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Journal ofthe British Columbia Historical Federation | Vol.39 No.l 2006 | $5.00
This Issue: Karloff in BC | World War One Mystery | Doctors | Prison Escapes | Books | Tokens | And more...
t i^wy^^ British Columbia History
Journal of the British Columbia Historical Federation
Published four times a year.
ISSN: print 1710-7881 online 1710-792X
British Columbia History welcomes stories, studies,
and news items dealing with any aspect of the
history of British Columbia, and British Columbians.
Please submit manuscripts for publication to the Editor,
British Columbia History,
John Atkin,
921 Princess Avenue,
Vancouver BC V6A 3E8
Book reviews for British Columbia History,,
3450 West 20th Avenue,
Vancouver BCV6S1E4,
e-mail: yandle@1nterchange.ubcca
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#311 -45520 Knight Road
Chilliwack, B. C.   V2R 3Z2
phone 604-824-1570
Subscriptions: $18.00 per year
For addresses outside Canada add $10.00
Single copies of recent issues are for sale at:
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This publication is indexed in the Canadian
Magazine Index, published by Micromedia.
ISSN: 1710-7881
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permission in writing of both author and
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British Columbia Historical Federation
A charitable society under the Income Tax Act Organized 31 October 1922
PO Box 5254, Station B., Victoria BC V8R 6N4
Under the Distinguished Patronage of Her Honour
The Honourable lona Campagnolo. PC, CM, OBC
Lieutenant-Governor of British Columbia
Honourary President
Melva Dwyer
Jacqueline Gresko
5931 Sandpiper Court, Richmond, BC, V7E 3P8
Phone 604.274.4383   j_gresko@douglas.bcca
First Vice President
Patricia Roy
602-139 Clarence St., Victoria, B.C., V8V2J1
Second Vice President
Bob Mukai
4100 Lancelot Dr., Richmond, BC   V7C 4S3
Phone 604-274-6449
Ron Hyde
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Phone: 604.277.2627 Fax 604.277.2657
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Ron Greene
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Phone 250. 598.1835 Fax 250.598.5539
Past President
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Phone 604. 599.4206 Fax. 604.507.4202
Members at Large
Alice Marwood
#311 45520 Knight Road, Chilliwack, BC, V2R3I2
Tony Cox
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Phone 604-921-9496
Historical Traits and Markers
John Spittle
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Phone 604.988.4565 jds@vcn.bcca
W. Kaye Lamb Essay Scholarships Committee
Robert Griffin
107 Regina Avenue, Victoria, BC, V8Z 1J4
Phone 250.475.0418 bgriffin@royalbcmuseum.bcca
Writing Competition - Lieutenant-Governor's Award
Bob Mukai
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Phone 604-274-6449 the Federation's web site is hosted by Selkirk College in Castlegar, BC BCHF Prizes | Awards | Scholarships
"Any country worthy of a future should
be interested in its past"
W. Kaye Lamb, 1937
W. KAYE LAMB Essay Scholarships
Deadline 15 May 2006
The British Columbia Historical
Federation awards two scholarships
annually for essays written by students
atBC colleges or universities on a topic
relating to British Columbia history.
One scholarship ($500) is for an essay
written by a student in a first-or
second-year course: the other ($750)
is for an essay written by a student in
a third-or fourth-year course.
To apply tor the scholarship,
candidates must submit (1) a letter of
application: (2) an essay of 1,500-3,000
words on a topic relating to the history
of British Columbia: (3) a letter of
recommendation from the professor
for whom the essay was written.
Applications should be submitted
before 15 May 2006 to: Robert Griffin,
Chair BC Historical Federation
Scholarship Committee, PO Box 5254,
Station B, Victoria, BC V8R 6N4.
The winning essay submitted by a
third or fourth year student will be
published in BC Historical News. Other
submissions may be published at the
editor's discretion.
BC History Web Site Prize
The British Columbia Historical
Federation and David Mattison are
jointly sponsoring a yearly cash award
of $250 to recognize Web sites that
contribute to the understanding and
appreciation of British Columbia's
past. The award honours individual
initiative in writing and presentation.
Nominations for the BC History Web
Site Prize must be made to the British
Columbia Historical Federation, Web
Site Prize Committee, prior to 31
December 2006. Web site creators
and authors may nominate their own
sites. Prize rules and the on-line
nomination form can be found on The
British Columbia History Web site:
Best Article Award
A Certificate of Merit and fifty dollars
will be awarded annually to the
author of the article, published in BC
History, that best enhances knowledge
ot British Columbia's history and
provides reading enjoyment. Judging
will be based on subject development,
writing skill, freshness of material,
and appeal to a general readership
interested in all aspects of BC history.
The Journal of the British Columbia Historical Federation | Volume 39 Number 1   2006
In Stanley Park, You Say?
Alistair Reeves  2
A Leap of Faith: The early years of the Reverend Edward Cridge
Robert G. Dennison, PhD  4
Frontier Medicine in the Chilcotin Region of B.C.
Sterling Haynes, MD 10
Death Sentence: the New Westminster Penitentiary
By Robert C. Belyk 12
Boris Karlof in British Columbia
Greg Nesteroff 16
The Case of Private Roy Cromarty
Fred Braches 22
David Spencer Ltd. and the "Shopping Coin"
Ronald Greene  25
Archives and Archivists 26
Book Reviews 28
Miscellany 39
From the Editor
Putting British Columbia History together is always
a lot of fun and I look forward to opening the mail box
because it seems there's always something for the
Recent submissions have covered a wide range
of topics and have provide many hours of enjoyable
evening reading. One submission I was particularly
pleased to see arrived from Fred Braches the former
editor of this magazine. He publishes Whonnock Notes
which is full of great local history and is available from
You will note with this issue that the Federation
has decided to publish an annual members directory
and and only put new members on the
inside back cover, along with our new post
card feature. The directory has space for the
usual contact information but now offers
brief write ups of member groups.
The other change is a minor one but
an important one. I've decide that Ron
Greene's wonderful feature on tokens will
be listed in the table of contents as an article
instead of as a column; that way each one
will be now indexed seperately by those that
do indexing. •
BRITISH COLUMBIA HISTORY - Vol. 39 No. 1 In Stanley Park, You Say?:
Killing Caterpillars on a Sunday
By Alastair Reeves
Alistair Reeves has
over twenty years
experience teaching
in the fields of
management and
management. He is
keenly interested in
Canadian aviation
and forest industry
He is president of
the Montreal chapter
of the Canadian
Aviation Historical
1 Although there is a chemical
compound called calcium
arsenate with a formulation of
Ca3(As04)2 (also known by the
names of tricalcium arsenate and
cucumber dust), official
documents of the day appear to
refer to a simple mix of one part
arsenic oxide (As205) and six
parts hydrated lime (Ca(0H)2) as
"calcium arsenate" insecticide.
2 Powdered arsenic oxide
(As205) occupies 110 cubic
inches per pound.
3 The insecticide egressed the
hopper through a venturi-draft
orifice located below the hull of
the flying boat. Each orifice was
calibrated to allow 600 pounds of
powder to pass in 3 1/2 minutes,
equaling a dusting rate of around
20 pounds per acre or, 3.5
pounds of arsenic oxide (As205)
per acre (8.65 kg per ha).
4 The mixture was in a ratio of
one part arsenic oxide to six
parts of hydrated lime
Each spring during the late 1920's a
defoliating caterpillar ravaged a beautiful
stand of stately Douglas fir trees on British
Columbia's west coast. These caterpillars
had the innocuous name of the Western hemlock
looper (Ellopia sominaria). The infestation was
localized in two areas: in what was originally the First
Narrows Military Reserve and what we now
recognize as Vancouver's famous Stanley Park; the
other outbreak was in the Seymour watershed, the
main source of drinking water for the city of
Vancouver. Douglas fir trees are fairly resilient even
when repeatedly attacked by defoliating insects but
if bark beetles or wood boring insects subsequently
attack a weakened tree, they ultimately kill it. In
Stanley Park this pre-mortality defoliating problem
was primarily one of aesthetics, in the Seymour
watershed the concern was over the deterioration of
the watershed resulting in a diminished water
retention capacity.
Under the direction of George Hopping, an
entomologist, the Canadian Forest Service tried to
eradicate these hemlock loopers through an aerial
application of a then common insecticide, calcium
arsenate.1 Calcium arsenate by any formulation is a
highly toxic stomach poison acting on caterpillars.
Previous aerial dusting experiments in Canada had
used both lead arsenate and calcium arsenate with
equal effect, although the per-unit cost of lead arsenate
was higher. At the time, aerial application rates for
calcium arsenate on forest insects ranged from 20 to
40 pounds per acre, although the Canadian Forest
Service had noted that application rates above 30
pounds per acre tended to burn emerging foliage on
the trees. Some 800 acres (323.5 ha.) in Stanley Park
was chosen as the first target area. (The precise size
of the area varies with the reference source: from 800
to 900 acres; as does the actual date and year of the
event.) Due its dust-like drift characteristics,
powdered arsenic oxide2 has similar flightiness to that
of regular hydrated lime with which it is mixed. The
800 foot high headlands of Prospect Point on the First
Narrows initiated air turbulence problems in this
Stanley Park project. Past experience showed that any
breeze above 10 mph was detrimental to the dusting
effort. Thus, the project had to be completed before
the on-shore winds picked up at around 9:30 a.m.
Sharing costs, the Dominion and British
Columbia governments drafted a contract to apply
this insecticide and let it to Canada Airways Limited,
Western Lines (previously known as Western Canada
Airways Limited). This was the first commercial
contract ever let for aerial application of an insecticide
in Canada. The most suitable aircraft for this project
that Canada Airways Limited had in the area were
their four US-built Boeing B1E flying boats. Three of
them were based at Swanson Bay on fisheries patrols,
the other, in Vancouver. On request, the Boeing
Company designed a hopper system to disperse the
insecticide. A twin pack-saddle design, with each
hopper holding 400 pounds of calcium arsenate (thus
800 pounds per trip) was completed.3 Each hopper
BRITISH COLUMBIA HISTORY - Vol. 39 No. 1 had an agitator to eliminate the packing tendency of
the fine powder and was placed on a set of strong
springs to adjust the angle of the floor and maintain a
constant flow towards the outlets and the as the
quantity of the calcium arsenate decreased.
To facilitate the operation of the flying boats
and allow them to land in any direction, a scow,
loaded with at least 7-tons of the calcium arsenate4
packed in 50 lb. sacks for ease of handling and to
reduce the chance of packing in the hoppers was
anchored in the middle of the harbour, just east of
Brocton Point adjacent to Stanley Park. The scow,
which also carried five drums of aviation fuel for
refueling the aircraft, was towed into position in the
early hours of Sunday, June 15,1930.
Flying operations began precisely at 04: 00
hours with three Boeing B1E flying boats under the
direction of Canada Airways Superintendent for
Western Operations, Donald R. MacLaren. MacLaren
was founder of Pacific Airways (1925) and Canada's
fourth highest scoring ace during World War One.
Again another footnote was scored for our history:
this was the first and probably the only time pure
flying boats were ever been used for either forest or
crop "dusting" in Canada.
The original intent was to fly the aircraft in
formation, yet it soon became apparent that a
staggered line-eastern approach provided a more
ideal method, for the trailing pilots could see the dust
pattern from the aircraft ahead and adjust their course
accordingly to achieve the proper coverage. The
insecticide was released at about 50 feet above the
tree top level. With three aircraft working, this timing
allowed for a merry-go-round pattern with the
previously applied dust still visible. Approximately
20 flights were required to complete this operation.
The dusting of Stanley Park was completed by 8: 45
Operations then moved to the Seymour
watershed above Indian Arm. There, flying was more
problematic as the target area was approximately 7
miles inland and at an elevation of 2, 000 feet. The
canyon terrain on the hillside also created more air
turbulence. Again, approximately 8 tons of calcium
arsenate were applied to the forest. To test the
effectiveness and distribution of the near-white
calcium arsenate dust throughout the forest canopy,
dark canvas tarps were randomly placed on the
ground. The drifting dust penetrated to the lowest
levels, completely covering the underbrush. Morning
dew on the Douglas fir needles caused the calcium
arsenate to bind to the needles. This unexpected turn
enhanced the efficacy of the insecticide whereas on
the shrubs and underbrush below, air movement
caused the dry powder to dislodge, falling to the forest
As a result of the dusting, it was reported that
Western hemlock looper caterpillars lay on the ground
in a two-inch thick carpet in Stanley Park and
"pedestrians sank to their ankles and vehicles left
deep ruts in the green viscid mass." Subsequently it
was reported: "There's never been another worm seen
or heard of since that time in that area." Yet on a more
sobering thought, other than the fact that close to three
tons of highly toxic arsenic oxide were dumped in
the Vancouver City water supply catchment area and
on a well-used public park, Hector Richmond, a
renowned entomologist with the British Columbia
Forest Service, indicated, that in hindsight: "The
benefits of this attempted control were questionable."
Vancouver citizens, however, did not complain about
the highly toxic dust or the gooey mass of decaying
caterpillars on the ground. Yet, they complained about
those "ruddy aircraft" flying around at an ungodly
hour on their Sunday morning!
Postscript: There is a subtle difference in
terminology when dealing with aerial application of
insecticides. In the early days of the science,
insecticides were applied as a dusting powder, hence
referred to as "dusting"; later insecticides were
applied in emulsions, often as an oily-type spray.
Calcium arsenate, or alternatively, lead arsenate, was
widely used in both Canada and the United States
for aerial application on forest pests between 1925 and
1935 mainly to attack the Spruce bud worm, Catalpa
worm, Western hemlock looper and the Gipsy moth.
In the southern United States, calcium arsenate was
used extensively against cotton-destroying insects.
The infamous insecticide, DDT, was first used in aerial
forest spraying in British Columbia in 1946. Again,
the Western hemlock looper was the target, but the
location this time was the Nitinat - Sarvita River
valleys adjacent to Pacific Rim National Park. By the
mid-1950's it was realized that DDT was extremely
destructive to aquatic life, and particularly deadly on
salmon smolt. The final spraying of DDT (actually, a
DDT-Malathion mix) was used on the Douglas fir
Tussock moth in the Okangan Valley in 1962. By 1964,
forest pest operations in B.C. switched to
Phosphamidon then in the early 1970's to using a viral
control agent to kill the insects. •
Canadian Forest Service,
Interview with George Ralph
Hopping, August 1972.
Corley-Smith, Peter.
Barnstorming to Bush Flying:
1910 -1930. Victoria: Sono Nis
Press, 1989.
Corley-Smith, Peter. Bush Flying
to Blind Flying: 1930 - 1940.
Victoria: Sono Nis Press, 1993.
Dominion of Canada, Department
of National Defence. [Annual]
Reports on Civil Aviation, 1927-
Duffy, D., and C. Crane (eds.).
The Magnificent Distances: Early
aviation in British Columbia 1910
-1940. Sound Heritage, Number
28. Victoria: Provincial Archives
of British Columbia, 1980.
Fortier, Ronald. Agricultural
Aviation in Canada: A Short
History. Ottawa: Aeronautical
Collection, National Aviation
Museum, Ottawa, 1997.
MacLaren, D. R." Dusting Defoliated
Areas," The Bulletin, Canadian
Airways Limited, Vol. 3 No. 10, April
Martin, L. and K. Segrave. City
Parks of Canada. Mosaic Press,
Oakville ON: Mosaic Press, 1983.
Neufeld, David. "The History of
Aerial Application: An
introduction." The Journal of
the Canadian Aviation Historical
Society, Vol. 17 No. 2, (Summer
1979), 60 - 61
Richmond, Hector. Forest
Entomology: From Packhorse to
Helicopter. Pest Management
report Number 8. Victoria: B.C.
Ministry of Forests, 1986.
Dead trees in Stanley
Park, (opposite page)
BC Archives photo NA04267
BRITISH COLUMBIA HISTORY - Vol. 39 No. 1 A Leap of Faith:
The Early Years of The Reverend Edward Cridge
By Robert G. Dennison
Dr. Dennison is a
graduate of the
University of
Toronto, with an
interest in late 19th
century Canadian
history, newspapers
and social behaviours
of the day.
I am persuaded that it is no chance which has brought
me to stand before you today as your minister, or
which has caused you to assemble together as a flock
committed to my care. I did not leave my former
charge, that of a populous district near London, without
evident token of the over ruling hand of God; and
whatsoever may have been the train of events which caused
the vacancy which I was called upon to fill. .}
The speaker, age 37, a solemn, clean-shaven
man of medium height and build spoke to the bustling
throng. Silence descended upon the room in the log
fort as the gathering crowd strained to hear the words
from the newly appointed Hudson's Bay Company
chaplain and minister for the district of Victoria, the
Reverend Edward Cridge. He and his wife, Mary, ten
years his junior, arrived at Fort Victoria, on a rainy
Sunday April 1, 1855, a week before this his first
service. On that day, Robert Melrose working on the
Craigflower farm jotted a note in his diary. "Ship
Marquis of Bute arrived from England, brought a
minister. Showers."2 In his perfunctory remarks, the
new minister, reminded the congregation, which
included Governor James Douglas and family, the
Hudson's Bay Company officers and their families,
and assorted settlers, that he had given up many
advantages. What train of events influenced him to
accept the Hudson's Bay Company London
Committee's offer?
The Reverend Cridge and his wife Mary sailed
from Gravesend, England, September 20,1854, on the
Marquis of Bute, a 469 ton barque,3 chartered by the
Hudson's Bay Company. Along with their twenty-one
fellow passengers they watched as the lights of their
native land disappeared in the distance at the
beginning of this six-month voyage. They suffered the
lack of fresh fruits and water, battled heavy seas and
pelting rain, safely rounded the ghostly but dangerous
coastline of Cape Horn enduring freezing cold and
then hot sun. All the passengers would suffer some
type of sickness, both Mary and Edward had frequent
bouts of illness. In fact, Mary became very concerned
with her husband's condition. By letter she informed
her sister-in-law Elizabeth Cridge in England, of sea
sickness, arthritis, intestinal problems, toothache and
skin lesions plaguing the minister throughout the
voyage, making it necessary for him to spend much
of the journey in his cabin.4 When he was up and
about, Captain J. Moir asked him to conduct services
and Bible studies for the passengers and ship's crew,
and although this task required great effort, the
Reverend Cridge managed to provide some religious
leadership. This trip replaced their honeymoon, for
Edward and Mary married six days before they sailed.
Although full of excitement and a sense of adventure
their thoughts must often have turned to family and
friends they had left behind. Nevertheless, the couple
would have many hours to reflect on this important
crossroads in their lives. How had they reached this
Edward Cridge was born December 17,1817 in
Bratton-Fleming, near Barnstaple, North Devon,
England. His father, John Cridge, struggled to raise
four young children after his frail wife Grace died
shortly after the birth of their youngest child,
Elizabeth, in 1820. Although the father was a
schoolmaster, the family finances were very tenuous,
as John, according to his brother Richard, looked upon
money and all people who pursued wealth with
disdain.5 Influenced by their school master father, it
was small surprise that as they matured the children,
Richard, Mary, Edward and Elizabeth all quickly
secured some form of employment relating to
education. Brother Richard and sister Elizabeth
remained by the family home in North Devon, while
sister Mary resided in Southgate. In 1834, Edward age
seventeen started work as a master at a private school
in North Molton, Devon.6 In fact, it was the same
private school he himself first attended as a young
boy, before transferring to the South Molton grammar
Edward only remained at the North Molton
school for two years then at age nineteen, in search of
a better income accepted the position as third master
at Oundle Grammar School.7 He moved several
hundred miles west to the county of
Northamptonshire in an area of lush agriculture. Here
he stayed for almost six years honing his methods
and skills and increasing his inadequate income by
hiring out as a private tutor. John Shillibeer,
headmaster of Oundle grammar school until April
1841, wrote that Cridge "conducted himself to my
entire satisfaction". Continuing his evaluation he felt
the young man, "competent to undertake
mathematics...Latin authors...junior forms of
Greek... every department of writing and arithmetic".
His character was deemed "active, efficient and
trustworthy".8 In May this assessment was echoed
by the Shilibeer's successor, Henry Freeman, the
Rector of Folkmouth.9 By the middle of the same year,
Edward Cridge was in the county of Leicestershire
having accepted the position of private tutor for the
BRITISH COLUMBIA HISTORY - Vol. 39 No. 1 son of Edward Griffin, the Rector of Stoke Albany,
for two months. Even this short time impressed Griffin
to write a testimony to young Cridge's "ability and
good a scholar and gentleman, and a
Christian..." another excellent reference for future
positions. For the last six months of 1841,
Edward Cridge assisted William Cockin
of Oxford and became known for his
high moral character and mild
but firm manner, which would
be of "great value in any
department of education".
In January 1842 such
testimonials      were
enough to persuade
George  Jenyns  of
Bottisham Hall near
Cambridge to hire
Cridge as tutor for
his    two    sons,-
Soame Gambier
and        Charles
Gambier.  When
Cridge left the
Jenyns family in
1844 his reference
emphasized   his
"sound       moral
principals.. .excellent
moral        conduct,
... gentlemanlike
manners and fellings'
George Jenyns
took a keen interest in
Edward Cridge and lavished
encouragement upon him
when the young man sought to
enter Cambridge University.
Bottisham Hall had longstanding
connections with the university and
perhaps through Jenyns' connections young
Cridge wrote the matriculation examination April 24,
1844. The results allowed him to register in St. John's
College as a sizar and chapel clerk. Such was his
performance that by October 22 of the same year, he
was able to transfer to St. Peter's College (Peterhouse)
as a full-fledged scholar. By this time, he was 27 years
old and a man on a mission. He knew that because he
had no wealthy family connections or financial
resources to draw upon he must achieve his goal
through intellectual success. After two years of
intensive study, he attained the status of a Gisborne
scholar in mathematics.12 He still, however, found time
to relax with his cello and university sports. Also, like
many other concerned citizens in England
he worked to aid the Irish people
in the Great Potato Famine
beginning with the first
blight in 1845. Three years
later on February 6,
1848, was a great
day for Edward
Cridge, as not
only did he
graduate with
his B.A., with
honours from
the University of
but he was
as a deacon at
by Bishop
the Right
in August, that
year, 13 Bishop
Stanley presided
over the service for
Robert J. Staines to
receive Holy Orders, as
deacon and priest by special
permission in order to serve as
chaplain for the Hudson's Bay Company
at Fort Victoria. Edward Cridge acknowledged he
knew Staines from his university days. In fact he
recalled attending the ordination at Norwich
Cathedral so it is quite possible that Staines told him
of his acceptance as chaplain and may have even
hinted he would only remain for five years before
returning to England. By September, 1848, the
Reverend Cridge, chaplain
to the hudson's Bay
BC Archives photo A01205
BRITISH COLUMBIA HISTORY - Vol. 39 No. 1 The Reverend Edward
Cridge, photographed by
Maynard, 1855
BC Archives photo A01206
1. The Victoria Daily Colonist,
April9,1895. p.3. "Bishop
Cridge Recalls His first Sunday
Service in Old Fort Victoria."
2. W.K. Lamb (ed.), "The Diary
of Robert Melrose," British
Columbia Historical
Quarterly, 7(1943), p. 211.
3. Maritime Archives 6 Library,
Liverpool, England to Robert G.
Dennison, September 29, 2004.
4. Mary Cridge to Elizabeth
Cridge (1855?). Written on
voyage to Fort Victoria , British
Columbia Archives of British
Columbia (BCA), MS 1979 Cridge
Family (Edward Cridge 1817-
1913), Victoria.
5. Richard Cridge (uncle) to
Edward Cridge, January 30,
1855. (BCA), MS 0320, Edward
Cridge papers.
6. The United Society for the
Propagation of the Gospel to
Robert G. Dennison, December
4, 2003.
7. Ibid. See also, The Society
for the Propagation of the Gospel
in Foreign Parts. Annual
Missionary Report, 1867, Library
and Archives of Canada (LAC), E-
8. John Shillibeer (headmaster
Oundle Grammar School).
Testimonial for Edward Cridge,
April 2,1841. Hudson's Bay
Company Archives (HBCA), A/10/
36 fo. 208.
9. Edward Griffin (Rector of
Stoke Albany and replacement
headmaster of Oundle Grammar
School). Testimonial for Edward
Cridge, August 9,1841. (HBCA),
Reverend Robert J. Staines, wife, nephew and servants
sailed for Fort Victoria.
Curiously the name of Robert J. Staines appears
to intersect the life of Edward Cridge several times.
While Cridge was teaching at Oundle 1836-1840,
Staines was a student there, but it is unlikely they met
as Edward held a very junior position, and was
engaged well after Staines had
advanced to the senior form.
Nevertheless, they were in the
same school at a specific time.
Cridge's "old college chum,"
graduated in early 1845 from
Cambridge University making it
quite possible that the two
worked together in securing
relief during the Irish famine.
Staines had been in Gorey,
Ireland for several months as
tutor for a Captain Owen's
family, and it was the Captain
who wrote to the Hudson's Bay
Company Committee in London
promoting Staines for the
chaplain vacancy at Fort Victoria.
When the Reverend Staines
drowned in 1854, Edward Cridge
sought the chaplaincy and at his
farewell tea, he spied a
mysterious Miss Owen who was
rumoured to have also been
instrumental in bringing Staines
to the earlier attention of West
Ham's vicar.13 It can be assumed
that the Owen family had some
part in supporting the first
chaplain for Fort Victoria.
While such events for
Staines were unfolding, Edward
Cridge was busy with a joint
position of 2nd master at the
well-known Paston Grammar
School in North Walsham and as
assistant curate at the parish
church. The school was under
headmaster, the Reverend
Thomas Dry. Church records list
the services for births, marriages
and deaths that Edward Cridge
performed, but none for a full
church service with sermon.
Even after his ordination to the priesthood at Norwich
Cathedral by Bishop the Right Reverend Samuel
Hinds February 24,1850, he did not hold a full curate's
license.14 He continued his joint position at North
Walsham until the following year when the West Ham
Parish, Essex, needed an additional minister and he
moved there becoming a fully licensed priest with all
BRITISH COLUMBIA HISTORY - Vol. 39 No. 1 the rights and responsibilities of the position. While
at North Walsham, he received a communication from
the Reverend Robert Staines, documenting his voyage
to Fort Victoria and the type of environment he found
there. Staines must have considered Cridge a friend
as he knew of his current address and ended his
communication with "My Dear Cridge".15 At this
juncture, however, the Reverend Cridge was occupied
seeking a church of his own. Did he now have an
avenue to better prospects?
The young minister accepted a vacancy in the
West Ham parish just east of the growing juggernaut,
London. Here, Edward met his future wife Mary
while both were visiting members of the congregation.
After her father's death in 1845, Mary, a self-assured
eighteen year old from Romford, Essex moved to West
Ham Parish to fill a position as a Sunday school
teacher. She had "black hair and dark blue eyes" and
a slim figure with medium height."16 Later, when Dr.
Helmcken first met them in Fort Victoria, he described
Mrs. Cridge as a "nice, amiable, pretty-looking and
slim young lady"17 West Ham Parish, Essex had four
churches serving the growing population spilling over
from London. The vicar ran the parish from All Saints
Anglican Church in West Ham village, assisted by his
curate, the Reverend F.W. Davis. Just north of the
village stood St. John's Anglican Church, Stratford,
served by incumbent the Reverend W Holloway and
curate, the Reverend George Eastman, while St.
Mary's Anglican Church, Plaistow was presided over
by incumbent the Reverend R.W.B. Marsh. Plaistow
was situated west of West Ham village on the
Romford road. All the ministers and lay workers were
under the supervision of the vicar the Reverend A.J.
Ram. In 1852 the Reverend Edward Cridge became
the incumbent at Christ Church covering the Marsh
district.18 This was the newest and the poorest church
in the parish.
In 1853, while Cridge served Christ Church, his
brother Richard passed away after a lingering illness.
Both Edward and sister Mary came hurrying home
just in time for the funeral. The family had not been
together for quite some time and Edward noticed his
father was pale, drawn looking and very ill.
Concerned, he uncovered his father's financial
problems. He owed money on his property and had
been frequenting public houses regularly instead of
paying his creditors. Edward's problem was how to
save his father from going to prison and pay for his
own livelihood. He knew that his own income would
not provide the necessary funds and this problem
preyed heavily on his mind. After arranging a
repayment agreement on his father's behalf, the
Reverend Cridge returned to West Ham Parish. The
vicar, the Reverend A.J. Ram and the Reverend F.W.
Davies observed the dejected demeanour of Cridge
and, reasoning that the Marsh district was proving
too heavy a burden for him, suggested he take a leave
of absence. Annoyed at such an interpretation, the
Reverend Cridge would not confide in them the actual
reasons for his depression but hoped they would not
place his name for any vacancy. In commenting on
Cridge's service presentations, the vicar felt that his
sermons rambled too much, had a very strict
Calvinistic message and that this was thinning the
congregation. This did not sit well with the Christ
Church minister, who proceeded to write a forceful
letter to the vicar explaining each of the criticisms
brought against him. The Reverend Cridge was self
opinionated, stubborn, and unable to accept criticism
from superiors, yet he was deeply committed to his
faith, had a logical mind and was hard working,
characteristics that would serve him in good stead. It
was also such characteristics that would play a major
role in the division of the Anglican church in Victoria
in the 1870s. Vicar Ram could see a need to have the
Reverend Cridge pass on to another position and
seriously began to search for one for him.19
Although Cridge turned down several
suggested vacancies, on August 30, 1854, the vicar
informed him of the vacancy for the Fort Victoria
chaplain, the Reverend Robert J. Staines having
drowned off Cape Flattery while returning to
England. This position appeared to be the one for
which Cridge had been waiting. His sent his
application to the Governor and Committee of the
Hudson's Bay Company, Hudson's Bay House,
London, the very next day20 In it, he spelled out his
reasons for seeking the position, pledging not only to
work for his "heavenly Father", but also for the views
of the Company, and "promoting the best interest of
the colony." The Company considered his referenes
carefully and after some doubtful moments he was
officially selected to fill the position on September 9,
1854.21 A memorandum accompanying the offer of
employment spelled out the duties and remuneration;
by signing and returning the contract, which required
him to be ready to sail by September 19, he made it
legally binding. The memorandum also suggested
he should marry before he left. While waiting for the
Company to reply to his application, the Reverend
Cridge gained a great deal of information from men
10. William Cockin (Oxford).
Testimonial for Edward Cridge,
December 11,1841. (HBCA),
A.10/36 fo. 213.
11. George Jenyns (Bottisham
Hall, near Cambridge).
Testimonial for Edward Cridge,
April 2,1844. (HBCA) A.10/36 fo.
12. The Church of England,
Lambeth Palace Library, England
to Robert G. Dennison, November
28, 2003. Photocopies Alumni
Cantabrigienses, p. 179 and
Peterhouse Admission Book, p.
13. Norwich Records Office,
Norwich, England to Robert G.
Dennison, February 17, 2004.
(Robert J. Staines ordained
deacon August 20,1848.
Ordained priest, August 27,
1848). Ordination register DN/
ORR 4/2.
14. Edward Cridge Diary, 1854.
(BCA) MS 0320.
15. Norwich Records Office to
Robert G. Dennison, February 17,
2004. Parish registers, 1847-
1852 and curate licences DN/CUR
16. G. Hollis Slater, "Robert
John Staines: Pioneer Priest,
Pedagogue, and Political
Agitator". British Columbia
Historical Quarterly 4 Vol. XIV,
1950. p. 15. Staines wrote,
"Hoping that we may still live to
see her shores again, and that
you may live to meet us there".
17. N. de Bertrand Lugrin, The
Pioneer Women of Vancouver
Island, 1843-1866. (Victoria:
Women's Canadian Club of
Victoria, 1928), p. 28.
18. Dorothy Blakey Smith (ed.),
The Reminiscences of Doctor
John Sebastian Helmcken.
(Vancouver: University of British
Columbia Press, 1975), p. 147.
19. Lambeth Palace Library to
Robert G. Dennison, November
28, 2003. Photocopy: Crockford's
Clerical Directory, 1853, p. 32
BRITISH COLUMBIA HISTORY - Vol. 39 No. 1 20. Edward Cridge Diary, 1853.
(BCA) MS 0320.
21. Edward Cridge to Hudson's
Bay Company, London, August
31,1854. Application for vacant
chaplain position. (HBCA) A.10/
36 fo. 195d.
22. A. Barclay to Herman
Merivale, September 9,1854.
(BCA) GR 0332.
23. Cridge Diary, 1854. (BCA) MS
24. A. Barclay to Frederick Peel,
August 15,1854. (BCA) GR 0332.
25. Cridge Diary, 1854. (BCA) MS
26. A. Barclay to Sir George
Grey, July 18,1854. (BCA) GR
27. Elizabeth Cridge to the
Hudson's Bay House, September
228,1854. (HBCA) A.10/36 fo.
28. Ship's Logs (Princess Royal),
1854-1855. Cridge sisters
travelled with Miss Emmaline Tod
and Miss Susan Pemberton.
(HBCA) 2M107 (d/975).
29. Cridge Diary, 1854. (BCA) MS
Mrs. Edward Cridge
BC Archives photo A01204
in London who had been to Fort Victoria, including
Henry Kennedy, who had been taught by the
Reverend Robert Staines, and who was in England to
train as a missionary teacher at the Highbury Training
Could the Reverend Cridge settle all his affairs
before the quickly approaching deadline? The newly
appointed chaplain had no doubt he would be ready.
He had arranged with Mary that if he was selected
they would marry September 14,1854. Mary seemed
to have no hesitation in agreeing to this proposal. In
fact, after the sailing date was finally set, she
suggested they should forego their planned
honeymoon to Devon. It was essential that the Cridge
party sail on the Marquis of
Bute, for there would not
be another vessel for at
least a year. The Governor
and Committee felt a great
sense of urgency and
worried that the colony
was suffering from the
■fgv-i "suspension of all spiritual
%$>X offices,"    a    situation
'&¥■ needing        immediate
\W attention.23   Just before
their wedding day the
vicar announced that the
marriage could not be held
at Christ Church as neither
participant was a resident
of the district, both living
in West Ham village. Not
to be fazed the Reverend
Cridge jumped into a
wedding carriage and,
dashing to Doctor's
Common, changed the
location on the liscence to
All Saints Anglican
Church in West Ham
village and hastily
informed his waiting well-
wishers of the change.
Friends and
relatives attended the
wedding service at All
Saints Anglican Church.
His   good   friend   the
Reverend  F.W.   Davis,
presided while Vicar Ram
gave the bride away. Gifts of money seemed to be the
most prevalent and the couple would put them to
good use.24 With the position now his, the Reverend
Edward Cridge embraced the chance to embark on a
six-month voyage as the newly appointed minister
of the district of Victoria and Chaplain to the Hudson's
Bay Company. It would be a financially secure
position that would help take care of family debts and
provide a good quality of life. His contract was for a
five-year term with the provision for a renewal and a
stipend for the chaplaincy along with a land glebe.
He was allowed a free passage for himself and party
to Fort Victoria and back to England at the termination
of the contract if desired. Also included was an
BRITISH COLUMBIA HISTORY - Vol. 39 No. 1 "allowance" for serving as the minister for the Victoria
area.25 Later this agreement and the events of the day
would be the cause of this minister's great anxiety
and hardship. On accepting the position the Reverend
Cridge immediately had the Company send £50 per
year to a bank in Barnstaple, North Devon, through
his sister Elizabeth.26 These monies would help defray
the family debts and provide a little towards his
sisters/voyage in late 1855.
After a whirlwind of activity the newly married
couple waved goodbye to their native land on
September 20, 1854. Edward was leaving his two
sisters and his father and Mary was leaving her
mother and sister. The sad news of John Cridge's
death came when Edward's voyage was only half
over. Their journey followed the usual route of the
day from England across the Atlantic sometimes
carried by favourable winds, down the east coast of
South America and around Cape Horn, and putting
into the Sandwich Islands for several weeks.
Refreshed and well rested, the voyage continued to
the southern tip of Vancouver Island. When they
arrived, April 1,1855, neither Edward or Mary dwelt
on the negative aspects of the sombre log-hewn fort,
the muddy streets, noise and smells or the conditions
of their lodgings but accepted them gracefully.
Services would be in the fort mess hall with their
living quarters close by. This kind of first appearance
to others endeared the Cridges to them and was a
beginning to good relationships with their
congregation and the community at large. After
performing services, providing for needs of the
community, and lodging in the fort for several
months, the parsonage was finally finished. Just after
they moved in, Edward's sisters arrived on the
Princess Royal. It was December 17 when the ship
anchored in Royal Bay but they did not come ashore
until two days later due to foul weather.27 With this
reunion the Cridge family had great cause for a
thankful and joyous first Christmas at Fort Victoria.
The Reverend Edward Cridge displayed no fear
of this outpost on the edge of the British Empire for
he believed in "the great clearness with wh [ich] our
heavenly father marked our path from the beginning,
every step being made so plain that there was no
mistaking."28 However, he also threw his lot in with
the Honourable Company, and as he found later even
this powerful organization was unable to help him in
his hour of need. Yet he still believed his leap of faith
was justified and this belief would carry him through
many dark times. •
Fort Victoria, ca. 1850
BC Archives photo A00902
BRITISH COLUMBIA HISTORY - Vol. 39 No. 1 Frontier Medicine in the Chilcotin Region of B.C.
By Sterling Haynes, MD
Dr. Haynes has been
published in the
Medical Post,
Okanagan Life,
Harvard Alumni
magazine and the BC
Medical Journal
where this article
originally appeared
in September 2004.
His book Bloody
Practice is available
in independent
lAuthor's note: 'm indebted to
Williams Lake historian,
raconteur and archivist, Dr. John
Roberts, the staff of the Williams
Lake Library, my daughter,
Elizabeth, and my wife Jessie
who edited and helped me select
pertinent archival material.
Dr Wright home and
hospital, painted by
himself, early 1900.
Courtesy of Dr. John Roberts,
Williams' Lake archivist.
In 1960 Dr. Barney Ringwood, a Williams Lake
surgeon, was mooching around the attic of the
Alexis Creek Red Cross Hospital when he came
across two notable finds. The first was a
saddlebag found under the eaves of the roof's
building. In the saddlebag was a set of surgical
instruments. There were bone saws, hemostats, needle
drivers and needles, scalpels and even a complete
collection of metal catheters. They were wrapped in
velvet, packed into the saddlebag and thrown in a
corner for safekeeping. They looked new, but
probably had been lying there for 40 years. The second
find in the attic was a portable rectangular box
containing a cathode tube; it too was lined with velvet
and looked pristine. On the side was a large silver
crank handle. Accompanying this primitive x-ray unit
was a bulky cassette and film impregnated with silver
salts. In 1960, the four doctors of the War Memorial
Hospital in Williams Lake gathered around the find
and, using modern x-ray cassettes with film, tried it
out. We took x rays of hands and arms while cranking
the handle vigorously and initiating a visible spark
from the cathode tube, The films we took were hazy
but I'm sure would be useful in taking post reduction
views of new fractures. Dr. Ringwood sent both these
items to the B.C. Medical Museum in Vancouver.
As I was at one time an attending physician at
the Alexis Creek Hospital I became interested in early
frontier medical care, the hospital and the men and
women who dedicated their lives to the care of the ill.
The first log hospital in the Chilcotin was built
on Alex Graham's land in Alexis Creek. Alex built it
! * w^.tm-
1   t* r      «    ^^M
-'■"y m
'      B   ■ ■*&
1, M
. - FTJjR
"*nf    ^:
m tm -
;    '
f     8
along with Bob Miller, Fred Burdette and Bob Miller,
the axeman. The site chosen in 1912 was on hill
overlooking highway 20. Highway 20 used to be a
terrible road and for years there was a warning sign
that read - "This road is not passable, not even
jackassable". Eighty years ago it must have been a
cow trail, driving to and from the hospital would have
been an arduous job.
In 1915 the first baby born in the hospital was
Bill Graham. Many babies have been born there since,
the first resident physician and midwife was Dr.
William Wright. Dr. Wright was Australian and prior
to coming to Alexis Creek had been a CPR ship's
doctor who sailed the South China seas. His last
medical practice began in 1912 and ended with his
death in Vancouver in 1924. Doc Wright's companion
was also Australian; nurse Mary Goode who was an
able assistant. When it was late at night the Doc was
prone to say, while giving advice, "well, why don't
you put a little iodine on it." Then Mary would take
over and institute a plan of treatment and mollify the
A small cozy 'lean to' was built for the two
and attached to the hospital. I'm sure it was a welcome
beacon in the long winter nights in the chilly Chilcotin.
A picture Dr. Wright painted of the hospital and staff
quarters is easily seen against the snow bound
Dr. Wright traveled the Chilcotin and the
Cariboo regions by saddle horse, buggy and cutter.
Irene Stangoe in her book History and Happenings in
the Chilcotin describes pioneer Mike Farwell's
description of driving Dr Wright from the
Beecher House Hotel at Riske Creek to the
Farwell home place at the Pothole Ranch to
attend Mrs. Farwell.
"The good doctor, who had
been celebrating his birthday, not too wisely,
was asleep in the sleigh when Mike started
his descent to the river down a hogs back
with a steep gully on each side called 'the
tobaggan slide'. It was wide enough for the
sleigh. Farwell wakened and warned the
Doc - 'Hang on tight because if you go
overboard here, you'U break your neck for
sure.' The horses had gone two steps when
Doc took a nosedive over the front of the
sleigh taking Farwell with him. The team
stopped dead. In the melee, the back of the
sleigh tipped up and under the seat was an
open tin of cigarettes sprayed over us like
BRITISH COLUMBIA HISTORY - Vol. 39 No. 1 confetti at a wedding. I got out of the mess
immediately but the Doc was lying under the tongue
of the sleigh, between the horses, on his face and dead
to the world."
Mike wrestled the big man from the brink of
the bank and dumped him like a sack of potatoes into
the back of the sleigh, and continued onto the Pothole
Ranch [now part of the Gang Ranch].
"The next day Doc Wright commented - 'It's
a most curious thing; I've had a complete lapse of
memory since the morning at the hotel'."
Diane French, in The Road Runs West, tells
another story of Dr. Wright. "One December the men
of Alexis Creek ordered liquor for themselves and had
it delivered to the hospital for safekeeping to keep
the many bottles secret from their wives. On
Christmas Day the men found that Dr. Wright had
drunk every drop."
Next to come to Alexis Creek was Dr. Charter,
his wife and three sons and sister-in-law nurse
Nelmes. Things were cramped in the living quarters
but the Charters managed and made the adjustment
from their previous practice with the Anglican
Medical Mission in China. They took over in 1925.
"One of Dr. Charter's first duties was to accompany
the police, coroner and jurymen to attend an inquest
into the shooting of Alex Deschamps at the upper end
The trip lasted 23 days by horse, sleigh and
rowboat. The group returned to Alexis Creek for
Christmas, all were exhausted. The doctor suffered
the most from fatigue and saddle sores, as he had
never ridden a horse before.
Dr. Charter and his family stayed until 1930 when
they left for Vancouver where his sons attended UBC.
Next were Dr Kniphel and nurse Foster but
soon they tired of the workload and isolation and were
followed came a series of young men - Doctors
McRae, Haugen and Oliver. Dr Haugen moved to
Armstrong, BC, and practiced medicine there for
many years.
An English surgeon, Dr. Hallows came in 1938
with two able nurses - Nan Hopkins and Ruby Craig.
During this time Lord Nuffield of England donated
an 'iron lung' to the Alexis Creek Hospital. It sat in a
corner and was never used, as Lord Nuffield hadn't
realized that the town of Alexis Creek had no
electricity. Dr Hallows left in 1945 and had the iron
machine shipped to the Vancouver General Hospital
where it was put to use during the polio epidemics of
the 1940s and 50s.
The provincial government paid a stipend of
$1200.00 per year to keep the hospital open until the
Red Cross took it over, renamed it the Alexis Creek
Red Cross Hospital in 1949, improved the living
quarters, and installed central heating in-this two-
ward hospital. Staffed by an English nurse practitioner
Lillian Whiteside from 1950 tol956 [otherwise known
as "old Whitesides"], the hospital served about 1500
people including the Native people of the reserves at
Anahim Lake. Stone, Redstone, Alexis Creek and
Nemiah Valley. Public Health nurses and Grey Nun
nursing Sister Robert did yeoman service in the
backwoods country as visiting practitioners.
Sister Robert was a competent and dedicated
nurse and excellent diagnostician. I can remember her
bringing in twelve Indian babies with meningitis
during a blizzard in January 1962 to the Cariboo
Memorial Hospital. Dr. Donald MacLean, Sister
Robert the Campbell sisters and nursing staff and
myself looked after these babies for twelve days. No
babies died thanks to the quick action of Sister Robert.
I asked Sister Robert why she chose such an isolated
job. Her reply was that she liked lonesome places and
the job satisfied her calling as a nurse. After fifteen
years the Catholic Church recalled Sister Robert from
the Chilcotin to a cloistered retreat in Montreal
because the churchmen felt she had lost contact with
God. When she left I never saw my friend again.
There were many dedicated nurses over the
years and finally nurse- practitioner Marie Engelbert
took over and has been a favorite of everyone for the
past few years.
In 1979 an ambulance service was established
in Alexis Creek with volunteer drivers. Patients were
transferred to the Cariboo Memorial Hospital in
Williams Lake.
Nurse Engelbert says that, "with the ambulance
service more babies are born in the ambulance than
in the hospital." I can imagine women in labour in
the local ambulance careening down the many
switchbacks on Sheep Creek hill to the Fraser River
Bridge then up the hill onto the hospital in Williams
Lake. This in itself would be a potent induction of
labour in any pregnant woman.
The Alexis Creek Hospital with its Red Cross
Flag out in front has been a beacon for those seeking
medical help. It has been a safe haven for all living in
a frontier environment in the chilly Chilcotin. •
Veera Bonner, Irene E. Bliss and
Hazel Henry Litterick, Chilcotin:
Preserving Pioneer Memories.
(Surrey, B.C.: Heritage House,
Irene Stangoe, History and
Happenings in the Chilcotin.
(Surrey, B.C.heritage House,
Diane French, The Road Runs
West - A Century along the Bella
Coola - Chilcotin Road.( Madeira
Park, B.C: Harbour Publishing,
The Williams Lake Tribune,
January 5,1973, January 17,
11 Death Sentence:
the New Westminster Penitentiary
By Robert C. Belyk
Robert has written a
number of books and
articles on history
and folklore,
including articles
published in Islander,
Beaver, and
Beautiful British
Columbia. He is the
author of Great
Shipwrecks of the
Pacific Coast
published by John
Wiley and Sons in
On a sunny day in May 1980, several
hundred dignitaries, prison officials,
custody officers and their families
gathered in the British Columbia
Penitentiary's prison yard. The event was the New
Westminster institution's official closing ceremony. In
fact, it had been three months since the last prisoners
had been transferred out of the facility, but it seemed
necessary that last words be said before the 102-year-
old prison fell to the wrecker's ball. The closure of
the facility did not disappoint nearby residents.
During the 1970s, the institution was one of the most
violent federal prisons in Canada. It seemed that the
prisoners, not the authorities, frequently controlled
the events within the 30-foot concrete walls. More than
once, prison riots threatened to spill out onto the
streets. Yet violence was nothing new to British
Columbia Penitentiary: generations earlier, assaults,
and murders were threads sewn into the fabric of
prison history. The first death of a British Columbia
Penitentiary employee was in 1912, during an
attempted escape. The incident resulted in the only
execution of a prisoner ever to take place within the
penitentiary grounds.
The late afternoon sun was little more than a
patch of light shimmering in the autumn sky. On
Saturday October 5, 1912, twenty-seven prisoners
lifted heavy sledgehammers over their shoulders and
brought them down on the piles of rock that filled
the wooden stalls located in the eastern section of the
prison yard. All prisoners within the institution were
expected to work during their incarceration. However,
the difficult and seemingly futile labour of the rock-
crushing gang was simply meant as punishment. All
the men assigned to break granite were regarded as
institutional troublemakers or potential escapees. One
such gang member was 24-year-old Joseph Smith who
was serving ten years for the robbery of a Vancouver
jewelry store. During the holdup attempt, he had
thrown ammonia in the eyes of the storeowner. Smith
was a short, powerfully built young man who had
escaped from the penitentiary ten months earlier. His
freedom was brief, however—he was caught only
hours after his breakout. Another rock crusher was
22-year-old Herman Wilson who had earlier been
caught smuggling a metal bar into one of the shops.
Like Smith, Wilson was serving a ten-year sentence
for robbery.
The characteristic 30-foot brick and concrete
wall surrounding the yard was begun in 1909, but it
would take twenty years to complete. In the
meantime, prisoners working in the inner yard were
secured first by a stone wall about seven feet high
and then by a 10-foot high outer wooden fence, on
top of which perimeter guards were stationed. To
attempt an escape from the rock yard, prisoners would
have to get through a gated tunnel that passed under
the inner wall and into the brickyard. Once there it
would be necessary to escape through one of the
secured gates in the outer wall.
Robert Craig, the guard in sole charge of the
rock gang, walked along the line of prisoners. Craig
surprisingly was unaware of the trouble he was about
to face, even though there were indications that
something was wrong. As the prisoners returned to
work after their lunch break, the guard discovered a
short piece of wood and a length of wire in Smith's
possession—objects that could be used to pick a lock.
During that afternoon, on several occasions, he had
reprimanded Smith for moving out of his place to
speak with other prisoners. Conversation between
prisoners was prohibited.
About four o'clock Craig observed Smith move
out of his place in one of the lower rock stalls, walk
up the row to speak to prisoner Wilson. Again, the
guard reproached Smith. As Craig turned away, Smith
picked up the sledgehammer and swung it at the
guard. The blow knocked Craig down, stunning him.
Before he could recover, the prisoner was on him
attempting to take his gun. As the two men grappled,
Wilson ran up and took the weapon from the guard's
holster. Leaving Craig, who was bleeding from a head
wound, on the ground, the pair made their way
toward the tunnel that ran under the fence by the
industrial shops.
While locking the blacksmith shop, guard
Ernest Rounds heard a voice behind him ordering
"hands up." -He turned around to find a revolver
leveled at his head. As Rounds would later discover,
there were no bullets in the weapon—Craig feared
that when working closely with prisoners, his own
loaded weapon could be used against him—but
Rounds was unaware of this. The two convicts forced
Rounds to give up his weapon and to open the gate.
Once through, Smith and Wilson relocked the barrier.
Rounds, with the barrel of a weapon pressed against
his head, walked ahead of his two captors into the
brickyard. Craig by this time had managed to make
his way to the vestibule gate. With it locked, though,
he could go no further.
As they approached the tunnel exit, Rounds
was told to lower his hands, and with the guard
BRITISH COLUMBIA HISTORY - Vol. 39 No. 1 The British Columbia
Penitentiary from the air.
Photo courtesy of Waite Air
Photos Inc.
leading, the three men made their way toward the
outside gate. Guard Hector Morrison was supervising
several prisoners working in the brickyard when
Rounds, Smith and Wilson approached. Too late he
became aware of the guns pointed at him. With
Rounds and Morrison in the lead, the four men moved
toward guard Elson who was at his post on the
catwalk on the outer wall. From his vantage point,
Elson watched as the two convicts pushed Rounds
and Morrison toward him. He raised his rifle, but the
prisoners warned that if he fired, the two hostages
would be shot. Elson was told to throw down his rifle.
Elson was about to comply when guard John
Henry Joynson appeared from behind a brick-making
machine and opened fire on Smith and Wilson. Smith
turned in the direction of the volley. Wilson ordered
Elson once again to throw down his weapon. The
guard tossed it down and Wilson picked up the rifle,
leveled it at Elson and demanded that the guard throw
down the keys to the outside gate. The keys were kept
in the guard tower a few yards away, and Elson made
his way there, and picked up the keys. Elson threw
down the keys, and as Wilson knelt to pick them up,
the guard opened fire with his handgun. A bullet
struck the prisoner with full force sending him
sprawling to the ground, the rifle falling at his side.
Meanwhile, Smith left his hostages and closed
in on Joynson, firing his revolver. One of prisoner's
bullets found its mark. Rounds saw Joynson stagger.
Smith then turned toward Rounds and began
13 John Henry Joynson who
was the first guard to die
at the hands of a prisoner
at the British Columbia
Photo courtesy of J. Joynson.
shooting. Rounds took the rifle that lay by
Wilson, aimed the weapon and shot, but
missed Smith. There were no more shells in
the rifle. Rounds quickly took cover behind
Wilson. When Smith was close enough the
guard leapt on him and wrestled him to the
ground. Moments later, William Carroll, the
deputy warden, and several guards equipped
with repeating rifles arrived. Smith
surrendered. The bullet that Elson had fired,
grazed Wilson's neck, and lodged in his
shoulder. The wound was not regarded as life
threatening. Guard Joynson had been struck
twice and was mortally wounded. He bled to
death in less than an hour. Although injured
by the blow to his head, guard Craig would
recover in time to testify before the inquest
into Joynson's death.
Surprising to prison authorities was
that so few prisoners sought escape. In the
rock-breaking yard, one of the convicts even
went to the assistance of the injured Craig, but
was warned to keep back by Smith. Others
working in the brickyard could have retrieved
the keys in the confusion, but no one tried.
The funeral for John Henry Joynson was
held the next day in the main entrance hall of
the penitentiary. After the service, the flag-
draped coffin was carried to the cemetery by
18 guards in three shifts. During the
procession, the two-ton brass bell in the prison
yard tolled until the coffin was lowered into
the ground. Joynson, who had a wife and
children, had worked at the penitentiary less
than six months. A public fund was set up for
the family and $1,400 was collected to
purchase a house. The federal government
authorized a pension of $500 a year for the
Security at the institution had clearly
been lax. The failure of the federal government
to pay adequate wages made the recruitment
of guards difficult. Many of the men hired
were incompetent. (The gate keys and Craig's
revolver remained missing until the next day
when Deputy Warden Carroll searched
Wilson's cell and found the objects hidden
On October 11, Smith and Wilson, with
a neck bandage and his right arm in a sling
appeared before a preliminary hearing into
BRITISH COLUMBIA HISTORY - Vol. 39 No. 1 the death of Joynson. Both were charged with murder,
and committed to stand trial. Wilson died in his cell
on October 30, leading the Vancouver press to
speculate pointedly that he "may have received other
injuries." Wilson, in fact, died as the result of a severe
infection. He had carried a bullet in his shoulder for
more than three weeks. As a result, Smith would stand
trial alone. Two weeks later, Smith went before Mr.
Justice Murphy. He pleaded not guilty to the murder
of Joynson, but the full weight of evidence was against
him. Not only did the statements of the guards
implicate him, one former convict testified that he was
in the yard and witnessed the two shots from Smith's
revolver strike the victim.
The case went to the jury November 16, and
after deliberating three hours they returned with a
verdict of guilty of one count of murder. Mr. Justice
Murphy faced Smith, "Have you anything to say why
the sentence of this court should not be passed upon
"No sir," Smith said, shaking his head.
"The sentence of this court therefore is, that you
shall be taken from hence to the place from which
you came, there to be kept in close confinement until
the 31st day of January next, when you shall be taken
from thence to the place of execution and hanged by
the neck until dead. And may God have mercy on
your soul."
While prisoners awaiting death sentences were
usually housed in provincial institutions, where the
sentences were carried out, Smith was to remain at
the New Westminster penitentiary. The reason, prison
authorities claimed, was that it was simply easier to
leave him where he was being housed. In fact, Smith's
execution would serve as an example to the other
prisoners. The scaffold was erected near the place
where John Henry Joynson had been shot: an obvious
message for any prisoner contemplating violence
against the guards.
At 8:20 on the morning of Friday, January 31,
1913, Joseph Smith, with his hands bound behind his
back, began his slow walk to the gallows. Rather than
the distinctive garb of a prisoner, Smith wore a plain
blue shirt. No coat protected him from the winter chill.
In the procession were prison officials, guards, the
sheriff and Smith's spiritual advisor, Reverend J. S.
Henderson. The minister offered his arm in support,
but Smith needed no assistance. He walked with his
head upright to the scaffold where the Dominion
hangman waited silently. The prisoners had been kept
locked up that morning. Whether they could hear or
even see the execution from their cells was never made
clear. Once the prisoner was on the platform, the
executioner brought down a hood covering the man's
face. Smith was maneuvered over the trap. The noose
was lowered and tied in place. Reverend Henderson
began reciting the Lord's Prayer. He reached only "on
earth as it is in Heaven" when the trap sprang. Smith
fell through the door and out of sight. Although the
fall broke his neck, it took 13 minutes for his pulse to
stop. Smith was interred in a remote corner of the
prison's burial grounds. He was the only prisoner to
be executed within what was to become one of the
most violent penitentiaries in Canada.
Looking ahead to 1980, another group of prison
officials gathers on a different platform for the
penitentiary's closing ceremony. Those familiar with
the old institution have no difficulty drawing a parallel
between events. After more than half a century, another
death sentence has been carried out. •
15 Boris Karloff in British Columbia
By Greg Nesteroff
Greg Nesteroff is a
West Kootenay
historian with an
interest in
theatre companies.
He lives in
Thanks to Rob
Andrew, Ron Greene,
Tim Harshenin, Sara
Karloff, Lindsay Moir,
Valerie Patanella,
and Ron Welwood.
Boris Karloff, 1914. (right)
Courtesy Sara Karloff.
Ad from the Vancouver
Province of 22 February
1910 for the real estate
firm Karloff worked for.
(far right)
Legendary film star
Boris Karloff got
married in B.C. in 1910.
This fact, which is not
mentioned in any of his
biographies, is perhaps the most
intriguing in a series of new
details emerging about his early
years in Canada.
Most of what we know
about those days is from his own
recollections, which he was
happy to share, but each
retelling would be a bit different.
As friend and biographer
Cynthia Lindsay noted: "From
the time Boris disembarked [in
Canada], he laid a trail as
difficult to follow as if he had
deliberately obliterated it."1
Karloff was born William
Henry Pratt in a London suburb
on 23 November 1887. He was
the youngest in a family of eight
brothers, one sister, and one half-
sister. His father was a civil
servant who was a tyrant at
home; his mother was frail and
ill. Both died young. William was
expected to follow in the
footsteps of his father and
brothers and join the civil service,
but his interest in theatre
overshadowed his interest in
school, and he was a
disappointment to the family2
At 21, he decided to leave home, and chose his
destination by tossing a coin: heads meant Australia,
tails meant Canada. It came up tails, so in May 1909,
he sailed from England aboard the Empress of Britain,
and landed in Montreal. He then went to the Toronto
office of the Canada Company, with whom he had
arranged a farming job. He was directed to Caledonia,
and the farm of Terrance O'Reilly3
O'Reilly, however, had never heard of Karloff,
wasn't expecting anyone, and didn't want anyone.
Reluctantly, Karloff was allowed to stay, but things didn't
work out. After three months, he headed for Banff, where
he found little work, then continued on to B.C.4
In 1910, he was in Vancouver, starving and
broke, when by chance he ran into Hayman Claudet,
a friend of his brother Jack. Claudet offered him food
and money, and got him a job selling real estate.5
Realtor, surveyor, ditch digger
The Vancouver civic directory for that year
listed Karloff (still known as Pratt) as an agent with
the firm of Ward Burmester and Von Gravenitz. His
address was given as 'Hornby Mansions.'6
Advertisements said the company dealt in
loans, real estate, insurance, and auctions. Their head
office was at 319 Pender, and they had a branch office
at 443 Lonsdale in North Vancouver. Partners in the
firm were Percy Ward, Charles Mansel Burmester, and
Hans Von Gravenitz.7
This company does not appear to have been
BRITISH COLUMBIA HISTORY - Vol. 39 No. 1 1-4 Acre Blocks
within eight minutes walk of
tbe carline in
for J400 each. Don't forget a
quarter-acre make* two good
lots and lots all around tht»
property are selling for J300
each   today.
secures one. balance J10 per
month. This Is no far out
"wild cat" proposition; all this
property id close In with open
graded   road.
wait till this opportunity Is passed. Come to our office. Compare adjoining values, see the
land and ' make your profit
while the other fellow's trying
to make up his mind.
Don't lose time!      Selling fast!
Ward, Burmester &
Von Graevenitz
Phone  6622.
formally registered; when
incorporated on 21 November 1911,
it was known as Palmer Burmester
and Von Gravenitz Ltd. The articles
of agreement list the directors as
George Greyham Palmer, Charles
Mansel Burmester, and Mario von
There were three other
shareholders, who transferred their
interests to the principals within a few
months. In 1913, the company
changed its name to Palmer and von
Gravenitz Ltd. It was dissolved in
1919, restored in 1920, and finally re-
dissolved in 1922.9 Karloff's career
with the firm didn't last long,
however, and soon he was working
for B.C. Electric, another position
Claudet helped him get. According
to Cynthia Lindsay:
He dug ditches, laid streetcar tracks, cleared land, shoveled
coal, and worked on survey parties ... He was now earning
$2.50 a ten-hour day instead of $10 a month. Any time off
... [he] devoted to approaching, with no success, local
touring stock companies in hopes of his first break. ">
Karloff himself said he "got a job at 28 cents an
hour with a pick and shovel laying tracks. I wasn't
much good at laying tracks."11 Other sources say he
got a job as a carpenter helping build the Pacific
National Exhibition. However, the "10-hour days and
blistered hands weren't for him, so he went back into
acting."12 The Vancouver civic directories for 1911-16
do list a William Henry Pratt, but this one was a CPR
inspector and later assistant superintendent-unlikely
to be Karloff.13
Around this time, he was also offered a half
interest in a goldmine for £100: "I had the money too.
I asked the advice of a banker friend of mine and he
said 'No.' that mine was subsequently sold for
£3,000,000."14 There is no indication which mine this
was, but Karloff didn't regret his decision: "Imagine
what would have happened to me. It would have
ruined me."15
Bride of Frankenstein
Karloff did something else in Vancouver in
1910, which has been completely forgotten: he got
married. It's not clear if this was his first or second
trip down the aisle; he eventually had six or seven
wives, four of whom are enigmatic because he never
319 Pender St.
talked about them. But a check of the
B.C. vital events index reveals that
on 23 February 1910, William Henry
Pratt wed Grace Jessie Harding at
Holy Rosary Cathedral.16 There's no
question it's Karloff; his age,
birthplace, and parents' names all
At the time, he was 22 and his
bride was 23. She was born in New
Zealand to Harry Laurie and Mary
Jessie Maria (Delamore) Harding.
Her parents were actually English; it
appears they came to Canada about
1904, and to B.C. two years later.17
Her father was a clerk with the
Department of Finance in Victoria
from about 1916-31.18 Rev. Anthony
Madden conducted the ceremony19
but there was no mention of it in the
social notes of the Vancouver Province.
On the marriage certificate, Karloff listed his
profession as broker, presumably of real estate. The
witnesses were Charles Burmester - one of the
partners in the firm he worked for - and Grace's
mother Mary20
The marriage was short-lived. On 8 January 1913,
Grace sought and obtained a divorce order on the
grounds of adultery. Karloff had taken up with Margot
Beaton, an actress with the theatre company he had by
then joined. In fact, she may have been the leading lady's
sister.21 Karloff, who did not appear in court, was ordered
to pay his ex-wife's costs.22
Ten days later, Grace wed a second time, to Cecil
Angus Hadfield, another realtor.23 They moved to
Calgary, where Cecil lived, and had a son, Philip, who
went into accounting.24 Cecil died in 1918 of typhoid
fever at age 38 and was buried in Calgary's Union
cemetery. At the time he was manager of the Bowness
Improvement Co.25 By 1929, Grace was living at 12-
606 Centre St. in Calgary, and working as a musician
at the Palace Theatre. From 1932-34, she taught at
Mount Royal College.26
Grace's parents lived at 556 Simcoe St. in
Victoria.27 Her father died in 1931 and her mother in
1945.28 Both are buried in Ross Bay cemetery in
unmarked graves.29 On her mother's death certificate,
Grace gave her own address as 1154 Robson St. in
Vancouver. Civic directories list this as a photo studio
from 1945-50.30 Maybe she lived in an upstairs
apartment? However, there's no sign of her in the
1 Cynthia Lindsay, Dear Boris:
The Life of William Henry Pratt
a.k.a Boris Karloff (New York:
Knopf, 1975), p. 13
2 Ibid., p. 2,10
3 Ibid., p. 11. There was a
farmer named Terrance O'Reilly
listed on the 1901 and 1911
Canadian censuses at Haldimand
County, Ont. However, he was
not head of the household; at
both times, he was living with his
parents, John and Mary O'Reilly.
4 Ibid., p. 13.
5 Ibid., p. 13-14. Henry Hayman
Claudet (1874-1954) was the son
of noted early B.C. photographer
and coin-maker Francis George
Claudet. Hayman was a mining
engineer and assayer in Rossland,
ca. 1903-08.
6 E-mail from Ron Welwood, 26
April 2005, citing 1910 Vancouver
civic directory
7 Ibid, and Vancouver Province,
22 February 1910
8 Palmer and Von Gravenitz Ltd.,
B.C. Archives Microfilm No.
B05125, Incorporation No. 827. It's
not clear if Hans and Mario von
Gravenitz were the same person
by two names, or relatives.
9 Ibid.
10 Lindsay, Dear Boris, op. cit.,
p. 14
11 Paul M. Jensen, Boris Karloff &
His Films, (South Brunswick: A.S.
Barnes, 1974), p. 12. In 1961, Dr.
Willson Knowlton wrote B.C. Electric
asking if they had any record of
Karloff's employment. They hadn't.
The correspondence is at the
Kamloops Museum 6 Archives.
12 http://
9708/ secrets source.html.
viewed 3 December 2005
13 E-mail from Ron Welwood, 26
April 2005
14 Peter Underwood, Boris
Karloff: Horror Man, (New York:
Drake Publishing, 1972), p. 154-55
17 15 Ibid.
16 Marriage certificate, William
Henry Pratt and Grace Harding,
B.C. Archives, Reg. No. 1910-09-
062223, Microfilm No. B11375
17 Marriage certificate, Death
certificate, Mary Jessie Harding,
B.C. Archives, Reg. No. 1945-09-
666854, Microfilm B13188; Death
certificate, Harry Laurie Harding,
B.C. Archives, Reg. No. 1931-09-
451535, Microfilm B13141
18 B.C. Government Sessional
Papers, 1917, (Victoria: King's
Printer, 1918) The Public
Accounts for April 1916 to March
1917 indicate he had worked
there for 10 months and seven
days, which suggests he was
hired around June 1916.
19 Marriage certificate, Pratt-
Harding, op. cit., and e-mail
from Frances Welwood, 21 April
20 Marriage certificate, Pratt-
Harding, op. cit.
21 Divorce order, Grace Harding
Pratt and William Henry Pratt,
B.C. Archives, Microfilm B6311,
No. 202. The word adultery
wasn't used, but Beaton was
named as "co-respondent." Her
real name was Helene Russell.
22 Ibid.
23 Marriage certificate, Cecil
Angus Hadfield and Grace Jessie
(Harding) Pratt, B.C. Archives,
Reg. No. 1913-09-09927,
Microfilm B11381
24 E-mail from Lindsay Moir, Glenbow
Archives, 23 November 2005
25 Ibid, and The Albertan, 27
July 1918
26 E-mail from Calgary Public
Library, 18 November 2005,
citing Henderson civic directories
27 Death certificates, Harry
Laurie and Mary Jessie Harding,
op. cit.
28 Ibid.
29 E-mail from Leona Taylor, Old
Cemeteries Society of Victoria, 9
May 2005
directories from 1945-49, nor any indication what
happened to her or her son.31
Stage debut
Nelson and Kamloops both figure in Karloff's
theatrical start. He told a few slightly different
versions of this story, including one quoted by Cynthia
/ was off on a survey party in the brush about 70 miles
from Vancouver when I got this letter from an agent I had
called in Seattle - Walter Kelly I think his name was -
representing myself as an experienced English actor in
Canada on a visit, who might be available ... I'm sure the
agent saw through the story, but actors were hard to get
at the time. He referred me to the Jean Russell stock
company in Kamloops ... I left my axe in the middle of a
tree and got the first train to Kamloops.32
In a 1953 interview he said:
[I was] up in Kamloops, British Columbia, with a survey
team, and suddenly I got a letter from this agent inviting
me to join a theatrical company in Nelson. It had such a
bad reputation that nobody would join it. That's why he
sent for me. I made my first stage appearance playing the
elderly husband in a play called The Devil and Franz Mola
in Nelson for $15 a week, just enough to exist on - if they
paid you. As often as not they didn't. I was with that
company two years and how we worked! We rehearsed all
day and every day, and we played evenings in any sort of a
barn or shack wherever we happened to be ...33
The play was in fact called The Devil, by
Hungarian playwright Ferenc Molnar. It was
enormously popular at the time; it made its
Hungarian debut in 1907, then opened on Broadway
in August 1908.34 It "took its central idea from Faust,
dealing with marital infidelity ... The work
established [Molnar's] fame as one of the leading
dramatists of his day. Molnar's great invention was
to bring on the stage a mysterious character, the Devil,
who manipulates the characters and can anticipate
their thoughts."35
If we accept for a moment that Karloff made
his debut in Nelson in the play, the only date it could
have happened was 23 November 1911 -
coincidentally Karloff's 24th birthday. The Jeanne
Russell Co. did exist, and did perform The Devil at
the Nelson opera house that day, although it was their
fourth show during a week-long stint; perhaps Karloff
sat out the first three because he was still learning the
ropes.36 This theory is supported somewhat by a 1961
letter Karloff wrote Dr. Willson Knowlton, a Kamloops
/ cannot claim to have played in Kamloops as I only joined the
company there. They were rehearsing plays for thenewseason
and all I had to do for the few days I was there before we
moved on to the next stand was to watch the rehearsals.37
He also admitted that he wasn't certain where
his debut happened:
/ can't remember what the next town was, maybe Nelson
or Fernie, or is my geography all wrong?38
There is no mention of him by his real name or
stage name in the Nelson Daily News review of The
Devil, although the role of Herman Hoffman is so
small it might not have received any attention. He
wasn't named in the reviews of any of the other
productions that week either. Nor was there any sign
of him among the hotel arrivals reported in the paper.
The Russell Co. stayed at the Queens Hotel, but not
all the actors were individually listed.39
From Nelson, the troupe continued on to
Cranbrook for two shows. The newspaper reviews
there didn't name specific cast members, but the
Herald's assessment wasn't entirely favourable:
Miss Jeanne Russell personally delighted her audiences at
the Auditorium on Monday and Tuesday evenings of this
week. The same cannot be said, however, of her support,
which was lamentably weak. Miss Russell is a bright, versatile
actress and should secure more adequate support.40
One bit of circumstantial evidence that might
suggest Karloff had indeed joined the group was that
before arriving in Nelson, they were billed as having
16 members. By the time they reached Cranbrook,
they had 18.41 However, if this was the case, they
should have been in Kamloops earlier that month.
Alas, they weren't. Immediately prior to appearing
in Nelson, they were in Grand Forks and Rossland.
The first and only known appearance of the
Jeanne Russell Co. in Kamloops was in September
1910 - but they weren't in Nelson that month. They
did return to Nelson in February 1912, and while The
Devil wasn't part of their repertoire this time, the hotel
arrivals read in part:
Hume Hotel - R. Brandon and wife, Jeanne Russell Co.
Queens Hotel - O. Lamerie, G.D. Gray and wife, Mrs.
Beaton, B. Korloff, J.F. Mack, Vancouver.42
So this confirms that Karloff was in Nelson,
although it falls short of proving he debuted there.
In March, the group spent three weeks at the
Lyric Theatre in Calgary, but neither of the city's
newspapers mentioned Karloff in their reviews.43
BRITISH COLUMBIA HISTORY - Vol. 39 No. 1 Karloff said he stayed with the group for two years,
until it disbanded in June 1912 - although if his debut
was in November 1911, it couldn't have been more
than seven months. No matter where and when it
happened, it wasn't an auspicious start:
/ had finally become an actor, but I mumbled, bumbled, missed
cues, rammed into furniture, and sent the director's blood
pressure soaring. When the curtain went up I was getting $30
a week. When it descended, I was down to $15 ...44
At the end of the performance, as I was slinking away to
some dark corner, the manager came towards me with a
malevolent gleam in his eye. "Karloff, you know darn well
you've never acted before. Still, we like you and you'll
stay with us."45
Jeanne Russell Co.
The full story of the Jeanne Russell Co. deserves
more space than can be afforded here, for it's an
interesting and ultimately tragic tale that has never
been told.
Ray Fowler Brandon, the company manager,
was born in the 1870s in Centerville, Utah, where his
father was postmaster and Justice of the Peace. His
mother was involved with a local theatre group and
probably gave him the acting bug.46 He enlisted in
the Spanish American war, but returned home on sick
leave without seeing combat.47
Jeanne Russell Alford was born in Salt Lake City
in 1875, the daughter of a salesman.48 The couple met
in early 1906 in Ogden, Utah, where both belonged to
the William Bittner players. By now Jeanne had already
dropped her surname on stage.49 They were married
sometime that year or next.50 In 1907, they ran their
own theatre in Denver, along with Ray's youngest
brother, Walter Lee. However, it closed and the
Brandons went to Salt Lake City51 At year's end, Lee
was hired as manager of the Edmonton Opera
House.52 In June 1908, he struck out on his own as
manager and lessee of the Dominion Theatre, and
enlisted his brother and sister-in-law to form a
resident stock company.
The Jeanne Russell Co. spent an eventful five
months there. Among other things, they organized a
gala benefit for victims of the Fernie fire, sued the
Edmonton Journal for libel, were sued themselves for
not paying the orchestra, and earned the wrath of
Broadway playwrights for stealing plays - something
they not only admitted to, but took pride in.53
In the spring of 1909, the Brandon brothers
leased the Lyceum Theatre in Lethbridge, intending
to become the resident company there.54 However, the
theatre's walls collapsed during excavation for a hotel
next door. Fortunately, the theatre was empty, so no
one was hurt.55 The Russell Co. packed up for Calgary,
♦Thr Brtttg W«
Nelson Opera House—Tuesday, Nov. 2
Miss Jeanne Russell!? Jeanne Russell Company
$I.(MI.     ~~
.■sc »_.
■ I.-  . .« oorn  >
A   powvrfuJ   \v»-
AUK"' ^
Hi**-1"1 Ifl
-SUNDAY" •;.;::;•.-:-:- I
30 E-mail from Vancouver Public
Library, 11 October 2005, citing
Vancouver civic directories 1945-49
31 E-mail from Ron Welwood, 1
May 2005, citing Vancouver civic
directories 1945-49
32 Lindsay, Dear Boris, op. cit.,
p. 14-15
33 "Frankenstein had beginnings
in Nelson, Boris Karloff recalls,"
Nelson Daily News, 20 January
1954 and Boris Karloff & His
Films, op. cit.
production.asp? ID=6417, viewed
1 December 2005
molnar.htm. viewed 1 December 2005
36 Nelson Daily News, 24
November 1911
37 Letter from Boris Karloff to
Dr. Willson Knowlton, 22 April
1961, held by Kamloops Museum
Et Archives
38 Ibid.
39 Nelson Daily News, 20
November 1911
40 Cranbrook Herald, 30
November 1911
41 Nelson Daily News, 16
November 1911 and The
Prospector (Cranbrook), 25
November 1911
42 Nelson Daily News, 9 February
43 Calgary Daily Herald and The
Albertan, 1-25 March 1912
44 "Memoirs of a Monster,"
Saturday Evening Post, 3
November 1962, p. 79
45 Richard Bojarski and Kenneth
Beale, The Films of Boris
Karloff, (Secaurus, NJ: Citadel
Press, 1974), p. 14
46 Nomination form, Thomas and
Margaret Brandon house, U.S.
National Register of Historic
Places, sec. 8, p. 3-4
47 Davis County (UT) Clipper, 21
April 1899
48 1900 U.S. Census, viewed at Roll
T623-1827, Page 18A,
19 Enumeration District 61
49 Ogden (UT) Standard
Examiner, 8 January 1906
50 Davis County Clipper, 1
February 1907
51 Ibid, and Ogden Standard
Examiner, 22 February 1907
52 Edmonton Bulletin, 8
December 1907
53 Edmonton Bulletin, 8 August,
15/26 September, and 27
November 1908
54 George Mann, Theatre
Lethbridge: A History of
Theatrical Productions in
Lethbridge, Alta. (1885-1993),
(Calgary: Detselig, 1993), p. 49
55 Ibid.
56 Irma Dogterom, Where Was it?
A Guide to Early Lethbridge
Buildings, (Lethbridge:
Lethbridge Historical Society,
2001), p. 59
57 Nelson Daily News, 17
November 1909
58 Nelson Daily News, 23
November 1909
59 Vancouver Province, 14 July 1911
60 Ibid.
61 Grand Forks Gazette, 18
November 1911
62 Melson Daily Hews, 20 January 1954
63 "Karloff, calm menace,"New
York Times, 19 January 1941, p. X3
64 Lindsay, Dear Boris, op. cit.,
p. 20
65 Eureka (UT) Reporter, 26 May 1916
66 Death certificate of Jeanne
Russell Brandon, Utah state file
67 1930 U.S. Census, viewed at Roll
201, Page 191, Enumeration
District 195, Image 999.0
68 The Oakland Tribune, 8
August 1933
69 Saturday Evening Post, 3
November 1962, p. 79
70 "Karloff haunts Capitol,"
although they returned to
Lethbridge in August to perform
several shows in a tent.56
In mid-November they made
their first tour of the West Kootenay -
Boundary, stopping in Nelson,
Greenwood, Phoenix, Rossland, and
Grand Forks with Cousin Kate, the
play that made Ethel Barrymore
famous. Curious, the Nelson Daily
News described Russell as a "native
daughter of British Columbia,"57
which certainly wasn't true. Of the
performance, the paper wrote:
Cousin Kate, produced at the opera
house last evening to a large and well
pleased audience by the Jeanne Russell
Co., proved a decided success. The play
was a delightful society comedy, well
staged and dressed ... Miss Jeanne
Russell, in the title role, looked and
played the part most charmingly... Miss
Matthews, as Amy Spencer, shared the
honors with the star. Mr. Brandon, as
the hero, made love acceptably, though
he did not attempt any Irish ways in his
courtship. Douglas Ross, as the
clergyman, instantly recalled the
Private Secretary, made the most out
of a difficult part ...5S
We know a little of their
peripatetic life over the next two
years: in addition to previously
mentioned     engagements     in
Kamloops and Nelson, they did week-long stints in
Revelstoke in October 1910 and January 1911, and
leased the Vancouver Opera House for two weeks in
July 1911.
Willard Mack and Maude Leone were supposed
to appear in Cameo Kirby, but became sick, so Jeanne
was called up to take the lead role. She "was truly
charming as Adele Randall, and made a very pleasing
substitute."59 Meanwhile, Ray, "who is well known
to Vancouver theatergoers played a good Tom
That fall, they returned to the Kootenay-
Boundary and received generally good reviews,
although the Grand Forks Gazette groused:
Travelling theatrical companies are noted for their exalted
opinion of themselves, and the Jeanne Russell company
managed by Ray Brandon is no exception. They were here
this week and just how much of the town they owned was
the question. The opera house rates didn't suit them, they
had trouble with their hostelry, they had trouble with their
bill poster, and they paid their printers' bill into court.
The first performance was passible (sic) but the second
was distinctly lacking.61
According to Karloff, the Russell Co. went broke
upon reaching Regina in June 1912, the day before
the great tornado.62 It has been stated that Karloff was
out canoeing when the twister hit, and that he
organized a benefit concert for the victims, but neither
of these things is true. Both involved members of the
Albini-Avolos Co., which had been playing Regina
that week; some sources wrongly assumed Karloff
was part of their group.
The Russell Co. didn't get a chance to advertise
in Regina, much less perform there. Karloff was left
to take a job clearing debris, then handled baggage
for the Dominion Express Co. before joining the Harry
BRITISH COLUMBIA HISTORY - Vol. 39 No. 1 St. Clair players in Prince Albert.63
On 12 October 1913, he entered the U.S. at
Portal, North Dakota, as an "immigrant for permanent
residence" and left his days in Canada behind.64
Brandon and Russell, meanwhile, evidently
reformed their group. In 1914-15, they toured with a
musical comedy called A Star by Mistake, and became
headliners with Sullivan and Considine's
Hippodrome Vaudeville road show.65
However, Jeanne Russell's stage career ended
prematurely; she died in 1920 at age 44 of tabes
dorsalis, a spinal condition caused by an untreated
syphilis infection.66 Ray Brandon re-married and had
two children, but his second wife also apparently died
young.67 When Frankenstein came out in 1931, did he
recognize or remember the man he had hired 20 years
earlier? We'll probably never know. Brandon was
killed in a car accident near Bend, Oregon, in 1933,
while working as advance agent for some sort of
animal show.68
Stage name
Boris Karloff claimed he took his stage name
while on the train trip to join the Russell players:
"Karloff came from relatives on my mother's side. The
Boris I plucked out of the cold Canadian air."69
This explanation is questionable. He may truly
have believed he had a relative named Karloff, but
Cynthia Lindsay traced his family tree back three
generations and was unable to find one. One alternate
explanation is that he may have been influenced by
Russian names in B.C. or Saskatchewan.70
The Doukhobors came to B.C. not long before
he performed in Nelson, and he later spent time in
Saskatchewan, where some members of the Korolev
family changed their name to Karaloff or Karloff.71
But it's more likely the name came from a 1904 book
by Harold MacGrath called The Man on the Box, which
featured a character named Count Karloff. It was
serialized in newspapers, adapted for the stage in
1905, and made into movies in 1914 and 1925.72
What are the chances William Pratt read the
book, saw the play, or even appeared in it? Indeed, it
was part of the Jeanne Russell Co.'s repertoire. To
make things stranger, in 1920, MacGrath wrote a novel
called The Drums of jeopardy which had a character
named Boris Karlov.
According to Wikipedia's entry on MacGrath,
"It is said that a young Boris Karloff, who previously
had a few uncredited film roles, chose his stage name
for his first screen credit from The Drums of jeopardy
which had also been published by the Saturday
Evening Post in January of that year."73
But said by whom? The on-line encyclopedia
doesn't explain; certainly none of Karloff's published
biographies mention it. And anyway, it isn't accurate.
Boris Karloff came before Boris Karlov. Another early
reference to Karloff is in the Oakland Tribune of 12 May
1919, when he was appearing at the Fulton Theatre
in Eyes of Youth.
So was it just coincidence? Did MacGrath see
one of Karloff's early films and deliberately or
subconsciously use his name? Did they meet? Perhaps
Karloff told MacGrath he took his name from The Man
on the Box, and in turn MacGrath paid tribute to him
in The Drums of Jeopardy.
The mystery doesn't stop there.
The Drums of Jeopardy was adapted for the stage
in 1922,74 and the following year made into a movie
in which Karlov's first name was inexplicably
changed to Gregor. Wikipedia suggests this was to
avoid confusion with Karloff,75 who was still a fairly
obscure actor, but now at least receiving regular screen
credits. When the movie was re-made in 1931,
however, the character's name was changed back to
Boris.76 Warner Oland played Karlov in the latter film,
which was directed by George B. Seitz. Both worked
with Karloff on The Lightning Raider, a 1917 serial.77
What did they make of it all?
One modern-day reviewer suggests: "This was
an in-joke that must've caused a lot of raised eyebrows
once Frankenstein was released in 1931."78
Aside from the name, MacGrath also
anticipated the direction of Karloff's career years
before he was typecast as a horror actor.
One line in Man on the Box seems remarkably
prescient: "T wonder if I'll run into Karloff.' Karloff!
The name chilled him, somehow."79
And the Boris Karlov in The Drums of Jeopardy?
He was a mad scientist.80 •
Nelson Daily News, Richard
Rowberry, 6 December 1996
71 http://doukhobor.ore/
surnames.htm#k, viewed 3
December 2005
production.asp? ID=6417, http://
tt0004304 and http://
tt0016083. all viewed 1
December 2005
73 http://en.wikipedia.ore/wiki/
Harold MacGrath. viewed 5
February 2006
production, asp? ID=12813.
viewed 5 February 2006
75 http://en.wikipedia.ore/wiki/
Harold MacGrath. op. cit.
tt0021820/ combined, viewed 5
February 2006
product-view/4477D .html
78 Ibid.
79 The entire text of the book is
at http://www. eutenbere.ore/
viewed 1 December 2005
80 http://en.wikipedia.ore/wiki/
Harold MacGrath. op. cit.
Ad from the Nelson Daily
News of 21 November
1909 for the theatre
company which gave
Karloff his first acting
job. (previous page)
Actress Jeanne Russell,
ca. 1909, by Edmonton
photographer Ernest
Brown. Courtesy Alberta
Provincial Archives,
B9128. (left)
21 The Case of Private Roy Cromarty, a
Soldier from Whonnock
Fred Braches
Fred Braches is the
former editor of the
BC Historical News
and lives in
Whonnock, BC and
takes a keen interest
in the area's history.
This article (with images of
original war records) was first
published in November 2005 as
an issue in the series Whonnock
Notes. PDF files of all issues of
Whonnock Notes can be
downloaded free from the Web
It was known by both the Garner
and Cromarty families that Sam
Roy Garner had served under an
alias. That was reiterated by
Jane Cromarty, family historian
of the Cromarty family, who
writes me "I think I wrote you
about Samuel Roy Garner-my
husband's mother's brother. It
was commonly known by both
families that he rejoined [the
CEF] using the Cromarty name,
but you've done an excellent job
of providing documents that
furnish proof."
The Commonwealth War Graves
Commission and Veterans Affairs
Canada have been informed of
this case. If they are satisfied of
the legitimacy of the claim, the
name on the young private's
headstone in Northern France
will be amended to Sam Roy
Garner, and changes will be
made in Canada's Book of
Remembrance as well as on VAC's
Web site.
n his book of stories from Maple Ridge, All Our
Yesterdays, EdVilliers writes about the
experiences of Charlie Owen on the front in the
First World War:
Shortly after Charlie arrived German artillery shells began
to explode around the trenches. The ditches were dug in a
zigzag pattern so that bursting shrapnel could travel only a
short distance. When an artillery shell exploded near him
Charlie's first instinct was to run down the trench in the
other direction. He rounded a bend and came face to face
with a soldier from Whonnock named Cromarty who was
calmly sitting on a bench smoking a pipe. A piece of
corrugated tin above his head protected him from being
splattered by mud. Cromarty removed the pipe from his
mouth and said quietly, "There's no point running from 'em,
Charlie. You'll just as soon run into one as away from one."
"He was right," Charlie said. "I soon got used to it. But
Cromarty was killed later on. His name is on the cenotaph
down in Haney."
As Charlie Owen told it, the name "R.
Cromarty," is marked on the Maple Ridge cenotaph.
Every year on Remembrance Day his name is called,
together with the names of all the others who did not
return. I was curious to know who this Cromarty from
Whonnock could be, since I had not seen his name in
any Whonnock records before. Most of the Cromartys
at that time were descendants of Fort Langley's
cooper, William Magnus Cromarty, who farmed in
Glenn Valley, across the river from Whonnock. None
of them seemed to have settled in the Whonnock area
from where this Cromarty was believed to have come.
Research on the Web site of the Library and
Archives of Canada showed that this soldier was
Private Roy Cromarty who died on 18 December 1917.
That name was not in my records of the Cromarty
family. Perhaps this Roy Cromarty was not related to
the Glen Valley Cromartys at all? The attestation
paper—a form completed for enlistment—seems to
confirm that impression. It shows that this Roy
Cromarty was born in Chilliwack and lived there
before enlisting; it names as his next of kin his father,
an R. C. Cromarty living in Chilliwack. Also the
initials R. C did not match any of William Magnus
Cromarty's male offspring.
But if Roy Cromarty lived in Chilliwack and
did not come from Whonnock, why would his name
appear on the Maple Ridge cenotaph and why is it
absent from the cenotaph in Chilliwack? Even the
residents of Whonnock did not seem to consider him
one of their own: In 1916 they prepared a Roll of
Honour for display in their Ladies Hall, showing more
than 40 names of Whonnock residents who served
on on a.
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overseas, but Roy Cromarty is not one of them. The
"Victory Edition" of the British Columbian of 1918
writes about this roll of honour, which, the newspaper
says "would do credit to a larger settlement," but it
also comments on the absence from the Roll of Honour
of the name of Roy Cromarty.
Cromarty was still ignored by the residents of
Whonnock when after the war the Ladies Hall became
the Whonnock Memorial Hall "in memory of the
soldiers of Whonnock district who fell in the war" and
a brass plaque was ordered with the names of all who
did not return. The name Cromarty was again missing.
This old commemorative plaque with the
names of the Heroes of 1914-1918 is now displayed
near the entrance of the Whonnock Community
Centre. One of the names on the plaque is that of S.
Garner, serving, as Roy Cromarty did, in the 47th
Battalion. It struck me that he died On the same day
as Roy Cromarty, 18 December 1917. Were Sam Garner
and Roy Cromarty fighting side by side?
The Garners were familiar to me. Three are
mentioned on Whonnock's Honour Roll: J. Garner, S.
Garner, and R. C Garner. Joseph Garner and Sam
BRITISH COLUMBIA HISTORY - Vol. 39 No. 1 Garner were brothers. Robert Craig
(Junior) was their nephew. Three of
the daughters of Robert Robertson, the
first white settler in Whonnock, had
married Garner brothers. Joe, a
widower now, was one of them. He
and his nephew Robert Craig were the
first to register for overseas service in
November 1914. Both men came home
alive after the war ended.
The attestation paper of Sam
Garner shows that he joined the
Canadian Expeditionary Forces two
years later than Joe and Robert Craig,
on 7 April 1916 in Vancouver. He
registered with his full name: Sam Roy
Garner, a 32-year old single man, a
logger, born in Chilliwack and a
resident of Whonnock. Mysteriously
he is not recorded as a fatal casualty
by the Commonwealth War Graves
Commission or the Veterans Affairs
Canada. How his name, unit and date and place of
death could have been recorded on the Whonnock
plaque was yet another mystery.
To help me resolve the many questions I
ordered copies of the First World War service files of
Roy Cromarty and Sam Garner from the Library and
Archives of Canada, and made a startling discovery.
Sam Garner's records show that his service came to
an abrupt ending almost as soon as it began. Sam's
file includes a form, dated 18 April 1916, showing that
he was discharged as he was, for reasons we will never
know, "not likely to become an efficient soldier." There
is no evidence that he reenlisted. That explained why
his name is missing from the casualty records of
Veterans Affairs Canada.
However, Roy Cromarty's name is included in
the records of Veterans Affairs Canada as a war
casualty. Cromarty's service file confirmed that he
died of multiple gunshot wounds on the same day
that, according to the Whonnock plaque, Sam Garner
passed away: 18 December 1916. It could, however,
hardly be a coincidence that both men were also born
on the same day: 6 August 1883 as shown in their
attestation papers. By now I had a strong suspicion
that Sam Roy Garner reenlisted in New Westminster
under the name Roy Cromarty only a day after he
was discharged in Vancouver. As Roy Cromarty he
went to war and he died, under that assumed name,
tragically the only one from the Lower Mainland
Garner and Cromarty families to give his live in the
Great War.
Now the other pieces of the puzzle fell into
place as well. Sam Garner, obviously used the initials
of his own real father, Robert Craig Garner (senior) to
make up a name of a next of kin when completing
the attestation paper for the fictitious Roy Cromarty.
Since there was no R. C. Cromarty, the initials of the
next of kin and "father" in the service file soon became
S. E., for Samuel Ephraim Cromarty, of Chilliwack.
Samuel Ephraim Cromarty was a son of cooper
William Magnus Cromarty and Sam Garner's brother
in law. In reality he and his wife were not old enough
to be the parents of a 32-year old man: Samuel
Ephraim Cromarty was 14 years older than Sam
Garner, and his wife, Carolina Augusta, was only 7
years her brother's senior.
The two Cromartys, aware of the fictitious
identity of Sam Garner, must have been saddened by
the news of his death and also troubled to read on the
front page of the Chilliwack Progress: "Another
Chilliwack boy has been called to give up his life... Mr.
& Mrs. S. E. Cromarty having been advised that their
son, Pte. Roy Cromarty died from wounds received
in action."
Samuel Ephraim Cromarty and his wife had
another reason to worry. Their own 18-year-old son
had also enlisted in April 1916 and they knew that he
had been fighting alongside Sam Garner (alias Private
Soldiers of the 47th
Canadian Infantry
Battalion, Canadian
Expeditionary Forces in
France. Private Sam Roy
Garner is standing to the
Photo courtesy Lyn Ross
Whonnock's Roll of
Honourwas created in
1916 to attract new
recruits. Three Garners
are listed, R. cromarty's
name is missing, (left)
23 ■■■ .•■"-sv-
EfifjItOTT J.A
45H W.A
Harris CL.
Bolton TC.
Harris CT.
Henderson R.A
Hepburn dp.
Details of the Maple Ridge
cenotaph (left) and the
Chillwack cenotaph
(right)showing the names
of R. Cromarty and Sam
Roy Garner.
Fred Braches photo
The old commemorative
plaque with the names of
the Hems of 1914 -1918 is
now displayed near the
entrance of the Whonnock
Community Centre, (right)
Roy Cromarty) when Garner was mortally wounded.
Their son, called Samuel Ephraim Cromarty after his
father, did come home to Chilliwack after the war and
later named one of his own sons "Roy Cromarty" in
honour of his deceased uncle. The fact that another
Sam Cromarty had joined the C. E. F. explains why
Sam Garner used his own second name Roy for his
fabricated name: Roy Cromarty.
There is one more fact indicating that Roy
Cromarty was in fact Sam Garner. When Sam Garner
enlisted under his own name, he recorded his sister-
in-law in Whonnock as his next of kin. Barbara
Christine nee Robertson, was the widow of William
Henry Garner, Sam's oldest brother. Sam Garner had
lived in her house in Whonnock
and he knew the hardship the
widow went through to make a
living for herself and her three
children. When he reenlisted
under the name Cromarty he
did not register her as next of
kin preferring someone with the
name Cromarty. But even under
his pseudonym he did not
hesitate to support her. Effective
1 November 1916, the day he
embarked in Halifax, he
assigned a monthly payment of
$20 to Mrs. W. H. Garner, "a
friend" in Whonnock. In a
"military will" he left the little he had "the whole of
my property and effects" to his sister-in-law.
So it came to be that Sam Garner (alias Roy
Cromarty) sailed from Canada on the MS Caronia, one
of the larger ships of the Cunard Line, requisitioned to
serve as a troop transport. He disembarked in
Liverpool on November 11,1916, arrived in France on
November 28,1916, and moved onward to the front
not long after that. That is where Charlie Owen met
him in the trenches, smoking his pipe during a barrage
of artillery, and saying quietly, "There's no point
running from 'em, Charlie. You'll just as soon run into
one as away from one." Charlie knew Sam was from
Whonnock but referred to him as Cromarty, because
everyone on the front knew him under that name.
The people of Whonnock were aware that it was
Sam Garner who served overseas and died there and
that is why they did not hesitate to commemorate Sam
Garner with his own name on the bronze plaque that
is now outside the Whonnock Lake Centre. The family
made certain that also in Chilliwack Sam Roy Garner
was remembered with his proper name on their
However, in Maple Ridge the organizing
committee used information from newspapers or
official sources to compose the list of names on their
cenotaph. Therefore the Maple Ridge cenotaph shows
the family name Cromarty as Sam's surname. Every
year the name "Cromarty" is called among all the
others who did not return from Great War. Could he
still do so, Sam would call "present," even if it was
not his own name. Perhaps it is time to start calling
him instead by his proper surname: "Garner." •
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BRITISH COLUMBIA HISTORY - Vol. 39 No. 1 David Spencer Ltd
Token History
and the "Shopping Coin"
By Ronald Greene
David Spencer was a native of St. Atham,
Glamorganshire, Wales, where he was
born on August 9,1837. He left his
home for Victoria in 1862, and after a
five month voyage arrived in Victoria on January
10,1863.1 Shortly after he arrived in Victoria Spencer
purchased a book and stationery store from J. Corin.2
Later he sold this business to Hibben and Carswell,
a firm established in 1858 and which, as Diggon-
Hibben survived in Victoria until the 1960's when
bought out by Willson Stationery. In 1873 Spencer
entered a partnership with William Denny. Together
they purchased the dry goods business of Messrs.
Findlay, Durham and Brodie, known as the "Victoria
House" which Mr. Denny had been managing. It
was situated at the comer of Fort and Government
Streets.3 Their first ad appeared on January 14,1873.
In 1878, after the expiry of their five year agreement,
Spencer left "Victoria House" and commenced
business entirely on his own, opening in the same
block a little way along Government Street. Over the
next few years as property in the block became
available he acquired it. In 1890 Spencer expanded
into Nanaimo and in 1907 into Vancouver. On October
26, 1910 misfortune struck the area bounded by
Government, Fort, Broad and what later became View
Street, as the entire block including David Spencer's
store at 1117 Government, burned to the ground, the
fire starting in Spencer's store.4
The ground had not yet cooled when Spencer
negotiated the purchase of the Driard Hotel. This
hotel, which had been Victoria's finest for many years,
had been suffering following the opening of the
Empress Hotel, the Canadian Pacific Railway
Company's more luxurious hotel. Spencer reopened
in the former hotel within three weeks of the day of
the fire. He also foresaw the need for future expansion
and bought the two buildings between the Driard
Hotel and Douglas Street, which were the Victoria
Theatre and the Imperial Hotel. These three buildings
formed the nucleus of the David Spencer Ltd.
department store, and its successor, the T Eaton
Company until the Eaton Centre was built c. 1990.
Much of the burnt-out block was not rebuilt for several
years - the first entries in the city directory are for
1915. Prior to the 1910 fire, View Street did not reach
Government Street. The city took the opportunity to
acquire enough land in order to put View Street
through to Government Street. Meanwhile, Spencer
continued to add to his property and assembled a
large portion of the burnt out block into one parcel.
Another fire in May 1922 devastated the block again.
The building known as the Arcade Block was built
following this fire and became an integral part of the
department store. The T Eaton Company Canada
Limited expanded its British Columbia operations by
purchasing David Spencer Ltd. on December 1,1948.
By 1990 Broad Street had been acquired by
developers as part of a new mall to be called the Eaton
Centre which extended from Douglas to Government
Street between View and Fort streets. After Eaton's
went into
bankruptcy, first
Sears then the
Hudson's Bay Co.
took over the
Eaton's store.
With the opening
of the Hudson's
Bay Co. store on
May 2, 2003, the
mall was
renamed the Bay
Spencer met his
wife-to-be, Emma
Lazenby, in
Victoria where
they were both
Sunday School
teachers. They
were married in
1867 and had
thirteen children,
the last surviving,
Miss Sara
Spencer, lived
until 1983 5 and
was well known for her philanthropic work in the
city. The family home on Moss had originally been
built for A.A. Green, a partner in the firm of private
bankers, Garesche, Green & Co. in 1889/1890. Green
called his house, "Gyppeswyck" and after Cary
Castle, the home of the Lt-Governor, was destroyed
by fire in 1899 the government rented the house for
use as a temporary Government House. Spencer
bought the house while it was being rented, and when
the new Government House was ready in 1904
Spencer moved into his new home. Here he lived
until he died in 1920, followed by his wife a year later.
About 1950 Sara gave the house to the Art Gallery of
1. Victoria Daily Colonist,
December 1,1948, p. 18
2. In the 1863 Victoria City
Directory the name is listed as
CORIN (p. 58) but is spelled as
CORRIN in an advertisement (p.
22). Spencer was not listed in
the directory, but as the
publication date was March 1,
1863 he would have been among
the many new comers who were
not included.
3. David Spencer Ltd., Golden
Anniversary, 1873 -1923. Note
the company records the age
from the date that Spencer
entered the dry goods business.
4. Victoria Daily Colonist,
October 27,1910, p.1
5 Times Colonist, January 9-10,
1983, p. A-3, and GR-2951, Vital
Statistics, Death Registration,
83-09-001032, microfilm B13627
6.   From a conversation with
Oliver Prentice, who worked in
the account department for
some years and in later life was
associated with Island Tug £t
Barge, also Directions for Use of
'Spencer's Shopping Coin, #6971
issued November 12,1929.
25 This postcard shows
Government Street before
the 1910 fire. The David
Spencer Ltd. store is on
the right.
The road allowance for
the View Street extension
was cut through the
remains of that building
and the one next to it.
This one shows a view
across the fire ruins of
the Driard Hotel, with a
sign that David Spencer
Ltd. will open Wed. Nov.
Greater Victoria to serve as the gallery's home. The
Art Gallery has added a large wing but the original
house is still largely intact.
Following the reopening of the store in the
Driard Hotel the Victoria store started a using a tokenlike metallic credit card which they called their
"Shopping Coin."6 The token was good as credit
customer identification everywhere in the store except
the Groceteria and the Cash and Carry Meat
Department. Its use was very similar to the plastic
credit card of today. The tokens were used only in
Victoria. After the takeover by Eaton's the customer's
number was maintained with the addition of a prefix
"VT" until the early 1960's when new account
numbers were introduced. At the time of the takeover
the highest account number was over 16,000 and the
highest "shopping coin" number seen to date is 16387.
By 1912 there had been about 1500 tokens
issued, number 4700 was issued in 1915 and 9400 in
1936. The tokens are oval, uniface [i.e. a blank
reverse], and made of nickel-silver. Their dimensions
which vary slightly are about 31 x 24 mm. As one
might expect with pieces issued over a very long time
and in great quantity there are a number of varieties,
at least six of which have been recorded.
The mail order division of David Spencer
Limited also produced a numismatic item. It used
small refund vouchers or cheques, calling them a
"refund check" to refund small overpayments. These
were good on a subsequent purchase. They are
known in denominations of 1, 2, 4, 5 and 10 cents.
These cheques measure approx. 130 mm x 80 mm. •
1 ^         tHjH
«.-■- •*.
Pay to Bearer   four cents
Mail Ordh Dcrr.
BRITISH COLUMBIA HISTORY - Vol. 39 No. 1 Archives and Archivists
By David Giesbrecht, MHSBC Director
Edited by Sylvia Stopforth,
Librarian and Archivist, Norma Marian Alloway Library,
Trinity Western University
Mennonite Historical
Society Salutes
The Mennonite Historical Society of
BC (MHSBC) is a small community
organization which was begun
approximately two decades ago. In addition
to operating an archival center, the Society
offers a variety of community events and
public information services with particular
focus on genealogical support. This article
offers five observations about the
involvement of volunteers in the
development and operation of MHSBC in
mutually beneficial ways.
Observation # 1:
Volunteers are among the most
important assets of small community
organizations. They supply much of the
institutional energy.
It is a common human experience that
community organizations are relatively easy
to start but increasingly difficult to sustain.
According to the Vancouver Sun (Thursday,
April 18, 2005) volunteers contribute 11.8
million hours of service each month in B.C.
That strong tradition of public service has
been the lifeblood of MHSBC. Apart from
one part-time office employee, virtually all
aspects of the operation, including archival
management, cataloguing of materials,
reference services and much of the public
relations are accomplished by volunteers.
Without the generous contribution of its
volunteers, MHSBC would have neither the
financial nor human resources to continue its
Observation # 2:
A confident organization shares with
its volunteers the reasons for its existence,
thus permitting volunteers to see their
contribution as part of a larger pattern.
All information centers exist within a
defined or assumed operational philosophy.
At its core, MHSBC vigorously promotes the
support of public history which by
definition "examines the dynamic elements
of community life ... and aims at reviving a
community consciousness... by showcasing
the richness of [these] diverse experiences."
(From the Institute of Public History,
University of Miami)
More specifically, MHSBC
volunteers are well aware that the Society
exists to preserve and tell the story of
Mennonites living in British Columbia by
way of collecting relevant files, books,
periodicals, family histories and related
information sources. The continuing
capacity of our Society in igniting a "public
consciousness" among our stakeholders is
in large measure due to the work and
advocacy of volunteers.
Observation # 3:
A comfortable working environment
and adequate working space legitimates the
contribution of volunteers, encouraging
longer term commitments.
Few archival centers will admit to
having enough space. The MHSBC is
fortunate to lease some 1,500 square feet of
space in large complex that combines
residential suites as well as a diverse
assortment of businesses. This ideal location
encourages regular walk-in traffic, annually
bringing to our Center some 2,000 visitors.
Moreover, three comfortable, air-
conditioned rooms provide secure space for
our archival holdings, a private working room
for volunteers as well as an attractive office
for public business and research. The result
has been to cultivate long term loyalty of our
volunteers, several of them having served our
organization for more than a decade.
Observation # 4:
For volunteers to feel good about their
contribution they must be given significant
tasks as well as the training and equipment
to perform what is expected of them.
Over the past two decades MHSBC
has become a much sought after information
center. Included in the collection are some
1,000 linear feet of files, 1,500 circulating
books along with critical reference volumes
and several hundred rare books, extensive
periodical back-issues, approximately 300
family histories and a microform collection
approaching one million pages. Managing,
organizing, indexing and cataloging such a
diverse information system offers numerous
opportunities for professional decision
making. Moreover, professional volunteers
are in a position to conceptualize solutions
to complex organizational issues. By the
same measure, they provide an invaluable
contribution in training new volunteers
Observation # 5:
Volunteers feel empowered when
they are involved in processing significant
decisions affecting the organization.
With the growth of the MHSBC
collection has come the need for increasingly
sophisticated indexing practices. An ad hoc
committee consisting of volunteers and
board members spent a year exploring
automated indexing options. On the
recommendation of this committee, the
Board approved purchase of InMagic
software, thereby not only making possible
state-of-the-art searching technology, but
also validating the wishes and judgment of
volunteers in a vital organizational concern.
The result has been a renewal of enthusiasm
among our volunteers to undertake a
mammoth new task and also make possible
the significant involvement of additional
members of our community.
Margaret Mead, the doyen of
twentieth century American
anthropologists, prophetically alluded to the
importance of volunteers when she stated:
"Never doubt that a small group of
thoughtful committed citizens can change
the world; indeed it is the only thing that
ever has." It would be hard to overstate the
importance of volunteers to the vitality of
MHSBC. They are indeed the life which
animates this organization.
For more information, visit MHSBC
online at:
27 Submitted by: Jennifer Snow, Teacher and TWU Alumna
Digging for Archival
It was a third year university history
paper that brought about my first visit to an
archives. The course was the history of
British Columbia and the assignment, not
surprisingly, was to research a topic in
British Columbia's history. It did not take
me long to decide on a topic. In 1894, my
great - great grandfather, Thomas Straiton,
settled in an area just east of Vancouver. This
area became known as Straiton. I had visited
the small community and talked to my
grandfather about his memories of trips to
the family homestead but I decided that this
paper would give me the opportunity to
explore more deeply the reasons why he
chose the Sumas Mountain area for his home.
My search for answers led me to the
archives of the MSA (Matsqui-Sumas-
Abbotsford) Museum. This small museum
is located on the historic Trethewey
farmstead in the heart of Abbotsford, B. C. I
was fortunate to have had some experience
working in an archives, so I was not
surprised when I walked into a room full of
boxes rather than books. I knew that my
topic was rather obscure so I was overjoyed
when the archivist expressed her familiarity
with the Straiton family. She began to pull
folders out of boxes that looked as though
they contained old income tax receipts. I
waited, knowing that when it comes to
research in an archives, you can't judge the
contents of a box by the look of the box itself.
You never know what treasures lie within
each acid free manila file folder.
The archivist, in her wisdom, gathered
folders that contained information on
Straiton as well as the small communities
that sprouted up around the Sumas
Mountain area during the same time period.
Each folder contained newspaper clippings,
letters, and other documents written by
people who were obviously asking some of
the same questions that had prompted my
search. Perhaps the biggest gem was an
article written for the ASM News entitled,
"Peace and Quiet Lured First Settler." The
opening line in the article read, "Thomas
Straiton told people he wanted to live in a
place where he could yell his head off and
no one would hear."1 There I was reading
information that my own grandfather didn't
know. Information that was recently "news"
to the Abbotsford community gave me a
new understanding of what my great-great
grandfather was like.
The next jewel in this treasure hunt
was a collection of interviews with people
who had grown up or once lived in the
Straiton community. Of particular interest
to me was an interview with Roy Straiton,
my great - great uncle. Roy's brother, my
great grandfather Arthur, died when my
own grandfather was a young child so my
family knew little about him. As I read
through this interview, I discovered details
about Arthur's childhood. For example, he
was of school age before Straiton had a
school, so the minister who came to the
mountain on Sundays would tutor him and
two other children. With only two other
children in the area, one being his older
sister, he would have had very few
playmates. One can only speculate about
what he would have done in his spare time.
When Arthur was eleven years old, his
father opened a general store in their house.
He probably had some good memories of
helping his dad in the store or talking to the
miners who came there for supplies. It
would have been an exciting place to be as
a young boy.
It has been about four years since I
have read the documents I collected while
researching that history project. Since then
my grandfather has passed away (I did have
the opportunity to share my paper with him)
and has taken with him many of the
memories that connect me to my heritage.
More than ever, this small museum holds
the links to my past.
I now work in Abbotsford and
frequently pass the mountain that once
lured my great-great grandfather. What was
once a forested escape is now a maze of
prime real estate. Just as the storytellers pass
away, so too do the settings of their stories.
It really affirms the need for archives - rooms
with boxes and folders that contain the
treasures of our past.
1 Judy Williams, "Peace and Quiet Lured First Settler,"
/ISM News, April 26, ca. 1990.
BRITISH COLUMBIA HISTORY - Vol. 39 No. 1 Book Reviews
From the Baltic to Russian America.
Alix O'Grady. Kingston, Ont, The Limestone Press!
Fairbanks, University of Alaska Press, 2001. 304p., illus.,
maps. $28 paperback.
Too few British Columbians possess
a significant knowledge of the early history
of Alaska when it was the stronghold of the
Russian American Company (RAC) and its
fur trading empire, headquartered in what
is now Sitka (Novo-Arkhangel'sk). This
book, hopefully, will serve to stimulate
interest in that period when Russia
controlled a vast part of the North West coast
of the continent.
The reader is introduced to a newly
married couple, Baron Ferdinand von
Wrangell and his wife, Baroness Elisabeth
von Wrangell, both from the then Baltic
province of Russia. Both were from
aristocratic backgrounds, but it appears that
neither family was particularly wealthy. He
was age 33 and she was 19. They met on May
3,1829. Upon first seeing Elisabeth, Baron
von Wrangell was infatuated. She was a
friend of his cousin. They were introduced,
married and left on the epic adventure
which is the subject of the book - all within
a month.
The Baron had recently been offered
the appointment as chief manager of the
RAC and Governor of the Russian-
American colonies for a five-year period and
a change in company policy required all
chief managers to be married. While his
marriage was timely, his love for Elizabeth
was genuine. In order to assume his
appointment, the couple undertook a
journey which lasted eighteen months and
involved crossing Russia to Siberia, a
distance of 6000 miles and then a like
distance by ship across the North Pacific to
Sitka, for a total of 12,000 miles. To describe
such travel as arduous would be
understating the obvious, considering
geography and conditions in 1829. By
comparison, travel across frontier America
to Oregon or California, while also arduous,
took about 8 months. However, Wrangell
had already distinguished himself as a naval
officer and explorer while Elisabeth had the
advantage of youth and its adventurous
Books for review and book reviews should be sent to:
Anne Yandle, Book Review Editor BC Historical News,
3450 West 20th Avenue, Vancouver BC V6S 1E4
The journey was interrupted by one
consequential stop for 8 months in Irkutsk
where Elisabeth gave birth to their first
child, Marie Louise, on April 23, 1830.
Barely 4 weeks later on May 27 they
continued their travels by barge, when the
spring breakup opened passage on the Lena
River. They departed the port settlement of
Okhotsk, August 24,1830, on board an RAC
three masted sloop of 210 tons, for Sitka.
Elisabeth, who had dreaded the voyage, had
her worst fears confirmed as they were
swept by howling gales. Waves washed a
whaleboat overboard and water sloshed into
the cabins. Her colourful recollections of the
voyage were not recorded until after their
arrival in Sitka, on September 29,1830. As
they approached Sitka, they were met by a
flotilla of Tlingit (Kolosh) canoes, to pay
their respects, led by the chief (toyon)
dressed in tails with a silk waist coat and
jodpurs! Three Tlingit toyons were invited
to their cabin where Ferdinand served then
a bottle of "the cheapest wine" which they
appreciated and asked that some be
provided to their oarsmen as well.
Elisabeth described their cabin
residence as "lovely and friendly despite the
few inconveniences." She undertook her
new role as chatelaine with enthusiasm. Her
presence was an uplifting influence upon
the community. She was popular with all
levels of society. She entertained regularly,
was a gracious hostess, developed
relationships within the Tlingit people and
hosted many visitors such as Peter Skene
Ogden and Sir George Simpson. Her legacy
continued through subsequent chatelaines,
so that Sitka came to be known as the "Paris
of the North."
The book divides itself into three
distinct sections. The first, the journey, to
Sitka, which is largely narrated by Elisabeth
primarily in her letters home. The second
section deals with the Baron's five year term
as Governor and chief manager of the RAC
voiced through his journal entries and
reports, with few contributions from
Elisabeth and none following the death of
their daughter Marie Louise, never a strong
child, in 1832. The final section is again the
Baron's narrative. His term has been
completed and they journey home via
California and Mexico where he has
diplomatic duties. They cross Mexico and
make their way up the east coast to New
York and thence to Europe. Elisabeth then
became the first woman to go around the
world without crossing the equator.
Back home, the Baron resumed his
career with the Imperial Russian Navy,
eventually attaining the rank of Admiral.
Sadly Elisabeth died on March 31,1854. In
a letter to her friend Lutke the Baron
confides, "My unforgettable companion and
faithful friend of 25 years has separated
forever; her soul has fled this earthly life and
gone to its eternal resting place." His grief
and pain are evident to us 150 years later.
He survived Elisabeth by sixteen years.
They had nine children, five of whom reach
adulthood. He never remarried.
This book is a worthy and welcome
addition to northwest history. Its epistolary
format puts the reader "there" and makes
it difficult to put aside.
Norm Collingwood, retired Provincial Court Judge with a
special interest in the north.
Halcyon; the Captain's Paradise ■ A history of
Halcyon Hot Springs.
Milton Parent. Nakusp, Arrow Lakes Historical Society,
2005. 104 p., illus., map. $25 hard cover. Available from
Arrow Lakes Historical Society; PO Box 819, Nakusp, BC
The author has drawn on an excellent
collection of photos and archival materials
of the Arrow Lakes to write a history of
Halcyon Hot Springs. Known to the Lakes
Salishan band of the upper Columbia, these
hot springs were not preferred to their sweat
baths. Few references to Halcyon are made
in the prehistory or fur trade documents and
only the briefest of references are made prior
to the mining era of the 1880's.
Arrival of the CPR and consequent
mining boom brought the first claimant to
the site. One of the most intriguing
characters in West Kootenay history, Robert
Sanderson was an educated, energetic
adventurer and entrepreneur, who after
BRITISH COLUMBIA HISTORY - Vol. 39 No. 1 29 building the railroad bridge at Revelstoke
headed south down the Columbia to the
Arrow Lakes. Captain of the sternwheeler
Dispatch, and one of the founders of the
Columbia & Kootenay Navigation
Company, he became the first owner of the
400 acre site of Halcyon Hot Springs.
Sanderson divested interest in 1896 and the
next year sold the remainder to Alberta
interests who had expansion plans. From
newspaper quotes of that time the author
provides a picture of a lively facility with a
range of services and recreation
opportunities. Robert Sanderson,
meanwhile had followed the mining and
smelting business to Trail, then Nelson, and
in the early 1900's took his young family
back to the upper Arrow across from
Halcyon at Pingston Creek to a floating
sawmill. From there he traveled to
Arrowhead where he was Captain of a
federal government dredge. Control of the
Hot Springs changed hands in 1905 and
again in 1910, a time of prosperity when
Halcyon was a social destination for people
of the mills and transportation centers of
Arrowhead and Nakusp,and the mills and
mining camps in Beaton Arm.
The period of greatest optimism for
Halcyon was from 1910-1914 when the CPR
decided to expand their tourism network
into the Kootenay, Arrow and Okanagan
lakes by linking first class rail service with
luxury paddlewheelers: the SS Bonnington
on the Arrow, the SS Nasookin on Kootenay,
and the SS Sicamous in Okanagan Lake.
World War I put an end to this optimistic
vision and the paddlewheelers were
scrapped in favour of more utilitarian
shipping; the hotel at Balfour was turned
into a sanitarium, and Halcyon met the same
fate a short time later. Prohibition in 1917
further struck the hotel trade; the "only sure
profit making service left for Halcyon was
the treatment of workmen from the Trail
smelter" for lead poisoning.
The period for Halcyon as a spa was
dominated after 1924 by Brig.-Gen.
Frederick Burnham, a medical doctor, and
war hero of the Balkans conflict who ran the
lodge until it was destroyed in 1955. One of
the Arrow Lakes' most memorable
characters; puritanical, he allowed no
smoking, drink, or dancing in his spa. The
latter part of the book treats Burnham, his
contacts, his family and employees.
Depression years marked the beginning of
decline for Halcyon, but surprisingly it rode
out this period as Burnham catered to his
small but loyal clientele. The late forties saw
Burnham's idiosyncracies more evident and
the economy of the region changed. Water
links were the only lifeline to Halcyon and
when the last of the paddlewheelers, the
Minto, stopped service in 1954 the facility
was doomed. Burnham died in the fire
which accidentally burned Halcyon in 1955.
Many photos enliven the text of this
attractively bound book. The "booster" style
seldom detracts from an interesting read. It
is quite well edited with one notable
exception the spelling of the name of a
source of photographs should be "Stan
Sherstobitoff"(see p. 31, p.32, p.45).
W.A. Bill Sloan
Historical Atlas of Vancouver and the Lower
Fraser Valley.
Derek Hayes. Vancouver, Douglas and Mclntyre, 2005. 192
p., illus. $49.95 hardcover.
Derek Hayes is back. He began his
series of historical atlases with his Historical
Atlas of British Columbia and the Pacific
Northwest: maps of exploration: British
Columbia, Washington, Oregon, Alaska, Yukon
published in 1999. With that volume he
found his strength. He combined his
expertise and interest in mapping and map
collecting and his strong design sense with
his interest in local and Canadian history to
produce five more well-received historical
This time it's with the Historical Atlas
ofVancouver and the Lower Fraser Valley. Like
each of its five predecessors, this is a large-
format, sumptuously illustrated, full colour
atlas. It consists of maps, charts,
photographs, sketches, bird's-eye views and
property plats produced from European
contact to the present in and about British
Columbia's Lower Mainland. It also
includes cut lines explaining each
illustration and short contextual histories
written by Hayes. It and its predecessors are
distinctive publications.
The distinctiveness lies not in the use
of reproductions of historic maps and other
materials but rather in the full use of colour,
the emphasis on good design and an easily
accessible approach to historical narrative.
Historical atlases based entirely on
reproductions of maps and charts have been
produced in Canada prior to Hayes' work.
John Warkentin and Richard Ruggles'
Manitoba Historical Atlas produced in 1970
by the Historical and Scientific Society of
Manitoba is a prime example. A solid history
with well-selected historic maps in black
and white, it lacks the eye appeal of Hayes'
atlas series.
Beginning with a title page spread of
a bird's-eye map of New Westminster,
Burnaby and Vancouver that "was drawn
about 1912 to illustrate the central position
of two subdivisions for sale . . ." Hayes
documents in text and historic illustration
Vancouver and the Lower Fraser Valley from
First Nations' settlements and first European
explorers to satellite images and Geographic
Information System (GIS) -based mapping
of the region. In between, as foreshadowed
by the title page bird's-eye view, the maps
of the development visionaries with their
transportation expansion dreams and their
real estate maps dominate.
The atlas includes over 370 original
map reproductions and over 100 period
photographs. Some of the maps are good old
standbys - the 1791 Spanish map, based on
the explorations of Narvaez, showing what
is to become Vancouver as Ysla de Langara
has appeared many times in regional
literature and the literature of exploration.
Many others, less mainstream historically,
such as the fire insurance atlas map of 1897
of Steveston showing the location of the
salmon canneries and the early real estate
subdivision maps in the Fraser Valley, are
rarely seen.
Hayes' decision to include the lower
Fraser Valley was a well thought out one.
Geographically, Vancouver and the Valley
30 BRITISH COLUMBIA HISTORY - Vol. 39 No. 1 are a unit and as time passes that fact is
underlined as the suburban and commuting
population expands eastward. In the atlas,
transportation plans and maps underline the
regional base and grow in numbers and
importance in the post World War II era.
Maps of evacuation routes from the 1950s,
plans for new bridges across False Creek and
drawings for the tunnel under the Fraser
River from the same era, maps of routes for
new freeways and of the Port Mann Bridge
from the early 1960s, route maps for the Alex
Fraser Bridge and its connectors and the Sky
Train system from the 1980s - these are the
backbone of the final third of the atlas.
The inclusion of the lower Fraser Valley
also overcomes the fact that information
about the growth ofVancouver through maps
has been tackled previously. Although the
approach is different in that all maps were
drawn for the atlas, Bruce Macdonald's
Vancouver, a Visual History, Talon Books, 1992
documents cartographically the
development of Vancouver, decade to
decade, from the 1850s to the 1980s.
(McDonald's atlas includes somewhat more
detail about Vancouver's First Nations
settlement in the contact era than does that
of Hayes. Hayes covers this era largely by
referencing the extraordinary A Stodo Coast
Salish Historical Atlas published by Douglas
and Mclntyre in 2001.) As a result, the Fraser
Valley sections of Hayes' compilation are a
useful contribution to the geographic and
historic understanding of the development
of that part of the entire region.
Denis Wood, in his book The Power of
Maps, Guilford Press, 1992, makes the point
that maps work by serving interests. The
sense of this comes through strongly in
Hayes' Vancouver region atlas. From the
claims of the first European explorers
through the land development promotions
of the three 'greenhorns' and David
Oppenheimer, the visionary ideas outlined
by Vancouver City planner Harland
Bartholomew in the 1920s to the
'rejuvenation' of False Creek a few decades
ago, the maps produced for these schemes
all had a purpose. Because Hayes relies only
on maps, charts and plans from each era, the
viewer can see them from an ideological and
temporal distance - the interests served
become clearer. The biases that we may
accept in maps and which are often built into
historical atlases are made more visible.
Hayes' approach to atlas making maythen,
have the side benefit of increasing the
readers' map literacy.
With the single caveat that too many
of the reproductions in the atlas lose detail
and require a magnifying glass to read, this
is a convenient and important publication
for Vancouver and Fraser Valley history
aficionados. It brings together, in one
publication, basic visual information
through maps about the region. Much of the
material was scattered and not readily
available. It will undoubtedly join the other
Hayes atlases in being widely purchased by
libraries and individuals and should stand
as a useful reference for some considerable
time to come.
Ross Carter is a retired college administrator and librarian
and editor of Historiana, the newsletter of the Bowen
Island Historians, and Marlais, the newsletter of the Dylan
Thomas Circle of Vancouver.
Homefront & Battlefront: Nelson BC in
World War II.
Sylvia Crooks. Vancouver. Granville Island Publishing,
2005. 228p. illus. map $24.95paperback.
During World War II the citizens of
Nelson, both young and old, rallied around
the flag and vigorously supported the war
effort. It was one's patriotic duty to help in
the struggle for victory. This was a refrain
that reverberated throughout Canada and
Nelson's reaction reflects similar stories
from across the land.
Etched on the Nelson cenotaph are the
names of men who lost their lives in that
global conflict. Of the 1,300 enlisted men and
women from the region, seventy young men
made the supreme sacrifice. It was from this
granite monument that the author began her
quest to identify these men and how they
perished — every life has a story to tell.
Six chapters cover the war years,
1939 /40 -1945. Each begins with a synopsis
of that year's war events, followed by
Nelson's activities supporting the war effort.
According to Bruce Hutchison of the
Vancouver Sun, the Queen City was "noted
for its fine spirit of civic pride" and
throughout World War II its citizens proved
him right. Nelsonites served in the home
militia, hosted Commonwealth Air Training
men, exceeded every Victory Loan Campaign
goal, competed in selling War Savings Stamps
and Certificates, amassed vast quantities of
war materials for recycling, assembled
innumerable' V Bundles, fundraised Milk for
Britain, supported war orphans, adopted a
ship and her men. In fact, Nelson was
considered "the most patriotic town in British
Columbia." But the story of a frenzied war
effort on the homefront is countered by the
grim reality of lost lives remembered,
personalized and memorialized through
short biographies. These are based on
interviews or gleaned from school yearbooks
and newspaper accounts.
The book includes photographic
portraits that accompany many of the
biographies. Other pertinent photographs,
advertisements and cartoons complement
the text. Also, various lists supplement the
text: Geographical Memorials to Nelson and
District Casualties (29 mountains,
watercourses etc. were named after these
servicemen); Nelson and District World War
II Casualties (73) including death date and
place of burial or memorial; Military Units
of Nelson and District Casualties; Home
Addresses of Nelson and District Casualties.
The book is well documented with extensive
Endnotes, a thorough Bibliography and a
useful Personal Name Index.
The author concludes: "Now, through
these pages, we can at least know them a
little better — what they accomplished in
their short lives, and how they died."
Homefront & Battlefront is a poignant
memorial to these casualties and also to
Nelson's overwhelming involvement in the
war effort. It will also serve as a very useful
reference tool for genealogists, war
historians, and Nelson aficionados; but more
importantly this story will touch the heart
and soul of readers with a profound sense
of gratitude and pride.
R.J.(Ron) Welwood, BCHF Past-President and Editor of
BRITISH COLUMBIA HISTORY - Vol. 39 No. 1 31 A King from Canada.
Conrad Swan. Stanhope, The Memoir Club, 2005. 334 p.,
illus. $38 Available from The Memoir Club, Stanhope Old
Hall, Stanhope, Weardale, Co. Durham UK DL132PF
Who is Conrad Swan and why is he
writing about the Cowichan Valley? Duncan
native Sir Conrad Swan, retired Garter
Principal King of Arms (chief herald of
England and Wales) has written his memoirs.
I found the book to be an exciting story about
an exotic life style no longer part of our social
fabric. I ask myself simply: How did a young
man from Duncan come to work in the Royal
Household and rise to the highest ceremonial
office in England and Wales
Well written and highly engaging,
Swan writes about his life in a easy, laidback
way which combines historical information
with humour and tragedy. This memoir is
more than a commentary on the modern use
of arcane Norman French in heraldry or a
discussion on the merits of the bend wavy
over the saltire raguly. For historians and
British Columbians interested in the world
of the gentry and noble families and their
impact upon Canada, Swan offers personal
insight into the Cowichan Valley and British
Columbia of the pre World War II society.
His story about the traditional Fraser Valley
hunt and the difficulties of returning to the
Island within the same day is illustrative of
that era and the ferry system. I would
support Swan's comment that a broader
understanding of these families can be
found in the work of my colleague, Patrick
Dunae, Gentlemen Emigrants From the British
Public Schools to the Canadian Frontier.
As a personal memoir Swan educates
his reader into his landed gentry family of
Polish-Lithuanian descent and offers a
wonderful discussion of the Polish and
Lithuanian confederacy and the impacts of
foreign influences upon it. He should be
indulged as he discusses the symbols and
honours of the confederacy and his family's
role within it. The family trees and lineages
clearly document where his views, attitudes
and influences are shaped and moulded. His
description of the coronation of George VI is
written in such a way, one can easily believe
that all Cowichan boys could have attended!
Swan's departure to England to finish
his education ends the chapters where the
primary focus is on British Columbia. The
easy style of his writing continues and his
tales of his war service in the famed Madras
Regiment of the British Indian Army are
captivating. However, there is a change in the
writing, where his commentaries on family
and childhood are insightful and interesting;
his commentaries as an adult, are sharp,
concise and, at times, brutally frank. His
observations of the abilities of Earl
Mountbatten of Burma, the last Viceroy of
India, support other historians' view of
Mountbatten's role during our ill-fated
Dieppe venture. His story of being one of the
'last soldiers of the Raj' has a bittersweet tone
and illuminative of how our young men and
women were challenged to rebuild their lives
after war service. In this Year of the Veteran,
Swan's writing is so appropriate.
His education and academic teaching
positions provide the evidence and
background for his appointment to the
Royal Household and its College of Arms.
For those of us interested in heraldry and
symbolism, this chapter of his life is very
interesting. I have read few articles on the
internal workings of the College of Arms,
which for over two hundred years granted
civic and personal arms to Canadians.
Operating under a royal charter dating from
1555, Swan details the three main functions
of the College and it officers as being:
ceremonial, genealogical and heraldic. The
ceremonial aspect is reflected in events such
as opening of Parliament, royal weddings
and state funerals. Swan's first ceremonial
was the funeral of Sir Winston Churchill
and, perhaps, his most important being the
installation of the Prince of Wales. The
genealogical aspect is the work that the
College and it officers perform in identifying
family ties and authenticating the transfer
of property and titles to the proper heirs. The
heraldic function is the granting of armorial
bearings to qualified individuals,
corporations and government agencies.
Please note that the College is a self
supporting Crown agency! Thankfully, our
own Canadian Heraldic Authority operates
on a self funding model.
While many Canadians will find
heraldry antiquated (i.e., boring), many of us
are interested in having our national symbols
reflect our pride in Canada and its people.
For over forty years, Conrad Swan has
written on Canada's national symbols and
has constantly encouraged his fellow
Canadian to express their pride and
nationalism. The book reveals Swan's
involvement in the secret meetings
surrounding the creation of our Maple Leaf
flag and of the difficulties that some Royal
authorities were mounting. The chapters on
the establishment of the Order of Canada and
the creation of the Canadian heraldic
authority follow a similar pattern as the
Maple Leaf flag. Here, with Swan's assistance
and guidance Canada was the first dominion
to strike out on a uniquely national flag, the
first dominion to create its own honours
system, and the first dominion to consolidate
its heraldic rights within its own borders - all
unique ventures. Latterly, Swan has assisted
our Canadian provinces in creating their own
orders, Saskatchewan being the last to
recognize Swan's contribution.
This publication is certainly a must
read for all interested in heraldry generally
and Canada specifically. Swan can be
defined as: from one of the last families of
'gentlemen emigrants', one of the last
soldiers of the Raj, the first Canadian to be
appointed to the College of Arms; and the
first Canadian ever to hold the ancient title
of Garter Principal King of Arms. However,
for us, his book speaks of a British Columbia
dissolved away by the ravages of the 1939-
45 War and the loss of empire; and it speaks
of the impacts that a Canadian has quietly
had on the creation and development of our
national symbols. The flag that flies over us;
and the Order of Canada lapel pins
identifying fellow Canadian for their
contributions to their fellow citizens are part
of his legacy to his fellow citizens. Swan's
impact upon our everyday lives has gone,
dare I say, unheralded. This book begins to
tell the full story of a Conrad Swan, fellow
British Columbian, who has contributed
much to our national life.
Gary Mitchell, Provincial Archivist of British Columba.
32 BRITISH COLUMBIA HISTORY - Vol. 39 No. 1 Nanaimo between Past and Future: Critical
Perspectives on Growth, Planning and the New
Nanaimo Centre.
Published by Friends of Plan Nanaimo Society, November
2005. ISBN 0-9739408-0-8. Edited by Eric W. Ricker.
Softbound. 6" x 9" 289 pages.
"...a disturbing insight into what happens when
politics and money mix in a community....a 'must read'
for those interested in the politics of development." Dr.
AUan Warnke, former Liberal MLAfor Richmond-Steveston
and Professor of Political Science at Malaspina University-
"...a welcome addition to the literature on local
government policy-making and especially important
where so little is available in British Columbia outside
Vancouver." Dr. Robert Bish, Professor Emeritus and former
Co-director ofthe Local Government Institute at the University
These thirteen essays establish an
historical and a contemporary context for
understanding the politics of development
in Nanaimo, B.C. They include critical
reviews of proposals over the years to
encourage downtown revitalization and
discuss the most recent manifestation, the
New Nanaimo Centre project, a
controversial public-private-partnership
using taxpayers monies to construct a
conference centre in Nanaimo"s historic
downtown and approving private
development of two condo towers on public
waterfront property. The recent role in this
process of Nanaimo"s 1997 award-winning
official community plan is examined by one
of the original participants in the
comprehensive planning exercise leading to
ratification of the OCP
Two experts, Dr. Heywood Sanders,
noted independent critic of publicly
financed convention centres in North
America today, and Trevor Boddy, urban
design and architecture critic for the
Vancouver Sun, consider the viability of
conference centres and urban design as
possible tools for downtown revitalization.
Other authors discuss impacts of city council
decision-making on social concerns and
taxation; analyze the influence of the media
in Nanaimo"s 2004 referendum campaign;
re-iterate the importance of rigorous
application of "conflict of interest' standards
to those in the public sphere; and explore
the essential role citizens" groups have
played in the acquisition of Nanaimo"s
major parks and recreational ice surfaces.
The collection includes twelve
appendices, including two pro bono opinions
of experts on what should have been
considered by the city in relation to
appropriate analysis of economic benefits
and risk assessment relating to the NNC.
The collection is published by Friends
of Plan Nanaimo, a citizen"s group formed in
2004 in reponse to major exceptions to
Nanaimo"s OCP and the sudden approval of
a P3 partnership by Nanaimo"s city council.
Nanaimo area orders: $24.56,
including GST (delivery free). Western
Canada orders $32.00 including GST, S&H.
Eastern Canada orders: $35.00 including
GST, S&H. Cheques only for personal
orders. Institutional orders invoiced. Friends
of Plan Nanaimo, Box 404, Station "A,"
Nanaimo, B.C. V9K 5L3; e-mail: phone:
Notes on contributors:
Trevor Boddy is architecture and
urban design critic for the Vancouver Sun. He
has taught architecture and urban design at
the University of Oregon, the University of
Toronto, the University of Manitoba, and
U.B.C. He has lectured and served as a
design juror throughout the world. His
critical monograph, The Architecture of
Douglas Cardinal, was named Alberta Book
of the Year.
Ron Bolin studied at the University
of Indiana and early in his career was a
professor at the University of Calgary. He
later worked for the City of Edmonton"s
Planning Department, its Management
Systems and Budgets Department, where he
was Branch Massager for Land Systems. He
has since been a consultant on GIS
management for municipal, provincial and
international agencies.
Charles Christopherson attended
UBC's School of Architecture. He served on
the Vancouver City Planning Commission
during the "Goals for Vancouver' program.
Between 1974 and 1997 he was active in
Mount Pleasant neighbourhood affairs
where he campaigned for a program of local
area planning.
Gordon Fuller received a B.A. in
Child and Youth Care from Malaspina
University-College in 2002. He has spent the
last ten years working in the local social
service field, five years of which have been
devoted to managing Samaritan House
Emergency Shelter. He is currently
employed by the Nanaimo Youth Services
Bill Juby received his B.A. and M.A.
degrees from Simon Fraser University and
his Ph.D from Sunderland University in the
United Kingdom. He taught at Simon Fraser
University in the early 1980"s and was a
member of the English Department of
Malaspina University-College from 1987
until his retirement in 2004. He has
published a number of articles in scholarly
Wendy Potter holds M.A. and Ph.D
degrees in Neuropsychology from
McMaster University. She has worked as a
management consultant and she has also
instructed in both universities and the
business world in various North American
Eric Ricker is a retired Dalhousie
University professor of educational policy
and public administration. He studied at
U.B.C. and the University of Toronto,
earning his Ph.D. at the latter. He had edited
three books and authored several research
reports and scholarly articles. He has served
on the editorial boards of scholarly journals
and been president of two national scholarly
societies in the field of education.
Lawrence Rieper was born and
educated in Britain and for many years was
a policeman. He was later involved in
helping and housing former offenders,
wayward youth, the mentally ill, and street
people. He is currently writing a military
history of Vancouver Island.
Heywood Sanders is Professor of
Public Administration at the University of
Texas (San Antonio). He is known as the
best-informed independent critic of publicly
financed convention centres in North
America today. He has held several
prestigious academic positions and been
engaged as a consultant on convention
BRITISH COLUMBIA HISTORY - Vol. 39 No. 1 33 centres by the Inter-American Bank. He has
published 40 scholarly articles and co-edited
two important books on American urban
politics and planning.
Naava Smolash received her B.A. from
Trent University and her M.A. from Guelph
University. She is a part-time instructor a
Malaspina University-College while currently
pursuing a Ph.D. in English at Simon Fraser
University. Naava"s publications include
poetry, fiction, journalistic and opinion pieces,
as well as photography and occasionally,
performance art.
Don Stone received his B.A. and M.A.
degrees from the University of Alberta and
his Ph.D. degree from the University of
Saskatchewan. He is presently Chair of the
Geography Department at Malaspina
University-College. Prior to that, he lectured
in geography at two universities, and was a
regional planning and resource
management consultant in Vancouver.
An Okanagan History written at Fintry, BC: the
diaries of Roger John Sugars 1905-1919.
Edited by John A. Sugars. Westbank, B.C., Sugars
Publishing, 2005, 300 p., illus. $24.95 Available from
Sugars Publishing, 3804 Brown Rd., Westbank, BC V4T 2J3
Diary writing became a strong
impulse as literacy spread in Europe.
Samuel Pepys and John Evelyn are well
known because of their involvement in or
closeness to the major events that were
taking place in seventeenth century
England. Many diarists are far less well
known but still add to our ability to picture
an era and setting. Diarist spawned diarist
and by the nineteenth and early twentieth
century the desire to record their new life in
journal form flourished among the
emigrants that settled the English colonies.
My Grandfather kept a short lived but, to
me, an illuminating diary of the activities of
himself, his wife and my father as they
homesteaded outside Govan, Saskatchewan
in 1907. I celebrate the insight into those
prairie years that that brief diary provides
to the family and me.
Through the publication of the diaries
of Roger John Sugars, 1897-1981, John A.
Sugars, Lillian Sugars and the other
members of the family provide concrete
evidence of the worth, to them, of their
father's journal. From the time he was 13 in
1911, to the end of his service in the in the
European War in 1919 as an army forester,
Roger John Sugars kept an intermittent
diary. His journal covers the years of his
growing to manhood on a homestead in
what is now Fintry, B.C. on the west side of
Okanagan Lake and his service as a
volunteer during World War I.
Roger intended that his diary be read
by family. When he left London with his
parents, he committed to write to his aunts.
As a substitute, he decided to keep diary
books and to send each, as it was filled, to
his Aunt Bessie to be circulated among the
English relatives. When everyone had read
the journal, it was to be returned to the
homestead. The dates of those that have
survived are 1911-12 and 1914 to 1919, and
internal evidence suggests that one or more
of the earliest journals have been lost.
Implicit in the diary is the fact that
Roger Sugars' education did not cease when
he and his parents left England. It is clear,
but unstated, that his father, John, who was
an Oxford MA in classics and his mother,
Lily, well trained as a classical pianist,
continued the boy's education during the
years that he remained at home. Part of the
pleasure of reading the diary is experiencing
the excitement of a young mind blossoming.
Roger's record of events, then, is that
of a literate, intellectually curious, observant
outgoing, healthy teenager and young man.
He appears as a person who has adjusted
magnificently to life in the sparsely settled
fruit growing and ranching Okanagan
Valley. In his diary the reader finds
neighbours and their history noted; wildlife
observed (and hunted); plant life cycles
described through the seasons; weather
commented on; the geology and topography
of the area described and sketched; native
artifacts detailed and drawn; new jobs taken
on and conquered; and, of course a
Canadian volunteer army forester's view of
the later years of the first world war.
Family photographs and Roger's
sketches and maps are throughout the book.
These are reasonably well reproduced and
add to the immediacy of the diary entries.
An appendix is provided of Roger
Sugars' contribution to the 50* Anniversary
Report of the Okanagan Historical Society
(1975). This essay, with the forewords does
provide some more contexts for the diary.
For those that wish to round out their
understanding of the era and setting the
following recent books can contribute: The
British Garden of Eden: settlement history ofthe
Okanagan Valley, British Columbia by Paul M.
Koroscil. Department of Geography, Simon
Fraser University, Burnaby, 2003; Fintry:
loves, lives and dreams: the story of a unique
Okanagan landmark by Stanley Sauerwein.
Trafford Publishing, 2000 and A rich and
fruitful land: the history of the valleys of the
Okanagan, Similkameen and Shuswap edited
by Jean Webber for the Okanagan Historical
Society. Harbour Publishing, 1999.
Ross Carter is a retired college administrator and librarian
and editor of Historiana the newsletter of the Bowen
Island Historians.
Royal Metal; the People, Times and Trains of
New Westminster Bridge.
Barrie Sanford, Vancouver, National Railway Historical Society,
BC Chapter, 2004. $39.95 hard cover. Distributed by Sandhill
Book Marketing, 99-1270 Ellis St., Kelowna, BC V1Y114.
As Van Horne of the CPR might have
said of the New Westminster bridge, Barrie
Sanford's Royal Metal, when it was
completed, was a good plain bridge, as
utilitarian as any railway bridge in the
country. Erected with a minimum of fuss
(engineeering, at any rate), and with
startlingly few human casualties given the
times (one direct construction death, one
attributable to it), the bridge was placed in
revenue operation on 1 October 1904, and
remains in service to this day. So too is this
book a good, workmanlike production.
Excellent of its kind, with all the information
even the most enthusiastic railway might
want, it is a judicious mix of text and images.
RoyalMetal has an introduction and
seventeen chapters, which Sanford in an
"opening note to the readers" states are
aimed at the general reader. The rest of the
book, some 46 pages, contains technical
BRITISH COLUMBIA HISTORY - Vol. 39 No. 1 specifications, a detailed chronology, and a
peculiar index, as well as the usual
paraphernalia of acknowledgements,
bibliography and endnotes. This part of the
book is aimed at specialised readers, causing
this reviewer to wonder at the author's
definition of general reader. The text is
replete with the sort of details so beloved of
railway historians, but probably beyond the
interest of the ordinary reader, while on the
other hand the chronology is full of the sort
of details that should appeal to generalists.
My recommendation would be for all to read
the whole book and skip nothing.
Of greater import is the criterion
used in developing the chapter divisions.
Whilst the first six represent logical
separations - a brief history of the mighty
Fraser itself, the rationale behind the
business decision to build the bridge and the
consequent political infighting, then the
actual building of the structure and the
necessary railway and highway
infrastructure, followed by the gala opening.
The following chapter divisions have little
logic. Chapters 8 to 17 have been split up,
as an engineer might do it, by decade. It is a
neat and tidy construction, but hardly one
to mesh with human endeavours.
Of special interest to this marine
historian is the bridge's interaction with
water-borne traffic - a love-hate relationship
if ever there was one. As Sanford shows
(p.160) at least one maritime professional
was of the opinion that it would have been
a far better thing had a marine accident that
partly demolished the bridge in 1976
actually succeeded. By page 179 it appears
this was not for lack of trying: between 1950
and the end of the eighties the bridge was
hit 48 times by marine traffic. More than a
few of these were seriously disruptive to rail
traffic (paradoxically, not to that on the river
itself, as the swing span was left locked open
whilst repairs were carried out).
In the period 1904-1909 one gets the
impression (p. 76-7) that the bridge was
more often open for shipping than closed
for rail purposes. He then describes how a
far-seeing New Westminster Mayor in 1911
saw a great potential for his city to become
a major ocean port, with the pending
completion of the Panama Canal and the
Canadian Northern Railway. A
commissioned study showed a glowing
future when it appeared in 1912, and then
World War I intervened. Hope rekindled in
the 1920s, Sandford sees three main engines
for possible progress - the opening of the
Canal, the building of a grain elevator (that
great panacea for all ports' woes!) and the
establishment of Pacific Coast Terminals on
the waterfront, with its multi-faceted
enterprises. In describing how ultimately
the aspirations came to naught, he shows
them symbolically sandwiched between two
aspects of technological advance. First was
the inability of tall-masted sailing ships to
pass under the bridge when it had been
electrified in 1909. By the time this
hindrance was removed by extending the
transmission towers on the bridge, the days
of the sailing ship had passed. Another
technological advance over fifty years later
- this time the placement of ocean-going
ships' bridges aft thus restricting their
forward visibility, local pilots - those same
professionals that we have seen were to call
for the removal of the bridge in 1976! -
refused to pilot these relatively clumsy
vessels through the narrow opening the
bridge provided. Sanford leaves us
dangling here, but as the majority of modern
ocean tonnage nowadays has this
configuration it is hardly surprising that
Sanford's reports of ocean-going traffic
under the bridge tails off towards the end
of the book. New Westminster's ambitions
to be a major west coast port are in abeyance.
By and large the book is remarkably
free of typographical errors and editorial
mistakes - except for the index. Sanford
admits it is "unusual' (p.242), but for what
he considers good and sufficient reasons he
has indexed twelve different sections
individually. This arrangement flummoxed
me; please bring back the old, all-inclusive
index. On the other side of the coin, I liked
the idea of endnotes being numbered from
page one all the way to the end. This makes
for easy reference.
And, of course, a nitpick.   Please
reserve the initials 'CNR' in this day and age
for Canadian National Railway. I know it
now goes by 'CN' but CNR still belongs to
it. If one must give initials to Mackenzie &
Mann's Canadian Northern Railwayuse
This being a west coast book I guess
it is mandatory to bring in western
alienation. Sanford has sufficient scope to
allow it to rear its ugly head on at least five
occasions, on p. 57, 122, 137, 152 and 180.
Using the bug-bear of far-off Ottawa and the
rest-of-Canada, he points out how the
people of New Westminster were shortchanged when federal funding for such as
bridges was distributed, particularly when
one looks at the largesse poured out for the
Victoria Bridge and the Quebec Bridge (p.57)
In effect he is arguing that the New
Westminster Bridge should also have been
accorded the status of a national necessity
to warrant such funding. He is on
reasonable grounds to question the moneys
that went to the Quebec Bridge. After all, it
is no longer even used by rail traffic. With
regards to Montreal's Victoria Bridge,
though, he is on a much less sure footing. If
Canada has a nationally-important bridge
it is that one. However, that long-awaited
recognition of national stature may just be
in the wings for the New Westminster
Bridge. Given the burgeoning congestion
at the port of Vancouver, and its
managements's determination for an
'anything-but-Prince Rupert' solution, the
'Royal Metal' bridge might come to the
forefront. Sanford's strong advocacy on its
part cannot hurt.
Kenneth Mackenzie is a marine historian. Living on Salt
Spring Island.
Selected Excerpts from the Vancouver Natural
History "Bulletin" with Notes and Index.
Compiled by Bill Merilees. Vancouver Natural History Society,
2005. 320 p., $45 paperback. Available from David Foreman,
11-4957 Marine Drive, West Vancouver, BC V7W2P5.
In 1943 the Vancouver Natural
History Society began producing a
newsletter, usually referred to as "The
Bulletin", to inform members of the Society's
activities. 153 issues were produced until
BRITISH COLUMBIA HISTORY - Vol. 39 No. 1 35 December 1971, when the newsletter was
renamed Discovery.
Now Bill Merilees has compiled a
selection of excerpts from these 153 issues,
to give easy accesss to their contents.
Amongst the excerpts are accounts of
seagull nests in Howe Sound; Campbell
River Park in Surrey; summer camps;
Christmas bird counts; and conservation
committee concerns. All the excerpts
combine to provide fascinating aspects of
Greater Vancouver's changing natural
history and the Society's work to learn about
it and to protect and save it.
A detailed index of over 2,600 entries
adds greatly to the usefulness of this
compilation. Thirty copies have been
distributed to major public and university
libraries in the Lower Mainland and
Vancouver Island.
Elizabeth Walker, member of the VNHS, and author of
Street Names of Vancouver.
The Slocan: Portrait of a VaUey
Katherine Gordon. Winlaw, Sono Nis Press, 2004. 320 p.,
illus. $24.95paperback.
The Slocan Valley in BC's West
Kootenay district is blessed with an
especially diverse history. It first came to
prominence in the early 1890s following the
discovery of high grade ore, earning it the
nickname 'Silvery Slocan.' Competing
railways raced to build lines into the region,
and towns such as New Denver, Silverton,
and Sandon emerged at the north end. The
lower valley, meantime, became home to a
few mixed farms, as well as the schemes of
unscrupulous promoters who promised
prime fruit growing land.
The mining boom petered out by the
second decade of the 20th century, and
forestry became the mainstay. The Patrick
family ran a large sawmiUing operation, and
used the profits from its sale to form Western
Canada's first professional hockey league.
Added to the mix was the arrival of
the Doukhobors in 1909, which established
the valley's reputation as a haven, further
enhanced by the many American draft
dodgers and war resisters who sought refuge
there in the 1960s and '70s. During the Second
World War, the valley was also home to
Japanese Canadians against their will.
Katherine Gordon is the first author
to tackle all of these many facets in one
volume. The Slocan: Portrait of a Valley
(recipient of an honourable mention in the
2004 BC Historical Federation book
competition), is an admirable work. Gordon
carefully places the valley in historical
context, beginning with the long-overlooked
Sinixt First Nation. Despite being officially
declared extinct, members have in recent
years returned to the area to care for a burial
ground and repatriate remains of their
Two chapters are devoted to the
Doukhobors, including trouble with the
Sons of Freedom splinter group, another to
the Japanese internment, and several more
to railways, mining, farming, communes,
and counterculture. The book then brings
us up to the present, where loggers and
industrialists co-exist more or less in
harmony with artists and environmentalists.
Eclectic may be an overused word, but it
perfectly describes the modern Slocan.
Running through the book is the
valley's stunning geography, including the
Valhalla range, pristine Slocan Lake, and Cape
Horn, a sheer rock face that splits the valley
into north and south, and until the early 1990s
was only passable by single-lane road.
Beautifully illustrated, with many
previously unpublished photos, this is a
particularly welcome addition to the evergrowing library of Kootenaiana. The first
edition lacked an index, but this oversight
has been rectified in the second printing.
Greg Nesteroff grew up in the Slocan Valley and has a
special interest in its history.
The SmaU Cities Book: on the cultural future
of small cities.
W.F. Qarrett-Petts, ed. Vancouver, New Star
Books, 2005. $39 paperback.
This volume is a product of the
involvement of Thompson Rivers
University with the Community-University
Research Alliance (CURA). Funded by the
Social Sciences and Humanities Research
Council, CURA's five-year mandate is to
examine the operations of arts and cultural
organizations in Kamloops and to see what
lessons or patterns might be transferable to
other smaller cities in Canada. The Small
Cities Book is perhaps best viewed as a
preliminary/interim report by those
involved about their activities and findings
to date. Though marketed, titled and subtitled as if it pertains to small cities in
general, the contents within the covers of
this volume are concerned almost entirely
with the city of Kamloops.
The book effectively demonstrates
that Kamloops does indeed have a thriving
artistic and cultural community. Several
members of that community outline the
extent and nature of the contributions made
to the quality of life in Kamloops by local
theatre, musical and arts organisations.
Particularly impressive is the fact that these
organisations have thrived in Kamloops
even as similar groups have struggled to
survive in cities of comparable (and larger)
size across Canada. To illustrate this theme,
The Small Cities Book presents academic
analyses, poetry, visual arts, and informative
commentaries by members of cultural
organisations and other individuals. Many
of the articles effectively explore images and
perceptions of Kamloops, whether of a
literary, visual or imaginary nature. Also
included is an exquisitely written memoir
about growing up in Canmore.
The CURA project is not much
concerned with local history, so The Small
Cities Book should not be faulted for offering
as little historical content as it does. A few
articles do include some recent historical
background relevant to the broader
discussion of culture and economic
development, and one article offers an
effective and welcome critique of the civic
promotion of Bill Miner as a local folk hero.
Perhaps greater attention to history would
help readers understand how Kamloops
achieved its enviable cultural/artistic
position. An examination of the successes
and struggles of cultural organisations that
36 BRITISH COLUMBIA HISTORY - Vol. 39 No. 1 pre-date the 1980s could provide some
useful comparisons.
Some minor problems detract from
the impact of The Small Cities Book. The
production values of this paperback edition
cannot do justice to many of the illustrations
and photographs that accompany the text.
A few of these visual representations would
have been better left out. On the other hand,
the inclusion of a little information about
each contributor would provide context and
prevent readers from having to guess at
what roles the authors might play or what
positions they might hold. (Some
contributors do identify themselves in the
course of their articles—this is helpful,
especially for readers not familiar with
Kamloops.) And finally, the academic tone
and frequent reminders of theoretical
constructs—though necessary and
understandable to a certain extent—become
intrusive and distracting for the general
reader, who will probably find that the most
successful articles are those that do not
display too constant a concern for the
theoretical basis of the CURA project.
This is indeed a small city's book—
and that city is Kamloops. There is much
here to inform anyone interested in
Kamloops and its environs, its cultural
achievements, and even its social problems.
Residents of other small cities will admire—
and perhaps even envy—the cultural
achievements of Kamloops, but they will be
hard pressed to find in The Small Cities Book
obvious structures and models to emulate.
If there are patterns and lessons that are
transferable to other small Canadian cities,
time (and probably a second book) will tell.
Wayne Norton is a former teacher and a current
researcher with the Indian Residential School resolution
Triumph and Tragedy in the Crowsnest Pass.
Second edition - expanded and updated.
Ed. Diana Wilson. Surrey, Heritage House, 2005. 168p.,
illus. $14.95 paperback.
The editor, Diana Wilson has
updated a previous version of this small
book originally published in 1983 and
reprinted in 1985 and 1992 under the title
Tragedies OfThe Crowsnest Pass. It is a good
example of local history and should be both
of interest as well as useful to visitors to the
area since the new last chapter by the editor,
The Crowsnest Pass Lives On, gives a
succinct summary of the many places to
visit in the area. It consists of a preface and
introductory chapter Pass of Triumph, Pass
of Tragedy by the editor. Four chapters
follow with the meat of the book. Railroad
Through The Crowsnest Pass by the editor
is a new chapter giving a history of the
creation of a railway from Fort Macleod
through the Crowsnest Pass to Kootenay
Lake and eventually to Nelson. This railway
was proposed by Colonel Baker in 1886 to
enable his various development schemes
along its proposed route. After many
political machinations, its construction
finally started in 1896 and was completed
seventeen months later on 5 October 1898
at Kootenay Lake. The Frank Slide, that
occurred in the early morning of 29 April
1903, killed 77 persons out of a hundred who
lived in the path of the monster slide in
which a large chunk of Turtle Mountain
broke loose and slid down into the valley
below, and the Hillcrest Mine Disaster in
which 189 miners were killed on 19 June
1914 by an explosion deep within the mine
are both given dramatic rendition by Frank
Anderson. Fernie: City Under Curse by
Elsie Turnbull tells the story of a town that
has managed to survive untold mine
disasters, fires and other trials and
tribulations since 1898 when the railway first
passed through, and is now the major city
in the Pass.
This book is easy to read and holds
the reader's attention throughout, although
it is filled with statistics and other data.
Frank Anderson has used the novelist's
licence in combination with the available
historical information to effectively recreate
the flavour of what people involved were
doing prior to, during and after the Frank
slide and the Hillcrest mine explosion. The
reader becomes immersed in the unfolding
drama and it truly is effective and gripping.
One can almost smell death lurking in the
wings!    The    editor    provides    her
interpretation of the events leading to the
construction of the railway through the
Crowsnest Pass. However, the reader should
consult other books on the subject to gain a
more balanced perspective on the social and
political issues involved.
This new edition includes some new
historic photographs as well as almost all of
those in the previous edition. The publisher
is to be commended because of the high
quality of the reproductions in this edition.
The layout and overall design is also
excellent. Sadly, the eight colour
photographs on the cover and the back cover
pages have been reduced to one view of the
slide area. The first edition cost $7.95 in 1992
whereas the new revision costs $14.95!
This book can be highly commended to
anyone who plans to visit the Crowsnest
Pass area.
Harvey A. Buckmaster is a retired scientist and university
professor who has catholic interests in the history of
Alberta and British Columbia. He now lives in Victoria
after spending his career in Calgary.
Waterfront; the illlustrated maritime story of
Greater Vancouver.
James P. Delgado. Vancouver, Stanton, Atkins & Dosil
Publishers, 2005. 186 p., illus., maps. $45 hard cover.
James Delgado's latest book,
Waterfront: The Illustrated Maritime Story of
Greater Vancouver, is a handsome production.
It was, in fact, inspired by images.
Vancouver printing executive Don Atkins -
familiar to many of us through his
connection to the Alcuin Society - and his
wife Barbara had assembled over 20 years a
large collection of local maritime prints, and
had often thought they might form the basis
for a book.
Now Atkins and Mark Stanton - also
familiar in these parts through his years in
book distribution - and Roberto Dosil, with
a few decades of experience as a designer,
have launched a book publishing company
called, naturally, Stanton Atkins & Dosil.
This is one of their earliest titles, and they
have done a very nice job.
(Leonard McCann, curator emeritus at
the Maritime Museum, is cited as one of the
people who helped with the book. Is there
BRITISH COLUMBIA HISTORY - Vol. 39 No. 1 37 any book on local maritime matters that
does not cite the irreplaceable Len McCann?)
The images are the best element of the
book. There are paintings, maps, sketches,
photographs . . . more than 170 graphic
images, some of them beautiful and rare.
The cover is a lovely, gentle painting, circa
1910, titled Old Prospect Point by John
Blomfield, known for his early stained glass
work here. There's a fantastic etching by
Paul Goranson, circa 1940, of brawny BC
purse seiners, sprawled over two pages. The
fishermen strain to pull in the nets from
water boiling with the fury of the fish. It's a
masterpiece. And the book is studded with
interesting photographs. There's a glorious
one on page 59, for example, of a man at the
B.C. Sugar Refinery working with big
wicker bags of raw sugar.
Delgado's workmanlike text leads us
through the history of the port, with the first
chapter devoted to the geological forces that
shaped our local coast, and the explorers—
Narvaez, Vancouver, Galiano, perhaps early
Asians—who poked around in our own
small pocket of that coast. He begins his real
concentration on our waterfront in 1858/59.
A lot of the images in the book are of
artifacts in the collection of the Vancouver
Maritime Museum, of which Delgado is the
executive director. I would have preferred
to have a note by the images to show their
source, rather than have to root around in
the back of the book. In Chapter One, for
example, is a very fine item, Joseph Baker's
signal book. One of the tasks of young
officers, it seems, was to hand illustrate and
write a book of 'signals' as a guide to the
various flags and signals ships used to
communicate with each other. Baker, who
sailed with George Vancouver and after
whom Vancouver named Mount Baker,
created a handsome example. But I had to
read the back matter to learn it's part of the
Maritime Museum's collection, rather than
one of the Atkins' possessions.
There are many sidebars throughout
the book. In one, Delgado gives us a neat
and funny little account of the HBC steamer
Beaver, which worked on the coast for 52
years, from 1836 to 1888.1 hadn't known that
the crew, just before they ran the Beaver
aground on the rocks of Prospect Point, had
spent a few happy hours in a local bar.
There are sidebars on the Komagata
Maru incident, on the St.Roch and the
Maritime Museum itself, on the Lions Gate
Bridge, Tymac and more.
We make interesting little discoveries
in these handsome pages. I hadn't known
that in the earliest years of our shipping out
flour that much of it came from Portland,
Oregon for transshipment to Asia! "It was
closer, faster and cheaper for the Oregonians
to send their flour north across the
international border than south to San
Francisco . .." We learn that on January 7,
1921 the steamer Effingham was the first ship
to leave from Vancouver with grain for
Europe to use the Panama Canal. Delgado
outlines the growth of our grain-shipping
business from its modest beginnings until
1961 when we became the largest grain-
shipping port in the world. (Hence all those
lofty grain elevators.) I hadn't known that
in early 1944 Burrard Dry Dock had the task
of refitting, for use by the British navy,
American aircraft carriers.
People near Vancouver's waterfront
today putting up with the noise of piledrivers
working on the footings for the new
convention centre may be able to console
themselves by comparing their lot to the
Vancouverites of 1912. A barge named the
Mastadon carried on the noisy work of
dredging the entrance to the First Narrows,
work that went on six days a week for five
years. (It might have gone on for seven days a
week, had the boss not been a religious man.)
There are typos scattered throughout
the book, not so many as to annoy us—
although I did puzzle for a moment over the
caption to the Goranson etching, showing
"BC pursue seiners."
And another reader, more familiar
than I with local maritime lore, points out
errors of fact: "The ship shown on pages 68-
69 is the Camosun, not the Venture. A photo
of the CPR piers on page 97, claimed to be
from 1927, includes three ships not built
until 1930. This photo is very unusual
because it shows two Canadian National
steamers using the CP pier, presumably due
to the CN pier fire of 1930, but this
observation is not mentioned in the caption
or text. And surprisingly absent from the
sources is any reference to the
comprehensive body of research published
by Frank Clapp. Also little mention of
environmental impacts, e.g., Robert's Bank,
loco, etc." If the book goes to an extra
printing these slips can be fixed. I enjoyed
this book a lot. It brings us up to the present
day, with an excellent account of the growth
of the containerization trade, on the
extension of the Port's authority south to the
49* parallel, on the Alaskan cruise business
and on the recent introduction of alarmingly
large vessels capable of bringing 6,000
automobiles into the port on one ship.
Highly recommended.
Chuck Davis, Editor in Chief of the Greater Vancouver
Next issue:
The winners of the
British Columbia
Historical Federation
Book Awards.
BRITISH COLUMBIA HISTORY - Vol. 39 No. 1 Miscellany
Banking Clarification
To the Editor:
I would like to point out an error in
Robert J. Cathro's article on James Cooper
Keith. He states that, "... the Bank of British
Columbia ...was the first bank in the
province, created in April 1862 by a group
of London bankers ..." and cites as a
reference Kenneth M. Pattison's article inBC
Historical News, 1990, Vol. 23 No. 1, pp 2-3.
Unfortunately that article was
describing "The First Bank of British
Columbia" as opposed to the second Bank
of British Columbia which operated from
1968 until 1986 and said nothing about the
bank being the first bank in British Columbia
and rightly so, because it wasn't. There were
two earlier banks, and another organization,
the Wells Fargo that carried on some
banking operations.
Wells Fargo was operating an office
in Victoria from July 1858. The Victoria
Gazette which was published from June 25,
1858 mentioned on July 14, 1858, "New
Banking House - Wells, Fargo & Co. will in
a short time open a banking house in
Victoria. Such an establishment is much
needed." The company's first ad, which was
dated July 17, 1858, was published in the
issue of July 21, 1858, and called itself
"Express and Exchange Co." On July 24,
1858 under "Improvements" is the
following, "The Express Company of Wells,
Fargo & Co., have got into new and
handsomely fitted up quarters, where they
are prepared to transact a Banking as well
as an Express Business."
The first true bank was that of
Alexander Davidson Macdonald, which
operated under the style, Macdonald &
Company. Its first advertisements were in
the Victoria Gazette on March 10, 1859 and
the British Colonist March 12, 1859. This
private bank opened in Victoria and later
had a branch at Richfield. It issued paper
money from 1863, primarily in the Cariboo.
It suffered a burglary on the night of
September 22/23, 1864 and failed as a
The Bank of British North America
was a British bank which opened in 1836 and
received a Royal Charter in 1840. Its staff
arrived in Victoria in May 1859, noted by
the British Colonist of May 18,1859, and the
local branch opened for business July 1,1859
in temporary offices on Government Street,
opposite the Treasury. It established a
permanent location on Yates Street, just
below Government Street. This bank was the
first bank to issue banknotes in what is now
British Columbia. The Bank of British North
America was absorbed by the Bank of
Montreal in 1918.
Ronald Greene
Ted Roberts 1922-2005
John Edmund (Ted) Henry Roberts of
Victoria, a noted scholar of Captain George
Vancouver, R.N., passed away Christmas
Day 2005 after a recent fight with cancer. He
was age 83, bright and engaging to the last.
Recent visits and many telephone
conversations reconfirmed in me his
passionate interest in an accurate record of
Vancouver's eventful and troubled life.
Ted was born in Victoria 23 November
1922, attended local schools including
Victoria High School. Although he did not
graduate, owing to a depression that his
father faced, he lived in Toronto for some
years. Ted became largely self-taught. He
was devoted to life-long learning. He was a
gifted writer, and a lovely stylist. He lived
in Burnaby for some years. Poor eyesight
prevented him from joining the Royal
Canadian Navy, and he joined Boeing. He
later worked for AIM Steel as a purchasing
agent. He was a master carver and
woodworker. He retired to Victoria in 1978.
Ted was, for many years, an active member
of the Victoria Historical Sociey and served,
into his 80s, as council member and
secretary. He volunteered at the Royal
British Columbia Museum, and helped in
the George Vancouver exhibition - Ted recreated the Captain's Cabin of HMS
Discovery, that continues as a popular part
of the museum's permanent display.
His passion for historical research
about George Vancouver and his famous
voyage led Ted in two directions. The first
was as a scholar. Upset by misinterpretations
and misrepresentations, he wrote A
Vindication of Capt. George Vancouver (2nd ed.
2000) and he compiled an account of
Vancouver on the Northwest Coast The
Discovery journal (2nd ed. 2005). The latter, a
day by day chronicle of Vancouver's voyage
on the Northwest Coast, he regarded as his
lifetime work. The other direction Ted took
was to petition the British Columbia and
Canadian governments to name 12* May
(the date of his death, age 40, in 1798) George
Vancouver Day. That petition was
Ted leaves many family and many
more friends sad by his passing. His
companion Ruth Ralston hopes to complete
editorial work on Ted's publications. Sale of
copies of the Trafford Publishing edition of
The Discovery journal is pending.
Barry Gough
Hon. Charles Herbert Mackintosh
I read with great interest Milton
Parent's letter which appeared in BC History
38-3, finally received this week after its misadventure. Milton's knowledge of the
Arrow Lakes is, I'm sure, second to none and
his many volumes are outstanding, but
unfortunately the letter mis-spelled the
name of the Hon. Charles Herbert
Mackintosh as [shudder] Mcintosh. So, I
checked in my pile of books to be read for
my copy of his History of Halcyon and
found that Milton has mis-spelled the name
there too.
Somewhere I have a copy of his
signature, but I would direct you to the
Canadian Parliamentary Companion 1897,
edited by J.A. Gemmill, Ottawa, 1897, p. 398
which gives the spelling Mackintosh —
incidentally the same page says that he
edited the Parliamentary Companion from
1877 to 1882.
I also have a shaertificate in the
Halcyon Hot Springs Sanitarium Company
Limited, issued to the Hon. C.H.
MacKintosh, for 100 shares, dated the 3rd
December 1898.
Ron Greene
BRITISH COLUMBIA HISTORY - Vol. 39 No. 1 39 All Aboard for 1907
The streets are full of people dressed
in the latest Edwardian fashions. They
walk... wave... hurry about. There is plenty
of traffic - horses, wagons and their drivers
- crowding the streets.
These are the scenes captured by
William Harbeck. With a camera mounted
on the front platform of a B.C. Electric
streetcar Harbeck filmed everyday life on
the streets of Vancouver on May 7,1907.
With the centenary of the Harbeck film
just a year away, several organizations have
joined together to recreate the film in 2007.
The Vancouver Historical Society, the
Vancouver Public Library among others are
re-creating the 1907 film in 2007. Crews will
follow the identical route at the same speed
... matching the original film frame for frame.
When finished the group will be
producing a DVD so that besides being able
to see the Vancouver of 1907 and comparing
it to the same sights today, viewers will also
be able to get an idea of life in Vancouver in
1907 with commentary by Vancouver
historians highlighting interesting 1907 facts
and history. There will be a short history of
B.C. Electric streetcars, a biography of
William Harbeck and much more on the City
Reflections DVD.
Because of the construction of the new
rapid transit line between the airport and
downtown Vancouver, the team completed
filming of the route in April of 2006 before
Granville Street was dug up and made
impassable for upto three years.
For more information go to:
History Prizes
The Margaret Ormsby Scholarship
Committee is pleased to announce that Amy
Kramer of the University College of the
Fraser Valley has won the 2005 prize for the
best undergraduate essay in British
Columbia History for her paper: "Women
are Nurturing, Women Are Subordinate,
Women are Mothers: The Feminization of
Teaching in British Columbia, 1872-1914."
The prize of $300 is awarded annually to the
top essays at UCFV, Malaspina University
College, Thompson Rivers University, and
the University of BC Okanagan.
Mystery Launched
The Great Unsolved Mysteries in
Canadian History announces the launch of
its third British Columbia historical mystery
in April 2007. "Explosion on the Kettle
Valley Line: The Death of Peter Verigin" is
a website archives of the documents relating
to the mysterious explosion that killed Peter
'The Lordly" Verigin, the leader of the
Doukhobors, and six others in 1924. It joins
two other online mysteries for BC historians
to solve: "Who Killed William Robinson?
concerning the death of a black man on Salt
Spring in 1868 and "We Do Not Know His
Name: Klatsassin and the Chilcotin War"
exploring the events of 1864 in central BC.
All these mysteries can be found at
A screen capture of
Grejit Unsolved Mysteries in Canadian Histo...
Explosion on the Kettle Valley Line
The Death of Peter Verigin
Government Df
KKK ./ Nativists
Doukhobor factions
BRITISH COLUMBIA HISTORY - Vol. 39 No. 1 Hastings Street, Looking West, Vancouver, D.C.
Lumberm.Hns Arch, Stan!e7 Park. Vancouver, B.C.
Ron Hyde kicks off our new back
pack which will feature post card
finds from around the province.
The top image is Hastings Street
about 1910 looking west from
Cambie Street. The impressive
building on the left of the card is
the Inns of the Court building
which sat opposite the courthouse
which orinally occupied Victory
Square until it moved to Georgia
and Granville in 1912.
The second card shows Stanley
Park and Lumbermans Arch which
was originally erected over
Hastings Street for the visit of the
Duke of Connaught in 1912.
On the same visit he attended the
opening celebration for the new
The arch was moved to Stanley
Park onto the site of a Squamish
village where it lasted until the
1950s when rot had taken its toll.
It was replaced by a more
abstract idea of an arch which
had much less visual imact.
If you have a post card or two of
BC you think is interesting scan it,
give it a caption and e-mail it to
the editor.
The British Columbia Historical
Federation is an umbrella
organization embracing regional
entitled to become Member Societies
of the BC Historical Federation. All
members of these local historical
societies shall by that very fact be
members of the Federation.
AFFILIATED GROUPS are organizations
with specialized interests or objects
of a historical nature.
MEMBERSHIP FEES for both classes of
membership are one dollar per
member of a Member Society or
Affiliated Group with a minimum
membership fee of $25 and a
maximum of $75.
Question regarding membership
should be sent to:
Ron Hyde, Secretary
#20 12880 Railway Ave.,
Richmond BC V7E 6G2
Phone 604.277.2627 Fax
604.277.2657 Return Undeliverable Canadian Addresses to Circulation Department.
British Columbia Historical News
Alice Marwood, #311 - 45520 Knight Road Cnilliwack, BC V2R 3Z2
Canadian Publications Mail Product Sales Agreement No. 40025793
Publications Mail registration No. 09835
We acknowledge the financial support of the Government of Canada, through the Publications Assistance program (PAP), toward our mailing cost
Contact Us:
British Columbia History welcomes
stories, studies, and news items
dealing with any aspect of the
history of British Columbia, and
British Columbians.
Please    submit    manuscripts    for
publication to the Editor,
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Subscription & subscription information:
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#311 -45520 Knight Road
Chilliwack, B. C.   V2R 3Z2
phone 604-824-1570
Subscriptions: $18.00 per year
For addresses outside Canada add
23nd Annual Competition for Writers of BC History
Lieutenant-Governor's Medal for Historical Writing
Deadline: 31 December 2006
The British Columbia Historical Federation invites book submissions for the twenty-third annual Competition for Writers of BC
History. Books representing any facet of BC history, published in
2006 will be considered by the judges who are looking for quality
presentations and fresh material. Community histories, biographies, records of a project or organization as well as personal
reflections, etc. are eligible for consideration.
Reprints or revisions of books are not eligible.
Lieutenant-Governor's Medal
The Lieutenant-Governor's Medal for Historical Writing will be
awarded to an individual writer whose book contributes significantly to the history of British Columbia. Additional prizes may be
awarded to other books at the discretion of the judges.
All entries receive considerable publicity. Winners will receive a
Certificate of Merit, a monetary award and an invitation to the
Awards Banquet of the Federation's annual conference.
For information about making submissions contact:
Bob Mukai, Chair of Competition Committee
4100 Lancelot Drive
Richmond, B. C. V7C 4S3
phone 604-274-6449 email
Books entered become property of the BC Historical Federation.
By submitting books for this competition, authors agree that the British
Columbia Historical Federation may use their names in press releases
and Federation publications regarding the book


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