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Brock, Lieutenant-Colonel Reginald Walter

  • CA-BC-RWB001
  • Persona
  • January 10, 1874 - July 30, 1935

Reginald Brock was a geologist, army officer and university professor born in Perth, Ontario to Reverend Thomas Brock and Marian Jenkins. While studying at the University of Toronto, he served as a summer field assistant to Robert Bell, chief geologist of the Geological Survey of Canada (GSC). He later graduated from the Queen’s College School of Mining and Agriculture with an MA in geology and medals in chemistry and mineralogy. In 1897, he received a permanent employment to the GSC, becoming head of the organization in 1907.

In 1900 he married Mildred Gertrude Britton in Kingston, Ontario; they had five sons – Patrick Willet, Byron Briton, David Hamilton, Thomas Leith, and Philip ‘Pip’ Gilbert.

During the First World War, Brock served as an officer in the 72nd Battalion (Seaforth Highlanders) before becoming major of the 196th (Western Universities) Infantry Battalion. He was later transferred to the 19th and 15th Reserve Battalions. Brock’s accomplishments during this period included heading a college of the Khaki University of Canada and serving as a geological intelligence officer in Palestine.

After the War, Brock became Professor of Geology and Dean of Applied Sciences at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. Throughout the 1920s and 30s he pursued fieldwork in remote regions such as China, Fiji, Scandinavia, and Hong Kong. These decades also saw the family seek refuge from their busy lives at a much nearer getaway – Alta Lake. Beginning in 1929, the family spent summers at their cottage, the Primrose, constructed by Bert Harrop at the southwest corner of the lake.

On July 30th 1935, Reginald boarded a Pioneer Airways flight from Vancouver to Gunn Lake. The plane stopped to pick up Mildred at Alta Lake and then attempted to take off again. However, pilot William McCluskey could not gain proper altitude and had to bank sharply to avoid the treeline. The plane crashed on the old Pemberton Trail, about 400 yards south of Mons Creek. Reginald Brock and McCluskey were killed instantly. Milred and passenger David Sloan survived the initial crash but later died of their injuries.

The death of the Brocks was major news in Vancouver. Reginald received a military funeral, and Brock Hall at UBC was named in his honour.

Carter, Neal

  • CA-BC-CN003
  • Persona
  • December 14, 1902 - March 15, 1978

Dr. Neal M. Carter was a mountaineer, surveyor, and cartographer active in the Coast Mountains from the 1920s-1950s. Neal was born in Vancouver on December 14, 1902, and he began climbing and exploring local mountains at age 14. He joined the BC Mountaineering Club at age 17, and began climbing with prominent mountaineers, including Tom Fyles. He attended UBC and McGill Universities and earned a PhD in Organic Chemistry and later worked as a marine biologist in fisheries research. He worked as a surveyor on Hydro crews around Garibaldi Lake. In the summer of 1923, he and UBC classmate Charles Townsend set off from Rainbow Lodge and climbed the previously unclimbed Wedge Mountain. From the summit of Wedge they spotted an impressive mountain to the north in the midst of glaciers, which they named Mount James Turner, managing its first ascent as well. In the following days they made a foray into Singing Pass and climbed Red Mountain (called Fissile today) and across to the summit of Overlord Mountain. The following day they named and made the first ascent of Mount Diavolo. The first ascent of Overlord had only been made in the previous June when Don and Phyl Munday ventured into the area on Carter’s recommendation. The Mundays had also arranged to meet Carter and make an attempt on Wedge Mountain on that trip; however Carter was delayed by work and the Mundays made a first ascent of Blackcomb instead. His mountaineering passion took him around the world, with climbs in Europe, Japan and New Zealand. Though he made several notable climbs in the Rockies, his main focus lay in exploring the Coast Mountains. His exploration contributed to the creation of the first topographical maps of Garibaldi Park and the Tantalus Range in the 1920s. In the 1930s, he explored peaks at the head of the Lillooet and Toba Rivers, and was a member of a team attempting a first ascent of Mt. Waddington. In the early 1940s, he surveyed the Seven Sisters Range near Smithers, and was the first to climb Mt. Weeskinisht. He remained an active climber well into the 1950s, with two important first ascents: Mt. Monmouth and Mt. Gilbert. Neal Carter was a photographer at a time when alpine photography was rare, and documented most of his ascents. Mount Neal in Garibaldi Provincial Park (which he also played a key part in lobbying to expand its borders to their current size) has been named in his honour, based on his 1968 ascent of the mountain with his wife, Patricia Carter. Carter was made an honorary member of the Alpine Club of Canada in 1974, and, for his mapping work, he was named a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. He died on March 15, 1978 while swimming in Barbados, at the age of 75.

Brock, Philip "Pip"

  • CA-BC-BP015
  • Persona
  • c. 1914-?

Philip ‘Pip’ Gilbert Brock was the youngest son of Lieutenant-Colonel Reginald Walter and Mildred Brock. Beginning in 1929, the Brock family would come up from Vancouver every summer to visit their cabin, Primrose, on Alta Lake. Pip loved the outdoors and frequently travelled up to the Alta Lake area on his own. An avid hiker, skier, and mountain-climber, he made the first known ascent and descent of Whistler Mountain in 1933. He accompanied Don and Phyllis Munday on their expeditions to Mount Waddington (1934), Wedge Mountain (1937), and Mount Sir Richard (1937). These adventures helped convince the general public of the area’s potential for ski-mountaineering. Pip also put his skills to use for the Vancouver Water Board hydro surveys, measuring water storage and hydro-electric potential in the Coast Mountains.

In 1935, while about to embark on a weeks-long journey up the Klinaklini Glacier, Pip received word that his father had been killed and his mother injured in a plane crash. He rushed back home only to find that his mother had already died of her injuries. Pilot William McCluskey and passenger David Sloan also died as a result of the crash.

Little is known about Pip’s later years, but he continued hiking and climbing into his old age.

Bunbury, Alex

  • CA-BC-BA001
  • Persona
  • February 2, 1933 - October 25, 2013

Alexander 'Alex' C. Bunbury was a land surveyor and the co-founder, along with his son Paul, of Bunbury Associates. His surveying projects included the Trans Mountain Pipeline, B.C. Rail, Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains, Whistler Village, and the Grouse Mountain Gondolas. Alex and his wife Dorothy purchased property up Microwave Road (now Gondola Way) shortly after Whistler Mountain opened and built a ski cabin there. Bunbury was active in the Whistler community, serving as a member of North Shore Rescue, the Ski Patrol, the Fire Department, the Museum and Archives Society, and the Advisory Planning Board. An adventurous skier, he pioneered the Couloir run on Blackcomb Mountain, which was formerly known as Bunbury Chute. He also managed his sons' soccer teams.