Western Scots 67 Battalion and Gordon Highlanders on Parade at Willows Camp Racetrack (now Carnarvon Park

Speaker examines Oak Bay’s transformation from gardens to trenches

Oak Bay Heritage looks at war’s impact on community

In the century since the First World War broke out Oak Bay has evolved and changed in many ways. But not so dramatic and instant as the immediate response to the war. Historian Kate Humble, education curator at the Maritime Museum of British Columbia, will delve into those dramatic changes during a talk tonight at Windsor Park.

“In 1914 Oak Bay is a very young community,” said Humble, herself and Oak Bay grad. “You’re still doing things like borrowing fire trucks form the City of Victoria. … We really forget how much it grew in the 20th century.”

In a fitting November presentation, she’ll cover “From Garden to Trench, Oak Bay and the First World War” during her talk sponsored by Oak Bay Heritage.

“The way Oak Bay was developed meant almost everybody who lived there was of British extraction unlike the rest of Victoria, with very strong connections as well with politics,” she said.

And the garden to trench title is quite literal.

“You’re dealing with people raising prized geese and entering flower competitions. Then all of a sudden the war breaks out and Willows Exhibition Fairgrounds, where Carnarvon Park is now, explodes and becomes the major training centre for the Canadian Expeditionary Force,” she said. “I’m going to talk about the abrupt transition from their gentrified upper-class world where people are very involved in social status … garden parties and who’s marrying whom, to the sudden and startling realization this community starts to lose people. Right off the hop this community starts losing people.”

She’ll focus on how the impact of losing their young men evolved the identity of the average Oak Bay resident over the course of the war with individual stories of those who went overseas, both men and women.

Oak Bay Heritage brings the historian to Windsor Pavilion for “From Garden to Trench, Oak Bay and the First World War” on Wednesday, Nov. 19 at 7 p.m.

 

cvanreeuwyk@oak baynews.com

 

 

Just Posted

Final key components for Johnson Street Bridge installed this weekend in Victoria

Dynamic Beast crane barge arrives back in town on Friday

Police seek owner of sailboat beached in Oak Bay

Residents reminded to steer clear of the vessel

Wind warning in effect for Greater Victoria

Strong winds could reach up to 80 km/hr along coastal areas

Heavy snowfall closes Mount Washington for the day

Road to ski resort deemed unsafe, “high avalanche danger”

Whisky society commits to charity donation in wake of whisky raids

Refund of Victoria Whiskey Festival tickets won’t impact charity beneficiaries

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

Philadelphia Eagles headed to Super Bowl

After routing the Minnesota Vikings 38-7, they will face Tom Brady and the New England Patriots

VIDEO: Dramatic video shows return of rescued B.C. snowboarders

Two snowboarders were rescued near Rossland, B.C. on Sunday after being lost overnight.

Tom Brady leads Patriots back to Super Bowl, top Jaguars 24-20

New England to face winner of Sunday night’s game between Minnesota and Philadelphia on Feb. 4

Vessel washed ashore in Campbell River during last night’s storm

A vessel appears to have gotten loose and washed to shore on… Continue reading

Liberals quietly tap experts to write new paternity leave rules

Ideas include creating an entirely new leave benefit similar to one that exists in Quebec

Insurers say Canadian weather getting hotter, wetter and weirder

Average number of days with heavy rain or snow across Canada has been outside norm since spring 2013

Final phase of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy trials to kick off in B.C.

Doctors hope to get psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy legalized in Canada and the U.S. by 2021

WHL winning streak ends at four in Kelowna for Victoria

Royals lose 8-4 as Rockets explode offensively

Most Read