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Biography & Autobiography Religious

Quiet Reformers

The Legacy of Early Victoria's Bishop Edward and Mary Cridge

by (author) Ian Macdonald & Betty O'Keefe

Ronsdale Press
Initial publish date
Sep 2010
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Oct 2010
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Sep 2010
    List Price

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This lively biography of Bishop Edward Cridge and his wife Mary paints a vivid picture of early Victoria as it developed from an isolated Hudson's Bay Company post into the bustling capital of British Columbia. Recruited from England by Governor James Douglas in 1854 to be the Church of England chaplain of Fort Victoria, Edward Cridge became an important figure in the spiritual life of the city as the rector of Christ Church. The Cridges also became two of Victoria's foremost social reformers, leaving an indelible mark on British Columbia's social institutions. Living through the terrible smallpox and black measles epidemics, the latter taking four of their own children, the inseparable pair worked to create the first hospital, beginning with a few beds in a rented cottage and living to see it transformed into the Royal Jubilee. As the first superintendent of education, Cridge played an essential role in B.C.'s early school system. When abandoned children were left at the parsonage door, Mary created Victoria's first orphanage. The biography also tells of Cridge's very public argument with Bishop Hills, a dispute that caused him to break with the Church of England to found and build the Church of Our Lord, a Reformed Episcopal church, which is today an historic Victoria landmark. Included also are cameos by many of the notable people of the day, such as Emily Carr, who as a young girl lived opposite the Cridge family.

About the authors

Ian Macdonald was born and educated in Glasgow and worked for several years on Scottish newspapers before moving to Canada. He was a reporter in Ontario and Alberta before finding his way to the West Coast where he worked on the Victoria Colonist, the Vancouver Province and the Vancouver Sun. He was Ottawa correspondent for the Sun for five years before becoming press officer for Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau. He made an award-winning documentary film, and then turned seriously to the writing of history. Betty O'Keefe was born in Vancouver and wrote for the Province newspaper for several years. She then moved into the field of public relations as a consultant and later as supervisor of communications for a large Canadian corporation. In 1988 she opened her own communications company, but decided that her real interest was in writing history. Together, Betty O’Keefe and Ian Macdonald have co-authored a dozen books.

Ian Macdonald's profile page

Betty O'Keefe was a Vancouver Province reporter for seven years in the 1950s, working as childrenís columnist, features writer and church editor. She then worked in corporate communications for 15 years and was commissioned to write two corporate biographiesóBrenda: The Story of a Mine and The Mines of Babine Lake. Betty was the first woman to head the public-relations committee for the Mining Association of BC and the first woman to chair the information department of the Canadian Pulp and Paper Association.

Betty O'Keefe's profile page


  • Unknown, Honourable Mention: British Columbia Genealogical Society Family History Book Award

Editorial Reviews

“Any account of a thoroughly decent person doing good deeds does not promise a compelling reading experience, but Quiet Reformers succeeds as entertainment due to the inclusion of a running commentary on events from the Colonist, founded by the flamboyant Amor de Cosmos.” — BC Bookworld

Other titles by Ian Macdonald

Other titles by Betty O'Keefe

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