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Page last updated March 21, 2008
© Michael Kluckner
Sketched 2003: The beautiful log beach
house now called Savary Lodge, on the "Malaspina Promenade"
near Mace Point, about a kilometre from the government
It looks out across a neatly tended lawn toward the beach, with a splendid view of sea, mountains and the entrance to Desolation Sound in the distance. A perfect place to watch the sunset. Its significance? It's one of the last surviving rustic villas from the early years left in B.C., rather like the Rogers/Gudewill family's "Fairweather" on Bowen Island, or Eric Hamber's Minnekhada Lodge in Coquitlam [see Luxton, Building the West: The Early Architects of British Columbia, page 419) or the Austin Taylor estate (ACT Stock Farm) at 22415 72nd Avenue in Langley.
A.E. McMaster, general manager of the Powell River Company, hired Bill Mace to build the house about 1934--an ideal time to obtain the best craftsmanship and materials at bargain-basement prices! Elmer Lee, secretary of the Powell River Company, assembled the logs and had them towed to the island, where the home was built by local carpenter/contractor Bill Mace (namesake of Mace Point, formerly Green Point). George Bloomfield, "the island mason," constructed the four stone chimneys. According to Ian Kennedy (Sunny Sandy Savary, Kennell Publishing, Vancouver, 1992), the McMasters moved on late in the 1930s.
Note from Edwin Landale, Savary Island Heritage Society: There was an earlier house on the lot that may have been owned by someone other than A. E. McMaster. In any case A.E. McMaster bought or built this earlier house around 1924 when he first came to Powell River. In 1926 A.E. McMaster moved to Vancouver where he continued in the senior management of the Powell River Company and continued to visit Savary. The log house was built around 1934. In 1953 A. E. McMaster sold the house to Fred Mathers (also a Powell River Company person) after Fred expressed an interest in buying the house. Fred Mathers died fairly soon thereafter leaving the house to his two daughters, Fredrica and Emily. Subsequently the house was mostly used by Freddy Sweet with her husband and two sons. After the Sweets moved to England in 1960, Ron McKee purchased the house. Ron and Phyllis and their two children used the house as a summer home for several years then lived all winter on the island in 1970 (and maybe also the winter of 1971). In the mid 1970s Norman Keevil Senior purchased the house while concurrently buying the Ford house which was replaced with the 'glass house' designed by Arthur Erickson's firm. The house passed to Brad Keevil when Norman Keevil Senior died around 1979. Brad Keevil put the house up for sale around 1995 and it was acquired in 1998 to Mr. & Mrs. Yuile who established a 'Bed and Breakfast' business in the house.
Its layout, with wings on either side of a living room opening onto a covered verandah, bears a strong resemblance to General McRae's much-larger "Eaglecrest" at Qualicum Beach, designed a couple of years later by Vancouver architect C.B.K. Van Norman.
Note from Rick Thaddeus, August 2004: Bill McMaster, son of the A.E, McMaster was on Savary 2 weeks ago, and confirmed that the house was designed by his mother. Jean Yuile has the house plans.
Detail of "Eaglecrest," the 1930s estate at Qualicum Beach. PABC photo.
Note from Richard Sweet: I am currently living in Bristol in England. After leaving university in the early 70's I returned to Canada ( where I worked as a ski instructor at Whistler in the winter and a logger at St Philips Arm in the summer and managed to visit Savary on two occasions) but due to illness in the family I went back (temporarily) to the UK and somehow got stuck here! However, I am seriously considering a return to Canada where the lifestyle is second to none - and is chalk and cheese compared to England! My brother, Tony, did move back to Canada in the mid-seventies and has been living in Prince George ever since. He, too, has revisited the Island and actually stayed at the Lodge. He said that it had hardly changed and that some of the original furniture was still in use! The time I spent on Savary with my Grandfather and, of course, my parents provide me with what are,without a doubt, some of the happiest memories I have. I know I was young then but the Island always seems to me like Eden. An absolutely beautiful place which will always be dear to my heart.