Bush Telegraph: Discovering the Pacific Province


283 pages
Contains Index
ISBN 1-55017-215-8
DDC 971.1





Reviewed by Frits Pannekoek

Fritz Pannekoek is an associate professor of heritage studies and
director of information resources at the University of Calgary. He is
also the author of A Snug Little Flock: The Social Origins of the Riel
Resistance of 1869–70.


According to this book’s jacket copy, “Nobody has come closer to
deciphering the B.C enigma” than Stephen Hume, former editor-in-chief
of The Edmonton Journal and currently a writer for the Vancouver Sun.
The book consists of 33 vignettes on subjects ranging from snow to fish
to deserts. The most interesting essays are those that deal with people,
such as the historian and educator Margaret Ormsby. A number of other
essays profile B.C. “characters,” including Lance Potterton, a
northern policeman; Edward Breault, a victim of a famous fire; and Annie
Tynjala, a storekeeper. Other essays deal with environmental issues,
generally from a slightly left-of-centre perspective.

The author writes tolerably well, but he lacks the lyrical qualities
of, say, a Wallace Stegner. If you like Stephen Hume, this book should
satisfy you; if you’re looking for a revelation about the soul of
British Columbia, keep looking.


Hume, Stephen., “Bush Telegraph: Discovering the Pacific Province,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed May 26, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/938.