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1974

GULF ISLANDS DRIFTWOOD | WEDNESDAY, MARCH 24, 2010 | C19

1974 | 50 YEARS OF COMMUNITY TOP STORIES The eight-year-old Bowen Queen was brought into service on the Fulford-Swartz Bay run in January to replace the smaller Salt Spring Queen, which moved to the Vesuvius-Crofton route. The Meals on Wheels service was initiated on Salt Spring on Jan. 16. Community plans for South Pender and Galiano islands had been passed by the province. Salt Spring Island’s plan came into law in March, meaning the 10-acre subdivision freeze would be lifted after four years. Two Salt Spring families lost their homes from fire early in 1974: Mr. and Mrs. W.D. Anderson of Walker Hook Road, and Mr. and Mrs. Roger Donnelly on Reynolds Road. In October, Norma Lisa Allan died in a fire at her home.

The HMS Ganges chapter of the IODE still holds its annual fashion show, as it did in 1974.

Salt Spring Island Centennial Library would be given a new name following a motion passed at the Feb. 11 AGM. Mary Hawkins Memorial Library would honour the woman who was the prime mover in the library’s establishment in part of Mouat’s store in 1959.

The Islands Trust is born Land use, development control and planning issues had made news headlines on the Gulf Islands from about the mid-1960s on. Realizing growth could get out of control if something was not done, in 1969 the Social Credit government of W.A.C. Bennett brought in the “10-acre freeze” — ensuring no lots of under 10 acres in size could be created through new subdivisions. But governments knew that wasn’t a longterm solution.

Marc Holmes Following the recommendations of an all-party committee investigating the future development of the islands, set up by the NDP in February of 1973, the NDP government announced its plans to create the Islands Trust in late April of 1974. “Municipal Affairs Minister James Lorimer has introduced the islands trust as a superintendent standing over the islands, exerting new controls on construction and subdivision and not unlike an auxiliary regional district essentially concerned with planning and over-riding most other legislation exerting any control on development,” stated the Driftwood’s

first assessment. An initial public meeting in Ganges “endorsed the summary of the act and unanimously opposed the new legislation,” wrote the Driftwood on May 9. As more details were released and the Islands Trust Act (BiIl 112) was introduced on May 21, skepticism seemed to increase. Under the headline “Noisy meeting hears of Islands Trust” on the front of the May 30 paper, we read that more than 200 people at a May 24 meeting with Lorimer “booed and howled as [Lorimer] tried to explain the purpose of the Act.” Regional directors George Heinekey (Salt Spring) and Jim Campbell (Outer Islands) were also not thrilled with the perceived shift in power that could occur. “[MLA Hugh] Curtis has tried to soft-soap this bill,” Heinekey said, “but I think it’s a travesty.” Outer Islands director Jim Campbell was also opposed. However, once it was in place, both men expressed a desire to cooperate with the Trust. The structure saw three “general trustees” appointed from among the 13 Trust islands; and two trustees elected from each island. First general trustees were Hillary Brown from Hornby Island, the chair; Marc Holmes from Salt Spring; and Dave Brousson from North Vancouver. Further changes brought in by the Social Credit government, when Saanich-Islands MLA Hugh Curtis was Municipal Affairs Minister in 1977 and 1978, saw the elimination of the three appointed trustees, and transferring of planning, zoning and subdivision approval functions from the regional districts to the Trust.

The 51-foot fishing vessel ‘Respond’ loaded with 30 tons of herring sank in 80 feet of water at Whaler’s Bay off Galiano on March 1. The International Joint Commission was considering a proposal to create a Point Roberts-Gulf Islands Park, primarily to solve Port Roberts’ lackof-water problem. A Driftwood ballot poll found 794 islanders against and only two in favour. The Activity Centre in Salt Spring Elementary School officially opened on April 5, under joint administration of the school district and the CRD. Saturna’s Lions Club became the world’s 27,000th Lions club when it received its charter on April 27. John MacDonald was first president of the Saturna club. A man who served as Fulford’s rural postman for 52 years — from 1919 to 1971 — was leaving the island at the age of 80. Frank Pyatt had delivered the mail on his renowned horse Major during the early years, recounted Driftwood writer Lillian Horsdal in a May 23 article. Ruckle Park was declared a provincial park. The Beaver Point Bean Supper served a record 380 dinners on June 1. The meal was followed by music from the Sod Busters. Road crews were taking a meal break from repair work on Beaver Point Road near Stowell Lake when a landslide wiped out the road. Permits for 121 new homes were issued in the Gulf Islands for the first half of 1974, 63 on Salt Spring and 58 on the other islands. Fred Bennett of Mayne Island retired after 45 years with the Department of Highways. He had been born on Mayne in 1910.

These were headlines of the times when the Islands Trust was first announced in 1974. Things have calmed down since then and islanders have often rallied around the “preserve and protect” mandate.

B.C. Ferries announced plans to give the Village Bay ferry terminal a facelift, including widening of the approach road and provision of space for 85 cars in the holding area.

OUR UNIQUE LOCAL GOVERNMENT - with a mandate to preserve island communities, culture and environment The Islands Trust is a federation of local governments which plans land use and regulates development in British Columbia’s Gulf Islands. It is Canada’s only local government with a conservation mandate.

Visit our website at: www.islandstrust.bc.ca

On June 4, 1974, the Islands Trust Act was created to preserve and protect the Trust area and its unique amenities and environment for the benefit of the residents of the Trust area and of the Province generally.


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