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Dave Obee: A donation in memory of Chess and Helen 'who made such wonderful Christmases for us'

A family explains their $2,500 donation on Giving Tuesday
Donate to the Times Colonist Christmas Fund at

There are many reasons why people donate to the Times Colonist Christmas Fund. On Tuesday — Giving Tuesday — we received this story, from Jennifer, Ben, Rosanne, Fred, Angela and Carolyn Power.

“We have just made a $2,500 donation to the Times Colonist Christmas Fund in memory of our father, Chesley Power.

“In the late 1940s and the 1950s, Chess worked as a newspaper boy for the Victoria Times afternoon newspaper, and then for the Daily Colonist morning newspaper. 1956, the year that the Colonist 500 fund was started, was likely Chess’s last year working for the Daily Colonist, as a shack supervisor in Esquimalt.

“Dad was born in Victoria on May 20, 1937, and spent most of his life here.

“He loved this city and had many tales to tell of life in Victoria during his youth.

“One of his first memories was meeting Emily Carr and her monkey Woo, on Douglas Street. He grew up in an old character house near Banfield Park, which is now the site of the Vic West Community Centre.

“He loved to fish and he would fish alongside the log booms on the Gorge waterway near Banfield Park. His prize catch was a five-pound sea run cutthroat trout, which was rare even then.

“When he was about nine or 10, Dad started as a newspaper boy for the Victoria Times in the days when Victoria had two dailies.

“He worked a corner on the street in downtown Victoria and told us he was happy to move up to one of the busier corners, near Douglas and Yates streets, after he had gained some experience. After he finished his newspaper sales for the day, he would go to Old British Fish & Chips on Broad Street, where he would buy fish and chips for five cents.

“Chess moved on to being a delivery boy for the Daily Colonist in the morning. He would be up by 4 a.m. picking up papers for his route of 165 customers, which he would deliver on his bicycle.

“His route was in the area of Joffre Street in Esquimalt. When we had our own routes, he showed us how he would fold the papers in a square so that he could throw them like a Frisbee.

“His sister Sharon remembers Chess rushing home in the early morning hours of Feb. 6, 1952 to let his family know that the King had died. Those were the days before instant media.

“Although Dad left the Daily Colonist to train to become an RCMP officer and later a certified general accountant, Dad’s love of newspapers continued throughout his life. His morning ritual included his coffee and the Times Colonist.

“This donation is a tribute to Chess and our beloved mother Helen who made such wonderful Christmases for us, and to the 65-year history of the Times Colonist Christmas Fund, which has done so much for Victoria families.”

A special thanks to the Power family for this fine tribute to Chess and Helen.

The donation will be put to work to make lives better throughout our community.

Thanks to Giving Tuesday, the Christmas Fund has reached $196,500, and there is plenty of time to take it much, much higher.

It’s all about helping those less fortunate. Your donation does not need to be huge, because every little bit helps.

You can donate by going to the Times Colonist Christmas Fund fundraising page at

The site is open 24 hours a day and provides an immediate tax receipt.

Or mail a cheque to the Times Colonist Christmas Fund, 201-655 Tyee Road, Victoria, B.C. V9A 6X5.

You can also use your credit card by phoning 250-995-4438 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Thank you.

Dave Obee is editor and publisher of the Times Colonist.