Story of early Fort surveyor echoes the history of B.C.

Robert "Lucky" Budd has compiled an array of stories from British Columbia's north including one about early settler Forin Campbell.

Robert 'Lucky' Budd is an audio preservationist

14 years of research, audio transcriptions and hard work has amounted to two books, a radio series on CBC and an uncovered story about the origins of Fort St. James.

Echoes of British Columbia by Robert “Lucky” Budd is a compilation of stories and interviews from the history of British Columbia over the number of decades. It includes one about the first non-aboriginal settlers in Fort St. James who helped to map the geography of the area and open up the provinces interior.

Budd’s project began in 2000 when the CBC contacted him in regards to digitizing the national audio archives.

Budd is a audio preservationist and his work in audio recording had brought him up on the CBC’s radar and he was conscripted to digitized 2700 hours of audio recordings.

“In 2000, the CBC Radio went on a nationwide initiative to have all of their audio archives digitized,” said Budd. “I had just finished my undergraduate degree at the University of Victoria and I had been in a touring rock band. I had this reputation as the guy who records things… So I was somewhat headhunted by the B.C. Archives as the guy who records things and the guy they wanted as their audio preservationist.”

It was during his work with the B.C. archives that Budd stumbled upon the recordings of Imbert Orchard, a radio producer who moved to Prince George (then known as Fort George). Orchard would go on to record interviews with 998 people in northern British Columbia. It was these recordings and interviews that would serve as the basis for his book Voices of British Columbia and its subsequent sequel Echoes of British Columbia.

“Imbert Orchard went around British Columbia with a sound technician named Ian Stephens from 1959 to 1966 to record what he called ‘the story of the country.’,” said Budd. “He travelled the entire province by plane, foot, packhorse, mule, boats, etc. to get into all these little pockets of B.C.”

During that time Orchard interviewed 998 people all of which were either first generation British Columbians or First Nations.

In his work decoding the historical recordings, Budd came across the story of one Forin Campbell.

“That story really spoke to me,” recalls Budd. “The story is incredible. Forin Campbell, here’s this incredible person who was among the first non-aboriginal people to come into Fort George. There were two or three other non-aboriginal people and without somebody like him [Campbell] our whole topography and notion of what the north is would be different.”

Forin came to the Fort George and eventually the Fort St. James area to be a cartographer and was tasked with mapping out the geography of the northern interior.

“His job was to go over every single mountain and find out what was, quote on quote, beyond the next hill,” said Budd. “In doing so he spoke to so many locals and has a perspective on northern B.C. that nobody else would ever have because he was among the first non-aboriginal people in theses places.”

Budd said that stories like Campbell’s really get into the “meat and potatoes” of British Columbia’s history.

 

Since publishing his books, Budd has also begun work as a memoirist, taking on jobs from Canadians throughout the country. His works have also been adopted by numerous school boards in British Columbia.

 

 

Just Posted

Nearly $500,000 available for internships with First Nations government

Funds announced through partnership with Northern Development and Government of Canada

Falcons host basketball invitational

40 student volunteers helped support 180 players, 28 games

Atom Stars host hockey tourney

Seven teams from the region clashed sticks

B.C. cougar kitten rescued after mother struck by vehicle

Conservation Officers find home for young kitten found dehydrated and frostbitten near Williams Lake

Fernie, RCMP go to court over city log books in fatal ammonia leak probe

Log books center stage in clashing of investigations between the city and RCMP

B.C.’s biggest pot plant planned for Oliver

Co-founder Tony Holler said the 700,000 sq. ft. facility would produce 100,000 kg of pot per year

High-end whisky seized in B.C. bar raids

Raids end in seizures at Victoria, Nanaimo and Vancouver whisky joints

Double-doubles and demonstrations: Employees rally outside Tim Hortons

Protests held in response to Ontario franchise owners cutting employee benefits and breaks

Train derails in Northwest B.C.

CN reports no injuries or dangerous goods involved after coal train derailment.

Las Vegas shooter acted alone, exact motive still undetermined: Sheriff

Stephen Paddock was behind the gunfire that killed 58 people including two Canadians

Botox, bomb shelters, and the blues: one year into Trump presidency

A look into life in Washington since Trump’s inauguration

Christopher Garnier appealing murder conviction in death of off-duty cop

Jury found Garnier guilty in December, rejecting his claim she died accidentally during rough sex

Most Read