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.
Reverend Connell’s botanical ramble along the shoreline of south Oak Bay. From the Victoria Daily Colonist, December 7, 1941. I hardly think anything could be finer than this Victoria November day with a little breeze from the east for additional zest. We leave the Victoria boundary at Foul Bay Road, and follow Runnymede to Mountjoy,Continue reading “Salt Air by Shoal and Oak Bays”
Reverend Connell paints a visceral portrait of the hills and farmlands of Strawberry Vale and the Colquitz River valley in late winter. From the Victoria Daily Colonist, February 22nd, 1942. The bus as it runs along Burnside Road gives a broad view of dark sloughed fields with a background of dark timber. It is surprisingContinue reading “February Grey and Green”
In the fall of 1941 Rev. Connell set out to find the remains of a heritage orchard on the banks of the Colquitz River. His narrative weaves together the environmental and settler histories of the area. From the Victoria Daily Colonist, Oct. 12, 1941. I have just returned from a visit to the Provincial ArchivesContinue reading ” Old Orchards by the Colquitz “
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