RBCM Archives

Willie, Tom

Identity area

Type of entity

Person

Authorized form of name

Willie, Tom

Parallel form(s) of name

Standardized form(s) of name according to other rules

Other form(s) of name

  • Chief Hiwaka̱lis
  • Tsa̱xtsa̱xwa̱lis

Identifiers for corporate bodies

Description area

Dates of existence

June 15, 1911 -

History

Tom Willie was born on June 15, 1911 in Seymour Inlet. His father was Willie Johnson. Willie Johnson was a Chief from Blunden Harbour whose indigenous name was Chief Hiwaka̱lis. This became Tom Willie’s name for feasts and ceremonies. Tom Willie’s father died when he was four years old. In 1915 Tom Willie’s father held a potlatch during which he gave him the name Tsa̱xtsa̱xwa̱lis. Willie Johnson was known as a talented song maker. Willie Johnson’s younger brother was Tom Johnson who also had a good reputation as a song maker. Willie Johnson was the uncle of the celebrated singer Umx̕id, from Hope Island. Umx̕id’s name is mentioned respectfully in several of Halpern’s recorded interviews concerning indigenous performers. Tom Willie’s mother came from Blunden Harbour. Her English name was Margaret. Her father was Bill Komkasla, a chief from Blunden Harbour. In 1918 Tom Willie’s mother married George Williams from Hopetown. The marriage was performed according to aboriginal tradition. By 13 Tom Willie had begun to work as a trapper and by age 15 he was working operating a steam donkey in a logging camp named Nakada. Tom Willie next returned to school in Alert Bay at age 16, but only got as far as grade three before he became ill. At age 19 Tom Willie married his first wife, Lousie Williams from Hopetown, on June 7, 1938 [http://bit.ly/1KZ0M7O].Together they held one large potlatch where his wife contributed her family history and possessions including songs and the name of the feast. Louise Willie passed away after 15 years of marriage. Tom Willie then remarried at age 39 to Dorothy Womis. They stayed together for 24 years and had 7 children. Tom Willie separated from his wife at age 63.

Places

Legal status

Functions, occupations and activities

Mandates/sources of authority

Internal structures/genealogy

General context

Relationships area

Control area

Description identifier

28406

Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used

Status

Final

Level of detail

Dates of creation, revision and deletion

Language(s)

Script(s)

Sources

Central Name Authority Files.

Maintenance notes

Created by Raymond Frogner