Saanich Archives


This month: 

  • Asian Heritage Month: Lum Family 
  • St. Margaret’s School Visit 
  • Did You Know: Hamsterley Jam 
  • Gorge Bridge 1967 

 Asian Heritage Month: Lum Family 

Lum Young Chow immigrated to Victoria from China in 1903 and established greenhouses on Shelbourne Street in 1924. In 1927, he married and moved to the family home, also on Shelbourne Street. He and his wife Lee Dong Gui had 9 children who all helped out in the greenhouses. The eldest son, Ed Lum, served on Saanich Council for many years, and was Mayor of Saanich from 1974 to 1977. In a 1977 oral history interview, Ed Lum recalls his early years in Gordon Head: “Food was very tough to get, because we weren’t a rich family. So, we sort of survived on everything that we grew ourselves.”  Learn more

St. Margaret’s School Visit 

On April 19th, a grade 5 class from St. Margaret’s School came to the Archives. The students and adults explored our reference room resources and enjoyed a behind-the-scenes tour of archival collections in our vault. They learned about how to conduct research and had a lot of questions for us about the job of an Archivist. Some have even come back on their own to work on projects for the upcoming Heritage Fair! We invite school and community groups to visit our facility inside the Saanich Centennial Library – contact us to book a tour!

Did You Know: Hamsterley Jam
Algernon and Letitia Pease built their house and a water tower at the corner of Sinclair and Haro Roads, ca. 1910. In 1914, Mr. Pease opened a stall in the Public Market. When there was a surplus of fruit one year, the Peases decided to make jam. They built a small shed onto part of their house and installed a steam boiler and two kettles. The result was a thousand cases of jam in the first year. It sold well, and the business expanded. After a disastrous batch unknowingly made with white beet rather than cane sugar, however, operations ceased and the classic recipe was sold to the Empress Jam Company which would make it famous.

Feature Photo: Gorge Bridge 1967
Since 1848 there have been seven different bridges over the Gorge Waterway. The current bridge was completed 50 years ago in 1967 as part of the larger Gorge Beautification Project. Other elements of the project included major park clean up and reconstruction along Gorge Road. This photo of the temporary bridge replacement was taken looking north from Esquimalt towards the Gorge/Tillicum junction, (out of view on the left). The trees past the bridge are located in Saanich Gorge Park.  Take a closer look

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