Charlotte Kathleen O’Reilly

Kathleen O'Reilly
“Miss Charlotte Kathleen O’Reilly.” Royal BC Museum & Archives. C-03899

1867 – 1945

Two weeks after moving to Point Ellice House, Caroline O’Reilly gave birth to her and Peter’s second child, Kathleen, on New Year’s Eve 1867.

Kathleen received her education at Angela College in Victoria and attended school in England for two years. Like many other young women of affluence in Victoria at the time, Kathleen was socially active and involved herself with various high-society and church activities. She also enjoyed painting, sewing, horseback riding, music, tennis and croquet, and traveling. The collection at Point Ellice House contains many of her original paintings and needlework, her riding saddle, and an upright harp gifted to her by her grandmother Charlotte Trutch. Despite having been courted by two naval officers and receiving a proposal of marriage, Kathleen never married. She preferred her life at Point Ellice House and her close relationship with her parents. 

After her father died in 1905, Kathleen took over the care and further development of the gardens, another passion of hers. She traveled to England in 1914 but was forced to remain there throughout the First World War due to a travel embargo. During this time, she volunteered with the Canadian Red Cross in Folkestone and was awarded a certificate for her service before returning to BC in 1919. Kathleen spent her remaining years at Point Ellice House tending to the gardens, painting, and enjoying social activities.

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