“O WHAT A LIFE”

Con­tin­u­a­tion of ex­cerpts from the di­ary of John Bar­clay MAYON on his 1939 visit to his 80 year old mother for the first time since they em­i­grated from Liver­pool UK in 1910, he to Syd­ney and his mother to Van­cou­ver BC.

Hills to Hawkesbury Living Magazine - - Memories With Ivor Jones & Friends - By John Bar­clay MAYON on his 1939 visit to his 80 year old mother for the first time since they em­i­grated from Liver­pool UK in 1910, he to Syd­ney and his mother to Van­cou­ver BC.

Fri­day, June 30

Vic­to­ria BC pas­sen­gers mak­ing prepa­ra­tion for land­ing tonight. 10am Land now sighted Cape Flat­tery is now seen on the USA main­land. 11.30am now en­ter­ing the Straits of Juan de Fuca, Wash­ing­ton coast to the main­land. Van­cou­ver Is­land on the port side. Beau­ti­ful sight sail­ing along the coast and a beau­ti­ful sunny evening. Many bays are be­ing passed, houses are eas­ily dis­cern­able. Moun­tain sides are lined with Dou­glas Firs. Ar­rived Vic­to­ria BC 6pm. Met on ar­rival by a nephew and niece – our first meet­ing. Went to their home, had tea and took a walk see­ing as much as pos­si­ble in the short time to hand. Saw land­ing place of King and Queen to Vic­to­ria, Fed­eral House of the Parliament of BC, the Vic­to­ria Ho­tel, the Em­press in its won­der­ful set­ting, the green trees be­ing won­der­ful. Cedars, Dou­glas Firs, Maples, Hem­locks, English Hol­lies and Hawthorns. Back to ship, sailed for Van­cou­ver 11pm. Be­fore leav­ing, talked over the phone to my peo­ple and heard by mother’s and brother’s voices once again af­ter close to 30 years.

Satur­day, July 1 – Do­min­ion Day

Up early to see Van­cou­ver from the Nar­rows. Ar­rived 7am. Won­der­ful wel­come, met by my peo­ple, what a re­union. Home to break­fast and did we talk. I’ll say. First im­pres­sions of Van­cou­ver very nice. The set­ting is won­der­ful, the moun­tains as back­ground and ev­er­green trees surely make a fine pic­ture. Vis­ited golf links in evening, did not play, just a caddy. Plus fours not un­packed. Home to tea. At night, drove through City, went through the fa­mous Van­cou­ver Ho­tel – cost 13 mil­lion pounds, most gor­geous. The in­te­rior is mar­velously fin­ished and fur­nished. To de­scribe it aptly one should say a Palace. Had first glass of beer on Cana­dian soil in this ho­tel. Very dif­fer­ent to home cus­toms. Home again. Bed 12pm af­ter a marked day in my life­time.

Sun­day, 2 July

Spent morn­ing qui­etly. In evening went for won­der­ful drive around the moun­tain sides. Stood by chalet were King and Queen viewed Van­cou­ver – al­most on moun­tain top. Although sum­mer, the moun­tain tops are still snow-capped – a glo­ri­ous sight. The scenic drives are beau­ti­ful.

Tues­day, 4 July

Later in the day went over to New West­min­ster – much older town than Van­cou­ver, sit­u­ated on Frazer River. Great lum­ber in­dus­try, sal­mon can­ner­ies and mixed farm­ing. En­joyed pleas­ant trip around out­ly­ing parts. Vis­ited the grave of my sis­ter in a beau­ti­fully sit­u­ated ceme­tery “Ocean view”. Sad thoughts, but pleas­ant mem­o­ries. The out­lay is beau­ti­ful, head­stones – just a mar­ble slab risen a cou­ple of inches above the ground, the whole place just re­sem­bling a beau­ti­ful park and any­one pass­ing by would not know any­thing dif­fer­ent. The burial sys­tem is very rev­er­ent and sci­en­tific and quite a method. My trav­els through Van­cou­ver and im­pres­sions will be given in a gen­eral way. As in any new coun­try, one can spend many weeks vis­it­ing all the beauty spots. The Frazer River runs many miles in­land and most of the in­dus­trial un­der­tak­ings are lined along its fronts on both the North and South sides. Huge lum­ber mills are to be seen, also pa­per man­u­fac­tur­ing plants and many can­ner­ies. Went through one sal­mon can­nery out in New West­min­ster and saw the whole op­er­a­tion from the ships’ holds to the tin – a very fine spec­ta­cle and highly scented. Booms of large logs can be seen all along the banks of river- surely a great in­dus­try.

I had to plea­sure of spend­ing 35 min­utes in the air, fly­ing over Van­cou­ver, the moun­tains and sur­round­ing dis­tricts. The view was mag­nif­i­cent and I feel in­deed for­tu­nate to be one who has seen this fine coun­try from land, wa­ter and air.

The moun­tain­ous back­ground of Van­cou­ver gives it many scenic drives and one can take th­ese drives many times and en­joy them more and more. The street­car sys­tem is run un­der a flat rate – one can travel any dis­tance and trans­fer tickets are used. 12 miles for 7 cents is pos­si­ble. The in­ter-ur­ban trains run in con­junc­tion with street cars – but travel much quicker along their own tracks through out­ly­ing dis­tricts. The rail­way sta­tions are built low to the ground and the trains are com­posed mainly of large Pul­man type cars. Th­ese rail sys­tems are of enor­mous length, run­ning across Canada and the USA. 14 Pul­man car­riages and Ob­ser­va­tion car are not un­usual. The res­i­den­tial areas, av­enues, streets, etc are mi­nus fences, the av­enue ef­fect with or­na­men­tal trees and open gar­dens are very pleas­ing. Stan­ley Park, mostly in its nat­u­ral state, and oc­cu­pies a large area and its tim­bers are very fine. Van­cou­ver has many bridges of a very fine na­ture, mak­ing the City eas­ily ac­ces­si­ble from all out­ly­ing points. It con­tains many fine build­ings. The Ma­rine Build­ing and City Hall are very prom­i­nent. The city gar­dens are lovely – its beau­ti­ful cli­mate ac­counts for most of this. From June 30 to Au­gust 5 was spent in the City and sur­round­ing dis­tricts vis­it­ing many old friends and meet­ing new re­la­tions. Af­ter 30 years of sep­a­ra­tion, one sees many changes. Bri­tish Colom­bia will al­ways be, to me, a mem­ory of a beau­ti­ful coun­try.

To be con­tin­ued.

Don’t for­get to con­trib­ute your mem­o­ries and also any old pho­to­graphs that you would like to see pub­lished in this magazine’s “AS WE WERE” sec­tion.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.