Peter to Kathleen, Victoria BC, May 25, 1897

No. 10

Location: Victoria
Date: 25 May 1897

My dearest Kit

When I realize how long it is since I last wrote I feel disquieted with my self, & although I don’t wish to make excuses, I must tell you that your dear Mater has to say extent the cause of my silence. On three or four occasions I had said, I must write to Kit today on my return from town. I had asked her if she had been out or what she has been doing much my surprise on hearing her replay oh I have been writing to dear Pussy. Well if I have not written you have been the gainer by ________ frequently from the Mater who always write so well, & also Jack who tells us he writes regularly to you.

Your uncle John arrived about 8 a.m. Saturday 22nd Jack met him at the St “Kingston”. We think him but little changed since May/92 – 5 years except that his beard is a little grayer & that he is somewhat stouter. He had a most enjoyable trip across the Continent via the “Great Northern”. (*1) Your letter of the 7th inst. from 3 Cardigarry Gate though written two days after he left England reached us on the 20th two days in advance of him. You see how quickly letters sometimes come. (*2)

Thank you my dear Kit for writing so faithfully & fully, regards to the things sent by your Uncle. Everything arrived in perfect order they managed to come through without having to pay anything extra.

The Mater will no doubt write today, as I have told her that I am going to do so, she will tell you about dress etc., etc. So far as I can see you have done very well for me. The patterns on the shirts are approved, I have not yet tried them on, therefore can’s say how they fit. I like the striped socks you Mother says I want 4 more pairs but of a larger size, if possible, as she thinks they will shrink.

The several articles for the Pearses were counted out according to your list & found correct. Grace came for them yesterday.

I must not omit to say that the knife sharpener is pronounced to be a success. Keep the address & the price in case we should want a duplicate.

I am disappointed at not receiving a few visiting cards about which your mother says she wrote “Mr. O’Reilly” don’t have the initial. I don’t yet know which neck ties are mine. They will be all right, but I should like to have one black neck tie for occasional evening use.

You will be glad to know that your safety Stirrup has been found. Jack says it is the one he bought out. – How about the Bicycle – can you manage it? I have already told you to get one if you like.

Don’t forget to send some new music to the Mater, I hope you have had even a few lessons in singing.

You will be sorry to hear that Mrs. Russell, Vic-West died a few days ago of pneumonia – she was buried today – Mr. Banks says she was a good woman very charitable to all denominations, she will be greatly missed at St. Saviours.

We are grieved to hear that the little Admiral had been again unwell, it is a thousand pities. Alas poor Carry!! We feel greatly for her. It is very nice of them to offer to take you to the Jubilee Procession. We were very anxious that you should have such an opportunity. (*3)

Very hard on the Culmen Seymours is it not? You might casually mention to him that he has not answered by last letter, if you don’t mind. I hope the Jacksons are well give our love to them. Is there any talk of his coming to B.C.?

Yesterday the Queens birthday was kept, but very quietly – no regatta, no racing, no nothing – I believe. Jack was at Cowichan – your Mater, your Uncle & I spent the day at Point Ellice except that I took your Uncle for a short drive.

Tomorrow the 26th a day never to be forgotten, when I believed for a while that I have lost my darling child but by God’s miracle she was spared. (*4)

With regard to Frank’s Commissions I don’t think your questions can be answered so well as by himself, therefore I will send your letter to him & ask him to write to you at once. I hope the bulk of the commissions can be sent off by one of the Stores referred to by R. Ward. – Mr. Ward is at Kamloops but now he is expected back about the end of the month & soon after will leave for Kootenay enroute to England. The Drummonds & Olivers are spending a week at Cowichan.
We have had another visit from your comical little friend Mr. Townsend, he is to drive with us tomorrow.

You will be glad to know that your dear Mater continues to enjoy good health, She & your Uncle have long chats it is hard to stop them. Jack is flourishing & with the exception of my leg which is at times a little troublesome, I am also. – I hope your Uncle continues to enjoy good health, you must make him take care of himself. – Do you think he will come to B.C. this summer? I fully expect him. Give our united love to him, to Josephine, to Carry, the Admiral & the Wards & etc., etc.

Brian Drake leaving for England on Thursday next, I don’t know how long he will remain.

Now my dearest Kit our fondest love to you.

May every happiness & Prosperity be yours.

Always your affectionate father

P. O’Reilly

I have not yet seen the Photos of my girl where are they?


(*1) – Refers to the railway that we now know as CN.
(*2) – The time it takes to get a letter from England.
(*3) – Queen Victoria’s Jubilee.
(*4) – Refers to the Point Ellice tram disaster of 1896, appears that Kit was on or near the accident.


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This collection of letters has been digitized from an earlier transcription project and is for informational purposes only. This transcription has not been verified against the originals. Researchers interested in these letters should consult the original documents housed at the BC Archives.

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