Weatherby, Hugh Wallace
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Authored by: Tanya PrinceHugh Wallace Weatherby 1908-1985, was a writer, illustrator, editor, artist and cartoonist, who worked in the British Columbia forestry industry for many years. He was born in northern Saskatchewan in 1908 and was still living there, in Rosthern, at the age of 7. His paternal grandparents, originally from Prince Edward Island, traveled by covered wagon to Prince Albert, Saskatchewan in 1880. Hugh’s father, Hiram Winfred Weatherby would have accompanied them on this trip at the age of 12. Hiram married Elizabeth Kerwin and Hugh was their only child, born in December 1908 (Kyle).
At some point the family, together or separately, moved to British Columbia, perhaps after a dispute with family in Saskatchewan (Horte). Hiram Weatherby died in Haney, B.C. in 1949 and by that time, Hugh had married Lucretia “Crete” Adair from Vancouver (Kyle). In a 1946 issue of the Daily Colonist newspaper the couple was reported in the social columns as entertaining at 1189 Yates St, Victoria (“Social and Personal”). Hugh was already working for the B.C. Forest Service and had been since at least 1940 when he is described in the same paper as travelling up the coast of B.C. in a newly built Forest Service launch (“Smart Craft”). It was on trips similar to this one, on behalf of the Forest Service, that Hugh collected the West Coast First Nations’ stories that informed his book, Tales the Totems Tell published in1944 (“Reviews”).
Hugh worked for the Forest Service for 10 years as a public relations officer (Weatherby, “Better Use”), where he seems to have written articles and taken some part in the production and presentation of documentaries concerning the forests, including a film Timber is a Crop (“Green Timbers”). He also wrote and illustrated at least one children’s book for the Forest Service, How the Fir Forest was Saved 1949, which was a sequel to The Adventures of the Forest Folks 1940, also produced by the Forest Service. It is not clear if the earlier book was also Hugh’s work. Hugh wrote and illustrated two more children’s books in this time period, Fir Forest Fun 1947, and Teddy, Dappy and Joe 1948.
In the 1940’s, as well as his work for the Forest Service, Hugh was publishing political cartoons (Weatherby, “Belle”) (Weatherby, “Fables”) and illustrating other authors’ books. Three Mile Bend 1945 (Wood), A Nature Guide for Farmers 1947 (Wood), and a children’s book about the history of Canada, Seeing for Ourselves 1949 (Adair and Sanderson). Hugh, described as a “Vancouver free-lance writer” in a 1949 Globe and Mail article, did not find this type of work particularly lucrative, as he is quoted complaining about the low rates paid to Canadian writers and singling out the CBC. He went on to say that while the Canadian publishers would print Canadian books, the returns on such books were “almost nil per day” (“Writers Urged”).
Perhaps that is why in the 1950’s and 60’s Hugh appears to have worked as a press counsel for lumber industry associations including the B.C. Lumber Manufacturers’ Association, the B.C. Red Cedar Shingle Association and the B.C. Loggers Association. He also had editorial roles and was writing lumber related articles for trade magazines, B.C. Lumberman and Timber of Canada (Weatherby, “Better Use”) (Weatherby, “Western Plywood”) (Weatherby and Chisolm).
In his spare time Hugh must have continued landscape drawing – one identified art work is called Skookum (Haida) 1965 (Barnowsky) indicating a continued interest in the West Coast First Nations. In 1971-72 his landscape drawings were featured on the covers of the B.C. Teachers magazine. In the mid-1960s he produced what seems to have been a popular hand drawn map illustrating the history of Canada (Weatherby, “Canada”). The map included his address – 2090 Comox St., Vancouver, located on the edge of Stanley Park and he may have created a similar map of the park (Satch42179) (Watkinsfamily_8). There seem to be many copies of the Canada map still around and it may have been sold through Hudson Bay stores (Thegetitdoneguys).
By the early 1970’s, perhaps having retired, Hugh was living in West Sechelt, north of Vancouver. He was the cartoonist (and sometimes photographer and writer) on the local paper, The Peninsula Times. His cartoons often included his talking crow characters, Schwartz and Noir. On the front page of a 1974 issue of the paper Hugh drew himself into a promotional cartoon for the Sechelt Lumber Days festival. While seen only from the back, a balding, dumpy figure with enormous ears is sitting in a chair labelled “Artist”, brandishing a pen and eraser, next to a bottle of liquor (Weatherby, “Sechelt Timber”). Also appearing in the local paper under his name in 1973 were two children’s stories, “Home is the Best Place to Enjoy Christmas” and “Are Horses Dumb?”, indicating that among his other interests, he continued to write for children.
Hugh Weatherby died in North Vancouver Jan. 1, 1985. His obituary read, “He is survived by his loving wife Crete and by his nephews and nieces” (“Weatherby”). Hugh and Crete had no children and as Hugh was an only child, the nieces and nephews were from Crete’s side of the family.
Adair, L.H, and T.J. Sanderson. Seeing for Ourselves. Illustrated by Hugh Weatherby, Ryerson Press, 1949.
Barnowsky, Gayle. “Hugh Weatherby.” Ancestry, 24 Jan. 2013, https://www.ancestry.com/boards/localities.northam.canada.britishcolumbia.general/3264.3/mb.ashx.
“Green Timbers Photos by Hugh Weatherby.” Opposite the City, 3 Aug. 2014, https://oppositethecity.wordpress.com/2014/08/03/green-timbers-photos-by-hugh-weatherby/.
Horte, Norma. “Hugh Weatherby.” Ancestry, 5 Jan. 2006, https://www.ancestry.com/boards/localities.northam.canada.britishcolumbia.general/3264.1.1/mb.ashx
“Hugh Weatherby.” Vancouver Sun, 3 Jan. 1985, p. C7.
Kyle, Don. “The Descendants of William Weatherby.” The Island Register. 25 Jan. 2001,http://www.islandregister.com/weatherby.html.
“Reviews and Previews.” Toronto Daily Star, 2 Dec. 1944, pg.21.
Satch42179. “Hugh Weatherby.” Ancestry, 5 Jan. 2006. https://www.ancestry.com/boards/localities.northam.canada.britishcolumbia.general/3264.1/mb.ashx.
“Social and Personal.” The Daily Colonist (Victoria, B.C), 19 May 1946, p. 6, http://archive.org/stream/dailycolonist0546uvic_15#page/n5/mode/1up/search/weatherby+hugh.
“Smart Craft Takes Water.” The Daily Colonist (Victoria, B.C), 11 Jun. 1940, p. 9, http://archive.org/stream/dailycolonist0640uvic_7#page/n8/mode/1up/search/hugh+weatherby.
Thegetitdoneguys. “Hugh Weatherby.” Ancestry, 25 Oct. 2012, https://www.ancestry.com/boards/thread.aspx?o=10&m=3218.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.2&p=localities.northam.canada.britishcolumbia.general.
Watkinsfamily_8. “Hugh Weatherby.” Ancestry, 14 Jul. 2013. https://www.ancestry.com/boards/localities.northam.canada.britishcolumbia.general/3264.1.3/mb.ashx.
“Weatherby, Hugh W. of West Vancouver.” Vancouver Sun, 3 Jan. 1985, p. C.7.
Weatherby, Hugh. “Are Horses Dumb?” The Peninsula Times (B.C), 18 Jul. 1973, p. 10. https://open.library.ubc.ca/collections/bcnewspapers/xpentimes/items/1.0186125#p9z-8r0f:%22hugh%20weatherby%22.
---. “The Belle of the Ball.” The Daily Colonist (Victoria, B.C), 18 Oct. 1945, p. 4, https://archive.org/stream/dailycolonist1045uvic_18#page/n3/mode/2up.
---. “Better Use of Slash Urged: Burning Concept Wasteful.” The Peninsula Times (B.C), 3 Oct. 1973, p. A-7, https://open.library.ubc.ca/collections/bcnewspapers/xpentimes/items/1.0186139#p0z-8r0f:%22hugh%20weatherby%22.
---. Canada, Being a Truly Drawn Parchment Map showing the Canadian Lands, both Animals and Plants, and their Climate and Customs – God Save the Queen. Given Under the Seal. Rawhide Maps, .
---. “Fables for Today: ‘Twas a Fowl Organization.” Saturday Night, vol. 60, no. 32, 14 Apr. 1945, p. 4.
---. Fir Forest Fun. Ryerson Press, 1947.
---. “Home is the Best Place to Enjoy Christmas.” The Peninsula Times (B.C), 19 Dec. 1974, p. C-1, https://open.library.ubc.ca/collections/bcnewspapers/xpentimes/items/1.0186279#p0z-8r0f:%22hugh%20weatherby%22.
---. How the Fir Forest was Saved. British Columbia Forest Service, 1949.
---. “Sechelt Timber Daze.” The Peninsula Times (B.C), 15 May 1974, p. 1, https://open.library.ubc.ca/collections/bcnewspapers/xpentimes/items/1.0186099#p0z-8r0f:%22hugh%20weatherby%22.
---. Tales the Totems Tell. Macmillan Co. of Canada, 1944.
---. Teddy, Dappy and Joe. Ryerson Press, 1948.
---. "Western Plywood at Quesnel." Timber of Canada, vol. 20, 1959, pp. 54-58.
Weatherby, Hugh, and Paul Chisolm. “1961 Report on Pulp and Paper.” Monetary Times, vol. 129, 1961, pp. 31-72.
Wood, Kerry. Three Mile Bend. Illustrated by Hugh Weatherby, Ryerson Press, 1945.
---. A Nature Guide for Farmers: Dealing with the Canadian Farmer’s Pests and Pals among Birds and Animals Seen Daily on his Home Acres. Illustrated by Hugh Weatherby and Frank L. Beebe, H.R. Larson Pub. Co., 1947.
“Writers Urged to Sell Canada to the World.” The Globe and Mail, 25 Jun 1949, p. 14.