Easter Sunday 24th April 1859

Rev. White begins his busy Easter Sunday.

"A lovely day. Preached in front of my tent at 10 1/2 and at 2 1/2 to about fifty persons from Genesis 5:24 and Matthew 13:3, etc. parable of the Sower."

--22nd April, 1859
Journal of Re. Edward White

One and a half miles away at the Camp...

24th Sunday – We had divine service at 11 a.m. on the ground close to the camp.  Col. Moody read the service.  There were only ourselves, the Marines and a few civilians –

In the afternoon we walked along a trail to a ravine where a large tree about 6 feet in diameter had fallen right across and formed a natural bridge –

--From the Journal of Lt. Lempriere, RE,
in the RE Camp.

Mrs. Moody writes to her sister about Easter Sunday in Victoria.

"...Everybody is so kind to the children, it is most fortunate Zeffie is not some 10 years older.  Mr. O'Reilly who came out by last Mail is so fond of her - When I came home from Church yesterday I found her entertaining Captain Luard!  However they are both constant to their first friends, Mr. Bushby came in yesterday afternoon, after a 9 week absence, and they both rushed to the door to meet him, and made so much noise that Mr. Begbie threatened to send for a policeman!!..."

--25th April 1859,
Mary S. Moody

{Note: Bushy and Begbie have returned to Victoria after working a traveling circuit court on the Mainland.

Luard appears to still be recovering from his injury on the "Thames City".}

On the same day, Robert Burnaby, Colonel Moody's private secretary, wrote to his brother Tom, from the RE Camp.

Queenborough, B. Columbia

24th April, 1859
Easter Sunday
My dear Tom,
The last time I wrote was so hurried and on...a topic that I shall try to give you a long yarn, some thing more interesting and congenial.

When we were last here (20th March), snow lay on the ground four feet deep; leaden skies and continual rains were the order of the day, and a vile fog shut out the view.  Now in the most delicious sunshine as warm and bright as the finest day in June, the broad river before us lies as placid as a lake.  I am looking straight up a wide reach, and can see nearly 5 miles, starting at the base of the reach about 3 miles wide and narrowing up to a little more than a mile wide.  Four tiny boats with their white sails are on their way up to the diggings, in the extreme distance a little island called Tree Island, stands out in the middle of the stream and behind all the old mountains I wrote you of still sheathed in snow and clearly, sharply defined in every outline, rising peak above peak in the blue distance.

In the woods the wild flowers spring up in thousands, the delicious "ribes" growing 7 and 8 feet high, full of bloom, wild raspberry with its bright pink flowers, mimulus, pansy, lily, some exquisite specimens all in trefoil, three leaves and trefoil flower growing between, perfectly white, dogtooth violets, purple flowers of the crocus tribe.

The air is alive with the hum of bees, and humming birds chase each other in the sunshine; and as one walks through the thick woods, little squirrels sun up the stately cedars and peer at you with enquiring eyes, and you hear now and then the sharp tap of the woodpecker, a lovely bird brown and red.  But there is always as you know the dash of qualification, so I must not fail to tell you of the mosquitoes which buzz in thousands about one in the spring time, but take to biting when they come to years, I should say weeks of discretion.  Poor insect!  Indeed!  Poor victim rather.

Being now in the midst of camp life and on the future site of a great city, I must try and convey to you some idea of our situation.  Imagine yourself on the bank sloping down to a broad river, standing in front of a small wooden shanty.  On your left a log hut, a little to your right a marquee (tent) (Captain Parsons RE, a delightful scientific man, the head of the survey, delicate and fond of blue pills and henbane); below you, its foundations cut into the bank, a wooden store house where things from the 'Thames City" have all been put.

Behind you, stretching up into the woods and bearing to your right as you look on the Fraser, tent after tent dot the ground, groups of Sappers around them, and sitting in the open air at their rude tables eating and drinking, camp fires sparkling here and there, and a lot of dogs about of course.  The ground is fine sandy soil, everywhere little projecting snags threaten to trip you up.  These are the remains of the thick underbrush through which we pushed and tore ourselves six weeks ago.  On every side huge logs and rotten trees lie about, being gradually consumed for firewood, and on weekdays the crash of falling timber resounds through the hills.  You hear a slight rustle, then a louder crackle, then a tearing crash, and at last a dull bump as the monster reaches the ground. They have a plan of firing the trees, lighting the bark and letting it gradually burn.  A few evenings ago we were dining on the "Plumper" with Captain Richards, when we returned in his gig, one of these tall fellows was on fire from root to crown, and blazed out in the pitch dark night a great pillar of fire. Anyone walking on a windy day is liable to get a knock, for these half charred pines are ready to tumble at any moment.

Beyond the camp two or three wooden houses for the officers etc. are building, and on the space beyond Colonel Moody's house is to be.  Further on, still following the river, there is a deep broad ravine, with a swift shallow stream running through it.

Across this, after climbing up the other side, we come to the Marine camp, where 130 men and 6 officers are stationed.  This is an echo of the other camp, our bugles sound and straightaway you hear the Marines take it up and they follow suit in all the little dodges etc. contrived in our camp.  It is very pretty to hear early in the morning and the last thing at night, the calls ringing in the air, and making long echoes in the woods.

Leaving the Marines in their camp for the present, come along through the "trail" to the town.  This has been chiefly cut by the Marines, it is a winding path through the cedars and pine groves, over logs across small streams for about a mile.

All the way we go the axe resounds on every side, and high fires are burning up the heaps of brushwood.  So - there lies "the town" on the river bank, we wind down the slope to it, and behold about two dozen wooden shanties, with a sprinkling of tents and marquees, and here and there a canvas house, for all the world like Greenwich fair.  Here is the "Hotel de Paris", where the guests sleep under the tables at night, where they cook you recherché dinners in the back yard.  Next to it a small "store", where you may buy hams, axes, beans, pork and flour, quicksilver, "gum boot" (India Rubber), and all the mining luxuries.

A little further the "Pioneer Saloon", where they dispense liquors, cocktails and beer, and around which you see the miners in their red, white and blue toggery, lounging and lazy, wondering over the "prospects", and some disappointed ones coming back full of wrath and growling.  A nigger barber has a shop about 6 feet square, his chair made of a barrel covered with chintz, and his pole a branch cut from a neighboring tree with some red and white paper twisted round it.

Custom House and Treasury are rising a little lower down, both wooden but very pretty places, all around them lie the great trunks of trees like corpses on a battlefield, and you clamber over them continually ere you reach the "public offices".

Now there's a ringing of a fine toned bell tolling across the river and you see a steamer, the "Eliza Anderson", bringing goods and passengers from Victoria, few passengers, most of them bound for the upper country.  She lands them at a rough pier extemporized out of logs and projecting some 40 feet into the river.  The mechanics of the pier are simple and rough, a great lot of rough logs hewn down, fastened together into a sort of basket, floated far enough out into the river; then filled with big stones till it sinks.  This forms a buttress upon which long trees are laid, and so in a couple of days you extemporize a strong pier out of the "raw material".

It is astounding the way they run up wooden houses that are nothing more than exaggerated packing cases with doors and windows cut in them.

We have some nice Sundays up at the camp.  The Colonel reads the service, and on Easter Sunday, when I began this, we had a frantic effort to get up the Easter hymn, but it all ended in a poor duet between the Doctor (Seddall) and myself.  The Doctor is a fat jovial chap, and plays the harmonium.  We had it for the first time last Sunday, and with a first rate Sapper choir got on famously, even to chants.

I am to have a house in Queenborough, and have got a soldier's boy named "Flux" for a servant; but I call him Frank for euphony's sake.