Bruce Campbell served as a navigator in the Canadian Air Force from 1939 to 1945 and was a POW in Germany from 1943 to 1945. Upon release, Bruce returned to Vancouver and used money that accrued during his time as POW to purchase approximately 80 acres adjoining a residence at 651 Stewart Road.
Bruce worked as a Comptroller for the Vancouver Parks Board until about 1979 when he retired to Salt Spring.
Old-timers will remember Bruce's big log home here as quite a landmark, as for many years it was the only dwelling visible from this part of Stewart Road. Bruce loved the land and all the wild and natural things upon it. He was happiest working outside all day and relaxing with music, scotch and a hearty meal in the evening. Bruce loved to serenade the birds with his fine, baritone voice - or anyone else who would listen or join in!
In the early 50s, Bruce and his first wife, Gladys Campbell, were responsible for introducing a number of "fallow" deer to Salt Spring. These deer were originally sent to Jane Island, off the coast from Sidney, because of nuclear testing on the English Island where they originated. Bruce and Gladys eventually made pets of these deer and old-timers can remember the deer visiting their porches, looking for hand-outs.
Bruce took great pleasure in the very large pond (officially called Tanner Swamp) just below his home. He avidly guarded and enhanced the integrity of both the pond and the seasonal creek that flows into it, through the pond and then to Stowe (Stowell) Creek. Bruce employed an old backhoe that was an antique even back then, to keep the pond free of weeds and enjoyed putzing around the pond in an old rowboat.
Bruce also love fishing and kept a small motor boat in Ganges. In those early days, we also took buckets of clams and oysters off the Drummond Park and Burgoyne Bay beaches and brought them back to boil in a big, black kettle over a grate placed inside his huge, stone fireplace.
Bruce was proud of his Scottish heritage and never missed a Burns Night supper dance, in full Scottish regalia. He was a member of the Canadian Legion. Many remember Bruce for his warm, generous and sentimental nature.
When Bruce died in 1989, he passed the 43 acres remaining to his brother, Doug Campbell and his sister, Betty Blanchflower. In turn, Doug Campbell passed the final, remaining 23 acres to his wife, Joyce and his children,
Douglas and Fiona, the current property owners at 651 Stewart Road.
Unfortunately, Bruce's wonderful heritage home burned down a short while before his death in 1989. It's been an honour to build a new home on the old site and to ensure that Bruce's loving legacy lives on.
(Submitted, with photos, by Joyce Campbell, 651 Stewart Road, Salt Spring Island, B.C. V8K 2A2.)