Grave concerns: man tracks down resting places of all B.C.'s dead premiers - except one

Grave concerns: man tracks down resting places of all B.C.'s dead premiers - except one
From CBC - August 10, 2017

We all have our hobbies, but Stephen Harrison has a pretty unique one.

The self-proclaimed "history nerd" has taken it upon himself to find the final resting places of all of the deceased premiers of British Columbia and photograph them for posterity.

Harrison, 30, saidhis passion started as a history student at the University of Victoria.

"I was walking through one of our local cemeteries here in Victoria, and I saw a few names that I recognized from my research," he told On The Coast guest host Gloria Macarenko.

"So I got to wondering: where are the rest of our premiers buried?"

Answering that question has been a seven-year proposition, even taking him across the Atlantic. And it's led to a B.C. political mystery he still has not been able to solve.

Mystery of the 17th

John Horgan is B.C.'s 36th premier, and of his 35 predecessors, 26 are, well, deceased.

Harrison has been to 25 of those graves, but finding the final one, belonging to William John Bowser, the 17th premier, has so far provedimpossible.

Bowser died in Vancouver in 1933.

"He's a bit of an enduring mystery. When I first started the project I read an obituary that said he had been cremated and his remains had been sent from Vancouver to Victoria to lie next to his wife's," Harrison said.

"I thought maybe they were scattered to the windsbut many people who are cremated choose to have their remains interred in a cemetery."

But Harrison pressed on, eventuallytracking down an obituary of Bowser's wife that suggested her remains may not be in Victoria after all. The obituary said she died in Victoria but her remains were sent to Vancouver.

Sites now recorded


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