Pardoe Point: the True Story

Posted by Howard on Oct 25, 2010

The Encyclopedia of Raincoast Place Names is a lovely book, just what we've been looking for, and it answers a lot of questions we've had about place names encountered while travelling the coast in our boat.

However, we wish to correct the entry on Pardoe Point (page 447):

Pardoe Point (53º06’00” 128º27’00” S shore of Khutze Inlet, E of Princess Royal I). Named in 1929 after Edward “Ted” Pardoe Wilson, construction engineer at that time for the Western Copper Mine, located about 8 km up the Khutze valley and connected to the head of Khutze Inlet by a tramway. The property was active prior to 1910, and again, under several different owners, between 1925 and 1932. See also Green Spit.

The name you list, Edward "Ted" Pardoe Wilson is my father. The Pardoe of the point, the construction engineer referred to, was HIS father, Frederick Pardoe Wilson (known as "FP", born 1880 in England). The point was named after him.

FP played a considerable role in BC engineering, being a construction engineer on the Kettle Valley Railway and on the CPR mainline, helping found the Vancouver engineering firm that became Dominion Construction, and being involved in countless construction projects around Vancouver and Victoria, as well as further abroad around BC, like at Khutze. (My family donated to the Penticton Museum several albums full of his original photos of the construction of the Kettle Valley trestles which he was involved in engineering and overseeing construction.)

I should mention that my wife and I happened upon Pardoe Point ourselves a couple of years ago, quite accidentally, during a boat trip to Prince Rupert. I had heard vague references to a spot on the coast named after him but thought there was probably a Wilson Point somewhere. So finding ourselves at Pardoe Point was quite a surprise. Moreover, the other point in Khutze Inlet is Meldrum Point, named after a family on my mother's side. Apparently my grandfather and Meldrum were neighbours and colleagues (long before my father and mother met, so that's just a coincidence). In any case, the story I've heard from family sources is that FP was the one to name Meldrum Point after his friend. (Little did he know they'd end up distant relations!)

In any case, Khutze Inlet has a very special meaning to me now... and by the way, it's awesomely beautiful!

FYI, Ted Wilson, my father, also went into engineering and was involved in designing electrical systems for many buildings in Vancouver, especially at UBC where his firm had a longtime role in the university's development, as well as projects at SFU, the CBC, etc.

Please pass this note on to Andrew Scott, and please, if you do a reprint at some point, make that correction.

Submitted by Alan Wilson

Andrew Scott replies:

Thank you so much for your feedback on Pardoe Point. It's very gratifying when readers take the trouble to write in and make these types of improvements. I will revise the entry and add your information for any future editions or reprints of the Encyclopedia. I apologize for the error.

I had the thrill of visiting Khutze Inlet a few years ago aboard the Island Roamer. It is indeed a stunning place. Thanks again for writing.

Andrew Scott

(The correction will apear imminently on the online version of Raincoast Place Names.)