Ted Thorstenson, who designed and built the 45-foot Pacific Dawn, sent this note about how Elworthy Island in Waddington Channel got its name, and how the plaque marking it came to be.


I was reading the Waggoner writeup about Elworthy Island and the plaque dedicating the island to Douglas Elworthy. I can elaborate on this subject.

When we saw you in the Octopus Islands, I think I shared with you and Marilynn that one of my life adventures was being an engineer on the fish packer Chimo IV for a couple of summers. My skipper on Chimo IV was Jens Freylund, a great guy who commercial fished halibut for years. Jens and I became good buds and have stayed in touch since that time.

A very good longtime friend of Jens is Terry Elworthy, the brother of Douglas Elworthy, who the plaque commemorates. Douglas was serving on the Empress of Asia when a bomb was dropped on her in Singapore.

Elworthy Island

For years, Terry strived to have an island named after his brother. Finally, after much red tape, concerted effort and persistence, Terry heard from the government. There were two islands he could choose from. One was on the west coast of Vancouver Island, the other was in Waddington Channel. Terry chose Waddington Channel.

Terry had a plaque made and several times had arrangements organized for delivery and placement. Each time the plans fell through.

So . . . Jens phoned me. After the usual polite greetings and inquiries, Jens said, “I want you to do a favor for a friend of mine.” My response was an instant “Absolutely!” I would do favors for a lot of people, but for certain I would do anything that Jens asked—he is one of those good guys.

I phoned Terry Elworthy, introduced myself, and told him we would get the plaque placed on the newly named Elworthy Island come hell or high water. I asked for the plaque’s dimensions, the mounting provisions, and how he envisioned its placement. I built a form and let Terry know the volume of premixed quick cure concrete needed when he, his wife Bobbi, and Jens would meet us on Pacific Dawn at Okeover Landing. The plan was in place.

The day was beautiful. With Jens and the Elworthys on board we cruised up Waddington Channel and met Shalady, (Bart & Audrey Shaw) and Wanganui (Stan & Chris Giles) at the island. The group, the quick cure concrete, the form, tools, mixing bucket and water were skiffed to shore and the plaque was placed in the concrete. A return to Pacific Dawn for a lunch prepared by my wife Karen, and then back to the concrete based plaque. The forms were removed, and the plaque and choice of setting admired. Then a short, emotional ceremony was carried out by Terry, dedicating the island to his deceased brother, Douglas Richard Elworthy.

Best regards,
Ted Thorstenson
M/V Pacific Dawn

Share this: