Awards Wayne Norton of Victoria wins BC Historical Federation Best Article Award

Wayne Norton of Victoria wins BC Historical Federation Best Article Award

The British Columbia Historical Federation is pleased to announce Wayne Norton is the recipient of the 2019 Anne and Philip Yandle Best Article Award.

His winning article Identifying the Enemy: The tale of Herman Elmer appeared in British Columbia History magazine Vol. 52, No. 4, Winter 2019. The article was selected from the 21 articles published in the magazine last year by a panel of nine judges from around the province.

Norton extensively consults archival records and newspaper accounts to recreate the life of German-born coal miner, Herman Elmer. He examined how Elmer went from a respected member of the United Mine Workers of America Union executive in Michel to the Vernon internment camp during the First World War.

In his article Norton remarked “For most of the prisoners [in the internment camps], their only apparent crime was their national origin. Each of them deserves to be remembered. One of them was Herman Elmer.”

Wayne Norton is a writer, publisher, and historical consultant who lives in Victoria. The judging panel found Norton’s article to be well written and thoroughly researched. One judge remarked “In the process of recounting the unhappy experiences of a German-born coal miner, Herman Elmer, the author has described the complexities of socialist movements and organized labour in BC in the early 1900s, the advent and operations of internment camps for enemy aliens in the First World War, and the prejudices of the era.”

BCHF director Greg Nesteroff interviewed Norton about his article. Watch the video below.

Each year, the BCHF offers a certificate and cash prize of $250 to the author of an article published in British Columbia History magazine that best enhances knowledge of the history of British Columbia and provides enjoyable reading. Judging is based upon subject development, writing skill, freshness of material, and its appeal to a general readership interested in all aspects of the history of BC.

Sadly, due to the ongoing COVID-19 health situation the BCHF annual conference schedule for June 2020, including the awards gala, has been cancelled. Thus, the prizes are being announced early and plans are in the works for ways to honour winners during the BCHF conference in 2021, details to be announced.

The British Columbia Historical Federation (BCHF) encourages interest in the history of British Columbia through research, presentation, and support in its role as an umbrella organization for provincial historical societies. Established in 1922, the Federation currently provides a collective voice for over 100 member societies and 24,000 individuals in the provincial not-for-profit historical sector.

About the Award

Philip Yandle was the founder, editor, publisher, printer, binder, and distributor of the B.C. Historical News from 1968 to 1977. His wife Anne Yandle was also very active with the B.C. Historical News for almost forty years and served as the book reviews editor until the year in which she died. In 2007, the British Columbia Historical Federation renamed its Best Article Award in honour of Anne and Philip Yandle. Learn more about the British Columbia Historical Federation at their website: