In the mid-nineteenth century, young men from Europe journeyed to the wilds of the Oregon and Washington Territories and to British Columbia to become missionaries to the many indigenous tribes of these regions. Jean-Charles Pandosy was one of these many young men, who, at the age of 23, chose that adventure. He grew up in Marseilles, France where he joined the Order of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate. After a request from a Canadian bishop, Pandosy was chosen and sent to the vast regions of the Pacific Northwest to provide missionary work to aboriginals and Europeans alike. A remarkable destiny awaited him and he spent the rest of his life in the region.
Pandosy was not alone in this endeavour. He had many colleagues with him, friends and foes, who are also part of this remarkable story. He met and worked with numerous native societies as far south as Walla Walla and as far North as Prince George, spending some time along the way in Victoria, Hope, and Kamloops. He is most notably remembered for his many accomplishments as the pioneer founder of L’Anse au Sable and the Okanagan Mission, later to be encompassed in the thriving city of Kelowna.
This well researched historical narrative will take you from Pandosy’s early years of training in Marseille, to his North American adventures and finally, to the end of his life on a cold night in the Interior of British Columbia.
It is an epic story, full of drama, hardship and the faith of one man. In the words of the author, “His life reads like an adventure novel featuring one of the first discoverers of the Western frontier. His epic story reveals itself in his youth, his voyage across the Atlantic, his long journey across North America, and his endless travelling around virtually uncharted territory.
The facts related in this book are based mainly on Jean- Charles Pandosy’s letters, which have a typically Provençal flavour, even when he wrote them by candlelight in a makeshift cabin, braving the icy cold, far away from the chirping of cicadas. He was a charming, sincere man, full of brotherly love for his flock, and was one of the great missionaries who lived out their outstanding adventures in the Far West of the 1850s