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Sitting in his study by the inglenook fireplace, Gerald kept meticulous daily records of the maintenance and upkeep of the house.
came from the fir trees on the property while the granite, used in the facing, pillars, chimneys, garden walls and walks, was quarried on site. John Keith organized the main floor in a style much like the “great room” favoured today, with double pocket doors between the spacious dining room and the lounge, opening up when the occasion demanded, such as the grand New Year’s Eve party where the guests were entertained by musicians, while the May children, Ian, Moira and Peter, crept down the open well staircase to catch a glimpse of the festivities. Sitting in his study by the inglenook fireplace, Gerald kept meticulous daily records of the maintenance and upkeep of the house, grounds and garden, offering valuable insights into the running of a country estate in that era. Léonie filled the rooms with fresh flowers from the greenhouse and developed her amazing photographs in the darkroom. Vegetables were delivered by the Chinese grocer, Jersey cream and eggs came from the farm across the road. The Chinese staff of cook, houseboy and gardener was, according to Ian, “part of our family and much loved.” Bing could turn his hand to anything in the kitchen, and one Christmas produced an ornate three-tiered cake in the shape of a pagoda. A broad veranda running the length of the main floor and overlooking the sea was the perfect place for the children’s birthday parties. Benches were brought from the wooden floored tennis court, tables set up and laughter and merriment spilled out into the gardens, wading pond, spacious lawn and forest. Days were filled with boating excursions, picnics at Bamberton, swimming, fishing and visits from friends and relatives. As Ian says: “We very much lived in our own little world.” The Dunmora of today still honours that special little world.
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saanichton law offices
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SEASIDE HOMES | february 2013 | WWW.SEASIDEMAGAZINE.CA 41
Published on Jan 30, 2013
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