Special Features - Tweed Magazine - Winter 2014

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TWEED WINTER 2014/2015




I N S I D E › P E O P L E › T R AV E L › F O O D › H I S T O R Y › A R T S

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Winter 2014/2015 Volume 2 Issue 4

10 Cover Story Meet Bill Murphy-

Dyson, the man behind the micropone at Oak Bay’s Christmas Light Up.



Historic Oak Bay

Upland Park’s monument to remembrance.



Oak Bay Insider

Christopher Causton recalls an Oak Bay miracle.


Romancing the Stove


Tweed Magazine welcomes your Oak Bay suggestions for the next edition. So, do tell! Email editor Susan Lundy at: lundys@shaw.ca

Join Pam Grant at Carlton House.



Tea With

Tweed editor Susan Lundy chats with news anchor Jim Beatty.


Dogs on the Avenue

Photographers capture the cute, the cuddly and the gangly in Oak Bay canines.





WINTER 2014/2015

It’s the most wonderful sale of the year

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» LOCKDOWN UNLOCKED: Oak Bay fiction writer Maggie Bolitho has published her debut young adult novel Lockdown, recently released by Great Plains Teen Fiction.   About the book she says: “When a rare, great earthquake devastates the Pacific Northwest, Rowan Morgan thinks that she is ready for it. At her father’s insistence, she and her brother have taken first aid courses, learned to fish and hunt, and know to close ranks around the family in emergencies. She quickly finds out there is more to emergency preparation than stockpiling food. Disasters change people, make them anxious. Anxious people make bad decisions, take silly risks. Rowan discovers many situations are not covered in survival manuals.”   Lockdown has been listed in the 2014 fall edition of Best Books for Kids and Teens, as selected by The Canadian Children’s Book Centre. It is available at Ivy’s Books or may be ordered directly from the publisher: www. greatplains.mb.ca/buybooks/lockdown/   Over the years, Bolitho has been a soccer player, horsewoman, martial artist, scuba diver and cyclist. Before making her home in BC, Bolitho lived in Australia, where her home was in a red-

zone, the highest bushfire risk possible. It was there, when she trained as a member of the CFU (Community Fire Unit) as a firefighter, that her interest in disaster scenarios came to life. » COVER GIRL: To mark our second anniversary issue, Tweed wanted a Westie!     A Westie named McIntosh, riding in a basket on the back of Inga Markham’s bike, was featured on the cover of our first issue, published back in December, 2012. We wanted a Westie — but how to find one? The task turned out to be easier than anticipated, with the folks at Bark Bath and Beyond quickly coming to the rescue. Molly — the star of our cover — is a happy client of the Oak Bay pet grooming business, and her owner, Rael Boisvert, was happy to accommodate our photographer, Arnold Lim. Although it was gloomy day, Molly took to the camera like a pro … and the rest is history. » WINTER DINNER STAGE: As the curtain rises on the Oak Bay Beach Hotel’s second season of dinner theatre, its annual holiday revue It’s Christmas returns, with feature songs and stories perfect for the season. The show runs until Dec. 26.   Up next, in January, “I do, I do!” presents a nostalgic musical about love, family and the inevitable mid-life crisis. I do, I do! runs from Jan. 16 to March 7.

Your Smile

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Collecting Christmas memories (a LOT of them)


his is my 50th Christmas — a horrifying thought — but I guess it explains why so many festive memories swirl about in my head like those glittery white specks in festive snow globes. Because I have so very many Christmas memories all tumbling around in my head, there’s quite a mix that surfaces when I start thinking about it. I recall bursting with anticipation the year, as a primary school student, I wrapped up a gift for my aunt and uncle, who lived in Shawnigan Lake. I loved them dearly, mostly because, at night, they left out milk and little plates of food for the raccoons. (A somewhat misguided act, I realize today; however, as I child, I was absolutely charmed by the gesture.) In school I wrote and illustrated a report about raccoons, wrapped it up for them, and simply couldn’t wait to see their joyous faces upon opening it. Move ahead a couple of decades. Out tumbles a memory of my elder daughter, Danica, then a preschooler, her voice rising above the din in a bookstore as she pointed to an illustration. “Look!” she cried. “There’s baby Jesus and the Prima Donna!” (There’s good reason she knew that word.) Same era, a few years later, I vividly recall a conversation with my then-husband, gloomy in his maxed-out MasterCard funk. He suggested that next year, I make the girls dresses for Christmas … seemingly oblivious to the fact that I couldn’t sew and that they never wore dresses. All this to the backdrop of little Sierra, singing, “Then all the reindeer loved him, as they shouted out, ‘Whiskey’!” But through all these swirling memories weaves tradition, and I can recite all the activities that defined the season, from placing milk and cookies on the hearth for Santa, to plucking coins from the Christmas pudding … most of which were later transposed into my own family’s traditions. This year, however, as we anticipate the Christmas homecoming of our adult children, with at least two of them bringing partners, we realized it’s time to change up tradition. Time to reign in the gift-giving, for one, be8


WINTER 2014/2015

cause it becomes unwieldy (and far too pricey for young adults) with a dozen people. But no matter what the expression of the tradition, the crux of the season remains: the holidays will be the time when we turn off computers and phones (I promise … sort of) and enjoy the company of friends and family. Many stories in this edition of Tweed revolve around traditions of the season. Audrey Riller (page 14) has been making handmade Christmas cards for 40 years. This season, she’s published a beautiful little book, highlighting these creative images, which are all linked by the word “Joy.” Bill Murphy-Dyson is the voice behind a popular Oak Bay Christmas tradition — the annual Light Up festivities. He’s the face behind much more in Oak Bay, not to mention that his face also appears on an album cover. Curious? More, beginning on page 10. Mary Spillsbury Ross (page 32) is one of four locals who share aspects of their holiday traditions; she recalls the glorious festivities of the Oak bay house of her youth. Also, join us on a trip to Carlton House (page 28), and into the warm, beautiful and functional Oak Bay home of Sukkie and Harp Sandu. Step with us into the studio of sculptor Linda Lindsay, where you’ll realize you’re not alone. Check out some dogs on the Avenue, and have “tea” with CHEK TV news anchor Jim Beatty. Columnist Chris Causton describes a miracle, and history writer Ivan Watson takes a walk down memory lane at the cenotaph at Uplands Park. All in all, it’s a good romp up and down a festively attired memory lane for the reader. We hope you enjoy this issue of Tweed, which marks our second anniversary edition. How time flies! But don’t remind me, because I’m still busy trying to sort through a half century of Christmas memories. Wishing you the best of season — warmth, love and joy — from all of us here at Tweed.

Susan Lundy EDITOR

Born and raised in Victoria, Susan Lundy has worked as a journalist, editor and freelance writer for over 25 years. She is also editor of Boulevard Magazine and her columns on family life run in several Black Press newspapers. Her first book — Heritage Apples: A New Sensation — was published in 2013. Follow her on Twitter @slundytweet

Dec to Feb

CONTRIBUTORS IVAN WATSON grew up in Oak Bay and is an alumnus of Glenlyon Norfolk School. He works as a freelance writer, historian and marketing and communications strategist. Follow him on Twitter: @watsonivan

ARNOLD LIM is a longtime photojournalist and videographer whose credits include the Globe and Mail, Sports Illustrated, the Toronto Star and Black Press.

CHRIS CAUSTON is a former mayor, restaurateur and hotelier; and current Harbour Ferries Captain and Rotarian. He’s a voracious reader who still enjoys a good game of tennis.

DON DENTON has photographed numerous high-profile events, including the Olympics, World Hockey Championships, European Figure Skating Championships and a Royal wedding.

KEN SAKAMOTO is an award-winning photojournalist, whose assignments include Queen Elizabeth II, the collapse of the Berlin Wall, first mission of the space shuttle, major league sports and famous people.

KORINA MILLER writes freelance for publications including Lonely Planet, BBC and Globe & Mail, covering travel, art, culture, politics and cuisine.

JENNIFER BLYTH is an award-winning writer, photographer and editor, whose stories have appeared in BC Business, BC Home, WestWorld and Yes Magazine.

PAM GRANT is a recovering chef, award winning writer and Victoria native, who enjoys music, travelling and epicurean adventures — especially those that involve eating dinner at other people’s homes.

Group Publisher Penny Sakamoto psakamoto@blackpress.ca

Creative Design Lily Chan Circulation Director

Associate Group Publisher Bruce Hogarth Oliver Sommer osommer@blackpress.ca Editor Susan Lundy lundys@shaw.ca

Cover Photo:

Arnold Lim

www.blackpress.ca 818 Broughton Street, Victoria, BC V8W 1E4 Phone 250-381-3484 Fax 250-386-2624

TWEED magazine is published quarterly by Black Press. The points of view or opinions expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher of Tweed. The contents of Tweed magazine are protected by copyright, including the designed advertising. Reproduction is prohibited without written consent of the publisher.

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December Eclectic Gallery continues to host its SMALL WORKS exhibit, featuring over 25 artists and more than 100 original works of art.

Dec. 2-20 Winchester Gallery features NATHAN BIRCH and JOE COFFEE, with an opening reception Dec. 4 from 6-8 pm. Artists will be in attendance.

Until Dec. 26 IT’S CHRISTMAS dinner theatre at Oak Bay Beach Hotel.

Dec. 12 Live Music series with MAUREEN

WASHINGTON QUARTET, upstairs lounge

at Oak Bay Recreation Centre. “Winner of the 2014 Black Canadian Awards for Best Jazz & Soul Artist.”

Dec. 13 OAK BAY HIGH SCHOOL BAND plays in Estevan Village.

Dec. 20-21 SANTA WEEKEND at Oak Bay Recreation Centre. Swim With Santa, Dec. 20, 1-5 p.m. Games, prizes and more. Skate With Santa, Dec. 21, noon to 4:30 p.m. Santa will be playing games on the ice and handing out prizes.


Recreation Centre, 1:30-3 p.m.

Dec. 26-28 and Jan. 5-18 35th annual NEW YEAR’S TENNIS TOURNAMENT for girls,

boys, women and men for ages 8 to 80 years. Singles, doubles and mixed. Juniors play Dec. 26-28, while adults compete Jan. 5-18. At Oak Bay Rec’s Tennis Bubble. This year will also involve live music with rock n’ roll band Rukus. Entry deadline for the tournament is Friday December 21st.

Jan. 16-March 7 I DO, I DO! dinner theatre at Oak Bay Beach Hotel.

Jan. 30-Feb 25 ALL YOU NEED IS HEART art show and sale,

Monday to Friday, 9 am to 4 pm at Goward House. Artists’ reception, Feb. 1, at 1:30 pm.

Feb. 12 Friends of Uplands Park and Oak Bay Heritage host world-renowned UVic ethnobotanist, DR.


speaking on the Sacred and Healing Plants of Uplands Park at Windsor Park Pavilion, 7 p.m.

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hen I meet Bill Murphy-Dyson in his harbour-view, downtown Victoria office, I already know a few things about him: he emcees Oak Bay’s annual Christmas Light Up, chairs the Oak Bay Tea Party, and he’s been a lawyer in Victoria for the past 30 years. However … I had no idea he was a musical prodigy, featured in a 1965 album called Bill Dyson Sings. Nor did I know that Bill Murphy-Dyson, a.k.a. Prince Charming, did, in fact, marry Cinderella. Check out the website collectorfrenzy.com, and you’ll find the album Bill Dyson Sings. The cover showcases an angelic-faced youth alongside a drawing of Victoria’s Christchurch Cathedral. The album is described as an “extremely rare localsonly solo LP from 1965 by multipleaward-winning, 13-year-old Bill Dyson”

nd phone

It’s a pretty cool thing and I really like doing it. And to the see the little kids’ eyes light up when I tell them Santa Claus is coming to visit is really magical. BILL MURPHY-DYSON

❞ That album was followed up a year later by another featuring the Christchurch Cathedral Choir with the young Bill as soloist. Later he sang with the Victoria Operatic Society, in musicals with Bastion Theatre and with Jerry Gosley’s Smile Show — a British Music Hall show. He also spent 25 years playing in the The Hudson’s Bay’s Breakfast with Santa entourage — a role that has morphed into his 12 Days of Christmas performance at the Oak Bay Light Up. In the early 1970s, when a young Bill Dyson played Prince Charming in Bastion Theatre’s touring company, he met Maureen Murphy in the role of Cinderella. They’ve been together for 43 years. (In wooing her, he says, he turned vegetarian for two years, but did not, in fact, try to fit her with a glass slipper.) Today, he dabbles in a “garage band,” but try as I might to trick him into revealing more about this “group of old guys,” it turns out journalistic ploys don’t work on lawyers.

But here’s a little more information about the man behind the microphone at Oak Bay’s Christmas Light Up.

You’ve been the MC of Christmas Light-Up in Oak Bay ever since it started. What can you tell us about it? Matt McNeil came up with the idea in 2001 as his response to 9/11. He thought we needed something to help “pick ourselves up and brush ourselves off.” So he asked me to emcee it and he even gave me a red scarf. The red scarf and I have shown up every year since. It’s so great to perform with Daniel Lapp and his Joy of Life Choir. … It’s a pretty cool thing and I really like doing it. And to the see the little kids’ eyes light up when I tell them Santa Claus is coming to visit is really magical.

What other Oak Bay entities have you been involved in? When I first moved to Oak Bay, I became involved in Oak Bay Little League at Fireman’s Park. My two boys “gradu-

ated” from that program. They are now 36 and 31 years old. David Naysmith had kids there too, and he and I got the pavilion built. I was also part of the Oak Bay Centennial Committee, and a founding member and first president of the Centaurs Soccer Club. At the time, it was an over-35 men’s team. We’ve recently been re-classified as an over-48 team.

What inspired you to take the helm of the Oak Bay Tea Party? The second chair of the Oak Bay Tea party after Fed Usher was Marcel Barsalou, who was a client of my law firm, Cox Taylor. One day I said to Marcel that I’d be interested in volunteering if he needed any help. One week later, he told me I was in charge of the parade! Now that was a lot of work! After that, I worked with Peter Insley with the entertainment on the stage. Eventually, Marcel decided to retire and recommended that I become chair; the volunteers have elected me every year since. WINTER 2014/2015



You’re also busy with your law practice here in Victoria. What drew you to the law? Before I went to law school, I was a bus driver in Vancouver, working for BC Hydro, which ran busses in those days. One day, both management and the union executive annoyed me, and I decided to go to law school and become a labour lawyer. Maureen and I and our then five-year-old daughter, Sarah, moved back to Victoria for law school. Once I graduated, we wanted to stay in Victoria, but there wasn’t much in the way of labour law. So most of my 30 years of practice have been doing matrimonial law, although I’m now concentrating on mediation, having trained as both a family law mediator and family law arbitrator.

Where have you lived other than Victoria? My father was an officer in the navy, so we went back and forth across the country. The third time we moved to Victoria, I was 11 years old and, apart from living three months in Kamloops (bank manager trainee), three months in Arizona (ballroom dance instructor), five years in Vancouver (undergrad student, bus driver), and one year in Ottawa (law clerk at the Supreme Court of Canada), I’ve lived in Victoria. I went to University School, which is now St. Michael’s University School, graduated at age 16, and went to UVic for one year. I stopped school for what turned out to be three years, while I was an actor, dance instructor, taxi driver and mail truck driver. I returned to second year at UVic two months before our daughter was born (how’s that for plan-


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WINTER 2014/2015



ning!). Then we moved to UBC for my last two undergrad years, before I put my BA to good use as a bus driver.

Tell us more about being a clerk in the Supreme Court of Canada. It was in 1982 and only 11 law students from across Canada were selected. At that time all judges had one clerk each. I clerked for Justice William R. McIntyre.

Miles Takacs When time and money matter!


Tell us about your family. Maureen is now a yoga instructor, having taken early retirement from being a nursing instructor at Camosun College. We have three children: Sarah, a retired soloist ballet dancer with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet and now an actor in Toronto; Matthew, who, after teaching in Taiwan for nine years, is an electrician’s apprentice living in Rossland, BC; and Andrew, who lives in Victoria and is a carpenter with his own contracting business. Our granddaughter, Audrey, is three years old and lives in Toronto.

What does the holiday season mean to you? As a choirboy at Christchurch Cathedral, Christmases were a big part of growing up. Now, it’s kids that make Christmas a nice time for me. Mine are all grown up and, especially when Audrey doesn’t make the trip from Toronto, I depend on kids crowding around the stage at Christmas Light up to remind ofCOSM_8627_COSM196_Tweed_X1a.pdf the joys of the season. 1 2014-11-04 3:46 PM

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ODE to Forty years of handmade Christmas cards in new Audrey Riller book



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iller’s Oak Bay studio is a cheerful clutter of coloured pencils, pens, paints, scraps of Christmassy designs, bits of matting and stacks of vibrantly hued rice paper. It’s here in this brightly lit room — overlooking a twist of sinewy oak trees — that Riller creates the most recent of a 40-year collection of handmade Christmas cards. This year, the 60 or so people on her list will get an additional gift with their Riller card: it’s a slender paperback book called Gifts of Joy. Inside, the pages open up on a dazzling array of handmade Christmas card designs, one for each of the past 40 years. The word “Joy” links them all. “Joy encompasses all that I call Christmas,” Riller says. “Joyful music [such as] Handel’s Messiah plays non-stop; there’s joyful times with friends and family; and joy decorating the Christmas tree with baubles that I have collected … and that were on the tree when I was a child.” She created the first card in the series in 1974 — the year she separated from her husband. “We’d always made cards as a couple,” she recalls, adding that after their son Paul was born, they often used his artwork as the basis for their handmade Christmas creations. “So I carried on the tradition.” Her first card, a four-colour silkscreen called A Partridge in a Pear Tree, repeats the word “joy” three times — expressing, she says with a twinkle — the emotion she felt at the time. “I was very joyful and continue to be joyful.” Over the years, her friends and family — between 40 and 60 of them — have received her handmade cards. A few people have the entire collection. Riller, an artist who has always worked in multi-media, has a degree from the University of Manitoba School of Art and has spent most of her life teaching art, creating art and furthering her education in art. “I am so glad that art is part of my life,” she says. She’s held solo exhibitions in Canada and

JOY Malta, and is represented in permanent collections from coast to coast, including the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria and National Museum of Fine Arts, Malta. Born in Victoria, Riller spent most of her years living and teaching art in Winnipeg. She returned to Victoria in l997 and lives at Kildonen — an Abbeyfield Society house — in Oak Bay with her partner Derek Louden. As she shows the card she created in 1998, the enormity of the project is suddenly apparent. Each card was handmade individually, and the labour intensive process for creating the beautiful green, brown and rusty-red coloured tree, encircled by happy baubles, is described in the book: “A tree image was hand cut into numerous blank cards. Painted images were placed behind the cutout tree; the front of the card was embellished with circles punched out of painted paper; a gold ink pen completed this image. Each card was unique.” “It involved pressure cutting with a matte knife,” she recalls. “It was long and involved.” In creating the 40 years worth of cards, she’s employed a multitude of media, including cheesecloth, hot wax, brush calligraphy, photography, rice paper, paint and crayons. She’s cut, composed, ironed, brushed, glued and glittered. “I like the glitz of Christmas,” she smiles. After the time-consuming 1998 cutout card, she decided it made more sense to create one card and have copies made. However, she continued to add individual touches to each. “I added 160 dots to these ones,” she says, pointing to one card. “You can tell I love it!” As she looks at the cards today, many evoke memories. For the 2007 card, she used a photograph of lush, tropicallooking plants taken during one of her many travels, this particular one in Australia. The image was cut and collaged for the upper part of the card and used for the bold “Joy” emblazoned across the bottom. The 2002 card builds on a sea chart and photograph of a catamaran, conjuring a lengthy sailing trip she and Derek once took, travelling on the Trent Severn Waterway, across

Audrey Riller with her new book.

the Great Lakes and down the Mississippi River to the Bahamas where they wintered. “Good inspiration for the annual Christmas card,” she writes in Gifts. Augmenting the images in Gifts of Joy are several quotes ringing out the attributes of the word “Joy.” Riller likes the way a Lenza MacDonald quote — “Joy is the sound of peace when it snows” — is positioned beside her 2001 card, a soft, watery image of a Christmas tree surrounded by snow-like pink and gold dots. She typically begins working on the cards in November and sends them out the first week of December. She doesn’t plan the cards in advance: she just puts on the Christmas music, sits down and gets the creative process flowing. “I’m quite proud of the book,” she says. “I have so much fun doing the cards, and all my friends love getting them.” Gifts of Joy is available at Eclectic Gallery on Oak Bay Avenue or online at www.friesenpress/bookstore, amazon.ca and barnesandnoble.com. WINTER 2014/2015



Linda Lindsay in her studio. Below: Flamenco dancer and foot.

Casting Beauty Linda Lindsay sculptures evoke passion and movement By KORINA MILLER Photos by KEN SAKAMOTO


hen you first step into Linda Lindsay’s Oak Bay studio, you might mistakenly think you’re alone — until you look more closely. In one corner, a woman watches you intently, her eyes seemingly following you. There’s a dancer by the window — her back to you, but her muscles awake and tense — and the bust of a man, his gaze wise and warm. The lifelike quality of Lindsay’s sculptures is almost unnerving. True, she’s exacting in proportion, but it’s more than that. There’s a sense of movement running through them, as if they’re frozen but for a second. Lindsay works with her locally gleaned models for years, getting to know their gestures,



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how they raise an eyebrow, the tilt of their heads, the twinkle in their eyes. She wants to capture how they feel about the world they live in, how they project themselves. She wants to honour them and show others their beauty. In doing so, she’s creating snapshots of her local community. Coming from a long line of poets, musicians and painters, Lindsay was encouraged to draw from a young age and artistic flair seems to run in her blood. Her calm exterior doesn’t hide the sheer ball of passion inside. When she’s talking about her work, she becomes so animated, so swept away by the story behind it and the people involved, you can’t help but be swept along with her. Her commitment to precision is earnest. After finishing her art degree, Lindsay studied with a former physician. “If I’m going to do a figure, I want to

do it right,” she insists. “I study anatomy at least four to five hours a week.” Her current studies are taking her beyond the muscle and the bone, “to the fat deposits in the face. It’s fascinating,” she says. She shows me an écorché bust she’s working on, its rib cage and clavicle exposed on one side, muscle tissue stretched across the other. The white, water-based clay certainly looks bone-like, but there’s nothing ghoulish about it. Instead you see the beauty of the human body and all of its parts. These busts give her an inside look at figures, and enhance her works’ realism. After completing the bone structure, she wonders, “Beef it up and make it a weightlifter or add tone and turn it into a dancer? There’s an element of surprise in it. It’s like giving birth.” Lindsay works on multiple pieces at once. At first she shows me four but then, as we pass through another part of I know when I’m the studio, she points out six done — when I look at or seven more pieces, covered in cloth and plastic to keep the the piece and I see it clay damp. Works in progmove. When it fools ress. She’s always pushing the me into thinking it’s boundaries and is alive with ideas of techniques that she someone who has life. hasn’t seen tried before. LINDA LINDSAY She began the larger-than-


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life dancer 10 years ago. As she pulls the sheet off of it, I see the countless marks and notes she’s scribbled on the clay. “That’s where I want to change something, where there’s an aspect of it that could be better, where I want to add or take some clay away. Sometimes you can overwork a piece. You get carried away and ruin what you have. Then you need time away. You need to come back with a fresh look. It pushes you to learn.” She can spend 50 to hundreds of hours on a sculpture. It depends how far she wants to go. “I know when I’m done — when I look at the piece and I see it move. When it fools me into thinking it’s someone who has life,” she says. She shows me a bronze flamenco dancer that’s all about movement, her intense expression daring me to dance with her. The anatomy is so precise that when the sculpture was moved, it stood balanced on the ball of one foot. “At the beginning of a piece, it’s vigorous. Gradually you begin working on the small things. You experience each little

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Imbuto Tembo by Linda Lindsay.

thing that means so much about humanity. It becomes mesmerizing. It gets me through the toughest times, gives me something to be focused on. You’re in the moment. It gives you a place to relax.” Her goal is to share joy through her work: “There is a lot of sadness in life. I don’t need to retell that.” Her sculptures share stories of strength, of hope, of inner freedom and fearlessness. She captures the model’s energy. “We are given our gifts for a reason. We’re given an opportunity — we might choose dance or music or painting ... creativity makes us feel healthy and happy.” Lindsay’s second love is teaching, something she’s been offering in Victoria since she moved here from California more than 20 years ago. “It’s an opportunity to share something I’ve taken my whole life to learn. So many people don’t have the opportunity to learn to be creative. They might be given some materials but not the skill and

the guidance to launch themselves creatively. I love to empower my students with that ability.” Many people come to create sculptures of loved ones who have passed away. “It can be therapeutic, spending time relating with them, looking at photos and remembering the fullness of the best times.” Other people sculpt their children or something new from their imagination. She also has a dream project: a neighbourhood piazza with a fountain and sculptures of dancers, celebrating community. It would be a place for people to go and enjoy something beautiful. “People could say, ‘Meet me at the sculpture.’ They could sit and find peace. If I could do that one thing, it would give me more joy about my accomplishments than anything else.” To learn more about Lindsay’s work and classes, visit www.lindalindsaysculpture.com.

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OAK BAY LANDMARKS One:06 features unique Oak Bay landmarks as seen through a roving camera eye. “One” honours the uniqueness of Oak Bay and 06 gives a nod to its history — 1906, the year it incorporated into a municipality. For this edition, photographer Don Denton’s camera eye explored some of the many plaques found in and about Oak Bay.

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Remembrance Oak Bay’s haunting cenotaph at Uplands Park Story by IVAN WATSON

“The woman is emblematic of motherhood and the motherland. She is both proud and sad. Proud because of the illustrious achievements of her sons and daughters and sad at their loss.”


he year 2014 marks two globally significant anniversaries: the centenary of the beginning of the First World War and 75 years since the start of WWII. As Canadians are once again engaged in missions abroad, it seems important to reflect on the freedoms earned by the sacrifices of previous generations. Since 1948, Oak Bay residents have paid their respects on Remembrance Day at the cenotaph perched high on a hill in Uplands Park. Each year, I attend the service there and during the two minutes of silence, solemnly reflect upon the tragedy of lives lost. I’m grateful that my grandfather John Watson — an officer in the Royal Navy during the Second World War — was one of the lucky ones to return home. Built atop a rocky pedestal, overlooking the waters of Haro Strait with Mount Baker in the distance, Oak Bay’s striking memorial stands amid towering Garry Oak trees and is set on sloping lawns ringed by flower beds. The granite and concrete centrepiece depicts the stoic figure of a mother, rising nine feet high, her head bowed in mourning, and with outstretched arms embracing Oak Bay’s Roll of Honour. It consists of four rectangular panels, upon which are engraved the names of 97 young men and one woman who gave their lives during the Second World War. Prominently chiseled 20


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near the top is the biblical inscription: “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” At war’s end in 1945, Oak Bay wanted to commemorate residents who had died overseas. In 1946, the municipality held a referendum asking voters to approve the then large sum of $65,000 to purchase land for a new public park. Receiving community support, the municipality bought 30 hectares of prime waterfront land in the Uplands in March, 1946. This land had, decades earlier, been earmarked for development. The purchase safeguarded one of Oak Bay’s most beautiful coastal areas as public land in perpetuity, and today forms one of the community’s most popular walking paths. Walter Walker, Oak Bay Reeve from 1946-47 (a plaque erected in 2004 at nearby Cattle Point honours his contributions), spearheaded the park proposal and near the end of his term directed his efforts to the creation of the cenotaph. The municipality began to fundraise and collect the names of Oak Bay’s fallen men and women. A small portion of Uplands Park was chosen as a suitable location. In early 1948, the municipality held a design competition for the new monument. The winner was James Saull, a veteran of the Royal Canadian Air Force who had settled in Colwood after the war. Born in 1913, Saull was a graduate of the Ontario Col-

lege of Art, where he had studied under Emanuel Hahn, the sculptor best known for designing two of Canada’s iconic coins: the “caribou” quarter and the “Bluenose” dime. Deciding against a militaristic theme, Saull’s concept of a mourning mother highlighted hopes for a new era of peace. “I didn’t want a charging bayonet,” he said during an interview in 1999. His inspiration came from a somber First World War memorial he had seen overlooking a field in Belgium. His wife, Dorothy, served as the figure’s model. A plaque installed after her death in 1997 noted that she was “an inspiration in every phase of the construction.” In April 1948, work began on the new monument, which took seven months to complete. At 3 p.m. on November 11, 1948, over 1,500 people attended the unveiling led by Lt. Governor Charles Banks. The Daily Colonist described the scene: “As A solemn crowd of over 1,500 people gathered to pay the flags fell away from the silent figure of a mother bending tribute to Oak Bay’s war dead from the Second World War over the names of the war dead, a naval gun on the shore of at the unveiling of the new cenotaph in Uplands Park on the bay fired in salute. The crowd remained hushed in two November 11, 1948. (Photo courtesy Oak Bay Archives) minutes of silent dedication.” Robert Wootton, Oak Bay’s Reeve addressed those assembled: “At a time like this we must speak in the the nines with brightly polished medals and thick language of the heart rather than of the mouth,” he wool overcoat, collapsed in the middle of the said. “The woman is emblematic of motherhood His smile ceremony. An ambulance was called and he and the motherland. She is both proud and sad. and wave to the was carried out on a stretcher. His smile and Proud because of the illustrious achievements of crowd elicited a wave to the crowd elicited a stirring round her sons and daughters and sad at their loss.” of applause and for a brief moment his frailty The crowd sung solemn hymns, and prayers of stirring round of seemed to melt away. dedication were led by Archdeacon A.E. Nunns applause .... I was there again in August 2004, when four of St. Mary’s Anglican Church and Reverend W.W. bronze plaques were added to the base of the McPherson of Oak Bay United Church. Dignitaries laid monument. Affixed to large rocks, each one honours memorial wreaths. Staff-Sergeant B. Drysdale played the the contributions of First World War, Canadian Merchant “Last Post” and “Reveille.” Sentries stood in motionless tribute Navy, Korean War and Canadian Peacekeeping veterans. At at the four corners of the monument. that time, I overheard a Korean War veteran speak excitedly Saull died in 2002. He created many more public monuto a television reporter and repeatedly confirm the air date of ments including the provincial crests at Confederation his interview — he wanted to make sure that his grandchilSquare on Menzies Street, the coat of arms that adorn the dren could tune in, hoping they might feel some pride in their entrance to Government House and the carved figurehead at old grandfather’s service. the bow of the tall ship Pacific Swift. It is many small moments like these that are etched into Efforts are now underway to create a lasting legacy to the my memories of Oak Bay’s poignant memorial to the fallen First World War in our community. Volunteers at Oak Bay and eloquent monument to peace. Archives are working on a Roll of Honour of First World War veterans. It will make a fitting accompaniment to the Roll of Do you have special memories of Oak Bay’s cenotaph or a story Honour of Second World War fallen inscribed on the cenotaph. to share about your or a family member’s wartime service? If This year in particular provides an opportunity for reflecso, we’d love to hear from you. Email: watsoni@yahoo.com / tion. I remember an Oak Bay remembrance service in the Twitter: @watsonivan / Call: 250-418-0700 1990s when an elderly First World War veteran, dressed to WINTER 2014/2015




HERE&THERE: What your dollar will buy around the world

OAK BAY, CANADA LISTED FOR: $1,395,000 CDN Blending traditional character with tasteful, modern upgrades, this 1931 Cotswold-style home enjoys a quiet location in the heart of the Uplands in Oak Bay. Offering three bedrooms plus den and three baths, the 2,750-square-foot house features original oak floors, leaded windows, French doors and garden patios leading to mature English gardens set on an 11,000-square-foot lot. The convenient layout includes a main floor master bedroom with full en suite and a modern kitchen with built-in window seating. Additional highlights include a double garage and large workshop. Source: www.realtor.com

LISBON COAST, PORTUGAL LISTED FOR: 800,000 EUROS ($1,144,560 CDN) Located along Portugal’s Lisbon Coast, this new, 5,059-square-foot, fourbedroom, three-bathroom villa sits on a picturesque property just 30 minutes from Lisbon. Highlights include a master en suite, three lounges, including one with a fireplace, and a fully equipped kitchen with pantry and dining area. Additional features include a central vacuum, central heating, tennis court, swimming pool, barbecue area and three-car garage. Source: The Global Property Group www.thegpg.com SAN FRANCISCO, USA PRICE: $1,295,000 ($1,475,911 CDN) This two-bedroom, two-bathroom San Francisco home exudes the charm of its 1904 construction. Living in the lower unit of a two-unit building, homeowners will enjoy a modern floor plan with 11-foot ceilings and 8-foot doors throughout, hardwood floors and a contemporary, renovated bathroom. A European-style kitchen features highend gas appliances and a large centre island perfect for entertaining. Craving outdoor space? Simply step through your sliding glass doors to the beautiful landscaped back garden. Source: www.realtor.comcom


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Miracle … at Oak Bay Beach Hotel Christopher Causton was mayor of Oak Bay for 15 years, and now works as a the Goodwill Ambassador and ferry captain at Victoria Harbour Ferries. He is the founder and former owner of Jason’s (Camilles) and Rattenbury’s (Spaghetti Factory), and is a classically trained hotelier. He is a keen tennis player, and member of the Harbourside Rotary for 29 years.


The man just loved his kippers. But on Wednesday August 10, 1977 at 7 a.m. — as he read the newspaper and reflected peacefully on the day ahead — his quiet breakfast came to an abrupt end. The hotel had a new guest. Ever since the end of July of that year, there had been a major operation put in place by Sealand (now Oak Bay Marina) to rescue and save a badly injured baby killer whale, which had swum into Menzies Bay, 12 kilometres north of Campbell River. She had been shot and was suffering from numerous propeller gashes close to her blowhole. The rescue operation that Sealand organized was of Herculean proportions, and for the next six months, no effort was spared to nurse the baby whale back to life. But the rescue team, under Wayne Wagner, Angus Matthews and Les Wood among many others, needed a hospital bed. And so it was that the Oak Bay Beach Hotel landed a V.I.P. guest for six months. The hotel’s saltwater pool — an initiative of the Merston family, the original builders of the inn — was constructed in what had formerly been the garden of William Oliver, Oak Bay’s first mayor. Filled from the ocean on Mondays and drained on Sundays, the pool’s water was at its warmest on Thursdays and Fridays, a fact not lost to those “in the know” — like the man having breakfast. But for Bob Wright and Angus Matthews, most paramount was to have a shallow salt water nursing pool close to all the resources

that Sealand could offer. Once the whale was in the pool at the Oak Bay Beach Hotel, 24-hour, around the clock nursing and surveillance began. Current hotel owner Kevin Walker remembers watching the Sealand team give mouthto-blowhole resuscitation as the whale struggled to recover. Technically, her heart stopped beating, and if not for the team she would have died. Slowly, slowly the whale recovered ... it was indeed a Miracle and thus she was christened. Oak Bay residents know there is always one storm during the winter that sweeps around from the outside waters of the North Pacific, ravaging the passages and beaches. If the wind shifts to the southeast, the storm will release its direct threat at Oak Bay. This happened recently in December 2012, when waves — said to be up to 22 feet high — took out the railings and glass at the new Oak Bay Beach Hotel. It also happened on January 24, 1978, when logs were nearly hurled into the pool by the force of the waves, causing seemingly imminent Danger to Miracle. The Sealand team stood shoulder-to-shoulder along the side of the pool to prevent that from happening. But the dangers of that storm made the team realize they had to move Miracle to a safer home. And so it was that on February 27, 1978 residents saw something they will probably never again see in their lifetimes: a helicopter lifting and carrying a whale from one pool to another, which was located six minutes and ten seconds away. And Miracle waved her tail at all the onlookers! The man having breakfast never got to see the move, but he did watch 3,000 people a day visit the Oak Bay Beach Hotel and cheer for Miracle to make it. He saw it as another of life’s great stories of teamwork and survival against all odds. The man was my Father. WINTER 2014/2015



Jeevan, Sukkie and Harp Sandu in their spacious, award-winning kitchen. Below: Detail of hanging lanterns. Below right: Multi-level staircase.

Home sweet home Creating a masterpiece from the ground up BY KORINA MILLER Photos by ARNOLD LIM


pproaching the front door of Sukkie and Harp Sandu’s house is like descending through the tiers of a theatre — each row filled with flowering, lush plants. And the heritagestyle house itself outfoxes me like a stage set. From the outside, it looks small. But as I cross the threshold, it unfolds — open and grand and big. This isn’t just a house; it exudes the warmth of a home. Tackling the third house that Sukkie and Harp have built together, they had a clear idea of what they wanted. First, the location needed to be close to the kids’ school and to town to lessen their commutes. “We love being near the water. Before we had to drive everywhere. Now we can ride 24


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bikes to Oak Bay village and the library. In the summer, we can walk to Casey’s for ice cream in four minutes.” Harp is a financial advisor with Raymond James and has discovered that many of his clients live in the neighbourhood. “Lots of them swing by the house … it feels like a community.” They also wanted the house to function better. “We didn’t have kids when we built the last house,” Sukkie explains, noting this time they wanted separate spaces for different activities. “I needed a place where I can put my computer and work. An office at home.” “We separated the kids’ rooms,” Harp adds. “They’re at far corners of the upstairs so that they don’t wake each other up.” They also increased their storage space,

including areas above the double garage, a large crawl space Securities Inc. Inc. and separate storage room, and added a mudroom that RBC Dominion RBC Dominion Securities features rows of cubbyholes and hooks — similar to a wellRBCRBC Dominion Securities Inc.Inc. Dominion Securities organized school cloakroom. We all sink into the sitting room sofas as the sunlight catches the sparkling tile work around the fireplace. It’s quickly obvious why they’re so comfortable here. This RBC Dominion Securities Inc. isn’t the creation of an outside designer; it’s Sukkie’s vision. She was involved with each step, each material choice, each colour. The extra touches, like the sliding, handcrafted wooden doors and the unique and elegant light We didn’t have an fixtures, were all hers. appointment but I “I know what I like and don’t like,” she says. “I got a lot of my wandered around ideas from magazines and Houzz and went into the (a sharing website similar to Pinbackyard. The birds terest).” Sukkie is a sleep specialist, were chirping; it helping parents get their newwas quiet and warm Over 15% of the developed world’s assets under borns and young children into Over 15% of the developed world’s assets under management, or $45 trillion, qualify as Socially and sunny. And I healthy sleep patterns. I ask if management, or $45 trillion, qualify as Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) – a mandate that reflects thought, ‘this is it. her job played into her colour Responsible Investing (SRI) – a mandate that investors concerns for: choices — if she went for calm reflects investors concerns for: We’re buying it.’ colours to encourage a relaxed ■■ The environment environment. ■ The environment HARP SANDU ■■ Social justice “No, not really,” she laughs. ■■ Social justice ■ Good governance “Our daughter Asha’s bedroom is ■ Good governance Can you say the same for your assets? bright pink!” The common rooms are, howCan you say the same for your assets? Contact Jason Easton for a complimentary SRI consultation. ever, very serene with warm, neutral tones. Bursts of colour Contact Jason Easton for a complimentary are added by paintings of tulips and kiwi fruit done by local SRI consultation. artist, Allison Brodie. At the heart of the house is the kitchen, which won Jason Easton, mba, cfp, cim, fcsi a Silver Care Award by Victoria Residential Builders Investment & Wealth Advisor Association. Sukkie created the kitchen alongside Tim Jason Easton, mba, cfp, cim, fcsi 250-356-4914 Philipchalk, of Harbour City Kitchens. It’s open and Investment & Wealth Advisor jason.easton@rbc.com functional and inviting. And beautiful. 250-356-4914 In the master bedroom, the en suite is a stand out — it is jason.easton@rbc.com RBC Dominion Securities 500 - 730 View Street RBC Dominion Securities Victoria, BC V8W 3Y7 500 - 730 View Street Victoria, BC V8W 3Y7

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the baron of bathrooms, with heated floors, a big, freestanding bathtub and a huge shower with six sources of water. “Sometimes I feel like I’m in a rec centre in that shower,” Harp laughs. While Sukkie worked the interior, Harp’s role was beneath the surface. We head downstairs where he’s keen to show me the heat recovery ventilation system, the natural gas condensing boiler, the security system that he can access anywhere in the world, and the sound system hub that allows him to play a song for his wife in the kitchen from his phone while he’s at work. There are speakers and wifi in every room, at the barbeque, by the hot tub. Lastly, he shows me his man cave: a big rec room featuring an 80-inch television. “When the truck pulled up with the TV, Sukkie saw the box and said, ‘What did we get a mattress for?’” The rec room has a separate entrance, an impressive bar with cool beer tap handles for the cabinet doors, a hockey foosball table and a training bike. “I got into biking after we moved here. The bike track starts at the end of my driveway. The biggest choice is whether to go left or right.” After selling their house in View Royal, they thought they’d renovate an older house and to this end, viewed over 50 properties. Soon they decided the process was too involved. “We could be living in a half renovated house for years and 26


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there’d always be compromises. You’d never have exactly what you wanted and you’d end up spending as much as you would building from the ground up.” “It was Sukkie’s idea to move to Oak Bay. We drove by this place. We didn’t have an appointment but I wandered around and went into the backyard. The birds were chirping; it was quiet and warm and sunny. And I thought, ‘this is it. We’re buying it.’” Rather than demolishing the old house, they deconstructed it, giving away the hardwood floors, the door handles and first-growth lumber. “It took six weeks instead of the six days it would have taken to tear it down.” However, upon removal of the old house, they discovered that the decommissioned oil tank in the ground had been leaking. The environmental implications were drastic — an eight week delay and the removal of all of the contaminated soil to an approved site in Duncan. With dump trucks hauling out 150 loads of soil, they became concerned about the disruption to the neighbourhood. “We knew we had to live here afterwards. These would be our neighbours and we wanted to have a good relationship with them.” So Harp made personal visits to all of the neighbours, up and down the street. It seems to have worked. “Our neighbours are great,” he says. “We look out for one another.”

At left: Splashes of colour in artwork by Allison Brodie enhance the warm, neutral colours of the living room and elsewhere in the house (below).

January 19th Presentation They’ve been in the house for two years now. It’s home. I can hear Asha practicing piano in the front room while Sukkie gets the kids’ lunch ready. Would they have done anything differently if they could? Jeevan, their eight-yearold son looks up. “I’d add a skating rink,” he says.

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Bringing the magic


Home and community at Carlton House

At right: Chef John Bailey shows off the turkey, and (above) a Christmas feast is set. 28


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hen I was asked to write about Christmas at Carlton House, Oak Bay’s largest retirement facility, I had no idea what story might emerge. The suites? The chef? The food? But the story of Carlton House turned out to include everyone there. Passing the tinkling fountain in the courtyard and a smiling door attendant, I arrive in the lobby of what could be mistaken for a small, elegant hotel. I’m taken to the dining room where two residents are watching chef John Bailey set up a Christmas feast, alongside Tara Williamson, community relations consultant, and Rowena Hendriks, manager of leisure services. Seven-year Carlton House resident Alice Zajac made her way to Vancouver Island after dual careers in Toronto with Bell Telephone and the Toronto Star. Asked what she likes most about Carlton House, she ponders a moment before answering, “The food, the people — it’s not just one thing. This is my home.” Retired MacMillan Bloedel marketer Bill King is far more decisive in his answer: “Alice,” he says firmly, causing her to blush and the rest of us to choke up a little. He quickly breaks the spell by motioning to the festive table set by Philippe Couveignes, manager of hospitality services, and saying, “When do we get to drink that wine?” Chef Bailey joined the management team this year, bringing a culinary philosophy and global perspective that parallels his 30-year, award-winning career. Born in Jamaica, he moved to England where he attended Reading College to study classic continental cuisine before undertaking an apprenticeship at the storied St. George and Dragon in nearby Wargrave. He moved to Canada in 1998 to open a Balti restaurant, settling in Kelowna. Now at Carlton House, Bailey meets with each resident to find out what foods they dislike as well as their favourites or if there is something they’ve always wanted to try. “As a chef, you have the potential to make thousands of people happy,” he says, adding that his current job is stress

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“These people are like my family, my sweet grandparents. Nothing is too much trouble.” — Chef John Bailey

free compared to his previous work in the restaurant industry. “These people are like my family, my sweet grandparents. Nothing is too much trouble.” “Like a restaurant full of your favourite customers?” I venture. “Exactly” he says. “And I learn something from them every day.” Heading the team of dedicated people who make Carlton House what it is, executive director Terez Payette has an extensive background in retirement living — which is big business. Seniors represented a record 14.8 per cent of Canada’ population in the last Census, and may soon outnumber children for the first time in Canada.. It’s not about numbers or commerce for Payette though. She needed to find “the right fit” before moving from the lower mainland to continue a career that has included positions in marketing and general management. Her goal of ensuring a sense of community in addition to a good quality of life is shared by the owners of Carlton House, who visit regularly. Like all members of the management team, for her, it’s about the big picture. Asked to sum up the best aspects of her job, she says, “I have fun all day long,” citing Patch Adams’ philosophy of “bringing the magic.” Knowing people as individuals is critical to her role, she adds, so she works to determine what each resident wants and helps make it happen. For example, when one resident mentioned that she always wanted to be a can-can dancer, she was given a shot at the age of 92 via an in-house production of Moulin Rouge.

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Above: residents Alice Zajac and Bill King. At right: Rowena Hendriks and Alice Zajac show off handmade blankets and dolls at Carlton House.

Hendriks, working in leisure services, shares this perspective and is likewise a perfect fit. It’s not just her poise or perfect diction (courtesy of her Hampstead upbringing), but a genuine love of her job that makes her stand out — something noted by the Chamber of Commerce, which awarded her Employee of the Year in 2012. Hendriks says her role is “to hear what residents want to do and make it happen,” be it shopping trips, sporting events or mini holidays up island. It’s about creating a home and a community together. Residents participate in a knitting group Hendriks established to provide scarves and blankets for local organizations — such as Gorge Community Centre and Threshold Housing Society — and hand-knitted dolls tucked into batches of medical supplies bound for Africa.

“I have the best job in the world,” she says with conviction. I have never encountered a place where everyone says it’s the best job they have ever had. Like Bailey, Williamson had a bit of a peripatetic path to Carlton House, but growing up in a four-generation household, she knew she wanted to work with seniors. “How can you not love a job where every day someone greets you with a smile and greeting: ‘What a pretty dress, dear. Don’t you look lovely!’ They say good night when I leave.” Besides working with residents, Williamson provides tours to potential newcomers — an easy task since she loves showing off Carlton House. As I leave, King is telling chef Bailey that surprise turkey dinner notwith-

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standing, he will be back shortly for another glass of wine and the lamb shanks on the dinner menu, while Couveignes greets an early arrival and guides her to her table. “You see that lady?” Bailey asks. “She brings her own china down each night and we serve her dinner on it.” Whatever it takes to make someone happy is clearly more than lip service here. It’s been nearly a decade since owners Steve Clark and Rod and Judi Prewett opened the doors to this 87unit facility. It’s hard to remember that the lot in Oak Bay was transformed from leafy enclave to a hot bed of controversy as this development made its way through council. I believe now, as I did then, it’s a perfect fit for this community.

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Tweed editor Susan Lundy enjoys tea with CHEK TV anchor Jim Beatty at the Oak Bay Beach Hotel.


News anchor at CHEK TV

HOW LONG LIVING IN OAK BAY? I moved here in 1995 to join the political bureau of a newspaper political bureau. I figured I’d stay a year or maybe two. But after a few months in this place, my wife and I stopped talking about leaving. Can there be a better place to raise a family?

What do you love about your job? I love to tell stories, give a voice to the voiceless and to fight for the less fortunate. Being a reporter is like having a front seat to history. Where were you born and who is your family? I was born in Toronto and raised just north of the city, in Markham, with summers at the family cottage. My parents, brother and the rest of my family are still in Ontario, but I’m trying to convince them to see the light and move out here. Why did you choose journalism as a career? I went into journalism at the encouragement of my father, who began his career as a newspaper reporter. After getting my degree in journalism, I worked for newspapers in Ontario and British Columbia for 16 years, eventually becoming a legislative bureau chief. Then I switched to broadcasting, joining CTV Vancouver as the Victoria Bureau Chief. In 2012, I became the main anchor at CHEK News. Are there one or two stories that really stand out for you? There are many memorable stories ranging from health care delivery in East Africa to ethically challenged politicians in Canada. One of the most satisfying stories was an investigation into a filthy foster home that resulted in two children being rescued from deplorable living conditions. It also led to sweeping reforms of BC’s child welfare system.


Who are some of the most interesting people you’ve met? I’ve met and interviewed everyone from princes to paupers, and more than a few politicians. They were all interesting, or inspiring, in their own way. But I’m a huge fan of the blues, so interviewing BB King on a couple of occasions was a particular thrill. Sitting on his tour bus and listening to Thelonious Monk records was unforgettable. What do you like to do outside of the job? I love to fish, kayak in local waters, camp and hike. I’m also a woodworker, home-handyman and hockey dad. Busy? I guess you could say that. Who is your hero/who do you admire? And why? They say a boy’s biggest role model is his father. And that’s certainly true for me. Even now, I still turn to my dad for his sage, reasoned advice. Growing up, my dad was able to fix anything, would take on big projects and seemed able to talk to anybody about most subjects. I wouldn’t be the person I am if it weren’t for him. What do you see as your greatest accomplishment? My greatest accomplishments are works in progress: My wife and I have two fantastic boys. If I can be half the father to them that mine was to me, then that will be my greatest accomplishment. I couldn’t imagine life without them! WINTER 2014/2015



Best of the season A feast of food and good memories


weed readers enthusiastically answered the call to submit a special Christmas memory or seasonal recipe for our Christmas edition. Read on to discover a “gift of time” (turkey cooked in a bag!), a heavenly salad, and a few memories of Christmases past.

Painting by Oak Bay artist Robert Amos of the Spilsbury Home on Uplands Road. A few years ago, explains Mary, the heritage house (1890s) was lifted and turned 90 degrees, and now sits on Burdick Avenue.

Oh Night Divine By Mary Spilsbury Ross

On Christmas Eve in Oak Bay during the 1950s there was one place to be — the Spilsbury Home at 2995 Uplands Road. For more than a decade my parents, Richard and Eleanore Spilsbury, would host an “Open House” and welcome anyone and everyone, in the true spirit of Christmas. For weeks, mother would prepare mince tarts, freeze cheese puffs — an I.O.D.E. “secret recipe” — and marinate a gigantic spiced beef. Silver was cleaned, linen napkins ironed, “Gregs,” the floor polisher, would wax and shine, and a tall, spindly, lopsided fir tree would be cut down on the Malahat, tied to the roof of the family two-tone Pontiac, and proudly carried in. At 5:30 pm, a sparkling house would be bursting with friends, relatives, students, VENTURE cadets, University Naval Training Division boys and strangers who had nowhere else to go. The revelry did not end until midnight when we piled into cars and careened off to St. Mary’s Church with seconds to spare before joining in the opening hymn. And yes, it truly was a night divine. 32


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Heavenly Salad Desert By Barbara Sirinic

This recipe was a family tradition. It is a light dessert after a heavy meal. It must be made 24 hours ahead, and so eases the workload on Christmas Day. When I lived in California, I submitted it to a newspaper contest and it won! The recipe was passed down from my grandmother. As a note, the pineapple is best fresh and the mustard is powdered. It tastes awful when first made, but completely changes after resting in the fridge for 24 hours.

Mildred McMaster’s Heavenly Salad

1 pound (450 grams) grapes, seeded and halved 1 pound (450 grams) pineapple, diced and drained 1 pound (450 grams) marshmallows, cut into 8ths (not miniatures) 3 egg yolks 1 teaspoon (5 ml) mustard juice of two lemons 1 pint (475 mls) of whipping cream Mix fruit and marshmallows together in a large bow and set aside. Beat egg yolks and mustard together in the top of a double-boiler. Gradually add lemon juice. Remove from heat and cool. Add cream and blend. Pour over fruit. Put in fridge and let stand for 24 hours. When we were kids, Mom would stick toothpicks in the leftover marshmallows, dip them in melted chocolate, roll in chopped walnuts and then let them set on wax paper. It was a favourite of all “kids” — big and little.

The Gift of Time on Christmas Day By Tricia Horne

My landlady gave me, as a new bride, this recipe for cooking turkey. I have been using this recipe at least twice a year for 65 years and have had a perfect bird every time. Now my children and grandchildren are carrying on the tradition.

Brown bag turkey Learn the bird’s drawn weight (minus head, feet and organs) and compute roasting time, using the guide: • 7-10 pounds, 30 minutes per pound • 10-15 pounds, 20 minutes per pound • 15-18 pounds, 18 minutes per pound • 18-20 pounds, 15 minutes per pound Remove centre rack from oven and preheat to 350F. Place the prepared bird (stuffed or not) head first into a brown paper grocery bag with the seam up, and fasten. If required, use a second paper bag over the first, feet first this time. Place on the low oven rack in roasting pan. Close door and reduce heat to 300F Forget about it until the computed time of removal. Your bird will be a beautiful golden brown, with both brown and white meat perfectly cooked and still moist.

The perfect Nativity By Audrey Riller

All my Christmases have been joyous. But an outstanding Christmas was spent on the island of Gozo, Malta. I was on sabbatical from St. John’s School in Winnipeg, where I taught art for 26 years. I chose Gozo for its wonderful prehistoric culture — a temple on Gozo predates the pyramids. My son, Paul, came to spend the holiday, so that was a great incentive to “turn on Christmas.” I have a fine collection of Nativities, but when I went shopping in the Malta Christmas stores, I found all the Nativities for sale were too sweet-faced. So I set out on a walk one day, looking closely at small rocks. Can you imagine! I found a rock that looked like Joseph kneeling; a standing rock with black algae shaping Mary’s face; a flat rock with an indentation (the cradle), in which I placed a perfectly round pebble indicating Jesus. A dried thyme bush tied with small white ribbons completed my Nativity. Candles were lit, and then Paul and I sat and admired it over a glass of scotch before we left for Christmas Eve dinner at a local restaurant. It was a glorious Christmas!


The Story of Jazz Ballet Rodney …funny, fast-paced, onstage/offstage dramas in the swinging ‘60s Leotard, the perfect gift for those who love dance, travel, music and all that JAZZ! Local author/dancer Mary Spilsbury Ross and Sally Faverot de Kerbrech (London, England)

Munro’s Books 1108 Gov’t St. Ivy’s Book Shop 2188 Oak Bay Ave. Bungalow Gifts 2525 Estevan Ave. Amazon.com paperback & Kindle

Oak Bay Village

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visitoakbayvillage.ca WINTER 2014/2015

Personal Service, Unique Solutions. TWEED




Dogs [dawgs, dogs] 1. The best friend of men, women and children, bred in many sizes and shapes. The Avenue [thuh av-uh-nyoo, -noo] 1. A popular destination for those seeking funky eateries, awesome art galleries and trendy stores in Oak Bay. Clockwise from above: Willow, a 4-year-old Cairn Terrier, submitted by Jennifer Dowd; Willow, a 15-monthold German Shorthaired Pointer; Sofie, a 4-year-old Standard Poodle; Bentley, a 3-year-old Labrador Retriever and Burmese Mountain Dog cross. Opposite page: Mackie, a Bearded Collie, submitted by Andrea Lane; and Jip, a 2-year-old Kooikerhondje.



WINTER 2014/2015



Some say that Oak Bay loves dogs so much, that canines are actually considered honorary citizens. If you agree, tell Tweed! Send photographs of your “Dogs on the Avenue” to: lundys@shaw.ca

Treat your pet to a holiday season. Make every tree a feeder

BARKBUTTER barkpetboutique.com Photo Credit: Stuart Clarke

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MEET OUR ADVERTISERS ATHLONE TRAVEL is a full service locally owned travel agency – serving the community since 1986. Our experienced team would be delighted to assist with all of your travel needs. See ad on page 27




operated business specializing in taking care of your furry ones. We provide everything you need from grooming to foods and everything in between. See ad on page 35

one-to-one direct volunteer support to individuals of all ages in Oak Bay. Drives, visits, repairs, etc. See ad on page 9

Don Wuest, owner at WILD BIRDS UNLIMITED, wants you to have the best bird feeding experience possible. After all, it’s the most relaxing, fulfilling, educational and exciting hobby that everyone can enjoy. See ad on page 35



DR. FINNIGAN has 18 years of experience and practices all aspects of general dentistry with particular interest in metal free restorations. See ad on page 7

Gurmit Sandhu has owned and operated WEST COAST BREW SHOP for five years. He is happiest when he is helping his customers make award winning wines and beer and playing cricket with the Oak Bay Cricket Club. See ad on page 30

OAK BAY HEARING CLINIC With her doctorate






With over 18 years investment experience, Paul Holmes and his pre-eminent wealth management team at HOLMES

Bay’s premier re-upholstery, slipcover and draperies provider for nearly 40 years. Family owned and operated. See ad on page 6

Investment & Retirement Planning with RBC Financial Planning. Looking for Investment & Retirement Advice? Talk to me today (250) 882-9033 philip.stirton@rbc. com See ad on page 7


As a lifetime resident of Oak Bay, I am your neighbour and an OAK BAY REAL ESTATE EXPERT who you can trust to sell your home. See ad on page 33


Celebrating 50 years in the community! See ad on page 40



WINTER 2014/2015

in Victoria, is a consummate professional with a proven track record for results and first class customer service. Jordy welcomes the opportunity to discuss your real estate needs in person, and is grateful for the chance to earn your business. See ad on page 17

We are family owned and operated providing Real Estate and Property Management services. A Trusted Name… it takes generations to build a reputation! See ad on page 6

in audiology and 17 years’ experience, Dr. Wright is well suited to improve your hearing, even in the most difficult listening situations. See ad on page 10

continuing White Heather’s long tradition of serving delicious lunches & Afternoon Teas to Oak Bay and surrounds. See ad on page 29

providing gourmet take out, catering services, and picnic baskets for over 25 years in Oak Bay. Personal favourite: Roast Chicken dinner. See ad on page 29

red art gallery is the fun,

small and unpretentious gallery where colour rules! Featuring contemporary, original art from award winning Canadian artists. Owners Bobb and Marion will help you find a work that will rejuvenate your living space. See ad on page 17

Sean Warren is a proud 3rd generation Victoria resident. Sean has been with the


since 1999 and has earned a reputation for top quality service selling top quality products! He is an avid car enthusiast with a love of the outdoors and skiing. See ad on page 5

Dominion Securities has lived and worked in the Victoria area for the past 17 years. Jason enjoys the outdoors and spends most of his spare time with his wife Nancy and their nine year old son. See ad on page 25

eyeglass frames and lenses that are anything but ordinary from fun and funky to simple and sophisticated, we have eyewear for the whole family. Our Opticians have the experience to help you find eyewear that will have everyone saying I love your glasses! See ad on page 18

WEALTH MANAGEMENT GROUP deliver strong, risk-

adjusted returns together with the highest level of personalized client service. See ad on page 2

ROYAL OAK BURIAL PARK, greater Victoria’s only

not for profit cemetery, has been providing burial, cremation and remembrance services to our community for over 90 years.” See ad on page 14


JASON BINAB understands people and Real Estate. He enjoys working with his wife Amber at the Binab Property Group. Together they have two sons, Benson and Jamison and one dog Lily. Jason has lived in Oak Bay for over 25 years and specializes in Oak Bay. See ad on page 22


Nearly 100 shops, services, restaurants, art galleries and more waiting to be discovered in a vibrant village setting. Find out what’s happening at www.visitoakbayvillage.ca See ad on page 33

JULIE RUST is a realtor

“Our award-winning home support services are customized to fit your needs at any time.” See ad on page 3

at Newport Realty, born and raised in Victoria, and specializes in the Oak Bay, Victoria, Saanich East Real Estate Market. If you are considering buying or selling, contact her for competent and trusted real estate service. See ad on page 9


of Canada’s foremost dermatology and cosmetic laser clinics, offering a comprehensive range of treatments for skin and body rejuvenation. See ad on Page 13

Locally owned and operated by Michael Hansen, WINDSOR PLYWOOD Westshore strives to bring the most unique products to the market place. From Live Edge Mantels to hardwood floors we invite you to walk through our doors and walk on our floors. See ad on page 7

CARLTON HOUSE OF OAK BAY satisfies expectations



for a physically-attractive, well-maintained and secure retirement residence, while fostering a supportive community of enjoyment, camaraderie and pride. See ad on page 12

from Calgary, Franchisee Richard Searle has been a proud Victorian resident since 2006. Stop on by the store and discover a vast array of mouthwatering foods to fill your fridge and freezer. See ad on page 30

MILES TAKACS has Victoria home for more than 30 years. He knows the city well; from sought after waterfront luxury to quaint English charm he will find the right home for you. When time and money matter call Miles! See ad on page 13


Mandu Goebl has worked in the Victoria auto industry for over 10 years and is proud to raise his family here. He is delighted to offer quality vehicles to



4th Saturday of every month at Carnarvon Park, next to the tennis courts on Henderson Road - plenty of parking 9:00am to 11:30am. See ad on page 13 Renowned in the community with 25 years’ experience in the banking industry, DEBRA WRIGHT now leads Auxilium Mortgage’s client care division. Offering exceptional service, innovative ideas and a personal approach, Debra can assist with defining, setting and achieving your mortgage goals. See ad on page 27

has been providing eye exams, glasses and contact lenses to the whole family for over twenty years. See ad on page 7

retired dancer, author and food columnist for the Newsgroup, is the coauthor of LEOTARD, the story of jazz ballet Rodney (non-fiction). See ad on page 33

customers. See ad on page 39

To feature your business in the next edition of


Oliver Sommer

Clare Radford

Associate Group Publisher

Advertising Consultant

250-480-3274 osommer@blackpress.ca

250-480-3205 clare.radford@oakbaynews.com WINTER 2014/2015



Photo by Christina Aitchison

Parting Shot



his photograph was submitted to Tweed’s Parting Shot section by Christina Aitchison. Here is what she had to say about it: “Kitty Islet is probably my favourite view in Victoria and I try to spend as many evenings down there are possible. I love to sit and watch the way the clouds and light shift over the ocean, the Trial Islands and the Olympic Mountains. It is also wonderful to see all the different people out enjoying the view from couples having a romantic evening to families playing in the tide pools. “I took this photo on one of those extremely rare evenings when no one else was around. The Blue Chairs have become an iconic symbol of Oak Bay and I tried to capture the essence of the magic light, breathtaking view and peacefulness.”



WINTER 2014/2015

“Parting Shot” is a special photographic feature that runs in each edition of Tweed, and we want you — our readers — to contribute. This spot is reserved for the best images we can find of places, people and things in Oak Bay. We’re inviting you to “give us your best shot.” We’ll consider all submissions — although we are limited by size and resolution requirements. In other words, the photos have to be large enough to reproduce well in a magazine format. Contributors should keep in mind the seasonal aspect of this feature, and be prepared to tell us a little bit about the photograph — where, when, what and/or who? Please ensure the resolution is high enough for publication. Send your image to Tweed editor Susan Lundy for consideration in an upcoming edition. lundys@shaw.ca


,985 36,985 36








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Party trays available. See in-store for details or visit www.peppers-foods.com Ask about our senior and student discounts

250-477-6513 • 3829 Cadboro Bay Rd. www.peppers-foods.com

Hours Mon-Fri: 8 am–9 pm, Sat: 8 am–7:30 pm, Sun: 8 am–7:30 pm

Quality & Service Guaranteed – 100% Victoria Owned

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