Editor - Craig Hill, Certified Publisher


I've set type in Yaletown for a number of years and produced some small community newspapers as well as some name magazines in Vancouver. I'm bringing some publishing skills to Chilliwack. The Valley Voice News has been proudly serving the community of Chilliwack since 2009.

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My grandmother on Dad's side was the last true Quesnel. We sprinkled her ashes in Lumby BC, where a relative was the first Mountie, Alphonse Quesnel. My Christian name is Alphonse after him.


In 1808, my gr-grandfather Jules-Maurice Quesnel (below), walked across the country with Simon Fraser. He kept the logs. And then, unlike walkers of today, Quesnel and Fraser walked back for the sake of the country. Past the rattlesnake poison-tipped arrows in the canyon again.


They made it. Quesnel became a revered politician, back when politics was real in Lower Canada. And that's another story.


His father, Joseph Quesnel, wrote the first Canadian opera.


Among his works were two operas, Colas et Colinette and Lucas et Cécile; the former is considered to be the first Canadian opera.


Jules-Maurice Quesnel was a fur trader, member of the Beaver Club, businessman and political figure in Canada East. He was born Julien-Maurice Quesnel in Montreal in 1786, the son of Joseph Quesnel, and studied at the Collège Saint-Raphaël.


In 1811, he returned east and served in the Montreal militia during the War of 1812, reaching the rank of lieutenant. He then moved to Kingston and later York as a merchant, finally settling in Montreal.


With partner, John Spread Baldwin, he became involved in the buying and selling of goods, including the export of timber and flour and owned shares in steamships operating in the region. Quesnel was named a justice of the peace, also served as warden of Trinity House at Montreal from 1830 to 1839 and was a member of the commission for the Montreal harbour.


In 1838, he was named to the special council that governed Lower Canada after the Lower Canada Rebellion and, in 1841, he was named to the Legislative Council of the Province of Canada. He died at age 54 in Montreal in May of 1842 and was buried in the parish church of Notre Dame.

His brother Frédéric-Auguste was a member of the legislative assembly and legislative council.

Jules-Maurice Quesnel, married Marie Josette Cotte, daughter of Gabriel Cotte in June, 1816. She later founded the Catholic Orphan Asylum in Montreal, Quebec. His sisters-in-law were Madame Francois Antoine Larocque and Madame Alexis Laframboise. His widow Josette died on June 6, 1866.


Some of the Quesnels settled in BC after the gold rush in 1867. They are all up in the Lumby cemetery now. All 25 of them. Big tough loggers. We put grandma's ashes up there a couple of years ago. Someday, I'm going to put dad's ashes there too.

See more
"Jules-Maurice Quesnel". Dictionary of Canadian Biography (online ed.). University of Toronto Press. 1979–2005.
"Biography". Dictionnaire des parlementaires du Québec de 1792 à nos jours (in French).
National Assembly of Quebec


On Mom's side, Gladys Armstrong, her family lived in Chilliwack many decades. My grandfather was a volunteer Chilliwack firefighter until he was badly burned in a fire.


My parents met in Chilliwack back in the 50's. I've been here and there in Chilliwack for 60 years.


Grandpa on dad's side, he worked on the trains as a bartender for many years and at one point owned the Fort Hope Hotel and later the little cafe in the gas station at Cottonwood Corners in the 50's.

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