Gary Bazuik

Secrets of a Great Company

I joined Pemberton Holmes (PH) in January of 2014. The history of this company is incredible.

PH is one of the oldest Real Estate firms in North America. Formed in 1887, PH recently donated 127 years of records outlining the growth of PH and the city of Victoria to the Royal British Columbia Museum. The company’s first phone number was 8124 Today it is 384-8124.

The company’s roots go back to 1850 when the British Home Office asked the Hudson Bay Co. to set out a plan for the colony’s development and growth. They hired a surveyor named Joseph Despard Pemberton. Pemberton arrived in Victoria, a settlement of 150 of people, in 1851. Over the years he surveyed throughout Vancouver Island and eventually became a member of the Legislative Assembly. Pemberton also invested in land throughout BC and the town of Pemberton near Whistler was named after him.

In 1887 Pemberton started the company named Pemberton and Son which included surveyors, engineers and real estate agents. The legacy of Joseph Pemberton includes the beginning of the process to preserve Cathedral Grove and the developing of the operating theatres for the Jubilee Hospital.

After the 1st World War Major Henry Cuthbert Holmes married into the Pemberton family and became the company’s first president in 1921. Henry’s legacy was passed on to Philip Holmes who later became President of the Canadian Real Estate Association in 1965. Michael Holmes, a Victoria lawyer, is the current President of the Real Estate Company while his brother operates the Property Management aspect of the business. Pemberton Holmes has a long and important legacy in determining and preserving Victoria’s character and general health with its commitment to parks, green spaces, hospitals, schools and charities. The company presently supports the same philosophies and provides great leadership in the community.