Your Country, Your Story: What brought the Courtnall family to Vancouver Island?

Your Country, Your Story:  What brought the Courtnall family to Vancouver Island?

Russ Courtnall begins the story, explaining that his grandfather emigrated from England.

“Our grandfather moved over in 1920, 1922. They were quite a large family and they sailed over to Halifax, and most of them ended up in Winnipeg.”

From there, some of the family continued to Victoria.

“Our great, great grandfather” explains Russ “and our aunt moved out here with our father and his brother.”

Work took a young Archie Courtnall and his bride Kathleen to Youbou.

Bruce Courtnall picks up the story here.

“We lived in Duncan for about the first seven months of my life in Youbou, that’s where all of us were born.”

Geoff Courtnall remembers “growing up in Youbou was very exciting.

“We lived right on the lake, and my dad would pick us up, well, pick me up, I was very young, and take me with him in the tugboat and go around and look at the logs on the lake.”

Russ adds that “our Dad worked for BC Forest Products, and he was up in the mill there, in Youbou., and then was transferred back down to Victoria.”

And so the three brothers, and sister Cheryl, returned to Victoria. And the rest is hockey history!

“Having both of them be on Hockey Night in Canada, and their names mentioned” explains Bruce, “Ron McLean always saying “Oh, the boys are from Youbou, born in Duncan, and Victoria is home, you know we got a lot of plugs for our home city on the CBC.”

“Growing up here is such a wonderful place” says Russ. “I brought my family back here for a four year stay after I retired.

“It’s home for me. It will always be home, even though I live somewhere else.”

“I’ve lived in Vancouver, Seattle, Notre Dame, I’ve been to a lot of places, but I’ve always been fortunate to call it home, and just love living here” adds Bruce.

And Geoff agrees. “The lifestyle is fantastic here. You know, the mountains and the ocean, I love to fish…

“I think, when you grow up somewhere, and you get used to the lifestyle of living in that place, it’s very easy to come back here.”

Veronica CooperVeronica Cooper

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