Re-inventing the Wheel, er, The Paddleboard

 

This not a lighthouse story, but it shows what interests a lighthouse keeper. If you live near the sea, you are always interested in ways and means of travelling, fishing , and exploring on the ocean. It is only natural. Here is my newest find – a SUP!

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After posting the story “Stand” – An Adventure Documentary on November 14, 2012, I was really intrigued by the surfboards the people were using in the film.  They were not really surfboards as they appeared to be too heavy even though made of native British Columbia (BC) cedar wood.

A Cedar Strip Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP)

As you can see from the photo above, they are called a Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP). I had never heard of them before, and thought they would be ideal for adventurers on the BC coast, or anywhere! Continue reading

Life on Nootka Lighthouse c. 1950s

Here is another story from Ms. Juanita (Swanson) DuLong. She was a young girl on most of these stations, but living there, and hearing stories from her parents, she has created   lighthouse memories from the 1950s time. Her older stories are found herehere and here. One more to come she says. 

It is said that for every person on earth, there is a place our soul will recognize as home.

Nootka lighthouse

Sometime in 1955, I was lucky enough to find that Nootka was mine. Ever since, no
matter where or how I was living, I went home whenever possible. Today, my husband
and I live on the West coast of Vancouver Island, not far from Nootka Island.

Nootka Lighthouse is picturesque, with 360 degree views of scenery. The area is steeped in history, being the true birthplace of B.C. Brick fragments are still sometimes found from the Spanish fort that so long ago enjoyed those same views.

But , I wasn’t yet ten years old, and history wasn’t uppermost in a little girl’s mind. Continue reading

Life on Pine Island c. 1950s

Here is another story from Ms. Juanita (Swanson) DuLong. She was a young girl on most of these stations, but living there, and hearing stories from her parents, she has created   lighthouse memories from the 1950s time. Her older stories are found here and here.

Her husband Roy scanned some nice photos of Pine Island station, but unfortunately they are way too small to show here. When he has time to make larger ones, I will add them.

Roy sent some more scans, but they are limited, but I have posted them because they show details not available before – e.g. the A-frame highline setup.

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Pine Island houses - photo Juanita Swanson

There may be somewhere in the world a place foggier than Pine Island lighthouse, but it’s hard to believe. The horn was often on for days on end, and became only another background noise. A lighthouse tender could arrive in clear weather, and radio that Pine was under a doughnut of fog. Continue reading

Sister’s Island c. early 1950s

Here is a continuance of the tales of Juanita (Swanson) DuLong. Somewhere around the early 1950s, probably after a year at Fiddle Reef lighthouse the family was moved to Sisters Island. Juanita says:

Sisters Island

Fiddle Reef’s plumbing was a cistern and hand pump. Cold water only. 

Sisters was a little tamer and had a bathroom. When we arrived we found the tub full of coal. The running water was cold only . A reservoir on the wood and coal stove heated enough water for small tasks.

At that time  the lighthouse tenders also burned coal. The smoke could be seen well off.

While on the subject of heat, Dad nearly took a finger off chopping kindling. Mom patched it up, and a doctor later told her he “couldn’t have done it better himself”.

Here there were more and bigger buildings. I actually had a bedroom instead of my little pallet in the angle of the hallway (on Fiddle Reef). I cannot remember much about the day to day station workings, but I do remember the foghorn had a very brassy sound. Continue reading

Surviving on Fiddle Reef Lighthouse c. 1950s


View Larger Map

On January 21, 2012 I wrote about a family that lived on the lighthouses in the 1950s up to the 1960s, all in the days of no electricity – only kerosene lamps. I now have another installment from Ms. Juanita (Swanson) DuLong. She was only four years old at the time on Fiddle Reef, but memories are hard to erase – especially Lighthouse Memories!

List of Lights #215 - Fiddle Reef Sector

The map above shows the location of Fiddle Reef (1898 – 1978) just off Oak Bay, Victoria, BC. The lighthouse was on the rock under the green arrow. The lighthouse is long gone and is replaced with a white cylindrical tower with a white light and a red sector. Continue reading

Life on the Lighthouses c. 1950s to 1960s

Nootka light

I receive links to lighthouse stories in the most unbelievable ways. This one arrived in the middle of an email addressed to someone else, which was then passed on to me.

After contacting this first writer I was passed on to another. To keep track of all my contacts I think I will soon need a secretary!

The first writer was Ms. R. Dawson, and her grandparents were on five British Columbia lighthouses for a total of twenty plus years staring in the 1940s. Ms. Dawson describes herself as an activist and I believe she is onboard with the lighthouse keepers against automation as she says: “Lighthouses have been under attack for decades by federal government politicians who have no idea as to their worth and see them as an easy target.”

After contacting Ms. Dawson, I was told that her Aunt Juanita was older and had more stories to tell, and that Aunt Juanita is the sole surviving child of Ms. Dawson’s grandparents/Juanita’s parents. So, Ms. Dawson contacted Aunt Juanita, and I then received an email from Juanita’s husband Roy DuLong. Continue reading

A Posting to Isolation – Pachena Pt. 1949 – 1955

– Betty Healey (Wife of Arthur Healey – Officer-in-Charge (OIC) Pachena Point Radio station (VAD) 1949 – 1955)
– forward by editor Tom Racine (from his website History of Spectrum Management in Canada

D.O.T.’er Arthur Healey was officer-in-charge at Pachena Point  Marine Radio Station from 1949 to 1955. With his wife Betty and three children, Ann, John and Michael who were then 12, 8 and 7 years of age respec­tively, he spent six years at this isolated post. He went from there to Alert Bay and last summer took over as officer-in-charge at Victoria Marine Radio. 

Access to Pachena Radio, which was closed down in 1958 after 45 years of operation, was by lighthouse tender, or Bamfield lifeboat, and then by workboat through the surf to the bonnet-sling; then highline up the cliff. If one was a good hiker, it was possible to trek the nine miles from Bamfield to Pachena, and that was how the Healey’s first got there. 

Today, living once again in a large urban community, Mrs. Healey recalls the rewarding experiences shared by the family during that six year period. The children are now young adults: Ann is married and the mother of four children; John received a Bachelor of Education degree last year and is now teaching at Burns Lake, B.C., and Michael, working towards a Master’s degree in zoology at UBC, plans to go to Europe for Ph.D. studies.  Continue reading

Life on Kains Island 1933 – 1944

– Roy Carver (son of C. E. Carver on Kains Island November 1933 – July 1944)

Roy Carver told me he “was born at the Bancroft Nursing Home at 705 Cook Street in Victoria, BC in mid 1930s. This nursing home was set up for expectant mothers that lived in out of the way places with no doctors, like his mother Evelyn Carver. They could come to the home a month before the due date and stay a few days or a week before returning home.” 

Quatsino Lightstation c. 1930s - photo BC Archives

And Roy definitely did live in an out of the way place with his parents, and later his sister. His father was Clarence Edgar Carver who was the principal lightkeeper, fog alarm operator and radio beacon operator on Quatsino Lighthouse (aka Kains Island) during the period 1933 to 1944. Kains Island is located far up the western side of Vancouver Island on Quatsino sound. Nearest neighbours were six (6) miles (9.7 kilometers) away at the small fishing village of Winter Harbour.  Continue reading

Porlier Pass Lighthouse 1949 – 1965

– Denice Goudie (grandaughter of Henry Edward Brown, Senior Keeper on Porlier Pass 1949 – 1965) 

Please go to the Porlier Pass lighthouse website, a project of Dennice Goudie, and read the rest of her account and recollections of life at Porlier Pass and a history of her grandfather. 

Building on Race Point demolished in 1996 - photo - Chris Mills

Grandfather of this researcher Denice Goudie, Henry Edward Brown (November 29, 1899 – September 27, 1974) served as lighthouse keeper at Porlier Pass between 1949 and 1965 which was established 15 November 1902; automated April 1996. 

Every summer and most school holidays of my memory were spent at the north end of Galiano Island. At first in the house which stood further up the hill; lit by coal oil lamps, outhouse, water by bucket from the cistern and after that house burned down a 3 bedroom house that can be viewed from Virago Point Light, looking toward Race Point.  Continue reading