Historic markers unveiled at Twin Beaches and Page’s Marina

Sounder News

Wednesday, September 19 2018

The Gabriola Museum recently unveiled two markers in a series that are being mounted around Gabriola to highlight the island’s historic sites as part of the commemoration of Canada’s sesquicentennial.

The first was mounted on September 5 at Gabriola Sands Provincial Park, known locally as Twin Beaches, and to Snuneymuxw in Hul’qumi’num as Xwcumi:lucun (pronounced wh-tsu-mii-let-sen).

For Snuneymuxw, the site was a fishing camp from early spring to late August where Snuneymuxw people caught spring and coho salmon.

The marker erected by the Gabriola Museum tells the story on how Gabriola Island came by it’s current name.

(L-R) Ivan Bulic and Janet Stobbs of the Gabriola Museum with Monica Valdes Garcia, BC Parks Area Supervisor, in front of the marker unveiled at Twin Beaches. Derek Kilbourn photo

In 1792, the Spanish schooners Sutil and Mexicana, under the command of Dionisio Galiano and Cayetano Valdes, dropped anchor in Pilot Bay and rowed ashore near Twin Beaches, where they were met by Snuneymuxw people.

As well as being the first Europeans to land on Gabriola, Spaniards charted the island’s coastlines naming the easternmost point of the island Punta de Gaviola after a Spanish naval official. 

British mapmakers later mistakenly transcribed the name as Gabriola and applied it to the entire island. 

On hand for the unveiling were Gabriola Museum representatives and BC Parks Area Supervisor Monica Valdes Garcia.

 

 













The second marker was unveiled on September 12 at Page’s Marina, celebrating the 75-year history of Page’s.

Page’s Marina first welcomed visiting sailors to Gabriola in 1943, having begun as a Japanese fish camp in the 1930s, later transformed into Page’s Resort and Marina by Galiano Islanders Jack and Les Page. At the time it was one of the first Gulf Islands destinations for visiting sailors and campers.

In 1987, Vancouverites Ted and Phyllis Reeve bought Page’s and adapted the original store into an “arts centre” that hosted concerts, poetry readings, and art exhibits. Today Page’s is operated by Phyllis and Ted’s daughter, Gloria, and her partner Ken Hatfield. Phyllis Reeve unveiled the marker along with Gabriola Museum president Joan Merrifield. 

The historic panels at Twin Beaches and Page’s Marina were produced with the support of the Province of British Columbia and Canada 150. They are the latest in a series of markers that are being mounted around Gabriola to highlight the island’s historic sites as part of the commemoration of Canada’s sesquicentennial.

(L-R) Ivan Bulic, Joan Merrifield, Alison Douglas, and Janet Stobbs with Page’s owner Gloria Hatfield and previous owner Phyllis Reeve in front of the marker unveiled at Page’s Marina and Bookstore. Derek Kilbourn photo