Daily Colonist 31 July 1966
Jim Nesbitt Browses through Family Album of a Centennial Pioneer
Recently I spent a happy two hours poking through the Gardiner family album in the possession of Mrs. THE Jones, 1044 Pendergast Street, a peppy lady, who is a registered Centennial Pioneer for Canada’s 100th birthday party next year.
Mr. and Mrs. Jones keep in trim by taking walks every afternoon, rain or shine, along the Dallas Road waterfront and through Beacon Hill Park.
“I’ve been going there since was two, and that’s a long time ago,” says Mrs. Jones. “There’s no more beautiful spot this whole wide, wonderful world.”
That, you see is the loyalty of a native daughter of Victoria.
Mrs. Jones is a granddaughter of Capt. John Allan Gardiner, who came here more than a century ago. Her father was Charles Frederick Gardiner, and his brother was George, and they married sisters – the daughters of Frederick Pauline, who lived at the turn of the century in the old John Tod House at the Willows, a house still standing, and willed to the Victoria section of the British Columbia Historical Association. It is now occupied by Mrs. TC Evans.
For many years Charles and George Gardiner and their families lived in homes that backed on each other – George on Pockington Street, facing south, and Charles on Fairfield Road, facing north. The Charles Gardiner house is gone now, but the George Gardiner house stands yet, now an apartment.
Capt. John Allan Gardiner was a popular seaman in this port, a great spinner of tall tales of salt waters around the pot-bellied stove in McQuade’s ship chandlery shop down on the waterfront, where the sealers and the seamen gathered each day.
When he died here in 1899, the Colonist said of him: “Another familiar face to every old resident of the city will be missed by those who had learned to love its friendly lines, Capt. John Allan Gardiner having passed to the great majority. The deceased was a native of Newport, Rhode Island, his ancestors having crossed the Atlantic on the Mayflower to Plymouth Rock; he came to Victoria during the gold excitement of the early sixties, and at the time of his death was in his 64th year.
“Capt. Gardiner, who lived on Labouchere Street (Now Fairfield Road) was connected with British Columbia coast navigation here for the past 30 years, during which time he commanded steamers, among them being the California, an American vessel trading between Portland and Sitka, the British steamers Fidelita, Otter and Enterprise, and others. He was also at one time in the employ of the United States government, engaged in survey work in northern waters, and at different times acted as pilot for British men-of-war going north. He leaves four sons and three daughters. His wife died a few years ago.”
“The funeral took place from his Labouchere Street home to the Reformed Episcopal Church, with Rev John Reid officiating, and burial was in Ross Bay Cemetery – very many old friends attending to pay their last tribute of respect to their old companion of early days. The following gentlemen acted as pallbearers: EA McQuade, Thomas Earle, Charles A Lombard, Edgar Marvin, WT Drake and Henry Waller.”
Mrs. Jones’ parents were married here in September of 1890, as noted in the Colonist: “Still another of Victoria’s fair daughters has bestowed her hand and heart upon the object of her affections, and Mr. Charles Frederick Gardiner, and Miss Amy Pauline, daughter of Mr. Frederick Pauline, were made one before the altar of Christ Church Cathedral. Rev Mr. Kingham officiating. “The bride, who was elegantly attired, was attended by Miss Florence Pauline, Miss Abbie Gardiner, Miss Violet Pauline, Miss S Pauline, Miss Nellie Pauline and Miss Polly Pauline, the last two named juveniles deporting themselves in the most staid and dignified manner, appearing to fully appreciate the importance of the life contract at whose assumption they were assisting.
Mr. P Lowe acted as best man, the bride being given away by her father. After the ceremony the wedding party adjourned to the house of the bride’s father, where a merry concourse sat down to the wedding feast, and shared in the subsequent festivities.
“Later the newly made man-and-wife left by the steamer North Pacific for the Sound and San Francisco. They are attended by the best of wishes of a large circle of friends.”
One of Capt. Gardiner’s daughters was married here in December of 1887: “Wedding bells – Mr. Alfred Nelson Codrington King, cashier at the Moodyville Saw Mill Company, was united in marriage to Miss Clara Amy, eldest daughter of Capt. John Allan Gardiner of this city.
“The ceremony was performed at Capt. Gardiner’s residence, Rev Percival Jenns of St John’s Church officiating. The bride’s sister, Miss EJ Gardiner, was bridesmaid, and Mr. J Carsman ably supporting the groom.
“Only the immediate friends of the high contracting parties were present. The happy couple departed later in the steamer Olympia for the Sound. They will take up their residence at Port Moody.”
(Mrs. Ernest Ware, 310 Linden Avenue, is a daughter of this marriage. Her mother was born in Valparaiso and came here to live as a child.)
The pictures on this page are from Mrs. Jones’ family album and she has now presented them to the Provincial Archives, so that this bit of the history of Victoria may be preserved for all time.