Recruiting Station at Victory Square, 1941.
Recruiting Station at Victory Square, 1941.
City of Vancouver Archives
Photograph # Mil P265

Photographer unknown

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]


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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
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The 1941 census showed the Metropolitan Vancouver population had increased to more than 400,000, with about 70 per cent of us in Vancouver City itself.

January 31 The first orders were given to west coast shipyards for 10,000-ton cargo ships to convey war material and food to war-ravaged Europe. Working against time the shipyards will build new facilities and hire thousands of workers from all walks of life throughout the West. Most shipyards worked 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The west coast climate allowed work to continue year-round, and Lower Mainland shipyards will build more than half the ships Canada supplied to the war effort.

February 7 Writer Crawford Kilian was born in New York, came to Vancouver in 1967. He will become a Capilano College English professor, and will write extensively on education. He has also written many science fiction novels. See this site.

February 11 One of the key figures in local history, CPR land commissioner, surveyor and alderman, Lauchlan Alexander Hamilton died in Toronto, aged 88. He was born September 20, 1852 in Penetanguishene, Ontario. He worked with a crew that surveyed the western reaches of the Canada/US border, and as a CPR land commissioner and surveyor established many Prairie townsites. Hamilton arrived in Vancouver in 1883. He surveyed and named many Vancouver streets. As a Vancouver city councillor (1886-87), says Constance Brissenden, he proposed Stanley Park and laid out its perimeter. Hamilton Street was named for (and by) him. A plaque on the building at the southwest corner of Hamilton and Hastings Streets commemorates the 1885 beginning of his major survey of the city. The Vancouver City Archives has his survey books. They’re fascinating.

February 20 Singer/composer Buffy Ste. Marie was born.

February 22 Vancouver movie maker Jack Darcus was born. He will become a successful painter as well as a film maker.

February 28 Wartime Housing Limited (WHL) was incorporated. It will build rental units across Canada for war industry workers. On the north shore 750 single family homes will be built, as well as barracks-type apartments for single workers, Westview School, a recreation centre, and a fire hall. (The houses were supposed to have been removed at the end of the War, but 135 units survive, some into the 1990s.)

Also February 28 Vancouver's new YMCA building opened on Burrard Street.

March 1 CKNW news reporter Arnold Epp was born.

March 6 The name of a west side street, Narvaez Drive, was adopted by city council on the recommendation of the Town Planning Commission. The street looks down on the waters first navigated by the Spanish explorer Jose Maria Narvaez in the summer of 1791. And see August 16.

April 3 Walter Henry Grassie, jeweller, died in Vancouver, aged 80. He was born January 22, 1861, in Seaforth, Ontario. Educated in Seaforth, he entered the jewelry business there. Grassie arrived by CPR train in Port Moody in July 1886, came to Vancouver by boat. His first shop was a little wooden building on Cordova. His store was “particularly favored by railway men.”

April 12 Journalist Kevin Griffin tells of a notable story from Vancouver’s Welsh community: On April 12, 1941 Bob Ito, a Japanese-Canadian boy of under 10 years of age, won in one category and came second in another at the annual Eisteddfod festival.

April 19 Broadcaster Cameron Bell was born.

April 23 Burrard Dry Dock laid the keel of the SS Fort St. James, the first of its North Sands 10,000-ton cargo vessels. It will take nine months to complete. The last North Sands ship, begun in March of 1943, will take just three-and-a-half months. Despite thousands of workers new to the ship-building industry, mass production techniques quickly enabled the formation of an efficient workforce.

May 18 One thousand Air Raid Precaution (ARP) volunteers put on a public demonstration at Mahon Park in North Vancouver. Chief Warden G. Robert Bates made the mock air-raid as realistic as possible— complete with low-flying bomber and incendiary devices.

May 22 Vancouver had its first trial blackout.

May 24 The German battleship Bismarck sank HMS Hood (which had visited Vancouver June 25, 1924). There were only three survivors from the British ship.

May 27 The Royal Navy sank the Bismarck. See this site.

July 19 The first twilight horse races were run at Hastings Park.

July 29 A mass victory meeting was held at Brockton Point. There was community singing led by Sir Ernest MacMillan with the Kitsilano Boys Band and Spencer's Remnants Pipe Band.

July 30 Singer/composer Paul Anka was born.

August 12 The Marquess of Willingdon, who was Governor General of Canada from 1926 to 1931, and after whom Willingdon Street in Burnaby is named, died at 75. There is an interesting article on him here.

August 16 A Narvaez Pageant was held in West Vancouver to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the sighting of this shore by the Spanish explorer. (Narvaez’s 1791 explorations here preceded George Vancouver’s by a year.)

August 26 The first Sun Free Salmon Derby took place with its headquarters at Dan Sewell's marina at Horseshoe Bay.

August The first annual Civic Picnic in North Vancouver was held.

September 5 William Culham Woodward, 56, was sworn in as B.C.’s lieutenant governor, succeeding Eric Hamber. He will serve to 1946. (He was the son of retailer Charles Woodward and the father of Charles “Chunky” Woodward. He ran Woodward Stores with his brother Percival Archibald Woodward until 1956 when Chunky became president.)

September 15 In pouring rain at old Athletic Park at 5th and Hemlock, the Vancouver Grizzlies football team (you read that right!), in their all-red uniforms, registered their first and only regular season win of this their only season. It was a 7 - 6 victory over the Saskatchewan Roughriders on a touchdown by Jack Horne.

“In the west,” writes UBC athletics historian Fred Hume, “only Regina and Winnipeg boasted professional football franchises. A third team was sought to fill out the Western Conference of what is now known as the CFL, so what better choice than Vancouver? This was the thinking of Italo ‘Tiny’ Rader and journalist Jim Coleman, two fellows in their late 20s who possessed a love of football, an entrepreneurial spirit and an impressive sports background. They pooled their talents to found our first professional football team, the Vancouver Grizzlies . . . But looking at the season as a whole, cruel and unusual punishment could only describe the Grizzlies’ schedule. Travel was a big part of their life. Their eight league games were played in a span of 33 days and at one point they played four games on the road in nine days!”

So, season stats: one win, seven losses.

September 18 The Asahi play their last game. Writes Tom Hawthorn: “Located in the heart of the Little Tokyo neighborhood, Oppenheimer Park’s most popular tenants were the Asahi ("Asa" for morning, "hi" for sun), a baseball club formed in 1914 and composed of Japanese-Canadians. The Asahi played their final game on Sept. 18, 1941. In the off-season, following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the Little Tokyo community was banished to exile on farms and internment camps. The Asahi never played again.”

September 23 Province columnist Jimmy Butterfield died in Penticton, about 63. He was born c. 1879 in London, England. He began a daily column, The Common Round, in 1923. Butterfield’s name stands out because he wrote on local doings, at a time when newspaper style could be stiff and long-winded, in a voice that sounded personal. In the 18 years he produced his column, he only once explained the origin of its name: it seems the minister at his church in England consistently misquoted an old verse that ran: “It’s the daily round, the common task, That makes life all you need to ask.” The minister recalled it as “the common round, the daily task.” An odd coincidence: on the very day Jimmy told his readers the story behind his column’s name, September 23, 1941, he died.

Also September 23 Famed actor Basil Rathbone (still the best Sherlock Holmes in the movies) visited Vancouver. He was here as part of a war bond drive. (Jeremy Brett is the best Holmes on television.)

October 9 Future politician Peter Hyndman was born.

October 21 Five women were elected MLAs today, a record. One of them was Tilly Rolston (Vancouver Point Grey), who would later cross the floor from the Conservative to the Social Credit side, and still later (1952) become education minister in W.A.C. Bennett's cabinet. Other women elected to the 48-seat legislature included, said the Province, “Mrs. Grace MacInnis, petite, vivacious, capable wife of Angus MacInnis, CCF member at Ottawa,” elected in Vancouver Burrard, Mrs. Dorothy Steeves (North Vancouver) and Mrs. Laura Jamieson (Vancouver Centre). The last-named three were with the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF). Liberal Nancy Hodges was also elected. Wallis Walter Lefeaux, barrister, was elected a CCF MLA for Vancouver Centre. There is a good brief biography here.

October 25 North Vancouver No. 5 was launched in False Creek, writes historian Rob Morris, as “the last car ferry for the North Vancouver Ferry system, a service which had commenced around 1900. No. 5 ran from the foot of Lonsdale Ave. in North Vancouver to downtown Vancouver. Maintenance costs and post-war changes in auto transport such as the Lions Gate bridge ended the service in 1958.”

October 27 The troop transport Awatea (Maori for ‘Eye of the Dawn’) left Vancouver for Hong Kong with troops of the Winnipeg Grenadiers and the Royal Rifles of Canada.

Also October 28 Mrs. W.W. Southam pressed the control button to set in motion the first of two new presses at The Vancouver Daily Province. Her husband, W.W., was the newspaper's production manager. Each press would, at normal operating speed, be capable of producing 45,000 newspapers per hour. “For the past five months, skilled technicians have been installing the intricate mechanisms that control the roaring monsters.”

November 6 Maj.-Gen. Victor Odlum of Vancouver, who had been briefly in command of the 2nd Division overseas, was chosen by Prime Minister Mackenzie King to become the new high commissioner (in effect, ambassador) to Australia. The PM told the House of Commons that “in view of the situation in the Orient the government had decided the best possible appointment to the Australian post should be made.” He went on to say that “nobody was so well qualified for the post as Gen. Odlum if he could be persuaded to accept.”

Also November 6 Writer and broadcaster Allen Garr was born.

November 9 The Westminster Regiment sailed for overseas service.

November 12 The first person to donate blood to the Red Cross in Vancouver was a “bantamweight” New Westminster grocer named Jimmy Muir. “Last week,” the Province reported, “the mayor (Jack Cornett) drew Muir's name from a hat and gave him the honor of being the first person in Vancouver to contribute blood in the Red Cross 'blood bank'.” Another early donor was David Smith, of West 12th Avenue, “a carpenter in the Boeing factory on Coal Harbour, where 500 workmen have each offered a pint of blood.” The blood was to be sent to the war zones.

November 14 Dateline Washington: “A space magazine editor predicts that 20 years from now the nations of the world will be supporting 2,000 men on missions ‘all over the solar system’. The cost of these missions will be so great, he said, that the nations will have no room left in their budgets for the costs of war.” Dr. Franco Fiorio, editor of the Italian-language magazine Missili & Razzi, was speaking to the American Rocket Society. Maybe he meant to say 200 years.

November 19 The Province’s review of the brand-new Humphrey Bogart movie Maltese Falcon gave no indication of the classic it was to become. “Maltese Falcon,” it read, “isn't merely a straight thriller liberally sprinkled with bodies. It's a clever psychological study of some of the queerest queers that the movie city has ever dared to present to its public. Humphrey Bogart is the grim-faced Don Juanesque detective, and Mary Astor is a lady with a past who is different but none the less dangerous.“ We think “queerest queers” must have meant something different back then.

November 25 Frederick S. Maclure, co-publisher with his sister Sara Anne McLagan of the Vancouver Daily World died at Iona Island, aged about 77. He was born c. 1864 in New Westminster.

November 26 W.A.C. Bennett was first elected.

November 28 John Howe Carlisle, Vancouver’s first fire chief, died in Burnaby, aged 84. He was born November 4, 1857 in Hillsboro, New Brunswick. “Educated in Alberta,” Constance Brissenden writes, “Carlisle arrived in Vancouver in 1886 and joined the volunteer fire brigade in May, just before the Great Fire of June 13. In 1887 he was made brigade chief, and by 1889 was chief of the Vancouver Fire Department with eight ‘full paid’ men and 12 ‘call men.’ By 1906, there were 35 full paid men, two engines, plus a 75-foot aerial truck and village truck, three two-horse hose wagons, two chemical two-horse wagons, two combined two-horse hose and chemical wagons and 15 firehalls. Carlisle was chief of the department for 42 years. He was the first to be awarded Vancouver's Good Citizen Award (1922). Carlisle St. is named for him.”

December 7 Japan bombed the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Canada declared war on Japan the same day.

December 8 Britain and the US declared war on Japan.

Also December 8 “British Columbia went to war against Japan Sunday,” the Province’s Paul Malone wrote, “a few minutes after the first bombs fell on Honolulu and the Philippines.” All military bases were on the alert, and leaves were cancelled. “Sweeping” defensive measures and coastal blackouts were forecast. “RCMP and Provincial Police swiftly rounded up dangerous enemy aliens while spokesmen for British Columbia's 24,000 Japanese declared their unswerving allegiance to Canada.” Japanese language schools and newspapers were closed, and “a roundup of the Japanese fishing fleet, which will be immobilized, was under way.” Internment of Japanese-Canadians will begin in early 1942.

As defence against aerial attack, blackout curtains were strung across windows and car headlights were painted blue, causing night-time collisions.

December 8 The electric flame at the Stanley Park war memorial commemorating the Japanese-Canadian contribution during World War I was switched off. It will not be switched on again until 1985.

December 9 John Hart, 63, Liberal, became premier. He would serve to December 29, 1947.

December 10 Iwatichi Sugiyama, a naturalized British subject, is the only Japanese to vote in Vancouver's civic elections.

December 11 The US declared war on Germany and Italy.

December 14 Gas masks went on sale to the general public. School children did their part by learning to study with them on, and taking part in drills.

December 18-20 Gracie Fields performed at Exhibition Gardens.

December Mohill, Ireland-born John Hart was elected Liberal premier of a coalition government, a position held until he retired in 1947.

Also in 1941

Highway 7 (the Lougheed) first appeared on a map.

Semiahmoo Park was established in White Rock with land leased from the Semiahmoo Indian band. The band later protested unfair terms in its agreement with the municipality.

Surrey municipality owned so much land from unpaid taxes during the Depression it gave away lots to generate tax income from them.

Einar Neilson founded Lieban, a retreat for artists and intellectuals on Bowen Island.

In Greater Vancouver in 1941 four out of five homes do not have all of the following: a car, a telephone, a radio and a vacuum cleaner.

J.W. Cornett became mayor of Vancouver, succeeding Lyle Telford. He will hold the post until 1946. A Vancouver street is named for him, and Wenonah Street was named for his daughter. See here.

J.M. Fromme, the “Father of Lynn Valley,” who in 1899 built the first house in the valley, and who from 1924 to 1929 was the reeve of North Vancouver District, died at age 83.

A subsidiary of the CPR purchased a controlling share of the Union Steamship Company.

The population of North Vancouver District is nearly 6,000. North Vancouver City's population is 9,000.

Horse racing in Richmond suffered a blow with the closure of Brighouse Park, as crowds fell because of the war and the opening of Hastings Park on the PNE grounds in Vancouver.

Most German-Canadians in the lower mainland interned at the 1939 opening of the war had been released by 1941.

Holy Spirit [Catholic] Church in New Westminster's Queensborough area began services.

UBC’s Alumni Chronicle, a quarterly, began publication.

The federal government took over operation of the airport. Ottawa underwrote the Sea Island Boeing plant this year, and two new one-and-a-half kilometre (5,000-foot) runways were built.

River Towing was formed by Cecil Cosulich. The company thrived.

The 1,178-seat Vogue Theatre was opened at 918 Granville Street as the Odeon theatre chain's “prestige” movie house in response to the Capitol and the Orpheum, operated by Famous Players.

Writer Marion Crook was born in New Westminster. She has written much, but became a specialist in the lives (and travails) of teens. See this site.

Writer Daphne Marlatt was born in Melbourne, Australia. She spent much of her childhood in Malaysia before coming to Vancouver in 1951. See this site.

Writer and columnist Stan Persky was born in Chicago. He will become a sociology professor at Capilano College, and write many books and countless columns. See this site.

Writer Ian Slater was born in Toowoomba, Australia. He is most well-known for his thrillers and an acclaimed biography of George Orwell. See this site.

Writer Tamio Wakayama was born in New Westminster. He spent his early childhood in an internment camp at Tashme, B.C. See this site.

William Crawford, the president and managing director of Empire Stevedoring, B.C.'s largest waterfront employer, donated his yacht Fyfer to the Canadian Navy for war use. The Fyfer, launched in 1930, was called “the finest private yacht on the Pacific.” Crawford served without pay as a civilian consultant to the ministry of shipping during the war.

Winnipeg-born lawyer Alexander Campbell Des Brisay was elected president of the Vancouver Bar Association.

Radio CKCD merged with CKWX.

Harold Winch, leader since 1938 of the provincial CCF, and the MLA for Vancouver East. became Leader of the Opposition this year.

This was an optimistic posting: Vancouver’s Leonard Marsh became a research advisor to the federal committee on post-war reconstruction. It took four more years to be “post-war,” but they were ready!

Vancouver’s Alexander Duncan McRae—who had distinguished himself in the First World War—was named national chair of the Canadian War Services Fund. During the Second World War, General McRae donated his Shaughnessy mansion, Hycroft, to the department of health and pensions to be converted to a veterans’ hospital. McRae then moved to Qualicum Beach on Vancouver Island.

1941 Packard Touring Sedan
1941 Packard Touring Sedan


[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]








































































































































William Culham Woodward
William Culham Woodward was sworn in as B.C.’s lieutenant governor,
succeeding Eric Hamber
















The Asahi Tigers
The Asahi Tigers


























Tilly Rolston, MLA
Tilly Rolston, MLA





























































































Officials checking the papers of a Japanese fisherman December 9, 1941.
Officials checking the papers of a Japanese fisherman December 9, 1941.