A look back: snippets from the Undercurrents of June '79, '94, '09,

The following are unedited snippets compiled by archival assistant Cicely Ashley, from past Undercurrents. To read the complete articles or to follow up on information please contact the Bowen Museum and Archives at bihistorians@telus.netor 604-947-2655

40 years ago––June 1979

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ISLAND NEWS by Felix Caleb

When power failure or some other calamity hits Bowen Island necessitating phone calls to the mainland, Islanders are treated to the best possible consideration by the telephone operators. They project kindness and the feel of a friendly hand across the seas as they answer questions and volunteer information – one of the nicer things to be missed with direct dialing.

Bowen Island people also receive much consideration from doctors, dentists, veterinarians, hospitals, and many others. Appointments are usually cheerfully arranged to coincide with the ferry schedule when Bowen Island is given as the place of residence. 

Newcomers to the Island are generally unprepared for the friendliness of the residents. Coming from the big city as a rule, where one tends to keep to one’s self, it is overwhelming to be part of a community where so many people care and offer help in time of need. 

Residing on Bowen Island is indeed an experience in friendly, rural life.

By A.H. Elliott


With warm weather and our increase in part-time or weekend residents I must again draw attention to the spread of garbage at and around the pick up points. Many people are using bare plastic bags which crows, ravens, dogs and cats tear apart. To these scavengers we must now add RATS for these have been found recently on Bowen Island. I took two immature rats to the North Shore Health Board for examination by an expert who identified them as “Norway” rats – a grey-brown rodent.

The best way to control rats is to deny them food and shelter and to eradicate them by use of traps and/or approved poisons under carefully controlled methods.

Garbage cans, Rat Traps and poison are available at the Bowen Building Centre.

Poem by anonymous

The butterfly flies on wings of gauze,

The firefly on wings of flame,

The bedbug ain’t got no wings at all,

But he gets there just the same

25 years ago––June 1994

Coffee House backers thanked by Brenda Reid

To The Editor:

Thank you to Saturday night patrons who gave up their romantic table settings to accommodate those standing outside in the rain. Obviously we need a bigger venue, with the exception of the odd Friday nights when we don’t get a full house – that was a plug.

The performers were fabulous of course, but I would like to extend a special thank you to the many volunteers who make these Coffee Houses a success.

Time to keep kids in community by Andrew Brown

To the Editors,

I am concerned about the Community Centre. I think we are looking at the wrong facility.

There are 330 students in our overcrowded elementary school. In six years, there will be 330 student commuters to West Vancouver – unless we have a school here for them. This means one tenth of our population will be forced to leave their community every day. 

Does it make sense to plan for what is essentially a suburban athletic facility in these circumstances? I would rather see our resources used to keep our children in this unique community for as long as possible.

Keeping young people on the island during their formative years should be our first priority. This has to involve more than the provision of a typical recreation centre.

June weather has been volatile for garden by Vivamus

June has been a rather volatile month, weatherwise. Sunshine, rain, thunder and lightning and dropping temperatures must have confused the plants, as well as the gardeners.

Outside I am trying to grow egg plants (Indian bringal) protected by “kozy-coats.” Filled with water, they are supposed to keep the plant warm inside. The zucchini has already provided some succulent vegetables with more to come. However, I know from experience that the squirrels love them, and this year I plan to thwart them.


10 years ago––June 2009

Heritage building in Snug Cove gutted by fire by Julie Andrés

Snug Cove resident Nelson Lepine got up early Saturday, June 6 to put his car in the ferry lineup. He heard a cracking sound next door and was astounded to see a wall of flames. He ran back to his house and yelled to his wife, Vicci McCaig, who was still in bed, “Fire! Get out!”

He called 911.

Fire Chief Brian Biddlecombe told the Undercurrent that at 7:25 the Bowen Island Volunteer Fire and Rescue Service responded to the call and upon arrival found the rear of one of Bowen Island’s oldest buildings in full flame. The unoccupied cottage – most recently home to Doreen Pryce-Jones, who first remembers being there over 80 years ago – was extensively damaged.

It was not known at the time of press if the house will need to be completely torn down. The cause of the fire is being investigated by insurance adjusters, who have ordered the house be boarded up. Fire Chief Biddlecombe said that arson is not suspected. 

Headlines about artificial turf field and demonstrations against it:

Group expresses concerns about council’s decision to install artificial turf field.

Turf protest causes safety concerns during BICS dismissal

Reader rues decision to cut trees for artificial turf field

© Copyright Bowen Island Undercurrent


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