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Sunshine Coast Authors Recognized by the BC Genealogical Society

Posted: May 30, 2012

Congratulations to Ray Phillips whose book The Little Green Valley: The Kleindale Story has won the British Columbia Genealogical Society Family History Book Award for 2011.  And kudos to Heather Harbord for earning an Honourable Mention for her book Texada Tapestry: A History.  The annual awards recognize books that encourage family history research and writing in and about British Columbia written by a British Columbian.

Author Ray Phillips is a natural-born storyteller who grew up in the small town of Kleindale on the Sunshine Coast.  His book, The Little Green Valley is full of fascinating characters--many of whom were the Kleins after whom Kleindale was named. The matriach of the Klein family and Ray Phillips' grandmother, Martina, came to the area at the age of 50, after travelling the United States with Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show, raising 10 children and farming in Washington and the Lower Mainland.  She adeptly operated the Klein Ranch, growing sugar beets that were "fifteen to twenty pounds... and oats that were so high you couldn't see the team of horses pulling ther mower." Martina's pioneering gave rise to an eccentric coastal community brimming with stories.

 Ray Phillips is a former logger, school boat operator and fisherman whose mother was a member of the Klein family after whom Kleindale was named.  He lives in Pender Harbour with his wife, Doris.

Author Heather Harbord's dedicated research includes over a hundred interviews with locals and old-timers, creating a captivating book full of unforgettable characters, humourous anecdotes and many previously unpublished photographs.  A follow-up to Harbord's BC Bestseller Desolation Sound: A History, Texada Tapestry is another valuable volume on the history of the BC coast.

 Heather Harbord is a former Geology Librarian of the Royal School of Mines in London who has been exploring Canada's three oceans by sea kayak, Russian icebreaker and working on boats since 1963.  She has writen four previous books.  She lives in Powell River, BC overlooking the island she has written about and kayaked around.