Fort Camp News

When I was in second and third year at UBC (1967-1969), I lived in Fort Camp, a low-budget student residence in the area where the Museum of Anthropology and Sociology, opened in 1978, is currently located.

According to a lengthy web article dating from 2018, Fort Camp was "previously an army base, built to protect Point Grey against a Pacific attack, [and] the project was completed almost overnight in 1939. The army barracks and anti-ship batteries were bought by UBC in 1946, after it was pretty obvious that no one needed to be worrying about a Pacific attack. It was said to be just 'six long huts, a mess-hall, and a few smaller buildings,' before more huts were brought from the Tofino army base to make much-needed campus housing for the post-war boom."

The article continues, "Some of the rooms in the bunk-house were 'six by eight feet in size' with a 'ratio of space to weight only slightly better than guinea-pig cages.' In 1954 the residence had 399 'single men' and 156 'single women' in the new Fort Camp building. One section of the residence had 65 residents but only 'two wash-basins, two mirrors and one toilet'." (I remember a washroom like this; when someone was taking a shower, people would sneak in and flush the toilets which would change the temperature of the shower to scalding.)

Unlike other UBC residences built later which were multi-story buildings like apartments with typical amenities, most of Fort Camp consisted of several one-level structures which were pretty spartan. Between 1950-51, three modern, new dormitories for women were built in the area, each named after women who were important to the early days of the university: Anne Wesbrook, wife of first university president Frank Fairchild Wesbrook; Isabel MacInnes, the first woman to be appointed to the Faculty of UBC; and Mary Bollert, UBC's first 'Dean of Women'." (A Fort Camp annual from 1968 suggests there was yet a fourth women's dorm, named after Mary Murrin, wife of W.G. Murrin, former member of the UBC Board of Governors and recipient of an honorary degree in 1957.)

Another web site, an obituary for someone who lived in Fort Camp just after I did, described it as "like the movie 'Animal House,' without the dead horse." And here is another article about Fort Camp taken from the December 2022 edition of the UBC Alumni Magazine.

In my second year, I lived in the "basement" of Hut Five. Most of this hut was on one level, but it was U-shaped, built on the side of a hill with the bottom of the U up by the road which was just below the Rose Garden and Faculty Club. At the top of the U down the hill there were rooms on each side of it in the "basement," which is where I lived.

Obviously carrying on the William Randolph Hearst-like power trip from when I was the editor of my high school paper only three years before, I convinced someone that there should be a "paper" for Fort Camp, even if it was only a single 8″x11″ sheet printed on either white or "cherry"-colored paper and again printed with a Gestetner machine, this time at the UBC Housing Office, which we often made fun of in the paper.

The paper reflects the various "isms" of the times, plus a lot of drinking and "tanking" (people of both sexes being thrown into or doused with water) as well as what was happening on campus elsewhere and in Vancouver (after all, this was the late 60's, when the Georgia Straight was making trouble). Let's face it, some of the "journalism" in the Fort Camp News is pretty obnoxious.

To help me make the paper, I had several people, aside from those who lived in the three rooms in the "basement," plus Shameless Nightingale, self-described as "a dreamer, a poet, always fashionably attired in Salvation Army garb, and occasionally coherent."

There were 15 issues of the paper produced in my second year, and three at the beginning of my third, when I had moved to Hut Four, and seemingly threw in the towel.

The papers were produced with an ancient Underwood typewriter which was mine from Haney, and sometimes printed on 8″x14″ paper which results in some of the PDF files below being formatted a bit differently. Copies of all the papers were donated in the fall of 2023 to the UBC Library's Special Collections.

By the way, the term L.I.A.H.O., seen in several issues of the paper, stands for "Let It All Hang Out."

Volume 1, Number 1 (1967)

Volume 1, Number 2 (1967)

Volume 1, Number 3 (1967)

Volume 1, Number 4 (1967)

Volume 1, Number 5 (January 17, 1968)

Volume 1, Number 6 (January 19, 1968)

Volume 1, Number 7 (January 24, 1968)

Volume 1, Number 8 (January 31, 1968)

Volume 1, Number 9 (February 7, 1968)

Volume 1, Number 10 (February 16, 1968)

Volume 1, Number 11 (February 28, 1968)

Volume 1, Number 12 (March 6, 1968)

Volume 1, Number 13 (March 15, 1968)

Volume 1, Number 14 (March 20, 1968)

Volume 1, Number 15 (March 27, 1968)

Volume 2, Number 1 (September, 1968)

Volume 2, Number 2 (October, 1968)

Volume 2, Number 3 (December, 1968)

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