Victoria’s Giant Tree: And a Story

Victoria’s Giant Tree: And a Story

The largest tree in Victoria, B.C. is located in a front yard at the corner of Moss and Richardson Streets.  It is a Giant Sequoia donated in 1858 as a seedling, to the people of Victoria by the state of California.  In my junior and senior high school days I passed by it every day on my way to and from school. 

While the size of this huge tree captured my imagination back then, it also serves now as a reminder of an infamous boyhood incident. 

Moss Street served as my main route to and from school. It has a rather long hill,  (the Moss Street Hill) that I and my friends loved to race our bikes down on our way home. Of course that usually meant riding through the stop sign at the corner of Moss and Richardson just across the street from the Giant Sequoia.  

One day, Constable Hamer, Victoria’s motorcycle cop in the 1960’s was standing in the middle of the road.  With one hand held high, he directed us to the curb with his other. He looked tough and not very pleased.

He had hidden his motorcycle behind a parked car in the shadow of the Giant Sequoia. Needless to say, we were  surprised when he issued each of us a ticket for blowing through the stop sign at the bottom of the Moss Street hill.  I knew I would be in big trouble when I presented the ticket to my parents. 

I thought that my Moss Street hill  infraction had been dropped. But two weeks later a knock at our door brought it back in spades. My dad came into the kitchen with a piece of paper in his hand. It was a summons requiring me and one of my parents to appear in court to explain why I had blatantly broken the law. My mom was a court reporter and my dad a police officer.  This would be a very embarrassing situation for them. 

On  the designated day, we headed to court. After a long wait, I appeared before the judge with my mom. I received a severe reprimand and a fine then with the anticipation of more pain to come, we headed for home. Surprisingly, not much was said afterwards but I knew my parents were pretty upset by the experience. 

Every time we visit Victoria and travel in the area of the Moss Street hill with its Giant Sequoia, I think of this story and how times have changed.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Great tale of growing up days, Stu! Love that tree and lived one house in from Moss St on Richardson (closer to Cook St) but as it was not cool for girls to ride bikes to Central and Vic High, we all walked together up Moss St hill! Great workout – to which we didn’t give a thought as sprightly young teens?

  2. Thanks for commenting Cathy and Jim. We lived down on Oscar Street. Biked that hill often and by the time I was at Vic High I think I walked just as often.

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