Marjorie McKeown About Growing Up on Rose Street

Marjorie McKeown (b. 1916) grew up in the Rose Street neighbourhood close to Victoria Drive and married her next-door neighbour.

Marjorie McKeown in 2014, age 98

I was born at Grandview Hospital in 1916, and we lived at 1910 Rose Street, close to Victoria Drive. I used to play with the kids in the neighbourhood; they were Captain Copp’s children.

Grandview Hospital in 1917
Image credit: Stuart Thomson, public domain

My dad walked most nights with our dog Betty and he would walk down to Pete’s Store. Everybody knew Pete; he was a Greek grocer. The store was at the corner of Williams and Victoria. All the kids knew him. And if Mom and Dad needed anything, Dad waved him down at night, and he walked from the house on Parker street up to Victoria and along Victoria to Pete’s Grocery Store and my dog and cat went with Dad. He went by and the cat would be up on the stone wall and they’d have to sit outside Pete’s; they weren’t allowed to go inside. It seems like Pete had been there forever. And his kids, Mary and Johnny, lived upstairs. That’s a pizzeria now.


My brother Alph was friends with the Miller’s younger son Huntley. The Millers were from Autralia and had a mansion on Napier, the Wilga House. Alph and Hunt were really good friends. I still remember when the Millers arrived from Australia, they were really hoity-toity. Mr. Miller had lots of money and he’d be up in the morning in his outfit and he’d make his way from the big house out to the barn, which is now the foundation of a little house on Parker Street.

The Wilga House at Napier and Semlin St.

My brother was Nel Odlum’s best friend—one of the boys. The Odlum’s had a summer home up on Marine Drive in West Van and my brother was invited to spend time with Nel. I’ve often thought the house wasn’t a junky— maybe old how it looks now—but at one time they said Grandview was kind of like Shaughnessy. Victor Odlum was the hoi polloi. His brothers were Nelson, Roger, and two more. There was also a girl named Marjorie. This when they lived in Grandview and went to Lord Nelson School. And the girl died, but I forget why. It was quite a tragedy.

Victor Odlum newspaper clipping

When the war was over, Mr. Watson—you know where we’d out go out to Haney to have Christmas—Mrs. Watson was an Odlum. They almost revered Victor Odlum. The Odlums were wealthy on one side and quite poor on one side. They lived in a little farm house on Dewdney Trunk Road in Maple Ridge.


 Story edited by Jade McGregor

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