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Victor Othello dos Remedios

  • Person
  • 1893-1981

Victor Othello dos Remedios was born in Macau in 1893. He spent most of his life in Shanghai, China until 1951. He was trained as an accountant and worked for most of his adult years at the Hong Kong & Shanghai Bank of Commerce and at an American-owned pulp and paper mill. He married his first wife at the age of twenty-four and had a son who developed polio and was sent to Switzerland for schooling and health care. He married again at about the age of forty and had a daughter in 1938. At age fourteen he registered in the Shanghai Volunteer Corps and served until 1942 when war broke out. He took photographs of two bombing incidents in Shanghai in the 30s as a member of the Corps. In 1942, Victor along with his wife Valentina and daughter Elizabeth were interned at one of many of the camps set up by the occupying Japanese forces in Shanghai for expatriates. They were released in April 1945 and had no place to live as their house was occupied by Korean allies of the Japanese, so they remained for another year in the camp.
The family eventually repossessed their home and Victor resumed work at his previous job as a manager of the pulp and paper mill. With the impending threat of invasion by the recently formed Red Army, his wife and daughter were sent to Hong Kong to live with relatives. Victor stayed in Shanghai until he had trained a Chinese replacement to manage the mill. In 1950, he was able to join his family and after a short stay in Hong Kong the family immigrated to Canada. In 1981, Victor passed away in a care facility in Victoria, BC. As of March 2014, his wife Valentina still lives in Victoria.

William McLennan

  • Person
  • 1948 -

William (Bill) McLennan was born in Vancouver on October 4, 1948. He received a degree in Arts and Merchandising from Vancouver City College and upon graduation, worked for the City of Vancouver, the MacMillan Planetarium, and Vancouver Centennial Museum, all in the area of exhibit and graphic design. In 1975, McLennan began to work at the Museum of Anthropology (MOA) on a contract to photograph the presentation of the visible storage system. In 1976, he became a permanent staff member at the Museum.

His initial responsibilities included exhibit design, graphic design, photography, teaching, and research. In these capacities McLennan held the responsibility of photographing collections at various stages, as well as photographing events and the physical building and exhibition spaces. Being a designer entailed working with curators and artists on exhibits, designing labels, brochures and memorabilia sold in the gift shop. His teaching responsibilities included working with students who interned under his supervision during the school year, giving classes on photography and design to students taking museum studies courses and giving lectures of Northwest Coast painting and photography. In 1993 he began to curate exhibits, McLennan’s first exhibit as curator was The Transforming Image after his discovery through extensive research that infrared film could reveal Northwest coast paintings that had disappeared under the patina of age. In 2001 he officially became a curator/project manager in addition to continuing work in the graphic design department. In addition to these duties, McLennan performed contract work for various museums.

In 1979, McLennan won the Certificate of Design Excellence for exhibit design for Print Magazine Casebooks. In 1983, he received a Canada Council Grant, followed by a BC Heritage grant in 1984 and 85, to research the possibilities of using infrared film to reveal Northwest Coast paintings that had faded with time. This research was interrupted in 1986 when McLennan took a one-year leave of absence from the Museum to work for Expo ’86 as a member of the exhibits team. In 1987, he received a planning and development grant from the Museums Assistance Program in order to develop his previous research on infrared painted images into an exhibit and book. This exhibit came to fruition in 1993 and was called ‘The Transforming Image’ from which a book was published by the same name which won the Award for Outstanding Achievement from the Canadian Museums Association in 2001. He also received a Certificate of Merit from the British Columbia Historical Federation for this book.

McLennan was also the recipient of the President’s Service Award for Excellence from the University of British Columbia in 1995 and the British Columbia Museums Associations Award of Merit for “The Respect to Bill Reid Pole” in 2002.

In 2010, McLennan curated an exhibit displaying the works of Charles and Isabella Edenshaw titled ‘Signed Without Signature: Works by Charles and Isabella Edenshaw’. This exhibit used 3D imaging technology to show the patterns on 3D objects in a flat undistorted perspective.

McLennan retired from MOA on October 31, 2013.

Rita B. Steeds

  • Person
  • 1918-

Rita Steeds (nee Pollock) was born in 1918 in Yorkton, Saskatchewan. She attended business college in Regina and worked in the field of accounting between 1938 and 1955. In 1943, she married James Steeds and moved to Ottawa. She completed training in 1962 to become a medical records librarian. Between 1962 and 1964, she worked as a medical records librarian at the Ottawa Civic Hospital and the Royal National Orthopedic Hospital (London, England). She functioned as the Director of the Medical Records Department of Kingston General Hospital in Kingston, Ontario between 1964 and 1969. From 1969 to 1973, she was Director of the Medical Records Department and the Head of Medical Records Librarian Training at Severance Hospital in Seoul, South Korea. After completing this appointment, she served as a consultant at Silliman University Medical Centre at Dumguetl, Island of Negros, in the Philippines between 1973 and 1976. Prior to her retirement in 1980, Steeds worked as the Head of Medical Records at Wrinch Memorial Hospital, Hazelton, B.C. Rita Steeds is the author of several publications related to medical records in addition to her autobiography, Woman Not Alone.

Harlan Smith

  • Person
  • 1872-1940

Harlan Ingersoll Smith was born in 1872 in East Saginaw, Michigan. He joined the Geological Survey of Canada as head of the Archaeology Division (now part of the Canadian Museum of Civilization) in 1911. His early work concentrated on excavating archaeological sites in Eastern Canada, and on Vancouver Island and the Queen Charlotte Islands. Returning to British Columbia in 1920, Smith began ethnographic fieldwork among the Bella Coola (including the Nuxalk, Carrier and Chilcotin communities), concentrating on their use of plant and animal materials, social organization and ritual traditions. Smith was also a pioneering ethnographic filmmaker and photographer documenting Plains, Plateau and Northwest Coast Aboriginal people. He wrote and published many articles throughout his career. Smith retired from the Canadian Museum of Civilization in 1936 and died in 1940.

Harry M. Small

  • Person

No biographical information available.

Virginia Small

  • Person

No biographical information available.

Fred Ryckman

  • Person
  • 1888-1935

Fred Ryckman was born in eastern Canada in 1888. As a youth he moved with his family to the Kootenay region of British Columbia where he remained for the rest of his life, residing first in Creston then in Cranbrook. In 1912 Ryckman began his career with the Department of Indian Affairs serving as a constable in that department. During this period he also served in the position of Indian Farm Instructor. In 1931 Ryckman was promoted to the position of Indian Agent, a post he was to hold until his death in 1935. During the twenty-three years of his employment with the Department of Indian Affairs, Ryckman took an active interest in the language and culture of the people with whom he was working, a fact which is reflected in his papers.

Robert Reford

  • Person
  • 1867-1951

Robert W. Reford was the heir to the Reford shipping and navigation business. In 1889 he journeyed from Montreal to British Columbia in order to assist with his family’s business there. He stayed in the province until 1891. Though centered in Victoria, Reford made several trips along the coast of British Columbia, into the interior and in to the Arctic. Reford was an amateur photographer and while in British Columbia he took a large number of photos, both of his acquaintances and of the local scenery and inhabitants.

Nadia Abu-Zahra

  • Person
  • n.d.

Nadia Abu-Zahra was appointed an anthropologist in the Anthropology/Sociology Department of the University of British Columbia by Director Cyril Belshaw in the late 1960s or early 1970s. She graduated from Oxford with a PhD in social anthropology, and later lived and taught at Oxford.

Beatrice Pilon

  • Person
  • Unknown

Beatrice ‘Beatty’ Pilon worked in Chengtu, Szechwan, China in the late 1940s and made a month-long trip into Tibet by horseback in 1948. Some objects Pilon purchased while in Tibet were later donated to the Museum of Anthropology.

Evelyn Goddard

  • Person

Born Evelyn Sheasgreen, Evelyn Goddard was a young teacher in Kitzegukla, BC in the early 1920s.

A.F.R. Wollaston

  • Person
  • 1875-1930

Alexander Frederick Richmond Wollaston (1875-1930) was a doctor, naturalist, explorer, and member of the Royal Geographical Society in London. A.F.R. Wollaston went on numerous expeditions between 1905-1925, including trips to Uganda, the Congo, Dutch New Guinea, and Mt. Everest. A.F.R. Wollaston was killed on June 3, 1930 at King’s College in Cambridge, England.

Ronnie Tessler

  • Person
  • 1944-

Ronnie Evelyn Tessler was born in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan in 1944 and has resided in Vancouver, B.C. since 1968. She attended the University of Manitoba, the Manitoba Institute of Technology, the Emily Carr College of Art and Design, the University of Victoria, and Simon Fraser University, where she received a Masters of Arts in Liberal Studies in 2006. Tessler became a documentary photographer in 1973, working on various photographic projects and exhibiting her work in Canada and the United States until 1990. Her artwork resides in a number of public collections, including the National Archives of Canada, the Canada Council Art Bank, and the Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography. In 1990, Tessler became the first executive director of the Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre, and was instrumental in its development into a fully-staffed facility with a museum, archives, and education and resource centre. Since 1996, she has worked as an independent project consultant and editor for cultural arts groups in B.C.

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