Vinetta Tremaine Butchart
b.19 May 1889 Mildmay, Bruce, Ontario, Canada
d.13 Nov 1982 Central Saanich, Capital, British Columbia, Canada
m. 27 Jun 1888
Facts and Events
Vinetta Tremaine Butchart was born on May 19, 1889 at Mildmay, Carrick Township, Bruce County, Ontario. She was the oldest of seven children born to Edward Neil Butchart and Maria Moyer.
The Butchart family moved from Mildmay to Edmonton in 1905 where Edward Neil Butchart went into the real estate business with his brothers, Peter E. and Alexander Butchart and his cousin, Peter T. Butchart. In 1909 Vinetta was living with her parents at 492 - 7th St. and she was working as a stenographer for Boyle and Parlee.
Vinetta and John S. Bellamy were married on the 29th day of June, 1912 in Edmonton by J. E. Hughson with W. D. Gardner and M. Moore as witnesses. John and Vinetta were living in Calgary when their first child was born in early February, 1913 and their oldest daughter, Vivian, was also born in Calgary on May 22, 1914.
They had moved back to Edmonton before the birth of Margaret in July 1916. Two more children were born in Edmonton: Ruth in 1919 and James in 1920. The family was living at 11437-95th Street in Edmonton when six-year-old Jimmy was tragically struck by a streetcar and was killed outside their house. This was a sad time for the family and it probably took its toll on the marriage.
Vinetta was an excellent pianist and enjoyed it very much. Her daughter, Ruth, recalled that she could tell how frustrated her mother was by how loud the piano playing got. Vinetta showed her true feelings while playing the piano.
Vinetta and John moved to Victoria about 1943 and bought a small house in the Gorge area at 751 Middleton in Saanich. John became ill soon after and passed away on May 15, 1947. Vinetta sold her home soon after Jack's death and never really had a home of her own after that. She would stay for several months at a time at each of her children's homes in Hamilton, Edmonton, Oliver and Victoria. Perhaps she listed Victoria as her permanent residence because she kept her trunk there and she bought a set of single beds for the bedroom she shared with me. I think one reason Granny moved so much was that she helped look after the grandchildren whereever she was needed.
As Vinetta approached the age of eighty it was becoming evident that she was starting to lose her memory and and she moved to Matson Lodge in Esquimalt on September 12, 1969. At first she didn't like the thought of living at a retirement home because there were so many "old people" but she was soon playing the piano for all the residents and was actually coming out of her shell. George Ernest Ashwell was also a resident of Matson Lodge and he became attracted to this quiet, shy widow and they married on April 3, 1971. Vinetta had been a widow for almost twenty-four years and had finally found some much-deserved happiness.
Granny and George spent four happy years together before George died in 1975. It was soon after George's death that Granny had cataract surgery on her eye which was not that successful and she could no longer read the music for her piano playing.
A flu epidemic hit Matson Lodge and Granny had to be hospitalized. She never regained her full health after the flu and was unable to return to the Lodge so moved to Tillicum Lodge on Interurban Road on August 31, 1976. Over the next few years Vinetta's health declined and she lost her memory of all recent events. She died in Saanich Peninsula Hospital on November 13, 1982, she was over 93 years old when she passed away.