The 1909
Royal Engineer Reunion

From the "Daily Columbian" of Wednesday, October 13th, 1909


Old-timers and pioneers of this city and district are the chief centres of interest at the Exhibition to-day, and every possible honour is being accorded the twelve survivors of that famous corps of Royal Engineers who founded the City of New Westminster and assisted in establishing a system of law and order in the Province of British Columbia.

At one o'clock to-day Mayor W. H. Keary, manager of the Exhibition, entertained these pioneers at luncheon at his home.  The members of the corps present at the luncheon were Thomas Argyle, Rocky Point, Vancouver Island; Samuel Archer, New Westminster; Lewis F. Bonson, Port Hammond; Robert Butler, Victoria; Allan Cummins, Vancouver; William Hall, Sumas; William Haynes, Victoria; Philip Jackman, Aldergrove; George Turner, New Westminster; and Lieutenant Colonel Richard Wolfenden, Victoria.  Matthew Hall, of Sumas, and John Musselwhite, of Chilliwack, were unavoidably absent.

Hon. Richard McBride, Premier of British Columbia, and Judge Howay were the only ones resent beside the Royal Engineers.  After luncheon the host, Mayor Keary, proposed a toast to His Majesty the King.  Premier McBride proposed the toast to "Our Guests: the Survivors of the Royal Engineers."  Judge Howay then read an interesting paper prepared by one of the pioneers, Lieutenant Colonel Wolfenden, giving an interesting description of the trip from England to British Columbia, around Cape Horn, over fifty years ago.

At the conclusion of the speaking special badges were presented to the Royal Engineers present at the luncheon as souvenirs of the occasion.  A photograph of the group was taken, and the party was then driven to the Exhibition grounds.  This evening they will be the guests of honour at the Scotch concert to be given in the opera House.

   Courtesy of BC Archives Call Number B-05017

The luncheon party in 1909.
Back row (l to r):  Premier Richard McBride; F.W. Howay; W.H. Keary, Mayor of New Westminster and son of James Keary, RE; Henry Bruce, RE; John Cox, RE
Middle row (l to r):  George Turner, RE; Allan Cummins, RE; William Haynes, RE; Robert Butler, RE; Samuel Archers., RE. 
Front row, (l to r) Philip Jackman, RE; Lewis Bonson, RE; Richard Wolfenden, RE; Thomas Argyle, RE
Sitting (l to r): William Hall, RE; Mrs. James Keary.