It was a historical family reunion for the ages.
Sixty-four Paulin (Pauline) family members recreated a 129-year-old photo from the Tod House, visited their forefather’s art work in Oak Bay Archives, and to top it all off, were given an impromptu tour of B.C.’s legislative assembly by none other than Premier John Horgan himself.
“He hijacked our tour. It was wonderful. He is a very nice man,” said Gillian Leitch, the Gatineau-based family genealogist who organized the reunion.
All 64 family members are descendants of Frederick Sr. and Mary Paulin, who purchased the Tod House in the 1880s (circa). In about 1890 or 1891 the family had a three-generation photo that was recreated.
The tour of the Parliament Building was also of historical family merit as Frederick Arthur (1861-1955) was the Saanich MLA from 1916-24 and served as the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly the final two years.
“The speaker organized a special tour for us, with highlights on Frederick Arthur Pauline’s career,” Leitch said. “We had just started it when we saw the premier in the library. [He was] giving a tour for friends. He came to us, we talked, and then all of a sudden we were being led to the assembly. He got it unlocked and we talked for a while about the legislature.”
Members of the family also visited the Oak Bay Archives where they were shown land records and other government documents showing their family’s presence in Oak Bay and the region.
Archives also has a collection of Frederick Pauline Sr.’s paintings.
“[It] was cool to see. He had talent,” Leitch said.
The family also toured Ross Bay Cemetery where they located most of the graves they were looking for.
(To avoid confusion, family historian Gillian Leitch uses Paulin(e) when referencing the family name as the family added an e to Paulin after immigrating here from England. But then some removed the E again, hence, descendants use both versions.)