OK, it’s a stretch, but I’ll get there. I promise.
In the Spring of 2004, we played host to some young musicians from Ottawa who were on an exchange with our daughter’s school. Through the week, they had band concerts at the high school and some of the local middle schools, visited the Royal BC Museum and many of the other touristy things around this touristy town.
Since some of the kids had never seen the Pacific Ocean, on the weekend we took a ride up the west side of Vancouver Island to Jordon River. From there you can clamber out onto the rocks and see all the way across the Ocean. Actually, you sort of look NW towards the Aleutians, but they didn’t know. It was a great place to stop for lunch (fish and chips, of course) and have a walk on the beach.
On the way back home, we stopped by Royal Roads University. Hatley Castle was built for local coal baron James Dunsmuir and was completed in 1908. In 1940, the Federal Government purchased the land and buildings and there were plans in place to have the Royal Family live there during WWII. In the late 1940’s it was converted into a military college, and in 1995, it opened as a degree granting public university and the grounds are open to the public. In fact, my little sister was married there, in the Japanese Garden.
Does the Castle look familiar? It was the School for Gifted Youngsters in the X-Men series.
Neat bit of history, Mark! Haven’t seen any of the X-Men movies, though I was a big fan of the comics in my younger days – will have to check them out and watch for Hatley Castle.