What a glorious time and place for a long weekend. We hope you enjoyed it.
In case you weren’t sure, the Monday you likely enjoyed away from work is called B.C. Day.
Beautiful British Columbia, The Greatest Place on Earth — chose a slogan you like, they are all appropriate. And yes, visitors from other provinces and the U.S., we understand why you say B.C. stands for Bring Cash. What can we say other than it costs a lot of money to move goods and services to and through this mountainous, seaside paradise.
In honour of the day we just enjoyed, here are some fun facts about this great province (with some local flair added), gathered from various websites, including Wikipedia, Vancitybuzz and our sister paper, The Nanaimo Daily News:
• Canada’s first prime minister, John A. Macdonald, officially opened the train station in downtown Nanaimo in 1886. We’re almost certain he would be disappointed to hear the pub there now is closing in a couple of weeks.
• B.C. occupies about 10 per cent of Canada’s land surface. And, it seems, 90 per cent of the country’s wacky politicians. Mind you, that’s slowed a bit in the last 10 years. Oh, how journalists long for the days of the Zalm or W.A.C.
• The S.S. Minnow of Gilligan’s Island fame (kids, ask your parents) is owned by the men who own Quality Foods and live in Qualicum Beach. Men of a certain age would remember the question tossed about in relation to that show: who would you like to date, Ginger or Mary Anne?
• The longest running movie theatre in Canada is Powell River’s Patricia Theatre, which has been operating since 1913. There is no truth to the rumour that RDN board chair Joe Stanhope operated the projector in that first year.
• Actress Pamela Anderson of Baywatch fame was reportedly discovered by some Hollywood type when she appeared on the big screen as a fan at a B.C. Lions football game at B.C. Place. Anderson was born just down the road from here in Ladysmith on July 1, 1967. She was apparently the first child born on that day in this country and was therefore called Canada’s Centennial Baby.
• Alcohol was prohibited in B.C. from 1917 to 1921. The current government has managed to change a host of laws related to liquor sales and distribution in recent months. However, when compared to most other jurisdictions on this continent and in the world, these recent changes have only managed to drag B.C. into the 1970s.
— Editorial by John Harding