Harold Monks – Lancashire Accountant to Tofino Fisherman


In 1914, my grandpa Harold Monks left industrial Lancashire for new adventures as a rancher on Vargas Island near Tofino. He later served overseas as signaller with the Canadian Expeditionary Forces. From the 1920s-1950s, Harold was well-respected Tofino resident. He was a lifeboat crew member, commercial fisherman and marine gas station operator. Harold saved all of his documents, diaries and photographs. For several years, I have been organizing Harold’s materials, researching and writing about various aspects of his life.

My research has been cited in Tofino and Clayoquot Sound: A History by Margaret Horsfield and Ian Kennedy. Selections from Harold’s fishing diaries were featured in Western Mariner (January 2016). Monks family information was used by Tofino Clayoquot Heritage Museum in tours of the Monks family property. Harold’s WWI materials have been shared with the Canadian Letters and Images project and were also featured in a spring 2019 Tofino Clayoquot Heritage Museum focus on WWI and Clayoquot Sound.

Click here to see Harold’s photo albums:

Tofino and Clayoquot Sound 1914 – 1934

Fishing for the Clayoquot Sound Cannery 1920s