Light Keepers of the Race Rocks Lighthouse 1860-1997

The original list of the Lightkeepers below was provided by Trev Anderson to students from Lester Pearson College who were doing an assignment on Marine History for their Marine Science class in 1980. In 2009-10 in preparation for the sesqicentennial of Race Rocks, I have added a number of references for individual stories gleaned from the Daily Colonist Archives. (G.Fletcher)

Ed Note: We appreciate the cooperation of family members and others who have kindly contributed comments about the light keepers and their families. We encourage others to do the same to fill the gaps.
Link to posts on this website with the tag “lightkeeper”

Senior Light Keepers
and Assistants.
Years of Occupancy at Race Rocks
and Hyperlinks in blue to pages of known historical connections
Roberts Feb 1860 – 1861
George Nicholas Davies (and Rosina) Feb.9 1861 – 1866- died on the Race Rocks station, see note above. (b. 1831 – d. 1866)
Rosina Davies 1866-1879- remained on station as keeper after her husband died.Rosina remarried later and her name was then Rosina Harman.)
Nicholas Bertucci Came to Victoria from Italy in 1862, was assistant at Race Rocks for 5 years: from either 1863-1867 or 1863-1868.
John McQuarrie January 19, 1869; 1st Assistant Keeper; age 52 in 1872; pay $410 per year; (British Columbia Report of the Hon. H. L. Langevin, C.B., Minister of Public Works, 1872)
Thomas Argyle
(and Ellen)
Feb 1867 – 1888 (Thomas (1839 – 1919) Argyle & Ellen Argyle (d. 1925) May 23, 1867 – 1888; 32 years old in 1872; Chief Keeper; pay $625 per year. Note however,,,In the 1891 Census Thomas’s, now a farmer in Metchosin— birthday is listed as Feb3 1840, Thomas’s wife is listed as Helen, born Feb 25, 1835, and the daughter is listed as Ellen, born June 22, 1865, And the son Frederick born Dec 25, 1873.
Ellen Argyle 1867-1871- assistant keeper May 23, 1867 – 1871; 32 years old in 1872; 3rd Assistant; pay $150 per year; (British Columbia Report of the Hon. H. L. Langevin, C.B., Minister of Public Works, 1872)
Henry Montrose He was the assistant lightkeeper in 1877 who helped pull the two sailors from the water. ( no further information is available so far)
Samuel Askew 1871 September 11, 1871 – ; age 30 in 1872; Second Assistant; $360 per year;
W.H. Berus Assistant? Mar 31-1861- Aug 5, 1879 (d. 1879)
Amelia Berus August 05, 1879 – February 01, 1880
Albert Argyle (son) 1888- Jan 1, 1889
W.P. Daykin 1889-1891 (W. P. (Phil) Daykin & Anna Daykin) (Many newspaper articles on their time at Carmanah)January 1, 1889 – April 23, 1891(Cadieux papers say he started July 03, 1889)From the 1891 census, a P. Wm Daykin  age 48 and W.F. Daykin age 47 lived in Metchosin. Children listed, CT Daykin ( 17) Edward D. (15) WT (9) RS ( 7) Philip CS ( 5) and Elizabeth E  Daykin (age 66) I believe this is the same Daykin family as two of the sons were killed by the sea later ( see link on W.P. Daykin name)
Frederick Mercer Eastwood April 23, 1891 – February 01, 1919; on station in 1910 (Vancouver City Directory 1910, Dominion Government Section) (resigned) (Cadieux papers) (b. March 02, 1862, England – d. 1932) & Annie. 
James Thomas Forsyth (and Ellen) February 01, 1919 – December 10, 1932 (Cadieux papers)(b. November 16, 1870, Halifax, NS, Canada – d. December 10, 1932) & Ellen J. (Cadieux papers)
Arthur Fielding (Ed note: Previously not recorded so added Dec. 2013) In the 1921 census Arthur is listed as a lodger in the household of James Forsyth and as the assistant Light Keeper, govt. employed at $600  per year.  He was 26, born BC in 1895.
Henry I. McKenzie (and Evelyn) Dec 1932 – Oct 24, 1933—another reference says..Henry I. December 15, 1933 as temporary keeper when James Forsyth died (Cadieux papers)
“Henry I. McKenzie (b. May 13, 1884, Nova Scotia) & Evelyn McKenzie (Cadieux papers)
From the marriage records Henry I. Mckenzie married Alberta Forsyth on November 24 1931 in BC. He died in Victoria on July 2, 1947
Andrew and Mary Ritchie Oct 24, 1933 – Sept 20,- 1940 (his first station).
Thomas Westhead Sept. 20, 1940 – Sept 15, 1948 (wireless operator in 1927 according to BC Directory; later a lighthouse keeper) He also built three sailboats while on the island.
Arthur Anderson Sept 15, 1948 – Jan 23, 1950 ( drowned while returning to station)
S. Footman Jan 23, 1950 – Feb, 1950
Percy C. Pike Feb 1950 – Oct, 1952
Percival (Percy) Coatsworth Pike (b. May 21, 1898, Durban, South Africa) & Mary Ellen Pike (Cadieux papers spell the name “Pikes”)( married Dec 11, 1919 in Alert bay,) Percy was also a lighthouse keeper at Discovery Island in 1949.
Bruce W. Rogers August 01, 1951 Assistant Keeper
Gordon Odlum Oct 1, 1952 – July 31, 1961, (b. June 17, 1914, Vancouver, BC) & Jean Odlum. See the note on his contribution to UBC research on bird nesting of the Glaucous -winged Gull.
Chris W.Slater Aug 1961 – Sept 1961
Charles Clark Sept 1961 – Nov 1, 1961 (Born March 22, 1888, Ireland) (Cadieux papers)
Ben Rogers Nov, 1961 – July 27, 1964
Alan J. Tully July 27, 1964 – July 26, 1966 ( J. Alan (Al) Tully (d. 1971) & Mona Tully (Cadieux papers))
Curt Cehak summer 1966 to 1968–Junior keeper (Kurt Felix Carl (b. February 09, 1925, Vienna, Austria) & Erika Cehak (Cadieux papers) Link is to video of him talking about sea lions
Trevor and Flo Anderson Jul 26, 1966- March 2, 1982
David Odlum for a short period in the late 60’s. junior keeper. (son of Gordon & Jean Odlum)
Edward and Alice Hay **Junior Keeper 1968-1977
Rudy Dufour **Junior Keeper. ..1977?
Bob Lundy **Junior Keeper 1977
Edward Carson Relief Keeper 1980- 1982 (Edward (Ed) Carson (b. December 30, 1912, North Vancouver, BC – d. 1990) & Karlene Carson (not spelled “Karlene”) (Cadieux papers) Ed remarried in 1982 to Sheryl)
Frank Coffey c 1980..junior keeper on station with relief principal Ed Carson
Joseph Slyth 1981- Relief Lightkeeper at Race Rocks. ( died 2008 in Victoria at age 93)
Charles and Joan Redhead 1982- 1989 (Charles d. 1966).Joan Redhead passed away in 2012
Warren and Elaine Kennedy Junior Keeper on station with Charles Redhead 1982-1990-
Gerry Toner Junior Keeper..1990- 1994? Gerry passed away in Victoria, July 20, 2011 .
Pat Mickey Junior Keeper. Dec 16, 1993- 1995 (and Lorraine Mickey). They became Lightkeepers at Discovery Island 1995-1997
Mike and Carol Slater Oct, 1989- 1997…and continued as Ecoguardians until 2008, see link below.
Station Automated 1997
. ** Explanation of the terms Junior vs Assistant keeper provided by Trev and Flo Anderson:“Before 1961 the senior lightkeeper hired his own assistant . The government then began a system of examining all applicants. Lightkeepers were then all hired by the government ( Trev was in the first group). When the government hired and placed applicants, after posting position openings internally, they were called junior lightkeepers. Relief keepers were hired by the local office but the senior keeper could, and did often, suggest someone as the relief keeper had to live in the personal residences.”

 

 

See this file for the Ecoguardians now provided by Pearson College UWC and who have been in residence from 1997 to present at Race Rocks.