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 Christmas dinner that’ll make their teeth water.”

And Mr. Ross did just that. “He supplied turkeys, candies, nuts, fruit, cakes, pudding, jams, vegetables of every kind, and cranberry sauce.” Mr. Britton paid for it all, including the cooks who made the Christmas meal and the people who cleaned up afterwards. He even sent a gift of cash to each person who worked at the orphanage.

From the early days of The Home, up to the present day, the kindness of the people in the Victoria community has enriched the lives of everyone who uses the services offered through what is now The Cridge Centre for the Family. We are truly blessed.

This piece is based on the work of Vernon Storey, Terry Worobetz and Henry Kennedy in their book The Home: Orphans’ Home to Family Centre: 1873 to 1998. Copies of the book are available for purchase at The Cridge Centre for the Family.