Following the AGM of the Nanaimo Historical Society on Thursday, March 10, 2022, Guest speaker Susan Garcia made a presentation on ‘What Did Justice look like in the Gulf Islands in the 1870s? How one murder on Mayne Island played out across Plumper Pass.’

Susan revealed her research about the murder of her great-great-grandfather Robert Clarke and the ensuing investigation, search for the murderer, and trial, which was presided over by Judge Matthew Baillie Begbie in 1871.

Susan Garcia is of mixed European, Indigenous and Hawaiian heritage. Her initial interest in genealogy led her deeper into the general history of BC and to her current studies at Vancouver Island University, in History, Creative Writing and Indigenous Studies. Susan’s publications include the article “Upriver Captain, Downriver Family Man” in British Columbia History (Summer, 2021) and two stories “Homestead Murder” and “My Mysterious Great-Great-Grandma” in The Trail of 1858: British Columbia’s Gold Rush Past (2007) by Mark Forsythe and Greg Dickson. Susan has been mentored by generous historians for many years, and she is an active member of the Nanaimo Historical Society.

We acknowledge that we meet on the traditional territory of the Snuneymuxw people from whom Nanaimo takes its name.