Let's get together.

Let's get together.

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

The Minter family

If you lived near Elk Lake in the late 1940's or 1950's the name Minter is likely familiar to you.  Our speaker in March was Joan (Minter) Smirl and I have just posted the resulting video to our blog site. It contains a great deal of interesting material about the family and the area.
The direct link is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=65Vg5dNQDDQ   and as you know you can find it and all the oral history videos on the oral history page of the blog.  Happy May.

Monday, 27 February 2017

Two new videos.

Two new videos have just been added to our blog.

The first is...."Royal Oak Memories"  Part 2  

This is an audio/video introduction and preview to our oral history project.It continues from where Royal Oak Memories Part 1 left off. It is a collection of short entertaining clips from our Oral Histories from June 2014 to June 2016.

The second is.....Saanich Remembers WW 1

This video is of a talk given on January 25, 2017 at the Saanich
Municipal hall about the Saanich Archives' "Saanich Remembers
WW 1 project. This project is to commemorate WW 1 and in particular
Saanich residents who fought in that war. The story takes some interesting

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

#1 for 2017.

2017.....It is hard to believe that we are starting this group's 5th year and still having fun.

The talk by John Whittaker in January is now a video that you may watch at this link    https://youtu.be/ySWHtNcCyDw     or by going to the link on the oral history page.

This informative and entertaining talk will be particularly interesting to those who lived or spent time in Cordova Bay in the '40's and '50's.


Saturday, 21 January 2017

Ending 2016 on a High Note.

In November Enid Bull and Heather Smith went to the home of George Lohr to record some of his memories after living almost 90 years at Prospect Lake. Mr. Lohr's son Steve Lohr was also present and he added much to the story from the "next generation" point of view.

The direct link to the video is    https://youtu.be/_7a3cBkJCjM_    and as always available on the Oral History page.

Saturday, 10 December 2016

Good news & bad news.

Bad news first.........

I am very sorry to tell you that another classmate from the 1953 Graduating class has passed away. Yateve (Swift) Herman's obituary can be read at

Also, you may not have been able to locate John Green's obituary. It has been re-posted at the same link. My apologies.

The good news is........ Barbara Handysides' fun and informative talk from October is now available for you to view on You tube at

Links to all the Oral History videos can be found at

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

In Sympathy

I regret to inform you that I have added the names of Valerie (Bate) Abramson and Donald Douglas to the obituary page.

Our most sincere sympathy to their families.

Thursday, 20 October 2016

See what's new.

I have just added Dave Tribe’s September oral history video about his days growing up in Royal Oak to our website. This is another great addition to our archive of personal recollections about all the mostly good times spent in Royal Oak and the people and places in the area. The direct link is https://youtu.be/v-UBzS6DSCo      You will also find the link on the blogsite’s oral history page.

Dave’s humorous and personal talk joins those given by Morgan (Scott) Ostler, Grant Sheldrake, Peter Goddard, Lisle (Layritz) Jakeman, Gary Cunningham, Peter Thomas, Katherine Whitworth, Ron Burnham, Elsie (Dudman) Laird, Jack Mather, Fred Green, Norma (Carmichael) Sealy, Phyllis (Rodgers) Fatt, Lewis Burden, Paul Taylor, Susan Doyle-Lawrence, Daryl Foster, Carol (Bleathman) Wright, Vicky Sanders, John Lucas, Richard Pearce, Marguerite Gayfer, Ray Travers, Grace (Sinclair) Nickels, Bruce McMorran, Arnold Goyatte, Lorraine (Hilton) McCloy, Grant MacDonald, Doug Rose, Don Fish, Norm Pimlott with Colleen Pimlott-Marsel, Shirley (Waters) Hunt, Doug Gait, the ladies of the Colquitz Telephone Exchange, Dorothy (Ochs) Varley, Joann (Wootten) Halsall, Jack Burdge, Cairine (Ash) Green, Pat (Lock) Coates, Barry Hall, Bud French, Gertie (Campbell) Wilson and Enid (Cuthbert) Bull. 

And by the way, if you are looking for some new recipes go to  http://royaloakschoolyard.blogspot.ca/p/publications-books-and-links-etc-etc.html       and have a look at a Royal Oak Elementary School cookbook from 1965 that was a gift to Barbara Handysides from her brother when he was in Grade 5.

Thursday, 29 September 2016

Three cheers for...

Three cheers for our President Enid Bull.  Not only did she start this wonderful group and I think is the main reason it is still together and going strong she has now also found the time to do an oral history talk. I had the pleasure of making it into a video that you may see at   https://youtu.be/bxBNTJ6paTM     Wonderful stories of a young lady growing up on a farm in rural Saanich.

Remember you can find links to all the oral histories on our Oral History page.

More new Royal Oak School class photos have been added particularly from the 1920's, 30's and 40's. As usual many students are unidentified from these photos as well as all the others. I hope you will have a look at the photos from your years in school and see if you can fill in any blanks.

Hope to see you at the next meeting on Thursday October 13 at  St. Michael and all Angels Church hall. Doors open at 1:00 pm.

Monday, 4 July 2016

Mrs. Gertrude (Campbell) Wilson

Our most recent Oral History video is a bit of a departure.

In April a very nice lady by the name of Beverley Earl gave me some class photos from Royal Oak and Mt. View High School along with video clips of the photo's owner, Mrs. Gertrude (Campbell) Wilson naming some of the students in the photos. Most of these photos were new to us and from a period that was so far, poorly documented.

Wishing to learn more Beverley kindly arranged for a second visit to Mrs. Wilson at her home to see if we might learn about the Campbell family and perhaps identify a few more of the students in the photos. Our hard working secretary Heather Smith took the cameras and videoed the interview.

At 92 years of age Mrs. Wilson's memory is impressive. I think that you will enjoy hearing her talk about growing up with her twin sister Gladys and six older siblings at the caretakers house by the Beaver Lake reservoir.

You may see the video via this link    https://youtu.be/qVePAAaucWo
which as usual is also on the Oral History page.

Thursday, 19 May 2016

A message from the prairie.

This most interesting message was posted on our BLOG in January and I belatedly bring it to your attention now. I wanted to be sure that you were aware of it for more than one reason. First is that someone found our Blog and responded to our plea for help identifying students in school photos by pointing out that one of them was herself.  Second that she included a couple of brief memories in the exact vein that  Helen Carr  recently asked for that can add so much to the historical importance and interest of what we are trying to do. And third, that she is a wonderful writer and more of her story can be found at the links below about her time living at Cordova Bay and elsewhere.
This is the original message from Shirley (Shillington) Vick in Edmonton………
“Just found your web and find it most interesting. I was in Miss Adamson's 1942/43 class, (at Royal Oak School) I am #10 of the unknown students and my pre marriage name was Shirley Shillington. My father was in the RCAF and I lived in Cordova Bay so had to take a school bus to get to Royal Oak. Because the schools were so crowded, I was sent to Craigflower in grade 2 and Keating in grade 3 and for part of grade 4. Then the war ended and my family returned to Saskatoon.
I have a picture from Craigflower but don't know about Keating. I do have a memory of some interesting events for example: In Grade one Royal Oak #OROS-42-43-Gr 1 & 2 I was the first one in the class to get the chicken pox but didn't realize that is what I had for a couple of days. Finally, I was off school and when I returned everyone in the class was done with chicken pox except one girl, the class had all caught the chicken pox from me. At Christmas in Royal Oak we had a concert and I seem to have some recollection of us wearing white, maybe we were angels or whatever. Anyway, an older girl then started singing White Christmas and after a few lines she turned to the rest of us and said, Now, everyone join in." Keating was an interesting experience, the school bus would be waiting for us at the bottom of the long hill so I remember that hill quite well. The amazing memory though was that we had foxholes around the perimeter of the school ground. Nowadays children have fire drills, we had air raids and had to run out and hide in the fox holes. I notice in the minutes of your meeting that a lot of members will turn 80 this year, I am also one of those coming up to 80. I live in Edmonton.”
I hope that you will take a few moments to visit Shirley’s blog. You might find that you have been mentioned and you will certainly remember the context.
To pick up Shirley’s story from when her and her family arrive in Victoria click on this link.      http://prairieshirley.blogspot.ca/2016/01/we-arrive-in-victoria.html  
When you reach the bottom of the page click on the “NEWER POST” to move forward in time.
For Shirley’s Blog home page click here.     https://plus.google.com/107603256468526955136

If you have a message for Shirley send it to me and I will forward it.