Fonds PR 252 - Ainslie James Helmcken fonds

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Ainslie James Helmcken fonds

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  • 1936-1983, predominant 1965-1983 (Creation)
    Helmcken, Ainslie James

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Physical description

.32 m of textual records;14 photographs;1 artifact

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Biographical history

Ainslie Helmcken was born in Victoria on September 28, 1900. He was the son of Dr. James Douglas Helmcken and Ethel Mouat, the grandson of Dr. John Sebastian Helmcken and the great grandson of Sir James Douglas. Ainslie attended school in Victoria before serving in the Air Force in the First World War. Following the War, Ainslie practiced law until the 1930's when he started work at a fish reduction plant on Pender Island. He later worked as a lumber broker and in the 1950's, he joined the B.C. Power Commission for whom he monitored dam construction for five years. He also operated a duty free store in Sidney where he and his partners built the Beacon Hotel. In 1965, at the behest of Mayor Alf Toone, Ainslie Helmcken began an inventory of the historical records of the City of Victoria. This quickly developed into the position of City Archivist, a position Helmcken held from 1965 until his retirement in 1983. As an avid local historian, Ainslie Helmcken wrote many articles for the local newspapers and began work on an unfinished book titled 'The Day Before Yesterday.' In 1984 the City of Victoria made him a Freeman of the City. In 1924, Ainslie married Edith Richardson and, in 1925, they had a daughter Mary. Edith died in 1983 and Ainslie died on September 26, 1987.

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Scope and content

Fonds consists of 11 series of records. Series include book manuscript ([196-?]); material for film (1971-1972); manuscripts ([196-?]); correspondence (1966-1983); Hollywood Cricket Club photographs (1936); research notes ([196-?]); speeches ([196-?]); time line notes ([196-?]); driver education proposal (1965-1966); miscellaneous ([ca. 1975-1982]); and published articles (1966-1968).

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BCAUL control number: CVIC-252

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