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British Columbia History

British Columbia History 51.4 | Winter 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.

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

in this issue

3 min
letters from readers

My Mother, My Teacher: The First Woss School Thank you!!! This is sooo interesting. I have never seen a full picture of the school! It’s so beautiful! Jane (Paton) Forin Now that’s the Woss I remember! Merci Mare Joel Paton Marg Nelson did a very accurate telling of the history. I was totally impressed that she could remember so much at such a young age. Bill Stewart Houston While reading the Fall 2018 issue Archives and Archivists about the Prince George Railway and Forestry Museum collection, I was reminded of newspaperman John Houston’s dispute with the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway Co. The company was well aware of Houston’s disdain for rail service in general (particularly C.P.R.) and tried to prevent him from buying a lot in Prince Rupert for his office. However, wily Houston knew that…

2 min

British Columbia is a big province and at times it can be hard to feel connected to people and places in other regions. History is a connector and one of the most rewarding things about this job is when a story connects people and evokes memories and stories. My mom, in Chilliwack, received a phone call from someone she has known from childhood. He lives in Courtenay now and wanted her to tell me that he had read “My Mother, My Teacher: The First Woss School” by Marg Nelson in the Summer 2018 issue and realized that a lady he is acquainted with is from Woss. He showed this lady the magazine and she found herself in the class photo and could identify a number of the other children. Chilliwack…

34 min
craigdarroch military hospital a canadian war story

As one of many military hospitals operated by the federal government during and after the First World War of 1914-1918, the Dunsmuir house, Craigdarroch Castle, is today a lens through which visitors can learn how Canada cared for its injured and disabled veterans. Research shows that the Castle and the Dunsmuir family played a significant role in a crucial period of Canada’s history. At the outbreak of the First World War, there were about 8,000,000 people living in Canada. Roughly 600,000 of the country’s men and women joined the Canadian Expeditionary Force, and about 450,000 of them went overseas. Another 50,000 people in Canada joined British or allied armies. By the end of the war, 60,000 had been killed in action overseas or died from wounds, injury, and disease. Seventy thousand…

1 min
the journey home

Each discharged soldier appeared before a medical board before being returned to Canada. These boards were comprised of three medical officers who took about 30 minutes to examine a man and complete forms documenting any disability, tests, specialist treatments, and other medical history. Invalided soldiers returning to Canada generally arrived in Halifax at Pier 2. During the winter, it was sometimes necessary to unload hospital patients at Portland, Maine, which also meant much less travel time to central Canada. A staff of 63 medical officers, 11 nursing sisters and 24 orderlies worked on the MHC’s various hospital trains. Each car could usually accommodate up to 25 cases. As the War drew to a close in 1918, a clearing services command was set up at each port through which troops passed into…

8 min
the first post office in dease lake

I was a city boy from Berlin, Germany, when I came to Canada in 1974 to fulfill my dream of visiting the Yukon. There I met my wife, Margaret Pearce, who was also a city girl from Vancouver, and we married the following year. We both found work at a mine in Clinton Creek in the Yukon, and later moved to another mine in Cassiar, BC. Because we both loved the north, after we left our jobs at Cassiar, we decided to settle in the remote hamlet of Dease Lake. Supposedly this was on the verge of a boom, as it was the proposed endpoint of the British Columbia Railway northern extension. The rail line was never built, but we didn’t know at the time that the plans would be cancelled. We bought…

7 min
japanese-canadian crusader mary keiko kitagawa appointed to order of bc

I had the great privilege of being one of the people who wrote a letter in support of Mary Kitagawa’s nomination to the OBC, so I’m proud to have played a small role in getting recognition for all that this humble, self-effacing, inspiring woman, has done for others. I am a scholar and public historian, and I say this in order to emphasize the grounds for which I make the following statement: Mary Kitagawa is one of the most important individuals in terms of public impact in the last twenty-five years of history in BC. As a historian, I present the argument to my students that the great currents of history are borne by mass movements, social changes that reflect the actions of many people working together or driven by larger shifts…