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British Columbia History 51.3 | Fall 2018

British Columbia History chronicles British Columbia’s unique story through the words and images of community writers, archivists, museum professionals, academic historians and more. Fresh, engaging, personal and relevant, every issue is packed with articles, photographs, maps, illustrations, book reviews and insights into local archives and historic sites.

British Columbia Historical Federation
$7.88(Incl. tax)
$26.25(Incl. tax)
4 Issues

in this issue

1 min
letters from readers

Pender Islands Museum Having just seen the latest copy of your British Columbia History magazine and the subject of school histories in BC, I thought you might find our new satellite group to the Pender Islands Museum Facebook group of interest. The group is called Pender Islands Old School and with the goal to draw out past alumni and their stories. Here is a link to the group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/PenderIslandsOldSchool/ Regards, John Mackenzie Spring 2018 I just received the Spring 2018 — British Columbia History (magazine) — which I am enjoying it — as I have the others in my collection. Don Connors Charles A. Bayley’s Birth Date Solved Dear Andrea: The “eagle-eyed reader” who noted the error about Charles A. Bayley being age 18 when he arrived in Victoria in 1851 was correct. According to the Bayley Family Bible,…

1 min
editorial calendar

British Columbia History is a quarterly magazine chronicling British Columbia’s unique story through the words and images of community writers, archivists, museum professionals, academic historians and more. THEMES British Columbia History publishes one theme issue per year. Spring 2019—Our special issue of 2019 will focus on the law. Historic legal cases that shaped British Columbia. SUBMISSIONS Submissions to British Columbia History are reviewed three times a year (Winter, Spring, Fall) by the magazine Readers’ Panel, which assists the Editor in selecting articles that are a good fit for the magazine. Our editorial team makes every effort to respond to all submission enquiries; however, our magazine operates with a small part-time staff and it may take some time for us to get back to you. PRINT SCHEDULE Our editorial team works with set copy deadlines and must often finalize…

2 min

History is often told through the official photographers, the staged studio portraits, the parades, the newspaper shots. But what about the photos taken by the newspapers that did not make it to the press or images taken by the amateur photographers? I grew up with an ever-present camera wielded by my dad. Road trips were punctuated by stops for photo opportunities. Now, my brother, husband, and daughter have taken up the role of photographer—if you attended the recent BCHF annual conference, you would have heard the click-click of my husband Darren’s camera. Photographers can get a little obsessed with getting the perfect shot—we almost left Darren behind in Sandon because he was so intent on his subject. Today, everyone with a cell phone is telling their own story through selfies and Instagram…

9 min
an eye for a good picture the legacy of john aitken

The camera work of amateur photographer John Aitken provides rare glimpses of early settlement on Mayne Island as well as other parts of the southern Gulf Islands, and even includes one or two relating to the Klondike gold rush. Aitken’s images are skillfully composed and beautifully executed—all done by an amateur photographer with a 4x5 camera in his hands and a good eye for his surroundings. Born in Scotland on November 4th, 1873, John Aitken took his place as the fourth child and second son of Alexander and Janet Aitken (née Chalmers). John’s destiny, along with that of his family, was bound up with the economic circumstances of the time, which saw a large exodus of Scotland’s population in the mid-1880s—due in large part to increasing urbanization and industrialization in the…

4 min

1. Nellie Aitken Georgeson, “Some Mayne Island Personalities,” A Gulf Islands Patchwork: Some Early Events on the Islands of Galiano, Mayne, Saturna, North and South Pender (Gulf Islands Branch, BC Historical Association, December 1991). Also confirmed in Scotland, Select Births and Baptisms, 1564-1950, FHL Film 6035516. Retrieved from Ancestry.com. 2. The 1871 Scotland Census indicates that Alex and Janet Aitken had a 3-year son, Alexander, and a 1-year old daughter, Marion. 3. Ian McInnes remembers that “my grandmother’s parents, Alexander Telfor Aitken and Janet Chalmers Aitken, had thirteen children. Two boys, David and Richard, died as children in Scotland, the rest all came to Canada.... Alex, Marion, Maggie and John came in 1888. Their parents came in 1902, along with George, Willie, Bob, Jessie, Jimmy and Rachel. Tom appears to have come…

19 min
waterfront acquisition in west vancouver ambitious, controversial, and forward-thinking

In October 1975, the West Vancouver Municipal Council decided to construct a continuous public walk from Dundarave Park to the Cleveland Dam, a distance of about 10 kilometres. Full public access would mean gradually buying up the 32 houses and the commercial properties occupying the waterfront from Ambleside Park to John Lawson Park (13th to 18th streets) so that when all the projects were completed, the public could walk from the Cleveland Dam to Ambleside Park, then along the waterfront from 13th to 18th, and finally take the Centennial Seawalk to Dundarave Park. The plan to purchase these properties—as they became available—was ambitious and controversial, requiring a long-term and potentially expensive commitment from consecutive councils. The purchase of the properties from 1975 to the present was closely linked to the construction…