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Interview with Dr Blythe Eagles and Dr Violet Eagles 10-Jun-75 - Track 6
City of Burnaby Archives
This portion of the interview pertains to Dr Blythe Alfred Eagles and Dr Violet Evelyn (Dunbar) Eagles' thoughts on the distinct areas of Burnaby, municipal planning decisions and the municipal politics of the time.
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City of Burnaby Archives
This portion of the interview pertains to Dr Blythe Alfred Eagles and Dr Violet Evelyn (Dunbar) Eagles' thoughts on the distinct areas of Burnaby, municipal planning decisions and the municipal politics of the time.
Date Range
Photo Info
Mrs. Dunbar, Dr. Blythe Eagles and Dr. Violet (Dunbar) Eagles, June 1967. Item no. 404-002
Public Services - Municipal Services
Bradbury, Dr. Bettina
Interview Date
Scope and Content
Recording is a taped interview with Dr Blythe Eagles and his wife Dr Violet Eagles by SFU (Simon Fraser University) graduate student Bettina Bradbury (and Ross S. McLeod) June 10, 1975. Major themes discussed are: the Depression, the War Years and Burnaby Lake District. To view "Narrow By" terms for each track expand this description and see "Notes".
Biographical Notes
Blythe's paternal grandparents, Charles and Maude Eagles immigrated to New Westminster in 1887. Their son Jack married Amelia Jane Johnston, and Blythe Eagles was born in New Westminster in 1902. In 1918 Blythe enrolled at the University of British Columbia, and took a Physiology class with eight other top students - his future wife, Violet Dunbar was the lone woman in the class. Blythe graduated in 1922, winning the Governor General's Gold Medal as top student. He received his MA in 1924 and his PhD in 1926 from the University of Toronto. He then completed his post-doctoral study at the National Institute for Medical Research in London, England. In 1933 Dr. Eagles became head of the Department of Dairying (1936-1955), Chairman of the Division of Animal Science (1955-1967), and Dean of the Faculty of Agriculture (in 1949 until his retirement in 1967). In 1968 he received an Honourary Doctor of Science Award from UBC Blythe was also one of the first appointments to the Burnaby Town Planning Commission. Violet Evelyn Dunbar was born September 29, 1899 in Ontario, the eldest child of John and Mary (Tompson) Dunbar. Violet attained her BA in 1921 and MA in 1922 from the University of British Columbia. In 1922 she attended the Provincial Normal School and within six months had a teaching certificate and taught at Lord Hudson School in 1923. In September 1923 she was awarded a two-year scholarship to the University of Toronto, where she joined Blythe in the Bio-Chemistry Department. She received a second MA and a PhD in 1929. Her graduate studies entailed research in pure proteins and enzymes related to the commercial production of cheese. Through this work she was recognized as one of the leading enzyme chemists in the country, being a senior lab instructor of biochemistry. Violet was one of the founders of the Burnaby Council of Women and active member of the International Council of Women. Blythe and Violet Eagles purchased property at Deer Lake in 1929 and began construction of their home shortly before their marriage on June 25, 1930. The Drs. Blythe and Violet Eagles Estate is a unique expression of the talents and tastes of both the Eagles and Frank Ebenezer Buck (1875-1970) who was head of the Horticultural Department and the Campus Landscape Architect at U.B.C. and established the plan for the Eagles garden while Blythe selected many of the plantings. The Eagles themselves designed the house as a romantic cottage inspired by the British Arts and Crafts style. Violet was an enthusiastic amateur gardener, maintaining and continually developing the garden. The Eagles were active volunteers in the local community as well as at UBC. When Simon Fraser University opened in Burnaby, they became well-known for entertaining dignitaries and special guests of the university in their lavish garden. After Violet's death in 1993, the estate was sold to the City of Burnaby. The funds were used to establish a Chair in Agriculture at the University of British Columbia in their memory.
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Interviewee Name
Eagles, Dr. Blythe
Eagles, Dr. Violet
Interviewer Bio
Bettina Bradbury teaches history and women's studies at York University. She is the author of Wife to Widow. Lives, Laws and Politics in Nineteenth-century Montreal. (Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, June 2011), 520p; Working Families. Age, Gender and Daily Survival in Industrializing Montreal. (Toronto: Canadian Social History Series, McClelland and Stewart, 1993); (Republished Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1996) (3rd edition, Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2007). These interviews were undertaken after she completed her MA at Simon Fraser University in 1975 with the support of an LIP grant.
Burnaby Historical Society Community Archives collection
Oral History series
Item No.
Media Type
Sound Recording
Web Notes
Interview was digitized in 2010 allowing it to be accessible on Heritage Burnaby. The digitization project was initiated by the Community Heritage Commission with support from City of Burnaby Council and the BC History Digitization Program of the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, University of British Columbia. It was recognized by the Heritage Society of BC with an award in 2012.
Audio Tracks

Track six of interview with Dr Blythe Eagles and Dr Violet Eagles

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