Author Tags: Maritime
Donald Graham (b. 1947) was a Cultural Conservation Coordinator for the Province of Saskatchewan prior to becoming a British Columbia lightkeeper in 1976. He worked at Bonilla Island in Hecate Strait, at Lucy Island near the mainland and east of the northern Queen Charlottes and finally at Lighthouse Park in West Vancouver. With an M.A. in history and adept at political science, he spearheaded the partially successful campaign to curtail replacement of manned lighthouses with strictly automated signals. His two books, Keepers of the Light and Lights of the Inside Passage, reveal that many of B.C.'s lightkeepers were under-paid working class heroes. The first title won the second Roderick Haig-Brown B.C. Book Prize in 1986. Graham continued to live at the Lighthouse Park light station after it was officially 'de-manned'. Graham was also noteworthy for claiming on CTV national news that the Allies had deliberately shelled the Estevan Point Lighthouse on the West Coast of Vancouver Island in 1942 to whip up war fever. This attack, blamed at the time on a Japanese submarine, led to the expulsion of Japanese Canadians from the West Coast. Don Graham died of cancer in October, 2003.
Review of the author's work by BC Studies:
Lights of the Inside Passage
Keepers of the Light: A History of British Columbia's Lighthouses and Their Keepers. Harbour Pub. Co., 1985.
Lights of the Inside Passage: A History of British Columbia's Lighthouses and Their Keepers. Harbour Pub. Co., 1986.
[BCBW 2003] "Maritime"