A Colorful Personality of the Kootenays

The Gunner of Galway

Article from the Arrow Lakes Historical Society

Another real character but withal a very able man was a Scot from Galway who became known as The Gunner from Gal­way. The Gunner was a miner, not of the pick and shovel variety but a promoter and owner of mines. When he first arrived in the Kootenays at the turn of the century he drank considerably and when under the influence sang an unlimited number of verses of a song called the Gunner from Galway, hence his nickname.

 1918 Paddlewheeler S.S. Slocan docked on Slocan Lake, East of the Arrow Lakes 1918 - Photo Credit: CBT.org
Paddlewheeler in 1918 docked on Slocan Lake, East of the Arrow Lakes – Photo Credit: CBT.org

Shortly after his arrival in the Kootenays he began prospecting in the Slocan dis­trict for mineral claims. One weekend he became violently intoxicated and was arrested. The magistrate sentenced him to a term in the provincial jail, but since there was no lock-up in the Slocan district he was sent to Nelson. The trip involved a short train journey and the prisoner was put in charge of a rookie policeman. To everyone’s astonishment, when the pair reached Nelson the culprit had on the policeman’s uniform and delivered the policeman as the prisoner.

Sometime afterward the Gunner went on a bit of a spree in Toronto and was admitted to hospital for treatment. He recovered favorably and one Sunday morning was allowed up in his dressing gown to walk in the corridor. The visiting physicians in those days wore frock coats and silk hats, which they removed in the lobby and donned suitable garb for the ward visit. The Gunner spotted one of the doctor’s outfits. With his thirst still not under control he commandeered the frock coat and silk hat and slipped out the back stairs. Right before him was a horse-drawn milk delivery wagon with the driver absent. The Gunner, always a resourceful man, mounted the cab and drove into town, where he was later apprehended.

These and many other escapades are truly told of this remarkable man. Upon his return, however, he had changed mightily and I don’t think he ever went on a spree again but settled down as a regular mining operator. He was a close friend of the late John McMartin of cobalt fame and, in conjunction with other mining men, operated successfully more than one mining property in the Sheep Creek district of B.C.

The Gunner continued his mining operations for many years and then moved to Manitoba where he became interested in the Flin Flon district. He evidently still prospered, for he lived in a suite in the Fort Gary Hotel, where he died. Many friends and acquaintances mourned his passing, for despite his eccentricities the Gunner from Galway made an excellent contribu­tion to mining development in Canada.

Kootenays Local History Writing

3 Comments Leave a comment

  1. What a fabulous eccentric character. This has got to be a cue to write a penny whistle tune entitled “The Gunner from Galway” or sit round a fire with a wee dram of Laphroaig reciting his colourful adventures. Thank you Peter, this made me laugh, I shall share this one…and so very well written. You have a natural flair. A minor detail…Galway is in Ireland and I live not far from Galloway, Sputhern Scotland…? Perhaps he got so engrossed in the song he sang that he lost his original identity from Galloway and adopted the Galway one instead.Tis still a great story. Good opening for a story…flip a coin, Galway or Galloway… Enough ramblings, the day beckons. Regards to all. K.

    Like

    • Thank you Krysia for your enthusiastic comment on the Gunner of Galway! I did not write the article. It was taken from the archives of the Arrow Lakes Historical Society. I also liked the story about this colorful character and so I republished it with their kind permission.

      Like

  2. Aaaaaah all has become clear now. I read the Gunner story just as I was getting ready to go out this morning and it caught my attention, and now upon careful re reading, I see that it is an article from the Arrow Lakes Society. Always something to be learnt and in my case, do not multi task as you are getting ready to go out. Focus on one thing only. My sincere apologies…the story was still great!

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

witlessdatingafterfifty

Relationships reveal our hearts.

Wondering and Wandering

"How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live! Methinks that the moment my legs begin to move my thoughts begin to flow..." --Henry David Thoreau, August 19, 1851

Frau Stich-Schlinge

handGemachtes & allerlei Tüddellütt

birgitdiestarkeblog

What you see is what you get

My Fragmented Narrative

rants and ramblings freshly served

rabbitpatchdiarycom

comfort and joy from my home to yours

mommermom

......one moms journey

Find Your Middle Ground

"Life is a series of highs and lows. Be grateful for the highs. Be graceful in the lows. Enjoy life fully and find contentment in your Middle Ground" Val Boyko

This Much I Know

Exploring life after raising a family

the creative life in between

cherishing the moments and exploring my passion for creativity... through art, photography, food, and writing

Retirementally Challenged

Navigating through my post-work world

Curious Steph

explorations on the journey of living

The Cedar Journal

The adventures of a cedar canoe

Under a Cornish Sky

inspired by the colours of the land, sea and sky of Cornwall

A Quiet Word

Looking for the Light- Reflections on the Everyday

priorhouse blog

Photos, art - and a little bit of LIT.

witlessdatingafterfifty

Relationships reveal our hearts.

Wondering and Wandering

"How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live! Methinks that the moment my legs begin to move my thoughts begin to flow..." --Henry David Thoreau, August 19, 1851

Frau Stich-Schlinge

handGemachtes & allerlei Tüddellütt

birgitdiestarkeblog

What you see is what you get

My Fragmented Narrative

rants and ramblings freshly served

rabbitpatchdiarycom

comfort and joy from my home to yours

mommermom

......one moms journey

Find Your Middle Ground

"Life is a series of highs and lows. Be grateful for the highs. Be graceful in the lows. Enjoy life fully and find contentment in your Middle Ground" Val Boyko

This Much I Know

Exploring life after raising a family

the creative life in between

cherishing the moments and exploring my passion for creativity... through art, photography, food, and writing

Retirementally Challenged

Navigating through my post-work world

Curious Steph

explorations on the journey of living

The Cedar Journal

The adventures of a cedar canoe

Under a Cornish Sky

inspired by the colours of the land, sea and sky of Cornwall

A Quiet Word

Looking for the Light- Reflections on the Everyday

priorhouse blog

Photos, art - and a little bit of LIT.

valeriedavies

Author of The Sound of Water and other books

dunelight

Life in the dunes along Lake Michigan

Pit's Fritztown News

A German Expat's Life in Fredericksburg/Texas

My Life Lived Full

If you aren't living on the edge, you're taking up too much space

silkannthreades

about the little things in life

Schwedenlichter

Alltäglich(t) Leichtes, Knirpsbuchwelten

POINT BLANK

...come closer

A Teacher's Reflections

Thirty Years of Wonder

Theresa Barker - Lab Notes

sketches in fiction and poetry

WordsVisual

Mostly photographs with some words by this arty scientist...

Tish Farrell

Writer on the Edge

ruthfreter

This WordPress.com site is the bee's knees

pastpastoring

By a Pastor, for Pastors, for church leaders, and for all Christians who love their Church

Friendly Fairy Tales

Fairy Tales and Poetry Celebrating Magic and Nature for Kids of all Ages

photoartstuttgart

Präsentation by wordpress

A Suffolk Lane

A diary of my life in rural north Suffolk.

EUROGECKO

exploremore!

A Voice from Iran

Storytelling

Safira's Journey

Create Your Own Happiness

O' Canada

Reflections on Canadian Culture From Below the Border

Mrinalini Raj

I LEAVE YOUR ROAD TO WALK ON MY GRASS.

Tripambitions

It contains the world best places and things.

corneliaweberphotography.wordpress.com

This photography blog is about art, passion, people and places

Ultimatetravel

I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list.

Amazing Tangled Grace

A blog about my spiritual journey in the Lord Jesus Christ.

%d bloggers like this: