Owner of Vulcan Metal Works Ltd., Home Designer and Builder
Inspired by his father who installed the wrought iron railings at Victoria’s Government House in 1903, Charles Bruce Patterson and his company, Vulcan Metal Works, left behind a significant artistic legacy. His work still adorns many homes and apartment buildings throughout Canada.
Charles Bruce Patterson (called Bruce) was born in Victoria, BC on January 21, 1892. He arrived in Burnaby at the age of two with his parents Dugald Campbell Patterson and Frances Mabel (Webb) Patterson, and his younger brother, William Harold Patterson. In 1910, Bruce apprenticed with his father who owned Vulcan Iron Works of New Westminster. At the start of the First World War, Bruce temporarily left his apprenticeship to join the Seaforth Highlanders, but was discharged due to having “flat feet.”
Some years later Bruce moved his father’s ironworks to Vancouver and changed the company name to Vulcan Metal Works Ltd. Bruce became known as an expert in his craft whose work was prized from Victoria to Ottawa. Bruce was commissioned to create custom ironwork for many private homes and in some cases built the homes as well. One such residence was featured on the cover of Western Living Magazine in June of 1951.
Bruce Patterson met Elva Eleanore Elliott through the Odd Fellows Lodge and they married on July 17, 1918. In 1936, after winning a $500 bond at the Pacific National Exhibition, Bruce and Elva Patterson built a new home at 2743 West 29th Avenue in Vancouver. After the death of his first wife, Bruce, at the age of 82, married Martha May (Bird) Summers at St. Augustine’s Anglican Church in Vancouver on April 26, 1974. Charles Bruce Patterson died in Richmond, BC on February 16, 1979.
Biography by Raymond Reitsma, family historian.