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Sunset Memorial Centre : a study of community organization for recreation in South Vancouver Robinson, Basil Andre 1951

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SUNSET MEMORIAL CENTRE: A Study of Community Organization for Recreation i n South Vancouver  by  Basil Andre Robinson  A Thesis submitted i n Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of MASTER OF SOCIAL WORK  The University of British Columbia 1951  ABSTRACT Community centres are a relatively new type of institution i n the British Columbia recreational picture. The history of Sunset Memorial Centre was chosen for this study because i t i s an exceptiona l l y interesting one,and because i t i s ah excellent example of the community organization process. This study traces community endeavour to organize recreation i n South Vancouver from i t s inception, about twenty years ago, through to the formation of the Sunset Community Association i n 1945. The activities of the Association i n i t s five-year campaign to provide a centre are covered. The f i r s t five months of operation of the Centre, from i t s opening i n September, 1950, are analysed. Material for this study was gathered primarily from the records and publications of the Sunset Community Association, from newspaper articles and from the writer s interviews with association members and other people i n the community. A community survey was made to obtain background material. 1  This study graphically illustrates the tremendous potent i a l i t y of a local association to discover and to meet community needs. It also clearly shows that for such an Association to realize f u l l y i t s possibilities, i t must have professional guidance. Pointed up, too, i s the great need for a lay group i n community organizations to be aware that i n providing a f a c i l i t y i t must also make plans for i t s operation. If adequate plans are not made, the community effort may, to a large extent, be wasted. The record of the many problems faced by the Association and i t s successful and unsuccessful attempts to solve them should be of particular value to other community associations. As the development of the present unsatisfactory arrangement between the Park Board and the Community Association, for the operation of the Centre, i s covered in detail, and the implications of the operational agreement are discussed, this study may be helpful i n the evaluation of the current confused state of the Vancouver Communi t y Centre movement.  ACKNOWLEDGMENTS  I wish to acknowledge the co-operation shown me by the members of the Sunset Community Association, and especially the assistance given me by Mr. W. S. Thomas. My sincere thanks are extended to Dr. Leonard Marsh and to Miss Elizabeth Thomas of the School of Social Work for their stimulation and help which enabled me to complete this thesis.  TABLE OF CONTENTS SUNSET MEMORIAL CENTRE: A Study of Community Organization for Recreation i n South Vancouver Chapter I.  Introduction Focus and values of the study. Limitations of the study. The Sunset area: geographic boundaries, economic structure, cultural, racial, and religious make-up, educational institutions and social welfare agencies.  Chapter U .  Early Developments i n Community Organization for Recreation (to 19451 Activity of the South Main Community Club. Action of the Sexsmith School P-TA. Formation of the Sunset Community Association.  Chapter III.  The Sunset Community Association i n Operation from  1945 to 1948  Changing conception and changing role of the Association. The raising of funds. Sunset community feeling and interest - cooperation within the total city. Programme activities.  Chapter IV.  Sunset Memorial Centre - A Reality Construction of the Centre.. Other activities and business of the Association. The o f f i c i a l opening of' the Centre - A dream comes true!  Chapter V.  The F i r s t Five Months Development of programme activities. Leadership Board of Directors, professional, volunteer. Evaluation.  Chapter VI.  Conclusions The pattern of local community action. Principles of community organization for recreation. A look at Sunset's future.  TABLE OF CONTENTS. Continued Charts and Appendices Chart A  -  Map of Sunset Area  Appendix A  -  Information Prepared for Canvassers. Sunset Memorial Drive. 1945  Appendix B  -  Questionnaire Presented by Sunset Community Association to Park Board. July. 1949  Appendix C  -  Sunset Memorial Survey - General Questionnaire. April. 2222  Appendix D -  Statement of Policy as to the Joint Operation of Sunset Memorial Community Centre Between the Sunset Community Association and the Board of Park Commissioners of the City of Vancouver. November 22, 1950  Appendix E  Report of Program Committee Meetings. Sunset Community Centre. January 18th, 25th. February 1st and 8th. 1951  Appendix F  -  Bibliography  CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION Although i t i s just one part of the "whole British Columbia community centre movement, the story of Sunset Memorial Centre i s an exceptionally interesting one.  I t i s an excellent example of the commu-  nity organization process - a group of community-minded citizens seeing the need to organize recreation and then doing something about i t . ^ " Through the efforts of this pioneer group, the Sunset Community Association was formed and the recreational need was eventually met, i n part, with the erection of Sunset Memorial Centre.  The record of the success  and failures experienced by the Association may well be used to advantage by the other community centre associations.  The Sunset people learned  many lessons the hard way and, even though they accomplished a great deal, they have much yet to do before success i s f u l l y theirs. It i s also worthwhile to study the story of community effort, for, i n addition to indicating the difficulties and problems a lay group can experience and produce, i t also points up the extent to -which such a group can carry on the community organization process before professional assistance i s necessary.  1 Gerald B. Fitzgerald i n his book Community Organization for Recreation (New York, A. S. Barnes & Co., 19U9, p.22) defines community organization for recreation as "the development and maintenance of leadership, f a c i l i t i e s and programmes or services that w i l l provide optimum recreation-opportunities for a l l the people of a community. I t includes relationships among a l l the recreation resources of the community that w i l l assure cooperation, coordination and community solidarity as a basis for the opportunities. It means developing and maintaining a structure that i s designed to present resources needs and to establish new resources i f their need i s indicated".  -  2  -  Such s t u d i e s , b y t r a c i n g t h e centre  group  from i t s  such evidence  to take a c t i o n to insure  c o m m u n i t y c e n t r e movement i s L i m i t a t i o n s of the  o f one u r b a n  i n c e p t i o n to the present time,  s t i m u l a t i o n and o f f e r ganizations  development  so a s  should  provide  t o encourage appropriate  t h a t the f u r t h e r development  along the soundest p o s s i b l e  orof  the  lines.  Study  I n any h i s t o r i c a l study i n obtaining authentic  some d i f f i c u l t y i s u s u a l l y  and v a l i d m a t e r i a l .  Special  experienced  d i f f i c u l t y was  p e r i e n c e d i n some a s p e c t s o f t h e S u n s e t M e m o r i a l h i s t o r y a s nothing of i t s  community  activities  had been recorded.  S u n s e t Community A s s o c i a t i o n ,  practically  I n an e a r l y study o f  conducted i n 19li6, M i s s S h e i l a  ex-  the  Carlisle  notes: The f a c t t h a t n o r e p o r t s r e g a r d i n g t h e a c t i v e p r o g r e s s o f the community o r g a n i z a t i o n development have b e e n k e p t i s significant. The f i n a n c i a l s t a t e m e n t s a r e c o n s i d e r e d t h e o n l y i m p o r t a n t r e c o r d w h i c h must be k e p t . I t i s assumed t h a t m i n u t e s o f m e e t i n g s and c o p i e s o f l e t t e r s m a i l e d and l e t t e r s r e c e i v e d are f i l e d , b u t the r e c o r d o f a c t u a l work o f the A s s o c i a t i o n s i n c e i t s i n c e p t i o n i s s t r i c t l y a m a t t e r o f memory. The s t o r y , i n f a c t , i s t o l d q u i t e d i f f e r e n t l y b y t w o m e n .  9  Much o f t h e h i s t o r y o f t h e e a r l y y e a r s o f t h e S u n s e t Community A s s o c i a t i o n had t o be g l e a n e d and pamphlets  various  circulars  p u b l i s h e d by the A s s o c i a t i o n f o r p u b l i c r e l a t i o n s  purposes,  and a few o b t a i n a b l e  f r o m newspaper c l i p p i n g s ,  annual reports.  M a t e r i a l gathered from  interviews  2 C a r l i s l e , S h e i l a , A n a l y s i s o f Sunset Memorial Centre A s s o c i a t i o n i n t h e L i g h t o f Community O r g a n i z a t i o n : C r i t e r i a and T e c h n i q u e s , 1914-6. T h i s s t u d y w a s d o n e b y M i s s C a r l i s l e a s a n a s s i g n m e n t f o r a community o r g a n i z a t i o n course i n t h e Department o f S o c i a l Work, U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia. I n recording the f i r s t y e a r ' s h i s t o r y o f t h e A s s o c i a t i o n , much u s e h a s b e e n made o f . M i s s C a r l i s l e ' s v a l u a b l e m a t e r i a l , as i t p r e s e n t s v e r y c l e a r l y t h e a t t i t u d e s and m o t i v a t i o n s o f the A s s o c i a t i o n i n the e a r l y stages of i t s operation.  - 3 w i t h c e r t a i n e a r l y workers i n the A s s o c i a t i o n tended t o be and had  t o be  c a r e f u l l y s i f t e d f o r accuracy.  loss of perspective considered occurred  The  inconsistent  very f a c t o r of  on the p a r t o f some o f the i n t e r v i e w e e s  had  the to  be  as, i n many c a s e s , t h e y were t a l k i n g about events which  three  to f i v e y e a r s p r e v i o u s l y .  Some o f the i n f o r m a t i o n  i n the f o l l o w i n g pages, f o r t h i s r e a s o n , may  had written  l a c k complete v a l i d i t y though  e v e r y e f f o r t has been made t o t r a c e the r e a l Sunset s t o r y . The  Sunset A r e a The  which the  f o l l o w i n g b r i e f d e s c r i p t i o n o f the d i s t r i c t ,  within  Sunset Community A s s o c i a t i o n conducts i t s a c t i v i t i e s , i s p r e -  sented as a backdrop f o r the more d e t a i l e d h i s t o r y o f Sunset Memorial Centre.  A f u l l e r u n d e r s t a n d i n g and  a greater  a p p r e c i a t i o n o f the commu-  n i t y o r g a n i z a t i o n p r o c e s s which e v o l v e d i n the development o f the p r o j e c t may  be  g a i n e d w i t h such a b i r d ' s eye p i c t u r e o f the a r e a concerned. W i t h i n the d i s t r i c t o f South Vancouver,  G r e a t e r Vancouver which o c c u p i e s the e r i n g on the North Arm communities. i n general,  that part  o f the F r a s e r R i v e r , t h e r e  are s e v e r a l  but  smaller  None o f these communities can be v e r y c l e a r l y d e f i n e d t h e y centre  around the b u s i n e s s d i s t r i c t s and  S t r e e t , and Main S t r e e t .  each has,  These communities o v e r l a p  t o some e x t e n t , i t s own  existence  of various  Main, and  V i c t o r i a Drive.  the  K n i g h t Road,  considerably,  i d e n t i t y as e v i d e n c e d by  the  a c t i v i t y o f the l o c a l a s s o c i a t i o n s  3 B e f o r e i t s i n c o r p o r a t i o n i n 1929 couver, South Vancouver was a m u n i c i p a l i t y .  but,  earlier  community a s s o c i a t i o n s , such as South H i l l , The  of  s o u t h e r n s l o p e o f the t e r r a i n b o r d -  e s t a b l i s h e d p a r t s o f South Vancouver, such as V i c t o r i a D r i v e , Fraser  Centre  South varies  i n t o the C i t y o f Van-  - Inconsiderably and there are no records i n d i c a t i n g the exact areas to which they cater. The Sunset Community Association, which was established i n 19U5,  then, was not formed i n a natural community.  The geographic boun-  daries of the Sunset area,^ i n f a c t , were a r b i t r a r i l y selected by the Association.  The s i t e of the community centre at Sunset Park was  ed f i r s t and then the area which i t was to serve was defined.  select-  This was  done inore on the basis of having the Centre c e n t r a l l y located than considering any natural boundaries f o r the "community".  In o u t l i n i n g the  Sunset area, the Association d i d not take into consideration e l e c t o r a l or s o c i a l areas.  I t f i r s t defined the Sunset community as that area  l y i n g between East klst  Avenue on the North and Marine Drive on the South;  and by Cambie Street on the West, and Ross Street on the East.  The  Cambie Street boundary was selected by mutual agreement with Marpole Community Centre as a d i v i d i n g l i n e between the areas of the two centres. The eastern boundary was changed several times during the f i r s t f i v e years of the l i f e of the Association - f i r s t to Inverness Street,, and then to Knight Road.  These enlargements of the area were done to accom-  modate groups of people who desired to be included i n the Centre's a c t i vities.  The southern boundary, while stated as Marine Drive, i s more  often thought of as the Fraser River.  This extension adds to the area  a s t r i p about h a l f a mile wide, which i s mostly i n d u s t r i a l and a g r i c u l t u r a l land.  In a l l the Sunset area contains about s i x and one-quarter  square miles.  I t i s impossible to give an accurate population figure  for the Sunset area.  However, one estimation, based on the s o c i a l area  k For convenience, the d i s t r i c t within which the Sunset Commun i t y Association c a r r i e s on i t s a c t i v i t i e s w i l l be referred to, from t h i s point,on, as the Sunset area.  - 5 population charts of 19hl indicates that there would be, today, about 25,000 people l i v i n g i n the area. The map  (Chart A) i s designed to show the relationship of  the s o c i a l and c u l t u r a l areas of South Vancouver to the Sunset area. The p r i n c i p a l economic, c u l t u r a l , educational and recreational features of the area are also depicted on the  map.  There are i n the Sunset area two major business d i s t r i c t s one on Main Street, and one on Fraser Street.  As the area gradually has  become b u i l t up, these two d i s t r i c t s , p a r t i c u l a r l y the Fraser one, have increased i n size and they are p r a c t i c a l l y complete shopping centres, making the area r e l a t i v e l y independent of the larger c i t y .  Most of the  merchants i n these business d i s t r i c t s l i v e within the Sunset area, and a number of them are members of the Sunset Community Association.  There i s  p r a c t i c a l l y no industry i n the area except that of the sawmills and packing plants along the Fraser River's edge south of Marine Drive.  Also found  i n t h i s section are some of the many Chinese vegetable gardens which extend f o r many miles along t h i s arable s t r i p between Marine Drive and the River. The people of the Sunset area can be described as being i n the middle-income bracket.  A large number of them are i n the craftsman  and artisan category and, while they are not r e a l l y well-to-do, many of them own a car and a house. one-family units.  Most of the houses are small, self-contained  There are several small sections within the Sunset area  that have been developed very recently and these new frame homes are i n contrast to those i n the older parts of the community.  On the whole, the  housing i s of good quality, except i n a s t r i p along the southern boundary  1  - 6 -  where there are some ramshackle dwellings inhabited mostly by East Indians and Chinese. There i s quite a wide variation i n the cultural, social, and religious make-up of the community.  The large percentage of the  population i s of British or European descent.  There appear to be more  people of German descent than usual i n such a heterogeneous population. Apart from an East Indian colony and a small Chinese settlement on . Marine Drive, there are no clearly defined cultural or racial groupings. A goodly number of the residents formerly lived i n the Prairie Provinces and have moved into the district i n recent years.  It i s notable that  there are a number of young married couples, with young children living in the area.  The desire of these people for a safe place for their  children to play undoubtedly played a major part i n the strong community support for the Centre. A great variety of churches exists i n the community.  Within  six blocks of the Centre, there are ten churches, each of a different denomination.  In addition to the usual denominations, there are several  smaller sects including Mennonite, Moravian, and other German churches. The majority of the churches are located i n the older sections of the community, particularly around Fraser Street, and, as yet, the newly built-up areas have few in their immediate vicinity.  A l l the existing  churches appear to be well attended. In the Sunset area, there are three elementary schools Sir William Van Horne, John Wesley Sexsmith, and Walter Mofcerley, and one Roman Catholic School.  S i r Stanford Fleming elementary school, on Knight  -  7 -  Road, although it is just out of the district, it, naturally, accommodates many children from the Sunset area.  The Parent-Teacher's Assoc-  iations of these schools, particularly that of Sexsmith, have been, and still are, very active in community and centre affairs.  The City's  largest senior high school, John Oliver, is in the norhtern section of the Sunset district.  The community is very proud of this institution  and gives good support to its activities.  There is a close working  relationship between John Oliver and the Centre. Located within the Sunset area are the Vancouver South Unit of the City Social Service and the privately operated Children's Hospital. The new and very elegant Fraser Branch of the Vancouver Public Library serves the Sunset residents.  The usual fire halls and police stations  may be found in the community. The park areas in the Sunset district include Memorial Park South, MacDonald, Winona, Delta View, George, Moberley, and Sunset. Of these Memorial South, MacDonald, and Sunset are the only ones developed to any extent. Memorial South, a thirty-three and one-half acre tract, contains excellent facilities, and is an exceptionally fine neighbourhood park.  However, it is on the extreme northern boundary of the Sunset area  and is inaccessible to many residents. MacDonald Park, being only one square block, offers little in the way of facilities.  Sunset, until the  erection of the Centre, consisted mainly of playing fields. The other four parks are still mostly bushland. There is currently agitation within the community for their development. two public tennis courts.  To the north of George Park, there are  On the western boundary of the area lies  - 8 -  Langara Golf Course. Most of the usual urban recreational f a c i l i t i e s and a c t i v i t i e s are available to the Sunset residents.  Commercial entertainment  includes two cinemas, two bowling a l l e y s , several pool h a l l s , a r o l l e r rink and a cabaret.  There are also the usual cafe "hangouts" f o r teen-  agers, Lions, Kiwanis, Rotary and the Junior Chamber of Commerce service clubs are active i n the community.  For ex-servicemen there are Branch  16 of the Canadian Legion and Branch 26 of the Army, Navy, and Airforce Veterans.  Most of the churches, the Salvation Army i n p a r t i c u l a r , pro-  vide some form of recreation service.  In the area also may be found the  Boy Scout and G i r l Guide Movements. The foregoing description of the Sunset area shows that, although geographically i t cannot be defined as one, i t none the l e s s has some features of a natural community.  There are c e r t a i n d e f i n i t e  elements i n the area which tend to draw i t together and these elements are the basis of the s p i r i t of community e f f o r t which has c r y s t a l l i z e d over the l a s t s i x years i n the Sunset Memorial Centre project.  CHAPTER II EARLY DEVELOPMENTS IN COMMUNITY ORGANIZATION FOR RECREATION (to  19US)  The history of community organization for recreation i n South Vancouver goes back to the early 1920's and the formation of the Victoria Drive Community Hall Association.  This organization, the f i r s t of i t s  kind i n Vancouver, started i t s activities when Victoria Drive was  one  of the few developed areas i n South Vancouver. "What i s now known as the Sunset area was, at that time, mostly bush land.  As can be surmised  from i t s name, the Victoria Drive Association focussed i t s activities around the community h a l l , and a wide variety of social and recreational activities were held there.  The Association, too, was, and s t i l l i s ,  the leader of social action i n i t s community. A written report of the activities of this pioneer group i n community organization i n Vancouver has been deposited i n the City Archives. One of the major contributions of the Victoria Drive Community Hall Association h&s been the stimulation i t has given to, and the leadership i t has provided for, other community groups. leaders i n the Sunset project was a man who,  One of the  for many years, had been  active i n the Victoria Drive Association, and his experience undoubtedly helped a great deal i n the successful formation and development of the Sunset Community Association. Activity of the South Main Community Club One of the earlier recorded community organization groups i n the Sunset area was the South Main Community Club.  This group, which  was particularly active during the years 1937 to 1939, concerned i t s e l f  Tilth  many varied problems of the community.  These problems included  the lack of proper adequate sewerage and pavement, poor streetcar service, unsatisfactory ward voting system, and the undesired erection of an abbatoir i n the district.  In addition to this social action  activity, the club also had a social function, and was concerned i n general about the lack of recreational f a c i l i t i e s and outlets i n South Vancouver. The headquarters of the South Main Community Club was an empty store which i t had converted into a make-shift h a l l .  That the  club f e l t that this was a very inadequate f a c i l i t y i s evident by frequent comments i n the minutes of the meetings expressing the desire to obtain a more spacious building and to renovate the h a l l they had.  However,  as they appeared to be consistently short of funds, they were unable to carry out these plans. The membership of the Club varied between 50 and 100 members. Regular monthly meetings were held while the executive met more frequently. In 1937 the eight man executive was headed by Mr. C. Lee.^" The social activities of the group included concerts, dances regular monthly and special -, whist parties, cribbage tournaments, and guest speakers on special topics.  Regarding this latter activity, some-  times representatives of other community groups were invited to present reports.  The minutes of the general meeting of April 18, 1938 read: Next i n order was an address by Mr. Sam Holland from the Hastings East Community. He gave a lengthy and very interesting talk on community work telling how Hastings East Community had started out under very grave  1 South Main Community Club, Minutes of the General Meeting, Vancouver, January 5>> 1937.  d i f f i c u l t i e s and after lots of hard work had succeeded i n making i t a worthwhile community. He promised to give this community any advice on community work at any time; At another meeting on October l U , 1938 "a gentleman who i s head of the 3  social activities of the Victoria Road Community C l u b  lK  was the speaker  of the evening. The Association f e l t that having such guests helped them not only i n the development of their group, but also i n the development of good inter-community relations. As the result of a lecture on Junior G-Men's Clubs given by Corporal Eveleigh of the Vancouver Police Department on February 21, 1938, the Club through the efforts of Mr. J. Pope, Mr. H. P. Davidson, and Mr. W. S. Thomas, organized a Junior G-Men's Club Branch i n South Vancouver. The Club was given the use of the Hall two nights a week and, after some difficulty, a hobby programme was started.  Some help was received from  the local police force. By the renting of i t s hall, the Community Club provided meeting f a c i l i t i e s for other local groups, for example, a drama club, dancing class, and later, Pro-Rec.  An offer for the use of the h a l l was  made to the local Community Council, which was meeting i n various community halls i n the area.  There was no record of the function of this Council  other than that i t was a coordinating body for the various South Vancouver community groups.  The South Main Community Club had two standing delegates  to the Council. One of the major concerns of the South Main Community Club was i n regard to the Park Board's proposed construction of a park at 62nd Avenue and Prince Edward Street.  2  The group constantly agitated for  S.M.C.C., Minutes of the Monthly Meeting, April 18, 1938.  3. S.M.C.C., Minutes of the Monthly Meeting, October l U , 1938.  - 12 the Park Board to get i t s plans underway as they f e l t that the additional park space was badly needed by the community.  Upon the request of the  group, Alderman Wilson spoke to the general monthly meeting on November 21, 1938.  The minutes read: He (Alderman Wilson) informed us that the Park Board intended to go ahead at last with this park and that we are sure of tennis courts this year, also a children's playground, the sum of $1000 being asked for from the City Council by the Park Board. He also spoke of a swimming pool for Vancouver South District, which he thought was a necessity and suggested a sight at the foot of Main Street for this purpose. Mr. Wilson suggested this club send a delegation to the Park Board asking for the pool which should come under the federal government scheme which i s h.0% federal, k0% province, and 20% city. As Mr. Wilson said, not only was this a necessity but i t would also create work for the unemployed.h The Club's records, from 1937 to 1939, frequently mentioned that  the group had some difficulty i n maintaining membership.  Frequent drives  for new members were held but they apparently were none too successful. Nevertheless, there was a very active core of members which enabled the Club to carry on i t s work. Apart from sponsoring the Junior G-Men's Club, the Club did not concern i t s e l f very much about providing recreation for youth. However, at the advent of the war, the youth of the community came to the Association. (From the 20th of February 1939, the Club was referred to i n the minutes as the Association). A group of young people were represented at the meeting, same being interested i n acquiring the use of the h a l l on at least five nights of each week I t was suggested that the representatives present return to their organization and ask them to consider the suggestion that they might be able to rent the hall on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings, light and fuel provided, at a f l a t rental of $20 per month.5 k 5>  S.M.C.C., Minutes of the Monthly Meeting, November 21, 1938. South Main Community Association, Minutes of the Monthly Meeting,September 18, 1939.  - 13 Even i n this rudimentary form of a community centre, some members of the Association undoubtedly recognized the fact that the function of such a centre mas to cater to a l l age groups i n the community i t served. It i s important at this time to mention the good relationship which existed between the South Main Community Association and the local public school Parent-Teacher's Associations, particularly that of Sexsmith. As w i l l be seen later the relationship between the members of these two groups was fundamental i n the further development of the community centre idea i n South Vancouver. In 1939 the Executive of the South Main Community Association consisted of Mrs. D. Hampton - president, Mr. E. Parkinson - vice president, Mrs. 0. Henderson - Treasurer, Mr. ¥• S. Thomas - secretary, and Messrs. 0. Williams R. Fleming, T. Moore, Mrs. D. Williams, and Mrs. J. Stone, executive members.^  Although this club did not carry on much activity during  the war years, the majority of these active members continued their interest and work towards organizing recreational opportunities for the community. Action of the Sexsmith School Parent-Teacher Association The group which probably was most greatly responsible for the germination of the community centre idea i n South Vancouver was the ParentTeacher's Association of Sexsmith Elementary School.  In the years just  prior to, and the f i r s t years of, the war this group was particularly active in community affairs.  One of i t s major concerns at this time was the lack  of recreational space i n the district and particularly at Sexsmith School. Early i n 1 9 U 1 , the P-TA began a campaign to raise funds i n order to build a much needed gymaasium on the school grounds*  6  When $5>00 had been raised  S.M.C.A., General Meeting, February 20, 1939.  - lli through a canvass of residents i n the area, the group decided to discontinue the campaign.  This decision was necessitated by the Vancouver  School Board's declaration that such a gymnasium could only be used for extra-curricular community activities upon payment' of a monthly rent. This information was i n contradiction to that previously given the group by the School Board, and as the P-TA f e l t that such a financial arrangement would jeopardize further development of the f a c i l i t i e s as a community centre, i t gave up the plan.  The group also f e l t that continuation of  this campaign would interfere with the war effort, and, because of this, i t did not make an issue of the School Board's pronouncement. The idea, however, had taken root and was not completely abandoned. Miss Sheila Carlisle describes the further action. Early i n January, 19U5, a special meeting was called by the P-TA for the purpose of again taking action on the proposal of building a gymnasium or community centre i n the South Vancouver area. A special committee was organized to attack the problem realistically. Mr. Thomas, the husband of an active P-TA member, and a man known i n the area as a "community organizer", acted as chairman of the newly-formed committee. The money and material pledges held by the P-TA for the proposed gymnasium were turned over to the committee. For a short time this committee spent i t s time formulating a plan of procedure and encouraging public interest. Then a public meeting was held i n Sexsmith School and an "Executive Committee" elected to carry out the designated plan for action. Membership to the committee was open to *11 residents of the area bounded on the north by Ulst Avenue, south by Marine Drive, east by Ross Street, and west by Cambie Street.' The elected Executive Committee was composed of thirteen men and ten women and included those persons who were on the original P-TA committee.  The  officers of the new Committee were Mr. W. S. Thomas, president, Mr. E. F. Arnatt, vice-president, Mr. W. Fearn, treasurer, and Mrs. E. Quigley,  7 Carlisle, Sheila, Analysis of Sunset Memorial Centre Association i n the Light of Community Organization: Criteria and Techniques, p. 2, 19U6.  - IS secretary.  In addition, there were elected a finance chairman, campaign  chairman, campaign directors, building chairman, membership committee, press convenor, radio publicity, and a ladies auxiliary composed of a chairman and six members. The formation of this Executive Committee was the advent of a new phase i n the community idea, and the people of South Vancouver now had the mechanics through which they could further their plans. Formation of the Sunset Community Association The f i r s t action of the newly formed Executive Committee was to begin working on the physical plans for a community centre building. The group decided that the building should contain a gymnasium large enough for 'Senior A' basketball with spectator accommodation, hobby rooms, kitchen and banquet hall.  With some idea of what i t desired i n the way  of a centre building, the Committee then opened negotiations with the Park Board to secure a site for the building.  The discussions resulted i n the  Park Board agreeing to provide for the group a .section of Sunset Park which comprised the area between Main and Prince Edward Streets and j>lst and 53rd Avenues.  I t was further arranged that the committee should have a  third of that piece of land with the Park Board's promise to beautify the surroundings and i n s t a l l playground f a c i l i t i e s .  The selection of the site  was well received by the people because i t was centrally located i n the South Vancouver District. The name for the proposed centre was taken from the name of the park i n which i t was to be located. 1  W. S. Thomas wrote i n "The Sunset  Story", Someone had the happy thought that ours should be a "Living Memorial", honoring those who had served and those  - 16 who were s t i l l serving, from Vancouver South. Thence came the name: "Sunset Memorial Centre". In their minds was the hope, often expressed, that the Memorial Centre would not only pay tribute to those who had pledged their a l l on behalf of our way of l i f e but also, would demonstrate to a l l residents of this striving metropolis the many blessings which we, as free citizens, derive from our Democratic system i n spite of i t s numerous faults.^ The Committee next proceeded to draw up a constitution. In deciding i t s format, other constitutions such as those of the Hastings and Marpole Community Associations were carefully studied.  Several  meetings, bringing forth considerable discussion, were held before a satisfactory document was f i n a l l y produced.  The objects of the Association,  as outlined i n the Constitution, are: 1. 2. 3»  U.  To assist, develop and foster the Community s p i r i t . To promote the educational, social, cultural and athletic endeavours of the Community and good citizenship as well. To assist any organization, group, company, or individual whose sole aim i s to promote the educational, social, cultural or athletic well-being of the people of the Community. The Association may accept donations or do such things as may be necessary to raise such funds to carry out i t s objectives. Note: It must be clearly understood that the Association shall not by i t s e l f or i n union with any person, company, group, or organization engage i n any enterprise which has gain for i t s object other than of a community nature and for the direct benefit of the Community. The operations of the Association shall be carried on principally in the Southern Slope District of South Vancouver. The Association shall not discriminate as to race, creed, or colour and shall be non-political. That the Committee, i n formulating these objectives, saw  the Association more than just an organization to build a community centre i s very commendable.  The Constitution, on the whole, reflects a high  degree of community-mindedness on the part of the Committee members, and i t i s a structure through which much community organization can be performed. 8 Sunset Memorial Community Centre Association, W.S. Sunset Story. Vancouver, 1950.  Thomas, The  - 17 On May l l i , 19U5> the Sunset Community Association, through incorporation into the Societies Act of British Columbia, o f f i c i a l l y came into existence.  The Association's founders then, hopes high,  commenced i n earnest their task of providing a centre for organized recreation i n the Sunset area.  L i t t l e did they realize, then, the  extent of their task, or that i t would be five years before their dream of a community centre would come true.  - 18 CHAPTER III THE SUNSET COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION IN OPERATION FROM 19k5 TO 19U8 In i t s f i r s t three years of operation, the Sunset Community Association proceeded a long way i n i t s efforts to provide South Vancouver with a community centre.  I t faced many problems and setbacks,  but, through the untiring and zealous work of i t s members, these were overcome. There i s no doubt that a great deal of the Association's strength i n this i n i t i a l period of i t s operation lay i n i t s ability to adjust. vived.  If i t had not been able to adjust, i t would not have sur-  In spite of i t s devoted efforts, however, the group took three  years merely to raise the funds necessary for the erection of the building. Changing Conception and Changing Role of the Association During the f i r s t three years of i t s operation, the Association's concept of a community centre underwent many changes, and the role of the group changed accordingly. The feeling of the newly-formed Association, i n early 19U5,  was  expressed i n the brochure circulated at that time. In the year 19iil the Parent-Teacher's Association of Sexsmith School launched a campaign to raise funds fortiie construction of a gymnasium to be used by the residents of South Vancouver as a Community Centre. Although their I n i t i a l efforts met with good success, i t was later decided to postpone further canvassing until such time as would not interfere with the local war effort. We consider that that time has now arrived and with i t have arisen many new problems as well as ideas. There i s a distinct need for many things, not only for our children but  also for the adult members of the community. Things such as Parks, Recreations, a Supervised Sports Centre, Supervised Hobby Rooms, Club Rooms, a Community Library, Bowling Alley, and Outdoor Playground f a c i l i t i e s . 1  From this statement i t can be seen that from the start the Community Association took a remarkably broad view of the community's needs for leisure time activities.  The Association, i n a survey of the entire  South Vancouver area, had found that the recreational f a c i l i t i e s consisted of only two public tennis courts, a public golf course, and a playground and park on the outskirts of the area; two or three miles from many residents.  It was consequently deemed necessary by the Asso-  ciation to adjust the need from that of a gymnasium for the immediate area surrounding Sexsmith School to a community centre situated i n the heart of the area.  It i s quite obvious that i n these early formulative  stages the; Association had l i t t l e idea of how such a community centre would be maintained after i t was built.  A question and answer brief,  prepared by the Association for the use of i t s volunteer canvassers, answered the question "How i s the Centre to be maintained ?" by saying, "Membership fees of $1.00 per year are to be charged each adult over 18 years of age.  If necessary, other painless methods of raising money 2  w i l l be utilized".  However, the Association's philosophy and under-  standing of the need for the Centre was mature, and commendable.  In  this same brief, appeared: Q  Times have changed, so have individuals, and so have our children. Today our young people are influenced by so many outside forces such as radio, movies, the printed word, etc., etc., and homes by the thousand have been broken by the effects of World War II. 1  191*5.  2 dix fl.  Sunset Community Association, Sunset Memorial Centre, brochure,  ~~~~-  S.C.A., information brief for canvassers, p . l , 19k$* See Appen-  - 20 The cumulative effect i s that many of our boys and girls need more supervised outlets of a constructive nature, plus additional guidance along the road to good citizenship. Further, our standards of living are continually improving, and better living demands that f a c i l i t i e s of modern community centre sj6e made available to young and old i n order that a l l may enjoy a richer and greater measure of health and happiness.3 With these ideas and ideals i n mind, the Association commenced i t s task, which comprised mobilizing community recources to meet the need and initiating a plan of action.  How i t proceeded i s aptly described by Miss  Carlisle. The Association recognized the fact that the goal could only be achieved by i t s obtaining a central site for the building, raising sufficient money for the project, and publicizing the endeavour. Attempts were therefore made to obtain suitable land from the Park Board and a continuing spirit of cooperation was developed. The Association attempted to promote cooperation between the groups and organizations engaged i n community service in the areaj such as churches, business organizations, clubs and sports groups, but with a very limited degree of success. Publicity was used as a means of developing better public understanding of -the need, and objectives, programme, and plans of the Association, and a means of developing public support, particularly financial support. The public canvass was publicized i n local papers and by means of a pamphlet delivered to every resident in the area, describing the history, aims, plans, and executive of the Association. The constitution was described as an assurance to the people that the Association would always be non-sectarian and non-political and make no distinction between members as to race, colour, or creed. Community cooperation was encouraged i n that anyone could become a member of the Association upon payment of a one dollar fee i n the form of a contribution to the fund. For this reason individuals outside the area (described as bounded by lilst Avenue, Cambie and Ross Streets, and Marine Drive), were eligible for membership.^ At this time the Association had given no thought or study to the value of professional leadership for any aspect of the community organization necessary i n the project, nor for the future operation of the Centre. 3 U p.20.  On this point, Miss Carlisle said, Ibid., p.2 Carlisle, Sheila, Analysis of Sunset Memorial Centre Association,  - 21 A l l work has been on a voluntary basis from the beginning and the feeling of the Association i s that this situation w i l l continue except for future janitor service i n the building. The fact that professionalism i s considered unnecessary i n this project i s further exemplified by the way in which the Association has attempted to carry on community organization without the assistance of a skilled or resource person. The Association has not reached the point of accepting outside professional help. For this reason certain features of the community organization process have been poorly handled or are completely lacking. At no time has an intensive, carefully planned survey been made of the community regarding any aspect of the complete problem. Knowing the community by l i v i n g i n i t helps to point out certain lacks and therefore aids toward the formulation of a plan of action to meet the needs. For this reason i t i s quite possible that the Association i s going i n the right direction. But there i s a question of whether the Association has contacted every resource i n the community, u t i l i z i n g every strength, and proceeded in the most efficient, energy-saving manner. The lack of understanding within the Association regarding other planning groups and also the opposition from certain groups and individuals i n the community could have been overcome, or at least dealt with more effectively, i f a trained community organization worker had been assisting the Association.5 In spite of this lack of professional leadership, i t i s remarkable what a good community organization job the Community Association did.  As  in so many instances i n history, an interested group of people went about the job of meeting the needs of their fellow-men i n their own good faith, without realizing for a number of years, the need of certain types of specialists, (that i s social workers) to help bring about their plans. Sincere belief i n the value of their objective was undoubtedly one of the major factors i n the devotion to work of these Sunset pioneers.  As Miss  Carlisle stated, Throughout the months the members have been exceptiona l l y frank and honest with one another and with the public. They know what the goal i s , and are determined to reach i t . Nothing seems too impossible, in fact i n their reaching the point where the necessary services can be given to the community; 5"  Ibid., p.22  for example, they are quite certain that the community working together can build not only the f i r s t unit of the Centre but also a second, and a third, which seems fantastic to less enthusiastic people. 0  The organization within the Community Association i n these early years i s notable.  The executive quickly appointed several sub-  committees, and these committees as well as the executive were active in the Association's planning.  Although around thirty people formed  the working core of the Association, attempts were continually made to draw i n more residents of the community. With the formation of the Sunset Teen-Town, the young people were encouraged to attend meetings and present their interests and point of view. ' In the spring of 19U6, one year after i t s organization, the Association broadened i t s ideas on the nature of the proposed Centre. During the preceding year the whole community centre idea had come to the attention of the larger community of Vancouver.  The formation of  other Community Centre Associations and the Community Centres Conferences of 19li5> and 19U& stimulated the Sunset Association i n i t s activity.  A  brochure summarizing the past year's progress and presenting plans for the future said, Community Centres are already proving themselves by f i l l i n g so completely a long-felt need i n many communities throughout North America. • They provide a meeting place for a l l members of the community, where young and old may gather for social, recreational or cultural purposes under the best of conditions. Your neighbourhood Community Centre Association was the second of i t s kind to be organized and incorporated i n Vancouver. Its membership has been drawn from among publicspirited residents representing a l l sections of Vancouver South. 6  Ibid., p.25.  <  -  23  -  Its Directors and Executive members are ordinarypeople like you and me. They have given freely of their time and services on behalf of this great community effort and take justifiable pride i n the record of achievement already marked up by Sunset Memorial Centre.7 During the year the Association had to make the f i r s t of several adjustments i n i t s financial objective.  The brochure commented on this.  A modern Community Centre can be a costly project. The objective set by the original Executive was $25,000. Later i n order that the proposed Centre should prove f u l l y adequate to the needs of our community, and i n view of everrising costs, i t was deemed advisable to increase the objective to at least $1.0,000 as the minimum sum necessary to erect the f i r s t unit of a continuous step by step programme. To date, after l i t t l e more than one year of earnest effort, Sunset Memorial Centre has raised approximately $20,000. With their heightened interest i n their project, the directors had a great urge to begin building as soon as they possibly could.  They  earnestly hoped that construction could be started i n the f a l l of 191.6. A change of plans resulted i n October when the Association purchased from the War Assets Board the entire army camp of 11 buildings at Ferguson Point i n Stanley Park.  Using the materials salvaged from the buildings,  they planned to erect a temporary structure on the Centre site at 5lst and Prince Edward Street.  Great enthusiasm was elicited by this decision, and  a l l people i n the community were urged to turn out and help with the salvage job. Banner headlines appeared i n city and local papers. Under the heading "Early Erection of Sunset Memorial Centre Assured" the /South H i l l News reported: , Architects plans of Sunset Memorial's temporary premises are being carefully studied this week by directors and Parks Board o f f i c i a l s , as a preliminary to an early start on erection of Vancouver's f i r s t Community Centre. Since the 1  7  S.C.A., Sunset Memorial Centre, brochure, 19^6.  - 21+ latter part of last week a crew of Parks Board employees has been busily engaged i n clearing the i n i t i a l section of the property on which Sunset Memorial Centre i s to be erected on Prince Edward at 5 l s t Avenue. Less than a year and a half after i t s incorporation, Vancouver South*s own Community Centre Group has again scored another i n a long and impressive l i s t of " f i r s t s " . It i s hoped to commence construction of a "temporary" centre within a matter of weeks. Had i t not been for the fact that Sunset Memorial's tender for an entire army camp was found acceptable by the War Assets Corporation, such an early start on the Associate ion's f i r s t quarters would, of course, be an impossibility at this time.° Members i n the Association, aided by a large number of volunteer workers, successfully concluded the salvage job obtaining 80,000 board feet of lumber.  At a dinner sponsored by the Association i n the Hotel  Vancouver on October 25, 191+6  Mr. Thomas announced that the f i r s t fine Sun-  day i n 19U7 would see a swarm of volunteer workers start construction of the Sunset Memorial Centre.  However, these ambitious plans met a setback  when i t was discovered that a temporary frame building such as was planned would not meet fire regulations.  With the necessity of a completely f i r e -  proof building i n mind, and taking into consideration rising construction costs and some changes i n the blueprint plans, the directors re-set the financial objective at $125,000. Again the Association broadened i t s ideas on the function of the Centre.  The president's second report in-April 191+7  read:  Today the picture i s radically different than of a few years back. In addition to our churches and our local educational institutions, we now have i n this area numerous rate-payers' organizations freely united under the banner of the Community Council of Vancouver South. We have our service clubs, our benevolent societies, our  8  South H i l l News. 17 October 191+6, p . l .  veterans organizations, two wide awake, well run local newspapers and Sunset Memorial, a l l striving for community betterment i n some form or another. It is a very healthy sign.. If i n some way i t may be possible, through the development of Sunset Memorial Centre, to bring a l l of the organizations referred to together i n one solid group i n order to undertake certain specific functions affecting the welfare of the community as a whole, i t would, I feel, prove to be another great step forward toward that ideal of a united community.9 Although these broad objectives were primarily voiced by the president, the Association, at that time, appeared to give them i t s unquestioned support.  Daring the years from 19U5  to 191+8  the Association  increased i n numbers. Most of the pioneers i n the project, i n spite of the many setbacks, continued to give unstinting service. The Board of Directors changed very l i t t l e i n i t s composition during this time.  Mr. Thomas, as president, Mr. Arnatt as vice-president,  and Mr. Fearn as treasurer, were re-elected to office at each succeeding annual meeting. The dynamic leadership of Mr. Thomas was undoubtedly of major influence i n the functioning of the Board and the development of the project during these years.  Some members, since, have intimated that they  thought Mr. Thomas was perhaps a l i t t l e too prone to make decisions by himself without sufficient consultation with the Board, but none, however, have questioned his a b i l i t y of his motivations. > Because of this a b i l i t y and his clear understanding of the community needs i t appeared that he sometimes moved ahead too quickly for the rest of the group, and therefore, he did not rely on, or give enough responsibility to, his committees. Mr. Thomas was undoubtedly given excellent support by Mr. Arnatt - a man  9 Thomas, W.S., Second Annual Report of the Sunset Memorial Community Association, April 191+7.  - 26 well respected by the people for his Community-mindedness and his active interest i n social action.  The combination of these two men  was  a happy one for while Mr. Thomas tended to proceed on his own initiative, Mr. Arnatt constantly attempted to draw a l l members of the Association into the planning and decision making. The Raising of Funds The fund-raising efforts of the Association, from the f i r s t meeting i n 19U5  when the members passed the hat to meet their i n i t i a l  expenses, to the passing of the Community Centre By-law which assured the building of the Centre three years later, make a very interesting story. , For the f i r s t month or so, the primary source of funds was the recruiting of new members for the Association for a dollar membership fee. In May 191*5, with the setting of the f i r s t financial objective at money-raising efforts really got under way.  $25,000,  The i n i t i a l project was i n  the form of a canvass of the total area - that part of South Vancouver lying between Cambie Street and Knight Road and Ijlst Avenue and the Fraser River.  As a prelude to the canvassing, the Association distributed a  pamphlet explaining the origin of the Association; i t s aim, the officers, a picture and description of the proposed building, and the proposed plan for gaining public support.  For the actual canvass, the area was divided  into sections, each section having a team of canvassers headed by a captain.  In a l l ^ twenty-five volunteers were selected to do the job, and  they were empowered to accept donations both on a cash and pledge-card basis.  The project was well advertised through the local newspaper and  radio stations, and a movie short on the campaign, prepared free for the  - 27 Association, was shown i n the three local theatres.  Over a five week  period, $3,500 was raised. As part of the intensive canvass,' the Association approached a l l of the business men i n the Fraser Street shopping d i s t r i c t . Although several sizeable donations were received, the canvassers, on the whole, met considerable opposition. Miss Carlisle said:  Commenting on this opposition, •''  The reason for that (the opposition) i s quite clear; for years a well-known and; influential man, mamager of a large store i n that section and executive on a South Vancouver Sports Association, has been advocating the erection of a community centre on Memorial South Park, on Ulst Avenue, two blocks east of Fraser Street, and near the shopping district. He and his associates, therefore, would have nothing to do with the group who had a different site i n mind. That group, moreover, did i t s best to discourage the Sunset Association.10 Finding that raising money by canvassing was a slow and arduous process, the Association decided that other methods would have to be employed.  Raffles were flourishing at that time and they were  considered, and eventually a novel idea i n this line was developed. Mr. W. S. (Stan)'Thomas, i n his "Sunset Story", t e l l s about i t .  "  •  Earle Lathrop, one of our Directors, came forward with a great idea, lflhy not ask the building trades and suppliers to build us a children's playhouse - which would illustrate their products and workmanship, and which we could raffle off. Earle worked like a Trojan. It was built and placed on display - with appropriate fanfare - at the corner of Georgia and Granville Streets. We named i t "The Children's Dreamhouse". For Sunset i t was a pleasant dream to the tune of &2,600.^-  10 11 Vancouver,  Carlisle, Sunset Memorial Centre, p.u. Sunset Community Association, W.S. Thomas, The Sunset Story, 1950.  - 28 -  In December 19U5, the Association embarked on another citywide raffle.  For this, twenty-five-cent tickets were sold on scarce  electrical appliances which had been donated to the Association. Some of the prizes were displayed i n downtown store windows. While this raffle was i n progress, a crackdown on lotteries by the Provincial Government took place, a l l draws becoming i l l e g a l after the f i r s t of January 19U6.  The numerous organizations affected by this ban, including  Sunset, spoke heatedly against the government action.  In a newspaper  interview, Mr. Thomas was quoted as saying, If the government expects us to wind up the draw before the date of completion (February 8th) we stand to lose a l o t of money... I hope the government i s broad minded enough to see our point of view. The government doesn*t seem to make any provision for our youth, or adults for that matter, until they become a problem, then they are put in j a i l . How are people like us to raise funds ? 1 2  After concerted action had been taken by the groups affected, the ban postponed until March 1, 1951.  was  By being allowed to complete i t s raffle,  the Sunset Association realized $U,200 - a substantial boost for i t s fund. A Klondike Carnival held i n the Canadian Legion Hall i n the f i r s t week of February 19U6  netted the Association $ 2 , 0 0 0 .  At this time,  as President Thomas stated, "The need for Community Centres was being universally recognized by now and much publicity, favourable to our cause, was appearing i n the press and other mediums".^ At the end of March 191+6, the treasurer reported at the f i r s t annual meeting that the Association now had a bank surplus of nearly v  12 "Lottery Ban Hits Six Draws i n B.C.", The Vancouver Sun. 20 December, 19l;5, p. 2. 13 S.C.A., Thomas, The Sunset Story, p.6.  - 29 $15,000.  It was then decided by the Association to raise the object-  ive to $U0,000.  This would be used to cover the cost of the f i r s t unit  of the project - that i s the gymnasium, stage, hobby and clubrooms, kitchen, and banquet h a l l .  A proposed second unit would contain an i n -  door swimming pool, and a community workshop with power tools.  It was  also suggested that a special person be hired on a percentage wage basis to canvass a l l the downtown city establishments.  This, however,  was not carried out as the person the Association had i n mind was not available. A l l possible fund-raising projects were carefully considered by the Sunset directors. Under the chairmanship of Mr. Charlie Stevens, a gigantic carnival was held in Memorial South Park during this summer of 19k6,  This event was patronized by many thousands of Vancouverites  and was a financial success. Early i n September of the same year, i n an attempt to cut down building costs, the Association purchased from the War Assets Corporation the eleven army camp buildings which had stood at Ferguson Point in Stanley Park.  The Association intended to use the material salvaged  from these buildings for use in the construction of a temporary Centre building.  Commenting on this project, the editorial of the South H i l l  News read: Vancouver South's own Community Centre group i s on the verge today of seeing the tireless efforts for the past two years culminate i n success for the construction of an ultra modern living memorial. By virtue of the purchase of an entire army camp i n Stanley Park, they obtained supplies without interfering with the construction of homes which Sunset o f f i c i a l s f e l t should have top priority. Direct mail canvass i s being launched this week  which w i l l place the floor plan and front elevation of the actual f i r s t unit i n every home from Knight Road to Cambie Street and hist Avenue to the Fraser River.Ik This idea, however, was discarded when the Centre objective was i n creased to $125,000, the need for a f u l l y fireproof building becoming apparent.  Salvage materials were later sold at a nice profit. Through the F a l l of 1°U6 and the Spring of 191.7, many small  events were held, including draws, whist parties, and a fashion show. In view of the increased objective, further canvassing of the community was done. By May 1, 191*7, the assets of the Association stood close to $22,000.  The president reported at that time that over 1,000 individuals  in the community had made donations to the Centre fund i n one way or another. Three very lucrative carnivals were held during the summer of 19l*7.  The Ladies Auxiliary sponsored a Rose Show at this time, as  well. Early i n the F a l l of 19l*7, the Directors f e l t the time had come for the Association to make a really big effort to put the drive for funds over the top.  The resulting decision* was to send Mr. Thomas  to Hollywood i n an effort to see Bing Crosby i n the hope that he might be persuaded to come to Vancouver to stage a benefit show on behalf of Sunset Memorial Community Centre.  Mr. Thomas was successful i n his  quest and arrangements were made for the Bing Crosby radio show to be held i n Vancouver at the Forum on September 21, 191*8. No less than $26,000 was netted for the building fund on the single performance of  li*  South H i l l News, Editorial, November 28, 191*6.  - 31 the Crosby troupe I  President Thomas reported, "With the profit  from Bing's tremendous show, the Sunset treasury bounded upward to reflect the balance of $1+6,000 - the largest sum ever raised by any local community centre group Although the Association received a $20,000 g i f t from the City of Vancouver, i t found i t s e l f s t i l l short $60,000 of i t s objective. In order to raise this deficit, the decision was made, i n conjunction with the Marpole Association, to submit a combined Local Improvement By-law to the property owners of Vancouver South and Marpole.  The By-  law, voted on i n civic elections i n December 191+8, was given a large majority and, at last, the Sunset Community Association had successfully reached the end of i t s financial campaign. In reviewing the Association's endeavours i n i t s fund-raising campaign, the immensity of i t s task i s very evident. There were undoubtedl y many times when the Association must have f e l t like giving up the project.  Increasing costs of building and other factors made frequent re-  visions of the financial objective necessary - i n fact, the f i n a l objectives was six times that of the i n t i a l objective J  The local improve-  ment by-law, through which the citizens of South Vancouver pledged to pay for the building of the Centre for the next' twenty years, was certainl y a unique but an effective way of completing the financial campaign. One negative aspect of the By-law was that, as i t was voted on only i n civic electoral areas 31, 3l+, 37, a strip of the Sunset area (from 1+lst to l+9th Ave. East between Cambie and Prince Edward Sts.) was excluded. Consequently some of the people who were very interested i n the building  15  Thomas, op. c i t . , p.ll+.  - 32 of the centre were unable to vote i n the By-law, and i t i s quite possible that some of them might have resented their exclusion.  The  Association, however, was well aware of this situation and published an explanation i n the local newspapers.  It also made provisions so  that the excluded citizens could make special donations i f they so wished.  ' It would seem from the Sunset-Marpole experiment that some  research i s needed on the civic improvement By-law as a means for raising funds for community projects.  It i s not necessarily the end-  a l l as a fund-raising technique and i t should be used with caution. Sunset Community Feeling and Interest-Cooperation Within Total City An important part of this analysis of the Sunset Community Association in operation from 19U5 to 19i|8 i s that of investigating how the local community f e l t and reacted to this project that was going on i n i t s midst, and also i t s relationship to the Community Centre Movement in the total city. Through i t s various canvasses, the Association attempted to reach as large a number of the residents i n the Sunset area as possible. However, the response to their canvasses indicated that many of the people were not contacted and i n some cases, i f contacted, were not 1  interested i n the,community centre plan.  This i s borne out by President  Thomas's statement that, two years after the organization, only 1,000 people had actually made contributions to the financial campaign.  The  lack of response on the part of the business men i n the Fraser Street d i s t r i c t has already been mentioned.  - 33 In an attempt to e l i c i t the support of the churches of the community, the Association invited nine representative ministers to a meeting.  The Association was very disappointed to have only one  minister come. No reason was given for this lack of response on the part of the churches.  However, i t i s reasonable to assume either that  they were not interested, or that the Association had made only a token ouverture to the ministers because i t unconsciously did not want the churches' cooperation. A similar situation resulted when the Association approached the Canadian Legion.  Upon approaching this organization, which had a strong  branch i n the shopping district, the Association found that that group could offer no real assistance, although i t did make a financial contribution.  The Legion offered to cooperate but made no attempt to do so.  Apparently the Canadian Legion misinterpreted the Association's plans and misunderstood the purpose of giving i t s support, and refused on the grounds that such a scheme would interfere with i t s business.  Miss  Carlisle states that she gathered from Mr. Arnatt that the Association had not attempted a f f i l i a t i o n with other interested groups because of the fear of being held back i n i t s own  plans.^  It i s very d i f f i c u l t to determine just how much interest the people i n the community had i n the Centre during these f i r s t three years. In the actual spade work i n the project, the Association did not receive a great deal of volunteer help.  Even during the salvage job at Ferguson  Point, which at that time gave promise of an immediate erection of the building, more community support would have been welcome. The editor of  16  Carlisle, Sunset Memorial Centre Association, p.17  the South H i l l News commented at that time: So very many of our citizens are a l l too prone to stand on the side-lines and "o-oh" and "a-a-ah" and decry the so-called "juvenile delinquency" (accursed phrase), yet when they are presented with a real opportunity to render community service of a kind which w i l l go f a r toward helping our boys and girls (mothers and fathers, too) f a i l to take i t , and i n far too many numbers, prefer to stand on the side-lines or s i t at home by the f i r e side while the "George's do i t " . 17 The teenagers of the community, at this time, however, really turned out i n force to add their share to this community effort. The people of the South Vancouver District gave a clear indication that they really did want a community centre when they gave such an overwhelming majority to the Community Centre By-law i n 191.8. The polling booths i n the Sunset area showed almost a one hundred percent vote for the Centre.  During a l l of the events of the fund-raising cam-  paign, excellent support was given by both the local community and the 1  total city.  Very few events i n Vancouver's history obtained the  publicity and -whole-hearted public support as did Sunset Memorial's Bing Crosby show. Other manifestations of interest i n Sunset from the larger city were also present. However, i n general, the Association did not welcome this type of interest.  For example; the Association declined  representation i n the Community Centre Organization because i t f e l t that the "old conventional methods" would hold back advancement; that laws and agreements would t i e down the Association when i t wanted to strike forward without hesitation.  17  South H i l l News. Editorial, 17 October, 191.6.  - 35 Miss Carlisle describes the early relationships of the Association -with the Vancouver Welfare Council: Miss McRae attended one meeting of the Association and apparently described the work of the Council, particularly the Group Work Section, and also the Community Chest set-up, but the reception by the Association was not good. Mr. Arnatt stated that South Vancouver does not contribute well to the Community Chest and i t seemed to the Association members that their a f f i l i a t i o n to the Council or the Chest was requested only as a means of gaining publicity for the Community Chest. The contact, therefore, was considered of no value to the Association.lo It would seem from this that the Association not only misunderstood the function of the Chest and Council, but again did not wish "interference" from outside sources. From a l l reports, the Association, at this time, had a good working relationship with the Park Board.  Agreements regarding the  use of the Park Board land on which the centre was to be built were reached with l i t t l e difficulty.  The Park Board gave the Association  every encouragement i n i t s project.  There was, however, no discussion  between the two parties concerning how the centre, after i t was built, was to be operated. Very l i t t l e i s recorded of Sunset's cooperation with any of the other Vancouver Community Centre Associations.  As the Sunset and Mar-  pole area border on one another, the two Associations were naturally  19 in close contact. ion,  According to Mr. W. S. Thomas, the Marpole Associat-  at that time, headed by Mr. S. Moulds, helped Sunset a great deal  in the early years, and 'pointed the way' for them. 18 19  Carlisle, Sunset Memorial Centre Association, p.6. Thomas, W.S., interview with writer, 22 May, 1951.  - 36 There was, no doubt, some impact on the Sunset Association's thinking and i t s broadening ideas re community centre, received from the Community Centres Conferences, which were held i n 19U5, 19U6, 19U7.  and  The content of the conferences included a great deal of material  on the building, organization, administration of, and the leadership and programmes for, community centres.  Although delegages from Sunset  attended these conferences, i * i s d i f f i c u l t to ascertain just what their participation was and how they reacted to them.  Commenting on these  20  conferences,  Mr. Thomas said that he f e l t that the Sunset delegates  did not get as much as they could have from them as they were, at that time, too engrossed i n the fund-raising aspect of their project. However, he was sure that the conferences had a stimulatory effect on the Sunset Centre project as a whole. Programme Activities The entry of the Association i n programme activity was described as follows:  1  The Sunset Association had no intention of beginning community activities, other than money raising projects, before the building was erected. But i n February 19li6, one hundred and f i f t y students at John Oliver High School signed a petition requesting the formation of a 'Teen Town' under the sponsorship of the Sunset Association. The Association did not want to lose these students as future members of the Centre, and therefore, agreed to sponsor the group. One of the Association members, Fred Smith, having had some experience in a Y.M.C.A., agreed to help organize the Teen Town. At the f i r s t meeting the boys and g i r l s elected a temporary executive and took over the operation of i t s own club. They decided to abandon the idea of a Teen Town, as merely a teenage dance organization, and to make i t a real youth group with many types of activities; hobbies, hikes, bike-hikes, swimming, and so forth. It was therefore decided to conduct a contest to name the group. Plans were made to conduct an election i n May with polling divisions, zones, election campaigns, speeches,  20  Ibid.  - 37 and so on. They also agreed to start off with a dance for a l l teenagers i n order to attract a l l the young people i n the area. The Association lent the group f i f t y dollars to begin activities and selected a Teen Town committee to offer help and advice to the young people. The Teen Town executive refused to take a g i f t of money but declared that they would be self-supporting once they were well-organized. They met i n the Legion Hall for these f i r s t meetings because i t i s the largest hall i n the area . . . . . As soon as Teen Town was initiated, other groups began asking for the organization of hobby clubs. The * Association has already a good number of volunteers ready to take groups as soon as desired; for example, swimming, woodwork, and other hobbies, and Pro-Rec courses. The Association, therefore,- has been rushed into conducting activities before planned. The main issue, however, i s the raising of funds for the building of the Centre.*1 Hobby groups for a l l ages were organized to study aeronautics, model plane building, radio, sewing, knitting, and home handiwork. A class i n fencing was looked forward to as soon as suitable quarters could be arranged.  Application forms for participation i n  hobbies and sports mentioned were made available at the Sunset Memorial Headquarters, 6389 Fraser Avenue.  Requests were made for members of  the community to permit the use of their basements or recreation rooms for the practice of some of these hobbies. In the Summer of 191+6, Sunset sponsored a Summer Festival which was held i n Memorial Park South more for the purpose of publicizing the Centre than raising funds for i t .  Many community artists took part  in this Festival. Under the sponsorship of Sunset Memorial Centre, with the assistance of the local schools, the x-ray service of the T.B. and Chest Division conducted a survey of the community, i n the Spring of 191+7.  - 38 -  In the summer of that year, Sunset organized an outdoor concert party known as the Sunset Band Wagon. Working i n conjunction with the Board of Park Commissioners and the Greater Vancouver Communities Council, Sunset and several other community centre groups presented, on a rotating basis, concert shows i n the different neighbourhoods . The preceding activities, plus several smaller special events, constituted the programme during this period. The needs of the community were well pointed up by the fact that the people even i n the very early stages of the Centre development demanded progranme.  It i s to the  credit of the Association that, although i t was very busy with fundraising, i t took steps to meet the needs as they arose.  CHAPTER IV SUNSET MEMORIAL CENTRE - A REALITY Through the passing of the Local Improvement By-law i n December 19U8, the Sunset Community Association was assured of the $125,000 needed to build i t s centre. Reaching the end of the threeyear financial campaign must have been a very gratifying experience for a l l of the Association members. They certainly were well justified i n feeling proud of their endeavours.  The Association Directors, then,  were able to concern themselves with the next phase i n their project that of the constructing the building.  I t probably appeared to them at  that time that this would be a relatively easy task but, again, many problems had to be solved before success was theirs. Construction of the Centre. The construction of the Centre seemed to f a l l into three phases: the drawing up of the plans, the selection of the site, and the erection of the building. In order to expedite the drawing up of plans for the Centre, the Association appointed a Building Committee.  This Committee, working  closely with the selected architect and the Park Superintendent, spent many arduous hours i n drawing up plans which would provide a building best suited to meet the needs of the community.  Suggestions for the  design of the Centre were elicited from the community, and the experience of local contractors was drawn upon. Many types of buildings were considered, including the utilization of quonset hut units.  - Uo Some time was wasted when disagreement arose among the .members of the Building Committee, particularly i n reference to the manner i n which the Centre was to be built.  The Committee chairman f e l t that the  construction could be done by day labour under local contractors.  This  idea was eventually discarded because, to conform with the law, a l l contracts using public money have to be l e t on a competitive basis, and have to be bonded. At this time, the Association president f e l t that i t was imperative that the construction of the building start as soon as possible i n order to maintain the community's interest i n the project.  The planning  discussions were accelerated and a definite design was eventually selected. The f i n a l decision unfortunately resulted In the resignation of the Building Committee chairman as he did not approve of the type of building selected, nor the manner i n which i t was to be constructed.  He f e l t , too,  that certain of the Board members had been "going over his head", and therefore, he was unable to function.  This was a very regrettable incident,  as this man, who had been a devote Sunset worker and who had contributed greatly to the whole project, following his resignation, withdrew entirely from the Association.. The plans for the Centre were presented to the Park Board i n mid-spring of 19h9, and following their acceptance, tenders were called for the construction of the building. The selection of the actual site of the building i n Sunset Park (which comprises the area lying between 5lst and 53rd Avenues West and between Prince Edward and Sophia Streets) also was the cause of some  - ui -  difficulty.  There were several suggestions as to the site, the  majority, however, being i n favour of the corner of 5ist Avenue and Prince Edward Street.  This location was violently opposed to by some  of the residents, led by the ex-chairman of the Building Committee, whose homes were on 5lst Avenue directly across the street from the proposed site.  They f e l t that the Centre should be placed further  back i n the Park so that they would be less affected by the noise from it.  They also thought that the presence of the Centre on their "door-  steps" would result i n the devaluation of their property.  The Associat-  ion Board of Directors and the Park Board f e l t that the corner location was the logical one as i t would leave more space i n the park area for the development of playground and playing fields.  The location, too,  was the most satisfactory for the tentatively planned second unit of the Centre, a swimming pool.  They assured the complaining residents  that noise from the Centre should not be so great as to be an annoyance. The corner location was the one eventually decided upon. Before the construction actually started, there was a further altercation between the Building Committee and the 5*lst Avenue residents. This was i n regard to the set-back of the wall of the building from the street.  The residents f e l t that the outside wall was being built too  close to the street, and one resident, i n particular, threatened to get an injunction against the Association unless the wall was moved back. Following consultation with the City engineers a compromise was brought about, and the wall was moved back several feet. The foregoing incidents were unfortunate ones as they did not  - U2 -  improve relations between the Association and the community.  It would  seem that the Building Committee did not take into great enough consideration the feelings of the nearby residents and decisions regarding the site of the building might have been reached i n a more democratic manner. The Committee appeared to f e e l that much of the antagonism expressed against i t came from one man and that he influenced the other residents, and perhaps, because of this, i t did not place too much importance on the  complaints.  Other community centre associations, when deciding upon the sites of their centres, can learn well from Sunset's experience.  Though  i t i s very understandable that Associations are anxious to erect their buildings as quickly as possible, i t i s very important that they remember that community relationships are of prime importance to the future success of their Centres, and every effort should be made to keep these relationships on a healthy and mature level.  Sunset's experience points up, too,  the necessity of having professional help i n the community organization process.  This remark i s not intended to detract from the excellence of  the work of the Community Associations, but rather i t i s a suggestion that some of the inevitable p i t f a l l s could be avoided by professional guidance. Construction of the Centre f i n a l l y got under way i n August 191+9 and, although building progressed f a i r l y quickly, several major difficulties arose.  The most inconvenient of these was the going into  bankruptcy of the Allport Construction Company, i n December of that year. Following considerable contractors' negotiations, a three-way control  - h3 -  arrangement was devised, which involved the architect, the superintendent, and the Sunset Community Association.  The Park Board took over the job of  general contractor on the project, retaining the same sub-trades to do the actual construction. Many minor alterations were made i n the plans during the building and credit must be paid to the president of the Board of Directors for his careful consideration of a l l suggestions put forward by the various Sunset groups that had been formed.  From these suggestions many advantag-  eous changes were made to the original plans. For example, the kitchen was enlarged three feet i n one direction and a trap door installed i n the kitchen floor to permit use of additional storage space i n the unexcavated area below the kitchen and dining room, on the recommendation of the Sunset Ladies Auxiliary. A momentous day i n the construction of the Centre was December 11, 19k9 when the ceremony of the Laying of the Cornerstone took place. Although there was a swirling snowstorm that day, several hundred people from the community, members of the Association, the Mayor, the Provincial Minister of Labour representing Premier Byron Johnson, members of the City Council and Park Board were present to see Jimmy McLarnin o f f i c i a l l y lay the cornerstone.  Deposited i n the cornerstone was an 11 x 5 monel-  metal "Time Capsule" containing newsreel shots of the building of the Centre, Directors of the organization and the surrounding district, and newspaper clippings and photographs of the styles and l i f e of today.  The vacuum-  packed capsule, designed to last for at least 200 years, should provide some interesting data for South Vancouver residents i n the far distant future  1 -hh-  when the building i s eventually torn down. The Centre was o f f i c i a l l y dedicated to the "men and women of Vancouver South who served i n the armed forces and the merchant navy during the Second World War" and i t received the blessing of Rev. R. W. Hardy of St. George's United Church. Detachments from the Army, Navy and Air Force Veterans and the Sunset Scout Trojsp and Wolf Cub Pack gave a serious but colourful a i r to the ceremony. President Thomas spoke for the community association saying, "This Centre i s for the use of a l l races, creeds and colours and we intend to bring them a l l together i n the s p i r i t of making them feel they're Canadians before anything else". On April 18, 1950 representatives of the Park Board, radio and press were guests of the Sunset Community Association and were shown around the almost completed centre.  Resulting newspaper articles and radio  reports indicated that the visitors were very impressed with what they saw and heard.  Some of the things about the building which they noted as being  particularly outstanding were the spacious entrancej the dramatic red and yellow colouring of the exterior emphasizing the clean functional lines of the buildingj the tastefully decorated lounge - furnished by the South Vancouver Lions Club and open to the public at a l l times; the large welldesigned kitchen and adjacent dining room seating 125 persons; and the spacious "Bing Crosby" gym-auditorium, built so as to be acoustically correct for radio broadcasting and large enough to seat 1000 persons, and designed for maximum participation i n sports and recreational activities. Also catching the eye of the guest was the judicious use of basement space for a series of small, well-equipped hobby or small meeting rooms, and for two roomy well-designed shower and dressing rooms.  The Board of  - 1*5  -  Directors and the community were pleased with the favourable publicity given their Centre and the way i n which their efforts were received. By the end of May 1950 construction of the Centre had advanced far enough so that a limited programme could be carried on i n it.  Four months later the building was o f f i c i a l l y opened.  Other Activities'and Business of the Association During the construction phase of the Centre, the Sunset Community Association, although i t , naturally, was greatly interested i n seeing the building gradually become a reality, did concern i t s e l f with, and was involved in, other activities. In February 19U9, the Association was very much i n the news when i t was awarded the Captain George Vancouver Trophy for the effort which brought the most favourable publicity for the city outside British Columbia i n 19l*8.  The Centre's sponsoring of the Bing Crosby Show, which  reached "at least 1*0 million people", was hailed as the outstanding City publicity campaign of 191*8. In an impressive ceremony, the Mayor o f f i c i a l l y presented the engraved plaque to President Thomas. At the Association's Annual Meeting i n April 191*9, Mr. Thomas was again elected president. The members voiced their approval of the progress of their project up to that time and gave evidence of their appreciation for the dynamic leadership provided by Mr. Thomas. The question of how the Centre, when completed, was going to be administered came to the fore i n July 191*9, when the Association approached the Park Board requesting a contract or an agreement covering  - 1+6 -  the administration of the building.  Before turning over any money  to the Park Board for the construction of the building, the Association wanted assurance that i t would retain control over the operation of the Centre.  As the Park Board appeared very reticent to commit i t s e l f on  the matter, Mr. Thomas, on the advice of a lawyer, presented the Civic body with a questionnaire covering many administrative points."'" Sunset's action led to a conference attended by representatives from the Sunset, Marpole, and Kitsilano Associations, the Vancouver Communities Council, and department o f f i c i a l s from the Park Board.  Mr. Moulds of the Marpole Association was particularly active at  this conference and his feelings regarding the discussion appeared i n a newspaper article. 'We didn't agree on anything*, commented Mr. Moulds. 'Park Board ideas on administration and ours just-didn't agree. We have to run the centre and I think we ought to have 99 percent of the say i n how i t s administered'.2 The article noted: Comment at the meeting was that the Park Board did not have the staff to run the centre and that control should reside i n the community. The outeome of the conference was not very satisfactory.  The Park Board  failed to produce any written agreement for the Centres. The Sunset Association decided to carry on with the construction of i t s Centre when Mr. Thomas reached a verbal agreement with the Park o f f i c i a l s .  He said^  that at that time they assured him-that they intended merely to oversee the centre and only step i n i f i t was not being used i n the best interest 1 2 6 , 191+9, p. 2 1 .  3  See Appendix 6. "Community Centre Delay Threatened", The Vancouver Sun, July Thomas, W.S.,  interview with the writer, 22 May 1951*  - hi -  of the community. In the light of following Park Board actions, i t i s very unfortunate that the Community Associations did not press for a satisfactory written agreement i n 19U9.  I t certainly would have done much to  prevent the present unsatisfactory relationship between the Park Board and the Association from arising.  That there was, and s t i l l i s , a great  difference between what the Park o f f i c i a l s and the Associations regard as "in the best interests of the community" has become increasingly obvious. In the f a l l of 19U9, several newspaper articles appeared regarding the operation of the Vancouver Community Centres.  In October,  the Park Board outlined a basis for operation of the centres. Specific recommendations were: Park Board would take responsibility for building maintenance, heating, cost of minimum supervision, and the creation of the office of Supervisor of Public Buildings to coordinate community centre operating policy. Community Centre would take responsibility for the salary of part-time janitor, light and power, and additional part-time or special supervision.k That the Park Board only made provision for "minimum supervision" clearly indicated that i t had l i t t l e conception of the role of a community centre and the great importance of having adequate direction on a local level. In the same article, i t was stressed that "continued cooperation and ehtusiasm within the individual communities" 4s a major factor to the success of the operations.  Such a remark now appears rather  ironic as the Park Board has done much to s t i f l e the desired "continued  h "Park Board Plans Aid for Centres", The Vancouver Sun, 20 October 19ii9.  -  U8  -  cooperation and enthusiasm". Late i n 19U9,  the Park Board advocated extra financial  support for the Centres, a subsidy of $5,000 a year.  The Associations  commended this action of the Board as i t put them on a much more secure financial footing.  To the Sunset Association, whose centre was then  nearing completion, i t was a definite shot i n the arm.  I t was definite-  l y to the Park Board's credit that i t s recommendation to the City Council regarding the grant was successful.  There i s no doubt that the Park  officials were interested i n establishing community centres, but only centres which Would f i t i n with their plans. During the construction of the building there was a considerable increase i n the activity of the Sunset groups.  The people i n  the community, seeing that their Centre was now fast becoming a reality, started thinking about how and when they were going to use i t .  The Ladies  Auxiliary was particularly active, and this enterprising organization generously volunteered to f u l l y equip the large kitchen i n the Centre. To raise the necessary funds for this and for their other efforts for the Centre, the Auxiliary held a wide variety of events such as rummage sales, dances, telephone whist, garden parties and drawings.  I t even staged two  very successful fashion shows, a l l the modelling and catering being done by the ladies themselves. The Sunset Boy Scout Troop and Wolf Cub Pack also expanded and continued their efforts on behalf of the Centre.  A large  sports programme was sponsored by the Association and volunteer leadership  -  here was outstanding.  h9 -  Sunset soccer and softball teams became well known  in sporting circles i n the city. and enthusiastically supported.  A Sunset bowling league was also formed While awaiting their "home" to be finished,  these groups, and others, held their meetings i n recreation rooms, basements, private homes and i n any other available f a c i l i t i e s .  During the  summer"of 19k9 many meetings were held out-of-doors. Under the auspices of the Sunset Association and the Vancouver Lions Club, a very successful Halloween Party was staged on the grounds of Sexsmith School.  About 3000 people, children and adults, were present and  the Association was very pleased with the community interest shown i n this undertaking. It i s worthy of mention at this point that the two local newspapers, the South H i l l Record and the Vancouver South News, greatly assisted the Association's efforts by excellent advertising of a l l the events, as they had previously done during the' fund-raising campaign. The Board of Directors greatly appreciated the cooperation of the two weekly papers. Early i n April 1950, the Association found i t necessary to embark on a fund-raising campaign to furnish and equip the now nearly completed building.  Realizing that i t was also time for them to get some idea  as to what use the people i n the community wanted to put the Centre, the directors s k i l f u l l y combined the two projects.  An attractive advertising  brochure was designed and an activity questionnaire was devised.  In re-  ference to the questionnaire, the Association spent some time and trouble insuring that i t would be an effective one.  Mr. Thomas consulted members  of the University of British Columbia Department of Social Work regarding  - 50 i t , and eventually- a satisfactory one was produced. The questionnaire, the advertising brochure, and a covering letter were then mailed, or delivered, to six thousand homes or business firms i n the Sunset area.  A definite effort was made to cover the commu-  nity i n the project. A volunteer group was then organized to pick up the money donations, giving o f f i c i a l receipts for them, and the completed questionnaires.  Unfortunately, although the group started out with great  enthusiasm, i t dwindled down i n numbers and the job was not finished. Many homes did not receive a caller and others, visited when the residents were out, were not revisited. It was too bad this project was not fully carried out as the idea was sound, and the personal nature of the contact with the people would have improved public relations. The Association, did, however, obtain some results for i t s efforts.  For the equipment and furnishing drive about $2,500 was raised.  The Directors f e l t that this was quite good, especially as the community had been asked for many donations and many people might not have been able to make another one at that time. Of the 6000 questionnaires sent out, only about 600 were picked up or returned.  Although the Association had hoped for more^returns,  the ones obtained did provide the Association with some definite indication as to some activities desired by the community. As a point of interest, i t was found that educational movies were most requested, then handicraft groups, kindergarten, Pro-Rec, baseball etc., and old-time dancing, i n that order.  To the question "Would you care to help as a volunteer leader,  5  See Appendix C.  lecturer or instructor ?", about 80 persons answered i n the affirmative, many stating exactly what volunteer work they would like to do.  The  Association, and later on the Executive Director of the Centre, have 1  kept the results of the questionnaire i n mind i n the process of building up a programme of activities for the Centre. An historic occasion for the Association was the night of April 20th when the Annual General Meeting was held i n the half completed Centre. Mr. W. S. (Stan) Thomas was again elected as president of the Association.  As he was at that time moving from South Vancouver to West  Vancouver, Mr. Thomas requested that his term of office end when the Centre was o f f i c i a l l y opened i n the f a l l and at that time someone else take over the job as president.  Other office holders i n the new Executive  were Messrs. Robert Fleming and Laurie Butler, Vice-presidents, Mr. William Fearn, Treasurer, and Miss Pearl Inwood, Secretary. It i s interesting to note that with one or two exceptions, the 1950-51 Executive i s the same as the Executive which launched the project i n 19U5.  Jack Hutchings commented  on this fact i n his newspaper column by saying "Sunset's sustained leadership has paid off handsomely".^ The Centre was unofficially opened on the 2l|th of May when the Association held a gala sports day on the grounds and a dance i n the building.  There was an excellent turnout for the days festivities which  included a pet and novelty parade for the children, with prizes for the nicest and most unusual pets and for the best decorated bikes and wagons, novelty races, boxing matches, model airplanes and 'Pro-Rec' displays, and a softball game. The evening dance i n the "Bing Crosby" Hall was  6 Hutchings, Jack, "Suburban Scene", Vancouver Sun, Newspaper Column, April 28, 1950.  - 52 very well attended, For many people of the community, i t was their f i r s t v i s i t to their Centre.  From that date until the appointment of  a director and the grand opening of the Centre, the building was kept in partial use with members of the Board of Directors and the Ladies Auxiliary, i n shifts of two on duty each night, acting as supervisors. With the Centre quickly reaching completion, the next task of the Association was to obtain the necessary staff to operate i t . f i r s t f u l l time staff member to be appointed was the janitor.  The  There were  about twenty applicants for the job and the one eventually selected took over the janitorial duties around the middle of June.  The job of catering  for dinners, weddings, and other social functions at the Centre was awarded to the Ladies Auxiliary. TOien faced with the problem of finding someone to actually "run the Centre", the Directors were, at f i r s t , rather confused as to what would be the nature of the job.  They f i r s t thought of i t as programme  director, but when they realized that the job would also include administrative tasks, they re-classified i t as executive director. There was considerable discussion among the directors as to the qualifications and the nature of the person to f i l l the position.  The  president, because of his greater understanding of the role of the community centre and because of his contacts with the University, recommended that a professional social group worker should be hired.  When he approached the  Park Board with this idea, he met with a sharp rebuff.  The Park Super-  intendent insisted that a g i r l at $150 a month could handle the job, and that the appointment of a professional person was completely unnecessary.  - 53 It was late i n June before the job was advertised i n the newspapers. It i s interesting that two advertisements were' used, one calling for an executive director, and the other for a youth leader. The Association then drewup a Selection Committee, composed of members of the Board of Directors, the Vancouver City and the B.C. Telephone Company personnel officers, and a representative from the Park Board.  Although this committee did not outline a description for the job,  i t did use, as a basis for selection, the qualifications for a community centre director as outlined by the National Recreation Association. The committee spent considerable time screening and interviewing the f i f t y applicants, and, although the Park Board representative was definitely not in favour, a trained social worker was eventually selected.  His wide  experience i n directing community efforts i n Edmonton (with the Recreation Commission), West Vancouver, North Vancouver War Memorial Community Centre, Alexandra Neighbourhood House, and the Family Welfare Bureau, were mentioned by the Committee as strong factors for Mr. Jack Hopkins' appointment as Executive Director of the Centre.  He took over the job at the end of August.  The appointment of a social group worker as Executive Director at Sunset was significant as i t indicated that the Association to some extent realized the advantage of having a professional person.  It i s true  that Mr. Thomas was, i n the main, responsible for the appointment, but he was given substantial support by some members of the Association.  Other  of the Directors, while agreeing with the appointment, obviously, had l i t t l e idea of the value of having a professionally trained person.  The fact  that Marpole had, as i t s director, a professional group worker, undoubtedly  - SU stimulated a similar appointment at Sunset. The Park Board, by i t s stubborn resistance to the appointment of a professional person to direct the Centre, clearly showed that i t refused to recognize the place or the value of a group worker i n such a community endeavour.  It i s possible that the Board recognized the  advent of professionally trained persons into the community centres as a threat to i t s control over the project. The Official Opening of the Centre - A Dream Comes True I In the spring and a l l through the summer of 1950, the Association and the community as a whole had been eagerly anticipating the grand opening of the Centre. It was f i r s t hoped that the big event would be held late i n August, but as there were some minor holdups i n the finishing of the building, i t was the end of September before a l l was ready.  A l l through the waiting months, as plans for the week-long grand  opening programme were being developed, the community and the city as a whole were kept i n the picture by frequent advertising i n the newspapers and on the radio.  The celebrations were f i n a l l y scheduled for the week  of September 25th to September 30th.  In planning the programme of events,  the Association endeavoured to include something of interest for people of 1  a l l ages.  They wanted the big event to be a real family celebration and  i t was just that.  The community turned out i n large numbers for every  event. The highlights of the week long programme were interesting. The Monday night was "boxing-night" and boxers from several clubs i n the city and three Dominion amateur champions put on a demonstration. Head  - 55 referee for the event was none other than "Jimmy" McLarnin who flew up from California "to help a good cause".  The Tuesday night was  devoted to music, a two hour concert being put on by the B.C. Electric Glee Club.  Several popular assisting artists also performed.  The  Wednesday evening featured a Fashion Show put on by the Sunset Ladies' Auxiliary.  On the Thursday was held the f i r s t of the regular weekly-  square dances, featuring Miss Mernie Summers as "caller". was very well supported. the Friday evening.  This event  The O f f i c i a l Opening Ceremonies took place on  As i t had been rumoured that Bing Crosby might  possibly be present, a capacity crowd thronged to the Centre.  Although  Mr. Crosby did not appear i n person, he did take part i n the ceremony by telephone.  By means of a loudspeaker connection on a long distance te-  lephone c a l l from San Francisco, the audience heard the famous crooner talk to Mayor Charles Thompson and retiring Sunset president "Stan" Thomas and o f f i c i a l l y open the new Centre. During the rest of the ceremony the community and particul a r l y the Association leaders received the congratulations of the many civic o f f i c i a l s present.  In the usual tradition, an oversize key to the  Centre was presented to Mayor Thompson who passed i t on to Park Commissioner Arnold Webster who i n turn gave i t to President Thomas. In a bef i t t i n g climax, the key was presented by Mr. Thomas to three children who represented the younger generation who w i l l benefit most from the new Centre.  Following the o f f i c i a l opening, a variety show featuring  local talent was presented.  The show included singing and dancing  numbers by the Canadian Folk Society of many national groups, a parade  - 56 of sports and hobbies by various 'Sunset' groups, and other musical and dramatic acts by community artists.  The week's festivities were  concluded on Saturday, with the Sunset House Warming Frolic. In conjunction with the opening ceremonies, the Association had published a souvenir-programme booklet entitled "The Sunset Story". Included i n i t s contents were a short story of the development of the Centre by President Thomas, tributes to Bing Crosby and Jimmy McLarnin for their efforts i n the building of the Centre, and an article on the plans for the future by Executive Director Jack Hopkins.  The booklet was  well illustrated and attractively bound, and was sold for twenty-five cents. (The buyer also had a chance on a prize drawing).  The Association had  hoped to make money on the publication, but failed to do so as i t overestimated the sale of the booklet and several hundred copies remained unsold.  ' Following the retirement of Mr. Thomas, Mr. Robert Fleming  was elected president of the Association. September 30th, 1950.  He took over the job on  Although Mr. Thomas i s now a resident of West Van-  couver, on the request of the Association, he agreed to remain on the Board of Directors. For the members of the Sunset Community Association, the o f f i c i a l opening of the Centre marked the successful conclusion to five and one-half years arduous work. Their feelings were expressed i n the caption to a picture of the Centre on the cover of "The Sunset Story" which read "A dream come true".  South Vancouver, through community effort,  now had a community centre comparable to any i n Canada.  - 57 The Association relaxed for a while, satisfied with i t s job well done. However, i t slowly began to realize that the physical existence of the building was only the f i r s t phase i n the development of a community centre.  The second, and perhaps the most important  task now faced them, that of insuring that the Centre was used i n the best interests of a l l the people i n the community.  CHAPTER V THE FIRST FIVE MONTHS Following the grand opening of the building i n September 1950, Sunset Memorial Centre o f f i c i a l l y began i t s operations.  The following  analysis of the f i r s t five months of programme shows that a great deal was accomplished. A wide and varied programme of activities was developed and a large number of Sunset community residents took part i n i t . The development of the programme of activities i s shown i n detail. Regarding the leadership - Board of Directors, professional, and volunteer - at the Centre, during the five months, both positive and negative factors are evident.  Of special interest i s the effect of the entering  of the Park Board into a controlling position i n the affairs of the Centre.  An attempt i s made to indicate the limitations to programme  development which existed during this i n i t i a l period of operation. Development of Programme Activities In spite of numerous limitations and d i f f i c u l t i e s , the programme of activities at Sunset increased considerably during the f i r s t five months of operation. As already mentioned, at the time of the o f f i c i a l opening of the Centre, there were relatively few activities i n operation.  Several Sun-  set groups which had been formed previously to the opening of the Centre made use of the building as soon as f a c i l i t i e s there were available.  Such  groups were the Ladies Auxiliary, the Boy Scouts and Wolf Cubs, the two service clubs, Kiwanis and Lions, and certain sport groups, such as soccer and Softball teams. Most of the remainder of the programme a c t i v i t i e s were on a mass-activity basis - children of a l l ages coming and  - 59 using the Centre and playing with what limited equipment there was at the time.  Tennage dances and some other special events were held.  The Sunset Co-op Flay Group o f f i c i a l l y began operation on October 2, 1950,  classes running from 9 to 12 o'clock each weekday  morning, with the exception of Saturday and Sunday. Three other major activities were added to the programme early i n October: square dancing open to a l l ages, held every Thursday eveningj Pro-Rec classes for boys and men on Monday evening and for g i r l s and women on Tuesday evening; and a Senior Badminton Club meeting on Wednesday evening and Sunday afternoons.  The square dancing was sponsored by the Park Board who  supplied the caller and music.  A charge of twenty-five cents for members  and thirty-five cents for non-members was made to raise money for the Centre.  An average attendance at these dances was around 150 people.  The Pro-Rec Classes were well received, with the exception of the men's group which was cancelled after a few weeks. The Badminton Club obtained the use of the gym on a rental basis, contracting to pay $U00 for the season.  About f i f t y persons joined the club, the membership fee being  set at $15 for single persons and $11 for married couples. The Centre, i n cooperation with John Oliver High School, sponsored soccer three times a week after school. Sexsmith and Moberly Public Schools also made use of Sunset soccer f a c i l i t i e s .  Further  interesting additions to the programme were the formation of the Sunset Choir, and the organization of the Spastic Happy Club. was sponsored by the South Vancouver Lions Club.  The latter group  - 60 In the next two months, the main emphasis i n programme development was the organization of interest groups.  The lack of equipment and  difficulty i n obtaining leadership hampered progress i n getting such groups started.  However, the following groups were organized during this  period: boxing classes, an adult sewing group, a junior choir, and a public speaking course. As more equipment was obtained for the gymnasium, activities such as volley b a l l , badminton, and basketball were added to the programme.  As time went on, these activities evolved from a mass  basis, where a wide age range made supervision d i f f i c u l t and participating none too enjoyable, to definite scheduling of activity with periods for specific age groups, i.e. i n the after school period, boys and g i r l s thirteen and under used the gym i n the early part of the afternoon, while the older teenagers used i t i n the latter part.  When they were not  using the gym, the children had the opportunity to use the games room where table tennis, checkers, cards, and other table games were available. Children interested i n woodworking and painting were given the opportunity to indulge i n these activities when they expressed an interest and the materials and leadership were available. In November, i n an attempt to raise money, the Association arranged a contract with a professional dance orchestra for Saturday night dances.  As these dances engendered protests from nearby residents,  who objected to the noise, they were cancelled after a few weeks. In December, a group of teenagers reorganized the Sunset Teen Town as the Sunset Crosby Club, with their primary interest being dancing. This group was given the use of the large clubroom two or three evenings a week.  -  61  -  Early i n 1 9 5 1 , -when the Park Board took greater responsibility for financing the Centre, more equipment and materials were available for the further development of programme.  The erection of basketball  hoops i n the gymnasium facilitated increased activity i n this sport. Additional boxing equipment, badminton racquets, balls, and craft supplies enabled greater participation i n the various activities. Special badminton instruction classes for juniors were held on Saturday afternoons, and badminton sessions were arranged for young married couples on Sunday evenings.  Coppercraft and leathercraft were added to  the selection of interest groups. Although the financial assistance of the Park Board undoubtedly helped further develop the programme, negative factors were also present. The Park Board community centre overseer tended to impose programme ideas on the Centre rather than l e t the ideas come from the Centre membership. As to obtaining programme supplies, the Centre director had to send a requisition into the Park Board, and he received only those supplies which the Board f e l t were necessary. In the latter part of January the South H i l l Community Theatre joined the Centre.  This group plans to sponsor classes for both exper-  ienced and novice drama enthusiasts, and to produce a play with a cast of Sunset members. In addition to the specific interest groups already mentioned, friendship groups were also provided for at the Centre.  Because of the  lack of necessary leadership, only a limited number of such groups could be established.  However, under the leadership of a social work student  - 62 doing f i e l d work at the Centre, two girls groups aged nine to eleven and twelve to fifteen years emerged i n the f i r s t two months. In January 1951,  some excellent volunteer leadership was obtained and two more  girls friendship groups were formed i n the ten to fifteen year-old range. These clubs plan a programme of their own choice with their particular friends. obtained.  Unfortunately, no leaders for boys groups could be  It i s regrettable that the Park Board does not recognize the  value of friendship groups, and has labelled them as a waste of time. During these f i r s t five months of programme, community groups, renting f a c i l i t i e s at the Centre, sponsored various events.  These i n -  cluded John Oliver High School dances, Children's Hospital Party, Boy Scouts and Wolf Cubs Pageant, and the Lions Club Choir Festival. Leadership During the two or three months prior to the opening of the Centre, the Board of Directors, being occupied with the necessary preparations for the opening ceremony, concerned i t s e l f very l i t t l e with programme development. At the conclusion of the ceremonies, the Board took what i t believed was a well earned rest.  Its attitude seemed to be that the  d i f f i c u l t task was now completed - the Centre was built - and' the development of programme would be a relatively easy job.  In fact, they appeared  to think that i t was the executive director's responsibility to plan, organize and execute the programme for the entire Centre.  I t had l i t t l e  conception of the important role i t should play i n the development of programme, that of giving leadership to the project and setting up a basic policy framework on which programme could be developed.  The Board  - 63 members appeared to be primarily concerned with the physical f a c i l i t i e s and spent considerable time policing the building to see that these f a c i l i t i e s were not damaged or abused by the Centre participants. The Board, however, did set up various committees.  But as  these committees were given l i t t l e responsibility by the Board president, they soon became practically inactive.  The president, instead of taking  the many problems that arose to board meetings or letting his committees handle them, preferred to discuss them with the executive director. then made his own decisions which became policy.  He  Because the Board did  not carry i t s responsibility for making progranme policy, the executive director was under a great handicap i n trying to administer programme with this haphazard way of decision making and during this period the Centre as a whole suffered from this undemocratic functioning. Eventually situations arose which caused considerable bad feeling i n the Centre and f r i c t i o n with the community, and the Board was required to face up to i t s responsibility.  An example of this was when,  early i n November, residents adjacent to the Centre made strong complaints about the noise made by the people when they were leaving the weekly Saturday night dances at midnight.  It seemed to them that the Centre  was being used as a commercial dance hall.  One resident, i n particular,  made a wire recording of the noise and presented i t , with his protest, to the Park Board.  Following this action, the Park Board and the Assoc-  iation had several conferences to investigate the situation.  I t was dis-  covered that most of the noise was being made by teenage gangs living outside of the area, who had no consideration for the people residing  - 6h near the Centre.  At that time the Association, because of the urgency  of raising money for the operation of the Centre (of the $13,000 needed to operate the Centre for one year, the Association had to raise $8,000), was not restricting dances at the Centre to people i n the Sunset area, but was holding "open to a l l " dances. A contract to run the Saturday night dances had been l e t to a professional orchestra leader and he, naturally, was interested i n getting as many people to the dances as possible.  The outcome of the Park Board conferences was that Saturday  night dances, apart from small local affairs, were cancelled. This did not adversely affect the dance contractor as he was finding the dances an unprofitable venture. The foregoing incident brought again to the fore the whole matter of the financing of the community centres.  The Sunset Board of Directors  f e l t that i t could not continue to operate i t s Centre received additional financial help.  The Park Board apparently was waiting for  this situation to arise as i t immediately capitalized on the Association's dilemma.  It agreed to provide the Association with additional financial  help providing i t signed a Statement of Policy'- for the joint operation of the Centre.  The Association president f e l t that acceptance of the Park  Board agreement, which gave the Park Board almost unlimited control over the operation of the Centre, was the only solution to the Association's problem.  Several Board of Director's meetings were held, and although  there was some objection to the plan, notably on the part of Mr. Thomas, the eventual decision was to sign on the Park Board's terms.  1  See Appendix B.  Regarding  - 65 the agreement, i t i s interesting that i t included many of the points covered in the questionnaire presented to the Park Board by Mr. Thomas in July 19U9.  In each of these points, the Park Board i s given the con-  trolling hand and, i n general, the agreement takes the initiative away from the local Association and gives the Park Board almost complete authority to operate the Centre as i t desires. The financial agreement arising out of the Park Board-Sunset Association contract was that the Park Board paid a l l the operating costs of the Centre and received back from the Association the sum of $5,000 for i t s share of the annual budget.  "It's a new lease on l i f e for us",  said Robert Fleming, Sunset president, i n an interview with Jack Hutchings. "The $8,000 grant w i l l meet our overhead and we should have no trouble i n raising the $5,000 annually to cover programme needs within the scope 2 laid down by the Board".  Mr. Fleming, i n saying this, obviously failed  to realize the further implications of the Park Board taking over the major financial responsibility of the Centre 1 , In January 1951 the programme committee, which had been relatively inactive the previous four months, commenced an evaluation of the Centre's programme. This action came about through the efforts of the group work professor at the University School of Social Work, who had been v i t a l l y concerned with the Vancouver community centre movement for a long time, and to whom i t had become apparent that such an evaluation on the part of the programme committee should take place.  During the four eval-  uation sessions she acted i n an advisory capacity to the committee. The 3 thorough job done by the committee i s evident i n i t s report. That the 2  Hutchings, Jack, "Suburban Scene", The Vancouver Sun, January 5,  3  See Appendix E.  - 66 committee agreed there should be a standing programme committee activel y working with the executive director and staff i s an important point. The committee was seen as a means of communication from and to the membership and the Board.  It would work i n close conjunction with the  House Council, which was being established i n the Centre at that time. The professional leadership at the Centre consisted of an executive director, who was a trained social group worker, and two students-in-training from the Social Work School of the University of British Columbia. The executive director, being appointed such a short time before the Centre was opened, had l i t t l e or no time to evaluate the programme already existing or plan any new programme. He was immediately deluged with preparatory work for the opening week, and gave excellent direction to this.  The director did not have time to get to know the  community Or the Board of Directors as a foundation for his future work. From the start, the role of the executive director as seen by himself differed considerably from that seen by the Board.  The executive  director saw his job as the professional administrator of the Centre. In this role, he would work with the Board and committees, handle programme budget, recruit and supervise volunteer leaders, establish community relationships, supervise social work students, and give direction to the overall programme of the Centre.  The Board, on the other hand, as already  has been mentioned, regarded the executive director as the person who not only planned and organized, but also led and conducted the programme - i.e. in they visualized him as actually being/the gym each afternoon and evening  - 67 instructing and coaching various activities. In order to perform the job as he saw i t , and also to concur as far as he could with the wishes of the Board of Directors, Mr. Hopkins, for the f i r s t six weeks, found himself on the job fourteen hours a day. During these f i r s t few weeks, he did what he could to interpret to the Board what the job of a community centre director should be, and eventuall y the Board being impressed with the long hours he was on the job, suggested that he shorten his hours of work. However, the Board did not yet have any real conception of what the director's job entailed.  In the f i r s t few  months that he was on the job, Mr. Hopkins managed to accomplish a great deal i n developing a sound programme for the Centre, but the confusion as to his role continued to promote considerable f r i c t i o n between him and the Board. In the early part of January 1951, when the Sunset Community Association signed i t s agreement with the Park Board, the job of the executive director became increasingly d i f f i c u l t .  The Park Board immediately  set about taking the initiative i n programme development away from the Association, and i t defined to the Board of Directors the way i t f e l t the Centre should be operated. To the Park Board, the director's main respons i b i l i t y was to run a glorified physical education programme, and he was to act as a physical education specialist, i n "gym clothing and wearing a whistle around his neck".  Mr. Hopkins quickly found out that the Board,  and particularly the Board president, had not emotionally accepted his interpretation though they had given l i p service to i t for several months previously.  Because of the necessity of the financial support supplied  - 68 by the Park Board, and the lack of understanding by the Board of the true function of a community centre, the Board quickly subscribed to the Park Board's narrow view.  The advent of the Park Board was an easy  solution to their financial worries and emotional weariness arising from the prohems which had beset them during the last five months. As has been mentioned, part of the job of the executive d i rector was to supervise two social work students-in-training.  These  university graduate students, one i n f i r s t year and the other i n second year social group work, averaged working 20 hours apiece per week, therefore, equalling as much as a second staff member. The job assignment of the students included:  making a community survey; assisting the director  in administrational tasks such as intake and registrationj discovering and implementing the interests and needs of the Centre members re programme planning; conducting and supervising activities i n the gymnasium and games room; providing leadership i n interest and friendship groups; supervising volunteers, and organizing a House Council.  In addition to  the actual leadership which they gave, the students also provided professional support to the executive director. Following the signing of the Park Board-Community Centre agreements (Kitsilano signed a contract about the same time as Sunset and Marpole some time later), assistant directors were appointed for the centres.  Although the f i r s t assistant director hired was for a centre  other than Sunset, she was sent to Sunset i n January 1951 for one month's in-service training.  As she had had very l i t t l e experience and no  training i n recreation or community centre work, she found the job  - 69 d i f f i c u l t and was unable to contribute much on a professional level to the operation of the Centre. In February, an assistant director was appointed for Sunset. There was considerable difference of opinion between the director and the Park Board as to the necessary qualifications for the position. The director recommended that such a staff person should have had some definite training i n recreation, and preferably i n social group work, but the Park Board f e l t that such training was unnecessary.  Through  the efforts of the director a personnel committee was set up composed of two members of the Association Board of Directors, a representative from the Park Board and himself.  Each member of the committee had his vote  in the f i n a l selection of a candidate for the position. As the few well qualified people who applied for the job withdrew their applications on the basis that the salary schedule was unsatisfactory, and as the two Association members apparently were considerably influenced by the Park Board representative, the appointment f i n a l l y went to a young woman, who, apart from some playground experience, was  untrained.  As indicated by a query on the questionnaire which was distributed i n the community i n the spring of 195>0, the Board of Directors, from the beginning, was interested i n volunteer leadership.  Unfortunately,  the 80 responses to an interest i n volunteer leadership could not be used because the names on the questionnaires were inadvertently separated, from the portion of the questionnaire where the volunteer stated his preference of activity.  Because of this incident, the recruitment of volunt-  eers was made more d i f f i c u l t , but the director, by personal contacts and  - 70 newspaper and poster advertising, f i n a l l y recruited about thirty leaders. Some of the programme activities i n which these volunteers provided leadership and instruction included working on various committees, particularly that of sports, and on the House Council; coaching boxing, soccer, badminton, basketball, and table tennis; leading wood, copper, and leathercraft classes; and doing clerical and -reception work.  An interesting  addition to the volunteer staff i n January 19!>1 were two social case workers to lead friendship groups. A l l of the volunteers received some orientation to their jobs and supervision from the professional staff at the Centre, and seemed to gain satisfaction from both the supervision and the service they were rendering.  As most of the volunteers were specialists i n their particular  fields, no training course was established for them.  The director,  however, was aware that a course on individual and group relationships in general, how to work with people - would have been of benefit to the majority of the volunteers. One very healthy aspect of the volunteer programme was that most of these leaders came from the Sunset community. As well as performing a volunteer service, they were actively engaged i n other aspects of the work of the Association. . Evaluation The foregoing analysis of the activities and leadership at the Centre, during the f i r s t five months of operation, indicates that, i n spite of certain definite d i f f i c u l t i e s and limitations that existed, an interesting and reasonably well balanced programme was developed.  That  - 71 interest i n the programme was high i s evidenced by the fact that, i n the latter months, the weekly attendance at the Centre averaged 1,500 people. The group membership, on the whole, has been very consistent with most groups adding to their number as time progressed.  The lack of s p i r i t on  the part of Centre members, which was very evident i n the early months of programme, has given way to a more optimistic attitude and an awareness that they, the members, should do something about getting desired programme activities started.  The excellent relationship between the majority of the  groups and the Centre staff i s another point worthy of mention. In evaluating the i n i t i a l period of programme development, i t i s necessary to carefully consider the limitations which were prevalent during this time.  One outstanding limiting factor to the growth of the  programme was the unrepresentativeness of the Board.  The Board did not  represent the community as the majority of i t s respective members came from one particular residential area i n the community.  Certain sections of the  community, having no communication with the Board, were very poorly i n formed as to what was going on at the Centre, and consequently had l i t t l e chance to contribute to programme development.  The Board was unrepresen-  tative, too, i n that the majority of i t s members belonged to one service club.  The Board tended to side with the service group i n decisions as to  how the Centre was to be used, rather than considering the needs and deon sires of the people i n the community.  For example, on the evenings/which  the service group held i t s dinner meeting i n the Centre, i t insisted that there be a minimum of noise. This naturally restricted the development of teenage and junior programme. One specific incident occured when teenagers  - 72 were prevented from playing table tennis because the noise interfered with a special after dinner speaker. The change of president at such a crucial point i n the development of the Centre was undoubtedly another restricting factor.  This was  particularly true because of the personality difference i n the two presidents - the retiring officer having provided dynamic leadership over a period of five years and having a good understanding of the function of a community centre, and the new president, although being sincere and willing to put his f u l l effort into the job, was lacking i n experience and understanding of his role as head of the Board of Directors.  Full recognition  must be given of the fact that the new president took over the job at a most d i f f i c u l t time, and that the task of developing programme was vastly different from that of financial campaigning for and constructing the Centre. In general, the Board of Directors, which was selected for the erection of the Centre building, lacked the necessary training and experience to be able to offer stimulation and assistance i n this area of programme planning. A further limitation was the vested interest on the part of certain groups using the Centre. Auxiliary.  This was particularly true of the Ladies  This group, having equipped the kitchen with funds they had  raised, became the sole authority on decisions concerning the use of i t . In fact, i t was practically impossible for any group to get permission to use the kitchen f a c i l i t i e s .  Vested interest also appeared on the part of  the Lions Club who, having furnished the lounge, tended to dictate who was  - 73 to use i t and i n what capacity i t was to be used. The financial d i f f i c u l t i e s of operating the Centre were another stumbling block to successful Centre programme. As the Association had to raise approximately $ 8 , 0 0 0 a year i n addition to the $U,000 civic community centre grant to efficiently operate the Centre, considerable number of activities had to be on a fund-raising basis.  Therefore,  many programme hours were f i l l e d with mass activities, such as dances and shows, and rentals to outside groups.  The main objective i n such schedul-  ing wasmoney, rather than attempting to meet the needs of the community. In the Board's eyes, the raising of funds became their main focus, again pointing up the d i f f i c u l t y of an inexperienced lay group i n understanding the need for programme planning. There was a definite need at this time for a balance between programme development and fund raising.  However,  the realistic factor that the Board had to face was that the Centre had to have money to operate.  As previously mentioned, the commercializing  of the Centre to raise funds was the cause of considerable f r i c t i o n between the Centre and the nearby residents.  The financial situation was greatly  alleviated when the Association signed the agreement with the Park Board. But, as has already been pointed out, the negative factors of the agreement probably outweighed the financial benefit i t provided. Contingent on the shortage of funds i n the f i r s t few months was the lack of equipment, which also greatly hindered the development of programme.  The Association was just not able to buy balls, nets, racquets,  craft supplies, and other necessary programme materials.  The equipment  situation was so bad i n the beginning that the Centre had to depend entirely  - 7U on donations from the community and on having the Centre participants make their own equipment. However, this equipment-making project did have some value as i t became an interesting and positive activity i n the programme.  The equipment situation improved i n November and December  after the sports council had staged some successful fund-raising events. In January 1951 the Centre received a considerable amount of equipment from the Park Board. A f i n a l limitation was the shortage of volunteer leadership in the f i r s t month or so of programme. As already stated, through the efforts of the executive director this leadership problem was greatly improved.  However, had there been good and sufficient volunteer leader-  ship available from the beginning, a wider and more varied programme could have been presented. Although this evaluation appears to c r i t i c i z e rather severely the Board of Directors, there i s , on the part of the writer, f u l l awareness of the very d i f f i c u l t task faced by the executive body.  There i s no  doubt that most of the Directors were sincere i n their endeavours and acted i n a manner which they thought was i n the best interest of the community.  Their intentions were good, but their motivations tended to remain  too much on the level of personal satisfactions.  As a result, the Board  as a whole discovered that programme planning involved a completely new conception of work, and they were at a loss to meet this situation, which was a far cry from their original function and interest - that of erecting a building. Further development of programme w i l l depend considerably on  - 75 the clarification of the relationship between the Park Board and the Association Board of Directors.  The role of both must be cleary defined  on the basis of sound democratic^ principles.  In order to combat the  Park Board's bid for complete control, the Centre's Directorate must immediately take a strong stand on a l l matters regarding the operation of the Centre. Being the representative body of the community, i t has a responsibility to see that the needs and desires of the people of the Sunset area are met.  The Board of Directors should receive much assist-  ance and stimulation from the reactivated programme committee and the newly-formed House Council.  These internal organizations w i l l be able to  interpret to the Board the feelings of the membership regarding the operation of the. Centre. It i s also very important, at this time, that the Board be strengthened with the addition of people who have had experience i n the area of programme, and who have a realization of the importance of having the community dictate how i t s Centre should be run.  For, i n the f i n a l  analysis, the direction of the Centre must remain i n the hands of the community which i t serves.  - 76 CHAPTER VI CONCLUSION -In the text of this study the community organization process has been presented as i t manifested i t s e l f i n a particular area i n Vancouver.  It has also been analyzed i n i t s individual phases: the  formation of the Association, the financial campaign, the construction of the centre, and the f i r s t five months of operation.  An examination  of the project as a whole shows that these individual phases are very closely related and make up what Eduard Lindeman calls the "process of 1  community action".  Lindeman suggests that organization on a community  basis, when viewed i n perspective, i s composed of ten steps (though he points out that every community action does not necessarily go through a l l of the steps),- '. An examination of the Sunset project shows that the application of Lindeman's findings i s distinctly valid for this situation. The Pattern of Local Community Action The f i r s t step i n the process i s the "consciousness of need". Some person (or persons), either within the community or outside i t , expresses the need, vriiich only later i s represented by the definite project. This i s exemplified by the action of the Sexsmith School P-TA.  This group  saw the need for additional gymnasium space at the school, and by their action the Sunset Community Association was eventually formed to f u l f i l l i  the enlarged need of a recreation f a c i l i t y for the whole community. Thus the "spreading of the consciousness of need" (step number two) was effect1 1921,  pps.  Lindeman, Eduard, The Community, New York, Association Press121-123.  ed, as a leader within the group - Mr. Thomas - quickly convinced the group of the reality of the need.  Then followed the third step, "pro-  jection of consciousness of need", the group interested attempting to project this consciousness upon others who could take a lead i n the community. As the Sunset Community Association received increasing support from the community, the consciousness of need obviously became more general.  The group's desire to erect a centre building as quickly  as possible, and i t s almost frantic attempts to raise money, were symptomatic of the "emotional impulse to meet the need quickly" (step four). Through the three years of canvassing and planning, there was some "presentation of other solutions" and consequent "conflict of solutions" coinciding with the next steps i n Lindeman's outline of the process.  The conflict probably reached i t s peak with the resignation  of the building committee chairman.  It i s significant that the step of  "investigation" (pausing to investigate the project with expert assistance) was omitted.  Even this, Lindeman suggests, "generally happens".  However, from open discussion of the issue (with the Park Board and other people i n the community centre movement) as step number eight, there came eventually some "integration of solutions" (step nine). The selection of the site and the type of building, and other decisions&uring the constffruck ion phase represented this f i n a l integration.  The process, however,  appeared to be weak during this stage i n the Sunset community and the integration was not done as democratically as i t might have been. The last step, "compromise on the basis of tentative progress", when dertain groups (or persons) relinquished certain elements  - 78 of their plan i n order to save themselves from complete defeat, took place when the Association signed the contract wfth the Park Board. With the opening of the Centre, the need for organized recreation had been met in part.  But when the Association realized that i t s financial situation  might prevent the further meeting of the need, i t made a compromise with another "interested" group, the Park Board.  Certain members f e l t at the  time, and have realized even more since, that the Association relinquished too much i n making this particular compromise. As Lindeman puts i t "the means selected for meeting the need are not satisfactory to a l l groups, but are regarded as tentatively progressive".  It i s obvious that so far  as the Sunset community i s concerned, there i s s t i l l room for discussion on this point. Although, in relating Lindeman's principle to the Sunset project a l l ten steps i n the process of community action have been covered, i t need not be inferred that the process i s completed.  In fact, the  writer realizes that, i n some ways, the process i s never finished: other needs, large and small, are continually arising and in the meeting of each of these needs the basic process takes place. Principles of Community Organization for Recreation In the unfolding of the historical development of Sunset Memor i a l Centre, certain principles of community organization for recreation become evident.  Some of the principles have been mentioned while others  have been only implied.  Gerald Fitzgerald, i n his book Community Orga2  nization for Recreation,  devotes a chapter to outlining i n detail the  2 Fitzgerald, Gerald B., Community Organization for Recreation, New York, A. S. Barnes & Company, 191+8, pps. 268-280.  principles which he regards as paramount i n organizing recreation on a community basis.  Fitzgerald enumerates twenty-three principles in  a l l , andmany of them appear to be well pointed up by the present study and are worthy of mention.  As some of the principles are particularly  pertinent to the local Association and i t s relationship with the community and others have more reference to the Park Board and i t s relationship to the Vancouver Community Centre Movement, they w i l l be discussed on this basis. Fitzgerald's f i r s t principle i s that " a l l groups, organizations and agencies that have or should have an interest i n recreation should be part of any and a l l overall procedures related to community organization for recreation".  This i s not only democratic, but i s also an intelligent  recognition of the contribution each has to make. The Sunset Association, perhaps, could benefit by application of this principle as more coordination between the recreational f a c i l i t i e s and establishment in i t s area would be very desirable. "A study of the present status of recreation i n the community i s a sound procedure i n efforts to develop coordination and meet needs". This i s a principle which holds true i n any phase of recreational development. That community conditions do not remain static, and that recurrent studies are necessary i f recreation services are to keep abreast of community needs, must not be forgotten by the Association.  Of special concern  to the Sunset group i s the next principle: "a community recreation advisory committee or council i s an essential part of the recreation structure If the Association i s to perform the role of such a council, and i t seems  - 80 logical that i t should, i t must remember that recreation i s a community affair and that the total pattern of community recreation opportunities must be kept in view. "People must come to know and trust one another before they can achieve results through cooperative planning and action".  "Community  support i s essential to the realization of nev^major departures in recreation".  These are two principles which are basic to the community  organization process and need no further comment. A principle of farreaching importance i s that "in executing a programmeof recreation to meet community needs the operation should be put in the hands of the professional".  The Sunset Association, i n appointing a professional group worker  to direct i t s centre, upheld this principle.  However, such an appointment  has no operative significance unless the Association f u l l y accepts the fact that recreational leadership i s a specialty and gives i t s director intelligent support. The Sunset Association has not f u l l y realized that "recreation must be related to other social services i n the community".  Recreation  is one member of the community service family: not only must i t maintain associations with the other members of the family, e.g. education, child welfare, youth service, housing and city planning, but i t must be able to engender their respect and assistance. Some of Fitzgerald's principles have a wider implication than those that have just been discussed.  These appear to be particularly  applicable to the discussion of the Park Board's position i n the Vancouver Community Centre setup.  The Park Board undoubtedly recognize that "the  - 81 acceptance of public responsibility for recreation i s basic to good community organization for recreation".  But i t does not seem to be  able to realize that accepting a public responsibility does not mean "taking over".  It would seem from the Park Board's actions that i t  regards recreation as being synonymous with "parks". Whereas, i n reality, parks are only one facet i n the total recreation scene. It i s very commendable that the Park Board, recognizes that "adequate financial provision i s necessary to community recreation".  Nevertheless,  when the Sunset people asked for financial assistance, they did not ask the Park Board to come to. operate their centre. One of the Park Board's major faults i n i t s operation of the Vancouver Community Centres i s that i t i s f a i l i n g to recognize the principle that "communities and neighbourhoods exhibit major individual differences".  The principles of community organization can be moved from  one community to another, i t i s true, but i t i s a serious error to assume that recreation administration or programme offerings can be transplanted indiscriminately from community to community.  Every community, like every,  group, has i t s own special characteristics and i t i s imperative that these be carefully considered in the organization of a recreation programme. "Extensive and varied indoor and outdoor areas and f a c i l i t i e s are necessary to community recreation".  This i s another principle which  the Park Board i s failing to recognize fully.  The Park Board, undoubtedly  operates a most efficient playground system i n Vancouver, but merely bringing the playground indoors i n winter does not constitute a community centre.  In contract to the playground, the community centre caters to  - 82 ages, not particularly to children, and i t provides cultural and educational as well as physical and social activities.  Whereas the playground  programme i s mainly super-imposed, the community centre programme i s developed to meet the needs and desires of the people of the community. It i s interesting to note that Fitzgerald also mentions that public school properties ought to be available for community use.  The  use of school f a c i l i t i e s for recreation i s something which needs considerable investigation. In the Sunset area, very l i t t l e use i s made of the schools on this basis.  The 19i|6 report of the Vancouver Town Planning  3 Commission  made definite recommendations that the schools should be u t i -  lized for community recreation, and that the School Board and Park Board should work very closely together i n the development of the project. No mention was made i n the report regarding the relationship of the community associations to the two Boards.  In referring to community centres, the  report stated that they are "primarily f a c i l i t i e s for indoor recreation and are of particular interest to adults".  The report further stated that  "economy can be obtained i f the elementary schools are designed so that a portion of the building can be used as a community centre".  The Sexsmith  School P-TA's experience, when i t approached the School Board regarding the use of the Sexsmith building, was definitely not a positive one. I t would seem that now, with the. increased activity of community associations and their great need for community recreation f a c i l i t i e s , the use of school buildings should be carefully considered.  It would be very important,  though, that the community associations be included i n the discussions on  3 Vancouver Town Planning Commission, A Preliminary Report Upon Parks and Recreation and Schools, Saint Louis, Missouri, Harland Bartholomew and Associates, October i y l + 6 , pps. J 3 - i * f  - 83 the matter. That "in a large urban area, community and neighbourhood coordinating councils should be related through a representative central body provided -with paid leadership" i s a principle of particular importance to the Vancouver Community Centre Movement at this time. Fitzgerald adds that such a coordinating council should be headed by a professional community organization worker.  There are many signs that now i s the l o g i -  cal time for such a coordinating council or a recreation commission to be established i n Vancouver.  The staff of such a civic body would have to be  headed by a professionally trained recreation specialist.  It would be  set up, not i n opposition to, but i n such a form as to be able to work cooperatively with the Park Board; i t should, above a l l , be able to work directly  with the community associations.  Preservation of the autonomy  of the local associations would be of major importance to the future development of community centres i n Vancouver. In the establishment of a recreation commission i n Vancouver, much assistance could be obtai ned from the City of Edmonton, Alberta, which has had such a commission for the last seven years.  John Farina, i n his  study of public recreation i n Edmonton,^ conducted i n 19U9-50, describes in detail the formation, development and principles of the Edmonton Recreation Commission.  The closing years of the First Great War saw the  development of "community leagues" i n the Edmonton d i s t r i c t .  These  "leagues" - very similar to the community associations i n Vancouver -  k Farina, Alfred John Oswald, The Edmonton Community Leagues, University of British Columbia, Department of Social Work Thesis, 19$0.  - 8U - . numbered ten by 1921 and at that time they were federated. By 1939 the Federation of Community Leagues had thirty members. During the Second World War the Edmonton City Council was faced with the problem of expanding public recreation services to meet the need of i t s greatly increased population.  I t decided that i t should create a municipal  agency to promote and coordinate recreational activities i n the city, particularly those involving public f a c i l i t i e s .  Eventually formed i n  December 19Uli, was the Edmonton Recreational Commission. In the establishment of working relationships between the Commission and the Federation, many problems were met and overcome at the time the study was completed, the Commission supplied recreational equipment and leadership to the individual community leagues, the majority of whom own their own property.  The Commission i t s e l f operated a large  number of supervised playgrounds,many of them on land controlled by communities.  Regarding the relationship of the Commission to the commu-  nity leagues, Mr. Farina notes: "It i s not the desire of the Recreation Commission to impose a preconceived programme on the communities, but rather i t i s hoped that by working through the local community league a programme conceived i n the community, and carried out by the people of the community, can be achieved".  Although the Edmonton Parks Depart-  ment i s concerned with the development, maintenance and extension of a l l city owned park lands, including those areas devoted to active recreation, i t cooperates well with the Recreation Commission. The Commission has experienced some d i f f i c u l t y i n obtaining good leadership to direct i t s services.  However, the present Superinten-  - 85 dent of Recreation, Mr. Farina, i s well qualified for the position, and he i s continually improving the quality of leadership of the thirty directors of the individual community leagues. A look at Sunset's future As has already been mentioned, the further development of Sunset Memorial Centre w i l l depend considerably on the clarification of the relationships between the local association and the Park Board. fact cannot be emphasized too strongly.  This  The present arrangement, with the  operational control i n the hands of the Park Board, i s extremely l i k e l y to s t i f l e further community organization.  The Centre w i l l continue to operate  and to provide some service, but i f the Association i s relegated to a figurehead body the l i f e w i l l quickly go out of the project.  The whole history  of Sunset shows that the feeling of participation i s v i t a l to the process of community action. There i s , too, a very real danger that with the local Association becoming a pawn i n the hands of the Park Board, the position of director is made impossible.  He can do the type of job he was trained for only i f  there i s mutual respect and a good working relationship between himself and the Association.  The gravity of this situation i s accentuated by the fact  that continued professional assistance i s v i t a l for the continuted existence of the Community Association. Sunset Memorial Centre i s the product of five years of local effort.  But i t appears now to be at a cross-roads i n i t s development.  The Community Association i s faced with very important decisions.  If i t  carries on with the present operational arrangements, the community centre  - 86 eventually w i l l be suhHin name only. If i t fights to retain that which rightfully belongs to i t - the right to develop i t s Centre according to the desires and needs of the people of the community - the Centre w i l l develop as the original Sunset pioneers envisioned i t - a recreational agency operated by and for the people of the community. But i t s history suggests that a group of people which went through five years of t o i l and worry to make the Centre a going concern w i l l not give up what i t has accomplished so far without a struggle.  APPENDIX A  INFORMATION PREPARED FOR CANVASSERS SUNSET MEMORIAL DRIVE. 1945  Q  Why doesn't the Government provide community centres?  A  Government money i s your money. The more the government spends on such projects, the heavier your taxes. A H communities would then want centres and the overall cost would be tremendous. Government supervision, cost — plus contracts, patronage, high overhead, etc., etc., would boost per capita cost far above our average contribution and, what would be even worse ~ Government regimentation would be the f i n a l result.  Q  What are the neighbours doing?  A  They are really co-operative. While a large percentage make a straight cash donation, many give pledges of one or two dollars monthly for six, nine, and even twelve months.  Q  Will voluntary labour be used?  A  Most assuredly.  Q  Will some contractor receive a large percentage on the contract?  A  Definitely not. I t i s our hope to locate someone i n the d i s t r i c t who w i l l be capable of supervising construction of the f i r s t unit to our satisfaction as well as to the satisfaction of the Parks Board.  Q  What i f you do not raise $25,000 on this drive?  A  We do not expect to raise $25,000 on this drive. We w i l l continue to add to our funds_ i n various ways u n t i l we have sufficient on hand or pledged i n order to erect the i n i t i a l building.  Q  When will construction commence?  A  When we have sufficient funds i n the bank or pledged with which to complete the i n i t i a l unit.  Q  How much commission are you paid?  A  None of our canvassers receive pay of any kind. They not only give their services freely, but contribute to our funds as well.  Q  How i s the centre to be maintained?  A  Membership fees of $1.00 per year are to be charged each adult over 18 years of age. If necessary, other painless methods of raising money w i l l be utilized.  -2-  Q  Who owns the completed building?  A  The Parks Board.  Q  Will the Parks Board allocate land for the buildings and parksite?  A  The Parks Board has definitely allocated a portion of the Sunset Nurseries on which to erect our buildings. They have undertaken to obtain the required land East of Prince Edward Street on which to develop the Park.  Q  We have no children, so why should we contribute?  A  A l l of us as citizens and members of the community have a stake i n the future. The boys and g i r l s of today are the adults of tomorrow.  Q  When I was a boy we didn't have such things — Why should today's children have them?  A  Times have changed, so have individuals, and so have our children. Today our young people are influenced by so many outside forces such as radio, movies, the printed word, etc., etc., and homes by the thousand have been broken by the effects of World War I I . The cumulative effect i s that many of our boys and girls need more supervised outlets of a constructive nature, plus additional guidance along the road to good citizenship. Further, our standards of living are continually improving, and better living demands that f a c i l i t i e s of modern community centres be made available to young and old i n order that a l l may enjoy a richer and greater measure of health and happiness.  Q  We can't afford cash right now —  A  Why not use the pledge card? for your contribution.  Q  The proposed location i s too far away —  A  Whether you live near the Fraser River or 41st Avenue, both streetcar services pass within two or three blocks of Prince Edward Street.  You specify the day and we w i l l c a l l monthly  APPENDIX B  QUESTIONNAIRE PRESENTED BY SUNSET COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION TO PARK BOARD. JULY. 1949  1.  Define on paper control of Centre by Sunset.  2.  Define on paper control of Centre by Park Board.  A  Finance - How much can be expected from Park Board per year and i n what form?  B  Policy - What control w i l l Park Board extend over operation of Centre?  C  What restraint on money raising w i l l be exercised by Park Board?  D  State who w i l l control playground. Will Park Board i n s t a l l a playground supervisor? I f so, what control or power w i l l he or she exercise over Centre?  E  Under what conditions would Centre revert back to Park Board?  F  Who would have control of concession profit?  G  What consideration w i l l be given Centre i n regard to future expansion?  H  Schools - Will Centre be used by them?  I  Clarify water, electric rates, insurance i n relation to operation of Centre.  J  Will Centre have f u l l control i n rentals or w i l l Park Board have any control, particularly i n regard to politics?  APPENDIX C  April, 1950  SUNSET MEMORIAL CENTRE SURVEY General Questionnaire Name.  Individuals and Families Phone.  Address.  Sunset Memorial Centre is YOUR COMMUNITY CENTRE : It's Directors are your friends and neighbours. They want to operate the Centre to suit the needs and desires of the greatest majority. Your co-operation in completing this questionnaire will greatly assist them in their efforts on your behalf. Number in family: Parent (s).  Boys  Ages.  Girls.  .Ages  The following incomplete list details some activities which we might readily organize in the Centre. Please check (J) those in which you are interested. (check)  Well-Baby Clinic Pro-Rec Drama Group Gardening Club Teen-Age Group Cards Basketball  (check) Kindergarten Educational Movies Musical Groups Scouts and Cubs Dancing-modern Chess Baseball etc.  (check) Young Mother's Group Glee Club Handicraft Groups Guides and Brownies Dancing- Old-time Checkers Soccer etc.  Listed below are some additional forms of recreation which may be possible at the Centre later, but will require further planning. Plea$e check those in which you would be interested. Swimming Ice skating Roller skating Tennis Power-tool work Lawn Bowling What other special interests do you enjoy outside the home? Would you care to help as a volunteer leader, lecturer or instructor? Have you any constructive suggestions concerning the operation of Sunset Memorial Centre? If so, please use reverse. If physically unable to get to the Centre, please state  :  Membership in Sunset Memorial Centre is open to every resident of Vancouver South. The fee - 18 and over - $1.00 per year. Under 18 - .25$ per year. JOIN NOW ! (Please retain this questionnaire until called for by our volunteer worker.)  APPENDIX D  REPORT OF PROGRAM COMMITTEE MEETING, SUNSET COMMUNITY CENTRE, JANUARY 18tfr, 25th. February 1st and 8th, 1951  Objectives of the Committee; 1.  To eixamine the present program and i n so doing to arrive at some criteria f o r understanding and judging program.  2.  To "cut our cloth" i n terms of numbers of people to be served, and resources: according to funds, leadership, f a c i l i t i e s available i n order to meet as nearly as possible the criteria established i n ( l ) .  3.  To arrive at a better understanding of the executive director's job i n the area of program.  Summary of First Meeting. January 18th Observations on Program: 1.  Nursery School i s a good program.  2.  In general, program for ages- 3s through IS, has good coverage. Need for building i n on girl's program. A l l age groups could and should be served i n greater numbers. Boy Scouts and G i r l Guides should be aided i n carrying on and developing their progress. Notice was taken that new volunteers were organizing and developing g i r l s ' social clubs.  3.  There i s need for development of more programs for young adults and senior citizens. A number of possibilities were discussed: young adults — sports activities (referred to Sports Committee), young matrons' club, adult informal socials, old age club.  4.  I t was recognized that the present staff could do notmore than the minimum leadership coverage job, through sheer lack of physical strength and the size of the community centre plant.  5.  The Centre has a problem with reference to the Teen-Age Program.  Information regarding the formulation of a House Council, a membership body, was given. This new Council, to meet on January 22nd, would be composed of delegates from each group using or participating i n the program of the Centre. Conclusion from First Meeting,: 1.  It i s the strong opinion of this Committee that every citizen i n the area served by the Sunset Community Centre should feel  - 2 that he or she i s welcome to come to Sunset and participate i n i t s affairs and program. 2.  Through the Committee recognizes that "commercial" aspects of recreation through the Centre's need for operating funds i s the present emphasis of program, i t goes on record that i t does not approve of this money-making motive of the Centre. It thinks the Centre should provide services at the most nominal cost possible. This point-of-view should be explained to the citizens of this area: and to those now participating i n program. The Committee! thinks that the Centre should go on a service-basis as soon as possible, that i s , as more funds are made available to the Centre.  The overall conclusion of the Committee at the end of the f i r s t meeting was: (l) that operating the Sunset Community Centre i s "big business"; (2) that i t w i l l take the whole of the f i r s t year of operation to establish a real Centre program; (3) that this program w i l l come about only through the hard and continual work of the Board, Program Committee, volunteers, and professional staff; and (4) that the development of program should come through sound, steady and continual but gradual building i n of program. Because of the recognition of the "Teen-Age Problem", the Committee decided that for the second meeting.a gradutate social work student who has been making a community study of gang activity i n Vancouver would be invited to meet with the Committee. This session would provide the Committee with an overall picture of the situation i n Vancouver and would serve to help the Committee ascertain where the youth of Sunset f i t into this picture. Also the Committee would be able to determine the extent of the "problem" recognized i n their own program at Sunset. Summary of Second Meeting. January 25th Most of this meeting was devoted to hearing the report of the social work student on "Gangs and Delinquency" i n Vancouver. Discussion which followed brought out three major points: 1.  The Sunset area i s not recognized by civic authorities and others as a major "trouble spot". The Committee was not unanimous as to what extent ..delinquency and accompanying problems existed i n the Sunset area. Some thought the area was relatively free, others, particul a r l y those working more directly with teen-agers i n the Centre, thought they detected through the behavior of certain individuals and groups, the early beginnings of what might develop into delinquency. The need for prevention was emphasized.  - 3 2.  Through the elaboration of one instance i n which the'. Executive Director had helped a "trouble-making" boy to assume some program responsibility i n the Centre, the Committee unanimously agreed that the Director was "doing a very good job" and should be given the opportunity, through allotment of time, to devote more of his attention and work to the task of helping individuals i n the Sunset program.  3.  Teen-agers i n the Sunset area are important i n the total program of Sunset. Therefore, the Centre should continue i t s Teen-age program and develop i t as one of the most important parts of the total Centre program.  One member of the Program Committee, who had attended and participated i n the newly organized House Council, reported verbatim the discussion held i n House Council regarding teen-agers and their activi t i e s i n the Centre. Certain problems, such as a need for a "canteen" -~ use of the lounge, were cited. This indicated a need for the Program Committee to work closely with the House Council to iron out such problems . Summary of Third Meeting, February 1st This different kinds and (2) further "program ideas" 1.  session was devoted to (l) a discussion regarding the of groups i n program and their place i n the Centre, discussion on development of program, the giving of on the part of the Committee.  Kinds of groups i n any leisure-time program and which should be found i n the Sunset program include: Mass programs, such as organized sports, dances, concerts, movies, plays, etc. Activity groups (or interest groups) where the emphasis i s on learning a s k i l l or improving a s k i l l , such as a woodwork class, sewing class, cooking class, dance class, photography, etc. Social clubs where the emphasis i s on the formation and maintaining of friendships. A group of friends do a l l their activities together because they like to be associated with each other. Lounge or drop-in program where an individual can join i n and participate i n an informal manner. It was recognized that a l l these different kinds of groupings should be found i n Sunset so that any individual coming into the Centre could find his place i n  - 4the program. This condition, that i s the existence of the above described, holds at Sunset at the present time, but there was ample evidence that a good deal more work was necessary before the Committee could be satisfied about this. There are too many people i n the Sunset area who do not know how to make the f i r s t step i n becoming a f f i l i a t e d as a member. 2.  Committee members had a " f i e l d day" i n talking about poss i b i l i t i e s i n program, what they would like to see i n the Centre, based on their observations of interest i n talking with people and their own ideas of "having a good time". One was a young man's social club, possibly meeting once a month. Somewhat related to this was the need to "pull i n " the Sunset Bowling league to help them become real participating members of the Centre. A l l Committee members were interested i n music program. A band concert on Sunday afternoon or evening was considered of prime interest to people i n the Sunset area. The possibility of Saturday morning children's concerts might be a r e a l i t y through the assistance of the Musicians' Union. Information regarding program plans of the Vancouver Community Council for next year was given to the Committee. I f satisfactory arrangements can be made, the Arts Council would prove to be a source of volunteer leaders i n music, dancing, arts, and crafts, drama, etc.  Summary of Fourth Meeting. February 8 t h This last session of the Program Committee included: ( l ) Discussion regarding groups using the Centre and the space involved; (2) discussion of "what a good recreation program should include according to the National Recreation Association; and (3) the responsib i l i t y of the Executive Director i n program as one part of his total job assignment. "Where do we go from here" as a Program Committee, and the need for close working together of a Program Committee and the House Council were also discussed. 1.  There was clarification of "what i s an 'affiliated group'" and "a group directly organized, sponsored and staffed by the Sunset Community Centre". An " a f f i l i ated group" i s one representing an "outside organization" which uses the f a c i l i t i e s of-the Centre. Examples include the Lions Club, G i r l Guides and Boy Scouts and Pro-Rec. The reasons for these groups being i n Sunset were cited and considered valid by the Committee. Recognition of certain problems regarding policy i n allocating space was given. At the same time,  - 5 -  to the extent that "outside groups" used Sunset f a c i l i t i e s , i n less degree was i t possible for Sunset Centre to organize and conduct i t s own a c t i v i t i e s . No,definite decisions were made regarding this "pro and con" subject. But i t was seen that the responsibility of the Executive ' director dependent on the percentage of total program that "outside groups" maintained i n Sunset. I f i t was a large percent the Executive Director would serve mainly as a coordinator, i f not, he would be more the staff person one usually visualizes as an Executive Director of a Community Centre, namely, an administrator and direct leader i n program. I t was seen that serving as a "coordinator" i s a responsible task, but at the same time i t i s a job rather lightly appreciated by one expecting to see the Director dressed i n shorts and going around with a whistle. The Committee did agree that i n future planning according to good practices, Sunset Community Centre should aim to organize, sponsor, and staff 50% or more of the program i n Sunset Community Centre. 2.  The Committee accepted the 25-point statement regarding a balanced, well-rounded program as provided by the National Recreation Association as a measuring-stick for the Program of the Sunset Community Centre.  3.  The Committee also accepted the description of a community centre director as given by the National Recreation Association. Though there was no direct stated criticism of the performance on the job on the part of the present Executive Director, the Committee recognized some aspects of personality, i n relation to "observed performance". Closely related to this was the cited need to publicize i n a much more objective fashion just what was going on i n program i n Sunset. The Executive Director has had a tendency, while doing his job, to be i n the background,' Therefore, i t i s somewhat d i f f i c u l t for the casual observer to "see" the Director at work. For this stage i n progranuat Sunset.the Director should be seen more actively engaged i n program. He can be assisted i n this by members of the Association i n recognizing publ i c l y the Executive Director and his position as employed staff of Sunset.  4.  The Committee agreed that there should be a standing Program Committee of the Board actively working with the Eiectitive Director and staff, and that i t should create communication from and to membership and Board through the House Council recently established i n the Centre.  APPENDIX E  STATEMENT OF POLICY AS TO TEE JOINT OPERATION OF SUNSET MEMORIAL COMMUNITY CENTRE BETWEEN THE SUNSET COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION AND THE BOARD OF PARK COMMISSIONERS OF THE CITY OF VANCOUVER, NOVEMBER 22, 1950  1.  The building to be set aside and made available for joint operation between the Comnranity Association and the Park Board to provide for the recreation, comfort and enjoyment of the public.  2.  The Board to spend towards the maintenance and operation of the building on items mutually agreed upon, such sums of money as the City Council may from time to time make available for the purpose.  3.  The Community Association to abide by the Park Board By-laws which may be i n force from time to time governing conduct and use of park properties.  4.  No agreement for the use of the building by any other agency to be entered into without the written approval of the Park Board.  5.  The Park Board to control the overall policy governing the operation of the building.  6.  No additions or alterations to be made to the building without written approval of the Park Board.  7.  The operation of the building to be under the general supervision of a Management Committee which shall meet at least once each month, the Park Board to have the privilege of appointing a representative to act on this Committee, said representative to be entitled to one vote.  8.  The Community Association to submit before the fifteenth day of each month a statement showing a l l receipts from the operation of the building for the previous month.  9. The Community Association to submit within one month after the end of the f i s c a l year a properly audited statement of receipts f o r the said f i s c a l year. 10.  This Statement of Policy to be basic but subject to such further arrangements for the better carrying out of the purposes herein as shall from time to time be mutually agreed upon and to come up for renewal each and every year within sixty days after the end of the f i s c a l year.  Signed on behalf of the Community Association and the Board of Park Commissioners, respectively.  APPENDIX F  BIBLIOGRAPHY GENERAL REFERENCES Books Blumenthal, Louis B., Administration of Group Work. Association Press, New York, 1948. Butler, George, Introduction to Community Recreation. McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1948. Community Centres. Ministry of Education, London, 1944. Handasyde, Elizabeth^ City or Community. The National Council of Social Service Publications Department, London, 1949. Harris, E. Sewell, Community Centres and Associations. The National Council of Social Service Publications Department, London, 1949. McMillen, Wayne, Community Organization for Social Welfare. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1 9 4 5 . Slavson, S. R., Creative Group Education. Association Press, New York, 1945. Trecker, Harleigh B., Social Group Work - Principles and Practices. The Woman's Press, New York, 1947. Wilson, Gertrude, and Ryland, Gladys, Social Group Work Practice. Houghton M i f f l i n , New York, 1949. Youth and Recreation. Ryerson Press, Canadian Youth Commission, 1946. Pamphlets Kidd, John D., Community.Centres. The Canadian Council of Education for Citizenship, Ottawa. Know Your Community. National Recreation Association, New York, 1943. Ross, Murray G., Community Councils. The Canadian Council of Education for Citizenship, Ottawa, 1945. Articles Coyle, Grace L., The Group Worker i n the Recreation Centre. Recreation XSIV, 1 0 , March, 1951, pps. 550-552. Lindeman, Eduard C , New Patterns of Community Organization. Proceedings National Conference of Social Work, 1937.  - 2 Articles. Continued Newstetter, Wilbur I., "The Social Intergroup Work Process", Proceedings of the National Conference of Social Work, Columbia University Press, New York, 1947. Sorenson, Roy, "Planning Recreation Services for a Community", Proceedings of the National Conference of Social Work. Columbia University Press, New York, 1947. Specific References Books Fitzgerald, Gerald.B., Community Organization for Recreation, A.S. Barnes, New York, 1948. Lindeman, Eduard C, The Community. Association Press, New York, 1921. Steiner, Jesse Frederick, Community Organization, New York and London, 1925. Pamphlets Sunset Community Association, W.S. Thomas, The Sunset Story. Vancouver, 1950. Sunset Community Association, Sunset Memorial Centre. Vancouver, Issues of 1945 and 1946. Vancouver Town Planning Commission, A Preliminary Report Upon Parks and Recreation and Schools. Harland Bartholomew and Associates, St. Louis, October, 1946. Unpublished Material Farina, AlfredJohn Oswald, The Edmonton Community Leagues, University of British Columbia, Department of Social Work Thesis, 1950. Carlisle, Sheila, Analysis of Sunset Memorial Centre i n the Light of Community Organization: Criteria and Techniques, University of British Columbia, Department of Social Work, 1946. Hopkins, John Thomas, West Vancouver Recreational Survey, University of British Columbia, Department of Social Work Thesis, 1950. Thomas, W. S., Second Annual Report of the Sunset Community Association, Vancouver, 1947. Thomas, W. S., Fourth Annual Report of the S. C.A., Vancouver, 1947.  - 3 Unpublished Material, Continued South Main Community Club, Minutes of the Monthly and General Meetings, Vancouver, March, 1937, to September, 1939.  Numerous articles and editorials appearing i n the following papers were used as source material i n the study: The The The The  South H i l l News Vancouver South News Vancouver Daily Province Vancouver Sun  Jack Hutchings column "Suburban Scene", appearing i n the Vancouver Sun, was a frequently used information source. Interviews with members of the Sunset Community Association and members of the community on the part of the writer were also used to gather information.  


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