The Mission Boat Makehewi

by Susan Robertson and John MacFarlane 2018


The Mission Boat Makehewi likely taken at Whaletown BC by Allen Robertson. (Photo from the Susan Robertson collection.)

The mission boat Makehewi was built in 1910 as the Charlotte S. at Port Blakely, WA USA. She was 35.1’ x 11.2’ x 4.0’ wooden hull 14gt. She was powered by a 1.8hp gas engine by Union Gas Engine Co., San Francisco CA USA.

Makehewi engine

The Mission Boat Makehewi in Thurston Bay January 1920 taken by Allen Robertson. (Photo from the Susan Robertson collection.)

In 1910 she was owned by USA interests. In 1912–1918 she was owned by William Sulley Jr., Vancouver BC. In 1920 she was owned by the Columbia Coast Missions, Vancouver BC. In 1921 she was owned by John MacGregor V.C., Prince Rupert BC. In 1924 she was sold to Bertram O. Pender, Vancouver BC. In 1927–1931 she was owned by Thomas Campbell. In 1931 she was owned by Alvin Miller, Roberts Creek BC. She was removed from the registry in 1935.

These photographs were taken by Allen Robertson when he worked with the Reverend Alan Greene in the Columbia Coast Mission during the winter of 1919–1920.

Makehewi engine

The engine of the Makehewi taken by Allen Robertson. (Photo from the Susan Robertson collection.)

In 1920 she was owned by the Columbia Coast Missions, Vancouver BC as a mission vessel operated by the Reverend Alan Greene. She was eventually replaced, in 1924, by the mission boat Rendezvous.

Allen Robertson was co–author Susan Robertson’s grandfather. He was born in 1898. In 1905 he came with his parents to Cortes Island permanently. In 1914 he enlisted in the army and served in the trenches in Belgium. He contracted TB and was invalided home. He worked with the Reverend Alan Greene, who was a family friend, on the Makehewi for the winter of 1919–1920. Once he had completely recovered he logged and worked as an engineer at the Ocean Falls and Elk Falls mills. He raised a family, and eventually retired back to the family land on Cortes Island where he spent the rest of his life.

One of the vessel’s owners, John MacGregor VC, MC & Bar, DCM, came to Canada in 1909 with his family settling in the interior of BC. During the First World War He served in the Canadian Scottish Regiment and Captain 2nd Canadian Mounted Rifles and 1st Central Ontario Regiment. He became Lieutenant Colonel commanding the 2nd Battalion Canadian Scottish Regiment. He won the Victoria Cross for deeds between September 29th and October 3rd, 1918 near Cambrai France. During World War Two he enlisted as a Private but was later commissioned as a Lieutenant Colonel. He served as the Lieutenant Colonel Commanding the Wainwright (AB) Training Camp. John MacGregor moved to Powell River in the 1920s working as a construction worker and he joined the Powell River Co. as a carpenter in 1931. After World War Two he operated a company manufacturing concrete bricks. He was one of the most highly decorated of all Canadian war heroes. He died on June 9th, 1947 at Powell River BC is buried near Cranberry Lake BC.

To quote from this article please cite:

Robertson, Susan and John MacFarlane (2018) The Mission Boat Makehewi. 2018.

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