Stephen Webb Billiards Memorial Fund

Stephen Webb, a long-time Club member and regular attendee of the Billiard Room, unfortunately lost his battle with lung cancer and passed away peacefully with family by his side on February 21, 2022.

In Mr. Webb’s memory, his wife Barbara and good friend Brian W. Johnson (both Club members) have initiated a special memorial fund – The Stephen Webb Billiards Memorial Fund – to help fund the soon-to-be-announced Stephen Webb Memorial Snooker Tournament annually, and to support and maintain the Billiards Memorial Totem, located on a wall in the Billiard Room.

Should you wish to contribute to The Stephen Webb Billiards Memorial Fund, please contact Jan Redekop, Controller, at

Stephen Webb’s obituary will appear in the Times Colonist newspaper, March 5 & 6, 2022.

150 YEARS OF ART from the Union Club Collection

This is the final event in our year-long celebration of 150 years since the union of British Columbia with Canada. Drawn from the Club’s art collection, each of the 16 works has been selected to represent a decade in the 150 years since 1871.

150 YEARS OF ART: 1870-1880 Lake and Stream Pen and ink on paper, ca. 1875 Signed MOKE
Collection of The Union Club of British Columbia 2016.01.08. a/b

The founding members of the Club were mainly professionals: surveyors, engineers, architects, military personnel. The quick field-sketch, as represented here,was part of their professional skill-set.

Steak Nights at the Club

Beginning on Thursday, January 6 and continuing through every Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening in January, the featured McGregor a la carte menu will be simple and classic steakhouse, perfectly prepared and presented, with only the finest ingredients.

Utilizing Chef Nicolas’ experience, the steaks will be king – properly aged, and simply seasoned to bring out flavour. These nights will be very popular with limited seating.


To Start
Caesar Salad – Baby Romaine Leaves, Garlic & Anchovy Dressing, Brioche Croutons
French Onion Soup – Gruyere Cheese, French Baguette
Oysters Rockefeller – Five Pacific Oysters Baked with Wilted Spinach, Hollandaise Sauce and Romano Cheese
Steakhouse Wedge Salad – Iceberg Lettuce, Buttermilk Blue Cheese Dressing, Tomato, Onion and Boiled Egg
Crab Cakes – Rock Crab & Smoked Sablefish Cakes, Tomato Red Pepper Coulis, Frisee & Radish Salad
Prawn Cocktail Poached Jumbo Prawns, Cocktail Sauce

From the Grill
63 Acres Ranch NY Striploin AAA 12oz
Benchmark Ribeye Steak Prime 16oz
McLeod’s Leap Angus Tenderloin AAA 6oz
PEI Blue Dot Potato Finished Prime Tomahawk 55oz 
Sterling Silver AAA Angus Tenderloin 8oz  
Creek Stone Ranch USDA PRIME 22oz Porterhouse

Other Offerings
Peri Peri Roasted Cornish Hen – Half Hen, Marinated for 48 Hours, Slow-Cooked & Roasted
Wild Mushroom Carbonara – Wild & Cultivated Mushrooms, Slow-Cooked Onions, Parmigiano, Chives, Egg Yolk Emulsion
Pan-Roasted Steelhead Trout – Chive Mashed Potatoes, Winter Vegetables, Caponata

4oz Butter-Poached Lobster Tail

Roasted Wild & Cultivated Mushrooms

Asparagus with Lemon & Almonds

Creamed Corn

Cauliflower Gratin

Reservations from 5:00pm | A La Carte Steakhouse Menu | Dress Code: Smart Casual

The Union Club Celebrates BC 150

In July 2021 we mark 150 years since BC joined Canada, we are planning some activities to commemorate the event, and below is some history of The Union Club as part of the union with Canada discussions.



The Club official histories cite two rather obscure exchanges of opinion by the editors of the Standard and Colonist newspapers. In the first, 11 December 1882, the writer accused the founders of The Union Club, which had just hosted a dinner for the Governor General, Marquis of Lorne, of creating a political vehicle to oppose the provincial government’s G. A. Walkem administration’s hard line threats to pull out of confederation if the original terms of the Union were not met.  The Colonist replied on the following day insisting the Standard editor was just exhibiting sour grapes for not having been refused membership (by vote) and vigorously denied the assertion of political partisanship. The Colonist pointed out, Premier Walkem was a charter member. Not giving up, the Standard responded that indeed Walkem and his friends were members but that they were hoodwinked into joining the Club by these “wire-pullers.”

There was indeed much “wire-pulling.” As early as 1874 local businessman William Wilson headed up a consortium of local property speculators who were facing huge losses with the railway failing to appear. Using the local Mechanics Institute, of which he was a director, to foment a crowd he proceeded to storm the Legislature causing Premier Amor De Cosmos to resign. Dr. J. S. Helmcken assembled a coalition to form the “Terms of Union Preservation League” and floated a petition to Queen Victoria. The government sent the new premier, George Walkem, off to London to get the Colonial Secretary, Lord Carnarvon, to mediate with Ottawa. A deal was reached to extend the completion time of the railway to 1890 and work to begin on the Esquimalt and Nanaimo (E&N) Railway portion at once.  However, in the Spring of 1875 the Canadian Senate defeated the financing bill for the E&N and the deal was dead. In response Wilson’s group formed the “Carnarvon Club” to openly lobby for dissolving the Union if the Carnarvon Terms were not met.

The gentlemen of The Union Club coalesced shortly thereafter, finally registering as The Union Club of British Columbia in 1879.  Wilson’s group ultimately became the rival Pacific Club.

A Beginner’s Guide to Solar Wind

In celebration of the International Day of Light 2021, Club member Natasha van Bentum has put together an informative website as an introduction to the topic of “Solar Winds”.

This website is for people of all ages who are looking to learn more about solar physics.

While admittedly “basic” (from the website creator herself), this website offers a complete summary of this fascinating topic:

The Union Club Celebrates BC 150

In July 2021 we mark 150 years since BC joined Canada, we are planning some activities to commemorate the event, and below is some history of The Union Club as part of the union with Canada discussions.



The Union Club of British Columbia was founded in April, 1879, just as the final push was on under Premier George Walkem and Amor De Cosmos, working with John A. MacDonald to get construction to start of the Canadian Pacific Railway as promised under the 1871 “Terms of Union”: a transcontinental railway to commenced within two years, completion within ten.

MacDonald had been able to pass an 1873 order-in-council which identified Esquimalt as the West Coast terminus although this was coincidental with the failure of the CPR syndicate, and just before revelations of the “Pacific Scandal” and collapse of the MacDonald Government

By 1879 there was no sign of a railway. Canada was trying to change the Terms. The negotiations were difficult. Furthermore, a group of disaffected business leaders, land speculators and politicians threatened withdrawal from the union with Canada.

Behind the scenes were the many professionals and civil servants, mainly in Victoria, who were horrified at the prospect of a split. Initially, seeing their civil service appointments and pensions threatened, they had opposed union with Canada. However, having achieved assurances of their continued employment and pensions, a provision actually written into the Terms of Union of course now they remained staunchly in favour of the Union.

It was just such a group, motivated as much by self-interest as altruism who decided to formalize as a club of “remainers”.

Supreme Court Justice Matthew Baillie Begbie was the Club’s founding president. Founding members were businessman and later Lieutenant Governor Frank Barnard, Cariboo MPP and retired Royal Navy Lieutenant Henry E. Croasdaile.  Early members were lawyer, City Mayor and former Victoria representative on the colonial legislative council Montegue Tyrwhitt-Drake, court registrar C. E. Pooley, Surveyor General Joseph Despard Pemberton, and Justice Peter O’Reilly. HBC physician and community leader John Sebastion Helmcken was a member. The owner and editor of the Colonist, David Higgins, soon to become Speaker in the Legislature was a member; the editor of the Victoria Standard, a staunch “leaver” was most certainly not. Other early members and attendees at events were officers of the Royal Navy, and the hierarchy of the Anglican clergy.

By 1884 there were 149 Union Club members and 78 charter members.

Stayed for next month “Chapter 2 – The Battle of the Clubs”

Cleared for Lunch: Japanese airline serves £390 in-flight meals on parked planes

A diner tucks into his £391 onboard meal. Views of the tarmac come gratis. Photograph: All Nippon Airways/AFP/Getty Images

The choice always used to simple – chicken or beef. But Japan’s biggest airline has now started offering luxury dining aboard a parked airplane it has named the “winged restaurant,” for £390 a meal.

Diners grounded by the pandemic rushed to relive the cabin dining experience on Wednesday .

All Nippon Airways (ANA) dining “passengers” can choose between a first-class seat with a meal for 59,800 yen (£391) or a business-class option for about half the price, at 29,800 yen, on board a stationary Boeing-777 at Haneda airport in Tokyo.

Guests are asked to select their meal in advance from a Japanese or international menu. Mains include grilled sablefish with saikyo miso, simmered beef and tofu; Wagyu beef with Kobe wine mustard; and sautéed sea bass and shellfish bisque, served with Japanese sake, plum wine or Krug champagne.

The chef speaks with a customer on a parked All Nippon Airways plane at Haneda airport in Tokyo. Photograph: All Nippon Airways/AFP/Getty Images

Yosuke Kimoto, 42, who had a business-class meal with his 14-year-old son, told Kyodo News: “It was a delicious meal. I’m glad that my kid enjoyed it too.” They were among 60 guests who had lunch aboard on the first day of the service, with a similar number having dinner.

His son was also impressed. “The business class was drastically different from the economy class in terms of both food and the seat. It was so spacious, and the seat was like a bed when reclined,” he told Nikkei Asia.Advertisement

ANA will offer 22 lunch and dinner sessions this month, each lasting about three hours. There is no in-flight entertainment, but customers receive amenity kits and can also use the airline’s lounge at Haneda’s domestic terminal.

Singapore Airlines became the first carrier to tap into the public’s appetite for onboard dining last October, when it started offering meals on two A380 superjumbos parked at Changi airport in Singapore. Tickets sold out in less than half an hour, despite the £360 price tag to eat in a top-flight suite, with the chance to watch a movie too. Economy-class meals were more affordable at £30 a head.

The pandemic has plunged the global aviation industry into its worst-ever crisis, as many aircraft around the world remain grounded amid coronavirus travel restrictions and lockdowns, prompting some airlines to think creatively about what to do with their idle aircraft. At ANA, the idea of the “winged restaurant” was reportedly thought up by employees.

In-flight meals have been surprisingly popular. ANA started selling international economy-class meals online in December and they quickly sold out. It sold 264,000 meals and made revenues of £1.3bn as of 12 March. The airline said beef sukiyaki and hamburger steak with demi-glace sauce served with buttered rice and creamy scrambled eggs were gone within minutes.

An All Nippon Airways flight attendant prepares food for ‘flyers’ on a parked plane at Haneda airport. Photograph: All Nippon Airways/AFP/Getty Images

British Airways now also offers first-class cabin meals from £80 for home delivery, starting this week. It sells four-course meal kits serving two people – in a choice of vegetarian, fish and meat dishes – through the catering firm Do & Co. Starters include Loch Fyne smoked salmon with a mustard dressing, followed by slow cooked British beef cheeks, a cheese selection and dark chocolate and orange liqueur bread and butter pudding.Advertisement

Similarly, Finland’s national carrier Finnair started selling business-class meals at a supermarket near the Helsinki international airport last October, which proved a hit at €12.9 per takeaway meal (£10.90).

The Australian government has launched an A$1.2bn (£660m) package to get people flying again domestically, which will halve the price of 800,000 flights until July. Airlines reported a surge in bookings when they started selling half-price tickets on Thursday as the Queensland government lifted travel restrictions.

The BA owner, International Airlines Group, has called for the introduction of digital health passes for passengers to enable the airline industry to get back on its feet, as the company reported a record €7.4bn loss for 2020 last week.

IAG has worked with the industry body, the International Air Transport Association (IATA), on a digital health verification app. The IATA travel pass app enables passengers to receive Covid-19 test results and verify they are able to travel via an “OK to Travel” status. It is being trialled by a number of carriers.

The Quartet is Now a Quintet!

Union Club member Henri van Bentum is proud to announce that the previously announced quartet of children’s books is now a quintet!  Mr. van Bentum has released his fifth children’s book!

Henri’s charming new children’s fable is titled “Three Mermaids’ Escapades in the Coral Reef and Kelp Forest”

In this fable, we meet Poseidon, Lord of the Sea, and his three granddaughters — Topaz, Ruby and Sapphire. Each mermaid is given a mission which takes them to the realm of coral reefs and kelp forests. Join in their adventures, and learn about the vital role coral reefs and kelp forests play in the health of our planet.

Henri van Bentum says: “We’ve just published our fifth children’s book. I wrote the story (a fable), in collaboration with our friend in Arizona, PJ Heyliger, who created the delightful illustrations. We’re a couple of youngsters — PJ is 82 and I’m 91 years young.

The title is “Three Mermaids’ Escapades in the Coral Reef and Kelp Forest.”   The three mermaids are granddaughters of Poseidon, Lord of the Sea.

Enjoy the whimsical illustrations and join in the adventure.

Along the way, learn about the important role of both coral reefs and kelp forests in the health of our planet.”

To learn more about “Three Mermaids’ Escapades in the Coral Reef and Kelp Forest”, or to purchase your copy, please click here.

AGGV: Winter Small Works Group Show & Sale

Have some shopping left to do? The AGGV Gallery Shop has a great selection of gifts for everyone on your holiday list. Items include; local handmade pottery, jewelry, woodcraft, glass art, textiles, books, exhibition catalogues, magazines, posters, art cards, home goods, stationery, puzzles, children’s games and toys and a beautiful selection of holiday ornaments and decorations.

The Gallery Shop works with local artists and artisans to source many of the products available. The shop is located at the AGGV entrance and does not require an entrance fee to browse or purchase. 

The Gallery Shop is ready for Christmas 2020.

The Gallery is open 6 days a week and admission to the Gallery Shop and Art Rental & Sales is free at all times.

Obituary: Kirby William Howard

It is with deep sorrow that we are forced to announce the sudden passing of our baby brother Kirby William Howard. He left this world on October 21, 2020, in Victoria, British Columbia.

Kirby was a kind, sweet soul who was loved and cherished by many. He was born in Montreal, Quebec and moved to Vancouver British Columbia when he was 6 years old. He was the youngest of the siblings. Kirby came from a musical family and was an amazing singer. Singing, playing the piano and music brought him such tremendous joy and acclaim. Earlier on in his music career, Kirby starred in various musicals in Vancouver and sang with “The Platters.” You always knew he was coming because you could hear him as he sang down the street.

With his sense of humour and genuine caring for people, Kirby made friends easily. He also had lifelong friends that he valued from Kitsilano Secondary School where he graduated.

He moved to Victoria in the late 1980’s and loved living there. Kirby was also a server, bartender, and banquet captain. He worked at the Union Club in Victoria for the past 15 + years and he took great pride in his work there. The members and staff there treated him like family, and he felt that. He also adored Karaoke at many of the Karaoke clubs in Victoria. Many a night you could find him there encouraging others to get their song on while he lit up the room with his powerful voice.

Kirby is predeceased by his mother, Constance “Connie” Howard, father, William Melvin Howard and brother Butch Howard.

He is survived by his siblings, Kevyn Major Howard (Tiffanie), Kim Laforest, Kelsey Howard, and Deirdre Thompson (Lee). He was a wonderful uncle to Dominic Laforest (Gabriella) Tyson Laforest, Kimberley Jackson Moreau (Bony) Courtney Jackson, Kayla Kalisz and Cree (Michelle). Kirby also loved being a Great Uncle to Miles Laforest. He adored and had a special connection to all his cousins and second cousins in Ontario. He was so happy that he went to the Family Reunion.

We as a family, will miss him terribly but it brings us peace to know that he is being received by God and in the loving arms by those who loved him and passed before him. We just know that he is singing his heart out and playing Bingo and cards with our mom.

As a family we want to extend our deepest gratitude to everyone who has reached out to us. In these times of Covid, we are not able to celebrate Kirby’s life in person right now, however we will when it is safe to do so. In the interim, we are in the planning stages to celebrate his life on-line and we will let his friends and rest of family know when a date has been decided.