By BRIAN AND MARY ANN BELL
For the last 104 years, some members of the Bell family have resided in the Beach.
In 1920, James and Maude Bell with children, Blake and Dorothy, purchased their home on Hammersmith Avenue, where they continued to live for 50 years. They joined St. Aidan’s Anglican Church, and had membership at the Balmy Beach Lawn Bowling Club.
Meanwhile around the corner Sam and Rose Pakes, with daughter Kathleen, had bought a house on Isleworth Ave in 1917 when it was a dirt road with no houses on the south side. As teenagers, Blake Bell and Kathleen (Kay) Pakes often walked together up the ravine (later Glen Manor Drive) to attend Malvern C.I.
Kay and Blake Bell married in 1932, and lived on Hubbard Boulevard, where their son Brian was born, before purchasing their home at 176 Hammersmith Ave., four houses north of Blake’s parents.
Although Blake and Kay moved to Ottawa, where their daughter Pat was born, and later to Peterborough, their parents continued to enjoy the Beach community.
In 1961, Blake’s son, Brian Bell, returned to the Beach with his wife Mary Ann to live on Isleworth Avenue in the (Pakes) grandparent’s home, as they had recently died.
Their three children, Heather, Chris and David attended Williamson Road and Glen Ames and (following their grandparents pattern) Malvern C.I. We all attended Kew Beach United Church (now Beach United Church).
The Beach community continued to nurture the family with their involvement at Kew Gardens tennis, Glen Ames swimming, Ted Reeve hockey, the library, and Malvern sports and clubs.
Although David Bell now lives in Calgary and Heather (Bell) Clayton lives in Peterborough, Chris Bell has continued to live in the Beach with his wife, Carol, and their two children, Katrin (Kate) and Jared.
Kate and Jared followed their great-grandparents lead by attending Malvern. Although Carol has been teaching for many years, latterly at Beaches Alternative School, she is retiring at the end of this school year. Chris and Carol have sold their home and are moving to Peterborough, joining sister Heather and parents Brian and Mary Ann.
We cannot underestimate the positive influence the Beach has had in shaping four generations of our family.
Our involvement in all aspects of the United Church (Kew Beach and Beach) for 60 years, has also been a contributing factor in our feelings of acceptance and encouragement in our lives.
For the time being, our family will bid “adieu” to the Beach community.
We felt we would like to voice our appreciation to the Beach community and hope everyone living there is able to make use of its unique opportunities.