British Columbia History

British Columbia Historical News 1986

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 Published by the British Columbia Historical Federation
Volume 19     No. 4
The well dressed working woman of the Depression era wore this costume in the orchards and berry patches of the
Okanagan and the fish canneries on the Coast. Ivan Sayers, curator, Vancouver Museum, obtained the overalls from
the inventory of Rands Drygoods, which operated stores in Summerland and Penticton in the 1920s. This model took
part in the fashion show Sayers presented for the B.C. Historical Federation in May 1986. See also pp. 19-20.
Member societies and their secretaries are responsible for seeing that the correct addresses
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the treasurer and the editor whose addresses are at the bottom of the next page. The Annual
Report as at October 31 should show a telephone number for contact.
Member dues for the year 1984-85 (Volume 18) were paid by the following member
Alberni District Historical Society, Box 284, Port Alberni, B.C. V9Y 7M7
Atlin Historical Society, P.O. Box 111, Atlin, B.C. VOW 1A0
BCHF — Gulf Island Branch, c/o Mrs. Ann Johnston, RR 1 Mayne Island VON 2J0
BCHF — Victoria Branch, c/o Marie Elliott, 1745 Taylor St., Victoria, B.C. V8R 3E8
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East Kootenay Historical Association, P.O. Box 74, Cranbrook, B.C. V1C 4H6
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North Shore Historical Society, c/o Mrs. Elizabeth L. Grubbe, 623 East 10th Street, North Vancouver,
B.C. V7L 2E9
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Valemount Historical Society, P.O. Box 850, Valemount, B.C. VOE 2A0
Vancouver Historical Society, P.O. Box 3071, Vancouver, B.C. V6B 3X6
West Vancouver Museum & Historical Society, P.O. Box 91785, West Vancouver, B.C. V7V 4S1
Affiliated Groups
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The Hallmark Society, 207 Government Street, Victoria, B.C. V8V 2K8
Nanaimo Centennial Museum Society, 100 Cameron Road, Nanaimo, B.C. V9R 2X1 BRITISH COLUMBIA
Volume 19    No. 4
W/7//'am Burns, Principal - Vancouver Normal School 1901-1920
by R.E. Burns    5
Vancouver - Reconstruction     9
Young Vancouver Seen By the Eyes of Youth
by Ethel Wilson  14
News from the Branches       14a-14d
The B.C. Marine Story
by David R. Conn     15
Kitsilano Street Names
by Peggy Imredy and Elizabeth Walker   17
News and Notes
British Columbia Historical Federation Conference 1986
by Naomi Miller   ^
Honorary President Dr. William Kaye Lamb, OC, FRSC
by G.S. Andrews   21
Recording the Voices of False Creek and the Fairview Slopes
by Elizabeth B. Walker      22
Mary Orr of Summerland, 1985 National Award Winner      23
Elizabeth Norcross: Born with a Sense of History    24
Jewish Historical Society of B.C.      25
Writing Competition      26
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The B.C. Historical Federation gratefully acknowledges the financial assistance of the British Columbia Heritage
This issue contains a number of articles about
Vancouver that were not included in the Centennial edition this spring.
A hearty welcome to our new editor Bob
Tyrrell, who will be producing the fall issue, and
introducing himself at that time.
—Marie Elliott
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Page 4
British Columbia Historical News R.E. Burns
William Burns, Principal -Vancouver
Normal School 1901 - 1920
The story of the development of the educational
system in British Columbia, as in most facets of
history, is the story of men whose dedication and
intellect were up to the task they had undertaken.
William Burns was one of these men.
In 1872 the Public School Act had decreed that
all teachers must be certified as to their competence.1 Since the shortage of qualified teachers
was of such proportions, this regulation was
quickly overlooked in favor of allowing native or
resident British Columbians, whatever their
educational background, to sit "challenge"
examinations or to attend teachers' institutions
periodically. Successive superintendents of education and their senior staff stressed the need for a
Teachers' College or Normal School.2 Thus, in
1890, when the Provincial Legislature passed a bill
that a University of British Columbia should be
established, a section of that bill specified that
there be a Normal School incorporated into the
University. Two factors delayed action in this
regard. Firstly, the Department of Education
showed considerable reluctance to give up
control of the training of Teachers (when and if a
training facility became a fact) and secondly,
sectional rivalry for the location of the university
made it politically unwise to do anything definitive. The government thereupon formed a
Council of Public Instruction charged with setting
up a Normal School, responsible to the Department of Education. No further action was taken.
By this time, British Columbia held the singular
honor of being the only Canadian province
without a Normal School.3 It was becoming less
and less possible to entice qualified personnel
from other provinces and too few British Columbians could afford to leave the province for
training, particularly with the wage scale for
teachers being as low as it was. Thus, as the level of
competence of teachers deteriorated, educators
and interested members of the public felt that the
future of the province would be damaged by the
low quality of the educational system. The press
took up the cause and the Legislature authorized
Superintendent Alexander Robinson to establish
a Provincial Normal School. The government
decided to place the facility in Vancouver and the
school opened on January 9,1901 in the Vancouver High School. Robinson planned that he,
himself, would supervise the operation with the
aid of Inspector Wilson, while continuing on as
Superintendent. It became immediately obvious
that this was impractical and Inspector William
Burns was brought in from Nelson to take over
the position as Principal of the Normal School.4
William Burns was a relative newcomer to
British Columbia, and only slightly less so to
Canada. His background, like many other successful immigrants, was one of frustration and
discouragement, overridden by strength of
character and determination. He had been
inspector of schools in the province since 1892.
Entrance for the first class in the school was
determined either by examination or by the
possession of at least a third-class certificate. The
examinations were held in Vancouver, Victoria,
Kamloops and Nelson. Actually, admission to this
class was decided upon by the Normal School
faculty. "No previous professional training or
British Columbia Historical News
Page 5 non-professional standing was demanded at this
first session, but at the next session an examination was held for any candidates for admission
who were not in possession of some educational
certificate of qualification."5
By 1902 the allotted space in the Vancouver
High School was found to be inadequate and the
Normal School was given rooms in Lord Roberts
School, where a Model School was formed for
practice teaching. In 1905 a new High School,
later to be known as King Edward High School,
was completed and rooms were made available in
it for Normal School use. A year later another
move was made, this time into the new Model
School nearby in Fairview. At the same time
construction was begun on the permanent
Normal School adjacent to it, at the corner of
Cambie and Twelfth Avenues. The latter, built of
fine granite and "rising from the mud ... was a bit
of old Oxford set down in Fairview"6, an architectural gem, and perhaps more importantly, a show
place for Vancouver. Burns laid the cornerstone
in 1908.
During the early days of the school, Burns had
taught psychology, literature and nature study,
while his associate David Blair taught theoretical
and practical drawing and criticized the classes in
instruction of drawing. His other associate J. D.
Buchanan taught teaching methods and with
Burns, supervised and criticized practical teaching.7 In short order expansion of the curriculum
was possible. In 1904 Burns became increasingly
aware, to his dismay, that the students he was
receiving were all too frequently unprepared
when they arrived from High School. Many
"were unenlightened in subjects they were
required to teach - some having failed their High
School course, others having actually passed with
high standing."8 He and his staff persevered and,
in time the course of teaching became stabilized.
Their program drew on the pioneer works on
teaching along with the many psychological,
sociological and historical works available.9
In addition to running the educational aspects
of the school, Burns soon found that he was
required to manage all the ancillary matters that
go along with any institution. He was soon dealing
with a multitude of matters ranging from vandalism at one end of the scale, to staff selection and
recruiting, to general public relations and more
specific articulation with the Vancouver schools
and the public education system as a whole. "The
superintendent and his inspectors, ministers and
their deputies, merchants, faculty, parents,
engineers, contractors, architects, telephone and
transport executives alike received his missives."10
In addition he was required to 'run' the physical
plant of the new Normal School building, in itself
a full time task.
Added to these tangible administrative worries
were those concerning the young (and as Burns
believed) impressionable young women students
who arrived to become his responsibility. "All
things to all people, he appeared 'wrapped up' in
the institution."11 He made sure that his pupils not
only knew the required number of facts to teach
but he required them to be able to present these
facts in a logical way and to derive conclusions
from them so that their students would understand. He also insisted that they avoid colloquial
speech, spell correctly, write legibly, avoid
classroom digressions, be encouraging and keep
good order. He demanded of his instructors in
the Normal School that they be very precise in
their teaching of the future teachers and remember that their students would very likely be
teaching in rural schools as general practitioners,
not specialists.14 His aim, in sum, was the "strengthening and development of the child".15
During this period he found time to write the
chapter "The History of the Educational System in
B. C." for Howay and Scholefield in the extensive
work British Columbia - From Earliest Times to the
Present. His contribution was complete and
informative with no trace of personal bias.
Rivalry between the Island and the Mainland
found the Vancouver School a ready target.12
Increasing pressure from Victoria led to the
construction in due course, of a fine Normal
School on the slopes of Mount Tolmie. It was
undoubtedly a justified addition to the system,
but its presence led to complications tor Burns.13
A major problem arose after 1914, when the
new Victoria Normal School was getting well
under way. A rivalry between the Victoria School
and the Vancouver one became apparent but
there was considerable co-operation betwen
these organizations as well. The greatest problems that Burns had to cope with emanated from
Superintendent Robinson. He began to make an
almost interminable number of exceptions to the
regulations governing the requirements for
admission to the Normal Schools and, in addition,
would over-rule regulations which determined
which Normal School a student from a particular
region must attend. To make matters worse, he
would insist on Burns making a decision and
Page 6
British Columbia Historical News sending him, at once, the reasons tor ruling and
then over-rule him. The situation was frustrating
for Burns and, to a lesser degree McLaurin, of
In addition the Victoria Normal School was
watching the Vancouver one for evidence of
more favorable treatment. So too did Vancouver
watch Victoria. Victoria had facilities for teaching
Home Economics, which Burns felt Vancouver
needed as well. Vancouver had a Model School of
its own and Victoria had none, until it was able to
use George Jay School for that purpose. Vancouver had a stenographer librarian, Victoria did not,
and so forth. In the touchy realm of salaries
Vancouver had an edge on Victoria which led to
an agitation for equalization, in itself not unreasonable, but necessitating a great deal of correspondence.18 These details seem petty, today, but
the sum total was to add to the strain imposed by
an already onerous task.
Through the years enrollment had increased.
Burns' duties as a teacher as well as an administrator continued throughout, although for a few
years before the World War, they had been
reduced. From fifty-four students in 1901, when
only one session was taught, the enrollment
increased sufficiently to allow the introduction of
two sessions a year. The first was held in the fall
term when those wishing to qualify to teach were
enrolled, the second group, in the spring term,
was for those advancing their levels of qualification. By 1909, with the new Normal School
building in operation, the problem of overcrowding, which had increased each year, was relieved
for a few years. But by 1912, it became severe
again — 160 were enrolled in the primary and 168
in the advanced classes. The Model School could
not provide the needed practice teaching space
and Cecil Rhodes Primary School, also in Fair-
yiew, was utilized. Each year enrollment increased about 10 percent, and by 1915 Burns had
welcomed the opening of the Victoria Normal
School, looking for it to relieve the pressure on his
school. He had recently added a more sophisticated Nature course, Physical Education and a St.
John's Ambulance first aid course to the curriculum.
At this point, as with all other activities, the
World War intervened to unravel the orderly
conduct of the affairs of the school. A significant
number of students and instructors left for the
Services, resulting in a marked increase in the
responsibilities of those remaining, including
Burns who was now 72 years of age. Nonethe
less, he added a medical examination for all new
enrollees as a requirement, to weed out the unfit
and advise the normal. By 1917, though enrollment totalled 270 in all and staff shortages were
acute, he instituted evening classes in Home
Nursing and First Aid. Once again he was teaching
regular courses in Psychology, Pedagogy, School
Law and Arithmetic.19
In 1918, with 222 students in the primary group
and 209 in the advanced, the School was laid low,
along with the general population, by the
influenza epidemic. The Normal School, like
other institutions, was closed for five weeks and
both staff and students devoted their time to
volunteer work.
In 1920 S.J. Willis succeeded Alexander Robinson as Superintendent of Education. Once more
an old problem arose, that of the Department
giving special dispensation to some students to
enter the Normal School without first passing the
Junior Matriculation examinations. Burns once
more expressed his displeasure and urged that
such a practice cease, largely because it was
impossible for a student to work toward both
examinations at the same time and do justice to
Finally, that same year, 1920, after a debilitating
illness, William Burns resigned. He was succeeded by his Assistant D.M. Robinson, and for
the remainder of the advanced student term he
gave a lecture each week, following which he left
to enjoy his retirement at the age of 78.
Following the death of Helen, his wife, in 1900,
Burns lived much of the time with his son Ronald
and his daughter-in-law Eveline. The latter had
been one of his earliest Normal School pupils. His
influence on their three children was immense.
Initially they lived on Harwood Street in the West
End, then on Eighth Avenue in Fairview and after
1921 on Angus Drive in second Shaughnessy, that
area having just been opened by the C.P.R.
In 1924 he received the medal for Good
Citizenship for that year, awarded by the Native
Sons of British Columbia, and he wrote "...this
honour was conferred upon me—one which I
esteem the highest I have received."20 At the
presentation he told of the difficulties which
confronted pupils of former times, of the manner
in which local prejudice and ingrained ideas of
the uselessness of more than a primary education
had to be overcome.... He concluded by suggest-
ing that the Native Sons should make it their
special work to study and seek to improve the
educational opportunities of the younger gener-
British Columbia Historical News
Page 7 ation of the native born.21 The ceremonies at
Brockton Point were conveniently held on a
School Sports Day, and were remarkable in that a
large number of ladies from the young and
attractive to those considerably more mature
were noted to be enthusiastically cheering the
old gentleman at every possible opportunity.
In retirement he had time to indulge himself in
his deep interest, the Masonic Order, to which he
had belonged since 1904, and in which he had
advanced to the highest levels of the Scottish Rite.
His time was spent in serving as Secretary of the
Mount Hermon Lodge and the writer was
privileged to be his chief stamp-licker each
month, when he sent out notices.
He was a little man, probably scarcely over five
feet five inches in height. But that was the only
littleness there was about him. As was characteristic of men of his stature he was a fearless and
persistent fighter for things in which he believed,
and his beliefs were strong and against those
which he opposed. He was aggressive but never
an aggressor. He understood children and trusted
them; they, in turn, trusted him. He was a
perfectionist to whom, when I was a freshman in
High School, I could take my problems in Latin
and Mathematics; but so great was his enthusiasm
for teaching that I admit to soon being reluctant
to ask a question, for one of utmost simplicity
could lead to an hour's lecture.
But there was a gentleness in him that made us
very close. He would 'cover' for me when he
became aware, directly or indirectly, of some
boyish indiscretion, and ask nothing in return.
Most of all he understood the wonderment of a
twelve year old. I remember vividly, to this day,
his going into the garden with me, one summer
night, and, as we sat on the lawn, pointing out the
constellations of the heavens, their distances,
their movements and their relationship to us and
the overwhelming vastness of it and I remember
the feeling of awe, wonder and curiosity it
engendered in me; and there was a ring of
amazement in his own voice almost as though he
too had just discovered this marvel of creation we
had before us.
I.John Calam, "Teaching the Teachers: Establishment and Early Years of the B.C. Provincial Normal Schools." in B.C. Studies, LXI,
(Spring 1984), 30. Calam's most complete
article proved a key source for this essay.
2. Normal School—"One that conforms not to
the standard but that teaches the 'norms' or
rules of teaching." J.D. Shipley, Dictionary of
Word Origins (Totowa, N.J., U.S.A.: Rotown
and Allanheld, 1982), p. 244.
3. Calam, Teaching the Teachers, p. 31.
4. Ibid., p. 32.
5. William Burns, "The Necessity for Teacher
Training", Queen's Quarterly, XVII (October, 1909), 115.
6. Vancouver Province, September 26,1908,
from Calam p. 38.
7. Calam, "Teaching the Teachers", p. 33.
8. Public Schools, Annual Report, 1909, p. A.57.
9. William C. Bagley, Classroom Management.
Its Principles and Techniques. (London:
MacMillan, 1907), is a good example.
10. Ibid., p. 40.
12. Calam, "Teaching the Teachers . p. 38.
13. Ibid.
14. Ibid. p. 41.
15. Ibid. p. 42.
16. William Burns, "The Educational System of
British Columbia," in British Columbia, F.W.
Howay and E.O.S. Scholefield (Vancouver,
B.C., S.J. Clarke, 1914), p. 623.
17. Calam, "Teaching the Teachers", p. 46.
18. Ibid. p. 50.
19. Public Schools, Annual Report, 1916, p. D.47.
20. B.F.J, p. 29.
21. Vancouver Province 1924.
The author is the grandson of William Burns, and
a member of the Victoria Branch of BCHF.
Page 8
British Columbia Historical News VANCOUVER - RECONSTRUCTION
The following excerpts from the 1887 B.C. Directory, from the Public Schools Report in the 1886 Annual
Report, and from the Superintendent of Education correspondence, 1886-1887, lend insights into the
manner in which Vancouver was rebuilt following the disastrous fire in June 1886. All excerpts are reprinted
with permission of the Provincial Archives, British Columbia.
A Description of Vancouver from the B.C.
Directory, 1887
I shall now give a brief sketch of the progress of
Vancouver since it became conspicuous to the
world as an important commercial centre.
Vancouver began to attract the attention of the
public in the early months of last year. The
agreement between the Government of British
Columbia and the railway company, and the
transfer of the lands as a subsidy having been
completed and Vancouver fixed as the terminus,
people began to flock in, and soon after, a town
sprang into existence and building was proceeded with, with the greatest energy. Application was made to the Provincial Government in
January for incorporation, a bill for which was
eventually passed after considerable opposition
and assented to by the Lieut. Governor on April
6th of last year, and Vancouver became the fourth
city in British Columbia, soon to rise to the first,
and the metropolis of the Pacific coast of
America. A mayor and ten aldermen were elected
in May, and extensive improvements were under
consideration, when unfortunately, on the 13th
of June, the fire fiend ravaged the city, leaving
one or two buildings where hundreds had stood,
and rendering many penniless who were in
comfortable circumstances and doing a thriving
On the morning of the 14th June the scene
presented to the eyes of the citizens was a
desolate one, one which would have made any
other people but Vancouverites desert it. But the
citizens were equal to the task, failure never once
entered their heads, they set to work with a
determination to succeed and they did. The city
council never for an instant remained idle.
Scarcely had the fierce flames ended their work of
desolation, when they were at work sympathizing, encouraging and trying to help everybody.
They despatched messages to all parts of the
Dominion for help to the suffering ones, which
were nobly responded to, and but for that help
Vancouver would not have been the place it is
today. Reassured by the encouraging reports
which came pouring in day by day, strength was
added to the arms of the citizens and they worked
as never men worked before. On the morning of
the 15th June numerous tents and small huts were
to be seen dotting the townsite, which gave to it
the appearance of a military encampment.
Everybody was in good humour, losses were
forgotten, the hopeful future dispelled all other
thoughts from their minds. It was a grotesque
scene never to be forgotten by those who
participated in it. The noise of the hammer was
heard above all other sounds, as busy hands piled
on the boards in the work of re-building. The
C.P.R. hotel was the first to appear above the
ruins, and smaller buildings arose as if by magic in
scattered profusion around it. In a week hotels
were occupied, stores opened and doing business as usual, although confined to considerably
smaller premises. Cordova Street soon began to
assume a business like aspect, store after store was
put up and opened, and in two weeks the whole
space from Carrall to Abbott streets was occupied
by buildings, though of a primitive style they
answered the purpose until better could be built.
In the meantime the city council had discussed
British Columbia Historical News
Page 9 ways and means for the planking of the principal
streets, and soon afterwards the planking of
Water Street was commenced. Once commenced they kept it going, there being plenty of
willing hands to do the work. Cordova, Carrall,
Hastings, Cambie, Powell, and Oppenheimer
streets and Westminster Avenue followed in
quick succession.
Within six months, over five hundred buildings
were erected, many of them substantial two and
three story frame blocks, and a large number of
them built of brick. Such is the confidence in the
future importance of the city, that over $1,000,000
has been expended on building alone since the
13th of June last, and the large number of
structures, both brick and frame, large and small
at present in course of erection, is only a forecast
of what we may expect during the present year.
Vancouver today can boast of having several first-
class hotels with every accommodation for the
comfort of the traveller, stores which would do
credit to any of the larger cities in the east, and
buildings which will compare favorably with
those of a city three times its size.
Though delayed in the work of completing the
railway to its natural terminus, the Canadian
Pacific Railway Company have not been idle.
They have been actively engaged with a staff of
over two hundred men, clearing their land,
grading streets, building wharves, and making
every preparation for the immense volume of
trade which will pass over their line during the
present year. They have in course of erection a
large hotel, which when completed will rival
anything of the kind on the continent. The
ground is being prepared for a large passenger
depot, and also for round-houses, workshops,
workmen's houses, freight sheds and warehouses. Steamers are being built to ply between
this port and Australia, China, Japan, San Francisco, South America and the channel ports,
which will make it the commercial centre of the
These influences in themselves are sufficient to
cause a large city to spring up, but when we look
around and take into consideration the incalculable forest, mineral, agricultural and marine
wealth, with which it is surrounded, the possibilities of its future cannot be over-estimated. When
saw mills are established and the lumber trade
fully developed, our mineral resources utilized,
and our great coal fields being wrought, iron ore
mined, smelted and manufactured into all kinds
of machinery, tools, etc., our copper mines
opened and the wealth drawn from them, our
gold and silver mines pouring out their millions,a
system of fishing stations established along our
coasts, and piscatorial wealth drawn from the
bosom of the ocean, Vancouver will have
become the metropolis of the west, the London
of the Pacific.
Let us now dwell for a little on Vancouver's
connection with the world. From Liverpool to
Halifax, the distance is 2,480 miles, traversed in 6V2
days, Halifax to Vancouver a little over 3,000 miles,
traversed in 5V2 days, Vancouver to Melbourne
7,500 miles, traversed in about 21 days, making a
total travelling time between Liverpool and
Melbourne, via Halifax, C.P.R. and Vancouver of
34 days, while the contract mail time from London
to Melbourne is 44 days, being a saving often days
by the Canadian route. Again, the distance from
Vancouver to Hong Kong is about 6,000 miles,
traversed in about 16 days, making the total
travelling time between Liverpool and Hong
Kong 29 days, while the contract mail time from
London is 33 days, a saving by the Canadian route
of 4 days. The distance from Vancouver to
Yokohama, Japan, 4,380 miles can be traversed in
ten days, making the travelling time from Liverpool 23 days; while by the Suez Canal the contract
mail time is 35 days, a saving by the Canadian
route of 12 days. With such overwhelming odds in
its favor the C.P.R. cannot fail to become the mail
route between the United Kingdom and these
countries, in fact a subsidy has already been
granted by the Imperial Government for this
purpose, which will naturally attract commerce
from the old and less expeditious channels.
The geographical position of Vancouver is also
an important point in its favour, and is remarkable
for its similar situation in relation to America, as
London the great emporium of Europe is to that
Continent. The Province of British Columbia juts
out from North-West America as Great Britain
from Europe, and our City is situated in much the
same position in British Columbia as London is in
Great Britain. The comparatively favorable
distances across the Pacific to Japan, China and
Australia, compare with the same favourable
distances from Europe across the Atlantic to
America. The direction of the trade winds tend to
this point, the open harbours also which indent
the coast are havens of refuge for the storm
beaten ship. It is also worthy of note that the
coasts of the mainland of British Columbia and
the islands are indented with numerous long
inlets, bays and coves, similar to the coasts of
Norway, the west of Scotland and Ireland; Ireland
and the Hebrides of Scotland, comparing with
Vancouver Island and the Queen Charlotte
Page 10
British Columbia Historical News Islands of British Columbia. The following extract
from a speech made by the Earl of Dufferin while
in the province, describes the coast line very
"Such a spectacle as its coast line presents is not
to be paralleled by any country in the world. Day
after day for a whole week, in a vessel of nearly
2,000 tons, we threaded an interminable labyrinth
of watery lanes and reaches that wound endlessly
in and out of a network of islands, promontories,
and peninsulas for thousands of miles, unruffled
by the slightest swell from the adjoining ocean,
and presenting at every turn an ever shifting
combination of rock, verdure, forest, glacier and
snow-capped mountain of unrivalled grandeur
and beauty. When it is remembered that this
wonderful system of navigation, equally well
adapted to the largest line of battleship and the
frailest canoe, fringes the entire seaboard of your
province and communicates at points,sometimes
more than a hundred miles from the coast, with a
multitude of valleys stretching eastward into the
interior while at the same time it is furnished with
innumerable harbours on either hand, one is lost
in admiration at the facilities for inter-communication which are thus provided for the future
inhabitants of this wonderful region."
Equal effects are produced from similar causes
under like conditions, and the analogy between
London the metropolis of Europe and Vancouver,
is so nearly perfect that a similar effect is likely to
result. As London owes its growth to the development of the natural resources of the country of
which it is the gateway.
The following review of the improvements
made in the city since the 13th June will give an
idea of its remarkable progress since that date:
Clearing land, etc., including C.P.R.   . $ 250,000
Grading and Planking streets         75,000
Mills and Wharves         85,000
Cordova Street    $ 125,000
Hastings"   100,000
Granville"     100,000
Pender, Seymour and Richard streets 50,000
Water Street  90,000
Alexander Street    25,000
Powell"     25,000
Carrall Street    50,000
Westminster Avenue     25,000
Dupont Street     10,000
Miscellaneous streets, (20)  75,000
Total improvements    $1,085,000
Assessed value of Real Estate       2,664,274
Personal Property  ..        108,305
Corporation Accounts from date of
incorporation (6th April), 1886, to
31st December last.
By Dray Licenses   $ 115.50
Feed and Sale Stables and
Livery Stables   36.00
Billards and Pool, Auctioneers  . 90.00
Shooting Galleries and Theatre 21.00
Victualling houses  31.50
Liquor Licenses     4,880.00
Permits granted previous to
1st July, 1886     965.00
Police Court fines   1,036.50
Government grant for
Powell Street     1,000.00
Bills discounted  13,907.00
Water Street debentures and
interest     4,552.28
British Columbia Historical News
Pttblic Schools Report. 188,i
Teacher, J. \V. Palmer until Sept. 1886 ; present teacher, J. W. Robinson.
Salary, $60 per month
Examined, April 13th, 1886 ; present, 27 boys, 26 girls; total, 53.
Inspected April 14th, 1886 ; present, 26 boys, 25 girls ; total, 51.
Enrolled during the year, 51 boys, 54 girls ; total, 105.
Average monthly attendance, 59.
Average actual daily attendance, 44.65.
Expenditure, $760.
Cost of each pupil on enrolment, $7.24.
Cost of each pupil on average attendance, $17.02.
During the year the enrolment increased from 58 in the previous )-ear to 105, and the
average attendance from 29.16 to 44.65.
This very considerable increase in the number of children attending the school is attributable to the large addition to the populatiou of the district, caused by the construction of
extensive railway works in the vicinity.
As the name of the town of Granville was changed by Legislative enactment to Vancouver
a correspondi'ng change has l>een made in the name of this district, which will hereafter be
known as " Vancouver School District."
The disastrous conflagration that occurred on June 13th, 1886, necessitated the immediate
closing of the school, which was not re-opened until November.
A building which will afford suitable accommodation "will be ready for occupancy after
the Christmas holidays. With the New Year the school will open in this building under the
charge of a principal and an assistant teacher.
From the attendance thus far reported there is every prospect that it will be found
necessary in the near future to supply additional assistance.
If trustees and parents take that interest in the matter of education which its importance
demands, there can be no doubt that the record of the school will in a very short time compare
favorably with that of any graded school in sister cities.
know when the new schoolhouse will be ready
646/86 for the reception of pupils.
Vancouver ' am 'n^ormec' by Mr. Hamilton, the CPR
,1   ~o -long assistant land commissioner that the lots are now
^    ' ready for building on, which were reserved for
Dear Sir: that purpose. The railway will run through the
I have had within the last two weeks several steps of the schoolhouse which is besides entirely
applications for the assistant teacher's position in inadequate to accommodate the number of
the Vancouver Public School. I have informed children attending. I beg to draw your attention
them all that there is no accommodation for a therefore to the urgent necessity of building a
new teacher in our schoolhouse and that I do not new schoolhouse as soon as possible...
Pace 12 British Columbia Historical News 706/86
August 5,1886
Dear Sir:
Referring to your communication of the 31st
respecting the appointment of an assistant
teacher and the providing of a new school
building; with regard to the letter I have to inform
you that Mr. Alexander, the Manager of the
Hastings Saw Mill Company, whose property the
present school building is, has taken possession of
the building and refuses to allow it to be used as a
public school.
As regards "the expenditure above appointment for incidental expenses during the past
school year"; the additional expenditure of $3 or
thereabouts was authorized by you for the
purpose of providing desks and chairs from the
extra sum of $20 granted for the erection of a
school shed, which was considered by the
Trustees unnecessary; it was in consequence of
my securing permission from you that I drew on
the incidental expenses account for the payment
of the above sum, assuming that it would be in
accordance with promise refunded at the end of
the school year from the special grant. I may add
that I have made no charge for expenses incurred
in maintaining correspondence as Secretary and
Treasurer to the Board of Trustees.
Awaiting your reply.
August 13,1886
Dear Sir:
In answer to yours of the 10 inst. I beg to say that
no building in any degree suitable for a school
can be rented except at a very high rent. It
appears to the Board that the best course to take
will be to build a temporary building at the rear of
the lot reserved for school purposes, such
building to be of rough boards and battens, the
estimates for such building of the following
dimensions 60 ft. by 20 ft. by 10 ft. high, with a
rough door. Three windows on either side of the
length and one at each end; eight in all range
about $250 to $275. My personal opinion is that it
would be best to place such a building on the
exact site of the future and to finish it with or in
such rustic as may be deemed advisable afterwards.
The Board feel that to notify the school teacher
that his services will no longer be required would
be harsh treatment of him taking into consideration the fact that as the school session has begun
he probably would be unable to secure any
appointment to any other school. I must therefore await your further instructions on this matter.
7th February 1887
Dear Sir:
I beg to inform you that the above school was
opened in the new building on January 24th and
after the scholars had been duly arranged in their
respective classes, the school was dismissed until
the 26 January on account of the varnish on the
forms and desks being scarcely dry and the walls
still wet; fires had however been constantly kept
in until midnight for the week preceding the
opening of the school, and were continued until
the 26 January, which enabled the Trustees to
open the school on the above date, the walls
being sufficiently dry for the purpose, the hard
finish being about seven feet from the ground.
In accordance with your instructions of January
15,1 got from Messrs. Vair and Miller of this town a
pair of capacious and handsome stoves, capable
of burning either wood or coal at $16 each, which
give every satisfaction.
There is no table for the assistant teacher; it is a
want much felt by her. Would you kindly give the
necessary order for me to procure one, a drawer
in it is a necessity.
I beg to acknowledge with thanks the receipt of
the Annual Report of the School of the Province
for the past year.
These letters were selected by Frances Gundry,
Head, Manuscript Division, Provincial Archives of
British Columbia.
British Columbia Historical News
Page 13 Ethel Wilson
My mother died in South Africa when I was a
baby. My father died in England when I was six or
seven. I came in about 1895 with my grandmother, her sister, and daughter, to join her three
sons—J.F. (who years later became mayor of
Vancouver), W.H., and Philip Malkin who were
now established in business in the new little town
of Vancouver. We did not know the history of the
name Vancouver. Few people did, at that time—
or few people cared.
As the train moved in to the station, I saw—with
an urgency that has remained in my heart ever
since—the mountains, the sparsely manned
harbour, the sailing ships, some steamers that
had—I suppose, lately—begun to enter the
harbour. We arrived at the station and were
greeted warmly by my uncles. Vancouver soon
began to take the shape and the form of home. I
have to tell a little of my own life in order to
present the new sights seen by the inexperienced
eyes of youth.
As I see, now, while being driven around
Stanley Park, the majesty and beauty of that area
of great (or once great) trees which must be
cherished, of the harbour of Vancouver—
changed in its aspect from the silent calm sea of
early days, the mountains glorious and almost
unchanged; the signs of Indian life as in a village,
across the harbour, I see that a certain serenity has
gone (as everywhere in our world), and everywhere are the signs that link us, by sight and
motion, with the world beyond us. The little town
of Vancouver has changed in a lifetime to a great
city, and has assumed an interpretive voice as a
part of the great world. There were few people in
the streets, a crowd (as we know it now) was
unknown. My uncles' business on Water Street
was a token of future life in a city. The twin spires
of the little Indian church graced the northern
shore. In Vancouver the churches of the town
seemed to be confined to Homer and Richards
and Georgia Streets, then. What we have now for
a long time known as the West End was wooded, a
spreading forest broken by wooden houses in
being, houses in course of building. Vancouver
began to grow to the east, west, north and south,
to land and to water—both salt and fresh, sea or
river, on nearly every side.
There were public schools of fair size in the city.
I do not remember bookshops at that time.
Before long the Carnegie Library was established
with much acclaim. We were still surrounded by
beauty, and in our house we read and read.
I attended a small private school, later known as
Crofton House. I was—at first—one of less than a
dozen pupils. Games were few, and happy, and
unorganized. The atmosphere of England, our
former home, was with us, and so was the love
and surprise of our new country. Life was a game
and we enjoyed it.
There was music in the homes of Vancouver.
Evenings were not complete without song, or
piano, or violin, not music of grand quality, but of
the essence of pleasure. But there was an amazing
amount of music—concerts, opera, all held in the
small Opera House on Granville Street. Music was
free and full, visual "art" conformed to tradition.
We had no Art Gallery then—but people had
opinions. The art of "painting" was only occasional, and peculiar—on china, for example.
There was little crime in the city, and that was
chiefly confined to the waterfront. As I walked to
and from school (thirty-five blocks a day), I passed
the chain gang clearing land for building lots on
Davie and Jervis Streets. The men of the chain
gang were shackled. There were driven to work in
a wagon with a team of horses and were guarded
by keepers who cradled guns in their arms in
traditional style. I was always a little afraid and did
not turn to look at the chain gang although I
wanted to explore their faces, and understand
why this had come about. One of the most
notable figures of my youth in the West End was
the fine negro Joe Fortes at English Bay. He taught
nearly all the boys and girls to swim. I can stiff hear
Joe Fortes saying in his rotund rich voice, "Jump! I
tell you, jump! If you don't jump off of that raft, I'll
throw you in!"
So we jumped. Joe was an heroic figure.
Page 14
British Columbia Historical News News From The Branches
East Kootenay
Historical Association
The outstanding event of the year and one in which
we take special pride, was the re-opening of the
historic St. Eugene Mission Church, six miles north of
Cranbrook, on June 9,1985. This is the church that is
described in the award-winning book Early Indian
Village Churches, by John Veilette and Gary White
(1977) as "the finest late Victorian wooden church
remaining in British Columbia". A small committee
from our association had assisted the St. Mary's Indian
Band with the financial negotiations for the project,
so all our members were invited to the ceremonies
and the luncheon. The funding for the renovation
came from Federal, Provincial and private sources
and resulted in the restoration of this superb building
which had been constructed by Father Coccola in the
late 1890s. When visitors from our Federation's
branches come to the Cranbrook area, they must
attempt to see St. Eugene with its priceless painted
windows and delicate design which make it the finest
late Victorian wooden church remaining in British
Our Annual Meeting was held as usual in April at
Kimberley. Summer outings began in April with a trip
to Fisherville and a clean-up of the Ft. Steele
Cemetery. In May we went up the Bull River and back
to the first power plant which had supplied power to
Hosmer, Cranbrook, Moyie, and Ft. Steele.
Devastating forest fires cancelled our July hike to
Armstrong Bay over the Old Indian Trail. In August
our members were joined by a group from Montana
in visiting the ancient coke ovens at Morrissey. Our
fall dinner meeting in October at Cranbrook was
highlighted by archaeologist Wayne Choquette
speaking on "The Prehistoric Kootenays".
A new program of public lectures in the winter
months was initiated by Naomi Miller, our Vice-
President. The first in November at Cranbrook was a
great success with Ian Jack, Naturalist from Kootenay
National Park as speaker. We are waiting expectantly
for the second lecture in Kimberley in February on
"The Story of the Kootenay People" by Shelagh
Dehart, a grand-daughter of Chief Kinbasket.
Netta Gansner
Corresponding Secretary
St. Eugene Mission Church by R.E. Carson    cXrj
Sidney & North
Saanich Historical
Last summer the Sidney & North Saanich Historical
Society ventured into the realm of putting on a
heritage house tour as part of a program arranged for
special guests. This winter we commence acting as the
Heritage Advisory Committee for the District of
North Saanich.
8. Peirson
British Columbia Historical News
Page 14a Qualicum Beach
Historical and
Museum Society
The first meeting of the Society took place on June 21,
1980. After the election of officers about 30 members
of the newly-formed Society walked to the
Powerhouse, an old brick building close to the
Railway Station that would be our future museum.
Now, six years later, the old Heritage Building has
been cleaned and painted inside by volunteer
members. A small generator, similar to the original,
has been purchased and brought over from the
mainland to be the first exhibit.
A great many artifacts have been collected and
donated to the Society, which now numbers more
than 80 members. Elizabeth Little, who held the first
organizational meeting, is one of our hard-working
directors; sne has organised a group to interview old-
timers in order to collect accounts of early Qualicum
Beach. Our enthusiastic president, Cora Skipsey, with
the help of the other directors, arranges interesting
monthly meetings. To raise funds, garage sales and a
raffle have been held and a bingo and fashion show is
planned. Government funding is also being
Last summer an old steam locomotive was moved
to the railway spur beside the station as an addition to
our exhibits. This was the result largely of the work of
director, Stuart Anderson. Now a group of railway
buffs, members of the Society, are preparing to clean
the locomotive and build a shelter for it. We are
hiping the bingo will bring in funds for this work.
By the summer of 1986, with the co-operation of all
members, Qualicum Beach should have the Museum
open for the public.
K. Phyllis James
Trail Historical Society
open meeting where members talk about old times
that they remember in this area. In June we have a
field trip to a museum or place of specific interest in
this area.
In May we will be joint hosts with the Rossland
Museum for a meeting of the Regional District
Museums & Societies. The guests will tour a plant in
the Cominco.
Margaret Powell
Ladysmith New
Horizons Historical
This society has been chiefly occupied with assisting,
in as many ways as possible, the compiling and
printing of Ladysmith's Colourful History. The work
was under the direction of Mrs. Viola Johnson-Cull,
our president, to complete the local history she had
earlier gathered in Chronicles of Ladysmith and
District, published in 1980.
Although the Historical Society has tried to be of
special assistance to our 85-year-old writer, the
project has in fact, been a community effort, both in
materials and finances. The O.A.P.O. #9 gave solid
financial backing to the project.
Our membership is not large, nineteen members,
four of whom can no longer attend meetings.
However dues are collected and the members enjoy
receiving the B.C Historical News.
Frances Halsall
Alberni District
Historical Society
The Trail Historical Society holds monthly meetings
on the second Monday evening of each month at 7:30
P.M. The museum is on Spokane Street, directly
behind the Trail City Hall.
We have guest speakers at each meeting who also
show slides of their topic. Countries covered,
Australia-New Zealand, South America, Sri Lanka,
Egypt, Israel. During the first part of 1986 the speakers
will cover mostly local history. In May we have an
The Alberni District Historical Society has recently
accepted responsibility for the business records of the
R.B. McLean Lumber Co. This collection covers 50
years of sawmiUing and logging operations in the
Alberni Valley with some activity on the east side of
the Island. The Alberni Valley Museum and the
Western Vancouver Island Industrial Heritage Society
are presently making the Sawmill itself and its
industrial equipment part of their conservation
Page 14b
British Columbia Historical News efforts. There are few records concerning sawmiUing
that are quite as comprehensive as the McLean
We also have available 79 years of newspaper
records on microfilm, together with carefully
documented archival records of the community'b
activities over 125 years. If researchers and writers
need factual information about the Alberni District,
please visit us. You can read our papers and talk to
persons who have deep roots in the community. Too
often articles appear without the necessary background homework. Why not be authentic as well as
We make it a practice to pass on to the appropriate
community any material that rightly belongs to them.
We would welcome reciprocal action from other
Societies who have information about the Alberni
District. If actual archival material cannot be sent then
a list of their holdings would be included in our Index.
We have fourteen volunteers in the "Workshop"
drawn from our membership. Our collection is
housed in the Alberni Valley Museum.
Valemont Historic
Our Society held its first meeting in Sept. 1980 and
over the next two years carried out the following
projects: we built a Tourist Information Booth,
restored a grave marker and tidied up the Tete Jaune
Cemetery, made plans to publish a history of
Valemount and surrounding areas and began
interviewing local people for the book. We also made
our first move to save the Valemount train station by
having a municipal bylaw registered that would
designate the station a Heritage site.
In the following years we raised money to augment
a New Horizon's grant for our history by holding a
variety of events. These included hosting the Vintage
Car Club of Canada, holding a multi-visual show and
running a community auction with donated items
and volunteer workers. On June 4, 1984 we held a
workbee to sort out the best, for our purpose, of the
3,000 photographs we had collected for the book. Six
months later the book, Yellowhead Pass and Its
People, arrived from the printers and on Jan. 10,1986
a ceremonial lunch was held to mark the final
payment to the bank of the loan we had taken out to
cover the expense of finishing and launching our
Our latest project is the setting up of archives. Help,
in the form of a three day training workshop on
archival organisation, has been offered to us by
Denise McCullum ot the rraser rort Ueorge Kegional
Museum. We also plan to begin our long postponed
project of establishing a local museum.
Copies of our book are available for $42.50 prepaid. For more information about this book and
others on our list write Valemount Historic Society,
Box 850, Valemount, B.C. VOE 2Z0.
Leonard Lea Frazer
Okanagan Historical Society
The Okanagan Historical Society is pleased to
announce that it's 49th Annual Report of Okanagan History is now available. The price is $8.00 +
$1.55 for handling.
This Society has been in existence since 1925
and over the years has produced 49 books based
on the History of the Okanagan Valley. Articles in
the 49 Reports relate to Native Studies, Industrial,
Commercial and Agriculture Development,
Transportation and Biographical memoirs of
settlers. At least 2000 copies of each annual issue
are printed.
Recent Awards include the 1982 Award of
Merit for more than 50 years of publishing
Okanagan History, presented by the American
Association for State and Local History; and the
1985 Award for significant contribution to the
conservation of British Columbia's heritage,
presented by the Heritage Society of British
Copies of the following earlier reports are still
#48 (1984), #47 (1983) $7.00 each
#46 (1982), #45 (1981), #44 (1980), #43 (1979), #41
(1977), #40 (1976) $5.00 each
Reprints of #12 (1948) and #11 (1945)$5.00 each
All other issues from #1 to #39 are completely
sold out and have become collector's items,
selling at many times the original price. Often an
article printed will produce follow-up articles
thus stressing the need for continuity of collecting
the books.
The Reports provide a comprehensive history
of the entire Okanagan and its adjacent areas and
would be a worthwhile addition to any book
collection or library. A complete Index of Reports
is presently being prepared for printing and
distribution in the not too distant future.
Send orders (plus $1.55 for postage and
handling) to the Treasurer, Box 313, Vernon, B.C.
V1T 6M3.
British Columbia Historical News
Page  14c New Westminster Historic
Centre & Museum
A recent, major addition to the New Westminster
Museum is a mural, four feet by eight feet,
commissioned by the museum to commemorate
New Westminster's 125th Anniversary in 1984-85.
Two local, talented young people, Lesley Conway
and Lucy Dickinson, students at New Westminster
Secondary School completed the mural over
three school semesters, under the direction of Art
teacher Lloyd Timm.
advantage of the opportunity to sit and gaze upon
the early history of the Royal City ... and
appreciate an example of excellence by a couple
of talented New Westminster artists.
The New Westminster Museum, located behind Irving House Historic Centre at 302 Royal
Avenue in New Westminster, is open on summer
hours, Tuesday - Sunday, 11:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.,
beginning May 1. Please phone 521-7656 for more
The artists have used New Westminster's
original street grid to unify twenty-five historical
scenes and personalities from the Royal City's
past. Such individuals as Governor James Douglas,
Judge Matthew Baillie Begbie, Colonel Richard
Clement Moody and Captain William Irving, and
such buildings as the Customs House, Land
Registry, Holy Trinity Church, Irving House, and
much, much more, make the enjoyment and
understanding of our history much easier.
The mural has been installed as an integral part
of the small theatre area in the museum, which is
regularly used to show slide programs on our
local history to visitors, especially school groups.
Interpretive discussions on New Westminster's
history can be conducted, using the mural's
images as focal points. A key to the mural is
available for visitors, and many people have taken
Don't Forget!
Subscribe now if you're not
receiving the News regularly.
British Columbia Historical News I do not remember innumerable associations
for local aid and improvement, for games and for
other pleasures such as now crowd our newspapers and our lives. Perhaps they were there. Of
politics I knew nothing.
When I went shopping with my aunt on
Cordova Street I saw beautiful ladies in black,
usually travelling in pairs. Their skirts were long
and would have trailed (given a chance) but were
held up by aid of an elegantly crooked elbow,
their cheeks were very pink, their eyes were large,
and lingered as they looked, soft and hard with
"Oh Aunty Belle!" I used to say, "do look at
that lovely lady! Who is she?" I was rather
ashamed that my aunt did not know any of these
lovely ladies nor did she seem to wish to know
them. She snubbed me for my curiosity and thus
was my burning innocence continued.
Picnics became popular. There was North
Vancouver across the Inlet, to which my uncles
rowed. There was a beach, later known as Jericho
Beach, where loggers of a logging company
named Jerry & Co. were working. For the
adventurous there was the North Arm of the Inlet.
Owing to the absence of engines and the
presence of muscle, we were rowed everywhere.
Later, Bowen Island was delightfully discovered.
More than once I have met whales at close
quarters. We were surrounded by beauty and the
pleasures of nature. Everyone but my grandmother had a bicycle. My great aunt did not ride
her bicycle; she preferred to walk it about and
talk to people for her favourite occupation. Many
families who had recently come from England
employed a cook, usually Chinese. Our cook
pursued the same orthodox pattern as we did. He
loved my grandmother devotedly, and willingly
"came in", as required, for Family Prayer which
my grandmother conducted twice daily. "Cards"
were unknown in our house, but many of our
friends played cards. I don't know why "cards"
were taboo, but they were.
I relate these times, you see, as they presented
themselves to a schoolgirl. The town changed to a
city, land and water changed, the schoolgirl
changed. And now, the city of Vancouver shows
another face, looking east, west, and north in our
beloved country of Canada, and far, far beyond
by land and sea.
There was a simplicity in life then which it
would be folly to regret now.
This unpublished manuscript has been made
available by permission of Special Collections
Division, University of British Columbia Library.
David R. Conn
The B.C.
Marine Story
At the end of February, 1986, the province's oldest
private shipyard was scheduled to be closed. B.C.
Marine Shipbuilders Ltd. survived the great
Depression and numerous other slumps, only to
succumb to the current prolonged recession.
The yard's story began in 1892, when the Bullen
family formed the Esquimalt Marine Railway Co.
and built a marine railway to service Victoria's
growing coastal trade. The railway allowed ships
to be hauled out of the water for inspection,
repairs, cleaning and painting more easily than
Six years later, the family reorganized as B.C.
Railways Co., and built another facility at Vancouver's Burrard Inlet. The Klondike gold rush
had consolidated the port's position as a major
Pacific terminus. A steam-powered Crandall
cradle was installed on inclined rails at the present
location, the north foot of Victoria Drive. The
supervisor of the new yard was engineer George
Bushby, grandson of Sir James Douglas.
In 1902, WF. Bullen went to Britain and bought
machine shop and boilermaking equipment for
both shipyards. The Esquimalt yard began building ships, notably the CPR vessels Princess
Beatrice (1903), Princess Royal (1907), Nanoose
(1908), and Princess Maquinna (1912).
At the beginning of 1914, the Esquimalt yard
was bought by Yarrows Ltd., the British naval
specialist shipbuilders. Alfred Yarrow, patriarch of
the company and inventor of the standard water-
tube boiler, organized the transaction personally.
The Vancouver yard was sold to Bushby and other
managers, who carried on the company name.
During the great shipbuilding boom of 1916-
1920, B.C. Marine Ltd. confined itself to artillery
shell manufacture, ship repair and fitting out
British Columbia Historical News
Page 15 work. Meanwhile, other yards in the province
built scores of deep sea freighters and auxiliary
schooners for the Allied merchant fleets. B.C.
Marine was upgraded with a new machine shop
and an extension to the ship cradle, and by 1918
the company advertised the marine railway at a
1700 ton capacity, along with fully equipped
shops, two floating derricks, a steam tug, scows,
divers, and the largest steam hammer in the
province. That year George Bushby retired, and
new owner/managers Innes Hopkins, J.K.
McKenzie and CJ. Isted took over operations.
When the war orders ceased, the shipyard,
renamed B.C. Marine Engineering and Shipbuilding Co., survived the recession. While big
wartime shipbuilders were closing their doors,
B.C. Marine shipwrights built the second Capilano for Union Steamship Co. (1920), and the Lady
Kindersley, an Arctic schooner, for the Hudson's
Bay Company (1921).
The company built a wharf extension in 1927
and by 1929 the yard had a second marine railway
on the east side of the property. The yard carried
on through the Depression by providing proven
repair and maintenance work at reasonable
prices and cultivating steady customers such as
Union Steamship. Like other operations at that
time, tradesmen stayed at the yard without pay
between jobs until times eventually got better.
During World War II, B.C. Marine once again
expanded modestly while supplying equipment,
repairs and refit work for others. The yard
specialized in fitting gun emplacements and
similar wartime conversion work on existing
In the post-war period, Union Steamship came
through with a contract for the refitting of six
coastal vessels. In 1956, the yard was bought by
Senator S. McKeen, Fred Brown, and F.R. Graham. In 1963, the first steel-hulled boat was built,
the first new construction in forty years. She was
the 65 ft. tug Georgia Straits. B.C. Marine went on
to build two sister ships for Straits Towing. These
three powerful "hot rods" changed the nature of
coastal towing in British Columbia.
In 1965, Straits Towing bought up B.C. Marine,
and the yard's service priority became maintenance of the Strait's fleet of coastal tugs and
barges. A building program was carried on to
convert the fleet to steel hulls, with the yard
building at least one tug per year. When Straits
and River Towing amalgamated in 1970 to form
British Columbia's second largest towing com
pany, the enlarged fleet kept the yard busy almost
constantly on company work.
The 1970s saw B.C. Marine continuing to be
busy as a Rivtow Straits subsidiary, building tugs,
boom boats, fishboats, a ferry, and various
shallow-draft tugs for assembly at Hay River,
N.W.T., for use on the Mackenzie River. Much of
this building was done in the east yard, east of the
No. 2 marine railway. At this time, the company
consistently employed 150 to 200 men.
The Rivtow Straits fleet peaked at 75 tugs and
175 barges in 1980. Then recession idled much of
the company's capacity, and maintenance work
was curtailed. Lacking modern equipment, B.C.
Marine was unable to win regular outside
contracts to supplement its company work.
When B.C. Marine closes, Rivtow Straits
intends to do fleet maintenance work at the
company dock and at other subsidiaries, contracting out work on the largest tugs and barges.
New construction will be handled by the West
Coast Manly subsidiary.
With its original shop buildings and steam-
powered ship cradle, B.C. Marine is a direct link
to the pioneer days of shipping. Every British
Columbia coastal vessel of this century has
probably been up on its ways at some time for
repair or maintenance work. The demise of B.C.
Marine points up the fact that this pioneer stage
of shipping is over.
David Conn is a writer and researcher in architectural and marine design. This article was originally
published in Harbour and Shipping.
Back Issues of the News
Back issues of the News can be ordered at $3.50
each plus postage from the Editor.
Page 16
British Columbia Historical News Peggy Imredy and Elizabeth Walker
Tree streets were named by Lachlan Alexander
Hamilton when he surveyed the C.P.R. land grant
in 1886; he used the 'modern' system of numbers
for the avenues. As South Vancouver and Point
Grey were surveyed and settled, the avenue
numbers were extended south, east and west to
encompass the city. The streets west of the C.P.R.
boundary had been surveyed, on paper, in 1885
when the Government Reserve land was readied
for sale at auction. At that time the streets were
named for men famous in Canadian and British
Columbia history. After the settlement of this
western area it was seen that there was considerable duplication of names. It was at an afternoon
tea that Miss Dora Bulwer made the suggestion
that the duplicated names should be renamed to
commemorate famous British victories:
(formerly Campbell of unknown origin)
Name was changed in 1907. Alma is the
name of a river in the Russian Ukraine where
the first battle of the Allies (Britain, France
and Turkey) fought the Russians in the
Crimea, a peninsula in the Black Sea, on
September 20,1854.
(formerly Richards, for B.C.'s second Lieutenant-Governor the Honourable Albert
Norton Richards) Balaclava, a village on the
Black Sea, was made famous by Tennyson's
"Charge of the Light Brigade", the poem
which described an incident in the Crimean
This short street is within the boundaries of
District Lot 192; it is outside both the C.P.R.
land grant and the Government Reserve. It
was probably named for the several small
streams entering English Bay. The original
name London, was for a small stream in a
rural area called Bayard's Water.
(formerly Cornwall, for the Hon. Clement
Francis Cornwall, British Columbia's Lieutenant-Governor from 1881-1887) the name
celebrates the victory at a battle fought by
the British and the Austrians against the
French and Bavarians near Blenheim, Bavaria, August 13, 1704. Robert Southey's
famous poem, "The Battle of Blenheim"
gave to English literature the oft-quoted
"But what good came of it at last,"
Quoth little Peterkin,
"Why that I cannot tell," said he,
"But 'twas a famous victory."
(formerly 9th Avenue) The name was
changed through a bylaw in 1909. It was felt
the fame of Broadway in New York would
pass on to Vancouver!
(formerly Cedar) When Burrard Bridge was
built in 1933 it connected downtown with
what was then Cedar Street. The part that
remained is now above Burrard Street at
16th. Burrard Street, which took its name
from the Inlet, in its turn had been named by
Captain Vancouver for his friend whose
name was at that time Sir Harry Burrard.
(formerly Front) a short street running east
from the north end of Alma. It was named in
1911 for John Angus Cameron, a surveyor in
Point Grey.
Named in 1886 after the Earl of Carnarvon.
As British Secretary of State for the Colonies,
he introduced the British North America Act
to the House of Commons in 1867. In 1874 he
laid the basis for the settlement of the
dispute between British Columbia and
Canada over the construction of the C.P.R.
British Columbia Historical News
Its origin is in dispute. It is thought to be
named in honour of the town where Surveyor L.A. Hamilton's parents lived. His
father was the first mayor of Collingwood,
Ontario, and also its postmaster for about
thirty years. Hamilton was born in Penetang-
guishene, less than 50 km from Collingwood.
Named for the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and York—later King George V and
Queen Mary; they visited Vancouver in
Named for Adam Rutherford Creelman,
born in Richibucto, New Brunswick; he was
a lawyer and a director of the C.P.R.
Origin unknown; this street was not named
for the real estate developer who came to
Vancouver three years after the street had
been named.
(formerly Short Street) A small block north of
Cornwall between Cypress and Chestnut. It
is the lone reminder of Samuel Greer who
owned property at the beach before the
C.P.R. expropriated the land. Kitsilano
Beach was known as Greer's Beach until 1905
when the tramline came to the beach.
(sometimes spelled McDonald) named in
1886 for Sir John A. Macdonald, first prime
minister of Canada, 1867-1873. He served a
second term from 1878-1891.
(sometimes spelled McKenzie) named for
Alexander Mackenzie, second prime minister of Canada 1873-1878.
Named for David McNicoll, born in Ar-
boath, Scotland, 1852. He came to Canada in
1874; was a vice-president of the C.P.R.
Named for Isaac Governeur Ogden. Born in
New York 1844. He started work in a bank
then moved as an accountant to the C.P.R.
He was a vice-president in charge of finance.
(formerly Victoria Road named for the
Vancouver Island City) The name was
changed in 1907. This road starts at the north
end of Balsam Street and then takes over
from Cornwall at Trafalgar. It jogs south to
follow the shore line until the road ends west
of Alma. Named for the separate community
of Point Grey which joined Vancouver in
1928 and which in turn was named for
Captain George Grey, a friend of Captain
(formerly Stephen) Named for Sir George
Stephen, first president of the C.P.R. 1881-
1888. In 1891 he became Baron Mount
(formerly Boundary when this street was the
western boundary of the C.P.R. land grant)
The name was changed to Trafalgar in 1907.
It honours Lord Nelson and his defeat of the
French and the Spanish fleets at the battle of
Trafalgar on October 21,1805.
Named for Sir William Joseph Trutch who
came to British Columbia from the United
States in 1859 and worked here as a surveyor.
When the Royal Engineers were disbanded
in 1864, Trutch was appointed Surveyor-
General of British Columbia. He left this
position for a career in politics, and was one
of the chief negotiators for the union of
British Columbia with Canada. He was
appointed British Columbia's first Lieutenant-Governor in 1871.
(formerly Lansdowne for the Governor
General of Canada 1883-1888) It was renamed to commemorate the decisive battle
of the Napoleonic Wars, which was fought
in June 1815 near the Belgium village of
Waterloo where Napoleon had rallied his
forces after his escape from Elba. The Allies
were under the command of the Duke of
Wellington. Shortly after this battle Napoleon signed a second abdication and was
sent to the island of St. Helena.
Named for William Mehven Whyte. In 1886
he was superintendent of the C.P.R.'s
western division with headquarters in Winnipeg. In 1897 he was made a manager and in
1910 a vice-president.
Page 18
British Columbia Historical News British Columbia
Historical Federation
Conference 1986
The B.C. Historical Federation Conference was
held May 8-10 at Gage Towers, University of
British Columbia, hosted by the Vancouver
Historical Society.
Thursday evening Ivan Sayers presented a
fashion show covering the one hundred years of
Vancouver's existence. The history of fashion was
explained and displayed with many touches of
Friday morning Maria Tippett spoke on "The
Development of Culture in B.C. 1886-1936".
"Culture" is a word which covered many pleasant
community activities in the youthful city of
Vancouver. Leonard McCann gave a slide presentation on "Shipwrecks off the Coast of British
Columbia". The afternoon panel on Antiquarian
Booksellers was followed by a short talk on "Fire
Insurance Plans of B.C." The evening concluded
with a most interesting repertoire of scarcely
known British Columbia folk songs by Phil and
Hilda Thomas.
The Annual General Meeting allowed time for
reports from all branches. A motion to return to
compulsory subscription was narrowly defeated.
In its place a motion to raise membership fees by
$1.00 and subscription cost to members by $1.00
was discussed and accepted. Helen Akrigg
proposed a motion to seek funding to provide a
monetary prize to future winners of the Historical
Writing Competition. Carried. Dorothy Crosby of
Mission invited all members to attend the next
convention in Mission on May 14-16,1987. A joint
Alberta-British Columbia Historical Conference
will be held in Banff, May 5-8, 1988.
Dr. W. Kaye Lamb was appointed Honorary
President for the coming year. Col. Gerry
Andrews and Dr. Lamb shared honors at the head
table. Dr. Lamb observed that exactly fifty years
ago, he was elected President of the British
Columbia Historical Association.
Writing competition prize winners present at
the banquet were John Norris of New Denver,
who received the Lieutenant-Governor's Medal
for his book Old Silverton, and Helen Kuhn of
Helen Kuhn with President Naomi Miller
Naomi Miller, Leonard McCann, Dr. Charles
Humphries, Dr. Kaye Lamb and Peggy Imredy
Quesnel representing the Old Age Pensioners
Organization - Branch #77. The O.A.P.O. #77
Book Committee produced the best anthology
for 1985 - A Tribute to the Past. The winner of the
Best Article of 1985 in the B.C. Historical News
magazine, Patrick Regan of Saanich, was unfortunately too ill to accept his Certificate of Merit.
Also absent was Richard Mackie of Fulford
Harbour, who won a Certificate of Merit for his
biography Hamilton Mack Laing: Hunter-
Dr. Charles Humphries was a most entertaining
after-dinner speaker with the topic—"Plain Folks
in World War I." Members joined in "A Toast to
Vancouver", on this its 100th Anniversary.
—Naomi Miller
British Columbia Historical News
Page 19 ■tWB *       i
Frances Woodward
Dr. Lamb, John Norris, and Gerry Andrews
Anne Yandle and Irene Howard
Ivan Sayers and model
Phil and Hilda Thomas
Page 20
British Columbia Historical News HONORARY PRESIDENT
Dr. William Kaye Lamb, OC,
A highlight of the 1986 BCHF Convention at UBC
was the installation of Dr. W. Kaye Lamb as our
new Honorary President. At the Banquet he was
ably introduced, in person, by our new Executive
President Naomi Miller. His gracious acceptance
of this honour was acclaimed with jubilant
Certainly no other living person is more closely
and eminently identified with the aim and objects
of our Federation. He is a native son of British
Columbia. His formal education was obtained at
New Westminster, UBC, Sorbonne and London.
He was Provincial Archivist and Librarian 1934-
1940, Librarian at UBC 1940-1948, Dominion
Archivist 1948-1969 and (the first) National
Librarian, Canada, 1953-1969. He has vigorously
continued his research and creative writing since
retiring to Vancouver. In addition to Dr. Lamb's
many historical publications, he has edited the
following major works:
1957 Sixteen Years in Indian Country
The Journals of Daniel William Harmon.
1960 The Letters and Journals of Simon Fraser,
1970 The Journals and Letters of Sir Alexander
1984 George Vancouver - A Voyage of
Discovery to the North Pacific Ocean, 1791-
1795, in 4 volumes.
The "Honour Roll 1923-1985" on page 21 of the
B.C. Historical News, Vol. 18 No. 3,1985, is sadly
incomplete. Among other deficiencies it does not
include W. Kaye Lamb as Executive President of
the (then) B.C. Historical Association for 1936-37.
Dr. Lamb founded the prestigious B.C. Historical
Quarterly with Vol. 1 No. 1 in January 1937, for
which he served as Editor till October 1946 (Vol.
10 No. 4) when he was succeeded by Willard E.
Ireland until the Quarterly's sad demise October
1958 (Vol. 21 No. 4). A perusal of the Quarterly's
Cumulative Index (Camosun College 1977)
reveals no less than twenty-five articles by W.
KoyeLambandan equal number of book reviews
by him.
W. Kaye Lamb
Kipling's classic dictum "(If you can)... talk with
kings nor lose the common touch.." is surely
exemplified by Dr. Lamb. He consistently manifests a warm rapport with so-called ordinary
folk—juniors in various hierarchies, backwoodsmen, surveyors and ilk. On visits to British
Columbia from the exalted sanctuaries of Ottawa,
Dr. Lamb habitually took time to fraternize with
old friends regardless of rank or status. The late
W.A. (Billy) Newcombe was one. Kaye often
contrived to visit at Billy's bachelor retreat in the
old Newcombe home on Dallas Road. Frank C.
Swannell, BCLS, DLS, the celebrated exploratory
surveyor of British Columbia's vast hinterland
preferred to deposit his unique diaries with Dr.
Lamb in Ottawa rather than with the Provincial
Archives in Victoria. On my official visits to
Ottawa, Dr. Lamb always had time to see me, and
often took me to lunch at the exclusive Rideau
British Columbia Historical News
Page 21 Club. He still keeps in touch with those who
survive of his old staff in the Provincial Archives
and Library, who retain their loyal affection for
When the "umpteenth" revision of my Metis
Outpost manuscript was in hand, I had to think
about its "Foreword", preferably to be done by a
longtime friend, knowledgeable of the subject,
and with luck, a celebrated authority. Dr. Lamb
was the ideal choice. Would he do it? His
response speaks for itself and his identity with the
book in this way surely elevates it from the mire of
Dr. Lamb has been invested with many honours
which, no doubt, he fully appreciates, but
appears to carry with buoyant equanimity.
Among them may be mentioned Officer in the
Order of Canada, Fellow of the Royal Society of
Canada, LL.D., and Honorary President of the
Champlain Society. We can be sure that he values
highly the recognition recently bestowed on him
by our Federation. His acceptance of it certainly
adds lustre to the Federation's image as it does
also to.that of its immediate past Honorary
—G. Smedley Andrews
Elizabeth B. Walker
Recording the
Voices of False
Creek and the
Fairview Slopes
In 1983 some members of the Vancouver Historical
Society decided to undertake an oral history project
as a contribution to the 1986 centennial of the
incorporation of Vancouver. They were concerned
that, over the years, a great many memories of the
social and cultural lite ot the various areas ot
Vancouver were being lost and that little had been
done to collect these memories on tape. Because they
thought the recorded tapes could serve as a model for
other groups planning similar centennial projects,
they decided also to produce a small brochure, giving
some guidelines based on their own experience.
With these goals set, an oral history committee was
formed with members Irene Howard, Alice Niwinski,
Nancy Stuart-Stubbs and Elizabeth Walker (Chairman). Workshops on oral history procedures had
previously been held with the idea of having
interested members form a corps of trained volunteers who could undertake such a project. However,
this approach proved impractical. Members and
friends of the Society simply did not have time for a
large-scale project. Further, they discovered that it is
no simple matter to conduct a skillful interview; some
even found the experience not to their liking.
Eventually, the Committee decided to hire a professional interviewer who would work according to
guidelines set by the committee, which would supply
historical and background information on the chosen
geographical area of False Creek and the Fairview
Why did the committee choose the area of False
Creek and the Fairview Slopes? Because its members
knew that the Fairview Slopes was one of the earliest
residential areas of Vancouver. Below it, on the shores
of False Creek, some of the major industries of the city
such as sawmiUing, shipbuilding, shipping and
manufacturing had developed in the late 1890s and
continued to exist there until the 1970s. Then the
industry disappeared or was expropriated and
replaced by apartment complexes, low-cost housing
projects and sophisticated condominiums for the
urban elite. On the Fairview Slopes the early single-
family homes had also been replaced by apartment
houses. So here was an area that had drastically
changed within a decade, and was slated for further
dramatic changes with the development of the Expo
'86 site on the north side of the Creek. The time was
ripe to capture, in their own words, the memories of
the people who had made and experienced the
history of that locale.
At this point the committee had to raise money to
pay the salary of a professional interviewer. It sent
letters outlining its proposals and asking for financial
support from various foundations and from companies that had had a long association with the area. It
obtained over $4,000 from two Leon and Thea
Koerner Foundation grants and donations from four
companies and thirty-nine members of our society.
After $2,000 had been subscribed, the committee
decided to proceed with the first phase of its project,
in the belief that once the project was underway there
would be increased interest in it and that more funds
would be forthcoming. Such indeed was the case.
Nor did it take as long to obtain funds for the second
Page 22
British Columbia Historical News phase. Our interviewer for the first phase, which was
concerned mainly with the industries of False Creek
and Granville Island, was Mary Burns, who has
produced films for the National Film Board. Nadine
Asante, the author of The History of Terrace, who has
worked for the C.B.C. was hired for the second phase.
Her interviews covered aspects of life on the Fairview
A wealth of information on a wide range ot topics
was recorded on forty tapes; these included accounts
of the rivetting gangs at West Coast Shipbuilders in
W.W. II, log piracy in False Creek, the hippie
community along 7th Avenue in the 1960s, and
servicing passenger trains at the C.P.R. False Creek
yards. Not only did we record many diverse occupations but often we came close to the heart of events.
The voice of Dennis Farian, fireman on the fireboat
j.H. Carlisle rose in excitement as he recalled the B.C.
Forest Products fire in 1949 when "No. 4's Company
had come in from 6th Avenue and they had run all
their hoses through but they got trapped between the
fire and the water and they couldn't get back. So we
had to immediately get all of No. 4's Company...
aboard the Carlisle and back away." In his Italian
accent Domenico Gallello, former tender on the
Kitsilano trestle, expresses the immigrant's emotion
when he asserts, "I never move, if you give me a
million dollars. No. Never." Dorothy Romalis, a
tenant in one of the new apartment blocks on False
Creek flats, and the last person interviewed in the
series, wondered about the impact of Expo '86 and
thought that the aesthetic value of False Creek could
be saved "...because if it's built along the water and
the tall buildings across the water won't impinge on
us very much...but if they're 40 storeys high, then
they'll do something to the mountains...." All these
feelings and attitudes are the stuff of oral history.
An informal ceremony was held on February 23,
1986, when the forty tapes were presented to the
Special Collection Division, University of British
Columbia Library, where they will be available for
everyone to use. The brochure, A Very Practical
Guide to the Pursuit and Enjoyment of Oral History,
has been printed and will be deposited in all libraries
in the Vancouver area. To other historical societies
considering an oral history project we say, "Go
ahead! You will find it a rewarding experience."
Elizabeth Walker is a former president of the
Vancouver Historical Society, and Chairman of the
False Creek Aural History Project.
Mary Orr of Summerland 1985
National Award Winner
The American Association for State and Local
History, headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee,
singled out Mary Gartrell Orr for one of two
awards that came to B.C. last year, the other going
to Jack Rippengale of Victoria. It is a very
prestigious award, since the American Association for State and Local History has 6500 members
and has been internationally renowned for its
work since 1944.
A national selection committee, composed of
leaders in the history profession, reviewed 138
nominations. The awards were conferred at the
AASLH annual meeting in Topeka, Kansas on
September 9,1985. Twenty-three Awards of Merit
and seventy-one Certificates of Commendation
were given.
Mrs. Orr's nomination was proposed by the
AASLH Awards Committee for British Columbia
and supported by colleagues, members and
organizations around the Province, in recognition for doing so much to preserve and promote
the history of the Province. The Awards Committee consisted of Dr. Patricia Roy, Dr. Dan
Gallacher and Gregory Evans of Victoria.
British Columbia Historical News
Elizabeth Norcross: Born with
a Sense of History
Elizabeth Blanche Norcross was born on Vancouver Island just before the first World War, the
daughter and grand-daughter of pioneers in the
Cowichan Valley. For her, the preservation and
recording of history was more than inbred. It was
a responsibility which she felt very strongly
about—almost a duty which she was given to pass
on to others.
Elizabeth had had an interesting life, living,
working and travelling in many parts of Canada
and in England. She entered U.B.C. as a mature
student, taking her degree and accumulating a
great deal of historical research. As a result of her
studies, she put together her first book The Warm
Land, and this was soon followed by Frontiers of
Vancouver Island, written with Doris Farmer
For a while in the '70s her writing was put to one
side while she spearheaded Nanaimo's heritage
movement. It is largely due to her persistence that
people became interested in preserving parts of
the old downtown. The revitalization we have
today Is built on a foundation which might
otherwise have fallen before the bulldozer.
Realizing the interest and wealth of material
stored in archives, Elizabeth co-ordinated the
Nanaimo Historical Society's book Nanaimo
Retrospective, editing the selection of topics
which documents the broad social fabric of
Nanaimo's first century. Later she would also edit
the papers from the symposium The Company on
the Coast, the story of the Hudson's Bay Company
on the west coast of Canada.
Although her style of writing makes for easy
reading, there is serious research behind it. In
Pioneers Every One Elizabeth told the stories of
sixteen very different women, from 1542 to the
present day, and from all walks of life: explorers,
politicians, women in arts and community
service. She was very aware of the important role
women played in Canada, stressing that although
men may have explored Canada it was the
women who settled it. Without them there could
have been no permanent settlement.
It was Nanaimo's loss when she moved back to
Duncan in 1983, taking with her a partly completed manuscript on Mary Ellen Smith, MLA, the
first woman Cabinet Minister in the British
Empire. Her latest endeavour, as part of a group of
"Pioneer Researchers", was the compilation of a
book on the pioneer women of the Cowichan
Valley. These two books have still to be completed and published.
Elizabeth had a way of exciting those who
worked on a project with her, instilling in them
her own enthusiasm. She gave generously of her
time to help others in a variety of ways. In a talk on
Mary Ellen Smith she called her "the Right
Woman, in the Right Place at the Right Time".
Much the same could be said of Elizabeth
Blanche Norcross.
She has left a legacy of writing which is valuable
to the researcher, and which she liked to feel was
a "good read" for anyone. She and we can feel
proud of what she has achieved, and we shall miss
the dedication of one of Vancouver Island's own
historical writers.
—Pamela Mar
Thinking of Publishing?
A seminar on publishing local history, given by
Helen Akrigg, may be arranged for your
historical society. Please contact Leonard G.
McCann, #2, 1430 Maple Street, Vancouvei,
Page 24
British Columbia Historical News Jewish Historical
Society of B.C.
Historical Society Project
...goes ahead with the confirmation of $4,000.00 in
grants from the Ministry of Multiculturism, Dept. of
Secretary of State, Ottawa.
Our Centennial Project, "Jewish Vancouver" is a
comprehensive Video Presentation that will be used
by schools, organizations, churches, meetings,
displays, to show and tell of the Jewish presence in
Vancouver this past 100 years.
Chairman of this project is our Vice-President,
Irene Dodek.
The Jewish Historical Society of B.C. has established an
office in the Jewish Community Centre, thanks to a
grant from Canada Employment and Immigration.
The address is 950 W. 41st Avenue, Vancouver,
B.C. V5Z 2N7.
Under the direction of Barbara Hollenberg, M.L.S.,
with 2 assistants, the major project at the outset will be
to catalogue the Leonard Frank Collection.
The grant covers 30 weeks and we hope means will
be found to continue the work.
Pioneer Interviews
Over the years, the Society has interviewed, by tape,
over 110 pioneers in the Vancouver area.
These tapes are lodged in Victoria, the B.C.
Provincial Archives Sound and Moving Image Div.
under the direction of Mr. Derek Reimer. These
interviews are transferred to permanent long-life
tape, and made available to researchers and public in
the B.C. Archives.
Mrs. Irene Dodek has been directing this part of the
society's work, and recently she has had the services of
Vice-President Morris Saltzman.
Manitoba Award
Cyril Leonoff, Founding President and Archivist of
Jewish Historical Society of B.C., has been honoured
by the Manitoba Historical Society, being awarded
the 1985 Margaret McWilliams Medal. This medal was
presented to Mr. Leonoff at a special dinner at the
Fort Garry Hotel, Winnipeg, Saturday, January 18th.
His story, "The Jewish Farmers of Western Canada",
won first prize in the Adult Essay category.
Mr. Leonoff was invited to deliver a paper, "The
Centennial of Jewish Life in Vancouver, 1886-1986", to
a meeting of the Jewish Historical Society of Western
Canada, June 8th in Winnipeg.
July 22-27,1986
Hosted by the Galiano Historical and Cultural
Society. For more information contact P.O. Box
10, Galiano, B.C. VON 1P0.
July 27-28,1986
The Symposium will be held in the Auditorium of
the Vancouver Museum and Planetarium, 1100
Chestnut Street, by the World Ship Society, under
the sponsorship of Canadian National, and with
the endorsement of Expo 86.
The aim of the Symposium is to provide native
Vancouverites and visitors alike with a fascinating
and informative overview of British Columbia's—
and particularly Vancouver's—maritime history
and heritage.
Proceeds from the Symposium will go towards
the preservation and restoration of the World
Ship Society negative collection, a collection
which chronicles some forty years of merchant
ship movements in and out of the Port of
For registration write P.O. Box 3096, Vancouver,
B.C. V6B 3X6.
British Columbia Historical News
Page 25 Bookshelf
PICTURE POSTCARDS. Fred Thirkell. Vancouver:
Gordon Soules (1986) n.p., illus., $5.95
Vancouver's centennial in 1986 is responsible
for a spate of publications on the city's history
ranging from the scholarly to the mundane. One
of the most visually evocative of earlier times must
certainly be this labour of love by Fred Thirkell,
featuring 32 reproductions of early-century
postcards chosen from among his unique collection of the same. Included are not only such well-
known scenes as the busy corner of Hastings and
Cambie, neat rows of West End homes, and the
bathing pavilion on English Bay but also numerous less familiar views: tourists aboard a B.C.
Electric open-air observation car, a snowy
winter's day in Stanley Park, a busy game of
lacrosse. Each card ,is usefully accompanied by a
short vignette describing the same.
—jean Barman
Jean Barman is co-editor of Vancouver's Past:
Essays on Social History (1986).
The Heritage of the Victoria
Jewish Cemetery
A new 8 page booklet has just been released
telling the story of the Victoria Jewish Cemetery,
the first such west of Ontario.
This land was acquired by Jewish businessmen
in 1859 and the Cemetery was dedicated on
February 5th, 1860.
This interesting booklet tells the whole story
and also contains much relevant material. It was
prepared by Ben Levinson and Allan Klenman of
the Society, and may be obtained from the
Society's office.
Book editor is Anne Yandle. Books and review
articles should be sent directly to her c/o:
P.O. Box 35326, Station E,
Vancouver, B.C. V6M 4G5
Writing Competition
The British Columbia Historical Federation invites
submission of books or articles for the fourth annual
competition for writers of British Columbia History.
Any book with historical content published in 1985
is eligible. Whether the work was prepared as a thesis
or a community project, for an industry or an
organization, or just for the pleasure of sharing a
pioneer's reminiscences, it is considered history as
long as names, dates and locations are included.
Stories told in the vernacular are acceptable when
indicated as quotations of a story teller. Writers are
advised that judges are looking for fresh presentation
of historical information with relevant maps and/or
pictures. A Table of Contents and an adequate Index
are a must for the book to be of value as a historical
reference. A Bibliography is also desirable. Proof
reading should be thorough to eliminate typographical and spelling errors.
Book contest deadline is January 31,1987.
There will also be a prize for the writer of the best
historical article published in the British Columbia
Historical News quarterly magazine. Written length
should be no more than 2,500 words, substantiated
with footnotes if possible, and accompanied by
photographs if available. Deadlines for the quarterly
issues are September 1, December 1, March 1, and
June 1.
Submit your book or article with your name,
address, and telephone number to:
British Columbia Historical Federation
c/o Mrs. Naomi Miller
Box 105
Wasa, B.C. VOB 2K0
Please include the selling price of the book and an
address from where it may be purchased.
Winners will be invited to the British Columbia
Historical Federation Convention in Mission in May,
Page 26
Honorary Patron:
Honorary President:
His Honour, the Honourable Robert C. Rogers,
Lieutenant-Governor of British Columbia
Dr. W. Kaye Lamb
1st Vice President:
Naomi Miller, Box 105, Wasa VOB 2K0
422-3594 (res.)
John D. Spittle, 1241 Mount Crown Rd., North Vancouver V7R 1R9
988-4565 (res.)
Secretary: T. Don Sale, 262 Juniper St., Nanaimo V9S 1X4
753-2067 (res.)
Recording Secretary:     Margaret Stoneberg, P.O. Box 687, Princeton VOX 1W0
295-3362 (res.)
J. Rhys Richardson, 2875 W. 29th, Vancouver V6L 1Y2
733-1897 (res.)
Myrtle Haslam, 1875 Wessex Road, Cowichan Bay VOR 1N0
748-8397 (res.)
Mary G. Orr, R.R. #1, Butler St., Summerland VOH 1Z0
Leonard G. McCann, #2-1430 Maple St., Vancouver V6J 3R9
736-4431 (bus.)
Robert Tyrrell, 3824B Cadboro Bay Rd., Victoria V8P 5E6
Chairmen of Committees:
Seminars: Leonard G. McCann
Historic Trails: John D. Spittle
B.C Historical News      Ruth Barnett, 680 Pinecrest Rd., Campbell River V9W 3P3
Policy Committee: 287-8097 (res.)
Award Committee:        Naomi Miller •
Publications Assistance Helen Akrigg, 4633 W. 8th Ave., Vancouver V6R 2A6
Committee (not
involved 228-8606 (res.)
with B.C. Historical
News): Loans are available for publication.
Please submit manuscripts to Helen Akrigg.
Why not join the British Columbia Historical
Federation and receive the British Columbia
Historical News regularly?
The BCHF is composed of member societies
in all parts of the province. By joining your local
society you receive not only a subscription to
British Columbia Historical News, but the
opportunity to participate in a program of talks
and field trips, and to meet others interested in
British Columbia's history and the BCHF's
annual convention.
For information, contact your local society
(address on the inside front cover).... No local
society in your area? Perhaps you might think
of forming one. For information contact the
secretary of the BCHF (address inside back


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