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Valuable archival discovery at the Knick Knack Nook
Welcome to Island Neighbours- stories of Island history, people, activities and events.
A rare treat awaits the Bowen community on March 11 when noted musicians /scholars Jon Bartlett and Rika Rubesaat entertain with an evening of songs and verse celebrating their new book – Dead Horse on the Tulameen. The twosome can best be described as singers and cultural historians. They love song, the Canadian landscape and BC history. They’ve been singing together since 1975, focusing primarily on the songs of BC made by settlers, loggers, miners and fishers. Rika grew up singing German folksongs with her family. Her father played guitar and sang songs he’d learned from his father who also was a singer and a collector of traditional folk songs in Germany. When Rika’s family came to Canada in 1952, folk songs in English became part of the family repertoire. Jon immigrated to Canada in 1968 and within weeks found the Vancouver Folk Song Circle. Both have a teaching background, allowing them to incorporate Canadian folk songs into the curriculum. Jon had the pleasure of working with noted collector Phil Thomas on his collection of BC songs and then on his book, Songs of the Pacific Northwest.
Medal for the Knick Knack Nook? Sharp eyes and historical awareness resulted in a remarkable rescue recently. One of the volunteers let me know that the Nook had something for me and a day later, she delivered an envelope. It contained two pages of notebook paper, covered in easy to read writing. The pages had fallen out of a donated book. When volunteers looked at them, the page one heading was: Catherine Rachel Mackay Carson-Woods Carter (Katie). The first line read: “My earliest memories are of a garden of a house in London.” The narrative was written by my mother-in-law Katie Carter and described the first nine years of her life. The Bowen Island community is small enough that the value of these pages was clear and the Nook followed through. Interestingly, Katie was the founder of the Historians in 1967 so these pages have both family and archival value. Many thanks to Nook.
New topic: I’m always delighted to hear news of Bowen’s younger generation and it’s great to hear parents modestly provide updates about their sons or daughters. Case in point: Emma Townsend-Gault and Gregoire Pelletreau have become engaged. Emma works as a community consultant in Lao PDR where she met Gregoire, a Sorbonne-educated economist. Their engagement will be marked by a traditional baci ceremony in May, followed by a July wedding on Bowen Island. The Townsend-Gaults have been part of the Bowen community for a long time. Many islanders will also remember Emma’s sister Sophie.
Ten Years Ago in the Undercurrent of February 15, Lori Griffiths reminded the community about the municipality’s committee of islanders with a mandate to create a cultural master plan to cover the next 10 years. The team had already convened six focus groups plus two workshops and was issuing a last call for further community input.
• The Bowen Chamber of Commerce AGM was presenting Ian Thomson of the BI Sustainability Community Task Force and Jamie MacDonald of Natural Step Canada speaking on the topic of sustainability. * The February 22 issue was the Heritage edition. The national theme was “Our Industrial Heritage” and so there were articles about Bowen’s mining history, Bowen’s two brickyards as well as the early resort business.
• Bowen writers Paul and Audrey Grescoe were preparing three books of letters: First will be The Letterbook: 150 years of Extraordinary Canadian Correspondence. Second will be The War Letterbook, Two Centuries of Canadian Correspondence. Lastly would be The Love Letterbook: Canadians Write of Romance and Friendship. • Constable Richard DeJong alerted islanders to a series of B &Es. and asked people to lock their doors. In the most recent break-in, valuables worth more than $20,000. were stolen.
Birthdays: On February 27, Birthday congratulations to Adam and Tom Woodward, Dayna McMahon and Twyla Frid. Gail Gallander has a February 28 birthday. March 1 is the birthday of Eagle Cliffer Ian Carter while March 2 is the special day for Alexandra Goodall, Kirk Braraten and Donovan Davidson. March 3 is the birthday of Brianna Forbes-Crowe while March 4 is special to Julian Selody and to Diane Marshall, one of the Knick Knack Nook angels, March 5? That’s for Sabrina Glave, Bronc Stark and Robin Wood while March 6 is for Helen Wallwork. March 7 is the great day for Erin Carter, Claudia Schaefer as well as for twins, Trish and Mike Kearney. March 8 is International Women’s Day. March 9? Maryanne Jones and Patti Kearney. Last March birthday is that of Nicole Jamieson on March 11
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