An insightful look at the first mayor of Nanaimo, BC, drawing heavily on his prolific and insightful written observations.
Mark Bate, elected Nanaimo’s first mayor in 1875, was a renaissance man. He loved music, writing, literature, the outdoors, community affairs, and of course politics. Bate served as mayor for sixteen terms—most by acclamation. He retired three times, returning to office after being persuaded to serve again.
Historian Jan Peterson skillfully weaves Bate’s own writing—including personal letters, business correspondence, and speeches—into the rich tapestry of nineteenth-century Nanaimo to create a three-dimensional portrait of a truly fascinating man. Bates witnessed and documented Nanaimo’s evolution from mining settlement to incorporated municipality to bona fide city. Mark Bate: Nanaimo’s First Mayor is a must-read for anyone interested in the history of this region and the settlers who helped to shape its communities.
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About the Author
Born and educated in Scotland, Jan Peterson immigrated with her family to Kingston, Ontario, in 1957. In 1972, she moved with her husband, Ray, and their three children to Port Alberni. With a lifelong interest in painting, writing, and history, she is recognized for her many years of involvement in the arts and community service. As a reporter for the Alberni Valley Times, she won a Jack Wasserman Award for investigative journalism. Jan and Ray retired to Nanaimo in 1996, where she continues to research and write. She is the author of eleven books, including Mark Bate: Nanaimo’s First Mayor; Port Alberni: More Than Just a Mill Town; and Kilts on the Coast: The Scots Who Built BC.