History must be respected

People like Port Alberni's Jack James—who has a rich knowledge of the way things were done half a century ago—are becoming scarce.

When the new spar tree at McLean Mill National Historic Site was finally raised on Sunday, it was nothing new for supervisor Jack James. James is an oldtime logger who has worked his way up, down and around the forestry business for 50 years. Now as a volunteer he runs the steam donkey demonstration at McLean Mill.

James has raised “too many of these things in my  lifetime. I was a high rigger at one time and all I did was raise trees,” he says.

While the method of raising the new tree was filed solidly in James’ memory, the same could not be said for most of the other volunteers, who had never done this before. James patiently schooled them in the traditional method of raising wooden spar trees, which were replaced in the 1960s by steel spars. The whole process on Sunday was captured on video as well as in still photos, so we don’t lose this amazing hands-on wisdom.

People like James—who has a rich knowledge of the way things were done half a century ago—are becoming scarce. While there are better and more modern methods to log now (helicopter logging has replaced the need for wooden or steel spars), it is important to remember our roots.

There are still people around who lived through the age of steam, the electric motor and other critical developments of the past century. The last 100 years can arguably be identified as the most important in terms of mankind’s development (for better or worse); who is going to teach our children about these accomplishments if we don’t celebrate them?

Just Posted

Learn about solar panels with Alberni Valley Transition Towns

Monthly meeting will feature a talk from a solar panel expert

Little Qualicum Cheeseworks cheese linked to 5 E. coli cases in B.C.

People are asked to throw out or return ‘Qualicum Spice’ cheese

Jim’s Clothes Closet celebrates 50th anniversary

Store began in Port Alberni, expanded on Vancouver Island and beyond

BC Ferries passengers wait to leave Vancouver Island after Remembrance Day

Traffic aboard BC Ferries slows after Remembrance Day long weekend

BCHL: Alberni Valley Bulldogs victorious at home

Goaltender John Hawthorne earns second shutout

VIDEO: Amazon to split second HQ between New York, Virginia

Official decision expected later Tuesday to end competition between North American cities to win bid and its promise of 50,000 jobs

Vancouver Island remembers

Important stories shared as Islanders salute those who made the greatest sacrifice

Disabled boy has ‘forgiven’ bullies who walked on him in stream, mom says

A Cape Breton teen who has cerebral palsy was told to lie in a stream as other kids walked over him

Letters shed light on state of mind of B.C. mom accused of daughter’s murder

Trial of South Surrey mother Lisa Batstone begins in BC Supreme Court

Vancouver man must pay $22,000 after breaking strata rules

Peter Gordon took his fight over his rented condo to the civil resolution tribunal, but lost

Search and rescue piggybacks plucky injured senior out of Vancouver Island woods

Rescue crews don’t have same success with dog swept away by Comox Valley river

Canada Post no longer guarantees delivery times amid more rotating strikes

The Canadian Union of Postal Workers closed two major processing centres in Ontario and B.C.

B.C. city councillor resigns as AutismBC director amid SOGI controversy

AutismBC president Gary Robins says Laurie Guerra’s resignation is effective Nov. 12

McGill students vote overwhelmingly to change Redmen team nickname

Student union held a referendum after a campaign by Indigenous students

Most Read