Bentinck Island

Feature Type:Island - Land area surrounded by water or marsh.
Status:
Name Authority: BC Geographical Names Office
Relative Location: Between Christopher Point and Race Rocks, off extreme S end of Vancouver Island, Metchosin Land District
Latitude-Longitude: 48°18'50''N, 123°32'34''W at the approximate centre of this feature.
Datum: NAD83
NTS Map: 92B/5

Origin Notes and History:

Adopted in the 10th Report of the Geographic Board of Canada, 30 June 1911.

Source: BC place name cards, or correspondence to/from BC's Chief Geographer or BC Geographical Names Office

Spelled "Bentick" on Map of the Southern Dist of Vancouver Island, 1892; spelled "Bentinct" on Map of South-east Dist of Vancouver Island (#32), 1912; spelled "Bentinck" on BC map 2A, Vancouver Island, Southerly Portion, 1913.

Source: BC place name cards, or correspondence to/from BC's Chief Geographer or BC Geographical Names Office

Possibly named for Lord George Bentinck (1802-1848), son of 4th Duke of Portland (see North/South Bentinck Arm).

Source: BC place name cards, or correspondence to/from BC's Chief Geographer or BC Geographical Names Office

The island was designated as a lighthouse reserve in 1860, but made superfluous by the manned lighthouse on nearby Race Rocks. The island became one of only two hospital colonies for leprosy in Canada, built in 1924 to replace the (deplorable) colony on D'Arcy Island. There were 15 private cottages for patients, plus two larger facilities used as homes for the nurse and caretakers; gardens, pathways and benches were built and tended by patients. Over the years, 22 patients, mostly Orientals, lived in the colony; the only female on Bentinck was a Caucasian missionary who contracted leprosy while in Africa. The hospital was closed in 1956 (another source indicates 1958) when the last patient died, age 84; he had been cured years before, but was deemed too old to move. 13 patients are buried in the island's cemetery (more details in the Provincial Archives). In 1962 the navy started using the island as a demolition training area.

Source: BC place name cards, or correspondence to/from BC's Chief Geographer or BC Geographical Names Office