B.C. Ferries is still providing ferry service between Tsawwassen and Victoria, 60 years later. (File - Black Press Media)

Presenting B.C. from A to Z

More than two-dozen bits of B.C. trivia for your B.C. Day weekend

A. The Second World War brought many changes to Vancouver Island, including the establishment of an army training camp on the south Island, and an air raid protection unit.


B. The Supreme Court of Canada overrules a ban on margarine that existed from 1886 to 1948. Margarine went on sale in Vancouver on December 20, 1948.


C. Emily Carr was born in Victoria and considered in the front ranks of Canadian painters. In addition to her artwork, Carr wrote several books and won the Governor General’s Literary Award.


D. During the Great Depression, one in five people in B.C. were on government assistance, and many were barely surviving in government work camps. The monthly food rate was $30 for a family of five.


E. One of the biggest non-nuclear explosions in history takes out Ripple Rock in Seymour Narrows near Campbell River, in 1958. Described as a hazard to navigation, the rock was obliterated by 1.25 million kilograms of explosives. In 1945 some politicians discussed using an atomic bomb to clear the rock.


F. In 1956 the Black Ball Ferry Co. made its first run to Bowen Island. In 1958, Premier W.A.C. Bennett announced B.C. would launch its own ferry fleet in response to labour disputes. Two years later, the government-owned ferry fleet begins servicing Victoria and Tsawwassen.


G. The Caribou Gold Rush, in 1858, poured 20,000 miners into B.C. from San Francisco. In 1862 Billy Barker struck gold on the banks of Williams Creek. Within a year, Barkerville grows to 10,000 people, making it the largest city in Western Canada.


H. In 1915, the Vancouver Millionaires hockey team defeats the Ottawa Senators for the Stanley Cup. The last non-NHL team to win the Stanley Cup was the Victoria Cougars, who beat the Montreal Canadiens, three games to one March 30, 1925.


I. There are approximately 6,500 islands along the 7,022 B.C. coastline. The largest include Vancouver Island, Graham Island, Moresby, and Princess Royal.


J. Rita Johnson becomes the first female premier of B.C. after the resignation of Bill Vander Zalm in 1991.


K. Kim Campbell, a B.C. politician, is sworn in as the first female prime minister of Canada after Brian Mulroney stepped down in June 1993.


L. In Vancouver, in 1971, 2,000 hippies hold a smoke-in at Maple Leaf Square in favour of legalizing marijuana. After passing around a three-metre-long joint, the riot police rolled in and arrested 80 people in the Gas Town riot.


M. Billy Miner, the gentleman bandit, robs a train near Kamloops and is captured by the Northwest Mounted Police in 1906. Two years later, he escapes from prison and continues bank robbing in the U.S. until jailed in a Georgia prison.


N. In 1852, the Hudson’s Bay Company brought miners to Vancouver Island to work the coal seams in now downtown Nanaimo. The town was incorporated in 1874.


O. Legend has it that the Ogopogo inhabits Okanagan Lake, near Kelowna. Sightings occur regularly, and the provincial government declared it a protected species, but the existence of the serpent-like creature has never been proven.


P. Prohibition became law on October 1, 1917. In December 1919, B.C. prohibition commissioner and administrator W.C. Findlay was nabbed in Blaine, Wash., for illegally importing carloads of whiskey. In 1920 B.C. voters threw out prohibition in a referendum, and booze is sold in government liquor stores the following year.


Q. Juan Francisco de la Bodega y Quadra was a Spanish explorer who assisted the Malaspina expedition and other voyages searching for the Northwest Passage. In 1792 he met with Capt. George Vancouver in Friendly Cove to settle the terms of the Nootka Convention, where Spain agreed to cede to England its establishment there. Quadra Island in the Johnstone Strait is named for him


R. On March 21, 1985, Rick Hansen leaves Vancouver for the Man in Motion world tour to raise money for spinal cord research. Hansen wheeled 40,000 kilometres through 34 countries in 26 months, raising 14 million.


S. Sooke elected its first mayor and council on November 20, 1999, after voting to incorporate as a municipality earlier that year.


T. Terry Fox begins his Marathon of Hope April 12, 1980, in St. John’s Nfld., intending to run across Canada to raise money for cancer research. At Thunderbay, Ont., just 143 days into his run, Fox is forced to quit as cancer that took his leg reappears in his lungs. He died on June 28, 1981, at 22 years of age. His run raised more than $25 million and created a legacy of annual Terry Fox runs worldwide.


U. Labour leader Ginger Goodwin was shot to death near Cumberland in 1918. Unionists believe provincial police hired a hitman, but Dan Campbell swore in court that Goodwin was armed and that he fired to save his own life.


V. Victoria Day is celebrated for the first time in 1902.


W. Women win the right to vote and hold office on April 4, 1917, in B.C. Federally, women could not vote until January 1, 1919.


X. Xwe Nal Mewx is a variation of Snuneymuxw. The Nanaimo First Nation is a Coast Salish people who speak the Hul’ qumi’num language.


Y. The western yew tree is the only yew species native to B.C. It’s frequently used as an ornamental plant and is the only yew to grow to tree height.


Z. Zinc is a bluish-white metal used to galvanize steel. It was first produced at the Cominco smelter in Trail, using ore from the Sullivan mine in Kimberly.

READ MORE: Test your B.C. Day knowledge, Vancouver Island style

READ MORE: Multiple sailing waits expected on ferries on B.C. Day long weekend

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statutory holiday


Hockey is a favourite pastime in B.C., as residents cheer for the NHL’s Vancouver Canucks. (AP photo)

For more than 120 years, the Victora Day Parade has entertained residents of the Capital Region. The parade wasn’t held this year due to the COVID-19 virus. (File - Black Press Media)

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