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British Columbia History

British Columbia History 53.3 Fall 2020

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)
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4 Issues

in this issue

1 min
letters from readers

Salt Spring Island Architecture I enjoyed the article about the Black pioneers who settled on Salt Spring Island. As I read it, I recalled a visit to the island some years ago when a friend who was an architect pointed out a house that reflected the style of houses built in parts of the Southern United States. He commented that the style was a legacy of the Black settlers on Salt Spring. I wonder if any records of the houses this group of pioneers built and/or lived in remain. I believe it could be an interesting aspect to explore both on Salt Spring Island and elsewhere. Anne Wyness Private Wallace of the 1st Canadian Scottish What a thrill it was to read Britta Gundersen-Bryden’s article! My father, George Dugdale (Dug) Sharon—a piper with the…

3 min
editor's note: a decade of stories

Ten years. Forty-two issues. Over 200 articles. In 2010, the Publications Committee recruited me to do the design for the special transportation issue and then as Editor starting with the Summer 2010 issue. My initial assignment, as outlined by the Publications Committee, was to get a legal publications agreement in place, engage more voices in the selection of articles, and be the public face of the magazine. My initial focus was to modernize the design. Enabled by a budget to obtain high-resolution images the magazine evolved with shifts in what printing technology was used, the choice of paper and, finally in 2012 the introduction of colour covers — eighty-nine years after British Columbia History’s predecessor, the First Annual Report and Proceedings was published. Bill Glasgow was brought in as the designer…

5 min
artist commemorates abbotsford history

Manjit Singh Sandhu, MS352 Clearbrook artist Manjit Singh Sandhu is obsessed with history, especially Fraser Valley history. He has painted over 300 paintings of Abbotsford history alone. His work began in the lead-up to the 100-year celebration of the Gur Sikh Temple in Abbotsford in 2011 as a tribute to the Trethewey family of Abbotsford and their century-old support of Sunder Singh Thandi and his dream of building a Sikh temple. Thandi was one of the early Sikh pioneers who came to Abbotsford at the turn of the century looking for work. He was followed by others, many of whom were ex-military men who had worked for the British in Commonwealth forces in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. Many had fought on the side of Britain in the Boer War,…

10 min
the kitagawa family: a farming legacy in south langley

Kitagawa family collection Mokichi Kitagawa came to Canada in the wake of the unrest that swept Japan following the Russo-Japanese War. During the First World War he married Rise Kobayashi and together they made a new life in British Columbia. Their first agricultural success was hampered by hailstorms, and their second was seized by the government. Mokichi Kitagawa (1889–1979) was born in the village of Tsuchida in Shiga-ken Prefecture, Japan and came to Canada in 1907 when he was eighteen years old. He worked west of Revelstoke in sawmills at Three Valley Gap and Taft. His marriage to Rise Kobayashi (1885-1994) was registered in Japan on June 8th, 1917. Mokichi returned to Japan for a three-month visit in late 1917 and their wedding was celebrated on January 20, 1918. Rise joined him…

9 min
warp weft weave: joining generations

Canadian Museum of History, 71403 LS I began the art of felting wool over a year ago, because I wanted to feel my hands slide over the soapy warm fibres. It was so satisfying that I wanted more: I wanted to learn more about fibres and how they held together when spun, sort of like a family and their stories. When I began my genealogical research for the history of my First Nations family a few years ago, I could never have imagined that it would lead me to explore the art of weaving wool — connecting back five generations and to an artform that is centuries old.1 The Skwxwú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish Nation) is known for beautiful weavings of cedar, mountain goat wool, and sheep wool, and even hair from a small…

8 min
the washboard legacy

2019 W. Kaye Lamb Scholarship Winner City of Vancouver Archives, AM54-S4-: SGN 435.1 Laundry services grew to become a Chinese-dominant industry in British Columbia throughout the late 1800s to the 1960s as racism and discriminatory policies pushed Chinese immigrants into challenging niche industries.1 However, hand laundries also allowed Chinese immigrants to create a distinct social and economic identity, and gain a level of freedom, independence, and autonomy. Chinese immigrants were subject to social discrimination in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, as many White-Canadians feared the Chinese as a threat to stealing their jobs.2 As a result, regulations were created so that government departments, hospitals, and other professional industries could not hire Chinese workers.3 Chinese exclusion from labour became a fundamental goal for the labour leaders of Canada and in 1898, one…