Biographies of Vancouver Island Mountaineers

Jean Ethel M. Bruce (1882 – 1968) was born in 1882 in Dublin County, Ireland. She began her career as a journalist, first in England and then in Canada. She arrived in the Okanagan in 1910 where she taught school but then moved to Victoria. From 1911 to her retirement in 1941, Ethel Bruce worked for the Victoria Daily Times and Daily Colonist. Over the years she covers special assignments on music and art and was active in women’s organizations. In 1953 she was made honorary vice-president of the Local Council of Women after 40 years of membership. She was active in the Victoria Citizenship Council, Red Cross, Canadian Association of Consumers and the Indian Arts and Welfare. Also, an honorary member of the Women’s Canadian Club. Miss Bruce traveled widely and attended the coronation of Queen Elizabeth in 1953. She was known for her sprightly love of life and was known as “Brucie” by her friends. She passed away in Victoria on 1 February 1968 (obituary in the Daily Colonist February 3, 1968, p.12.)

Gordon Arthur Cameron (1896 – 1968) was born in Calgary in 1896, and before coming to Victoria in 1913 was a member of the field survey team which laid out the boundaries between British Columbia and Alberta. He joined the army in Victoria, leaving the city 28 May 1916 as a member of the 62nd battery. In England he transferred to the 58th battery. In 1918, he transferred to the Royal Air Force, and was later shot down over France. When he returned to Victoria, he helped found the Aerial League of Canada, Victoria Branch, with a mandate to promote commercial flying, train further pilots and set a standard of qualifications for future airmen. On 16 Aug 1918 Cameron made the first flight from Victoria to Nanaimo in an old Curtiss Jenny Pathfinder II. Later on, he was a driving force in B.C. Airways Ltd., which was formed in 1928, and gave the first aerial service between Victoria, Vancouver and Seattle. He was a trained barrister and solicitor was a past president of the Victoria Federal Progressive Conservative Association, and in 1949 was the conservative candidate in the federal election. In the 1920’s he became a member of the Vancouver Island section of the Alpine Club of Canada serving on the executive as the treasurer and led many trips. He was also a member of the Vancouver & Quadra Lodge No 2, AF and AM. Gordon Cameron, QC, passed away 11 April 1968 in Victoria leaving his wife Beatrice and a son and daughter (obituary in the Daily Colonist Friday April 12, p.18.)

Gordon Arthur Cameron

Gordon Arthur Cameron

John Howard Arthur Chapman (1862 – 1942) was born in Trowbridge, Wiltshire, England in 1862 and arrived in Victoria in 1890. He initially worked as a traveling salesman, but between 1895 and 1912, he traveled and took photographs throughout British Columbia. From 1912 to 1936, he concentrated his photographic work on the people, places and events of Vancouver and Victoria. He was at the 1st banquet of the Victoria Branch of the ACC. He passed away on 12 June 1942 (obituary in the Daily Colonist June 13, 1942, p.14.)

George Herbert Dawson (1866 – 1940) was born on 22 November 1866 in Quebec City. He graduated with a Civil Engineering degree from McGill University and became a junior. engineer on the ships’channel between Montreal and Quebec, later becoming assistant engineer in the building of the C.P.R. bridge at St Anne de Bellevue. He first came to Vancouver in 1890 and after a short period as assistant city engineer, he joined the late Sidney Williams and Mr. J.T.C. Williams, with whom, under the firm name of Williams Bros. & Dawson, he carried on an extensive practice in land surveying and civil engineering for some years. In 1912, he took over the position of Surveyor-General of B.C. (1912 – 1917). In 1917, he retired and took no further active part in the profession, but his ever-keen mind and kindly heart prompted him to take a great and useful interest in many unobtrusive charities up to the time of his death. George Dawson passed away in Victoria on 28 March 1940 (obituary in the Daily Colonist March 29, 1940, p.5.) Dawson Falls is named for him.

William Fowler DeVoe (1885 – 1913) was born on June 13, 1885, in St. John, New Brunswick and came out to British Columbia in 1906. He worked for a short time in Trail and then went to Kaslo where he began working with Colonel William J.H. Holmes, a civil engineer and mine surveyor, on surveys around the Arrow Lakes and Skeena River. While working with Holmes, DeVoe began his studies to become a land surveyor. In the spring of 1913, DeVoe passed his final examination in Victoria to become a British Columbia Land Surveyor and continued working under the directions of his mentor Colonel Holmes. Throughout 1913, Holmes was responsible for surveying the boundary of the newly established Strathcona Provincial Park. On October 12, 1913 with the season beginning to wind down, the twenty-eight-year-old DeVoe was crossing the Campbell River when he tragically drowned. William DeVoe is remembered for his meticulous work taking topographical readings and photographs of the new park and for the mountains he climbed and named. Throughout the summer of 1913. DeVoe climbed to various high stations in the park where compass bearings could be taken of the surrounding country. On August 30, while working in the northwest corner of the park, DeVoe climbed to the summit of an unnamed peak. He decided to call it Mount Judson after his father William Judson DeVoe. Following is an extract from DeVoe’s journal with reference to his trip:

I packed my blankets up to the summit of the Pass and at about 10 A.M. left here to climb to the Eastward arriving at the top at 11:15 A.M. The summit covers quite a large area of about the same elevation and I found a good deal of snow especially on the Northern side but also quite a lot right on the top and where exposed to the sun. I made the altitude of the summit 5495.  I remained on the top until 2 P.M., took photographs around the entire circle, sketched topography of the surrounding country and built a cairn 3 ½ feet base and 6 ft high. This cairn is visible on the skyline from the valley of the (middle fork of) Salmon River, from the valley of the North Fork of the Gold River near Coldwater Creek, from the valley of Coldwater Creek, and from the valley of the East Fork of the Gold River, also from many other points except from the East where it is visible from 5000 ft or more altitude. Photographs were taken under poor conditions as the atmosphere was rather hazy for distant views. I got an excellent lookout for the surrounding country which fully repaid me for my climb. I left a record in the cairn and named the mountain “Mt Judson”. I left the summit at 2 P.M. and got back down at the pass at 3.05. I do not think I will attempt a climb of this kind alone again as one takes too many chances, the first 800 or 900 feet above the pass was pretty bad on account of very heavy brush which concealed bluffs.

Despite his not wanting to risk another climb of that degree alone again, DeVoe did ascend another mountain on September 11 and named it Mount Heber, this time after his deceased older brother Heber G. DeVoe. He built a cairn on the summit and again took many photographs. In his journal he wrote: “Mt Heber is the meanest mountain for surveying that I have ever had the misfortune to have anything to do with.”

William Holmes Dougan (1872 – 1962) was born near Seattle, Washington, on 8 December 1872 and was a member of a very old American family. He was a nephew of the late Oliver Wendell Holmes.  Dougan was an experienced mountaineer by the time he moved to Victoria in 1911 and subsequently joined the ACC. From 1924 to 1927 he was Chairman of the Vancouver Island section of the ACC and was active in the section until about 1940. In 1928 he was involved in the exploration of the Forbidden Plateau region. After striking up Mount Becher the party proceeded on to Eugene Croteau’s camp and then a large group ascended Mount Albert Edward. With the weather being in their favour and plenty of food in camp a party then decided to make an ascent of the unclimbed Castle Mountain (now Castlecrag.) He was an extremely active man and had little interest in anything that didn’t involve hard work. He lived in the present and around the campfire would discuss the job to be done tomorrow. Today and yesterday’s work was past so there was no point in discussing it. During the 1940’s his eyesight failed, forcing him to give up most of his associations, but he never forgot a voice he had known. One could pass within a few feet of him on the street and he would not recognize you, but say “Good Morning,” and he would call you by name. Dougan passed away in Victoria on 19 August 1962 (obituary in the Canadian Alpine Journal Vol. 46, 1963, p.137-138.) Fred Maurice wrote: “The world could do very well with a few more like the late William Dougan.”

William Stewart Drewry (1859 – 1939) was born in Belleville, Ontario in 1859. He qualified as an Ontario Licensed Surveyor in 1882, and a Dominion Licensed Surveyor in 1883. In 1884 he was hired by the Surveys Branch of the Department of the Interior, working under Captain Edouard Deville who pioneered photogrammetry as a method of surveying in Canada. In 1892, he was commissioned as a B.C. Land Surveyor and began work for the Surveyor General’s Department of the B.C. government, working mainly in the Nelson and Slocan mining districts and continuing his use of photographic surveying. In 1897, he moved from Kaslo and entered private practice with H.T. Twigg in New Denver, surveying mineral claims throughout the Kootenay area. Drewry was also a mining entrepreneur during this period, staking personal claims and assisting in the establishment of the Provincial Mining Association of B.C. and The Association of Lead Mines of B.C. Drewry dissolved his partnership with Twigg in 1906 and moved to Nelson, working independently both on mining work and the survey of roads in the area for the government. In 1909, he was appointed the first and only Chief Water Commissioner of the province, a position he held until 1911 when he resigned. From 1911 to 1913 he held the position of Inspector of Surveys for B.C., and until 1922 conducted a number of surveys for the Department of Lands and the Department of Mines. He was responsible for much of the Cariboo/Lillooet district boundary survey. After 1922 he took private work, and retired in 1930. He was an active member of the British Columbia Licensed Surveyors Association, being on the board in various capacities between 1909 and 1922. He was also a member of the Masonic Order, and the Alpine Club of Canada. William Drewry passed away in Victoria in 1939 (obituary in the Daily Colonist December 5, 1939, p.14. and the Canadian Alpine Journal Vol. 27, 1940, p.113-115.)

Herbert Otto Frind (1887 – 1961) was born in Toronto in 1887, but most of his schooling took place in Leipzig, Germany. Afterwards he joined his father in Bradford, Yorks, and then in 1907 returned to Toronto to live with his grandparents and joined a trust company. In this mercantile setting he acquired that interest in finance and administration which carried him on a business life of close association with the social sciences, and the subjects of citizenship and education; in these subjects he became very active in the way of planning and development of fields both numerous and varied. In 1909, Frind accompanied his grandmother on a visit to New Zealand. He found much delight in the scenery and in the people and did not return to Canada until 1911, the interval being filled with extensive visits to countries of the Orient. In 1912, he paid his first visit to the Canadian Rockies and attended the ACC camp at Vermillion Pass where he graduated to active membership by climbing No 3 (Ten Peaks). In August of that year he joined the ACCVI expedition to Strathcona Provincial Park where the party made the first ascent of Elkhorn Mountain. Frind documented this expedition with a series of wonderful photographs. These experiences instilled in him the early passion for the outdoors and of the mountains which became so ruling an interest in his subsequent life In 1913, he climbed extensively in England, Germany and the Rockies, acquiring the technique and competence of a first rate mountaineer, and in the winter of that year, accompanied by the well-known guide Conrad Kain, voyaged to New Zealand. There these two achieved a considerable number of ascents in the Southern Alps, many of them first ascents. Frind joined Albert MacCarthy and Professor W.E. Stone in 1915 in a summer of climbs, explorations and photography which included the Bugaboos. In 1916, he was again in the Rockies, but having been commissioned at Toronto in the 36th Peel Regiment his talents were requisitioned for organization work on the Victory Loan and other war work. He found time for a visit to the Rockies in 1917 but thereafter became much involved in questions of Government financing and other public operations and this year marked his last actual participation in climbing. In 1918, he married and moved to Vancouver. Herbert Frind passed away in Toronto on 15 April 1961 (obituary in the Canadian Alpine Journal Vol. 45, 1962, p.166-168.)

William “Billy” Wasborough Foster (1875 – 1954) was born in Bristol, England in 1875 and educated at Wycliffe College, Gloucestershire. In 1892, Foster immigrated to Canada to work as an engineer for the Canadian Pacific Railroad in Revelstoke. In 1905, he became a Justice of the Peace and then in 1908 the Police Magistrate in Revelstoke. Foster entered the Parliament of British Columbia as Deputy Minister of Public Works in 1910. It was under his energetic administration that British Columbia gained a Dominion-wide reputation for the efficiency of its highway system. In 1913, Foster was elected a member of the B.C. Legislature. In 1914, he enrolled for service as Captain Foster of the Canadian Mounted Rifles. He became an infantry battalion commander in 1917. After four years’ service in France, Foster returned to British Columbia with three wounds and five ‘mentions’. He received the Distinguished Service Order with two bars, the Military Cross and both the French and Belgian Croix de Guerre and is said to have refused the Victoria Cross for gallantry when commanding the 52nd Ontario Battalion on Paschendaele Ridge, requesting that it should go instead to one of his officers. On his return to Canada, he was appointed Honorary Colonel of the 15th Battalion Canadian Artillery and became President of an engineering firm. He was also the Honorary Aide-de-Camp to three Governor-Generals, President of the Canadian Legion, the Canadian National Parks Association and the Alpine Club of Canada from 1920 to 1924. In 1935, he was appointed chief of the Vancouver City police department. In 1937, Foster returned to Europe in charge of a large Canadian contingent which was attending the dedication to the Canadian War Memorial on Vimy Ridge. Foster again served his country during World later was promoted to the rank of Major-General War II and was appointed chairman of the Canadian Officers’ Selection Board. For his services he received the Companion of the Order of St. Michael and St. George (C.M.G.). However, it was as a mountaineer the Billy Foster first gained national and international fame, when in 1913 when he made the first ascent of Mount Robson and in 1925 made the first ascent of Canada’s highest mountain, Mount Logan. Although he will be remembered for those two ascents, he is also remembered on Vancouver Island as the man who initiated and organized the logistics for the ACC expedition to the newly established Strathcona Provincial Park. This expedition made the first ascent of Elkhorn Mountain, the Strathcona Matterhorn in August 1912. Foster couldn’t participate in the climb, but in his honour they named a peak, Mount Colonel Foster near the head of the Elk River, after him. In 1934, Foster was awarded the Silver Rope Award for Leadership from the ACC. William Foster passed away in Vancouver on 2 December 1954 (obituary in the Canadian Alpine Journal Vol. 38, 1955, p.52-52. and the Wycliffe Star Gloucestershire, England, September-December 1955, p.10.) At the time he was the Honorary President of the Alpine Club of Canada. “General Foster had every manly quality to command the respect and willing obedience of his officers and the admiration of the public. In addition, he possessed that subtle presence by which a gentleman may be identified. All who knew him are proud to do him honour.”

David Armitage Gillies (1882 – 1967) was born in Carleton Place in 1882 to Mr. and Mrs. James Gillies. He was educated in Carleton Place and in 1901 enrolled as an undergraduate at Queen’s University in the Faculty of Art and graduated as Bachelor of Arts in 1905. In 1947 he was elected by the graduates to the Board of Trustees at Queen’s University and was a member at the time of his death. In 1951, he was appointed to the Investment Committee of the Board, serving actively until 1965 when he was unable to attend further meetings of the Committee. David Gillies entered the family lumbering business, and insisted on learning the operation from the “ground up”. Beginning as a clerk in the lumber camps at Gillies Depot, in the Cobalt District, he was one of the last to experience life in the old “camoose” lumber camps. He also rode one of the last rafts to go down the Ottawa River, through the Chat’s Falls to the lower reaches of the river. He later went to the Braeside headquarters of the firm, where his grandfather, John Gillies, had moved the lumber business he founded near Lanark in 1842. In 1943, Gillies Brothers published a history of the firm “One Hundred Years A-Fellin”. At Braeside, he occupied various office and executive posts and served as President of the firm (Gillies Brothers & Co. Ltd.) from 1938 to 1958. He was also the Chairman of the Board until his retirement in 1961. The company reached the status of one of greatest lumber producers in Canada and was sold in 1963 to Consolidated-Bathurst Limited. A leader in his field David Gillies served in top executive capacities in many lumbering organizations, provincially and nationally. He was President of the Canadian Lumberman’s Association for the year 1945-1946 and was the first recipient of the CLA Wood Award. He also presided over the Canadian Institute of Forestry and served as a director of the Quebec and Ontario Forests Industries Associations, and of the Upper Ottawa Improvement Company. In community service endeavours David Gilles was a former Board Chairman and a Charter Member of the Board of Arnprior and District Memorial Hospital and later, he fostered both personally and financially, the development of the Arnprior and District Museum and Arnprior Library. In 1965 he was honoured as “Arnprior’s Citizen of the Year” by the Eastern Ontario Development Council for his “outstanding contribution to his community.” On the mountaineering front, David Gillies was one of the earliest members of the Alpine Club of Canada. In 1907, he attended the club’s second annual camp at Paradise Valley and graduated to active membership with the ascent of Mount Aberdeen. In 1912, he was a member of the ACC trip to Strathcona Provincial Park and made the first ascent of Elkhorn. Unfortunately, Gillies had to lay aside his mountaineering ambitions as the running of the family business took up most of his time and energy. He did, however, attend briefly the club’s Golden Anniversary Camp at Glacier in 1956. David Gillies passed away in Arnprior, Ontario on 3 November 1967 (obituary in the Canadian Alpine Journal Vol. 51, 1968, p.259-261.)

David Armitage Gillies

David Armitage Gillies

Lewis Hall (1860 – 1933) was born in Uttoxeter, Staffordshire, England in 1860. Lewis’s family came to Ottawa in 1862; they farmed at Russell, Ontario, then moved to Chemainus, B.C., in 1876. Hall tried his hand at farming and lumbering; then in 1886 enrolled in the Philadelphia College of Dental Surgery. He finished in 1888, practiced briefly in Oakville, Ontario, then established his office at 75 Yates St. in Victoria in 1888. His specialty was dental surgery and porcelain work. In 1889 he married Sophia Cummings in Victoria. He was secretary of the British Columbia Board of Dental Examiners. Lewis was on the Victoria School Board from 1896-1904, an alderman in 1906-07, and Mayor in 1908-09. He was influential in using wood paving blocks for downtown streets, and signed the first contract for the ornamental cluster lights in 1909. In 1892 he established the Central Drug Store under the name of Hall & Co., and was store manager for two years before selling his shares. He was involved in the Victoria Board of Trade and president of the Liberal Association for several years. A member of the Victoria West Methodist Church, he was at the 1st banquet of the Vancouver Island section of the Alpine Club of Canada in 1912 and he taught a Bible Class for 15 years. Lewis Hall passed away in 1933 (obituary in the Daily Colonist 1933, August 13, p.20.) and was given a Masonic burial.

Julia Wilmotte Henshaw (1869 – 1937) was born Julia Henderson in 1869 in Durham, England. She married Charles Grant Henshaw in 1887 and they moved to Canada about 1890. Henshaw travelled to France near the beginning of World War I, and returned to give speeches in favour of conscription and to raise money for ambulance services there. Beginning in 1915, she served in the Royal Army Medical Corps as an ambulance driver as part of the British Red Cross Society. Due to her courage in evacuating soldiers and leadership, and despite having no medical training, she was promoted to the rank of Captain. For her bravery she was awarded the Croix de Guerre with a Gold Star for “evacuating and recuperating inhabitants under shell fire and aerial bombarding with a devotion and courage worthy of the highest praise.” She was discharged by the Canadians but then served with the French Red Cross from March to November 1918. After the war she returned to Canada to resume her exploring, writing, and lecturing. She was elected a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society in 1913, and in 1920, as a delegate of the Alpine Club of Canada, she attended the international Alpine Congress in Monaco, where she delivered several slide-illustrated presentations on the Rockies. These were well received and she was made an officer in the country’s Order of St. Charles. A popular speaker, she gave a talk about the Columbia River to the Victoria League in London in 1924; the following year she addressed the Royal Society of Arts and the Royal Scottish Geographic Society on Canada’s National Parks. She was the director of the Canadian National Parks Association. Henshaw Creek on Vancouver Island was named for her. These and other honors were testimony to her accomplishments. She also wrote for two newspapers in Vancouver. In 1914, she and her husband were the first people to drive a car across the Rocky Mountains. She passed away in 1937.

Julia Wilmotte Henshaw

Julia Wilmotte Henshaw

George Rex Boyer Kinney (1872 – 1961) was born in 1872, at Victoria Corner in New Brunswick. In 1895, Kinney enrolled at the Methodist Asbury College in Wilmore, Kentucky, graduating in 1898 with a Bachelor of Arts in Theology. The following year he was accepted on trial to the British Columbia Conference of the Methodist ministry and worked in many communities. In 1906, Kinney attended the ACC’s first mountaineering camp in the Yoho Valley where he assisted in guiding nine club members the top of Mt. Vice-President, the club’s first official climb. While presiding over a congregation at James Bay in Victoria in 1907 Kinney was asked to join Arthur Coleman, and his brother Lucius, in an attempt on Mount Robson, the highest mountain in the Canadian Rockies. Kinney and the Coleman’s returned again in 1908 and their two attempts were abandoned due to bad weather. Kinney continued his obsession with Mount Robson and made a number of attempts with Curly Phillips in 1909. On August 13 in dense clouds and high winds, Kinney claimed to have reached the summit, however, many read his account (especially the leaders in the ACC at the time) and refuted his ascent outright. Whatever the outcome, it is undeniable that Kinney’s effort deserves to be remembered as a great modern climb of Canadian mountaineering. Although Kinney was a conscientious objector, in 1916 he enlisted in the Army Medical Services for the Canadian Over-Seas Expeditionary Force, serving as stretcher bearer in the 4th Field Ambulance Corps. In 1920, Kinney moved to Cumberland and was welcomed as the pastor of the Grace Methodist Church. In 1922, Kinney joined a party led by Harold Banks that made the first recorded ascent of the Comox Glacier. Kinney stayed in Cumberland until 1923 and was then assigned a station in the remote coastal community of Ocean Falls. During the Depression he worked with the men on relief and from 1925 to 1934 was in Proctor, B.C., where he developed the Kootenay Waterways Mission. From 1937 to 1942 he worked with the Koksilah Indian Mission in Duncan. In 1942, George Kinney retired to Victoria where he passed away on 14 November 1961 (obituary in the Daily Colonist Thursday November 16, 1961, p.20.)

George Rex Boyer Kinney

George Rex Boyer Kinney, 1905

Frederick Victor Longstaff (1879 – 1961) was born June 15, 1879 in Ben Rhydding, Yorkshire, England. He was educated at Eton and Cambridge. He was the son of wealthy industrialist Lieutenant Colonel Llewellyn W. Longstaff, a man who contributed significant funding to Captain Scott’s 1901 expedition to Antarctica. Longstaff joined the East Surrey Regiment in 1899. He came to Canada in 1909 as a machine gun instructor seconded to the Canadian Active Militia and was promoted to Major in 1914. He resigned his army commission in 1915 due to medical reasons. He settled in Victoria in 1911 where he practiced as an architectural draftsman (he was trained in London) and was involved in the design of Saint John’s Church and the James Bay Anglican Hall. Frederick shared his brother Tom’s passion for mountaineering. Tom Longstaff served as the Medical Officer on the 1922 Mount Everest Expedition. In 1896, Frederick was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. He married Jennie McCulloch in 1921. In 1932, he was a prime mover in the formation of the Thermopylae Club in Victoria. This club served the interests of the nautical history enthusiasts and for many years was the senior nautical heritage organization in British Columbia. Longstaff was one of the key proponents in the creation of the Maritime Museum of British Columbia. From 1921 until his death, Frederick Longstaff, devoted himself entirely to historical and geographical studies, publishing works on naval, local and ecclesiastical history. Longstaff passed away in Victoria in 1961 (obituary in the Daily Colonist October 5, 1961, p.5. and the Canadian Alpine Journal Vol. 45, 1962, p.165-166.)

Frederick Victor Longstaff

Frederick Victor Longstaff

Albert “Mack” MacCarthy (1876 – 1956) was born in Ames, Iowa in 1876 and was educated in both Ames and Des Moines. He then entered the US Naval Academy at Annapolis and graduated in 1897. MacCarthy served ten years in the US Navy and saw action in the Spanish American War. He was discharged in 1907 at the age of thirty-one with the rank of lieutenant commander. On May 30, 1905 MacCarthy married Elizabeth (Bess) Larned and in 1909 Bess discovered mountaineering in the Canadian Rockies. Two years later Mack followed suit by making his first ascent of Mount Daly in the Waputik Icefield. Thus, began Mack’s passion not only for mountaineering but his love of Canada. After Mack and Bess made a pack train journey through the Bow Valley from Castle Mountain to Windermere in British Columbia, they bought a ranch in the foothills and named it Karmax where for many years it was their summer headquarters. MacCarthy joined the Alpine Club of Canada in 1911 and in August 1912 made the first ascent of Elkhorn Mountain, with the ACCVI expedition. The following year on July 31, 1913 MacCarthy teamed up with Conrad Kain and William Foster and made the first ascent of Mount Robson. Although MacCarthy’s alpine experience was limited at that time, his fitness and unique abilities made him a force to be reckoned with. After the ACC Upper Yoho summer camp in 1914, MacCarthy received a telegram from Kain offering him his guiding services. MacCarthy quickly accepted the offer and on August 10 they made the first ascent of Mount Farnham, which some claimed was “absolutely unclimbable.” In 1915, MacCarthy again hired Conrad Kain and made numerous first ascents in and around the Purcell Mountains: Mount Ethelbert, Commander Mountain, Jumbo Mountain, Mount Peter, Mount McCoubrey and Spearhead Peak, as well as several second ascents. At the end of the season MacCarthy made a solo first of Mount Sally Serena. Again in 1916, MacCarthy employed Kain on a full-time basis. They made the first ascent of Mount Louis and in the Bugaboo’s claimed ascents of Howser Spire and the difficult Bugaboo Spire. MacCarthy again hired Kain in 1917 and they made an ascent of Mount Hungabee with Bess MacCarthy, who became the first woman to climb this impressive mountain. For many years the MacCarthy’s attended the ACC general summer camps and made numerous climbs throughout the Rockies. Finally, MacCarthy’s crowning glory came in 1925 when he made the first ascent of Canada’s highest peak Mount Logan. MacCarthy reached the summit on June 23 with William Foster, Fred Lambert, Allen Carpe, Norman Read and Andy Taylor, and the epic story of their climb and return to civilization has become a landmark in Canadian mountaineering history. Following the Mount Logan climb MacCarthy was made an Honorary Member of the Alpine Club of Canada. During the depression years of the 1930’s, MacCarthy made some major changes in his business affairs and “took back” a property he once owned called Carvel Hall near Annapolis, Maryland. He spent much of his remaining years there due to the close proximity to his other love – the sea. In 1934, “Mack” was awarded the Silver Rope Award for Leadership from the ACC. MacCarthy’s health began to decline in the 1940’s, however, his physical endurance never eluded him and he continued to attend ACC summer camps until 1952. Albert MacCarthy died at Annapolis on 11 October 1956 (obituary in the Canadian Alpine Journal Vol. 40, 1957, p.64-65.)

Robert Daniel McCaw (1884 – 1941) was born in 1884 in Welland, Ontario. In 1903, McCaw was articulated to the surveyor George Ross. In February 1907, he received his Ontario Land Surveyors Commission and entered into partnership with George Ross and in 1909 he received his Dominion Land Surveyors Commission. Later that year the partnership dissolved and McCaw began working with Arthur Wheeler. In 1912, McCaw received his British Columbia Land Surveyors Commission and became a member of the firm Wheeler, Campbell and McCaw. He was then engaged in road location on the West Coast of Vancouver Island for the Public Works Department in Victoria. In 1913, he made a photo-topographical survey along the route of the Banff-Windermere Highway for the Public Works Department of British Columbia. In 1914, the firm of Wheeler, Campbell and McCaw was dissolved, and in May of that year McCaw began to make photo-topographical surveys for the Surveys Branch of the Department of Lands of the Province of B.C. In 1929, he was appointed a member of the permanent Provincial Civil Service. From the mid to late 1930’s, McCaw was working on Vancouver Island and the West Coast. In 1940 and 1941 he worked around Alberni where he made ascents of many of the peaks surrounding the Kennedy River including Pogo Mountain and Steamboat Mountain. McCaw was on the Board of Management of the Corporation of British Columbia Land Surveyors in the 1930’s and was the chairman of the Victoria section of the ACC from 1916 to 1922. McCaw was working in the field during the summer of 1941 when he was taken ill and passed away later in the year (obituary in the Canadian Alpine Journal Vol. 28, 1941.)

Jennie Long McCulloch (1879 – 1957) was born in Stratford, Ontario in 1879. She came to Victoria with her parents William and Jennie (nee Long) in 1885. She joined the staff of the King’s Printer and rose to the position of Chief Clerk. In 1913, she became active in the Alpine Club of Canada where she met Frederick Longstaff; they married in 1921. After their marriage she retired and devoted her time to various cultural interests. She passed away in Victoria in 1957 (obituary in the Canadian Alpine Journal Vol. 41, 1958, p. 115-116.)

Arthur William McCurdy (1856 – 1923) was born to a prominent Nova Scotian family on 13 April 1856 in Truro. After finishing public school, Arthur attended the collegiate institute in Whitby, Ontario. He was articled as a law clerk for four years in a relative’s firm, W. H. and A. Blanchard in Windsor, but he did not take the bar examinations. Instead, he returned to Baddeck to join the family enterprise, D. McCurdy and Son, from which his father’s attention was diverted in 1873 by his election to the provincial legislature. A year after his marriage in 1881 to Lucy O’Brien, Arthur acquired his father’s share and, with his brother William Fraser, expanded the business by building a new wharf, opening a meat-curing operation, and starting the Island Reporter, which Arthur edited. A life-changing event occurred when he met the inventor of the telephone during the visit of Alexander Graham Bell and his wife, to Baddeck in the late summer of 1885. The McCurdy’s were early users of Bell’s device: William had bought sets to link the store with his home and his father’s. Family lore has it that Arthur was having difficulty with the store phone one day when a stranger walked over and repaired it. “How did you know how to fix that?” asked McCurdy. “My name is Alexander Graham Bell,” replied the visitor. Bell was so taken by Baddeck that, on his return to his home in Washington, he wrote to Mrs. Kate Dunlop of the Telegraph House hotel, where he had stayed, to say that he and his wife wished to return the next year and acquire a cottage. She recommended Arthur as an agent; the Bells’ first purchase was a farm home on Crescent Grove, next door to his parents. Bell and McCurdy became fast friends – they played chess and each had ceaseless curiosity and a love of invention. By now the McCurdy’s family was growing. His third child, John Alexander Douglas, was born in 1886. But Cape Breton was entering a period of economic decline, which precipitated the failure of the McCurdy business in 1887. Fortunately, Arthur was offered employment by Bell as his private secretary, and for the next fifteen years he would divide his time between Baddeck and Washington. Enthusiastic and driven by a boundless energy, McCurdy cut a striking figure – he was tall and had a prominent moustache and Vandyke beard. An inveterate outdoorsman, he led the Bells on camping trips and taught them how to use snowshoes and shoot. On one visit to a Micmac (Mi’kmaw) village, he photographed them next to two tepees, adjacent to newly constructed telephone poles. Daisy Bell later recalled that he gave her parents “a kind of young friendship that they never had with anyone else. . . . they did things with him that they could never have done without him.” They soon outgrew their first residence. Bell had fallen in love with Red Head peninsula, on Baddeck Bay, and he tasked McCurdy to acquire the property and 50 adjacent acres. Together they designed The Lodge, the Bells’ rustic home on the point. The association deepened following the death of Lucy McCurdy (nee O’Brien) on March 25, 1888, a week after the birth of another son. Although their children were brought up by Arthur’s sister Georgina, they became part of the Bells’ extended family. Bell broadened Arthur’s duties in 1889 when he reopened his Washington-based laboratory with McCurdy as one of two assistants. In addition to working on experiments, he took daily dictation of Bell’s thoughts in “Lab Notes” and “Home Notes,” designated by where each book was kept. “You are my private secretary and Alter Ego to the world,” Bell told him in a letter in December 1896. The same exchange revealed that Bell’s office habits could be a source of irritation. “Our work,” he wrote, “is actually in a chaotic condition. . . . This is entirely my own fault, and I sympathize with you in having to work with such an unsystematic man as myself.” McCurdy responded on 28 January with some strong suggestions to Bell to rectify this disarray: “1. You [must] come to the office in some sort of season, and not put off office work until three or four o’clock and in the afternoon. 2. Don’t take letters away from the files of the office and expect me to find them when wanted. 3. Don’t take unanswered letters away, and expect me to answer them.” Along with his administrative duties, McCurdy was the first employee to record visually the inventor’s experiments and activities. Like Bell, he embraced the art and science of photography. In 1899, McCurdy’s love of photography led to the development of one of his own successful inventions. His small portable tank for developing film in daytime, dubbed the Ebedec (the Indian name for Baddeck), has been used by generations of photographers. With financial assistance from Bell, he spent three years commercializing it. After obtaining a United States patent in 1902, he sold the rights to Eastman Kodak. He left Bell’s employ in 1902 to pursue invention full-time, including a method of printing statistical maps using interchangeable “map type.” McCurdy had been left a widower after the death of his first wife so in 1902 he married Hattie Mace of Sydenham, Ontario, a niece of Bell’s stepmother, and they moved to Toronto, where their first child was born in 1903. That same year he was awarded the John Scott premium and medal of the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia for his success in invention. A second child was born in 1905 in Baddeck, where, in the summer of 1906, McCurdy’s son Douglas, an engineering student at the University of Toronto, began helping Bell design and fly heavier-than-air craft. By then, McCurdy had moved his family to British Columbia and set up a laboratory at his country home up on the Malahat outside Victoria. He continued to photograph and was active in community affairs; named the first president of the local Canadian Club in 1907, he also pursued his keen interest in nature. For instance, he wrote about Victoria’s climate for the National Geographic Magazine (Washington) in 1907. As president of the Natural History Society of British Columbia, he promoted the establishment of a federal observatory and seismological and meteorological research station, built on Gonzales Hill north of the city in 1913 and headed by Francis Denison. On March 6, 1914 he chaired a meeting and lecture by federal astronomer John Stanley Plaskett, at which time the Victoria centre of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada was organized with Denison as president and McCurdy as vice-president. Through his connection to Denison, he lobbied Ottawa to construct a major astronomical facility on Vancouver Island. Begun on Little Saanich Mountain near Victoria in mid-1915 and opened two years later under Plaskett’s direction, the Dominion Astrophysical Observatory was to house a 72-inch reflecting telescope; installed by May 1918, it was, for a few months, the largest in the world until superseded by the 100-inch instrument at Mount Wilson, California. In July 1910, McCurdy undertook a “pilgrimage” to Nootka Sound and Conuma Peak on behalf of the Natural Historical Society of which he was the president. The small expedition explored Nootka Sound and then made an attempt on Conuma Peak. On the second attempt the party reached the base of the giant rock-arch where the Tomb of chief Maquinna is reported to have been buried. While McCurdy was photographing the arch and ravine while being held by a rope, one member of his party took off their shoes and climbed to the summit. In 1916, McCurdy ran for a seat in British Columbia’s legislature as a Liberal candidate in the riding of Esquimalt. Although he was declared elected on November 21 by a two-vote margin over Conservative candidate Robert Pooley, he resigned over alleged irregularities in taking the soldiers’ vote. Pooley emerged from a recount with a two-vote victory. McCurdy moved to Washington in 1921 and passed away from heart failure in 1923 (obituary in the Daily Colonist September 15, 1923, p.5.) ” He interested himself in the things of life which count,” stated one obituary, and had a “life well spent.”

Edward Mohun was born on 3 September 1838 in Chigwell, England. He arrived in Victoria in 1862 and married to Emmeline Jane Newton in 1878. From 1863-1871 he worked as a surveyor throughout Vancouver Island, the Okanagan, Fraser Valley and Haida Gwaii. In 1871 and 1872, he was the Canadian Pacific Railway Divisional Engineer in charge of surveying the Yellowhead and Eagle Pass. Mohun was appointed as a surveyor to the Joint Indian Reserve Commission in 1876 where he surveyed reserve allotments throughout Vancouver Island and the coastal areas. In 1884, Mohun created a detailed map of the Province of British Columbia. In 1885, he was involved in the large dyke and drainage projects in the Fraser Valley and from there he went on to designing the sewer systems in Vancouver and Victoria. In 1886, his research on BC wood products for bridge building resulted in the basis for future bridge calculations. In 1897, he received the Gzowski Silver Medal for his paper titled “The Sewage System of Victoria” presented before the Canadian Society of Civil Engineers. Later in his career he was involved in sanitation and drainage projects in Victoria and the Vancouver – Pitt Meadows areas, a sanitation inspector, provincial railway inspector, and a public works engineer. He also held the position of Justice of the Peace. In 1890, he was involved in the creation of the Professional Association of Land Surveyors in British Columbia. Mohun passed away in October 1912 at his home in Victoria. His name is remembered in Mohun Lake and Mohun Creek in the Sayward region and the Mohun Shoal on the mid-coast.

Alan Brooks Morkill (1882 – 1956) was born in Sherbrooke, Quebec in 1882 and moved to Victoria in 1907 and worked for the Canadian Bank of Commerce. During W.W.I he left Victoria with the 88th battalion and transferred to the 7th battalion in France where he served in the battles of the Somme and Vimy, and was wounded at Passchendaele. He was awarded the Military Cross in 1918 for his work in the battle of Amiens and later received a bar to his M.C. for gallantry. Morkill returned to banking after the war and married Nellie Mara. At the outset of W.W.II he resigned as manager of the Douglas and Cormorant branch and served as a major for the Canadian Scottish Regiment. He was a noted botanist and president of the Vancouver Island Rock and Alpine Garden Society for nearly twenty years. The Morkill’s house at 852 Pemberton Road frequently opened their garden for tours. He passed away in 1956 (obituary in the Daily Colonist April 22, 1956, p.32.)

James Robert Robertson (1872 – 1932) was born in Cold Springs, near Cobourg, Ontario on 19 March 1872. He was one of eight children born to Frank and Mary Robertson. In 1880 the family moved to Meadow Lea, about thirty miles west of Winnipeg. He went to a little school barely large enough to exist, however, James and his brother George, missed a lot of schooling in order to help on the farm. At the age of fourteen he joined the Church and began preparing himself for the ministry. When he turned eighteen, he returned to Public School and at nineteen he went to Manitoba College (University of Winnipeg), from which he graduated in 1897 with a Bachelor of Art degree. Two years in-between were spent working for financial reasons. In the autumn of 1899, he graduated top of his class in Theology from Manitoba College, however, his second year was at Knox College in Toronto. On December 19, 1899, he was ordained by the Presbytery of Kootenay in Grand Forks, B.C. where he lived until 1905. In 1901, he married Christina Muir. The new Knox Church in Revelstoke called him and he settled there for four years from 1905 until October 1909. That month he went to St. Andrew’s Church in Nanaimo and was there until January 1913. He was then called to the pastorate of St. David’s Church in South Vancouver and for fourteen and a half years he was the faithful pastor of the congregation. His final pastorate (1927) was Trafalger Road Unity Church, afterwards known as St. James’ United Church in Kitsilano, which eventually became the Trinity United Church in the 1990’s. Since James Robert Robertson’s student days in Manitoba the years were one long record of service. Even his recreations were of the strenuous kind. His work towards his Bachelor of Divinty degree, which he received in 1906, was regarded as a hobby rather than as an assigned task. On the climbing front, Robertson was a charter member of the Alpine Club of Canada in 1906 and attended the club’s first annual camp at Yoho making ascents of Mount Burgess and Mount Vice President. At this camp Arthur Wheeler, the ACC President and founder, had made it a requirement that for anyone to become an active member of the ACC it was necessary to undertake an ascent of Mount Vice President. Robertson’s ascents during the camp were made in the company of the Swiss Guide Edward Feuz Jr. The following year Robertson, again using the assistance of Edward Feuz Jr. as guide, made the first ascent (June 11, 1907) of Mount Begbie near Revelstoke with Reverend Doctor J. Herdman (ACC Vice President) and Rupert Haggen. In January of 1909, Robertson and several other local members of the ACC invited Arthur Wheeler to Revelstoke to give a presentation on mountaineering and the Alpine Club of Canada, and during his visit Wheeler accepted the role of Honorary President of the newly formed Revelstoke Mountaineering Club of which Robertson was the first President. This RMC was not considered in competition with the ACC but it was hoped to be a recruiting ground for the Alpine Club. Three years later in August 1912 while living in Nanaimo, and through his acquaintance with Arthur Wheeler, Robertson joined a party to Strathcona Provincial Park on Vancouver Island. This party of nine, that also included his younger brother Francis, made the first ascent of the picturesque Elkhorn Mountain, the second highest peak on the island. However, it is as a preacher, and a pastor that Reverend James Robertson will be best remembered. Thoughtful and stimulating in the pulpit, untiring in pastoral visitation, diligent in secretarial and committee work of the Church Courts, in his own quiet persistent way he made a real contribution to Church life in Western Canada. James Robertson collapsed in his pulpit after having preached a farewell sermon on 26 June 1932.

Francis Arthur Robertson (1875 – 1929) was born in Cold Springs, Ontario, in 1875. Robertson graduated from Manitoba College with a Bachelor of Arts in 1902 and attained a Master’s degree in 1912 from the University of Manitoba. For some years he was in business in Edmonton, and after studying law moved to Victoria. Prior to the Great War he held a commission in the 5th Regiment in Victoria, and at the outbreak was given command of the fortification at Esquimalt. When the 47th Battalion (New Westminster) was formed he applied for a transfer, and proceeded overseas as a Major with that battalion. The loss of an eye in 1916, led to a period in hospital, after which he transferred to the artillery. He returned to France as Officer-in-charge of the 12th Siege Battery and at the Battle of Amiens in 1918 he was again wounded, this time losing a leg. He was awarded the D.S.O. On his return to British Columbia, he was fully occupied with the problems of re-establishment and the care of the disabled with the Returned Soldiers’ Commission. Robertson joined the ACC in 1910 and in 1912 was a member of the party that made the first ascent of Elkhorn Mountain. Included in the party was Francis’s older brother James Robertson. Francis Robertson died in 1929 (obituary in the Canadian Alpine Journal Vol. 18, 1929, p.107.)

Ethelbert Olaf Stuart Scholefield (1875 – 1919) was born on 31 May 1875 in St. Wilfrid’s Ryde, Isle of Wight. The family moved to British Columbia in 1887 where his father eventually became Rector at Esquimalt. Ethelbert, after private tutoring finished his course in the Victoria High School and entered the service of the Provincial Library. In 1894, he became assistant to the first Provincial Librarian and four years later he became Provincial Librarian which he held to his time of death. His duties were expanded by the addition of those of the Provincial Archivist. He is credited with having added 50,000 volumes to the library and many collections of priceless manuscripts, account books, newspapers and other materials from all corners of British Columbia and from any or every source as long as it was related to the history of the Pacific Northwest. He gave himself the tasks of arranging and cataloging the masses of materials so that the library could render the large services intended. The Provincial Government gave generous support. He was involved with many clubs and societies in Victoria including the ACCVI. Scholefield married Lillian May in 1907 and had four sons. Although he received lots of praise for his data collection, his main fault was that he was living under nervous strain all the time, continually making engagements he couldn’t fill. This was due to his generous nature. He will be remembered as one who gave all too freely of his time and strength to his great and successful work of building the Provincial Library. Ethelbert Scholefield passed away on Christmas Day 1919 (obituary in the Daily Colonist December 27, 1919, p.7.)

Ethelbert Olaf Stuart Scholefield

Ethelbert Olaf Stuart Scholefield

Thomas Herbert Taylor (1868 – 1942) was born in South London, Ontario, 28 July 1868. He received his primary education at the Victoria Public School in Westminster township, later attending Mr. Thompson’s boys’ private school in London, Ontario. He worked with an Ontario land surveying company for four years then came to British Columbia in 1899 and received his B.C.L.S. in April that year and after spending three years in East Kootenay he moved to Vancouver and entered into partnership with James Garden. He was closely connected with the development of the C.P.R. lands in Fairview, Shaughessy Heights and Point Grey. During W.W.I. he served overseas as a Lieutenant in the Railway Engineers, 239th Battalion. He was noted for his great physical prowess on the mountains and in the wood. Taylor passed away on 1 December 1942 in Vancouver. He was a member of the Alpine Club of Canada and has a mountain to the south of Bedwell Lake named for him – Mount Tom Taylor.

Dora Tyas was from England and traveled regularly between London and Victoria with her mother Mrs. Walter Dyas and her sister Clara. While staying in Victoria they resided at the Roccabella Boarding House on Quadra Street. Dora attended the 1st banquet for the Victoria branch of the ACC but it is not known if she went on any club trips. In August 1913, she became engaged to H. Llewelyn Thomas.

Joshua Elder Umbach (1879 – 1930) was born 24 September 1879 on a farm near Elmira, Ontario. He obtained a teacher’s certificate, and taught for two years, then entered the “School of Practical Science” in Toronto, graduating in 1903. After serving several months with the Canadian Pacific Railway, he accepted a position in the Topographic Survey Branch in Ottawa. Here he worked until 1911, at which time he transferred to Victoria as a draftsman under the then surveyor-general George H. Dawson. During his regime in Victoria, he introduced a comprehensive scheme of triangulation control surveys to bring order to the previously disjoint surveys that had been done. He developed a systematic topographic survey by the photo-topographical method introduced by his former chief, the late Dr. Deville. After George Dawson retired, Joshua Umbach became the Surveyor-general of the Province of B.C. Umbach died suddenly of a heart attack on 2 February 1930 (obituary in the Daily Colonist February 3, 1930, p.5.) Umbach Peak is named in his honour.

Horace “Rusty” Westmorland (1886 – 1984) was born in Penrith, England in 1886 and educated at Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School in Lancashire. He worked in the family’s tannery and leather business until the death of his father in 1909. In 1911 Westmorland moved to Saskatchewan but work prospects were poor there so he moved on to Vancouver where he met Arthur Wheeler. He spent the next six months working with the surveyors as part of the Alberta/British Columbia Interprovincial Boundary Commission and continued working seasonally for the surveyors until 1914. In 1912, Westmorland was invited to take a commission in a Canadian ‘Territorial’ Highland Regiment. He qualified at Military School and was transferred to the Canadian ‘Regular’ Army where he served in Belgium and France from 1915 to 1919. In 1943, Lieutenant-Colonel Westmorland used his indomitable personality and connections in Ottawa to found the Number One Pack Horse Troop, as he wanted to revive the Canadian Cavalry heritage. In 1944, Westmorland was invalided out where he then returned to his family roots at Threlkeld in the Lakes District for his remaining years. Westmorland’s love of the outdoors began at an early age but his real climbing career began in 1901 at the age of fifteen when he climbed Pillar Rock in the Lakes District. In Canada, he was a member of the Alpine Club of Canada and chairman of the Vancouver Island section in 1923. He was awarded, in recognition for Mountain services, the “Silver Rope” by the ACC in 1947. In 1946, he founded what was originally called “The Borrowdale Mountain Rescue Team” but later became the Keswick Mountain Rescue. In 1965, Westmorland was awarded the OBE by the Queen for his services to mountain rescue. “Rusty” Westmorland passed away in 1984 (obituary in the Westmorland Gazette, Kendal, Cumbria, U.K., November 30, 1984, p.13.), but will be remembered for turning up immaculate on the crags and for his concern with upholding the highest traditions of the mountaineering sport.

Horace “Rusty” Westmorland skiing in England

Horace “Rusty” Westmorland skiing in England

Arthur Oliver Wheeler (1860 – 1945) was born in Kilkenny, Ireland on 1 May 1860 and came to Canada with his family in 1876. When he arrived in Canada, he served an apprenticeship as a Dominion Land Surveyor. Wheeler qualified as Ontario Land Surveyor in 1881, Manitoba and Dominion Land Surveyor in 1882, British Columbia Land Surveyor in 1891 and Alberta Land Surveyor in 1911. In 1883/4, Wheeler performed townsite surveys for the Dominion Government and the Canadian Pacific Railway. During the Riel Rebellion, which began in 1885, Wheeler served as a lieutenant with the DLS Intelligence Corps. When the rebellion was over he returned to surveying, and began to experiment with some of the new technology that had begun to emerge. Working for the Department of the Interior, he was trained in photo-topographical surveying. In 1900, he surveyed in the Crowsnest Pass area and in 1901/2 he was assigned to survey the Selkirk Range and in particular to map areas utilized by tourists and mountain climbers. From 1903 to 1910 he continued the photo-topographical survey of the main range of the Rockies and during this time was appointed Topographer of the Department of the Interior. Wheeler returned to private practice from 1910 to 1913 forming a partnership with Alan Campbell and later Robert McCaw. Inspired by his mountain surveys, Wheeler founded the Alpine Club of Canada in 1906, assisted by Elizabeth Parker and Dr. J.C. Herdman. Sir William Whyte, Vice-President of the Canadian Pacific Railway Company also gave assistance. Wheeler became the club’s first president from 1906 to 1910, then Managing Director until 1926 when he retired. He was then elected Honorary President and continued in that office until his death. In 1907, he attended the Jubilee celebration dinner of The Alpine Club in London and in 1908, proposed by Edward Whymper, Wheeler was elected to honorary membership in the British Alpine Club. In 1912, the ACC was asked to evaluate the alpine potential of the newly established Strathcona Provincial Park on Vancouver Island. Arthur Wheeler’s son, Edward Wheeler led the trip summitting the Strathcona Matterhorn which they christened Elkhorn Mountain. In 1913, he was commissioner for establishing the Interprovincial Boundary between British Columbia and Alberta and continued every summer until 1925. While undertaking the survey work for the Boundary Commission, which was done during and immediately after the First World War, he received permission from the Geographic Board of Canada to name the peaks in the Kananaskis area. The decision would be one that many would regret, as Wheeler, in a fit of patriotism, named most of the peaks after World War I generals and admirals, French villages, songs of the era and battleships. This prompted R.M. Patterson, in a 1961 publication entitled The Buffalo Head, to say: “The Rockies must sadly be the worst-named range in the world.” In 1920, the Allied Congress of Alpinism was held in the Oceanographic Museum in Monaco and Wheeler organized the Alpine Club of Canada’s representation and exhibit. Although unable to attend, the Club’s exhibit was well received and the Prince of Monaco bestowed Wheeler with the Officer of the Order of St. Charles and conferred upon him the Cross of Order. In 1929, Wheeler became an honorary member of the Dominion Land Surveyors’ Association that would later become the Canadian Institute of Surveying. Wheeler’s first wife was Clara Macoun, daughter of the eminent Professor John Macoun, Dominion Naturalist and Botanist. They had one son Edward O. Wheeler who would become the Surveyor General of India. Wheeler later married Emmeline Savatard. Arthur Wheeler passed away on 20 March 1945 (obituary in the Canadian Alpine Journal Vol. 29, 1944-45, p.140-146.)

Portrait of Arthur Wheeler

Arthur Oliver Wheeler (1860 – 1945)

Edward Oliver Wheeler (1890 – 1962) was born in Ottawa in 1890, to Clara (nee Macoun) and Arthur Wheeler, a Dominion Land Surveyor and founder of the Alpine Club of Canada. Wheeler was educated in the schools of his native city, and subsequently at Trinity College at Port Hope, Ontario. He passed with honours into the Royal Military College at Kingston in 1907 and completed a course of training in which he was credited with the highest marks obtained previously by any Cadet. His competence and scholarship augured a successful career – he was the top Cadet on passing out, was awarded the Governor General’s medal and received the Sword of Honour. Commissioned forthwith in the corps of the Royal Engineers, he was posted to duty at its depot in Chatham, England, and in 1913 transferred to India. During the First World War he served in France with a company of King George’s Sappers and Miners, Indian Expedition Force, 1915 and with the forces in Mesopotamia campaign 1916-18. Thereafter he was on the General Staff in India until 1919 when he was seconded to the Survey of India. His war service was of the highest order, and he was awarded the Military Cross, and a membership in the French Legion of Honour, his citation being supported by no less than seven mentions in dispatches. In the Survey he rose to the position of Superintendent in 1927, succeeding to the office of Director in 1939, and finally to that of Surveyor-General of India in 1941. The later post he held until retirement in 1947, his successful administration and personal merit having been signalized in 1943 by his elevation to a knighthood. His return to Canada was in 1947 and he settled down with Lady Wheeler at Lavington, near Vernon, enjoying his retirement in activities connected with the mountains and the Alpine Club of Canada, until physical incapability prevented them. Wheelers love of the mountains began at the age of twelve while his father was engaged in the survey of the Selkirk Range. In succeeding years Edward continued to spend his holidays assisting his father, and more particularly in helping with the construction and maintenance of the ACC camps and in guiding climbs during them. His early association with the Swiss Guides who were brought out and employed by the C.P.R. ensured in him sound techniques to which he added broadening experience and marked initiative. He made numerous ascents but some of note were Mount Hector and Observation Peak in 1903, Hungabee Mountain with Val Fynn in 1909, the first ascent of Mount Babel in 1910 with A.R. Hart, L. [Lionel] C. Wilson and H.H. Worsfeld and his guideless climbs on Mount Sir Donald and Mount Tupper in the same year. In 1911 he was climbing in the Pyrenees and briefly in the Lakes District. During a period of leave in 1912 he led the ACC Expedition to Strathcona Provincial Park on Vancouver Island where the party made the first ascent of Elkhorn Mountain. 1920 saw his return to Canada on a leave which was partly spent with his father in the Fortress lake region, and partly in the planning, erection and direction of the ACC camp at Mount Assiniboine. Back to India, he was married in the spring of 1921 to Dorothea Sophia Danielson and shortly afterwards was appointed a member of the reconnaissance party under Colonel Charles Howard-Bury. This expedition was organized to examine the approaches to Mount Everest, and the possible routes for climbing it. Assisted by Henry Morshead, he carried out mapping operations from the Tibetan Plateau and on the northern, eastern and western sides of the massif. In company with George Mallory and Guy Bullock he examined the approach by the East Rongbuk Glacier. This route eventually became the key to the North Col which afterwards became so prominent a feature in successive attempts to reach the summit. The extent and rapidity of his surveying work constituted a tour de force which has hardly been equaled, demanding as it did over five months of continuous mountaineering at very high altitudes and under some embarrassment due to ill health which he ignored. He came to Canada on sick leave in 1922 and required operative treatment but returned to India in 1923. In 1925 further convalescing in Canada was necessary after another operation in London. He then returned to India and was stationed in Quetta until 1933. From 1950 to 1954, Wheeler was the esteemed President of the Alpine Club of Canada and particularly active in advancing its efficiency and prestige. He had been an Honorary Member since 1922 as well as a life membership of the Alpine Club (England) and latterly a member of the American Alpine Club. Brigadier Sir Edward Oliver Wheeler passed away on 19 March 1962 (obituary in the Canadian Alpine Journal Vol. 45, 1962, p.160-163.) in Vernon, B.C. following a stroke he had sustained the previous day. Wheeler will be remembered for his active and adventurous life both within Canada and abroad, his distinguishing career as a Military Officer and Surveyor, and his role with the 1921 Mount Everest expedition.

Edward Oliver Wheeler

Edward Oliver Wheeler

Lionel C. “Jimmie” Wilson graduated to active member of the Alpine Club of Canada on the first summer camp in the Yoho Valley in 1907. In 1909, he made the first ascent of Glacier Peak guiding Val Fynn, A.R. Hart and C.A. Richardson. The following year (1910) he made the first ascent of Mount Babel with A.R. Hart, H.H. Worsfold and Edward Wheeler. In 1912 was a member of the ACCVI expedition to Strathcona Park on Vancouver Island where he was one of nine who made the first ascent of Elkhorn Mountain. In 1934, Wilson received the Silver Rope Award for Leadership from the ACC. Jimmie Wilson regularly attended the ACC’s summer camps and is on the attendance list published in the Gazette for 1948 through to 1964 with the exception of 1963.

John George Cory Wood (18.. – 1943) was born in London, England and came to Canada in 1890. On 5 September 1893 he married Ethel Jones in Toronto and then they moved out to Vancouver Island. In 1912, Wood was voted in as a Member of the Legislative Assembly in the Alberni riding for the Conservative Party and served for one term. In September 1913, Cory Wood joined a party of British and South African investors that included Rudolph Feilding (9th Earl of Denbigh), his daughter Lady Marjorie Feilding, Major Frank Johnson and his brother Harry (a mining consultant out of Victoria), Sir James Sivewright and Herbert Latilla, who all had recently purchased the Ptarmigan Mine on Big Interior Mountain in Strathcona Provincial Park. At the completion of his term as a M.P.P. Cory Wood left Victoria in 1915 with the First Canadian Pioneers and served with distinction until the end of activities in W.W. I. On his return he became involved with the Canadian Red Cross organization and held office in the Victoria and District Branch. For five years he was the provincial commissioner and became widely known throughout the province. He was also keenly interested and equally popular in the Canadian Legion and served for three years as president of the Saanich Branch and later as an officer of the Pro Patria Branch, being elected its presidency in 1941. Cory Wood joined the ACCVI in its first year as an organization in 1912. John Cory Wood passed away on 29 December 1943 (obituary in the Daily Colonist December 30, 1943, p.4.) in Victoria’s Royal Jubilee Hospital following a brief illness.