Category: Victoria History

International Women’s Day: Meet Pat Martin Bates

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In honour of International Women’s Day on Friday March 8, it seems fitting to feature Victoria print maker Pat Martin Bates. An excerpt from Sensational Victoria:

At 85, Pat Martin Bates is still strikingly beautiful. The day I visit her she has a scarf wrapped around her dark hair and she’s wearing a jacket full of blues, reds, and purples with chunky silver jewelry.

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James Bay – Then and Now

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Some of my favourite pictures in Sensational Victoria are the then and now ones in James Bay. There’s a fabulous archival shot of Carr House on Government Street taken in 1869 and a current photo that doesn’t look all that much different—143 years later. Another find is of the Queen Anne house on South Turner Street built in 1889.

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House Stories

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Ever stood in front of an old house and wondered what went on inside those walls? Who lived there, how they lived their lives and what events happened behind the front door? I admit it’s a weird kind of voyeurism, but I’ve spent a lot of the last decade skulking around in people’s hedgerows asking those questions.

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The House that Fostered David Foster

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This photograph of the three little boys in their cowboy suits that appears on the cover of Sensational Victoria is one of my favourite pictures in the book.

It’s not just because the little boy in the middle grew up to be David Foster, record producer, composer, songwriter and arranger—but because it’s such a great story of his childhood home on the outskirts of Victoria.

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Deadlines–obits of memorable British Columbians

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As a journalist it always fascinates me where my colleagues find their passions. For me it’s how people connect with their houses, for Tom Hawthorn it’s their deaths. And, while some of the people featured in Deadlines: obits of memorable British Columbians are well known, most often it’s the ordinary life that’s the quirkiest and most colourful.

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The Sinking of the Princess Sophia

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On October 23, 1918– six years after the sinking of the Titanic—the SS Princess Sophia sailed out of Skagway, Alaska. Four hours later the ship slammed into a coastal reef killing all aboard. These men and women formed the backbone of the North and it was a devastating tragedy for the Pacific Northwest. More than 60 people are buried at Mountain View Cemetery.

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Saving the Swallowed Anchor

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June 13, 2013: Update from Carole Witter: “Sadly we could not negotiate saving the house.  The owner was in such a rush to take it down and now the empty lot sits barren with no sign of any development.  Very disappointing. We did however manage to rescue much of the folk art which is now stored safe and sound in a container at our marina across the street.  

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