My very first conscious memory in life occurred in 1943 when I was 2 1/2 years old. To this day it still has a dreamlike quality about it. We lived in a float house (1940 - 47) along the tracks between Inverness Cannery and Port Edward. One night I was dreaming that the net loft was burning down when suddenly my mother woke me up. She got me dressed up and we started walking up the tracks towards the cannery. In the distance we could see a fiery glow in the sky. We arrived at the cannery to witness the net loft being consumed in flames. I’ve never forgotten that moment.




The rebuilt net loft. This picture was taken in 1964.

The photograph of Inverness Cannery is a Vick Family picture. My mother coloured our copy with oil paints (often done years ago).


Howard Melo worked at Western Marine Supply (owned by Tony and Karl Vick - my uncles) before opening Northern Marine Supply in Prince Rupert.


I’m assuming that’s how the photograph ended up on his company’s calendar in 1978.

In 1991 the photograph graced the back cover of Gladys Young Blythe’s excellent and exhaustive history of B.C.’s North Coast canneries, "Salmon Canneries: British Columbia North Coast" I met Gladys at her Prince Rupert book signing. She very graciously gave me a free signed copy.


Buy the book from local Prince Rupert store Eddie's News here: or on Amazon.ca here

(It's a dollar less from Eddie's!)


My mother and father in 1940 on the bow of the Anna S.


The Anna S. Courtesy of Ross Holkestad

The seine boat was owned by my father’s uncle, Elias (Eli) Skog. Elias was the brother of Ole Skog whose wife’s name was Fanny.


Reg Wesley who was married to Angie, who through marriage had been related to Fanny and Ole Skog.

In 2007, 67 years after the first photograph was taken, my wife Joan and I moved into Crown Pointe in Courtenay, B.C. When I heard the name Wesley I went up to Reg and asked if there was a possible connection between the two of us. That evening at the welcoming party he introduced me to the residents as his cousin. Now, how cool is that? Also when we came returned to Prince Rupert I worked with a lovely lady, Inga Brunton and discovered that she was the daughter of Ed Snidel who had worked at Cassiar Cannery.


Looking backing over many similar such occurrences in my life, (and possibly yours) I’m beginning to feel that there is some sort of mystical energy around us. When it senses that there are two kindred spirits from Prince Rupert and surrounding coastal communities in close proximity to one another it draws the two of them closer together.

PEOPLE, THERE IS A FORCE ABROAD IN THE LAND!!!

Well there could be, .couldn’t there ... .maybe?

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