84 Denise and Doreen Crofton
Denise and Doreen talk about their childhoods and young adulthood working at Harbour House and their lives on Salt Spring Island.
This tape is part of the Salt Spring Island Sound Archives Project.
I. CROFTON, DENISE
II. MORRIS, DOREEN (nee Crofton)
III. HARBOUR HOUSE HOTEL
IV. BUSINESSES: Harbour House Hotel; White
V. WHITE LODGE
VI. SHIPS: Cy Peck; Princess Patricia
VII. CY PECK
VIII. PRINCESS PATRICIA
I.. BRITISH INFLUENCE
.. NAMES: Mr. Madson; Billy Ing; Eton family;
Mikado family; Mr. Carter; Mr. Ross; Curtis family; Mr. Henry Bullock; Mary Bullock (Crofton) Frank Croftor Ernest Crofton; Ernie Brenton; Houle family
.I. MADSON, MR. (Owner of Cy Peck
.II. ING, BILLY (Cook at Harbour House Hotel)
.III. ETON FAMILY
XIV. MIKADO FAMILY
XV. CARTER, MR.
XVI. ROSS, MR.
XVII. CURTIS FAMILY
XVIII. BULLOCK, HENRY
XIX. BULLOCK, MARY (married Ernest Crofton)
XX. CROFTON FAMILY
XXI. BRENTON, ERNIE (taxi)
XXII. HOULE FAMILY
XXIII. COMMUNITY SERVICES: Hydro; I.O.D.E.; Lions
XXIV. I.O.D.E.: Story of convention at Harbour
XXV. LIONS CLUB: Meetings at Harbour House
XXVI. HYDRO (lines installed '37; workers at
XXVII. SCHOOLS: School Board meetings at Harbou]
XXVIII. JAPANESE CANADIANS
XXIX. DOMESTIC ROUTINES
XXX. . BUILDINGS: Harbour House Hotel
XXXII. SANDWELL, RUTH
Crofton, Denise, and Morris (nee Crofton), Doreen; interviewed by Ruth Sandwell in the latter’s house on Salt Spring, Aug 28th, 1990
“Today is Aug 28th, 1990, and today I am talking to Denise Crofton at her sister’s house. Her sister’s name is Doreen Morris. My name is Ruth Sandwell.”
Doreen Morris reads a school essay, The Story of Harbour House, written by her son James Morris, when he was in Grade 11, at the Salt Spring Island High School.
Perhaps a story of Harbour House is of especial interest to me, as it was the home of my grandparents, the late Mr. and Mrs. A. G. Crofton.
Reverend and Mrs. E. F. Wilson, who came to Salt Spring Island in 1894 from Soult St. Marie, where he was a well-known Anglican missionary to the Ojibwe Indians and founder of the Shingwauk Home, was the first resident vicar of Salt Spring. Later, in 1902 (sic) Nona Wilson, daughter of Reverend and Mrs. Wilson, married an enterprising young Irishman, A. G. (Fred) Crofton, who bought the seafront farm from Jack Scovell at the head of Ganges Harbour, where about fifty years prior, the blood-curdling war cries from savage Indian tribes echoed in the crimson coloured water. This tribal warfare, known as the battle of Ganges Harbour, or the massacre of Admiralty Bay, was fought on the grounds where Harbour House is located today.
On the grounds, at the edge of the tennis courts, stands a big maple tree called ‘massacre tree’, which bears signs of that fierce Indian battle.
In 1916, while Mr. Crofton was away serving overseas with the Canadian army, Mrs. Crofton decided to renovate the farmhouse as the first guest home in Ganges, known as Harbour House, after the family home in Kingston, Ireland.
The hotel grew as the family of D’s increased. These were: Dermott, Desmond, Diana, Doreen, Denise, Donovan (known as Pat) and Dulcie. All of these children shared in the work of running a family business.
Not always did the guests have lavish surroundings and modern conveniences, for my mother remembers when guests slept in tents in the summer with oil lamps as the only means of light, as there were only twelve bedrooms in the house.
A regular guest at Harbour House for Sunday lunch after church was
the late H. W. Bullock. (NOTE: clippings from diaries) Mr. Bullock, an Edwardian bachelor with an imposing beard, was a gourmet. He entertained lavishly, both at his home and at Harbour House. Chicken every Sunday !! was always on the menu at the hotel.
Visitors to the hotel were intrigued to meet Mr. Bullock and to listen to his stories of the early days on Salt Spring. Mr. Bullock was the first owner of a car (a 1913 Model T) on the island.
A petition was taken up by the islanders requesting him not to drive on certain days of the week, so the ladies and gentlemen could ride in their horse and buggies, as the horses were afraid of this unusual man in his antique automobile.
Guests would come and go, and many an interesting personality would stay at Harbour House. These guests were usually attracted to the hotel by the superb tennis courts, which were at one time the best clay courts in British Columbia, and well-known tennis players would come from all parts of B.C. as well as the United States, to play in the Gulf Island Tennis Tournament.
The annual Anglican Garden Fete, held each summer at Harbour House, is always a gay and colourful event of the year, with the swimming pool as a favourite spot.
Doreen interjects: I must say it was a better swimming pool than it is now!
One of the best ways of entertaining guests at the hotel was to arrange picnics and fishing trips around the islands. Another favourite way of entertaining the guests was to have scavenger hunts, which would cause a great deal of amusement. Guests would rush off in all directions in their cars, searching for water lilies, sheep ticks, frogs, birds nests, old license plates, and other run-of-the-day articles.
When the teams came back with their loot, all would enjoy the evening highlight; a crab race on the billiard table.
Many long and lasting friends were made in ‘the family hotel with the chummy atmosphere’. Just as tea is associated with crumpets, Harbour House was renowned for its blazing fires in the lounges, and a relaxed and rested feeling when tea was served on the patio.
As in every business, a few guests would leave the hotel thinking the place was too old-fashioned, but other guests would come each year, year after year, for the personal charm of the Crofton family, and of Harbour House.
One must not forget the daily service of Billy Eng, the faithful Chinese cook who has been cooking his delicious meals at the hotel for the past 38 years.
With memories of happy days and hard work, the Crofton family sadly said goodbye, and sold Harbour House in 1964, as, to them, it was a family home for over sixty years, and a hotel for over forty years.
But as everyone knows, time changes everything, even on Salt Spring Island.
Doreen’s son James. (Doreen is called Doll by Denise, who Doreen calls Den)
A Day in the Life
Ruth Sandwell: (James Morris) mentioned that “the work was shared by members of the family” in the summer, working in the hotel. What would happen when you first got up in the morning?
Denise: First of all we had to get up and do the housework, which consisted of the two drawing rooms and the hall. In those days it was sweep with a broom and mop, there was no such thing as an Electrolux. Then we had to wait on table. We all had three or four tables that we had to each attend. (There was a limit of about 45 guests in the busy season, but sometimes it would be around 30) We had a menu -
Doreen: Not a large choice you might say, interjects Doreen with a smile.
Denise: There was no such thing as fruit juice, it was oranges or prunes or apple sauce, eggs - any style, and of course naturally tea or coffee - and toast. Breakfast generally started at 8 o’clock and went on ‘til about 9.30. We had a Chinese cook for 38 years, but in between in the early days Mother used to get in and do the cooking, and then during the war I was the one that managed it then, and I used to have to get in and cook.
Doreen: You had a bit of help.
Denise: Oh yes, you know, but .... We all had a hand in (everything). The four sisters all waited on table.
After breakfast we used to get in and clear the dishes and wash up and sweep the floors and brush the table down.
Doreen: This is when we weren’t cooking, and making the tents up, Den.
Denise: Well we did that more when we were young, Doll.
Doreen: Well, before we were able to employ waitresses and help, this is what we had to do.
Denise: We did the tents when we were ten years old (1923) - yes - (we had to) make the beds - and there was no running water, they had the old fashioned jug and basin and slop pail.
Doreen: We had to fill the water jugs.
Denise: And we had to sweep (them) out. Some tents would hold four people, and some two, and one. Doreen: They had a chest of drawers and a wooden floor, they weren’t straight on the (ground). And then later they built them up.
Denise: They had what we would call the old fashioned washstands., with the jug and basin as I said, and they had to be filled every day. And we had ‘outside dubs’. ASK DENISE
Ruth Sandwell: Did you have running water in the house itself? “Oh, yes.” Right from the beginning? Did you have hot water too?
Doreen: Oh yes. We had hot running water in the house itself. It wasn’t quite that rustic when it was turned into a hotel. I think there were two bathrooms, then gradually they added a lot more.
Ruth Sandwell: So what would you have to do after your chores of cleaning up after breakfast?
Denise: Then it would be tents and upstairs, cleaning the rooms, and then it was time to come down and lay the tables for lunch.
Ruth Sandwell: How many rooms were there, that you rented out, for guests upstairs?
Doreen: In the early days it was 12. And then I think there were 17, was it, when we added the top story?
Denise: No, there was room 18, and 19, 20, 21, :We had room 22.
Doreen: But don’t forget we had to count out a couple - we didn’t have a room 13.
Ruth Sandwell: When did you add on the third story?
Denise: That was in about ‘29, I think, when the ferries started.
Doreen: And then in later years we modernised, by bathrooms, several rooms with bathrooms. Modernised it, I would say. Electric light made a great difference. That was around about ‘37 or ‘38.
Denise: We had our own plant for years. (Oh, that’s amusing,” says Doreen in the background.)
The boys used to turn it on at about 5 o'clock in the evenings. And then sometimes they’d be off in a football game, so there was nobody to turn the lights on! So we had oil lamps to substitute.
Doreen: It was a gas powered generator. And then if my brothers wanted to go to bed early, there was one brother particularly, Dermott, who would turn it off. But if he was out late, the lights would be going ‘til 3 o’clock! Doreen chuckles.
Ruth Sandwell: So, then, for lunch, then you’d set up for lunch, and if you had a cook, if you had a cook at that time, he’d cook the lunch? And about the same number of guests, would it be, as you had for breakfast?
Doreen: Sometimes extras came in, as you might say.
Denise: When the ferries first started, we were very busy with people coming in for lunch every day.
Doreen: The Cy Peck used to call in at Ganges once a week. as an excursion run, on Wednesdays.
Denise: Mr. Manson, who owned the Cy Peck, used to phone over - he loved the coconut cream pie that our Chinese cook made, and so we always had that, and he was a very friendly nice sort of person, and always left us a good tip, in those days about ten dollars, which seemed like a million dollars.
Doreen: Because we had no wages, all we had was the tips, in the early days.
Denise: When the Cy Peck excursion trips came in, you’d get a lot of people in.
Doreen: They’d rush in and want their dinners in half an hour.
Denise: And then on Sundays the Princess Patricia used to come in, about 12.30, and they used to all walk over for lunch then, and we nearly went crazy with trying to serve our own guests, and these extras.
Ruth Sandwell: Would you be able to fit them all into one room?
Doreen: The guests were very good really; they would sometimes wait, and let us get the excursioners, as we called them - awful excursioners! And then (the guests) would get fed, after.
Ruth Sandwell: Would you have local people coming in for lunch?
Denise: Oh, yes.
Doreen: Not so much, as they do today, go out to dinner, though, or lunch.
Denise: We did have dinner parties, people used to order dinner parties. They didn’t do it so much in the summer, but in the winter they’d order dinner parties. And then the school board used to have their dinner and meetings, every three or four months, and then the Lions Club. Were they once a week? I think they were.
Doreen: Yes, but they came in later, when we did have a good cook, in the late ‘50’s and 60’s.
Ruth Sandwell: Did you used to have other groups, like the IODE? Would they come regularly?
Laughter - Doreen: “No! Better be careful, if this is (being recorded)... they didn’t come regularly!”
Doreen: But they (the IODE) had a great Convention, about 50 or 60. We couldn’t put them all up. (Some) had to be put up in different private homes, and at Vesuvius Inn. But they all wanted to stay at Harbour House. There was a great to-do about it!
Denise: What happened was, the Vancouver people were to stay at Harbour House, when Mrs. Strickford interviewed me (Doreen “- She was the Regent at the time -”) and Mrs. Best, and the Victoria people came with cars, so they were to stay in the different houses that they’d billeted. Anyway, the Victoria people arrived about 10.00 o’clock in the morning, or 10.30, and were furious! Some of them just went upstairs and said they were going to stay in the rooms, they weren’t going to go! So I had to finally phone Mrs. Best the Regent, and she came down, but it was really quite something, you know.
Doreen: I can remember I was staying at my brother’s house, just up the road, and Mrs. Walter Nicholl, who was the ex-Lieutenant-Governor’s wife, she was quite well known in the IODE, she arrived with her chauffeur, and she wasn’t going anywhere! So I, with help, went up and fixed my home up there for her to stay. So she, in the end, was very pleased, because she had a nice room to herself, and a bathroom, and an open fireplace when she came back from the meeting. And the chauffeur was put in the engine room. I remember that! At first she was furious, and then she was very happy and contented, to really have a private home to herself, because I moved out.
Ruth Sandwell: It must have been quite something to have to deal with so many people.
Doreen: Yes, yes.
Denise: They came for lunch and dinner, and breakfast and then I think it was lunch the next day, so it was four meals we had to cater for.
Ruth Sandwell: Oh, my goodness, and about 50 altogether? Just of those?
Doreen: Yes. And then local -
Denise: There were more than 50, Doll.
Doreen: Well, I meant that then there was the local IODE, you know.
Ruth Sandwell: How many were there?
Denise: There were 90 or 100 for dinner.
Doreen: We did have a cook and help, but even then, it was a very... And all the men who were in the different cabins, they all got into one. They had their meals sent out. They wanted to stay away from a large group of ladies, as you can imagine.
Denise: chuckling in the background - IODE: Irritable Old Women Everywhere.
Doreen: Be careful, Den! It wasn’t our quote, though, it was the men. You haven’t got this on have you?
Ruth Sandwell: Yes.
Denise: The Chinese cook was a new cook, and he ws quite good, but he wasn’t used to the place, we hadn’t had him very long. So when he got through lunch that was fine, but by dinner at night he hadn’t cooked the roast! We had to send it down to the Log Cabin. We sneaked it out of the cellar and send it to the Log Cabin to cook. Because he’d served a hundred people for breakfast and lunch, and by the time dinner came he was, but it all turned out very well in the end, they didn’t know.
Ruth Sandwell: What was the kitchen like, in the old hotel?
Denise: It (the kitchen) was old-fashioned. We didn’t have all the modern conveniences that they have today.
Doreen: We didn’t even have a dishwasher.
Denise: When they first (began) they used to have two stoves, wooden stoves, and the stoking of two wooden stoves was really a chore in itself. Then during the war we got propane gas, and a great big range.
Ruth Sandwell: How would you manage for wood?
Denise: Well, we had to buy it. We did have a bit of our own wood, but -
Doreen: Well, when the boys were overseas we had to buy it.
Denise: A cord was about $3.50 a cord, so it was very cheap. And then, as I said, during the war we got propane gas.
Ruth Sandwell: So, in the afternoon, what would the guests do, on a regular afternoon?
Doreen: Well, there was the tennis court, and the harbour.
Denise: And swimming. Before we had our swimming pool we had a nice beach, and there was no pollution, and everybody used to swim in the bay.
Ruth Sandwell: So you’d just go right down to the harbour there?
Doreen: Yes, and there was absolutely clear water then, clean water.
Denise: And then at night we used to have bonfires -
Doreen: - and singsongs , and wiener roasts or marshmallow -
Denise: - and corn feeds, and roasted potatoes. I mean that was all part of the entertainment.
Doreen: And they got all this free, too, all this entertainment.
Denise: One of the great attractions too, we had a boat called the Stirling. We used to take them off on picnics, and they loved that. We’d go to the other islands, or different places. Montague Harbour, Galiano Island, was always a special place. My brother Dermott, the eldest, would drive the boat. It was a beautiful boat, and it went quite fast, which was nice.
Ruth Sandwell: Was it a sailing boat? Or a motor boat?
Denise: No, a motor boat. They used to call them launches, in those days. Practically everybody had a launch. You know, they didn’t go in so much for cars, as launches.
Doreen: And there wasn’t as much bicycling as there is today. - chuckling.
Ruth Sandwell: Yes, it’s funny isn’t it, (Doreen - Yes!) how things come and go.
Denise: Well, no, I think in Mother’s day they used to bicycle quite a lot.
Doreen: Oh yes, in the very early days.
Denise: And then when the car came in, you wouldn’t be seen on a bicycle, unless you were a kid!
Ruth Sandwell: Yes, well things have changed, haven’t they. I want to ask you a little bit more. Would the children all help in serving of dinner, and cleaning up of dinner, and cooking?
Doreen: Well, as you said, there were four girls. The eldest was Diana, and then I came, Denise and Dulcie. But we were the ones that did the housework and all that. I mean, as we got into our teens.
Denise: The boys did the outside work.
Doreen: And then when there were cook’s day off, first of all my sister Diana and I, being the two eldest, would cook, and then when she got married, Denise and I would do the cooking for a day. We’d make only a few favourites, but they seemed to enjoy it. - chuckling.
Denise: But during the war, I did a lot of the cooking in the winter, because our Chinese cook, he went off. He said he thought, you know, he’d want higher wages, and our brothers overseas wouldn’t like it. So, of course when in the summer we had to get another Chinese cook, I wrote to him and told him we’d pay him what he wanted, and he came back to us!
Doreen: This was our famous Billy Eng, - warmly - who was a real friend, as we’ve said, you know, with us for 38 to 40 years.
Denise: A favourite trick of his, though, when the kitchen (became crowded), everybody used to congregate in the kitchen, and he’d get the pepper pot, and put it on the stove, and then rush out himself, and shut all the doors. Of course everybody would be sneezing -
Doreen: Clear out the kitchen very quickly!
Denise: That was his way of clearing out the kitchen!
Ruth Sandwell: How did he first come to you?
Doreen: Our brother-in-law interviewed him in Vancouver. And he seemed rather young, but he’d been working in private homes as well as (in) restaurant work, which made the difference of his cooking, I think.
Denise: But he just said “I can do the job.”
Doreen: He said “I think I manage it.”
Denise: So we took him on the spot. And he did do the job, he was wonderful. And he’s still our friend.
Doreen: 86. In Vancouver, retired. In quite a luxurious home, too. At least, very nice.
Denise: He used to go to China every seven years, and he got married, and had a son. Anyway, then he left them in China, he couldn’t bring them out. Then one Sunday morning, I went down, and I was in the kitchen, and he kept following me around, with his beady eyes, you know, and I knew there was something wrong. Then he followed me into the dining room. And I said “Billy, what’s wrong?” and he burst into tears, and said he’d just heard his wife had died. Anyway, then he went back later, and married a younger woman, and had a son, George, by her.
Doreen: After the war, George was about four, and he arrived back with his new wife, and George. Then they produced three more children on Salt Spring Island, but stayed with us. (Den: so he had five children altogether) We turned this famous engine room into a cottage for him, and so he lived there with his family. So they went to school.
Denise: His wife was wonderful. She came and washed dishes and took on doing bedrooms and worked in the hotel. Because as we got older we had to do the managing part, and we couldn’t do the waiting and -
Ruth Sandwell: What did your parents do? Were they overseeing the whole lot?
Doreen: Our father was an invalid. He died at 61.
Denise: Yes, but Doll, he wasn’t always.
Doreen: No, not always, he worked very hard.
Denise: He ran the beer parlour. They had the beer parlour, started that around about 1926, at the back of the hotel.
Doreen: It had a separate entrance. It also had an entrance into the kitchen, which was very annoying. People would come down - the telephone was in the kitchen, and all these patrons of the pub who wanted to phone, and the wives would phone, bothering us, telling their husbands to come home. I remember my little sister once said to one lady who phoned asking if her husband was there, “Why don’t you come down and see for yourself!” - laughter - We were tired of answering for all these errant husbands. - a chuckle.
Ruth Sandwell: How was it, having the beer parlour? Did you have a lot of trouble with rowdy people?
Doreen: Once in a while, but not too bad at all.
Ruth Sandwell: Was it mostly local people, who would go to the pub?
Doreen: Yes. And a lot of yachts came in.
The Saturday Dances
Ruth Sandwell: How did things go during the Depression, here? In the running of the hotel.
Doreen: It was very bad. But I must say we were lucky, I think. They were putting the electric light through. So we had, was it about 8 or 10 men?
Denise: Oh, easily.
Doreen: - staying at Harbour House. Which helped a great deal.
Ruth Sandwell: How long did they stay for?
Denise: That was in ‘37.
Ruth Sandwell: For a number of months?
Doreen: Oh, I would say -
Denise: Before that, we were the only ones that had our own engine, and electricity, and Mouats had theirs.
Ruth Sandwell: What about the Vesuvius Inn? Do you know if they had their own generator?
Doreen: I really can’t remember.
Denise: I don’t think so.
Ruth Sandwell: What about Mr. Bullock? I’ve heard rumours that he had a generator.
Denise and Doreen: Oh, yes, he did too
Ruth Sandwell: So on his house, as well as for the farm?
Denise: I would think just for the house.
Ruth Sandwell: So did you used to have to do your own laundry, for the hotel?
Doreen: Well, these Mikado’s that just came into the house today, they used to have a laundry here.
Ruth Sandwell: Where?
Doreen: Just out in the shed.
Ruth Sandwell: Oh, right, here at this house -
Denise: The shed out here.
Ruth Sandwell: - they used to live here.
Doreen: They used to do all the sheets. But we had to periodically wash towels when we ran out of linen and things. Then of course, later on -
Denise: Then during the war (FOOTNOTE: Japanese removed...) we sent it off to Victoria. The Island Freight used to take it down. There was the New Method Laundry, and the Standard (?), which we patronized in Victoria.
Doreen: It would be back within five days. But sometimes you could run short in between if it was very busy.
Ruth Sandwell: So then what would you do? Did you have any washing machine?
Denise: We did have a washing machine, of later years, during the war.
Doreen: Oh, yes, we had a good one.
Denise: We didn’t have any refrigeration until the war.
Ruth Sandwell: Really? How did you manage, to keep the food -?
Denise & Doreen: Ice, twice a week, in a big ice box.
Ruth Sandwell: How big was the ice box?
Ruth Sandwell: A walk-in one?
Doreen: No, but they could put two 50 pound blocks in, and then just the butter and milk, and meat, would go in.
Doreen: And then during the war they didn’t have the men to handle the ice, and so we really had a dreadful time, you can imagine, in the summer, trying to run (a hotel). Eventually I bought a fridge, and that was the biggest treat! - laughter.
Denise: Yes, once electricity was in.
Denise: But we had downstairs , they had a cooler for the beer, and we used to be able to hang up, you know, a whole lamb
Doreen: - and veal.
Denise: I don’t think we were supposed to, but we did. chuckles from both
Ruth Sandwell: I’m wondering where you bought the food for the hotel.
Doreen: We used to send to Woodwards, a big order. You know, they had a good groceteria. And then we bought locally, at the store. And from Burns we got our meat. You see, we did have this Island Freight, which -
Denise: The local meat was tough. They used to buy up old cows and things and sell them to you, so our cook got fed up with it, so we sent to Burns (in Victoria) once a week, or twice a week.
Doreen: But we did have our own lambs.
Denise: But we did have our own farm. We had our own milk, and chickens -
Ruth Sandwell: How many chickens did you have?
Doreen: Well, we really didn’t so much, for the eggs, but the ones for spring chickens for cooking. So there’d be about 14 or 15 killed every Friday or Saturday, for Sunday lunch.
Ruth Sandwell: And did you have your own vegetable garden?
Denise: Oh, a beautiful vegetable garden.
Doreen: Yes, I miss it.
Ruth Sandwell: How big was it? Was it out behind the house?
Doreen: No, it’s down where alders are growing, in that part of the - entrance.
Ruth Sandwell: Who worked the vegetable garden?
Doreen: Well, my brother. Father did originally, but then he was ill; and my brother, first the eldest, and then the youngest, and with the help of a Japanese; you know, when they were here they were very good.
Denise: Well, when the war came along, because the brothers went, and the Japanese went, we were lucky to get a Mr. Carter, who was an Englishman, but he knew everything. In fact he worked for the late Mr. Bullock, so he was a good gardener. and we had a wonderful garden. Otherwise it would have been dreadful. We had our own raspberries and strawberries -
Doreen: Greengages, apples, pears, plums -
Denise: Lots of fruit.
Ruth Sandwell: Did you do a lot of preserving?
Doreen: Not much time! Chutney we did, mostly. In the early days my Mother did, before we had -.
Denise: We had cherry trees, too. I can remember the bottles of cherries that she used to put down.
Doreen: And prune plums, lots of those.
Denise: And jams, she used to make all sorts of jams. But of latter years we were too busy.
Doreen: Oh, you couldn’t do it when it was a hotel. Except for chutney, we always made that, every September.
Denise: Even when Billy was there.
Mr. Ross, a Scotsman, very set in his ways. BREAK IN THE TAPE.
Bullock’s Boys and the Dinner Parties, and his death
everybody mixed, really
Especially during the war, when his boys went overseas, Mr. Bullock did all his entertaining at Harbour House. One of his visitors was Mr. Tolmie, the premier of BC. When the Tolmies came to stay, Mr. Bullock had a big bedroom, but no indoor plumbing. He had an outdoor bathroom. So he put a big bathtub right in the middle of the bedroom, for their private use.
Depression and Permanent Guests
Mr. Ross, a very dignified man, wore plus-fours, very set in his ways, regular routine
Mr. Critchley was a wonderful acquisition to the HH. He had a little baby Austin, and he used to take people driving.
fisherman, golfer, billiard player
Denise: And then during the war of course it was rationed. But we used to, you know, everybody’s grandmother and uncle that didn’t (drive” we used to, we borrowed their permit.
Doreen: Made them get a permit!
Ruth Sandwell: Did you used to associate with a lot of the people on the island? Or did you feel that you had a certain group of friends ... this is an island community.
Doreen: Well, we were quite a close knit family, (without?) special friends and cousins. But we did circulate and mix with a lot of the island people.
Ruth Sandwell: Did you know many people from down in the south end, or was that still fairly separate?
Doreen: At one time, it was quite separate, and there was a great competition between Fulford and Ganges, especially over sports.
Denise: Well don’t forget it was just a windy road, and it was a big treat as kids to go down to Fulford.
Doreen: But after, I think really the Eatons, who ran the White Lodge, and they moved up to Ganges, and then it began to get closer knitted, you know, I mean there wasn’t the difference between Fulford and Ganges.
Ruth Sandwell: Did the Eatons run any kind of Lodge or anything in Ganges?
Doreen: Yes, the White Lodge. No, no, at Fulford.
Ruth Sandwell: So when they moved into Ganges, they just sold? Or did it burn down?
Doreen: Oh, they sold, and it burned down after they left. And actually -
Denise: There used to be a great rivalry between the Ganges and Fulford and the football. It really was something terrible. Well, it was mostly the spectators that caused the - I mean the men themselves, there wasn’t that terrible - It was fun, it really was.
Doreen: Enthusiasm. Well we didn’t have TV, and not a lot of cars, so sports was a very prominent -
Ruth Sandwell: Where would the football games go on?
Denise: The school grounds.
Doreen: The school grounds, Ganges., and Fulford had their own field. And of course (lacrosse?) it was badminton, basketball.
Denise: Grass hockey was a great thing
Ruth Sandwell: What about tennis”
Doreen: Well, that was concentrated at Harbour House.
Denise: We had a tennis club. We used to let them play on Wednesdays and Fridays I think it was.
Doreen: Well, I think we got it down to once a week. When it was Tea Day.
Ruth Sandwell: That would be when the locals would be able to use it?
Doreen: Yes. They formed a club, and they’d have tea on the side verandah, you know, different ones bring their ‘tea days’, like a little tennis club.
Denise: Well we had to have a club to put on the big tennis tournaments.
Doreen: The Gulf Islands Tournament.
Denise: Otherwise we wouldn’t have bothered with it, but ...
Doreen: - laughing - I’m just laughing to myself, thinking if Dun Halley could hear that!
Ruth Sandwell:: What?
Doreen: Well, that we wouldn’t have been bothered!
Denise: Well, for one thing our guests didn’t like it, because the boys would spend all that day rolling the court for the (tournament), and then they couldn’t play. So that was one reason.
Doreen: And then they weren’t invited to the tea, so they sort of had to get out of the way. So it really wasn’t an acquisition as far as our guests went.
Denise: Half the girls didn’t pay their fees! - laughter.
Ruth Sandwell: So one of your (uncles), was it Ernest Crofton married Mary Bullock?
Doreen: Yes, Mary, she was Mary Bullock.
Ruth Sandwell: Did you know her very well?
Doreen: Oh yes, I mean Uncle Ernest we were very fond of, but she didn’t particularly like children.
Denise: No, that was Mr. Bullock’s fault.
Doreen: Well, he told us that. So we were always a little nervous about Mary. But she was very sweet and kind
Denise: They didn’t have children of their own, but they had dogs, and she loved them
Doreen: And she was a great gardener and a great cook. But she was so different from Mr. Bullock. She was, you know, retiring and rather sweet and gentle. He loved all the Society She didn’t care for it at all.
Ruth Sandwell: Where were the Bullocks from?
Ruth Sandwell: Do you know where?
Doreen: I don’t.
THE END - tape runs out.
Accession Number Interviewer Ruth Sandwell Date August 28, 1990 Location 121 Norton Road Media tape Audio CD mp3 ID 84