How the Vancouver Island Flag flew under the radar for over a century
A B.C. history buff created the flag in the ’80s, 100 years after it was ordered
The only place the Vancouver Island flag flew before the late ’80s was under the radar.
Though it was authorized by Queen Victoria in 1865, the Island flag didn’t exist until over 100 years later, when Michael F. Halleran, at the time a student at the University of British Columbia, took it from history books to Victoria flagpoles.
“I am interested in flags and symbolism and things like that, and I very much identify with the Island,” he said. “What I found in my research is that in 1865, the British Government had decided to regularize the identity of government vessels [so] the government of each colony should have an identifying flag.”
And while a badge was commissioned for Vancouver Island, it had never actually been produced on a flag. Vancouver Island was annexed by British Columbia shortly after the symbol’s creation.
So Halleran, using elements from the Great Seal of the Island Colony, created a flag for Vancouver Island – over 100 years since it was ordered by the United Kingdom.
The flag features a defaced Blue Ensign – with a Union flag in the canton and a white disk with various symbols representing some of the pillars of the Island in the Victorian era, and for the most part, today.
The beaver – sitting upon a small island amidst water – represents the colony’s early connection to the Hudson’s Bay Company. The Trident of Neptune, crossed with Caduceus – representing commerce – symbolizes oceans, fisheries and trade. Halleran said the pine cone, floating above all the other symbols, is a representation of the forest and lumber industry.
Halleran took the design to a print shop in 1988.
“They made me [a flag] from the image,” he said, adding that media attention of his creation led to an explosion of interest in the more than century-old flag.
“What happened is it immediately caused a flood of inquiries about obtaining one,” he recalled. “Very soon, they were mass produced and you can buy them in any size.”
“There has been a longstanding question of identity and pride in the Island identity,” he added. “If it hadn’t taken off it would have just been a curiosity. As it was, it became very popular.”
Halleran noted that he has no copyright claim on the design, saying if the copyright goes to anyone, “it’s the Crown.”
Halleran, now 75 and retired, went on to teach history before a career as a public servant.
Today, the Vancouver Island flag can be spotted around the Island and Victoria, including outside of Chateau Victoria.
TOMORROW TO BE BRAVE by SUSAN TRAVERS
Random House R92
THIS IS the story of the life of a woman named Susan Travers, the only woman
to join the Foreign Legion.
But this is not just a war story of exceptional bravery and dedication to
duty but also a story of a long and lasting love in the face of many very
Susan was born in England but grew up in France. She was a rather spoilt
young woman who spent her youth travelling Europe, playing tennis and
But once war broke out, she decided to aid the war effort by becoming an
ambulance driver. Little did she know that this objective was not easily
achieved and she was forced to take a nursing course when she enlisted with
the French Red Cross.
After her training, Susan was sent to Finland and then to North Africa.
She became a driver, but not of ambulances. Her task was to ferry senior
personnel to various parts of the desert and it was here that she met
General Koenic, the commander of the Free French, and fell in love.
Susan, the general and various colleagues eventually found themselves at Bir
Hakeim surrounded by Rommel’s Afrika Korps where they made a daring bid for
freedom in a struggle that saw the loss of many lives.
Travers’ descriptions of the desert and of the war leave you with a deep
sense of the danger that dominated the lives of all those who took part in
the battles raging in North Africa, as well as being keenly aware of the
incredible bravery of the many men and women who fought and died for world
Travers’ writing style is simple and compelling and her book is not a litany
of woes and hard-done-bys, but an honest chronicle of her life and a story
of a very brave woman.
It was with a sense of sadness that I closed the book.
Detroit Blues Band – Walkin’ Out The Door
Daniel Castro ~ I’ll Play The Blues For You
Snowy White – Midnight Blues ( Johny Water rework )
Gary B.B. Coleman – The Sky is Crying
A trip to the vineyard was rewarded with 2019 and 2020 vintages of Ortega.
The flavours are quite different from those that used to come from Starling Lane – even though they were planted around the same time. The terrior differences of the two locations show the diversity of the grape. I wish that we had had a 3rd bottle – one from the Starling Lane days.
All from the loving labours of Gerry and Sherry Mussio, but the vintners are Symphony.
2019 is lighter in colour, but bolder in flavour.
The 2020 is more up front, and lingers longer.
Both are delightful, but when tasted together, we tended to favour the 2020.
The first night we had pork tenderloin rings (spiced with ginger/thyme/salt/pepper), onion rings and cheese sauce over cauliflower/broccoli mix.
The second night, our House specialty of prawn boats.
Sherry’s painting graces the wall behind the tasting bar at Symphony
The likes of Astounding Eyes of Rita with Anouar Brahem kept our mood mellow
You might wish to drink the whole bottle at one sitting. It’s silky and smooth, but intense. This is one of Argentina’s tastiest Cab Francs.
And, it’s Great Value !!
Lamb chops were the flavours on the plate, fruit forward were the flavours in the mouth. Terrific balance and complexity.
The vineyards cover 100 hectares of land, 97 of which are implanted with grapes. The main varieties produced are Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Cabernet Franc and Shiraz among the reds; and Chardonnay among the whites. The oldest wine is a Cabernet Sauvignon lot which was planted 41 years ago. The average age of the vineyards is 30 years, ranging from the 5 year-old new blocks to the oldest ones planted in the 70’s.
CABERNET FRANC – SANTA ANA LA MASCOTA 2018
A Hungarian and a Spanish descendant had a discussion about the virtues and pitfalls of Aniseed based alcohol.The Spaniard should, but probably won’t, bow to the wisdom of the Hungarian – and avoid these mischief inducing drinks.
Talking about furlongs after reporter assignments in peace keeping countries lead to the story of a Liverpudlian and an Irishman, trying to make homemade ouzo with a rotted out hot water tank. The tank didn’t survive.
For those of you that haven’t fallen off the fence yet, here is a little ed-u-ma-ka-shun on these temptations:
- Aquavit, from Scandinavia
- Absinthe, popular throughout Europe
- Arak, or Araq, the traditional in Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine, Israel, Turkey and Syria. This is what got the Hungarian in such trouble
- Aguardiente from Columbia
- Mastika, a drink in the Balans
- Ouzo, or Tshipiro is favoured by the Greeks – what gets the Spaniard dancing on tables
- Pastis, a drink in France
- Rakı, a Turkish drink
- Sambuca, a drink in Italy
- Xtabentún, a liqueur from Mexico
- Anis, popular in Spain. Two varieties: “seco” or dry and “dulce” which is more sweet.
The clouding they exhibit on addition of water is called louching. It’s also a fast way to tell if the bartender has already watered down your drink. Watch the expression on his face as you slowly add drops of water to the glass. Either he will pour you a new one from a different bottle, or, he’ll cut your bill in half.
And, That reminds me: Where is Amagolapitsa’s pasta flora recipe? – the one made with lots of Ouzo
It has been such a fall from this
Being reduced to chops for Orthodox Easter dinner, from the entire lamb! Mind You: I only had to cook for two, not 100!
For this, we saved a wine specially chosen by the Goddess. It was a gift to us from friends.
The first wine made by family-owned CVNE (founded in 1879) was named after the winery’s initials, but a mistake – the ‘V’ was written as a ‘U’ – led to the creation of the Cune label.
A Tempranillo blend Blend: 85% Tempranillo, 15% Garnacha, Graciano, Mazuelo. Aged in Oak.
This is a great wine for food. Silky and smooth, but you certainly pay attention to the flavours between bites of dinner. It’s not complex, but it just blends in and is VERY enjoyable.
Thank you Ladies!