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Reviews from Georgia Straight

Keepers of the Light is a social history of those who opearted light-houses on the south coast of the mainland and the west coast of Vancouver Island. It is also a record of almost unrelieved hardship. The author, himself a keeper of the Point Atkinson light as well as an historian, refers often to the popular romantic notion of the lightkeeper's lot.

Lighthouse keepers with the lowest paid worker in British Columbia. TH wageswas often below subsistence and they went deeply into debt. The only relief from the drudgery was the frequent opportunity to risk their lives to rescue shipwreck victims. Ironically these keepers - the word "prisoners" seems more fitting - were political appointees, rewarded for faithful service to the party.

Graham makes good use of pictures, long entries and maps. There are interesting histoircal vignettes from the terrible wrck of the Valencia to the establishment of the West Coast Trail. Intriguing evidience is present that the supposed shelling of Estevan Light by the Japanese was actually a a put-up to gain sympathy for Consription.

Photographs especiall emphasize the bleak existence. One family, the Warrens at Kains Island, did seem to love the lighthouse keeper's life. There is aphotograph of a smiling Syd Warren at the oars of his boast about to row out to collect the mail from the wating delivery boast. It is particularly poignant because Warren drowned when this same boat overturned during a similar errand

...And despite the monotony of horror and hardship, it is a moving, very human story.
-Jim Christy,Georgia Straight