Author Tags: Local History
Pixie McGeachie, as a long-time volunteer with the Burnaby Historical Society and other non-profit groups, was named the Kushiro Cup winner for 2002 as Burnaby's Outstanding Citizen of the Year.
She immigrated from Great Britain at age five, settling first on the prairies, then coming to Vancouver. She moved to Burnaby with her husband in 1947 after paying $250 for a lot in the city. She has worked as an editor for the Burnaby Examiner and as director of publications for the B.C. Credit Union. In 1978, she spearheaded an event to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Robert Burnaby's death and his life. Robert Burnaby came to Canada at the end of 1858. He was the first Caucasian person to set eyes on what is now called Burnaby Lake. Colonel Richard Moody, Burnaby's employer, named the lake after him. The city of Burnaby took its name from the lake. Burnaby lived in Victoria where he helped found BC.'s first Masonic Lodge and later went on to become a legislator. McGeachie is currently president of the Friends of Interurban 1223, a restoration project for an interurban tram car that ran on a line between New Westminster and Vancouver between 1891 and 1958. "They started to be phased out in 1953 and finally by 1958 they were done and most of them were burned," she says. "Now, we're looking for parts and pieces that were destroyed." She has lived in the same home for more than 55 years. Her husband died in 1981.
McGeachie is the author a massive local history called Bygones of Burnaby: an Anecdotal History. Century Park Museum Association, 1975. As well, she co-wrote (with Cyril Williams) Archdeacon on Horseback (Sonotek $9.95). It's the story of Richard Small, an Anglican minister who developed Indian Missions in the southwestern British Columbia Interior. He spent most of his life between May, 1884 and his death in May, 1909 in Yale, Lytton, Lillooet and the Nicola Valley. His biography recalls the founding of All Hallow's School at Yale; St. Bartholomew's Hospital in Lytton and St. George's Indian Residential School near Lytton. ISBN 0-929069-05-6 A third book, to be called Promised Land, is planned in order to include letters from Robert Burnaby to his family in England. She has co-authored other historical books such as A History of the Credit Union Deposit Insurance Corporation of British Columbia and a children's book called Adventures in Canada (1980).
[BCBW 2003] "Local History"
Review of the author's work by BC Studies:
Land of Promise: Robert Burnaby's Letters from Colonial British Columbia, 1858-1863