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Saturday, June 21, 2008

Juan Francisco Bodega y Quadra

On Belleville Street overlooking the Inner Harbour just west of the Legislative Assembly Buildings is a small park called Quadra Park. It commemorates the Spanish-American explorer and administrator whose bust is pictured above, Juan Francicsco Bodega y Quadra. The park and bust are a recognition that this island when first named by Europeans (Vancouver and Quadra, in agreement) was called Quadra's and Vancouver's Island. As British power and presence in the area increased and Spanish influence lessened the name became shortened to Vancouver Island. The Nuu-chah-nulth, long-time inhabitants of the area of greatest concern to Europeans at the time, Nootka Sound, don't appear to have been consulted.

Quadra is pictured above because he explored the western coastline of Vancouver Island in 1775, several years before the voyages of Captains Cook and Vancouver. He is thus one of the earliest captains of a tall-masted sailing ship to visit these shores and brings us one step closer to the Tall Ships Festival, coming to Victoria and this blog during the next week.

UPDATE: Jean Bedard
Yesterday when I was down at Fisherman's Wharf searching for some nautical subjects I met again Jean Bedard, who was featured earlier this year on this blog when he was auditioning for a license to busk in Victoria. He now performs regularly on Fisherman's Wharf. With his sound system set up he is now even more of a pleasure to listen to than when he was auditioning. He tells me that there is a CD in preparation so I may soon be able to share a little more of his song stylings with visitors to this blog.

1 comment:

USelaine said...

I love the angle you got on the statue!