The Rev. Canon Rowan Ernest Grice-Hutchinson

The Rev. Canon Rowan Ernest Grice-Hutchinson was the first incumbent of St. Mary's, Sorrento.  Born and educated in England, he and his wife, Maud, served Sorrento and the Shuswap Lakes area from 1913-1916, and again from 1919-1923.  Click here to see his biography.  He kept a daily diary and wanted it to be kept in the archives at the Diocese of Kootenay.  In Part I, presented here, he describes his life as a young priest in a rapidly-growing area of BC where, with varying degrees of success, homesteaders staked claim to property, cleared the land, built homes and applied for Letters Patent.   There was land speculation based on the future expansion of the railway system.  As a priest of the Church of England, Grice-Hutchinson was competing with other religious groups established in the area.  

Life on the Shuswap 100 years ago was hard.  The Grice-Hutchinsons were better off than most, as Maud received an annual allowance from her father's English estate, Boddington Manor, and Rev. Grice-Hutchinson received the contents of the offering plate, although he didn't always keep it for himself.  Because of his relative wealth, his numerous skills, and his generous spirit, he became an invaluable member of the community, especially once he purchased a boat!  Click here to see a map of the area he served.    

Rowan and Maude left Sorrento to return to the UK to help with the war effort, he to serve as Military Chaplain, and she to serve as Commandant for a veteran's hospital set up on her father's estate.   After the war, they returned to Sorrento and Rowan resumed his diary, to be posted here at a later date.  In 1923, they returned permanently to England to live on the estate which Maude inherited.  Rowan died in 1977, and in October 1978, a mountain located near Woods Landing on the Shuswap was named after him, thanks to an application by Dr. and Mrs. Philip Akrigg.  Click here for more information.

This diary has been edited for clarity by Kathryn Lockhart, while preserving the "voice" of the writer.  Therefore, the work is not strictly grammatically correct.  Editorial comments and explanations appear in square brackets [  ].

For further information:

Click here to see the BC Archives Pre-emption and Homestead Guide