Rita Levitz and Leah Willott are the authors of Images & Voices of Lighthouse Country, a pict/oral history of Deep Bay, Bowser, Qualicum Bay and Horne Lake.
"This is the first local history book of our community", they say in the Preface to this rich collection of stories and pictures.
One of their inspirations for the book was: "People were saying that Bowser was named after the famous bartending dog. We felt the need to set the record straight — the dog's name was Mike!"
So, they brought together their common interests of photography, community, and people's stories, and decided to tackle the daunting task of putting a history book together! "As we watched our community change, we wanted to honour and preserve the foundation upon which the community was built, before it was too late".
“One of the absolute pleasures of this project was getting to meet so many interesting and forthcoming people who were willing to share their time, photographs, and memories with us. It has been a collaborative effort. Each person’s recollection was like another slice of time, another piece of the puzzle. In many ways, this has been a combination scavenger and treasure hunt, and we have felt ourselves to be detectives, finding clues, unraveling mysteries.” they say. And they have dug deep to uncover the stories of interest and importance of this area. Including the story of Mike, the famous bartending dog!
We hope that you, the reader, will be able to hear the voices, and that the images and stories will trigger memories of your own, not necessarily of here, but of a time, and perhaps a youth, gone by.
Rita told me, she thought this poem in the book, summed up so much of the feeling behind the project …
The years slide by
We was too soon old and too late smart
Fold into one another
Time goes by so fast you don’t pay no attention to it
Lost within the details
There comes a time … and you live with the memories
Who will speak for us
When we are gone?
I will tell my story
I will speak of my forefathers and mothers
I will hold the daily, the usual, close to my heart
I will pass it on
Before it is gone.
In their Afterword ~ Modern Lighthouse Country, I think Rita and Leah have captured the magic of this part of the world …
“Modern Lighthouse Country is a mixture of landmarks and businesses that have survived the decades, and new businesses that are trying to find their niche and unique ways of serving the community. It is made up of people, oldtimers who remember how it used to be, and newer arrivals who may plan to stay a short time, but find their hearts taken by the beauty, friendliness, and relative safety of the area. …
Lighthouse Country is also made up of organizations that work tirelessly to make this community a place where people of all ages can find activities, recreation, common interests, and solid support in time of need. All of this has made, and continues to make, Lighthouse Country a special place in which to live.”
We couldn’t agree more. Thank you to Rita and Leah for their hard work and dedication to make sure the history of this area is there for all to read!
by sarah j. clark
conductor of comings and goings
Salish Sea Market, Bowser!