Arthur John (Jack) O’Reilly

“Arthur John O’Reilly.” Royal BC Museum & Archives. C-03935

1873 – 1946

The fourth child of Peter and Caroline O’Reilly, Jack was born at Point Ellice House on April 4th 1873, and was educated in England from the age of nine.

At age eighteen, Jack returned to Victoria and apprenticed with the law firm Drake, Jackson, and Helmcken. He was sworn in as a barrister and solicitor in 1898. By 1904, he had co-founded the firm Moresby & O’Reilly with his business partner William C. Moresby.

In 1914, Jack married Mary Beresford Windham in England. During the First World War, he served in the Royal Navy, eventually becoming a major in the Royal Naval Air Service. He returned to Point Ellice House following the war, and he and Mary had a son, John Windham O’Reilly in 1920. He continued to work as a barrister at his firm, then Moresby O’Reilly & Lowe, and took over management of his brother’s company Cross & Co. after Frank’s death in 1941.

Jack was fond of tennis, golf, and especially croquet. He also enjoyed fishing and hunting. Like his brother, Jack was an active member of the Conservative Party. Jack lived at Point Ellice House with his wife Mary until his death in 1946, the last of Peter and Caroline O’Reilly’s four children.

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