Jeanne Clarke History Award by Paul Strickland

Jeanne Clarke History Award by Paul Strickland

The 33rd annual Jeanne Clarke Local History Awards reception was held Sunday night in the Keith Gordon Room of the Bob Harkins Branch of the Prince George Public Library. Jeanne Clark was a local library board member who initiated the formation of the award.


About 80 people attended the reception that began with a prayer to the Creator Spirit; the prayer was led by Lheidli Tenneh Elder, Clifford Quaw.


The Regional District of Fraser-Fort George won the Service Award for its initiative in instituting the Golden Raven Discovery Pass in 2016.


The Discovery Pass, free to everyone, allows holders to visit Barkerville Historic Town, Exploration Place, Ft St James National Historic Site, Valemount Museum, Valley Museum & Archives, Whistle Stop Gallery, Central BC Railway Museum, Two Rivers Gallery, Hubble Historic Site and Mackenzie & District Museum.


Jeff Elder, FFGRD cultural co-ordinator, received the award on behalf of the regional district board.

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The Jeanne Clarke 2018 Publication Award was presented to two winners: Jay Sherwood, for his book Ootsa Lake Odyssey, a Caitlin Press publication that covers a story of a couple who lived about 60 kilometres south of Burns Lake on a small farm from 1920 to 1952. Sherwood was unable to attend the reception.


The other winner was the Prince George Retired Teachers' Association, for their compilation of School District No. 57 Historical Memories. The writing included the work of 33 researchers who documented the histories of 130 elementary schools and 8 secondary ones that have closed in the last 100 years. The award was accepted by Tiiu Noukas, co-chair of the Heritage Committee of the PGRTS


After the Service Award was presented, there was a review of all ten books nominated.


The nominees were Trelle Morrow, local architect and historian, for Silent Passage: Life with Reaction Ferries, a historical account of the 75 reaction ferry sites that operated in BC over the last hundred years.


Jonathan Peyton was nominated for Unbuilt Environments--Tracing Postwar Development in Northwest British Columbia. This book deals with the social, environmental and economic impacts of unrealized and/or unfinished projects in that region.


Janet Romain was nominated for a memoir, Not My Fate: The Story of a Nisga'a Survivor. Published by Caitlin Press, this is a story of “the tragic aftermath of Canada’s residential schools and the effects of colonization.”


The fifth volume nominated was Mr. Seebach and the New Store, written by the Huble Homestead Giscome Portage Heritage Society and illustrated by June Swanky Parker. This is a children’s book that features the types of products people were buying in 1914 when the store was new.


Kathy Nadalin was nominated for People of Prince George: The Foundation of Our Community. Nadalin is the author of the Seniors’ Scene column, a weekly publication in the Prince George Citizen.


Carol Harrison was nominated for her book, Miller Bay Indian Hospital, a tuberculosis hospital outside Prince Rupert. From the middle of the twentieth century the hospital treated mostly indigenous people inflicted with the disease. Sharon Thesen, in Prince George for a poetry reading last fall read poems from her collection, The Receiver, about the system of tuberculosis hospitals for Natives in B.C.


Barbara Robin was recognized for her book, I Should Have Married a Cowboy, "about her life and her love of this land," said library trustee Al Idiens. It is a self-published memoir about life in rural British Columbia.


Sunshine and Rhubarb Wine: The Life and Legacy of Bea Dezell, by Diane Hildebrand, Bea Dezell, and the Dezell and Rustad families. The book tells of a local character who died at the age of 105 and attributes some of her long life to the production and consumption of Rhubarb Wine.

Author's Bio

Paul, in his 28 years as a full-time journalist and 6.5 years as a free lance journalist, Paul has worked for newspapers in Nevada, Medicine Hat and Prince George. Besides being an investigative reporter, he is a poet, a short story writer and an essayist. He presently resides in Prince George and haunts all the literary scenes that appear in town.