Tag Archives: the beginning

Flash Back Fridays


The following was written for the Daily Colonist. Avis Walton and Jack Phillips met at the Lodge in its new location.

Cedar logs were selected from trees of a uniform size, felled in the early spring during the sap running season (to maintain a clear amber color throughout) and then peeled, oiled, “V” grooved horizontally, and held together with two- foot drift bolts. Corners were notched and interlocked, grooves were slashed in every door and window setting, braces were inserted and hidden by frames. The mellow lounge has a four-square pitched ceiling, dramatized and strengthened by open beams that are criss-crossed like the lines of the Union Jack, to throw fascinating firelight shadows. A massive wrought-iron hook holds a lamp and centers on the crosses, going right through the ridge pole to the roof.

Guests enjoying the fire at Strathcona Lodge at its original location

Guests enjoying the fire at Strathcona Lodge at its original location.

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Flash Back Fridays


Growing up in Comox, Vancouver Island, in the 1940s and early 1950s, I had an idyllic childhood. Comox had many British expatriates in a town of 1000. There were only 50 young people from grade eight to grade twelve in the Comox High School, and the school did not have a gymnasium. There were no television sets, so most young people spent their free time outside. My friends and I rode our horses for miles in every possible direction.

Myrna, age 4, with Nancy (Thompson) Brown

Myrna, age 4, with Nancy (Thompson) Brown

As long as we were home for meals we could go wherever we wanted. When the British couple Lieutenant Colonel Jack Thorne and his wife Josephte moved to Comox I began to train for competitive riding. The Colonel, as we called him, knew a lot about training horses and riders. In addition, he was a marvelous horseperson and story teller. I did well in the shows, winning trophies in jumping, hunter-hack and equitation events. I also learned a lot about how to feed horses and get them fit for jumping and other events. My interest in human nutrition and fitness is rooted in these early activities. I would go to almost any length to win. Every possible morning I would get up before school and exercise my horses. If it was winter, I rode on the sandy beaches in Comox. Perhaps this toughened me and is the reason why I continued to try hard when the Lodge seemed like a hopeless proposition.
My father, Wallace Baikie, was of Scottish ancestry and although generous with me, had some frugal habits. Born in 1902, he had been a young man during the depression. He had been in the logging and lumber business and knew how to work hard. Read more