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WIZard of Felt & Fusion drawn by tactile approach to creativity

 By Kathy O'Reilly, North Island Eagle, Jan. 22 2021

There is the Wizard of Oz and then there is Port McNeill’s June Cable - the WIZard of Felt & Fusion.

June is a fibre artist who primarily works with wool. 

“I create felt from raw fibre or up-cycle clothing to have a new or an embellished purpose,” she said.

June is a “frequent flyer” at both thrift shops and garages sale and sometimes has friends “who are culling and gift me treasures”. 

June has been experimenting in fibre arts all her life and has created clothing, toys, dolls, art pieces and everything in between.  

“In the mid-80s I was introduced to wet felting (the process of combining layers of wool roving and/or wool yarns into one flat piece of felt fabric) and then in the 90s to needle felting (the process of transforming wool into 3D objects using a barbed needle),” June said. 

“I now combine the two with many embellishment and textile techniques to create my art pieces and wearable art.” 

June got her start experimenting at a young age.

“I began fibre arts with embroidery, which gave my mother respite from my chatterbox nature.  I learned to sew on a treadle sewing machine when I had to stand up to work the treadle and see what I was doing,” she said. 

“Experimentation and a willingness to fail carried me along in my lifetime journey of fibre arts.” 

What draws her to fibre arts as a medium is that the softness, warmth and malleability of wool brings a wonderful tactile approach to creativity.  “The colours of wool, silk, cotton and linen prompted exploration and experimentation.”  

The WIZard enjoys picking up a brush and painting in all media, recycling and upcycling items and has also experimented in most visual arts media.

June has lived in Port McNeill for just over two years and spent one on Malcolm Island. 

 

Photo — Submitted

Port McNeill’s WIZard of Felt & Fusion has created clothing, toys, dolls, art pieces and everything in between.  

The loss of the Galiano - Ship’s Company 1918

 By Brenda McCorquodale , North Island Eagle,  Jan. 22 2021

Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Galiano, was originally built in 1913 in Ireland as a Fisheries Service vessel.  It was a sister ship to the HMCS Malaspina.  She was 162.3 feet in length with a beam of 27.1 feet.

After sailing around Cape Horn to arrive in Victoria the Galiano had only a short life in the Fisheries Service before the ship and its crew were re-assigned to the Canadian Navy and Naval Reserves when the war broke out in 1914.

The Galiano was not supposed to be north of Vancouver Island on that fateful October evening in 1918, but the Malaspina was in need of repairs and was confined to the dock at Esquimalt, so the Galiano was tasked to bring much needed supplies in to the lighthouse and wireless station at Triangle Island. The station was apparently running dangerously low on fuel.

As the ship was taking on coal in Ladysmith a number of her crew came down with the Spanish Influenza, and a number of new sailors and officers had to be taken on from other vessels to make up her normal complement of about 40. Some only boarded at the last minute as the ship was departing on its mission.

As the Galiano set off for Triangle Island, it was clear that the weather was not going to be good.  In what has been described as a raging hurricane, the ship set off as the weather was reported to be 110 knot winds with 45 foot seas.

In addition to supplies, the ship was bringing a new housekeeper to replace Emily Brunton, who had been working at the wireless station and had not left Triangle Island for the last 18 months.

The Galiano managed to make it to Triangle Island, and tucked into the East anchorage while the supplies were unloaded and the passengers embarked and disembarked via tender. 

When the winds started to pick up the crew quickly offloaded the last of the supplies they were carrying at the bottom of the tramway system and hurried back to the ship.  They departed approximately 5 p.m.

One wireless operator, Syd Elliot, had been on the beach prepared to leave with the ship, but at the last minute he received new orders and stayed on the Island.

The night shift was on duty in the radio room at 3 a.m. when the mayday call came in on the wireless from the Galiano: “Holds full of water; send help.” 

Ironically, the ship operator who sent the message, MJ Neary, had a brother who was a wireless operator at Triangle Island, MC Neary.  

Originally the papers reported that he was the one who received the message, but it was later clarified that he was off-shift, sleeping at the time. The crew opted not to wake him to give him the news.

Photo — BC Archives A-00219

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