A History of B.C. Through Moustaches

As Movember comes to a close, we take a look back at some of B.C.'s most famous moustaches

B.C.’s most famous moustaches throughout the ages

As Movember comes to a close, BCLiving decided to take a look back at some of the province’s most prominent moustaches.

Whether they were politicians, actors or athletes, these famous (or, in some cases, infamous) moustachioed men were known not only for their accomplishments, but also for their glorious staches.

Credit: Wikipedia

Richard Blanshard – Governor 1817-1894

Our first favourite moustached man was the first governor of the Colony of Vancouver Island from its foundation in 1849 to his resignation in1851. 

Thomas Ellis Ladner – Pioneer 1836-1922

The face behind this salt-and-pepper moustache founded the village of Ladner’s landing and is one of B.C.’s most respected pioneers. 

Bill Miner – Outlaw 1846-1913

Sporting the most rebellious stache in the bunch, Bill Miner went down in history on September 10, 1904 as one of Canada’s first train robbers when he and two accomplices raided a train near Mission, B.C. Two years later they robbed a train in Kamloops but were soon caught by the police. Miner was sentenced to 25 years in the New Westminster Penitentiary, but he escaped in August 1907.

Dr. Sun Yat-Sen – Chinese Revolutionary 1866-1925

You may know him as the man whose name graces a beautiful Chinese Garden in downtown Vancouver. He’s been honoured there because of his leading role in the overthrow of the oppressive Ch’ing dynasty in 1911, which lead to him become the first president of the Republic of China. That revolution was financed by Chinese living ouside of China, many of them right in Vancouver. 

Credit: Wikipedia

Joe Forte – Lifegaurd, 1863-1922

On top of his moustache, Joe Forte is remembered for his community work during Vancouver’s early history. He devoted all his free time to patrolling the English Bay beach and teaching children to swim there. The self-appointed guard continued to support himself by working odd jobs until the city hired him as their first official lifeguard in 1900. Today, there is a branch of the Vancouver Public Library dedicated to him, a restaurant named after him (Joe Fortes Seafood & Chop House) and his image (and stache) have been featured on a postage stamp.

Credit: Regarding Place

William Culham Woodward – President of Woodwards, Lieutenant Governor, 1885-1957

This moustached Renaissance man held many titles in B.C.: Charter Member of the Board of the Bank of Canada from its founding in 1935; Lieutenant Governor of B.C. from 1941 to 1946; President of the Vancouver Board of Trade; Life Governor of the Vancouver General Hospital; Founder and Patron of the Vancouver Little Theatre; and, of course President of Woodward’s, the West Coast department store chain that lasted from 1892 until its bankruptcy in 1993.

Credit: alexwaterhousehayward

Bruno Gerussi – Actor, 1928-1995

Most famous for playing character Nick Adonidas for 18 years on Canadian drama The Beachcombers, as well as his stint as host of CBC’s popular Celebrity Cooks in the 1970s, the late actor’s quality moustache is nearly a national treasure. 

Credit: The Score

Dave Babych – Canucks player

Hockey player Dave Babych’s big bushy moustache was just as much his trademark as his #44 jersey was during his years playing for the Vancouver Canucks from 1991-1998. He still lives in Vancouver and was named Grand Marshall of the recent Moustache Miler run in Stanley Park. And to comply with Movember rules, he shaved off his famous stache (with an audience at Killyjoy Barbers) for the first time in years to grow out his facial hair with the other “Mo Bros” taking part.


Dennis Kearns, Canucks player

Dennis Kearns, another NHL player, spent his entire career with the Vancouver Canucks (and most of it with this handlebar ’stache). The defenceman holds the franchise record for most assists in a single season, recording 55 in 1977, and still lives in Vancouver with his family.

Mike Harcourt – Past Vancouver Mayor and B.C. Premier

His thick moustache was a constant accessory during his six-year run as Vancouver’s mayor in the 1980s and later as the 30th Premier of B.C. Currently he dons his stache at UBC as the Chair of their Regional Sustainability Council and Associate Director of the Centre for Sustainability Continuing Studies.

Credit: Mustache Revival

Harold Snepsts, Canucks Player

Harold Snepsts provided the Canucks’ defense with strength during their 1981-1982 quest for the Stanley Cup. When Snepsts left Vancouver to play for Minnesota a few years later, the Vancouver favourite (thanks partly to this burly moustache we’re sure) held records for games played and total penalty minutes.

Credit: SFU

Herb George (Satsan)- Chief of the Frog Clan of the Wet’suwet’en Nation

This man with a mo’ has offered advice and assistance to First Nations across B.C. and Canada on the topic of recognition of Aboriginal rights, title and Treaty rights. He recently served two terms as the elected BC regional Chief for the Assembly of First Nations.