When new neighbours moved into the 3800-block of West 18th, William “Bill” Davies was always the first person they met.
He remembered everyone’s names. He mowed lawns for people who worked or who were retired. He went on walks with pockets stuffed with dog treats. He had keys to everyone’s houses, either to tend to their homes during vacations or if someone forgot their own keys.
And though Davies passed away July 25 at 81, his legacy of being a good neighbour lives on.
Bill and his wife Shirley moved into Dunbar in 1957 on the day of their second wedding anniversary.
“We were the youngsters and our neighbourhood was filled with old people,” said Shirley.
Caring for neighbours was a year-round affair for the family, recalled daughter Debbie DeWolff.
“My brother and I were always expected to look after the old people on the block,” said DeWolff. “So when it snowed, we were expected to shovel their sidewalks and in the fall we were expected to rake the leaves. In the spring, we were expected to bring fresh cookies down and have tea with the elderly people... It was just something we grew up to believe that you did anyway, and as the years went on, my mom and dad were kind of a source of neighbourhood activity.”
The Davies house is fittingly at the centre of the block, the hub of anticipated block parties visited even by police, firefighters with their trucks, former neighbours and the curious of the 3900-block.
“That’s where the cookies were,” said DeWolff. “That’s where the swing set was, by the little swimming pool. It was a place to kick the can.”
Read the full story in the Vancouver Courier here.