By Pat Grubb
Garry Roberts, a direct descendant of Lieutenant Henry Roberts, recently learned that Point Roberts had been named after his forebear.
Australian citizens, Garry and his wife Maria decided to check out Point Roberts on a vacation to North America. They subsequently contacted the All Point Bulletin to ask how one went about visiting the Point. On Friday, May 20, I picked the Roberts up from the Hotel Vancouver and brought them down to the Point.
First stop was the community center where the Roberts met with enthusiastic members of the Point Roberts Historical Society. The members presented Roberts with a number of gifts, including a history of Point Roberts by Richard Clark, a DVD of the primary school’s winter play about how Point Roberts got its name and a local jigsaw puzzle.
Next up was a “show and tell” session at the Point Roberts Primary School where the children got to ask many questions about Garry’s ancestor and what Australia is like.
Sample question: Are there snakes in Australia? Answer: Yes, once I went to the long drop and a brown snake slithered by my feet. Question: What’s a long drop? Answer: An out house. Question: What’s an out house?
The students asked Garry for his autograph leading to a bemused remark that he felt like a celebrity.
Following a lunch at Brewster’s Fine Foods where the Roberts had Dungeness crab for the first time in their lives, they were given the Cook’s tour of Point Roberts, which was appropriate given that Lieutenant Henry Roberts sailed extensively with Captain Cook and was with him when Cook was killed on a beach in Hawaii.
While on tour, the Roberts saw deer, squirrels, a steller sea lion, great blue herons and scads of bald eagles. After a short stop at the Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia, they were deposited back at their hotel, ready for their cruise to Alaska and the Arctic Circle.