The Spanish, under the leadership of Esteban Jose Martinez, built a substantial fort at Friendly Cove, on a grassy knoll below where the lighthouse stands today. (Photo supplied)

Museum lecture on Nootka Sound Crisis upcoming

Catherine Gilbert returns to Courtenay Museum for repeat performance

Catherine Gilbert returns to speak about the international incident known as the “Nootka Sound Crisis” beginning 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 17 at the Courtenay and District Museum.

Her illustrated lecture in the spring sold out so Gilbert has agreed to do a repeat performance.

In June 1789, the Spanish, under the leadership of Esteban Jose Martinez, built a substantial fort at Friendly Cove, on a grassy knoll below where the lighthouse stands today. What ever became of the fort? Why did the Spanish abandon Friendly Cove? These and other questions about the settlement of Nootka Island will be covered in the lecture.

Gilbert will discuss the events that led up to the Nootka Sound Crisis, highlighting such scoundrels as the opportunist John Meares who precipitated the incident, and will talk about Captain George Vancouver’s visit of 1792 with Spanish Captain Juan Francisco de Bodega y Quadra. At this historic meeting, commemorated in recent years by a beautiful stained glass window in the church at Friendly Cove, the two captains attempted to resolve their countries’ territorial dispute.

The presentation will also touch on the important role played by the Mowachaht, whose territory was at the centre of this dispute and the relationship between successive European captains and the powerful Mowachaht Chief Maquinna.

Admission to the evening is $6 plus GST. Advance tickets are recommended and can be purchased by phone: 250-334-0686 ext. 5.

The Courtenay and District Museum is located at 207 Fourth Street in downtown Courtenay.

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