Nan and Andy finally tied the knot after many years of courting.

Married bliss at long last

Sooke couple waits many years to finally tie the knot

Two dear souls they were, Agnes “Nan” Milne and Andre “Andy” Robillard, and in middle age, they married. They are pictured here on their honeymoon in June 1948.

The happy couple are beaming for this wedding photo, which was a long time coming. It wasn’t the romance that was late blooming, but the marriage was.  Circumstances of the early years of the 20th Century were very different from those experienced today and sometimes stood in the way of marriage.

Nan Milne was born in 1896, youngest of the six children of Edward Milne and his wife Janet Kerr, both Presbyterian Scots.  Nan grew up in the house built by her family at the northeastern end of Sooke River bridge, still standing.  As a youngster she walked to Sooke School (the site still in use) and as a young woman she became a telephone operator working at the telephone exchange building which stood between the Milne home and the store at the corner of Sooke River Road. When Nan’s elder sister Ella married, Nan took over her position as chief operator for BC Telephone Co.

Across the river, on the south side, Andre Robillard tended his greenhouses. He and his brother Raoul had run the Belvedere Hotel, the legendary four-storey structure that was a social centre from its construction in 1912 to the day it was engulfed by flames in 1934. After the fire, Raoul left for a career in Vancouver, and horticulturist Andre ran the hotel’s greenhouses, supplying the Victoria market with flowers and produce.

Andre’s love for flowers almost equalled his passion for Nan, and every day, flowers were carried over the bridge to the telephone office to grace her workplace.  I myself recall seeing bouquets of beautiful gladiolus being presented to the blushing Miss Milne, who eventually managed a switchboard employing almost a dozen operators. She remained in management until her retirement when Sooke went from magneto phones to direct-dialing in 1960.

The Robillards were of French origin and of the Roman Catholic faith, and it appeared that Nan’s dad, of strict Presbyterian outlook, did not view with favour a mixed-faith marriage.  Edward Milne, for whom Edward Milne community school is named, passed away in 1943.

The long-delayed married bliss for Nan and Andre was brief, for Andre lived only until 1956.

 

 

Elida Peers,

Historian

Sooke Region Museum

 

 

 

Just Posted

Colwood applies for $325k to replace stairs in Latoria Creek Park

More than 200 residents sign petition to support grant application

Sooke takes a step toward Lot A plan

Final proposal anticipated for the end of February

Greater Victoria rugby players named to national Hall of Fame

Former Canada captains, Oak Bay’s Mark Wyatt and Victoria’s Hans De Goede to inducted this spring

What to know before you tow: Langford bylaw weighs in

Officials don’t recommend personal towing, like viral video viewed 42,000 times and counting

Victoria boxer gets second chance after provincials

Fighter looks to win ‘box-offs,’ take spot at nationals

Canada’s archive buys rare book that hints at Nazi plans for North America

The 1944 book may have served as a blueprint for a Nazi purge

UPDATE: Trees affecting travel at Comox Airport have been trimmed

Some YQQ flights have been rerouted or cancelled due to some trees impacting the safety margins

47 men arrested by Vancouver police for allegedly seeking sex with teenage girls

Seven of those arrested have been charged as part of a two-month operation

Speaker Darryl Plecas says ‘justice’ needed for legislature employees

Plecas spoke to media at the opening of a pedestrian and cycling bridge in Abbotsford Wednesday

Advocate hopes B.C. legislature scandal leads to more transparency

‘Depressing’ that it takes a scandal to inspire freedom of information reform, says Sara Neuert

‘Dr. Lipjob’ avoids jail, gets 30-day suspended sentence

She will have to serve the 30 days in prison if she commits a breach during her two-year’s probation

Ex-Mountie involved in Taser death at Vancouver airport sues government

Kwesi Millington claims he acted in accordance with RCMP training

LETTER: Seniors home care, day programs expanding, Adrian Dix says

B.C. health minister responds to latest Seniors Advocate report

B.C. woman wins Instagram celebrity’s boob job contest

‘Kirill was here’ held a contest for women to win a boob job and a trip to Miami

Most Read