Martha Loewen was born in British Columbia in 1865. At age 18, she married Frank Barnard in a ceremony at her parents’ home in Victoria. Martha’s personal calling card is in the collection at Point Ellice House, suggesting that she might have been friends with Kathleen O’Reilly, who was about the same age. In 1907, Martha undertook a year-long tour of Europe and Japan with her husband. When Frank was appointed Lieutenant-Governor of British Columbia in 1914, Martha moved with him to live at Government House in Victoria. In what was described as an “ugly scene” by the Daily Colonist, a group of anti-German rioters went to Government House during the First World War to voice their displeasure that the wife of the Lieutenant-Governor was of German heritage. During her time at Government House, she hosted numerous prominent guests including the Prince of Wales. Martha was passionate about gardening and beautified the gardens at Government House and her personal residence in Esquimalt, Clovelly. Martha died in 1942 after a short illness.List of Calling Cards
The Point Ellice House collection contains hundreds of calling cards left for the O’Reilly family by visitors. This initial research was conducted by Public History students at the University of Victoria, and these biographies constitute only a portion of the individuals represented by the calling cards within the collection.