Black Pioneers in the 1860’s and Sir James Douglas
African-Canadian Military History
Bart Armstrong, Military Research Specialist. He served in 3 regiments of the Canadian Armed Forces Reserves; after 17 years service, he retired as a Master Warrant Officer. He has also worked in police and security fields for over a decade and also for 25 years worked in various freelance capacities in journalism.
Growing up in a military family as well as his own service fostered his deep interest in Canadian war heroes. His research work is well known in military and historical circles continent-wide.
Read our story We honour and remember
African-Canadian History with author Janie Cooper-Wilson
Janie Cooper-Wilson, artist, author speaker; has been featured in made-for-television documentaries such as Bloodlines, Famous Last Words, and Raise the Spirit; written two full-length historical publications; is a regular contributor to the Northern Terminus African-Canadian Journal.
About Janie: born in Ontario; traces her Canadian ancestry back seven generations to the Black Loyalists. She is extremely proud of her Aboriginal, Malagasy, and Angolan lineage and fully embraces her collective ancestral heritage
A Tribute to Fathers
On Sunday, June 17th, 2012, at the age of 89, Jerry Bryant performed for our BCBHAS members, families and guests at an afternoon concert to celebrate Father’s Day.
Jerry first came to Canada in 1960, moving with his family from Denver, Colorado to Alberta. They then moved to Victoria in 1967. Jerry worked in Victoria at Esquimalt High School, where he taught English and formed the Esquimalt High Jazz Band which took many years of preparation and practice. Jerry had the opportunity to travel to many places with his students, including Ottawa, Los Angeles, Washington and many more destinations.” Bryant taught for 12 years at Esquimalt High and other schools before retiring in 1979.
Image Credit: Jerry Bryant celebrates his 90th birthday, April 1, 2013 with family and many friends at Hermann’s Jazz Club, Victoria BC. Photo courtesy of Beth Cruise
Tribute to Mahalia Jackson and Son of Africville
This concert at the Metro Theatre featured singer Gergana Velinova, accompanied by Pablo Cardenas performing “A Tribute to Mahalia Jackson”, followed by playwriter/actor Justin Carter performing his one-man show “Son of Africville”, an autobiographical story of his reunion with his mother in Africville, Nova Scotia.
February 10, 2012
“Fergie” Jenkins and Carrie Best commemorative stamp launch
BC Black History Awareness Society in partnership with Canada Post, hosted this commemorative stamp launch for Ferguson Jenkins and Carrie Best.
Ferguson Jenkins is a Canadian baseball star. Though he spent most of his career in the US, he was inducted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame, Order of Canada member and youth advocate.
At the event, Ferguson Jenkins was introduced by Canada Post officials and Doug Hudlin, a founding member of our Society, inducted into the Victoria Sports Hall of Fame in 1998, Umpires Association Hall of Fame in 2011 and posthumously to the Canadian Baseball Sports Hall of Fame in 2017.
Carrie Best, born, raised and worked in Nova Scotia is distinguished as Order of Canada recipient, Doctor of Laws in English (LLD), human rights activist, author, journalist. publisher and broadcaster, founder of “The Clarion”, the first black-owned newspaper published in Nova Scotia.
Grave marker for Corinthea (nee Pierre) Alexander and daughter Eva
In 1858 both the Pierre and Alexander families arrived on Vancouver Island. Corinthia Pierre and Thomas Alexander were married on February 2, 1887. Between 1888 and 1907 they had seven children.
Corinthia passed away on March 1, 1939, their daughter Eva died when she was just 1 year,1month old in November 1891.
Obituary Colonist March 2, 1939 “Aged Resident Was Born Here Mrs. Corinthia Elizabeth Alexander, 112 Balmoral Road, widow of Thomas Alexander passed away at the Jubilee Hospital yesterday morning. Third daughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. Thomas W. Pierre, a pioneer family of the city. Mrs. Alexander was seventy years of age and her marriage to Mr. Thomas Alexander took place on February 2, 1887, just a little more than fifty-two years ago. They had a large family of whom six children survive. Mrs. Weltha Kirkbridge, Clifton F. Alexander, Mrs. Mildred Hudlin, Norman Alexander, Chester Alexander, and Barton Alexander. She is survived also by one brother, S.D. Pierre, Tacoma and a sister, Mrs. Louise Pierre Tolliver, Yakima, Wash., and thirteen grandchildren.
Mother and daughter are buried in the Pierre family plot at Ross Bay Cemetery (G43W9. The grave marker was funded by BC Black History Awareness Society, City of Victoria , and Old Cemeteries Society
Conversation with Crawford Killian, author “Go Do Some Great Thing”
Crawford Kilian shares his experiences in writing the 1st edition, published in 1978 and what compelled him to publish the 2nd edition in 2008. Update: the 3rd edition was published in 2020 by Harbour Publishing. This book, and all its editions “describes the hardships and triumphs of BC’s first Black citizens and their legacy in the province today“.
A Tribute to Black Music
Louise Rose, the Victoria High School R&B Band, blues artist Eric Dozier and Moon Dance, an African dance group. Three choirs also performed; One Human Family Gospel Choir, Victoria Good News Choir and the Victoria Children’s Choir. Hosted and sponsored by BC Black History Awareness Society at the University of Victoria Farquhar Auditorium. February 14, 2010.