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3032 Malaspina Promenade

savaryheritage

2 min read

Jun 1

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The property of four lots was purchased by S. Buchanan in 1915.


The Married Women’s Property Act of 1900 allowed a wife to own property separately from her husband.  In 1917 the lots were purchased by Helen Mary Lea. Her husband was Vancouver orthodontist Dr. William Lea and their children were Margaret (m. Worthen), James Gordon  Thomas (Tom), William Jr. and Barbara (m. Johnson).


The house was built in 1918Dr. Lea designed it himself, roughly as the letter “H” for Helen. (see illustration). He decided the unusual plan of having the bedrooms down each side with the living quarters in the middle would make more sense than the traditional layouts. Later the back porch was enclosed as an eating area.



Helen Lea on her front steps which separated from the house in a 1946 earthquake


In the 1920s a large boathouse was built across the road for the  family’s 30-foot powerboat, called “The Bubs”, which was Barbara’s nickname.


Helen Lea’s garden was her pride and joy. She spent six months of the year at Savary, working all day tending her flowers, vegetable garden and fruit trees. She and Frankie Keefer had a friendly rivalry, and enjoyed comparing and sharing. Winnifred (Shearman) Duke once said that  the Leas often had afternoon tea in the back garden. It was served as one would serve tea in the 1930s —with proper china, sterling silverware, starched cloth napkins, and the table covered in a lace tablecloth. 



Helen Lea passed away in 1967. She left the property to her four children. Tom Lea bought out his siblings and became the third owner, with his wife Lila and daughter Donna (m.Ross). Tom was renowned for his “small engine repairs” and he and Lila were beloved by the neighbourhood children for their tractor rides and green pancake breakfasts.


Dr. David and Debbie Rollins (children Jennifer, Meaghan, and Kelly) purchased the property from Tom Lea in 1994. They made extensive renovations to the house and created an open concept kitchen/living room and a two-level front porch. They also built a two-bedroom bunkie in the back yard for their expanding family.  


 






                                    
















savaryheritage

2 min read

Jun 1

29

0

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