Pender Islands Timeline

  • 1976

    The Pender library moves to a small building at the Auchterlonie Centre, now the Epicentre building next to the Nu-To-Yu.

  • 1976

    The Islands Trust introduces zoning and official community planning to the Gulf Islands.

  • 1975

    The NDP lose the election and a Social Credit government under Bill Bennett returns to office.

  • 1975

    Florence and Dave Davidson build their own home at Roesland, now the headquarters of the Gulf Islands National Park. The house takes three years to complete.

  • 1975

    The United Church of Canada closes the United Community Church at Hope Bay due to declining numbers. Its operation as a non-denominational community church begins.

  • 1974

    The Islands Trust Act is proclaimed on June 5th by an NDP dominated BC Legislature to control development in the Gulf Islands. It is inspired in part by the large 1,200 plus city-lot sized Magic Lake Estates subdivision on Pender. Many heated community meetings ensue due to divided interests of natural protection vs. long-time residents' desire to conduct their affairs without government interference.

  • 1974

    The Provincial Government purchases the southern area of the Canal Bridge in order to protect it from development.

  • 1974

    The Otter Cove Lodge changes ownership and is re-named Pender Lodge. It houses the Eagles Nest Restaurant.

  • 1974

    The Annex, a mobile classroom, is built. Today, it is the bright yellow Epicentre, a children’s social/play centre.

  • 1973

    The North Pender Fire Protection Service is established.

  • 1973

    The Pender Island Library (at the time often called the Pender Lender) is founded, located in the back room of the Pender Island Community Church. It is moved in 1976 to a small building at the Auchterlonie Centre and in 1991 the new Pender Island Library Building is opened, designed by architect John Roberts.

  • 1973

    The Pender Islands Lions Club, dedicated to community support by volunteers, receives its Charter on June 15th with Wally Cunliffe as the first president.

  • 1972

    Dave Barrett wins the election with the New Democratic Party and becomes premier of BC.

  • 1971

    The first Pender Post monthly newsletter is published using a hand-cranked Gestetner copier, now in the museum. The original copier was replaced by an electric one in 1975.

  • 1971

    Electric heating is installed and a new classroom is added on to the school.

  • 1971

    The Pender Island Recreation and Agricultural Hall Association (PIRAHA) becomes a non-profit society. The association supports recreational endeavours of all kinds. Part of its objective at that time was to create a Community Hall for the Pender Islands.

  • 1971

    The use of corporal punishment (strapping) ceases in British Columbia schools.

  • 1971

    Aubrey Rundle-Woolcock moves to Pender Island with his wife Irene when he obtains a teaching position at the Pender Island School, a two room school in the building that later becomes the Nu-To-Yu. He retires in 1983.

  • 1970

    Surveyor John Melvyn (Mel) Abbott of Revelstoke dies at the age of 38. Mel, after meeting Les Bowerman, bought and commenced development of Magic Lake Estates on Pender Island in the early '60s. Surveying and road building was completed in 1974.

  • 1970

    Florence and David Davidson take over the running of the Roesland Farm Resort at the request of their long time friends, Bert and Irene Roe. It takes three years for Dave to get the resort back in shape after some neglect during Bert's latter years.

  • 1970

    The South Pender Island Post Office closes on July 7th.

  • 1969

    The establishment of marinas at Otter Bay and Port Browning begins.

  • 1969

    The BC Government imposes a 10 acre lot size 'freeze' on the Gulf Islands.

  • 1969

    The Lynds sell Beautyrest Lodge after 27 years of operation. The new owners re-name it Otter Cove Lodge, 'Your away-from-it-all paradise'.

  • 1969

    Dr. Homer Rogers becomes Pender Islands' first regular full-time doctor, operating his practice out of his house on MacKinnon Road.

  • 1969

    Bert Roe dies at the age of 75 in October. The operation of the Roesland farm resort is passed on to David and Florence Davidson. Irene, Bert's wife, continues to live in the house that Bert built in the late 1920s. She dies in 1990 and forgives the residual balance of the Davidsons purchase of half interest in Lot 87 of Roesland, the main part of the property. The Davidsons could not afford to purchase the land outright.

  • 1968

    On April 20, Pierre Trudeau is sworn in as Canada's 15th Prime Minister with a majority government and a popularity surge termed 'Trudeaumania'.

  • 1967

    Seven Pender Island pioneers receive a Canadian Centennial Medal at a presentation by Lt. Gov. Hon. George Pearkes, on September 3rd at Waterlea.

  • 1967

    Victor Menzies abandons the large house at Hope Bay and moves into a smaller house which was brought over from Vancouver.

  • 1967

    The Hope Bay Community Hall, built in 1910, is razed and the lumber is recovered by the Hope Bay Bible Camp for a cost of $25.

  • 1967

    A large natural depression on North Pender is excavated and dammed to create Buck Lake, a reservoir 40 feet in depth. This new water source augments the water supply from Pender Lake, now called Magic Lake, and supplies the development Gulf Garden Estates, now called Magic Lake Estates.

  • 1967

    Portland Island is gifted back to the Province of BC by Princess Margaret, who received it as a gift nine years earlier. It is then named Princess Margaret Island and Park in her honour.

  • 1967

    Sidney Arthur Kent becomes the Postmaster at Port Washington.

  • 1966

    The ferry 'Cy Peck' is sold to J.H. Todd and Sons, of Vancouver, and is used as a supply store for west coast fishermen.

  • 1965

    A front-end-loading ferry terminal is built at Otter Bay, stimulating a surge in growth. Clam Bay Farm was considered as a terminal site, but it was deemed too far from Swartz Bay.

  • 1965

    The Mayne Queen ferry is built.

  • 1965

    Gulf Garden Estates, now Magic Lake Estates, begins phase two of sales extending east on Schooner Way and around Pender Lake, now called Magic Lake. Prices range from $995 for non-waterfront lots to $4550 for a preferred oceanfront lot. Total lots subdivided eventually reaches 1,200.

  • 1964

    The ferry 'Cy Peck' falls into the hands of BC Ferries and is put on the Tsawwassen-Gulf Islands route.

  • 1964

    Portlock Point light station on Prevost Island, across the channel from Port Washington, is automated and de-staffed. http://lighthousefriends.com/light.asp?ID=1179

  • 1964

    The Queen of Nanaimo ferry is built.

  • 1963

    Bert and Irene Roe purchase an islet in Otter Bay to store marine fuel.

  • 1962

    Victor Menzies pays Ashton Ross-Smith $50 for an abandoned farm house. He demolishes it for lumber for the Hope Bay Bible Camp.

  • 1962

    Gulf Garden Estates begins phase one of lot sales in the area near Boat Nook.

  • 1962

    The ferry 'Cy Peck' is sold to the B.C. Toll Highways Authority by the Gulf Island Ferry Company. It runs between Swartz Bay and Fulford Harbour.

  • 1962

    It costs $2.00 per person and $5.00 per automobile to take the ferry from Tsawwassen. Swartz Bay fares are one-half, departing from and arriving at Hope Bay.

  • 1961

    The BC Ferry system serves the Penders.

  • 1961

    The provincial government assumes control of Black Ball Ferries, a Canadian company. Black Ball Transport, founded in 1951, was a US based company which sailed Puget Sound.

  • 1961

    A Pender school paper entitled 'The Earlybird' is organized by Garry Robinson, one of the teachers. The first annual Pender Island School Fun Day and Open House is held on Wednesday June 28th.

  • 1961

    Elmer Bowerman donates another acre of land to extend the cemetery to its present size and to connect it to the 'Old Government Road', which is currently the access road to the cemetery.

  • 1961

    "A Gulf Islands Patchwork" is published by the B.C. Historical Association. It contains the memoirs of early island residents.

  • 1961

    Thomas Ralph Smith becomes the Postmaster at Hope Bay, and Walter F. Cunliffe becomes the Postmaster at Port Washington.

  • 1960

    The B.C. Toll Authority is formed by the provincial government to handle ferry service in BC. The name is later changed to B.C. Ferries Corp., a Crown corporation.

  • 1959

    The fish reduction plant at Shingle Bay is completely destroyed by fire. Remnants of dock pilings remain at the site to this day.

  • 1959

    After receiving his pilot licence with 30 hours of flying time, Earl Hastings lands his 1948 Stinson high-winged 'tail dagger' plane on Pender Island, on a rough strip in a field on the Webber property where the Community Hall is now. He later improves the landing striping with the help of Ernie Shoals, but after a near disastrous landing there the same year, Earl buys the land south of Liberto Road from Nick Liberto. He clears it of trees and grades an airstrip which makes for safer landings.

    Years later, Earl's hanger was home to a 1941 open cockpit WACO biplane owned by Bob George, former Hope Bay store proprietor turned cattle rancher. The plane was built in the US as a trainer for fledgling pilots and it also saw duty as a crop duster before Bob purchased it in 1973. It had a McCauley solid steel prop and a 220hp Continental engine. During its life, the plane saw some near misses. Bob once landed upside down in Chehalis, Washington. A second near miss happened as the Georges were returning from a pleasant picnic on the beach at Flores Island. And while flying over Ladner once, a 9 inch piece of the aluminum prop cracked off. A few scratches and scuffs later, both Bob and his beloved WACO survived. (Note: This information was sourced from a conversation with Earl Hastings in 1999. Earl owned land formerly owned by Hugh Hamilton and the Brackett family at Port Browning. The airstrip Earl cleared is now being used for agricultural purposes by new owners. However, the heli-pad at the east end of the former airstrip is still being used for medical emergencies.)

  • 1958

    Electricity is established more generally on North Pender Island.

  • 1958

    The Knolls

    The Alexander Hamilton house, 'The Knolls', is dismantled. It was built in 1900 at Port Browning.

  • 1958

    Portland Island is gifted to Princess Margaret during one of her royal visits.

  • 1958

    Premier W.A.C. Bennett announces on July 18 that the British Columbia Ferry Authority will take over the mandate of providing passenger and car ferry service in BC.

  • 1958

    A patchwork quilt is raffled off to raise money for publishing "A Gulf Islands Patchwork", a book of memoirs of early island residents. The raffled quilt is subsequently gifted to the Pender Islands Museum Society in 1991.

  • 1957/1958

    The first professional archeological excavation is carried out at the canal by the BC Provincial Museum. They sink two test pits on the principal middens north and south of the bridge.

  • 1956

    In 1955 or 1956, Percy Corbett, son of R.S.W. Corbett, retires from operating the Hope Bay Store and sells it to Ralph Smith and Norm Miller after 50 years of Corbett operation. Percy remains Postmaster until 1961.

  • 1956

    Lyall Brackett, the Brackett's youngest son, starts to tear down the Alexander and Margaret Brackett pioneer house.

  • 1956

    The ship 'Cy Peck', once called the Island Princess, is converted to carry motor cars.

  • 1956

    Cecily Reynolds unearths a cannon ball, most likely fired from a smooth barrelled 68 pounder cannon of the Royal Navy sometime in the last half of the 19th century. The cannon ball is on display at the Museum.

  • 1955

    The BC government subsidizes ferry service.

  • 1955

    Canal Road is completed and the bridge over the canal is officially opened on June 1st by Minister of Highways Phil Gaglardi.

  • 1955

    The Pender Island Bridge is built by the Pacific Pile Driving Company owned by Tom Blackwood.

  • 1955

    The Saltery in Hayashi Cove (now called Otter Bay) is destroyed by fire.

  • Mid 1950s

    The Lilias Spalding house on South Pender is razed. It was located at what is now Lilias Spalding Park.

  • Mid 1950s

    Flush toilets are installed at the school on North Pender after the outhouse burns down. Gas heating is also added to the classroom.

  • 1954

    Elizabeth Grimmer dies at Port Washington at the age 76.

  • 1952

    Waterlea ceases to be a resort and becomes a private residence once again.

  • 1952

    W.A.C. Bennett, BC's longest serving premier, wins a minority government in Victoria.

  • 1952

    The ferry 'Island Princess' is running between Steveston on the mainland and the Gulf Islands. The Island Princess later became the ferry the Cy Peck.

  • 1951

    Lilias Spalding dies at age 81.

  • 1951

    Dr. Aldridge passes away (see 1915).

  • 1951

    The Port Browning Government wharf is built.

  • 1950

    Albert Hugh Menzies dies at age 93.

  • 1950

    A gathering of Pender Island 'Old-Timers' takes place on May 15 on Salt Spring Island.

  • 1950

    The resort at Roesland now includes a total of 17 cabins for summer rental. Farming is discontinued.

  • 1948

    Craddock & Co., exclusive real estate agents based in Vancouver, create the "Andover" subdivision on South Pender, on the 'Higgs' Estate'.

  • 1949

    Frank Calder becomes the first First Nations person to be elected to the BC Legislative Assembly.

  • 1948

    Victor Menzies sells his farm to Ashton Ross-Smith and retires to the Howard Harris house at Hope Bay to live with Albert. The 1896 farmhouse is left unoccupied for several years until it is demolished in 1988.

  • 1948

    Mrs. D.E. Grimmer is the school teacher for an annual salary of $1,640. The janitor is paid $47 a month, or $470 for the year.

  • 1948

    BC's first sales tax is enacted.

  • 1948

    The federal government repeals a section of the Domain Elections Act, thereby giving Asian Canadians the right to vote.

  • 1947

    The fish reduction plant re-opens at Shingle Bay.

  • 1947

    Grosvenor House

    In June, the Grosvenor House Hotel at Port Washington is destroyed by fire.

  • 1947

    Dave and Florence Davidson, later to become owners of Roesland, return to Roesland as guests for a summer vacation.

  • 1946

    The Pender Island branch of the Royal Canadian Legion receives the Dominion Command Charter. The Legion Hall is located on MacKinnon Road, west of the ferry terminal.

  • 1945

    Mrs. Craddock sells Waterlea but it continues as a resort until 1952.

  • 1945

    The Pender Island Golf and Country Club is incorporated as a society. With the exception of a brief hiatus during World War II, the course has run continuously. From the beginning, member volunteers have played a major part in the upkeep and development of the golf course.

  • 1945

    World War II ends.

  • 1943

    R.S.W. Corbett of the Hope Bay Store dies.

  • 1943

    Pilot Officer Grover Sargent is killed when his Hawker Hurricane plane crashes near Clam Bay Road on the afternoon of February 4th. A cairn is erected later in the year and is later restored in 1997 by the Pender Island Branch of the Royal Canadian Legion.

  • 1942

    The Saltery in Hayashi Cove (now called Otter Bay) is confiscated from the Japanese owners and operates during WWll as a cannery.

  • 1942

    Florence and Dave Davidson, later to run and eventually own Roesland, get married.

  • 1941

    Mille Fleurs is sold to Mr. and Mrs. Wallace Lynd, who open it as Beautyrest Lodge the next year. It is named after the mattresses with which it is equipped.

  • 1940

    The fish reduction plant at Shingle Bay closes due to a fire.

  • 1940

    Florence Davidson visits Roesland.