Author Tags: 1850-1900, Physician Author
Dr. Patrick Perry Lydon's self-published book on B.C. history, The Gold Will Speak For Itself: Peter Leech and Leechtown, Victoria's Gold Rush (2013), records the good fortune of Peter John Leech, when he was given command of the Vancouver Island Exploring Expedition (VIEE) in July 1864. On July 26, 1864, Leech wrote: "A discovery which I have to communicate is the finding of gold on one of the forks of the Sooke River about 10 miles from the sea in a straight line ... lowest prospect obtained was three cents to the pan; the highest, one dollar ... The whole value of the diggings cannot be easily over-estimated. The gold will speak for itself."
Humbly described by Lydon as "more like a scrap-book than a book," The Gold Will Speak For Itself has been published in anticipation of the 150th anniversary of the finding of gold at Leechtown, slated for July, 2014, to coincide with events planned for Ross Bay Cemetery in Victoria, at the grave of Peter Leech, and at the Leechtown Railway Station on the Galloping Goose Trail.
"I have been fascinated with gold-panning and Canada since I was a child," says Lydon, chairman of the Leechtown Commemorative Committee, "and “The Spell of the Yukon” by Robert Service remains one of my favorite poems.
"Little did I know that, years later, I would pan for gold in the Wild Horse Creek near Fort Steel and Cranbrook and a few years later I would pan at Bonanza Creek in the Yukon and participate in the Dawson City International gold-panning competition in 1997."
Dr. Patrick Perry Lydon was born in Galway, Ireland and was educated in that City and at Clongowes Wood College, Dublin. He gained his Medical Degree at the University College Galway and then his Fellowship in Psychiatry after training in Dublin, the Crichton Royal Hospital, Dumfries, Scotland and the Royal Hospital for Sick Children, Glasgow. He emigrated to Canada with his wife Anne Marie in 1975 and he obtained his Fellowship in the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada in 1979. He has practiced in Brandon, MB and then Cranbook, BC, before moving to Victoria in 1983. He has been a member of the Old Cemeteries Society, the Victoria Genealogical Society, and he has been President of the Victoria Lapidary and Mineral Society on three separate occasions. He has been a member of the Vancouver Island Placer Miners Association since 1997 and has served as Director for two years. He has a placer claim on the Loss Creek, not far from Leechtown. Dr. Lydon has a special interest in the assessment and management of Adult ADHD and continues to have a private practice in the city of Victoria. He has two children, Louise and Robert. His wife Anne Marie passed away in 2011 and is buried in Ross Bay Cemetery.
Reviews of the author's work by BC Studies:
The Gold Will Speak For Itself: Peter Leech and Leechtown
The Gold Will Speak For Itself: Peter Leech and Leechtown, Victoria's Gold Rush (Lydon Shore Publishing 2013) 9780987969002. $22