Mise Tales Thirty-Six

 

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

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Here is a great video taken on board the Coast Guard ship CCGS Sir Wilfred Laurier as it services the mountain-top radio sites using the onboard helicopter. Great shots of the Queen Charlotte Islands (Haida Gwai) and the old lighthouse and radio station at Cape St. James.

It is titled on Youtube as the “Big Red Restaurant“!

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Surviving on Fiddle Reef Lighthouse c. 1950s


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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

I Remember . . . c. early 1960s

Langara Point

 

– from Jeannie (Hartt) Nielsen (daughter of Ed Hartt, Senior Keeper on Langara 1957 – 1963) 

 

 

Smells
Growing up on a total of five different west coast lighthouses I remember certain things that were common to them all. The best day was always supply day (see also the Groceries & Mail Categories). When we were on Langara lighthouse in the early years (1957 – 1963) we received supplies every three months. I can remember the first thing I listened for in the early morning of landing day was the clicking sound of the damper in the chimney of the kitchen’s oil stove. When I heard that I knew that there would be no supplies landed that day as the wind was too high.

One December I heard that dreaded sound twenty (20) days in a row, and each day the ship tried to bring our groceries. We would watch as it would come into view just off Langara Rocks. They would assess the landing conditions, then we would watch with growing dispair as it turned back to the safety of a nearby harbour. Finally on the 21st day, the supply tender (itself running out of provisions) was able to deliver our supplies.  Continue reading

Langara Island 1943 – 1945

– Norma (Kinnear) Money and Willa (Kinnear) Studiner (daughters of William Norman Kinnear, Senior Keeper on Langara 1943 – 1945)

Original interview from the Pine Tree Line1 website which is now hosted on this site.

The duplex – light tower barely visible on right side

Comments by Ren L’Ecuyer 2 – The Kinnear family lived at the lighthouse complex on Langara Island in the 1943-1945 time period. I was fortunate to communicate with Norma Kinnear in February 2004. I had requested her assistance in trying to recreate what once existed at Langara Island. The following detail is a series of questions and answers – all of which provide additional information on what occurred at Langara Island during this period of time. 

Q#1 – Can you please provide the names of your parents, your sister and yourself? I assume there were just two children when you went to Langara Island. 

A#1 – Father: William Norman Kinnear. Mother: Doris May Kinnear. Sisters: Willa Margaret Kinnear and Norma Kathleen Kinnear. 

Q#2 – How old were you and your sister when you arrived at Langara Island? 

A#2 – My sister (Willa) was seven and I was eight. 

Q#3 – Was Langara Island the first location for your father as a light keeper? 

A#3 – Yes.  Continue reading

Humour – Children Writing About the Ocean . . .

 I received these in an email last month and just could not resist publishing them with some cartoon art!

 

1) – This is a picture of an octopus. It has eight testicles. (Kelly, age 6) 

 

 

 

2) – Oysters’ balls are called pearls. (Jerry, age 6) 

 

 

 

 

3) – If you are surrounded by ocean, you are an island. If you don’t have ocean all round you, you are incontinent. (, age 7) 

  Continue reading

Kids and Boats on Sisters Island c. 1928

Sisters Island lighthouse 1927

– Ted Smithman (Son of Henry Herbert Smithman who was Senior Keeper at Sisters Island 1927 – 1929)

I was allowed a lot of freedom there [Sisters Island ]. I would find a broad flat chunk of log and sit on it and explore the coast of the whole island. Mum worried but Dad seemed to trust us not to do anything really stupid.  Continue reading