Railway conductor remembered

William Herbert Jarvis Baker, known as Billy to many friends at the Kettle Valley Steam Railway, died peacefully on Oct. 23.

Bill Baker

William Herbert Jarvis Baker, known as Billy to many friends at the Kettle Valley Steam Railway, died peacefully on Oct. 23, two days after his 86th birthday, at St. Mary’s Hospital in Sechelt, B.C.

Born Oct. 23, 1925 in Red Deer, Alberta, Baker grew up in North Vancouver.

His passion was collecting — toys, music boxes, trains and books.

As the first director of the North Vancouver Museum and Archives, he amassed thousands of artifacts, photographs and materials to populate the collections of the museum and the archives.

In 1986, he helped acquire and restore the last remaining car from North Vancouver’s street railway system.

After retiring, Baker moved to Summerland around 1990 and immediately became involved with the Kettle Valley Steam Railway.

He loved the railway and his passion for heritage, collecting and experience as a museum founder and archivist was a perfect fit for the then fledgling KVSR Society.

He wore many hats, loving his conductor’s hat best. Baker served as an advocate for the society and a director on the KVSR Society’s Board.

He delivered the railway’s brochures to tourism outlets, rode the KVSR float in parades, and volunteered as a host trainman.

He never wanted to miss a train run, especially a train robbery and barbecue event.

With his grizzled gray whiskers, and gruff voice, barking out orders to keep the little ones safe, Baker looked like he had been there forever.

He took pride in his steady hands and old conductor’s uniform.

One of the Kettle Valley Steam Railway’s most photographed characters, he is surely part of photo albums all over the world.

His long-time friends at the railway remember him as a character who loved life, a good laugh, and being in the thick of the action.

Baker was an extraordinary man whose commitment, alongside others, helped to create and preserve the Kettle Valley Steam Railway.

 

Just Posted

Food Bank receives support

The Summerland Legion recently donated food items and $1,000 to the Summerland Food Bank

Update: Damage to transmission lines cause power outages

Residents were without power for hours in many parts of the South Okanagan-Boundary regions

Updated: Accused in Kelowna triple murder in court today

Jacob Forman has been in custody since he was arrested and charged with second degree murder

JoeAnna’s House fundraising campaign reaches $4.5 million

Offering ‘home away from home’ for families of KGH patients

EDITORIAL: The historic value of a gas pump

An artefact to be displayed in the community should have some significance to the community’s story

B.C. cougar kitten rescued after mother struck by vehicle

Conservation Officers find home for young kitten found dehydrated and frostbitten near Williams Lake

OK Falls pot shop vandalized a week after opening

Windows were smashed Wednesday evening and spray paint called the owner a “goof” and a “pedo”

Suspected Toronto serial killer targeting gay community arrested

A 66-year-old man is charged with first-degree murder in disappearance of two Toronto men

Osoyoos man faces 13 criminal charges

Charges stem from an investigation of a break and enter in Osoyoos

Carpet bowlers have been excluded from BC 55+ Games and Canada 55+ Games

Gold medal carpet bowling winners not able to defend their titles in 2018

UPDATE: Police release new footage, launch website in hunt for 13-year-old’s killer

IHIT say no one has been arrested or charged in connection with Marrisa Shen’s death

Rural B.C. students score visit with Canadiens netminder Carey Price

Two students from the Chilcotin can hardly wait to meet hometown hero Carey Price in Montreal.

VIDEO: Elk parade on Vancouver Island is awesome sight

They’re out in force for a morning stroll. Check out some of Youbou’s famous elk.

North Delta’s boy newest BC Children’s Hospital Foundation’s Champion Child

Colton takes the reins from 2107 Champion Child and Tsawwassen resident Taylin McGill

Most Read