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.

Just Posted

Petition to stop new cell tower too close to Kelowna homes

An online petition was started to stop cell tower construction near Ellison Elementary School

Local Kelowna project tabs restaurant workers for industry fundraiser

The 2nd Hungry Games invites fundraises for local charities

Okanagan-Shuswap weather: Clear skies and pushing 20 C

Environement Canada forcasts a sunny and warm Easter weekend

Peeling away: OK strip clubs disappearing

Hear from Penticton’s only strip club owner about their success in a dying industry

Berry: Sayonara journalism, it’s been fun

Lake Country had more in store than I bargained for

Update: Fire destroys Peachland home on Somerset Avenue

Crews are still on scene pumping water onto the blaze

Okanagan township’s open burning winds down

Spallumcheen reminds residents of regulation changes as open burning concludes April 30

QUIZ: How much do you know about Easter?

Take this short quiz and put your knowledge to the test

B.C. VIEWS: NDP’s lawyer show is turning into a horror movie

Court actions pile up over pipelines, car insurance, care aides

Global Affairs warns Canadians in Sri Lanka there could be more attacks

A series of bomb blasts killed at least 207 people and injured hundreds more

Waste not: Kootenay brewery leftovers feed the local food chain

Spent grains from the Trail Beer Refinery are donated to local farmers and growers, none go to waste

Summerland student examines effects of sound

Science fair project will go to national competition in New Brunswick

Cuteness overload: duckling thinks dog is its mom

Vernon photographer Fiona Hook shot a cute video after noticing one of her ducklings had taken a special liking to her dog.

Fire near Vernon airport “not a concern”

Vernon firefighters attended the scene and found a resident performing a controlled burn

Most Read