The Vancouver Daily Province

Vancouver B C                    Wednesday, November 23, 1904

Twins Born To Castaway Woman
During Howling Gale
Shipwrecked Crew Alternately Gladdened and Distressed by Additions to their Number
Remarkable Events Occurred on Gambier Island on Saturday

    In the early hours of Saturday morning while a stiff southeaster whipped the seatops into white plume and drove chills like keen-edged knives into the bodies of two men and three women who escaped death in a shipwreck only to stand drenched to the skin on the shores of Gambier Island, Howe Sound, a baby boy was born to one of the women. Within the next forty-eight hours another child came to cheer the castaways. This second infant, also a boy, confirmed the feeling of grandparentage which had settled down over two members of the shipwrecked crew. The birth of these two children occurred under the most distressing of circumstances it is possible to imagine, and yet despite the physical discomforts and lack of proper food and attention, the mother of the twins bore up wonderfully well, and today is as proud a woman as is to be found in the province of British Columbia.

Born During Gale

    The story of the shipwreck and double birth on the bleak wind-driven shores of the little island in Howe Sound is told by Capt. Robbins master of the British ship Falklandbank, now loading lumber at the Hastings mills as follows:
" Yes I happened to be one of the first persons to hear the narration of this remarkable series of events," said Capt. Robbins this morning. " Yesterday, I took a trip on the steamer Brittania to view the scenery of Howe Sound. All went well till about 11:30 a. m., when we were within a mile of the southeast shore of Gambier Island. There a canoe came out and hailed the Brittannia. Two men were in the canoe, and from them we learned that they formed part of the crew of a small schooner driven ashore on Gambier Island during the howling gale of Saturday morning last. When the wreck occurred the occupants of the boat were a father, mother, two daughters and a son in law, all of them Chileans.
    They had suffered great hardships after their boat had filled with water some distance from shore, but finally all had managed to reach dry land.
    "The landing was made in the darkness just before daylight. While the two men were busily engaged in trying to erect some shelter for the women, a small child was born. Under the circumstances all went as well as could be expected for forty-eight hours when another child was born. Both kiddies were boys and fine youngsters,

The Youngsters Named

"When their story of the men had been heard, Capt. Cates ordered a boat lowered, and the men and women were taken on board. The mother and little ones were brought from shore on a stretcher. Capt. Cates placed the party in comfortable quarters and some time afterward he and I visited the mother and children. He made each of the youthful passengers a suitable present and in gratitude at what had been done the father thereupon named one boy "Brittania" and the other "Defiance", after the two steamers owned by Capt. Cates. On the return trip all the shipwrecked people were landed at Eagle Harbor. Altogether the trip was one of the most interesting and instructive I have ever made despite the fact that I have been at sea thirty-five years, and have covered most of the world during that time.

Copy of Original Newspaper

 Alfred Brittania and Peter Defiance Rodriguez
As Adults