What’s New

Children’s Birthday Party for Canada

We feel sure when your children are half a century older, they will remember this day and the other wonderful Canada
 150 events we will be privileged to attend this month in Victoria.
When:  Thursday, June 22, 2017   3:30-5pm (dropin event, your choice of time to come and go)
Where: Point Ellice House, 2616 Pleasant Street, off Bay Street.  Very limited parking.
Information:  www.pointellicehouse.com
Phone: 250-380-6506
We’re also on Facebook and Instagram.
Admission: by donation.  Suggested donation: $5 per family group     All proceeds are shared between two great ‘causes’:  1) to aid in the upkeep of our beautiful O’Reilly gardens; and 2) because Frank and Jack O’Reilly joined the British army in 1914 and served throughout the war, (with Jack as a spotter,similar to a spy in a tiny plane) half the donations will be given to the Military Family Resource Centre.
What will you remember, what will your children remember, in 2067, about Canada 150 events?
There are so many of them planned, and some folks may already be feeling a form of celebration fatigue.
I was struck, a few years back, with these thoughts as I heard Dr. Helen Davies, the Superintendent of the  BC Coastal Field Unit of Parks Canada, as keynote speaker at a planning event for heritage and similar groups wishing to put on a commemorative event for Canada 150.
She spoke of her PhD dissertation.  She had chosen several actual Centennial Year events and followed up to see how the communities involved viewed their local efforts.  There were
a wide range of ideas represented, brought into being by many  dedicated volunteers and partners such a businesses, nonprofits, service clubs, and three levels of government. It was so inspiring to hear how, decades later, their event was still fresh in the minds of the locals.
So we wondered: how could we, a small nonprofit with a difficult and ongoing job,( that of bringing a family story to life for new generations and newcomers to Victoria), make a meaningful contribution to the communities of Victoria.
There was a “hook” –  the date.   In 1867, as well as the confederation of Canada,  there were two events in Victoria of note that year.   First, Peter and Caroline Trutch O’Reilly had to move to the Colony of Vancouver Island since Peter’s job in New Westminster was moved to Victoria when the capital of the Colony was changed. Housing was at a premium, almost as scarce as it is now for families.  After many disappointments, they heard about a cottage on the Gorge that had been abandoned.  This 5 room bungalow had been built in 1861, as a wedding present for a young couple. Unfortunately, after a few years it was empty and the elements were encroaching, as the setting was considered quite a way from the city centre. The O’Reillys moved in in December of 1867 with their 14 month old son.  Three weeks later, on December 31, the second ‘Canada 150’ event occurred: their daughter Kathleen was born.
So being led by this historic information, we determined to follow a ‘children’s birthday party theme’ for our commemorative event.
There will be croquet and beanbag toss, some dancing on the green. ice cream and cake, and attenders are encouraged to add to the theme  decor with red and or/white clothing.
As it is an after-school event, we are hoping children can come for all or part of the party; the tone will be fun and informal, rather like an Open House.
Because our parking lot is limited, we are encouraging families to come by number 14 bus or park elsewhere and walk.  A special treat can be worked into your visit by parking at the Wharf Street lot and taking the Harbour Ferries water taxi to our dock.

 

Splendour of Roses Historical Tour


You are invited to the Gardens of Point Ellice House and Gardens for a tour and exploration of our Roses.

Our horticultural expert along with our heritage historian will take you on a tour of the many varied roses in our garden so you can enjoy the fragrances, learn their secrets, and the century old tales these magnificent flowers have to share.

The tour will be on June 18 at 2:00 pm until 4:00 pm, and will be by donation.

To reserve your spot on this tour, please contact the Visitor Center Coordinator be email at info@PointElliceHouse.com or phone 250-380-6506.

The 2017 Season is Almost Here!

June 1 will mark the opening date of the O’Reilly’s Visitor Centre for the 2017 season.

Please note we have a couple of changes:
1) We no longer have the equipment to be able to operate as a restaurant.
2) Our open hours are modified to accommodate the ongoing construction at the old carriage house.

Point Ellice House will offer a Picnic High Tea, on the Gorge Lawn, thanks to our partnership with Truffles Catering.

Our hours of operation starting June 1:
Thursday and Fridays:  
Tours of the Historic House:  11:00 am – 4:00 pm
Saturday and Sundays:
Tours of the Historic House:  11:00 am – 4:00 pm
Picnic High Tea: Seatings for Picnic High Tea are available at 12:00 noon and 3:00 pm
Please note that reservations for the Picnic High Tea must be made at least two days in advance.

Truffles Catering

Point Ellice House is pleased to announce our partnership with Truffles Catering, our caterer for the Picnic High Teas on the Gorge Lawn.

We will be open for the Picnic High Tea on the first weekend of June (the 3rd and 4th) and will continue through the summer season as weather permits.  Seatings for the High Picnic Teas are scheduled on Saturdays and Sundays at 12 noon and 3:00 pm.  Reservations are required and must be made at least two days in advance by contacting the O’Reilly Visitor Centre.

In addition, Truffles Catering is our recommended caterer for special events held at Point Ellice House.

Thank You All for a Great Season at PEH

The Spring/Summer Season has drawn to a close at Point Ellice House. The last day of Tea Service was September 26th.

Tours can be arranged for groups by calling 250 385 5578. Please leave a message with your name, phone number, group size, along with your preferred date and time. One of our well versed Tour Guides will be pleased to take you through the O’Reilly Residence.
During the fall we will start the restoration and renovation of the Carriage House/Kitchen.
For information on the Christmas Season, please continue to check the website and Facebook page.
We look forward to seeing all our old friends, and making new ones! New members and aspiring volunteers are encouraged to follow the links and join our friendly team, who shape the future by sharing the past.

Kit Pearson Unveils New Book

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Rosemary Pryce-Digby with Annalise and Sophia Wall assists Kit Pearson in a reading of her new novel “A Day of Signs and Wonders”

Local and noted author Kit Pearson launched her latest book at Point Ellice House September 10.

She dedicated the book to her three goddaughters, and asked them to star in the reading she gave for the audience.
The novel starts with a chance meeting of Kathleen O’Reilly, aged 13, and Emily Carr, aged 9, and follows the two girls through their day in and around Point Ellice House.
Autographed copies of the book are now available in the Gift Shop at Point Ellice House.
For more information about the book and Kit Pearson visit her web site: www.KitPearson.com

Pass It Around Victoria

Pass It Around VictoriaFrom the Pass It Around Victoria web site:

Explore Victoria’s Heritage and discover the stories of the people who created, lived and worked at these sites. Come to know our fascinating history – and take those experiences home with you!

A $25 Pass It Around Victoria pass connects you with Museums, Art Galleries and National Historic Sites. If you are visiting as a tourist, learn about the culture and ancestry of British Columbia’s capital. As a local, delve deeper into your city’s past.

Passes are on sale ONLY at the Tourism Victoria Visitor Centre.

 

Victoria Foundation’s 80th Birthday

To help celebrate Victoria Foundation’s 80th Birthday, the Foundation invites Victorians to take a complimentary free tour of Point Ellice House and Heritage Garden on Saturday, September 17, 2016.
Victoria Foundation 80 logo
Due to our limited available parking, you are encouraged to come by Harbour Ferry for the reduced rate of a $5.00 return ticket.

Light refreshments may be purchased, though our regular Tea service will not be available. Join the celebration while learning about Victoria’s past!

Vendor List – Vintage Craft Festival

CIMG0240Thank you for attending the Point Ellice House Heritage Rose and Vintage Craft Festival.

The following is the list of vendors that displayed their crafts and their web sites for more information:

Hollyhock Seeds

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Available in our Gift Shop — Hollyhock Seeds!CIMG0270

To help start your own heritage flower collection in your own garden, Point Ellice House is selling Hollyhock seeds in our Gift Shop (in the Visitor Centre).

Brief instructions are printed on the back of the seed envelope, but to help you get started we recommend the following web page at the Gardening Know How web site:
http://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/flowers/hollyhock/tips-on-hollyhocks-growing-hollyhocks-successfully.htm