Showing 22 results

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Aitkens, Alice Maude

  • Person
  • 1907-1983

Alice Maude Aitkens was born in 1907. In 1911, she came to Gordon Head with her parents, Mary Katharine and Francis Edwin Aitkens, and her brother Francis Charles, (sister Lorna Aitkens was born later). Maude attended Gordon Head School on Tyndall Avenue, near the family home. Maude spent the winter of 1931-32 at Estevan on the west coast of Vancouver Island helping to keep the married quarter house for Charles, her brother, then a young wireless operator, because he planned to be married the next summer. Just prior to that time she visited the McNabbs on Lennard Island on the west coast and kept up a correspondence with the couple for many years. Later she attended Sprott Shaw College and became a freelance stenographer in Victoria's downtown core for approximately 10 years, renting office space in a variety of locations including the Yarrow building. At the last location she met Henry Theodore Samuel Hope, then a real estate agent who had the office next door. They were married in March 1943; they had one child, Sharon, in 1944. In addition to her business ventures, Alice Maude was involved with fundraising for the Red Cross. She died in 1983. Alice Maude, with the help of family members, ran a series of businesses during her lifetime. On the family farm in Gordon Head, she had a wholesale bulb business called Victoria Bulb Growers Ltd., which sold daffodils, hyacinths, and gladiolas. After World War II, the family ran Hilltop Bulb Farm on approximately 5 acres on Del Monte Avenue for a number of years (ca. 1944-1949). The Hope family lived in a tent on the property from 1945 to 1948 because there was no housing after WWII. The business and land was sold in 1953. From 1950-1978, Alice Maude operated a bridal flower business called Country Gardens from the Aitkens family property in Gordon Head, in partnership with Marjorie Watson Goodwin.

Andrews, John Robb Tolmie

  • Person
  • 1923-2008

John Robb Tolmie Andrews was born on June 1, 1923 in Vancouver to Leonard Robb Andrews and Jane Florence Alison Tolmie (daughter of Simon Fraser Tolmie). As a child, he spent a number of years living at Cloverdale, home of the Tolmie family. Simon Fraser Tolmie was his grandfather. J.R.T. Andrews became a Forester, studying at the University of Toronto and Yale University. He married Helen Catherine Mary Holmes on June 11, 1949 in St. James United Church, Ottawa. They had one child, Jeanne Lou Andrews, born on July 25, 1950 in Ottawa. J.R.T. Andrews died on December 22, 2008 in Vancouver. Daughter Jeanne did not marry or have children. She died in Ottawa on August 5, 2017.

Armitage, Dave

  • Person
  • [1959]-2017

Dave Armitage grew up in the Gorge area. At one point he worked as a commercial fisherman in Uclulet. In 2001 he was diagnosed with schizophrenia. He continued to struggle with mental illness and became homeless, living in a tent in Cuthbert Holmes park. In his latter years he was frequently seen at Fairway Plaza and was well-known in the area. He was found deceased on December 28, 2016 near the intersection of Tillicum Road and Gorge Road. He was 58 years old. Members of the community left tributes to him outside the plaza, and these were collected by members of the Gorge Tillicum Community Association. A memorial service was held at Trinity Presbyterian Church on January 15, 2017.

Aspray, Owen Talbot

  • Person
  • 1880-1948

Owen Talbot Aspray was born in London, England on December 12th, 1880 to parents Thomas Neville and Emily Aspray. He immigrated to Canada in 1900. On November 1, 1910, Aspray married Matilda Collier in Victoria. They had three daughters: Emily Matilda (1911), Annette Ada Violet (1913), and Constance Owena May (1917). The Asprays are listed as living on Tolmie Avenue in the 1911 census. Aspray gave his occupation at this time as a teamster. At Willows Camp on December 11th, 1914, Owen Aspray enlisted in the 2nd Canadian Mounted Rifles, reg. #107066. He listed previous military experience in the Imperial Yeomanry for a duration of one year and 192 days. The address given for his wife was 10 Sims St, Maywood P.O. Private Aspray landed in France on September 22nd, 1915 and was promoted to Lance Corporal on March 6th, 1916. While serving in Ypres, he “caught a chill in the trenches”. Pain in his back and legs and increasing jaundice sent him to hospital in England. While his condition was initially quite grave, he eventually improved and was sent to a convalescent home in Woodcote Park, Epsom. The diagnosis was Infectious Jaundice (Hepatitis. Aspray returned to active duty on September 18th, 1916. Promotions followed: L. Sergeant on June 13th 1917, and Sergeant by July 14th of the same year. Sergeant Aspray is reported wounded in action twice, on September 15th 1917, and October 27th, 1917 at which time he received injuries to his hands and face. January of 1918 found him assigned to be an “Instructor to Canadian Corps School”. On August 7th, 1918, Aspray was “transferred to England with a view to being granted a commission”. He officially became Lieutenant Owen Talbot Aspray on November 23rd, 1918 and was assigned to the 1st Central Ontario Regiment. Aspray returned to Canada on board the Empress of Britain and received his discharge in Victoria on March 19th, 1919. On March 31st, 1948, Owen Talbot Aspray died at St. Joseph’s Hospital, Victoria. His death registration lists his occupation as “Returned Soldier”. His address was 68 Sims Avenue. He is buried in the Royal Oak Burial Park. Owen Talbot Aspray is commemorated on the Saanich WWI Honour Roll.

Estlin, Charles Prior

  • Person
  • 1894-1913

Charles Prior Estlin was Mayor of Melita, Manitoba in 1905. He was involved in the lumber business with this brother Alfred, and was also a grain broker.

Griffin, Virginia

  • Person

Virginia Griffin (nee Todd) is the daughter of Anna Matilda Henderson and Albert Henry Todd of Gordon Head. She had a sister, June. The Todd family lived at 4344 Cedar Hill Road, near Mount Douglas. Virginia married Norman Griffin in 1941, and they lived in Macleod and Calgary during WWII. Norman was part of the ground crew at the RCAF station in Calgary. Their daughter was born in Calgary in 1944. After V-E Day, Norman was posted to Comox, and Virginia and the baby went back to Saanich to stay with her parents on Cedar Hill Road. Virginia and Norman bought land and built a house on Midgard Avenue with a loan received under the Veterans Land Act. The land was purchased from a Mr. Porter for $600, money saved by Virginia during the war; the house was built with the loan. Virginia and Norman had a son in 1946. Virginia Griffin worked at the University of Victoria for 15 years, initially working as a secretary in Dean Wallace's office, then as supervisor of an office that supplied secretarial staff to university departments.

Kellow, Leslie George

  • Person
  • 1918-1944

Born in Saanich in 1918, Leslie (Lee) Kellow grew up with eight brothers and sisters in Cordova Bay. His parents, Alfred and Jessie Kellow, owned a small farm in the Sunnymead area. Leslie attended Royal Oak Elementary School, and graduated from Mount Douglas High School in 1936. In 1939, he enlisted with the Royal Air Force and left for training in England. For several years Leslie repaired Lancaster Bombers, then was sent for flight training at the South African Air Force training facility at Kimberley, South Africa. Assigned to the 49th Squadron in Lancashire, England he earned the rank of Pilot Officer. On March 30, 1944, Leslie Kellow died when his plane was shot down during a bombing mission over Nuremberg, Germany.

Lai, David Chuen-Yan

  • Person

David Chuen-Yan Lai was born in Hong Kong. He received his PhD from the London School of Economics and began teaching as an assistant professor in geography at the University of Victoria in 1968. A long-time resident of Saanich, Dr. Lai was a member (1982) and Chair (1983 and 1989) of the Saanich Heritage Advisory and Archival Committee and was involved in establishing the Saanich Heritage Foundation. This work earned him a Heritage Society of BC award in 1985. He is a member of the Order of Canada and received the Gabrielle Leger award from Heritage Canada. Dr. Lai, known for his research on Chinese communities and Chinatowns in Canada, is the author of a number of publications including "The Forbidden City Within Victoria: Myth, Symbol and Streetscape of Canada's Earliest Chinatown", Victoria, B.C.: Orca Book Pub., 1991. David Lai died June 15, 2018.

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