Further to our announcement of the first annual Families of Early New Westminster: Herring Memorial Symposium, we are very happy to present the preliminary list of confirmed speakers. Our distinguished line up includes:
A long-time resident of New Westminster, BC, Jim Wolf is well known in the province’s heritage community as a heritage planner and a historian. He has been committed to preserving New Westminster’s heritage for the past 20 years: at the New Westminster Museum and Archives; as president of the Heritage Preservation Society and former member of the city’s Community Heritage Commission; and as a founding director of the New Westminster Heritage Foundation. Jim is currently the heritage planner for the City of Burnaby and an active heritage consultant. He lives with his wife and son in New Westminster’s Queen’s Park neighbourhood, where they are restoring the 1907 Herbert and Ellen Harrison house.
Jim will start off our session with an illustrated talk on New Westminster as seen through the eyes of early photographers. Old photographs have a magical quality and the early images of the Royal City will transport us back to another time and place. They are also critical historical documents that provide us with local historical information and personalities not always accessible in other surviving records. Jim will trace the beginnings of the city as documented by local photographers such as Frederick G. Claudet. He will also demonstrate how photographs can contribute to historical biography by presenting a new collection of photographs shared by the family of B.C. pioneer Colonel J.T. Scott.
A mild-mannered comic book vendor by day, Brent Stratichuk champions the cause of local history in his spare time. This interest became magnified in 2004 when he and his wife, Nancy, moved from their hometown of Burnaby to the historic New Westminster neighbourhood known as Sapperton, site of the original camp for the Sappers & Miners of the Columbia Detachment of the Royal Engineers (not to mention the former home of the B.C. Penitentiary).
It was during this period of living on what amounts to Colonial B.C.’s “ground zero” that Brent first heard the sketchy details of a tragic murder/suicide which took place in the R.E. camp on October 28th, 1859. From that moment on, his general interest in local history suddenly found a specific purpose – to properly identify the family involved in this early tragedy and to discover what became of those left behind. Though some questions involving this compelling story remain unanswered, Brent is firmly committed to continuing the search and is honoured that the descendants of this deeply-rooted New Westminster family have invited him to share the results of his research thus far.
Tim Watkins has Bachelor of Arts from the University of Victoria and has practiced law for twenty-five years, mainly in Maple Ridge. Considered an expert on the British Columbia Detachment of the Royal Engineers, Tim speaks regularly on the ever day life of the men of the unit. He draws on his experience as a long time member of the Royal Engineers Living History Group. Tim’s historical personae, Sgt. James Lindsay, has attended in living history events at Fort Langley, Fort Rodd Hill, Barkerville, San Juan Island and Halifax.
Tim will speak about the role of the Royal Engineers in the foundation of New Westminster and the domestic life of the soldiers who lived there.
Maija has a Masters degree in History from Simon Fraser University and currently works writing and producing television documentaries for National Geographic, Discovery Channel, History Television and Oasis. With a passion for social history she is on a quest to place personal and family stories into the context of the larger historical narrative, drawing from both genealogical sources and oral history.
Maija will speak on the factual underpinnings of the fictional works of New Westminster author Frances Elizabeth Herring as they relate to the Herring family history in British Columbia and England.
Ian Herring and Jane Koberstein
Ian and Jane are the great grandchildren of Arthur May and Frances Elizabeth Herring. They are sponsoring this event in memory of their parents Phil and Marion Herring, who were passionate in their pursuit of family connections, writing letters and even travelling to England and Corfu, Greece, but for whom New Westminster was central to the narrative.
We confirm additional speakers from the New Westminster City Archives and Royal British Columbia Archives in the next few weeks.
If you are interested in presenting your research on the early families of New West, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
We welcome members of the public! To attend Families of Early New Westminster Herring Memorial Symposium and hear these great speakers on November 1, please register via Eventbrite.