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Our stories on how local dads support their kids, and how kids have honoured their dads' legacies
This Father's Day, we're bringing you our stories that cover the lives of dads and granddads on the Island. In these, we've looked at the things local dads have done for their kids, from charting the path of a daughter's long-lost doll to campaigning to make a son's invented word famous. We've looked at the legacies fathers have passed on, from love of the Maple Leafs or sailing boats to the knowledge of how to speak a traditional language that could have been lost. And we've also looked at how those who have lost influential fathers have carried on, and carried their fathers' values and abilities forward.
For the past six years, Levi Budd and his father Lucky have been campaigning together to make Levi’s creation, “levidrome,” the official term for two different words that spell each other in reverse.
Lucky tries to balance the campaign with not exposing Levi to too much media attention, but he’s proud his son has helped get people more interested in language. He has shown his son some of the ways levidromes have impacted people around the world (which Lucky has used his background as a historian and archivist to compile records on).
When Levi heard about how classrooms in Texas were using levidromes, Lucky said, “You should have seen the smile on his face.”
When COSINIYE (Linda Elliott) was 16, she knew four languages, but none were her family’s traditional tongue. Moved by her desire to learn it, her father Dave Elliott created a written alphabet for the SENĆOŦEN language to help younger generations learn and continue to use their language.
COSINIYE and her brother J'SINTEN (John Elliott) became the first students of the SENĆOŦEN alphabet, and they credit their father and other Elders for keeping the language from going extinct. The siblings have spent the last 50 years building off their father’s legacy and teaching it to other adults and children.
They’re unrelated and 50 years apart, but these two local men are brothers. Mike Wyeth and Nick Wesley were matched up in 2005 as part of the Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Victoria program after Wesley’s father died. Nearly two decades later, the two men see each other as a “second family” and still make sure they take time to play tennis, fish, watch hockey, and just hang out.
As an immigrant to Canada, Wyeth doesn’t have family that lives nearby beyond his wife, children, and in recent years, his grandchildren. But through his relationship with Wesley, he says he’s gained a new family.
Howie Siegel is one of the founders of Victoria mainstay Pagliacci’s, and stewarded to being the institution it is today.
His son Solomon’s first memory of working at Pagliacci’s was when he was three years old, standing behind the bar eating maraschino cherries while his dad served drinks.
But when it came time for Howie and his brother to retire and find new management, they were reluctant to hand it off to Solomon. He’d he had a bad temper as a kid, and they weren’t sure the polarizing teenager they remembered was the right steward for the famously friendly restaurant.
But an older and wiser Solomon won his dad and uncle over as he deftly navigated balancing old favourites with tweaks and updates—continuing a legacy now on its fifth decade.
It was a real-life Toy Story that brought Florence from North Van to Wise Island and back again to the waiting young Violet, whose sea captain father later mapped out all the ocean tides and currents the doll could have ridden.
The family of Saanich North and the Islands MLA Adam Olsen has been part of Leafs Nation dating back to the days of the original six NHL teams. Olsen said that families in the Tsartlip First Nation all developed attachments to certain original six teams, because there were only a few TVS in the community and different people would gather to watch different teams.
But with the Leafs so far away, Olsen and his dad have made trips together to see the Canucks. “This was one of those pivotal moments with me and my dad, the relationship that I had with him,” he said. It’s a family tradition that Olsen has now looped his teenage son into, too.
Much of Sidney’s Chef on the Run’s menu of homemade English cuisine that Roy Greve served in 1997 remains the same even as the business passes down to a third generation of his family.
When Greve came to Victoria, he opened a small deli. “Then he found that he was going out delivering and people were [calling him] ‘chef on the run,’” daughter Julia Ripley said. She and her husband launched the Sidney spinoff of her dad’s original.
Everything from the recipes to the way a kitchen of that size should be run was taught to Ripley’s daughter Toni Lee by her dad Alan. But he passed away suddenly in August 2021. They didn’t close down the shop—so many in the community had come to count on them during the pandemic.
“Even when it happened that week, we still had to come in,” Ripley said. “We were coming in at like four or five in the morning because we obviously couldn’t face anybody, but you still have to go in.”
When Harold Aune was a boy, his father built him a wooden cedar-planked rowboat. Growing up on the Sunshine Coast in the early 1960s, he cherished his father’s creation and rowed it for miles to fish and admire the nearby islands..
His father could build a house, barn, or rowboat with his own two hands.
But after his father passed away when he was in his teens, Aune began following in his footsteps. He started hand-making, and sailing in, his own boats. Decades later, he’s still doing it.
Musical duo Old Soul Rebel was ferrying to the Island when they got two calls: one telling them to fly to Toronto immediately for musical competition reality show The Launch, and one telling vocalist/banjoist Lola Whyte that her father, who had been declining, was approaching the end of his life. Her father wanted to see her go out east and chase her dream.
A fellow First Nations friend gifted her two feathers that had been prayed on and taken into ceremony, and she gave one to her father as a way for them to meditate and send love to each other through the distance.
One of the last things he told her was “the feather’s working,” and she takes some comfort that the man who wanted her to be there on the national TV stage has also been immortalized on it in an episode that tells their story.