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CBC Program: Salt Spring: Island in the Gulf

Jan Williams

recorded by Jen Ritsen

Accession Number Interviewer
Date Location
Media tape cassette Audio CD mp3 √
ID 88




Unknown Speaker 0:10
The sell off. Today's program was originally broadcast in the series between ourselves and now between ourselves presents Salt Spring Island in the Gulf by John Williams.

Unknown Speaker 1:16
Ireland is the first settlers, but our people told him the US courts wouldn't recognize negros as citizens. He said we could become British subjects after only one year as residents, a favor we all appreciate. The governor's name is James Douglas. And he's the Hudson Bay factor here. Very swarthy man who was born on his father's sugar plantation in British Ghana. It said his mother was black. And from his features, I'd say this is the case. People believe this type of blood is the reason for his sympathy. His wife is have Indian. In fact, the whole population of Ford retire is very mixed. Americans, English Scotch Europeans and Jews, many nationalities and Canac is as they call them from Hawaii. Being here adds to this mix. No man acts as if he feels better than any other one because of his race. A change from where we come from. There are very few women here. Many men have taken Indian wives. That is a talk of a brand ship coming out soon from England. Only trouble is that some of the Indians treat us bad because of our dark skins, that you have to make allowances for their ignorance. You know, first strangers to come to these parts are white men, some of them aren't even civilized. Yeah, about Saltspring itself. It lies only a mile or two off Vancouver Island, about 40 miles north of Fort Victoria. It's about 17 miles by eight feet mountainous in some parts, a lot of forest. And clearing the land for a homestead is going to be quite a job. But fortunately for the past year, I've been working on a farm in the Saanich Peninsula in Syria and I have both learned new skills for our new life. Sylvia's father, Howard Estes, has already taken up land on Saltspring with about 40 of our people, so we won't be alone. Next week, go to Fort Victoria, to buy all the necessary supplies for the move, and sign the papers for our land would have gone sooner, but waited until Sylvia was safely delivered have a baby girl, sister for little Willis. As soon as she's strong enough, we show John our people and what I guess is the first island ever settled by Negroes in these parts. You know, words can't describe the beauty of this Pacific Coast Country, mountains, forests, streams and the sea, particularly the sea. The sounds and smells are so different from the south, you know, the people are so friendly. We have great hopes of a better life for ourselves and our children, away from the scorn of people who deny a man his rage because his skin is dark.

Unknown Speaker 4:22
And they were up around this central settleman out on stack road. That stack road was named after the stock family and the old original stocks were escaped from slavery. And Sylvia stock died a few years ago at the age of 108. So she had quite a number of children, and a few of them are still living on the island.

Unknown Speaker 4:52
We came over from Saanich on a scooter landing on the beach at Vesuvius Bay on the northwest coast. To solve spraying, we brought with us several head of cattle, which we lowered into the seed and swim ashore. When we got all our things onto the beach, we were followed in by a party of Bella Bella's. There, the northern Indians the couch and fears so much. And he tried to take our cattle and tools and household things, you know, well, I wasn't having any of that. We come a long way to settle on Saltspring and all we had in the world was on that beach with these Indians with a white man called McCauley. Hudson Bay man doing some fair trading on his own account, he said, he told the Indians to leave out things alone, but they took no notice of him. One even threatened him with a knife. Sylvia was sure we'd all be killed. I urged her to stay calm. The three couch and to come over to help get our gear to the settlement were useless. He just sat with their heads down, took no notice. I got mad when the Indians wouldn't keep their hands off our things named my Gannett him. For God's sake don't shoot. McCauley yelled, will you trigger an all out massacre where I had no intention of shooting anyone? I know better than that. But I thought the show for us was in good order. So I kept my gun aimed at them putting on a threatening face and yelled you all get a Get your hands off my gear with me so I'm in business they left and McCauley with him. But according to the couch is one of them shouted at curse at me is he ran to the canoes.

Unknown Speaker 6:33
The Starks because they they they didn't know how long to live on. Those are why they reached all ages. But they they were all one and all of us see it was no hiding anybody. Is there anything you could say about Mr. Stark? I know more about Willis, her boy. He's great Cougar Hunter. You know, we've seen him in the woods hunting. And he wouldn't just shoot any deer that he like we would we saw he was after one if he didn't get it. He wouldn't shoot the others. He knew that habit so well.

Unknown Speaker 7:19
She had she wrote her I understand she started typing when she was over at no need to write her memoirs

Unknown Speaker 7:25
or see her I think our boy died when he was about 91. And she was still around.

Unknown Speaker 7:35
Little Willis is now two and a half and has been going around with the stick caulk for arrival. chaton you all get E linen fader Silvia collars in.

Unknown Speaker 7:49
You were asking about these Negroes? Well, I don't think there's any discrimination and we came here.

Unknown Speaker 7:57
In a sense, they kept to themselves, they possibly didn't visit too much. But they were in all things. If you look back in the old records of the hall and the Agricultural Committee in that day, there were negros on Harrison was a treasurer of the fair for many years and he was a negro. And I don't think there was any say there was possibly a little dividing line but they were not discriminated against. They were all everybody was sort of good friends with them. And when they did enter into all the community projects, they intermarried to some extent, there were a lot of average, like as you might say, there was one family here mention no names. And their mother was having in half white. The father was a great big negro. One of the sons got into trouble. And he was he was little light fingered, shall we say? Anyway, the father was remonstrating was was good but more to the story says I think it's a bit hard and that boy, he hasn't had a good chance. He's half white, half black and half Indian. Wherever the other half gave, probably they don't know.

Unknown Speaker 9:22
Now the Starks family. They were negros. They originally I believe we're up on the mountain by Vesuvius sunset driveway. And then I've heard uncle telling me or Willis Stark that they were at Fruitvale down here again, Jesus, and later they moved up inland up in just north of here. Of course, I've also heard too that a lot of these Negroes they didn't like the cold winds in the forefoot Valley and that's why they moved up here. There was quite a cold wind runs up through from forefoot to Burgoyne there.

Unknown Speaker 9:56
They had choice pieces and scattered, it was no community. They all integrated with us. And some fine people among them too. When I went to school, I sat alongside of Bobby woods, we quite a quite black to, if I had the invite, a lot of white people do want to take a page out of their book.

Unknown Speaker 10:23
And some of them are quite well educated. They were quite well liked and, and I think it was mainly the Indians who didn't have any respect for them. Because it was quite a virgin country in the early days, you know, and everybody had to get along with everybody else.

Unknown Speaker 10:37
There was the first schoolmaster was was a negro. They were made wonderful settlers, they were good citizens. There was one or two people murdered by the Indians, and I think one of them was a negro. But the Indians were very hostile in those days. And people didn't travel very far from the homes because of the hostility of the Indians, and they'd sometimes shoot an arrow at you. But down on the harbor house beach right in front of harbor hotel, there was an Indian Battle in 1863. The northern Indians that's the Bella Bella's often came down to Fort Victoria with their furs. And they camped in here one night, and about four or five 600 Of The Caribbean Indians, sat upon them and there was quite a massacre right on the harbour house beach. And I think a little boy and a little girl were the only two survivors except one man, Indian was able to Bella Bella was able to escape to Sydney. And to get into Victorian informs the Dean Douglas, and they set up some gunboats to, to preserve order. The Indians call this island, plant him, which is salt. And up at the north end of the island, we have some Salt Springs, and it's really derived from the Indian name. And then when 1845 The British survey ships came here, they call this because it's allowed use of the Gulf Islands admirals Island, it stuck for some time in turn most of the Old Navy charts, but Saltspring seems to have been the most popular name and they retained it rather

Unknown Speaker 12:24
unusual that fish settlement should be so far from the water. Well, I

Unknown Speaker 12:29
think the main reason was because in the early days, the Indians used to come in here. And they used to come around by the lake, we've had found relics of their arrowheads and so on, over the years, and they used to come around by the right to get away for protection from the other invading Indians that came down from the north, you know what I mean? There were some terrific battles. And these ones around pouch and were fairly predictable. And they used to come in and, and also to hunt, but they never really lived here. There were there was evidence of their camping here, around the beaches, you know, from the piles of clamshell. But they didn't actually live here or have homes. I was thinking more of the fact. Oh, and I think possibly because well, they would have to but then I suppose there was always a danger of Indian Red Raiders, you know. And then not only that, when the color people first came here, the it seems that the Indians respected the white men, but they didn't respect the color people. And if and colored men unfortunately left his light going in his room and didn't pull his blind down while they would take a shine who was seated in the winds. I mean, a lot of murders occurred. If you read back the old issues of the colonist, and the British colonists, it was called in those days in Victoria in the archives, or, you know, in Victoria there at the parliament, and as you will find that for about 20 years, there were terrific lot of murders all over the island. So I mean, it wasn't really too safe to be right by the water's edge until and as you think of it that was that was 1859 when they started it. And it was really well by 18. Well, when my father came here in 1884, he said there were white, there were 12 white families on the island at that time. So it took quite a while for them to progress to that stage, that's at least possibly about 2045 years, isn't it? All in the early days, they used to, they used to take vegetable produce and so on. They like to do that because they consider that this land was their land and what grew out of here. And if we even if the white people good, it was still their land, and so they didn't mind helping themselves to what was there, you know, in the way of vegetable crops because I remember my cousin DC saying that they they came round one day to her place. This is down in the biggest property. And she was a little girl about 12 or 13. And this Indian chief came in he stole some of the carrots out of her mother's garden. So she went up and go and kicked him in oceans in his shins, you know, and he just laughed at her. He thought it was quite a joke. And then another time she said when she was even very much younger, and they were sitting at the dining room table in their house down there. and their father said to them, Don't anybody move, just stay right where you are, don't get up and he got up from the table. They were obedient children. So they all stayed where they work. And he went outside the door. And after a while he came back. So they all wanted to know what had happened. And he said, Well, he said, as I was sitting at the table, I saw a whole band of stark naked Indians go past the window. And I would have been told that it wasn't right for them to come around to that condition and in civilized settlements like that. So when would this be, that would be where he died in 1893. So that would be before then possibly no need to worry even earlier, sometime between 1885 and 1892. I couldn't say just when.

Unknown Speaker 15:45
Of course, there were lots of Indians here then, is an Indian reserve just across there, it's still there. And a lot of the Indians lived on it. But they used to come here through the fine weather. And they'd have camps, quite elaborate camps. And they dig clams and catch the fish. And they'd smoke the cams and string them on strings and hang them up. You're all on these terrorists, sort of lattice works. And they did. Always about the middle of May, they'd be collecting up this stuff, because some chief from one of the big tribes would be giving a Potlatch that was quite a guide business. I believe my sister can tell you more about that than I can. And there was plenty of fish. In those days, the waters were full of fish. We never came in empty handed, there was always fish in season. And now and again, spring salmon weighing over 80 pounds would be caught. But the average would be around 18 or 20, or 30. And I remember the Indians coming in soon after we were here, with lots of salmon in their canoes. And my father bought 120 pound salmon for 50 cents. And they all had these dugouts, dug out of cedar logs. My brother's did those after we all use the dugouts then, but to make them safer, they had outriggers. How they used to get the ducks was they'd string out along right across the harbor, perhaps a dozen or two dozen canoes at a time, there'd be two or three behind a one right behind these that were behind with the pickup is to pick up the ducks that had dropped behind them. And they they use muzzleloaders, chiefly, and bows and arrows. We saw them using bows and arrows to shoot their birds. And the birds then the geese would be down the middle of the harbor. And the ducks and divers and other birds would be on either side right up to the beaches. And where there were hundreds of 1000s of birds in those days. There are perhaps a dozen today. You can imagine you can imagine the sound when anything came along rather disturbing the sound when it caught up. It's hard to imagine it's something you'll have to hear to know. Quite different. And, of course when we came here, we found lots of Indian curios. I think there were mittens round here, you could send the damn shells. Lots of clam shell here. I know the potatoes used to get scaly. And we were told it was too much lime and the soil through the Indians digging clams and leaving the shells here. There was nothing practically along here until you got to way down at the point. And the Hawaiians were there. Some of them who are very nice, they're much nicer now than they were to those days. And up to date, there was nothing between us and the head of the harbor where they had a house the shape of Noah's ark with Windows, Windows upstairs and Windows downstairs, all one above the other front door with a little tiny porch over it, you know, a little sort of and they had the post office, that kind of hotel and a bar. That's where we went for the mayor when we first came here.

Unknown Speaker 19:08
Many people ask how Hawaiians came to Salt Spring. The Hudson Bay Company built a fort in Hawaii in 1840. I came to Canada on the beaver with James Douglas the factor. He was a fine man, my good friend. 10 years I worked for the company. I was on San Juan Island during the big war 1859 It was when the United States got sun one. I went to Victoria. I made many expeditions for the company. Got to know the island as well. When I went back to Hawaii, everything had changed. I'd been away too long. I wanted to come back here. Some of my friends and relatives that did come to Johnny Palooza William Nirwana. And his family and others 18 people altogether For a time, Gianni Palu and I hired our canoes and worked as guides for people traveling in the islands. The Indians were bad in those days, many white people murdered

Unknown Speaker 20:17
well, they don't make so much trouble now. But many people here on Saltspring still complain that they take their animals walk into their houses and help themselves to things shooted windows if they see a light, several people have been killed that way. But when I came back here, we went to live on Portland Island. My friends liked it. But there were no coconuts, that's for sure. And the sea was very cold for swimming to not like Hawaii. But we had plenty of pigs and other animals grew lots of food. We brought our guitars and held many locals. Then some of us came to Salt Spring, a very fine Island. Most of us have taken land near Isabella point. It's good to be near your own people, though everybody here, white people, negros, cogens are all very friendly. I am building a house here, and we'll try to grow tobacco to sell in Victoria. Soil is very good. And every week more people are taking up land here.

Unknown Speaker 21:20
This place from where the Roman Catholic Church is just across the St. Paul's. It was built in 1880. And that has a terrific history. But from there down to Isabella point, this land was owned and lived on by the connectors. About 18 of these connectors came over from actually that came from the San Juan Islands. And they were led by an old connector called William knock in his people actually called him. It was liquid metal or like I'm not too sure the pronunciation, which means friend of the people because he was an interpreter, when in James Douglas time. He was also on the survey ship that surveyed the boundary line between San Juan Islands and the Gulf of Georgia. And this all the connector came over to Saltspring Island. After this Sanborn incident you remember that all the talk about the pain that caused the United States to annex the island and we lost it? Well, this all connected found that they didn't care for the United States rule. They lost their flavor, they lost the Queen and that came. They were used to the route the rule and Queen. So they came over here and they felt that they would be a little happier in this community in British Columbia because it was under the Queen's rule in those days Queen Victoria. So these chaps came over and they preempted land on Portland Island, just across a few miles out from salt spin. They preempted land all along the Isabella Point area along here. And one of the connectors lived here. And the log house was built in different log houses, I believe were built by the connectors, they built log houses all alone, because that's how they lived. Some of them were large, some was small, but they built them. And this older Hawaiian came and it brought about 17 or 18 connectors with him. And they had all wonderful names. Moses nawada, Cavanna and all kinds of musical names, which I would hesitate to pronounce right at the moment, but they all brought a guitars with them. And I have called this a little Hawaii along here.

Unknown Speaker 24:03
Last month, we held our first luau here to celebrate our houses all being built. We asked many white and Negro people they didn't know about luaus think maybe a luau is a party for one day. They don't even know how we sing and dance and eat and drink for weeks till everything's gone. We played our music for them and showed them how to dance like Hawaiian people. Everybody had a good time. But they can't say our names as for sure. For pallulah. They say hello. They've changed no one at a time who need we don't know why. Our children go to school with white children, negros and Indians. They call us kanakas.

Unknown Speaker 24:51
Some of them, I believe, married some of the local Indians. When William knopman came, I believe he had five children. and his daughters, Mrs. Pete Rowland was this famous connect his daughter Matilda. And she married Pete Rowland, you see, and several of the sisters made the different ones that will connect as a pain out. So are them must have brought when they were young when their payments closet blew up, I suppose here, it must have been young girls, and I believe it came across in a bit new. James Douglas brought them first I knew to Victoria, and then they most likely paddled across in their canoes over to these islands.

Unknown Speaker 25:39
When I was a young man. I made many journeys with James Douglas. Once an Indian chief asked to marry one of his girls. His wife was half Indian, and Douglas was the big company chief here. The Indian chief was doing him great honor following his own custom asking for Douglass's girl as his wife. But Douglas thought it was a big joke. He sent me to tell the chief, no, he cannot accept the honor. Oh, it took a lot of pallava and many find gifts to prevent trouble. Indian chief was very angry, that's for sure.

Unknown Speaker 26:24
You remember, yeah. Who came here with us? When he's very old now and lives alone in a small house in the woods. He's still very shy, only likes to visit his own people. Every day he goes to sit in Johnny Palouse house. One day, a new school teacher called Mr. Cook went to Bod with Johnny. For many weeks, Kia stayed away. Then one day he visited again. He'd heard Mr. Cook was going to Sydney on the launch. When he got to Johnny's house, Mr. Cocoa stealer he had changed his mind here was very scared and said to Mr. Cook, I didn't kill your grandfather. I didn't need him. Mr. Cook didn't know what gear meant. And Johnny told him Kia thought Mr. Cook was Captain Cooks grandson that you'd come to Salt Spring to look for the Hawaiians who had killed and eaten Captain Cook. Johnny told Kia Mr. Cook was no relation. So now he goes to visit every day like before Mr. Cook laughed so much. He cried.

Unknown Speaker 27:30
And around Portland Island this William knock and drew all their own vegetables. You know, once he got his seeds from someone I don't know whether it was Brackman care or PDF or someone but once you've got these seeds, he saved his own. He only had to buy them once. He said no, he saved them on every year and he made his own tobacco and that is an awfully interesting thing the way he made this tobacco he would get around cut around orthologue and he bought a hole right down through the middle of it and it crushed the tobacco leaves and put the leaves down in the bottom pile it on the lashes on it and the top of rum multipack leaves and right up to this crammed fall and when the I suppose that would have set for a little hit split the lock open and they'd have his long tobacco stick which they cut in on smoked in there when they needed a smoke. I thought that was rather interesting you know that idea of making them tobacco. Maybe look give a few ideas out to people how to make the tobacco in the future. And by the way, the land that the church is almost given by this original connector William knocking. Okay, if that property for the church,

Unknown Speaker 28:47
old no one is gonna marry has married a white man called William Lumley and has a very big family. Some of the white men have Indian waves. One of the negros has married a white woman

Unknown Speaker 29:06
I think maybe one day many people here will have many different kinds of blood. We all have our own customs, learn from each other and go to each other's houses as friends. We enjoy the differences. But we are all farmers together. already. We are producing many fine crops for the market. Fruit and vegetables, butter, eggs, chicken and pork. That's not all. The roads are rough, but getting better all the time. Every man with land has to work six days a year on the roads. And they have built a wolf at Ganges law at this end of the island we ship our produce from Fulford harbour for Sydney and Victoria. Matilda is getting married soon. I am giving her the farm Getting old, building a small house near Johnny poor Louis farm so I can visit my old friend often. We have a Catholic church now. The Anglicans are building a church at Fulford. Their preach name is Mr. Wilson, a very strict man. That's for sure. He doesn't like dancing and drinking. We can't ask him to our luaus.

Unknown Speaker 30:26
But my grandfather came to Saltspring island about a ti 9394 His name was Edward Wilson, the Reverend Edward Wilson. He came from England originally, he and my grandmother and they had 10 Children 11 Juror and 10 living and they were all brought up here on the island they gradually all married and settled elsewhere. Two or three of them settled on the island here he was going to settle on the United States.

Unknown Speaker 33:35
He was going to settle in the United States, after coming from the shim washing walk home in Manitoba, where he ran was an Indian School and then he brought all his family to Victoria and he spent some time in Victoria and then there was an opening here on Saltspring Island to create a new parish. There was a Mr. Haslam that was came over occasionally from chumminess Duncan area. And so the population was growing and they wanted a resident Rector and my grandfather undertook it. They promised him a salary of $171, a year from St. Mark's, which is a turkey helped to finish. And at forfeit, he built that church and they were able to dig up $1 per year to help out. But he was a lawyer, a doctor, an artist, a wonderful artist. He did ready everything in the way of the administration in those days because the average person could hardly read or write some of the old timers but so he had great talent, and he sort of was a great figure in the community

Unknown Speaker 34:46
at night before. Last week, I arrived in Salt Spring, where I've been appointed Rector to replace the island's first resident Anglican clergyman. The diocese was most interested In my experience of establishing industrial Indian homes in Salia, Sioux Sainte Marie and Medicine Hat, and my knowledge of Indian ways and ability to cope with primitive conditions should stand me in good stead here. There are in all about 200 settlers, and my parish is widespread. Sama Roman Catholics that is Methodists and I regret some that have no religious persuasion tall, a state of affairs, I intend to rectify the roads such as they are atrocious and in many parts very hilly and I can see myself doing much walking, as my stipend will only be $600 a year. I intend to buy land and combine farming with my ministry to provide for my rather large family. At present, I'm staying at Mrs. Stephens boarding house until I can send for my family. I was told on arrival of a somewhat frivolous way of life, recently instituted here by a wealthy Englishman named Henry Bullock will give dinner parties balls and picnics in the grand style. And as you can imagine, I don't approve. The day I do after I arrive as it would round I would hold a service in the boarding house and much to my surprise, Mr. Bullock was one of the first to arrive, and I learned he was a staunch Anglican, the somewhat higher persuasion than myself. Furthermore, he made a large contribution to the collection, the most welcomed gesture as my predecessor had already collected money for building the much needed church at Fulford. Now, while I don't approve of this gentleman's preoccupation with social activities, and I see that I shall have to compromise in my attitude towards him for his system set Christian.

Unknown Speaker 36:54
So he finished off St. Mark's Church, but Mr. Haslam and some of the local people had started and as I say he built the church had forfeited St. Mary's, and he would have to go and cover the island either on horseback or an old buggy and the old buggy gave up the ghost one day because having no money and some friends in England, given the price of a new buggy or rig to carry on his work

Unknown Speaker 37:20
1895 I bought land near Ganges belonged originally to one of the first negros settlers named Brookner, who returned to the States. While my house is being built, I had to live in a long deserted log cabin under most primitive conditions. But now my family has arrived and I'm well on my way to being a farmer on the side. Now one of the first things I did last year was to see to the building of St. Mary's Church at Fulford as the materials had already been acquired by my predecessor. So we now have two Anglican churches on the island. And then I set to work establishing my farm. I have a horse and buggy cow and several lambs to start flock of sheep do well here and need little attention. And my duties are very arduous especially on Sundays. Usually I hold morning service here it's in marks in Ganges, then late afternoon or evening services in Fulford journey of over two hours by a rough road with many steep hills on the sand is that I hope morning service and Fulford I drive there Saturday night and sleep on a bench in the vestry. Then I returned again just for the evening services. During the week I visit my parishioners often on for too long forest trails I tend many who are sick and have on occasion assisted the doctor in operations. I regret to say there are many here who needs spiritual assistance and some who overindulge themselves with alcohol. On one occasion I arrived early one Sunday morning it's in Mary's Church and for for the to find that it had been used the previous night for a comic song concert and drinking spree, organized by Mr. Cook, the schoolmaster who plays the organ for us. I had a good I had hard word to him when he arrived to remove the evidence of the nights revelry which I had already flung out for church, and he refused to play the organ that day. He regards my views as stern and harsh. But the road to eternal damnation is payable for quality and alcohol to things that do not belong in a consecrated church.

Unknown Speaker 39:34
He was a very strong character, very strong. The disciplinarian, especially amongst his family, but he had a great wit. But he never seem to tie he was full of energy. For instance, surveying there was very few surveyors here. There was really no doctor there was no lawyer, there was all that sort of thing that he tended to know he was just self read and acquired through the third reading books

Unknown Speaker 40:09
and 1900 s. I took a recent survey of the island and in the six years I have been here, the number of settlers has increased from 200 to 450. The island is quickly developing into a thriving agricultural settlement. In the early years stone was quite nervous who will be as Ben was filming this that they built Parliament buildings in Victoria. And now there's a logging industry which provides the settlers with extra income and adds to employment opportunities. With the growth of agriculture communications with vancouver island and the mainland have improved. I see in the future some competition between the farmers of Salt Spring and Vancouver Island for the sale of their produce. A reasonably to young, enterprising American brothers called up Purvis opened a store in Ganges and started an export business.

Unknown Speaker 41:17
I had some very beautiful daughters. I remember one lady telling me how wonderful his daughters looked at church they used to sit in the choir stalls and they all had such beautiful dresses. Of course, in those days, they did well wonderful long dresses and this girl was greatly impressed by the way they looked. I remember my father had some nice pictures of them too. And they used to wear roses, you know? And they look very nice indeed.

Unknown Speaker 41:41
We have abstract class distinction to you at all. We had the English element here because they're better than anybody else should do.

Unknown Speaker 42:00
We still have this past year because you take those days they a lot of these people were sent out from England because they were no good back there and they sent them out here and they were kept live out here remittance we've had a lot of it on the coast here you take Duncan and Victoria had a lot of news all English families. Some outstanding some maybe not so good.

Unknown Speaker 42:31
They were mainly English at the beginning because as there was no school taught Ganges there were several later they became a several boys schools. And they were Englishmen who were taught them and there was also I can remember as a young girl, there was a an English girl who talked, she had a girl school. And she gave us dancing lessons. I can remember going there to that. So I would say there was definitely an English atmosphere here. And part of the all the early settlers here were English. The exception of the other Negroes Yes, of course they were. There were various nationalities. According to Mr. Wilson's pamphlet, there were about 200 people here by 1895. But then, of course, that was quite a bit later. And then they were all types because at that time, what brought so many people in, I think, was the fact that there was a stone quarry, operating it just Mount Vesuvius, you know, there and I think that's why a lot of people were a lot of people had come to work.

Unknown Speaker 43:26
Well, it was very, very scattered. There was really no phones, you'd have to do everything on horseback. I think perhaps the center of the social activity of the island was Mr. balik, Henry Bullock. He was really known as the square of the island. He lived up the road here about two miles and he had a lot of money. And he used to give great dinner parties and dances and he had boys and buttons and the Old English country squab. He was very fond of seeing the young ladies dressed properly and he would always giving them gloves, earrings and used to try and get his housekeeper to make them wear corsets. They were available as well. So he was quite a character. He was a big man with a beard, weighing about nearly 300 pounds. And he used to drive to church every Sunday morning or the top hat, frock coat. And then of course when the cars came, he had the old Model T Ford with lots of bras on it. And he'd have the boy drive the car and oh, he would drive it himself but he would always arrive at church with his top hat and even the the boy that in attendance would have a top hat as well. It neaten collar

Unknown Speaker 44:41
to tell him the truth he he used to for a while he used like us boys to wear a top hat and eaten suit to go to jerky and provide them Yes he did. I was wondering I will say he he was not a man to pay big wages. in the strict sense of wages, but he was always giving you something. He would buy clothes and all sorts of things for the boys out and buy them cars or motorbikes and all that the wages, the cash wages are not very high. But he made more than made it up.

Unknown Speaker 45:16
These boys would be 1617. But they used to get $1. Every Sunday they went. And in those days, that was a lot of money. He did tremendous amount of good work on the islands, especially completing St. Mark's Church, and he gave a lot of land to the church. And it's still we're drawing interest from it that belongs to the Diocese of Vancouver Island, Victoria headquarters,

Unknown Speaker 45:45
he lived in this same house at the same time as, as my father did. In fact, he occupied these two rooms across from the hall, he had one as a city in a woman's bedroom, and they had quite good times together. And then he eventually bought a piece of land of his own the place over on the new is known as the old book estate. And it's been it's changed hands now. But there were two lakes there. And he used to have a good, nice driving path where he could ride his horses, you know, and so on. And he entertained a lot. He was a very wonderful character, but

Unknown Speaker 46:17
he was the person that everybody went to when the troubles and he had a huge seller and if anyone had a sick cow or a sick horse or a man would pretend to be very ill why there was always that great Baseman's seller of full of whiskey and all the other like yours. And because people used to abuse his generosity, Henry Bullock and he had a sister, Mary, who came out and my uncle married her, and they settled on Saltspring Island, lived here until just a few years ago, and they both died. He was a large, short man, he was shot large, and sort of bald head wore glasses, and a great beard, a very round, very round face, but a kindly face, very kindly face, he was very fond of his food. He would have these dinner parties and he would have about a 10 course dinner. And people would be groaning after we've had about the third or the fourth course and he would just be piling it on your plate. I can remember when I was a boy of about 17 He needed a host isn't the one who wasn't available. So he got me to be at the other end of the table though serve to carve the the ham and to all the rest of it. And it can imagine a boy of about 1617 at a large dinner party felt rather embarrassed. But he was like that he always had seven as a host or hostess to help them.

Unknown Speaker 47:44
I remember in in my younger days when I was first married, how I was invited to many of his dinner parties. He used to have seven course dinners. We know with everything soup and grapefruit and soup and, and fish. And they wouldn't just be a little skimpy piece. He'd have a great big piece of halibut fill a huge platter for perhaps my husband and myself, you know, just two people. And then he'd have a huge Roast of 14 pound Roast of beef. And they'd probably only be possibly three or four cuts out of it taken out of it. And as each course came out he was taken out into the kitchen and he had several boys that worked for him you know that where his worked around the place when we work in the house when we're waiting at the table and when did the cooking when drove his car and then there'll be the gardening and all the different things to do. And he got these boys in the pros and orphans home and Victoria and he trained them all one of them became a very good cook. And so he eventually built the log cabin for him in Ganges and that was the beginning of the log cabin. That was ALF Hogan. Well, then, these boys would have all their friends in and they'd sit around their kitchen table at Mr. Brooks and they would consume each of these courses as they came out from the dining table. And there were seven courses anyway and there'd be all kinds of dessert when he got around to the desserts that were three or four beautiful desserts you know all these fancy jellies and trifles and different things and a lot of whipped cream and and then he always insisted that you put a spoonful of sherry in your oxtail soup or whatever you were having. And he had various different things for the man to drink in a box of chocolates for the ladies and coffee in the driving here really entertained. And he said when he was a younger man, he told me he used to have two sittings. I have about 25 guests and he'd have two sittings at the table. He'd sit down with each other and go through dinner with each of them but he said of course I can't do that now when he was older. And he was a very wonderful chap who was like Senate goes to a great many people very kind. I mean he used to bring these boys out of this and gave this wonderful home and everything they wanted even bought cars for them and they had their own musical instruments had their own orchestra and and they were really very happy then when they left there or if they wanted to. If they grew up and wanting to start off on their own he would. He wouldn't give them a piece of land and a house or help them to build a house or something he got Three or four of them started in places of their own. So he was really a generous, generous man.

Unknown Speaker 50:06
How did he manage to have all this money to do all these?

Unknown Speaker 50:09
Well, I suppose he must have had money in England, it must have been left to him because he had plenty. And he really, you know, I mean, he really spent it. He used to supported the church very well, and kept it going for many years, I think when they were rather slack. What was he doing here? Well, he was what you might saw what they used to call the old days, Squire, you know, he used to, he drove around and enjoyed tea parties and a social life with the people and he knew as he had money, and he just he didn't work he just did. And just really enjoy life. But he had a large acreage there and put in all dozens and dozens of trees. I mean, I remember he had two or three dozen or one variety quite intrigued me that he had so many of one kind and he had nut trees as well as apples and he had an A very nice tennis court. And in fact, he told me, I could take my class of Sunday school till now there for a picnic once and we had this picnic at his place and the tool news, the tennis card.

Unknown Speaker 51:08
When mama worked there, he had one boy there then the housework, the cleaning and dishwashing, and all that sort of stuff. And after she left, he got another housekeeper for possibly two or three years. And then he went down with two boys. He had one boy to, to cook, and the other boy to do the housework. And he had that for years. Well, then, in the Depression, some of these boys were out of work. And they came back at one time he had four of them there. They used to, he used to find them work outside. That's what amounted to. Well, they came from the Protestant orphans, Roman Victoria. And as far as we could gather goes over the other night, he had about 14 of them there in succession. Was he quite strict? Well, laterally he was not. He was when we went there. There used to be a cane that desk and I felt it more than once.

Unknown Speaker 52:07
I can I can tell you a rather amusing incident. I don't really. When I was possibly 10. I was one dark, or at least. It was getting dark in the evening, I was sitting around the kitchen. And I noticed a rough spot on the hot water boiler which I started to scratch and before I knew what happened, out comes the water while I was preparing dinner and there was somebody staying there and the water shot out and because Mr. Bullock was called and I can see mother jumping up and down that aisle she says Mr. Bullock, take him take that stick to him. He says I don't think I should do. He says that might have happened when we were out in the place where they've been flooded. And you know, I was just elated because the hot water was between mother and myself. And Mr. Bullock was on the same side but he wouldn't take the stick to me

Unknown Speaker 53:06
what he was very strict was let latterly didn't the boys going around things I suppose he got older. He used to make us boys. He used to have his meals in the dining room. And he we had art in the kitchen and that but he would always come out and have a cup of tea was in the kitchen and that you know what I mean? He was he was quite sociable, really. But he used to have this sort of glass bought the old country style. Of course. Another thing that was this boarding house here, but there was no real hotel in Ganges. And all these government follows not used to stay there only the inspectors and the boiler and spectrum and all those sorts of people used to he used to have a lot of company there in the house. The house was I think there were 10 bedrooms in it. And there was a dining room or drawing room and a huge hall and his den and a small sitting room and a small dining room where the boys would work in the place that that was nearly dezman, the random place and a large kitchen and these people just are staying the old doctor told me when he came run for the veterinary business the government he used to say that there wasn't too much discipline at the end I went in there one day and they were the boy made a stupid lunch for him and his alibi game and he says I don't want to do he says I want to fry some bacon and eggs and dairy says Oh Mr. Brooks have not always just eats anything that they went Daddy says what do you give them for? For dessert over a kind of features. While he says he's had that two or three days? Oh no, he says I I very like apricot cod. I got more out of a hat, I guess. When he got older, when the war started these boys, most of them went to the army. And he got a couple there. He had one couple of Sidney holding his wife. And then he had another one. That Mr. And Mrs. Carter at the end, they were there at the end. Yes, he died in the house there. He died in 46. When did he first come out of the country? 9092. As far as I remember. He lived here. And he lived here for five years. I've heard him saying that. He bought that place. And by that he must have moved in there about 97. By the way, that old house was burned down last year. The old Bullock house last spring. Yes, it is. Did he have a lot of interesting furniture? Yes, he had a lot of interesting old furniture and the nephew sold some of that somebody took away. It seems

Unknown Speaker 55:56
to me that when I don't know anything about how valuable his furniture was, but when it came to closing up his estate getting more I was looking after that. And I remember he said they found $5 bills and some of the chairs and through the some of the women through the books, they found them in different places, pages and books and so on, you know, I mean, they weren't coming in various places, which is rather strange. Yes, he was he was quite a character. He was quite a character.

Unknown Speaker 56:25
Many of my parishioners are negros, the first of the island settlers, that they play their full part in community activities in the wind light. And then of course, there are the Hawaiians under their leader William McDonough, who donated land for the Roman Catholic Church at Fulford and many of the collagen Indians who have settled here also Roman Catholics. The diversity of background among the white settlers is interesting. In many of the first were from Australia, and then came the Canadians in the east, British, Scandinavians, Germans, Portuguese, and Greeks. Some of the single men have mattered Indian and Hawaiian women. So many islanders are mixed blood and this I think will continue as generation succeeds generation.

Unknown Speaker 57:47
You have heard Saltspring island in the Gulf. Those contributing to the program were Leftenant Colonel Crofton, Len Betancourt, Margaret Cunningham, Willie Palmer and B Hamilton. The written material was gathered and prepared by John Williams and read by Walter Marsh, Christopher Newton and Peter Howard. The interviews were conducted by Amber tortured between ourselves this week was produced in the Vancouver studios of the CBC by Don Maude.