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March 30, 1997 The Victoria Times-Colonist newspaper reported yesterday that Charles "Red" Lillard died of cancer at his home on Thursday. Although the article acknowledges some of his contributions to West Coast history, in particular his work on the Provincial Archives Sound Heritage series and his column for the Times-Colonist, Charles left an impressive legacy of history books, both edited and authored by himself and in collaboration. I became better acquainted with Charles after I settled in Victoria. I had heard of his reputation and brilliant red hair from a another poet in Vancouver. When I began my archival career at the Provincial Archives in the Sound and Moving Image Division early in 1981, among my duties was assisting in the design and editing of the Sound Heritage Series. Due to increased acquisitions and processing work, the production schedule was falling behind. Charles was hired to edit this monographic series and his name appears on the following issues in that capacity: Dreams of Freedom: Bella Coola, Cape Scott, Sointula by Gordon Fish, Sound Heritage Series No. 36 (1982) Floodland and Forest: Memories of the Chilliwack Valley by Imbert Orchard, Sound Heritage Series No. 37 (1983) Imagine Please: Early Radio Broadcasting in British Columbia by Dennis J. Duffy, Sound Heritage Series No. 38 (1983) Tall Tales of British Columbia by Michael Taft, Sound Heritage Series No. 39 (1983) I remember some protracted design discussions with Charles on the first two titles. Unfortunately, Charles and the series were victims of the Social Credit government restraint program of 1983 and only one more issue was published but without Charles' assistance. Charles also contributed to an earlier issue, volume 6, no. 3 of 1977 titled Men of the Forest which was compiled and edited by David Day. Charles wrote an essay on the Chinook jargon and provided a gazetteer of Chinook place names. He also compiled an annotated bibliography of logging history and novels. Charles had wide-ranging history interests and of those his contributions to an understanding of missionary history are perhaps the most signficant. Among the monographs he wrote or edited on this subject are: Mission to Nootka, 1874-1900: Reminiscences of the West Coast of Vancouver Island by Father A.J. Brabant (1977) Paths Our Ancestors Walked: Father Vullinghs & the Saanich Peninsula, 1893-1909 (1977) In the Wake of the War Canoe by William Henry Collison (1915; reprint edited and annotated, 1981) Warriors of the North Pacific: Missionary Accounts of the Northwest Coast, the Skeena and Stikine Rivers, and the Klondike, 1829-1900 by Charles Harrison et al (Harrison's work published 1925; reprint edited and annotated, 1984) Closely allied to these missionary accounts is his annotated reprint of Gilber Malcolm Sproat's reminiscences: The Nootka: Scenes and Studies of Savage Life (1987) As someone deeply in love with the coast and its wooded mysteries, Charles was among great literary, scientific and political company, not to mention the Haida themselves, when he produced his own history of the Queen Charlotte Islands based on documentary accounts from 1859 to 1906. He titled this work The Ghostland People (1989) A more recent work reaffirming his love of these great islands is Just East of Sundown: The Queen Charlotte Islands (1995) Charles did not neglect the city and island he called home since the late 1970s. Seven Shillings a Year: The History of Vancouver Island (1986) was awarded the BC Lieutenant-Governor's Medal for Historical Writing of 1986 by the BC Historical Federation in 1987. The Fernwood Files by John J. Ellis with Charles Lillard (1989) documents the history of this Victoria neighbourhood which takes its name from Fernwood Manor. Charles was a great collector not only of stories and characters for his poetry and history, but also of artifacts and books. Some of this material went into his illustrated paean documenting the BC industrial way of life: Land of Destiny: The Golden Age of British Columbia by Charles Lillard & Michael Gregson (1991) Among those acknowledged at the end are "The flea market dealers of Victoria." Photographs credited to Reference West are from Charles' personal collection as that was a business name he used in the early 1990s. Charles also gave expression to his abiding romance with the Northwest Coast in assembled anthology of writings The Call of the Coast (1992) While this is hardly a definitive list of Charles history writings, these are among those by which he will be remembered and missed by his audience, friends and family. David Mattison Photo/film historian Victoria, BC email@example.com