1858 engraving of Victoria

Colonial History Vancouver Island

Maureen Duffus - Author and Historian


Reviews - Beyond the Blue Bridge

Beyond the Blue Bridge
Condensed from BCBookworld, Winter 1990

For well over a century the oft-maligned naval hub of Esquimalt has remained mostly out of the spotlight of provincial affairs ... . the Esquimalt Silver Threads group ... has put their lively but little-known community into proper perspective with a detailed local history, Beyond the Blue Bridge. Besides chronicling Esquimalt's affairs from 1790, Beyond the Blue Bridge contains "living memories" of long-time residents plus portraits of memorable inhabitants including pub owner Emile "Dutchy" Reid, Finnish-born sealing captain Victor Jacobsen, Soue Kee ("Number One Laundryman"), Yarrows shipyard manager Edward Izard and "no-nonsense" school nurse Ethel Morrison.

To get to Esquimalt from Victoria, as most southern Vancouver Islanders can tell you, you cross the Johnson Street bridge spanning the upper reaches of Victoria Harbour. In recent years this bridge has been painted an eye-catching baby-blue. Hence the book's descriptive title, which also pokes fun at neighbouring Victoria.

"If Oak Bay can be Beyond the Tweed Curtain," explains co-author Maureen Duffus, a former newspaper woman, "then Esquimalt can be Beyond the Blue Bridge."

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