Door knocker leaves memory of Esquimalt home

Door knocker leaves memory of Esquimalt home

When Nicole Smith was driving past her grandmother’s old house in Esquimalt, she decided to stop and wander around the house.

By Jesse Laufer

When Nicole Smith was driving past her grandmother’s old house in Esquimalt, she decided that her and her five-year-old daughter should stop to wander around the house her grandparents lived in for 50 years.

Boarded up and ready for demolition, the two looked around the perimeter of the property.  Nicole was wondering if something could be salvaged from the house before it was removed once and for all, leaving only memories.

Then Nicole noticed the old doorknocker.

“I thought awe, I remember that door-knocker,” Nicole said. “It was very emotional, it was just knowing that everyday we would walk in there, Grandpa always had his tea ready for us.”

The doorknocker was a gift Nicole’s mother, Elaine, gave to her parents 25 to 30 years ago. Until last month, it sat in its place on the front door. Elaine grew up in the house with her two siblings, and her raised her first son, Andrew, there. She hoped to buy the house after her mother left, but it wasn’t to be. She hasn’t been by her old home in the five years since her mother moved to Oak Bay.

Nicole asked her if she wanted anything. At first, Elaine declined.

“(Nicole) said ‘Mum, what about the doorknocker?’” Elaine said. “I said ‘that would be perfect.’ We had kind of a little personal tune, that we’d always use when we knocked on that door.”

Nicole tried to remove the doorknocker herself, but failed.

She noticed the real estate sign on the front lawn with Ray Murray’s name and number on it. She phoned the local real estate agent from the front steps and told him her story. Murray was captivated by it, and immediately agreed to make sure they could keep the door knocker. He went to the property himself and got it, giving it to Elaine, Nicole, and Nicole’s children.

Since neither Elaine nor Nicole currently own homes, the doorknocker will be given to Elaine’s son Andrew, who lives in Barrie, Ontario. “Knowing my brother I’m pretty sure he’ll have something engraved in it that’ll be in memory of them (their grandparents),” Nicole said.

“Every time we left we always went out that same front door. They were always standing there together, waving us off. Grandpa would always have chocolate bars in his pockets, and he’d say to my brother and I, ‘pick a pocket,’ and we’d get a chocolate bar.”

Now that it’s been recovered, the doorknocker will move amongst the family’s homes. The knocker might stay the same from generation to generation, but each knock will have its own personal tune.

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Colwood Fire Rescue is reminding the public to only burn dry, seasoned wood in fireplaces after heavy smoke filled the intersection of Sooke Road and Acacia Drive when a homeowner tried burning a plastic item on Sunday, Jan. 24. (Emily Jessop photo)
Colwood homeowner burns plastic in fireplace, causes emergency response

Colwood Fire Rescue says burn dry, seasoned wood in fireplaces only

A rolled-over car was spotted in a ditch along Sooke Road near the border of Langford on the morning of Sunday, Jan. 24. (Black Press Media photo)
Car ends up in ditch along Sooke Road Sunday morning

Single vehicle spotted rolled-over just after 10 a.m. on Jan. 24

Steve Smith’s image of two sibling adolescent grizzly bears playfighting in the Chilko River in the B.C. Interior earned him best of show at the prestigious Lion’s Gate Celebration of Nature club competition for 2020-21. (Photo by Steve Smith)
Victoria Camera Club captures top spot in prestigious nature and wildlife competition

Saanich Peninsula photographers part of award-winning team

Downtown Victoria and the Inner Harbour are part of a corridor that also includes much of urban Saanich that is part of the Greater Victoria 2030 District, a sustainable buildings climate initiative announced recently. (Black Press Media file photo)
Ramping up energy efficiency in Greater Victoria buildings goal of new group

Greater Victoria 2030 District part of North American network of cities working to reduce emissions

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders sits in on a COVID-19 briefing with Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, and Adrian Dix, B.C. minister of health. (Birinder Narang/Twitter)
PHOTOS: Bernie Sanders visits B.C. landmarks through the magic of photo editing

Residents jump on viral trend of photoshopping U.S. senator into images

Wet’suwet’en supporters and Coastal GasLink opponents continue to protest outside the B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Thursday, February 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
‘We’re still in it’: Wet’suwet’en push forward on rights recognition

The 670-km Coastal GasLink pipeline was approved by B.C. and 20 elected First Nations councils on its path

The sky above Mt. Benson in Nanaimo is illuminated by flares as search and rescuers help an injured hiker down the mountain to a waiting ambulance. (Photo courtesy Nanaimo Search and Rescue)
Search plane lights up Nanaimo mountain with flares during icy rope rescue

Rescuers got injured hiker down Mt. Benson to a waiting ambulance Saturday night

Jennifer Cochrane, a Public Health Nurse with Prairie Mountain Health in Virden, administers the COVID-19 vaccine to Robert Farquhar with Westman Regional Laboratory, during the first day of immunizations at the Brandon COVID-19 vaccination supersite in Brandon, Man., on Monday, January 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tim Smith - POOL
Top doctor urges Canadians to keep up with COVID measures, even as vaccines roll out

More than 776,606 vaccines have been administered so far

From the left: Midway RCMP Csts. Jonathan Stermscheg and Chris Hansen, Public Servant Leanne Mclaren and Cpl. Phil Peters. Pictured in the front are Mclaren’s dog, Lincoln and Peters’ dog, Angel. Photo courtesy of BC RCMP
B.C. Mounties commended for bringing firewood to elderly woman

Cpl. Phil Peters said he and detachment members acted after the woman’s husband went to hospital

Dr. Jerome Leis and Dr. Lynfa Stroud are pictured at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto on Thursday, January 21, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
‘It wasn’t called COVID at the time:’ One year since Canada’s first COVID-19 case

The 56-year-old man was admitted to Toronto’s Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

An Uber driver’s vehicle is seen after the company launched service, in Vancouver, Friday, Jan. 24, 2020. Several taxi companies have lost a court bid to run Uber and Lyft off the road in British Columbia. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Taxi companies lose court bid to quash Uber, Lyft approvals in British Columbia

Uber said in a statement that the ruling of the justice is clear and speaks for itself

Nanaimo Regional General Hospital. (News Bulletin file photo)
COVID-19 outbreak declared at Nanaimo hospital

Two staff members and one patient have tested positive, all on the same floor

A long-term care worker receives the Pfizer vaccine at a clinic in Nanaimo earlier this month. (Island Health photo)
All Island seniors in long-term care will be vaccinated by the end of this weekend

Immunization of high-risk population will continue over the next two months

Most Read