporting of the Society's
activities to be included in the News. The deadline dates are 10th
November, February, April, and June, the current months of issue in that
order for the year.
It is a democratic organization that gives every affiliate society
one member on Council and an additional member if their paid up membership exceeds 100; all decisions are made by a voting majority. All
minutes of Council meetings and Annual General Meetings are published in
detail in the current issue of the News following the holding of such
Any member can be elected for a specific office, e.g. Secretary,
Editor, Treasurer, from an Annual General Meeting as these offices entail
a considerable amount of work and quite often the. appointed delegates
from the Societies are not willing to undertake these "burdensome" jobs.
I am not an official representative of my affiliated Society and have been
during my tenure just a "run of the mill" member elected from the Annual
General Meeting. In the first instance I was elected as a "volunteer"
because no one wanted to take it on. There will come a time perhaps when
someone else will have to volunteer.
What does this all mean to you "dear member"? That your Association
is only as strong as its weakest link. Read the News, ask questions of
your representative on Council, be informed that your Society is taking an active part, and if they are not,' how about coming aboard and giving
us a helping hand. There are no wage increases to worry about and, best
of all, no strikes. Orfilast thought, when you hear a member saying"What
is the B.C. Historical Associationdoing", what he really is asking in
fact is "What am I doing?"
Minutes of the third Council meeting of the B.C. Historical
Associati.on held in the Centennial Museum, Nanaimo, on Sunday, February
13th, 1972. Meeting opened at i'.30 p.m. by the President.
Present: Mr R. Brammall, Pres.; Mrs Mabel Jordon, Past Pres.; Mr G.
German, 1st Vice-Pres.; Mrs R. Brammall, Treas.; Mr P. Yandle, Sec. &
Ed„; Mr F. Street, Exec, member; Mr H.B. Nash, Exec, member;
Delegates: Mr K. Leeming (Victoria); Mr D. Schon (Nanaimo); Mr J.
Lawrence (Vancouver); Mrs Claxton (Gulf Islands); Mrs K. Adams (Alberni
& Dist.); Visitors: Mr & Mrs D. New; Miss E. Norcross; Mrs H. Ford;
Mrs M. Wood; Mrs A. Yandle.
Minutes of the last Council meeting in Alberni were adopted as circulated
on motion. Moved Leeming, seconded German. Carried.
The plans for the Convention to be held In Port Alberni, May 25th,
26th and 27th were reviewed and the programme omissions have now been
filled. Mrs Adams had been fortunate to be able to arrange for Mr E.G.
Stroyan to be our guest speaker at the banquet. Mr3 Adams reported that
she had been notified that the bus trip to a working logging camp would
not be permitted and said that there would, be no problem in substituting
a tour of some of the mills instead. On the discussion, both Mr Schon
and Mr Street thought there was a possibility that if the matter was
pursued further and a full explanation' of the purpose of the tour was
presented, we might still be able to have it.
Some of the members thought that Alberni should reconsider the wine
and cheese party at the Thursday evening pre-registration, and instead
cut costs by having a coffee party.
The Saturday morning start on the all-day boat trip was changed from
9.00 a.m. to 8.00 a.m., with our returning time 4.00 p.m, Mr German in
suggesting this felt that this would allow us some leeway should we be
late arriving back and give ample time to prepare for the banquet. Complete
programme and costs will be ready for the April issue of the News.
The sponsorship of Mr R. Dangelmaier was discussed. The Secretary
read the letter he had been instructed to write to Mr Dangelmaier at the
last Council meeting in November asking Mr Dangelmaier to state what
disposition he contemplated for his drawings in the event that he received
a grant. It was the consensus of opinion that with all due respect to
Mr Dangelmaier's long letter in reply, he had avoided making any written
commitment. Moved Leeming, seconded Mrs Bdams that we should withdraw
our sponsorship. Carried.
Mr Brammall apologised for not having a definite format for an
informative pamphlet to be used for recruiting new affiliates. He had samples that were being worked on. Council left the matter to Mr Brammall
and Mr German.
The Secretary raised the question, of gathering all outstanding old
records of the Association from past and present officials and placing
them with the Provincial Archives. Moved Leeming, seconded Street that
application be made to the Provincial Archives to accept these old
records. Carried.
Mr Street asked the President if the Association could reintroduce
the membership cards that had been used by the affiliated societies in
the past. Moved Street, seconded Yandle that the Association send out
membership cards for the use' of affiliated societies. Carried. It was
assumed that the old cards with the "Bird cage" background had been
provided by the Provincial Archives, and Mr Nash was asked to approach
Mr Ireland on this matter.
A great deal of discussion took place on the information supplied by
the Sierra. Club seeking our endorsement on the controversial Nitinat
Triangle and West Coast Trail. The submission presented arguments from
both interested parties - the logging companies who were opposed to this
area becoming a park and the conservationists who wished to retain the
entire area. The Sierra Club's proposal was a compromise between the
two extremes. Moved Leeming, seconded Yandle that we endorse the stand
of the compromise proposals of the Sierra Club, and the Secretary be
instructed to write to the appropriate parties and to the four M.L.A.'s
fer soutnern Vancouver Island. Carried,  (see letter elsewhere in -fehis issue)
Moved Jordon, seconded Leeming that a vote of thanks be given to the
Nanaimo Society for the use of the Museum and their hospitality. Carried.
Moved German, seconded Yandle that the meeting adjourn at 3«45 p.m.
GOLDEN Golden & District Historical Society (Sec. Jean Dakin. Box 992,
Golden) has issued nine Information Bulletins since 1968 - glossy two to
four page leaflets, with illustrations, outlining various aspects of the
history of Golden which was originally called Kicking Horse Flats. These
sketches include a history of the Golden Saloon, the Russell Hotel,
Glacier HQuse, and the Golden General Hospital, which was enlarged in 1971■
GULF^ISIANpS On 7th October 25 members attended a meeting on Saturna
Island." Dr Hugh MacLure (now a resident property owner on Galiano, while
on furlough) spoke of his medical missionary work in Uganda and Sierra
Leone, His wife, a nurse, was also a guest at the meeting. Films and
slides were shown, with comment on the native people and wildlife of the
two countries. Preventive educational work in nutrition, maternal and
child health were stressed. Information was given on response to adqeuate
treatment of some of the tropical diseases.
Largest meeting in Branch history greeted Mr Willard Ireland, B.C.
Archivist, on Pender Island, 17th November. Fifty persons listened with
enthusiasm to his presentation on Sir James Douglas. Members and guests were interested in the stress on the man, rather than the politician or
administrator. Well chosen documentary material illuminated the man
and his times. Mr Ireland was presented with an ancient, handmade,
ironbound mallet, in token of appreciation. In advance of the meeting,
guests from Galiano were entertained on arrival in the homes of Mrs J.
Cornaby and Capt. and Mrs C. Claxton.
The Gulf Islands Branch lost since their last report two long-time
members, Dr R,W. Pillsbury, Professor Emeritus of University of British
Columbia Department of Biology died in Ganges on January 11th, and Mrs
Gladys Corbett, a resident of Pender Island for 35 years died on January 27.
NANAIMO Mr John Gourlay spoke at tho November meeting on the history of
Ladysmith. Coal and the Dunsmuir family, he said, brought Ladysmith into
being. Robert Dunsmuir had come out to Vancouver Island in 1851 under
contract to the Hudson's Bay Company to work in their coal mines. A few
years later he obtained from Governor James Douglas a permit which allowed
independent search for coal, and in 1869 he discovered a good seam at
Wellington. The coal from the mines he developed there he shipped over his
own railway to his own facilities at Departure Bay. Later, when he built
the E & N Railway, he received as part of his reward about one million
acres of land, a tract lying on either side of the railroad, together with
all mineral rights. When coal was discovered at Extension, in the mid
1890's just at the time the Wellington mines were running out, there was
no difficulty about ownership. The elder Dunsmuir, Robert, was now dead,
and his son James was in control. The miners from Wellington were mowed
to work the new Extension mines, and a town on Oyster Harbour, named Ladysmith was built to house them- In its heyday Ij^dyrmith .tMi.s:\xtoon hofc&ls,
various theatres (now it has none) a shingle mill, a brewery, soda water
factory, smelter, and foundry. In 1908 its population was about 4,000 and
in 1971 it is about 4,00u» Ladysmith suffered two major tragedies in the
early years of this century, The first was a mine explosion in 1909 which
killed 30 men, the second a strike in 1912 which tore the town apart. Mr
Gourlay said that a friend, of his, four years old at tho time of the strike
remembers gathering rocks for his father to throxr through the windows of
the Gourlay home. When the coal mines were closed in 1928 a period of
doldrums followed for the town. Logging revived it to some extent, but
the speaker did not feel that the loggers, a shifting population, have
developed the same affini-tj)- for the town that the coal miners had.
Due to a heavy snowfall an audience of only ten people managed to
attend to hear Mrs J. Gresko speak on Lower Fort Garry and Fort Langley.
She stressed her opnion that all local museums should be used for their
educational potential much more widely than they are at present, Another
of her points was a strong plea for professional historians, local history
groups and museum people to work much more closely together than they do
at present. Nanaimo, of course, is an exception, with their few local
professional historians and some of the museum people, including its
President, being members of the Nanaimo Historical Society.
PORT ALBERNI In October students from the A.W. Noill Junior Secondary
School showed a film, with commentary, that they had taken during, the
Community Arts Festival in May 1971. The film covered the various events
and exhibits of the festival',.
The November meeting was open to the public as is the custom, with a special invitation to the old timers of the area. Alice Riley, a member
of the Society, showed a variety of pictures. Some were by her father,
Joseph Clegg, who was a photographer in Port Alberni for many years following his arrival in 1913- Others belonged to John Grieve, a ninety year old
pioneer resident and he was present jfe© give an explanation of each. The
last group of pictures were those which have been given to the City of Port
Alberni over the years and havo now been turned over to the Society.
"Tse-Ees-Tah", sketches by George Bird, was received from the printers
November 30th 1971. The publication of this book was the Centennial project of our Society and was made possible by the assistance of the Community
Arts Council, MacMillan Bloedel Ltd. and the Leon and Thea Koerner Foundation. To date nearly 700 copies have been sold and a reprinting will be
ordered shortly.
At the January meeting Jack Goldie exhibited and spoke on some items
from his collection of bottles and other artifacts, which have come from
the Alberni Valley and the West Coast of Vancouver Island.
WEST KOOTENAY The Society has sent a report on the Rossland Museum's 1.6th
annual meeting. The museum was honoured in 1971 with visits from Governor-
General & Mrs Roland Michener, and ex-Rosslander Justice Minister John
Turner. Further improvements were made to the museum displays and to the
underground tour. A large quantity of historical material from city files
at Trail was obtained and added to the collection.
A newspaper clipping received tells of a "local boy who made good",
Stanley G. Triggs from Nelson, a U.B.C graduate and ex free lance p hoto-
grapher and itinerant folk singer has been since 1965 curator of photography for the McCord Museum of McGill University, Mr Triggs and his
staff spend most of their time cataloguing the thousands of prints and
glass-plate negatives of the Wm Notman archives, a collection of some
400,000 items documenting the life and times of nineteenth century Canada,
It is with deep regret that we note the passing of former Lieutenant-
Governor Frank Ross. He was Lieutenant-Governor from 1955 to i960 and during
the same period graciously consented to be the Honorary Patron of our
Association. We extend our expression of sympathy to Mrs Ross and members
of the family.
Wm Langlois and Colin Reeves, graduate students in historical geography at the University 6f B.C are presently at work in oral history in
B.C. Mr Langlois,who headed an oral history project in the east is at
present supervising a Local Initiatives Project, studying ethnic groups
in B.C. Although there are a number of oral history research programmes
underway in the province, there has been no systematic compilation of this
work. They would like to hear of any work in progress or contemplated.
They also would be glad to supply material on the subject to anyone who
is interested, Their address is c/o Dept. of Geography, University of
B.C., Vancouver 8, B.C. Shortly after the mailing of the November issue of the News', this
very interesting and informative letter dealing with Dr Humphries' article
"War and Patriotism" was received from General George Pearkes:
"   I was interested in reading "War and Patriotism: the Lusitania
Riot", I was in the Camp at the willows in May 1915 - will recall some
of the circumstances connected with the riots. .
Capt. J. Dunsmuir went down in the Lusitania; he had been a very
popular officer in C Squadron 2" CMR and of course a Victoria boy, but
had obtained, his discharge from the Canadian Army in order to go to
England at his own expense to join a British Cavalry Regiment. The fact
that he should have lost his life at sea:on his way to England incensed
many of his friends in the regiment, ..and .when word was received that some
German sympathizers were meeting in the Kaiserhof hotel, it was decided
to break up that party. When the soldiers arrived at the Kaiserhof
they found a small group there. The fact that a portrait of the Kaiser
was hanging on the wall further infuriated the men. After the party was
broken up most of tho soldiers returned to Camp. .
I was one of the mounted men sent into Victoria to help quell the
disturbances. I always understood that the fact that Capt. Dunsmuir went
down with the Lusitania was the spark that started the trouble. Yours
truly, George P. Pearkes." •
Maybe some of the Victoria members have some memories also that they
might like to pass on to the News
B.C. BOOKS OF INTEREST, compiled by Frances Woodward, Vancouver Hist, Soc.
ALM, Edwin A. I never wondered; illustrated by Karin Jonsson. Vancouver,
1971.  296 pp,, illus, 3-7.50.
BIRD, George,.Tse-ees-tah: one man in a boat, Alberni, Arrowsmith Press,
1971. 240 pp,, illus, $3,
BISSLEY, Paul L. History of the Vancouver Club. Vancouver, 1971. 120 pp.,
illus, $10.
Columbia heritage series. Series 1, Our native peoples, Victoria,
1971, 10 vols. Reprint.
BRITISH COLUMBIA CENTENNIAL *?J.tCOMMITTEE, 100 years of ladies' costume
trends, Victoria (i.970) 25 (6)pp., illus,
CALVERT, Larry, ed. Tsimshian trips, record of a field trip made by
second-year Anthropology students of the College Of New Caledonia,
Prince George, B.C Prince George, Youth Publications, 1970. 25 pp.,
illus. $2. .
CAPITAL REGIONAL DISTRICT, Planning Dept, Gulf Islands options. Victoria,
1971. 24 pp., illus,
CASHMAN, Tony. An illustrated history of western Canada.- Edmonton, Hurtig,
1971. 272 pp., illus, $12.95.
CURTIN, Fred, ed, Hiking trails, Vancouver, Daily Province, Dept. of
Reader Services, 1971. 60 pp., illus, $1,
DOWNS, Art, Paddlewheels on the frontier: the story of B.C - Yukon sternwheel steamers; volume two, Surrey, Foremost Pub., 1971. 80 pp., iUus. $3-95
EATON, Leonard A. The architecture of Samuel Maclure; (exhibition) Victoria,
Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, 1971. 44 pp, illus, $»75* 8
HAYDON, A.L. The riders of the plains; a record of the Royal North West
Mounted Police of Canada, 1873-1910. Edmonton, Hurtig, 1971. 385 pp.,
illus. $8.85. Rep rint.
HEARN, George and David Wilkie. The Cordwood Limited; a history of the
Victoria & Sidney Railway. 3d ed. Victoria, B.C. Railway Historical
Association, 1971. 88 pp., illus. $2.50.
HENDRY, Charles Eric. Beyond traplines. Toronto, Ryerson. I.969. 102 pp.
HOUSTON CENTENNIAL '71 COMMITTEE. Marks on the forest floor: a story of
Houston, B.C. Houston, 1971.. 152 pp., illus. $10,
HULL, Raymond & Olga Ruskin. Gastown's Gassy Jack: the life and times of
John Deighton of England, California and early British Columbia, Vancouver, Gordon Soules Economic Research, 1971. 48 pp., illus, $1.50.
JOHNSON, F, Henry, John Jessop: goldseeker and educator, Vancouver, Mitchell
Press, 1971. 192 pp., illus. $6.50,
LAZEO, Laurence A, British Columbia's treasure world: a history of lost
mines and buried or sunken treasures located in B.C (Treasure book l)
New Westminster, 1970. 36 pp., illus. $.50.
MARRIOTT, Margaret. Heffley Creek early history; comp.... in 1958 for
Canada's Centennial, updated by Mrs Velma Brady for B.C.'s Centennial
in May 1971. 2 pp. mimeo. $.25.
MOUNTAIN ACCESS COMMITTEE. Mountain trail guide for the south west mainland area of B.C. 3d ed, Vancouver, Federation of Mountain Clubs of
British Columbia, 1971. 64 pp., illus. $1,95.
NEATE, Frank E. The Gorge waterway: Selkirk Water to Portage Inlet, Victoria,
Corporation of the District of Saanich, 1970. 63 pp., illus, $2.50.
NORRIS, John, ed. Strangers entertained: a history of the ethnic groups of
British Columbia, Victoria, B.C Centennial '71 committee, 1971. 254 pp.,
illus. $7.
O'KIELY, Elizabeth. Vancouver, the golden years 1900-1910; photographs from
the Philip.. \T. Timms Collection. Vancouver, Museums and Planetarium
Association, 1971. 52 pp., illus, $2.
PATERSON, T.W. Treasure, British Columbia! Victoria, 1971* '80 pp,. illus.$2.
ST00CHN0FF, John P. Toil and peaceful life: Doukhobors as they are. 2d ed.
Calgary, Vancouver, Liberty Press, 1971. 118 pp,. illus. $3.75.
SYMINGTON, Fraser. Seafaring warriors of the west: Nootka Indians,. (Ginn
studies in Canadian history) Toronto, Ginn. 1970, 24 pp, illus. $.95
TAKASHIMA, Shizuye. A child in prison camp. Montreal, Tundra Books, 1971.
unpaged, illus. $7.95»
TRAYN0R, Harry ed. The great London to Victoria air race. Toronto, Published
for the London-Victoria Air Race by Copp Clark, 1971.. 156 pp., illus. $6.
VAN DER POST, A. Snow shoe trek through B.C- wilderness. Prince George, 1971.
24 pp., illus. $1.98.
WILSON, Sir Charles. Mapping the frontier, Charles Wilson's diary of the
survey of the 49th parallel, 1858-1862, while secretary of the British
Boundary Commission; edited with an introduction by George F.G. Stanley.
Toronto, Macmillan; Seattle, U. of Wash. Press, 1970. 182 pp., illus.
TELFORD, Mabel. Strings for a broken lute. London, Psychic Press,. 1971.
286 pp. $7.95.
FORBES, Elizabeth. Wild roses at your feet. Victoria, 1971. $3.50. 9
TSE-EES-TAH: ONE MAN IN A BOAT, by George Bird. Alberni, Arrowsmith Press,
1971. 240 pp. illus. $3.
During the centennial celebrations 1958 to 1971 a wealth of local
histories have been produced, TSE-EES-TAH is one of the latest to be
published. It portrays a comprehensive coverage of the Alberni Valley and
points westwards of the coastal districts, containing over 200 pages.
The introduction states "The Alberni District Museum and Historical Society
presents 68 sketches by George Bird. These are selections from articles
Written during the period 1941-1950. Many of these appeared in the West
Coast Advocate".
G.H. Bird settled in the Alberni area in August 1892; he must have
possessed a retentive memory to recall the enormous number of names and
items of historic interest; it is to such persons that important and almost
forgotten accounts of local history have been preserved. Mr Bird:s experiences with early day conditions recall the stamina, adaptability and
self dependence of the pioneer settlers. Throughout the book anecdotes
concerning selected persons are refreshingly told stories. Tho first 90
pages are particularly of prime interest to the local residents of the
valley; that is as it should be in histories of this nature; a few names that
are mentioned are also well known former residents of Nanaimo.
Commencing with the section "B.C. first lumber export mill" keener
interest is provided for outside readers; Anderson Mill I.86I-I865 is well
portrayed and brings such famous names to the fore as Captain Stamp and
Gilbert Malcolm Sproat. It seems incredible at this time that a largo mill
should be shut down around 1865 for the want of suitable logsS  B.C.'s
first papermaking mill I.892-I896 is worthy of note.
Mr Bird having himself owned and operated a saw mill made him very
capable of enunciating the activities of the logging and lumber business
and also the tribulations that often accompanied them.
In the comprehensive coverage of the Alberni area, nothing of importance
seems to have escaped the attention of Mr Bird., some of the items noted
being: homes and living conditions, schools, churches, entertainment,
fisheries, farming, sports, first telephone and electricity, game, railway,
transportation, banking and so on, including bicycles j.887 and 1.893.
The pictures interspersed throughout the book are excellent; they
assist one to visualise appearances that prevailed during the pioneer days,
Pago 351 the portrait of iKa-koop-et by Joseph Clegg commands attention for
study. The picture of the Bank of Montreal 1910, page 138, would have been
more interesting if the Capital and. Reserve amounts had not been cut off,
to compare with today's figures.
The S.S. Maude at Waterhouse's warehouse about J.896 attracted interest;
she-was a regular caller at Nanaimo. Some years ago I made a charcoal
sketch of the Maude along side Hirst Wharf that Mr Bird mentioned (from a
picture of course) in 1875• Only one picture by Leonard Frank is shown, a
master photographer who has left a legacy of outstanding pictures of the
Alberni area.
As a final comment, the publishers of Tse-Ees-Tah must receive full marks
for the 21 page alphabetical index. Such an extensive reference is seldom
seen in works of this kind.
W. Barraclough,
Mr Barraclough is a long-time member of the Nanaimo Historical Society. 10
1945. (reprinted 1.971 by the Whatcom ^Museum of History and Art. 1.89 pp. illus.
Squee Mus is the personal account of the Robert Hawley family's pioneering experiences in the. Lynden district of Washington State, At the time of the
book's first publication in 1945, Mr Hawley was the oldest surviving pioneer
in the region, having settled with his family in 1.872. His narrative is spiced
throughout with an interesting array of anecdotes, personal triumphs, and
tragedies that give the reader a' keen Insight into pioneer life of the period.
Of particular interest to us is the historical relationship between the
Lynden district and southwestern British Columbia. The author makes it clear
that the local economy was at times very dependent upon B.C. markets; we also
learn that the international border did not prevent considerable intercourse
of activity across the border, such as when a Fraser Valley settler travelled
to the Hawley residence to have a tooth pulled. Finally, in his detailed description of Indian life, the author notes the tendency of the Thompson River
Indians to encroach upon Nooksack Indian territory.
Though the Lynden settlement was set apart from the mainstream of American life, she nevertheless retained certain fundamental characteristics that
distinguished her from the nearby settlements of the Fraser Valley. The author
points out, for instance, the importance of the 4th of July celebrations.
Nevertheless, the author considers institutional activity of lesser importance
than the human warmth of pioneering spirit:
"Aiding the sick and injured.; taking care of the dead; welcoming newcomers to the valley; acting as guide and interpreter; and lending a helping hand whenever needed - such was the life of the pioneer...."
According to Mr Hawley, even the local minister gladly shovelled dirt when
there was something to be done.
Readers looking for a comprehensive, orderly history-of the Lynden area
will be disappointed by this book; the work should not be considered for more
than it was meant to be - a collection of intimate reminiscences told in no
fixed chronological order. Even so, the author would have done better to have
omitted the brief recollections of other pioneers, which were inserted in separate chapters; alternatively, their stories could have been integrated with
the main course of events. The same can be said of Mr Hawley's brief sketch
of his life which appears at the end of the book; much of this is mere
repetition. At times the reader thus becomes hampered by an awkward arrangement of.the subject material.
Squee Mus is of interest to all readers wishing to learn more about
frontier life before 1.910; many of Mr Hawley's remarks might well apply to
any number of small settlements of the period in both northwest Washington and
the Fraser Valley. As an introduction to Lynden regional history, iaoreover,
it is of special importance to ourselves and future generations.
.John Cherrington.
Mr Cherrington is a 4th year history major at the University of B.C., and
is particularly interested in the history of the Pacific. Northwest. 1.1
SHAKESPEARE IN VANCOUVER 1.889 - 1.918, by Sheila Roberts. Vancouver, Vancouver
Historical Society, 1971. Occasional paper No. 3. $3.00; $4.50.
This is a well produced book with a generous selection of photographs.
A useful appendix lists all productions of Shakespeare in Vancouver from
1.889 until January 1971. There is plenty of material as Mrs. Roberts'
tantalising glimpses prove. There are many questions that come to mind -
certainly too many to be adequately answered in the limited space available.
Space being vital we might well have dispensed with the opening sketch of
Vancouver history and the closing pages of compressed and very debatable
theorising about the decline and fall (and rise?) of Shakespeare after 1.91.8,
These are some of the questions and comments that come to my mind after
reading this essay.
"With the new theatre came the city's first Shakespearean production -
Richard III, on December 5, I.889" (6). This is all we hear about it. Is
nothing else known? The illustrations include a programme from Hart's Opera
House for a "Grand Entertainment" given on February 1.8, 1.888. It was a
pot-pourri of music and tableaux, two of the latter taken from Hamlet and
Merchant of Venice. The illustration exists without any comment: is nothing
known of this kind of entertainment? did it die after; 1.889? surely it tells
us something, of Shakespearean 'production' and the period taste (this latter
is a topic often taken up in the essay, usually interestingly but haltingly
due to a lack of knowledge of the general history of Shakespearean production:
i.e. the relation of the 1.915 Hamlet to the accepted 'traditional' productions
the play received during the 19th century; the scope and endurance of Colley
Cibber's versions of Shakespeare). To return to the illustrations: a Playbill
for John Griffiths' Richard III given on December 1.8, 1906 is very interestingly
linked with a reproduction of the page from the Vancouver Opera House accounts
book with the box-office of that day. Was this a typical house? 'How
extensive are records of this kind? What do they tell us of the popularity
of the plays?
What kind of companies did -visit .the city - how big were they? what kind
of productions did they stage? Our appetite is whetted but not satisfied
by learning that after 1.915, due to increased rail rates, "extravagant touring
companies ... became more and more rare" (1.1.) and that at times the stage of
the Opera House was too small to accommodate these companies (22). What
happened on such occasions? Precisely what productions were accompanied
"usually by a full symphony orchestra" with "vocal recitals between the acts"?
(1.4) How long did such enormous entertainments last? Are. any programmes
extant? Are such shows a development of the 1.888 "Grand Entertainments"?
What connection has this with the "stupendous" Julius Caeaar in 6 acts of
I.907 (20)? Were all productions prior to 1.918 regularly given with four
intermissions as suggested on page 20?
It is precisely because one supposes productions to havo been very
different in the period 1.889-1.91.8 from what they are now that one'feels
frustrated at being given only a bewildering series of notes on them in
this essay. Some illuminating hints about older acting styles can be
gathered from critical remarks quoted during the essay' but what standards
of comparison are in the. writer's mind? We are told that voice was important
in those old days "when neither singers nor actors had microphones" (1.5).
Does the writer believe actors use microphones today?
The rich material in the book has not been well enough digested, but
the essay energetically opens up a field of research which I hope .some 12
student seeking an interesting and unhackneyed topic will further explore.
By the way, if you think Vancouver weather lets us down remember that
in "August 1.899 a local company attempted a well attended outdoor performance
of As You Like It in Stanley Park, but the lightning was faulty" (13) TUTS
audiences will know what this moans.
R.W. Ingram
Dr Ingram, a Professor in the English Department at the University of B.C,
specializes in Shakespearean studies.
(They've killed off the Kettle Valley Line) '
by Mrs Clare McAllister, Secretary,Galiano Branch.
If your lifo had been as much intertwined as mine with the Kettle. Valley
Eailway, you wouldn't have been able to credit it, either, when they were
going to run the last train through its tunnels and trestles, run the last
train through on the railroad that bites its way through the mountains from
the Kootenay to the coast, because there never really was a pass. An now,
they, the army, have blown up one of the trestles!.
Now this was a moment - I suppose you could call it a historic moment,
certainly a moment to make one think. And that "one"' shouldn't just be me.
Because the Kettle Valley Line was intertwined with the economics, the life-
blood, the heartbeat of this province. Somehow it was blasted and rivetted
and rent and pushed through all the mountains between the Kootenay country,
and the Boundary country, and the coast.
I know a good deal about it ,.-*.... because it was my big brother that
built the Kettle Valley Railway - at least, that is how I was brought up to
view the matter, back when I was five or six years old.
They had to build the railway,      > because of the economics of the
time. There was a big mining boom in southern B.C. at the turn of the century.
I suppose really, by the time they got the railway built, the need for it
was to some extent already past ... All the country between Greenwood, with
its smoke-fuming smelter, and Grand Forks with its big smelter, was staked
solid with mining claims. I've seen the old mining maps and read the old
mining reports. Legion were the names of the mines and legion the men who
swarmed over the hills. Greenwood reeked with 29 saloons. Up the hill above
Was its new courthouse - where claims were staked in the mining recorder's
office. You can see it now, the coats ot arms of the seven then existing
provinces displayed in coloured glass. Up and up and up and up the mountain
above Greenwood was Phoenix, a big mine workings. You can visit it now, not
even a ghost town, though the mine's wet blast of below ground, chill breath
still rises from the shaft. But all the dwellings of tho town, where once
pianos (in proof of gentility), graced parlours, all the dwellings, all the
once homes, are long flattened by the heavy snows of many winters.
The-houses gone, the saloons gone, the people gone, the copper concentrates gone, long gone. But across the little river below Greenwood's now one
principal street, you may see the slag heaps, the tailing piles of the vanished
smelter. 13
In my childhood there sat on our Kootenay hearth a bowl of pure raw
copper, bubbly, rough-blistered, from Grand Forks* smelter; beside it an
odd-shaped batlike bit of brass, visitors' souvenirs from smelter visits.
Nelson once had its smelter, too, making a third refining point for
the wealth that men were tunnelling out of the mines. How small was I
when, from a camp across the lake, one could see the evening glow of
tipped slag, soon cooling from orange, fire red, to black and dross? Then
came the night I was lifted from" my bed and taken to the end of our floats
to see the smelter burning.
The Boundary, the Mootenay, the Slocan valley, the Lardeau, the mines,
the wealth seemed bottomless. Ore-buckets, aerial tramways, rawhiding,
pack trains, roads with loops, on loops, on loops of switchback, - loaded
drays, sweating draught horses - somehow the ore, the concentrates, could
be got down the mountains to the valley floors - but how,, economically,
could it be got outside?
A railway - by a railway to cut through the mountains - the mad railway, the Kettle Valley Railway, was the answer. The Grand Trunk, the
Great Northern, the Northern Pacific, the Union Pacific, the C.P.R., the
Crows Nest - once we got to school we traced their spider paths, cross-
hatched (I suppose for railway ties) across the geography books' coloured
Before I was in school, there was no Kettle Valley railway to trace.
The Great Northern went to Spokane in Washington State, that way one could
get to the coast. Travelling Canadian, one got by railway to the foot of
the Arrow Lakes, proceeded north by paddle wheel steamer. Reaching the
main line at Lakehead, a small child was bestowed in a hotel bed, complete
with luxurious eiderdown, and from that warm nest, rent at some ungodly
hour like 3 a.m., to be put into a mainline train berth. Arrived at
Vancouver, one could put up in the new Hotel Vancouver, now long gone.
Now this may have been tough on my parents and me, but it was too tough
indeed for all the ore they were dragging out of the mines, so they had
to build the Kettle Valley Railway.
They had not only ore to get out, they had apples too. Orchards were
planted in the Kootenay in multifarious variety - none of your tough-skinned
tasteless Okanagan Macs, foisted on us by merchandising , but Kootenay
apples: Grimes Golden, Wagner, Ben Davies, Northern Spy, Greenings, Russets
and more; we had these to sell to a waiting world. And so we  needed the
railway through the mountains. Lumber we had to sell. Oh we'd stuff to
sell, allright.
So they cut the railway through the mountains. Because my big brother
built it, we had in our house for a long timo, when I was a child, a fat big
book full of snapshots and photographs of how the Kettle Valley railway
was built.
My big brother was going to be a civil engineer and he worked on the
building of the railway. We thought he was doing it before he went away
East to McGill to study. (It turned out it was before he went away and got
killed in the First World War.) Past the Kootenay and the Slocan, the Arrow
Lakes and the Okanagan, by the Kettle and the Tulameen and the Coquihalla
Rivers, right through the Cascade Mountains, somehow down and down to Hope
they bored the railway. Worse than through the Andes, they said. One mile 1.4
with 27 tunnels and trestles, they said. Our photo album showed the work
crews in thick woollen underwear and blanket pants; crews shaking hands where
ends of tunnels met: "the dill pickle boys" with dorby hats atilt, in town
clothes; scrambled like spiders, or like flies, on trestles spanning chasms;
blackened with blasting powder; by tents, by cookshacks.
When they got.her done, she twisted, - that Kettle Valley Railway;
even in its heyday never a long train, there would be often one end that
vanished in a tunnel and t'other invisible round some hairpin bend, while
the middle shook a trestle over a snow-swollen stream. A child proud? of a
father who drove one of the first cars in all the Kootenay, I was well
accustomed to chasms, I used to take pride, when travelling by rail to the
coast (once my big brother had got the railway finished) at seeing Easterners,
Englishmen and other greenhorns who had been craning necks at scenery, turn
faintly, grey, and move queasily to the INside of the coaches, where they need
not see the depths of the gaping voids, round and above which we wound our
moUntainy way..
It was pretty classy in the Kettle Valley's pullmans, not to mention
its diners. The ice tinkled in the tall glasses, the napkins of starched
linen were folded in fancy shapes, there were oyster crackers which might
miss plopping into the soup bowls if one did not aim carefully, as we swayed
round tunnels, through snowsheds, I admired the waiters' spiralling arms, as
they balanced their trays with a dexterity more incredible than that of ship's
waiters in high seas.
Pretty important people travelled on the Kettle Valley line - like big
mining magnates. Once Sylvia Pankhurst, the famous British suffragette
leader, was pointed out to me, travelling with a woman companion, but playing
solitrire at the table set up for her in the parlour "car, by the beaming
porter. The porters, aah! the porters on the Kettle Valley line! Well tipped
by my fatherr they produced for me such a shine as never before was seen, on
the leather bottom part of my buttoned boots, 'with the wafflecloth brown
top and the tassie that hung at the front.
The trains left'a trail of cinders and steam behind, but within we were
kept immaculate by the porter's polishing brush and whiskbroom. We leaned
against plumped pilbws of goosedown; watching the snowy dusk blacken into
night, until only our own reflections showed from black windows.
;•..   Once it was our greatest need in B.C., our dream come true, our
movement of weelth, our way of travel. Now grown grey, I know indeed it
was not just my brother who built it. But it was there, solid and. real,
and for evermorec '
And they've run the last train through on the Kettle Valley Line.
And they've blown up a trestle on the Kettle Valley Line. They've killed
the Kettle Valley Line. 15
by Gwen Subtle, edited by Dorothy Blakey Smith.
The winter 1970-71 issue of BC Studies carried a thought-provoking
article entitled "Some Aspects of the Education of Minorities: the Japanese
in B.C, Lost Opportunity?" by Jorgen Dahlie. Mir Dahlio's statement (p,13)
that in the relocation centres of the 1.940's "high school education was by
correspondence or made possible by the assistance of the Roman Catholic,
Anglican, and United Churches" reminded me that my old friend Miss Gwen Suttie,
B.A, (Brit.Col.) B.Paed.(Tor.), now retired in Vancouver-after forty years in
Japan, had worked for the United Church Women's Missionary Society in New
Denver from 1.942 to 1.947; that she had organized a high school that flourished
for three years; and that it was she also who had actually established the
kindergarten which Mr Dahlie implies (p.1.3, n.48) had been set up by the B.C
Security Commission. It seemed to me that Miss Suttie's recollections of her
five years in New Denver-, might have some historical value in themselves; and
I thought too that they might provide an authentic, if small, weight on the
credit side of the balance, worth the consideration of some future historian
who might undertake a comprehensive and unbiased account of an episode in
Canadian history that most British Columbians at any rate would, prefer to forget.
Miss Suttie was at first reluctant to revive her memories of New Denver,
thinking that surely she could have nothing new or valuable to add to accounts
already given. However, I pointed out to her the statement of F.E, LaViolette
(in his The Canadian Japanese and World War II: A Sociological and Psychological
Account, Toronto, 1.948, p.1.1.3, n.22) that "it has not been possible to gather
sufficient information to relate or appraise the role of the churches in the
educational work", and she then agreed to put on.tape what she remembered, I
checked and amplified this tape against the various reports of the B.C. Security
Commission published in Ottawa by the Department of Labour, and also against
a file of the Nakusp Arrow Lakes News, a weekly which carried a column of
notes headed "New Denver". In addition, the Archivist of Union College,
Vancouver, kindly made available to Miss Suttie the annual reports of the
WMS from 1.942 to 1.948, which contained the field reports of Miss Suttie and
her fellow-workers.
When the material had been gathered Miss Suttie was still reluctant to
write an article (saying that her Japanese and English vocabularies were now
interfering with one another in a most frustrating way), and so I finally
agreed to organize the material and write the article, but from Miss Suttie's
personal point of view - the only possible way, I felt, in which the material
could be vividly and adequately presented. But my text was thoroughly discussed
and emended where necessary; and this final version has Miss Suttie's full approva]
The article is, admittedly, narrow in scope: it deals with only two of the
relocation centres, and it presents the point of view of one person who worked
for the most part with Japanese Christians. Nevertheless, it is factual; it is
documented; and it is, as far as possible, in the circumstances, objective. It
may serve therefore as a supplementary footnote to Mr Dahlie's article, and it
should also make good in a small degree the lack of information noted, by La
Violette concerning the role played by,the churches in the relocation crisis. It
would appear that this was a role of whicH the"United' Church of Canada, fqr one,
need not be ashamed.
Dorothy Blakey Smith 1.6
When World War II broke out I was in Canada on furlough after over ten
years as a high school teacher in Japan under the Women's Missionary Society
of the United Church of Canada. The Axis Pact of 1.940 made it clearly unwise for any Canadian missionary to return to Japan, and so I was sent to
work in Vancouver, at the Powell Street Japanese United Church, a large, well-
organized, and self-supporting institution which celebrated its 45th
anniversary in Ncraiber 1941. Here I supervised the kindergarten and worked
with various groups of children and adolescents. I found the young people,
all of Whom had been born and educated in this country and who had never
thought of themselves as anything but completely Canadian, in a state of
unhappy bewilderment and often quite at a loss to understand the personal
bitterness with which some other Canadians now regarded them. If it had not
been for the thoughtful sermons and the wise counselling of the Rev. Kosaburo
Shimizu they would, I think, have been even more bewildered and more than a
little resentful.
In March 1941 all the Japanese in British Columbia were required to
register with the RCMP, and so when, in December 1941 Japan attacked Pearl
Harbour they were easily and immediately classified as "Aliens". As soon
as Canada declared war on Japan some were interned, though none of our
Powell Street congregation were thus affected; others were sent to road camps;
all were required to surrender their fishing vessels, cars, cameras, and
weapons. At the Rev. Mr Shimizu's requost I took .over his car (for the
consideration, I remember, of seventy-five cents) and it was then my job to
make the circle tour collecting the children for the kindergarten and to do
any other driving that the church needed,
Under strong and almost hysterical pressure from British. Columbia the
Federal Government finally agreed to evacuate all the Japanese living in the
coastal area, for it was felt that there was not time to sort out the loyal
from the disloyal, and so the innocent suffered. On 4 March 1942 Ottawa set
up the British Columbia Security Commission to carry out the evacuation scheme,
Some 23,000 people had. now to be relocated either east of the Rockies or in
various "ghost towns" in the interior of British Columbia. When a clearing
station was organized in the Exhibition Buildings at Hastings Park in Vancouver I was given a pass to visit the women and children there. As far as
possible I carried on the group work among the girls and small children, and
I was also able to do some personal shopping for the women of our former
congregation, now bravely making the best of their horse-r-stall accommodation,
I felt that I must do anything in my power to assuage in even some small
degree the loneliness, the frustration, and the bewilderment that were afterwards to be so poignantly expressed in Dorothy Livesay's Call my people home
and in Takashima's sensitive and delicate evocation of her own past in A
Child in prison camp.
All summer the work of relocation went on, and the Hastings Park centre
was closed on 30 September 1.942. A month before that, however, the WMS had
provided me with a car and sent me to work among the Japanese evacuees in
New Denver and Rosebery, two of the once flourishing mining towns in the
mountains between the Kootenay and Slocan Lakes. These settlements were four
miles apart on the eastern shore of Slocan Lake, with a magnificent view of
mountain and glacier to the west. New Denver, considerably the larger of the
two, had had about 300'inhabitants, mostly miners and farmers, before the
influx of over 1.500 Japanese in 1942.1 The BCSC leased the 60-acre Harris
~.    See the B.C directories for the period, and the Report of B.C. Security
Commission March 4, 1942 to October 31, 1.942, p.22 17
Ranch half a mile south of the town, and in an old orchard erected 275
houses for the immigrants, the Commission supplying the lumber and the
Japanese the labour. The houses were small, most of them only 1.4 x 25.
Some were allotted to one large family; others accommodated two families,
who had ono room each for sleeping and shared a central room as living
quarters. Built of rough lumber and tar paper, the shacks were far from
weatherproof. On an early morning visit to a family I had known well in
Vancouver, I found the lady of the house sweeping up some greyish-looking
stuff from the floor and putting it into a bucket. When I asked what it
was she replied: "Oh this is the frost we have to scrape off the walls
every morning. We usually get about two buckets of it". Yet the health
of the people in the orchard that winter was very good: no use was made
of the small house next to the New Denver hospital, which the Commission
had reserved as an isolation unit for the Japanese. At first the shacks
were lighted only by lamps and candles, but in the spring of 1943 electric
power was made available to the orchard settlement.
When I arrived in New Denver on 5 September 1.942 the town was naturally
in a state of considerable confusion, many of the original inhabitants,
indeed being almost as bewildered as the Japanese. One man and his wife
refused an introduction to me when they heard I had come to work among the
Japanese, and it was said that this gentleman was even circulating a
petition asking the government to supply New Denver with an arsenal for
the protection of the citizens-.against the invaders. On the other hand,
the New Denver branch of the Canadian Legion accepted the situation,
declaring the influx of Japanese a necessary war measure , and the Board
of the Turner Memorial United Church offered me the use of their building
at any time when services were not being held. In the middle of September I was able to open a Sunday School and to organize the usual church
groups for young people. By the end of May 1943 there were 1.25 children on
the Sunday School roll in New Denver, and 30 in Rosebery, Junior
Explorers and CGIT were also meeting in both settlements.3
On the secular side, the B.C. Government had consistently refused to
accept any responsibility whatsoever for the education of the 5,500
Japanese children so ruthlessly and so irrevocably plucked f"om the coastal
schools in which they had heretofore been peacefully integrated. It therefore, became necessary for the Federal Government, through the BCSC, to
Set .up an elementary school system in the housing centres, headed by two
qualified Japanese-Canadian young women and staffed by teachers chosen
from the best-educated young Japanese-Canadians, in the settlements, who
were given crash courses by Normal School staff"'and others. In New Denvr
the Commission built a school in the orchard and provided teachers, and
thus the Japanese elementary school children were taken care of.
The next most pressing need, it seemed to me, was for a kindergarten,
and this I was able to open on the 1st of November 1942 with"71 children^.
Since there was no suitable space in. the United Church, the Presbyterian
Church gave me the use of their basement, and the BCSC Supervisor for New
Denver, Mr H.P. Lougheed, had three windows put in, of course with the
consent of the congregation. Miss Terry Hidako, one of the two organizers
of the elementary school system, undertook to teach in the kindergarten,
2. Nakusp Arrow Lakes News 8 October 1.942,
3. Ibid., 27 May 1943.
4. WMS Annual Report 1942-43, p.1.1.8 18
since whe had previously coped with small children in Sunday School. With
her help, I pasted building paper on the basement walls to make the room
warmer and to give it a little more light. The crooked, lines testified to
the amateurish efforts of a missionary not trained in that particular trade.
In January 1943 Mrs Margaret McDuffee James, with whom I had already
worked in tho Powell Street Church, came from Vancouver to help me. She
took over the supervision of the New Denver kindergarten and also assisted
in the group work. As soon as I could I organized another, though smaller,
kindergarten in Rosebery, renting the old schoolhouse from the local school
board for ten dollars a month. In March the Sunday School clubs combined
with the Women's Association of the Japanese United Church in putting on a
bazaar which was patronized beyond our wildest dreams, in view of the
popularity of the bingo games and raffles by which other organizations in
New Denver were accustomed to raise money. There was barely standing room
in the Veterans Hall from one o'clock in the afternoon to ten o'clock at
night, and I was really afraid the old building would collapse altogether,
or at least that somebody or something would go through the floor. We sold
various articles that the women had made, and hamburgers, and soft drinks;
we served some 700 meals; and in the evening 1.50 children played games in
the hall. The net proceeds of $1.60 went partly to the Japanese Church and
partly to the children's clubs^, some, of the money being given to the
students to buy baseball equipment. Incidentally, they later Won the baseball championship of New Denver. When the BCSC Supervisor for the whole
province inspected New Denver shortly after our bazaar, he had high praise
for the activities offered by the United Church to the Japanese people in
a place where entertainment and recreational facilities were so conspicuously
During that first winter in New Denver, Mrs James and I organized a
study group for Japanese ex-university students and graduates. They met in
my tiny apartment once a week, sometimes for a play reading, but more often
for a discussion of the difference between Japanese and Canadian ways of
thinking, or of the effect which the evacuation had had on the Japanese,
The talk was calm and well informed: indeed, the open-minded
facing of facts, without bitterness or sentimentality, would probably have
surprised anyone not so well acquainted as we were with Japanese-Canadian
youth.  -They tried hard to keep their mental and emotional balance, for
they truly believed that a new era was coming. And for them it was. When
the right time came for each individual, all of them went east: one boy to
the atomic plant at Chalk River, where he is still working; others to
Various universities and eventual degrees; all of them to a much freer
choice of professions than if they had remained in coastal British Columbia.
In June 1.943 Mrs James left to join her husband, who had been posted
to Halifax. Her place was taken by Miss Ella Lediard of Toronto, a returned
missionary from Japan, She took over the supervision of the kindergarten
and some of the work with the groups, and she also visited the women in the
orchard, thus leaving me better able to concentrate on my next problem:
the provision of education for the Japanese teenagers, who were simply roaming
the streets, causing no particular disturbance, but still doing no good to
themselves or to anybody else.
5.WMS Annual Report 1943-44, 'p. 159". 19
At a Board meeting on 1.8 March 1942 the WMS had advised missionaries
among the Japanese at the coast that they would stand behind^-any action
taken in the field for the welfare of the Japanese in Canada . I now put
this resolution to the' test: I wired the WMS in Toronto; for money to open
a high school in New Denver. The response, both then and later, was as
generous as other commitments could allow. For the calendar year 1943 the
total WMS grant for all the work of the United Church in New Denver-Rose-
bery, including the high school and the two kindergartens, was $4680.72;
for 1.944, $6353.54; for 1945, $7558.54; and for 1946, the year in which
the high school was closed, $4663.19'. In September 1,943 the WMS officially
recognized the establishment of high schools at Lemon Creek, Tashme, and
New Denver-Rosebery.
I spent the summer of 1943 organizing the New Denver-Rosebery project.
An interview in Victoria with Dr S.J. Willis, the Superintendent of
Education in British Columbia, resulted in his promise of three conscientious
objectors for the United Church proposed schools, the only stipulation by
the Provincial Government being that we should not pay them more than $25
a month beyond their board and room. Naturally I had first choice among
the three, and I picked Mr John Rowe, the son of an Alberta .clergyman and
a graduate of the University of Alberta, who had expected to be at Harvard
instead of in a forestry camp on Vancouver Island. He took the mathematics
and science in the New Denver-Rosebery school and also taught maths every
Friday evening and Saturday morning at Lemon Creek. The course in social
studies was taken by Mrs Mildred Osterhout Fahrni, whose husband Walter
was then at the Lucky Jim mine in nearby :Zincton. Well known in university
and political circles for her interest in the welfare of the underprivileged,
Mrs Fahrni was a qualified high school teacher with experience, and also
with a willingness to work for "what the budget will bear". Miss A. Helen
Lawson, a teacher from Hamilton, was anxious to do something for Japanese
students in British Columbia because of her contact with the Japanese who
had been evacuated to Ontario. Well trained in music, sho did Sunday
School and club work as well as her high school teaching of English, and
she trained a girls' choir and a boys'" tonette band. Holding a B.C.
academic certificate dated 1922 I myself served a's principal and also
taught Latin and French, managing to keep barely ahead of the students in
vocabulary and idiom after twenty years of forgetting. Wo planned to
give a complete high school course in Grades IX-XII. While in Victoria
I also saw Dr Edith E. Lucas, who was in charge of the correspondence
courses given by the Provincial Department of Education, and I obtained,
from her a copy of every lesson in every subject we were offering,-not
for the use of the students but for the teachers. Using these lessons
as outlines for our own teaching we could feel satisfied that our Japanese
students were at least getting the same material as other high school
students in British Columbia.
The problem of finding accommodation proved even more difficult than
finding teachers. I had thought that possibly the Japanese and the
Occidental students might be integrated in the New Denver high school, as
6.This information was kindly supplied by Mrs Philip Harrison,' Archivist
of Union College, Vancouver, from notes taken by her from the Minutes
of the  Dominion Board" of the WMS in the Archives of the United Church
in Victoria University, Toronto.
7. See the WMS Annual Report 1943-44, p.369? 1944-45, p.380; 19^5-46. P-379;
1946-47, p.361 20
had been done in some of the other centres^, and that our four teachers
might be combined with the New Denver staff of one. But the local school
authorities thought it better to keep the two racial groups separate. The
Roman Catholics had begun mission work among the Japanese some two weeks
after my own arrival in New Denver, and were planning to open a high school
at the. same time as ours. Again I had thought it possible that staff and
accommodation might be combined1, but these were the days before the
ecumenical movement., and the Sisters could, only reply pleasantly but
firmly: "We cannot, co-operate".
i •
So after a vain search up and down every street in New Denver for a
vacant building of any sort I had to accept with grateful thanks the offer
of the United Church of their fairly large one-room building. The BCSC
Supervisor;, again with the consent of the congregation, put in two more
windows. We had a cupboard built, and tables made which could be placed in
the pews for study periods. Our equipment was a box of chalk and a rolled
blackboard. Since the budget barely covered running expenses the initial
outlay was taken care of by contributions from friends of the staff. On
Friday evenings the church had to be swept and dusted and all the school
equipment hidden behind a green curtain; on Monday mornings we took it all
out again and began school for the week. -.
Each of the four teachers was allotted one corner of the room, and all
the students, even the big gawky boys, sat on kindergarten chairs. If
occasionally there was some doubt as to whose class a particular student
was really in, I'd just ask him: "Is it my class today or Mr RoWe's?" and
if he.replied, "It's yours", I would just say, "All right; come over a little
closer and we'll get on with it". Inevitably mathematical formulas sometimes got mixed with French irregular verbs, and the reading of poetry had
for background the "stinks" of the science class opposite. But there was
a fine spirit of friendship among school,- church and Commission. When wood
for heating, which was supplied by the Commission, was delivered in 8-foot
lengths, students and teachers dealt with it in a Saturday morning session
with'borrowed axes and cross-cut saws, When the church was needed for a
funeral, the science teacher took his students on a long-planned nature
The school opened on the 1st of September 1.943 with 45 students10.^
When 25 more pupils came into Graae IX from the elementary school they
could not possibly be accommodated in the church, and so the BCSC Supervisor
gave us the use of the Recreation Hall during school hours, the ping pong
tables' making excellent desks. The hall was two blocks from the church and
the necessary running back and forth certainly provided execcise for both
students and teachers. We called our school "Lakeview Collegiate", and
with our eyes on the shining mountains across the lake we chose as our
motto: "Per ardua ad magna".
The Japanese United Church in New Denver was solidly behind our
efforts.. The Roman Catholic high school had much better equipment than we
8. Report of the Dept. of Labour on the administration of Japanese affairs
in Canada. 1942-1944. p. 1.6.
9. Mrs Walter Fahrni, "Lakeview Collegiate", Nakusp Arrow Lakes News,
21 October 1943.
10. WMS Annual Report 1943-44, p.l60 21
had, and a larger staff, but many of the Japanese congregation were
reluctant to send their children to a Roman Catholic school, and even
those who had no children of high school age themselves did all in their
power to further the development of a Protestant school. One mother sold
her sewing machine rather than ask for assistance to buy books for her
children. Some Japanese offered help in renovating and decorating the
church, while others tried, though without success, to arrange regular
transportation for the students who lived in Rosebery,
Indeed, the transportation for the 20- Rosebery students posed a real
problem. From September to December Mr Rowe and I took turns driving
them to New Denver every morning in time for their classes, and they made
their own way home, either walking the four miles with their books on
their backs or hitching rides when they could. One morning they were
not at the accustomed rendezvous; we learned later that a meeting with a
black bear had been responsible. In January the weather grew colder and
walking more unpleasant. We then decided that it would be better to
conduct two schools, the staff alternating between New Denver and Rosebery,
where we arranged to conduct classes in the old schoolhouse after the
morning kindergarten was over. Of course this arrangement involved more
work and more inconvenience for the teachers, but they were glad to do it
for the sake of the children who were without educational facilities
through no wish nor fault of their own.
In the school session of 1944-45 things had settled down and there
were fewer problems in administration, though I did find myself taking
on the additional load of commercial subjects. These were naturally
attractive to our stndents, and so when they came to me and said, "The
Catholics are going to have business subjects on their curriculum. Are
we?" I simply knew I could not allow our students to feel cheated and
immediately answered, "Oh yes, of course - bookkeeping, typing and shorthand". Actually it was the first time the idea had entered my head, and
I quite realized that I should have to be responsible for all these subjects myself.' In the summer of 1944 I took Dr Lucas's correspondence
course in bookkeeping; I had instruction books in typing and shorthand -
and I managed. The students did their typing practice according to a
definite schedule, using my own personal typewriter in my living room.
Some years later I met again one of the boys in my bookkeeping class
who had become the head of a large Toronto office and who was showing me
the sights in his own car. When he told me that he had had no business
training beyond what he had received in New Denver I felt well recompensed
for all the midnight oil I had burned trying to keep ahead of my
commercial classes.
One reason for the undoubted success of our school was, I think, the
almost complete lack of disciplinary problems. Education had top priority
for the Japanese parents, and the children themselves really wanted to
come, to school. The only punishment I ever meted out, and that only once,
wasi to forbid a student entry into a class. Even though some of the
older people in the relocation centres found voluntary co-operation jat
times rather difficult, the students in Lakeview Collegiate came to understand more and more that the educational service, the WMS offered them was
truly disinterested and the teachers had no governmental or religious axe
to grind in the classroom. : ...--•-,■: •
Of course out of school the teachers did involve themselves in 22
religious work with the various youth groups in the church and taught
Sunday School and Bible class. Also, every other Sunday one of the four
high school teachers would take the church service, for New Denver had no
resident United Church minister and was served fey the minister from Nakusp,
who came over every other week, weather permitting. The women teachers
joined the Women's Institute and the Women's Association of the Turner
Memorial United Church and on occcsion held office in these Occidental
In June 1944 Mrs Fahrni, to our regret, felt that she must take up some
social work broader in scope than New Denver permitted. Her place was
taken by Miss Margery Rempel, a university graduate from New Mexico who was
a physical education specialist and who also was fired by the necessary
desire to work hard for a small salary. In June 1.945 the students of
Lakeview Collegiate took the regular departmental examinations in all the
subjects we were teaching, and 9%  of our candidates passed1*. The kindergartens in New Denver and Rosebery also continued to operate successfully,
and by now they had been opened to the local Canadian community as well as
to the Japanese, so that there were half-a-dozen fair heads among the black-
haired Japanese tots.l^
Before the end of this school term the vr&r  in Europe was over, but it
was not until August 1945 that Japan surrendered. Then began the long and
complicated process of disestablishing the relocation centres in the •
Interior towns of British Columbia, and of sending the people, according
to their own choice, either back to Japan or to other settlements in Canada.
New Denver became the centre for all those Japanese who wished to remain
in this country; the other camps became repatriation centres. There was
thus a considerable shifting of the Japanese population in New Denver and
Rosebery, as those who wanted' to be repatriated departed and their place
was taken by an equal number of Canada-minded Japanese. During this period
Lakeview Collegiate carried on with the same staff, the same lack of space,
the same minimal equipment. There were now 70 students, equally divided
into boys and girls, and now that most of the adherents of the Buddhist
faith had left to be repatriated, the school was 85/3 Christian, mostly
United Church and Anglican.*3 My own time" was now spent almost entirely in
the high school, but I continued to go to Resebery on Sunday mornings, for
there were still some 15 children there. Since the people now in NEW Denver
had all decided to stay in Canada I also started a beginners' class in
English for the women. The 20 members met for an hour twice a week, and
While they made many humorous mistakes they did learn the fundamentals of
the language and became less shy about using it. *
In June 1.946 the provincial supervisor of the B.C. Security Commission
came to 'New Denver and asked me to close our school. When I asked what was
wrong with it he replied, "Nothing. That's just the trouble. The government
wants the Japanese to move east of the Rockies, and because the children are
established here in a satisfactory school the parents are reluctant to go
to another area where there might not be such good educational opportunities.
Will you co-operate with the government by closing your school here?"
Since I also was of the opinion that it would be far better for the Japanese
in WMS Annual Report 1945-46, p. 1.60
12. WMS Annual Report 1944-45, p.154 .-j .
13. WMS Annual Report 1945-46, p.1.60
1.4. Ibid. 23
to go east and to be assimilated into the life there, I could: do no other
but agree to close down Lakeview Collegiate at once. During its three
years of operation, out of a total registration of 1.22 students 14 had
now. graduated from high school and at the end of its final year 97$ of
our Candidates^ passed the Department of Education examinations. ^
But I determined to come back to New Denver after the summer holidays
in 1.946, to see what had happened to the Japanese high school students
who for one reason or another had still not left for the east. Now that .
the War was over the Provincial Government was forced to re-assume its
educational responsibilities, and the local school board could not
legally deny admission to the Japanese students who remained. They had
to be accommodated in the existing New Denver high school. The enrolment
was thereby increased from 20 to ^5, ar*3 a second teacher had to be
found. The Board appointed a male principal and asked me to j.oin the
staff. For the sake of my Japanese students I could hardly refuse, for
teachers were scarcer even, than fuel in those days in British Columbia.
I agreed to stay only until another teacher could be found, but of course
it turned out to be for the whole school year. The day school opened
the principal came to my room and said, "I wouldn't have come to New
Denver if I'd known that the students would be mostly Japanese". There
was no answer to that remark. In less than three weeks he appeared again
to say, "I've never had better students anywhere". My own fears for my
Japanese students were allayed as soon as I discovered that they and the
Occidental students were borrowing each other's homework. I had no further
cause for worry. When the school inspector came in the spring of 1.947
he said to me: ""What can I offer you to stay on for another year?" I
could only reply "Nothing. I work for the church". And I think he understood. But I admit to a feeling of, I hope, 'justified pride when a
Japanese student from the New Denver high school came second for the
Kootenay district in the junior matriculation exams in 1.947 and won a
scholarship, with an average of 91.9$.
When Lakeview Collegiate was so abruptly closed in June 1.946 the
other three members of the staff of course left New Denver, and since
ill-health prevented Miss Lediard from resuming her missionary duties in
September I was alone for the next year. I carried on as- much of the
church work as my teaching load in the high school would permit, continuing the Sunday School and tho Mission Circle as long as enough members
remained, and giving Bible lessons once a week to a group of young
women patients in the sanatorium which had been opened in New Denver in
April 1943 to accommodate all the Japanese in British Columbia who were
suffering from tuberculosis. With the help of some of the local congregation I also kept up the services in the church when the minister from
Nakusp was not able to cross the mountains.
In June 1947 the WMS decided that the situation in New Denver did not
warrant a special worker for the Japanese, and after almost five years I
left New Denver for good. The hope of the United Church was that the
Japanese who remained there would become part of the local community, and
so indeed it proved. The children had now been integrated into the local
15. WMS Annual Report 1946-47, P.T43
16. Nakusp Arrow Lakes News, 24 July 1947 24
schools. The adults had already shown their acceptance of the Japanese;
a number of families in the iorchard purchased property from the local
residents without opposition, and in June 1946 the Rev. T. Komiyama was .
appointed minister of the New Denver United Church, taking the responsibility foB both English and Japanese services every Sunday. At the
ceremony of welcome it was made clear that
this occasion was one of real importance to Canadians, for while
the appointment of a Nisei to a position of responsibility in an
Occidental community should be nothing out of the ordinary, it is
still unfortunately rare enough to be noteworthy, as in  example of
common and natural fraternity. -'
It is true that in November 1946, when the number of Japanese had dwindled
to fewer than 700 and it was felt that he could be more useful elsewhere,
Mr Komiyama was transferred from New Denver,*" but the point had been made.
Other professional men of Japanese racial origin had also been accepted into
the community. In August 1946 the Nakusp Board of Trade had requested
Ottawa to allow Dr Paul S. Kumagai, the dentist in New Denver, to remain
in the district, and the Deputy Minister of Labour had replied that Dr
Kumagai was quite at liberty to remain on a self-supporting basis if he
wished to do so.*9 He did so wish; and on 19. June 1947 the Nakusp Arrow
Lake News reported on its front page that Dr Kumagai, playing with two men
bearing obviously Occidental names, had "sunk his tee shot on the 9th hole."
The headline read simply: "ilew Denver man makes golfers' hall of fame.""
When Lakeview Collegiate had been in operation for a year I asked in
my annual report to the WMS, "
Does the education of forty-five children justify the effbrt-and
'expense involved? On the basis of citizenship, on the basis of ";
democracy, and on the basis of- Christianity which succours those in
need, we believe that it does. How long such school will be needed
we cannot tell, but the Church will not lose in prestige or in power
through filling a need, which was in part caused but not cured by the
The next year I expressed my opinion
that the WMS is doing a very great work, perhaps greater than any
of us realizes, in giving Japanese young people an opportunity for £j
a Christian Protestant Canadian education with no strings attached.
In the years that have passed since 1945 I have seen no reason to change
this opinion. When some years after the closing of Lakeview Collegiate-'•
I made a check of our former students then in Toronto and of others
whom they knew of, I was well satisfied. One of the boys was working, for
his Ph.D.; he. obtained the degree and has for some years now been an
advisor to the Federal Government in oriental matters. Two of the girls,
17." Nakusp Arrow Lakes News, 1.3 June 1946
1.8, WMS Annual Report 194^47, p. 1.43;
19. Arrow Lakes News, 15 August 1946
20. WMS Annual Report 1943-44, p.i6l
21. WMS Annual Report^^-044-4'S. p. 154 25
had gone into pharmacy: one was then working in the Food and Drug
administration in Ottawa; the other was in the dispensary of the
Women's College Hospital in Toronto, an institution with a very fine
reputation indeed. Many of the >other students had done equally well.
For staff and students alike those years in New Denver had not been
easy, and perhaps I am prejudiced. But I still think we made no
mistake when we chose as our school motto: "Per ardua ad magna".
This letter, referred to in the Minutes (p.4) has been sent to
the people responsible, endorsing the stand taken by the Sierra Club
regarding Phase 3 Pacific Rim National Park:
"  The Council of the British Columbia Historical Association
has endorsed the stand of the Sierra Club of British Columbia regarding
the inadequacies which exist in Phase Three - West Coast Trail - of the
recently formed Pacific Rim National Park, and are in accord with the
reasons given for the proposed changes.
The Council respectfully wishes to draw your attention to the
Sierra Club's proposal that a strip 1.-§- miles wide be preserved to allow
proper protection for the trail strip, instead of the existing strip of
■§■ mile, and we would ask your further consideration that the Nitinat Lake
area be included in the boundaries of this same Phase Three.
The Sierra Club has proposed that we save the most precious region
of the Nitinat - the lake drainage basin to the west of Nitinat Lake -
the valley of Tsusiat, Hobiton and Squalicum Lakes, comprising approximately 13,800 acres of land.
The Council was also in agreement that, until final disposition and
decisions have been made by the parties entrusted with this great
responsibility on behalf of all Canadians, any logging or other commercial
development should not be allowed in this water-shed. We have no desire
that any logging company shall be allowed to attempt to predetermine
the future destiny of this area. Yrs."
List of Societies affiliated with the B.C Historical Association
Alberni & District: Mrs E. Adams, 845 River Rd., Port Alberni,B.C.
Burnaby: Mrs F. Street, 6176 Walker Ave., Burnaby, B.C.
Creston & Dist.: Mrs Clarice Y. Abbott, Wynndol, B.C.
Golden: Mrs Jean L. Dakin, Box 992, Golden, B.C.
Gulf Islands: Mrs Clare McAllister, R.R.I, Galiano Island, B.C
East Kootenay: Mr D. Kay, 921 S. 4th ASt., Cranbrook, B.C.
West Kootenay: Miss Jane Tyson, 39 Hazlewood Dr., Trail, B.C.
Nanaimo: Miss E. Norcross, 710 Hamilton Ave., Nanaimo, B.C.
Vancouver; Mrs K. Winterborrom, 3828 West 1.4th Ave., Vancouver 8, B.C,
Victoria; Miss M.C Holmes, 863 Somenos St., Victoria, B.C.


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