VMC LogoFrom Camp to Community: Cowichan Forest Life


Recreation of a camp post office, located at the BC Forest Discovery Centre

Recreation of a camp post office, located at the BC Forest Discovery Centre
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The post office was the lifeline for many loggers. While in the early camps, letters were the only way that the men could communicate with friends and family and stay in touch with the world outside. There were phones and radios in camp, but these were reserved for emergencies and company business.

Mail delivery to the camps was not regular as today. Mail was rarely delivered daily and in some camps would only arrive once a week or so. When the mail was delivered to camp, the postmaster would sort the letters and packages on a special chair shortened just for sorting mail. It was easier for the postmaster to check names and pile the letters and packages with this chair. The loggers, when word spread through the camp, would line up at the post office to claim their mail. A logger may have rented a combination lock box that the postmaster would fill or would collect mail from the post office window. As loggers moved regularly from camp to camp, the mail would follow and sometimes take up to a year to find them!

The Dominion Post Office was apt to cause problems with the camps as it did with the Mayo Camp, if it were unhappy with the camp name. Each of the camps needed an official name so the post office would know where to deliver mail. Mayo Camp, named after its owner Mayo Singh, was deemed too confusing a name by the Post Office as there were other Mayo's listed in Canada. So, Mayo Singh changed the camp name to Paldi - the name of his home village in India.

>> Information about Mayo Singh and Paldi