Heritage Register
Victoria West

402 Skinner Street

Built 1909
Heritage-Designated 2006

For: Charles & Effie Banfield

Designer: Ernest William Nordin
Builders: Nordin & Harper Bros.

402 Skinner


This shingled Edwardian bungalow is typical of many working class homes built during Victoria’s pre-WWI development boom. It has a bellcast hipped roof with exposed rafter tails, and a hipped front roof dormer with a diamond-paned window with wooden muntins. There is a shallow box bay on the right side. A shallow cantilevered box bay on brackets on the left front balances the inset porch on the right. A portion of the porch is now filled in, but it retains its chamfered posts and stepped balustrade. There are garage door to the basement on the left side. The shingles are flared over the beltcourse and the water table. The designer Ernest William Nordin was a cabinet maker and carpenter who lived on Rose St from 1909-11, along with Carl Nordin, cabinet maker and carpenter. Harper Bros were Effie Banfield’s brothers, almost all of whom were bridge carpenters.


1909-12: Charles Frederick Banfield (b. Saanich, 1877-1959) and Effie Maud (née Harper, b. York Co, NB, 1879-1961) married in 1903 at St. Saviour’s Church in Vic West. After a reception at her parents John and Sarah Harpers’ home at 645 Pine St, Vic West, Effie and Charlie took a honeymoon trip to San Francisco. Effie was a drygoods saleswoman in 1901. Her parents were living with the Banfields at 402 Skinner when her father died in 1911. Charlie was a nephew of Thomas Michell (212 Raynor Av, Vic West). Charlie Banfield apprenticed as a job printer with the Victoria Daily Colonist and T.R. Cusacks, and later was foreman for Victoria Printing Co and the Victoria Daily Times. In 1924 he was appointed King’s Printer for BC, retiring in 1946 aged 69. Banfield’s civic conscience as an alderman and his interest in the introduction of field sports, golf and shooting to the city, is recalled in the naming of nearby Banfield Park on Craigflower Rd; the park was opened August 14, 1948.

Dominion Marine & Fisheries Department “wharfinger” George P. Kelly. 1914: Anthony and Victoria Mary Hibberd; Anthony was a salesman with Moore & Johnston, Real Estate & Financial Brokers, then a dry goods salesman in Vancouver. Their son Anthony Cyril joined The Duke of Connaught’s Own Rifles, 6th Regiment, CEF, in 1916.

1917: James Carroll, Carroll Electric Garage, Starting, Lighting & Ignition Systems Repaired, 919 Fort St.

1920-24: Physiotherapist Charles Espley (b. Salop, ENG, 1879-1943) and Gertrude (née Wade, b. ENG, 1882-1972), HBC fur fashioner. Charles was works manager for Canadian Lignaite Co which manufactured Professor Scammell’s “Lignaite” for “Radiumizing the Soil.” By 1924, he was in partnership with Miss Kathleen L. Dann in Espley-Dann Hygenic Health Parlors and Miss Dann lived at 402 Skinner. The Espleys’ two sons served in WWII: Fl. Off. William Espley, RAF 58th Squadron, was killed in action over Germany in October 1940, aged 27; his grave is in the Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery. His brother was Staff Sgt. Frederick Warren Espley.

1926-31: Dominion (then CP) Express Co motorman and foreman James Robert Donaldson (b. Victoria, 1890-1986) and Ethel William Maud (née Allen, b. Victoria, 1893-1986) married in Victoria in 1923. Ethel was a divorcée (in 1912 she had married Howard James Hazzard) and a billing clerk at Ormond’s Biscuits at the time. Both of Ethel’s husbands signed up in Victoria for the 88th Battalion, CEF, on November 20, 1915.

1932-36: CNR yardman, then terminal supervisor Brynmor Gwynne (b. Britonferry, WAL, 1892-1957) and Gwendolyn (née Daniel, b. Britonferry, WAL, 1893-1947) came to Canada in 1920 and to Victoria in 1929. Bryn was a member of Confederation Lodge No.113 AF&AM.

1937-41: Retired restauranteur George Sears (b. Maidstone, Kent, ENG, 1878-1957) and Ellen Eliza (née Balls, b. Bromley, Kent, ENG, 1881-1972) were newly arrived in Victoria. Living with them were their son, Seaman Gordon A. Sears, RCN, and daughter Marjorie Sears, maid to Lieut.-Comdr. Alfred C. Wurtele, Esquimalt’s mayor from 1952-65. George served in the Boer War and WWI, and was a life member of Pro Patria Branch, Canadian Legion. He died after being struck by an automobile on Douglas St.

1943-44: VMD employee Neil and Hilda Jensen who were farmers in peacetime.
Berthe Morrison, whose husband Ivan was on WWII active service.
1946-47: Edith Shaw, whose husband Robert A. was on active service.
1948: Capital City Realty proprietor Thomas A. and Elizabeth Miller.

1949-78: Carpenter and mechanic Joseph Shearlaw (b. Edinburgh, SCT, 1884-1950) and Alexandrina (née McLauchlan, b. Glasgow, SCT, 1886-1978) married in Victoria in 1922. Joseph belonged to the 88th Victoria Fusiliers when he signed with the CEF in 1915. They returned to Victoria from Duncan c.1940. Alexandrina worked as a “tailoress” at Mallak’s after Joseph’s death.


• Vic West History

• Vic West Heritage Register

• This Old House, Victoria's Heritage Neighbourhoods,
Volume One: Fernwood & Victoria West

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