Historical happenings: More to prolific letter writer than Beasley name

Lake Country - Alec Beasley wrote more than 1,000 letters to newspapers across the globe

Most people know Alec Beasley through his donation of Beasley Park.

However, Beasley was also a prolific letter-to-the-editor writer. He sent more than 1,000 letters to newspapers across the globe.

Immersing himself into controversy, no subject was too edgy for him, including nuclear disarmament. On this particular topic, he quoted someone as saying “Minister Macmillan and President Kennedy ‘are the wickedest people who ever lived. Much more wicked than Hitler’ and ‘it is our duty to do what we can against them.’”

READ MORE: Prominent Lake Country builder remembered through his work

Beasley wrote to newspapers all over the world, and his name was commonly known from Vancouver to Toronto. His philosophies generally clashed with others’ opinions.

His personal life was strange – he lived with his wife and sister in a very modest house with no foundation, cupboards, bathtub, or any modern appliance.

READ MORE: Kelowna History: Murder on the S.S. Okanagan

With six siblings: John, Barbra, Douglas, Ray, Connie, and Mollie Beasley’s father John purchased land in Oyama in 1914 and proceeded to move the family. Beasley was 13 when he arrived in Oyama.

Within one year of moving, Alec’s brothers John and Ray died. John fell through the ice on Wood Lake and drowned; he was trying to make it on skates to a concert at Oyama School. Ray died of a ruptured appendix. Later, Mollie died of Hodgkin’s disease, lymphoma.

READ MORE: Goldie saga highlights importance of family history

By the late 1940s, Beasley sold eggs commercially. After working on a farm for 74 years, Beasley and Connie, his spinster sister, moved to Penticton. The Central Okanagan Regional District purchased the farm property including the 1,000 feet of Beasley Park shoreline for a park.

Originally Beasley was going to donate the property, but he was obliged to sell the land to buy out an English relative who had come to visit. The price, a modest $500,000, was much below market value. Regional director James Baker was closely involved with the transaction.

READ MORE: Sam Hikichi avoids Asiatic Exclusion League riots in broom closet

Although he has no descendants, Beasley loved to collect things. A large collection of his writing is available at Lake Country Museum.

By Lake Country Museum writer Jacob Semenuik. Every week, the Lake Country Calendar will publish a column highlighting our community’s past.


edit@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

No new COVID-19 cases in Kelowna over the weekend

Kelowna has nine of the Interior Health region’s 13 active cases

West Kelowna woman upset with RCMP response to street brawl

A physical altercation between a group of teens and a group of adults erupted on a West Kelowna street Sunday evening

UPDATE: Missing Kelowna teen located

Police are still looking to speak with the unidentified man she was spotted with

Kelowna real estate agent fined $6,500 for ‘misleading’ website

The website listed several services its owner was not licensed to provide

Water restriction for Hall Road in Kelowna eased to Stage 2

Properties under Stage 2 will receive a letter informing them of the change

B.C. records 30-50 new COVID-19 cases a day over weekend, no new deaths

Many of those testing positive were identified by contact tracing for being linked to other confirmed infections

Five B.C. First Nations call out Canada for ‘discriminatory’ food fish practices

West Coast nations say government ignoring court-won right to chinook and coho

B.C. marine ecologist wants Canada to sink its teeth into shark protection

Gulf Islands scientist says top predator under shocking threat from human behaviour

Rent-relief program becomes new front in fight between Liberals, opposition

Opposition trying to draw parallels between decision to have Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. run program and the WE controversy

Ottawa sets minimum unemployment rate at 13.1% for EI calculation

Statistics Canada says the unemployment rate was 10.9 per cent in July

$45K in donations received after couple’s sudden death in Tulameen

Sarah MacDermid, 31, and Casey Bussiere, 37, died August long weekend

UFO trackers set their sights on Revelstoke skies

Rob Freeman UFO World Explorer and crew went up Sale Mountain

Former Summerlander receives Emmy nomination for makeup work

Lucky Bromhead recognized for her work with Canadian sitcom Schitt’s Creek

Most Read