Mark Bate, elected Nanaimo’s first mayor in 1875, was a renaissance man. He loved music, writing, literature, the outdoors, community affairs, and of course politics. Bate served as mayor for sixteen terms—most by acclamation. He retired three times, returning to office after being persuaded to serve again.
Historian Jan Peterson skillfully weaves Bate’s own writing—including personal letters, business correspondence, and speeches—into the rich tapestry of nineteenth-century Nanaimo to create a three-dimensional portrait of a truly fascinating man. Bates witnessed and documented Nanaimo’s evolution from mining settlement to incorporated municipality to bona fide city. Mark Bate: Nanaimo’s First Mayor is a must-read for anyone interested in the history of this region and the settlers who helped to shape its communities.
Born and educated in Scotland, Jan Peterson immigrated with her family to Kingston, Ontario, in 1957. In 1972, she moved with her husband, Ray, and their three children to Port Alberni. With a lifelong interest in painting, writing, and history, she is recognized for her many years of involvement in the arts and community service. As a reporter for the Alberni Valley Times, she won a Jack Wasserman Award for investigative journalism. Jan and Ray retired to Nanaimo in 1996, where she continues to research and write. She is the author of eleven books, including Mark Bate: Nanaimo’s First Mayor; Port Alberni: More Than Just a Mill Town; and Kilts on the Coast: The Scots Who Built BC.
Jan Peterson, who lived in Port Alberni for two of the town’s most tumultuous decades and worked as a reporter for the Alberni Valley Times, describes how the town’s people persevered through three decades of boom and bust, developed a vibrant arts and sporting community, and strived to make life better under any circumstances. From the prosperous 1970s, when Port Alberni earned the reputation of “forestry capital of Canada,” to the decline of the industry in the 1980s, when economic uncertainty signalled a need for diversification, to the environmental protests in nearby Clayoquot Sound, which polarized the community, Port Alberni tells the town's story from a perspective that is rarely heard. Through fascinating interviews and meticulous historical research, Peterson captures the heart and soul of a town so often defined by dollars and cents.
In Just Between You and Me, Goodwyn shares the story of his upbringing, first at home in rural New Brunswick and then in the music business as the lead singer of one of Canada’s most popular bands ever, April Wine.
It was Scots who came to the Island to manage the Company's business in Fort Victoria, engaging in the fur trade and establishing coal-mining ventures around what is now Nanaimo, where "black diamonds" were found in abundance.
From founding father James Douglas and other high-placed Company men to the humble miners from Orkney and Ayrshire who were brought over on harsh voyages around Cape Horn to work Nanaimo's mines, the Scottish influence on the young Colony of Vancouver Island was indelible. Nanaimo author and historian Jan Peterson focuses on events and people who sparked settlement and growth in BC's first Crown Colony over six critical years, 1848 to 1854, and delves deep into the roots of the Island's Scottish presence, tracing the lives of such pioneers as Dr. William Tolmie, Robert Dunsmuir and their descendants.
While much has been written about the disaster, there is still more to the story, including the investigation of the key figures involved, the histories of the ships that collided and the confluence of circumstances that brought these two vessels together to touch off one of the most tragic man-made disasters of the twentieth century.
The Halifax Explosion is a fresh, revealing account that finally answers questions that have lingered for a century: Was the explosion a disaster triggered by simple human error? Was it caused by the negligence of the ships’ pilots or captains? Was it the result of shortcomings in harbour practices and protocols? Or was the blast—as many people at the time insisted—the result of sabotage carried out by wartime German agents?
December 6, 2017, marks the centennial of the great Halifax explosion. The Halifax Explosion tells the gripping, as-yet untold story of Canada’s worst disaster—a haunting tale of survival, incredible courage and, ultimately, the triumph of the human spirit.
In this book, Alison K. Brown draws together the multiple narratives that make up this encounter, consulting descendants of the collectors and members of the affected First Nations and reviewing both expedition images and the artifacts themselves. In doing so, she explores the context within which the collection was made as well as the complex relationships between museums, anthropologists, and First Nations.
Accessibly written and vigorously researched, First Nations, Museums, Narrations raises timely questions about the role of collections in the twenty-first century and considers the way forward for indigenous peoples and the museums that house their cultural treasures.