From Chronicles Past

Skin colour discussed in 1911 paper

August 1911

A letter from a resident of Somenos was received requesting support for their proposal to change the Naturalization Act so that “citizens of a foreign country would not have the right to purchase or obtain title to any land in British Columbia unless they voluntarily became British subjects.” Other requirements would include reasonable proficiency in the English language and a certificate of good character from a Minister of the Gospel.

In an earlier edition of the Chronicle, a new theory to explain the differences in human skin colour was advanced by a learned German professor, Dr. A. Bergfield, who believed that the differences were largely due to diet. Bergfield stated that the original man must have been black, as his principal diet would have been vegetarian. “Fruits and vegetables” he pointed out, “contain manganates [sic] that ally themselves with iron, producing a dark brown combination.” Indians, on the other hand, were red because they had absorbed for generations hemoglobin, the red substance in the blood of animals killed for food. In like manner, Mongols are yellow, having descended from dark fruit eating races that entered Asia, became shepherds and lived to a large extent on milk, which contained chlorine and had a bleaching effect.

“Finally, we have the Caucasians, who became still whiter by adding salt to their diet. Common salt is a strong chloride and a powerful bleaching agent to the skin.”

August 1936

The paper reported that there were 282 men on relief during July in the Ladysmith area. This has been relatively unchanged since early in the year.

Mayor Walkem received a postcard from his wife who was travelling in Eastern Canada. The card was postmarked “Ladysmith, Quebec.” This apparently completes the chain of post cards from all the ‘Ladysmiths’ in the world.

Britannia Mining & Smelting Company acquired 75 per cent of the stock in the Tyee Consolidated Mining Company and started proceedings to re-open three mines in the Mt. Sicker area. The intention was to dewater the old Tyee workings and conduct a thorough underground examination of the three mines in the area: the Tyee, the Lenora and the Richard III.

Work began in August to demolish the old washery and coal bunkers in Ladysmith harbour. After 30 years of existence, this remnant of the town’s booming coal industry quickly vanished. The writer in the Chronicle wisely prophesied that “When the last trace of wood and iron has disappeared, the traces of the washery works will remain for centuries in the barren reach of fine slack and refuse known as the ‘Slack Beach.’ ”

August 1961

After weeks of extremely dry weather, the B.C. Forest Service clamped a total forest closure on the Island from Sayward to Victoria.

The government halted operations on August 10 after 35 days without measurable precipitation. (Note: The drought continued until August 30 when Ladysmith finally received  5 mm  of rain.)

Commissioner P.R. Battie warned the community that although water levels in Stocking Lake were holding up, the old dam at the headwaters of Holland Creek was “dangerously low and there was no water coming into it.” A total ban on all outside watering was being considered.

The B.C. Ferry System encouraged everyone to “follow the birds” to Victoria. The cost? $5.00 per car and $2.00 per passenger (children 5-11 $1.00) Crossing time: 100 minutes. [Crossing time today: 95 minutes]

— Compiled by Ed Nicholson, Ladysmith Historical Society

Just Posted

Ladysmith youth competes at BC Junior Development Track and Field Championship

Nolan Smith is the only Ladysmith member of his track and field club

Tribal Journeys welcomed by Stz’uminus at Shell Beach

Paddlers came from various nations, including the Heiltsuk, Namgis, Hesquiaht, and Alberta Cree

Brits on the Beach raises $2,251 for LRCA food bank

Brits on the Beach also brought in 75 pounds of non-perishable food items

Town adds public access lifering to improve water safety at Transfer Beach

The lifering is easy to use and includes instructions on the protective housing case for emergencies

Chemainus Harvest House still demands attention in summer

Food bank supplies dwindle with diminished donations

Food fight: Liberals, Tories trade shots as pre-campaign battles intensify

Health Canada released an overhauled document that did away with traditional food groups and portion sizes

Okanagan Air Cadet challenges gender-exclusive haircut policy

Haircut regulation inspires challenge around gender identity

B.C. Ferries crew member’s medical emergency causes cancellations on Nanaimo route

One sailing from West Vancouver and one sailing from Nanaimo cancelled Monday

VIDEO: Bystander training gains traction as tool to prevent sexual harassment, violence

Julia Gartley was sexually assaulted after an event, and no one stepped in to help

Two brands of ice cream sandwiches recalled due to presence of metal

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency issued a recall on Iceberg and Originale Augustin brands

Sexual assaults, extortion on the rise even as crime rates stay low: Stats Canada

Rates of police-reported sexual assault rose for the fourth year in a row

Vancouver Island teens missing after vehicle found ablaze near Dease Lake, BC

RCMP say a body discovered nearby not one of the missing teens

Most Read