Vancouver Island author and historian Catherine Marie Gilbert placed third in the 2021 Lieutenant Governor’s Medal for Historical Writing, as presented by the British Columbia Historical Federation at its annual conference on Saturday, June 4. Photos supplied

Vancouver Island author and historian Catherine Marie Gilbert placed third in the 2021 Lieutenant Governor’s Medal for Historical Writing, as presented by the British Columbia Historical Federation at its annual conference on Saturday, June 4. Photos supplied

Black Creek author wins 3rd prize in Lieutenant Governor’s Medal for Historical Writing

Black Creek author and historian Catherine Marie Gilbert was recently honoured with the Lieutenant Governor’s award for historical writing, third place finalist, for her non-fiction book, A Journey Back to Nature, a history of Strathcona Provincial Park.

Published by Heritage House Publishing of Victoria in 2021, the book is also a B.C. bestseller, and tells not only the story of Strathcona Park, but ties together many underlying stories of the park’s inhabitants, nearby communities and Vancouver Island and how the relationships between people, industry and recreation have influenced the park’s development.

The writing award was presented by the BC Historical Federation at its AGM during the gala and closing ceremony June 4. When the AGM is an in-person affair, the Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia attends. However, this year the ceremony was conducted via Zoom.

Barry Gough won the top prize for his book, Possessing Meares Island: A Historian’s Journey into the Past of Clayoquot Sound. He won $2,500. Second prize, worth $1,500, went to Greg Fraser for Joseph William McKay: A Metis Business Leader in Colonial British Columbia.

“It was a thrill to receive the news and to be in such good company as fellow award winner and historian Barry Gough, whose writing I love and admire,” said Gilbert, who won $500 for finishing third.

For the past year and a half, Gilbert has been working on the life story of Canadian activist and environmentalist David (Walrus) Garrick in Alert Bay, who was with Greenpeace in its years of inception, was involved in numerous environmental campaigns throughout Canada since the 1970s and is known for his work identifying culturally modified trees on the B.C. coast. She hopes to have the book completed by the fall of 2023.

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