Early Portuguese Immigrants in British Columbia - Joe Goncalves

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Joe Gonzalves He was from Madeira Island. He came to British Columbia in 1874 via San Francisco to take care of an uncle named Gregorio (Joe) Fernandez from the same island in Portugal. He lived in Stanley Park and later in Pender Harbour. His son Alfred tried to lay claim on the land of Stanley in 1923 in front of a judge. Joe had also another daughter called Matilda.

Around 1876 he gave his property in Brockton point to Joe Gonsalves” I tried to find out if my father sold it out to Gonsalves,”recalled Elizabeth, “but from what I could learn he did not; he just left it.” According to Barman, “ The Remarkable Adventures of Portuguese Joe Silvey”

Joe Gonsalves went on to make his living as a fisherman at Brockton Point until 1904. In that year he bought a general store at Irvines Landing, at Pendour Harbour on the Sechelt Peninsula, where some of his descendants still leave. Barman

His (Charles Irvine) holdings were sold in 1904 to a former sailor and fisherman from the Madeira Islands, Joe Gonsalves. After a family quarrel, Joe sets out in his early teens to see the world, stowing aboard a ship that took him around the world, stowing aboard a ship that took him around South America to Guyana where he had to disembark with smallpox. A year later he travelled to San Francisco, then to Vancouver. There he married Susan Harris of the North Vancouver Salish Nation.

After purchasing Charles Irvine property for six dollars an acre, Joe, Susan, Their five daughters, and son Alfred moved to Irvines Landing. Across the bay Joe also obtained a 160 acre pre-emption that he called his “farm.” Many years later his daughter Theresa named the community situated on the site of his homestead “Madeira Park” after her father’s Homeland.

They said that their store was the only one in Pender Harbour until 1914 when Robert Donley built his at Donley’s Landing.

This was a very isolated village and the few families living in the area intermarried. Those families were the jefferies, Gonslaves, Dames, Warnocks, Duncans, Reids, and Wrays. In the book Wilfred “Tiffy” remembers a Halloween prank he and his friends played on Joe Gonsalves: “We took a bunch of old corn stalks and put them on the hotel verandah and somebody got a couple of dog fish and thresw them in. The next morning, of course , Mr Gonsalves complained, so the policeman came to have a look. His remark was, it must have been an awful high tide last night.”

A legend persists that the first non-Native to occupy the Pender Harbour area was a Chinese who began a fish saltery at the mouth of what became Irvines Landing. An Englishman known as Charlie Irvine (for whom the Landing is named) is more commonly recognized as the first settler. Irvine built a log trading post at the Landing, then joined the excitement of the Klondike gold rush. He sold his property in 1904 to an enterprising sailor and fisherman, "Portuguese Joe" Gonsalves, and his North Vancouver Salish Nation wife, Susan Harris. Joe and his son-in-law Theodore (Steve) Dames (a burly Russian seaman married to the Gonsalves' beautiful daughter Matilda) really developed the area. They built a deep-sea dock, general store, post office and hotel/saloon at the head of the wharf. The Union Steamship Company made this a regular stop, the beginning of Pender Harbour's real presence on the map.

Irvine sold the property in 1904 to John and George West, who sold an 80-acre parcel to "Portuguese Joe" Gonsalves, a enterprising sailor and fisherman. Joe and his son-in-law Theodore

History of Pender Harbour on the Sunshine Coast in BC Canada ... He arrived in Pender Harbour with Matilda, Theodore, and Joe Perry. ... Madeira Park, where early settlers would row to for picnics and ballgames, was named by Joe ... www.penderharbour.org/history.html - 29k - Supplemental Result - Cached - Similar pages

THE ARRIVAL OF PORTUGESE JOE On Sept. 1, 1904, Matilda Gonsalves and the Russian sailor Theodore Dames were married in Vancouver. Later that year, Matilda's father, Joe Gonsalves, and her new husband bought half of John and George West's Irvine's Landing property. Gonsalves was a sailor and a fisherman from the Madeira Islands off Spain who suposedly left his home as a stowaway at an early age. In Canada, one of Stanley Park's many squatters, he was known as "Portugese Joe". He arrived in Pender Harbour with Matilda, Theodore, and Joe Perry. Perry, also a sailor, was a large and powerful black man from the Azores who was known in Irvine's Landing as a kind and gentle person.

Gonsalves and Dames, with Perry as an employee, expanded Wests' supply post to include a hotel and saloon while Gonsalves continued to fish his seine boat, the Hermosa , with Perry as a deckhand. Gonsalves and Dames expanded their enterprise to include a deep-sea dock, barbershop, general store, post office, and Pender Harbour's first public telephone. Fire eventually destroyed the two old wooden buildings, and Garden Bay became the community's business centre. The BC Archives lists the death of a Joseph Gonsalves, on June 3, 1939 in Vancouver, at 82 years of age. He is survived by many Pender Harbour descendants. Theodore Dames passed away in Irvine's Landing on March 2, 1935, at 68. source www.penderharbour.org/history.html