Hector worked at two radio direction finder stations on the Canadian east coast (Cape Race, Newfoundland and Navy Station #2, Canso, Nova Scotia) and joined the Dominion Wireless about 1920.  He then came west.


   He moved around the stations, Point Gray 1920-23, Estevan 1923-24 then up to Bull Harbour for 1925-27. From there he went to Pachena as chief operator. He accidently fell down a cliff on the West Coast Trail in the winter of 1928. He was taken to Vancouver for treatment but died in February 1930 aged 34. He left behind a wife and two children.

   In July 2011 his granddaughter, Heather, sent me the following photos from Hector's album.  As usual, here and elsewhere on this site, a click will produce a larger picture.

 

01 A winter shot of Pachena from the late 1920's. The radio direction finder shed is at the right and the rest of the buildings are staff dwellings. The DF station used two huge loop antennas set within, and at right angles to each other. One of the DF antenna supporting masts is at the rear of the photo.
The wireless station operation's building was off the left of the photo.

02  Pachena dwelling in the late 1920's. Most likely the one where Hector and his family lived.

 

03  Hoist from the landing cove at Pachena. Not for the faint of heart.

 

04 1923 view of Estevan Point Wireless station. Operations building at the lower left. Wooden stepped mast visible. New operations/power building not yet constructed.

05 Late 1920's shot of Pachena lightstation. Wireless operations building not visible, but is down behind the light tower.

 

06  1923 shot of Estevan showing station dwellings on the ridge behind, and the combined power house and operations building below.  Engine cooling tower off to the left of the power house.

07 A big thumping one lung diesel, either Estevan or Pachena. How the ship crews grappled this iron wheel ashore and transported to the station is puzzle. The flywheel must have weighed a ton or two on its own!

08  Operations building somewhere.  It isn't Point Grey as the building layout is different. Nor is it Bull Harbor.

09  Estevan about 1924 showing the end of the tramway. The original tramway went north to a landing, but in later years the landing and tramway was moved east to the more sheltered Hesquiaht.

10  Bull Harbor around 1926. Mast top photo showing two of the residences.

11  Looking to the west from the top of the mast at Bull Harbour. Through the gloom is the coast of Vancouver Island. The harbour is a bottle shape and provides an excellent sheltered harbour for small craft, even today it is popular with the boating fraternity. The harbour provides a safe anchorage in the Cape Scott area.

12 A shot of Pachena. Direction Finder operations building dead centre in photo.

Pachena DF used two large loops of wire at right angles to each other. Four masts, one at each corner, and a taller final fifth mast in the centre. One of the corner masts can be seen on the right, white paint contrasted with the dark back ground. A wireless signal impinging at right angles to one loop would not impart any energy into the receiving apparatus located in the small building. A signal being received in line with a loop would impart maximum energy, and so on round the circle. By comparing the level received by each loop it was an easy matter to determine the bearing of the signal.

The wireless operations building can be seen as a smudge at the base of the light tower.

13  Some excellent boat work here. I don't know what the device is at the bow--seems to have a handle on it. Perhaps Corriveau made the boat to while away some time.

14 Operator Hector Corriveau on his Harley-Davidson motorcycle.

 

15  As in photo 13. The building appears to be the engine/operations building at Bull Harbor.  This station is the only one where Hector would have easy and direct access to the saltwater.

 

16  Bull Harbor 1926 showing the board walk to the residences. The operations office building would be immediately behind the photographer.

 

17  Probably a bridge on the life saving trail near Pachena around 1929.

 

18 Looking over the cliff from Pachena showing the supply hoist.

 

19 Possibly another bridge on the Life Saving Trail by Pachena.

Barry Campbell, a west coast trail historian, advises "#19 is probably Tscowis Creek, prior to it having a suspension bridge (from at least 1950's to present). This photo was taken during some pretty heavy flows, usually the falls are much smaller. The photo was taken from the beach. Tscowis Creek is about 3-4 miles south of Pachena Point. The trail's maintainers probably went to a suspension bridge when high waters or wood debris took out the central support posts."

20   Camping on the beach somewhere. Tent and rough building in evidence.

 

21  Camping on the beach. Lots of driftwood, doesn't look like the Pachena area, no cliff.

 

22  Hector Corriveau in a Naval uniform. During WW1 Hector was an operator at the Canso, Nova Scotia, Naval direction finding station.

 

23  Hector served under this officer at Navy Direction Finder Station #2 (Canso Nova Scotia?) from June to December 1918. He also spent a year at the Cape Race DF station in Newfoundland, probably before this posting.

24  Hector succumbed to his fall injuries on February 1st, 1930. This letter attests to the regard he was held in the 'sister service', the transoceanic cable between Bamfield and New Zealand.

Cable Station, Bamfield BC Feby 10th 1930

Dear Mrs. Corriveau

I am requested by my colleague Mr Rockley, now in Auckland New Zealand, to convey to you his most sincere and deep regret on learning of you sad bereavement.
Will you please accept from my wife and self our heartfelt sympathy.

Yours Very Sincerely
Fred Yeomans

25 122 Merrymeeting Road, St. John's, Newfoundland, March 28/30
Dear Mrs Corriveau:

I was very sorry indeed to read of the death of your husband. "Corri" spent a year with me at the D.F. at Cape Race and we were good chums. He wrote me some while ago and told me about his falling over the cliff, and I presume his death was a result of this fall. Please accept my sincere sympathy for yourself and two little children. Mrs Brown joins with me in this expression.


Yours very truly, W. A. Brown.

 

26  Estevan in 1923-24. Fawn was adopted by the family. In the background are the fog alarm building and base of light tower. This photo was taken looking eastward near the driftwood beach.

27  The results of Hector's Morse code examination taken in Seattle. August 1920. 12 words/minute at 71% accuracy. That means every 4th character was decoded incorrectly. I wonder if the American standards were somewhat less than the Canadian.

 28  The Corrieveau's with some guns.  Bears and cougars were a threat, especially when walking to Bamfield.

29  The Corrieveau family with the wooden Pachena light tower in the background.

 

30 Corriveau on crutches. On October 28, 1929 Hector and a lad from the station went on a hike along the coast.  He tumbled 30 feet down a cliff face around 3PM and suffered head and body trauma.  It took eight hours for station help to reach him.  His injuries were serious enough to call the tender Estevan and by the 31st. he was in a Victoria hospital.  The next day he was in a Vancouver hospital due to his wife's insistence.  There he remained until passing away on February 1, 1930.  Two days before he passed away, Corri wrote a letter while recovering in a Vancouver hospital. He was in good spirits, but from the symptoms he expressed (losing weight, stomach problems, swelling in his limbs), he had probably suffered some serious internal injuries.