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Thomas and Mildred Laurie collection British Columbia Cultural groups
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Thomas and Mildred Laurie collection

  • 81
  • Collection
  • 1940 - 2003 [predominantly 1940 - 1972]

The collection includes material relating to Alert Bay that was created or collected by Thomas and Mildred Laurie, as well as photographs and textual records created or received by James Barclay Williams, who bequeathed the records to Mildred Laurie. The collection includes a photo album, photographs, postcards, correspondence, newspaper clippings, pamphlets, and a calendar. Photographs document Alert Bay and the surrounding area, including the B.C. Packers store, Christ Church, the native cemetery, St. Michael’s Residential School and Preventorium, Canada Packers, Hardy Bay, totem poles, a long house, and the Nimpkish Hotel. Photographs also document local events, including potlatches, weddings, an outdoor salmon barbeque, BC centenary celebrations in 1958, native ceremonies, and a visit by the Governor General.

The material is arranged in the following files:

01 - James Barclay Williams – Correspondence and press clippings, 1968-1972
02 - James Barclay Williams – Photographs, [1908?]-1967
03 - Mildred Laurie - Photo album photographs, [194-]-1974
04 - Mildred Laurie – Photographs and postcards, [194-]-[199-]
05 - Slides and negatives, 1952-1972
06 - Pamphlets, ephemera, and press clippings, 1947-2003
07 - James Barclay Williams – Photo album, 1940-1941

Tall totem pole, Alert Bay, BC

Photograph of a totem pole in Alert Bay, BC. This pole has been called the world's tallest totem pole, though this is a disputed fact since it is actually comprised of two pieces. The pole is not specific to a particular family, but represents multiple tribes of the Kwakwaka'wakw. The pole was completed in the late 1960's and raised in 1973. It is located near the Big House.

Mildred Laurie

Mrs. Sewid and daughters

Photograph of a woman identified as Mrs. Sewid and four younger women identified as her daughters. All five of them are in ceremonial dress. They are standing outside, with a group of spectators behind them. It is not clear what type of event they are at. A stamp on the verso of the print indicates that it was printed in 1958.

Mildred Laurie

Killer Whale arch, Alert Bay cemetery

View of the Killer Whale Arch located at the entrance to the Kwatiul Indian Cemetery. This arch is a memorial to a boy lost at sea. Located at Alert Bay, British Columbia. Several crosses and memorial totem poles are visible behind this archway.