Oak Bay Rose Garden
In 1937 as a memorial to her late husband Hugo Beaven, Ada Beaven offered to provide 500 good-quality plants to establish a rose garden at Windsor Park.
Hugo Beaven was the son of the Honourable Robert Beaven, who was Mayor of Victoria and served as fifth Premier of British Columbia (1882-1883). For 40 years Hugo Beaven worked for the Canadian Bank of Commerce, retiring as manager of the Douglas Street branch. He was a member of the Victoria Golf Club, and was a keen hunter and fisherman, but his main interest was horticultural. The rose garden at his residence at Arden at 1176 Beach Drive (now Whitehall Apts) was widely known for the number and excellence of its blooms. He acted a judge in many leading rose shows and was responsible for introducing many new varieties to the city. Mr. Beaven died on May 18, 1937, at the age of 69.
Ada Beaven was the daughter of Joseph Despard Pemberton, whose estate encompassed much of the land in south Oak Bay. Windsor Park and Arden were part of that original 1200 acre Pemberton estate.
The Oak Bay Rose garden along with the native Plant garden are part of a tangible legacy Ada Beaven left to Oak Bay and, at her death, tributes reveal a truly remarkable citizen.
She was known in the community as a generous, kindly and public spirited woman who was interested in the whole human story. A person of lively intellect and much interested in current events. Her good works were performed quietly and without ostentation, supporting the Canadian institute for the blind, the Veterans' Hospital, salvation Army sunshine Camp, Victoria Art Gallery, protestant orphanage, and goodwill enterprises.
She was a well known figure in the Village, supporting local merchants and driving through Oak Bay in her electric car, until a few days before her death in July 1958 at the age of 91.