July 2nd, 2021

River Queen by Paul Levy

One of the things I’ve been wanting to dig deeper into lately has been BC history. Luckily The Bookman has a huge section devoted to Canadian authors. A few months back I picked up a biography called River Queen, which follows Lucille Johnstone.

Lucille was an integral part of the Vancouver Airport, Expo 86, St. John’s Ambulance, advocacy for children with disability…most of that was her volunteer work or work she did after she had retired.

The job she became known for, and earned her monicker River Queen from, was running Rivtow. Lucille was hired to work in the office early in Rivtow’s life, and ended up running the entire business due to her financial savvy. She negotiated excellent payment terms on anything Rivtow purchased. She ran dispatch for the tug’s. She helped out the individuals of the company when they were running into personal troubles.

In short, she was an amazing lady that had a huge hand in turning Rivtow into the huge company that it became. It is by no means a stretch to say that without Lucille, Rivtow would likely have amounted to a small concern on the Fraser River.

Should You Read River Queen by Paul E. Levy

If you want to read a story about a strong woman that excels in business then yes. If you want to read about a crucial part of business history in the Fraser Valley of BC, this is a good book. If you’re interested in seeing how business leaders operate and enjoy biographies, get this book.

River Queen is an enjoyable book that gets into the details of Lucille’s life, including her failures, without diving so deep you feel bogged down in what she ate for breakfast.

Purchase River Queen on Amazon