British Columbia History

BC Historical News Jun 30, 1972

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JUNE  1972
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Vol. 5 No. 4
June 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 Ave.,
Vancouver -8, B.C.
Hon. Patron:
Hon. President:
Past President:
1st Vice-President:
2nd Vice-P resident:
Sec. & Editor:
Executive members:
Lieut-Gov. J.R. Nicholson
Dr Margaret Ormsby
Col. G.S. Andrews;
Mr H.R, Brammall
Mr F. Street
Mr J. Roff
Mr P A. Yandle
Mrs H.R. Brammall
Mrs Clare McAllister
Mr H.B. Nash
"The Convention"
4 .
Society Notes & Comments
Book review: Guests never leave
B.C. Books of Interest
Convention pictures
face 14,1.5
'■ Folk Within Sound of Big Ole, by M. Trebett      16
Moran Dam 21
FRONT COVER: James Sewid, drawn-by Vancouver member Robert Genn. By special request (there were at least two) it was suggested that
it might be possible to have again a report of the Convention in doggerel.
This will be the second offering and it is to be hoped that we can curb
the addicts.
Now this is a story of adventure in the beautiful Alberni Valley,
When late in May the "Hysterical" folks were holding their annual rally.
It is known as our Annual Convention, when we have trips and speakers too,
And it provides a local incentive, to show what the home folks can do.
On the twenty-fifth day of May, the "faithful" started appearing
To pick up their Registrations as the opening hour was nearing.
They repaired to the Echo Centre, for this would be our headquarters
And a very fine tribute it is to Alberni's sons and daughters.
Mesdames Adams and Ford were "glad handing" and met us all at the door,
Passing our envelopes full of tickets as we started to come by the score.
When the talking had reached a crescendo as each person with zeal burned,
Cam© a jaunty call for order and we knew that the Robin had returned.
And there stood the Pres. in his glory as command after command he let fly;
He had us all orderly seated, before you could bat your eye.
We watched a showing of local scenes and the havoc of the. tidal wave
But the beauty of the Alberni scenery most certainly rated a rave.
Then the swilling of coffee and tea commenced and the disappearing cookie act
Brought the girths back up to normal, and this my friends was a factl
This brought the evening to a close as time was fast a fleeting;
On the morrow there was Council sharp at nine and then the Annual General
What a bright and sunny morning, it augured a beautiful day; /Meeting.
Once we'd got our business over" we could then go out and play.
Just as we planned we were done by twelve although some would've talked till nig
We were doled out bag lunches at the finish and suggested we eat on site.
Sharp at one the buses assembled and in climbed the motley assortment;
We were off to the Cameron Lake logging camp, so please remember your deportment
At the main camp office we picked up guides after a general disembarking;
"You wear hard hats in the woods these days and remember - no silly larking".
We toiled up hill through clouds of dust with a pilot truck ahead
And through all the bumps those hard hats seemed as if they were made of lead.
We arrived at our first rendezvous, where we were to witness a demonstration
Of accurate water bombing laid on by the Bio-Mac administration.
The big Mars bomber arrived at last and made a sweep of the valley
And the number of cameras taking "shots", it would be hard to guess the tally.
It made a low steep banking turn, and came in for the target drop;
We held our breath as the water spewed out, and hit with a terrific PLOP.
And, like the cries for brave Horatius, we let out a thunderous cheer
For we were within five hundred yards, and the target was a sodden smear.
We climbed back in our buses again, though a little damp from the spray;
We were off to see some log loading, with the most modern machines of the day.
My thoughts had turned to the pioneer men, as we passed through a firebreak of
When I noticed that one of our party was behaving as if he had fleas, /trees,
It was our revered brave Donald New, who was arrayed in abbreviated shorts
Who was making the frantic motions, and giving out audible snorts.
"Those mosquitoes are all left handed", he said, as he rubbed an obvious bite,
"They have only attacked on the left leg side, and I haven't a bite on the rightj
As I stood and pondered this logic - there was no reply that I knew,
'We're on the left side of the valley", I said, "depending on which point of vi©
The mammoth machines were mauling the logs and dragging them down the slope
On a high sky-line they dangled aloft, attached to the wire-rope.
They were pounced upon by giant tongs, which tossed them around like a twig,
'/'hen placed them so gently on the truck - and some of them were very big. We left this place where the skill of man has eliminated the back-breaking toil
But the fragrant scent of the forest is now redolent of diesel oil.
It was time to leave for the booming grounds, as time was getting late,
To see the. final working phase and get ready for our evening date.
We saw the logs spill into the "chuck", for sorting', and then into a raft,
To watch the might of the stubby boom boats., that looked like ducks, gone daft.
We thanked our guides who had been top-notch, then back to eat and a shower,
To get the dust washed off and changed, it left us less than an hour.
We listened to talks by Robin the Pres., and an Alberni lady of renown; .
She talked about the pioneer folk, and the character they'd left to the town.
She was Meg Trebett, just a little bit shy, although she was a reporter,
But she had done her research well, and was also a native daughter.
Some laughter rang out, so I moved in close, to learn the cause of the mirth.
It concerned one of our older members, who it seemed got his money's worth;
It appeared he had craved a cup of tea, at the end of our logging trip,
With a couple of ladies on his arm, into a cocktail lounge did slip.
The ladies said they needed a "lift", but Bill was still wanting tea,
So they got their drinks and he got his tea, and they sat there a group of three.
The lighting was poor in this cabaret place, and then to their great surprise,
They found they were in for a "girlie show" and poor Bill nearly lost his eyes.
The "girlie" performing was strutting her stuff, in a very diaphanous sheath
And Bill shook as he recounted the embarrassing fact - she had nothing on Tinder
If he was sadder or wiser, we'll never know, but of one thing we can be sure/neath.
He'd seen all he wanted the very first time, and he'd not go back for more.
It was a very tired but happy group that staggered off into the night,
For to-morrow we were off on the Lady Rose, to be shown an impressive sight.
In a clammy morn that promised to be hot, we were all aboard by eight
To see the sights of the Alberni Canal, and if possible the Vanlene's fate.
The water was calm as the ropes were cast off, as we headed for Barkley Sound,
And an ever enchanting vista, as each bend in the Canal we came round.
As we cruised in to look at Kildonan, we got a look at a big black bear
Probably out for a morning's fishing, seeing nobody else was there.
It was pleasant indeed to wander around, and everyone got well acquainted;
We seemed so remote from man's domain and the air was no longer tainted.
And then it was we had reached the Sound, and started riding the Ocean swell
And soon we saw lying straight ahead the wreck of the freighter Vanlene;
She was partly submerged tight on the rocks, miles from where she should have been.
It was sharp at noon that the gastronomic call produced a flock of more bag
The sharp sea air had given added zest as we steadily chewed in bunches, /lunches;
By now we were back in calmer water, and Bamfield lay just,ahead;
We were to have a break for half an hour, that seemed to revive the "dead".
It was a pretty spot as it slept in the sun, and some went off and walked
While others ambled to the store or sat around in the sun and talked.
We started back to the Alberni dock, and as the sailing was left to the crew
We sat and soaked up the beaming sun, and quite a few got a sunburned hue.
The banquet that night found a lethargic group, whose energy had been drained,
Yet in spite of the wonderful food and wine, our ears were appropriately trained.
Mr E;G, Stroyan stressed the worth of the trees, that Sproat had called dsirimental,
But'time; .and skill had changed all that; to Alberni they are now fundamental.
The thanks fwere given to all who had made this Convention long to remember
By our new President, Gerry Andrews by name, a stalwart Victoria member.
And Robin "Beau" Brammall got a rousing cheer for his dedicatipn over the years
As everyone got to his feet to clap to the sound of scraping chairs.
And then we sang "0 Canada" as we closed out the Seventy-Two Convention;
Next year it will be in Vancouver, a reminder I'd just like to mention. Minutes of the Fourth Council Meeting for 1971-72 of the B.C. Historical
Association, held in Port Alberni on Friday May 26th, 1972 at 9.00 a.m.
Present: Mr R. Brammall (Pres.); Mr G. German (1st Vice.Pres.); Mrs J.
Roff (2nd Vice.Pres.); Mrs P. Brammall (Treas.); Mr P. Yandle (Sec);
Mr F.'Street (Exec. Member); Mrs Adams (Alberni); Mr D. New (Gulf Islands);
Mrs Kneen (Nanaimo); Miss E. Johnson (W.Koot.); Mr A. Hunter (E.Koot);
Mrs G. Bowes (Vancouver); Mr B. Nash (Victoria); Mr K. Leeming (Victoria);
Mr J.Roff (Visitor - Vancouver).
, Moved New, seconded Leeming that the minutes of the last Coucil
Meeting be accepted as circulated and the addition presented by the
Secretary be adopted as read - Carried.
Mr Brammall gave a report on the pamphlet and letter that he had
been asked to draw up in conjunction with G. German, for recruiting new
affiliates. A sample was circulated to Council and approved. Mr Brammall
stated that thBre had been a total of seventeen sent out to non-affiliated
The Secretary reported that Mr Dangelmaier had been made aware of
Council's decision that the Association was withdrawing sponsorship of his
project for a grant from the Leon and Thea Koerner Foundation, and read
a portion of his reply.
The various Parliamentary members and appropriate Federal and Provincial Government cabinet members had been written to regarding Council's
endorsation of the compromise proposal of the Sierra Club in their brief
dealing with the boundaries of the Pacific Rim National Park. All had
replied and it was worthy of note that they had gone further than the
usual letter of acknowledgement and had submitted material relevant to
the entire area. The main portion of the Secretary's letter had been
included in the April issue of the News. Mr Leoming wanted it on record
that the Secretary be complimented for the concise resume that he had
presented in his letter* Council unanimously approved the action taken,
The Secretary reported that he had endorsed an Opportunities for Youth
programme on behalf of the Association.- The project was to document an
architectural, cultural and historical survey of original buildings of the
Fraser Valley. Moved Nash, Seconded Mrs Brammall, that the action of the
Secretary be endorsed. - Carried.
. The notice of motion that had come from the Victoria Society and had
been officially circulated to all affiliate societies according to the
Constitution came up for discussion.. Kir Leeming raised the matter in
Council so that all Council members should understand, before it came to
a vote at the Annual General Meeting, that the sole purpose of the motion
was to enlarge Council for the added advantage of a wider range to choose
from, in electing table officers of the Association. Mr New considered ■
the present wording extremely arbitrary in reference to how and when the
affiliate society must elect their delegates and this should not be
mandatory. Mr Brammall considered it fair and that it was qualified in
other sections of the Constitution and By-laws. It was moved Leeming, »
seconded Yandle, that new amended copies of the Constitution and By-laws
be made,and further recommended that the New Council should consider the
distribution of an adequate quantity to each affiliate Society. - Carried. The President asked that consideration be given to splitting the
duties of the Secretary so that in the future there would be a Recording
Secretary charged with the responsibility of all minutes of meetings of
the Association, and a Corresponding Secretary responsible for the letters
and business of the Association. Council unanimously recommended that
this be dene at the New Council meeting when electing officers for the
forthcoming year. Moved Leeming, seconded Nash - that the meeting adjourn
at 10.00 a.m. - Carried.
Minutes of the Annual General Meeting of the B.C. Historical Association
held in Port Alberni on May 26th, 1972.
The meeting was called to order at 10.15 a.m. by the President. Mrs Adams
welcomed the guests on behalf of the Alberni Society and gave a brief
outline of"the field trips planned.
It was moved Street, seconded Nash, that the minutes of the last-
Annual General Meeting held in Victoria and published in the News be
adopted as circulated. - Carried.
The Treasurer gave her report and stated that the Association was in
a healthy financial state. All commitments had been paid and the present
per capita structure was sufficient to publish the News and cover any emergency
that might arise, as for instance the expenditure of $519.00 for an
automatic Gestetner machine for the Editor. The membership had increased
during the year, with a subscription gain of 95 as compared to a gain of
65 in 1971. In concluding her report she said "I would also like to point
out at this time that artist Robert Genn is still donating gratis his
skill in designing for us the excellent covers for the News. The publication of the B.C. Historical News, unlike some other publications of this
kind does not receive any grants or subsidies. We are completely solvent
and self supporting". The cash on hand at the end of the year was $1,000,
plus negotiable cash assedis of $3,849.60. Moved Mrs Bramtnall, seconded
Leeming, that the report be adopted. - Carried.
Mr Yandle, the Association Secretary, gave a report on the year's
activities. For the record it was not necessary to go into detail as it
had all found its way into the News in one form or another. There had been
considerable correspondence connected with efforts to preserve the
Hudson's Bay Brigade Trail and the Nitinat Triangle area to be included
within the Pacific Rim National Park boundaries and a wider protective
strip to preserve the West Coast Lifesaving Trail. These efforts had not
as yet produced anything positive but at the same time had not been in
vain. The answers were not the usual "your letter received and contents
noted" variety, Oral History has been receiving a lot of attention through
-student grants, and he stressed the need for affiliated' societies to find
out what was being done in their particular area so that it might be
adjusted to any local programme already in progress. There is still a lack
of communication from some societies which might be represented on Council
to better advantage.
The report of the Editor dealt mainly with the physical aspects of
the News, since the Treasurer's report had covered the financial side
The two added features, the B.C Books of Interest, and the Book review
section have received favourable comments- and will be continued. The new Gestetner has taken a lot of the drudgery out of the work and has improved
the quality of the reproduction. The Society Notes and Comments section
is still not being contributed to by all the societies, which reflects the
true measure of activity outside the work of Council. Moved Mrs O'Reilly,
seconded Mrs Turnbull, that there be a vote of thanks to the Treasurer and
Secretary-Editor for their reports. - Carried.
On the discussion of these reports several questions were asked
regarding assistance with the News from the Provincial Archives. Mrs
Barnett's request for information brought up the subject of the defunct
Quarterly, which the President pointed out is dead, and that there was no
interest in the part of the Provincial Government in reviving it. Mrs
Turnbull, Mr Barracloumgh and Mrs Kneen expressed satisfaction in the
present set up and considered the B.C. Historical News was worthy of
support and that it met the requirements of the Association.
A notice of motion for an amendment to the By-Laws submitted by
Victoria and circulated to the member societies was discussed. It asked
that paragraph (c) of Section 10 be rescinded and be replaced by "One
councillor for each one hundred members, in excess of the first one
hundred members, or fraction of one hundred members". Moved Leeming,
seconded Mrs O'Reilly that the amendment be incorporated in its entirety
into the By-Laws. - Carried. There were no dissenting votes.
The President read further changes to be made in the By-Laws, which
had been instituted as a result of Federal Tax Laws. These were not
policy changes, but rewording that would enable the Association to be a
non-profit organization within the law as prescribed by the Federal
Government. Moved Leeming,' seconded Slocombe, that these By-Law changes
be made. - Carried.
The next convention site was discussed and Mrs O'Reilly felt that the
dates of the Canadian Museum Association and the B.C. Museums Association
Conventions should be checked before fixing our next convention date.
There was one application for the 1973 Convention from the Vancouver Historical Society. Moved Mrs Kneen, seconded German, that the next convention
be held in Vancouver - Carried.
It was moved Yandle, seconded Mrs Riley, that Mr Ford be appointed
Auditor. - Carried.
Under new business, Mr Bartroli raised the question of holding a
convention in 1974 or 1975 at Nootka; 1974 would be the bicentennial of
the arrival of the first ship in these waters and Nootka would be the
logical place to hold the celebration. The convention site might be Gold
RiVer, and a good time to hold it would be in August. Mrs Yandle asked
if this would be in accord with our present Constitution which states
that it be held in May. The President stated that this could be changed with
the Registrar of Companies, who is only concerned that an annual meeting
be held within the designated calendar year. Mr Leeming felt that we
could set the date at our next Convention if we so desired to hold it in
August instead of May. This matter was referred to the New Council for
consideration at a future meeting.
The following reports were read from the member societies: Alberni -
Mrs Ford; Burnaby - Mr Street; East Kootenay - Mr Hunter; Gulf Islands -
Mrs McAllister; West Kootenay - Miss E. Johnson; Nanaimo - Mrs Kneen; Victoria - Mr K. Leeming. (Due to shortage of time the report for
Victoria was read at the evening meeting.)
Arising from the reports, it should be noted that East Kootenay
had moved from one "disaster" to another, that disrupted scheduled events,
yet in spite of it all they had had a year of achievement. They had
asked the Federal Government to strike a stamp commemorating Dewdney
some time previously but this had been rejected as they (the Fed. Govt)
didn't think Dewdney was well enough known. The society now wish to get
a commemorative stamp for the Crows Nest Pass and wonder if it will
receive the same treatment. Moved Leeming, seconded Mrs Yandle that the
East Kootenay Society send the relevant information tc the Secretary and
the B.C Historical Association will make representation on their behalf.
Carried. _
Moved Leeming, seconded Yandle that the delegates express their
appreciation to the Alberni Society for hosting the Convention. - Carried,
Moved Leeming, seconded Slocombe that the meeting adjourn at
1.2.00 p,m. - Carried.
Minutes of the First Council Meeting for 1972-73 of the B.C Historical
Association held in Port Alberni on Friday May 26th 1972 at 5.00 p.m.
Present: Mr R„ Brammall (Vancouver); Mrs P. Brammall (Vancouver); Mr
G. Andrews (Victoria); Mr J. Gibbard (Vancouver); Mrs Clare McAllister
(Gulf Islands); Mr F. Street (Burnaby); Mrs Kneen (Nanaimo); Mr B.
Nash (Victoria); Mrs Ketha Adams (Port Alberni); Miss E' Johnson (West
Kootenay); Mr P.A Yandle (Vancouver); Mrs A. Yandle (Vancouver).
Mr Brammall opened the meeting by calling for an election of officers
for the coming year. He had previously indicated that he would not
continue as President and there was therefore no reason why he could not
conduct the election. There was a reluctance on the part of the delegates
to accept nomination for the position of President. Opinions were
expressed for reasons for declining, but as Mr Brammall pointed out,
the Association could not continue if somebody was not prepared to accept
the position of President. Suggestions were made that the other officers
be elected and leave the question of President to another meeting, but
this was not acceptable to the Secretary who felt that after five years in
his position he would not wish to continue if Council could not find a
President among the delegates present. Much of the reluctance stemmed
from Councils of previous years not making certain that there was some
person on Council who would be willing .to succeed the retiring President.
The situation was finally resolved and the following new officers were
President: Mr G. Andrews Recording Sec: Mr J. Gibbard
1st Vice-Pres.: Mr F.Street Executive members: Mrs McAllister
2nd Vice-Pres.: Mr J.Roff (in absentia) Mr B. Nash
Treas.: Mrs P. Brammall Editor: Mr P. Yandle
Secretary: Mr P. Yandle Co-Editor: Mrs A, Yandle
(Mr Roff had iridisated that he would be willing to accept nomination
for an office.) 8
lit was the unanimous decision of Council to honour Mr W. Barraclough
of Nanaimo with a life membership in the Association, in recognition of
his many years of dedication and service.
Victoria made a request that the Secretary be asked to investigate
a rate for the purchase of cassettes for recording oral history, dealing
specifically with import duty and sales tax which should not be applicable
in the case of a non-profit organization. The Past President, Mr Brammall
said that the Customs Office was close to his business and that he would
look into it.
All other business from last year that was still in progress was
referred to the Secretary.
There being no further business, it was moved Mrs Brammall, seconded
Yandle that the meeting adjourn at 6.10 p.m. - Carried.
GULF ISLANDS On 4th June members met on Mayne Island; 3 travelled from
the Penders, 9 from Galiano, but ferry schedules prevented attendance by
Saturna members. Miss Gwen Hayball of Mayne Island read a paper on the
earliest days of public libraries in the Vancouver area. In 1969 the
Vancouver Public Library was able to celebrate 1.00 years of public service
which began with the Mechanics' Institute Library on Burrard Inlet. Later
there were the New London Institute and the Hastings Literary Institute
Libraries. By 1.886 there were some 378 whites in the area, and the Institute
"reading room" was often used for dances and meetings. Bookd from these
formed the nucleus of the library which opened at 136 Cordova St. some 20
months after Vancouver became a city.
GOLDEN  Professor John Marsh, Dept. of Geography, Trent University, sends
the following report of his work in Golden. -
"As a result of experience with an Opportunities for Youth project last
summer it is felt a few comments on the work may be of interest to readers
and may encourage the initiation of similar projects in future. In May
four students, three from the University of Calgary and one from Golden,
were awarded a summer grant to develop interpretive services in the Golden
area of B.C. The group felt that this scenic area with its rich history
based on man's trips across the mountains, the building of the railway and
the use of the Columbia River warranted interpretation. Furthermore, it was
expected that the numerous tourists traversing the region via the Trans-
Canada Highway would appreciate knowing more about the area's natural and
cultural history. Fortunately arrangements could be made to operate the
local tourist bureau in Golden. This served as a base and publicity point for
the group's programme. Before commencing the programme a period of research
was necessary. Published information on the area was collected, local
historical authorities were consulted and field and archival investigations
were carried, out. Considerable help was received from many individuals
interested in the local history, geology, flora and fauna. Having assembled
our information several means were developed to provide interpretive services
in the area. In the course of the summer the group was able- to publish
two guides, one to Golden and one to nearby Glacier National Park. Both of
these paid attention to the history of these places and the remaining cultural 9
artifacts. For Golden, an historic and scenic drive that included such
features as the abandoned' saw mill, steamer landing, Swiss village and
old stores, was suggested. For Glacier Park key features along the Trans-
' Canada such as the old railway bridges, snowsheds and site of Glacier House
Hotel were identified. - To complement the published information a slide
talk was developed. Many of the slides were copied from old photographs
and when used in conjunction with recent views they illustrated how the
landscape had changed as a result of man's activities, The shows were
presented in an auditorium adjacent to the public campground, with no'
charge being levied. There was reasonable public interest but unfortunately the talks were terminated because of the lack of a suitable
projector. At the tourist bureau downtown and at the campground free
tours around local historic and scenic sites, ranging from an hour to a
day, were advertised. Surprisingly few people were interested in this
offer perhaps because of inadequate advertising or the lack of such
services in this neglected area in the past. During the summer an exhibit
of old photographs and specimens of the local flora was prepared and
placed on view at the tourist bureau. It was also used at an old timers'
reunion in the town. The display provoked interest in the local area
and was an attraction in itself. Some of the photographs were eventually
reproduced as historic post cards. They provided an interesting contrast
with the rather stereotyped scenic post cards generally available.
While not everything attempted met with success the project did
demonstrate that valuable work in historic research, interpretation and
publication can be achieved by students engaged in programmes like
Opportunities for Youth. It seems reasonable to expect that winter works
programmes of a similar nature may also have potential. Clearly local
history and natural history societies could benefit themselves" and
visitors by encouraging such student enterprises in their area. Over the
years a substantial amount of good research and interpretation, now often
lacking in smaller communities, could be accomplished at little cost in
this way. Projects might include archaeological investigation, archival
research, field mapping and photography, interpretive writing and
interviewing of old timers."
EAST KOOTENAY Ed.- a story of achievement in a year of frustration!
The annual ride on the Kootenay River boat had to be cancelled because
someone had cut the moorings at Fort Steele during high water, allowing
it to float some four miles downstream, to become firmly lodged on a
sandbar, only being released late in the fall.... The planned unveiling
of the historical marker, telling of the St. Eugene Mine at Moyie and
Father Coccola's part therein, could not be held because the parking lot
for it along the highway was not completed till late last fall,... The
gold panning expedition up Wild Horse Creek which has proved so popular.
other years, had to be called off owing to the extremely dry weather with
its high fire hazard at that time - during the Sam Steele Days celebrations
at Cranbrook. When rain finally relieved that situation, the weather
turned so'-cold and unpleasant it was thought unadvisable to have it in
the fall.... The Joint International Picnic with the Idaho group at Bonners
Ferry had to be cancelled" owing to their organization apparently having
folded - at least temporarily. Also adverse weather conditions again,....
High fire hazards, etc., were also responsible for nothing being done
about a joint outing with the Creston group.
Credit for the chief outside activity of the Association this year
goes to Robert Jeffrey and Tom Leighton of the Field Supervisor Committee. 10
Work bees were organized to clean up, brush out, mow and mound up graves
at Wild Horse and Fort Steele cemeteries. Also a start was made late in
the fall on cleaning up and fencing the old Moyie cemetery. Several young
members of the Cranbrook Boys' Club, along with members of thelocal R.C.M.P.
turned out and were most helpful with this work. It is hoped to fence this
later cemetery this year, level and mound graves, straighten headstones, etc
The Public Works Dept. have promised to put in an access road from Highway 3.
and supply gravel and equipment; also posts, cable and other help has been
either given or promised - mostly through the efforts of R. Jeffrey. The
R.D.E.K. has made an allocation of $250 to this project and the Moyie Community
Club has this work in hand.
In October a dinner was held at Which Mrs Ryckman of the Trail Riding
Club of Trail, B.C. spoke on the project of restoring the old Dewdney Trail
from Hope to Wild Horse, which her club has been working on.    •■
WEST KOOTENAY Two groups connected with the West Kootenay Society reported
progress. The Kootenay Doukhobor Society has completed brie dwelling, and
outbuildings and a second dwelling are under construction. Archival material
will be kept at the Selkirk College Library. Rossland has a well planned
modern museum including a Ski Hall of -Fame. The underground mine restoration
is being extended, together with some valuable restored heavy machinery.
NANAIMO At their April meeting Mr Barraclough took the members on a "tour"
of Front Street, with intersection of Bastion Street, the birthplace of
Nanaimo from the time of the Indian settlers, through the Spaniards' regime,
followed by the coal miners and merchants. Members listened for over an
hour to Mr Barraclough as names such as the Dunsmuirs, Adam Grant Horne,
Mark Bate, Samuel Robins, Dr Benson and many others were recalled. Some of
the businesses along these streets were the Jackson Fish Market, Mrs Anderson's
Boat House, the homes of fishermen (this portion now filled in) and Hirst's
Wharf, along with many others. He told of the many band concerts held on
what is known as Dallas Square and how it was a treat for the people of
Nanaimo to spend a Sunday evening on the waterfront between the Post Office
and the Malaspina H0tel and listen to the band playing there also. Across
the street from Dallas Square was the Post Office in whose tower "Big Frank"
struck the passing hours. "Big Frank" still ticks away on top of the Catholic
Church on Fitzwilliam Street. Mr Barraclough gave excerpts of interviews
with old timers, among them being Mr W. Lewis, Mr J.L. Muir, Mayor Mark
Bate, Judge W. Philpott, Mr Victor B. Harrison, Mr Hiram Gough, Mr Joe Kneen
and Mrs M.A. Kenny and who have all passed away now. Each story had been
recorded on tape before their death and Were brought into Mr Barraclough's
talk at the intervals related to their subject. The trip was ended by the
giving of the names of the occupants of the old historic and picturesque homes
on Front Street which were torn down to make space for the Seacrest Apartment and the rounding of the corner on Comox Road.
Miss Patricia Johnson spoke at the May meeting on the people of Nanaimo.
The first miners came from the worked out mines in Fort Rupert. The Indian
people did not come until after the Hudson Bay Company Trading Post was
opened. They were fishermen and clam shells are still to, be'seen in abundance
along the drive ways at the Port Hardy Airport. These Indians became famous
for their potlatches, totem poles and art work, which was mostly made from stone.
Miss Johnson told in length the history of some-of the pioneer miners, the
Andrew Muir family, the John McGregor, John Muir, Robert and John Dunsmuir.
When the mines were worked out, these families settled in Sooke and Victoria
before coming to Nanaimo. Some went to San Francisco for a .short time before 11
returning. Miss Johnson told of crews of the ships coming to the Fort
and who married Indians from the North. The women wove beautiful blankets
made mostly from goat hair. Some of these are on display in the Provincial
Museum in Victoria. Descendants of the Robert Hunt family of Fort Rupert,
1 who originally came with the opening of the Hudson Bay Trading Post are
still living there and they told many stories which have been passed down
and which Miss Johnson has recorded.
PORT ALBERNI Alberni's big effort this spring has been the organization
of the B.C. Historical Association's Convention. In March a large audience
enjoyed the colour slides of Mr.Bruce Scott, author of Breakers Ahead.
The research committee, headed by Mrs Helen Ford, has answered numerous
requests for information throughout the year.
VICTORIA In April, Mr Willard Ireland, Provincial Archivist and Librarian,
addressed the society on "Sir James Douglas: the man behind the Governor",
On May 18th Mr R.M. Patterson, author of several books on northern British
Columbia gave a well illustrated talk on "Historic sites in British
Columbia, and pictures taken in the new Nahanni National Park, N.W.T."
The New Embroidery Guild of Victoria is planning an exhibition to be
held in March 1.973 showing the development of embroidery, particularly in
Canada, up to 1.920. The Guild would, like to hear from anyone in possession
of p ieces they might wish to exhibit,and of particular interest would be
photographs or slides. Please phone or write to Mr John Freeman, 4509 West
Saanich Road, Victoria (479-4468) or Mrs E Mayne, 1404 Good Acres North,
360 Douglas St. (388-7497).
From the Vancouver Sun May 31st, 1972. "Seattle  A Federal Grand
Jury has decided the U.S. Government must pay $265,000 for park lands to '
commemorate a war waged with the British over a pig. The property is on
San Juan Island. The decision was made one day after the Islanders celebrated the 100th anniversary of the end of the Pig War. Congress authorized
establishment of the park as a monument to the war which began in 1.859 when
an American shot a pig owned by the Hudson Bay Company."
From the Federation of British Columbia Naturalists Newsletter for June-
"The Parks Branch, using Accelerated Parks Development Fund money have 3 men
this summer searching for the original location of the Dewdney Trail from
Grand Forks to Fort Sheppard below Trail, a project advocated by the Trail
Horsemen's Society. The Branch will complete work this summer on the extension of the Centennial Trail from Manning Park to Cathedral Lakes Park.
Canadian Youth Hostels workers expect to complete the Skagit Valley section
of the Centennial Trail this year. The narrow and beautiful Skagit Valley
from the Hope-Princeton down to the new Skagit Park has historic trails on
both sides, The oldest is the Ruby Creek Trail on the west side used by
miners heading north to join the Cariboo gold rush. About 1.900, Whitworth,
a rancher in the lower valley built the trail named for him down the east
side. Government money helped Whitworth and was used also on a trail from
Seymour Arm on Shuswap Lake east across the mountains (and the Columbia)
then down the Tangier River to the Illecillewaet River. Another ran from
Revelstoke west across many mountains to Mabel Lake, Argenta people have
improved the Earl Grey Pass trail and a Rosedale teacher has a Mt. Cheam
trail project going. Bill Foyston, a Golden guide, has reopened the 12
Fortress Pass Trail - but he had no grant. This branches off the old H.H.
Brigade Trail which ascends the Wood River then goes over Athabasca Pass to
Jasper, historically one of our most valuable. • The leases on the Dewdney
■Trail near Punch Bowl Lake have been rescinded so the Federation is asking
that at least Recreational Area status under the Parks Act be given the area
so it will have some protection. A park reserve appears likely for the
Brigade Trail which passes further to the north. A party will go in this
summer to locate it in the Peers Creek timber sales." (The B.C Historical
Association Council also petitioned the Provincial Government to preserve
both these areas. - Ed.)
Incidentally, the grounded Panamanian freighter Vanlene, which we saw
from the Lady Rose has been sold to Continental Airways, Richmond, which
plans to refloat and repair it or sell it for salvage. It is not known how
much was paid for the 8500 ton Vanlene, but its scrap value approached $200,000.
The firm expects it will cost about $60,000 and six weeks of work to refloat her.
From Mrs Clare McAllister, Gulf Islands, came this note " ......your
address makes me homesickS I moved with my mother to 3663 West 20th Avenue
in 1925, when U.B.C students moved from Fairview "shacks" to Point Grey,
At that time the carpenters' hammers rang all day long, building houses. The
windows shook with the blasting of .stumps. Tall loggers', stumps still stood
at 16th Alma-Dunbar corner and one saw the city through them ..... the "Sun
Tower" about the highest building."
Guests Never Leave Hungry; the Autobiography of James Sewid, a Kwakiutl
Indian, edited by James P. Spradloy. Montreal, McGill-Queen's University
Press, 1972. $3.95.
The hardcover edition of this book was published in 1969 by the Yale
University Press, which is what is to'be expected for an anthropological work
of impeccable scholarship. The paperback edition which is under review here
must be a recognition that many, many readers will greatly enjoy an outstanding man's account of his own life. It is also, I am sure, a recognition that
the life of a great Canadian should be published and available in Canada»
James Sewid was born to lead ■ in the Indian world. His paternal grandfather, James Aul Sewid, was chief of one Kwagoolth tribe and his maternal
grandfather of another. The name James was for Sir James Douglas for whom
Aul Sewid had acted as interpreter and his Indian names were for ancestors of
matching distinction in their world. His father was killed in a logging accident
two months before he was born, so all the names and all the songs and all the
wealth of tradition of two families came directly to him. There is a moving
account of his first potlatch when he was ten months old:
"The young new chief spoke. He put the copper down on the ground and
• announced to the people: 'Here is my great nephew and we are very proud to
have him here"   And he laid me on this copper, just a little bundle, and
announced to the people: 'This copper will be his strength.'"
His strength was reinforced as the boy grew up by relations on both sides
of the family. They treated him with the respect due to the repository of
their hope for the future of their great people. They kept him from school when 13
that seemed best, sent him to school, taught him tradition and skills,
arranged a most successful marriage.
At the same time, his grandmother Lucy (a photograph of this serene,
strong woman tells its own story) gave him her Christian faith, enabled him
'to go to day school instead of to the smothering residential school and
helped him start on the path to success in the white man's world.
' It is this triumphant walking in two worlds that is the remarkable fact
about James Sewid's life. James Spradley, the ahthropologist who compiled the
book from some five hundred pages of interviews with Mr Sewid and his family
and friends, points out that many people have made a successful transfer from
one culture to another and deserve great credit for that difficult feat. But
simultaneous and continuing success in two cultural worlds is an example that
can bring hope to individuals in many troubled contexts. It deserves that
respect which is perhaps the dominant theme of this book; the respect of the
boy for his elders and theirs for him; Lucy's lessons in the respect he must
show his own children; the respect of the man for the fishing company officials
he worked for and their ever-increasing trust in exchange, the recognition of
his responsibility for other'Indian people; his respect for his church and its
granting of high lay office to him. Not least is the respect James Spradley,
professor of psychiatry and anthropology at the University of Washington,
plainly has for his subject; so that he lets James Sewid, the man, speak
entirely for himself and illuminates the sociological interpretations which
form the epilogue with a patent affection and, again, respect.
To the reader, the interest which most of us have in the native people
of the coast is heightened by the delightful realization that this man is now.
One needn't think longlhgQy of "the giants that walked the earth in those
days", but need only ask about the tall, dark, calm, impeccably tailored
man who so stands out at a key meeting or formal occasion. How rewarding
it would have been to have been present at the ceremony, and to have seen the
respect-with which the Order of Canada was given to and received by James
Sewid of Alert Bay.
Ann Haig-Brown.
Mrs Roderick Haig-Brown is the librarian-at the Campbell River Senior
Secondary School under Principal, John Young.  jShe and her husband are
members of the Victoria branch of the B.C. Historical Association.
B.C; BOOKS OF INTEREST, compiled b$> Frances Woodward, Vancouver Hist. Soc
ANGIER, Vena. & Bradford. At home in the woods - living the life of
Thoreau today. New York, Collier Books; (1.971,'-^1951) 245 PP.' illus. $1.50,
BAGNALL, Guy..P.*...Making a .life worthwhile*- New York-,--Vantage Press, 1.971.
381 pp.- $7.50.  •
BIRD, George. Tse-Wees-Tah: one man in a boat. Revised ed. Port Alberni,
Arrowsmith Press, 1.972. 288 pp. $3.2-5.
British Columbia. Centennial '71 Committee. British Columbia - 1871, from
isolated colony in a changing empire to Pacific province in a new nation;
selections from a few of the contemporary documents. Victoria, 1971. var. pag. 14
BRITISH COLUMBIA. Dept. of Education. (One hundred years education in B.C.)
Public schools of the province of B.C.; special historical supplement to
the 100th annual report 1970/71. Victoria, 1972. 11.0 pp. illus.
BRITISH COLUMBIA. Dept. of lands, forests & water resources, lands service.
A history of the B.C. Lands Service, (written and compiled by D.F. Pearson)
Victoria, 1971. 39 pp.
weekly newspapers. Mission City, 1972. l60 pp., illus. $6.25.
BULMAN, T. Alex. Kamloops cattlemen; one hundred years of trail dusti Sidney,
Gray's Pub., 1972. 183 pp. $8.95.
CANADA. Statistics Canada. A century of education in B.C.: statistical
perspectives. Ottawa, 1971. 157 pp., illus.
DOUGLAS, David. The Oregon journals of David Douglas,of his travels and
adventures among the traders & Indians in the Columbia, Willamette and
Snake River regions during the years 1.825-27; edited by David Lavender.
Ashland, Oregon Book Society, 1972. 2 vols, illus. $31.50.
FORBES, Elizabeth. Wild roses at their feet - pioneer women of Vancouver
Island. (Victoria, 1971) 147 pp., illus. $3.50.
JACKMAN, Sydney Wayne. Vancouver Island. Toronto, Griffin House; 1972. 208 pp.
$8.95.  "
MARSH, John. A Golden guide. Peterborough, Canadian Recreation Services,
1971. 20 pp., illus. $.50.
MAXWELL, Percy Augustus. Letters home during his years as a homesteader in
the developing period of Canada's west. Toronto, Printed for private circulation, 1.972. 125 pp.
ROBIN, Martin. Canadian provincial politics. Scarborough, Prentice-Hall,
1972. 318 pp. $4.95.
SMET, Pierre Jean de. Life, letters and travels of Father de Smet. (edited by
Hiram M. Chittenden and Alfred T. Richardson. New York, F.P. Harper, 1905;
Arno Press, 1969. 4 vols, illus. $55.00.
STAKWELL-FLETCHER, Theodora C. Driftwood valley. New York, Ballantine
Books (1.971, cl946) 342 pp. $1.25.
WELLS, George Anderson. The fighting Bishop; as recounted in the 87th year
of his life to daughter Jeanne Carden Wells. Toronto, Cardwell House,
1.971. 628 pp., illus. $10."95.
WORK, John. The Snake cduntry expedition of I83O-I83I; John Work's field
journal; edited by Francis D. Haines jr. Norman, University of Oklahoma
Press, 1971. 172 pp., illus. $7.95.
PAGE FACING - - A few reminders of Tne 1972~Convention. ,^ee Nov. issue lor name
1. "I like you both, but please no trouble"
2. "Allright everybody; let's have some action"
3. "Now it was like this, girls ..."
4. "Which way did they go?"
5. "No comment"
'6. "That reminds me - I forgot to sprinkle the lawn" JL
6 a
v^ 15
The following poem was read at the Annual Banquet by the Association's
incoming President, Mr Gerry Andrews. It was written for Frank Swannell,
pioneer B.C. surveyor and a friend of Mr Andrews' and is reproduced here
with the kind permission of the Swannell family.
When Wekininnish went to war
Against his ancient foe Maquinna-',
The braves assembled near-and far^
The Klootchman , sollexr, kooli kltma'.
When great Ulysses sailed for Troy
He gave his wife a stint of weaving,
She undertook the job with joy
To celebrate the old man's leaving.
The Siwash tyee', like the Greek,
Had set his wife to weave a bonnet,
And she obeyed, being dumb and meek,
And spent a year or so upon it.
au . +-11
So interwoven in the woof
Of this old Clayoquot10 ictaJ
You see once more the tragic proof,
Wives must obey their husband's dicta.
(On the occasion of the Gift of a Nootkan Hat) Alberni 1929
H.H. Browne13
1. Frank Cyril Swannell, BCLS, DLS, (1880-1969)
2. Wickaninnish, Clayoquot Chief, vie .Long Beach, Vancouver Island,
circa 1780 (See Nicholson:"Vancouver Island's West Coast
1st Ed. pp 13, 249).
3. Clayoquot Chief, vie Meares Island c.1780 (See Nicholson pp.1.3,
4. Chinook for woman, female (See Thomas "Chinook, a  /22,28,68)
History & Dictionary" p.112)
5. "solleks" Chinook for angry, unhappy (see Thomas p.l1.4)
,6. kull Chinook for hard (close) (Thomas p.112)
7. kimtah, Chinook for behind (Thomas p.112)
8. Chinook for Indian (Thomas p.114)
9. Chief (Thomas p.114)
10. Indian Tribe, also Clayoquot Sound (Nicholson pp. 17, 75)
.11. Chinook for thing (Thomas p.Ill)
1.2. Footnote in the hand of Frank Swannell.
13. Harry Hughes Browne, BCLS (1.862-1932)
PAGE FACING - A few more reminders of the 1.972 Convention
7. "I was sure it was here" 12. "Where did that man go?"
8. "Ah, here comes the steward with tea"  13. "I wonder who that can be"
9. "But teacher, I only picked one"      14. "We didn't feel this happy
10. "Now you fellows can tidy up the north       a week ago."
slope today. 15. "It looks as if they bumped
11. "No chance for a short fellow to see        into something"
anything. 16
Text of an address given to the B.C. Historical Association by Margaret
Trebett on Friday May 26th, 1972.
London has its Bow Bells and Port Alberni has Big Ole. The Bow Bells
mean something to every true Cockney and Big Ole is special to the people of
this valley. The sound of the whistle at Somass Division sawmill echoing
from the surrounding hills symbolizes the forest industry and in some way
makes the Alberni Valley forever home to those who have lived within its scope.
The whistle has been sounding here for 30 years, but early in its service to
the forest industry it blew over Bellingham Bay in Washington State, announcing changes of shift at the Bloedel Donovan Cargo Mill. J.H. Bloedel, founder
of a timber empire in Washington and British Columbia, admitted a sentimental
attachment to the voice which had been heard at the bay for close to 50 years.
He had the whistle brought here in 1.942 to install in the new Bloedel, Stewart
& Welch Ltd. operations.
We listen to its voice here to know the time of day. It has sounded the
start of each New Year. It blew for V.E. and V.J. days, blaring out its
peal of victory. It reminds us of the fact that we are the centre of an integrated industry based on the trees around us. It has blown to signal fire
in the plant and to warn of a tidal wave. It reminds us of the people who
helped build the industry and of those who built the. community. While Big
Ole has been with us for only 30 years, I'd like to take you back to the
beginning of recorded history in his domain, the Alberni Valley. But this
is not a history lesson; rather a series, of brief biographical sketches. My
purpose is to give personalities to some of the people who xvere part of our
history. Whether I'll be'able to achieve this, I don't know. Let me try.
Adam Horne was the first white man to come overland to the Alberni
Valley. Six feet, four inches of massive manhood, Horne was an employee at
the Hudson Bay post in Nanaimo. The Fort Nanaimo Journal recorded: "Saturday
May 10, 1.856, 2.30 p.m., Toma Ouatomy left here on an expedition across the
island, accompanied by. three,Indians and one Indian woman, Mr-Horne also
left with him, with instructions not to proceed .further than the high mountain beyond the large lake in the interior, but if the interior tribes be
peaceable he may proceed to Alberni Canal". Adam Home's return was reported
ten days, later. In September of the same year he led an expedition over the
same route, returning with quantities of furs and, according to the Post
Journal, "accompanied by seaboard Indians of the tribe Seeshaad", The large
lake in the interior was named in honour of the Hudson Bay man and in 1882,
26 years after his history-making hike, the government had a trail brushed
out via the lake to provide access to the valley for prospective settlers.
Descendants of Adam Horne are still on Vancouver Island, several of them
in this district, . A photograph belonging to the, family shows the big Scotsman, clad in buckskins and well armed. There is a brace of pistols at his
belt and a pleasant expression on his firm featured face. With- him is his
wife, born Elizabeth Bates in Staffordshire, England. Diminutive*beside her
massive husband, Elizabeth had a serious pretty face and she was wearing a
heavily bustled dress. ~ After their marriage the Homes were posted to Fort
Simpson, where Adam was Factor. Their first child, Sarah, was born at the
north coast fort. Later, the family lived in Yale and in Victoria.
Four.years after Home's overland trek to the valley, the sailing ship
Meg Merrflles, a schooner, under command of Capt. Pamphlet, came up Alberni 17
Inlet and landed nine workmen, supplies and tools, at a spot near the foot
of what is now Argyle Street. As far as I know there is no record of the
names of these men who came to build the Anderson sawmill. But perhaps one
of them was a man named Weriborn and perhaps John Peabody Patterson was among
them. Those two names remain in the annals of British Columbia because a
Weriborn'boy and a Patterson girl were the first white children born in the
Alberni Valley. Both families remained in B.C. and helped make history in
the province, Of course, that first crew of workmen came to build a mill,
not primarily to contribute to history. They worked with axes and saws to
cut the timber for the rude building in which machinery was installed. And
the little community on the waterfront had a church, where occasionally an
Anglican missionary would hold a service.
We know that the Meg Merrilies returned in September of 1.860 bringing
Capt. Edward Stamp to manage the operations and Gilbert Malcolm Sproat to
be his assistant. Tharo is little to go on when we try to reconstruct that
long-ago scene and very little on which to base an opinion of what the
residents were like. Stamp and Sproat, however, achieved a certain fame
and it is possible to speculate about them. A picture of Capt. Stamp shows
a broad face and a pessimistic expression. His mouth is turned down at the
corners and deep lines indicate that he frowned oftener than he smiled. We
can believe that the conditions hero in those days were enough to sour any
disposition. About a year and a half ago, members of the Stamp family
visited this district. They spoke vaguely of a family dispute that had
involved the old man,and one gathered, that he had been a hard man to get
along with. All of which, of course, amounts to only circumstantial evidence 'but I can't help thinking of this very early pioneer as a disappointed,
crabby specimen.
Gilbert Malcolm Sproat who took over management of the mill revealed
quite a bit about himself in his book "Scenes and Studies of Savage Life".
He showed that he held the conventional "white superiority" outlook of the
era, that he was a thoughtful, observant man. And he seemed to realize that
even the non-British are human. His later activities in what was to become
the province of British Columbia proved him an active, capable individual,
ready to serve to the very limit of his abilities.
" 'What kind of a man was Charles Taylor? Apparently, he was the type
that didn't require companionship of his own kind. Otherwise he would never
have remained behind when the mill closed, living out his life far from his
Scottish home. We know he kept in touch with his family in the Old Country
and that he was joined here around 1.882 by his son Charles who brought his
:wife and little son, another Charles, across the sea to the valley. The
family stayed only briefly with the old man on the company farm by the
Somass, Charles the second took up land at McCoy Lake and started his own
farm and when the first log schoolhouses were opened here in August of I887,
Charles the third was one of the pupils.
And this brings us to an era when the settlement near the junction of
Kitsuksis Creek and Somass River was taking shape. And would-be farmers
were beginning to take up land in the surrounding woods. By the mid-80's,
Dan Clarke and Peter Merrifield were old timers. I think of them as born
half a century before their time. Clarke had established a farm on the north
bank of Somass River and was raising stock here long before there was a market
for his beef and horses, Merrifield, with a mining background, had taken up
land just north of the present boundary of Port Alberni, and he. like many
another, had visions of a railway and a logging road passing his property- 1.8
He looked for coal and minerals with the idea of .being ready to ship ore
by way of Cumberland.
Before I885 Kenneth McKenzie and Harry Hills had brought their families
here and were hewing, burning and sawing to clear acreage for farms. The
McKenzie place was on the Stamp River and his neighbours' home was at the
junction of the Sproat and Stamp. They destroyed the trees except for those
needed to provide the logs for their farm buildings. Although their sons
were to live to see the valley as the centre of a huge lumber industry, the
pioneers thought in terms of clearing land and farming it.
Gus Cox, raised in West Coast lighthouses and later to become the
community's first police officer and then Indian Agent, was here when the
influx got underway.
The era of the late 1.880's and early '90's is my favourite period of
local history. I'd like to pick at random a few of these early residents and
tell you something about them. I think of Edmund Gill. He was a young
bachelor of Irish extraction who came here from Ontario in either '85 or '86
and took up land west of Merrifield's place. He built a log cabin for himself,
cleared a hillside and put up a log barn for his oxen and milk cow. He was
handy with an axe and in 1.887 it was he with Capt. George Huff who cut and
hewed the logs, split shakes and built the two schoolhouses five miles apart
on the Beaver Creek trail. A corner of his land was used for the Alberni
school, and as the years went by the school became an important part of his life,
When blacksmith Thomas Kirkpatrick and his wife came out from Ontario,
they stayed at Ed Gill's place while they located property for themselves a
couple of miles further north on the trail. Then Mr Kirkpatrick went to
Nanaimo to meet his two teenage daughters and bring them over the Horne Lake
Trail. Years later, Edith Kirkpatrick, who had beeri Mrs Gill for close to half
a century, told me of how her future husband had vacated his cabin for his
visitors and moved into the barn. And of how Ed Gill went out daily to help
Mr Kirkpatrick build his own log house, returning to catch up on his farm work
in the evenings.
I have always said that there were two types of people who came to this
isolated, tree-covered valley in the early days. One kind was the man who
wanted to get away from it all, l3he type that wanted to drop out of society,
perhaps in the way that the modern hippy does. The other was the community-
building type, the man with a vision of a new community, the man who wanted
to help build it from scratch. I'm sure Mr Gill was the latter type. And,
speaking of visions, there is the story of th© day he and two companions,
John Love and John Fisher, were headed into' the valley for the first time.
They were exhausted when they reached the west end of Horne Lake, so they
cooked their supper over a campfire and lay down in their blankets for a night's
rest. When they woke in the morning, Mr Gill told of a dream in which he had
seen a great green valley with a large waterway and ships on the water. Later
in the day as they came down the mountain, there, before their eyes was the
valley and the inlet, but instead of the huge ocean-going ships, they saw a
lone Indian canoe.
Mr Gill was one of the people who worked as a volunteer to build the
first Presbyterian Church in the district. He and Edith Kirkpatrick were the
first couple to be married in the church in 1892. They lived in the little log
cabin until their second child was born, then built a two-storey framehouse
on the east side of Beaver Creek Road. Mr Gill was a member of the School board 19
for more than a quarter of a century. His five children all attended the
school. He saw the log schoolhouse replaced by a frame building and saw it
relegated to the status of a rural school when the new Alberni School was
built .on Johnston Road in 1900. He was a great worker, but he loved a good
time. He played his fiddle for many a dance in the schoolhouse, enjoyed the
company of his neighbours, was active in the Farmers' Institute and helped
.to organize early fall fairs -there. The tall house he had built for his
family still stands on its hilltop. As more clearing took place, a view
was opened up to the head of the inlet. Before he died in 1934, he was able
to watch the big ships move up on the waterway he had seen in his dream.
One man's influence can pervade a small commmnity. I'm thinking of
John Howitt who came in 1.890 to replace Arthur Proctor, first teacher in
the district. The young Englishman had been a member of the militia in
Victoria, but pulled out when it looked as though he would be asked to carry
a gun against strikers in Nanaimo's coal mines. He decided to take the
teaching post for six months while he considered future plans. He continued
to teach here for 45 years and the party that was held to mark his retirement
is still remembered by many of his former pupils. The job in those first
years must have been far from a sinecure. Mr Howitt was more than adequately
educated, but perhaps less than adequately trained to deal with the sons and
daughters of the pioneers. The boys especially resented school because it
interfered with their freedom. Practical jokes with the teacher as victim
were regarded as the most exquisite humour. But Mr Howitt was no weakling.
He had his standards and he made his students come into line, mind their
manners and behave like ladies and gentlemen. I think that even today
behaviour patterns in the valley show the effect of Mr Howitt's teaching.
Ho believed- In disdlplino and applied, it to himself. He was prompt and
punctual and not one to make excuses for himself. Every morning he crossed
the road from his home to have a swim in the Somass River. Every Sunday he
was on hand to play the organ in All Saints Anglican Church and to fulfil
his other duties to the church.
-Arthur Proctor, the first teacher of the district, lived in Cherry Creek
area, rode over the trail on horseback to teach in Alberni School three day?
each week, then on the other three days would go the extra five miles to
Beaver Creek. He was working to earn money for more education and his
ambition was to become a doctor. After three years here, he went on to
McGill University, but he returned to B.C. and became well known for his. work
with tuberculosis patients.
While we're speaking of teachers, I'd like to mention Ethel Dunkerly,
a little Victoria girl who came to teach in Beaver Creek in 1892. She was
17 and the ink on her certificate was scarcely dry when she came to her
first school. Gumption was the word for Miss Dunkerly. She boarded with
the Bishop family and made friends throughout the area. She taught reading,
writing and arithmetic and she laughed at her problems. She also undertook
to put some culture into the backwoods community, instigating a Shakespearean
production in the lantern-lit schoolroom. In 1.896 the teacher married
farmer Stanley Bayne and went to live on his place at the head of the valley.
The couple had eight children and there must have been hard times on that
place near the foot of the Beauforts. But Mrs Bayne's gumption never
failed. Her children were well trained and well taught, each was sent away
for more schooling after completing the elementary classes offered here. The
family's standards were never lowered and the neighbours knew that, come
tragedy or crop failure, Mrs Bayne would smile through it all. 20
I have a picture in ray mind, too, of another woman of strong character
and interesting personality. Kate Dickson had lived near the papermill
while her husband James worked as an engineer there. After the mill closed,
he went into the hills to work in the mines, and he had a house built on
property' past the Beaver Creek School for his family. Here is the picture of
Kate Dickson walking the six-plus miles pushing a pram with two babies in
it. A son and daughter walked with her over the rough dirt road. With her
husband away at the mine most of the time, Mrs Dickson did what she could
with the home place and I've no doubt that she was capable of doing the
chores and putting in the crops until such time as she could train the children
to take responsibility. She was a pretty woman with soft dark eyes and I
can remember her as an old lady with gorgeous white hair. When Jim Dickson
was killed in an explosion at the Duke of York Mine, he left seven children,
a high spirited and hot-tempered crew. I know their mother was a hard task-
mistress. I've heard her daughters tell of how hard they worked and of how
they daren't argue. Mrs Dickson was one of the women who acted as midwife in
the years before there was a resident doctor here. While her children were
still quite young she would leave them to go to another isolated home in the
woods to stay for 10 days or two weeks, minding the new baby, keeping house,
feeding the family and nursing the mother.
The Dickson children grew up at a time when timber wasn't valued. The
forest was the homesteader's enemy, to be cut down and burned to make room
for crops. Kate Dickson left the valley for many years and returned in the
1.920's, left again and returned a decade later. She saw the big sawmills go
into operation and the beginning of the export industry.
The McKenzies * and the Hills' boys had left their farms and were working
in industry. Trees were creeping back into the clearing the families had
worked so hard to put under cultivation. There were newcomers by the hundreds.
Men like Hugo Johnson and Red Larson had come from Scandinavian countries and
were working in the woods. There were people coming from the prairie provinces
to join the mill crews. Sons of the pioneers, men like Geoff Spencer, were
making donkey sleds along with old axe experts such as Gus Erickson. Mrs
Dickson was gone before Big Ole was installed in the big modern sawmill.
®he never saw the big papermill and the plywood plant. But her grandson
became a logging contractor within Big Ole's domain. His cats and trucks
were part of the modern scene as the industry developed. George Forrest
helped build the town of Alberni. His son Jim became manager of a stevedoring
company handling products of sawmills, plywood plant and papermill. And
Jim's son worked his way up to an exeeutive position with MacMillan Bloedel,
the firm for which Big Ole blows. Larry McKenzie, great grandson of Kenneth
who burned trees to clear his riverside land, is logging trees that were
seedlings when the pioneers came in the 80's.
Generations pass, the community grows, and Big" Ole's voice is a symbol
of the industry that means growth and progress for the Alberni Valley. 21
The following brief regarding the proposed Moran Dam was submitted to
■ the Editor by Mr Doug Stevenson of Williams Lake. It was prepared by him
along with Martin v. Riedemann for submission to the Cariboo Regional District.
  The negative aspects of such a project are so alarming that we feel
obliged to point out some of the criteria involved. Source material includes
"The Fraser River Board - Preliminary Report" 1.958 and "Final Report" 1963 and
"Fisheries Problems Related to Moran Dam on the Fraser River" 1.971.
The dam under discussion would be located 23 miles upstream from Lillooet.
The river would be raised about 740 feet to the 1520 foot contour creating a
reservoir some 170 miles long reaching to the outskirts of Quesnel, when full,
with an area of 60,400 acres. To-day's cost would approximate $1 billion.
This reservoir would not affect the P.G.E, Railway but it would require
relocating 27 miles of public highway as well as the three existing cable
ferries. The bridge at the Churn Creek crossing of the Fraser, the new $1
million crossing at Chimney Creek near Williams Lake and the private Johnson
bridge near Whiskey Creek would be flooded out. There is a new connection on
Highway #20 between Williams Lake with the new Chimney Creek Bridge about 21
miles in length now under construction which would also be rendered useless.
The annual loss of salmon stocks above as well as below Moran damsite would
presently amount to $24 million, plus an estimated $22 million recreational
loss. With the continuing development of salmon resources by the Canada Dept.
of Environment and Fisheries Service and the International Pacific Salmon
Commission the possible future loss of both salmon arid recreation is estimated
at $71 million annually. Salmon have never been successfully passed over a dam of
this height and the transport of downstream migrants would not be economically
The Indian population of the affected area relies very heavily on salmon
fishing for their own consumption - nearly $1 million annually at wholesale value,
The reduction of sediment into the Strait of Georgia would not only create an
erosion problem in the delta; it would also greviously affect the fishery of
the Gulf of Georgia by the reduction in discharge of nutrients there and also
have a disastrous effect'on the waterfowl presently living in the salt marshes
and mud flats there, because they would no longer be maintained by this
deposition of sediment, derived from above the dam.
The Moran Dam would not be a cure-all for flood problems during its active
life because of the diverse interests of power generation and flood control.
At present in the lower mainland much of .the build-up of silt on the bottom of
the Fraser is annually flushed out to sea by the action of spring high water,
This flushing effect would be largely lost if Moran were constructed. The
Government of Canada and the Province of B.C. embarked on a 1.0 year, $40 million
programme in 1969 to improve drainage and increase the height of the dykes
2 feet higher than the 1948 and 1.894 floods and which is considered adequate for
flood control at the present time.
In view of the fact that the Moran Canyon is close to the intersection of two
geological faults, and that " the Fraser River Fault Zone has been subject to at
least two earthquake shocks in recait years, one south of Moran in the Hope-Yale
region and one to the north in the vicinity of Big- Bar Creek" this hazard must not
be taken as of no consequence. There are world wide examples where man-made lakes
with their resulting pressures have been the cause of earthquakes, where prior 22
to the creation of these reservoirs the areas have been free from such tremors.
Boulder.Dam area in Colorado, for example, free from shocks for 1.5 years previous
to building the dam recorded 600 shocks in the 10 year period after its completion, one of which registered 5 on the Richter scale.
The reservoir lake formed behind Moran Dam would be of negative tourist valu
The potential hazard of massive landfalls into this narrow lake, with resulting
tidal waves would make it unsafe for recreation or travel. Effluent from the
communities and the industries north of Moran discharging into the Fraser, particularly the pulp mills at Prince George and at Quesnel, which to a major extent
would be deposited in the lake area indicates a high pollution level, most unattractive from a tourist standpoint even if the lake were safe for recreation or
travel, which it would not be.
In contrast to this destruction we presently have in its natural state on
this section of Fraser River as scenic and awe inspiring natural phenomena as in
any part of Canada.
In answer to the argument about the great; potential of the reservoir lake,
combined with allegedly cheap power, to increase production of hay and cattle in
the lake reservoir- area, the following observations must be made:
(a) Much of the flat land suitable for hay production already has tributary
streams nearby which would be readily available if economics permitted.
(b) Throughout the entire region of the lake, it is the availability of
grazing land rather than haying land which determines herd size. The lake
would, of course, only remove grazing land.
(c) It is understood that B.C. Hydro itself has discovered that hay ranches
are unprofitable.
(d) To pump water from a lake whose banks are unstable and whose water level
is continualy fluctuating with a possible maximum variation of 150 feet is an
engineering feat far beyond the means of any rancher.
(e) Many of the ranchers presumably benefitted by the formation of such a
lake will in actual fact lose much of their arable land, thus would no longer
have economic units to work with*
(f) There is no electric power available along the banks of the proposed lake,
nor is there likely to be in the foreseeable future. A community within 35
miles of the BennettDam is presently supplied, inadequately, with diesel
generated power.
The important issue for the people of ;this Province to consider is the
fact that the Fraser is about the only relatively ..-unspoiled river left in the
world with an endangered but still salvageable fish run. It is features like
the Fraser River, the Interior Plateaus and the Mountain Ranges' which set this
Province apart from all other regions on the continent, if not in the entire world
These are assets of incalculable value - a value which far exceeds the economic
considerations of today and maybe tomorrow. Some 22 possible dam sites on the
Fraser River system have been looked at, surveyed and carefully documented. The
buifiing of the Moran would mark a very major and permanent decision about the
direction this Province is going to take in the future., After Moran, when the
Fraser aS- we know it today no longer exists, the other dams upon which considerabl
money has already been spent will soon be there - mainly because no good reasons
will remain for them not to be there.
Do we really want to turn this Province into a huge industrial centre? The
potential is undoubtedly there and Moran is the first logical step to realize that
potential. To many people it does not mean much but the younger generation is 23
undoubtedly giving us a resounding "No" in answer to the question. Granted
there are many of their ideas which must be taken with a grain of salt, but
there are also times when consideration must be given to those who are
eventually going to inherit it all.
To a certain extent, we have all been brainwashed into believing that
industry equals progress equals wealth equals happiness. However, if one
looks at any of the world's other major industrial areas, then the little
equation breaks down completely. Parts of the Midlands in England, parts
of the Ruhr and Rhine Valleys in Europe, Gary, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia
in the United States, are all most depressing centres of social unrest and
extreme poverty. In such places both mental and physical health are at a very
low ebb; violence is commonplace and crime rates soar; the gap between
extreme wealth and extreme poverty is huge; racial and social prejudices are
at their worst; when unemployment hits, it hits there first and it hits there
hardest. Another side is best sean in Japan where children, in some parts,
go to school with gas masks or with surgical masks on for fear of brain
damage due to the extreme air pollution. To date, heavy industrialiaation
in any area has inevitably created many new problems and utterly failed to
solve most of the old ones. If they were given the facts, and the chance
to consider them alongside the alternatives, I am sure the people of B.C.
would agree tlhat it is not the road for this Province to follow.
An ironic aside is that according to present projections, even if every
bit of hydro-electric power in the Province were harnessed tomorrow, within
approximately 50 years it would still not be enough and alternative sources
of power would have to be found, but our river and everything it stands for
would be irretrievably lost. In the meantime we are exporting a cheaper
alternative to hydro generated power in the form of our fossil fuels - oil
and natural gas - which in themselves are wasting assets - never to be
It is not suggested that we return to horse and buggy days, but an
artifically accelerated industrialization of this Province is even less
the answer* A more natural balance between the two is far more likely to
come about when the game of power politics stops using our natural resources
like pawns in- a chess game.
B.C. Hydro anticipate electrical power demand to increase 10$ annually
between. 1970 and 1980. With planning - then followed by construction about
ten years would be required before Moran could go into production - say
1981. By then Moran's full generating capacity would be absorbed in another
three years at the above anticipated increase in demand, when still other
sources of power would be required to meet this new demand.
The Fraser channel between Moran and Quesnel is a steeply excised valley,
the silt and gravel banks of which are almost vertical except in places
where evidence of landslides, large and small, exist. The fluctuation of
up to 150 vertical feet in lake elevation, due to draw-down,then subsequent
filling would greatly accentuate these landfalls over the whole 170 mile length
of the reservoir area. Massive sloughs would inevitably result - some of
them with extremely destructive potential in the form of tidal waves. This
slough material added to the approximate six million tons of sediment which
would annually accumulate behind the dam would completely destroy the power
potential of Moran Dam in from 25 to 50 years. 24
To arrive at an equitable cost approximation the total potential
fishery resource loss must be taken into consideration. This $71 million
loss added to construction costs of Moran, which it must be, indicates that
alternative thermal power generation would be a more economical project,
which properly d4signed and located would have no adverse effect on either
the salmon fisheries or the environment.
Thermonuclear power studies in the Pacific Northwest estimate a cost
of 3 mills per kwh as compared to' estimated hydro-electric power from
Moran at "distribution centre to total j.2.2 to 13.6 mills per kwh".
We do not have the mandate to destroy for all time our magnificent
Fraser River, with accompanying permanent resources losses, which would
only afford temporary relief to our burgeoning power demand. To do so would
be an absurdity beyond belief when there is at hand a more economical means
to supply this power denand, namely thermal generated power which would be
non-destructive to the environment,, Any government' authorizing the
construction of Moran when it has this non-destructive alternative would
create for itself, for all time, a monument indicating its complete
unconcern for irreplaceable environmental and ecological features.
Dated Alkali Lake, B.C.
Williams Lake, B.C.
January 31, 1972.
List of Societies Affiliated with the B.C Historical Association
Burnaby: Mrs Ft Street, 61.76 Walker Ave., Burnaby, B.C.
Creston: Mrs Clarice Y. Abbott, Wynndel, 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 St., Cranbrook, B.C.
West Kootenay: Mrs Alta Weir, 1.792 Daniel St., Trail, B.C.
Nanaimo: Mrs A. Isabel Rowe, 24 - 654 Bruce Ave., Nanaimo, B.C.
Port Alberni: Mrs Eo Adams, 845 River Road, Port Alberni, B.C.'
Vancouver: Mr Michael Halleran, 2708 West 3rd Ave., Vancouver 8, B.C.
Victoria: Miss M.C. Holmes, 863 Somenos St., Victoria, B.C


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