Economy & industry

1858 ‘Obscure as much as to reveal’

Exploring Vancouver: Ten tours of the City and its Buildings (Fifth Edition) by Harold Kalman and Robin Ward Madeira Park, BC: Harbour Publishing, 2023 $29.95  /  9781990776274 Reviewed by Rhodri Windsor-Liscombe * Exploring Vancouver has evolved alongside the city.  Once a series of First Nations settlements amidst a stupendous maritime setting, it became a lumber…
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1827 Sold on the human text

Art + DIY Electronics by Garnet Hertz Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, May 30, 2023 $45.00  /  9780262044936 (paperback) Reviewed by Thomas Girard * Dr. Garnet Hertz new book on DIY culture – Art + DIY Electronics – is a refreshing change from typical academic texts. It has the heft, but without the intimidation of…
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1819 The personalities behind the paper

Printer’s Devils: How a Feisty Pioneer Newspaper Shaped the History of British Columbia, 1895-1925 by Ron Verzuh Qualicum Beach, BC: Caitlin Press, 2023 $28.00 / 9781773861036 Reviewed by Patricia E. Roy * Small town newspapers can reveal much about the communities they serve. Indeed, Ron Verzuh suggests that Printer’s Devils “plays a double role, first…
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1813 Welcome Trevor and Brett

Welcome Trevor and Brett by Richard Mackie * On behalf of the Board of the Ormsby Literary Society and our Advisory Board I’d like to welcome Trevor Marc Hughes and Brett Josef Grubisic as interim editors of The British Columbia Review for the year May 1, 2023 to May 1, 2024. The position was made possible…
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1806 All the world’s a harbour

Workboats for the World: The Robert Allan Story by Robert G. Allan, with Peter A. Robson, and with a foreword by Peter G. Noble Madeira Park: Harbour Publishing, 2022 $99.95 / 9781550179873 Reviewed by Phyllis Reeve * The ferry George Black has plied the waters of the Yukon River between Dawson City and Alaska since…
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1798 Under Mount Macdonald

Canadian Pacific Railway on the Revelstoke Division. Volume Six. The Connaught Tunnel — 106 Years of Service by Douglas R. Mayer Revelstoke: Revelstoke Heritage Railway Society, 2022 $40.00 / 9781999416850 Reviewed by Robert D. Turner Available from the Revelstoke Railway Museum, P.O. Box 3018, 719 Track Street West, Revelstoke, BC, V0E 2S0 (railwaymuseum.com) for $40.00…
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1784 Along the White Pass & Yukon

Century of White Pass & Yukon Route Equipment by Carl E. Mulvihill, edited by Keith Nore Whitehorse: Yukon Transportation Museum, 2022 $59.00 / 9781777544317 Reviewed by Robert D. Turner * The White Pass & Yukon Route’s fascinating international railway has a history going back to the Klondike Gold Rush in the Yukon. It was built…
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1780 Move over Dickens

Knight of the Rails by Christine Welldon Toronto: Red Deer Press, 2022 $14.95 / 9780889956698 Reviewed by Ron Verzuh * Move Over Dickens: Meet a Canadian Pip and An Unusual Artful Dodger Novels for teenagers rarely cross my desk these days. In my youth I revelled in the adventures of the Hardy Boys until Mom…
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1767 Home is where the street is

Home is where the street is: Commercial Drive photos and poems by Rodney De Croo * I’ve lived in East Vancouver for thirty-five years. East Van is where I rented my first basement suite apartment after living on the streets as a young man struggling with addiction. It was in the basements of churches and…
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1765 Cooling our jets

Scrubbing the Sky: Inside the Race to Cool the Planet by Paul McKendrick Vancouver: Figure 1 Publishing, 2023 $28.95  / 9781773272085 Reviewed by Douw Steyn * The strange “naked ape” we are has been on planet earth as a distinct species for about 200,000 years. Most of that time we spent migrating across all continents,…
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1761 Pacific highways and byways

Incredible Crossings: The History and Art of the Bridges, Tunnels and Inland Ferries that Connect British Columbia by Derek Hayes Madeira Park: Harbour Publishing, 2022 $46.95 / 9781550179903 Reviewed by Ron Verzuh  * Pacific Highways and Byways: Travelling Through BC History by Boat, Train, Road or Armchair Pick a road, any road. Chances are you’ll…
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1757 Announcing interview series

Announcing the BC Review interview series by Richard Mackie * In November 2022, at the most recent board meeting of the Ormsby Literary Society, the chair, Byron Sheardown, suggested that we open a YouTube channel and start an interview series. Board member Trevor Marc Hughes jumped at the suggestion. “I’ve got filmmaking experience,” he said,…
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1753 Chinatown comes alive

Chinese Victoria: A Long and Difficult Journey by John Adams Victoria: Discover the Past, 2022 $80.00 / 97809973124125 Reviewed by Robert Amos To obtain a copy of Chinese Victoria, contact Discover the Past, 634 Battery Street, Victoria V8V 1E5. price $80 + $4 GST = $84.00 * A book about Victoria’s Chinatown is sure to…
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1744 Pioneer impermanence

Forgotten Cranbrook: A Photo History of Early Cranbrook & District by Keith G. Powell, Derryll White, and Erin Knutson Cranbrook: Columbia Basin Institute of Regional History, 2022 $29.95  /  9780981214696 Reviewed by Ron Verzuh *  Pioneer impermanence: A photographic history tour of the East Kootenays I am staring into the faces of several older men…
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1737 The sky’s the limit

Why Humans Build Up: The Rise of Towers, Temples and Skyscrapers by Gregor Craigie, illustrated by Kathleen Fu Victoria: Orca Book Publishers, 2022 $29.95  /  9781459821880 Reviewed by Ginny Ratsoy * Was the Tower of Jericho built as a defensive watchtower or a mechanism to help farmers calculate the summer solstice? What are the advantages…
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1732 Bell Island intrigue

The Secret of Bell Island by Mike Phelan Victoria: FriesenPress, 2021 $28.99 / 9781039127296 Reviewed by Valerie Green * This author has written a very thought-provoking story set on Bell Island in Newfoundland during two time periods – the Second World War and the present-day — which also makes for an intriguing narrative of a…
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1723 The forgotten Chinese

Hard Is the Journey: Stories of Chinese Settlement in British Columbia’s Kootenay by Lily Chow Qualicum Beach: Caitlin Press, 2022 $26.00  /  9781773860749 Reviewed by Ron Verzuh * Looking Deeper into History: The Trails of Chinese Immigrants Revealed in the Kootenays What a pleasant surprise to see Cameron Mah on the first page of Lily…
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1721 Naming British Columbia

An essay by Patrick A. Dunae Naming British Columbia * The British Columbia Review is a year old. Previously known as The Ormsby Review (2016), it was renamed The British Columbia Review on February 10, 2022. The new name was greeted enthusiastically, for the most part.[1] A few readers were unhappy that it had ‘British…
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1711 Manways and shabby motels

Thick Skin: Field Notes from a Sister in the Brotherhood by Hilary Peach Vancouver: Anvil Press, 2022 $22.00 / 9781772141955 Reviewed by Catherine Owen * “People love to read about work” — Stephen King The best writers make readers interested in a subject they never imagined they might be compelled by. I think of Cormac…
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