The West Coast Trail

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The West Coast Trail is a 75 km (47 mi) long backpacking trail following the southwestern edge of Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. It was built in 1907 to facilitate the rescue of survivors of shipwrecks along the coast, part of the treacherous Graveyard of the Pacific. It is now part of Pacific Rim National Park (Parks Canada and Wikipedia) and is often rated by hiking guides as one of the world’s top hiking trails.

The West Coast Trail is open from May 1 until September 30. It is accessible to hikers outside of this period but Parks Canada does not guarantee the accessibility of services (such as search and rescue) in the off season. It was originally known as the Dominion Lifesaving Trail (sometimes misidentified as the West Coast Lifesaving Trail).-Wikipedia

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Video courtesy of Parks Canada website

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My daughter and her friend just finished hiking the West Coast Trail this Summer 2013 and thoroughly enjoyed it. (photos on Facebook) It is rough, it is challenging, but it is an adventure, and it is fun! The trail passes by two manned lighthouses (Pachena -photo above, and Carmanah – photo below) which date back to the time when the trail was Continue reading

Mise Tales Twelve

 

For an update on what a Mise Tale is then please see Mise Tales One.

Do You Want to Buy a Foghorn?

Aberdeen’s Torry Coo on the market for £5,000
Buyers lining up for foghorn

Published: 28/09/2012 Evening Express

A famous foghorn in Aberdeen has sparked a bidding war between prospective buyers desperate to own a piece of Scottish history.

And property agents revealed several offers made for the much-loved Torry Coo in Aberdeen were “well in excess” of the asking price.

The Northern Lighthouse Board put the 110-year-old horn and store building on the market in July with a price tag of £5,000, but several mystery bidders want to get their hands on the Category A listed structure. Continue reading

In Memorium – Donna (Sheppard) Viereck (1947 – 2012)

Donna Marie (Sheppard) Viereck (January 8th, 1947 Whitney Pier, NS – February 26, 2012 Prince Rupert, BC) – friend of the lightkeepers.

I met Donna for the first time in 1976 when I moved to Green Island lighthouse as Principal Keeper. The ship overnighted at the Prince Rupert Coast Guard Base, and such a reception from CG personnel I had never before experienced. The welcome and help was outside their normal duty.

One of the memorable people was Donna Sheppard, the boss of the Personnel office and a nicer person one could not ever meet. She had almost ten (10) years experience there before me.

Over the years of working out of the Prince Rupert office I had a lot of contact with Donna. She and I fought like brother and sister over Personnel matters but remained good friends throughout. 

I am going to miss you Donna. I only wish that i had been able to say goodbye. RIP.

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

More information on Donna’s life can be found here on the InMemoriam.ca website.

British Columbia Lighthouse Keeper Database – a work in progress!

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This is the information that started the whole Lighthouse Memories website. In 2005 I started to collect the names of lighthouse keepers, and the stations they had manned. Because of this list people sent me stories, documents and photos and the website was born.

 

Click on the photo below to see the database pages and a link to the Database.

LI Database

BC Lighthouse Keeper Database

 

 

Website – Rough Radio – Wireless on the BC Coast

This is a promotion for my friend Frank Statham’s website Rough Radio – Wireless on the British Columbia Coast.

As I started off collecting lighthouse keeper names for genealogy records, Frank started with a collection of photographs, and with his past work as a radio operator, his interest was sparked into creating a website to help people remember the early days of radio on the BC coast. He also has been keeping a list of station personnel which you will find here.

The quotes below from Frank’s website show that lighthouses came first, but with the advent of radio, the two worked closely together, in fact sometimes so close together that they were on the same station – e.g. Estevan Point  or Pachena Point. 

“At the end of the 19th Century, the west coast of Canada was dangerous place for the movement of vessels.  There was little European settlement along the coast north of Victoria.  The only navigational aids for vessel traffic consisted of a scattering of lighthouses.”

“The 1907 Canadian Dominion Government, in an effort to provide some measure of safety for mariners, implemented a plan to provide a life saving trail along the Juan de Fuca Strait Vancouver Island, lifeboat stations, and wireless radio stations.  The first five wireless stations, Vancouver, Victoria, Pachena Point and Estevan Point were all operational by January 1908.”   Continue reading →

Some photo samples from Frank’s website below:

 

In Memorium – Annie Frances (Arden) Sullivan (1909 – 2007)

The Passing of a Lot of Memories

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

– In Memorium posted in the Victoria Times-Colonist October 24, 2007

If any members of the family have photos or stories of the life on Sheringham Point lighthouse, I would be pleased to present them here. I am sorry for your loss – she really did live an adventurous life.