Island Stories:

newDanzig Mine
newZeballos Iron Mine
newConuma Peak 1910
Alexandra Peak
Argus Mountain
Bate/Alava Sanctuary
Beaufort Range
Big Interior Mtn
Big Interior Mtn 1913
Part 1
Part 2
Bolton Expedition 1896
Cliffe Glacier
Clinton Wood
Comox Glacier
Comox Glacier 1922
Comox Glacier 1925
Comstock Mtn
Conuma Peak
Copper King Mine
Crown Mtn
Elkhorn 1912
Elkhorn 1949
Elkhorn 1968
Eugene Croteau
Golden Bullets
Golden Hinde 1913/14
Golden Hinde 1937
Golden Hinde 1983
Harry Winstone Tragedy
Jack Mitchell
Jim Mitchell Tragedy
John Buttle
Judges Route
Koksilah's Silver Mine
Landslide Lake
Mackenzie Range
Malaspina Peak
Mariner Mtn
Marjories Load
Matchlee Mountain
Mount McQuillan
Mt. Albert Edward
Mt. Albert Edward 1927
Mt. Albert Edward 1938
Mt. Becher
Mt. Benson 1913
Mt. Benson
Mt. Doogie Dowler
Mt. Colonel Foster
Mt. Hayes/Thistle Claim
Mt. Maxwell
Mt. Sicker
Mt. Tzouhalem
Mt. Whymper
Muqin/Brooks Peninsula
Nine Peaks
Ralph Rosseau 1947
Rosseau Chalet
Ralph Rosseau Tragedy
Rambler Peak
Red Pillar
Rex Gibson Tragedy
Sid's Cabin
Steamboat Mtn
Strathcona Park 1980's
The Misthorns
The Unwild Side
Victoria Peak
Waterloo Mountain 1865
Wheaton Hut/Marble Meadows
William DeVoe
Woss Lake
You Creek Mine
Zeballos Peak

Other Stories:
Sierra de los Tuxtlas
Cerro del Tepozteco
Mt. Roraima
Nevada Alpamayo
Nevada del Tolima
Nevado de Toluca
Pico Bolivar
Uluru/Ayers Rock
Volcan Purace
Volcan San Jose

Island 6000

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Myra King Ellison

1890 - 1979

Myra King Ellison was born in Vernon, B.C. on May 30, 1890, the third child of Price and Sophie Ellison. Ellison was educated in Vernon then went to Havergal Ladies College in Toronto in 1906. The next year she entered McGill University in Montreal where she graduated in 1911 with a B.A. degree in Economics. She continued at McGill and in 1913 received her M.A., again in Economics. Myra Ellison returned to Vernon upon graduating where she taught physical education at St. Michael's School.

In May 1920 Ellison married Howard Clarke Debeck, a young Lawyer in Vernon who was in partnership with Hugh Heggie. In 1925 he went out on his own until his passing in 1929. For a time Howard Debeck was the Vice-President and Director of Price Ellison's Vernon News Printing and Publishing Company.

Soon after her husband died, Myra and her two children moved back to the family Big House on Pleasant Valley Road. During this time she worked part time at the Vernon News and was involved in many of her father's projects.

Myra Ellison was a life member of the Alpine Club of Canada and went on many camps beginning in 1912 when she graduated to active ACC membership by climbing Mount Little on August 7 along with her cousin Harry McClure Johnson. She was in at the founding of the Women's Canadian Club in Vernon and served as the second President from 1933 to 1935. She was with the University Women's Club and a charter member of the North Okanagan Girl Guides Association. Myra Ellison was an active participant with the North Okanagan Naturalist's and an authority of flowers and birds of the Okanagan. As well she was with the Okanagan Historical Society and active in church life.

In 1910 Myra joined her father Price Ellison, who was the Chief Commissioner of Lands in the Richard McBride Government, on an expedition to Vancouver Island. The aim was to look at the potential for a park in the centre of the island. The party that included her cousin Harry McClure Johnson and twenty others left the town of Campbell River and journeyed inland up the Campbell River. Once at Upper Campbell Lake, a party of nine then went and scaled Crown Mountain giving her the honour of the first ascent and female ascent of this peak. It was most likely the first ascent of any mountain on the island by a woman. After the ascent the party continued down Buttle Lake, up Price Creek and eventually over to Port Alberni. The report from Price Ellison led to the establishment of Strathcona Provincial Park in 1911, the first in park in British Columbia.

Prior to the start of the trip the Vernon News of July 7, 1910, wrote the following of Myra Ellison.

… although a lissome little lady just budding into womanhood is nevertheless well fitted by her life thus far spent very close to nature, to face the difficulties and vicissitudes to be expected in such an exploratory ramble. … an expert pedestrian, simmer, angler and shot, and she will now enjoy the proud distinction of being the very first of her sex to penetrate the Vancouver Island Alps.

In 1977 Myra King Debeck (Ellison) moved to Victoria and on September 3, 1979, and passed away at the age of eighty-nine.

Ellison, Ken V. Price Ellison: A Short History of an Okanagan Pioneer Family. Oyama. Privately Published. 1968. p. 52-54.

"Myra Ellison." Vernon News. [Vernon, BC] (July 7, 1910)


Ascent of Crown Mountain
Friday July 29. 1910

Yon Mountain - Crown of fair Vancouver Isle
Whose domes no foot hath trod
Whose outlook is o'er ocean wide
O'er vales and hills and racing tide
Men strive to master thee.

Through forest - stream and rock faced height
They plod their steady way
Their aim to plant the Union Jack
Despite the climb and weighty pack
Upon thy noble Crown.

They win! What matters now the weariness
The Blow downs and the falls
The honor theirs which none can take
Their witness left which none can shake
Save snow and maddened storm.

A maid amongst them - light of feet
With nerves as strong as steel
How could MEN halt or hearts give in!
Her gallant deed all praise doth win
Free daughter of our RACE.

Weary Traveller Stop and Read
Take courage from this strenuous deed
With tons of grub and spirits high
Men needs must pack who cannot fly.

No swear words use when weight drags down
Or climbing logs you act the Clown
You are MAN! The river and the forest here
Can conquered be. You are there peer.

By Myra K. Ellison

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