Salt Spring Island Archives

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Robert Christopher Hele (b. 24 August 1934)

This tape is part of the SSI Sound Archives Project.
Bob Hele is interviewed at his home, Applecroft B&B Upper Ganges Rd. on August 14, 1990

Accession Number Interviewer Ruth Sandwell
Date August 14, 1990 Location Applecroft B&B Upper Ganges Rd.
Media Audio CD
ID 78 Topic




Unknown Speaker 0:00
Today's Tuesday August 14 1990. And today I'm talking to Bob he'll at his home and I began Geez road. My name is Ruth

Unknown Speaker 0:17
Bob, why don't you tell me about how your family first came to Saltspring? Got it was your grandparents, your grandfather? And what was his name?

Unknown Speaker 0:32
Benjamin Lundy?

Unknown Speaker 0:33
Where did he come from?

Unknown Speaker 0:35
Carrie Ferguson, Maryland, Northern Ireland with the tape

Unknown Speaker 0:44
Why did he come here

Unknown Speaker 0:50
this tape recorder thing it's really difficult

Unknown Speaker 0:58
he was he was a failure. What do you know? Let big on details about him.

Unknown Speaker 1:09
I don't really think for a lot better in the new world right then in Ireland. Played around in 1843. I guess the great success.

Unknown Speaker 1:21
You remember in dates, and what they would change was it would he be

Unknown Speaker 1:26
18 it was it. He was born in 1861. I believe he died in 1910 Didn't when he's 49 years old. And it's always been interesting to see how well those trees developed. From the ground is preempted right in 1893 to be found that I really get a picture here.

Unknown Speaker 1:52
So he just came over to sail straight for Saltspring Where did he go stop in Victoria?

Unknown Speaker 1:59
I really don't know anything about

Unknown Speaker 2:02
you just know that he ended up here in Spain was he married when it came?

Unknown Speaker 2:09
This may have been before he made the trip back to Ireland The year before he died in 1909. Possible although these pictures and they're very it was written on the back about his farewell when he went to Ireland. I think he went in a September probably after the harvest. I'm sorry. Look at that. What's interesting if you preempted it Nate t 93. And he died in 1909. Look hollows tree grew so well. Isn't that beautiful? Are they those apple trees that are still there today? I'm just saying because he would probably be standard Apple stock because they wouldn't have developed if you're writing an apple rootstock or so that they did quite well. What in the time they had with all their

Unknown Speaker 2:56
the house that they built here. That's the house of

Unknown Speaker 3:00
lumber was brought from as far as I know from California. Native mother always said there was no sawmills in BC when they built that house. There was a log house a log cabin first and he sold some land Mr Birling didn't get enough money to build the house.

Unknown Speaker 3:19
So he must have owned some of that land on the other side of

Unknown Speaker 3:22
the lake just up the road here So replace that area there as far as I know part of it at any rate and he sold it for $500 Let's go house cost the bill just around the Eternals and then they burnt the log cabin down unfortunately just to get rid of

Unknown Speaker 3:49
this nature but then he built that beautiful so he had to bring they just bought the lumber up they didn't get a prefab house

Unknown Speaker 3:57
they bought the lumber and was came by boat of course they threw it off into the ocean Vesuvius and some other sense and brought it in by rowboat and then it was proper OXCART this was upper Ganges road course was the main road at that time as far as I know what I don't think Laura Ganges

Unknown Speaker 4:29
know I guess when Central was the main

Unknown Speaker 4:32
main post office was there. In the old hall, I guess it's gone now there was a couple of tails I guess they still

Unknown Speaker 4:47
so what did you What did your grandfather do? I mean, how did he make a living? Because living

Unknown Speaker 4:52
farming fishing. He worked for Mr. Bullock. What did he do? Yeah, there's there's a layer there somewhere. Victoria sealing company wages

Unknown Speaker 5:04
and he grew fruit trees. Did he do that when he was in Ireland or is that something?

Unknown Speaker 5:10
I don't know. Most likely brought the they used to bring the seedlings, no for grafting you know the cuttings and Holly kept them was they put them in a potato and kept them alive that way

Unknown Speaker 5:35
they would have come from from from Ireland. So did he die I imagine that they obviously had to clear the land here.

Unknown Speaker 5:46
Even even even in this spot when we excavated for this house that was big old for roots been from the days when they cleared I really don't know how they got all the work done. They did because they the whole place still has rock drains all over the work. Oh, clearly. From from what he put in. Yeah, it is because I don't think the drains I put in are gonna last.

Unknown Speaker 6:24
So when did they built, built the

Unknown Speaker 6:27
mother was born in 18. Round 1900 Well, it was born in 1995 1994.

Unknown Speaker 6:34
So how did he meet his wife?

Unknown Speaker 6:36
I really don't know she was she. She was at the Samsung family. She was Henry Samson started one I think he had 14 children. The youngest Samsung had 13 children with his grandfather's Henry, something like letters around the boat that

Unknown Speaker 7:00
would be really, really interesting.

Unknown Speaker 7:03
Anyway so she was already living here, but I really don't know any of the details.

Unknown Speaker 7:12
And so how many So your mother was was her daughter? How many children did did your grandparents have?

Unknown Speaker 7:21
She had a sister and two brothers as far as I know. It was build on the Jolin Elizabeth and my mother who was either none of them. My mother was probably the longest living none of them live to a ripe old age. Because people used to die of TB quite frequently in the old days. I guess living conditions were pretty tough. And

Unknown Speaker 7:55
nutrition wasn't what it was today. I think that's what my grandfather died on this TV so it was a very common

Unknown Speaker 8:07
Can you tell me a bit about when about your mom's life when she was growing up there? What was what was her dad doing? Plus she was growing up.

Unknown Speaker 8:15
He used to go away fishing. I remember her saying oh, I have another letter here as I showed you from representative that I used to sail up there you know, fish I guess spend the summer fishing recently Do you think well another people from the island there's a letter pertaining to one of his partners is fishing partners dying of their fellow by the name of Anderson.

Unknown Speaker 8:48
My mother had an app was very good to her that lives up or Mrs. Baker lives now. Mrs. Baker has been breakfast and one from Serato my uncle built that with Eric Eric Nelson that was his name. He's an uncle by marriage my grandmother's sister and he till he is Scarlett Matilda I guess

Unknown Speaker 9:14
so your he'd go fishing? Do you know what kind of what would he? He'd be gone the whole summer? I think so. What would he be fishing for?

Unknown Speaker 9:21
I guess salmon.

Unknown Speaker 9:24
Fishing. And what else you mentioned some other things that your grandfather did? Sealing letters from company wages or did your mom ever talk about how long he'd be gone? Really, you know

Unknown Speaker 9:58
I guess I probably wasn't even injured. So

Unknown Speaker 10:01
I know you're always thinking about the questions that you might have asked. So do you do you know anything where he would go?

Unknown Speaker 10:10
Oh well as I say represent live up to North Coast up towards Prince Rupert gather they used to spend pretty well the whole summer

Unknown Speaker 10:26
and he grew fruit. What would you do with the fruit? Well,

Unknown Speaker 10:31
part of it all is shipped to Victoria.

Unknown Speaker 10:34
What kind of fruit apples do you remember what kinds of apples

Unknown Speaker 10:42
there's one tree in particular that I have always it's still in existence. Similar to the old trees are starting to die off now and I really want to get a cutting or too often

Unknown Speaker 10:58
Mrs. Baker has the same Apple upon her property. And she calls it maiden's blush and is an art isn't a marketplace up. Courtney sells all varieties of apples. I was going to get a couple of them this year, but they didn't have that particular one. And they said they'll have it next year, I guess. Depending on graphs. But it's a nice old or very early cooking. Very nice. King corpse there's a lot of Kingdom Creed's another one that they called Hot children. Ben Davis it's a very hard kind of like a tournament it's not much good until it's frozen and grabbing steam

Unknown Speaker 11:51
and what about it so there'd be sold to Victoria? Yeah. And you have a little thing here from the Victoria association that works you know?

Unknown Speaker 12:07
Well, I guess the

Unknown Speaker 12:15
letter regarding I guess you'd have to buy shares in Victoria Frisco.

Unknown Speaker 12:26
membership fee receded from web Scott. We'll have Scott rolling in on Scott's big orchard over 3000 trees.

Unknown Speaker 12:37
So your grandfather would ship them off to Victoria.

Unknown Speaker 12:41
With a boat came in here apparently. Pick them up tonight. The details on that are rather vague.

Unknown Speaker 12:48
It'll be a special one. Pick up fruit from the I think it

Unknown Speaker 12:51
was probably a regular grown. Mighty Princess Mary. You heard of the Princess Mary restaurant in Victoria. used to come here four times a week. That was a big deal.

Unknown Speaker 13:09
When your mom was a girl, do you remember you're talking about what kind of ferry service they have? I bet it was

Unknown Speaker 13:14
pretty well non existent. I think. From what I gather I've heard her speak of her mother rowing to Sydney. Her mother and her sisters.

Unknown Speaker 13:31
How long did that take?

Unknown Speaker 13:38
Did you mentioned that your grandfather worked for Mr. Bullock? What would he do?

Unknown Speaker 13:43
Well, he was I guess groundskeeper. He did some of the orchard work there I don't know how long he worked for him but

Unknown Speaker 14:01
seems as if he packed a lot in a very short way because he's he grew. He died fairly young.

Unknown Speaker 14:10
That's right. So after he died, what happened to your to your grandmother? How did she manage?

Unknown Speaker 14:15
Well, I think she remarried for one thing. And moved to Victoria for quite a while. The old house and so on was rented out to the various some of the increments got to join him and he rented quite a while on he was the first white man born on Salt Lake. My grandparents owned some other property on the North End and on Walker hook road. I think about 80 acres so they sold that really she sold it to Joe acre. Grandfather died.

Unknown Speaker 14:52
Did your grandparents have an in this area?

Unknown Speaker 14:56
Originally, I guess about 50 acres They sold. They had more than that, I guess originally sold a parcel. And I'm not sure about the details of how much land was sold. I think she used to say it was around 100 acres and they'd sold boy. You know, that fellow from the islands trusted in the book of houses, you see. He told me that in the archives it shows 20. So, you know, stories change over the years is somewhere between 20 and 118. Yeah. So, anyway, as I told you, that's what they used to build.

Unknown Speaker 15:42
So did your Did your mom go to school here on the school

Unknown Speaker 15:52
school classes do you know what your your mom was born

Unknown Speaker 15:57
at 94. So, Central School went to great classes in the same Gavin Ward, Bob woods. Some of the columns

Unknown Speaker 16:23
students were just right off.

Unknown Speaker 16:26
So did your your mom went back then, when her mother remarried and lived in Victoria.

Unknown Speaker 16:33
She worked at Krishna while she met my dad when she was working away from Salzburg. She was to work in the bowels of hell as a waitress and that's really mad. That wedding pictures show you with him in the bath Springs Hotel. He was in the police and they got married without them. You had to get them on police's permission to marry in those days. I don't think we have to anymore they only allowed so many even in my time they only on so many married men in the marketplace. Anyway, they married without permission or force. Consequently, they were banished from now because I don't think they kept married men. Anyway. I guess we could do this. Well, the sad escorting lady. Anyway, they ended up last fridge. Do you know what year they got married? 1990.

Unknown Speaker 17:43
And what was your dad's name?

Unknown Speaker 17:44
William Coakley. He was an English name. What Devin is

Unknown Speaker 17:51
interesting. So that's where

Unknown Speaker 17:54
my dad was from Ontario.

Unknown Speaker 17:57
With the family originally.

Unknown Speaker 18:00
Louisa Kegel Road, Torquay Sutton seeds let's see some friends of ours on the island we're backing them a few years back and we've got a seat

Unknown Speaker 18:18
so they moved to Lethbridge after she died still with the mountain

Unknown Speaker 18:26
but apparently Lethbridge is pretty windy and well they couldn't wind some people can't. I've heard other folks. And so he got out of the marketplace and they came up with the code

Unknown Speaker 18:54
probably vote 1923

Unknown Speaker 18:58
Did they have any children while they were there?

Unknown Speaker 19:01
That was fine. Born in Lethbridge. Milton? I think they were both born and raised. My sister was five of us originally my oldest sister, and myself and I'm the youngest of all the other three

Unknown Speaker 19:28
so violet,

Unknown Speaker 19:29
Violet, Violet Diana. She lives with my brother William. The mother sister finds another sister Sadie, William, Florence and Sadie.

Unknown Speaker 19:54
Think the tool is for more than less. As I say They didn't like she didn't like the prairies. Anyways, we ended up moving back to Salt Springs

Unknown Speaker 20:09
and you still at your family or your mother's room they still owned.

Unknown Speaker 20:13
Yeah. Well she and she and her sister inherited the property from her father. So I expect that's why why my grandmother never sold it because she couldn't she didn't own it. She had life tendency sort of thing.

Unknown Speaker 20:37
So your grandmother and her new husband just stayed over in Victoria until they died

Unknown Speaker 20:49
I think she moved. I think her husband died before she did I think she came back to the farm and live in the house cross the road I think she died here. Which led to a pretty good day. I think she was still alive when I remember I vaguely remember

Unknown Speaker 21:22
you're looking for something

Unknown Speaker 21:27
but I guess they're saying St. Mark's Church baptism survey. Or something along those lines.

Unknown Speaker 21:41
Matilda Evelyn

Unknown Speaker 21:43
lady I told you Sandy till it lived up or Mrs. Baker Nelson. Mary

Unknown Speaker 21:52
Mrs. Florence Lucy Amelia

Unknown Speaker 21:55
My sister

Unknown Speaker 22:08
did you so how did your parents make a living when

Unknown Speaker 22:14
when they moved back here? Yes. He was there was a lot of lumbering going on on Saltspring in those days

Unknown Speaker 22:24
do you want to just cut that off for a second I'll shut this door okay

Unknown Speaker 22:31
anyway he worked for a singer lumber company was called at time mill I guess building a lot of railways most days I think there was 13 titles I gather he worked for them right up until the Great Depression of 1929

Unknown Speaker 22:57
so he probably worked for them for about eight or nine you

Unknown Speaker 23:03
think he was kind of a manager for the 13th or 14th time anyway he said almost overnight when the Depression hit paychecks because the whole thing just stop right that was just that

Unknown Speaker 23:31
was just who was who were what was the senior company to

Unknown Speaker 23:36
a lumber company it was from Vancouver Island he worked over there also part of the

Unknown Speaker 23:48
security and they had quite a few

Unknown Speaker 23:54
titles what would you do

Unknown Speaker 24:00
I think he started off sorry, but I gather he ended up moving on before the company went broke. He ended up his management consulting

Unknown Speaker 24:16
so he'd oversee all those Can you tell me how they worked? What was that she liked to be a little a little male that would go and

Unknown Speaker 24:28
why don't take no they were sort of a permanent setup I think you know they didn't like there was no such thing in those days. Portable meal took quite a while but I don't think they had to be too complex so they cut ties.

Unknown Speaker 24:48
So they just cut them right on the site cut down the trees and cut down the number.

Unknown Speaker 24:55
tree so it was concentrated trees the enemy animals That's

Unknown Speaker 25:06
so what did he do and the depression hidden and all of a sudden

Unknown Speaker 25:09
like everybody else he was unemployed I think it was a huge worry to him I always buy before the depression was over I was born I sort of vaguely remember it really wasn't much work on Saltspring until the war started the war was kind of financial salvation everyone know what some people were independently well off like so on and I guess a certain amount of work from

Unknown Speaker 25:46
what other families where they're living around here around this

Unknown Speaker 25:49
area Turner's major in this hostess of the road Mr. Swan that's probably one of the oldest towns around this area.

Unknown Speaker 26:11
Do you know when it was I'm not sure

Unknown Speaker 26:12
the date on

Unknown Speaker 26:23
the other way, Mr. And Mrs. Walter Stevens. They are able to Stevens family, the Cunningham, Stephens family. And normal. Mrs. Wilson Barnsbury Golf Club is now

Unknown Speaker 26:47
my sister worked there

Unknown Speaker 26:55
make this kind of you know, apart from a golf club, maybe a hotel or some work there during the summer

Unknown Speaker 27:12
Well, of course, famous people like William Mrs. Palmer. We're living some people by Emma Smith, who lived in what they call the gatehouse inside, it's gone. Now the house was just up undefeat up the hill from the gate on the right. Public driveway.

Unknown Speaker 27:35
Oh, really? Did you work for Mr. Smith's? I don't think so.

Unknown Speaker 27:42
No, not that I know of anyway, I'm not sure what he did. But I met her. Last year, the year before I was driving down the Ganges and Hellas foot pedal that was owned by Japanese people. But he might have ridden the drift political that lady that came back here after 50 years to visit and she stayed with Norman more. Anyway, that's where they live new materialism. As I say, as I started off the Ganges, I saw Japanese young Japanese taking pictures of the old house there and I stopped back up and I said is there a named imaginary? He said yes. Anyway. And the SLIS St. Philip's contacted him somehow they all came back to the island together

Unknown Speaker 28:36
with any other Japanese families living around here.

Unknown Speaker 28:40
That's what you mean on this road?

Unknown Speaker 28:44
Yes, I mean, right here on this part. How did they

Unknown Speaker 28:48
know the nearest other ones? Where are sharp road down the valley down there? That was all Japanese cars. Before World War Two.

Unknown Speaker 29:03
did. Did Mr. Bullock have Japanese people? Were they living in his place? Well, I

Unknown Speaker 29:11
don't know. I don't know. I guess they did. Think Mr. Blake Mother said hiring Japanese for 25 cents a day. You know, it seems terrible nowadays. But 25 cents a day was a bit of money in those days as my dad used to get 50 cents a day on the low plates.

Unknown Speaker 29:36
So one thing she told me about was the two lakes fully on both those lakes and not only for the back Stephens. And he had the bigger I guess there always was an adjoining ditch between the two but anyway He had a dugout so whoever it is man was control him right blink blink slake through this channel to Stevens Lake and back again that was one of the jobs that he'd hired Jack needs to do I guess

Unknown Speaker 30:26
they probably the only Japanese people I remember and they grew a lot of berries right from that house graspers probably fish

Unknown Speaker 30:51
do you remember any of your any of your other neighbors from the US

Unknown Speaker 30:57
down on the corner where Carter Robinson and upper Ganges another Nelson live there who was a relative of Eric Nelson when Mrs. Baker but I don't remember

Unknown Speaker 31:22
so let me ask you two more question. So where did you go to school?

Unknown Speaker 31:29
I started school in what they call the Ganges Saltspring Island consolidated school. Yes. And that was the one community got together and built that school. A lot of that school was built anybody that had time with truth community project as far as I recall, my sister was here not long ago and she was saying she remember dad was employed. So he used to be putting

Unknown Speaker 32:09
that in. Do you know where they got the lumber from?

Unknown Speaker 32:13
No, I don't I guess

Unknown Speaker 32:22
so tell me about the school opening.

Unknown Speaker 32:25
Well, as I told you, before, we had a big ceremony and I expect it was a left handed governor came in I can't remember which what's left handed governor was unfortunate.

Unknown Speaker 32:44
Anyway when after all the ceremonies for finished who the students create him as a young black fellow and myself Teddy woods. I guess the two smallest kids there and we love the parade in school.

Unknown Speaker 33:02
How old were you?

Unknown Speaker 33:04
I was six figures. I had I hadn't started the year before at Central School when I was five

Unknown Speaker 33:18
he wouldn't use to crowd except the door I've never seen people even even in my daily never recovered. scraper subsistence farm. They would actually put on the table that's how people

Unknown Speaker 33:50
Yeah. So tell me more about about the depression and your family. What did you how did you Dad manage?

Unknown Speaker 34:02
You got the tape as well, as I told you that they had a thing called the door and each Madeline would accept it and worked so long on the government role to get a little bit of money. I don't think I don't think you really had much choice. If you had a family. You'd have to be terribly proud not to

Unknown Speaker 34:30
pay taxes to pay.

Unknown Speaker 34:33
Yes, practically everyone. I know. Case for two ladies of the house. Used to go to the payment it's in front of the house with a shovel and so forth to to keep it clear. pay the taxes on their property. They still live on

Unknown Speaker 35:00
So you're telling me about your dad and you're the old grader that's out there

Unknown Speaker 35:06
guy coming home and my dad used to run guy around a bulldozer which told us grader Alex if you wouldn't mind as a tape recorder anyway the the grading a rolled up in the cranberry I guess guy was plugging along on the bulldozer and flex finally got pretty boring after a while. Anyway, didn't look past the grater was sticking out over over an embankment that was yelling away at him trying to get him to pull this thing back on the road. He he Oh, he's even since I've been back on the island guy often last after this incident, but I think they worked together for quite a few years. Quite. I don't know how long it started in 29. And pretty well lasted right till 39 on the wards. Based on assaults once went on.

Unknown Speaker 36:11
Yeah. Did you Did your mom grow vegetables or your mom and dad?

Unknown Speaker 36:17
We were always sort of. And even after Dan went way to the army, we all we always had a big brother. Father always raised we always had chickens. She always raised about 500 turkeys.

Unknown Speaker 36:36
So you tell us

Unknown Speaker 36:38
to Victoria. We used to sell some we used to sell a lot locally. And she used to ship them to Victoria and the Sydney Victoria meat market place called Goddard's which I think was in Sydney I don't recall how much that was right through one oh, this was after the Mrs. During the war. My dad was way

Unknown Speaker 37:15
during the depression I guess you can tell she wasn't they weren't selling any any of their produce. I

Unknown Speaker 37:20
think so I said I was you know the depression was near over time I just what I ignored the depression was hearsay mostly. Yeah

Unknown Speaker 37:38
but I think you know, unless you were sort of independently wealthy

Unknown Speaker 37:46
you mentioned about the about the trading company. Yeah.

Unknown Speaker 37:52
The Trading Company carried a lot of families through the depression on credit. As I told you, I think my parents something like 2000 noise when depression was over which even in 1939 was a huge amount of money. It was all paid off by the Civil War. Yeah. I got what they said it was people from all over

Unknown Speaker 38:23
did the training company was a cooperative but it was how it worked.

Unknown Speaker 38:30
I really don't know. More store was the was the first store and it was done by multiple people by the name of Purvis. They they were the neighbors that lived up here where Stevens is lifted events with the help they will help us go on right next to the golf club.

Unknown Speaker 38:54
And premises sold out. I think they moved to the States. They've been back here a few times actually. They've come back they came back here to visit because I think my money was

Unknown Speaker 39:13
I think we moved to the States

Unknown Speaker 39:16
so with the Trading Company, Mr. Bullock and do you remember the other people

Unknown Speaker 39:22
Mr. Speed I think the Scots Scott road farms they had big orchards

Unknown Speaker 39:39
without thinking for a long time, I can't remember. Probably Norman Wilson. I think it was I think it was created more or less to Good morning some competition

Unknown Speaker 39:56
that was my impression.

Unknown Speaker 39:59
Did you pay Humans have it keep any other kind of livestock except they kept chickens to

Unknown Speaker 40:03
the No, we never had sheep here but like cows always and a horse of course

Unknown Speaker 40:10
what kind of cows did you take Jersey

Unknown Speaker 40:14
we've always even ISIL milk in the last 20 years up until about four years ago to sell milk and of course cream to the creamery that was that was another source of income. A Creamery were the bakery and the bakery the smell and

Unknown Speaker 40:32
your parents had some shares in that actually do you do about

Unknown Speaker 40:42
creamy butter from there it was world they started the king queen when they came on tour cavalry.

Unknown Speaker 40:52
Whatever happened to the creamery? Mr. Bullock screaming Did you ever hear anything about not much I was before my time I don't know

Unknown Speaker 41:06
there's always remember some people but we'll leave there.

Unknown Speaker 41:18
With everyone's around the creamery. Do you know

Unknown Speaker 41:21
they came after? I don't know who?

Unknown Speaker 41:23
I don't think it was. didn't last too long.

Unknown Speaker 41:26
I really don't know why. I can tell you one thing about someone that works with me on the ferries has got a steam engine or a little steam one cylinder Siemens what do they use that for just for reading the church? Yeah.

Unknown Speaker 41:44
I know Mr. Bullock also had he had little generators, I think up on the farm to Palmer's had that too. I'll go on nasty little bit more about so when you were when you were a child you were mentioning that that you kids all had to chip in and work with what kind of things would

Unknown Speaker 42:04
open the garden and so forth? When I was 11 I started washing dishes. I overdose

Unknown Speaker 42:11
and I think I got to know my sister if I were to Barnsbury started with my brother worked at various jobs. What would he do? Gardening I remember thinking off on his bike everything.

Unknown Speaker 42:30
What about Mr. Bullock? Because he hiring people still during the Depression?

Unknown Speaker 42:34
Oh, yes. I don't know if they were I don't know if they worked for him. He had was I guess the people that lived on the property. Billy properties to do all the farm work.

Unknown Speaker 42:49
What kind of farm did he have

Unknown Speaker 42:51
mixed farming. They have cattle everybody has pretty well everybody had Jersey cows and they all because of the creamery. You know? They're high producing. Everybody used to ship cream. I've heard various old timers say well that paycheck was the big salvation results

Unknown Speaker 43:20
what what would your family when you were young, I guess you you were the youngest of the family and your brothers and sisters were quite a bit older than you. Yeah. Do you remember what you do? Did you do things as a family like for fun? picnics or outings?

Unknown Speaker 43:38
Not much news as Alex told you I was sort of late like mistake in my parents case. So I think my nearest sister to me was at least six or seven years old. With a family we used to be down to where the rod and Gun Club is now to the beach down there. I don't know what the proper name out there to pick they call that house that just burned down there. We used to visit the people that live there. People don't even bother to have to

Unknown Speaker 44:31
pick did you used to go over Do you squat off Island very often hardly

Unknown Speaker 44:37
ever? Well, it was a big deal to go before even in mind until later in life. When I was a kid when you went off island it was maybe once or twice a year to Victoria. What would you go for?

Unknown Speaker 44:58
I guess my clothes and things I will tell you she's from Victoria the places you went when you went to Victoria, from the dominion Hotel

Unknown Speaker 45:13
The Royal dairy the royal dairy eating dog cafe, which was a posh cafe in a place called Terry's which was pretty new to most people.

Unknown Speaker 45:26
It was on Douglas street probably at sag and Florence

Unknown Speaker 45:35
across in the old owl drugstore so did you go to the dentist their doctor anything?

Unknown Speaker 45:44
The first recollection I have dentists will say we used to

Unknown Speaker 45:53
think all he did with

Unknown Speaker 45:56
no fancy

Unknown Speaker 46:05
school and a school nurse was there to remember?

Unknown Speaker 46:10
Oh, no, I don't think so.

Unknown Speaker 46:17
Public Health high school

Unknown Speaker 46:28
my sister, violent graduate of St. Joseph's Hospital, Victoria. And mother thought that she probably for the death of the community insisted that she come back and work in the old lady meadow which is across from a police station at the community center. And she worked there for a couple of years. And her stories of that place are pretty interesting, I guess. Because I used to do all their own laundry by hand. And furnace was a wouldn't call in the hill was it was a good thing to have a hospital it was pretty much pioneer hospital.

Unknown Speaker 47:14
I guess it would have had running water though.

Unknown Speaker 47:18
Boy, you know, we never had running water in our house. There's no running water or electricity. They came as far as Turner's stopped. It was on its way the house was wired through a government thing when they were spying like physically all rural communities. I guess. What year would that be? He was wired prior to the depression. Oh really? Yeah. I guess the Depression hit my God as far as trainers and stuff. We never had telephone running water or like

Unknown Speaker 47:56
how did you manage with things like laundry?

Unknown Speaker 48:00
We had a skirting board. And then she got at an auction sale and operated washing machine. Oh yeah. quite luxurious.

Unknown Speaker 48:18
Did your Did your mom or dad belong to any of your organizations on the like farmers Institute or the institute?

Unknown Speaker 48:28
Got some pictures of occur in something called the sunshine guild. I think I've seen I think you probably picture in the archives. They're all standing on the steps.

Unknown Speaker 48:42
Do you remember what she did with that? I mean, what kind of work she did?

Unknown Speaker 48:48
Well, I remember was during the war and she loved the Williams Women's Institute and the women's facility and the IoD mostly they knit socks and sweaters, scarves things for soldiers overseas.

Unknown Speaker 49:07
Do you remember her doing anything with produce any kind of canning or?

Unknown Speaker 49:14
To this day, I don't like canned pears and cherries.

Unknown Speaker 49:18
But did she send it did do you know if the Women's Institute did anything like that? To Not that

Unknown Speaker 49:25
I recall. What I recall them doing was carding, wool spinning and knitting for the soldiers because we everybody, everybody that has anybody they were overseas was very few men left on the islands or I guess anywhere.

Unknown Speaker 49:45
Remember did you tell

Unknown Speaker 49:48
overseas next door shot down and kill. Follow that that was our animal creamy who I forgot he was killed in the same outfit My brother was Canadian Scottish Ronnie I've got a picture of my brother Ronnie

Unknown Speaker 50:23
No, no he when he joined the reo

Unknown Speaker 50:30
stock as they were they used to be a water taxi and they were catching the water taxi prior to going overseas anyway was the last picture my brother was the only one of the three

Unknown Speaker 50:47
and he thought that

Unknown Speaker 50:51
video camera that's that's an artifact. That's my dad's World War One element. Alex my youngest daughter just didn't hear got it. Ontario machine

Unknown Speaker 51:18
it's gonna be a kind of a funny TV.

Unknown Speaker 51:23
So that's alright. That's alright. I wanted to ask you about something about when you were a boy what you kids used to do for fun well

Unknown Speaker 51:39
we used to swim a lot and we'll explain how to swim they're almost drowned in and in fact there are some people living at the gate house by the name of Mel Chesky This is Mel testicles of little she had a son my age. Anyway, she this boy explain because you know has really no bottom. You can't start a wait. You have to jump off the dock to swim. She'd rigged up a harness. What he did was jumped off with his harness on a rope tied to the dock so that you could get to learn to swim. You know, if you were just sort of a beginner, you could paddle around. long as you have the reassurance you could pull yourself out on this rope. Anyway, it was a couple of little kids playing on the dog to the rope. And I wanted to pull myself in and

Unknown Speaker 52:39
so what happened

Unknown Speaker 52:40
was I started to go down. Really wouldn't think you would remember the water closing over you seeing green light up above and I was sitting down and the waiter said he could say my life fell by name a pat down, lived on the corner here. Right? For Betty levels. Actually. He's married the lady that does the garden call on them at times called Ellen chestnut. That's his wife. Anyway, they live in Parksville with someone he came by one day, years later after I moved back. The first time I've seen him 30 or 40 years. Perhaps you remember me? I said well, you're off to another stage of

Unknown Speaker 53:35
life. What did he do? Did he grabbed the row he jumped?

Unknown Speaker 53:38
He jumped down. I almost drowned him I kept trying to stand on

Unknown Speaker 53:51
I guess he did say

Unknown Speaker 53:53
how old would you have been

Unknown Speaker 54:04
what else did you get us to do? Well, in the summer swimming that was the big thing about the cows water. Oh well. Yeah.

Unknown Speaker 54:21
There was no herd laws in the old days. Everybody has to shut the cows on the road for the very little traffic. So you didn't have to worry about somebody hitting your cow. Yeah, practically everybody that had a small holding like this. Where they wanted to see all the past all the hay they could pasture their cows on the road. Every night that was the daily job to go around his best home for milking because they never would come back all the kids around as a steady job.

Unknown Speaker 55:05
Did you choose to go fishing?

Unknown Speaker 55:07
No much faster while we used to do a bit of sailing with

Unknown Speaker 55:16
FLIR on with the same guy that saved my life is I guess it was dad had a sailboat we really didn't know what I was sending it was about a 32 foot sailboat and he's had big long orders to roll it out. Take us all day to roll it out Ganges harbour and then by about four o'clock you get out there and there's a nice breeze coming down the harbor you'd come back in 10 minutes we never did learn

Unknown Speaker 55:48
when you used to go camping good thing Diancie myself and a couple other guys used to go way out

Unknown Speaker 56:02
they call it Peter gators no road road road went as far as some people by the name of Jenkins

Unknown Speaker 56:17
Bush used to hike on old old pass Peters beach or cranberry point land and there was a nice spring of water coming out of rocks on the beach. And a trapper has built a shack out there and we used to build there for a couple of weeks

Unknown Speaker 56:39
a couple others even even then you could catch up crab oysters and things like that and you didn't have to take money

Unknown Speaker 56:52
tell me about I've heard stories about the wildlife how there was so much more plentiful than it is now what did you What would you see in the ocean? Were there a lot of whales

Unknown Speaker 57:03
to see? I guess it'd be great whales around here quite a lot of killer whales quite often the killer whales attack larger it's even the killer whales chasing quite a sight

Unknown Speaker 57:29
box mother was a very ferocious woman

Unknown Speaker 57:37
she had children little forests yeah I have a system that should never walk oh sure. Oh if you if you really want to shoot so I guess life seems to be pretty hard

Unknown Speaker 58:05
certainly compared compared to those days standards I guess the kind of normal way of life certainly spandrel living and everything is much better no is telling you no running water no electricity lots of work

Unknown Speaker 58:29
or even cows

Unknown Speaker 58:32
six cows milking them release turkey. Always a huge garden.

Unknown Speaker 58:38
And sheep sheep can and do all that from the garden.

Unknown Speaker 58:42
Even during the war we took cream to the creamery every week once a once or twice a week I had a dog cart we used to load the cream cannon dog cart my dog and pull it up turns place found a story

Unknown Speaker 59:04
that was true story actually it's where the you know the spoke for that was her first story

Unknown Speaker 59:18
What would you sell their

Unknown Speaker 59:20
goods ladies clothing books sort of variety so I suppose I guess it had ladies

Unknown Speaker 59:39
they were they were really nice people. Major Turner was a veteran of the Boer War. And I used to go in stopping on the way to school and starting toast and marmalade with tea with quite often in the morning. This is turning on off work at the store. He seems funny nowadays, but he was a gentleman.

Unknown Speaker 1:00:06
And he didn't work. And that was that.

Unknown Speaker 1:00:10
I guess he had a pension probably from the war, from the war and war. And he used to regale me with stories of his adventures when he Captain best if you heard of the best when he encountered this got together the tall tales anyway, as I said, stop the marmalade quite often on the way home, he used to get the daily papers and I'd often stop and be funny. The one he used to talk to me was Prince Valley

Unknown Speaker 1:01:03
so you, you did you leave the island at all?

Unknown Speaker 1:01:07
As soon as I got out of school because there was nothing you know. There's a lot of lumbering right after, right after the war. When they logged off all they knew all the trees on Salzburger not more than 50 years old, probably closer to 40 years. On the back of the whole house here where the bleak estate died when I grew up that was all

Unknown Speaker 1:01:43
I knew nothing about ecology. Save the trees

Unknown Speaker 1:01:55
imagine what karma they talked about Karna when we had that in the backyard the dogs brothers it'd be a hurdle out the door for her brothers thought they were no reflection on me because my hair was shining on us boys

Unknown Speaker 1:02:34
so where did you move from from Salzburg?

Unknown Speaker 1:02:37
Well, when I left here and went to Victoria over 20 years I've always been a reader

Unknown Speaker 1:02:56
it's 20 years ago this year, we moved back here

Unknown Speaker 1:02:59