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British Columbia Airways Limited
This company was registered in BC
Unofficial Air Mail Stamp
They were allowed to use by Canada Post at the time
One of the shortest lived airlines in BC,
One of their airplanes crashed in fog and bad weather,
Aug 25, 1928, cart wheeling into 20 fathoms of water,
on a flight from Victoria to Seattle,
near Port Townsend, Puget Sound, WA.
One of the worst Canadian Air Disasters at that time.
5 passengers, and 2 crew died.
Left Victoria at 10am on a Saturday.
Normally a 1 hour flight.
I found a newspaper article that stated
they carried full Insurance on the plane,
and all accidents. So financial loss wasn't the demise.
BC Airways, of Victoria and Vancouver BC
started flying ca: July 6, 1928, in one record,
and July 23, 1928 from Victoria to Vancouver.
Office- 1501 Bekins Building,
became the "Sun Building", Vancouver,
Phone- Seymour 4684
Company started by:
Gordon Arthur Cameron, QC
b- Dec 9, 1896 in Calgary AB
(Dec 8, 1895 in 1901 census)
d- Apr 11, 1968 in Victoria BC, age 72
Buried in Royal Oak Burial Park, Falaise Dr, Victoria BC
He lived in Victoria at the time of forming the Company.
He flew with the Royal Flying Corps,
in WWI returning to Canada in 1918.
Enlisted Apr 11, 1916 in Victoria.
He lived at 2024 Belmont Ave at the time,
with his parents. Shown as a student when he enlisted.
Father- Arthur Leslie Cameron, next of kin.
b- May 6, 1857, in Springfield ON
d- Jan 22, 1940 in Victoria BC, age 83
He was a Grocer in the Town of Calgary in 1901
Businessman, Alderman, Mayor in Calgary.
Jan 7, 1903 elected chairman School Trustees
He became 10th Mayor of Calgary AB, 1898-1899
Did another term 1907-1909.
Moved west in 1878.
married in 1882 in Brandon MB
Moved in 1886 to Medicine Hat.
Moved in 1888 to Calgary
1911 he was still in Calgary.
Mother- Elizabeth Cameron, nee Parrish
b- Sept 4, 1858 in Brock, ON
(Sept 4, 1859 in 1901 census)
shown as English nationality
Sister- Jeanette "Jean" Cameron
b- Oct 3, 1888 in AB
Brother- Wilfred L. Cameron
b- Nov 2, 1886 in MB
Aug 3, 1903 Wilfred was a candidate for a teacher.
Wilfred passed his Civil Service exam in Nov 1903
Arthur had 4 children so I am missing one.
Gordon was a Director of
the Aerial League of Canada in 1919.
Aug 16, 1919,
He took part in the First Airmail flight
from Victoria to Nanaimo,
in the League's Curtiss Aircraft.
He was married June 3, 1924 at Oak Bay,
Beatrice Laura McClintock
b- ca 1903
d- Jan 9, 1981, in Victoria, age 78
son- Ronald Cameron
born ca early 1928
daughter- Shirley Cameron
son- Ian Gordon Cameron
lived at Brentwood Bay, MA student of Royal Roads
Buried in Royal Oak Burial Park, Falaise Dr, Victoria BC
1949 Gordon Arthur Cameron
ran for PC in Federal election,
in Victoria, placing 2nd.
In 1954 I think he was associated
with Whitehorse Flying Services
Principal Partners in the Company
besides Gordon Cameron,
Mr. James Ernest Eve, President (see below)
and Mr. Cecil Harold Eve, Director (see below)
both of Victoria
They operated a business known as Eve Brothers Ltd.
A Car Dealership in Victoria at the time.
There was at least one other Share holder,
known as an "outside man", not from Victoria.
My educated guess was King Charles
Laylander, (see below)
b- bet Oct-Dec 1887, Camberwell Reg Dist. London, England
d- Aug 24, 1957, in Gordon Head, BC, aged 69
buried in Royal Oak Burial Park, Falaise Dr, Victoria BC
Immigrated Apr 5, 1908 to New York from Liverpool on Lucania
Son of Robert and Victoria Eve,
Ernest married Mar 23, 1910,
Margaret Townley, in Victoria BC,
b- 1885 in Toronto ON
youngest daughter of the late Samuel Townley, of Toronto ON
and Mary Townley
Wedding took place at home of Bride's mother Mary Townley,
on Princess Ave, Victoria BC.
Bridesmaid was Bride's niece, Letty Davis,
daughter of Victoria Fire Chief Davis.
1911 there was a Benjamin A. Eve family in Victoria
who immigrated in 1908 from England.
Benjamin Eve was Lieutenant at Victoria Fire Department.
His son Alfred P. Eve, worked for the Fire Department as well.
b- bet July -Sept 1890, St Saviour Reg Dist.
London, Rotherhithe Parish, England
d- Apr 25, 1956 in Qualicum Beach, age 65
married June 30, 1914,
to Helen Clifford (Clinton?) Motheral, in Victoria
Their only daughter Helen Eve,
married Flt/Lt G. Maurice "Tap" Fawcett, Nov 1940,
the first wedding in the new RCAF Station at Pat Bay.
they had another child, name unknown.
He was son of Thomas Fawcett, Esquimalt.
Father- Robert Eve, 1901, in Rotherhithe Parish,
was a Stage Carriage Driver, age 53
R. H. B. Ker
Robert Henry Brackman Ker
b- Mar 26, 1895 in Victoria BC
d- Oct 20, 1976 in Victoria BC, age 80
Educated in Victoria and England.
Vice-President Associated Breweries in Calgary Apr 1934
President of the Brackman-Ker Milling Company
formed by his father, David Ker, and Harry Brackman.
Industrialist and Member of
the Security Commission's Advisory Committee
Vice-Chairman St. Michaels University School in Victoria,
Executive with Ker & Stephenson Ltd.,
Served overseas, WWI, enlisted Aug 18, 1915, Lieutenant
Aide-de-Camp Lieutenant Governor of BC,
President of the Victoria & Island Publicity Bureau,
President of the Victoria Chamber of Commerce.
1964 Director Molson's Western Breweries Ltd.
married Helen Maud Nation Nov 19, 1923 in Victoria,
b- 1892, Brandon MB
d- Nov 10, 1971 in Victoria BC, age 79
daughter of Frederick Nation and Abigail Geach Bawden
who married Aug 5, 1886 in Brandon MB
Robert and Helen Ker had 2 children
address- 1524 Shasta Place, Victoria BC
Father- David Russell Kerr
b- Oct 3, 1862 in Victoria BC
d- July 13, 1923 at his residence,
Kershaugh, Yates Street, Saanich, age 60
member of the Masons, Victoria Golf Club, Union and Pacific Clubs.
the son of Robert and Jessie Russell Ker.
David's father, Robert Ker, was Colonial Treasurer
and Auditor General for a number of years before Confederation,
having emigrated to British Columbia from Scotland in 1859.
Mother- David married Laura "Agnes" Heisterman in 1894
siblings of Robert
brother -Bernard Russell Ker.
d- June 4, 1981, in Victoria BC, age 83
sister- Laura Davida Kerr
sister- Inez Jessie Ker
C. L. H. Bronson
J. W. Spencer
found a Commodore Honourable J. W. Spencer,
associated with University of Victoria, same guy?
Found a John ?? Spencer living on Dunsmuir st 1911
Lumber Merchant, age 30, b- Feb 1876, England
immigrated 1909. Methodist
John's wife- Lillian L. Spencer
b- Oct 1887 in England, immigrated in 1886.
David Spencer had a Dry Goods Store in Victoria
and 3 of his sons ran his business in Victoria,
one was John William Spencer.
In 1948 the business was sold to T. Eaton Company.
The Flying School, and Sight Seeing Operations,
started Jan 1, 1928, at Landsdowne Air Field.
They used a small 2 seater,
Alexander Eaglerock biplane.
The Ford trimotor was to be used for charters
and sight seeing.
Instructor was Mr. A. H. Wilson
who became Regional Supt. of Airways, Vancouver.
Forming the Victoria Aero Club, first meeting was
held at Eve Brothers Ltd., Victoria.
President- Ernest Eve, Vice-President -Lieutenant Wilson,
Secretary J. W. Cox, Legal Advisor, Gordon Cameron.
They flew a D. H. Moth as their first plane
First pilot was Sydney Pickles A. F. R. Ae. S.
Vancouver Manager at time of accident
1917 he was Supt, Quesnel Hydraulic Gold Mining Co., Hydraulic BC
b- June 18, 1883 in Maryland USA
d- July 1964 in Los Angeles County, CA, USA.
buried Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Glendale CA
Hydraulic BC, a post office 7 miles from Quesnel Lake,
on the 150-Mile House and Quesnel Forks Road,
Cariboo Provincial Electoral District
(also known as Little Lake).
It had a Government Telegraph station.
QHGM head office Philadelphia PA.
1952 he was in LA, shown as
Retired Chief Engineer, for the US Army Engineers.
ca 1910 he was an Engineer down at Panama.
Jan 1926, he spent a few days at the Aberdeen Hotel, in New York,
after doing extensive research into Magneto-Metric surveys
in the placer ground of BC.
1939 in San Francisco
wife- Julia "Jewell" Agnes Riley,
b- 1894, age 20 when she married.
married May 2, 1914, Santa Clara, CA, USA
(he was shown age 27, b- 1887?)
son- King Elmer Laylander,
b- June 28, 1915
d- Jan 14, 1955
buried in Los Angeles National Cemetery
King Elmer married Barbara M. Stone, May 20, 1943
King Elmer was age 28 when he married..
son- Philip A. Lylander
b- Aug 1, 1916 in Quesnel BC
son- Unknown name
Then I found a King Charles Laylander,
shown married to
Martha Barbara Kulai
b- Dec 7, 1904 in Ladysmith BC
d- Dec 3, 1950, in Victoria, age 45
daughter of Thomas Kulai and Martha Rajakovic
Then I found he was married to
a Dorothy Afleck Street-Atherley
in San Francisco.
b- 1897, Sonora, Tuolumne County CA, USA
d- 1978 in Glendale, LA County, USA
daughter of Charles Edward Street Sr. (1852-1926)
and Maude Afleck.
she was married to James Edward Atherley first.
They flew in their inaugural flight from
at the then new Municipal airport
adjoining Lansdowne Race Track on Lulu Island.
They used a big 14 passenger monoplane.
Ford 4-AT-B TriMotor Plane, they ordered from Detroit in early 1927.
It was the largest land based Commercial airliner at the time.
G-CATX, Ford s/n 4-AT-26, arrived in Victoria July 18, 1928
Pilot, Harold "Hal" Walker, Engineer, Ted H. Cressy
One record says the plane was delivered July 20.
1600 mile trip, from Detroit, with stops along the way,
put the aircraft at Seattle on Sunday, July 22, 1928.
On July 23rd they continued on to Victoria,
and then Vancouver to complete the maiden trip.
The plane was an all metal plane.
It had a 5 ply padded green color leather interior.
only 2 of these planes were in operation in 1928.
One in Ontario with Skyview Airlines
the other was this plane with BC Airways Ltd.
It would have taken 1 year to order a replacement plane.
It cost them $65,000, and they were offered considerably more
when they landed in Victoria.
With duty and other expenses it cost close to
$100,000.00 1928 dollars!
The company was preparing to put another plane
into service soon after this one.
It had 3 220 hp Wright-whirlwind motors
Wing span 74 ft, 49ft long.
Interior was 12 wicker chairs,
some of which were found floating in the water
in an oil slick.
no seat belts were in the plane.
The plane actually had a built in toilet,
not found in any plane before this.
Theory of the crash was it started to enter the Bay
got into heavy fog, banked sharply to turn back to Victoria,
when a wing tip hit the water and cart wheeled the plane.
Their main purpose was tourist viewing
flying over the local area.
The plane was to be ready July 15, 1928 in Detroit,
and 2 Company directors, with a Pilot and Mechanic,
went to fly it back.
They were booking sightseeing trips
for Saturday and Sundays.
tickets for $5.00 per passenger.
Vancouver, Victoria, Seattle run.
Began scheduled flights Aug 16, 1928
inaugural flight from Seattle to Victoria
on 22 July 1928
Pilot Alex T. Stewart, aviator during WWI
Advertising Manager for the Daily Colonist at one time.
Frederick Maurice McGregor
was supposedly a pilot with this airline
Ted Cressy (1900-1994) was an Engineer, Mechanic in
He is in the BC Aviation Hall of Fame, link below.
Jan 1929 they opened their new airdrome
on Shelbourne St. in Victoria BC
Grand opening they pushed 2 airplanes out of the hangar.
I also decided to research the fatalities of the crash
Alexander McCallum Scott,
b- June 16, 1874,
d- Aug 25, 1928, Port Townsend, Jefferson, WA age 45
son of John and Rebecca Scott,
and his wife, Mrs. Jessie Walker Hutchison Scott,
d- Aug 25, 1928, Port Townsend, Jefferson, WA, age 45
daughter of John C. Hutchison, and Margaret Walker McCall
both of London England,
were 2 of 7 that died in the accident.
Their estate sued the airline.
Mr. Scott was a Barrister of the Middle Temple,
Alexander McCallum Scott received his MA
from the University of Glasgow, Scotland, in 1897.
He became private secretary to Lord Pentland,
Secretary of State for Scotland, in 1909.
From 1910-1922 he was the Liberal
Member of Parliament for Bridgeton, Glasgow.
He was appointed Parliamentary Private Secretary to
Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill, 1874-1965,
Minister of Munitions, 1917-1919,
and again to Winston Churchill, Secretary of State for War, 1919.
He became the Coalition Liberal Whip for Scotland in 1922,
before leaving the Liberal party to join the Labour Party in 1924 .
He published two biographies of Winston Churchill,
the first Winston Spencer Churchill, a Biography in 1905,
and the second Winston Churchill in Peace and War in 1916.
He also published several works about travelling in Scandinavia
and Northern Europe, Beyond the Baltic was one.
Thomas E. Lake,
From San Francisco when he died
Far Eastern Manager,
of the Union Oil Company of California, in Kobe Japan.
He was returning from the Orient at time of the accident.
University of Rochester Alumni, 1915
was a correspondent in Rochester.
Ensign US Navy, 1917
Made 5 trips across the Atlantic on transports.
He was on the destroyer Lamberton
after signing the Armistice.
Dr. Donald Booth Holden, BA, MD, CM
b- Oct 13, 1867, Belleville ON
d- Aug 25, 1928, age 62, cremated
I know his estate sued the airline as well.
Physician for 38 years in Victoria. (37 in one record)
He graduated from McGill University, BA 1889.
He later graduated with MD and CM, 1891,
at Edinburgh University in one record,
and McGill in another.
Started practice in Victoria in 1891.
He did brief services in golden BC as well.
Son of a Montreal Shoe Manufacturer.
Partner in Ames, Holden and Company of Montreal.
later called Ames, Holden, and McCready Co.
They were the largest shoe manufacturer in Montreal,
at the time of Confederation.
Father- James Clement Holden
b- Mar 12, 1833 in ON
1881, age 48, Merchant living in Montreal
May 28, 1868, Paymaster for 15th Batt,
the Argyle Light Infantry, at Belleville,
a Colonial Militia.
James went to Cuba in 1911, with Rufus below.
He was on the Board of Trustees for
Mutual Insurance Company of New York.
Mother Emily Clark.
b- 1838 in ON
d- Apr 18, 1899 in Cairo Egypt
2- Stained Glass Windows in a Montreal Church
made by Tiffany, dedicated to Emily.
Sister- Ella Elizabeth Holden
(b- Sept 1, 1869- d- 1959)
Brother- Rufus Clement Holden, age 18, in 1911
Brother- Arthur Ramsay Holden
b- May 8, 1871, in Belleville ON
Brother- Fred C. Holden, age 17, in 1881
Sister- Sarah Holden, age 18 in 1881
Brother- Donald Holden, age 13, in 1881
Donald Holden was Secretary of the Victoria Medical
Member of the Canadian Medical Association,
and BC medical Assoc.
Member of the Union Club and a Mason.
His body was found in Port Angeles Harbour.
Member of Union Club, Yacht Club,
Colwood Golf and Country Club.
His home was called Beresford in Victoria.
Member of Victoria BC,
and Canadian Medical Association.
He married Maude Louise McLaren
Sept 21, 1922 in Victoria BC
b- 1868 Sault Aux Cochons, Quebec
daughter of William McLaren and
Marie Louise Biladeau.
She was divorced at the time
Dr. Floyd D. Soverel,
b- May 1879 in New Jersey, USA
d- Aug 25, 1928, Port Townsend, Jefferson, WA, age 48
Lived in East Orange, New Jersey
purchased his ticket at the last minute in Vancouver,
before the flight to Victoria, then on to Seattle.
son of Wallace M. Soverel and Josephine D. Soverel
He left a relative Elmer V. Soverel at the hotel.
Pilot- Harold (Hal) Walker,
Seattle Air Mail Pilot was at the controls,
trained in US Army Corps.
Co-Pilot- Robert Louis Carson
of Victoria BC.
He was a Flight Instructor with the Air Force.
age 20, pilot with BC Airways from it's inception.
Eldest son of T. M Carson, a restauranteur of Victoria,
Robert Louis came to Victoria 4 years prior,
with his father and brother from Belfast Ireland.
He attended 2 years at Victoria High School.
He passed tests for his flying license
the day before the flight.
He took the Eaglerock plane to Vancouver
and back to Victoria as part of his test.
Plus one Fox Terrier was on board.
Body of Mrs. Scott and Dr. Soverel
washed ashore in Discovery Bay.
Verdict came in as accident due to weather,
by the Board of Inquiry of Dept of National Defence.
They recommended all planes,
be seaplanes or amphibians on this route.
Ford Tri-Motor, manufactured by,
Stout Metal Airplane Company,
a division of the Ford Motor company.
three 220 hp (177 kW) Wright J-5 Whirlwind radial piston engines,
accommodation for two pilots and 12 passengers; 39 built.
wing span, 77 feet, length 49 ft, 13ft high.
Can't find a record of outcome of law suits,
but something happened to cause the airline
to go out of business, right after the accident.
These were rich and Influential Passengers,
Bad News for the Owners.
note- NOT my sites
Links may or may not work in the future
Ted Cressy, BC Aviation, Hall of Fame.
Pictures of the Fort Trimotor Landing 1928
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and you want them removed from this site,
please contact me ASAP.
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