Rev. Bell

Pioneer Portraits: a look at the earliest days of All Saints Ladner

When I looked at the list of early pastors at All Saints, I was struck by how LITTLE time any of them spend here: the average tenure was about three years.

Then I began to read the accounts, & wondered how any of them lasted SO LONG! It’s all too easy to look with today’s eyes & attitudes at events in the late 1800s. I had forgotten that these men -  it was all men in those days - were as much pioneers as the flocks that they tended.

The first time we meet Reverend Bell, our first priest, he & his Bishop - Acton Sillitoe - are putting out a fire. The Bishop, in his memoir, recalls an early visit to Ladners Landing.

"The Bishop went down the river to visit Ladner's Landing. Here he made his acquaintance with salmon canneries, then as now the lifeblood on the riverside districts; the land producing twenty four tons of onions per acre and cabbages twenty four pounds in weight".

While the Bishop is relaxing with a book in the house of a parishioner, a lady rushed in & announced that the adjacent house is ablaze. The bishop & his chaplain rush next door, to find Rev. Bell already there. The three men then help to put the blaze out. All in a days work, I guess.

At the first vestry, on April 11, 1881, it was agreed that Rev. Bell's starting salary would be $500, to be increased to $750. His parish is described as being 

"about twenty seven miles long by about fifteen wide and embracing two municipalities. Commencing at the intersection of the boundary line with the southwest corner of section 3 Township 7. Thence north to the Fraser River. Thence following of said river to Lulu island. Thence following a line drawn westerly to the coast and bisecting Lulu island. Thence southerly to the obelisk at the boundary line. Thence easterly along the boundary line to the place of beginning."

I love the idea of an obelisk being used as a marker. I wonder if it is still in place? Where would I find it?

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