Oral History: George Dashwood: “You wouldn’t been any closer if you were gonna kiss a girl!”

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George Dashwood attended the annual meeting of the Forest History Association of British Columbia in Prince George, Sept 2009. While on the field trip, the 97-year-old Dashwood was able to share his memories with those on the bus. The next day, David Brownstein sat down with George for a more extended conversation centred on George’s experiences growing up in B.C. during the 1920s, and looking for work as a woodsman in the 1930s. Before the interview, George had recently suffered a stroke that impaired his ability to communicate numbers, but his memory of events remained unaffected. This two-hour conversation is presented here as an 8-minute series of highlights, and a much longer 48-minute version.

Index of the full version

* 0-5:24 Early life, time as a Boy Scout in Mission.
* 5:24-6:00 Description of Mission, B.C.
* 6:00-7:25 Description of looking for work during the Depression.
* 7:25-8:30 Relief Camps and the violent march to Vancouver.
* 8:30-14:53 The Journey to Aleza Lake.
* 14:35-21:20 Aleza Lake classes and instruction.
* 21:20-25:00 Travels from Aleza Lake to Sinclair Mills and Hansard.
* 25:00-26:50 Dances and Social Life at Hansard.
* 26:50-30:50 Attempting to join the Rocky Mountain Rangers at the beginning of the Second World War.
* 30:50-34:59 Working in logging camps and Scaling around the province.
* 34:59-36:19 Interest in tree planting in the late 1930s.
* 39:10-40:45 Working with convicts in the Queen Charlottes.
* 40:45-end. Encounters with bears, including a face to face meeting. “You wouldn’t been any closer if you were gonna kiss a girl!”

Featured image: Photo by Jr Korpa on Unsplash.

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David Brownstein is the Principal of Klahanie Research Ltd (www.klahanieresearch.ca). He is also a longstanding UBC sessional instructor, and the continuing co-ordinator of NiCHE's "The Canadian Forest-History Preservation Project" (still facilitating archival donations after 11 years).

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