Author Tags: Forestry, Politics

Cyril Shelford was known as 'Maverick of the North'. Born near Francois Lake, B.C. in 1921, the ex-Socred MLA and Agriculture Cabinet Minister grew up on a remote homestead and never attended school. As an angry war veteran he was personally invited to run for Social Credit by W.A.C. Bennett. A rancher, he arrived at his first nomination convention with manure on his shoes. Shelford recalled his colourful life in From Snowshoes to Politics (Orca $24.95) and he co-wrote We Pioneered with his brother. Using letters written by his father, Shelford recalled pioneer days in northern B.C. in From War to Wilderness (Heritage 1998). His final book was Think Wood! The Forest Is An Open Book: All We Have To Do Is Read It (Orca Books, 1993).

[BCBW 2003] "Politics" "Forestry"

From Snowshoes to Politics

As THE RECOLLECTIONS OF A NATIVE northerner who was first elected as a Socred MLA in 1952, Cyril Shelford's From Snowshoes to Politics (Orca Book Publishers $24.95) is both a family history and a unique maverick's view of B.C. politics.

"I was a private member for 16 years because I was so outspoken," says Shelford, "If I'd said yes to everything I would have been in the cabinet much sooner and today I'd have a much better pension.

"To speak out in politics is not an asset for yourself. I think the system should change to allow for more free votes. The party system has outlived its usefulness."

The first hardcover book from Victoria's Orca Book Publishing, From Snowshoes to Politics sold out its first print run of 2,500 copies in six weeks. "It sold over 150 copies in the Bums Lake Stationery store alone," says publisher Bob Tyrell.

The other store in which Shelford's book is particularly popular is Smithers' Interior Stationery. Manager Jim Brinkman has a special interest in local history, having reprinted A.G. Morice's classic History of the Northern Interior of British Columbia (Interior Stationary, $14.95) in 1982.

[BCBW Autumn 1988]