Pender Islands Timeline

  • 2018

    Renovations are completed at the Driftwood centre. The facade and lighting is upgraded, the 'blue building' is constructed, a dog wash station is added, the gas pumps are replaced and "Main Street Pender" is paved.

  • 2017

    The redevelopment of Port Browning Marina Resort begins. http://www.portbrowning.ca/development

  • 2016

    Port Washington Store

    The Port Washington General Store is demolished in July.

  • 2016

    The Penders' public bus, coined the Bussa-Nova, begins service thanks to a grant. In 2018, the future of the bus is in question due to concerns about financial viability. Note: Bus resumes service for the months of July and August, 2019.

  • 2015

    Parks Day 2012

    In mid-July, the Pender Islands Museum celebrates its 10th anniversary of the opening of the museum at Roesland, Gulf Islands National Park Reserve, in the repurposed Roe farmhouse.

  • 2014

    For the first time, the Pender Islands Museum hires a summer student with the assistance of the federally-funded Young Canada Works program. The purpose of the project is to start cataloging and digitizing the museum's collection of artifacts and photographs. The program is re-activated in 2018.

  • 2013

    In August, automated external defibrillators (AEDs) are installed in high-traffic areas around the island with Nu-To-Yu funding.

  • 2013

    Shingle Bay

    The Gulf Islands National Park Reserve acquires the property of Shingle Bay, below Roe Lake.

  • 2012

    The Pender Islands Public Library re-opens on July 3rd after a major six-month-long upgrade, 22 years after its initial opening in 1990. Marjorie Bailey, one of the founding members of the library, passes away in August at age 101.

  • 2012

    Shaw Cable largely completes the introduction of high speed internet service and digital/HD TV service to all of South Pender.

  • 2011

    According to the Canada Census, the population on North Pender is 2,035 residents, while the population on South Pender is 201 residents, for a total of 2,236.

  • 2011

    First Museum website

    The first Pender Islands Museum website is launched.

  • 2011

    Elizabeth May is elected as the first Green Party MP in the House of Commons, representing Saanich-Gulf Islands. She is re-elected in 2015.

  • 2011

    Analogue TV broadcasting is discontinued in Canada on September 1st and replaced by digital-only signals.

  • 2010

    The final parcel of Brooks Point is acquired with money borrowed by the CRD. Fundraising is finalized in 2013.

  • 2010

    A new cedar shingle roof is installed on the museum at Roesland in October.

  • 2009

    Pender Island Health Care Centre

    Pender Islands Health Care Centre expansion and renovation opens.

  • 2007

    In January, Shaw Communications announces the takeover of Pender Island Cable TV and Internet, owned by Mascon Communications Corp.

  • 2007

    A provincial government settlement affirms the hunting and fishing rights of the Tsawwassen First Nation around Pender Island.

  • 2007

    Steven Point, the first Aboriginal Lieutenant Governor of B.C., is appointed.

  • 2006

    The Pender Islands Handbook is first published by Richard Fox. The 400-page book is the first comprehensive guidebook about the Pender Islands.

  • 2006

    Carolyn Elliott becomes Postmaster of the Pender Island Post Office.

  • 2005

    pender Island roesland pender islands museum

    In July, the Pender Islands Museum building opens in the old Roe House at Roesland in the Gulf Islands National Park Reserve.

  • 2005

    The B.C. Provincial Disc Golf Tournament returns to Pender, with over 100 discers competing.

  • 2005

    Currents, a vacation home development, is completed at Otter Bay Marina on the former site of a herring saltery in what was once known as Hayashi Cove.

  • 2005

    Morning Bay Vineyard, now Sea Star Vineyards and Farm Estate, opens as the Penders' first winery.

  • 2005

    The Lorrettas Wood land parcel, near the winery, joins the Gulf Islands National Park Reserve (GINPR).

  • 2004

    The Hope Bay Centre re-opens with a restaurant, shops, gallery, services, and offices. The original store burned down in 1998.

  • 2004

    Poets Cove Resort opens on South Pender.

  • 2004

    The Gulf Island National Park Reserve acquires Greenburn Lake and adjacent properties on South Pender.

  • 2003

    The Gulf Islands National Park Reserve (GINPR), Canada's 40th National Park, is created. It includes Mount Norman (formerly a CRD park), Beaumont Marine Park, Prior Centennial Campground (formerly a BC Park), Pacific Marine Legacy Lands at Roe Lake and Roesland, a portion of Mount Menzies, and Princess Margaret Island, now restored in name to Portland Island, which lies southwest of Pender.

  • 2003

    A group of islanders, the Hope Bay Rising Holdings Ltd., acquire the Hope Bay Store property and complete the rebuilding of the current complex.

  • 2002

    The Bedwell Harbour Resort on South Pender Island is closed and demolished. The Poets Cove Resort begins construction in its place.

  • 2002

    Parks Canada offers the Robert Roe family home at Roesland to the Museum Society for use as the Pender Islands Museum, on the condition the society bring the building up to the standards required for public use. Shortly thereafter, the Bert Roe house further up the driveway is declared beyond restoration and demolished.

  • 2001

    The first 'Customer Appreciation Night' is held at the Tru Value Foods grocery store located at the Driftwood Centre. The event becomes an annual tradition usually held mid-week toward the end of November. It is discontinued in 2016.

  • 2000

    The new Pender Island Community Hall opens.

  • 2000

    Time Capsule at Pender Island Cemetery by Pender Island Museum

    A 100-year time capsule is installed at the Pender Cemetery by the Museum Society, with 106 sponsors. It will be opened July 1st, 2100.

  • 2000

    The new Tru Value Foods grocery store opens at the Driftwood Centre.

  • 2000

    Brooks Point on South Pender is acquired by the CRD as a conservation area. The Gowlland Point parcel is also purchased by CRD for a future regional park.

  • 2000

    Pierre Trudeau, former Prime Minister of Canada, dies on September 28th.

  • 1998

    The Hope Bay Store complex is destroyed by fire in the early hours of Sunday, February 23rd.

  • 1998

    A draft of the Nisga'a Treaty is signed. It is the first treaty to be signed in 100 years.

  • 1997

    The Davidsons family sells Roesland to the Pacific Marine Heritage Legacy Lands program, later to form part of the Gulf Islands National Park Reserve.

  • 1996

    St. Peters Anglican Church, built in 1915, is moved to a larger parcel of land on Canal Road where there is room for a church hall and parking.

  • 1996

    Amid some small controversy, a relay tower is erected at the top of North Pender to extend cell phone use.

  • 1995

    Islands Trust and the Pender Islands Conservancy Association acquire the property at Medicine Beach.

  • 1994

    Tru Value Foods opens at the Driftwood Centre where the present pharmacy is located.

  • 1994

    The Newcomers Club is created to acquaint ladies new to the island to elements of island life, and to help them meet new friends.

  • 1994

    The book "Winifred Grey: A Gentlewoman's Remembrances of Life In England and the Gulf Islands of British Columbia ,1871-1910", edited by Marie Elliot, is published.

  • 1994

    Sharon MacDonald becomes Postmaster of the Pender Island Post Office.

  • 1993

    Ralph Sketch, a renowned sculptor of historical figures on horseback, dies tragically in a house fire. Ralph chose North Pender as his home in 1967.

  • 1993

    The book "More Tales from the Outer Gulf Islands" is published by the Gulf Islands Branch of the B.C. Historical Federation.

  • 1992

    The Queen of Cumberland ferry is built.

  • 1992

    After 100 years, the Old Orchard Farmhouse at Port Washington (built by Washington Grimmer in 1891) is extensively rebuilt with historic sensitivity.

  • 1991

    The Roesland Farm Resort closes after 72 years of operation.

  • 1991

    Rita Johnston, the first female premier in Canadian history, is elected to B.C.

  • 1990

    Original Library signage

    The new library building designed by architect John Roberts opens at the Auchterlonie Centre.

  • 1990

    Irene Roe, the wife of Bert Roe, passes away.

  • 1990

    The Islands Trust Fund is created to protect natural habitat on the Gulf Islands.

  • 1989

    The Pender Island Recycling Society (PIRS) is created after a CRD proposal for a waste transfer station is defeated. Land is leased from June and Max Allan for a drop-off depot at $1/year. PIRS later buys the property from the Allans for about half the market value.

  • 1989

    The Brackett Family Reunion takes place.

  • 1989

    In August, the Pender Post transitions from a typewriter and manual layout to digital word processing and page layout.

  • 1989

    A 9-1-1 Emergency Response Telephone System is activated on the Outer Gulf Islands.

  • 1989

    A brainstorming meeting, or charette, is held in November to come up with ideas for a Magic Lake Activity Centre to be located east of the tennis courts. A 'Pilot Plan' is laid out to possibly include lawn bowling, croquet, horseshoes, a jogging track, exercise stations, a picnic area, a children's playground, a bandstand, and even a community building. Today, the proposed site is a level, grassy multi-purpose public area.

  • 1988

    Driftwood Centre Construction Pender Island Museum

    The Official Community Plan, adopted in 1978, is amended to allow a dominant commercial centre on the island. The present Driftwood Centre is the result. Construction begins on the 'new modern design' centre, which includes a relocated automobile service station.

  • 1988

    Mount Norman Regional Park (CRD) is created, the first on the Gulf Islands.

  • 1987

    Port Washington General Store ceases operation.

  • 1987

    Dr. Don Williams signs on as full-time medical doctor to the Penders on July 1st.

  • 1987

    The Portlock Point light station on Prevost Island, across the channel from Port Washington, is reconstructed on a point adjacent to the location of the original station, constructed in 1895.

  • 1986

    The ferry 'Cy Peck', built at Seattle in 1913 and retired from service in 1966, sinks in shallow water in Nanaimo Harbour and is written off. The wheel house superstructure is salvaged and displayed on a dock in Ganges.

  • 1986

    The Pender Islands Museum Society is formed with the objective of establishing a museum and collecting historical artifacts.

  • 1985

    The B.C. Provincial Disc Golf Tournament is held on Pender, with 30 players from B.C. and Washington competing. The tournament returns to Pender in 2005, with over 100 discers competing.

  • 1985

    Logging ceases on Mount Norman.

  • 1985

    Val Melville becomes the Postmaster of the Pender Island Post Office.

  • 1984

    The Hope Bay Store closes as a general store.

  • 1983

    A joint venture of the Provincial Heritage Conservation Branch and the Simon Fraser University Archeology Faculty results in a dig at the north-end of the Canal Bridge by faculty, staff and students of the university, over the summers of 1984/85/86. The dig established that the site had been occupied by First Nations from 5000 to 2500BP (Before Present).

  • 1983

    Community hall facilities are completed at the new school.

  • 1983

    The new school on Canal Road is completed and the Crown grants the property of the Old School (now the Auchterlonie Centre) to the Pender Islands Recreation and Agricultural Hall Association for “recreational purposes”. In the early ‘90s the Pender Island Library Association spearheads the construction of Pender’s new library on this property as well.

  • 1983

    The Government Liquor Store opens at the Driftwood Centre.

  • 1982

    The South Pender Fire Hall is built.

  • 1982

    W. Bill Bartlett becomes the Postmaster of the Pender Island Post Office.

  • 1982

    The Canadian Constitution is repatriated from Britain on April 17th.

  • 1981

    The Pender Island Medical Clinic is officially opened by Mary Coleman, wife of Bishop Michael Coleman, at the present site, on land donated by the Marler family.

  • 1981

    A new clubhouse is built at the Pender Island Golf Course. It is still in use today.

  • 1981

    Bob Johnson becomes the Postmaster of the Pender Island Post Office.

  • 1980

    In the early ‘80s, the Capital Regional District (CRD) put $50,000 into building a full-sized gym in the new school that was being built on Canal Road. This funding was in exchange for community access to the gym and a “community room” within the school building. The Pender Islands Recreation and Agricultural Hall Association was the CRD’s representative in the ‘Joint Use Agreement’ with the School District, and was in the charge of the scheduling of Pender community indoor recreation.

    After the ‘Joint Use Agreement’ at the school expired in a 1996 CRD bylaw, PIRAHA continued as the agency for administering the CRD’s recreational funding. Today, PIRAHA’s mandate is to manage two properties with four buildings, used for community recreation purposes, to raise the money to run and equip the community hall, to create recreational programming, and to book and organize events.

  • 1980

    The Disc Golf park is 'roughed out' by Alex Fraser, Dave Watson, and Doug Keating. The second nine holes begin construction in 1984, and by 1987 the initial course is completed.

  • 1980

    Clifford Brackett dies at age 105.

  • 1980

    Gordon Berry becomes the Postmaster of the Pender Island Post Office.

  • 1979

    The former ferry 'Cy Peck' is sold to Dale Forsberg to be used as a training vessel for the Canada Sea Life College.

  • 1979

    Dr. Don Sutherland replaces retiring Dr. Homer Rogers on the condition that a new medical facility be built.

  • 1979

    Driftwood Centre Late 70s Pender Island Museum

    Both the Port Washington and Hope Bay Post Offices are closed and relocated to the Driftwood Centre with David A. Nance as Postmaster.

  • 1978

    The Pender Islands Community Plan is adopted.

  • 1978

    The Howard Harris house at Hope Bay is demolished.

  • 1978

    The Pender Islands Lions Club publishes the first Pender Islands Telephone List, an idea conceived by its president Wally Cunliffe.

  • 1977

    Victor Menzies passes away shortly after his 92nd birthday.

  • 1977

    The new school on Canal Road is opened and the old school is turned over to The Pender Island Recreation and Agricultural Hall Association for community use. It is now the Nu-To-Yu thrift store. The new school is used as a community centre as well.

  • 1977

    Victor Menzies' 4x5 inch plate box camera (purchased by him in 1902) is used for the last time at the school reunion held on August 6th. The camera is displayed at the museum.

  • 1977

    The Port Washington Community Hall is demolished.

  • 1977

    The Government Liquor Store opens at the Driftwood Centre.