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SOINTULA: Visiting a FINNISH TOWN

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Come join us as we visit Sointula, a former predominantly Finnish town and utopia on Malcolm Island, BC. The crossing from Port McNeill to Sointula was just 25 minutes, so an even shorter journey than the previous day’s trip to Alert Bay. You’ll want to check the BC Ferries schedule since sailings aren’t very frequent.

We kicked things off by stopping at Bere Point is because we had been told by fellow hikers that you can sometimes see orcas rubbing on the pebbly beach, so we sat on a log and waited with umbrellas in hand, but the orcas eluded us!

Our next stop on Malcolm Island was Pulteney Point Lighthouse over on the west end of the island. Built in 1943, this is both a lighthouse and a fog-alarm building that provides navigational aid to boats travelling between the Queen Charlotte Strait and Queen Charlotte Sound. The lighthouse isn’t open to visitors, however, we still enjoyed the beach walk to get there, so we’d recommend it for anyone looking for a short hike.

But now, let’s go back to the reason why we came all the way to Sointula: to learn about it’s Finnish past! The most logical place to start? the Sointula Museum.

Sointula’s history started when a group of Finnish settlers rowed up from Nanaimo, looking to escape the brutal working conditions in the coal mines and create a self-sustaining place of their own.

That’s how in 1901, the new utopia of Sointula, meaning place of harmony, was established on the island. Their guiding principles included ideas like communal ownership, decision making by consensus, equal pay for women, and a separate children’s home.

The commune began to grow and for a short time it appeared to have a bright future, but then, a series of unfortunate events brought things to a halt. After our museum visit, Sam couldn’t resist going into the co-op to see if they have some Finnish products in stock, namely his favourite salmiakki.

It was then time to get on the ferry and head back to Port McNeill. This was our last day on the north end of the island, but don’t worry we still have a few more Vancouver Island videos in store for you.

A special thank you to Trover for making this trip possible: https://www.trover.com/

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SOINTULA: Visiting a FINNISH TOWN
Category
Travel
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