Biographies of Vancouver Island Mountaineers
William Alexander Alldritt (1882 – 1933) was born in Manitoba in 1882 and used his experience as a pre-war YMCA Physical Director to contribute to the formation and training of his fellow soldiers at training camps in Valcartier and Salisbury Plain. In 1906, the YMCA began to establish offices in Western Canada in partnership with the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) to support the growing network of railway workers stationed in remote locations across the country. By 1909, Alldritt was employed in one of the first of these offices in Revelstoke. The partnership with the CPR was considered to be a success when a visiting railway official declared “the YMCA made lambs out of the wild men of Revelstoke.” While in Revelstoke, Alldritt joined the Alpine Club of Canada and on 7 September 1909, he made the second ascent of South Albert Peak with G.L. Haggen. In 1910, Alldritt returned to his family home in Winnipeg, while continuing to work for the YMCA as an Assistant Physical Director. In 1912, he assumed the role of Physical Director at Winnipeg’s Selkirk Avenue YMCA. When war was declared in August 1914, Alldritt was at Camp Stephens near Kenora, Ontario. He enlisted in September as a regular soldier with the 8th Battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) and in October set sail for Plymouth. Alldritt distinguished himself as a machine gunner by covering the retreat of his company during the collapse of the Ypres Salient on 25 April 1915, where he was eventually overpowered and taken prisoner. As a POW in Germany, Alldritt made at least four briefly successful escapes, always to be recaptured. In March 1918, he was transferred to a camp in Scheveningen, near The Hague, Holland, as part of a prisoner exchange, although he technically remained a POW and was not permitted to return home until finally discharged in January 1919. In September, 1919, he had returned to Canada and found employment with the YMCA in Victoria. In 1921, Alldritt had returned to Winnipeg where he continued to serve the goals of the YMCA and to influence development of amateur sport in roles which included Director of the Amateur Athletic Union of Canada, President of the Manitoba Track and Field Association and President of the Canadian Amateur Basketball Association, until his untimely death on 26 February 1933. In 1983, Alldritt was posthumously inducted into the Manitoba Basketball Hall of Fame in the “Builders” category for his work to establish the Toilers team in Winnipeg.
James Robert Anderson (1841 – 1930) was born in 1841 at Fort Nisqually in Washington state, which was at the time a part of the Hudson’s Bay Company commercial empire. The young Anderson, one of thirteen children, was “the almost constant companion of his father,” Mr. Alexander Caulfield Anderson, who was the HBC employee in charge of the fort. James received his early education from his father, and the family lived at various fur-trading posts in New Caledonia until 1850. In that year, nine-year-old James travelled from Fort Colville to Fort Victoria with his eldest sister Eliza to attend the latter fort’s school. The two children travelled with their father over the Brigade Trail to Fort Hope, then via boat to Fort Langley where they were met by Governor James Douglas. The last leg of their journey to Fort Victoria was accomplished by canoe. As he grew older Anderson worked as an accountant in Victoria for different businesses and the provincial civil service. He and his wife Mary Shaw Harbel (1842-1916) spent their leisure hours as amateur botanists in the lands surrounding the capital. The B.C. Ministry of Agriculture was created in 1894 when Anderson was appointed to the post of Departmental Statistician, and as such he became the first Deputy Minister. The main functions of the department – Anderson was the only employee – were to collect and interpret statistics to support British immigration and agricultural settlement. Through the reports of his volunteer correspondents in different regions and his occasional trips through the province, Anderson was witness to the often-unintended effects of landclearing operations. In converting forest land to agricultural spaces, immigrant farmers logged large areas. They removed the huge stumps with stumping machines, gunpowder, and auger-bored holes filled with lamp-oil set alight. These fires were prone to escaping control and the areas burnt represented not only lost timber, but on the coast they regrew with persistent weedy ferns and Epilobium angustifolium (commonly called fireweed). Further, Anderson’s observations of unintended forest fires resulting from logging operations inspired him to take an active interest in the province’s non-agricultural lands. He asked his correspondents how summer fires were initiated and how they could be best prevented. Anderson’s interest in the 1896 revision of the Bush Fire Act reflected the view that, in British Columbia, forestry and agriculture were closely connected. James Anderson extended his job description and collected forest fire statistics in the early 1900s. Further, in a 1901 paper for the Canadian Forestry Association he suggested the establishment of a system of forest rangers “similar to that which existed in Germany.” He published two more articles in the Canadian Forestry Journal detailing provincial forest fire statistics and another describing “The Deciduous Woods of British Columbia.” Anderson, by then 67 years old, contracted severe pneumonia and regretfully retired in September, 1908. During his retirement Anderson continued the botanical activities that he had pursued his entire career, hoping to complete work on the Departmental herbarium he was amassing. The provincial government enacted two policies that realized projects Anderson had championed during his time as Deputy Minister. These were the creation of Strathcona Provincial Park in 1910, and the establishment of the Forest Branch in 1912. Later, under the banner of the Natural History Society of British Columbia, Anderson wrote a book on the “Trees and Shrubs, Food, Medicinal and Poisonous Plants of British Columbia.” Published in 1925, Anderson’s book was supported by the Department of Education and intended as a school reference work. The volume contained natural history descriptions and economic biographies of B.C.’s flora as had been collected by Anderson’s father during the course of his Hudson’s Bay Company travels. Anderson’s book concluded with a chapter entitled “Our Forests and Their Protection” contributed by the Forest Branch, Department of Lands. The reader was treated to a biology lesson that emphasized the non-economic value of forests with overt moral implications. In countries that allowed forest depletion, the reader learned, “progress slackened, and the people became decadent.” Persia, Greece and Spain were offered as examples. Anderson’s book exemplified the shifts in British Columbia nature study that took place over the course of his lifetime. He provided a link between traditional amateur natural history practice and the same in the service of government. Then blind, on 9 April 1930 James Robert Anderson was struck by an automobile and killed while crossing an intersection in Oak Bay. He was remembered by his close friend and fellow naturalist C.C. Pemberton as “a great credit to the whole educational system and training of his time.” By injecting his extra-curricular natural history interests into his job James Anderson’s approach encompassed work on trees at the turn of the twentieth century when seemingly few in government were interested in forest management.
James “Jimmy” Edward Aston (1886 – 1969) was born in June 1886 at Five Acres, Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire, England, and moved to Canada in 1908. A shoemaker by trade, Jimmy had a shop first in Cumberland and then on 5th Street in downtown Courtenay. He was always active in community affairs serving as one of Courtenay’s first aldermen and he was a one-time member of the Municipal fire department. He also had a life-long interest in music. Prior to coming to Canada, he sang in one of the famous Welsh choirs, but once in the Comox Valley he became associated with the Comox Men’s Musical Club where he met Sid Williams. Jimmy loved the outdoors and following his retirement in 1946, spent much of his time hiking in the mountains, prospecting and exploring, quite often with his good friend Sid. Jimmy also worked on a claim in the Oyster River with another well-known local prospector Davey Jones. Jimmy Aston had a unique way of finding gold and other precious metals. He had a pair of leather gloves which in the fingers of one glove he stashed samples of different metals and with a wand in hand he then walked around waving it over the ground, just the way a water diviner covers the ground searching for water under the surface. Jimmy also happened to be well versed with water divining, therefore, it didn’t appear unusual for him to use this technique to find precious metals. In fact, he believed it worked like a charm, unfortunately, he could never lay claim to the fact that he had struck it rich from prospecting. It was while near Strata Mountain in Strathcona Provincial Park with another part-time prospector, Sid Williams, that his glove and wand detected some sort of metal under the surface. It was the end of the summer of 1946, Jimmy and Sid had both been searching the streams and mountains of the Forbidden Plateau. Although there were numerous signs of colour in the rocks, nothing appeared to be of any consequence. However, Jimmy became quite excited about the way the wand was moving over the ground near Strata Mountain. The initial digging turned up signs of gold in what appeared to be a prosperous vein. With the season at an end they were determined to return the next year and undertake a more thorough search of the claim that they staked. In the summer of 1947, they returned with two other locals, Joe Ducca and young Bruce McPhee, who were hired to work for a couple of weeks helping them out with drilling and the construction of a cabin. Their temporary home was a canvas tent they carried in and erected on a wooden platform. The outline of the structure can still be seen near the diggings. The frame of the cabin (which soon became known as Sid’s Cabin) was log construction from trees cut down nearby, however, it was the roofing shakes that the men were most proud of. Some distance from the cabin a large punky fallen yellow cedar was found that had good straight grained, knot-free, wood. After sawing it into three-foot lengths they then split the log into thick shakes. It was Bruce’s job to use a pack-board to carry all the shakes back to the cabin where those original shakes are still in use today. While construction was taking place the cabin had its first visitor. Courtenay’s Ruth Masters was hiking in the area and not one to pass by without offering to help, Ruth spent the day chinking the walls with moss to cut down on the draft. Although the cutting and carrying of the logs was hard work, the hardest and most tiring job was the drilling into the rock to take core samples at various locations to get an idea of the extent of the gold vein. It required using a long drill or auger and a heavy sledge hammer. The fretful job of holding the drill fell upon Bruce while it was Joe’s job to hit the end with the hammer, subsequently, Bruce couldn’t help closing his eyes and cringing just as Joe struck the head of the drill. One missed swing of the hammer and it would be Bruce’s hands that would take the brunt of the steel on the end of the hammer handle. Fortunately for Bruce, Joe’s aim was good and he never missed! It took many hours to drill one hole several feet into the hard rock but eventually the extent of the vein was found to extend for quite a distance and it looked promising. After reporting on the extent of their find, Sid and Jimmy were able to persuade a large mining company to come out the following year to assess the site for further development. The major drawback was that this claim was in a provincial park, however, they did test the site using a diamond drill and the trays of the core samples can still be seen laying on the ground partially buried under heather from the years in the open. Jimmy Aston passed away at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Comox on 9 April 1969.
Cyril Jonas (Bergtheil) Berkeley (1878 – 1973) was born in London, England on 2 December 1878. Cyril was born in London, the son of Louis Michael Bergtheil and Alice Maud. While very young, his parents were divorced and his mother married again. It was his step-father Alfred James Puttick who introduced Cyril to science by introducing him to scientific periodicals and visits to the Royal Institute to attend lectures. He studied at St Paul’s School from 1891 to 1895 and moved to Nuremberg, where he learnt German and studied chemistry at the Industrieschule. He then went to University College London and worked in the laboratory from 1897 to 1899. From 1899 to 1901 he researched agricultural chemistry and bacteriology at the Agricultural College, Wye. As an undergraduate at London University, Cyril met Edith Dunnington (1875-1963), who was also an undergraduate, and in February 1902 they were married. That year they moved to Bihar, India, where Cyril obtained a posting as Imperial Bacteriologist for the British Indigo Planters’ Association studying the culture and processing of indigo. In 1914, they moved to Canada where they farmed for two years near Vernon. The family changed from their German-Jewish surname around 1916 to Berkeley due to the World War and public suspicion around those with German names or connections. They both taught at the University of British Columbia, but Cyril also worked on acetone production from kelp for Hercules Powder Company in San Diego. In 1919, the family moved to Nanaimo where Cyril worked at the Pacific Biological Station as assistant curator. Edith gave up her position as zoology assistant to work as a volunteer at the Biological Station where she was able to perform her own field work. In a paid position, her work would be included under Cyril’s name. In 1930, Cyril left his own research to help Edith with her research where they became world authorities on the classification of marine polychaete worms. They wrote 34 papers together, and Edith published an additional 12 in her own name. Many organisms have been named after them. In recognition of their achievements Cyril was granted an LLD by the University of Victoria in 1968. Both were enthusiastic gardeners, collecting rhododendron species and developing new species of irises. Their daughter Alfreda Berkeley Needler (1903-1973) also became a zoologist as did Alfreda’s daughter Mary Needler Arai (1932–2017). In July 1929, Cyril and Alfreda joined Ben Hughes, Adrian Paul, Arthur Leighton and Geoffrey Capes, and made an ascent of the Comox Glacier. Cyril Berkeley passed away on 25 August 1973 ten years after his wife, but the same year as his daughter Alfreda.
Captain Victor C. Best was born on 6 September 1885 and lived for a considerable number of years at Ganges, Saltspring Island, on a property called ‘The Alders’ with his wife Winifred. He obtained a commission in the C.A.V.C (Canadian Army Veterinary Corp) in January 1915, went overseas in June 1915, and remained overseas till October 1917, being in France from September 1915 till March 1916. He was discharged as medically unfit in April 1918, at which date he held the rank of Captain. From April 1921 till July 1924, he held the appointment of District Veterinary Officer, M.D. No. 11. Victor Best made a special study of the Japanese population in British Columbia. After the outbreak of WWII, Best sent in a number of reports on this subject to the Intelligence Branch Department. The reports indicated that he had made himself thoroughly familiar with the subject and was on friendly terms with a number of Japanese living in the province, and seemed to have gained their confidence. He neither asked for nor received any remuneration for these reports. Captain Best takes a view of the loyalty to Canada on the part of the Japanese in British Columbia, which is possible rather more favourable than that taken by others who have had occasion to study the question. He states his opinions very emphatically, with perhaps something of a lack of balance, but he is quite alive to the possible danger to Canada arising from the present policy of Japan. It seems likely that he has a better knowledge of the Japanese community in British Columbia than the great majority of Canadians living in that Province, and that he might well be able to render useful service in connection with the registration now contemplated.
John Henry Brown (1867 – 1960) was born on 14 October 1867 in Maryland, USA. He was born a plantation slave baby and didn’t know his parents. As was the custom of the plantations, regardless of colour, religion or creed, all infants received the same family name on this plantation so the family name of Brown was taken. Very little is known of his early years except that he did work in Missouri and Kansas for a while and then tried his hand at mining in Colorado and Utah, but he is thought to have immigrated to Canada in 1903 and moved to Cumberland in 1909. At some early point in his adventures in Canada, Brown searched for the Indian gold that was believed to be buried near Pitt Lake east of Vancouver, but he ran out of grubstake. Brown lived in the part of Union (Cumberland) known as Coontown, between Chinatown and Number One Camp. As with many miners of Cumberland he received an affectionate (if indelicate) nickname, “Nigger” Brown, that although today is considered unacceptable, it was common practice back then. During the winter he worked in the Cumberland coal mines, but in the summer, he took-off to the mountains prospecting. He was a firm believer that he would strike it rich some day with Iron Ore or Uranium. One time in the 1940’s Ruth Masters was with a hiking group and came across Brown at his camp at McPhee Lake. He gave Masters a brown envelope and asked her to mail to Nanaimo, but said to guard it carefully or the whole world would be in on it. He thought he had found the mother lode and wanted to file his claim with the mining office. Loggers and hunters were never surprised to meet him far up in the hills behind Comox Lake on his own and he was one of the early explorers of Forbidden Plateau. Brown would find his way to the head of Comox Lake and then hitch a ride on one of the logging trains up the Cruikshank River. From the end of the tracks he would hike the rough trail that eventually arrived not far from Circlet Lake. Around this area he spent many of his summers. At McPhee Lake, located below Strata Mountain, he built a rustic cabin that stood for many years and was used by other part-time prospectors: Sid Williams and Jimmy Aston. For a while Williams hired Brown to work in his Searle’s Shoes store in Cumberland. Brown also had a significant claim on the Oyster River that he worked with Davey Jones. He was married to Mary Wilson and they had one son but they parted many years ago. Brown spoke slowly and had a deep, resonant voice which was great for storyteller, something many locals remembered him for. According to Joe Ducca, “Every kid in Cumberland knew John Brown. He’d sit down and tell you the damndest stories you ever heard.” From card games, fights and women, to fishing, hunting and prospecting, Brown had a story. In 1954, while prospecting around Pitt Lake on the mainland he broke a kneecap which ultimately led him to give up wandering the mountain trails. He was eighty-seven. Brown was also a very superstitious man and was regularly known to turn around and walk back home if a black cat walked in front of him on his way into Cumberland or wherever he happened to be going. On 19 September 1960, John Henry Brown passed away at Cumberland General Hospital after a two-month illness (obituary in the Comox District Free Press September 21, 1960, p.6.) John Brown Lake, on Forbidden Plateau near where he prospected, has been named after him.
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.)
Joseph Charles Bridgman (1874 – 1951) was born in Chester, England in 1872 and came to Vancouver Island in 1888. In 1891, he was working as a grocery store clerk in the Cowichan Valley and shortly moved to Victoria. He married Agnes May (Marion) Newcombe (1880 – 1980) sometime after 1901. During WWI, Joseph served overseas with the 88th Battalion, Victoria Fusiliers. He later ran his half-brother’s reality business (Lowenberg, Harris and Co) until retiring in the 1930’s. Joseph Bridgman passed away in 1951.
Adele Bucklin (sisters Verma, Margaret, Mary and brother Irwin). Parents Emeline Wood (nee Porter) and George Augustus Bucklin Jr. (1875 – 1954). George was born in West Hartford, Missouri and became the US Deputy Consul in Glauchau (Germany) 1906-7; Trieste (Italy) 1907-8; US Consul-General in San Luis Potosi (Bolivia) 1908-10; Guatemala City (Guatemala) 1910-14; Bordeaux (France) 1914-19; Acapulco (Mexico) 1922-24; Victoria (British Columbia) 1924-32. Adele and Neva Stewart went to high school together. Adele married Edwy Luker from Porterville, California.
Alan James “AJ” Campbell (1882 – 1967) was born on 1 October 1882 in Collingwood, Ontario. He attended Public Schools and Collegiate Institutes in Collingwood and during the school holidays he worked chiefly on ships as Collingwood was a ship building port, however, in 1901 he was a helper to a civil engineer in Sault Ste Marie. This led him to an interest in civil engineering and at the end of that summer he entered the School of Practical Science at the University of Toronto. He graduated in 1904 with a diploma in Civil Engineering and in the following year took a post graduate course specializing in Hydraulics and Strength of Materials, obtaining the degree of Bachelor of Applied Science. Campbell found work on Township Subdivision in Northern Ontario but had aspirations to become a railway construction engineer so in 1905 he joined a Canadian National Railway party in Northern Ontario where he remained for two years. During this period, he worked in the bush, summer and winter, and became instrument man and for a short time was in charge of a small party on a hydraulic survey. In 1908, he articled under W.J. Deans, a prominent Dominion Land Surveyor on Correction Surveys in Manitoba and Saskatchewan. In the spring of 1909, he received his D.L.S. commission and in the summer of that year began work under Arthur Wheeler on Land Classification of the Railway Belt of British Columbia. It was during this time that he also met Robert McCaw and in 1911 the two worked with Wheeler in the vicinity of Tetachuck Lake in Tweedsmuir Park. In 1912, Campbell received his B.C.L.S. commission and went into partnership with Wheeler and McCaw and in 1913 located the road along the Kennedy River between Sproat Lake and Long Beach on Vancouver Island, however, the road wasn’t constructed until 1956. The partnership lasted about one year and then Campbell started working with photo-topographic mapping. Wheeler was appointed Commissioner for British Columbia on the BC/Alberta Boundary Commission in 1913 and he asked Campbell to take charge of the mapping operations, both in the field and office, which was located in Sidney, Vancouver Island. In the field season of 1914 Campbell made the first ascent of Mount Tyrwhitt with Rusty Westmorland and Conrad Kain. This mapping took twelve years to complete from 1913 to 1924. Campbell continued working in photo-topographical surveys until 1930 when this method of mapping was abandoned for a new technique using vertical air photos in combination with controlled ground pictures, a method evolved manly by Campbell. In the depression year, 1932, all the Topographical Division except Campbell were cut off the pay list because of money shortage. That year he mapped in the vicinity of Schoen Lake and Victoria Peak. In 1933, there was even less money available for surveying, so Campbell, McCaw and Norman Stewart, rather than see their life work cut off offered to take to the field without pay, but supplied with field expenses. The field work would provide office work if and when the Topographic Division was re-established. At the end of the season this strategy paid off as funds were obtained and the Topographic Division re-instated. Campbell mapped all over BC until 1945 when he was given the task of surveying the BC/Yukon boundary, however, illness and subsequent surgery kept him at home for that year but over the next four years he completed the survey. In the early 1950’s he was involved with the legal survey of the Hart Highway at Summit Lake and then three years office work and drafting with the P.G.E. Railway Location Survey, where his early training in Northern Ontario was invaluable. In his later years Campbell would often come into the Mapping and Survey Branch of the Department of Lands to keep in touch with what was happening and talk with the younger surveyors. For him it was more than a job, it was his chief hobby. Campbell spent more than fifty summers in the “bush” and in 1936 was elected a member of the Corporation of BC Land Surveyors and served as President in 1942. In 1956, he was made a life member. In 1910, he married Alvena Pengally and had three sons and one daughter. It was said in 1957 that “A.J.” has probably climbed more peaks in the Canadian Rockies than any other man, and that his wonderful physique and placid nature carried him through the difficult task of surveying in the rugged mountains. Arthur Wheeler with whom he was associated for many years claimed that “A.J. was a born topographer, one who could see behind ridges. He had one weakness though – his pipe, without which he is lost.” On 24 December 1967 in Victoria Alan Campbell’s pipe went out for the last time. (Obituary in the Corporation of Land Surveyors of the Province of British Columbia. Report of Proceedings of the Sixty-Fourth Annual General Meeting. 1969. Victoria, B.C. p. 38.)
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.)
Geoffrey Bernard Capes (1889 – 1961) was born in England on 13 November 1889 and emigrated to Vancouver in 1911. He met a fellow émigré, Helen Cooke, affectionately known as Nell and the two were married on 26 December 1912 and they had two children: Katherine and Phyllis both keen outdoorswomen. Capes found employment with the British North American Bank (BNA) in Vancouver which eventually merged to become part of the Bank of Commerce (CIBC.). Following overseas service with the Canadian Army, Capes brought his family to the Comox Valley in 1920, where he worked as an accountant at the Soldiers Settlement Board office in Merville. Two years later was the big Merville fire which changed the life of many. After the fire Capes and Captain George Halley (who was in charge of the Merville settlement office) purchased the Courtenay Builders Supply Company on 5th Street. A few years later Halley sold his share to Capes. On 24 November 1930, the building was razed by fire and Capes relocated the business to the corner of England Avenue and 6th Street. In 1956, the Bank of Montreal purchased the property when Capes retired. On 4 November 1927, Capes was present as a founding member of the Comox District Mountaineering Club, and became a director serving for many years. One of Capes’ early trips into the local mountains was an attempt to reach the Comox Glacier in August 1925 with Adrian Paul. He also made regular trips onto Mount Becher in both summer and winter. In 1929, he hiked from Forbidden Plateau up Mount Albert Edward and then down to Ralph Lake and out to Buttle Lake with Barty Harvey, the local Game Warden. Also, in that year he finally reached the summit of the Comox Glacier with Ben Hughes, Adrian Paul, Arthur Leighton, Cyril Berkeley and his daughter Alfreda via Kookjai Mountain. In Capes’ diary for 20 September 1935, it read: “Attended a meeting with Mr. [Norman] Stewart, the surveyor of our mountains, about suggesting 75 names, we covered about 50. [Roger] Schjelderup, [Ben] Hughes, Mrs. [Elma] Pearse, Peggy Watt, Rev. Chapman, Sid Williams, Dick Idiens were present. A lake was named after me, one [Adrian] Paul and I discovered years ago when we climbed the wrong mountain.” Capes Lake is located on a ridge near the Comox Glacier and nearby is Idiens Lake named after his close friend. In July 1936, Capes joined Sid Williams and Roger Schjelderup on a trip to the Roosters Comb (Golden Hinde) the islands highest mountain. When they reached the base camp on the mountain, they met the surveyor Norman Stewart and his assistant Dan Harris who had made the ascent earlier that day. However, at the time neither party knew of the ascent by W.W. Urquhart, W.R. Kent and Einar Anderson in 1913 or 1914 during their survey of Strathcona Park. Capes went on to make the second ascent of Elkhorn in 1949 with Bill Lash and his son Mallory, and Charley Nash. Capes loved the mountains of Forbidden Plateau and Strathcona Park and kept detailed diaries of his trips some of which were printed in the Canadian Alpine Journal’s. Geoffrey Capes was meticulous at keeping a day-to-day diary which has recorded daily life in the valley. On 25 February 1961 Geoffrey Capes passed away a few months after his beloved wife “Nell” passed away, however, he has not been forgotten (obituary in the Canadian Alpine Journal Vol. 44, 1961, p.136.) Halfway between Courtenay and Cumberland near Arden Road is a “little treasure” that very few people are aware exists called Capes Park. In August 1968, the Arden Improvement district purchased the five- and three-quarter acres of wooded area from the Capes family to reflect the unique beauty of the Arden area. Capes had acquired this property through the Soldier Settlement Board “salvage” properties after he had lost everything in the 1922 fire.
Kenneth Murray Chadwick (1878 – 1934) was born on 11 August 1878 in Leeds, England. Educated as a civil engineer, he came to Canada in 1907 and lived in Penticton for five years before settling in Victoria in 1914. He was an energetic and prominent member of the Vancouver Island section, having filled the post of secretary for eight or nine years before his sudden death and attended many camps and outings. He was also the secretary of the Victoria branch of the Canadian Institute of Civil Engineers and the Rosicrucian Society, and a member of the Men’s Guild of St. Mary’s Church and the Radio Club. A fortnight before his unexpected passing he and several others were at the Alpine Club hut at the Lake of the Seven Hills completing some of the details of the new building. He passed away after surgery complications on 21 October 1934 (obituary in The Daily Colonist October 23, 1934, p.5) leaving a widow and one daughter Muriel.
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.)
Reginald Thomas Chave (1888 – 1957) was born in Woodstock, Ontario in 1888. The family moved to Victoria in 1909. Reginald started working for his father in the grocery business, Wm. J. Chave & Son, on the corner of Douglas Street and Boleskine Road, and later went to work in life insurance. He met Bernice Scowcroft (obituary in The Vancouver Sun February 18, 1950, p.35.) in the church choir where they were both vocalists. They had two children – Cyril Scowcroft (1914) and Muriel Winifred (1916). Reginald passed away in 1957.
Lindley Crease (1867 – 1940) was born on 13 March 1867 in New Westminster, British Columbia to Sir Henry Pering Pellew Crease and Lady Sarah (Lindley) Crease. He was educated at Haileybury Public School in England, and following in the footsteps of his father, a Justice of the Supreme Court of British Columbia, he studied law and was called to the bar of British Columbia in 1890. He practiced with Crease, Harman & Company, and later founded the law firm of Crease and Crease, barristers of Victoria and was its senior member until his death. As a lawyer he had a wide reputation and was noted for his probity and human kindness. The Crease Family was prominent socially, and their house, Pentrelew, was a centre for Victoria society. Three of the Sir Henry Crease’s children, Lindley and two of his older sisters Susan and Josephine, never married and lived at Pentrelew until their deaths. Lindley Crease took an active interest in Church affairs and was Chancellor of the Anglican Diocese of the Province of British Columbia. He was also associated with politics and held the position of President of the Conservative Association of Victoria, and at one time, the Vice Presidency of the Provincial organization. Among other distinctions, he was President of the Vancouver Island branch of the League of Nations and belonged to the Masonic Order. Crease was a devoted lover of the mountain wilderness and derived much enjoyment from his attendance of the Alpine Club of Canada annual camps in the Canadian Rockies. Although he only made a few minor climbs at these camps, he was chiefly interested in obtaining suitable vantage spots to view the great range and revel in vistas of towering snow-clad peaks, shining ice-fields and tumbling glaciers. However, his foremost joy these camps provided was the opportunity for sketching and painting, a talent passed down from his mother. It was during his attendance at the 1921 summer camp at Lake O’Hara that he graduated to Active membership in the Alpine Club of Canada. The last camp he attended was at Chrome Lake in the Tonquin Valley in 1934. He had hoped to attend the Mount Fryatt camp of 1936 and the Yoho Valley reunion camp of 1937, but illness prevented. He climbed Mount Arrowsmith on 26 July 1926, with the Alpine Club, and three days later climbed Mount Baker in Washington State with William Foster, Fred Bell, Judge Brown (Bellingham) and a guide by the name of Cochrane in a snow storm. In 1928, he climbed on the Forbidden Plateau and went on numerous trips into the Sooke Hills. Lindley Crease, K.C., passed away at his home in Victoria on 15 February 1940 after a long illness (obituary in the Canadian Alpine Journal Vol. 27, 1939, p.106-108, and in the Daily Colonist Friday February 16, 1940, p.1.)
Eugene Croteau (1862 – 1952) was born in 1862 in the county of Levin in Quebec and went to school at St. Nicholas. As a teenager he moved out to Victoria where his father had business connections. He had a letter of introduction to A. B. Graham a wholesale liquor merchant and he suggested Croteau learn English. While studying he found work with the Vancouver Wine Company where he learned about wine and cigars that were sold to the local saloons. In 1894, he managed the prestigious Guichon Hotel. There he met such famous personalities as Sir John Thompson, Sir Wilfred Laurier, Henri Bourassa, Sir Charles Tupper and Sir Richard McBride. In 1930, Eugene Croteau proposed building a camp on Forbidden Plateau and by the summer was established at Croteau Lake. A packtrain of horses operated initially by Jack Murray and later John Ward supplied Croteau with his food and guests twice a week and the clients usually stayed up to a week at the camp. Croteau’s Camp consisted of the main log cabin and for the guests there were six tents with wooden floors. By 1932, over two hundred guests were passing through Croteau’s Camp annually. In 1934, Croteau’s numbers dropped off when Clinton Wood built the Forbidden Plateau Lodge below Mount Becher where he offered guided trip to camps at Mariwood and McKenzie Lakes and thence up Mount Albert Edward. However, Croteau’s charges were modest and in 1935 the cost was $3.75 including meals and linen on the bed. The cost for saddle horses was $2.50 per day and packing rates for baggage was five cents per pound. In 1937, Preston L. Tait joined Croteau to help run the camp and to guide trips and stayed for about four years. Tait was a well-known photographer, a member of the Alpine Club of Canada, an editor for the B.C. Mountaineer and an organizer for the B.C. Mountaineering Club. Although the ascent of Mount Albert Edward was the most popular destination, another popular round trip was from Croteau Lake to Circlet Lake, down to Sims and Divers Lake and then up the draw between Strata Mountain and Mount Allan Brooks and back to camp. In 1939, Courtenay’s Ruth Masters who was nineteen years old, worked for the season as cook and dish-washer at Croteau’s Camp. Earning $15 a month including tent and board, Ruth worked from the middle of July to the middle of September. A typical breakfast was flapjacks and bread, lunch consisted of sandwiches, and supper was tinned meat and vegetables. Occasionally, Ruth led some of the easier trips up Mount Elma (named after Elma Pearse), to Cruikshank Canyon Lookout, and to Moat and Circlet Lake. It was the arrival of one of the packtrains that announced to both the quests and staff that war had been proclaimed in Europe. The following year Sue Mouat took the job as cook for Croteau as Ruth went overseas to do her part for the war effort. Most of the guests were British Columbian’s, however, often there would be guests from the United States and occasionally some from as far away as Africa, Australia and Scotland. In 1942, John Ward who maintained the trail and had the packhorses, moved away and Eugene took on the trail work and bringing up the packhorses. He made seven trips to stock the camp for the season but eventually made the tough decision not to operate it himself. At eighty years old he found the work too arduous. He decided to leave the camp open for use by those who had already booked. Croteau had operated his successful camp for over a decade, His most disappointing thought though was that of not waking up every morning to the spectacular scenery of the Forbidden Plateau and to hear the Stellar Jays and Whiskey Jacks fighting over the food he left out for them. Eugene Croteau lived his remaining years out at his place at Croteau Beach and passed away in April 1952, at the age of ninety (obituary in the Comox Argus April 9, 1952.) As the local newspaper stated: “Mr. Eugene Croteau came to the end of the trail.” Today, B.C. Parks operate a group campsite and yurt where Eugene Croteau had his camp.
John Davidson (1878 – 1970) was born in 1878 in Aberdeen, Scotland and graduated from Gordon’s College. As botany assistant and later curator of the Botany Museum at the University of Aberdeen from 1893 to 1911 he developed significant skills in plant classification and general biology. In 1911, he was appointed as British Columbia’s first Provincial Botanist. Davidson established Canada’s first botanical garden at Essondale’s Colony Farm near New Westminster. In 1916, the 25,000 plants were transferred to the new Point Grey site of University of British Columbia and the garden continued to develop under his supervision. Davidson joined the UBC faculty in 1917 as an instructor of Botany and remained at the university until his retirement in 1945. He was founder and, until 1937, president of the Vancouver Natural History Society. He passed away in 1970.
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.)
William Montgomery Everall (1873 – 1942) was born in Guatemala City, Guatemala, on 29 November 1873. His father was a coffee planter and British Consul, and his mother a Scotswoman. William was educated in England as an electrical engineer with the P. & O. Company and in 1902 became chief electrical engineer for Hong Kong Power Co. in China. In 1908, he came to Canada as a construction engineer with the Canadian National Railway. He was appointed to the Dominion Government Works Dept. at Port Arthur and was such until 1914 when he was commissioned a captain in the Canadian Cyclist Corps, a bicycle-mounted army battalion, and almost immediately went to France from which in 1917 he was invalided back to Port Arthur. Next year he was transferred to Victoria where he remained with the Dominion Public Works Dept. until his retirement in 1934. At the outbreak of W.W.II he tried to enlist and in October 1941 was appointed to a position in the naval service in Esquimalt. In 1910, he married Ellen (Nellie) Macoun, Arthur Wheeler’s sister-law, and they had one daughter Eleanor. Nellie passed away in August 1923. William was a member of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada and the Vancouver Island section of the Alpine Club of Canada where he took an active role on the executive committee. William Everall passed away in Victoria on 18 June 1942 (obituary in The Daily Colonist June 19, 1942, p.14.)
James Fletcher (1852 – 1908) was born near Rochester, Kent, England, on 28 March 1852. He began work as a clerk at the Bank of British North America in London, and was transferred to the Montreal branch in 1874 and the Ottawa branch in 1875. In 1876, he began work as an assistant in the Library of Parliament and discovered an interest in botany and entomology. He was one of the founding members of the Ottawa Field-Naturalists’ Club and a president of the Ottawa Horticultural Society. He was elected to the Royal Society of Canada in 1885. Fletcher established a national reporting system to help identify and control the spread of insects and weeds harmful to agriculture. In 1887, he became the first Dominion Entomologist and Botanist attached to the Central Experimental Farm. He helped set up measures to control the spread of plant diseases and harmful insects from both within and outside Canada. He was a founder of the American Association of Economic Entomologists, now the Entomological Society of America, and a fellow of the Linnean Society of London. Fletcher also initiated the Canadian National Collection of Insects, Arachnids, and Nematodes (CNC). Besides his contributions to scientific journals and bulletins published by the Dept. of Agriculture and Agri-Food, he published with George H. Clark, The Farm Weeds of Canada in 1906. James Fletcher passed away in Montreal on 24 November (obituary in the Montreal Gazette November 24, 1908, p.14.) The Fletcher Wildlife Garden at the Central Experimental Farm, Ottawa, was named after him. On February 15, 2016, Fletcher was designated a National Historic Person. A federal historical marker reflecting that status was unveiled on 9 November 2017, at the Experimental Farm.
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.”
Henry Richmond Gale (1866 – 1930) was born on 16 April 1866 in Lancashire, England where the family lived at Bardsea Hall, Ulverstone. He was educated at Elstree and at Harrow School in Middlesex and was in the Shooting VIII for two years. Gale attended the Royal Military College in Woolich where he obtained a commission in the Royal Engineers in 1885. He soon went to South African, and his work there and knowledge of the languages caused him to be sent out later, just before the outbreak of the Boer War, in which he acted as Intelligence Officer in Rimington’s Corps of Guides obtaining two brevets and two medals with ten clasps. In 1903, he married Kathleen Villiers-Stuart and they had three children: Kathleen, Lois and Ethne. Kathleen married John Mark Alexander Colville, 4th Viscount Colville of Culross who had the family estate in Saanich called ‘Point Colville’ while Ethne married Major Rex Gibson. Henry Gale later served in India where he had the opportunity to visit Kashmir and travelled to Tibet. In the Great War he was in France at Ypres and Flanders. He was invested as a Companion, Order of St. Michael and St. George (C.M.G.) in 1916 and was Assistant Director of Works, 1916-17, and chief engineer, 1917-18. He retired with the rank of Brigadier-General and in 1919, and moved to Victoria on Vancouver Island where he built a neo-tudor manor house called ‘Bardsey’. His travels took him to Norway, Italy, Morocco, Japan, New Zealand and Fiji. While in South Africa and India he explored the two countries extensively and was involved with big game hunting. Once in Canada, Henry Gale joined the Alpine Club of Canada and attended a number of Annual Summer camps in the Rockies. The Rogers Pass Camp of 1929 was the last he attended but his health, which was already failing, suffered in the inclement weather experienced and he had to leave early. Henry Gale passed away on 29 July 1930 in Victoria (obituary in the Daily Colonist 30 July 1930, p.5 & 18. and in The Times of London 1 August 1930, p.16.) He was laid to rest in the little Churchyard of St. Stephen’s, Mount Newton and his headstone is a boulder from his own hillside. Lindley Crease wrote: “Members will recall his lithe, active figure, his quiet, modest manner, his interesting conversation on worldwide experiences, and his intelligent enquiring mind, which sought knowledge about what he observed, and his delight in the rugged scenery around him.”
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.)
Richard Haliburton Greer (1878 – 1949) was born in Toronto, Ontario in 1878. His father’s family was of Northern Irish ancestry having immigrated to Toronto in 1845. In 1898, he graduated from the University of Toronto with a Bachelor of Arts degree. He then pursued his legal studies in the Osgoode Hall Law School at York University and was called to the Bar in 1901. He then joined the Law Firm of Smith, Rae and Greer. In 1907, Greer was appointment Crown Attorney for the County of York in Toronto and served in that capacity until 1920. He was created a King’s Counsel (K.C.) in 1921. In January 1916, Lieutenant-Colonel Richard Greer was given command of the 180th Overseas Battalion, which was known as the “Sportsman Battalion.” He used a strategy similar to the one used so successfully by Chadwick’s 124th Battalion whereby he enlisted many Toronto athletes of national and international quality. His Battalion served overseas in the World War and then broke up in 1917, to become part of the Imperial British Army. He was discharged in May 1917, but in September of that year became re-attached to the army, and was in charge of military service in Military Division, No. 2, from October of that year until the close of the war. Greer participated in a number of ACC trips including Mt. Arrowsmith and Mt. Maxwell in the 1920’s. Richard Greer passed away in 1949.
John “Jack” Douglas Gregson (1910 – 2006) was born on 17 June 1910 in Blackfald, Alberta. A few years later the family moved to Courtenay. There his interest in ‘bugs’ established his lifelong association with nature and as a teenager he had amassed an impressive collection of butterflies. He earned his BA at the University of British Columbia (1934), and his Master of Science in Medical Entomology from the University of Alberta (1936), with a thesis entitled: “A Preliminary Study of Tick and Host in Relation to Western Canadian Tick-borne Diseases”. The historical document was noted not only because of its broad scientific scope, but also for some exquisite diagrams, hand-drawn and coloured by Gregson. Following his thesis, Gregson took up a position in the Veterinary and Medical Entomology labs of the Canada Department of Agriculture (now Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada) in Kamloops, where he spent his whole career, serving as the lab’s Director from 1944 to his retirement in 1971. It is also where he met and married Barbara Claxton. His interest in ticks (Acarology) was very broad, including feeding dynamics, host immunity, taxonomy, natural history, morphology/histology and tick paralysis which eventually resulted in many trips throughout the world attending international congresses in Seattle, Vienna, Nairobi, Geneva and Nottingham. This whetted his and Barbara’s appetite for further travels after retirement. It was his interest in tick paralysis associated with the Rocky Mountain wood tick, Dermacentor andersoni, which led him to an observation in 1967 that helped solve a long-time puzzle of tick physiology. Although it had been known for at least two decades that ticks concentrate their blood meal by excretion of excess fluid, the route of this excretion remained an enigma, because most ticks do not excrete urine during and immediately after the feeding period as do blood-sucking insects. It was his observations on tick mouthparts attached to everted hamster cheek pouches that led him to propose salivation as the mechanism of blood meal concentration. This hypothesis, in turn, formed the foundation of new research directions in tick physiology. In order to find a remedy for tick paralysis Gregson investigated the method and specific toxins ticks used. He pioneered a means of collecting tick saliva, (by the thimbleful), for analysis. In order to ascertain how ticks could both suck blood and inject saliva, Gregson cut the tick’s head, about the size of a grain of sand, into over one hundred slices which were then stained to differentiate the tissues. During his career Gregson was invited to address the World Health Organization, and in the U.S., U.K., Austria and Switzerland, to other councils investigating arthropoid-transmitted diseases. He was the U.S. Navy Medical Unit’s consultant on parasitic problems in the Middle East. Scientists from Australia and Egypt visited Gregson at the lab in Kamloops and he traveled to Cairo to advise on methods for tick research there. Jack was once noted to say: “Wood ticks are friendly little creatures. You can get quite attached to them!” Gregson was also a keen naturalist, photographer and artist. In the 1940s, he painted alongside A.Y. Jackson of Canada’s famed Group of Seven and his 1942 painting “Revelation Pass” was judged second-best in show at the Vancouver Art Gallery. In 2004, Jack had his first solo exhibit, in the Kamloops Art Gallery. In 1936, he established the Kamloops Outdoor Club, and in 1970 the Kamloops Naturalist Club. In 2000, Gregson was awarded an Honourary Doctor of Letters degree from the University College of the Cariboo. He has more than 80 scientific publications and had a stonefly, Capnia Gregsoni, named for him, as well as a new species of tick, Ixodes (Pholeoixodes) Gregsoni. Jack Gregson passed away peacefully on 29 October 2006 at his home in Kamloops.
Charlotte Jessie Bird (nee Marshall) Hadow (1888 – 1935) was born in Mussoorie, India on 18 October 1888 and came to B.C. with her parents while a young girl. At the age of 26 she married Erland Godfrey Hadow on December 26, 1914 in Revelstoke, British Columbia a month after he enlisted at Vancouver. Erland had initially volunteered with the 72nd Seaforth Highlanders, but later joined the 15th Alberta Light Horse. Upon reaching England he obtained a commission in the British Army. Charlotte joined him. She was booked for passage on the Lusitania but had to cancel out. Fortuitous for her as the Lusitania was sunk off the coast of Britain on that occasion. He was eventually promoted to captain and reached France in early 1916. He was awarded the Military Cross “for conspicuous gallantry on many occasions, especially when a covering party having been sent forward came under heavy machine gun fire and wavered. He controlled these men and reorganized the position. His coolness and determination have been an example to all ranks.” Sadly, he was killed in France in 1917. He was a captain in the 17th Battalion, West Yorkshire Regiment. Charlotte, or “Birdie” as she was affectionately known, moved back to Revelstoke with her young daughter Audrey and then to Oak Bay in Victoria. She was a popular member of the ACCVI, to which she gave enthusiastic and loyal support. She was one of the most active members, attending many outings and camps and took great interest in promoting the clubhouse and camp projects. She had a special interest in photography and her work was singled out for special mention in The Daily Colonist snapshot competitions. In 1935, Charlotte and her daughter traveled in France, Germany and Switzerland taking many photos, some taken while climbing, which she intended to present to the ACC on her return. Unfortunately, while back in Scotland and England visiting family, she had a stroke and passed away on 21 October 1935 (obituary in The Daily Colonist October 23, 1935, p.2.).
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.
Claude Lionel Harrison (1886 – 1986) was born in 1886 in Victoria, B.C., the fourth child of Judge Eli Harrison and his wife Eunice. Judge Harrison was a well-known lawyer and later Chief Justice and was the first County Court Judge on Vancouver Island. Claude Harrison’s career began as an articulated clerk to Justice H. B. Robertson of the B.C. Appeal Court and he worked his way up to City Prosecutor. This brought him into constant contact with the public and his actions often caused him to be described as harsh. This undoubtedly led to his strong desire for privacy once away from the spotlight of court and city matter. However, after forty years as prosecuting attorney for the City of Victoria, Claude Harrison retired at the age of sixty-four but decided to run for Mayor in 1951. In a column written for the Daily Colonist it was predicted if elected, “… he [Harrison] will be one of the most original, colourful and vigorous mayors Victoria has ever had.” His platform was straight forward and simple: The Dominion, he said, had promised Vancouver Island a steamship service when they joined confederation, but this never materialized. Harrison pushed for the establishment of the Swartz Bay-Mainland Ferry which eventually became a reality in 1962. Harrison’s campaign also promoted a better coastal road on Vancouver Island and he was all for opening council, committee and police commission meetings to the press and public. He wanted the public to have the opportunity to personally question the mayor on issues of the day. After being voted in Harrison’s inaugural address at his first council meeting on January 7, 1952, was the longest on record, covering a huge list of city concerns. Later that month The Colonist described the Mayor as “… a noted conservationist, steeped in nature lore and Vancouver Island’s history, [who] wants good, wide walks in the area and permanent tags on each plant and shrub.” During his two terms as Mayor, from 1952 to 1955, Harrison wore a “brilliant blue cape … casually flung around his shoulders revealing crimson lining … [and] a police badge on his suspenders.” This cape was merely a flamboyant appendage during his time as mayor and was used only for effect. A strange contradiction considering Harrison was a man who sought privacy and preferred to be away from the limelight. Claude Harrison was a member of the Vancouver Island section of the Alpine Club of Canada and hiked and climbed on the Forbidden Plateau in the late 1920’s and 1930’s. In 1928, he made the first recorded ascent of Castlecrag Mountain. He also led many club trips into the Sooke Hills where a hut was built and used for many years by club members. He was Chairman of the section for eight years from 1934 to 1941. Harrison was considered an eccentric and in his home on the Malahat he had a room equipped in such a way that by pushing a few buttons, it could be transformed into a replica of an old Yukon bar-room. Claude Harrison passed away at Glenwarren Lodge in Victoria on 12 March 1986 at the age of ninety-nine, a few months before his one hundredth birthday. In keeping with his strong beliefs about guarding his privacy, Harrison made provisions for all his personal papers to be destroyed upon his death.
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.
Arthur Edward Hodgins (1861 – 1939) was born in Toronto in 1861. He entered Military College in 1878 and graduated at a sergeant with a first-class certificate in 1882. While at the College he was one of the two cadets selected as members of the Dominion Artillery Association Team competing at Shoeburyness in England in 1881. His earlier education had been obtained at Upper Canada College. He was a civil engineer when the Boer War started and became Officer-in-Charge of the Rocky Mountain Ranger at Nelson. Later the Rangers joined the R.C.R. for service with the 1st Contingent in South Africa. He rose to the rank of major and was eventually Officer-in-Charge of the construction of the military railways in Transvaal and Orange Free State. He was awarded the Queen’s Service Award medal with 4 clasps and the King’s medal with 2 clasps. On his return to Canada, he joined the construction staff of the G.T.P., retiring in 1909. In 1915, he organized and recruited the first Canadian Pioneer Battalion, 1st Division. On proceeding to France, he was appointed the Assistant Director of light military railways for the 3rd and 4th armies. In civil life he was district engineers of the Winnipeg section of the G.T.R., Engineer of the Mexico Central R.R. and from 1919-1924 district engineer for the Dept. of Roads and Bridges on Vancouver Island. Hodgins joined the ACCVI and attended several general summer camps in the Rockies and local excursions often with his wife and daughter Peggy. He passed away in Victoria on 18 December 1939 (obituary in the Daily Colonist Wednesday, December 20, p.16.)
Ben Wallace Hughes (1882 – 1970) was born in Croxall, Derbyshire, England, the son of farmer. He was educated at King Edward VI grammar school in Stratford-on-Avon, the same grammar school Shakespeare once attended, a fact that may have inspired his love of writing. Ben’s father considered journalism a “beggarly” job so to appease him he began an electrical apprenticeship, however, he soon abandoned it for a journalism apprenticeship. In 1910, Ben emigrated to Canada and settled in Cobalt, Ontario. He became an authority on mining and served as the editor of the Cobalt Daily Nugget, but quit when asked to support the Conservative party in the periodical; Ben advocated independent journalism. He then founded The Northern Miner in 1915, a weekly journal which is still to this day considered the “leading authority on the mining industry in Canada,” and “the mining industry bible.” In 1916, he sold The Northern Miner and joined the army serving with the Royal Canadian Engineers until the end of the war in 1919. After the war he headed west to Vancouver Island to checkout newspaper prospects. He bought the two-year old Comox Argus and also founded the West Coast Advocate in Port Alberni. During his 36 years as the Comox Argus editor/publisher its circulation expanded from 100 to over 2000. He eventually sold it to two employees when he retired in 1955. He then directed his abundant energies towards other forms of community services: Courtenay-Comox Board of Trade, the Canadian Club, the Courtenay Rotary Club and he served for many years on the Courtenay School Board with a special interest in books and the development of school libraries. He founded the Courtenay and District Historical Society so as to preserve the records of the pioneers and was named a life member of the Courtenay-Comox Chamber of Commerce. He was also a life member of the Canadian Weekly Newspaper Association. Ben made many early hiking and climbing expeditions into the Forbidden Plateau area and made the first ascent of The Red Pillar in 1931 with Adrian Paul, Arthur Leighton and Jack Gregson. Ben Hughes, who became known as the “voice” of Comox and Vancouver Island, passed away in Comox on 20 July 1970 leaving his wife Olive and three sons (obituary in the Comox District Free Press Wednesday July 22, 1970.)
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.)
Francis Kermode (1874 – 1946) was born in Liverpool, England on 28 June 1874 and moved to Victoria with his family when he was ten. On 1 January 1900 he married Margaret Fowler and they had two children. He succeeded John Fannin in 1904 as Curator and later Director of the B.C. Provincial Museum until retiring in 1940. From Provincial Reports he climbed Mt. MacDonald on 3 July 1918 and Mt. Braden on 5 and 8 July collecting butterflies. Francis Kermode is the namesake of the Kermode bear (Ursus kermodei) or spirit bear as it is often known, that inhabits coastal B.C. His studies confirmed that this white or cream-colour bear is a subspecies of the American black bear, not a ‘blond’ brown bear as found on the Alaska panhandle. The colour of the Kermode bear’s coat is due to expression of a recessive gene, not the lack of pigment (albinism). He was a keen ornithologist and wrote the book Catalogue of British Columbia Birds. On Louise Island in the Queen Charlotte district is Mt. Kermode. Francis Kermode passed away in Victoria on 29 December 1946 (obituary in The Daily Colonist 31 December 1946, p.11.)
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.)
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.)
Emily Mary (nee Locke) McConnan (1883 – 1974) was born in Belgium in 1883 and came to Canada in 1892 with her father Capt. Leonard Pye Locke. Emily married Douglas Blamey McConnan in ??? and they were divorced in the mid thirties. Emily then moved into the Empress Hotel. Emily was involved in music and drama, starring in many Red Cross charity concerts during WWI, and later helping organize the Victoria Operatic Society. She sang professionally for many years in Seattle and by 1935 was studying in London, England. She eventually moved to Hollywood to pursue a stage and film career, then moved to Toronto several years before her death in 1974. Douglas Blamey McConnan was born in St. Johns, Newfoundland in 1870 and moved to Victoria in the 1880’s. He was a clerk for the Dominion Post Office, the Dominion Savings Bank by 1892, and Assistant Receiver General of Victoria when he married in 1908. He was an avid gardener, raced sculls with the James Bay Athletic Association and secretary of the Victoria Riding Club. During WWI, he was drill-leader for the Fifth Regiment, Canadian Artillery Home Guard unit, retiring with the rank of Major. He passed away in 1940.
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.
Jean Mollison (1861 – 1951) was born in Wick, Caithness, Scotland on May 21, 1861 to James and Anne Mollison and was the middle of seven children. Around 1863, the family moved to Dochgarroch Lodge where James worked as a property manager before moving to Canada in the late 1880’s. When Jean arrived in July 1888, she became the assistant housekeeper at the C.P.R. hotel in Banff. Jean and her sister Annie, spent periods of time at several C.P.R. hotels including Field, Lake Louise, Glacier House and North Bend. Sometimes they were both at one hotel at the same time; at other times they were on their own. From 1895 to 1911 she was the manager of the Chateau Lake Louise. With the railway line on her doorstep, Jean was able to travel to Vancouver where she would take part in social events including performing with local musicians and entertainers. Her specialty was well-known Scottish songs. In 1904, Jean and Annie bought a place in Calgary and ran it as a hotel and boarding house called Braemar Lodge. Jean sold her share to Annie in 1914. In 1907, she leased the Rogers Hotel on the corner of Georgia and Burrard in Vancouver. The hotel soon changed name to Glencoe Lodge and became a well-known destination for both tourists and long-term residents. As well, prominent society members regularly held meetings and parties at the Lodge. As she was still managing Lake Louise she had Mildred Hawes look after Glencoe Lodge and then Jessie Dewar. From 1912 to about 1925, Jean was the proprietor of the Glenshiel Inn in Victoria. Doubling its size, she had her sister Helen manage the Inn from 1915 to 1919 and then Harriet Wood to 1925. In 1912, Jean also became the proprietor of the Strathcona Hotel on the shore of Shawnigan Lake. Being next to the railway line it was a convenient stop for tourists and vacationers. That same year she leased the Cameron Lake Chalet from the C.P.R. and had her brother-in-law, Herbert Cancellor, as the manager. Mr. R. Marpole, chief assistant of the C.P.R. had just completed the building of a pony trail from the Chalet up towards Mount Cokely and Arrowsmith and the Chalet and trail were being well-patronized by tourists and climbers. In early 1915, Albert and May Monk became the managers the Chalet. May Monk, nee Savatard, appears to be a sister of Emmeline who eventually married Arthur Wheeler after Clara died. Albert was killed in action in 1916, but May continued managing the Chalet until George Woolett took it over in 1920. Jean eventually moved to Vancouver, renovated the Glencoe Lodge and moved into it. Hard times during the depression years saw her have to auction off a wonderful collection of exceptional antiques from around the world, however, she continued to live there until her passing on 23 March 1951. (Obituary in the Vancouver Sun March 26, 1951, p.3.) Jean was known as a friendly host, respected business woman and became known and loved as the “grand Chatelaine.”
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.)
Henry Joseph Salisbury Muskett (1867 – 1947) was born in Norwich, England on 10 August 1867 and came to BC in 1897. In 1905, he began a long career at Government House as Private Secretary to Sir Henri-Gustave Joly de Lotbiniere. He served six other Lieutenant Governors before he retired in 1926. He married Winifred (Freda) Janet Walker (1889-1980) on 7 August 1907 in Victoria. She was a grand-daughter of Sir Henry P.P. Crease. They had two children: Margaret Jessie and George Lindley. Henry Muskett passed away in 1947.
William Adrian Beviss Paul (1891 – 1982) was born in 1891 in Chard, England where he completed his education before moving to B.C. in 1910. On June 16, 1918, Captain. W.A. [Adrian] B. Paul relinquished his commission on account of ill-health caused by wounds received in action, and was granted the honorary rank of Lieutenant on 19 June 1918. He had a life-long interest in birds but did not begin his organized note-taking until 1946, at which time he was living in Kleena-Kleene. He maintained his records until 1976 and published about 20 articles on his observations. He was an active bird-bander, contributor to the British Columbia Nest Records Scheme, and organizer of Christmas Bird Counts. For many years Adrian Paul made frequent hiking and climbing trips into the Forbidden Plateau. He also made several trips up to the Comox Glacier and in 1930 made the first ascent of Alexandra Peak with David Guthrie and Henry Ellis and in 1931 he made the first ascent of The Red Pillar with Ben Hughes, Arthur Leighton and Jack Gregson. Adrian Paul passed away on 11 April 1982 at Tatla Lake.
Theed Pearse (1871 – 1971) was born in Bedford, England on 26 October 1871 to Mary (nee Jackson) and William Theed Pearse. He attended the prestigious Bedford Grammar School and before he was seventeen, he was articled to his father who was practicing law at Bedford at that time. He remained in the law business until 1906 when he sold out and joined a venture in Virginia, U.S.A., which “turned out to be a fizzle.” After this unhappy experience he joined his brother Ernest and was engaged in fruit farming in Nova Scotia, but after one season they both decided to move to British Columbia where they arrived in 1909. His brother moved on but Theed was so taken with the Pacific coast that he remained in Vancouver. Although he had hoped to find a law practice in Courtenay, which at the time had only about seven hundred people, there was only just enough work for one lawyer. After the war ended the Courtenay lawyer left and Pearse move over in 1916 and opened a law office. In 1919, he married Elizabeth Margaret (Elma) Llewelyn, the daughter of Sir Robert Llewelyn, the Governor of Granada in the West Indies. After settling in the valley, Pearse served as an Alderman for thirteen years and as Mayor from 1928 to 1929, then in 1941 Pearse retired and devoted the rest of his long life to his all-absorbing hobby – bird study. In 1968, at the age of ninety-six, he self-published a work entitled Birds of the Early Explorers in the Northern Pacific which was considered “a fine scholarly work worthy of a man who meticulously took notes on the bird life of the area.” His ornithological affiliations included life-membership in the British Ornithologists’ Union, honorary memberships in both the Pacific Northwest Bird and Mammal Society and the Cooper Ornithological Society, and a longtime member of the American Ornithologists’ Union. Pearse also was the representative of Courtenay’s St. John’s Anglican Church at the General Synod and he was on the executive. Prior to and during World War II, he represented the executive council of the B.C. Red Cross Society and as Chairman of the local Red Cross. Theed Pearse passed away on 23 May 1971 at the age of ninety-nine just short of his one hundredth birthday. His wife Elma passed away in 1969 and has Mount Elma named in her honour.
Dorothy Eleanor Pilley (1894 –1986) was a prominent mountaineer. She began climbing in Wales and joined the Fell & Rock Climbing Club, later helping found the Pinnacle Club in 1921. In the 1920s, she climbed extensively in the Alps, Britain, and North America after her marriage to Ivor Richards. In 1928, she made the celebrated first ascent of the north-northwest ridge of the Dent Blanche, with Joseph Georges, Antoine Georges and her husband, which she described in her memoir, Climbing Days (1935).
Harry Rees (1856 – 1933) was one of the early explorers of the Forbidden Plateau. He died alone (age 75) on the Mount Becher trail in November 1933, but his body wasn’t found until June 1934 (obituary in the Comox Argus June 14, 1934, p.1.) One of Harry’s last trips to the Comox Glacier was in August 1932 when he took his friends John (Jock) and Mary Sutherland and their two daughters Mavis and Marguerite in via what is now known as Capes and Idiens Lake. While conducting topographical surveys in 1934/35 Norman Stewart (B.C.L.S.) found two cairns on top of Rees Ridge that he believes were erected by Harry Rees. The ridge overlooks the route which Rees followed several times to Buttle Lake. Both Rees Ridge and Rees Creek were adopted as official names in December 1939 after being recommended by Cumberland resident Harold Cliffe.
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.)
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.
Frederick Benjamin Rollins (1890 – 1973) was born into an English family in April 1890 and his life began with an adventurous voyage to Victoria, Canada at six months of age. This was at the same time construction workers were driving piles into the ground for the new Empress Hotel which was being built. Fred’s father James Surfleet Rollins, established a small butcher’s shop on Government Street, and became renowned as a “specialist in pork sausages.” James eventually sold the shop and became an owner/operator of a hotel in Victoria. The tales of gold in the interior convinced James to relocate and in 1898 the family moved to Lake Bennett to assume ownership of a local hotel. In 1900 they returned to Victoria and later that year moved to Port Alberni. James became the proprietor of the Armour Hotel which the family ran until 1908 and then they constructed their own establishment, the King Edward Hotel. It was through his parents’ business that Fred met Ellen Ohlsen, a school teacher. They were married in 1913 and moved into a home built on the corner of Eighth Avenue and Argyle in Port Alberni. Ellen was an accomplished concert pianist having studied music in Dresden, Germany. After marriage she retired from teaching but gave music lessons from her home and often performed at the Empress Hotel. Fred was employed as a boom man with the Alberni Pacific Lumber Company until poor health forced his early retirement. His life after retirement centred around his home and the outdoors and he and Ellen undertook many hiking trips around Vancouver Island. Ellen passed away in October 1944 and the garden became a means of solace and refuge for Fred. He donated money to many charitable organizations and invested in many businesses. Fred died at home in March 1976, and in his will, he bequeathed two of the four lots of land surrounding his home to the City of Port Alberni, to be developed into a public park. The city purchased the third lot from an heir and the fourth lot was left to the School District #70. The family home was extensively renovated to develop it into a community base for the arts; recitals, exhibitions, workshops, and other special events. Rollins Art Centre was established in 1977, and in 1988 the garden was upgraded and re-landscaped for the public enjoyment. Today, the Art Centre and gardens recognize Fred Rollins contribution to the community, and perpetuates his and Ellen’s memory.
Leonard W. Rossiter (1907 – 2005) was born in London, England, on 10 July 1907. He grew up in a poor neighborhood near London and finished his formal schooling at age thirteen. The family emigrated to Canada in 1925 as farmers under the sponsorship of the Canadian Pacific Railroad. As city dwellers, they had difficulty qualifying as farmers, but when it was discovered that they had maintained a couple of bee hives in their back garden, the family was granted emigrant status. Len sailed with his family from England on his eighteenth birthday. They arrived on Vancouver Island and bought a small farm on the bluffs overlooking Georgia Straits near Comox. The mountains of Vancouver Island gained Len’s attention soon after his arrival on the island. In 1926, Ben Hughes, the publisher of the Comox Argus wrote a mysterious article about the Forbidden Plateau area incorporating a native legend. Shortly after reading the article Len made his first trip up Mount Becher. The trip was led by Clinton Wood, a Courtenay City clerk and Power and Water Superintendent who was looking for water and storage in the area. In 1929, the Dove Creek Trail up to Forbidden Plateau was built and officially opened by Lt. Governor Randolph Bruce. Originally financed as a mining trail, the trail was the first government support for the development of Forbidden Plateau. For four years Len worked as a horse handler and then a guide for Eugene Croteau who had established the first tourist camp at Summit Lake, later Croteau Lake. During that time several lakes were stocked with fish eggs resulting in the area being deemed a Game Reserve. In 1930, Mr. W.P. Regan, the led surveyor for the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR), was inventorying the land assets granted to the Esquimalt and Nanaimo Railroad with the plan to build a track from Victoria to Campbell River and had a camp located at Circlet Lake. The E&N boundary line was near the lake. Regan honoured Len by naming a lake after him although it never became official until December 1939 when the Comox District Mountaineering Club submitted the paper work. In 1934, Clinton Wood built the Forbidden Plateau Lodge at the top of the Comox Logging Co. abandoned railway grade on the lower slopes of Mount Becher. Len worked for Clinton Wood from 1935 to 1940 and was fundamental in the creation and development of Mariwood and Mackenzie Lake camps. In January 1938, Len along with Dick Idiens, Ethne Gale, Rex Gibson, and Don and Phyllis Munday made the first winter ascent of Mount Albert Edward. In 1936, Len met Phyllis Roberts while hiking Forbidden Plateau. After strenuously resisting marriage for a decade, he finally gave in and they tied the knot in 1947. Although Len preferred the trade of carpentry, electricity offered more opportunities and he eventually became a journeyman electrician. He started a part time business in 1940 after working on the first Hydro transmission line project linking Courtenay to Campbell River and founded Rossiter Electrical Service in 1946. In 1947, he moved to Campbell River and joined the Campbell River Rotary Club. Len’s greatest contribution to Rotary was his service as club historian. His office was crammed with archives going back to the beginning of the Campbell River Rotary. In 2003, Divers and Rossiter Lakes were added to Strathcona Provincial Park in a land swap with the timber company. Len regularly hiked Forbidden Plateau through to Moat Lake and Mount Albert Edward and made his last trip up the mountain when he was eighty-eight. When asked about the secret to his long and productive life he responded, “ask me when I turn 100.” Unfortunately, Len never got to answer that question as he passed away on 29 January 2005 at the age of ninety-seven (obituary in the North Island Weekend February 5, 2005.)
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.)
Herbert Francis Shade (1875 – 1953) was born in Victoria in 1875. In 1898, he left for the Klondike in pursuit of riches. Upon his return in 1901, he married Annie “Nancy” Cobley. Herbert was Victoria’s plumbing and sewer inspector from 1902 to 1920, but resigned because he was refused a raise from $75 a month to $125. He became a life insurance broker for Mutual Life until retiring in 1939. He joined the ACCVI and led a number of local trips from his summer home on Killarney Lake. Herbert Shade passed away in 1953 in Victoria.
George Sisman (1874 – 1968) was born in Sherborne, Dorset, England on 27 August 1874. He enlisted in the Royal Artillery in 1894 and was stationed in Bermuda from 1896 to 1898. He was transferred to Halifax, N.S. in 1898 and in 1903 to Work Point Barracks in Esquimalt. In 1906, he transferred to the Royal Canadian Garrison Artillery. He retired in 1922 with the rank of Major. In the WWII he was on the staff of Work Point Barracks for four years. He was Past Master of United Service Lodge in Esquimalt and a member of the B.C. Historical Association. George Sisman passed away in Victoria on November 1968 (obituary in The Daily Colonist November 28, 1968, p.24.)
Harlan Ingersoll Smith (1872 – 1940) was born on 17 February 1872 in Saginaw, Michigan. He attended the University of Michigan before pursuing a career in archaeology. Primarily self-trained, Smith gained significant practical experience working at the American Museum of Natural History. While there, he participated as archaeologist in the Jessup North Pacific Expedition from 1897 to 1899. In 1911, Harlan Smith joined the Geological Survey of Canada as head of its archeology division. This unit, along with the ethnography division later evolved into what is now the Canadian Museum of Civilization. Smith’s early years as an archaeologist with the GSC were spent excavating and investigating potential archaeological sites in eastern Canada, Ontario and British Columbia. In 1920, he began what would become several years of ethnographic work in the Bella Coola Valley of British Columbia. Although he conducted archaeological investigations, his main focus was the documentation of the traditional uses of plants and animals, social organization and cultural traditions of the Nuxalk, Dakelh-ne and Chilcotin people. Besides archaeological mapping and the creation of an impressive inventory of archaeological sites in Canada, Smith was a pioneer in ethnographic film-making, anthropological photography and museum education. Smith was unique for his time, in that he tried to ensure that the people he photographed received copies of their portraits. He wrote extensive captions for his photographs that included detailed information on the subject, date, location, and often, camera angle. These images and associated information continue to be of use and importance to researchers. Harlan Smith passed away in Ottawa 28 January1940.
John Cecil “Cougar” Smith (1878 – 1961) was born in Ashbourne, Derbyshire, England in 1878 and moved with his family to the Comox Valley in 1887. His father Horace “Dude” Smith owned a Cheese factory in Derbyshire but financial difficulties convinced the family to emigrate and soon after arriving they bought land in Black Creek. Smith learned his tracking skills at an early age when he had to track missing cattle in the bush after they strayed from the unfenced farm and at the age of fourteen, he shot his first cougar. Cougars and wolves were a frequent menace to livestock and many farmers didn’t have the time to track and kill the predators so when they heard of Smith’s success it wasn’t long before he was on call 24 hours a day to deal with the marauding animals. At the time, the province paid a $5 bounty for the cats. By the time Smith was twenty, big game hunters were offering Smith money to guide them. It was a letter addressed to “Cougar” Smith of Vancouver Island from a noted Austrian hunter that gave him the nickname which was to stay with him for the next sixty-three years. As a bounty hunter, he is officially credited with over six hundred big cats but that figure is probably closer to one thousand. Hamilton Mack-Laing, a noted naturalist and friend of Smiths wrote: “To cougar hunt in the forest of Vancouver Island, a person must combine the traveling prowess of a bull moose, the back packing stamina of a burro and the scout craft of a leather-stocking. ‘Cougar’ Smith is the best panther hunter on earth!” Another friend and writer, Roderick Haig-Brown, spent a winter hunting with Smith to gather background for his novel Panther. “My impression,” he said, “was that the dogs didn’t lead Smith to the cougar … he led them. As a woodsman, he was in a class of his own.” He also wrote: “Cecil Smith is the greatest of all panther hunters,” and later adds, “… his perfect companionship in the woods, under all sorts of conditions, has made learning (about panthers) a very pleasant task.” Smith supplemented his hunting and guiding income by farming, logging and working as a fisheries inspector. In 1910, he began hunting full time and from the end of the First World War until 1939, he was paid by the provincial game department to hunt cougar, wolves and bears. Although Smith hunted and guided in the foothills of Vancouver Island he occasionally did venture into the higher mountains. In 1926, he accompanied Clinton Wood on a trip up Mount Albert Edward. Using horses, they left the town of Bevan, crossed Qwilt’s suspension bridge across the Puntledge River and rode up and over Mount Becher to John Brown’s cabin near Circle (Circlet) Lake summiting the mountain the next day. A journalist interviewed Smith in 1937 and wrote: “… he doesn’t look the part of a varmint slayer…. A milder mannered, gentler soul than ‘Cougar’ Smith never strolled through a forest or ran a marauding cougar to his doom.” In 1906, Smith married Mary Emily Pidcock and settled in Oyster River, just south of Campbell River where they had five children. Mary passed away in 1936 and Smith remarried Elinor “Nora” Swain in 1942. He was to tell her that ‘British Columbia had more cougars than bees.’ They moved to Campbell River and as the years rolled on Smith gradually gave up strenuous cougar hunting and became known as one of the better tyee guides of the Tyee Club. He seemed to know where the big fish lurked. It appeared as though no matter what he undertook he excelled at and after the guiding he took up gardening. Smith’s longtime friend Eric Sismey said: “His flowers and vegetables seemed larger and brighter, his raspberries, carrots, peas and all else seemed a bit bigger, a bit sweeter and more tender than others grew.” “Cougar” Smith passed away on 9 August 1961 in Campbell River. Sismey wrote: “Smith was one of the fast-disappearing tribe of old-timers, cast in a mould that does not seem to be used any more.”
Arthur Henry Sovereign (1881 – 1966) was an Anglican Priest. He was born in Woodstock, Ontario in 1881 and educated at the University of Toronto. Ordained in 1906, his first post was as a curate at Christ Church Cathedral, Vancouver. In 1909 he was appointed Rector of St Mark’s, Vancouver. He was professor of Divinity at the Anglican Theological College in Vancouver from 1930 until his appointment to the episcopate as Bishop of Yukon in 1932, but only held the post for ten months. From then until 1950 he was Bishop of Athabasca. He was a keen mountaineer, having climbed in the Rockies and the mountains around Vancouver. He was the president of the Vancouver section of the Alpine Club of Canada and a member of the B.C. Mountaineering Club. He passed away in May 1966 (obituary in The Times, May 18, 1966, p.14.)
George William Taylor (1854 – 1912) was born in Derby, England in 1854, and emigrated to Canada in 1976. In Victoria he studied theology, was chosen as a deacon in 1884, ordained a priest in 1886, and served parishes in British Columbia and Ottawa. In 1887, he was appointed Honorary Provincial Entomologist but gave it up when he went to Ottawa in 1888. On his return to Gabriola Island, he conducted intensive studies of shells and insects (1890 -1894) before becoming Rector of the Anglican Church in Wellington, B.C. During these years he was an avid, dedicated collector of insects and became an expert taxonomist of the Lepidoptera, especially the Geometridae. He compiled the first list of native insects of B.C. In 1907, he was appointed Curator of the Marine Biological Station in Nanaimo. He held that position until his death. He not only collected insects generally but willingly exchanged specimens with collectors, generously identified moths for others, and gave freely of his expert advice on the control of noxious pests. He amassed the finest collection of shells in Canada (7000 specimens) and became known and recognized as an expert on conchology. He had five species of insect, three of molluscs and one sponge named after him. Taylor was the founding President of the Entomological Society of B.C., served for six years (1906 – 1911) and was a constant contributor to the Canadian Entomologist. George Taylor passed away in Nanaimo on 22 August 1912.
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.
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.)
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.
Frederick Sidney Williams (1908 – 1991) was born in New Westminster, B. C., on 14 October 1908. He moved to the Comox Valley with his family in 1921 and his teacher at the time, Bill Stubbs, got Williams interested in acting and later went on to direct Sid’s first play. As a businessman Williams co-owned the Ski-Tak Hut when it first opened on Forbidden Plateau and he also co-owned Searle’s Shoes for a time on 5th Street in downtown Courtenay. He served as a Courtenay Alderman from 1942 to 1964 and also served on the board of the Courtenay Recreation Association (CRA) and was involved with many community projects. However, it was Williams’ ability to make people laugh and his incredible contribution to the theatre in the Comox Valley that he will be best remembered for, although, most people probably remember “Sid” as an actor. Throughout his life he performed countless roles, including guest appearances on the television program The Beachcombers. Undoubtedly, Sid Williams most famous character was that of Century Sam, an old prospector who came back to life in 1958 and toured the province to celebrate British Columbia’s centenary. Williams took Century Sam (and other characters) on tour with the Barkerville Players for fourteen seasons. In 1967 he did a nationwide tour for Canada’s centennial celebrations. Among his many accolades, the most notable are being made Freeman of the City of Courtenay in 1968; the Eric Hamber award in 1963 for his outstanding contribution in the field on theatre and the Order of Canada for his irrepressible humour and service to others in 1984. However, Williams also loved the outdoors and made many trips into the mountains surrounding Courtenay and into Strathcona Provincial Park. In the summer of 1935, he attempted an ascent of the Roosters Comb (Golden Hinde) with another local mountaineer W. A. [Adrian] B. Paul. At the time it was believed that the Roosters Comb was unclimbed. Although they got close, they unfortunately ran out of time. With knowledge of the route Williams again decided to make another attempt in July 1936 with Geoffrey Capes and the young teenager Roger Schjelderup. Unfortunately, when they arrived at the surveyor’s base camp below the Rooster’s Comb, they found that the surveyor Norman Stewart and his assistant Dan Harris had made the ascent that day, however, neither party realized that Einar Anderson had assisted W. W. Urquhart and W. R. Kent to the summit while they surveyed and photographed the park during the summers of 1913 and 1914. Williams, Capes and Schjelderup believed they had made the second ascent but history now records theirs as the third. Another of Williams’ passions was the lure of precious metals. In the summer of 1946, Sid Williams and Jimmy Aston* searched for the telltale sign of valuable minerals in the rocks of the Forbidden Plateau. Near Strata Mountain they found a favourable gold vein and the next year built a cabin (Sid’s Cabin) as their base for further investigations. Unfortunately, it never made them rich but the cabin is still there today. Sid Williams passed away in Courtenay on 26 September 1991. To further honour Sid Williams, Courtenay’s Civic Theatre was named after him in 1991, while in the mountains of Strathcona Provincial Park near the Comox Glacier is Century Sam Lake.
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.
George Edgar Winkler (1875 – 1978) was a poet and prospector active throughout B.C. He published under the pseudonyms “Ernest Altrew” and “The Prospector”. Winkler was born in Kincardine, Ontario in 1875. He first came to British Columbia in 1897 where he settled permanently. He worked in stores and for newspapers and became interested in prospecting, eventually taking university courses in geology. He had interests in many mining concerns, both as owner/operator and manager. Winkler was a poet, publishing several books of poetry during his lifetime as well as publishing in magazines and newspapers. He was interested in politics and unsuccessfully ran for Provincial office as a Socialist Party of Canada candidate in the 1907 general election. He was on the executive of the Vancouver Island section of the Alpine Club of Canada and led many trips around Victoria, Sooke and Saanich. Winkler passed away in Victoria in 1978.
Clinton Stuart Wood (1888 – 1967) was born in Clinton, B.C. on 22 January 1888. He came to Courtenay in 1911 as an engineer and worked as the city clerk for eleven years. On 26 October 1911 he married Mary Jane Mouat of Saltspring Island and they had four sons but one son was killed in action in WWII. Clinton and Mary leased 80 acres in the 1930’s on the eastern slopes of Mount Becher and built the Forbidden Plateau Lodge, operating it as a family ski-hill as well as a guiding company on the plateau. Along with other local businessmen and climbers, he founded the Comox District Mountaineering Club in December 1927, a club that had early ties with the Vancouver Island section of the Alpine Club of Canada. Clinton Wood passed away on 6 November 1967 in Campbell River (obituary in the Comox District Free Press November 15, 1967, p.4.) It was said of him: “…there will be thousands upon thousands of young Canadians who will catch their breaths over the untold future at the beauty of the country he made accessible to them. No man, surely, could wish for a more lasting epitaph than that.”
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.