Sixty Joyless De-Britished Uncrowned Commonpoor Years (1949-2009)

Elizabeth II Vice-Regal Saint: Remembering Paul Comtois (1895–1966), Lt.-Governor of Québec
Britannic Inheritance: Britain's proud legacy. What legacy will America leave?
English Debate: Daniel Hannan revels in making mince meat of Gordon Brown
Crazy Canucks: British MP banned from Canada on national security grounds
Happy St. Patrick's: Will Ireland ever return to the Commonwealth?
Voyage Through the Commonwealth: World cruise around the faded bits of pink.
No Queen for the Green: The Green Party of Canada votes to dispense with monarchy.
"Sir Edward Kennedy": The Queen has awarded the senator an honorary Knighthood.
President Obama: Hates Britain, but is keen to meet the Queen?
The Princess Royal: Princess Anne "outstanding" in Australia.
H.M.S. Victory: In 1744, 1000 sailors went down with a cargo of gold.
Queen's Commonwealth: Britain is letting the Commonwealth die.
Justice Kirby: His support for monarchy almost lost him appointment to High Court
Royal Military Academy: Sandhurst abolishes the Apostles' Creed.
Air Marshal Alec Maisner, R.I.P. Half Polish, half German and 100% British.
Cherie Blair: Not a vain, self regarding, shallow thinking viper after all.
Harry Potter: Celebrated rich kid thinks the Royals should not be celebrated
The Royal Jelly: A new king has been coronated, and his subjects are in a merry mood
Victoria Cross: Australian TROOPER MARK DONALDSON awarded the VC
Godless Buses: Royal Navy veteran, Ron Heather, refuses to drive his bus
Labour's Class War: To expunge those with the slightest pretensions to gentility
100 Top English Novels of All Time: The Essential Fictional Library
BIG BEN: Celebrating 150 Years of the Clock Tower

Tuesday, 5 August 2008

British Columbia turns 150

I will raise a glass to beautiful B.C., but will not toast our joining her.

nbclt8THE CROWN COLONIES OF BRITISH COLUMBIA and Vancouver Island were inaugurated in 1858 and 1849 respectively. Sadly both were united in 1866 before joining Canadian Confederation as a single province in 1871. This is most regrettable for us Islanders, for had we waited one more year when Canada confederated in 1867, there would have been the prospect of Vancouver Island joining Canada as a distinct and separate province.


John Innes' painting of the inauguration of the Crown Colony of British Columbia. The event took place in the Big House at Fort Langley on November 19, 1858, when Sir Matthew Baillie Begbie, the newly appointed Chief Justice, swore in James Douglas as the first Governor of the Crown Colony of British Columbia.

For one, we would not today be wedded to the multicultural politics of greater Vancouver, which fully amounts to half of the province's four million plus inhabitants. And for the local priorities of two million Vancouverites, which are obviously different from those of 'Vancouver's Island', to have New Westminster (an urban scape close to their downtown core) as a capital city instead of Victoria, the benefits of separation would have been mutual. Much better to have left Victoria, the current capital and Queen city of B.C., free to govern the 750,000 people of Vancouver Island only, without the polarizing distractions of mainland politics.

Certainly Islanders are culturally distinct from mainland B.C. in a multitude of respects. We are older for one and more loyalist for another. We had our own governors, our own flag and our own seal. Victoria appears outwardly and confidentally imperial and old British, and is not shy about flying the Union Flag. Vancouver Island was discovered by Captain James Cook on his third voyage around the world, and is named after another British Royal Navy captain, George Vancouver. With a retired admiral on practically every street corner, we have a cozy nautical city and maritime culture that is home to Her Majesty's Canadian Navy on the westcoast. With better weather and better beaches to boot...

Besides, smaller is better. I wish British Columbia well, but I would like to see nothing less than its amicable divorce from our Island home.

Previous: The Crown in British Columbia


Tweedsmuir said...

Beaverbrook, you separatist!

Lord Strathcona's Horse said...

The B.C. flag, however, is heraldically superior to the colonial flag of Vancouver Island. Back in the 1980s there was a lot of talk of building a massive bridge and tunnel from Vancouver to the Island. Funny how they never talk about that anymore. Islanders would be crazy to agree to such a thing today.

Juan Tolentino said...

As someone who lives on mainland BC, I must herefore put forward my (gentlemanly) objection. Having visited grand old Victoria several times, I truly wonder (in a charitable sort of way) whether Beaverbrook reflection doesn't just, um, reflect the effects of larger scale. Large cities have larger numbers of disagreeable folk, after all, and Victoria is no different.

Still, I found much to admire in that old city. I took a gander at Christ Church Cathedral and ah, what grandeur.

(That is the name, right?)

Beaverbrook said...

I can't remember, it's been eons since I lived there. And I confide to being in the minority on breaking up the province into two pieces, but BC is a very polarizing province politically, and I think it would be in our interest to have more local government.

I'm also for busting up Ontario into smaller chunks. Toronto would go its own way, and so would the Ottawa capital region. Northwest Ontario would be better off joining Manitoba. The remains of Ontario would call Kingston their capital.

Huge megaloposis' like Toronto and Vancouver need to look after their own unique concerns and stop telling the rest of us how to live our lives. It would be better for all in the long run.

Splendor Sine Occasu said...

I agree that Fantasy...I mean Vancouver Island and British Columbia are quite different. However, there are far too many hippies, socialists and other assorted leftists there for my liking. I do enjoy visiting the Old City, but I fear if I were to live there, the left wing politics of the Island would drive me insane.

When Vancouver Island had its' own flag, the Colony of British Columbia had its' own Blue Ensign, the badge consisting of the Royal Crest and "B" and "C" on either side of it. Our current armourial banner was not adopted until 1960.

But maybe just Greater Vancouver should be pushed out to sea? It's the politics of that cesspool that tends to infect the rest of the Province.

But enough of this divisive blather for such a joyous occasion! Happy 150th, British Columbia!

David Byers said...

Beaverbrook (real name Michael with his slut and "family") is a fuck-wit)

Anonymous said...

For anyone who has the slightest knowledge of History B.C. and its 150 year of a 'Claim' to a territory a "so called Birthday" with a horrific history of stealing and slaughter. Territory 'conquered' by the lowest means possible. The Egyptians, Greek and Romans had more pride when conquering territory. The Hudson's Bay Company left an inhumane legacy that cannot be ignored. How can anyone with a conscious be proud of 150 years of dominion over a territory which already was trading with the world for millennia quite successfully untill the HBC arrived. There is nothing to be proud of but rather much to be ashamed of.