The Flying Seven (photo:
The Flying Seven

Chronology Continued

[1757 - 1884] [1885 - 1891] [1892 - 1899]
[1900 - 1905] [1906 - 1908] [1909] [1910]
[1911] [1912] [1913] [1914] [1915] [1916]
[1917] [1918] [1919] [1920] [1921] [1922]
[1923] [1924] [1925] [1926] [1927] [1928]
[1929] [1930] [1931] [1932] [1933] [1934]
[1935] [1936] [1937] [1938] [1939] [1940]
[1941] [1942] [1943] [1944] [1945] [1946]
[1947] [1948] [1949] [1950] [1951] [1952]
[1953] [1954] [1955] [1956] [1957] [1958]
[1959] [1960] [1961] [1962] [1963] [1964]
[1965] [1966] [1967] [1968] [1969] [1970]
[1971] [1972] [1973] [1974] [1975] [1976]
[1977] [1978] [1979] [1980] [1981] [1982]
[1983] [1984] [1985] [1986] [1987] [1988]
[1989] [1990] [1991] [1992] [1993] [1994]


This year is sponsored.

You'll note that this year includes events listed under "Also in . . ." These are events for which we don't have a specific date. If YOU know the
specific date of an event shown there, please notify us . . . and cite the source! Many thanks!

This was Vancouver’s Golden Jubilee, marking the city’s 50th birthday. Among the events of the year: the opening of the new city hall, and the founding of the Vancouver Historical Society.

January 20 King George V died. He was succeeded by Edward VIII, who, 324 days later . . . See December 10 below. All the radio stations in Vancouver went off the air in a sign of respect. A memorial service was held on January 28 at Malkin Bowl.

January 31 Mount Seymour Provincial Park, then only 274 hectares, was opened. (During World War II conscientious objectors were put to work building a road up to the developing ski area.)

February 22 The Seaforth Highlanders Regimental Band was formed in Vancouver.

March The provincial government, responding to a December 1935 vote by Vancouver citizens, amended the city's charter to abolish the ward system.

March 17 Charles Edward Tisdall, alderman, died in office, aged 69. He had been mayor of the city from 1922 to 1923. Tisdall was born April 9, 1866 in Birmingham, England, had arrived in Vancouver in April 1888. “When he stepped into the mayor's chair,” Donna Jean McKinnon writes, “he became the only mayor selected under the system of proportional representation, in which the candidate for city council getting the most votes became mayor. As an earlier MLA (Conservative), a Park Board member for 15 years, and an alderman, Tisdall's popularity and familiarity among the electorate no doubt helped him achieve the highest civic office. These were the early years of the rise in prosperity since the end of the war, a phenomenon that helped fuel the drive for more schools, parks, and the expansion of port facilities in Vancouver.”

March 27 George Emery Cates, shipbuilder, died in Vancouver. He was born December 6, 1861 in Machias, Maine, began working at age nine. After learning shipbuilding in New York City, he was employed on a schooner as a cook. Cates arrived in Vancouver in 1896 and started Cates Shipyards; he built the 500-ton steamship Britannia, Klondike scows, and a 500-horsepower electric plant.

April 11 Frank (Francis Stillman) Barnard, street car system founder and lieutenant-governor, died in Esquimalt. He was born May 16, 1856 in Toronto. Barnard, one of B.C.'s richest men, was a founder of Vancouver's street car system (which started June 28, 1890). He was president of Consolidated Railway (1894), and later the line’s managing director (1896-1906) after the company was sold to British financiers and renamed B.C. Railway. He was MP for Cariboo from 1888 to 1896, and lieutenant-governor of BC from 1914 to 1919. During his term as lt.-gov., knowing war was near, Barnard signed a special $1-million warrant approving Premier McBride's purchase of two submarines. He was knighted in 1918 by King George V.

April 25 Charles Woodward, retailer: “My prediction is that within 40, at the outside 50, years Vancouver will be the largest city in Canada.”

May 1 Eric Hamber became Lieutenant-Governor.

May 11 Robert James Cromie, founder of The Vancouver Sun, died in Victoria, aged 48. He was born July 4, 1887 in Scotstown, Que. Cromie worked as a bellhop in a Winnipeg hotel where he met General J.W. Stewart. He was hired in 1906 by Stewart to join the Vancouver firm of Foley, Welch and Stewart. He bought the debt-ridden Sun, with little money and no experience, and in 1917 absorbed the News-Advertiser. He also purchased the World (in 1924) and the News-Herald, although he later sold that paper to the Thomson chain. Cromie died suddenly and his sons Donald, Peter and Samuel took over. Donald Cameron Cromie (born October 16, 1915 in Vancouver) sold the Sun to the Sifton family's FP Publications in 1963.

May 24 Civic Golden Jubilee celebrations, marking the city's 50th birthday, began in Vancouver.

July 2 Mayor Gerry McGeer laid the cornerstone for the new city hall.

July 4 In cricket news: a Hollywood XI visited here to play a Vancouver XI at Brockton Point, after the Vancouver team had visited Hollywood the previous year. Playing for Hollywood, among others: Errol Flynn, attracting a lot of attention, Boris Karloff and C. Aubrey Smith. Our thanks to site visitor Malcolm Page for this item!

June 4 The Jubilee celebrations sparked articles in local newspapers on the city’s early days. The Vancouver Sun (Page 8) had an interesting article on the early rivalry between Vancouver and Port Moody. Here’s the text:

“‘The new town called Vancouver will, no doubt, be of some detriment to Port Moody.’ It was Edward Mallandaine, Victoria, editor of the British Columbia Directory, 1887, who wrote these words in his introduction to the Port Moody section of his directory.

“The words were written before the first CPR train arrived at Vancouver, but already Vancouver had a population nearly three times as great as Port Moody's, the city which, up to a year or two before, had every reason to expect that it would be the terminus of the Canadian Pacific Railway and, therefore, the metropolis of the Canadian Pacific Coast.

“Mallandaine's understatement was no doubt the result of caution. How could one tell, in 1887, whether it would be Vancouver or Port Moody in 1936?

Port Moody Men

“Several men who later become well-known citizens of Vancouver lived then at Port Moody. Among them was W. H. Evans, who piloted the first train into Port Moody in 1886. More than 100—that is, approximately half of the males listed in the Port Moody section of the directory were employees of the CPR, about twice as many men as the company was employing at that date in Vancouver.

“The Vancouver section of this directory, a copy of which may be found in the archives of The Sun Directories Ltd., contains exactly 17 pages, exclusive of a sparse sprinkling of advertisements. There are exactly 625 names in it, including several of business firms. Among those 625 names may be found those of many ‘before the fire’ pioneers who still live in Vancouver, among them George L. Schetky, president of the pioneer fire brigade; J. H. Carlisle, pioneer fire chief; H. T. Devine, pioneer photographer; H. E. Langis, M.D.; J. W. McFarland, Walter E. Graveley, G. R. Gordon, W. H. Grassie, pioneer jeweler, and others.

“L.A. Hamilton, CPR surveyor, who named most of Vancouver's streets and was on the first city council, is also among the 625. He now lives in Florida.

Hastings Separate

“The district of Hastings, now better known as Hastings Townsite and one of the most populous sections of Vancouver, was in those days a separate little community. The directory editor remarks in his preface to this section that Hastings ‘is the “Brighton” of the mainland and a fashionable resort for visitors far and near, and during the summer months boasts of a crowded population.’ It was also the site of the Hastings Mill's logging camp, but its permanent population, apart from Samuel Brighouse, one of the earliest settlers on Burrard Inlet, and a shingle maker and logging contractor or two, consisted chiefly of employees of George Black's Brighton House hotel.”

July 6 Telegraph wires linked Vancouver to London, England.

July 18 A Chinese Carnival Village opened at Pender and Carrall, Chinatown's part in Jubilee celebrations.

July 21 Climbers Wiessner and House conquer the main peak of Mt. Waddington.

August 1 The Olympic Games began in Berlin. We asked Victoria writer Tom Hawthorn to tell us about BC athletes there. Says Tom, "The prominent British Columbians at the Berlin Olympics were three terrific basketball players from Victoria, brothers Art and Chuck Chapman with Doug Peden, himself the brother of famous cyclist Torchy Peden. The trio were invited to join the national championship team, the Windsor (Ont.) Fords, at the games. Basketball was making its debut as an official Olympic sport, which may explain why the game was played outdoors on a clay tennis court. When it rained, the court became a quagmire. The final game on August 14 pitted the heavily favored Americans against the Canadians. The U.S. won 19-8 in the mud, a score which gives a flavor of the match in the days before a shotclock. The Canadians took the silver medal.

“By the way,” Tom continues, “Canada's flag-bearer at the Closing Ceremonies of the 1936 Games was a pole vaulter better remembered as a Toronto Maple Leafs star—Sylvanus Apps. Also, the 1936 games were captured on a newfangled invention called television; a closed-circuit telecast carried the Games to the athletes’ village.”

Vancouver diver George Athans, Sr. competed in these games, and Percy Norman coached the Canadian swimming team. Covering the event for The Vancouver Sun: 28-year-old Erwin Swangard. And sitting in the stands observing the activities: German Chancellor Adolf Hitler. A good general look at the 1936 games is at this site.

August 10 John Irving, boat builder, died in Vancouver, aged 81. He was born November 24, 1854 in Portland, Ore. The son of Captain William Irving, John came to New Westminster with his family in 1858. At 16 he joined his father's steamboat business, and took over at age 17 on his father's death in 1872. By 1883 he was head of Canadian Pacific Navigation, a consolidation of the Irving and Hudson's Bay Company lines. In 1890 he launched Columbia and Kootenai Steam Navigation, buying and building boats. That line was absorbed in 1901 by the CPR as B.C. Coast Service steamer fleet. John Irving Navigation was sold in 1906 to White Pass Railway. John Irving was a Member of Parliament for eight years.

August 12 A giant of Canadian music, Sir Ernest MacMillan, came to the city as a guest conductor of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, the first guest conductor the VSO had ever had. Sir Ernest, at 42 a very busy man, was principal of the Toronto Conservatory of Music, dean of the faculty of music at the University of Toronto, the conductor of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra . . . and an immensely popular fellow. He'd become Sir Ernest the year before, the first person knighted outside the UK for contributions to music.

August 19 Max Baer fought in Vancouver's 10,000-seat Denman Arena, and the Province's Bill Forst wrote a funny column about Baer's terrified opponent, James J. Walsh, who billed himself as The Alberta Assassin. Walsh lasted only one punch. Baer’s manager, Ancil Hoffman, had suspected Walsh wouldn’t last long and had Buddy Baer dressed for action. Buddy boxed 10 rounds with his older brother. It was the first time that the two Baers appeared together in the ring. An excerpt from Forst’s column: “Alberta's claimant to the Canadian heavyweight title, James J. (Jellyfish) Walsh . . . Obviously scared to death, Mr. Wobbly Walsh didn't even wait for a good excuse to ‘dive.' He dashed out of his corner in a terrified frenzy of energy, wrapped both arms around Baer's middle and hung on. Baer jostled and jolted, wrestled and wriggled. Finally Walsh let loose, and apparently quite dizzy as a result of his minute and a half of waltzing, rolled to the floor. He was so dizzy he couldn't get up again, try as he might (or maybe he didn't). At the count of ten he made a quick recovery.”

August 20 A few hours after the Baer fight, the Denman Arena burned down. This had been the scene in 1915 of the Vancouver Millionaires winning the Stanley Cup. Dempsey and Braddock had fought there, Rudolph Valentino had judged a beauty contest and Arthur Conan Doyle (creator of Sherlock Holmes) had given a speech in the building. Also destroyed in the blaze were three adjacent shipbuilding plants. No lives were lost. Later investigation showed the fire was not deliberately set, but the city fire marshal, J.A. Thomas, fumed to the newspapers that the building had been the worst fire trap in Vancouver “ever since it was built.” “If it had started to burn with the crowd still in it,” he said, “the death toll could easily have reached 1,000.”

Estimated monetary value of the loss: $500,000.

Also on August 20 An eight-foot-high statue of Captain George Vancouver was unveiled at Vancouver City Hall by the visiting Lord Mayor of London, Sir Percy Vincent. Sir Percy also presented a civic mace to the city. The bronze and granite statue (carved by Charles Marega) and the mace are still at city hall. Among the other gifts the Lord Mayor brought: “. . . a sprig from a tree in the orchard where a falling apple gave Isaac Newton the idea that led to his theory of gravity.” Hmm. Wonder where that sprig is today?

(Incidentally, a few days before Mayor Gerry McGeer welcomed Sir Percy, he (McGeer) had been made an honorary Squamish chief.)

August 22 The Army of the Common Good, a self-help group formed during the Great Depression, created the “Common Good Credit Unit” with six charter members and $10.25 in deposits. This is considered the beginning of the credit union movement in B.C. Within two months, deposits at the Common Good Credit Unit more than doubled to $25.10. The first loan, for $27, was made May 22, 1937.

August 29 Visiting Governor General Lord Tweedsmuir officiated at the opening of the Seaforth Armories (Tweedsmuir, whose name was John Buchan, was the author of a best-selling mystery, twice filmed, titled The Thirty-Nine Steps.)

August 30 Lord Tweedsmuir was seated among the congregation for the first service held in St. James' Anglican Church, at Gore and Cordova in Vancouver. The Province wrote that Tweedsmuir “joined in the response and bowed humbly in prayer, hardly to be distinguished from the commoners around him.”

A lot of people, architect Arthur Erickson among them, say this is the best single building in Vancouver. Thanks to the valuable book Exploring Vancouver we learn that architect Adrian Scott had just designed a cathedral in Cairo. Perhaps that explains what architectural historian Harold Kalman calls the “Byzantine interior” of this handsome building.

This is the third church of the same name in Vancouver. The first one burned in the Great Fire of 1886 (its melted bell is a treasured artifact at the Vancouver Museum), and the second lasted until this building opened.

October 2 UBC Stadium opened.

November 8 Frank Cornwall McTavish, surgeon, died, aged about 64. He was born in 1872 in Palmrya, Ont. He came to Vancouver in 1903 after serving in the Boer War (1899-1902). In 1905 he was appointed surgeon-lieutenant in the 6th Regiment, the Duke of Connaught's Own Rifles, and in 1906 raised the 18th Field Ambulance, Canadian Army Medical Corps. After WWI McTavish was provincial secretary of St. John's Ambulance. An orthopaedic surgeon, he was on the staff of the Vancouver General Hospital for many years, and helped organize the Crippled Children's Hospital where he served as chief surgeon until his death.

November We’re not sure if The Flying Seven, an all-women flying group, was formed in November, but we do know that they conducted their first “fly-over” this month. The Flying Seven Canadian Women Pilots flew out of Sea Island, "the forerunners of a splendid air movement." During WWII club members trained women in parachute packing, fabric work and other aspects of airplane care. Some of the trainees joined Boeing's Vancouver plant or the RAF's women's division. One of the original members, Betsy Flaherty, who had received her flying licence December 16, 1931, aged about 53, was the oldest female pilot in Canada. In the fly-over the seven women alternated their flights, keeping a plane aloft over the city for 24 uninterrupted hours as a demonstration of air defence. The books Daring Lady Flyers by Joyce Spring, and No Place for a Lady by Shirley Render, have more detail.

December 1 Vancouver’s new city hall opened for business. The building’s architects were Townley and Matheson. Each lock plate on the outer doors displayed the Vancouver Coat of Arms, and each door knob bore the monogram of the building. The ceiling on the second floor of the rotunda was made of gold leaf from several B.C. mines. In March, 1976 city hall was designated a heritage building.

Besides city hall Frederick Townley designed many, many buildings here, including the Great Northern Railway station (now gone), the Capitol Theatre, Vancouver General Hospital, the Vancouver Stock Exchange Building, and the CNIB Building.

Also December 1 Civic wards were abolished in Vancouver city.

December 2 Hugh Crawford Magee, pioneer Point Grey farmer, died, aged about 78. He was born in Ontario in 1858, came to Vancouver at 24. Magee was the first farmer to settle on the North Arm of the Fraser River, taking up land in Point Grey in 1867. Magee Secondary School is named for him.

December 4 The News-Herald was lavish today in its praise of Vancouver’s new city hall, describing it as “a temple of justice.” (In the same edition of the newspaper was an advertisement for a local restaurant advising that they featured “All White Help.”)

December 9 A civic election today decided that the first mayor to occupy Vancouver's brand-new city hall—he would move in January 2, 1937—would be George Clark Miller, who had been an alderman. The Province described the mayoralty fight as a “stiff one,” and said that it “divided the east and west sections of the city into opposing camps.” Miller defeated L.D. McDonald, C.E. Thompson and former mayor L.D. Taylor, 79.

December 10 Newspapers here and all around the English-speaking world devoted their front pages to a hugely convulsive event, the abdication of a king. Edward VIII, who had been King of England for 324 days, stepped down, as one newspaper put it, “rather than reign alone on the world's mightiest throne without the woman he loves.” The woman was, of course, Wallis Simpson, an American divorcee. The couple would eventually become the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. Edward's brother Albert Frederick Arthur George, Duke of York, would succeed him. "Within two days the new King, probably choosing the name of George VI, will formally ascend the throne with his Queen, Elizabeth. Their 10-year-old daughter, Elizabeth, becomes next in line of succession."

Also in 1936

Vancouver’s main post office, at the northwest corner of Hastings and Granville, underwent a major expansion: a tunnel was built to the CPR station and the lobby was richly refurbished in bronze, cedar, terra cotta and marble.

The Lost Lagoon Fountain went into action. It had been purchased from Chicago, a left-over from that city's world fair. When it was installed, some city residents complained about the expenditure of $35,000 in the depths of the Great Depression.

The Vancouver Historical Society was incorporated.

Vancouver was linked to London by telegraph.

The Vancouver Police Department had a strength of 350.

The Vancouver Fire Department had 368 personnel, operating from 18 stations, with 45 pieces of motorized apparatus and one municipally-operated fireboat.

There were 40,000 students in the Vancouver school system, and more than 1,200 teachers. UBC’s enrolment was "near 2,000."

Says movie historian Michael Walsh, “MGM boss Louis B. Mayer convinced the RCMP in Vancouver to let him shoot some footage here for his classic movie, Rosemarie (with Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy), the story of the daring rescue of a damsel in distress by an heroic Mountie after she is robbed and stranded in the woods by an evil half-breed trapper. The scene of singing Mounties galloping in formation on horseback down a shallow stream is said to have been shot on North Vancouver's Seymour River.” Adds Michael, “This was the first sound feature filmed here.”

There was a triple hanging (three prisoners in one day) at Oakalla. There were several double hangings during the year.

“In the 1930s,” military historian Peter Moogk writes, “Japan was no longer a British ally and was an aggressively expansionist power. The defence of Vancouver against this or another foreign state was not going to be left to last-minute improvisation again. A British coast artillery expert, Major B.D.C. Treatt, assessed the port's needs in 1936 and his report, with a joint staff sub-committee's recommendations, became the basis for planning Vancouver's defences in the event that ‘the British Empire is at war (U.S.A. neutral) with Japan, alternatively with a coalition of European Powers headed by Germany.’”

The Hollyburn was built for the West Vancouver Municipal Ferry system, the last vessel to join the fleet. She was sold to Harbour Navigation in 1945 and became an excursion vessel. She celebrated her 50th birthday during Expo 86.

Concert agency Hilker Attractions, Vancouver's first concert agency, run by Ontario-born Harry Hilker and his Vancouver-born son Gordon, 23, began operations. Active to 1950, Hilker Attractions imported more than 1,000 performers including Yehudi Menuhin, Paul Robeson and Isaac Stern. For more on Gordon Hilker’s long and interesting career, see this site.

The Hoboken Four, a singing quartet, appeared at the Orpheum as part of a tour by the Major Bowes Amateur Hour. One of the four was a skinny 20-year-old named Frank Sinatra. He wrote his mom while here, telling her how much he missed Hoboken.

Thomas Plimley opened a British car dealership in Vancouver.

David Suzuki, Canada’s best-known scientist, was born in Vancouver.

Writer Rolf Knight was born in Vancouver. He will produce many books on working-class history here. “With nine books to his credit,” says Alan Twigg of B.C. Bookworld, "he remains one of the most under-recognized historians of B.C." See this site.

Nanaimo-born Charlie Pawlett, who had been playing trumpet and violin in Vancouver clubs in the 1920s, began a three-year gig as the Commodore Ballroom band leader. His shows were broadcast on CJOR radio.

At this Vancouver City website we found the story behind the famous “rocket ship,” first erected at the airport nearly 70 years ago: “A 12-foot-long stylized rocket ship made of bronze and stainless steel sits on top of an 11-foot-high stainless steel base. The design of the rocket ship looks like a 1950s Hollywood movie space ship. The design was created in 1936 for the Sheet Metal Workers Local 280 float for the Pacific National Exhibition Jubilee Parade on the occasion of the City of Vancouver's 50th birthday. It was designed by film-maker Lew Parry and made into a sculpture, built by Neon Products, which was sited at the first Vancouver Air Terminal from 1939 to 1972 when it was scrapped because of rust.

“In 1985 the Vancouver Transportation Club and the Sheet Metal Workers Union 280 decided to build a replica to celebrate Vancouver's 100th birthday. They located Lew Parry and he still had the original plans. This time the rocket ship was built from more durable materials by Terminal Sheet Metal and the Local 280 metal workers. The Rocket was exhibited at Expo 86 and then donated to the city. It was moved by helicopter to its current site. A Centennial Time Capsule is housed in the base of the rocket, scheduled to be opened 50 years from 1986. It includes items such as an Expo 86 passport with stamps of all the pavilions and recorded messages from local celebrities and many other things. The City accepted the Centennial Rocket and a site was found for it in the small plaza at the SW end of the Cambie Street bridge.”

New Brighton Outdoor Pool opened.

The Capilano Golf and Country Club opened in West Vancouver.

The undoubted star of Vancouver’s Golden Jubilee Open celebrating the city's half-century birthday was famous golfer Byron Nelson. But a local boy, Vancouver amateur Ken Black, won the title with an astonishing eight-under-par 29 on Shaughnessy's final nine.

The Industrial Building at the PNE, built in 1910 at a cost of $50,000, was demolished. It was described as “flashy, but badly constructed.” Despite—or, perhaps, because of—the Depression, attendance at the Fair continued to climb: it hit 377,000 this year. (Average attendance during the 1920s was about 200,000.)

To two totem poles that had been erected at Brockton Point in 1912, several more were added as part of the city's Golden Jubilee celebrations. They included: Wakius pole (since replaced with a replica), Kwakiutl, Alert Bay, 1899; Yakdzi pole (now at the Provincial Museum), Kwakiutl, Rivers Inlet, 1894 (was a replica then); Tsa-wee-noh house post (since replaced with a replica), Kwakiutl, Kingcome Inlet, carved by Charlie James of Alert Bay (and restored in 1963 by his granddaughter, Ellen Neel); Nhe-is-bik pole (now at the Provincial Museum) , Kwakiutl, Rivers Inlet, carved in 1892 by See-wit of Blunden Harbor; Si-sa-kau-laus pole, Tlingit, Kingcome Inlet; Skedans mortuary pole (a replica was carved in 1962 by Doug Cranmer and Bill Reid with the Moon Face recarved in the mid-1990s by native artist Don Yeomens, Haida, Queen Charlotte Islands), 1879. Terri Clark of the Parks Board advises (2005) that new poles have been added over the years to replace those sent to museums.

The Thunderbird Dynasty Pole was dedicated at Prospect Point. Carved by Chief Joe Capilano of North Vancouver, the pole commemorates the meeting of the Squamish people and Capt. George Vancouver near the mouth of the Capilano River on June 12, 1792.

The name of Chaldecott Road was changed to King Edward Avenue. It was originally named for F.M. Chaldecott, a solicitor, early settler in Point Grey and one of the organizers of the Municipality of South Vancouver.

Writes historian Michael Kluckner, “Although car ownership gradually grew during the Twenties and Thirties, from one car for every twelve people in 1922 to one in seven in 1936 (far below the United States where, for example, in Seattle in 1928, there was one car for every three people), operating costs were still quite high, and many families used their vehicles just for Saturday shopping and Sunday drives.”

Gas was selling for 25 cents a gallon in the city—about 6.6 cents per litre.

The Vancouver Park Board declared Oppenheimer as the only park where political, religious or other views could be publicly voiced. It was a favorite rallying point for Depression-era rallies and demonstrations.

The Greater Vancouver Publicity Association changed its name to the Greater Vancouver Tourist Association. (Today it’s Tourism Vancouver.)

Farmers in the Fraser Valley sent fruit, vegetables and clothing to Prairie farmers afflicted by drought.

The old wooden covering for the Nine O’Clock Gun was demolished.

Edward Cecil "Cece" Roper graduated from the University of Alberta with a B.Sc. in mining engineering, went to work as a miner at the Britannia copper mine near Vancouver. In 1964 he will become the first principal of BCIT.

The Canadian Radio Commission changed its name to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. The CBC’s Vancouver station had the call letters CBR (today: CBU), and announced they would have studios in the “CNR Hotel” at Georgia and Hornby, a building we know today as the Hotel Vancouver.

Canadian Airways decided to compete with United on the Seattle-Vancouver run. “Canadian,” writes aviation historian Sean Rossiter, “started with de Havilland Dragon Rapides—twin-engine biplanes that looked prehistoric beside United's Boeings. That year, though, [owner Don] MacLaren bought two new Lockheed 10 Electras—the fastest airliners in the world at the time—and checked out two of his pilots, Billy Wells and Maurice McGregor, on the hot new ships. The run was considered a rehearsal for the transcontinental flights Canadian hoped to win.”

The National Harbors Board took over the Port of Vancouver.

The Turner Valley oil discovery sparked a boom market in the Vancouver Stock Exchange's junior oils. Volume reached 120 million shares in 1937.

Captain Lillie's British Columbia Coast Guide and Radiotelephone Directory was first published.

UBC student Darrel Gomery wrote a 150-page BA essay, The History of early Vancouver.

The Jewish Family Service Agency was founded.

Overlynn, the Charles J. Peter mansion built at 3755 McGill Street in 1909 in the Vancouver Heights area of North Burnaby, was sold to the Sisters of Charity of Halifax, a Catholic order which had moved to Vancouver Heights in 1927 to operate a school. “The mansion,” says this web site, “became their convent and new girls' school known as Seton Academy. The mansion's original conservatory was demolished and a two-storey addition was constructed. In 1970 when the school closed, Overlynn was purchased by Action Line Housing Society which developed the seniors’ development on the property. It was designated [a heritage structure] by Burnaby Council in 1995 and was the first heritage building in B.C. to have its interior features protected.”

Notte’s Bon Ton pastry shop, with its famous cakes and confections, which had opened at West 14th and Granville in 1932, moved to the downtown Granville Street location it would occupy for the next 65 years. (In 2001 they had to move, and may now be found at 3150 West Broadway.)

Major Austin Taylor raced and bred horses at his A.C.T. Stock Farm. He was well known on California tracks, and imported American trainers for A.C.T. Taylor entered the Kentucky Derby this year with Indian Broom. Here’s what the Derby’s web site says about the first three finishers in that race: “Start good and slow. Won driving; second and third same. BOLD VENTURE, in close quarters immediately after the start, began to improve his position fast on the outside after about three-eighths, took an easy lead approaching the final half-mile and, holding on with fine courage under strong handling, withstood BREVITY'S bid. The latter, probably best and knocked to his knees within a few strides after the start, had to race wide thereafter, closed resolutely and was wearing down the winner. INDIAN BROOM, blocked in the first quarter, raced to a contending position, made a bid entering the stretch, then weakened.”

A funny and personal note about that previous entry: while I was typing the item out I tapped out the Derby’s URL and suddenly the famous trumpet fanfare that starts races blared out of my speakers. I just about leaped out of my skin. (The site’s very good.)

Norbert Vesak, Vancouver's first modern dance professional, was born in Port Moody. He will train in modern dance and ballet in the US and England, and will return to Vancouver in the early 1960s with a mission—to teach modern dance here.

Vancouver-born 22-year-old John Avison, future conductor, earned a B. Mus. from the University of Washington.

Wisconsin-born Claude Dettloff, about 37, joined the Vancouver Daily Province as a photographer. He will take the famous 1940 shot Wait For Me, Daddy and later become chief photographer at the paper.

Pioneer Jake Grauer died, aged about 75. He was Dal Grauer’s father.

Shinkichi Tamura, banker and builder, died in Japan, aged about 73. “He was born in 1863 in Osaka,” writes Constance Brissenden, “arrived in B.C. in 1888, first working at a sawmill. He established the Sien Ban Co. which, among other things, exported lumber and wheat to Japan. He built the New World Hotel at Powell and Dunlevy in Vancouver. Tamura controlled the Japan and Canada Trust Savings, making him Japantown’s foremost banker. He was Canada's first trade commissioner to Japan. He was the only Japanese listed in the 1911 Who's Who in Western Canada. In the mid-1920s he returned to his homeland and was elected to parliament.”

The Saint James Community Service Society bought the New World Hotel in July 2001. Their August 2002 newsletter says that, to honor the contributions of the many Japanese residents of Vancouver, the hotel was renamed Tamura House. A bilingual plaque on the building tells the story.

George Moir, provincial minister of education and provincial secretary, a Liberal MLA since 1933, campaigned for health insurance coverage for those living on $1,800 a year or less. Although not passed because of opposition by doctors, Moir’s proposal was the basis of the B.C. Hospital Insurance Act.

Vancouver had seven grain elevators, with a storage capacity of 17,843,000 bushels.

1936 Chevrolet Coupé Cabriolet
1936 Chevrolet Coupé Cabriolet


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Vancouver's brand-new city hall
Vancouver's brand-new city hall
(Photo: Leonard Frank, Vancouver Public Library)




































































































































































































































St. James' Anglican Church in Vancouver.
St. James' Anglican Church in Vancouver. Opening day August 30, 1936
(Leonard Frank photo, Vancouver Public Library)























































































































































(photo: SqueakyMarmot on Flickr:
[Photo: SqueakyMarmot on Flickr]