The Sentells

Frederick William Sentell, one of Vancouver’s earlier Aldermen and the builder of Vancouver’s first city hall at 100 Powell Street also built many homes in what is now known as Strathcona.

Frederick William Sentell was born in St. John, New Brunswick on May 31, 1858, the son of Edward Sentell and Margaret Blair. He came to Vancouver around 1887.

On May 13th, 1889, 30 year-old New Brunswick-born Frederick William Sentell married 17 year-old Montreal, Quebec-born Alice Slade at Wesley Methodist Church with the Reverend Ebenezer Robson officiating. The wedding certificate records Alice’s parents as John and Margaret Slade. They had at last one son, Frederick Washington Sentell, born in Vancouver on July 4, 1890. Frederick Washington Sentell worked as a teamster, and then as a city fireman from 1917 to 1919 but died during the Spanish Influenza pandemic on January 14, 1919.

Frederick William Sentell died on January 22, 1951 at the age of 92 and is buried in the Old Section of Mountain View Cemetery in plot 1-02-007-0006. Alice Sentell on October 14, 1956 at the age of 83 and is buried with her husband. Their son is buried in the Old section of Mountain View Cemetery in plot 1/02/024/0012.

Of the homes built by Mr Sentell 844 Dunlevy, built in 1899, survives and is currently under restoration by the current owner, architect Graham Elvidge and his wife Kathleen. It was lived in from 1956 until their deaths by George and Clara Winchcombe who also lived on and off at 830 Dunlevy in 1907-1910, 1917, and 1921-1956.

George Winchcombe was born in Kensington, England on August 14, 1880 the son of Isaac Winchcombe and Emma Kearley. His wife, Clara Adelaide Augusta Palmer, was born in England on March 2, 1882. George died at Shaughnessy Hospital on January 6, 1959 at the age of 78 and is buried in the Horne 1 section Mountain View Cemetery in plot 5-01-003R-0002. Clara died at Oakherst Private Hospital on August19, 1966 and was buried with her husband.

Jonathan Rogers

Jonathan Rogers was born at Plas-Onn, near Llangollen, North Wales, and grew up speaking only Welsh. At the age of 16 he moved to Liverpool where he lived for seven years working at various jobs and perfecting his English. In 1887, at the age of 23, and armed with a legacy left to him by an aunt, Jonathan sailed for Montreal and crossed Canada on the first transcontinental train to Vancouver.

Two weeks after he arrived, Jonathan attended a public auction of parcels of CPR land within the newly-created city. He bought four lots in the middle of the forest, land which is now located in the heart of downtown Vancouver. He managed to hold on to the land through the depression of the 1890s, correctly judging that his investment in the fledgling city would eventually be rewarded.

By 1895 Jonathan had set himself up as a contractor and builder and soon became involved in all kinds of construction work – offices, manufacturing plants, hotels, banks, even an electricity-generating station – in what was Vancouver’s first great building and real-estate boom.

In 1902 Jonathan married Elisabeth, a girl from Oswestry, a town near his ancestral home in Wales. They lived close to Stanley Park in a large, elegant house appropriately named Argoed, which in Welsh means beside the wood. Elisabeth was one of the founders and early benefactors of the Vancouver Art Gallery and the Symphony Society.

By the outbreak of the First World War in 1914 Jonathan Rogers was a very wealthy man and a prominent public figure in Vancouver. He spent the last 30 years of his life repaying the city for the opportunities it had afforded him over the years. He held a number of elected and honorary offices in many fields, most prominently serving for 26 years on the Parks Board, one of his prime interests.

Jonathan Rogers died in 1945 and left what at that time was a very large sum of money, a quarter of a million dollars, to various causes in Vancouver. The largest single bequest of $100,000 was given to the City of Vancouver to create a neighbourhood park in a poorer part of the city. After several delays, the park was finally opened in 1958 and called Jonathan Rogers Park in his memory.

from Watermill: Life Story of a Welsh Cornmill
By David Llewelyn Davies 
Hardcover / Ceiriog Press / September 1997

Dugald Campbell Patterson 1860-1931


Dugald Campbell Patterson 1860-1931
Pioneer of British Columbia, Civil Engineer, Builder and Author

One of British Columbia’s most prominent citizens, Dugald Campbell Patterson is known in the City of Burnaby as the pioneer that gave the Edmonds district its name. After settling in Burnaby in 1894, Patterson co-founded Central Park, served as the first postmaster of Edmonds in 1909, and was elected a Burnaby school trustee in 1912.

His other legacies include Patterson Avenue, which he originally built as a trail, and a simple wooden platform stop that he constructed on the BC Electric Railway, that today serves thousands of commuters as Patterson SkyTrain Station.

Dugald Campbell Patterson was born in Partick, Scotland on January 2, 1860. His parents were John Murdoch Paterson, of Rutherglen, and Margaret Purdon of Partick. He was educated in Glasgow, became a ship joiner, then later an engineer. Upon his arrival in Canada on July 1, 1884, he promptly added a second “t” to the spelling of his last name. Dugald married Frances Mabel Webb in Victoria, BC. See the biography of Frances Mabel (Webb) Patterson.

Dugald Campbell Patterson was employed at Armstrong, Morrison & Company, where he oversaw the building of the Fraser River Bridge at New Westminster. He was also foreman boilermaker with the Vancouver Engineering Works. Shortly thereafter, in 1903, he established Vulcan Iron Works of New Westminster, a business that was said to be one of the most important operations of its kind on the Canadian Coast. At the start of World War One, Patterson accepted a commission by the British Government to supervise the construction of submarines on the River Clyde in Scotland. Upon his return home, he founded his own insurance business. Patterson was also a member of the Knights of Pythias and the Independent Order of Foresters.

In 1930, as he neared the twilight of his life, Dugald authored and published a book of poetry. Dugald Campbell Patterson died in Vancouver, BC on June 25, 1931 having made many significant contributions to municipal development, industry and the arts.

Biography by Raymond Reitsma, family historian.

Frances Mabel (Webb) Patterson 1872-1960

Pioneer of British Columbia, Wife, Mother and Insurance Woman

Frances Mabel (Webb) Patterson’s legacies include Frances Avenue, named for her in Victoria, British Columbia, and Patterson House, the family home that today sits at 7106-18th Avenue, Burnaby, a designated heritage building.

Frances Mabel Webb was born in Cradley, England on December 5, 1872. She was the eldest of twelve children born to Joseph William Webb, and Frances Jane (Yapp) Webb of Ridgeway House. Frances was also the granddaughter of Thomas Webb, founder of world-renowned Thomas Webb Crystal. Her maternal great uncle, Richard Yapp, of the Halesend, was High Sheriff of Herefordshire in 1859.
Frances crossed the Atlantic on the SS Lake Winnipeg with her family and arrived in Victoria in 1889. Her father had decided to move the family to Victoria so he could accept a landscape design position for Beacon Hill Park with architect John Blair.

On February 7, 1891, Frances Mabel Webb married Dugald Campbell Patterson at St. James Anglican Church, in Victoria, BC, joining two pioneer families. Frances and her husband moved to Burnaby in 1894 where she farmed the family property, looked after her blind mother-in-law, Margaret (Purdon) Patterson, and raised her seven children. In 1910, as her family continued to grow, she and her husband purchased fourteen acres of land along Edmonds Street at Kingsway and built a larger home with tennis courts and a gazebo. Here, Frances would hold church teas and host meetings for the women’s division of the Liberal Party.

In later years, with the experience she gained from working in her husband’s insurance business, Frances became an insurance agent for the Wawanesa Insurance Company (founded in 1896). She met her clients by using the lower mainland’s vast streetcar system as a means of transportation. This career not only gave Frances a significant feeling of independence, but also gave her an income which lasted well into her retirement years. Frances Mabel (Webb) Patterson died in New Westminster, BC on August 30, 1960.

Biography by Raymond Reitsma, historian.

William Reid Owen • 1924

[b. Nov 25, 1864, Ontario; arrived Vancouver 1899;d. Mar 22, 1949, Vancouver.]

Vancouver’s mayor in the mid-decade of the Roaring Twenties was strongly identified with one of the city’s oldest neighborhoods, Mount Pleasant. At the time he became mayor, Owen was a realtor and insurance agent there, and earlier had been its first blacksmith. His years in office were the first really good years economically since the postwar slump. Both public and private sources moved to develop recreational facilities and entertainment centres, building parks and golf courses. The number of movie houses grew rapidly. Owen was the first Vancouver mayoralty candidate to use radio in his campaign. He gave a ten minute speech over Station CJCE. Before becoming mayor, Owen was on the Board of Directors of the Vancouver General Hospital and held an insurance policy with the VGH as beneficiary worth $10,000.

Pipe Major Malcolm Nicholson, CM

[exerpted from http://www.pipeband.ca/history.php]

Malcolm Nicholson, CM. Malcolm was accepted by the Vancouver Police Department in 1929 and at the same time joined the department’s band. Malcolm recalls that he gained considerable experience from his various associations in this band, and during the next few years thereafter, furthered his piping knowledge by studying with Donald MacIver, Archie MacIndewar and William Barrie.

Malcolm was made Pipe Sgt. of the very busy police band in 1942, and in 1945 succeeded Alex Johnson as Pipe Major. He led the band on many trips, parades, concerts and competitions during years when it was a first rate competing band. Malcolm retired from the Department in 1961 holding the rank of Sergeant. Malcolm also retired as Pipe Major of the band at the same time having been the P/M for the previous 16 years.

The text below was taken from the 1978 Citation for the Order of Canada (CM). This honour was not only the first awarded to a member of the British Columbia piping fraternity, but is unique among Canadian pipers. These words and the award itself, identify the uniqueness of Malcolm Nicholson, the piping teacher par excellence.

“Former Pipe Major of the Vancouver Police Pipe Band. He has spent his life directing boys and girls in various bands whose consistently high caliber won them awards in Canada, Britain, the United States and Europe.”

The first band that Nicholson organized was the Templeton Junior High School Boys Band. Around 1950 he became the instructor for the Vancouver Ladies Pipe Band which was a relationship he would continue until 1967. Malcolm organized the Vancouver Optimist Junior band in 1956, the band later becoming know as the White Spot Junior band. In 1958 he formed the Kiwanis Boys band, once again teaching all of the pipers, and developing the band into a competing unit. In 1967, it won the North American Junior Pipe Band Championship at the Maxville Games in Ontario and the Dominion championship at the Halifax Centennial Games.

To accommodate the very young players, Malcolm organized the Highland Laddies band in 1964, and they too became active in the local competitions. He also organized the Army, Navy and Airforce Veterans band and the Burnaby Ladies Pipe Band, both in 1967.

Since 1934, Malcolm and his family have lived on Triumph Street in Vancouver. His home became a centre for the art for so many years with lessons, distribution of equipment, alteration of uniforms and many unforgettable parties taking place on the premises. It was therefore fitting that a group largely made up of his ex-pupils, who were organizing a competing band in 1971, used the street name as the band name. The Triumph Street Pipe Band has succeeded beyond all their expectations and served as another lasting tribute to their teacher and mentor.

Malcolm Nicholson died just short of his 97th birthday. As the oldest living retired member of the Vancouver City Police Department, Malcolm was honoured with a parade complete with colour party and the Police Pipe Band.

Nettie Florence (Faris) Elliott 1865-1937

Independent Woman and Trailblazer

Nettie Florence (Faris) Elliott was a fascinating character who traveled across the United States in a horse-drawn covered wagon. Her reputation as a trailblazer continued throughout her life.

Nettie Florence Faris was born in Des Moines County, Iowa, USA on May 26, 1865. She was raised a Methodist, and was one of nine children born to Samuel Faris, a farmer from Washington County, Indiana, and Frances Ann (Montgomery) Faris, of Adams County, Ohio. Nettie’s ancestors were early Scottish Colonialists. Her three-time great grandparents, Patrick Montgomery and Agnes McCord, were recorded in Lancaster, Pennsylvania in the 1720’s.

Nettie Florence Faris married John Hess Elliott on February 18, 1888 in Adams, Ohio (See the biography of John Hess Elliott). The couple had two children, Theodore Fay (1888 – 1958) and Elva Eleanore (Elliott) Patterson (1896-1973). In 1898 Nettie Florence and her family crossed the border into Vancouver, British Columbia and made the Fairview Slopes district their home.

Nettie Florence continued her independent ways. She smoked a corncob pipe and taught herself how to drive at a time when it was not popular for women to do so. She was also one of the first to exercise her right to vote when women in British Columbia were extended the franchise in 1917. In addition to being an active gardener, Nettie participated in many community minded projects in the City of Vancouver through her membership in Grandview Chapter No. 8, Order of the Eastern Star, a Masonic organization, and Mizpah Rebekah Lodge No. 2, of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. Nettie was also an adherent to Vancouver’s Sixth Avenue Methodist Church, built in 1900.

During the summer months between 1910 and 1916, the family would board the Union Steamship vessels at Coal Harbour and travel to Savary Island, where the Elliott family had built one of the first homes on the island. Nettie Florence (Faris) Elliott died in Vancouver, BC on August 11, 1937.
Biography by Raymond Reitsma, family historian.

Thomas Fletcher Neelands

Mayor 1902-1903 (Acclaimed in 1903)
[b. Mar 8, 1862 Carleton, Ontario;d. Dec. 2, 1944, Vancouver. Arrived Granville (Vancouver) March 1886.]

Land issues marked Neelands’ tenure. After being burned out of the flour and feed business in the Great Fire, he became involved with the Pacific Building Society offering mortgages by lottery to members who paid dues to build up the fund.

While he was mayor, the city’s recreational facilities improved and expanded with the acquiring of rights for sunbathing on the English Bay shore, Alexandra and Strathcona Parks (now city hall), and the Cambie and Powell Street grounds. He also officiated at the cornerstone laying of the Vancouver Free Library at Main and Hastings (now Carnegie Centre) March 29, 1902.

Henry Mole

Henry Mole, known for his forthright nature, homesteaded on land where the Point Grey Golf Club now is located.

Point Grey Golf & Country Club was built on the Mole Property. Mr. Henry Mole came out from England in 1862, and upon arrival in B.C. joined the Cariboo Gold Rush, but returned to the coast in 1863 where he settled on the land which is the present site of the Point Grey Golf & Country Club. The old Water Wheel incorporated in the Club crest, until the late 1940’s, stood about a hundred yards from the clubhouse by Blenheim Street and was actually used by Henry Mole for power to run the threshing machine.

John Moffat

In the Old section of the cemetery there is a headstone which reads:
“Sacred to the memory of John Moffat of the Hong Kong Shanghai Banking Corporation died at Vancouver, BC Dec. 9, 1892 on furlough from Shanghai. Born March 25, 1860 Dunscore, Scotland”

John Moffat was passing through Vancouver on his way home to Scotland on a six month leave of absence from his job as Sub-manager of the Shanghai branch of the Hong Kong Banking Corporation. He was travelling through Vancouver because it was the fastest route to Britain from the far east at the time. Mr. Moffat’s arrival in Vancouver on November 30, 1892 as a first class passenger aboard the ‘Empress of China’ was noted in the Weekly News Advertiser.

Unfortunately, the next mention of Mr Moffat in local papers notes his death on December 9th.
From the Weekly News Advertiser December 14, 1892: Friday, John Moffat, sub manager at the Hong Kong Shanghai Banking Corporation at Shanghai passed away at St Luke’s Home where he had been for the past few weeks.

And his funeral was reported on in a separate item in the same edition: The funeral of John Moffat took place Saturday afternoon at St. Luke’s Home. George Gillespie, manager of the Bank of British Columbia, Fane Sewell, Reverend Clinton, Henry Bell-Iriving, and Mr Dare of Hong Kong were in attendance. The pall bearers were Captain Archibald of the Empress of China, Purser Mr. Metcalf, Dr. Munro, Dr. Robinson, Dr. Bell-Irving, Mr C. Sweeny of the Bank of Montreal. Officiating was Reverend D. McLaren.

St. Lukes’, one of the city’s first hospitals and was associated with St James’ Church the first permanent church in what was to become Vancouver. Cemetery records show Mr Moffat died from Consumption ( the Victorian term for TB).

John Moffat was born in 1860 in Nether Laggan, Dunscore, Dumfriesshire, Scotland to William and Janet Moffat. He was the sixth of 12 children. At the age of 19 he joined the London office of the Hong Kong Shanghai Banking Corporation and spent his short career with the bank.

The HSBC Group Archives in London kindly provided details of his service with the bank.
1879 – Joins London Office of Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation
1881 – Transferred to Hong Kong branch
1883 – Transferred to Shanghai branch on a salary of $175
1884 – Spent May 1884 in Hankow
1886 – Spent Oct/Nov 1886 in Tientsin
1887 – On leave from Sep 1887 on full salary
1889 – Promoted to position of sub-accountant at Hong Kong Branch on $300
1890 – Appointed accountant at Shanghai Branch from November 1890
1891 – Appointed Sub-manager of Shanghai Branch in July 1891
1892 – Died December 1892 whilst heading back to Britain on sick leave

The high regard he was held in is evident from the people who attended his funeral and the fact that John Moffat is also mentioned in the History of the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation, Volume 1 The Hongkong Bank in Late Imperial China 1864 – 1902 by Frank H H King:
“After John Moffatt (sic) (East in 1881) died unexpectedly in Vancouver en route Home on sick leave, the Board were told that the Bank had realized his securities leaving him a credit balance of $332, and there were three unmarried sisters partially dependent on him.  He would have been entitled to six months’ leave on full pay.  In view of the very high opinion directors entertained of Mr Moffatt and in appreciation of services rendered the Bank, they voted the sisters twelve months full pay equivalent, or $6,000 dollars instead of  $3,000”