Bobby (Elizabeth) Corneille Ballantyne (1914-2009) was born in Vancouver and moved to Cortes Island as a young child. She was 4 years old when her father died suddenly on Marina Island in 1919; she remembers that they had to wait 3 days for a Union Steamship to get the body. Her mother Tena (Sarah Christena) Corneille (1877-1949) bought a tourist lodge at the east end of Gorge Harbour in 1929, and ran it until 1936 with the help of her two teen-age daughters. Gorge Harbour Lodge offered accommodations in the main building or in tents, tennis and badminton courts, and excellent boating, bathing and fishing. Vacationers came up from Vancouver on the Union Steamships for a round-trip ticket price of $6.65. The annual Regatta was the main social event of the season, with people arriving by boat from Cortes and the surrounding islands. It featured boat and swimming races, and a dance in the evening.
Gladys Georgeson Ballantyne (1882-1964), first came to Cortes in about 1910. In about 1920 she bought a property in Whaletown (now 640 Whaletown Rd.) that she called "Gypsy Hill". She was one of the original members of the Whaletown Friendly Circle, later the Whaletown Women's Institute. Gladys, her son Bill, daughter Valerie and her fiance were all on Cortes building a summer cottage when the Depression suddenly hit. Their off-island jobs fell through, and they remained at "Gypsy Hill" for the duration.
Bill Ballantyne (1908-1993) was in the Merchant Marine from 1924-1929. When he was unable to find work on ships during the Depression, he took whatever jobs he could find hand-logging and fishing. Bill and Bobby Corneille were married in 1937. They and other young Whaletown residents formed the Gorge Harbour Dramatic Society to help raise funds to build a community hall, and Bill was the work boss of the building crew for the Gorge Hall. In 1941 they moved to Victoria, and after the war settled in Courtenay with their two sons Peter and Ross. In the late 1950s they returned to Whaletown on Cortes Island where they fished for many years on the gulf troller “Viking”. During that time many young “deckhands” spent time aboard during summer vacations. On retirement, Campbell River became their home.
Electronic records were downloaded in 2012 from an internet address provided by Peter Ballantyne. One photograph was scanned from a photograph temporarily loaned by John and De Clarke.
Scope and Content
Fonds consists of photographs of the Gorge Harbour Lodge and Lodge activities, the Corneille and Ballantyne families, and Gladys Ballantyne's house, Gypsy Hill.