Claude Pineo was born in Nova Scotia in 1891. As a young man Claude worked at various jobs, saving his money as he made his way across Canada until he arrived in the place that he would call home for the rest of his life, the City of New Westminster in British Columbia. By 1925 he had become fairly successful, managing a highly regarded shoe store in the city.
In early 1937, Claude bought a ticket for the Irish Sweepstakes and soon afterwards he received a cable that he had drawn the horse ‘Midday Sun’. He was contacted by a group of gentlemen from San Francisco who offered him $5,800 for a half interest in his horse. He accepted their offer and the horse came in first in the Epsom Downs Derby, winning a prize of $150,000.00. Once all was settled, Claude’s share was nearly $80,000; a sum that would allow him the opportunity to build his family a brand new luxury home on a vacant lot on St. George Street in New Westminster.
Claude was issued with a permit to build a large private residence in October 1937 and with the help of local architect, John S.D. Taylor and builder S.W. Hopper the house was constructed. Claude, his wife Stella their two children, Lester and Willene lived very comfortably in the house for many years until it was sold, after Claude’s death in 1960. In 1963 a building permit was issued by the City of New Westminster to convert the Pineo house into a rest home. Over the next few decades the house would change ownership several times but it would stay as a private rest home until it was finally purchased by Honour House Society in April 2010.
Fate played a part in 1937 when one small gamble on a racehorse ended up positively affecting the lives of many, many people over the decades to come and it’s one gamble that we’re all glad Claude decided to take!