NameJohn Keelinge HOMER , 2C2R
Birth22 Dec 1911, South Shields, Durham, England
Death21 Jan 2011
FatherPaul Aitken HOMER (1869-1963)
MotherEmily NICHOLSON (1872-1953)
Spouses
Birth1907, Hampshire
Death23 Feb 1996, Sooke, B.C.
BurialSt. Mary the Virgin Churchyard Cemetery, Metchosin, BC
FatherFrank Oakes DIXON (1882-)
MotherMadeline M. (~1878-1959)
Marriage28 Oct 1933
Children(Private)
 (Private)
Notes for John Keelinge HOMER
In the January to March 1912 birth index, John K. Homer, South Shields district, mother’s maiden name Nicholson, volume 10a page 1700.

In the 1921 Canadian census
Metchosin, British Columbia
Head Paul Homer, age 45[should be 50], year of immigration 1903, born England, parents born England, farmer.
Wife Emma Homer, age 40 [should be 49], born England, parents born England.
Son Paul Homer, age 12, born Manitoba, student.
Son John Homer, age 9, born England.
Daughter Joan Homer, age 6, born British Columbia.

In the passenger lists arrived March 17, 1928 in Halifax Nova Scotia aboard the Celtic departed Liverpool, John Keelinge Homer, son, age 18, born England, South Shields, formerly in Victoria B.C. It is difficult to read but it seems he was previously in Canada from 1912 to 1927?

British Columbia Marriage Index
John Keelinge Homer and Madeline Dixon, October 28, 1933, Metchosin.

In the Seattle Passenger and Crew Lists on April 11, 1944 the Fisher Boy No. 2 arrived. The master was Frederick P. Homer age 36 shipped or engaged April 8, 1944 Victoria, BC. He had 20 years service at sea.was 5 feet 9.5 inches tall and weighed 163 lbs. The only other passenger was John K. Homer age 32. He was the Engineer with 15 years experience. he was 6 feet tall and weighed 170 lbs.

From The Sooke Story - The History and the Heartbeat" p, 292

One of the fisherman now well into his eighties, still out on the water after a lifetime at sea is Jack Homer.

Growing up at Albert Head, British born Homer remembers the drama in 1929 when the linter "Empress of Canada" ran aground almost infront of his home. He had his own putter boat at age ten, and never looked back. He built "Fisher Boy" a 40 ft. troller, recalling: "I went to Bull Harbour in 1932 with only 50c in my pocket. To my immense relief, came back with 21 spring salmon, all over 20lbs. Took them to Old Man Nicholson's at Hardy Bay and got 5c a pound for them. I was rich! I was alone up at Cape Scott one time, had a tremendous trip of fish. 420 Cohoes in one day. By the time I was through dressing and icing them, I was in bad shape.... went into Rivers
Inlet canner. In the 1940's, salmon and halibut were the two top for income. ON the outside of the Queen Charlottes, the main catch was tuna. The farthest out I got was 125 miles from shore."

Jack Homer has owned a series of boats, one of them being the Roche Cove", (left - Photographer: Liz Johnson) which he recently sold to another enterprising fisherman, John Coolman


From "Fishing History" by Elida Peers - Rural Observer April 2008
The ocean has been his home, his livelihood and his recreation. Many men of our region have been fishermen all their lives, but it would be hard to find any who have spent more years on the water, or know more about fishing, than Jack Homer.
While his body may be growing frail now that he is in his 97th year, Jack’s recollections are as vivid as ever. His journey upon the oceans began as a babe in arms, sailing from Britain to Canada onboard a Cunard liner. His British mother, an immigrant to Canada, had sailed back to England to be with her mother for the birth of her baby and was about to return to rejoin her husband in Canada. Jack’s charmed life of good luck on the seas was first demonstrated when his mother delayed her return trip, cashing in the ticket she held for the Titanic’s maiden voyage and booking on the next Cunard liner due to sail a month later.
Jack grew up on a small farm at Albert Head, and at the age of ten had his first “putter” boat, all 14 feet of it. Because of his family’s British maritime background, at age 15 he was sent to spend six months in the old country, where he took training on the Royal Navy’s square-rigger HMS Conway, moored at Liverpool. Back in Canada, he witnessed the drama of the liner Empress of Canada aground almost in front of the family home.
It was 1930 just after the Great Depression struck, that Jack set out fishing with his older brother Fred in a fishing boat bought from his dad. Next he built the first of a succession of trollers, the 40-foot Fisher Boy. Times were tough and prices low, but by dint of long hours, and a dauntless spirit, Jack wrested a living from the water. He recalls going into Bull Harbour in 1932, with fifty gallons of fuel in his tank and 50 cents in his pocket, and knowing that he must find fish or go hungry. Find fish he did, coming back with 21 spring salmon, all over twenty pounds, which he sold for 5 cents a pound.
When he was 21 Jack married Meneen Dixon, a woman who understood that to share her life with this man, she would also be sharing him with the sea. The young couple rented a small cottage on Portage Inlet. They got off to a rough start when Jack was fishing in north island waters at Johnston Strait and received a telegram from his dad telling him Meneen was in hospital with a miscarriage. He set off for Victoria full speed non-stop, and soon was at his wife’s side.
Jack’s fishing grounds ranged from the Queen Charlottes and from the rough waters off Cape Scott, near Triangle Island, to almost as far south as San Francisco. While he fished predominately for Spring, Coho or Sockeye salmon, he also caught tuna, halibut and ling cod. Most of his catch was bought by fish buyers such as BC Packers or Canadian Fish. He described salmon canneries at Namu, Walker Bay and Rivers Inlet, and a fish buying plant at Bamfield. He recalled two spots he was prone to catch tuna, 30 miles out from Ucluelet and off the Queen Charlottes.
The tuna that he caught averaged about ten pounds, and was frozen whole and shipped to Japan. While the halibut he caught would average 30 to 50 lbs, his largest weighed in at 210 lbs. Ling cod, which ranged from 5 to 30 lbs, was not canned but sold fresh.
Open to all opportunities, he recalled an occasion off Estevan Point with a different type of catch “we jigged up quite a lot of red snapper and ling cod and took them in to Vancouver.”
In the lexicon of the old time fishermen, the Triangle Island waters were called “the steamer ground” from the fact that steam-powered halibut boats had been used in that area. Jack recalled that typically, Spring salmon were caught off Cape Beale, Cape Scott, Cape Cook and the steamer ground. He commented that one year he might find a good run of Coho at Coal Harbour, another year there could be none.
Sometimes Jack worked with a deck hand, or if he could not find crew that he would regard as a good deck hand, he preferred to work alone. Jack’s standards were exacting, and he recalled the long hours spent in season. During the 1940s and 50s when salmon were abundant, he could catch as many as 420 Coho in a day, dressing and icing them himself, but would end up exhausted from the effort. Between the late 1940s through the 1960s Jack trolled with the 46 ft Nip N Tuck.
He described how a catch handled carefully would remain fresh longer, and bring a better dollar when selling a shipment to the fish buyers. Carefully and gently handling the fish when bringing them onto the deck and placing them into the fish box, retaining as much of their protective scales as possible meant that the flesh of the fish was protected from the air and retained its quality. Another trick he learned up the west coast from an old Norwegian fisherman was to cover a catch with brown kelp to keep it fresh.
Later, living in a substantial waterfront home in Sooke where they moved in 1942, Jack and Meneen raised two sons, John and David. The bounty of the sea provided a good life for the Homers, while the fish he caught over the years fed hundreds of thousands of families around the world. The product of his commercial catch over almost five decades was shipped across the breadth of North America, the British Isles, Europe and the Orient.
Jack thinks that overfishing has affected the fish stocks of today. He expresses an opinion that the DFO should not allow any salmon fishing until enough salmon have reached their home rivers to spawn. He thinks that net fishing has done great damage, and that nets should be pulled out of the water. He thinks that draggers should not be allowed to drag on the bottom, but only be allowed to drag at mid-water.
By the late 1970s Jack had re-structured his fishing style from the arduous routines and long hours of commercial fishing, to operating a charter boat business in the burgeoning local sports fishing industry. The two boats he operated with his son David were the Roche Cove and the Secretary Isle.
After his wife passed away, Jack sold his waterfront home and now lives in a bungalow near Whiffin Spit. His enormous knowledge of the sea, amassed through eight decades of experience, means that he is still sought after to share his wealth of maritime and fishing history.
Asked which fish he considered the greatest delicacy, Jack responded: “I like all fish, except dogfish, but my choices would be smoked white Spring salmon, and then fresh Sockeye, either in steaks or stuffed and baked in the oven.”
Fellow mariner Doug MacFarlane comments: “Jack has been one heck of a hard-working man and a person you could always rely on. I remember once when I was a teenager watching him at Bull Harbour, and I’ve come to believe that if Jack Homer couldn’t catch fish, nobody could.”
end of article

Obituary from remembering.ca
Jack K. Homer HOMER, Jack K. Long time resident of Sooke Died Friday, January 21st, 2011 at 99 years of age. He is survived by 2 sons, John and David, and grandson Paul, and their families. Service and Reception to be held at Sand's Funeral Home, 317 Goldstream Ave, Colwood on February 9th 2011 at 1:00pm.
Notes for Meneen Madelene (Spouse 1)
A Meneen Madeline Dixon listed listed in the 1907 July to September birth index for Ringwood, Hampshire, volume 2b page 692.

Canadian Passenger Lists
Departed Liverpool, arrived Halifax, Nova Scotia on the Virginian, April 18, 1913, Madaline Dixon, age 34, married, has been in Canada before in 1905 at Calgary for 2 years, 7 years away, English race, destination Calgary Alberta to husband, clerk, Church of England. Daughter ???? [can’t decipher name, the transcriber has Norine which sounds much like Meneen] Dixon, age 5, never been in Canada, born England.

In the 1916 census of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta, Calgary West, Alberta, place of habitation Sarcee Municipality.
Wife Madeline M. Dixon, age 38, born England, Anglican, immigrated 1912 [should be 1913],
Head Frank O. Dixon, in military service in Canada, age 37, born England, Anglican immigration year 1914.
Daughter Meneen M. Dixon, age 8, born England, immigrated 1912.
In the same dwelling. Listed first are Thomas and Annie Perry and their children and there habitation place is Beddington Municipality.
Last Modified 13 Jun 2015Created 4 Aug 2017 using Reunion 10 for Macintosh