British Columbia History

British Columbia Historical News 1981

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VOLUME 15, NO. 1
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Published by the British Columbia Historical Association
# Indian brass
i f i i r
# B.C. enters
# Polici
forld War I
Gulf Islands
_i_ On the cover
Indian brass band being recorded, early 1900s? Photographer unknown. (NPA)
This extraordinary photograph appears to have been taken at an Indian residential school, perhaps
one in British Columbia. The likeliest candidate is St. Mary's Mission. The architecture is Second
Empire style which was popular towards the end of the nineteenth century. The recording device, a
cylinder model gramophone, dates to the turn of the century and was used for field recording by
anthropologists as late as the mid-1920s.
It is quite possible a reference to this event lies buried in a late nineteenth or early twentieth
century newspaper. As for the recording itself, it too may have survived. Readers of the B.C. Historical
News who have information on the circumstances surrounding this photograph are asked to write
David Mattison at the Sound and Moving Image Division, Provincial Archives of British Columbia, c/o
Parliament Buildings, Victoria, B.C. V8V 1X4.
... story starts on page six.
Alberni & District Museum & Historical Society, Box 284, Port Alberni, B.C. V9Y 7M7
Atlin Historical Society, P.O. Box 111, Atlin, B.C. VOW 1A0
BCHA — Gulf Islands Branch, c/o P.O. Box 35. Saturna Island, B.C. VON 2Y0
BCHA — Victoria Branch, c/o Mrs. S. Manson, R.R. #7, Echo Drive, Victoria, B.C. V8X 3X3
Burnaby Historical Society c/o Una Carlson, 6719 Fulton Avenue, Burnaby, B.C. V5E 3G9
Campbell River & District Historical Society, 1235 Island Highway, Campbell River, B.C. V9W 2C7
Chemainus Valley Historical Society, P.O. 172, Chemainus, B.C. VOR 1K0
Cowichan Historical Society, P.O. Box 1014, Duncan, B.C. V9L 3Y2
Creston & District Historical & Museum Society, c/o Margaret Moore, Box 253, Creston, B.C. VOB 1C0
District 69 Historical Society, c/oMildred Kurtz, P.O. Box 74, Parksville, B.C. VOR 2S0
East Kootenay Historical Association, c/o Betty Oliver, 670 Rotary Drive, Kimberley, B.C. V1A 1E3
Golden & District Historical Society, Box 992, Golden, B.C. VOA 1H0
Ladysmith New Horizons Historical Society, c/o Mrs. V. Cull, R.R. #2, Ladysmith, B.C. VOR 2E0.
Nanaimo Historical Society, c/o Linda Fulton, 1855 Latimer Road, Nanaimo, B.C. V9S 2W3
Nanooa Historical & Museum Society, c/o Mr. & Mrs. W. R. Stannard, 211-450 Stewart Avenue, Nanaimo,
B.C. V9S 4C6
Nootka Sound Historical Society, Box 748, Gold River, B.C. V0P 1G0
North Shore Historical Society, c/o Doris Blott, 1671 Mountain Highway, North Vancouver, B.C. V7J1M6
Princeton & District Pioneer Museum, Box 687, Princeton, B.C. VOX 1W0
Sidney & North Saanich Historical Society, c/o Mrs. Ray Joy, 10719 Bayfield Road, R.R. #3, Sidney, B.C.
V8L 3P9
Trail Historical Society, P.O. Box 405, Trail, B.C. V1R 4L7
Vancouver Historical Society, P.O. Box 3071, Vancouver, B.C. V6B 3X6
Windermere District Historical Society, Box 1075, Invermere, B.C. VOA 1K0
Bowen Island Historians, Bowen Island, B.C. VON 1G0
Jasper-Yellowhead Historical Society, Box 42, Jasper, Alberta, TOE 1E0
Kelowna Centennial Museum Association, 470 Queensway Avenue, Kelowna, V1Y 6S7
Lillooet District Historical Society, Box 441, Lillooet, B.C. V0K 1V0
MSA Museum Society, 33660 South Fraser Way, Abbotsford, B.C. V2S 2B9
Okanagan Historical Society, Box 313, Vernon, B.C. V1T 6M3
Societe Historique Franco-Colombienne, 9 avenue Broadway E., Vancouver, C.-B. V5T 1V4 BRITISH COLUMBIA
Vol. 15, No. 1
Letters to the Editor       4
A Message from the President       5
On the March: Indian Brass Bands, 1866-1916
by David Mattison        6
Policing the Gulf Islands, 1893-1905
by Marie Elliott     15
August 1914: British Columbians Start to War
by John Stevens      19
News and Notes   25
Reports from the Branches   26
Need Help? Call Archives Advisor      28
Old Trails and New Directions by Carol M. Judd
and Arthur J. Ray, eds.
"Many Tender Ties" by Sylvia Van Kirk
Strangers in Blood by Jennifer S. H. Brown
review by Robin Fisher     29
Ralph Edwards of Lonesome Lake as told to Ed Gould
review by Clare McAllister    32
Never Fly Over an Eagle's Nest by Joe Garner
review by Marie Elliott      32
British Columbia: Historical Readings
by W. Peter Ward and R. A. J. McDonald, eds.
review by Robin L. Smith     33
Second-class mail registration number 4447.
Published fall, winter, spring, and summer by the British Columbia Historical Association, P.O. Box 1738, Victoria, V8W
2Y3. (Printed by D.A. Fotoprint Ltd., 747 Fort Street, Victoria, V8W 3E9.)
Correspondence with editor is to be addressed to Box 1738, Victoria, V8W 2Y3.
Subscriptions: Institutional $15.00 per year, Individual (non-members) $7.00 per year.
The B.C. Historical Association gratefully acknowledges the financial assistance of the Ministry of the Provincial
Secretary. To the Editor
The Editor:
re: Vol. #13, No. 2 — Winter 1979 — Page 23.
Not of earth-shattering importance, but I
suppose history should be accurate.
"Alan Duncan Bell-Irving, a Vancouver lawyer, prepared these reminiscences in 1959."
Alan Duncan Bell-Irving was NOT a lawyer.
Duncan Harry Bell-Irving, a separate branch of the
family, is a lawyer.
Yours sincerely,
H. Bell-Irving
Government House
Victoria, B.C.
From the Editor
Welcome to the first issue done in the new
format. I hope you find the NEWS easier to read
and more enjoyable to look at. These renovations
are possible due to a generous grant from the
British Columbia Historical Trust Fund.
Taking on the job as editor, I have noticed that
there are not nearly as many bits of news from the
various societies throughout the province as there
could be. Could all of you please make sure that
the secretary of your organization is keeping us
posted? Something as simple as putting the NEWS
on the mailing list of your newsletter would help
us keep up.
On this page you will also notice a very short
letters to the editor section. These are the only two
letters received since last issue. Could some of you
interested people out there please send in some
more comments, brickbats, or compliments so we
can have a sense of how we are doing?
I am looking forward to working on the NEWS
for the next year as the job combines my two
lifelong interests in local history and graphics.
Happy reading and do tell me what you like and
don't like.
Best wishes,
Maureen Cassidy.
I;   Subscribe!
Yes, I wish to subscribe to B.C. Historical News. I enclose a cheque or money order payable to the
B.C. Historical Association, P.O. Box 1738, Victoria, B.C. V8W 2Y3.
Individual  $ 7.00 ( )
Instutional   $15.00 ( )
The Editor:
I would like to bring to your attention an error
in the Volume 14, No. 4 issue, page 27, as follows:
"Johnson-Cull,Viola, comp. Chronicles of Ladysmith and District, with editorial assistance by Miss
E. Norcross, Ladysmith, Ladysmith New Horizons
Historical Society, 1980, xv, 392 p., ill $4.00".
The cost is $12.95. Will you please correct this?
Different stores charge their own mark up.
Sincerly yours,
Mrs. E. R. Cull
Ladysmith, B.C.
Postal Code
British Columbia Historical News
Page 4 A Message from
the President
We are embarking on a new year, hopefully a
very busy and progressive one. Because this is the
first issue of British Columbia Historical News in
the new format, I would ask the membership to
assist the Association and the editor to make the
publication live up to what the name implies.
Send us news of the history of British Columbia by
submitting articles concerning the history of the
province. Send us news of the various societies,
acquainting us with the ways you research,
preserve and present your local history.
Through these efforts by all of us, we can prove
to the people and the government of the province
that we play a most important part in saving for
posterity the history of this beautiful province.
Again, I ask your co-operation in the business
of the Association for the year ahead. It is only by
working together that any undertaking can be
I am looking forward to our year.
Your President,
Barbara Stannard.
We received ten correct replies to last issue's
contest question: "What government enterprise
first opened its doors on June 15,1921?" The ten
names were put in a basket and Megan Cassidy,
eleven months old, selected the winner. The
winner is
Mrs. Clare McCallister
302-118 Croft Street
Victoria, B.C.
She will receive a copy of The Invasion of
Canada by Pierre Berton by mail shortly.
The answer to the question is, of course, the
British Columbia Liquor Control Board.
x:,          ,
' j-
S   X                St_
Barbara Stannard with her grandson Christopher.
Editors' note: This is what Barbara modestly wrote
us about herself.
"I received my education in British Columbia,
the state of Washington and the province of
Saskatchewan. My professional education was in
business. Over the years I have taken a number of
courses in various subjects on the continuing
education program.
"My interests are primarily children and their
welfare, and history through my thirty years
association with organizations geared to history
and museums. I am, at present, president of the
Nanaimo Centennial Museum."
Get Ready!
The Cowichan Historical Society is the host for this
years' Annual Meeting. It will be held at the
Cowichan Inn at Cowichan Bay during the first
week in May. Myrtle Haslam is the convenor.
Registration forms will be in the winter issue of the
Page 5
Fall 1981 I1
On The March
S Indian Brass Bands, 1866-1915
g By David Mattison
Indian brass bands, a progeny of missionary and Salvation Army efforts, have existed in British
Columbia since 1867 when the St. Mary's Mission brass band put in an appearance at the Queen's
Birthday celebrations in New Westminster. The band appears to have had a continuous existence from
that point on; twenty years after one of its initial appearances one of its members helped establish a
similar band at the Squamish Mission on the north shore of Burrard Inlet, now within the City of North
Indian brass bands consisted of traditional European instruments usually ordered from Eastern
Canada, probably Toronto or Montreal. Instruments adopted by different bands at various times
include the euphonium, cornet, trombone, clarinet, French horn, saxophone, trumpet and assorted
The Anglican lay missionary, William Duncan of Metlakatla, began what was probably the second
Indian brass band when he returned from England via San Francisco in 1871 with a set of instruments.
The first notable public occasion at which the Metlakatla brass band played was the arrival of
Governor-General and Lady Dufferin in late August 1876. The Metlakatla band is supposed to have
had a dramatic effect on neighbouring Tsimshian and Haida. Within a decade other Anglican and
Methodist missions on the north coast had native brass bands.
By the late 1880s more bands were being organized among the Roman Catholic villages. Before the
Indian brass band contests at Prince Rupert in the early 1910s the largest single gathering of brass bands
was probably at Sechelt when five or six congregated for the opening services at Our Lady of the
Rosary in early June 1890. The Catholic Indian brass bands, in comparison with the Protestant bands,
appear to have been a short-lived phenomena.
The Salvation Army has also been credited with creating an interest in brass band music among
native Indians. Yet the Protestant and Catholic missions with brass bands had usually established these
several years before the Salvation Army arrived in British Columbia. Quite clearly, however, the
Salvation Army represented another outlet for native musicians.
The history of the Salvation Army on the north coast is a confusing one and beyond the scope of
this brief pictorial representation of Indian brass bands, many of which began as religious groups but
by the 1900s had evolved into secular institutions. The Salvation Army native bands remained faithful to
Army tunes else they were no longer worthy of Army sanction.
The Protestant response to the implied threat of the Salvation Army on the north coast was to
organize, in the Anglican missions, groups called the Church Army, while the Methodists, with
characteristic reserve, styled their own association the Epworth League. If the examples of Aiyansh,
Kincolith and Greenville (Lakkalzap) are typical, then the Church Army was not possessed of a single
brass band instrument, but performed their marching duties with the aid of drums and flags. The
opening in 1896 of Holy Trinity Church, Aiyansh, was attended by the Kincolith and Lakkalzap brass
British Columbia Historical News Page 6 bands, along with the Church Army contingent, while a similar ceremony at Kincolith in 1900 saw the
Aiyansh Brass Band and the Church Army present.
A third major force in the creation of Indian brass bands was the chain of schools for Indian
education. The majority of these schools were run by Roman Catholic and Protestant missionaries on
behalf of the Department of Indian Affairs. All the larger residential schools had brass bands by 1903.
Those from Coqualeetza, St. Mary's Mission, Kuper Island, and St. Eugene Mission (Kootenay
Industrial) earned such a reputation of excellence, according to their sponsors, that invitations were
extended by nearby communities for their attendance at events ranging from civic holidays to garden
The native Indian response to brass band music has seemed at times both odd and perfectly
respectable. The reasons for the popularity of these musical groups has received scant attention from
anthropologists. Native peoples' acceptance and success with Western musical forms is not unique to
British Columbia, for the Royal Hawaiian Band, dating back to 1836, was, by 1870, comprised exclusively
of native Hawaiians. It was once led by a Prussian bandmaster, as was the band at Metlakatla. Unlike
most Indian brass bands, however, the Royal Hawaiian Band has remained an important cultural
In the following pages are reproduced several photographs of the most important Indian brass
bands from the last two decades of the nineteenth century and the first two of the twentieth. The fifty-
year period of these band's collective existence corresponds with two important dates in B.C. history:
the Act of Union merging the two Crown Colonies and the final report of the Indian land reserve
commission whose members were entertained by a number of brass bands.
The photographs were obtained from three sources: Provincial Archives of British Columbia
(PABC); City of Vancouver Archives (CVA); and the Notman Photographic Archives (NPA). I am
especially grateful to Joan M. Schwartz for bringing the last photograph to my attention and to Stanley
Triggs for giving me permission to publish it for the first time.
David Mattison is an archivist with the Provincial Archives of British Columbia. He grew up listening to the
music of the Royal Hawaiian Band.
' l£-_zz^
Arctander, John W. The Apostle of Alaska. New York: Fleming H. Revell, 1909.
British Columbia. Commission on the Condition of the Indians of the North-west Coast. Papers
Relating to the Commission Appointed to Enquire into the Condition of the Indians of the North-
West Coast. Victoria: R. Wolfenden, 1888.
Canada. Royal Commission on Indian Affairs for the Province of British Columbia. Transcripts of
evidence taken at hearings. PABC microfilm.
Collison, W.H. In the Wake of the War Canoe. Toronto: Musson, 1915.
Crosby, Thomas. Up and Down the North Pacific Coast by Canoe and Mission Ship. Toronto:
Missionary Society of the Methodist Church, 1914.
Drew, Leslie A. "Indian Concert Bands" in The Beaver (Summer 1971), pp. 26-29.
Dufferin and Ava, Marchioness of. My Canadian Journal 1872-8. London: John Murray, 1891.
Matthews, jf. S. Early Vancouver. 7 v. Vancouver: J. S. Matthews, 1933-1956.
Stock, Eugene. Metlakahtla and the North Pacific Mission of the Church Missionary Society. 2nd ed.
London: Church Missionary House, 1881.
Van den Brink, J. H. The Haida Indians: Cultural Change Mainly Between 1876-1970. Leiden: E.J. Brill,
Page 7
Fall 1981 "Metlakatlah Indian Band," June 30-July 3,1881. Photographer: Edward Dossetter. (PABC Photo no.
The Metlakatla brass band was the pride of the Pacific Northwest coast from about the mid 1870s to
1887. Generally thought to be the first brass band of native musicians, the band was historically
upstaged by the St. Mary's Mission band which came into existence about 1866-67. One of the first
appearances of the Metlakatla band came with the 1876 visit of Governor-General and Lady Dufferin.
A Toronto newspaper writer described the group of bandsmen as "gorgeous in cast-off uniforms of
United States soldiers, purchased at a sale of condemned military clothing recently held in Alaska."1
Lady Dufferin, whose impressions of vice-regal life in Canada were later published, was not sufficiently
moved by the novelty of an Indian brass band. What she found odd was that the band should play atop
the prison.2
William Duncan, the controversial founder of the Christian Tsimshian community of Metlakatla, is
believed to have brought band instruments with him upon his return from England in February 1871. A
Prussian bandmaster named Ephor has been credited with giving music lessons to either Duncan
and/or his pupils. After the bandmaster had fulfilled his obligations a student took over. This student,
Roderick Vokel, was later hired by the enthusiastic Kincolith villagers to teach some of their members
how to play. Another band was also formed at about the smae time at Port Simpson.3
The Metlakatla band was brought out for all important visitors, among whom can be mentioned
Bishop Bompas (1877), Admiral James C. Prevost (1878), and Superintendent of Indian Affairs I. W.
Powell (1879 and 1881). When Duncan seceded in 1887 from the Church Missionary Society, moving
over 800 followers on August 7 to Annette Island, Alaska, Bishop William Ridley somehow managed to
keep the band functioning. Music continued to play an important role in the lives of the Tsimshians at
New Metlakatla, for by the early 1900s other musical associations were formed including "a reed band,
a string band, an orchestra, a ladies' orchestra, and a girls' zobo band."4
Stationed on the steps of the school, these bandsmen may be among those who departed with
Duncan for New Metlakatla. Edward Dossetter, a Victoria photographer, accompanied Powell on the
1881 voyage and made a splendid series of photographs at most of or all the points visited. Another
photograph (PABC photo no. 1287) of the Metlakatla band, also taken in the 1880s, shows fourteen
musicians, excluding a young boy who appears to be carrying a hand drum, in front of the church.
Both the old and the New Metlakatla brass bands performed into the 1910s.
1 Toronto Mail, September 19,1876, quoted in Stock (1881), p. 105.
2 Marchioness of Dufferin and Ava, My Canadian Journal 1872-8 (1891), p. 263.
3 Contemporary sources with information on the old and New Metlakatla brass bands include Stock (1881);
Church Missionary Cleaner (1874-1898); Church Missionary Intelligencer and Record (series 3, 1876-1903);
Proceedings of the Church Missionary Society (1819-1913); Collison (1915); Arctander (1909); Dept. of Indian
Affairs annual reports; and newspapers. It was Collison who originated the idea that Duncan established the first
brass band of native talent in British Columbia.
* Arctander (1909), p. 337.
British Columbia Historical News
Page 8 There were two striking and long-remembered displays of pageantry on the part of missionaries
and their Indian followers in North Vancouver at the Squamish Mission (sometimes called Ustlawn).
One Vancouver resident, O. L. Charlton, related with almost total recall a visit by Archbishop
Alexandre A. Tache, Archbishop Joseph Fabre, Bishop Paul Durieu, Father Albert Lacombe, and
Father Patrick Fay to the mission on September 11,1887:
A large flotilla of canoes had proceeded to Vancouver, and met the Archbishop and
Bishop and lesser clergy at Andy Linton's boathouse, at the foot of Carrall street,
adjoining Water street. As the flotilla was ready to leave Linton's float of logs, "Squamish
Joe" he was a prominent Indian from that North Vancouver Reserve; he was a
longshoreman at Moodyville — not the same man as Chief Capilano Joe — gave the
signal to the band to play, and to the canoe men to move out; the bandsmen were all in
the canoes ... And the band played — I'll bet you couldn't guess — "Yankee Doodle."5
The Squamish Indian brass band was organized in November 1886 under the leadership of Henry
Edwards from St. Mary's Mission. Bishop Durieu was given credit for initiating the band. Instruments
were ordered from Eastern Canada and these apparently arrived in early January 1887 at which point
Henry Edwards returned to Vancouver.6
Within five months the band developed such proficiency that a suggestion was made to have the
band "aid in celebrating the arrival of the first train" in May 18877 The idea appears to have gone no
further. The Vancouver City Band, itself of no mean reputation, offered musical competition and is
known to have performed that day. The Indian band did not play in Vancouver's first Dominion Day
parade either, a distinct contrast to the attitude towards the northwest coast Indian brass bands.
By 1888 the Squamish band was again in the news with a report of the "Corpus Christi"
celebration at the North Shore mission. It was during this occasion that C. S. Bailey crossed the water
and photographed the participants and the setting. He took excellent pictures of the two brass bands,
one being that shown here, the other being the fledging Squamish Indian brass band. Prior to their
arrival at the mission the Fort Douglas band had provided entertainment to the amazed citizens of
New Westminster. It was suggested that the Douglas musicians be invited to play in the 1888
Dominion Day festivities, but again this appears not to have been followed up.8
5 J. S. Matthews, Early Vancouver, v. 6 (1945), pp. 74-75. Charlton's account is corroborated by articleson the visit in
the Evening Herald (Vancouver), September 10 and 12,1887, p. 4 and 1 respectively.
6 Vancouver News, November 27,1886, p. 1; and January 7,1887, p. 4.
7 News-Advertiser (Vancouver), May 22,1887, p. 4.
8 Ibid., June 20,1888, p. 6.
"518. [Fort] Douglas Indian Brass Band," June 21,1888. Photographer: C. S. Bailey. (CVA INDIANS P.
Fall 1981 A^
Brass bands at Sechelt, B.C., June 4 or 10,1890. Photographer: Bailey & Neelands. (CVA OUT. P. 426)
Bishop Paul Durieu's pride was the Sechelt mission started in 1862 following a two-year hiatus after
the first Catholic missionaries were rejected. The Sechelt Indians did not organize their band until
December 1888; not to be outdone they arranged for "two full brass bands, of fifteen pieces each,
composed of native musicians only."10 Their moment of glory, along with that of four or five other
bands, came during the opening festivities (figurel) of Our Lady of the Rosary, the building on the left
of the photograph.
A reporter who attended the dedication described one of the greatest assemblages of Catholic
brass bands:
The Indians of the [Sechelt] Mission gave their brethern from the interior a hearty
welcome. Their band was stationed on the steps of the new church and as the steamer lay
to, struck up a lively air. Six brass bands in all were in attendance, mostofthem uniformed
in the most fantastic garb that could be devised. A band from Lillooet had fine new
buckskin suits throughout, gaily decked with bright colored flowers worked upon the
The day before this was written Bishop Louis D'Herbomez died in New Westminster; he was
buried at the Oblate cemetery at St. Mary's Mission on June 6 with two brass bands in attendance.12 On
June 10 the final ceremonies at Sechelt were held.13
Throughout the newspaper coverage of this event there was no mention of the presence of a
photographer. At least nine photographs were marketed by Bailey & Neelands, a photographic
partnership which lasted little more than 12 months. Two of the bands in this photograph are
identifiable: the first is the Sechelt brass band whose members are wearing bandsmen uniforms with
caps; the second is the Lillooet band whose flower-bedecked buckskin jackets and straw hats form an
interesting contrast to the Sechelt uniforms. Other bands in the photograph may be the St. Mary's
Mission band, the Squamish band, and the Fort Douglas band. There are at least two other
photographs of the Sechelt band taken by Bailey & Neelands and the Bailey Bros. Frank Isidore, the
bandmaster, is seated next to the bass drum, his baton resting on the drum. According to J. S.
Matthews he was still with the band in 1933.14
10 News-Advertiser, December 13,1888, p. 8.
11 World (Vancouver), June 4,1890, p. 3.
12 /6>'d., June S, 1890, p. 4.
"  Ibid, June 9,1890, p. 4.
u  Information on Isidore from CVA OUT. P. 428.
British Columbia Historical News
Page 10 St. Mary's Mission, established as a residential school for Indians in 1861 by Father Leon Fouquet,
O.M.I., could boast the first Indian brass band in British Columbia. During the May 24 celebration at
New Westminster in 1867
His Excellency [Governor Seymour] was received with loud cheering from thethousands
of assembled natives, a general salute from the Volunteer Companies, and as he took his
place upon the platform the St. Mary's Amateur Brass Band composed of native boys
belonging to the school, played and afterwards sang the National Anthem. And we must
remark that both the instrumental and vocal efforts were creditable alike to the teachers
and pupils of St. Mary's scnooo/."
Six years later Superintendent of Indian Affairs Israel Wood Powell was likewise greeted by a brass
band from the same school, though the occasion, also a Queen's Birthday fete, was tempered by the
issue of Indian land claims raised by Father Paul Durieu.15
The photograph shown here was taken on May 19,1891 during the Mission City land auction of lots
owned by j. W. Horne, a Vancouver real estate promoter and politician. C. S. Bailey, the Vancouver
photographer, was present at this sale but this photograph has not been identified as his work. Brother
Patrick Joseph Collins, on the left of the circle, was the leader upon this occasion.17 One of the other
brass bands in attendance can be seen listening in the background to their native Indian counterparts.
The Vancouver World reporter offered this assessment of the native children's performance:
This band is made up of young pupils attending the above school, and range in age from 6
to 12 years. The instruments played by several of the young boys are of greater length
than they are in height. So small are they that it takes a couple of the lads to carry the small
drum. To say that the music played by this band is was excellent gives the reader but a
faint idea of what their performance is like. It is to be hoped that an opportunity will be
given at an early date for Vancouverites to listen to what is unquestionably the best Indian
band in the Province, or for that matter in the Dominion.18
15 Daily British Columbian (New Westminster), May 29,1867, p. 3. Some secondary sources on the history of New
Westminster and Mission (B.C.) give the initial appearance of this band as 1864.
16 Mainland Guardian (New Westminster), May 28,1873, p. 3. Rev. T. Pandosy conducted the band.
17 Brother Collins is identified on the back of the copy print in the PABC. Information on the land sale and Bailey's
presence is found in the News-Advert jser, Da/7y Colonist, Daily British Columbian, and World of May 16-25,1891
18 World, May 20,1891, p. 5. Two other bands, the Vancouver City Band and the New Westminster Artillery Band,
were also present.
St Mary's Mission brass band at Mission City land auction, May 19,1891. Photographer unknown.
(PABC photo no. 75177)
Page 11
Fall 1981 Port Simpson could boast at one time of at least two, if not three, brass bands. W. H. Collison wrote
that Port Simpson was the third place after Metlakatla where the Tsimshians organized a brass band.
Port Simpson was a Methodist village managed by Rev. Thomas Crosby for several years from about
1873.19 One of the bands was playing as early as the fall 1887, for Indian Affairs Commissioners C. F.
Cornwall and J. P. Planta reported that
The Indian village, spread over a considerable area, with several streets and numerous
houses, presented quite an imposing appearance ... There is a fire-brigade house and a
Temperance Hall; street-lamps are used, and a brass band was heard at practice in the
By the turn of the century Nelson's [Silver] Cornet Band had been organized, perhaps by Chief
Harry E. Nelson. One performance by this band in Vancouver in September 1900 brought down the
wrath of Rev. J. B. McCullagh of Aiyansh.21 The following year the band was playfully photographed
the morning of a reception for the Indians who had gathered to honour the Duke and Duchess of
Cornwall and York (later King George V and Queen Mary).
The Port Simpson brass bands, like other northern coastal bands were present at almost every
ceremonial occasion and exposition, including the 1905 New Westminster Provincial Exhibition, the
1906 visit to Vancouver of Governor-General Earl Grey, the 1910 visit of Sir Wilfrid Laurier to Prince
Rupert (the Metlakatla, Kitkatla and possibly Kincolith bands were also present), and the 1912 visit of
the Duke of Connaught to Prince Rupert. One of the Port Simpson bands won the grand prize at the
October 1905 exposition at New Westminster, while a descendant of these bands, the Port Simpson
Concert Band, was performing up to 1968.22
19 One of Crosby's autobiographies, Up and Down the North Pacific Coast by Canoe and Mission Ship (1914), tells
of his experiences at Port Simpson.
20 British Columbia, Commission on the Condition of the Indians of the North West Coast, Papers Relating to ...
(1888), p. 419.
21 J. B. McCullagh, The Caledonia Interchange (September 1900), pp. 13-14. The band McCullagh founded, the
Aiyansh Harmonic Silver Band (also formerly known as the Aiyansh Brass Band and the Kitlakdamik Harmonic
Silver Band), as well known as any of the other northern bands, was still functioning in the early 1970s.
22 Leslie A. Drew (1971) is the first article on northern bands after a 1933 newspaper article by the Rev. Dr.
Nelson's Cornet Band, Vancouver, October 3,1901. Photographer: Edward Bros. (CVA INDIANS P. 24)
British Columbia Historical News
Page 12 "On the March," Skidegate Indian band, ca. September 13-14,1913. Photographer unknown (PABC
photo no 94055)
The Masset brass band dates to the early 1880s and was likely a direct response to the success of the
Metlakatla brass band and the loss of winter diversions through the influence of the Anglican
missionaries. Although W. H. Collison was the first Anglican missionary to Massett (1876-1879) he
makes no mention of his role, if any, in establishing a brass band at his mission. He was succeeded by
George Sneath (1879-1883), Charles Harrison (1883-1890), and J. H. Keen (1890-1900). The Masset band
was functioning as early as Christmas 1883 when Harrison describes a worship service that day in which
the brass band participated24
The Skidegate Concert Band, founded about 1907 by a Haida named W. E. Ross, came to
prominence after winning the J. S. Gray Cup at an Indian brass band contest held at Prince Rupert on
May 24,1911. Having been tutored by former Victoria musician Arhtur Solomon, the band captured
two cups after competing against six other brass bands, including those from Kitkatla, Kincolith, Nass
[Greenville?], Upper Nass [Aiyansh?], Port Simpson, and Metlakatla. Kincolith, which had two days'
notice of the competition, took second place.
The 1912 contest was postponed but the Skidegate Concert Band, not aware of this, showed up and
won by default. The band successfully argued their case for retention of the trophy and agreed to play
for its permanent ownership at a playoff competition during the visit of the Duke of Connaught that
fall. On September 23, 1913, playing on the Government wharf at Prince Rupert against six other
bands, the Skidegate Concert Band took the grand prize for the third and final time. The Duke himself
presented the coveted Gray Cup to the winning bands that evening at the Westholme Theatre.25
The Skidegate Concert Band, whose members wore uniforms of dark green with gold trimmings,
were photographed during the visit of the federal commissioners investigating Indian reserve lands.26
Also photographed was an impromptu marching performance of an unidentified band at Skidegate.
Both photographs are found in an album assembled upon the completion of the commisison's work in
M  C. Harrison, letter to C.M.S., March 19,1884, quoted in J. H. Van den Brink (1974), p. 76.
25 Information on the Skidegate Concert Band triple victory was compiled from articles in the Queen Charlotte
News, Prince Rupert Evening Empire, and Victoria Daily Times.
M The transcript of evidence pertaining to the Queen Charlotte Agency shows that the McKenna-McBride Royal
Commission on Indian Affairs visited Skidegate from September 13-15, 1913, and were presented with a
grievance by one Henry Green who objected to the Department of Indian Affairs ordering Arthur Solomon not
to live on the reserve because he was a drinking man. Solomon, however, was no longer teaching the band
according to testimony given by Indian agent Thomas Deasy.
Page 13
Fall 1981 Indian Brass Bands in B.C., 1865-1916
This table is not complete and is open to revision.
St. Mary's Mission
Kincolith (Nass River)
Port Simpson
Squamish Mission (North Vancouver)
Fort Douglas
Sechelt Mission
Aiyansh (Nass River)
Greenville (Lakkalzap)
Bella Coola
Bella Bella
Canyon City (Nass River)
Kitwanga (Skeena River
Port Simpson
Mount Currie Reserve
Kitsumkalum (Skeena River)
Saanich Day School [?]
Kuper Island Industrial School
Williams Lake Industrial School
(St. Joseph's Mission)
Coqualeetza Industrial School
Kamloops Industrial School
Kootenay Industrial School
(St. Eugene Mission, Cranbrook)
Alert Bay Industrial School
(Alert Bay)
Alberni Boarding School
Name of Band
(If Any)
Aiyansh Brass Band;
Aiyansh Harmonic Silver Band;
Gitlakdamik Harmonic
Silver Band
Greenville Concert Band
[Bella Bella Cornet Band]
[Squiala Band?]
Christie Indian School
Brass Band
Skidegate Concert Band
Kitimaat Silver Band
[Salvation Army]
Totem Pole Brass Band
Nelson's Cornet Band
ca. 1866-67
ca. 1875
ca. 1880
ca. 1880
ca. 1887
ca. 1890
By 1890
By 1891
ca. 1907
By 1883
By 1899
By 1900
By 1899
By 1894
By 1894
By 1898
By 1903
British Columbia Historical News
Page 14 Policing the Gulf Islands
By Marie Elliott
Lying in close proximity to the Canadian/United States Border, the southern Gulf Islands of
British Columbia include numerous small islets
besides the larger islands of Saltspring, Galiano,
Mayne, Saturna, and North and South Pender. At
the turn of the century, while boat engines were
still being perfected, this marine district was one
of the most physically challenging to police. Not
only was law enforcement carried out on foot but
often with the use of sheer muscle power — in a
Overcoming many hardships, the early settlers had worked industriously to clear the land. At
the end of twenty years they were justly proud of
their island farms, well-stocked with sheep and
cattle. But, unfortunately, sheep and cattle
rustling had kept pace with the growth in
ranching, and what was once a petty annoyance
now reached epidemic proportions. Home base
for the thieves appeared to be the San Juan
Islands. The many protected bays to the south
and east in the Gulf Islands, such as Fiddler's
Cove, Saturna, provided ideal locations for their
clandestine operations.
The Constables
After numerous appeals by the Islands residents to F. S. Hussey, Superintendent of the
Provincial Police, special constable Thomas M.
Robb was eventually assigned to Gulf Islands
patrol in March, 1893. Mayne Island was selected
as his "headquarters" because it had a wharf and
post office and was centrally located on the
steamer route between Victoria and the mainland. Mayne Island House, a small hotel and store
Plumper Pass Lockup as it is today.
operated by W. M. Robson, J.P., at Miners Bay
provided accommodation for the constables until a
lockup was built in 18%. Robb was replaced
by William McNeill in September, 1893, and in May,
1894, Arthur Drummond was appointed on a
permanent basis, followed by Stephen Hoskins in
1898 and Angus Ego in 1900.
A police launch from Victoria assisted the
men in patrolling the Islands during the summers
of 1893 and 1894. For all other seasons of the year,
and from 1895 onwards, the only method of
transportation for the constables was a 16-foot
rowboat equipped with a sail. Efforts by Arthur
Drummond to secure a steam-powered launch in
1897 were turned down.
Officially termed "Plumper Pass and the
Islands"2, the district extended from the U.S.Canadian Border to Porlier Pass at the north end
of Galiano Island, and from the Strait of Georgia
west to Vancouver Island. The more densely
populated Saltspring Island was thus a responsibility, and from 1900 to 1905 parts of North
Saanich were also included.
Travelling in the line of duty did not stop at
these boundaries. Stephen Hoskins recalls having
to walk from Cowichan Bay to Duncan in order to
contact other district constables,3 and all serious
Page 15
Fall 1981 cases had to be tried in Victoria or New Westminster. When investigating the theft of a boat in
October, 1894, Drummond journeyed as far as
Seattle, rowing to Waldron Island where he then
caught the steamer. Other boat thefts involved
trips to the canneries at Ladner on the Fraser
River or to the growing city of Vancouver.
Besides smuggling, cattle rustling, and boat
thefts, the constables had to investigate pit-
lamping and the illegal sale of liquor to the
Indians, deliver trading and liquor licences
approved by the Superintendent of Police, and
report any out-break of a communicable disease.
(Constable Ego vaccinated thirty-eight people on
Galiano for smallpox in 1903.) Cannery season on
the Fraser River caused a mass migration of
workers through Active Pass with subsequent
thefts and breaking and entering. The constable
on duty remained at Mayne Island while water
traffic was heavy during June and September.
There were few unusual deaths to investigate.
Most were from drowning or natural causes,
although timber clearing by the Japanese resulted in the accidental deaths of men on Pender,
Galiano and Mayne. In handling what was the
most sensational case of the period, the shooting
death of recluse Barnard (also known as Marnard)
Wenzel of Tumbo Island in 1903, Constable Ego
displayed incredible zeal. When an item in the
Vancouver Da/7y Province suggested that the
wheels of justice turned slowly in the Gulf Islands,
William T. Collinson, J.P., Mayne Island, came to
Ego's defence:
/ made out the warrant and handed it to
Constable Ego, and although blowing
strongly at the time, Ego left immediately in
a sixteen-foot rowboat for Tumbo Island,
twelve miles along the open Gulf, and in less
than three hours had found Wenzel dead.
By 10 o'clock that night Ego arrived here at
the Pass with Captain Shultz, who he had
picked up on the way. Two o'clock next
morning found Ego on his way to Saltspring
Island, ten miles distant, to notify the
Coroner. Having fulfilled his mission he
landed back at the Pass in the afternoon, at
once setting to work to empanel a jury, and
by next morning had everything ready, jury,
grave-digger, and a coffin to boot — making
the latter himself. All this forty-four miles
was performed in a rowboat, right down
steady rowing; and you say Ego travels by
slow freight. All the same, if you have a
swifter man on your staff let us hear of him
and he shall be dubbed The Imperial
October 28, 1903.4
All three of the permanent constables were
outstanding men in many respects. The foregoing
is only one of numerous examples of their
dedication and hard work. They were shrewd
judges of character, quickly learning to separate
local feuds from legitimate complaints, and with a
salary of only $60-$65 per month, were able to
operate on a very slim budget. They accepted
their responsibilities without complaint, and
easily gained the respect of the Islands residents.
Stephen Hoskins described his situation thus:
As a policeman, you looked upon anyplace .
you hung your hat as home. Everyone made
you welcome. I always had blankets in the
boat, and a certain amount of grub.
Sometimes you'd strike a poor shack, pull in,
take the best they had, and give 'em what
you had of yours.5
Seldom did the constables take time off from
work. To do so the Superintendent had to be
notified and a temporary replacement found.
Drummond made full use of his free time by
organizing camping parties for his friends on
Saturna and South Pender. On one occasion he
took his flotilla to the smugglers' site at Fiddler's
Arthur Drummond and Stephen Hoskins had
lived in the Gulf Islands for several years before
being appointed. Drummond was one of three
brothers who resided on Saturna, scions of
Drummond Castle in Scotland. Drummond later
served in the Kootenay region as a police
constable, retiring eventually to Duncan.6
Stephen Hoskins left England in 1890,
homesteading on the Prairies before coming to
British Columbia and thence to Galiano in 1894.
Initially he turned down the opportunity to join
the Provincial Police in 1896: "I told them I would
never make a policeman in 1,000 years — I hadn't
the guts." He had acted as a temporary
replacement for Drummond from 1896,
however, and finally accepted the permanent
position when the latter was transferred in 1898.
Hoskins subsequently served with the Victoria
City detachment and later in the Kootenays
before becoming a Government Agent.7
Angus Ego was born in Orillia, Ontario, and
came to British Columbia in 1894. He had acted as
special constable at Sidney before being posted
to Mayne in 1900. In 1905 he was transferred to
Lillooet where he remained fora number of years
before retiring to Sidney to operate a pool hall.8
Ego was the last constable to serve at Mayne
Island. For reasons that are not clear, but possibly
because of larger population demands,
headquarters for the Gulf Islands district were
moved to Saltspring in 1905.
British Columbia Historical News
Page 16 The Plumper Pass Lockup
It was not until three years of police work had
been completed in the Gulf Islands that a lockup
was deemed necessary. With steamer connections, a post office, and a central location, Miners
Bay was the logical site even though locations on
the other Islands had also been suggested. Arthur
Drummond's friend and neighbour on Saturna,
Warburton Pike, generously donated property
situated two hundred yards up the road from
Miners Bay wharf, and Levan Cullinson, a local
resident, was awarded the building contract for
The 1896 Public Works Report published the
following description:
Erected a lock-up 15 feet by 23 feet, with one
room and two cells, cottage roof, walls of
sized2 by 4 scantling, spiked every 18 inches,
and enclosed with rustic floors of sized 2 by 4
scantling, set edge up, and spiked together
and to sills.9
The building plan was similar to many lockups
built at that time, although cedar logs were
occasionally substituted for building material
elsewhere in the province. The single room in
front of the cells was large enough for
magistrate's court, if necessary.10
By January, 1897, the lockup was completed
and within a month a Galiano resident, Henry
Freer, arrested on a charge of larceny, had the
dubious honour of being the first prisoner.
Arthur Drummond (4th from
left) with a camping party at
Fiddler's Cover, 1897.
(Photo courtesy Mrs. Eve Grey
Because the lumber had not yet dried out,
Drummond borrowed blankets and a bed from
Robson's hotel so that Freer wouldn't have to
sleep on the damp floor. Unfortunately, the
prisoner spent a miserable week incarcerated
before he was found not guilty at New
During the months of January and February,
1897, Drummond continued to board at Robson's
hotel.11 Following receipt of hotel statements for
room and board, however, Superintendent
Hussey sent a reminder to the constable that he
should now consider the new lockup as his
residence — no further charges for lodgings
would be expected from Mayne. The Department supplied a stove and table and chairs, but it
seems that a bed was the policeman's responsibility. It was not until 1900 that Constable Ego dared
to suggest to the Superintendent that the
Government purchase the bed of the previous
constable, Stephen Hoskins.
It is not certain how many prisoners were
confined in the lockup since monthly police
reports for the period in question are unavailable.
All the correspondence and annual Police
Reports examined suggest that the building saw
more use as a police residence than as a detention
centre.12 One cannot ignore the fact, however,
that the mere presence of the building in a district
would help to serve as a deterrent for petty
When headquarters for the Gulf Islands
district was transferred to Saltspring in 1905 the
Page 17
Fall 1981 600 square miles of rowboat patrol.
constables found the lockup near Vesuvius Bay in
an awkward location for law enforcement, three
miles inland from the Ganges steamer landing.
Six years after the move to Saltspring, District
Constable O'Hara wrote a long letter to
Superintendent Hussey, requesting that Miners
Bay, Mayne Island, once again be made the
Islands headquarters. He stressed the importance
of its central location compared to Saltspring, that
it had the only hotel in the outer Islands, and also
telephone connections. O'Hara was allowed to
have the Mayne lockup refurbished, but it
appears that Saltspring has remained the Gulf
Islands headquarters from 1905 to the present
Eventually, the Mayne Island lockup and
property were acquired by the island's first
resident doctor, Dr. Christopher West, who used
the building for storage purposes. In 1970 his
descendants generously agreed to turn over the
property to the Mayne Island Agricultural Society
in order that it could be a Centennial museum
project.13 There were over seventy lockups in use
in 1900, but today this small gaol is one of the few
remaining in the Province. It is open to the public
during the summer months and by special
arrangement with the MIAS at other times of the
The Gulf Islands have always attracted rugged
individualists willing to cope with an isolated
marine environment, and the police constables
who were assigned to the Plumper Pass and
Islands district were equally self-reliant. While it
still represented part of the western frontier, they
eased this unique police district of British
Columbia into the twentieth century with
dedication and hard work, yet received little in
the way of recompense save the respect of the
Islands residents.
One vast improvement to the policeman's lot
was his method of transportation after 1911. Since
all the Islands had wharves and adequate steamer
service by this time, the constables were allowed
to use this public conveyance for their patrols,
rather than a rowboat. Arthur Drummond's
desire for a police launch, however, would not be
fulfilled until the 1920's during the rum-running
Marie Elliott is a graduate student in History
at the University of Victoria, with interests in
Gulf Islands and Provincial Police history.
She would appreciate receiving information
regarding lockups still remaining in other
parts of the Province.
Address:   Mrs. R. J. Elliott,
1745 Taylor Street,
Victoria, B.C. V8R 3E8
1 Unless otherwise noted all material for this article is
located in the Provincial Police files, primarily
incoming correspondence and Superintendents'
letterbooks, PABC.
2 Plumper Pass is the former name for Active Pass.
3 G. E. Mortimore, "He Never Fired His Gun," The
Colonist, September 15,1957, page 14.
4 Vancouver Da;/y Province, October 23,1903, page 1
(Collinson gives incorrect date of October 24) and
November 4,1903, page 7.
5 Mortimore, op. cit.
6 Gulf Islands Branch, B.C. Historical Association, A
Gulf Islands Patchwork, Fleming Review Printing,
Victoria, p. 58.
7 Mortimore, op. cit.
8 Saanich Peninsula and Gulf Island Review,
December 28,1937.
» B.C. Sessional Papers, "Public Works Report", 1896,
page 309.
10 B.C. Sessional Papers, "Public Works Report", 1897,
records that a lockup was built at Vesuvius Bay. Rev.
E. F. Wilson wrote in his pamphlet Salt Spring Island,
British Columbia, 1895, that the lockup had "only
been occupied about five times, once for cattle
stealing, twice for killing game out of season, and
twice for fighting; this speaks well for the peaceable
condition of the community." This was the only
other lockup in the southern Gulf Islands until 1896
but it did not have a resident police constable, as did
the gaol at Mayne Island.
11 You could hardly blame Constable Drummond for
not wanting to leave Robson's Hotel. Three meals
and a bed cost $1.00 per day and Mrs. Robson was an
excellent cook.
«  B.C. Sessional Papers, 1897-1905.
13  Conversation   with   Mrs.   V.   Haggart,   President,
Mayne Island Agricultural Society.
British Columbia Historical News
Page 18 Troops leaving Victoria on the Princess Sophia in 1914.
(Photo courtesy Provincial Archives of British Columbia, #45737)
August 1914
British Columbians
Start to War
By John Stevens
With a declaration of war sent by Germany to
Russia on August 1, 1914, the localized clash
between the forces of Serbia and Austro-
Hungary became a major European conflict.
Throughout the British Empire, all thoughts
centred on whether or not Great Britain would
become directly involved in the hostilities. For
many British subjects, the situation was viewed
with a belief that it was only a matter of time
before they would be called to "lend their aid in
the defence of the Mother Land"1 at this "crisis in
its history"2 in order to "uphold the honour of the
British Empire."3
It was in such an atmosphere of unswerving
loyalty to the mother country that the premier of
British Columbia, Sir Richard McBride, "gave
expression to the sentiments" of the province "in
the present grave international crisis."4 In voicing
his confidence in British Columbians to do their
duty for the sake of the homeland, Sir Richard
scarcely needed to call for volunteers, for already
there were hundreds of eager young men
deluging recruitment centres across the province
with offers to serve. This was particularly true in
the southwest corner of the province where the
proliferation of highly competitive newspapers
ensured almost hourly reports of the war, which
heightened the spirit of patriotism. Crowds
formed outside Vancouver, Victoria, Esquimalt
and New Westminster recruiting stations as soon
as the local regiments and militia units had
received their requested permission from Ottawa
and their parent regiments in Britain to recruit to
full war strength.5
The response of British Columbia men was
overwhelming. Within a few days Vancouver's
Sixth "Duke of Connaught's Own" Rifles, Irish
Fusiliers, 72nd Seaforth Highlanders, Victoria's
Fifth Regiment, 50th Highlanders, 88th Fusiliers,
and New Westminster's 104th Regiment Fusiliers
were reported to be at full strength. There were
enough volunteers in the smaller centres of
Duncan, Nanaimo, Nelson and Vernon to form
completely new regiments. So enthusiastic were
these "brave British patriots" that the Victoria
Da/7y Colonist proudly announced that the local
"squadron of B.C. Horse (was) over-recruited;
double the number of men required for war
footing (had) signed their application."6 All this
occurred even before Great Britain had declared
The desire of recruits to fight for Great Britain
and the Empire was not the only evidence of
British Columbia patriotism. Anxious crowds
Page 19
Fail 1981 waited outside newspaper offices "for the fateful
announcement that the Empire had joined the
conflict."7 So striking was the "quietly apparent,
prevailing spirit of loyalty" that the Colonist
remarked in its Monday, August 3 edition:
It is doubtful if, within the memory of any
living Victorians, has the usual peaceful
Sabbath been distinguished by the undercurrent of excitement as was the case
yesterday ... As the day proceeded the
bulletin board attracted an ever-increasing
The Da/7y Province similarly marvelled at the
actions of local citizens, concluding: "Never has
such a wave of patriotism swept over Vancouver
as at the present time."9 Public councils and
private organizations throughout the province
made pledges and sent telegrams to Ottawa and
London, repeatedly announcing their common
desire to express "the utmost loyalty and affection of the Canadian people to the crown and
their readiness to make all sacrifices,"10 promising
"prompt support with men and munitions of war
(to maintain) the unity and integrity of the British
Not all facets of British Columbia society
welcomed the coming of war. From more than
one pulpit in the province came the cry: "Oh the
wanton waste of war! God avert it!"12 Yet war was
not averted, and after Great Britain's entry into
the hostilities on August 4, the various religious
leaders of the province changed to a highly
patriotic tone: "As our mother country is
involved we have to exercise to the utmost our
talent and zeal for the triumph of her arms."13
Once war was a certainty for the Empire, men
in the smaller communities and workcamps of
British Columbia were assured of a position in the
forces and they readily departed for recruitment
centres. From such places as Abbotsford and
White Rock in the Fraser Valley, Ashcroft and
Armstrong in the Okanagan, Greenwood, Creston, and Cranbrook in the Kootenay-Boundary
country, Fort George and Smithers in the north,
and Alberni, Masset and Bella Coola on the
coast, men marched and sailed off to the war.
They did not leave unnoticed, for their fellow
citizens gave them warm if not rousing send-offs.
Newspapermen in these small communities
proudly printed the names of all local volunteers.14 Businessmen and civic leaders exultantly
boasted that their town was certainly contributing its share to the defence of the Empire.15
Community and district pride was certainly a
major impetus in winning new recruits.16
Those British Columbians who remained
civilians held nothing back in their public displays
of loyalty to King and country. In the larger cities
cheering crowds paraded the streets in
spontaneous patriotic demonstrations upon
learning that Britain was at war with Germany. In
Vancouver, the residents "marched through
cheering masses of citizens"17 as the new recruits
received their first drilling, while the Sun gleefully
reported a Granville Street midnight procession
started by six "jingled enthusiasts" which turned
into "a noisy, loyal demonstration by a crowd,
immune from the grinning police," joyously
singing "Soldiers of the King."18
Such displays of British loyalty were greeted
favorably by all, but newspaper editors and
others were quick to condemn the few who
chose to turn the pro-British crowds into anti-
German mobs. Threats on German businesses in
Victoria and the burning of the Kaiser in effigy in
downtown Vancouver were frowned upon as the
acts of a "minority of uncivilized hooligans."19
In smaller towns citizens celebrated the
coming of war with open air concerts of patriotic
music and evening lantern slide presentations,
with scenes of the Royal Family and the British
fleet being greeted with intense enthusiasm.20
Many such public assemblies were associated
with wartime fund raising, which was to a large
extent managed by the women of British
The role of women in the war was not to be
one of merely awaiting the return of their
sweethearts, husbands and sons. Suffragettes
throughout the Empire called a truce. They and
others devoted the full force of womanhood
towards the cause of victory. The Imperial Order
of the Daughters of the Empire expressed their
willingness to serve by making many offers of
assistance. In the class-minded British Columbia
society of 1914, they suggested that "women of
means could give personal and direct sympathy
and service while others could give their talents
to fill the vacant places of men called to serve
their country," and then restore these positions
to the men on their return home.21 Knowing that
their interests would be safeguarded, "there was
not a man in British Columbia who would be
unwilling to give his services for the defence of
the Empire."22
The "Daughters" and other women's
associations also organized first aid training
courses, collected goods to comfort the troops
and provide civilian war relief, and offered
instructions for housewives in economizing in
food preparation.
With only the H.M.C.S. Rainbow to patrol the
entire British Columbia shoreline, there was
British Columbia Historical News
Page 20 general concern, if not alarm, in every provincial
port over a possible attack by the Leipzig and
Nurnberg, German cruisers off the North
American Pacific coast. While the Rainbow
departed to bring back two British sloops of war
stationed in San Diego, reinforcements were
made by setting up guns on Points Grey and
Atkinson to guard the entrance to Vancouver
harbour, and two hundred troops prepared to be
sent from Vancouver to protect the Prince Ruper
dry dock.
What brought the greatest peace of mind to
(escorting H.M.S. Algerine and H.M.S.
Shearwater), the fears of coastal vulnerability
largely disappeared. As news despatches of
events in Europe became more strictly
controlled, the initial excitement of the war faded
away. The Sun remarked: "after a period of
anxiety ... Vancouver has settled down into the
routine of business,"24 while the Prince Rupert
Da//y News stated that "there are evidences that
the excitement of the last week is somewhat
subsiding and that business will soon resume its
usual trend."25
coastal inhabitants was Sir Richard McBride's
secret purchase (on behalf of the Dominion
government) of two Chilean submarines just
completed in the shipyards of Seattle, before
Great Britain's declaration of war and the
enforcement of the United States' Neutrality
While most British Columbians simply heaved
a collective sigh of relief, the Colonist, well-
known as the Victoria mouthpiece for the
Conservative party, could not resist printing a
special one-quarter sheet edition with the sole
announcement of Sir Richard's purchase,
praising him for his swift and ingenious actions.
The T7rnes, Liberal rival of the Colonist, felt it
could not allow such praise to pass unnoticed,
and provokingly announced:
Providence is kind. It gave Germany the
Kaiser; also British Columbia Sir Richard, as
a sure defence in time of trouble.2*
Upon the triumphant return of the Rainbow
A woman's "knitting group" in Vancouver or Victoria
during World War I. (Photo courtesy Provincial
Archives of British Columbia, #73143)
Many entrepreneurs had already turned their
attention to the possibility of British Columbia
profitting from the war. The European war was
expected to stimulate the demand for foodstuffs
— "all kinds of grain, meat, fish and canned
goods, each in enormous quantity (would) be
required."26 The prosperity of Western Canadian
farmers would mean "a tremendous impetus to
all Canadian manufacturers ... to British
Columbia, with her mines and forests and her
extraordinary position with regard to the Pacific,
the catastrophe probably mean(t) enormous
Such statements were few and far between,
for they came dangerously close to sounding in
favour of profiteering on the misfortunes of the
Motherland and the certain hardships of British
Columbia's own men when sent overseas.
However, one point many seemed to agree on
was that "the withdrawal of foreign reservists now
sojourning in Canada (would) tend to relieve the
labour situation."28
Page 21
Fall 1981 Though it was true that many German and
Austrian natives left British Columbia "to answer
the call of their colours," many chose to stay in
their adopted land, as did the vast majority of
their compatriots who had become naturalized
British subjects. Leaders of these two national
communities in British Columbia strove to assure
"resident Britons" that they would seek no part in
the hostilities, and would only wait for the return
of peace; "then all of us Germans and Britons
alike shall be ready to exchange once more the
sword against the axe and the spade to unite our
efforts again in our high task of culture and
human progress."29
Others stated that Austro-Hungarian
immigrants were hardly likely to return to a land
which "had never done any good to them or their
ancestors," and that to leave their adopted
country would be to abandon their means of
living. Consequently, they "would not be the last
to respond to the call of their adopted country."30
The sentiment of 'British' Columbians was largely
in agreement with such statements, though
stories were quick to spread if any enemy aliens
were seen in suspicious-looking groups.31
Of perhaps greater import were the very
patriotic stands taken by the Japanese and Sikh
communities in British Columbia. Residing for
the most part on the coast, men of both
nationalities readily presented themselves to
Vancouver, Victoria and New Westminster
recruiting stations. Almost all had military
experience in the Indian and Japanese forces.
Newspapermen marvelled at the eagerness of
these "foreigners" to fight for Great Britain, and
many of their reports on such subjects as
"Patriotic Mass Meeting of Japanese — Express
Sympathy with England" and "100 Victoria Sikhs
Are Eager To Serve" convey a mild tone of shock.
It was likely also guilt for having so ill-treated the
Sikh community in the Komagata Maru incident
only a few weeks before and for the overall
injustices and discrimination experienced by all
Asians in the province. It was generally
recognized that by allowing them to enlist in the
Canadian forces, the help of India and Japan
would be won for Great Britain across the Pacific.
Others, however, continued their white
supremacist attitudes, with such comments as:
"The Japanese section of town is highly excited
over the war. The little brown men are all very
loud in their expressions of friendliness to
Britain."32 Still, there seemed to be no objection to
these men becoming recruits, as long as they
formed separate regiments — perhaps white
British Columbians hoped they would not return
after the war.
There were of course many other nationalities
resident in British Columbia. In the Kootenays,
many East Europeans laboured in the hard-rock
and coal mines, unless they became recruits — as
twenty-three Montenegrans did in Rossland, "all
anxious to fight for the British Empire."33
However, in Fernie the local newspaper editor
seems to have tried everything in his power to
dissuade miners from going off to fight in the war.
In what must be termed unique comments for
the British Columbia press of the day, he
delivered his outstanding thoughts:
It really does seem ridiculous that in our
country (it's always ours when they want you
to fight, dontcherknow!) we should
experience any difficulty in getting a job,
doesn't it?34
Let us determine as brother unionists that
the present war be fought by those who
persistently advocate it. The spoils of war are
not ours. Our share is the widow, orphan
and cripple.35
However, such comments were not typical of
British Columbia labour at the time. Most
workers considered it to be patriotic duty to
support the war effort — the coal miners in
Nanaimo called an end to their strike in early
August "as loyal British subjects, hav(ing) no
desire to embarrass the government of the Empire
... in this its day of trial."36
Further oppontents of the war were not
nearly so vocal as the editor of the Fernie Ledger.
The arguments of others centred mainly on the
cost, in dollars, of a continuing conflict, and its
interruption to trade and commerce. Such
opinions were most strongly voiced in the
smaller, more recently established communities
of the province, dependent on the presence of
male labour for their economic survival.37 Yet
while some feared the growing expense of the
war and the overall increasing indebtedness of
the world's leading nations (and the taxes that
were sure to come), others suggested such
projects as a dreadnought to present to the
Empire from the people of British Columbia — "a
little sacrifice in the way of contribution or
taxation" to the order of $10,000,000.39
Though such a gift never materialized, others
did. British Columbia newspapers widely
reported the very novel gifts from Canada: the
women's hospital ship, one million bags of flour
to the mother country, as well as one hundred
thousand bushels of oats from the people of
Alberta — "the finest and most expensive ... the
British trooper's horses shall know what sort of
oats Alberta grows."40 Not to be outdone, British
British Columbia Historical News
Page 22 Columbians suggested that their government
should offer a gift of "100,000 boxes of choice
(Okanagan) Valley apples for the enjoyment of
British troops."41 The pride in these uniquely
Canadian military supplies was in knowing that
they were worthy and welcome contributions to
the overall war effort of the British Empire.
It would be a mistake to say that there was no
Canadian sentiment among British Columiba
patriots in the first weeks of August 1914,
although evidence of such sentiment is not easily
found. The expressed anxiety over the economic
lives of British Columbia towns, the planning for
the future needs of war-stricken neighbours, and
the worry for the safe return of British Columbian
tourists stranded in Europe at the time, all
indicate a growing sense of concern for fellow
Canadians and for the future of Canada.
One of the most outstanding incidents of active
Canadian sentiment in British Columbia at the
onset of the war was the North Cowichan council's
urging of the Dominion Government to adopt a
distinctive Canadian flag that could be carried into
battle- by the Canadian troops.42 The idea was
picked up by several B.C. newspapers and
something of a debate ensued, resulting in several
recommendations for the said flag's design from
private citizens considering the "Red Ensign" to be
inadequately inspirational.43 The last word seems to
have gone to the Colonist, which stated that the
impromptu debate was
... a// very interesting, but we confess never
to have felt particularly keen on the idea that
Canada should have a distinctive flag. We
have no great objections if it is thought
desirable ... but we hope all the Empire
over the Union Jack will be the symbol of
British institutions and all that is implied
therein. One throne, one flag, one purpose
has for more than a century been the
guiding principle for Canadians .. ,44
Evidence of British and Imperial patriotism
among British Columbians in August 1914 is
overwhelming. Their spontaneous, defiant
enthusiasm was "a striking demonstration of the
fact that the flame of daring and patriotic self-
sacrifice which created the British Empire burn(ed)
as brightly (still) in the British Dominions beyond
the seas as it did in the heroic days when Britons
laid the foundations of the Empire."45
We have seen how the men of British
Columbia, of all origins, readily presented
themselves for military service "to defend the
motherland." We have seen how civilians
responded to the challenge with great
demonstrations of loyalty to King and country, and
we have learned of prayers offered for spiritual
sustenance and funds raised for material support,
all towards the success of the Empire at war. Above
all, we have seen how vociferous British Imperial
patriotism submerged the budding Canadian
sentiments of British Columbians in August 1914. It
follows to say that British Columbians were British
patriots at the onset of the Great War; what they
were four years later is another matter.
John Stevens is a student at the University of Victoria
and a fifth generation Victorian.
"Chilliwack Volunteers for Active Service," Chilliwack Progress, August 13,1914, p. 1.
"Mayor Barber Offers Services," Chilliwack Progress, August 13, 1914, p. 1.
"Marched Through Cheering Masses of Citizens,"
Vancouver Da/7y Province, August 7, 1914, p. 4.
"This Province Stands Ready," Victoria Da//y
Colonist, August 1,1914, p. 1.
"Vancouver Regiments Are Desirous of Fighting
Shoulder to Shoulder With Brothers in Arms in
England," Vancover Sun, August 3, 1914, p. 13.
"Call To Colours Finds 5TH Ready; Squadron of
Horse Over-Recruited," Victoria Da/7y Colonist,
August 4,1914, p. 3.
"Crowds Anxiously Awaits (sic.) War News,"
Victoria Da//y Colonist, August 3,1914, p. 3.
Page 23
Fall 1981 9 "Patriotism Rises in the Breasts of Vancouverites,"
Vancouver Da/7y Province, August 3, 1914, p. 4.
10 "Canadian Clubs Send Cablegram Showing Loyalty
and Affection For Throne and Person of King,"
Vancouver Sun, August 5,1914, p.m.
11 "Unswerving Loyalty To the Motherland Slogan of
Canadians," Vancouver Sun, August 4,1914, p. 2.
12 "Sermons as Preached in Vancouver Pulpits,"
Vancouver Sun, August 3,1914, p. 5.
13 Timothy Casey, Archbishop of Vancouver, "Pray for
Success of British Arms," Vancouver Da/7y Province,
August 6, 1914, p. 11.
14 "War News," Be//a Coo/a Courier, August 15,1914,
15 "Recruits for 104TH Regiment," Abbotsford Post,
August 4, 1914, p. 1; "Alberni Playing Her Part,"
Alberni Advocate, August 14, 1914, p. 2; "Six
Volunteers For Canadian Contingent," Armstrong
Advertiser, August 13, 1914, p. 1; "Chilliwack
Volunteers For Active Service," Chilliwack Progress,
August 13,1914, p. 1.
16 "Men of Kootenay, Are You Ready?", Nelson Da/7y
News, August 12, 1914, p. 4.
17 "Marched Through Cheering Masses of Citizens,"
Vancouver Da/7y Province, August 7, 1914, p. 4.
18 "Midnight Procession," Vancouver Sun, August 7,
1914, p. 2.
19 "Kerosene Soaked German Kaiser Burned In Effigy
In City," Vancouver Sun, August 6, 1914, p. 11.
20 "Audience Loyal At Empress," Revelstoke Ma/7-
Herald, August 8,1914, p. 1.
21 "Daughters of Empire Ready for Service," Victoria
Da/7y Colonist, August 4, 1914, p. 7.
22 Ibid.
23 Editorial, Victoria Daily Times, August 6,1914, p. 4.
24 Editorial, Vancouver Sun, August 10, 1914, p. 4.
25 Editorial, Prince Rupert Da/7y News, August 14,1914,
p. 2.
26 Editorial, Prince Rupert Evening Empire, August 1,
1914, p. 2.
27 "Canada's Position", Vancouver Da/7y Province,
August 4,1914.
28 "Effect of War On Business," Revelstoke Ma/7-
Herald, August 15, 1914, p. 5.
29 Karl Weiss, M.D., Vancouver German Press, cited in
Victoria Daily Times, August 8,1914, p. 18.
30 "Where Their Duty Lies," Vancouver Sun, August 4,
1914, p. 4.
31 "Phoenix Austrians are Practising Shooting,"
Revelstoke Mail-Herald, August 14,1914, p. 5.
32 "Local War Items," Victoria Daily Times, August 7,
1914, p. 18.
33 "Rosslanders Volunteer," Revelstoke Mail-Herald,
August 15, 1914, p. 6.
34 "Our Country!", Fernie Ledger, August 15, 1914,
p. 4.
35 "War? What For?", Fernie Ledger, August 8, 1914,
p. 4.
36 "U.M.W. Local and War Crisis," Nanaimo Free
Press, August 7,1914, p. 4.
37 "Introspect," Fort George Herald, August 7, 1914,
p. 3.
38 "The Cost Of War," Fort George Herald, August 15,
1914, p. 2.
39 "Proposal," Co/den Star, August 8,1914, p. 4.
40 "Canada's Answer," Vancouver Da/7y Province,
August 12, 1914, p. 6.
41 "B.C. Apples For British Troops," Vancouver Da/7y
Province, August 13, 1914, p. 18.
42 "Cowichan Councilors Ask Distinctive Flag,"
Vancouver Sun, August 6, 1914, p. 11.
43 "Our Mail Box," Victoria Daily Times, August 7,
1914, p. 11.
44 "A Canadian Flag," Victoria Da;/y Colonist, August
7, 1914, p. 4.
45 "The Lion's Cubs," Revelstoke Mail-Herald, August
The research for this essay involved 162
separate articles taken from the British Columbia
newspapers listed below, for editions published
from August 1,1914 to August 15,1914, inclusive.
Abbotsford Post
Alberni Advocate
Armstrong Advertiser
Ashcroft Journal
Bella Coola Courier
Chilliwack Progress
Cranbrook Prospector
Creston Review
Fernie Ledger
Fort George Herald
Golden Star
Grand Forks Gazette
Interior News (Smithers)
Kamloops Standard
Nanaimo Free Press
Nelson Da;7y News
Phoenix Pioneer
Port Alberni News
Prince Rupert Da/7y News
Prince Rupert Evening Empire
Queen Charlotte Islander (Masset)
Revelstoke Mail-Herald
Rossland Miner
Vancouver Daily Province
Vancouver Sun
Victoria Da/7y Colonist
Victoria Daily Times
West Yale Review (Hope)
British Columbia Historical News
Page 24 News and Notes
B.C. Studies
Friday to Sunday
October 30 — November 1,1981
Simon Fraser University
Burnaby, B.C. V5A 1S6
Two years ago the first B.C. Studies
Conference at the University of Victoria
attracted amateur and professional historians
from across Canada. It was decided to make
the conference a bi-annual event sponsored in
turn by the three B.C. universities. Simon
Fraser University is pleased to host the second
conference and welcomes all who are
interested in the history, geography and
culture of British Columbia to join in what we
are sure will be a stimulating and eventful
three day meeting.
For more information
write or call
B.C. Studies Conference
Continuing Studies
Simon Fraser University
Burnaby, B.C. V5A 1S6
Bob Harris at work mapping trails.
Photo by Roy Edge//.
(Editor's Note: R. C. Harris has spent a busy
summer hiking and clearing trails. Look for an
article from him next issue on the Walla Walla
Trail. In the meantime, he has consented to share
a little bit about himself with us.)
Bob Harris arrived in British Columbia in the
Spring of 1950, to indulge in his lifelong interest in
bridges and trails. His first job in B.C. was field
engineer replacing an old suspension bridge on
the Telegraph Trail north of Hazelton, the Anlaw
Bridge over the Skeena River on the road to
Kispiox (Fort Stager), replaced by a 250 foot steel
truss bridge.
Following this, Bob Harris continued 25 years
with the Vancouver Branch of Dominion Bridge
Company, working and travelling widely in British
Before coming to B.C., Bob served six years
with the Royal Engineers in various parts of the
world. He has naturally taken a great interest in
the work of the Columbia Detachment of the
Royal Engineers in British Columbia, 1858-1863 (Lt.
Col. R. C. Moody, R.E.) and the North American
Boundary Commission, 1857-61, (Lt. Col. J.S.
Hawkins, R.E.).
Page 25
British Columbia Historical News News and Notes
Reports from the Branches
Alberni District
Summer holidays will curtail the public
lectures sponsored by the Society but the "behind
the scenes" action of collecting, organizing
archival material and the compiling of the history
of the valley continues unabated. Those on tap for
summer work are Dorrit MacLeod, Helen Ford
and Ann Holt.
The year's activities last fall began with
emphasis on the history of the Alberni Valley and
organizing an ethnic council. For the story of the
valley project, convenient sectional groupings of
"time blocks" on a variety of subjects were
allocated to the willing and the sometimes not-so-
willing. "Digging" into the early times of ethnic
groups, local industry, photographers, schools,
churches and sports continued with an encouraging nudge now and then from President MacLeod.
Publicity is directed toward the non-historically
minded with the hope of persuading participation
rather than preaching to the converted.
The highlight of October's meeting was a visit
by such distinguished members of the West Coast
Indian community as Adam Shewish, Danny
Watts, and George and Margaret Clutesi. They
were welcomed to the lecture by Dennis St. Clair,
director of the archaeological "dig" at Shoemaker
Bay. Helen Ford took November's meeting as she
told members and visitors about the early
churches, the co-operation of the congregations
and the interdenominational church. It was noted
that more work is needed to "flesh out" the
history in this area.
February was considered a "sell out" night
with Kay Dukowski (nee Drinkwater), a daughter
and granddaughter of pioneers, presenting her
report on the Bainbridge logging mill: a top notch
job on the "railroad show" begun by Clarence
Hoard in 1917. She also was invited to present her
lecture to the Rotary Club dinner meeting.
In April Dick McMinn, retired captain of the
M.V. Lady Rose and prize-winning poet, took his
listeners down memory lane. In May, at the
request of teacher Bob McGraw, Society members acted as docents for a group of French-
speaking students from Iberville, Quebec, and
their local hosts from Mount Klitsa Junior High
School as they toured the MacLean logging mill
and Stamp Falls Provincial Park.
A good year but for the black tragedy of the
theft of an original scrapbook donated by the
Tyee Club. It was stolen from a display case in the
lounge of Echo Community Centre. Members are
concerned for the archival material held in trust
but also for the absence of information on valid
and useful insurance coverage for the varied
historical items which arrive at the society's door
for protection and preservation.
— Report submitted by Ruth Roberts.
The Vancouver Historical Society has held
several diverse events for the education and
enjoyment of its membership. On September
19th it sponsored a "New Westminster heritage
home tour" with Mrs. Lucy Chambers of the New
Westminster Heritage Preservaion Society. The
The Nanaimo Historical Society and Malaspina
College present a symposium on the Hudson's
Bay Company:
"The Company on the Coast"
For more information, contact Blanche E. Norcross, 710 Hamilton, Nanaimo, 754-6191.
March 27,1982
Accommodation is limited, early registration at the
Talley Ho Motor Lodge, Nanaimo, is suggested.
British Columbia Historical News
Page 26 afternoon walking tour covered some of the
restored houses in the Queens Park area. On June
29th, Bill Baker of the North Shore Museum
guided a group of members and friends through
two industrial operations: Burrard Yarrows
(shipyard) and Horne Shingle Mill. The group was
fortunate to have been able to view both of these
old manufacturing operations during work hours.
Due to heavy construction on the Hope
Princeton highway, the Society decided to cancel
our August hike over part of the Cascade
Wilderness Trail, which includes part of the
historic Dewdney Trail. John Spittle has offered to
lead this hike in 1982. Watch out for more details.
During the summer recess some sixty members of the Victoria Section visited the Sooke
Museum. After a tour of the interesting museum
and outside exhibits, including a working donkey
engine and a blacksmith's forge in the full heat of
operation, a mouth watering al fresco lunch was
served. The visit ended with an exceptionally well
presented audio visual programme on the history
of Sooke and its earlier families.
Recent lectures, held at the Newcombe
Auditorium, have included Dr. Sylvia Van Kirk
talking on "Daughters of the Country: Woman in
Fur Trade Society", Robert Turner telling of "The
C.P.R. White Empresses" as well as joining with Dr.
James Hendrickson to present "Seeing Victoria's
History through Maps". These were highly
diversified fare, amply satisfying the historical
hunger of our members.
The recent election of Council for the Section
resulted in installation of the following officers:
President: Tom Carrington
1st Vice President: Mrs. L. E. Chambers
2nd Vice President: Alec Reid
Membership Secretary: Geoffrey Castle
Corresponding and Recording Secretary:
Stephanie Mansion
Treasurer: Bruce Winsby
Assistant Treasurer: Edward K. Belt
Programme Convenor: M. F. H. Halleran
Ticket Convenor: Mrs. F. J. Laughlin
Ex Officio (Provincial Archivist): John Bovey
as well as general members: Col. G. S. Andrews, P.
J. Brennan, Gilbert Brown, Dr. Patricia Roy and
David Scholes.
— Report submitted by Alec Reid
In memory of Betty Oliver, Corresponding
Secretary for the East Kootenay Historical
Association, passed away suddenly September
3, 1981.
Born in Merrit, B.C., July 8, 1909, she
attended normal school in Victoria in 1928.
Her first teaching appointment was in Lum-
berton, B.C. the following year (Lumberton is
now a ghost town). She moved to Kimberly in
1929 where she resided ever since. She
became one of the most active community
workers the city has ever known.
Betty was a member on the executive of
numerous organizations. She was a teacher for
many years and a newspaper reporter for
forty-five years right up to her passing. She was
the recipient of many awards, among them,
Mother of the Year in 1963, Citizen of the Year
in 7969, and the Queen's 25th Anniversary
Medal for Outstanding Community Service in
Betty will be sorely missed by all.
The Regional History Committee of the
Canadian Historical Association wishes to
announce that it is soliciting nominations for its
'Certificate of Merit' awards. These annual awards
are given for meritorious publications or for
exceptional contributions by individuals or
organizations to regional or local history.
Nominations should be sent to Professor Robin
Fisher, History Department, Simon Fraser
University, Burnaby, B.C. V5A 1S6 before 15
November 1981.
Page 27
British Columbia Historical News NEED HELP?
Liz Giorando, jillian Lynn, Kerry Dodd and Claire Burns learn archives management from
Len Delozier (centre).
The position of Archives Advisor, attached to
the Provincial Archives, was created in 1978 to assist
archival repositories and to provide information
on archives management. The assistance takes
several forms: an educational program consisting
of workshops, internships, and public talks; visits to
archival repositories and consultation with
archivists and curators on archival problems;
response to numerous letters and telephone calls
concerning questions on acquisition, conservation, and access methods.
Most of the 200 or so museums in British
Columbia have archival collections: photographs;
private papers; institutional, governmental, and
corporate records; maps; and aural history tapes.
But this is only a small portion of the archival
materials preserved throughout the province.
Municipal governments and municipal archives,
universities and community colleges, libraries,and
companies hold a much greater quantity of the
records necessary to explain past policies,
decisions and official actions.
These sources, together with the provincial and
federal government records, constitute the
collective memory of thousands of people living in
British Columbia over the past two centuries.
These records are vitally important for the
continuation of our political, administrative, legal,
and social forms and as informational sources for
research on our past.
This summer has been an active one. In co
operation with staff from Cultural Services Branch
and with the assistance of Provincial Archives staff
and other archivists and curators, a series of nine
day-and-a-half long workshops around the
province were presented on the basic principles of
archives management. These were attended by 146
people, primarily students hired by museums and
historical societies under the Youth Employment
Program of the provincial Ministry of Labour. In
addition, I have visited or consulted with the
archivists or curators of forty repositories. Other
workshops and field trips are planned for the
coming months, as well as a series of informational
pamphlets to assist with the solution of specific
archival problems.
The preservation of archival material in British
Columbia cannot be done by one person,
institution, or group. It is a concern and
responsibility shared by many individuals and
institutions. It needs the informed and active
participation of many people, but particularly of
historical societies. Preservation of historically
valuable records in your community is your
responsibility as well as mine.
For further information, write or call:
Leonard C. DeLozier
Archives Advisor
Provincial Archives
Victoria, B.C. V8V 1X4
Phone 387-1801
British Columbia Historical News
Page 28 Bookshelf
CONFERENCE, Carol M. Judd and Arhtur J. Ray
(eds.). Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1980.
Pp. viii, 336.
Sylvia Van Kirk. Winnipeg: Watson and Dwyer,
1980. Pp. 301, illus., map.
Brown. Vancouver and London: University of
British Columbia Press, 1980. Pp. xxii, 255, illus.,
In the last few years the fur trade has become
one of the liveliest areas of Canadian historical
writing. Based on the rich archives of the Hudson's
Bay Company and drawing on ideas and
techniques from the so-called "new social
history", the fur trade is one subject on which the
work being done on Canada is more sophisticated
than writing on the United States.
None of these books deals entirely, or even
primarily, with British Columbia, but each contains
some British Columbia material and together they
indicate some new directions in fur trade
scholarship that could be applied more
systematically to the area west of the Rockies.
Old Trails and New Directions, a collection of
the papers given at the third North American Fur
Trade Conference, is a good introduction to the
state of the art in fur trade scholarship. As the title
suggests, the collection is a mixture of traditional
and more innovative approaches and, as in any
symposium, the quality of the contributions varies.
It is perhaps unfortunate for British Columbia
readers that three essays on the Pacific coast are
rather conventional in their approach. Stephen M.
Johnson, "Wrangel and Simpson", James R.
Gibson, "The Russian Fur Trade", and Mary
Cullen, "Outfitting New Caledonia 1821-58" have
written perfectly respectable papers but do not
break any new methodological ground. A little
more interesting in this respect is Charles A.
Bishop's biographical piece on "Kwah: A Carrier
Chief." Kwah was one of the leading trading chiefs
of northern New Caledonia. Bishop employs the
techniques of ethnohistory, using the documentary record and information gathered by
anthropologists to examine Kwah's role both in his
own society and in the fur trade. Yet the problem
of evidence persists. The author acknowledges
that "Everything that we know about Kwah has
been filtered through the eyes of persons of an
alien culture" and we are left at the end with many
unanswered questions about the exact nature of
Kwah's leadership. In spite of these difficulties,
such studies make an important point by
reminding us that the process of culture contact
involved individuals on both sides.
Other "New Directions" in fur trade
scholarship are also represented in this collection.
The most interesting recent work has been done
on two aspects of the fur trade: the role of the
Indians in fur trade economics and the nature of
the unique society that was established in western
Canada as a result of the fur trade. Old Trails and
New Directions will introduce the reader to both
these subjects as well as to the authors who have
published longer works in the field.
Arthur J. Ray is the leading scholar of the
economics of the fur trade in Canada and his work
is represented by an essay on "Indians as
Consumers in the Eighteenth Century." Ray argues
that the Indians were shrewd consumers who
made specific and clear demands on the Hudson's
Bay Company traders and thereby affected
changes in company trading patterns.
Ray has developed the idea that the Indians
played an active and creative role in the fur trade
more fully in two books. In the first, Indians in the
Fur Trade,1 a discussion of the role of the Cree and
Assiniboine, Ray argues that, while the fur trade
brought changes to these cultures, it involved a
reciprocal relationship between the two races.
More recently, he has made a detailed
examination of the economic interaction during
the early years of contact between the Hudson's
Bay Company and the Indians around Hudson Bay
Patricia Roy has kindly consented to stay on as the
Book Review Editor. Copies of books for review
should be sent to her c/o B.C. Historical News,
P.O. Box 1738, Victoria, B.C. V8W 2Y3.
Page 29
Fall 1981 Bookshelf
in "Give Us Good Measure", co-authored with
Donald B. Freeman.2 At the heart of this book is a
computer analysis of statistical data taken from the
company's account books. In this economic
analysis, Ray challenges interpretations of the fur
trade which hold that the Indians did not have
economic motives as we would understand them.
E. E. Rich first introduced this idea in an
important article, "Trade Habits and Economic
Motivation among the Indians of North America."3
Abraham Rotstein, drawing on Karl Polanyi's
concept of "non-market" contact between
peoples, developed the point further by
suggesting that the Indians saw the fur trade in
terms of such non-economic factors as traditional
politics and institutionalised gift exchange.4 While
not entirely rejecting the social and ceremonial
ingredients in gift exchange, Ray argues that the
Indians clearly responded to economic factors:
that in many ways their behavour was "not unlike
that of the modern consumer." The Indians
manipulated competition, shopped around, and
were discriminating in their demands. Yet in one
way they did not react to market factors as
Europeans would. Because they had a finite
demand for goods, increasing prices produced
fewer, not more furs. On this point Ray has
confirmed the earlier argument of Rich.
Arthur Ray's work has concentrated on the
area east of the Rockies, but a similarly detailed
examination could well be made of trading
patterns on the northwest coast. Since Professor
Ray recently accepted an appointment at the
University of British Columbia perhaps he will
undertake this study himself. The Indians of this
area were also shrewd traders and it would be
interesting to see, for example, what influence the
potlach, which gave the northwest coast Indians a
reason for producing a surplus, had on the fur
trade on the coast.
The second area of new fur trade scholarship is
even better represented in Old Trails and New
Directions. The section on the social history of the
trade is the strongest in the volume. Two papers
deal with the backgrounds of the European fur
traders. John Nicks subjects "Orkneymen in the
HBC 1780-1921" to close statistical analysis but his
conclusions are somewhat less than earth-
shattering. Carol M. Judd, in "'Mixt Bands of Many
Nations': 1821-70". looks at the ethnic background
of Hudson's Bay Company employees after 1821
and shows that the company hired men from many
racial groups.
Other papers examine aspects of the distinctive
society that grew up in the fur trading country.
Trudy Nicks discusses "The Iroquois and the Fur
Trade in Western Canada", Jennifer S. H. Brown
introduces the field of "sociolinguistics" and draws
our attention to the problems of racial terminology
in "Linguistic Solitudes and Changing Social
Categories", and Sylvia Van Kirk provides a useful
outline of "Fur Trade Social History: Some Recent
Trends." Both Brown and Van Kirk have also
written full-length studies of fur trade society.
Sylvia Van Kirk took the title of her book on
women in fur trade society from the observation of
James Douglas that the hardships and isolation of
the fur trader's life were softened "by the many
tender ties, which find a way to the heart." She
traces the development of marriage customs
between company men and first with Indian
women and later with women of mixed blood. Van
Kirk argues that many fur traders formed stable
and lasting relationships according to the custom
of the country.
These marriages were based in part on mutual
economic advantage. Just as Ray shows that the
Indians played an active role in the fur trade
economy, Van Kirk points out that Indian women
sometimes took the initiative in establishing
marriage alliances with traders. The children of
these first marriages with Indian women were
favoured as partners by fur traders in later years.
After the amalgamation of the Hudson's Bay
and North West Companies in 1821, and with the
development of the Red River Settlement, the
coming of missionaries and the arrival of white
women, country marriages fell into some
disfavour. The position of Indian and mixed blood
women became more marginal. Temporary
liaisons and the prostitution of Indian women
became more common in the nineteenth century,
as racial prejudice became more pronounced
within fur trade society.
Sylvia Van Kirk presents a convincing argument
on the role of Indian women in the fur trade. She
writes clearly and well and her book is liberally
illustrated with a number of fine photographs.
Readers who are unfamiliar with this subject would
do well to start with Many Tender Ties.
Jennifer S. H. Brown's work, Strangers in Blood,
is less palatable in some ways. The language of the
social scientist makes this book much less fun to
read, but that is not to say the effort will not be
rewarded. Brown looks at kinship and social
relations on a broader front than Van Kirk. She is
particularly interested in the contrasting patterns
of the Hudson's Bay Company and the North West
British Columbia Historical News
Page 30 Bookshelf
Beginning with a discussion of fur trade
marriages, Brown argues that once Hudson's Bay
Company men saw the advantages of such
alliances, their relations with Indian women
tended to be more permanent than those of the
North West Company employees who were more
mobile when they were in the west and
maintained closer connections with their
metropolitan society. Brown draws the distinction
between the two companies much more sharply
and clearly than does Van Kirk. Perhaps, indeed,
she pushes the point too far.
Both authors, however, reach similar
conclusions on the subordinate role of women in
the fur trade after 1821. Having examined the
marriages themselves, Brown goes on to discuss
the fate of the offspring of these fur trade unions.
The mixed-blood children sometimes remained
culturally Indian, some assimilated into white
communities, while others formed a part of the
distinctive settlement at Red River; but, whatever
course they followed, few found the problems of
adjustment easy to solve.
Both Van Kirk and Brown use essentially the
same sources and each uses biographical material
on fur traders and their women to sustain their
arguments. One wonders to what extent the
selection of examples influenced the nature of the
generalisations. Certainly, once again, the primary
focus is on the area east of the Rockies and more
work of this kind could still be done on the Pacific
slope. But these two authors have done the
valuable work of opening up the study of a society
that was unique to western Canada during the fur
trading period.
The history of the grand old Canadian "skin
game" has progressed a long way from the time
when it consisted of tales of daring-do by
individual, white, male traders or accounts of the
activities of honourable companies. In particular,
the active and creative role of the Indians has been
recognised. Not only were they a factor to be
reckoned with in the actual trading relationship,
but Indian women formed one side of a
partnership that produced a new society; a society
that was neither Indian nor European.
1 Arthur J. Ray, Indians in the Fur Trade: Their Role as
Trappers, Hunters, Middlemen in the lands
Southwest of Hudson Bay, 1660-1870 (Toronto:
University of Toronto Press, 1974).
2 Arthur J. Ray and Donald B. Freeman, "Give Us
Good Measure": An Economic Analysis of Relations
between the Indians and the Hudson's Bay
Company before 1763 (Toronto: University of
Toronto Press, 1978).
3 E. E. Rich, "Trade Habits and Economic Motivation
among the Indians of North America," Canadian
Journal of Economics and Political Science 26 (1960):
4 Abraham Rotstein, "Karl Polanyi's Concept of Non-
Market Trade," Journal of Economic History 30
(1970): 117-26; and "Trade and Politics: An
Institutional Approach," Western Canadian Journal
of Anthropology 3 (1972): 1-28.
Robin Fisher, who teaches Canadian history at Simon
Fraser University, is the author ofContact and Conflict:
Indian-European Relations in British Columbia,
The Provincial Archives of British Columbia is
pleased to announce its publication of the Journals
of the Colonial Legislatures of Vancouver Island
and British Columbia, 1851-1871. This five volume
limited edition of the official legislative records of
colonial British Columbia is a valuable reference
work for students of British Columbia history. The
minutes of the successive Executive Councils,
Houses of Assembly and Legislative Councils of the
colonies of Vancouver Island and British Columbia
are all reproduced.
The editor, Professor James E. Hendrickson, has
included extensive appendices, important
legislative documents including colonial estimates
and schedules of legislation. Issues of special
importance to the province such as the
confederation debates, are also separately
highlighted in the appendices. Professor
Hendrickson has also written an introduction to
the work that gives an overview of the evolution of
the provinces constitutional beginnings in the
colonial period. Each volume is separately
Printed with hot metal type on acid-free paper,
the Journals are available at $150 per set. Only
complete sets may be purchased. The Journals are
available from Information Services, Ministry of
Provincial Secretary and Government Services,
Parliament Buildings, Victoria, B.C. V8V 1X4.
Page 31
Fall 1981 Bookshelf
to Ed Gould. North Vancouver, B.C.: Hancock
House, 1979. Pp. 2%, illus., $12.95.
Hancock House, from its new North
Vancouver address, has given this volume a
pleasant format: eight pages of colour
photographs and one of black and white, along
with two useful maps, one showing the Bella Coola
country in relation to Vancouver Island, and one
showing Lonesome Lake in its situation, isolated in
respect to minor settlements.
In the 50's Leland Stowe brought Ralph
Edwards to general attention as "the Crusoe of
Lonesome Lake". In 1972 another fillip was given to
general interest when Edwards was awarded the
Medal of Service of the Order of Canada for his
work in expanding the population of trumpeter
swans in his area. One therefore picks up this
Lonesome Lake volume as re-entry to a familiar
Gould has made his presentation, ostensibly as
autobiography, with Edwards telling his own tale.
The impression of the first person story is well
sustained. A Georgia boy, recently from California,
he came to B.C. in 1912to seek and find homestead
land. He settled east and south of the Bella Coola
country proper. The narrator obviously found it
easy to have Edwards give detail on his multiplicity
of pioneering skills, in the shifting of incredible
weights and building of anything from sheds to
airplanes. His wife and their three children lived
with bear, deer, wolf, beaver and many another
critter, but especially with trumpeter swans.
Mail, books, and other "necessities", such as
food for swans, were shifted, winter and summer,
on human or pack horse backs, over narrow and
dangerous trails from the coastal area. Rafts and
home-made boats eased the burden on the last
part of the trip in. Cattle were reluctant to travel in
on trails more fit for goats. There were catastrophes
to cope with: a home burned down, a child's face
kicked in by a horse.
Eventually materials were brought in by plane,
when Edwards secured a pilot's licence at sixty-five
years of age. Later he used the plane to deliver
fresh garden produce to far-flung fish and game
resorts on the many lakes of the remote area.
It is interesting to read Gould's presentation of
Edwards, in conjunction with three other
pioneering tales;
Garner, whose family came from Carolina to
Saltspring Island in 1903;
A POUR OF RAIN, by Helen Meilleur, whose
Alaskan parents took up residence in Port Simpson
in 1907, but whose account of that place goes back
to 1821 and Hudson's Bay Co. Fort Simpson days;
WINTER BROTHERS, Ivan Doig's account of life on
the Olympic Peninsula before the turn of the
While not the best of the batch, this book may
have the power to galvanize the young and
energetic, and the old and would-be energetic. It
could certainly renew our understanding that one
person of conviction can lure others to share in his
observations and remedial actions.
Clare McAllister is a member of the Victoria branch
of the British Columbia Historical Association.
Lantzville, B.C.: Ooolichan Books, 1980. Pp.258,iii.,
$9.95 paper.
A goal for many of us when we reach
retirement is to set down our memoirs for
succeeding generations. In ninety per cent of the
cases it is well that these recollections never reach
publishers' hands. Of the remaining ten per cent,
Never Fly Over an Eagle's Nest is an example of a
book that satisfies personal ambitions yet adds
considerably to our knowledge of the men and
women who lived in British Columbia during the
first half of the twentieth century.
The Gulf Islands welcomed many types of
newcomers in the early years. Not just English
remittance men (who have been over emphasized),
but hardy Scots, industrious Japanese and many
American citizens contributed their labour and
ingenuity to improving settlement on the Islands.
On Saltspring, the most famous of the latter group
were the Negro settlers who had established preemptions, with James Douglas' blessings,inthelate
1850's. But there were occasions when white
British Columbia Historical News
Page 32 Bookshelf
people also had to flee across the U.S./Canadian
Oland and Lona Garner escaped Ku Klux Klan
vengeance in South Carolina by journeying to San
Francisco and thence to Victoria. They, too, chose
Saltspring Island for their permanent home,
arriving in 1905 with all their worldly posessions
piled on a flat-bottomed boat. The trials and
tribulations of the Garner family striving to make a
living on Saltspring form an important part of the
book. A later section describes the author's forays
into logging and flying, and also includes personal
reminiscences of five brothers and sisters.
From the very first page, describing her
abduction at three o'clock in the morning, this
book becomes the story of Lona Garner more than
any other member of the family. We follow with
increasing concern the birth of every baby, until
the tenth child almost claims her life. For the first
few years on Saltspring, while their homestead was
being established, she cared for her husband and
family in hastily-built log cabins with dirt floors and
the only running water in a nearby creek. But she
managed to raise all her children to adulthood and
imbue in them a strong sense of self-reliance. Two
of her admonitions were: "Take neither favour nor
charity" and "Don't work for somebody else, get
out on your own."
Joe Garner fondly remembers the enormous
breakfasts and dinners his mother cooked for the
family, using local game and produce from their
farm. Fried grouse with milk gravy was a special
favourite. Unfortunately, we learn very little about
Lona once she moves to Vancouver. Having once
established her as a heroine, the author should not
have let her drop out of sight.
But this book is also the story of children
growing up in rural British Columbia with few
amenities. As in most large country families the
Garner siblings were required to pitch in and help
with haying, berry picking, hunting and even
logging at an early age. Pearl and Ollie were
cutting enough timber to boom by the ages of
fifteen and twelve, respectively.
Despite hard work and long hours, however,
their close contact with nature provided the
children with healthy outlets in their free time. Joe
Garner's skill as a story teller is best revealed in his
description of encounters with animals on the farm
and in the woods. These adventures could easily
be combined in a book for children.
The author writes in a lively style, yet we feel
uneasy with his use of dialogue, even though Lona
and Oland must have related their South Carolina
experiences many times. This criticism also applies
to his later descriptions of logging and hunting
exploits. Because many of the Garner brothers and
sisters contributed their own chapters to the book,
the reader is faced with considerable repetition.
Nevertheless, Margaret's well-presented memoirs
should be the springboard for more writing. There
are sixteen pages of photographs which cover the
time period very well. For easy reference an index
and a map of Saltspring also would have been
helpful. (We understand the latter is to be included
in the next edition.)
At the risk of destroying a good story, it is
questionable whether Oland was Emily Carr's
lover at a North Saanich cabin. Maria Tippett's
recent biography, £m/7y Carr,7 places Emily in
Victoria, surrounded by her family, supervising the
building of her apartment house in 1913. Oland
would not have worked at her father's warehouse
in 1903 but possibly at Rithet's. This firm acquired
the building from Carr before his death in 1888.2
Joe Garner and his family belong to a life-
loving, enterprising generation who contributed
in their own special way to the growth of British
Columbia during the first half of the twentieth
century. One hopes that by writing this book he
will encourage many others to put their
experiences on paper. Whether they are then
published or not doesn't matter — as long as future
generations have something to ponder and
1 Maria Tippett, Emi'/y Carr, Toronto, Oxford University
Press, 1979, pp. 115-117.
2 Ibid. p. 14.
Marie Elliott is presently working diligently on an M.A.
in History at the University of Victoria. The history of the
Gulf Islands is a special interest.
W. Peter Ward and R. A. J. McDonald, compilers
and editors. Vancouver: Douglas and Mclntyre,
1981. Pp. xii, 692, $10.95 (paper).
Students of British Columbia history will note
with interest this anthology of no fewer than thirty-
one articles addressing eight major areas of our
history. The authors' purpose is "to provide college
and university students with a textbook reflecting
the interests of the province's most recent
historians." In this, Messrs. Ward and McDonald,
two professors at the University of British
Page 33
Fall 1981 Bookshelf
Columbia have succeeded. Instructors in British
Columbia history who annually face the task of
getting up an anthology of historical essays and
who have not found the Carleton Library's
Historical Essays on British Columbia entirely
suitable for the purpose will no doubt prescribe
this new anthology in their courses. The volume is
locally available and reasonably priced.
The work is prefaced with Allan Smith's article
on the development of the writing of British
Columbia history. The following essays on
maritime exploration, fur trade and early Indian-
European relations consititute perhaps the
strongest section in the volume. Christon Archer's
work on the Spanish presence in the Northwest,
Jean Usher's study or William Duncan's model
society among the Tsimshians, and Robin Fisher's
articles on Indian manipulation of the fur trade, the
propagation of Christianity among British
Columbia Indians, and Joseph Trutch's historic
reversal of Douglas' benign Indian policies make
their appearance. Peter Cumming and Neil
Mickenberg, in their articles on Native land claims,
explore the historical roots of a problem that
remains unsettled.
James Gibson's article on the American
predominance in the maritime fur trade places in
perspective scholarship that tends to emphasize,
perhaps too much, the Spanish and British
presence on the Northwest coast in the late
eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Gibson
also discusses the co-operation developed
between Astor's American Fur Company and the
Russian-American Company, an arrangement not
unlike the one concluded in the late 1830s by the
same Russian company and the Hudson's Bay
The colonial period is represented by S. D.
Clark's forty-year-old but stHI extremely valuable
essay on the sociological aspects of mining society,
by Barry Cough's article on the Britannic
influences on the shaping of the colonial frontier,
and by James Hendrickson's recently published
essay on the much-neglected topic of the
evolution of our colonial constitution and
legislative institutions and practices.
The offerings on economic development,
while presenting valuable case studies of individual
entrepreneurs and the salmon industry, betray, as
the authors claim in their preface, significant
lacunae in our historical scholarship. Yet this
problem could have been mitigated by the
inclusion of some of the work by W. G. Hardwick,
A. L. Farley, or Roger Hayter on forestry, H. A. Innis
on mining, or even Margaret Ormsby on
Space for one or two of these articles could
have been found, particularly since two on the
salmon industry and one on the comparatively
minor topic of the North Pacific seal hunt were
included. The latter article, by D. G. Paterson, will
be of little, even no, use. It is simply impenetrable,
given its jargon. Our view of provincial economic
development is somewhat improved by R.A.J.
McDonald's article on the economy in the period
1886-1914, included in the section on urban
growth, and by three articles on labour by David
Bercuson, Ross McCormack, and Stuart Jamieson,
the latter which conveys, in passing, valuable
impressions of the economic structure to which
labour responded.
The articles on politics — Ian Parker on Tolmie,
Margaret Ormsby on Pattullo, and Walter Young
on tne CCF — will no doubt prove instructive for
the subjects they entertain, but taken as a group
they will not enable the reader to establish any
great control of this crucial aspect of our past,
which has been and remains neglected. Martin
Robin's "The Social Basis of Party Politics in British
Columbia" might have been included in order to
ameliorate what is obviously a serious problem.
The volume's last section, "Race and Ethnicity,"
contains some of the most instructive essays on
Oriental-European relations, namely the work of
Patricia Roy and Peter Ward, although Sanford
Lyman's comparison of Chinese and Japanese
communities in North America will prove less
useful in the study of these relations in British
The editors might have consulted with the
prospective users of the anthology to amplify its
assets and minimize the deficiencies noted above.
A select bibliography, introductions to each of the
eight genres of historical studies contained in the
work, and perhaps a few notes about each of the
contributors should probably have been added.
Although there remain a number of problems in
the anthology, it will provide useful in post-
secondary classrooms. The volume contains
material gathered from diverse sources, not all of
which is readily accessible to all university and
college students in the province, and certainly not
to the larger public readership to whom the
anthology might well appeal.
Robert L. Smith teaches history at Fraser Valley
British Columbia Historical News
Honorary Patron:
Honorary President:
1st Vice President:
2nd Vice President:
Recording Secretary:
Me mbers-at-Large:
Ex Officio:
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