Entries by Joanne Specht

Changed Lives at Cridge Transition House for Women

by Marlene Goley Our “No wrong door” approach sometimes just means hanging in there with a woman at Cridge Transition House for Women. Recently, we had a woman and her two children staying with us – I’ll call her Ramona.  Ramona’s husband and the father of her children, was frightening and dangerous.  Ramona had endured […]

A Special Christmas Gift in 1909

by Monica Hammond “In December 1909, the Home received a generous gift from Mr. J.M. Britton, a Seattle man who had made money in timber on Vancouver Island’s West Coast.” Mr. Britton told Mr. Ross, the owner of the food store Dixi Ross & Co to “go ahead and fix them [the orphans] up a […]

The First Building Project 1883

by Monica Hammond In 1881, the orphanage building needed repairs. Its roof was re-shingled and other repairs were done, at a cost of $50. This was a lot of money in those days. For example, it cost $50 to care for one orphan for six months in 1881. The building was wearing out, and could […]

The Children’s Schedule

by Monica Hammond At the BC Protestant Children’s Home, a set schedule meant that the children’s lives flowed as smoothly as possible from one day to the next. The children got up no later than 7:00 a.m. during the summer, and 7:30 during the winter. Breakfast was at 8:00 (8:30 during the winter), and cleaning […]

A Woman Helped

Candace Stretch: Assistant Manager of Women’s Services I had a call from Sophie, a woman desperate for help as she supported a friend who is at high risk of violence at the hands of her partner. Sophie was so worried about her friend that she called police, victim services, and several women-serving agencies. Essentially she […]

Rules of The Home

by Monica Hammond As the number of children being cared for grew, the people running The Home realized that a strict set of rules was needed. By the mid 1880s, a list of 21 rules governed the children’s behaviour. The children were to be taught the 3 R’s along with sewing and general household affairs. […]

Our Moving Hero

by Marlene Goley & Candace Stretch Most women staying at Cridge Transition House are not able to move back into the homes they left behind. Even if the abuser has moved out, it is often not safe or financially possible for women to go back. We all know that moving is stressful- but moving after […]

Boxing Day Parade, 1873

by Monica Hammond The British Columbia Protestant Orphans’ Home was successful in raising money to operate the Home. On Boxing Day 1873, it held a fundraiser of a different sort. “Disguising themselves with masks and fantastic clothes [some gentlemen] procured a small cart, and harnessing a donkey, proceeded to collect subscriptions from passers along the […]

The Girl With Kaleidoscope Eyes

by Gyneth Turner You won’t notice them until you look closely… Rae has kaleidoscope eyes.  Pretty shades of brown, like the fizzy buzz of root beer, the darker hue of bitter-sweet chocolate, and the golden flecks of a cat’s eye.  Surrounding her pupils are geometric triangles of colour and sparkle, kaleidoscope eyes. Look Closely Or […]

Not Just for Orphans

by Monica Hammond The children who lived at The British Columbia Protestant Orphans’ Home were not just those who had no living parents. Single mothers and grandparents who simply were unable to provide care would bring the children to The Home. They knew that at The Home, the children would receive the care they needed. […]