Tag Archives: Whaletown Post Office

The Cortes Island ‘Room for Rider’ Initiative

 Friends of Cortes Island (FOCI) is launching a new transportation initiative

“We’re really excited to be launching this new ‘Room for Rider’ initiative. It’s a mirror tag that people can hang in their rear view mirror to let people know that they’re willing to give people a ride across Quadra,” explained Helen Hall, Executive Director of FOCI.  

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‘Wayfinding’ at the Cortes Island Museum

Wayfinding: Stories of Maps & Place’ opens at the Cortes Island Museum, between 1 and 4 PM on Sunday, March 26.

“I think wayfinding really touches on so many aspects of our current life.  We have a really fabulous series of maps and artifacts. It’s an opportunity to share that with the public for the first time on many counts. I think everybody, on some level, has a personal story to do with wayfinding. This is a celebration, and a reminder that we all have stories to tell of place and an evolving relationship to the landscape,”explained Melanie Boyle, Managing Director/Curator of the museum.

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Ramona Boyle: Quadra ICAN’s new Coordinator

Quadra ICAN recently hired Ramona Boyle as the Coordinator to oversee their operations. This was advertised as a part time position, which is expected to take approximately 40 hours a month. Cortes Currents asked the Heriot Bay resident about her new role.

“After I was interviewed for the job, I was told that the reason that I got it is because of my intense practicality.  I’m a problem solver and I get things done,” she explained. “When I first started working with ICAN about two years ago, some of the people came to my property here and they looked around at what I had built. I have goats, chickens, ducks, rabbits, a huge garden and water collection system. All kinds of systems that didn’t exist before. The property was in quite rundown condition when we bought it. I don’t have a lot of money and I don’t have certain skills, but if I needed it, I learned it. So we had to build a barn. I learned how to build a barn and put a roof on it, learned how to do a water collection system and learned how to repair a flooded roof. I’m pretty practical.”

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When fishing was an industry in Whaletown

A great many fisherfolk once worked out of Whaletown. The Cortes Island Museum’s list goes back to the 1930s, at which point there were 7 men and a woman. Three of them used rowboats. 

“There used to be a huge fleet rafted out, both six and seven abreast all along  both sides of the dock, in Whaletown.  In the last 10 years or so, there’s only been three or four boats in there, fishing. The main one  that I know of in the last little while is the ‘C-Fin,’ but he goes outside of the Vancouver Island area and fishes tuna. When he comes back he doesn’t sell it to a fisheries, he sells it from the dock, and the same with his prawns.  So he’s not using a middle man to sell his products, which I suppose is one of the few ways you could make a little bit of money now,“ said Lynne Jordan, former President of the Cortes Island Museum, in the latest instalment of her history of Whaletown.

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How telephones came to Cortes Island 

According to Lynne Jordan,  former president of the Cortes Island Museum, there have been telephones on Cortes Island for more than 110 years. They arrived in 1910, along with telegraphs, but only in the stores.

“Telegrams were really cheap. They were so much for 10 words and so much for 100 words.  People got really good at confining their messages to 10 words. Telegraphs that came in for people were just put in an envelope and then pinned on the bulletin board at the store.  Then they either had to check themselves or a friend would tell them that there was a message there for them,” she said.

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