WAITE, Donald E.




Author Tags: Cariboo, Local History, Photography

Born in Renfrew, Ontario in 1944, Donald Ender Waite has been a commercial and aerial photographer who has operated a Canada-wide aerial photography business with his son Nathan. His company has provided access to 250,000 photos for more than 250 Canadian cities and towns. He has also operated a site for global bird photography called Waite Bird Photos Inc. In 1984, he co-authored The Art of Photographing North American Birds with Isidor Jeklin of Toronto. When the Canadian contract expired, the title was picked up by Galahad Books of New York and was widely sold.

Waite conducted his own research into the legend of Old Slumach and the Lost Creek Mine at the mouth of Pitt Lake. He has also compiled lively stories from B.C.'s past for a series of titles pertaining to the Fraser Valley and the B.C. Interior. The title of his first book takes its name from the Coast Salish or Halkomelem name for the Golden Ears Mountains, meaning 'the Four Sisters'. The first printing of 300 copies sold out in less than a month at $2 a copy in 1972. Haney's only newspaper undertook a second, slightly revised printing of 500 copies whereupon the co-owners of Western Heritage Supply, Bill Bryan and Max Burnham, agreed to purchase the entire run at double Waite's production costs. Bryan and Burnham convinced Waite to start writing similar books on the Fraser Canyon, the Cariboo and the Similkameen. Camart Studios of New Westminster handled the first 5,000-copy print run of Tales of the Fraser Canyon Illustrated and also the 1975 reprint called Tales of the Golden Ears Illustrated. The results were dissatisfying to the author. Waite sold his camera and portrait studio on the last day of 1975.

Donald Waite married for a second time in 1989. He has been inducted into the Maple Ridge Hall of Fame and served on the Ridge Meadows Hospice Society's Board of Directors.

Donald E. Waite revisited the subject of his book in 1988 about gold for British Columbia and Yukon Gold Hunters: A History in Photographs (Heritage House) in 2015.

BOOKS:

Kwant'stan: The Golden Ears. D. Waite, 1972. (Republished as Tales of the Golden Ears Illustrated. D. Waite, 1975.)
Tales of the Fraser Canyon Illustrated. Maple Ridge: The Author, 1974.
The Langley Story Illustrated: An Early History of the Municipality of Langley. D. Waite Pub., 1977.
The Art of Photographing North American Birds. Whitecap, 1984. With Isidor Jeklin
The Fraser Valley Story. Hancock House, 1988.
The Fraser Canyon Story. Hancock House, 1988.
The Cariboo Gold Rush. Hancock House, 1988.
British Columbia and Yukon Gold Hunters: A History in Photographs
Yukon Gold Hunters: A History in Photographs (Heritage House 2015)

[BCBW 2015] "Local History" "Photography" "Cariboo"