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A Look Back, with the Bowen Archives - June 2022

Throwback Thursday: Bowen news and notes from decades past

The following are unedited excerpts from the Undercurrent in decades past. Anything sound familiar? To read past Undercurrent issues, or follow up on information, please contact us at or 604-947-2655.

40 Years Ago - June 1982

Changes in Bowen’s mail system prompt a poem and an opinion:

Almost six years I carried mail

along our gorgeous rural route

and rain or shine, it mattered not

but that I gave out checks and bills

and hoped the first outweighed the last;

and greeting cards and catalogues;

and scented notes from amorous girls

who thought with such they’d win a mate;

and birthday greetings by the score

for lovely ladies and gallant men--

M.H.R.O.T.D. I said to them--

that very night they’d phone to say

their sincere thanks, but most of all

happy letters for Grandmas new

and we’d rejoice together there

by the mailbox in the rain;

and saddening news of grim decease

or condolence letters that made me part

of every grieving family;

and Christmas came and Christmas went

and I was weary to the bone.

And now I say

my fond farewell to all my friends --

practically all our Islanders--

and ask forgiveness for errors made --

I made a few!

I shall remember

my happy days on rural route

(I brought the route to Bowen’s Isle)

for all my life.

- l. reid.

For the past six years, Larry Reid, and on occasion his alternates, have been familiar and welcome figures buzzing around the Island distributing the mail. Many people looked forward to the brief encounters at the mail box, the exchange of cheerful banter, and sometimes not so cheerful banter.

Special attention was always extended to those who needed it, and the presence of the “mail person” lightened many a dull day. When the rural route was first inaugurated, at L. Reid’s suggestion, there were approximately 79 names on the list.

Today there are over 800 with many duplications of surnames, all bearing the RR #1 address, making errors in delivery, at times, unavoidable. And now, Larry’s job of “postperson” has been terminated, at the end of June, for, at the moment, reasons unknown.

It is to be hoped that whoever takes over the mail run will benefit from the PR built up over the past six years. It is also hoped that a new system is started, giving each box holder a number.

Growing up with a system helps a lot, but going in cold with the present system will certainly not be easy. Good luck to the new rural mail person.

30 Years Ago - June 1992

Queen of Capilano

The 95-metre Queen of Capilano begins ferry service to Bowen Island Saturday. She is the first ship in the B.C. Ferries fleet with such features as diesel electric engines and state-of-the-art computerized systems. The ferry will be on display Saturday at an open house from 7 to 8 p.m.

20 Years Ago - June 2002

Curious Headlines:

Back country horsemen to speak

Sapphire sleuths on summer siesta

Bowen snubbed in garden giveaway contest

Water taxi rudeness criticized

Young swimmer proud of feat:

My name is Jack Welsh. I’m six years old. I swam out to one of the rocks on the breakwater at Sandy Beach at the highest tide I’ve ever been swimming in. After sitting there for a while, I swam back. I don’t think any other kids have swam to that rock before. I thought it was news so I asked my dad if I could tell people in the newspaper. I hope you can help.

10 Years Ago - June 2012

On the calendar:

Friday, June 29: Youth Centre: 6 to 10:30 p.m. Free food, free movies. Drop in.

Saturday, June 30: Bowen Island Gives - Hike up Mt. Gardner: 10 a.m. at the trailhead, after party at 7 p.m. at the Legion.

Sunday, July 1: Happy Canada Day: noon to 3 p.m. Crippen Park with music, goodies and games. Thursday, July 5: Duplicate-style bridge: 7 p.m. sharp. Bowen Court lounge. Youth Centre: 4 to 6 p.m. Practise with your band or listen to music. Free food.

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