How did Farewell Harbour get its name?

Farewell Harbour was named by Staff Commander Daniel Pender in 1870. Pender was a British naval captain, born in 1832 in Falmouth, England. Falmouth is a historic port city in England with a long maritime tradition as one of the foremost ports in the 18th and 19th century.  During his early career, Pender gained significant skills as a navigator and surveyor. He began his survey work for the Admiralty aboard HMS Plumper (he eventually gave the name Plumper Islands to the group of islands not far from the lodge). Then he continued this work on the HMS Hecate. 

Finally in 1863, Pender was given command of HMS Beaver which he captained from 1863-1870. His mission was to provide accurate detailed hydrographic surveys of the BC Coast. His ship, HMS Beaver, was, significantly, the first steam-powered vessel plying the Pacific Northwest of North America. She was a two masted paddle wheel steamer. The vessel was originally built for the Hudson’s Bay Company, one of the oldest commercial enterprises in North America, established to engage in the fur trade in Canada.

In 1870, Pender was finishing up a seven year mission on HMS Beaver and was getting ready to sail back around Cape Horn back to England. John Walbran, another British naval captain, reports that Pender gave Farewell Harbour its name because he had ‘fared well’ on the BC Coast and was bidding ‘Farewell’ before the long journey back home. 

Numerous geographical features in BC, such as Pender Island and Pender Harbour, are named in his honour, reflecting his significant impact on the region. Pender’s meticulous work in charting the coastline contributed to the safety and efficiency of maritime navigation in the area for years to follow.

HMS Beaver   Captain Pender

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