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Holmes, Henry

Henry Holmes was born in Buckinghamshire, England in 1870. He was a nurseryman and operated greenhouses on Burnside Road and Holland Avenue. He had at one time managed the Soldiers' and Sailors' Home in Esquimalt, and had been an active member of the Ward Four Conservative Association. He lived at 1010 Burnside Road West for 52 years and died there on April 7, 1954 at the age of 84.

Reed, Herbert and Lucy

Herbert Reed was head gardener for the Parliament Buildings for many years until his retirement in 1950. He also drove the school bus for Royal Oak School. His Saanich addresses include [749] Haliburton, Santa Clara, and Stelly's Cross Rd. Herbert died in 1960 at the age of 76. Lucy Reed (nee Webster) was a member of Royal Oak Women's Institute. Herbert and Lucy Reed emigrated from Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire, England ca. 1911 as a married couple with Lucy’s parents, Sarah and William Webster. The Websters lived on Cherry Tree Bend and William ran a blacksmith business in Royal Oak with the help of his sons.

Outerbridge, Joan

Joan (“JoAnn”) Richmond Outerbridge (nee Higinbothom) was born in Bermuda in 1920. She was a nature lover from an early age, and by age 17 was collecting and preserving specimens for the Bermuda Museum. In 1952, JoAnn graduated from The Horticultural School in Pennsylvania, then pursued various occupations including proprietor of a flower shop. She returned to Bermuda in 1966, where she met her husband. Mrs. Outerbridge continued to live in Bermuda after being widowed, but in 1987 chose to move to Victoria, BC. When she purchased her house on Royal Oak Drive in Saanich, she began the process of creating a 9 acre nature sanctuary. She accomplished this goal by buying a nearby house, subdividing off most of the backyard for the nature sanctuary, renovating the house, and using the profits from the sale to do it again. She repeated this process over the course of more than a decade with seven houses including her own, leaving a lasting legacy first known as Shangri-La Bird and Nature Sanctuary. In 2005, after a transfer of the lands to the Municipality of Saanich, her gardens became known as Outerbridge Park. Joan Outerbridge died February 2, 2015.

Ball, George

After placing an ad in the local newspaper in 1936 looking for a house or land in the Saanich area, George Ball (son of John Thomas Ball) bought 54 Maddock Avenue and built a house, where he lived until 2003. George Ball was an amateur astronomer. He also owned and operated Ball Electric which opened ca. 1946. George Ball built the shop itself at the corner of Burnside and Harriet (1 Burnside Road West), where his children regularly spent time after school. According to his daughter, George built the first television in Victoria.

Genn, Kenneth Reginald (1905-1982)

Kenneth Reginald Genn was an accountant and auditor in Saanich. He was a member of the Saanich Town Planning Commission, later the Saanich Advisory Planning Commission, from its inception in 1951. Genn was a Saanich councillor from 1948 to 1949 and was a member of the Cordova Bay Community Club.

McMorran, George Sr.

George McMorran Sr. was born in Richmond Ontario in 1855. As a young man he worked at the Stark Mills in Paisley Ontario, where in the early 1880’s he met and married Isabella Stark. In 1890 they crossed Canada with their four children on the recently completed CP railway. At Port Moody they boarded a paddle wheeler bound for Victoria. George McMorran secured employment on R.P.Rithet’s 1000 acre farm as the foreman to clear the land of timber. The McMorrans lived in a farmhouse on Rithet’s land for nine years, and once the job was completed they moved to a 12-acre home on Cedar Hill Road and Pear Street with their six children.

McMorran family

George McMorran Sr. was born in Richmond Ontario in 1855. As a young man he worked at the Stark Mills in Paisley Ontario, where in the early 1880’s he met and married Isabella Stark. In 1890 they crossed Canada with their four children on the recently completed CP railway. At Port Moody they boarded a paddle wheeler bound for Victoria. George McMorran secured employment on R.P.Rithet’s 1000 acre farm as the foreman to clear the land of timber. The McMorrans lived in a farmhouse on Rithet’s land for nine years, and once the job was completed they moved to a 12-acre home on Cedar Hill Road and Pear Street with their six children. The family spent many of their summers on the beach at Cordova Bay. George Stark McMorran, born in Paisley Ontario in 1887, was only two years old when he arrived on Vancouver Island. At the age of 21, in 1909, George went into a partnership to form a real estate company which was known as Dougall & McMorran. Dougall and McMorran began to purchase and then sub-divide land in the area of what is now Doumac Avenue in Cordova Bay. When real estate took a downturn in 1912, the company was dissolved. During WWI George Stark McMorran served as gunner (1914-18). Following the war he opened up a six by twelve foot building called the Canuck Tea Room on rented land in Cordova Bay. Successfully catering to the campers, beach goers and day trippers from Victoria, McMorran was able to expand his store and went into the summer cabin rental business, which reached the peak of 72 cabins. In 1921, McMorran’s Tea Room opened and it became famous for dances held there every Saturday night with local orchestras. In 1923, George Stark McMorran married schoolteacher Ida Richards and the couple had four children: Eric, Bruce, Richard and David. In 1926, George S. McMorran became the first postmaster in Cordova Bay and he was also responsible for bringing in most of the utilities and services to the area. Upon George S. McMorran’s retirement from the business, sons Eric and Bruce took over, updating and expanding McMorran’s, with the addition of the Seaview Plaza Super-Valu store among their ventures. George S. McMorran died in 1971. McMorran’s Beach House was a landmark building along Cordova Bay Road, having remained family owned and operated for over 80 years. McMorran’s Beach House, Lookout Ballroom and Charter’s Restaurant were run by great grandson Wallace McMorran until 2010, when the business was closed. It later reopened as the Beach House Restaurant under new ownership.

McClung, Nellie

Nellie McClung was an activist, politician, public speaker, member of the CBC Board of Governors (1936-1942), and Canadian delegate to the League of Nations (1938). She lived in Gordon Head, Saanich during the latter part of her life.

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