George Harold Edward Hudson, Pioneer Photographer
His sister, Gracie, called him "Huddy"; but his friends called him "Harry". Huddy Hudson was Penticton's foremost photographer from 1906 to 1916.
Mr. Hudson left Scarborough, England with his sister to meet up with her fiancé, Harold Willis, in the small village of Kelowna, right in the middle of nowhere. Huddy's parents had insisted that he accompany her, as a Lady of the Victorian era did not travel alone. He had protested at first, but after some deep thought and the fact he hated his brewers assistant job, he decided to take the trip. After all, he could take photographs with his plate camera along the way.
The Atlantic crossing and subsequent CPR adventure were long and trying for those traveling "Coach"; particularly hard for a 21 year-old and his 19 year old sister. But all's well that end's well. They arrived in the sunshine of Okanagan Landing, and there on the wharf was Harold Willis.
Having had quite enough of his Sister's company, Huddy took it upon himself to part company with the love-birds and take a look around the bustling town of Vernon.
He needed to get the plates from his camera developed, and that's how he met up with Alex Worgan at the Aberdeen Studio. This stout Scotsman and his friend Charles Holliday, both photographers, had come around the horn in '88. After wandering about the Cariboo for some time, they settled in this area, which was originally called "Priest Valley". Huddy was delighted to meet up with fellow Brits. Mr. Worgan said they were all Brits here.
It seems that Mr. Worgan had a job for Huddy. The studio had an ongoing contract with the CPR to photograph the building of railway projects throughout the valley. Huddy couldn't believe his luck! Here he was in the New World, with a good paying job, doing just what he loved. He headed for the CPR ways at Okanagan Landing to photograph the new sternwheelers. And the rest, as they say, is history.
Mr. Hudson bought Aberdeen Studio in Vernon, and then opened a studio in Kelowna in 1908. He ventured down the lake to Penticton and bought a small studio run by Mr. Fraser-Campbell, and traveled throughout the valley taking pictures until he signed on for the Great War in 1916.
He took on a partner in Penticton in 1912, and became Hudson-Chadwick Studio, but it was short lived. That's when he met a fellow who was also from Scarborough, named Lumb Stocks. The studio then became Hudson-Stocks while the war was on until 1919, when Huddy informed Mr. Stocks that he would not be returning to Canada.
Stocks' studio continued the legacy of visual history until the 1970's. This legacy survived up the lake with the foresight of other subsequent photographers, Judd Ribelin of Kelowna, and George Meeres of Vernon, who found Hudson plates in their studios that were just too wonderful to throw out.
Photographs courtesy of the Stocks family