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Meet your Bowen Island neighbours: Tina Nielsen

Our second 'Meet your Bowen Island neighbours' column is another familiar face in the Undercurrent pages: Tina Nielsen
Tina Nielsen
Tina Nielsen at the Hearth's black and white ball in 2019.

Last week we launched our “Get to know your Bowen Island neighbours” column, where we select an islander from our subscriber list for a Q&A. Last week was Bob Turner. This week, the random number generator came up with another well-known face: Tina Nielsen, who many will know as chief librarian at the B.I. Library.


When did you come to Bowen?

I came in 1989

How did you get here?

I have a good friend who was living here. But really, the reason that we came was looking for a place where one person could stay at home to look after our child. We were looking for a more reasonable cost of living. We looked at places like Langley and out in the valley and then someone suggested, “Why don’t you go check Bowen?”

We did and we loved it right away. But the whole thing was how was my husband going to manage commuting? When you live in Vancouver, the idea of having to get on a ferry to go to work is kind of terrifying. What if the ferry’s late? What if it breaks down? What if there’s a storm? All those things that you can’t visualize when you don’t live here yet. But once we got over that, we loved it and it was far preferable for me to be here than to be somewhere out in the valley or in a  suburb. To me, it felt like what I grew up with when I grew up in North Van.

Where on Bowen do you live?

I live in the Bowen Bay area. I have lived in Tunstall Bay, Queen Charlotte Heights, Miller’s Landing, Snug Cove, the top of Seven Hills in Scarborough. 

What’s your favourite Bowen fact?

Note: Tina had three facts and asked that we chose one. They were all so great, we included them all. 

I have a key to my house but I don’t know where it is.

Everyone will try and take the dangerous cargo ferry at least once in your life on Bowen.

Pre-COVID, you could recommend hitchhiking.

When do you think somebody can consider themselves a Bowen Islander?

That’s a hard question because I think, like Bob said [in last week’s edition], as soon as you decide this is your home. But my first thought really was after you’ve spent two winters and you’ve gone through at least one power outage of more than 12 hours. Although I might have to say a power outage of more than six hours because these days, it’s not very often that we have a power outage of 12 hours or more.

What’s your favourite COVID-19 balm or activity?

Just walking in the woods. I feel incredibly lucky to be on Bowen during COVID just for the ability for us to get out of our house and be somewhere where there’s nobody. In fact, these days, walking in the woods is a place where we socialize.I’m finding that to walk around the lake takes about twice as long because you get to see people and then you get to stand there six feet apart and have a little conversation. That’s my favourite thing.


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