Goward House marks quarter century

Music on the Lawn gets the celebration going Tuesday

David Eyles

David Eyles

Get out the cake and candles – the Goward House Society is turning 25.

The non-profit organization based out of the former residence of the Goward family is celebrating 25 years in the community. The milestone happens to coincide with its yearly Music on the Lawn performance, set for Tuesday, with classic rock, oldies and country tunes provided by Fat Cat.

“We thought it would be a nice thing to piggyback on Music on the Lawn for the celebration,” said society president David Eyles. “We’re kind of amalgamating the two things.”

While the Goward House has been standing since 1908, the society started in 1991, sometime after the District of Saanich took ownership of the property.

“Because it was six acres and it was zoned so it could be split up into small lots, you can imagine what the tax burden was,” said Eyles. “Owen Goward, my uncle, made the deal with Saanich that, in return for allowing them to live here as long as they were alive, Saanich would then take over the house.”

Eyles said the house remained empty for a few years until the Cadboro Bay Residents Association suggested the idea of turning it into a seniors activity centre. That proposal ultimately led to the creation of the society and the use of the Goward House for such activities as painting, paper quilling, tai chi, billiards and line dancing.

“There’s always something happening here,” said Goward House administrator Elaine Leonard. “A lot of our programs are member-generated. We have four or five new programs starting in September that came from member suggestions. Genealogy, memoirs, Italian conversation and a cooking club.

“Some of our clubs have four or five people, and some – like bridge – have up to 50. It really depends on what the group is, the dynamics of it, how much space they need and how much time they need.”

The Goward House currently has around 500 members, and Leonard said they try to keep a diverse lineup of activities to appeal to as many members as possible. The house also runs free events that are open to the public.

“We try and do a nice blend of things that are educational, health-related and entertaining,” she said.

Eyles said the annual Music on the Lawn event is very well attended, with 300 people turning out to last year’s edition. With the society’s celebration of 25 years, that turnout could increase this year.

“People have come to know it over the years and enjoy it, so there may well be a few additional people,” said Eyles.

Music on the Lawn takes place Tuesday, July 5, with a barbecue from 5 to 7 p.m. and a live performance by Fat Cat from 6 to 8 p.m. Admission is free. Bring a blanket or a folding chair to enjoy the show.

For more information, visit gowardhouse.com.

 

jacob.zinn@saanichnews.com

 

 

Just Posted

VicPd are asking for the public’s help in finding Camper, a lost pit bull who ran away after their owner’s van was reportedly attacked by a man with a hammer on June 12. (Courtesy of VicPD)
Edmonton man reportedly smashes van’s windows with hammer while woman and her dog inside

VicPD are asking for help to find Camper, the woman’s dog who ran away during the Friday incident

Red arrow shows the existing warehouse that is home to a variety of specialized equipment used by the Capital Region Emergency Services Telecommunications (CREST). The service provider is looking for a new home that will protect the equipment in the event of an earthquake or other natural disaster. (Google Maps)
CREST telecoms look to find a post-seismic facility in Greater Victoria

The move will better protect equipment vital to its 50 emergency service clients across the CRD

A temporary urgent and primary care centre will open in Esquimalt this week, offering residents more health care options in their own community. (Black Press Media file)
Esquimalt’s temporary urgent and primary care centre to open Monday

The Esquimalt Health Unit will house the temporary site, permanent location opening in December

(Black Press Media file photo)
FRESH AND LOCAL: Greater Victoria farm markets ready to greet shoppers

A list of markets on the go this spring and summer, right into fall

A client and a staff member embark on an art project at Oak Bay United Church. (Christine van Reewyk/News Staff)
VIDEO: Oak Bay group of adults with developmental disabilities promotes community inclusivity

Victoria Community Connections moved to Oak Bay late last year

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

"They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

The Sioux Valley Dakota Nation is working to identify and repatriate students buried at the Brandon Indian Residential School

The Queen Victoria statue at the B.C. legislature was splattered with what looks like red paint on Friday. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)
Queen Victoria statue at B.C. legislature vandalized Friday

Statue splattered with red paint by old growth forest proponents

Police cars are seen parked outside Vancouver Police Department headquarters on Saturday, January 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver police officer charged with assault during an arrest in 2019

The service has released no other details about the allegations

Denmark’s Christian Eriksen receives medical attention after collapsing during the Euro 2020 soccer championship group B match between Denmark and Finland at Parken stadium in Copenhagen, Saturday, June 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner, Pool)
Denmark soccer player Christian Eriksen collapses during game against Finland

Eriksen was given chest compressions after collapsing on the field during a European Championship

Members of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Marine Mammal Response Program rescued an adult humpback what that was entangled in commercial fishing gear in the waters off of Entrance Island on Thursday, June 10. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Response Program)
Rescuers free humpback ‘anchored’ down by prawn traps off Vancouver Island

Department of Fisheries and Oceans responders spend hours untangling whale

As stories of the horrors of residential schools circulate after the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc First Nation announced it had located what are believed to be the remains of 215 children, Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs said he feels a connection with the former students. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
2 sides of the same coin: Ex-foster kids identify with residential school survivors

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip says the child welfare system takes Indigenous children from their families

Nathan Watts, a member of the Tseshaht First Nation near Port Alberni, shares his story of substance use, a perspective he said isn’t seen enough. (Photo courtesy of Nathan Watts)
Public shaming, hate perpetuates further substance use: UVic researcher

Longtime addict Nathan Watts offers a user’s perspective on substance use

Most Read