A woman whose family was one of the first to settle in Armours Beach is turning 90 next week.
Bea Skellett (nee Armour) was born and raised on the Coast near her grandparents’ home on Armours Beach. She recently reminisced with Coast Reporter about a simpler time when roadways were dirt trails and everyone literally knew one another.
“We used to play hopscotch on the old highway down there. It was just a dirt road back then,” Skellett recalled. “And when the tourists came in the summer time, we’d call them the summer complaints. It was just different because we didn’t know any of them and they’d come in on the Union Steamships.”
When Skellett was a kid there were just a few families settled in the Armours Beach area.
“We were the third family to move there. There was nothing in Upper Gibsons at all at that time so we just all stayed in that area. There was one other family that lived off Henry road but we never got to know them,” Skellett said.
She went to school at what is now known as the Heritage Building beside Gibsons Elementary. At the time it was the only schoolhouse on the Coast.
“All of us kids met there, every grade,” Skellett remembered.
There was one place to hang out when Skellett was a kid and that was the store on the waterfront in Gibsons. “If we weren’t there we were in the water. Growing up it felt like we were never out of the water,” Skellett said. “We grew up in a really lovely era.”
In contrast Skellett said nowadays people on the Coast seem to “be in a hurry all the time.”
“It’s just so busy now and there are so many people. The Sunshine Coast is beautiful though, so I guess people are just attracted to it.”
It was the beauty of the area that drew Skellett’s grandparents to Gibsons well over 100 years ago.
In honour of her 90th birthday on Aug. 18, family and friends have a special celebration planned, where many more memories will be shared.
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