When we talk about British Columbia’s pioneers we usually refer to people who lived many years ago. People involved in opening lines of transportation and communication, where none existed before.
This is a young province, and we are fortunate to have with us here today a modern-day pioneer, Jim Spilsbury. The radios he built opened communication lifelines all along the B.C. coast. The airline he founded, Queen Charlotte Airlines, became Canada’s third largest in 1949.
Jim Spilsbury is also a writer whose best-selling tales of life on the coast have delighted his readers, whose photographs have documented our way of life, and whose paintings have captured the beauty of the B.C. coast.
Any one of these accomplishments would have made Jim Spilsbury a remarkable man. That they are all the work of one individual is truly unique.
Born in England in 1905, he has lived in B.C. since 1907. While selling his primitive crystal radio sets by boat and later by airplane, and while providing air transportation to coastal villages, native communities and logging camps, Jim Spilsbury became a much-welcomed person everywhere along our coast because his work improved its quality of life.
Now semi-retired, Jim Spilsbury continues to pursue his great love of writing, painting and photography.