top of page

The Ambassador of Shawnigan Lake

1950 article from unknown local newspaper)

The Shawnigan Lake district of southern Vancouver Island is famous for its beauty and Bobby

Ross, the local Provincial constable. Cottagers have been spending lazy months at Shawnigan ever since the advent of the automobile, and they go back year after year to enjoy the calm tranquility of one of nature's grand spots.

When the Provincial Police detachment was opened some years ago, the powers that be made a singularly lucky choice in selecting Constable Robert Ross for the post. By the nature of things, crime is little known at Shawnigan, but there are the problems of hundreds of cottagers and campers and when it comes to public relations — Bobby Ross is a "natural".

With his good-natured grin, nothing seems to be too much trouble. When Constable Ross is contacted, lost children turn up with miraculous ease, tires get fixed, bus schedules untangle themselves and generally, the whole situation, whatever it may be, gets smoothed out with magical ease. He has established himself high in the estimation of the younger generation, which is probably the reason why juvenile delinquency has never been a problem around the Lake.

A veteran of the first World War, Ross served in France with the Canadian Field Artillery, and after a stint as a newspaper man, he joined the B.C. Police in January 1924. Always a keen lover of horses (he was a driver in the Artillery) Bob thought he was close to heaven when the first year and a half of his police service was with the Mounted Troop .. Then he was a few months at Victoria district headquarters and for the last 13 years he has been the Force's "ambassador" at Shawnigan Lake.

His hobby? Oh, yes-Bob Ross is an authority on sporting events, probably a throwback to the days when he covered this feature for the Victoria Times. Ask him who won the World Series in 1904 and he'll tell you not only the teams arid scores, but who was replaced at second base in the third inning l Whether it's flat racing,, trotting matches or fisticuffs

Bob Ross has the answer--and his uncanny mental filing system seldom errs.

If you should happen to be passing through Shawnigan at any time, drop in at the Police Office and make the acquaintance with the smile"-Constable Ross.

January 4, 1962

CJVI News Commentary by Dick Batey

On the sombre side of the personal news, it would be our guess that St Andrew’s

Presbyterian Church, tomorrow afternoon at 1:30 may we be filled to overflowing with men and women paying last respects to the late Robert “Bobbie” Ross — ex-Provincial policeman and RCMP man who’s been estimated as having, probably, more people who remember him with fondness than any other on our island.

For many years the so-called “King of Shawnigan Lake:…as officer responsible for law-enforcement area in an area larger than many big cities…Bobbie Ross, best known, likely, for a couple of endearing qualities…an inbred and continually practiced aversion to so-called red with occasional need for strict observance of the letter of the laws he was charged with enforcing. It was said of Policeman Ross — unofficially, of course, that he probably winked at more minor infractions…but could count on more citizen support when REAL law-breaking chips came down…than any other policeman in the province.

Mr. Ross died here in Victoria on Tuesday last — and with him has passed a first-rate example of a real man. His type, too, is passing…and the man, and the type, will be missed.

83 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page