Lighthouse History – 55 (1930-03-19 – 1931-05-09)

Lighthouse History – 55 (1930-03-19 – 1931-05-09)

The following extracts taken from early Victoria, British Columbia (BC) newspapers are credited to Leona Taylor for her excellent work in indexing the papers. Full information can be found here: ”Index of Historical Victoria Newspapers“, 2007-09.

Please Note: December 20, 2012 – I am continuing this series with Lighthouse History #51 because the newspapers have now been indexed up to 1932. I quit posting at #50 as the extracts only went to 1926. They have now been extended from 1927 to 1932 so I will sift through the data for anything lighhouse!


gasboat Miowera, under command of Mickey, son of Major George Nicholson, of Clayoquot, accompanied by Borden Grant, of Tofino, as engineer, left Victoria at 10pm for Clayoquot, normally about a 24 hour run. The weather was fine at the time, but as the report at Gonzales warned of strong southeast winds, the 2 young navigators decided to make a through-run trip.
All went well til the early hours of the morning and the vessel was well up the coast and about opposite Cape Flattery, when Grant, who had been taking his watch at wheel, went to call his skipper, but to his dismay he was unable to waken him. Slapping his face and dashing cold water on him still was of no avail; his companion was unconscious. This was bout daybreak and finding he was unable to wake his chum he steered alone and decided to make for Bamfield, and although he himself was unfamiliar with this particular part of the coastline he succeeded in reaching that port at noon. There he found the provincial police boat lying at the float and Constables Godson and Raybone immediately rendered first aid, and with the bringing of young Nicholson out on deck he soon showed signs of reviving.
The constables then offered to run up to the hospital at Port Alberni, but the young man insisted that he would soon be all right again, and in consultation with his companion decided to proceed on up the coast. At this time it was not known or suspected what really was the matter with him.
A few hours later, a little after dark and the boat now being off Long Beach, the young man again was unconscious on his bunk in the forecastle, Grant, becoming alarmed at his second attack and his inability to rouse him, pushed on with all speed and headed for Lennard Island lighthouse, and by midnight brought the little vessel alongside the wharf at Clayoquot and reported the condition of his mate. With the assistance of willing workers the young man, who was altogether unconscious, was carried from the boat to the Clayoquot Hotel, where with medical aid he was after an hour or so brought round to consciousness.
It was then found that he had been poisoned with carbon monoxide fumes, which had escaped from a leaky exhaust pipe and which he apparently breathed in heavily while working over his engine at different times during the run. When Maquinna left Clayoquot on Sunday young Nicholson had quite recovered and told the officers who brought this account to Victoria that the first thing he did when he had recovered, was to remove the faulty exhaust pipe.
He now wishes to warn all persons operating gasboats of the great danger of leaky exhaust pipes…
He is exceedingly grateful to Borden Grant, for his handling of the boat, and to the Provincial Police officers…; Oyster season has been good on the west coast this winter, over 1,000 sacks having been shipped out during the last few months… there are extensive beds on Barkley Sound and Esperanza Inlet…; David Wilson, manager of BC Packers is in Clayoquot Sound this week superintending the opening of the various fishbuying floats for his company. [Colonist, 1930-03-19, p. 23]


details of the loss of Jessie No 1 in Barkley Sound were received yesterday. The boat was one of a number of seine boats, all of the same name, but numerically different, belonging to the Retherton Bay pilchard plant and operated from that port on Barkley Sound. Jessie 1 ran ashore and became a total loss. The scene of the accident was the particularly dangerous section of the sound lying between Cox Point and Gowland Rocks, near where the Chilean barque Carlemapu was wrecked in 1915. Jessie was manned by all Indians, of whom William, better known as ‘Harry Masso,’ was the skipper. He was making his return to her home port when the disaster occurred. The skipper is a native of the coast and grew up within 6 miles of the spot and was thoroughly conversant with it. Why he selected the notoriously risky inshore course, when he had unlimited sea room on his starboard side, is a mystery to other coast navigators. That the vessel must have been running at a considerable speed is evidenced by the fact that her whole bottom was completely torn away, causing her to sink immediately. The captain and some of his crew escaped to the shore, while the remaining 3 rowed the boat’s tender to Lennard Island lighthouse to notify the lightkeeper, and on arrival there the news was forwarded by telephone to the lifesaving station at Tofino, when the boat was promptly dispatched to the scene. By the time the lifeboat arrived the fishing vessel had completely disappeared, and, rescuing the captain and crew from the rocks, the lifeboat carried them back to port, where Dr Dixon treated the skipper for an abrasion on his leg and a strained ankle… [Colonist, 1930-07-27, p. 12]


T A McNab, in charge of Lennard Island lighthouse and lifesaving station, is leaving by Maquinna for Victoria on his annual vacation. Previously stationed at Carmanah Point. T Arnet will act as superintendent of the station during his absence. [Colonist, 1931-05-09, p. 8]

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