Say ahh… Family of dentists continues tradition in Oak Bay

Dr. Bob McDougall gets ready to check his dad

Dr. Bob McDougall gets ready to check his dad

Bob McDougall can’t remember visiting his grandfather’s dentistry office on Oak Bay Avenue. But he knows it was there, on the corner of Hampshire Road and Oak Bay Avenue, until Richard (Dick) McDougall retired in 1966.

What Bob does remember is his father’s dentistry office, also on Oak Bay Avenue. Bob knows because he’s worked as a dentist in the same building for the past 20 years.

In practice for 65 years, the three-generation family of dentists could be the longest serving family business in Oak Bay, says archivist Jean Sparks.

“The continuity of the family practice must be some sort of record in Oak Bay, and possibly Victoria,” she said.

Dick McDougall practised from 1946 to 1966 in a since-demolished building where the CIBC now stands in Oak Bay Village.

His son, Doug, practised in Oak Bay from 1954 to 1991, first across from his dad’s practice, at 2223 Oak Bay Ave. (now The Gallery), later moving further west to a location at 2108 Oak Bay Ave. Bob says his dad once had 700 children as patients – “it was the baby boom years.”

Dick served as an officer in the Canadian Dental Corps in London during the Second World War.

When Oak Bay resident Norman Hutchings came back from the war, he went to see the senior McDougall to have his teeth checked.

“He asked me ‘Where were you?’ and I told him and he said he’d been there, also,” Hutchings recalled.

“That’s how we met. We always had a grand old yack when I was due to go in to be checked.”

Bob was never pressured to follow in his father and grandfather’s footsteps. It wasn’t until he was in his third year of university that his grandfather asked him about his career goals.

“He said ‘why are you going to university? What are you up to?’ That’s when I told him.”

Bob worked as a dental technician, putting in long, arduous hours in the same building as his dad until he was 23.

By that point the son noticed how happy his father was working shorter days than he was. “I asked myself, do I really want to keep on doing this?”

Bob decided to upgrade his high school grades, then completed his bachelor of science degree in biology at the University of Victoria and moved on to the University of British Columbia to study dentistry.

“I love this little corner,” Bob says of his current office at Oak Bay Avenue and Elgin Road, his professional home since he graduated from UBC. He took over his dad’s practice when Doug retired in 1991. “It’s a really nice place to work, especially when you grew up here.”

Doug served as president of the College of Dental Surgeons of B.C. for two years in the early 1970s.

Bob was on the board from 2005 to 2010 and was honoured by the college with an award of merit last year.

Although three generations of dentists may be intriguing, from Bob’s perspective it’s been equally interesting from the other side.

“There’s some families where I’ve had four generations at one point in time. And now I’m looking after people (like former teachers) who looked after me when I was a kid.”

Just Posted

Swanwick Ranch in Metchosin, featuring an award-winning home on 67 acres of property overlooking the ocean, recently sold for a record-setting, yet undisclosed amount. (Sotheby’s International Realty Canada photo)
Sale of oceanfront property in Metchosin yields new record for Greater Victoria

Listed at $14.1 million, Swanwick Ranch sold to an undisclosed buyer

The number of skilled trades workers available is not enough to fill the current construction boom in Greater Victoria. (Black Press Media file photo)
Influx of skilled tradespeople falling behind Greater Victoria construction boom

Thousands of positions will be needed by 2030, despite flow of Camosun trades students

Research into the city of Victoria’s economic recovery through the pandemic shows things to be moving in the right direction. (Photo courtesy City of Victoria)
Data shows Victoria experiencing gradual economic recovery

Statistics for early 2021 show promising returns as Victoria 3.0 begins to take hold

By protesting uninvited in First Nations’ territories, conservationists are acting in a neocolonial or paternalistic manner, says Huu-ay-aht Chief Robert Dennis. Photo by Heather Thomson
A closer look: do Vancouver Island First Nations support the war in the woods?

First Nations/environmentalist old growth alliance uneasy, if it exists at all

Victoria police continue to look for missing man Tyrone Goertzen and are once again asking for the public’s assistance in locating him. (Photo courtesy of VicPD)
Victoria police put out another call for help finding missing man

Tyrone Goertzen, 33, was first reported missing June 4

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

Chilliwack secondary school’s principal is apologizing after a quote equating graduation with the end of slavery in the U.S. was included in the 2020-2021 yearbook. (Screenshot from submitted SnapChat)
B.C. student’s yearbook quote equates grad to end of slavery; principal cites editing error

Black former student ‘disgusted’ as CSS principal apologizes for what is called an editing error

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross. (Photo by Peter Versteege)
BC Liberal leadership candidate condemns ‘senseless violence’ of Okanagan church fires

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross says reconciliation isn’t about revenge for past tragedies

A coroner’s inquest will be taking place at the Capitol Theatre in Port Alberni for the next week. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Teen B.C. mom who died following police custody recalled as ‘friend to many’

Police sent Jocelyn George to hospital after intoxication had gone ‘beyond the realm’ of normal detox

FILE - In this Nov. 29, 2020, file photo, Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta. Nassib on Monday, June 21, 2021, became the first active NFL player to come out as gay. Nassib announced the news on Instagram, saying he was not doing it for the attention but because “I just think that representation and visibility are so important.” (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
Nassib becomes first active NFL player to come out as gay

More than a dozen NFL players have come out as gay after their careers were over

Penticton Indian Band Chief Greg Gabriel speaks to the Sacred Hearts Catholic Church burning down early Monday morning, June 21, 2021. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Penticton band chief condemns suspicious burning of 2 Catholic churches

Both Catholic church fires are deemed suspicious, says RCMP

COVID-19 daily cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day moving average to June 17, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections drop to 90 on Sunday, 45 Monday

Pandemic spread dwindles as 77% of adults receive vaccine

Emergency vehicles are parked outside of the Wintergreen Apartments on Fourth Avenue. (SUSAN QUINN / Alberni Valley News)
Port Alberni RCMP investigate stabbing on Fourth Avenue

Two men were found with ‘significant’ injuries near Wintergreen Apartments

A blood drive in support of 1-year-old Rielynn Gormley of Agassiz is scheduled for Monday, June 28 at Tzeachten First Nation Community Hall in Chilliwack. Rielynn lives with type 3 von Willebrand disease, which makes it difficult for her to stop bleeding. (Screenshot/Canadian Blood Services)
Upcoming blood drive in honour of Fraser Valley toddler with rare blood condition

The Gormley family has organized a blood drive in Chilliwack on June 28

Most Read