T.D. Pattullo

T.D. Pattullo

The B.C. premier who lived in Saseenos

For nine years, spanning from the Great Depression to the Second World War, Thomas Dufferin Pattullo was premier of B.C.

For nine years, spanning from the Great Depression to the Second World War, Thomas Dufferin Pattullo was premier of British Columbia.

Two of Pattullo’s granddaughters, Anne Ford and Beth Pattullo, still have homes on the property that he bought in 1929 in the new subdivision of Saseenos. Another granddaughter, Clare Smith, well-known in Sooke, currently makes her home in Lillooet.

While T.D. Pattullo began his career at his birthplace, Woodstock Ont., his lively spirit and interest in politics led him first to a position in the Yukon and then to Prince Rupert, where he became mayor in 1913. By 1916 he had been elected to the legislature and became minister of Lands in the Liberal government.

In June 1933 he became premier of B.C., campaigning on a platform of extending government relief to the unemployed. During his busy years in office, he enjoyed the refuge of his weekend home on the waterfront.

Granddaughter Beth says: “He was out here a lot; he took us for hikes up Mt. Shepherd (now Manuel Quimper) and along the railroad tracks (now the Galloping Goose); we swam in the basin and rowed a small clinker built boat.”

Perhaps it was because of “T.D.”’s first political experience in Dawson City, Yukon, but early on he showed himself to be an advocate of building an access road to the Yukon and Alaska.  This did not actually happen of course, until the Second World War and agreements with the U.S. government, but T.D. did live to see his vision of the Alaska Highway become a reality.

Speaking of highways, the bridge over the Fraser River that has connected New Westminster and Surrey since 1937 was named the Pattullo Bridge.  A number of other provincial landmarks bear his name as well.

As premier, T.D. Pattullo followed Simon Fraser Tolmie;  after his government’s defeat, the next premier, who became leader of a Liberal/Conservative coalition in 1942, was John Hart. T.D.’s retirement was spent between Oak Bay and Saseenos.

Though the three Pattullo granddaughters remember with fondness the secluded cottage on the waterfront they all shared for family events, their property is now surrounded by many neighbours.

Beth also recalls that the premier’s jovial spirit, his many friendships and his enjoyment of “a wee drop of scotch” led to wonderful bonfires and singsongs, memories she treasures.

•••

 

Elida Peers is the historian of Sooke Region Museum.

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The B.C. Supreme Court ruled Feb. 26 that the estate of deceased Sooke man and Hells Angels prospect Michael Widner is to be divided between his wife and his secret spouse. (Black Press Media file photo)
Estate of deceased Hells Angels prospect from Sooke to be divided between wife and secret spouse

Michael Widner’s 2017 death left a number of unanswered questions

Sooke resident Nathan Hanson popped both his driver’s side tires on a pothole near a construction site on Sooke Road. Hanson said he was following a line of traffic and was just before the 17 Mile Pub when he drove over the pothole. (Photo contributed/Nathan Hanson)
Driver blows two tires on pothole near construction site on Sooke Road

Ministry of Transportation says keeping highways in good condition a priority

On Feb. 27, a construction vehicle remained on the site of the former encampment between the Pat Bay Highway and McKenzie Avenue as part a clean-up effort. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Encampment between Pat Bay Highway, McKenzie Avenue cleared, all residents relocated

Efforts to disband encampment resumed after January fire

E:Ne Raw Food and Sake Bar is closing its doors until further notice after sexual assault allegations against an employee surfaced on social media. (Google Streetview)
Sexual assault allegations temporarily closing a second Victoria restaurant

Social media posts accuse an E:Ne Raw Food and Sake Bar employee of sexual assault

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry head for the B.C. legislature press theatre to give a daily update on the COVID-19 pandemic, April 6, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. nears 300,000 COVID-19 vaccinations, essential workers next

564 new cases, four deaths, no new outbreaks Thursday

FILE - In this Jan. 18, 2014, file photo, endangered orcas from the J pod swim in Puget Sound west of Seattle, as seen from a federal research vessel that has been tracking the whales. A new study from federal researchers provides the most detailed look yet at what the Pacific Northwest's endangered orcas eat. Scientists with the NOAA Fisheries Northwest Fisheries Science Center spent years collecting fecal samples from the whales as well as scales from the fish they devoured. They say their data reaffirm the central importance of Chinook salmon to the whales. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)
Study reinforces importance of Chinook to Pacific Northwest orcas

Data confirms how central the big salmon are to the orca’s diet year-round

Shiromali Krishnaraj arrives from India and receives a mandatory COVID-19 test at Pearson International Airport during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Monday, Feb. 1, 2021. B.C.’s approved rapid tests also use a nasal swab, with a machine to scan for COVID-19 antibodies. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
B.C.’s rapid COVID-19 tests have produced only two positive results

Tests deployed for exposures in schools, outbreaks in care homes, jails

BC Emergency Health Services confirmed that a call was received just before 10 a.m. Ground paramedics, as well as an air ambulance, are on the way to the area. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
BREAKING: Helicopter goes down on Bowen Island

Unclear how many passengers aboard and unclear where the helicopter was going

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: How’s your butter?

Recent reports have some Canadians giving a second look to one of… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of March 2

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

The Nanaimo bar display at the Nanaimo Museum. (City of Nanaimo Instagram)
City of Nanaimo points to correct recipe after New York Times botches batch of bars

City addresses ‘controversy’ around dessert square’s layers

A man holds a picture of Chantel Moore during a healing gathering at the B.C. Legislature in Victoria on June 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. First Nation demands transparency in probe into second fatal RCMP shooting

‘Police have killed more Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation members than COVID’

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C. on the COVID-19 situation. (B.C. government)
Dr. Bonnie Henry predicts a ‘post-pandemic world’ for B.C. this summer

‘Extending this second dose provides very high real-world protection to more people, sooner’

Most Read