In Memorium – Ed Harris (1925 – 1987)

In Memorium – Ed Harris (1925 – 1987)

Ed Harris

Edgar (Ed) Dennis Harris Born November 12th 1925 at Fulford Harbour, Salt Spring Islands, BC. A second generation Salt Spring Island Hawaiian. Ed married Margaret (Greta) Carlton in Victoria on October 19th, 1946. he had 4 daughters: Lonie Belsey, Lynne Donaldson, Lorna Carrigan and Lorie Palmer and stepdaughter Linda Varcoe.
Ed lived in Victoria, BC and started work with the Canadian Coast Guard in the early 1950’s. In April of 1958 Ed was accepted into the Scholarship Program for Ships Officer training. Based out of Victoria agency, Ed served on the CGM Berens , CGS Estevan, CGS Sir James Douglas and other CCG vessels too numerous to mention.
In 1960 Ed successful competed for the position of Superintendent of Lights with the Department of Transport, Prince Rupert Agency. Edgar and Greta, along with 3 girls moved to Prince Rupert arriving by Coast Guard ship in October 1960. Shortly after moving to Prince Rupert the Harris’s were blessed with their 4th daughter Lorie.
Upon arriving in his new position in Prince Rupert, Ed worked under District Marine Agent, Capt. Ormsby. As Superintendent of Lights he worked very closely with the lightkeepers all along the BC coast – north to Langara and south to the tip of Vancouver Island. He took his position as Superintendent of Lights very seriously as evidence by his personal commitment to visit all the lighthouses in his jurisdiction. He always made a special effort during the holiday season to visit the families on the stations along with Jolly Old Saint Nick.
It was a special treat for me to be able to accompany him from time to time on his visits to the stations and witness the joy he brought to the families that tended the lightstations.
After a number of years as Superintendent of Lights his duties were expanded to include Inland Aids to Navigation which required him to travel to such places as Hay River, Carcross, Whitehorse and Fort St. James. Eventually Ed was promoted to the position of District Marine Agent in the Prince Rupert Agency and served in that position until retiring in 1984.
Edgar and Greta moved to their hobby farm in Kitwanga, BC. In July of 1987.
Dad became ill and he was diagnosed with primary brain cancer and passed away on October 08, 1987. He is survived by his wife Greta, 4 daughters, 1 stepdaughter and 14 grandchildren. Many of Ed’s family followed in his footsteps working for the Canadian Coast Guard. Today there are two son-in-laws and one grandson working. Edgar’s oldest daughter worked for CCG in the 1980s and a grandson and nephew in the 1990s. Kevin Carrigan (son-in-law) is the Superintendent Marine Navigation Services, Victoria CCG; Leslie Palmer (son-in-law) is an officer on the Rescue Vessel with Prince Rupert CCG and Nathan Rochon (grandson) is a Carpenter at the CCG Base Prince Rupert. This text was created for this website by Lonie (Harris) Belsey  June 28, 2012.

To include your memories in Ed’s memorial please click this link.

Below is a poem written by Captain Robert (Bob) Mellis in memory of Ed Harris. Ed was well-liked by all personnel on the BC coast – a man well-missed.

(click for larger size)

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Retired (2001) British Columbia lighthouse keeper after 32 years on the lights.

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