Disraeli starring George Arliss
The movie, Disraeli, starring George Arliss, premiered at the Dominion Theatre in 1929.
It was not immediately appealing, so the theatre ran a contest for boys and girls — they had to see the movie, then write a 500-word essay on it, or paint a picture of Disraeli, and the winner got a silver loving cup.

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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January 1 Today, the municipalities of Point Grey and South Vancouver amalgamated with the city, and overnight Vancouver—with its expanded population of about 240,000—became Canada’s third largest city. (Its southern boundary had been 16th Avenue.) To the 22,047 school population of Vancouver were added 8,940 pupils from South Vancouver and 6,404 from Point Grey.

Also January 1 Alfred Wallace, shipbuilder, died in North Vancouver aged 63. He was born in 1865. His obituary in the Province said he was born in Devonport, Devonshire, England —although we have also seen Moricetown, England as a birthplace. He came to Canada in 1889. Two years later he was building fishing boats in False Creek. He started Wallace Shipyards in 1905 and ran it for more than 20 years. In 1921, Wallace built the Princess Louise for the CPR fleet, the first contract awarded to a local firm. During WWI the company built merchant and naval vessels. Wallace married the former Elizabeth Underhill, and they had two sons; one, Clarence, who had joined Burrard Dry Dock in 1918 as secretary-treasurer, took over the business after his father’s death. By the end of WWII it was Canada’s biggest shipbuilding firm.

January 2 The first meeting of the new Vancouver city council following the amalgamation was held today. W.H. Malkin, a wholesale grocer, was the first mayor of the larger city. Malkin paid a warm tribute to his predecessor, L.D. Taylor, giving him credit for the amalgamation. Malkin’s two years in office would be efficient, if unexciting.

Also January 2 Ballantyne Pier opened.

February 6 John Hess Elliott, pioneer, died in Vancouver, aged 65. He was born April 3, 1863 in Butler County, Pennsylvania. He arrived in Vancouver in 1898 at age 35. In addition to building numerous homes in the Fairview neighbourhood at the turn of the century, Elliott is known for helping to establish Savary Island as a vacation destination. In 1910 he served as a founding director of the Savary Island Park Association and built one of the first homes on the island. By the early 1920s his summer home had become the island's first school. When the First World War began he enlisted with the 242nd Battalion Canadian Expeditionary Force. At the astonishing age of 53 he chose to fight in the trenches of Europe alongside men less than half his age. He was severely wounded in battle and, shell-shocked, was unable to remember his own name. Evacuated to a hospital in England, Elliott remained unidentified until a fellow soldier recognized him and sent word home to his wife and family that he was alive. He was brought back to Vancouver on a stretcher, a decorated veteran. (Raymond Reitsma)

February 7 Colored motion pictures (without artificial tinting) were shown for the first time in Vancouver at Kodak's store on Granville Street.

February 14 Daniel Loftus Beckingsale, Vancouver’s first port doctor, died in London England, aged 82. He was born November 18, 1846 on the Isle of Wight. He became an MD in 1874, and served on several London hospital staffs. He came to Vancouver in June 1886, became the first port doctor and an early health officer. Beckingsale formed the Vancouver Reading Room, predecessor of the public library. He moved to Nelson in 1894, to San Francisco in 1905. In 1916, he was practising in Wales.

February 14 St. Valentine’s Day massacre in Chicago, when Al Capone’s gang killed seven members of a rival organization.

February 25 Alfred St. George Hamersley, Vancouver's first solicitor, died in Bournemouth, Eng. He was born October 8, 1848 in Oxfordshire, Eng., was called to the bar in 1873. He practiced law in New Zealand, arrived in Vancouver in 1888. He became legal advisor to Vancouver City Corporation and the CPR. Hamersley was active in local business and athletics, once sold some Mt. Pleasant property—the southeast corner of Fraser Street and East 11th Avenue—to fellow Freemason, writer Rudyard Kipling. In 1906 he returned to Rycot, Eng., and was elected a Liberal MP (1910-18).

Mid-March Construction of the 25-storey Marine Building by E. J. Ryan Contracting began when Vancouver mayor W.H. Malkin blew a blast from a golden whistle, setting in motion a steam shovel that began the excavation. The beautiful structure, designed by McCarter & Nairne, would open in 1930.

March 31 Actor Lee Patterson was born in Vancouver. His movie-making career spanned the years from the mid-’50s to the mid-’90s.

April 6 The city of Hope was incorporated.

May 1 The Province reported that UBC was opening a course in Commerce. The Vancouver Board of Trade was cited as among the bodies pushing for it.

May 6 The first “Oscars” were awarded in Hollywood.

May 17 Vancouver voters approved 14 of 20 money bylaws, but rejected a Burrard Bridge and a new city hall.

May 20 The Union College Library was okayed. There is a nice sketch of the building (architects Sharp and Thompson) in the May 20, 1929 Journal of Commerce, Page 1.

May 30 The new North Shore Hospital opened.

Also May 30 The city bought Little Mountain (now Queen Elizabeth Park) for $115,270.

May 31 An ad for Piggly Wiggly stores in the Province showed 28 locations in Vancouver, one in West Vancouver, one in Victoria, one in New Westminster. The chain would be purchased in 1936 by Safeway. Safeway arrived in Canada this year, just three years after its 1926 birth in Maryland.

June 1 Uncle Ben’s Sun Ray Club started. This was a “club” for kids whose parents read the Sun.

Also June 1 An artist’s conception of the new (second) Stock Exchange Building in Vancouver appeared in the Sun. The building would be at the northwest corner of Pender and Howe Streets. What an unpleasant surprise they have coming in about five months!

June 3 The daily comic strip Tarzan first appeared in the Sun.

Also June 3 The Peter Pan Restaurant opened at 1128 Granville. Said the Sun: “Thousands Inspect New Cafe.” A photo showed the staff lined up out front. This restaurant, soon to become a city landmark, was started by Peter Pantages of Polar Bear Swim fame.

Also June 3 The Orpheum Theatre (the present one) ran an ad for a new Mary Pickford film: Coquette, “her first 100% Talking Picture, and the usual big bill of Radio-Keith-Orpheum Vaudeville.” Incidentally, the theatre was now called the RKO Orpheum.

June 5 The Journal of Commerce announced that the Bank of Nova Scotia would build a new branch at the northeast corner of Granville and Davie Streets. Today that building is Vancouver’s Dance Centre.

June 6 Daily Province, Page 2 “The old red building on the west side of Main street, near the corner of Hastings, which for forty years has served successively as public market, public auditorium and City Hall, will enter public service again about the middle of this month, when additional quarters for the public library are opened there . . .” (The central library was in the Carnegie Library building adjacent to the north.) The main library would occupy this site until the opening in 1957 of the building at 750 Burrard Street.

Also June 6 News report: Kingsway between Knight and Broadway was to be widened from 66 feet to 99.

June 7 News report: The Railway Board instructed the CPR to eliminate level crossings in the city by October 1. The railway argued that the crossings were not a nuisance. Drivers and pedestrians disagreed: trains blocking downtown streets were causing traffic nightmares. The railway would have to build a tunnel. Today that tunnel is used by SkyTrain.

Also June 7 John Napier Turner was born in Richmond, Surrey, England. He would become one of Canada’s shortest-serving prime ministers: 80 days in 1984.

June 10 The Sun reported that the proposed Canadian National Hotel, the present Hotel Vancouver, would be expanded. One hundred extra rooms would be added. The hotel would be 16 storeys high. (Several such stories would appear during the hotel’s construction. It kept getting bigger and bigger, until the Depression came along.)

June 12 G. F. Baldwin, a city pioneer, died. He was a former city comptroller, and the first city clerk.

June 13 In 1925 Vancouver city council named June 13 as Vancouver Day—a time of remembrance and thanksgiving, inspired by the Great Fire of June 13, 1886—and it was arranged that each year as a part of the Vancouver Day ceremonies there would be held, “on the Sunday closest to the anniversary of the fire, a service in Stanley Park . . .” At the 1929 ceremony a band played a march especially written for the event by Lt. E.J. Cornfield. This tradition was short-lived: the 1929 event seems to be the last time “Vancouver Day” occurred. (But city archives worker Donna Jean McKinnon and others revived it for one occasion in 1998.)

Also June 13 It was reported that Jones Tent & Awning of Vancouver had just started to manufacture, for the first time in Canada, Venetian blinds.

Also June 13 It was announced that Vancouver’s chief constable, W.J. Bingham, would be given a three-year contract and an increase in pay to $6,000 a year.

June 17 The Journal of Commerce reported that tenders had been called by the Royal Bank for the property at the northeast corner of Hastings and Granville. That corner had been occupied for many years first by jeweler George Trorey, then by Birks. The Royal Bank building is there to this day.

June 28 Bids were called for a bridge over the Capilano River in West Vancouver.

July 13 A race was held in Vancouver with some of the world’s top runners, including Olympic gold medalist Percy Williams of Vancouver. Two days later, on July 15, this appeared in the Vancouver Sun: “Eddie Tolan of the University of Michigan, 100 and 200 yard sprint champion of the United States, today charged he was the victim of a ‘hometown decision’ when he was adjudged beaten by Percy Williams in Vancouver last week. Tolan made the statement while passing through Windsor. He said he had pictures which show him leading Williams by close to a foot at the finish.”

The three top official finishers on that “muddy horse race track” were (1) Percy Williams (2) Eddie Tolan, and (3) Frank Wykoff.

For more details on this disputed race, go here.

Tolan is the black man second from left, Williams is next to him, and Wykoff is the airborne fellow second from right. Look at the feet of Tolan and Williams. You may not be able to see it in this reproduction, but the tape that marks the finish line is chest-high to the runners and Williams may have hit it first with his chest pushed forward.

July 27 On a tour of North America following his famous solo flight across the Atlantic Charles Lindbergh, visiting Seattle, refused an invitation from Vancouver mayor L.D. Taylor to fly into Vancouver because, said Lindbergh today, “your airport isn’t fit to land on.” That embarrassed Vancouver, and prompted the push to build one that was! It would open in 1931.

Also July 27 The Union Steamship wharf burned.

July The provincial exhibition buildings in New Westminster—the fair was due to open in September—burned down. They would use big tents instead.

July Ladner had its own Chinatown, the scene of a serious fire in July 1929. The settlement stretched along the river front and consisted of more than a dozen buildings. Half were destroyed in the blaze, which was reported in the Ladner Optimist newspaper: “Fanned by a tremendous wind, the fire burned like lightning through the dry wood and the damage was all done before firefighting equipment from Vancouver could reach the scene. Calls for help came soon after the blaze was discovered. Its origin is unknown.”

August 7 The first annual B.C. High Schools Olympiad opened at Hastings Park.

August 8 Samuel Maclure, architect, died in Victoria aged 69. He was born April 11, 1860 in New Westminster. The son of a Royal Engineer, he was a brother of Sara Anne McLagan (see this site’s Hall of Fame). He is considered the most gifted of early B.C. architects. Maclure designed some 150 buildings either alone, with his firm, or in partnership with others. He designed many Shaughnessy Heights homes before WWI. Read Samuel Maclure: Architect by Janet Bingham and The Architecture of Samuel Maclure by Leonard K. Eaton.

August 24 Boeing of Canada opened a plant on Coal Harbour. They bought the Hoffar-Beeching Shipyard at 1927 West Georgia. In 1930 they would begin to build planes. (We also have a September 1 date.) And see the Taconite item below.

August 25 Dateline, London: “And now after the talkie comes the ‘tele-talkie.’ The first successful demonstration of broadcasting a talkie movie by means of television and ordinary broadcasting equipment was carried out here by Major John Logie Baird, inventor of television. In a television theatre he produced a talking picture broadcast from a room at the other end of the building. It might just as well have been 200 or 300 miles away . . .” Baird goes on to claim that soon he will be able to broadcast complete talkies so that everyone can see and hear them in the privacy of their homes, “but will also send out talkie current events in which one can see and hear football games or horse races, or scenes in parliament.” (Watching football games from hundreds of miles away? Sounds like a pipe dream to us!)

August 27 Well, it sounded good: some local histories indicate that the Graf Zeppelin, the most famous airship of the 1920s, visited Vancouver—specifically, Coal Harbour—on August 27, 1929. Alas, a closer examination of papers of the day revealed the truth: She didn’t get here. “Plans of Dr. Hugo Eckener to bring the Graf Zeppelin over Vancouver and Seattle," the Province reported, "were upset by two occurrences. Dense fog in the North Pacific forced the airship south in order to get her bearings, and a slight attack of ptomaine poisoning caused the commander to hasten to Los Angeles.” The huge airship had just completed “one of the most spectacular flights of all time, a non-stop 5,800 miles across the Pacific Ocean from Japan . . .” It had taken just over 78 hours.

September 1 Vaudeville was drawing smaller audiences all across North America. Operation of the Orpheum Theatre in Vancouver (the present one) was from this date shared by former competitors Orpheum Circuit and Famous Players. The circuit management would finally accept the decline and fall of vaudeville and sell the theatre outright to Famous Players in 1931 as a movie house. Vaudeville could still be enjoyed for a few more years in Vancouver, mainly at the Beacon Theatre, but its glory days were over.

September 2 Did you know Winston Churchill was once here? Back on September 2, 1929 Winnie—described as “the former chancellor of the exchequer and holder of a dozen other cabinet positions in Great Britain”—arrived in New Westminster to open its exhibition. (A fire in July had forced the exhibition’s organizers to house its displays in large tents.) Some 40,000 people turned up to see Churchill. The following day he travelled to Haney “for an inspection of British Columbia’s lumber industry.” His host was the Hon. Nels Lougheed, provincial MLA and an executive of the Abernethy Lougheed Logging company, who gave him a demonstration of B.C. logging methods.

Next on Winnie’s agenda? A trip up Grouse Mountain where he dined at the chalet.

Churchill, on a tour of North America, was accompanied by his son Randolph, his brother Jack and Jack’s son John.

September 3 Churchill gave a talk at the Vancouver Theatre on Granville Street.

September 26 Francis Bowser, a Point Grey pioneer, died in Vancouver at age 71. He was born September 13, 1858 in Kingston (now Rexton), NB. He was called a “trail blazer of Point Grey.” He served as a reeve of Point Grey.

September 27 Point Grey Secondary opened.

October 1 The Anglican Theological College opened.

October 4 In the Vancouver Archives is a hand-written letter, dated Oct. 4, 1929, carefully inscribed by Lauchlan Hamilton (77 at the time) during a brief visit to the city. Hamilton was a CPR surveyor who laid out much of downtown Vancouver. His letter’s addressed to J. Alex Walker of the town planning commission. It was written more than 40 years after his survey.

“I cannot say that I am proud of the original planning of Vancouver," Hamilton writes, after explaining that the shortness of his visit precludes a personal meeting with Walker. "The work, however, was beset with many difficulties. The dense forest, the inlets on the north and False Creek on the south, the pinching in of the land at Carrall Street . . .” and so on, and so on.

If you look at a map of Vancouver, you'll note that east-west streets such as Hastings and Pender turn at an angle as they pass Cambie and enter the downtown peninsula. Presumably Hamilton didn't want to have the streets make that bend because, in his letter to Walker, he complains of a severe problem: His “original plan” for the direction of the streets in the city's downtown peninsula had to be altered. It seems a property owner named Pratt refused to go along with Hamilton's design. What that design was we haven't discovered after several hours of research.

The Archives has a collection of field survey books used by Hamilton and those working for him. It's fascinating to leaf through those brittle, yellowing pages and see the pencilled notes and drawings made nearly 120 years ago as the surveyors decide to cut a “Granville Street” through here and a “Nelson Street” through there. The pages are covered with scribbled computations and little memos, each street plan carefully dated: The survey of Granville south of Nelson, for example, began March 15, 1885. The corner of Cambie and Hastings was laid out on April 30, 1886. If you're a surveyor and you haven't seen these little books, by all means visit the Archives and ask to have a look.

October 18 The Supreme Court of Canada ruled today that women are, after all, “persons.” A word of explanation: in April of 1928 the Supreme Court of Canada had ruled that women were not “persons.” The judges expanded on the judgement, ruling that “by the common law of England, women were under a legal incapacity to hold public office.” That paternalistic ruling was overturned today, thanks in part to crusaders like Nellie McClung and Emily Murphy.

October 24 Panic on Wall Street.

October 25 The New York Stock Exchange collapsed and launched a severe economic crisis in the USA and, not long after, Canada and much of the rest of the Western world. The Great Depression had begun. Volume on the Vancouver Stock Exchange was143 million shares this year. That would drop to 10 million in 1930.

Also October 25 “Vancouver will have no skyscrapers,” the Province wrote, “if the City Council accepts the advice of its Town Planning Commission . . . This morning the commission again endorsed the provision of the city charter which requires all buildings to be within ten storeys in height or 120 feet.”

December 3 The Commodore Cabaret opened on Granville Street. Owners Nick Kogas and John Dillias began a tradition of showcasing local bands and international touring artists. (The club’s known today as the Commodore Ballroom.)

December 14 Henry Tracy Ceperley, realtor, died in Coronado Beach, Calif. at age 79. He was born January 10, 1850 in Oreonto, NY, arrived in Vancouver around 1885. Ceperley Rounsefell & Co. (est. 1886), became one of B.C.'s largest real estate/insurance firms. In 1887 the company was renamed Ross and Ceperley Real Estate, Insurance and Financial Agents, with Ceperley in partnership with Arthur Wellington Ross. Ceperley encouraged the CPR's William Van Horne to promote the idea of Stanley Park in Ottawa. (That land was a federally owned military reserve.) Ross and Ceperley controlled much of the land near the park, promoted it heavily after the conversion. The park opened September 27, 1889. Ceperley’s Deer Lake home is now the Burnaby Art Gallery.

December 17 Unemployed men raided the city relief office in Vancouver. The effects of the Great Depression were beginning to be felt locally.

Also December 17 The Empress of Japan II was launched. This famous liner was an advance over the Empress of Canada: she was 13 feet longer, six feet wider, more luxurious, even faster and much less expensive to operate. Unfortunately, the world-wide depression impacted badly on both passenger and cargo numbers for the Empress line and the service would end in a few years.

December 18 Burnaby's first street lighting was turned on, illuminating Hastings Street from Boundary to Gilmore.

December 28 An American city planner named Harland Bartholomew, commissioned by Vancouver to suggest the course of its future development, submitted his plans. Bartholomew planned for a city of one million people focused on the “great seaport” of Burrard Inlet. The Fraser River banks and False Creek would be industrial. Businesses would spread evenly over the central business district to “prevent undue traffic congestion.” The nearby West End would provide apartments close to jobs. “The Bartholomew Plan,” city planner Dr. Ann McAfee has written, “was never formally adopted by City Council. Nevertheless, over the years, much of Bartholomew's vision was realized.” The most well-known evidence of the “Bartholomew Plan” today is the central boulevard down Cambie Street, south of King Edward. For more, click here.

December 31 A former ballerina, later dance promoter and organizer, Jean Orr was born in Edinburgh. She would become a major force in local dance.

December Construction started on the Empire State Building in New York City.

Also in 1929

The Vancouver Unemployed Worker's Association was formed..

Earle “Mr. Good Evening” Kelly started his broadcasts for the Province’s radio station CKCD. He earned that nickname for his lugubrious introduction to his program. Kelly became known as Canada's first personality broadcaster. Gord Lansdell has an excellent short bio of him on the Ryerson University website.

J. W. Allan was president of the Vancouver Real Estate Board.

UBC's Social Work program began, the third university social work program established in Canada after Toronto's (1914).

The West Vancouver ferry system, once a drag on the city’s finances, was now thriving.

The White Rock area of Surrey experienced a financial setback when the local lumber mill closed because of a log shortage.

In 1922 fishing licences to “other than white, British subjects and Indians” had been cut by up to 40 per cent. Local Japanese fishermen took their case to court and won, but the provincial government enacted legislation to allow the discrimination to continue. The case went to the Privy Council in England in 1929. The fishermen won, but only half of them were still around by the time the decision was handed down.

The Randall Building, at 535-565 West Georgia, was built. So was the Dick Building at 1482-1490 West Broadway (the ornate structure at the southeast corner of Granville), and the Bank of Commerce at 817-819 Granville. All are heritage buildings today, preserved for their historic and architectural value.

Construction began on the present (third) Hotel Vancouver. It would not open until 1939.

J. Alexander (Sandy) Walker began a long stretch as Vancouver’s town planning engineer. He would serve to 1952.

The Georgia Medical-Dental Building, the first art deco-style building erected in Vancouver, was built at the northwest corner of Georgia and Hornby Streets. It was richly embellished with whimsical ornaments like plump little terra cotta owls and other birds, lions and horses. The building was adorned with medical, religious and mythological symbols around the main door. Most of its tenants were doctors, dentists and the like. Easily the most famous ornaments on the building were three 11-foot high terra cotta statues of nursing sisters in First World War uniforms, one perched on each of the building’s three visible corners. A local gag—inspired by the medical use of the building—was that they were the three Rhea sisters: Gono, Dia and Pyo. The Georgia Medical-Dental Building was designed by architects McCarter and Nairne, whose even more famous Marine Building began to be built this year. The handsome old Medical-Dental structure was demolished May 28, 1989 by a controlled explosion (viewed by a huge throng in the surrounding streets), following an intense but unsuccessful public campaign to save it. Replicas of the nurses can be seen at Joe Tinucci’s Ital Decor location at 6886 East Hastings Street. Check out this site.

A kindergarten was renting Glen Brae, the Shaughnessy mansion, for $75 a month.

The Tyee Ski Club was formed, is now one of the oldest ski clubs in Canada. By the mid-1930s, the mountain had its first rope tow. Since then, organized skiing and ski racing have flourished at Grouse Mountain.

The Holden Building on East Hastings, built in 1911, became Vancouver’s city hall. It would hold that title until the opening of the current city hall in 1936. (This was also a home temporarily to the city’s archives.)

The Holden Building had been preceded as city hall by a now-vanished building immediately adjacent to the south of the Carnegie Library on the west side of Main Street. It was city hall from 1897 to 1929.

Artist Mary Riter Hamilton, aged about 56, arrived in Vancouver. She taught art here. She was a WWI battlefield artist, and there are samples of her work here.

Frances Street in Vancouver’s East End was named this year after Sister Frances, a pioneer nurse at St. Luke's Home and St. James Church on Cordova St.

Smoky Tom Island was purchased by George C. Reifel, and became Reifel Island.

The Alpine Club of Canada conducted a ski tour of Mount Seymour, and vigorous development followed.

Located at 140th Street and 96th Avenue in Surrey, the 640 acres of Green Timbers have become a memorial to what once was a larger natural forest of giant evergreens soaring to 200 feet and more in height. Writes Terri Clark of the Vancouver Parks Board in The Greater Vancouver Book, “Green Timbers was, at the turn of the century, the only remaining stretch of virgin forest between San Diego and Vancouver. Tourists would come from all over to view these cathedral-like groves in a 5,000-acre refuge. Despite proposals to have the forest declared a park, Green Timbers was clear-cut in 1929, the entire population of trees lost to feed a local sawmill.”

Built from 1889 to 1895, Christ Church, the oldest surviving church in the City of Vancouver, became a cathedral this year. The Anglican cathedral stands at the northeast corner of Georgia and Burrard.

Construction began on the East Lawn Building at Essondale (now Riverview) Hospital.

The Randall Building was constructed on West Georgia. (Since being rehabilitated in 1991, it’s now known as the Cavelti Building, 555 West Georgia, after jeweller Toni Cavelti.)

Members of the Cambrian Society, named after the Cambrian Hills in Wales, built a community hall at 215 East 17th Avenue. Writes Kevin Griffin, in The Greater Vancouver Book, “This is believed to be the only hall built and operated by a Welsh society in North America . . . [The] hall became the home of the annual Eisteddfod, a competitive singing and reciting festival, and the Gymanfa Ganu, a hymn singing festival.”

The Womens' Auxiliary of the St. George Orthodox Hellenic Community was founded.

A branch of the Slovenian Society was opened in Vancouver.

North Vancouver General Hospital opened on 13th Street.

The Jewish Western Bulletin, a weekly newspaper on the Jewish community in Vancouver, began publication.

The Swedish Press/Nya Svenska Pressen, a bilingual monthly newspaper, began publication.

The Taconite, a luxury yacht, was built for William Boeing. She was all teak and 125 feet in length. The Taconite was built at the Hoffar-Beeching Shipyard, adjacent to the Boeing aircraft plant on Coal Harbour. (She’s still in Vancouver, still looks beautiful, thanks to her current owner, Gordon Levett.)

The Vancouver Publicity Bureau (precursor to Tourism Vancouver) announced that “money expended to advertise the tourist attractions of the city brought better returns than that expended on advertising for new industries.”

George Godwin’s novel The Eternal Forest under Western Skies, set in Whonnock, appeared. It was reissued in 1994 by Godwin Books as The Eternal Forest. See this site.

Writer Peter Newman of Deep Cove was born in Vienna.

The provincial Public Library Commission applied for, and received, a grant of $100,000 from the Carnegie Corporation to test an idea for five years: providing library services to a rural population. The result, still active: the Fraser Valley Public Library.

Davey Black, the club pro at the Shaughnessy Golf Club, with Duncan Sutherland, beat world-famous Walter Hagen and Horton Smith at the Point Grey Golf Club.

Mary Louise Bollert, UBC's dean of women, became president of the Confederation of University Women.

Ivan Ackery, in 1929 the manager of the Dominion Theatre, premiered the movie Disraeli there. It led to his first promotion award. (He would win many more over the years.) “George Arliss,” Ivan wrote in his autobiography, “a well-known stage actor for many, many years, won the Oscar for his leading role in the film and it was a splendid movie. But it was not immediately appealing, so we had to work hard to get big audiences. I ran a contest for boys and girls—they had to see the movie, then write a 500-word essay on it, or paint a picture of Disraeli, and the winner got a silver loving cup. The Vancouver Star made a big feature of the contest, and O.B. Allan’s jewelry store devoted a whole window to displaying the prizes and the winning entries. It created a lot of interest.”

The Pacific National Exhibition opened its first permanent amusement park, with rides and games. It was near the race track and was dubbed ‘Happyland.’ It would last to the end of the 1957 season, be replaced in 1958 by the bigger ‘Playland.’

The Essondale Hospital fire department bought a new ladder and pumper truck. They will use it for 40 years!

Here’s one of the smaller events that will pepper The History of Metropolitan Vancouver when it appears in 2008: in 1929 a small house was built in South Surrey in what is now the Sawyers Walk subdivision. It was called the Rankin House after its original owner. The company that developed the subdivision, Portrait Homes, decided not to demolish the little charmer, but to upgrade it. They called on Shell Busey, whose radio and TV shows on home improvement have been popular for years, and Shell got the members of his HouseSmart Referral Network involved. The beautifully restored home was purchased moments after the restoration was complete, and the net proceeds—$75,000—were donated to the CKNW Orphans’ Fund. And Shell and Portrait Homes won an award from the Greater Vancouver Home Builders' Association for the restoration.

Canadian Pacific Railway started having “Hudson” type steam locomotives built this year by the Montreal Locomotive Works Company in Montreal. One of them is B.C.’s well-known Royal Hudson. Before production halted in 1940 MLW built 65 of these powerful and marvellously fast engines. (The last model produced had a top speed of more than 144 kilometres per hour.)

The building known as Union Station from 1917 to 1928 — housing the Great Northern and Northern Pacific railroads — changed its name after Northern Pacific passenger service to Vancouver ended. From 1929 it would simply be the Great Northern Station. Great Northern passenger trains continued to use it until 1962 and the building would be demolished in 1965. It stood just north of today's Pacific Central train and bus terminal.

The CPR puts on a Sea Music Festival. We have no details yet.

UBC's first gymnasium, built with funds raised by students, was presented to the university.

Masumi Mitsui and his family settled in Port Coquitlam this year and established a poultry farm on Laurier Avenue. Mitsui had distinguished himself in the First World War, fighting for Canada, and had won a medal for bravery. See April 1917.

London, England-born William George Murrin, who had joined the B.C. Electric Railway (BCER) in 1913 as mechanical superintendent, became president. He would hold that office until 1946.

James M. McGavin became president of McGavin Bakeries. He will hold that title until his retirement in 1947.

Thomas Plimley, pioneer Vancouver auto dealer, died in Victoria aged about 58. He was born in 1871 in Walsall, Eng. He started a bicycle business in Victoria in 1893, the year he arrived from England. He sold the first car in Victoria, a tiller-steered Oldsmobile, in 1901. His wife Rhoda was the first woman driver in Victoria. Plimley sold the Swift, Coventry, Humber, Rover, two-cylinder Buick and the air-cooled Franklin. Plimley Motors on Howe Street was one of B.C.'s largest dealerships. His grandson Basil (born June 21, 1924 in Victoria) was one of the few third-generation executives of a B.C. business. The Plimley companies closed in 1991, after 98 years.

United Church minister Andrew Roddan is appointed to Vancouver's First United Church, "the church of the open door." Roddan was an early advocate of low rent and housing projects in the East End, welfare services for the poor and a fresh air camp on Gambier Island. He will become locally prominent, partly because of his radio sermons.

The long-sought-after Pacific Highway neared approval, and Canada and the State of Washington agreed this year to place the proposed highway and the port of entry near the Peace Arch. This is a rare, perhaps unique, example of a major highway being placed to provide access to a public memorial.

Peter Righter died at age 77. He was the man at the throttle when locomotive #374 brought the first Canadian Pacific Railway passenger train into Vancouver May 23, 1887. He was stationed in Port Moody in 1887, so his historic journey was rather short! Righter had worked for the CPR since the early 1870s when he arrived in Montreal from his native New Jersey. By 1881 he was working on the railway's western division out of Winnipeg. For several years after his 1887 adventure, Righter served on the CPR line between Vancouver and Kamloops. In 1901, at age 49, an injury forced him to retire. In 1918, at age 66, he married. He was survived by his wife and a daughter.

Ben Wosk, future furniture merchant, born March 19, 1913 in Vradiavka, Russia, arrived at Vancouver in 1929 from Russia with his family.

Arrow Transportation Systems Inc. was incorporated.

After an astonishing 42 years as chief of the Vancouver Fire Department, J.H. Carlisle retired. He was succeeded as chief by C.W. Thompson.

Annie Jamieson was first elected to the Vancouver School Board. She would be elected again and again, served to 1946. An elementary school in Vancouver is named for her.

The head office of the Workman’s Compensation Board (it was still called that then) moved from 402 Pender Street to 411 Dunsmuir. That latter building is occupied today by a seniors’ services building.

Popeye, the Sailor Man, made his first appearance.

Kodak made its first 16 mm film.

The Lady Van, a racing yacht affiliated with the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club won the 1929 Lipton Cup, defeating a Seattle crew. See 1928 for more detail on the boat.

Charles Montgomery Tate, Methodist missionary, celebrated the 50th anniversary of his service as a Methodist priest. He was a missionary to the first church in Vancouver built by Native residents (1876). Tate was affiliated with St. Andrews Wesley-United Church.

Here are the Vancouver radio stations listed in the city directory for 1929:

CHLS Province Commercial, 198 West Hastings

CJOR Commercial Broadcasting Service, 212-1040 West Georgia

CKCD Vancouver Daily Province, 198 West Hastings

CKFC Radio Station, West 12th Avenue at Hemlock

CKMO Sprott Shaw 336 West Hastings

CKWX Sparks Co., 801 West Georgia

CNRV Canadian National Railways, 1150 Main Street

A 1929 Oakland 4 Door Sedan All American 6
1929 Oakland 4 Door Sedan
All American 6


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A disputer race!
A disputed race!
[Click image to enlarge]

Percy Williams and Eddie Tolan at the  finish line.












































































Win ston Churchill visits BC
Winston Churchill in London in April of 1929 heading for his last speech as chancellor of the exchequer. Five months later he will visit British Columbia.















































































A CPR "Hudson" locomotive
A CPR "Hudson" locomotive. (This is actually a 1939 shot, with the Marine Building on the right, but we include it here so you can see why railway buffs admire these big, beautiful and powerful engines.) B.C. Archives Photo




































































































The Holden Building
The Holden Building
(Photo: Jason Vanderhill)