Rambles Around Old Victoria
The Nature Writings of Rev. Robert Connell
This blog shares the weekly newspaper nature column writings and illustrations of Rev. Robert Connell (1871-1957) who loved, studied, and taught about the nature and history of Victoria, Canada.
Born to Scottish parents in Liverpool, England, Connell moved to Canada at the age of 17. In 1896 while living in Calgary he was ordained as a priest in the Church of England and in 1901 he moved to Victoria, BC, where he later became deeply involved in Provincial politics, serving as the first leader of the BC CCF (now NDP) from 1933-9. He taught art and botany classes at Victoria High and St. Michael’s University Schools and was a member of the Victoria Natural History and Island Arts and Crafts Societies. He was an accomplished artist and a life-long student and devotee of the natural world.
Connell visits Pemberton Woods, a remnant of ancient woodland in what is now the Fairfield-Gonzales neighborhood of Victoria, paying particular attention to the wide range of birdlife he encounters there. From the Victoria Daily Colonist, May 17, 1942- The fancy took me the other evening to stroll over to the Pemberton Woods which, as manyContinue reading “Through Pemberton Woods in May”
From the Victoria Daily Colonist, April 28th, 1940- Across the highway from Keating Hall a road runs downhill to the east and an elderly signboard still bears the inscription: “Telegraph Road”. This is the way to the seashore at Island View Park. It drops rather steeply from the long gravelly ridge followed by the highwayContinue reading “Telegraph Road to Cowichan Head”
Originally called “Tseleethch” by the Indigenous inhabitants, in this article Connell visits Cordova Bay’s stunning coastline and muses upon some of its geographic, as well as more recent, histories. From the Victoria Times Colonist, April 2, 1932- Cordova Bay is one of the few places in the vicinity of Victoria with a Spanish name. Yet,Continue reading “Cordova’s Wooded Cliffs”
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