Monday, April 6, 2015

The Visiting Dufferins

Gastown was not happy with the CPR deciding that Burrard Inlet would be the western terminus because in agreements and to everyone, the Burrard Inlet meant Port Moody across the water. Gastown was notable for not getting politically involved, for not saying anything and literally sawing wood.

In September of 1869, Governor Musgrave was deeply impressed by the commercial activity he saw in this part of the colony. When Lord and Lady Dufferin visited Gastown on September 14, 1876, the governor-general made a similar observation. He also commented on "the floating wooden dangers which carpet the sea" in the Inlet.

This was a great day for Gastown. The vice-regal party arrived in the morning on HMS Amethyst and were greeted by a crowd of 200 on Hastings Mill wharf and a 21-shotgun salute to which the Amethyst dipped her flag. Captain Raymur, supported by the government agent Ike Johns, presented the address of welcome. A huge log was sawed in the mill as the party watched. Lady Dufferin scandalized Captain Raymur when she insisted on visiting a small Indian rancherie just east of the mill. There she patted the heads of grubby children and talked to an aged Indian woman.

After lunch on the Amethyst, the party transferred to the SS Governor Douglas, brought from New Westminster for the occasion. Between Gastown and Hastings, the ship landed and the party watched two loggers fell a giant tree - six feet in diameter in the butt and 200 feet tall. The officials were thoroughly impressed especially when they saw the loggers leaping from their high springboards as the tree began to fall. Lady Dufferin remarked they were brave men and the governor-general shook their hands.

The party re-embarked for Hastings and the steamer departed with such swiftness Captain Raymur boarded her with an agile leap.

Maxie Michaud extended the welcome to the crowd at the stage terminal. Just before the visitors departed for the Royal City, Lord Dufferin said it had been a memorable day.

"For Burrard Inlet," loyally insisted Captain Raymur.

Thanks to the book, Vancouver, From Milltown to Metropolis by Alan Morley for the above information.

I hope you find the beauty around you.

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