A Journey to the West Coast

Harold Monks’ diary of his first day at sea in April 1914 on board the “Empress of Ireland”, sailing from Liverpool to Halifax

Come back in time to the 1910s when English settlers like my Grandpa Harold Monks and his Vargas Island neighbour Mrs Helen Malon travelled from Liverpool all the way to the West Coast of Canada. I’ve had fun re-constructing this journey through a variety of primary sources: Harold’s mementos, Mrs Malon’s diaries, The Daily Colonist newspaper, historic directories, and menus and schedules in the Chung Collection at UBC Library. Here’s the link to this story, “A Journey to the West Coast”. Enjoy a trip back in time on a coastal steamship from Port Alberni to Tofino — and hope you are not seasick!

hm transportation steamships tees unloads
The Tees — notorious for being unstable and causing seasick — arrives at port. Photo by Harold Monks around 1915-1917.