Last week, just before returning home from Victoria I embarked on a camera walk that took me through my old stomping grounds: the Fairfield, Rockland and Fernwood neighbourhoods. I passed by a number of landmarks in this area that are as prominent today as they were almost 60 years ago.
One of those landmarks, a giant Sequoia, is located at the corner of Moss and Richardson Streets. . Commonly found in California it was planted here as a seedling in 1854.
I biked past it on my way to and from school in the late ’50s and early ’60s. A particular memory flooded back as I walked past it last week.
Located at the bottom of the Moss Street hill a group of us regularly blew through the stop sign at the bottom of the hill. One day though, that practice came to a fateful end.
Not noticing the parked motorcycle we raced down the hill intent on winning some sort of race. Through the stop sign we went, coming to a screeching halt when a policeman stepped out from behind a parked car, with the command, “Stop!”
It was Constable Haymer, VPD’s motorcycle cop. He had been waiting for us. Sternly reprimanding us he handed each of us a ticket. I said nothing at home. A week or so later a summons to appear in court was hand delivered to my parents. To say the least I was in trouble.
It was a very embarrassing experience for my Mom as she was a court reporter and knew many of the court officials I was standing before. A stern warning and a fine from the judge and a lot of ‘humble pie’ from me for some time afterwards at home.
At first glance most of the homes in this area were much the same as they were in the early 1960’s. But as I explored a saw that some had seen better days while others and been beautifully refreshed. Others, particularly in the Rockland area were exactly as I remembered them, big, solid and in some cases, enormous.
I found our house on Craigdarroch Road, just below the castle walls. Our house on Oscar Street had long since been replaced by an apartment complex. I walked through the beautiful gardens of Government House remembering the fire that consumed its predecessor.
At the end of my hike I sat down in a small coffee shop on Cook Street and thought about all that I had seen. Many of the homes and gardens I had walked past seemed not to have changed. It was a great walk. It was fun to revisit memories of a time past. The images (click to enlarge) I’ve included with my article are a mosaic of my old neighbourhood and for me a reminder of those memories.