Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Anthem and Ancestries

This Queen Anne style home was built in 1897 and was home to Mr. Ewing Buchan, manager of Vancouver's Bank of Hamilton. This is important because in 1908 Buchan wrote a version of our national anthem O Canada.

Buchan's brother, Brigadier-General Lawrence Buchan, was the commander at a garrison at Quebec City. Lawrence became enthralled with a song that had been written by Calixa Lavallée in anticipation of Quebec's celebration of St. Jean Baptiste Day and he sent his brother the sheet music. Ewing loved the music as well but was dissatisfied with the English translation of the French lyrics.

Buchan was also vice president of the Vancouver Canadian Club and debuted his version of O Canada at a luncheon meeting of the club at the Hotel Vancouver on February 9, 1910. The song was promoted by the club and became Buchan's version became quite popular.

However Robert Stanley Weir -a lawyer and Recorder of the City of Montreal - also wrote a version of O Canada and his was published for the Diamond Jubilee of Confederation in 1927. It later became the accepted English version of the Canadian National Anthem.

The O Canada House is now a Bed and Breakfast. If you want to learn more about staying there or its history be sure to visit the above link.

Just in case you were wondering the Bank of Hamilton merged with The Commerce (later to become the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, CIBC) on January 2, 1924.

Remember when I wrote on the Barclay Heritage Square? These three homes are part of that square and are known as the Triplet Houses. All three were designed by architects Parr & Fee in 1903.

These homes, and the houses on Haro Street, lost their chimneys due to a building code regulation during their 1980s renovations. All were successfully raised four feet allowing a third suite to be developed at ground level.

The gardens surrounding the homes are tended by the residents.

This yellow home once belonged to Mrs. Margaret McLean, the widow of Vancouver's first mayor Malcolm McLean. Rumour has it that the Canadian poet, Robert Service (he wrote the poem The Shooting of Dan McGrew) visited this house while he was courting the McLean's daughter Mary.

At the corner of Broughton and Haro is the Leckie Gate.

This gate is from the old home of R.J. Leckie, a Vancouver pioneer. His home was further down Haro Street, near Denman and family members donated the gate to the Park Board.

It is open permanently as a welcome to the park.

Around the corner on Haro Street is another entrance to the park.

This was once the site of an 1880's house that was surrounded by this stone wall. There are wild rose bushes which bloom each summer as remnants of the garden that was once there.

This gazebo is beside Roedde House Museum at 1415 Barclay Street. It was built by Capilano College students that were studying heritage carpentry and the materials were donated by Marion Hawley.

I hope you find the beauty around you.

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