Nelson's mayoral challengers

COLUMN: Nelson’s mayoral race: the Internet reacts

It was interesting to watch online reaction as the three Nelson mayoral contenders declared their intentions.

It was interesting to watch reaction at nelsonstar.com and on the Nelson Star’s Facebook page over the last week and a bit as the three Nelson mayoral contenders declared their intentions.

Online chatter in the form of comments, likes, and shares probably isn’t a reliable indicator of voting preferences, but I was surprised there was barely a peep when John Dooley announced plans to seek a fourth term. Maybe it was accepted as a foregone conclusion.

There was considerable feedback when retired Nelson police sergeant and political neophyte Pat Severyn made his candidacy known, most of it positive. And there was a more muted, though still positive, reaction when councillor Deb Kozak confirmed many months of rumours by tossing her hat in the ring. (Should Kozak win, she will become the first woman to hold the job in the city’s 117 years.)

Severyn’s candidacy probably benefits Kozak, as I expect him to draw votes that would otherwise go to Dooley. However, I couldn’t begin to guess who will come out on top.

Kozak’s announcement also means a majority of incumbents on Nelson city council will not return. Candace Batycki, Paula Kiss, and Donna Macdonald have already indicated they won’t seek re-election. Now either or both Dooley and Kozak won’t be back.

The addition of Valerie Warmington to the council race this week ensures there will actually be a vote, as there are now seven candidates for the six positions — two incumbents and five newcomers, although Charles Jeanes isn’t really a newcomer, having run unsuccessfully several times before.

In 2011, there were eight candidates for council. Jeanes and incumbent Marg Stacey didn’t make the cut.

HB SAUCE: Something in a recent consultant’s report on the HB mine tailings dam south of Salmo struck me as odd: it referred to the property at least a couple of times as the Hudson Bay mine. That’s not where the name HB comes from, although I have since learned the origin of this misconception.

HB isn’t an abbreviation; it’s the full name of the mine, derived from the initials of its co-discoverers.

In a memoir published in the January 1954 issue of Cominco Magazine, P.F. Horton recalled that in 1910 he and John Benson were travelling across Brisbane Mountain when he found a large piece of carbonate ore and decided to stake a claim: “For a name we chose the first letter from each of our surnames, and thus the property became known as the HB.”

Horton and Benson were later joined by Sid Ross and H.M. Billings — the latter of whom was sometimes erroneously given as the B in HB.

The HB “proved difficult to dispose of,” Horton wrote. In 1911, Cominco took an option of it, but the first shipments weren’t profitable enough. It had a couple more lessees before R.K. Neil and associates of Spokane took over in September 1915. Their outfit, incorporated the following spring, was known as the Hudson Bay Zinc Mining Co.

Another history of the HB mine published in Cominco Magazine in February 1953 claimed “there was no connection between the mine’s initials and the company operating it,” but I think the former probably begat the latter. The HB likely inspired Neil and his colleagues in naming their company. Whether they actually thought the HB stood for Hudson Bay we’ll never know, but their decision has caused confusion ever since.

You can read the stories mentioned above and others about the HB mine by clicking here.

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