The 1960s & 70s – A Time Of Transition

This is the second in a series of broadcasts in which Andy Ellingsen describes the changes he has seen on Cortes Island. In this episode he talks about the 1960s & 70’s. 

“The 70s was a transition time. There were quite a few of the old timers that didn’t make it until then. My grandfather’s generation was dying out. John Manson was still living here is the 50s. He was gone by the 70s and so were a lot of the other people …” 

A Wave of Younger People

“There was a wave of younger people that came into our community in the 1970s, that were around the same age we were. John Sprungman and his family came in around that time and is still here … Steve and Gail Ringwood … With the ferries there was a surge of interest from people without too many resources coming to get back to the land. They didn’t bring a lot of economic opportunity, but they brought lots of entertainment value with them. Very good singers and musicians … ”

In the Podcast

  • How Andy courted Sue
  • Teaching Math at BCIT
  • Beginnings of beach oyster harvesting in the 30’s & selling oysters in France during the 70s.
  • Why Cortes Island Days many visitors; pit roasts
  • Friday Night films at Mansons Hall
  • Why Andy & Sue left Cortes in 1977.

When The Hydro Came In

“There was a bit of a flurry of activity when the hydro came in, certainly was for my dad (Elmer Ellingsen). He put a number of driveways in for people’s homes. He also did the development work for the subdivision that’s currently over here on Millstead Road, near the Whaletown Lagoon.There are lots of people living there now, but there wasn’t at that time. They were just developing the land, putting a water system, fire system and roadways. Dad and Robbie Graham worked together on that one. I worked there too.” 

Work Bees

“This community maintained the community halls through lots of work bees, they don’t seem to do much of that anymore. … They also put together the community health centre, that was built with a lot of volunteer labour and volunteer machine time … the Fire Hall. This community has a good record of getting things like that to happen by just saying ‘okay, lets figure out how we’re going to do this’ and getting it done.” 

Links of Interest

This broadcast originally aired on June 3, 2019 and was rebroadcast on Tue Jul 19, 2022.

Top photo credit: The ferry dock in Whaletown – Roy L Hales photo

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