A look back: Bowen phone number goes 7 digits, ugliest fish award and more from May '74,'94 ,'09

The following are unedited snippets from past Undercurrents. To read the complete articles or to follow up on information please contact the Bowen Museum & Archives at bihistorians@telus.net or 604.947.2655.

40 years ago - May 1974

To the editor:

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Without announcing it at all our good friend B. C. Tel, has fixed the Bowen Island service so that now, we must dial all seven numbers in order to make a call.

From the Observations by C. Gull column:

The rain is keeping the dust down on the gravel roads, and potholes are easier to spot when they are mini-lakes. Hope the road crew are prepared to oil, or better yet, black top those dusty roads.

In case anyone is wondering, the Union Steamship sold its fleet of floating equipment in January, 1959. Snug Cove Point, all 17 acres of it, was subdivided in 1962. In 1963, 48 acres of the Deep Bay area was subdivided, complete with blacktop roads, electricity, water and telephone. Stanley James took over the Union Steamships estate in the summer of 1972. And now in 1979????? A park? A subdivision? A ferry parking lot?

In July, 1960, four businessmen commuted to Vancouver daily. The fare on the Bainbridge, was $3.90 return for car and driver.

Three hour waits were the order of the day on Monday. Despite the fact the beautiful hot weather made waiting in line fiendishly uncomfortable, most people were cheerful and congenial. One unfortunate incident aroused the ire of a few drivers when a car blatantly jumped the line - tempers flared, but cooled as quickly when the RCMP intervened, and sent them back to the ever-growing lineup - play fair.

To the editor:

THE SIDEWALK: Yes, we have some sidewalk - at least a hundred feet in front of the biffy down by the ferry slip. When there is a lineup of cars for the ferry, the cars arriving have a difficult time navigating between the Scylla of the waiting cars and the Charybidis of the meandering would be ferry-foot passengers. 

We hope no passenger get squished–but perhaps it’s nature’s way of removing the weak.


For sale: SNUG COVE VARIETY STORE & HIZ ’N HURZ BEAUTY SALON. Will consider property in trade. (For the archives - Does anyone have a photograph of the Variety Store or beauty salon?) 

Cedar and Glass - contemporary 3 bedroom house, 2 fireplaces, choose colour of 3 appliances - brand new $74,900.

Dorman Bay - View is unsurpassed from this one acre with 106’ of waterfront, $47,500.

25 years ago - May 1994

Bowen Nature Club

Buffalo caught in Snug Cove! Buffalo Sculpin, that is, and it won the “Ugliest Fish” award during the Girl Guides Father-Taught Fishing Derby. This creature was about a foot long and looked like a monstrous tadpole with wings when it was reeled in off the far end of the government wharf by contestants Stephanie Stevens and her dad, Peter.

Nature Flash by Alan Shatwell 

The recent warm weather has many species that hibernate over winter becoming active again. The appearance of a few early carpenter ants in the living room did cause too much concern to a Bowen resident with an old secluded cabin, but when they were followed by a 25cm long lizard, it wasn’t the only the animals that started to wake up! It was of course a northern alligator lizard that can be recognized by its long and slender body.

Teens pick island clean by Elaine Loree

Teen’s litter collection was an opportunity to give back to the community for everything they have given us. 

It all began in the far reaches of Bluewater. In the wee hours of last Saturday morning (any time before 9 a.m. on a Saturday is “wee”), four young Bowen Islanders slipped out of their beds and set out on a mission. Armed with nothing more than black garbage bags, they began their patrol along the roadside and ditches of Bowen. Their target - the litter of Bowen. Their names - Bob Schultz, Tammy Schultz, Ashley Watson and Heidi Pelto. 

Meanwhile, in Tunstall Bay, three more teen residents - Josef Krief, Ruban Fleming - began their garbage collection. By the time all seven converged at the Tunstall Bay/Bowen Bay crossroads the bags were filling and the first load was ready for transport the dumpster.

10 years ago - May 2009

Shaw chooses Bowen Island for leading edge digital conversion

Bowen Island residence are to become the most connected digital community in Canada. Today Shaw Communication Inc. announced it had chosen Bowen Island to be the first in Canada to move from analog system to a leading edge 100% digital television system.

Generous donation jumpstarts Knick Knack Nook construction by Diane Marshall

Knick Knack Nook, Bowen Island reuse-it stare, has the green light to begin to erect their building. A generous gift from Wolfgang Duntz Will enable us to begin construction much sooner than anticipated. Wolfgang will be donating the expertise of one of his experienced building crews to put up our 24 x 40’ building. This gift demonstrates Wolfgang’s vision for a more sustainable Bowen. His building supervisor, Darren Jennings, will be coordinating the project and his intention is to begin within the next few weeks.

Info Center’s future up in the air by Julie Andres

The visitor information Centre in Snug Cove may have to be closed at the end of this month every shortfall in funding is not solved.

April weather by Eric Lawson recorded on Jason Road miller’s landing

Maximum temperature 22° Celsius minimum temperature 3°C Wind chill-6°C maximum wind gust 23 km/h total snow 5 cm total rainfall 66.8 mm

Pink geraniums available at this week’s Bookfest by Bowen Island Heritage Preservation Association

On February 5, 1938, a local newspaper, then called the Vancouver Daily Province, ran a story about a plant physiology professor at UBC who was growing geraniums hydroponically. The story opens with the line “one need not fear to be called a visionary if he says that plants in the future may grow and bear fruit in tanks containing a nutritive solution” that visionary, Dr. G. Howell Harris, was the father of our very own Daphne Shaw, an extraordinary volunteer, who has lived, and worked, for decades on Bowen with her family.

While the chemical nutrients and the methods of cloning plans have surpassed the modest claims of Dr. Harris, the geranium he was also perfecting has not receive the same attention. He wanted to develop a healthy geranium that could bloom all year long, reproduce easily, and provide a clear, strong colour. 

© Copyright Bowen Island Undercurrent


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