Bricks and Mortar “classroom”
Featuring Tanya, Nandi, Selina, and Khumalo;
Producer and editor, John-Evan Snow, FotoVie;
Mohit Verma, Audio Recordist.
Location: Bastion Square marks the original site of Fort Victoria. It is located in the heart of downtown Victoria. The east entrance is located at View and Government Streets with a ceremonial entry arch. In the square are historical buildings as well as restaurants, pubs, and cafes with outdoor patios. In the summer, it hosts an artisan’s market. To the west, the square looks out onto the Inner Harbour. To commemorate early pioneers and settlers, a double row of bricks was laid, outlining the perimeter of the original Fort Victoria. Each brick is engraved with the name of a pioneer.
On screen text: The Bricks and Mortar Classroom
Sunny morning in Victoria, B.C. Camera sweeps across street sign for Bastion Sq. the ornamented, ceremonial BASTION SQUARE sign on the arch entering the square; then hanging baskets hung on the city’s signature lampposts. The baskets are in full bloom with a variety of plants including red geraniums, pink petunias, blue fountain, sapphire lobella and lemon gem; then a row of red umbrellas at the café at the corner of Bastion Square; then view of the plaque “Fort Victoria Founded 1843” mounted on the brick façade of the colonial style grey concrete block building at the right of the entrance to the square.
The camera pans across 2 rows of grey bricks inlaid in the pavement and then we see the legs and feet of four children ranging in ages from 6 to 15 dressed casually in typical school clothing strolling through the square.
Left-right: Tanya,girl age about 15; Nandi, girl age about 6; Selina, girl about 15; Khumalo, boy age about 11.
Glimpse of stalls under canopies set-up for the outdoor market. Throughout the video there are muted voices in the background and people walking past.
The children slow down as they notice the bricks inlaid into the pavement and the children position themselves on either side of the row of bricks. The camera alternately focuses on the bricks and the children as they are speaking, quiet music continues in the background.
Tanya: That’s so cool.
Selina: You guys there’s names on the bricks.
Khumalo: Whoa that’s so cool.
Children jostle for position and move around to get a better view of the bricks.
Selina: Yeah dude that’s actually kinda cool.
Tanya: Hey guys. There’s Nathan and Sarah Pointer.
Khumalo: Who are they?
Tanya: They’re respected black settlers who arrived in the 1800’s.
Selina: They purchased a home and as Sarah stayed at home Nathan went out and bought a men’s clothing store.
Khumalo: [Crouching down points at a brick] Ringo. That’s a cool name. Who is he?
Selina: Oh that, that’s Samuel Ringo he owned Ringo’s restaurant
Tanya: it was considered one of the best restaurants in Victoria then later on he opened a hotel.
Nandi: Who else do we know about?
Tanya: Oh there’s Howard and Hanna Estes. They were slaves in America that moved to Victoria.
Selina: Oh and also her daughter Sarah and her husband Louis came with them.
Tanya: They bought one of the biggest farms in Saanich which is pretty cool ‘cause they used to be slaves.
[Camera briefly shows view of children’s feet and the bricks]
FORT VICTORIA FOUNDED 1843
THE PAVEMENT DESIGN NEAR THIS PLAQUE MARKS THE LOCATION OF THE BASTION THAT STOOD AT THE NORTHEAST CORNER OF FORT VICTORIA, FROM HERE THE STOCKADE RAN SOUTHWARD PAST THE GATEWAY AT FORT STREET AND WESTWARD TOWARD THE HARBOUR. EACH BRICK WITHIN THE BASTION DESIGN BEARS THE NAME OF A HUDSON’S BAY COMPANY EMPLOYEE OR LATER RESIDENT OF THE AREA. BRICKS AROUND THE OUTER RIM OF THE OCTAGON CARRY THE NAMES OF SOME OF THE INDIANS WHO SIGNED TREATIES GIVING THE HUDSON’S BAY COMPANY OWNERSHIP OF THE FORT VICTORIA SITE.
SUPPORTED BY PUBLIC GRANTS AND INDIVIDUAL SPONSORSHIPS THE MEMORIAL PROJECT WAS INITIATED IN THE GREATER VICTORIA CIVIC ARCHIVES SOCIETY.