#15 Thruppence for your thoughts

First Published: April 27th, 2015 In 1944, Sylvia Thrupp expressed her belief that knowledge of local history is “essential for any one who professes to have a realistic approach to the political problems of the day.” Consequently UBC historian Sylvia L. Thrupp penned an article [below] in which she follows local history back to its…
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#14 BC Crimes Stories: Train Bomb

First Published: April 08th, 2015   This story is from the book, Dead Ends: BC Crime Stories (University of Regina Press $19.95), by journalist Paul Willcocks [in photo above]. It’s part of the University of Regina Press’s Canadian True Crime Series. Each book in this series contains 40 bizarre and sensational transgressions. 978-0-88977-348-6 * The…
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#13 BC Crime Stories: The Big Con

First Published: April 08th, 2015 * Everything about Ian Thow was big. The investment adviser’s house was a $5.5-million waterfront mansion outside Victoria, with four bedrooms and seven bathrooms. There was a dock on the Saanich Inlet for his yacht, a seventeen-metre Sea Ray that would sleep six, and two smaller boats. The seven-acre property…
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#12 BC Crime Stories: Rattlesnake Isl.

First Published: February 17th, 2015 * They called him Crazy Eddie in the Okanagan Valley. Eddie Haymour complained constantly that powerful forces were conspiring against him, plotting to steal his land and his dreams, ruining his life. The provincial government, police, and bureaucrats were part of the conspiracy, he’d tell anyone who would listen. By…
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#11 Pioneers: Alys McKey Bryant

First Published: October 14th, 2014 Born in 1880 on a farm in Indiana, Alys McKey began flying in 1912 in Los Angeles after answering an ad: “Wanted: young lady to learn to fly for exhibition purposes.” The ad was created by Fred Bennett and John Bryant of the Bennett Aero Company. McKey became the first…
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#10 Pioneers: Flying Billy Stark

First Published: August 11th, 2014 The following article about early aviation in B.C. is excerpted from a long article written by Frank H. Ellis and published in the British Columbia Historical Quarterly in October of 1939. It describes how and when William (“Billy”) M. Stark made Canadian aviation history. Before he gained renown as a…
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#9 David Thompson

David Thompson’s cartography, his endurance, his consistent respect for Aboriginal peoples, his pathfinding, his versatility in at least six languages and his prodigious literary legacy qualify him as the most under-celebrated hero in Canadian history. First Published: August 10th, 2015 The second in a planned three volumes of David Thompson’s writings, The Writings of David…
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#8 Ann Blades

First Published: April 12th, 2015 B.C.’s maven of children’s literature, Judith Saltman, has designated Ann Blades’ self-illustrated Mary of Mile 18 (1971) as the “breakthrough” illustrated title by a B.C. writer for children. The published-from-Montreal story is based on Blades’ experiences as a novice teacher in northern B.C. Her second book in 1973 was similarly…
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#7 How the Douglas fir was named

“Should any of you boys visit the Sandwich Islands, look up the burial place of my college mate.” Botanist John Goldie (1793-1886) reflecting on David Douglas’s grave First Published: April 04th, 2014 One of the most prominent of the roving fraternity of nineteenth-century plant hunters who scoured North America for plant species new to Europe,…
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#6 Suzanne Fournier

First Published: April 09th, 2015 In Shore to Shore: The Art of Ts’uts’umutl Luke Marston, Suzanne Fournier profiles First Nations artist, Luke Marston, who created the sculpture at Brockton Point (at left), and describes his journey to Portugal to research the work. The title “Shore to Shore” references Marston’s great-great-grandfather, Portuguese Joe Silvey, who sailed…
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#4 Hubert Evans

First Published: April 08th, 2015 In 1902, when he was a nine-year old in Galt, Ontario, Hubert Reginald Evans began his career as a professional writer by composing a limerick in praise of Lipton’s tea for a contest. The now-forgotten verse earned him $1. Hubert Evans later became a professional writer in British Columbia for…
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#3 When Nanaimo was Colville

“Nanaimo was a mining hamlet of some forty-five buildings in 1857. The name was scarcely known outside Vancouver Island… The Beaver came along about every six months, the Otter more frequently, and an Express canoe occasionally… The chinks between the logs, through which the wind would sough with a shriek of triumph, were plastered up…
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#1 Welcome to The Ormsby Review

Richard Mackie and BCBookLook are teaming up to provide a new vehicle for serious writing about B.C. The Ormsby Review will be named after Margaret Ormsby, the venerable historian who often met with Richard Mackie for tea and talk during her retirement near Vernon. First published September 16th, 2016 * Note: The Ormsby Review was…
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