Monday 21 October 2013


One of the most intriguing of our discoveries is that Robert Henry MacLauchlan and his second wife had a second home in Vancouver in the late 1940s and early 1950s. He and the former Calgary stage actress Evelyn Hambly very likely lived at the Darlington (1403 Beach Avenue), a quite classy address in Vancouver’s West End during the late 1940s and early 1950s.

We would like to know if there are any people still alive who may remember the doctor and Evelyn living there or have heard about them living there.

Our source for this information about their residence at that location is Mrs Jean Hunter, a former administrator of the Victoria Symphony. Mrs Hunter, when she was a stage-struck teenager, lived next door to the MacLauchlans when they leased Riley Lodge in Calgary in the 1940s. So did her siblings, retired Alberta author and defence attorney Jack Pecover and retired Nanaimo schoolteacher Helen O’Conner.

“It was a sign that you had made it,” remembered Mrs Hunter, “that you had enough money to get out of frigid Calgary and to winter in Vancouver.” Hunter, mother of deceased BC journalist Dennis Bell, remembers the Beach Avenue apartment well, because it was the first one she had ever seen with pink porcelain fixtures in a corner-set bathroom. “Smashing!” was how this lively 90 year old described it.

Readers of this blog, the following tenants lived in the Darlington in that year: two sisters -- Miss Doris E James (schoolteacher) and Miss Phyllis M James (saleswoman); Arnold H and Mildred Tatton (he was a BC Electric employee), Hubert D and Isabel Richardson (he was also a BC Electric employee); Mrs. O Bayfield;  Miss Margaret H Roulston; Mrs. Sarah Morrison; H Baker; J Brookes; W E Campbell (these latter six people had no occupation listed); Mrs. V M Graham (Dental assistant); James and Barbara E MacDonald (James MacDonald was one of the partners in the law firm of Robson and MacDonald, and later became a justice of the BC Appeals Court; he was the son of Malcolm Archibald MacDonald, a former Chief Justice of BC during the 1920s and was also the brother of Alex MacDonald, former Attorney General of BC who served in Dave Barrett’s NDP government of the early 1970s); Mrs. H I “Alice” Heeney and Byng Heeney; and Frederick C and Cleora Charles (he was the manager of a gas station, Majestic Service).

To repeat: We know this is a long shot but if there is anyone out there who knows the above people, or who is related or descended from them, we would like to know if they ever mentioned the MacLauchlans being residents of the Darlington at 1403 Beach Avenue.

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