BC Tel History in NW BC

North-West British Columbia, Canada

I worked for BC Tel in what was referred to as the Terrace District, part of the Northern Division.
Service area shown roughly in this map.

It encompased North to Stewart and Hyder, West including all of the QC Islands, (Haida Gwaii today), Minus Prince Rupert, (Outside Plant and CO only), which was owned by the Prince Rupert Telephone Company, East half way between Houston and Burns Lake, and south to Kitimat and Kemano. BC Tel had an agreement for the Long Distance Service from Prince Rupert, and a percentage of each call went to their own telephone company. To this day Prince Rupert City still owns their own telephone company. they were the only private Telephone Company in BC, before Cell Phones etc.. BC Tel also had an agreement with General Telephones (GT&E) in Wrangel Alaska, on the full service they provided in Hyder AK, including the outside plant, Long distance, etc. BC Tel at one time was half owned and controlled by GT&E an American Company. Both BC Tel, and now Telus, are a publically traded company.

I hired on in 1969 in Terrace, First as a Radio Microwave Man. At the end of 1982, I transferred to a mainly Inside Facility Man Position, and eventually retired as a Telus Employee, in that same job, all in Terrace BC.

Some of my BC Tel Memorabilia

I was asked to make a History CD years ago, for the Radio Department History in this area, and then the rest of the History, here in Terrace, and other Towns in NW BC, I added later on.

Over the years, some Employees have moved away, some have died, and a few like me, have stayed here.

I hope the info contained in my pages, does not insult anyone, as it isn't intended to do any harm to anyone. If it does in any way, let me know and I will correct the problem, or look for a solution that satisfies both of us.

This is a History of the Terrace District Of BC Tel / Telus, ca 1960's-1990's
Before the Cell Phone Era, Internet, and Optic TV!

Princess Rotary Phone, ca 1971

Yes All Telephones had Rotary Dials back then, No Touch Pads, and were all attached to a wall, by a cord at one time!
No worry about distracted driving back then! No iritating phones in restaurants!

Of course even in the rural areas here, before the rotary dial, There was the open wire (copper) on the many cross-arms, on the telephone poles, c/w glass insulators, using the different short and long ring system for each customer. Party lines with up to 10 customers was common, and existed for years in some communities in the Terrace District, even after the Open wire era. Last place open wire was used here, ran to Pacific, on CNR poles. Last big community near Terrace to get regular phones was Rosswood in 2001. Now of course these areas have TV, Internet, and Cell Phone access. No such thing as an isolated community anymore.

This will be an ongoing project, to add details for all the Departments listed below. Please check out what I do have online now. Also you will no doubt spot errors, in my recollections, example- omissions of names, spelling of names wrong, etc. Forgive me in advance, and please send a correction.

I have scanned the pictures I have, These were taken from various editions of the old company newspaper, called Mackenzie Matters, and previous to that the Northern Busy Back. Ken Blanes must be thanked for saving his copies, and loaning them to me for 3 years + now, and finally being put to use here. The quality of the pics, leaves a little bit to be desired, but something, is better than nothing. Last Issue of Mackenzie Matters was August 1991.

I also happen to know Bill Reynolds had some issues, of older yet, Company magazines, so I am hoping to get access to them one day. If you see a name with no picture, feel free to email them to me.

I would like to thank Brooke Hodgson who mailed me a huge box of pictures, videos etc. I have many hours of scanning next winter to do now, so thanks for those. see link below as some are online now. He also gave me a tip on locating some old photo albums, that were rescued from the dumpster by Jack Grieves. I can see more scanning in my future.

Jan 2013, Ron Anderson delivered a bag of prints to my home, and after a couple days of scanning, I have started to upload some of them. It's a work in progress.

Then in Mar 2015, I finally got around to scanning Brian Wolfe's collection. Other than a few slides I had trouble digitizing, all are online now.

Now here I am back again, Jan 2018, redesigning the whole site, new format, some new photos, and updated info. Enjoy!

Click on a link below and enjoy the past telephone history in this area.

TWU Local 33 History
Now Telus Employees, are members of the International Steel Workers Union


  • Last modified: 2018/03/08 22:27
  • by dlgent