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Letters: Consider the historical context of the Gibsons Stonehurst home



The home known as Stonehurst, originally a 22-room dwelling, was built around 1913 by the Sunshine Coast’s first-ever physician, Doctor Fred Inglis. Stonehurst served as the Sunshine Coast’s first surgery and pharmacy.  

Dr. Inglis served as a physician on the Coast from 1913 to 1945. Inglis also built Marina House on the waterfront in Lower Gibson, in 1931, which was originally an apartment dwelling.  

Dr. Inglis was a friend of J.S. Woodsworth, one of the founders in 1932, along with Tommy Douglas, of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF), the precursor of today’s New Democratic Party (NDP). Woodsworth believed in and practiced a social justice  philosophy informed by the Social Gospels, in addition to social democratic political beliefs influenced by Fabian and Labour Party ideologies. Woodsworth moved to Gibsons in 1917 where he served as a Methodist minister. During the First World War Woodsworth, a pacifist, was against conscription, as was his friend Inglis. Woodsworth’s beliefs and views eventuated in the church council likely forcing, and accepting, his resignation. Having resigned his ministry with the church, he forfeited his church supplied home and income. He and his wife Lucy, along with their six children, moved into the Inglis home at Stonehurst; the Inglis family also had six children.  

Both Inglis and Woodsworth shared an affinity not only with pacifist beliefs but also social democratic principles and ideals. Inglis facilitated weekly gatherings at his home with members of the Coast’s Finnish community interested in social democracy.  

I only discovered this week, following last week’s announcement regarding discovery of at least 40 unmarked graves of Indigenous children in Sechelt, that Dr. Fred Inglis had been the medical officer and physician of note for the so-called “residential school” in Sechelt for some period of time; this association warrants further investigation. 

Colin James Sanders, Gibsons 

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