Fonds - Mark Bate fonds

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Mark Bate fonds

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  • 1862-1927 (Creation)
    Bate, Mark, 1837-1927

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Physical description

30 cm of textual records;3 photographs;3 maps

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Biographical history

Mark Bate was born in Birmingham, Warwickshire, England on December 11, 1837. In 1856, he left England on the barque "Princess Royal" with his aunt Maria Robinson, his sister Elizabeth Bate and his cousin Cornelius Bryant. The group traveled from Victoria to Nanaimo on the "Recovery", arriving in 1857. Bate was employed as a clerk for the Hudson's Bay Company and later as accountant and cashier. The Hudson's Bay Company sold their interests to the Vancouver Coal Mining and Land Company in 1862; Bate assumed the position of Manager for the new company in 1869. He held this post until 1884 when he became Office Manager and Samuel Robins became the Superintendent. In 1886, Bate was appointed the Government Agent for the District of Nanaimo, remaining in this post until he retired in 1913. Bate was very active in community affairs. In 1875, he was elected Nanaimo's first mayor and served an additional 15 1-year terms (1876-1879, 1881-1886, 1888-1889, 1898-1900). In 1873, he became Nanaimo's first Justice of the Peace. In 1875, he was appointed by Marine and Fisheries Canada to the Pilotage Authority for British Columbia and in 1879, he was appointed to the separate Pilotage Authority for the Port of Nanaimo. He was the first Chairman of the Board of Education in 1865, president of the Nanaimo Literary Institute for many years, president and conductor of the Nanaimo Brass Band, government appointee to the Hospital Board and a member of numerous organizations including Ashlar Lodge, No. 3., Ancient Order of Foresters, Oddfellows, Arch of the Druids, American Legion of Honour and Master Workman of the Ancient Order of United Workmen. In 1865, Bate began publishing, with partners, a newspaper called the "Gazette." The business folded after six months. In later years, Bate returned to writing and published numerous articles on Nanaimo history in the local paper. Bate married Sarah Ann Cartwright in 1859 and had five sons and five daughters. Sarah died in 1897. In 1901, Bate married Hannah Harrison, whom he had met on an extended visit to England. Hannah died in 1919. In 1927, Bate travelled to Birmingham, England and died there. His remains were returned to Nanaimo in 1927 for burial in the public cemetery.

Custodial history

The records were donated by Bate's great-great grandson Darren Marshall. The records were stored in the basement of Marshall's mother's house until her death then donated to the Nanaimo Community Archives.

Scope and content

Fonds consists of the personal, professional and political papers of Mark Bate. Also included are the estate records of individuals for whom Bate served as executor including Maria Snow (Robinson), E. Pimbury, J. Webb, and T.E. Peck. Fonds is arranged in four series: 1) Personal papers; 2) Estate papers; 3) Professional papers; and 4) Political papers.

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Series descriptions and file lists available. Online Finding Aid

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BCAUL control number: NCAI-136

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