How English Billiards Used to be Played at the Club

The following was shared with the Club by Dennett Netterville, Union Club Billiards Coach and IBSF/Snooker Gym Master Coach.  Thanks Dennett!

Walter Lindrum, one of the greatest billiard players of all time.

English Billiards was all the rage when the Union Club was formed in 1879… and having a classy place to play the game with good friends was one of the main attractions for joining the Club back then.

The game of English Billiards remained popular at the Union Club until the mid-20th century.

Here is an exhibition of how the game should be played, performed by Walter Lindrum, one of the best billiards players to ever hold a cue:

World’s Most Expensive Bottle of Whisky That Was Made in 1926 Sells for Record-Breaking £850,000 in Edinburgh

A Bonhams porter shows the bottle of Macallan Valerio Adamai 1926 whisky to packed auction house in Edinburgh today. The whisky was bottled in 1986 having been stored in a vat for 60 years previously

The world’s most expensive bottle of whisky – described by experts as the ‘Holy Grail’ – has been sold for nearly £850,000 at auction.

The 60-year-old Macallan Valerio Adami 1926 sold for a record-breaking £848,750 when it went under the hammer today at Bonhams Whisky Sale in Edinburgh.

Although 12 bottles of the vintage whisky were produced, it is not known how many of them still exist.

Bonhams auctioneer Charles Graham-Campbell takes bids during the sale of this whisky.

The bottle (right), which was expected to fetch between £700,000 and £900,000 ended up being sold for a record-breaking £848,750

One is said to have been destroyed in an earthquake in Japan in 2011, and it is believed that at least one of them has been opened and consumed.

Since the auction was announced earlier this year, Bonhams has been receiving inquiries from across the world, particularly China, for the tipple.

Bonhams Whisky specialist in Edinburgh, Martin Green, said: ‘I am delighted at this exceptional result.

‘It is a great honour to have established a new world record, and particularly exciting to have done so here in Scotland, the home of whisky.

‘Bonhams now holds the record for the three most valuable bottles of whisky ever sold at auction.’

The whisky was bottled in 1986 having been stored in a vat for 60 years previously.

Bonhams’ auction house in Edinburgh was packed out for the sale of the whisky today. Martin Green, Bonhams’ whisky specialist Martin Green said he was delighted with the result of the auction

Although 12 bottles of the vintage whisky (pictured) were produced, it is not known how many of them still exist. When they were bottled in 1986 Macallan commissioned world-famous pop artist Valerio Adami to design a label for the 12 bottles. Valerio Adami is an Italian artist famous for painting bold, flat forms outlined in thick, black lines, in a style reminiscent of comic art

The price keeps on rising at Bonhams’ auction house in Edinburgh where the whisky – made in 1926 – fetched a whopping £848,750 at auction

The whisky was expected to fetch between £700,000 and £900,000 at auction.

Macallan commissioned two world-famous Pop Artists, Valerio Adami and Peter Blake, to design labels for a very limited edition of 24 bottles -12 of the Adami and 12 of the Blake labels.

Valerio Adami (born 1935) is an Italian artist famous for painting bold, flat forms outlined in thick, black lines, in a style reminiscent of comic art.

He is among the most acclaimed of 20th Century Pop Artists.

The previous record for a whisky sale was held by another bottle of The Macallan Valerio Adami 1926 which was sold at Bonhams Hong Kong in May.

It was sold for a world record-breaking price of £814,081 – the most paid for a bottle of Scotch whisky at public auction at the time.

Harvard Club Considers a Change, and Some Think It’s the ‘Worst Thing Ever’

Members of the Harvard Club are upset about a proposal to turn the majestic Harvard Hall, designed by the famed architect Charles McKim, into a dining room. Credit: Ramsay de Give for The New York Times

On the wood-paneled walls of Harvard Hall, the majestic heart of the Harvard Club in Midtown Manhattan, hang portraits of Teddy Roosevelt and other notable graduates. The head of an elephant, a gift to the club, hovers in an alcove where members luxuriate on plush leather couches to read and sometimes nap.

It is a place of elegance and quiet contemplation, and as rarefied spaces go, there are few more rarefied. “I see it as Harvard asserting its primacy as an early American institution,” Barry Bergdoll, a professor of modern architectural history at Columbia University, said of the room.

But when the club’s leadership proposed turning Harvard Hall into a dining room, the sniping among members had all the gentility of a barroom brawl.

“I have been called a fascist dictator,” Michael Holland, the club president, told more than 200 unhappy members during a meeting on Sept. 12.

Harvard Hall has been used for dining before, from 1905 to 1915. Credit: Harvard Club

The crowd booed. “I am not defensive,” he said.

According to people in attendance and a recording of the meeting obtained by The New York Times, one member accused Mr. Holland of sending misleading emails. People clapped when a person called for the club’s leadership to resign. Still others questioned why a change was necessary given the club’s overall financial health.

Depending on whom one talks to, the proposed change to Harvard Hall is either a vast conspiracy to turn the esteemed club into a catering-venue-for-hire or an attempt by the leadership to stem losses in its food and beverage business.

It is not uncommon in the genteel world of New York private clubs for members to weigh profit and convenience. But the members of the Harvard Club seem to be taking this proposal personally.

Ivan Shumkov, an architect, called it one of the most sacred spaces in New York, having been created by an architectural icon, the Harvard alumnus Charles McKim. “If we destroy Harvard Hall,” he said that night, “I think it will be the worst thing ever.”

While refugees of the Yale Club, for example, have long complained it is more corporate than clubby, the Harvard Club, on West 44th Street, has maintained a familial appeal. The membership, roughly 13,000, is made up mostly of faculty, graduates and their spouses. There is a gym with squash courts and guest rooms decorated with university memorabilia for overnight stays. Every year the club holds its own Christmas tree lighting. New York residents pay as much as $2,147 annually in dues, with nonresidents and newer graduates paying less.

A chandelier, decorated with the university shield, in Harvard Hall. Credit: Ramsay de Give for The New York Times

What makes the ruckus at the Harvard Club particularly sensitive is Harvard Hall itself. Mr. McKim built the club, adding Harvard Hall, with its blush-colored French stone walls and two walk-in fireplaces, in 1905. He and his firm, McKim, Mead & White, designed some of the most celebrated Beaux-Art architecture in America, including the University Club of New York, much of Columbia University, the Pierpont Morgan Library and the Boston Public Library.

“It is quite distinct in New York,” Mr. Bergdoll said of Harvard Hall. “It is meant to represent Harvard.”

Like many fights, the one at the Harvard Club started over money. Mr. Holland, the owner of a private investment firm who like other club officers is a volunteer, said that three years ago, the club instituted 22 recommendations to shore up its finances. One recommendation not pursued at the time was to move the a la carte dining service from the dining room, with its airy windows and high balcony, into Harvard Hall. The idea was not unprecedented; Harvard Hall hosted diners from 1905 to 1915.

Since those changes, losses in the club’s food and beverage business have persisted. A mere 8 percent of members accounted for 50 percent of a la carte dining revenue last year, suggesting the dining room is underused.

In February, the club hired Julia Heyer, a restaurant consultant whose firm has worked on projects at Grand Central Terminal and for Brooklyn Brewery. Mr. Holland said she proposed that club dining be moved to Harvard Hall and that two kitchens be separated to improve efficiency. At the same time, the current dining room, which is more spacious than Harvard Hall, could be rented out for larger weddings and banquets, generating more revenue.

The changes didn’t seem too drastic to Mr. Holland. “It’s just moving the furniture,” he said. “It’s not an earthshaking change in how the rooms are used.”

Many members, though, had a different take. In early August, three former committee members of the club sent an email to the board of trustees. The men, Jonathan David, E. Theodore Lewis Jr. and Charles Lauster, laid out reasons the proposal to turn Harvard Hall into a dining room should be rejected.

They warned that the use of the main dining room for banquets and special events would “negatively effect the ambiance of the club” and “eliminate Harvard Hall as a place of quiet enjoyment for members and guests.”

“We are not opposed to making changes that could place the Club on a sounder financial foot,” they wrote. “But we view the current proposal as ill-considered, insufficiently researched and unnecessarily disruptive.”

Mr. Holland said the authors commented without knowing all the facts. (In an email, Mr. David said the three men declined to comment.) Herbert Pliessnig, the club’s general manager, said in an interview that the club planned to hold only an additional five to 10 events annually if the proposal were adopted.

The current dining hall could be rented out for more events if dining were moved to Harvard Hall. Credit: Ramsay de Give for The New York Times

Mr. Holland said of the men: “They really care about the club. How they go about it is their business, whatever they do.”

Their email was widely shared among members, particularly the club’s special interest groups, who frequently meet to discuss topics like American literature, politics or history.

Some were concerned that they would have limited access to quiet rooms if the Harvard Club rented out more space to outsiders. Others were displeased that lunch would no longer be served on the balcony of the main dining room, a favorite gathering spot, if that room were turned into an event space. Mr. Holland said he has received hundreds of emails, mostly in opposition.

One of those letters was from Seth  Herbert, a former vice president and senior international counsel at Estée Lauder who has been a club member for 25 years. He said in an interview that he had left the Yale Club (he has degrees from both schools) because it no longer felt like “home” and that he worried the same would happen to the Harvard Club. “I’m very ambivalent about the proposal,” he said. “It is a major decision that affects the culture of the club.”

Mr. Holland said there would be no decision on Harvard Hall without a vote of the members. He and his team have held three meetings to present the plan. At the first one, on Sept. 7, they laid out two options: members could choose to make Harvard Hall a dining room or they could not. If they opposed the change, annual dues could increase by as much as 10 percent, according to the presentation.

The Sept. 12 meeting, judging by the recording, was particularly tense. Among other accusations, one man told Mr. Holland that an email sent to members with the headline, “Enhancing Your Member Experience,” mischaracterized the seriousness of the proposed change. Most people didn’t read past the first sentence, the man said.

By the third meeting, on Sept. 18, “it was more mixed, but still emotional,” Mr. Holland said. “A couple of times I had to explain that we are volunteers and we are trying to do good.”

The Story Behind “Motherhood: Dedicated to Grace” by Arthur Vickers

Look more closely at three art works in the Union Club Reading Room.

In 1993 Arthur Vickers was asked by the directors of Grace Hospital to create a work of art that would embody his feelings about the hospital where he was born. His devotion to the hospital runs deep: “My mother’s name was Grace, and my wife Jessica and I were both born at Grace Hospital,” said Vickers.

“The idea of coming up with an image that could help Grace Hospital fundraise was an honour for me,” he said. Vickers spent one year sketching ideas and contemplating how he would portray “Motherhood,” which is what the hospital symbolized for him. The suite of three hand pulled serigraphs “are a tribute to all mothers. To my mom, to my Aunt Jane, to every mother.”

Vickers inspiration for the three-part limited-edition fine art print suite was a meeting of First Nations from across the Northwest Coast at Bella Bella in 1993. “There were literally thousands of people at the gathering. I saw a young man doing the paddle dance and teaching some children how to do it. There was a little girl who was dancing beside him with her hands held out. She got tired, so she stopped dancing and started looking for her mom. Crying and distraught, she ran across the field,” recalled Vickers. “She then tapped the lady next to me on the thigh. Even in the midst of all the commotion, the dancing, and the fires, the woman’s attention became totally focused on her child. That’s motherhood.”

“My aunt and uncle were also there. They were happy to see their culture being passed to the next generation. They were the inspiration for portraits of the elderly couple in the first print ” explained Vickers. Arthur spent a few months every year living with his aunt and uncle while he was a child, referring to them as his “summer parents.” The woman’s heavily lined face is gazing contentedly upon her daughter. Behind the elderly woman is her husband, who had supported her through all of her years as a mother.

The second work in the suite features the portrait of the mother, a subtle smile of contentment and deep happiness on her face. “You see that look so often when a mother’s attention is 100 per cent focused on her child. I remember my own mom looking down on me like that,” explained Vickers. “It’s the essence of motherhood. She is in her regalia, with her head bent down looking at the baby or child you don’t see. The mother imagines her child growing up learning her family’s culture and history,” he noted.

The third piece in the suite is of the children dancing: “The legs of the children dancing fade into dust or mist as the children aren’t real. They’re the dream of the mother.” In her dream the children are dancing happily and eager to learn: “The children are very busy. The mother is pleased to pass on the customs and heritage of her culture.”

All three works of art feature elements of the eagle. Each one is drawn with depth and texture; they look startlingly real. “The eagle feather is something I’ve done for years,” said Vickers. “My mother was adopted into the Eagle clan, and I’m a member of the same clan.”

Grace passed away in 1995 one year after the “Motherhood” suite was completed. “Now this art is a remembrance of my mom who has passed on,” he said. “Her passing taught me a lot. I started to think, ‘What have I done?’ There’s an element of fear or urgency, whatever it is. It’s hard to think of your mom not being there, no matter what your age is.”

The “Motherhood” suite is intensely personal for Vickers, as they are his only works of art where his family members are the models: “I think with my heart rather than my head. It was emotionally challenging using the subconscious and conscious elements at the same time.”

“I’m really grateful for the opportunity to have done this,” said Arthur. Drawing on the richness of his First Nations culture, he concluded: “The grace of our ancestry is giving.”

In donating some of his most personal works of art to support Grace Hospital (now British Columbia Women’s Hospital & Health Centre), Arthur Vickers has completed the circle of grace.

View the Arthur Vickers print “triptych”, Motherhood: Dedicated to Grace, on the wall of the reading room, facing you directly as you walk in through the main entrance doors. The Club is proud to have Arthur and Jessica as non-resident members who often stay at the Club when they are in Victoria. See more of Arthur’s work on display at the Arthur Vickers Art Gallery next time you are in Cowichan Bay.

 

“Motherhood” Dedicated to Grace

Suite of three serigraph prints 17/155

Arthur Vickers

1994

Observations & Thoughts on the Career of Alan J. Hodgson, F.R.A.I.C.

Art historian Martin Segger, right, curated a show that highlighted mid-century Victoria architects, including Alan Hodgson, left, circa 2011. Photo: FRANCES LITMAN / VICTORIA TIMES COLONIST

SOME OBSERVATIONS AND THOUGHTS ON THE CAREER OF ALAN JAMES HODGSON F.R.A.I.C ARCHITECT (1928-2018)

by Martin Segger

Delivered at his Celebration of Life, Union Club of British Columbia, August 12, 2018

Sheila Hodgson kindly invited me to say a few words about Alan’s legacy as a Victoria architect during Alan’s celebration of life held at the Union Club.  And I am delighted to do so…

It is appropriate that we are here at the Union Club of British Columbia celebrating Alan’s life. As well as a member, he was for many years architect of record for the maintenance and improvement of this Club house. Members owe him a debt of gratitude for his diligent stewardship of the fabric which laid the groundwork for the more recent total restoration of the Club, including the room we are in …. finishing touches now being applied!

My own introduction to Alan’s work was rather curious.  I first became familiar with one of his masterpieces, the MacLaurin Building at the University of Victoria. I was an undergraduate at UVic participating in a week-long student protest sit-in outside the president’s office on the fourth floor. Another major project, Centennial Square, was of course the gathering point, also for seemingly all too frequent student protest marches on the Provincial Legislature. This also was shortly to become one of his major restoration projects.  Although, of course, at the time we didn’t pay much attention to the architecture.

My real familiarity with his work was to come much later, as a co-supporter and activist in heritage conservation.  And more recently with a more academic focus on appreciating Victoria’s early Modernist legacy.  I treasure so many conversations with him on that topic.  He was a marvelous raconteur on the subject of the post-war architectural practices in Victoria.

Alan’s architectural career was multifaceted. After opening his own practice in 1960, Alan quickly developed a reputation for his very personal interpretation of the current International Modernist idiom. In his residential work he was an early exponent of the West Coast Style.  The Hodgson family’s own house in Vic West, the sculptor Elza Mayhew’s studio in James Bay and the Warren House in Saanich, are all sublime essays in site-specific design, expressions of local materials, sophisticated manipulation of natural light, open floor plans and glazed walls framing dramatic view-scapes.  One has to put them in a category along with the contemporaneous work of the Vancouverites Ned Pratt and Ron Thom.  And I would argue that there was something very uniquely Victoria about Alan’s domestic work, a scale and respect for location and setting that eschewed, for instance, the more dramatic bombast of Arthur Erickson’s houses on the North Shore of Vancouver at that time.

The application of these same sensitivities on a larger scale was evident in Alan’s early institutional work.

Engaged in 1966 to carry-out the largest commission in the first phase of the University of Victoria’s new Gordon Head Campus, Alan designed the six-story Arts and Education (MacLaurin) Building.  His design brief stated that the building must create a “progressive social atmosphere, one that encouraged students to meet and interact with each other”. And in response he designed a massive concreted structure that, elevated above ground level on pilotis, allowed for a mix of open public spaces, external arcades and interior glazed galleries focusing on a contained but open courtyard.  The Corbusier-inspired concrete Brutalism of the forms and finishes is softened with the use a warm red-brick finishes and reticulated cedar window hoods on the south-side upper floors. This blends with a Scandinavian attention to detail and finish carried throughout the interiors.  The MacLaurin set a high standard that would be echoed during subsequent phases of the University’s build-out over the next 50 years. In 1971 and 1978, Alan provided additions to the building, including the Music Wing comprising practice rooms and teaching spaces anchored by the Phillip Young Auditorium still noted as one of the finest acoustical performance halls in Victoria.

This project no-doubt led to another major educational commission, the Terrace campus for Northwest Community College (now Coast Mountain College) in 1968.  Here a range of classroom buildings anchored by a large student services block respond to their woodland meadow setting on a coastal mountain plateau.  The buildings, studies in abstract form, explore the play between cast concrete structural elements, wood-detailing and cedar-siding wall panel finishes.

Alan’s innovative use of concrete, brick and glazed curtain wall found early expression in his work along with another interest.  In 1961 he joined with the group of local architects lead by Rod Clack responding to Mayor Richard Biggerstaff Wilson’s 1961 call to revitalize down-town Victoria by creating a “progressively modern” civic square.  Alan and Rod worked together on the architectural model which laid out the design approach and main elements of the Square. The project included the restoration of two major civic monuments, the 1878/91 City Hall and 1914 Pantages Theatre, while adapting both to a new life as part of an active pedestrian space.  Alan’s piece, the theatre project, prompted extensive research in Europe that ultimately lead to a faithful restoration of the historic audience chamber, but also a new back-stage, front-of-house lobbies and a restaurant addition raised above the Square.  The Modernist additions utilizing cantilevered reinforced concrete elements, brick façade finishes and expansive glazed curtain walls gracefully transitioned the east end of the Square from the Victorian urban setting of Old Town to the spirited Modernism of the new Square, particularly its central focal point, the mosaic stele of Jack Wilkinson’s “Centennial Fountain”. Centennial Square was recognized with an AIBC Award for Architectural Excellence.

While completing his articles at Public Works in the late 1950s, Alan worked with Peter Cotton and Andy Cochrane on the new Government House.  Replacing the previous Rattenbury/Maclure Arts-and-Crafts style building which burned down in 1957, this design referenced its institutional heritage with a modern evocation that maintained the functional floor plan of the original. It also recreated in-detail, the main state rooms of its Edwardian predecessor.  Heritage restoration was to become a major specialization within Alan’s practice.

The Pantages Theatre project was followed by what was to become the largest heritage restoration project in the Province. In the early 1970s Alan assumed the roles of design and project architect for the restoration of the Parliament Buildings. He was awarded the prestigious Heritage Canada National Conservation Award for nearly two decades of innovative conservation work on the Buildings. This not only included a faithful restoration of the major ceremonial spaces, training a new generation of restoration craft trades, but also – based on detailed study of the original F. M. Rattenbury drawings – a highly innovative “finishing” of previously undeveloped areas of the buildings according to Rattenbury’s original intentions.  Numerous high-profile architectural conservations projects would follow: for instance, the Victoria Masonic Temple, the Odd Fellows Hall, and the conversion of an Edwardian temple bank into Munro’s Bookshop, the latter celebrated with a Hallmark Restoration Award.

Alan’s practice was noted for the quiet elegance and attention to detail in the design work.  This can be seen in his commissions, over 500 during his 55 years of practice. These included the industrial plant complex for Island Farms Dairies on Blanshard Street, marking the entrance to downtown Victoria, to his churches from the restoration of the chancel at St. Saviour’s Anglican to a new building for the congregation of Cadboro Bay United Church.

I should add that over the years a number of his commissions were brilliantly documented by the well-known Vancouver architectural photographer, John Fulkner.  Fulkner’s photo archive was recently accepted into the permanent collection of the West Vancouver Museum.

Alan was a leading influence in his profession during the formative years of post-war Modernism on the West Coast.  He was deeply respected by his peers, a fact signaled by their election of him as a Fellow of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada in 1998.  He was a mentor to many students, in particular those he taught during his three-year appointment as associate professor at the UBC School of Architecture where along with a small group of faculty he pioneered the overseas study tours.  The first one to Venice is now institution at the school.

In concluding, I’d like to prompt you to contemplate the fact that downtown Victoria is bookended by two of Alan’s projects that both ran almost the length of his career.  And they couldn’t be more different.  At one end, on Blanshard and Bay Streets, the Island Farms Dairy:  a large-scale industrial plant.  At the other, on the harbour, his 40 year plus restoration project, the Parliament Buildings. At the Dairy, an essay in high modern functionalism, a series of abstract cubist forms achieves an almost magical disappearing act for such a massive imposition … his response to a very sensitive location marking the entrance to Victoria’s urban core.  In contrast, of course, and thanks to Alan, the monumental Parliament Building today still hold their own at the City’s harbour front entrance.

Alan’s work is a testament to his passionate vision for good design, always inspired by both a fine-grained sense-of-place, and a radical humanism.  

Martin Segger, B.A., Dip. Ed., M.Phil.

University of Victoria | UVIC  –  Department of History in Art

 

CFB Esquimalt Museum 5th Annual Open House

Where: CFB Esquimalt
When: July 14, 2018 – 10:00AM to 4:00PM

CFB Esquimalt Naval & Military Museum will be holding an open house on Saturday July 14 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The family-friendly event is free and features:

  • A bouncy castle
  • Button-making station
  • Military vehicles and re-enactors
  • Pirate camp
  • Artist-in-residence
  • Bubble blowing
  • Sno-cones
  • Cupcakes for early birds

The museum is located at CFB Esquimalt off of Admirals Road in Esquimalt. Enter at the Naden main gate and follow the blue lines. Please bring photo identification to gain admission.

Past President – In Memoriam…

KNIGHTED BY QUEEN VICTORIA

Judge Matthew Baillie-Begbie was born in 1819 and travelled from England in 1858 to become one of the first officials of the new Crown Colony of British Columbia.

He walked and rode hundreds of miles getting to know the miners and mining camps, and judging cases everywhere.

He was an artist who drew sketches of the witnesses in his “courtroom”–often a tent or a clearing. He was an opera singer who gave concerts in Victoria.
He was a linguist who heard cases in the Shuswap and Chilcotin languages without needing an interpreter—and he often defended the rights of First Nations people, who called him “Big Chief”.

Often called “the hanging Judge”, Begbie, at 6’5″ tall, certainly looked the part. But truth be known, only 27 of the 52 murder cases he heard in the history of the Colony ended in hangings–and hanging was the punishment required by law for the crime of murder at that time. So if the verdict was guilty, the Judge didn’t have a choice….

In 1875 Begbie went on holiday to Europe and was knighted by Queen Victoria-Sir Matthew! Soon afterwards Judge Begbie was back at work, and kept judging cases for another two decades until he died on June 11, 1894, when the city of Victoria mounted a magnificent funeral procession for him.

The Passing of Peggy (Mulliner) Freethy

The Club was sadly advised this week of the passing of Mrs. Peggy Freethy.  Mrs. Freethy was the Club’s oldest member at 99 years, 10 months.  She will be missed…

Today, the Club received the following interview of Mrs. Freethy, conducted in 2012 by a fellow alumni of Victoria High School (Mrs. Freethy was a member of the class of 1935).

PEGGY (MULLINER) FREETHY, VHS CLASS OF 1935

Interviewed by Kamille Tobin-Shields, VHS Class of 2012

“As a youth, fascinated with History, I find it it extremely important to foster intergenerational relationships. The passing on of one’s wisdom and knowledge through storytelling (and simply spending time with our elders) makes for a very rich and fulfilling experience, not to mention the importance of continuing someone’s legacy.  Peggy Freethy is one of these wonderful elders who was gracious enough to share some of her early Victoria childhood memories with me!

Peggy grew up in the James Bay neighborhood of Victoria, near the end of Government Street.

She attended Alice Carr’s Kindergarten, Girls Central School and then graduated from Victoria High School in 1935.

At age five, Peggy Freethy met Emily Carr who was in her 40’s at the time. She said that Emily’s sister, Alice Carr, would often worry about Emily’s eating habits and send Peggy and one of her classmates over to Emily’s house with puddings and food for her.

Some days, Emily would ask the children to stay and she would put them to work, sweeping her small, ten-by-twelve studio. Peggy remembers, at the young age of five, sweeping the dusty studio floors as Emily Carr’s notorious monkey, sat perched up in the little window.

She also remembers Ms.Carr giving her little prints and sketches that she didn’t like, instructing the children to take them out to be burned in the fire that was always ablaze in the backyard. One day, after Peggy had finished sweeping the studio, Ms. Carr offered to take Peggy and her classmate up to the attic, in reward for doing a good job in the studio. Emily brought the two kids up the ladder and into the attic.  They were, as Peggy recalls, the first children to ever see the painted totem poles that flooded the attic’s empty space.

Peggy went on to share another story about Emily Carr, this one more personal. Emily’s sister, Elizabeth Carr, had married Mr.Williams and together they had four children, two boys and two girls. The girls were fine, healthy girls but the two boys had diabetes and epilepsy. One of the boys sat next to Peggy in Alice Carr’s kindergarten, so Peggy had become close friends with him.

One day, when Peggy was about twelve years old, one of the brothers came to visit her at home. As he they met on the sidewalk, he began to have an epileptic fit. Peggy was taught to stick a small piece of wood between the boy’s teeth, so he wouldn’t bite his tongue. Peggy then told him to stay and she ran to get Alice from the schoolhouse. On her way there, Peggy ran into Emily out walking her little dogs in a baby carriage. She told her to come at once, because the boy was having a fit. Emily whirled around, dumped her dogs in her studio and ran to the boy’s aid. She picked up the boy in her arms, a young man of age seventeen now, and cradled him for a few minutes. Peggy describes in beautiful detail, the look of compassion on Emily Carr’s face as she held this boy in her arms. “The look of compassion on her face, I have never forgotten.”

Peggy then attended Girls Central School, its building sat where Central Middle school now is. From there, Peggy moved on to attend, and graduate from, Victoria High School.

VHS Class of ’35 – Peggy in the front row, 2nd from right

Peggy looks at me, knowing that I currently attend Vic High, and asks doubtfully if there are any remainders of the All Girls division. I reply with, ” the only things that remain are the signs above the side entrances that read: “Boys Entrance” and “Girls Entrance”.

She goes on to describe to me how she can still remember her principal (sitting to her right in the photo above, beloved teacher and long-serving VHS principal, Harry Smith.  Please see the 1940’s page and the interview with Winsome [Smith] Oliver, for more stories about him.  – ed.), watching carefully from his office door every morning, as all of the students marched past him.

“Our behavior was controlled, I remember it well.”

Peggy participated in the Portia Debate team while at Vic High and was described as the “social lion of her division”. Groups, she said, were considered the thing to be a part of, if you wanted to be known at school.

“High school was a wonderful experience for me”, Peggy says with a graceful smile.

She then recalls a few more of the many memories she cherishes from her youth.

On weekends, Peggy and her friends would go to the Crystals Gardens, they would swim in the pool or go dancing at night. Peggy fondly remembers that the youth of her time always had somewhere to go, somewhere to meet new people and spend the weekend.

Peggy also belonged to The Craigdarroch Society, a group of young women who all, except for Peggy and her sister, were residents of what we call today, the prestigious Rockland area. The mothers of these young ladies would host afternoon teas, dinners and other events. The young women would go from home to home for different social occasions.

When she was younger, Peggy recalls going out to Butchart Gardens with her family. Admission was free, and they would join countless other families on the lawn to have picnics. She remembers the image of Mrs. Butchart coming around, providing the families with hot water and making sure they had everything that they needed. The sense of community was strong, and compassion was truly evident.

Sadly, our conversation had to come to an end here. I sat fully engaged as Peggy finished describing some of the fondest memories of her youth in Victoria in the 1930’s.

I was fortunate, however, to have spent just over an hour with Peggy.  Visualizing her stories of walking along wooden sidewalks, or encountering Emily Carr, or even her nights spent dancing at the Crystal Gardens, I would have loved to have listened to her stories about the young city of Victoria forever. My short time spent with Peggy taught me that memories are priceless; to cherish everything around you and everybody you meet, as they may just turn out to be a famous painter; but also, that memories will not live on unless they are shared.  The gift of storytelling and sharing must never be lost to assure this preservation. I feel fortunate to have been in Peggy Freethy’s company and even more fortunate to have been invited to share a piece of her personal history.

Past President – In Memoriam…

ATTORNEY-GENERAL, SUPREME COURT JUSTICE…

David McEwen Eberts was born in Chatham, Ontario, in 1850 and came to Victoria in 1878. He had studied at Osgoode Hall in Toronto and when he first came to Victoria he joined A. Rocke Robertson in law practice. He married in 1884 to Miss Mabel Charles, the daughter of a prominent Victorian.

“Hopedene”, where Mr. and Mrs. Eberts took up residence, was built by R.B. McMicking, the great grandfather of our 44th President of the same name.
In 1890, D.M. Eberts was first elected to the Legislature, for Victoria city.

In 1895, The Daily Colonist said this of Mr. Eberts: “He is free and independent in manner and though a hard fighter in any cause he espouses, he never personally antagonizes his opponents and is socially and politically one of the best-liked members in the Assembly.”

For eight years Eberts was Speaker of the Legislature, under Premier Richard McBride, and Premier W.J. Bowser. In 1917 he was appointed to the bench and he remained a Supreme Court Justice until his death, at age 74, on May 21, 1924.

Past President – In Memoriam…

PROMINENT VICTORIA REALTOR…

Arthur Charlton Burdick was born in London, Ontario, January 30, 1874, son of Issac Newton and Helen Burdick. He was educated in London and in Ingersoll.

He came to British Columbia in 1897 at the age of 23 and went on to marry Vina Dixie in 1901. In 1907 he established Green & Burdick Bros., Real Estate and Financial Brokers, at the corner of Langley and Broughton Streets, in Victoria.

His partner was Senator Robert Francis Green, The Union Club of British Columbia’s 18th President.

Arthur Charles Burdick was a leader of the community and enjoyed a successful business career.

He died on May 20th, 1951, at the age of 77.