Pender Islands Timeline

  • 1976

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

  • 1975

    NDP ousted, Social Credit government under Bill Bennett returned to office

  • 1975

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

  • 1975

    The United Church of Canada closes The United Community Church at Hope Bay due to declining numbers. Operation as a non-denominational Community Church begins.

  • 1974

    Islands Trust Act proclaimed on June 5 by NDP dominated BC Legislature to control development in the Gulf Islands, inspired in part by the large 1200 plus city lot sized Magic Lake Estates subdivision. Many heated community meetings ensue due to divided interests of natural protection vs. long-time residents desire to conduct their affairs without government interference, sometimes including subdivision of long held lands to pay for their living expenses and retirements.

  • 1974

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

  • 1974

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

  • 1974

    Annex, or mobile classroom built (now the bright yellow Epicentre, a children’s social/play centre)

  • 1973

    North Pender Fire Protection Service established

  • 1973

    In around 1989 a group of far-sighted individuals, led by June Hall as Chairperson, laid the groundwork for what in 1991 became the new Pender Island Public Library building. This building was designed by local architect John Roberts. The building is one of which the residents of Pender Island are, justifiably, very proud. After 20 yrs of serving the community, and with much fundraising from generous local donors, the Library underwent extensive renovations in 2012. The newly renovated space now has a large dedicated youth section, a new front desk, and a welcoming and bright interior. The library services have grown over the years, to include programs for adults and youth and digital services, and aspires to continue to meet the needs of the local community.

  • 1973

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

  • 1972

    Dave Barrett wins election with the New Democratic Party

  • 1971

    First Pender Post monthly newsletter published using a hand cranked Gestetner copier, now in the Museum. The original copier was replaced with an electric one in 1975.

  • 1971

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

  • 1971

    The 'Pender Island Recreation and Agricultural Hall Association' (PIRAHA) became a non-profit society in 1971. The far-sighted Association supported recreational endeavours of all kinds. Part of its objective at that time was to create a Community hall for the Pender Islands.

  • 1971

    In the early ‘80s, the Capitol Regional District (CRD) put $50,000 into building a full sized gym into the new school that was being built in return for community use of the gym and a ‘community room’. PIRAHA was the CRD’s (and Pender’s) representative in the ‘Joint Use Agreement’ with the School District, for the scheduling of Pender Island’s community indoor recreation.

  • 1971

    When the new school was completed in 1983, the Crown granted the Old School property (now the Auchterlonie Centre) to PIRAHA for ‘recreational purposes’. In the early ‘90s the Pender Island Library Association spearheaded the construction of Pender’s new library on this property.

  • 1971

    After the ‘Joint Use Agreement’ at the school expired in a 1996 CRD bylaw, PIRAHA continued as the agency for administering the CRD’s recreational funding.

  • 1971

    Today PIRAHA’s exciting mandate is to manage two properties with four buildings, used for community recreation purposes, to raise the money to run and equip the community hall, to create recreational programming and to book and organize events.

  • 1971

    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 which is a 2 room school in the building that was later to become the Nu to Yu. He retired in 1983.

  • 1970

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

  • 1970

    Florence and David Davidson take over the running of 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 Berts latter years.

  • 1970

    South Pender Island Post Office closes on July 7th.

  • 1960

    Portlock Point light station on Prevost Island, across the channel from Port Washington is automated and de-staffed.

  • 1960

    Establishment of Otter Bay and Port Browning Marinas begin

  • 1969

    BC Government imposes 10 acre 'freeze' on the Gulf Islands

  • 1969

    The Lynds sell Beautyrest Lodge after 27 years of operation. 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, and the operation of the Roesland farm resort is passed on to David and Florence Davidson. Irene, Berts wife, continued to live in the house that Bert built in the late 1920s. Irene 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, by the Davidsons. The Davidsons could not afford to purchase the land outright.

  • 1968

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

  • 1967

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

  • 1967

    Victor Menzies abandons the large house at Hope Bay and moves into a small house brought over from Vancouver

  • 1967

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

  • 1967

    Buck Lake is excavated to bedrock in a large natural depression and dammed to create a reservoir 40 feet in depth to augment the water supply from Pender Lake, now Magic Lake to supply the development called Gulf Garden Estates, now Magic Lake Estates

  • 1967

    Portland Island is gifted back to the Province of British Columbia by Princess Margaret who received it nine years earlier. It is then named Princess Margaret Island and park in her honour.

  • 1967

    Sidney Arthur Kent becomes Postmaster at Port Washington

  • 1966

    Ferry 'Cy Peck' is sold to J.H. Todd and Sons of Vancouver and used as a supply store for West Coast fishermen

  • 1965

    Front end loading Ferry terminal built at Otter Bay stimulating surge in growth. Clam Bay Farm was considered as a terminal site but was too far from Swartz Bay.

  • 1965

    Ferry Mayne Queen 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 Magic Lake, at prices ranging from $995. for non-waterfront lots up to $4550. for a preferred oceanfront lot. Total lots subdivided eventually reach 1,200.

  • 1964

    Ferry 'Cy Peck' falls into the hands of B.C. Ferries and put on the Tsawwassen-Gulf Islands route

  • 1964

    Ferry Queen of Nanaimo is built

  • 1963

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

  • 1962

    Victor Menzies pays Ashton Ross-Smith $50. for abandoned farm house and demolishes it for lumber for the Bible Camp (1966?)

  • 1962

    Phase one 190 lot sales in Gulf Garden Estates begins around Boat Nook.

  • 1962

    Ferry 'Cy Peck' is sold to the B.C. Toll Highways Authority from the Gulf Island Ferry Company to run between Swartz Bay and Fulford Harbour

  • 1962

    Present (ferry) fare is $2.00 per person and $5.00 per automobile from Tsawwassen. Swartz Bay fares are one-half' departing from and arriving at Hope Bay

  • 1961

    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 U.S. based company which sailed Puget Sound.

  • 1961

    A school paper entitled 'The Earlybird' is organized by one of the teachers, Garry Robinson. 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 connect it to the 'Old Government Road', the current access road to the Cemetery

  • 1961

    The book, A Gulf Islands Patchwork, is published by the B.C. Historical Association

  • 1961

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

  • 1960

    B.C. Toll Authority formed by BC Government to handle BC Ferry service. The name changed later to B.C. Ferries Corp., a Crown Corporation.

  • 1959

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

  • 1959

    Earl Hastings receives his pilots licence after 30 hours of flying time. In his 1948 Stinson high-winged 'tail dragger', he first landed on Pender on a rough strip in a field on the Webber property where the Community Hall now is. With the help of Ernie Shoals, the strip was improved, but after a near disastrous landing there, Earl bought the land south of Liberto Road from Nick Liberto the same year, 1959. The property had been a horse logging camp in the 1920s, with the barns located at the top (west) end. Earl cleared the trees required and graded an airstrip which made for much safer landings. Earls hanger used to home a 1941 open cockpit WACO (say Walk-oh) biplane owned by Bob George, former Hope Bay store proprietor turned cattle rancher. Built in the US as a trainer for fledgling pilots, Bobs plane 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. Once Bob and his plane landed upside down in Chehalis, Wash. A second near miss happened as the Georges were returning from a pleasant picnic on the beach at Flores Island, and, over Ladner, a 9 inch piece of the then 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 established more generally on North Pender Island

  • 1958

    Dismantling of Alexander Hamilton house, 'The Knolls', 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 would take over the mandate of providing passenger and car ferry service In B.C.

  • 1958

    Raffle of a patchwork quilt to raise money for publishing a book of memoirs of early residents entitled 'A Gulf Islands Patchwork'. 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 who sunk two test pits on the principal middens north and south of the bridge.

  • 1956

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

  • 1956

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

  • 1956

    The ship 'Cy Peck' is converted to carry motor cars

  • 1956

    Cecily Reynolds unearths cannon ball 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

    BC Government subsidizes ferry service

  • 1955

    S.P. (Percy) Corbett sells Hope Bay Store

  • 1955

    Completion of Canal Road and official opening of the bridge over the canal on June 1st by dynamic Minister of Highways Phil Gaglardi.

  • 1955

    Pender Island Bridge built by Pacific Pile Driving Company owned by Tom Blackwood

  • 1955

    The Saltery in Hayashi Cove in Otter Bay is destroyed by fire

  • Mid 1950s

    Lilias Spalding house on South Pender razed, located at what is now Lilias Spalding Park

  • Mid 1950s

    Flush toilets installed at the school on North Pender after the outhouse burned down. Gas heating added to the classroom.

  • 1954

    Elizabeth Grimmer dies at Port Washington at age 76

  • 1952

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

  • 1952

    W.A.C. Bennett, B.C.s longest serving Premier, wins minority government in Victoria

  • 1952

    Ferry 'Island Princess' is running between the mainland at Steveston and the Gulf Islands

  • 1951

    Lilias Spalding dies at 81

  • 1951

    Dr. Aldridge dies (see 1915).

  • 1951

    Port Browning Government wharf built (c 1951)

  • 1950

    Albert Hugh Menzies dies at age 93

  • 1950

    Gathering of Pender Island 'Old-Timers', May 15 on Salt Spring Island

  • 1950

    A total of 17 cabins are summer rentals at Roesland and farming is discontinued

  • 1948

    Late 1940’s 'Andover' subdivision of South Pender on 'Higgs Estate' by Craddock & Co., Exclusive Agents based in Vancouver.

  • 1949

    First Aboriginal elected to the B.C. Legislative Assembly

  • 1948

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

  • 1948

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

  • 1948

    B.C.s first sales tax enacted

  • 1948

    Enfranchisement of minorities

  • 1947

    Fish reduction plant re-opens at Shingle Bay

  • 1947

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

  • 1947

    Dave and Florence Davidson return to Roesland for a summer vacation

  • 1946

    Royal Canadian Legion Branch 239 (Pender Island) receives Dominion Command Charter. Hall is located on MacKinnon Road west of 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, Pender Island Golf Course has run continuously. From the beginning, member volunteers have played a major part in the upkeep and development of this wonderful golf course, of which they are justifiably proud.

  • 1945

    World War II ends

  • 1943

    R.S.W. Corbett (Hope Bay Store) dies

  • 1943

    Pilot Officer Grover Sargent crashes Hawker Hurricane near Clam Bay Road on the afternoon of February 4th while undertaking training aerobatics. A cairn was erected later in the year and was restored in 1997 by the Pender Island Branch of the Royal Canadian Legion.

  • 1942

    The Saltery in Hayashi Cove in Otter Bay is confiscated from the Japanese owners and operated during WWll as a cannery