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- 1908]  
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You'll note that this year includes events listed under "Also
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January 1 There was a riot in Chinatown as
more than 1,000 Orientals and white men battled savagely
in the unit and 100 blocks East Pender. Police reserves fought for
more than an hour to disperse the mobs before the Fire Department
was called to assist with high-pressure hoses. Cause of the riot
was apparently an altercation between a Chinese taxi driver and
his Occidental passenger. The Chinese allegedly struck the white
man on the head with a hammer.
January 5 The Vancouver Library Board accepted
city council help to reopen the Library's reading room, closed for
most of 1933 from lack of funds.
January 16 As they had done the year before,
the Sun announced that todays paper would be edited
by the staff of the Ubyssey, the student newspaper at UBC.
Staff members of the latter cited: Archie Thompson, John Cornish,
Pat Kerr, Boyd Agnew, Nancy Miles, Norman Hacking (editor-in-chief
of the Ubyssey), Alan Morley, Jack Paul, Darrel Gomery, Zoe
Browne-Clayton and Dick Elson. Alan Morleys name leaps out:
he will write the first (and still, in some ways, the best) Vancouver
history: Vancouver: From Milltown to Metropolis 1961.
January 19 Prime Minister R.B. Bennett spoke
to the Vancouver Board of Trades 47th anniversary dinner at
the Hotel Vancouver. Among his words, Canada is a world example
of successful weathering of this depression. Yeah, right.
January Almost four thousand passengers were
ferried from the city to the Ambleside ferry dock on a single day
in January, 1934. Their destination: the trailhead on Hollyburn
Mountain, popular with skiers and hikers.
February 1 The Vienna Choir Boys performed
in Vancouver. They will appear again in 1935 presented by New York
impresario Sol Hurok.
March 6 Future provincial politician Graham
Lea was born.
March 24 Jack Drainie (more well
known later as John) appeared in a play produced by the Vancouver
Little Theatre Assn. Its Andersons Elizabeth the
Queen. J.V. Clyne played Sir Walter Raleigh.
April 26 Carol Burnett was born.
May 1 Alphonse E. Savard, photographer, born
in 1864 in Quebec City, died in Vancouver, aged about 70. He trained
as a photographer in Quebec City. A commercial portrait photographer,
his studio (Imperial Photo Studio) prospered in Vancouver from 1896
to 1916. He later worked at Britannia Mines.
May 13 Acting Premier A. Wells Gray cut the
ribbon on a 25-bed childrens hospital, opened in 1933 at 250
West 59th Avenue. The official opening ceremony had been delayed
for months by a scarlet fever outbreak.
May 21 The first sod for the construction
of Malkin Bowl in Stanley Park was turned by former mayor and wholesale
food merchant William H. Malkin. The bowl was a gift to the city
from Malkin as a memorial to his late wife Marion, who had died
in 1933. Its formal name is the Marion Malkin Bowl. It replaced
an old circular bandstand which stood on the very same spot,
Malkin recalled in a 1952 interview. So many people were wondering
why we had a village-style bandstand in a beautiful, big-city park
that I decided something must be done about it. The something
was a donation of $8,000, plenty of money in those Depression days.
The shell of the structure is patterned after the famous Hollywood
Bowl. The original stage was 16.5 metres (54 feet) wide.
May 28 The Dionne quintuplets were born in
May 29 Future B.C. premier Bill Vander Zalm
(1986-91) was born in Noordwykerhout, the Netherlands. His family
came to Canada in 1947. His full birth name was Wilhelmus Nicholaas
Theodore Marie Vander Zalm.
May Vancouver boxer Jimmy McLarnin, who had won the
world welterweight championship May 29, 1933, kayoing Young Corbett,
lost it to Barney Ross. He regained it in September, lost it again
in May, 1935.
June 15 Singer Arnie Nelson was born. He was
a child star on CKNW.
June The Fraser Valley Union Library Districtthe
first regional library in North Americawas established with
headquarters in Abbotsford. The per capita tax rate to finance the
system was set at 35 cents annually. The financial hardship for
the young system was offset by an agreement among the participating
communities to provide rent-free space. (In 1950 the rate was raised
to 40 cents.)
July 1 The first United Airlines flight arrived
at the Vancouver Airport. The move brought Vancouver air links with
most of the continent and introduced the first modern airliner,
the all-metal Boeing 247, capable of speeds up to 180 miles an hour.
Airports need airlines to succeed, writer Sean Rossiter
noted in The Greater Vancouver Book, and, as well-planned
and located as Vancouver Airport was, it had no airlines for the
first three years of its opulent, if isolated, existence. It became
jokingly known as Templeton's Farm. . . . It was manager
William Templeton who is said to have exercised some kind of inside
influence in persuading Sewell Hall, United Airlines Seattle
superintendent, to give Vancouver a try.
July 5 Frank (Francis) E. Harrison, former
postmaster, died in Vancouver. He was born February 1, 1861 in Stratford,
Ontario. In 1889 he came to B.C. and opened the Mainland's first
RMS (Railway Mail Service) office. When the Vancouver Post Office
was placed on a city basis in 1895 he was assistant postmaster under
Jonathan Miller. He succeeded R.G. Macpherson as postmaster January
10, 1920 and retired in 1928.
July 8 The first performance of the Vancouver
Symphony Orchestra was held in Malkin Bowl. The performance was
to celebrate the official opening of the bowl. In later years Theatre
Under The Stars (TUTS) would make the Bowl its home. A group called
the Home Gas Orchestra played often there.
July 13 Coquitlam councillor Thomas Douglas
was shot dead at his North Road gas station. Because he was a socialisthe
had run provincially for the United Front, a Socialist partysome
thought the murder had political overtones.
September 28 Journalist Trevor Lautens was
September First radio broadcasts of local
November 17 R.H. Pooley, a Conservative MLA,
made the Provinces front page with a charge that professors
at the University of British Columbia are teaching communism to
our boys and girls . . . Those same professors are flourishing under
the capitalist system. They are paid high salaries, but ask them
to take a 10 per cent cut and they are the first to kick.
UBC president Leonard Klinck said he didn't take Pooley very seriously.
Communism is dealt with, but it is never taught in the sense
that Mr. Pooley means. After all, we can recognize the existence
of a thing without preaching it.
November A newly reconstructed Second Narrows
bridge opened. The span over the real ships' channel,
engineering historian Robert Harris wrote, was rebuilt as
a 85.3-metre lift span, hoisted between two new steel towers. The
new design was more successful; though often hit by shipping, it
was never closed for more than 10 days. Progress called
for an improved crossing. This was done in two stages: on the west
side by a high-level road bridge and by a medium-level rail bridge
on the east side. The old bridge could not compete with the convenience
of the new; it was closed to highway traffic in 1963, and sold to
the CNR for $1. A brief, nicely-illustrated history of the
bridge can be seen at this
December 8 Negotiations were under way for
a central heating plant for the downtown district and
West End to be placed at "the north end of the Cambie Street
bridge." We assumed that referred to today's Central Heat Distribution,
at 720 Beatty, with a heating plant serving the downtown. But no,
CHD didn't start until 1966, and knew nothing of this earlier scheme!
The chief sponsor of the 1934 project, H.A. Flood, told council
that progress is rapidly being made on the scheme, and he
expects to announce soon when work will be started.
December 13 Gerald Grattan Gerry
McGeer, 46, was swept into the mayoralty with the largest lead in
Vancouver history: 25,000 votes out of 44,000 cast. He defeated
L.D. Taylor, the most elected mayor in the citys history.
The McGeer victory put an end to Taylors political career.
Also in 1934
A 20-year-old fellow named Foncie Pulice (the family
pronounces it like the word police) set up a camera
on the sidewalk on Granville Street in downtown Vancouver and began
taking pictures of passersby. Pulice wasnt the only one doing
this at the time. Sidewalk photographers were taking candid shots
of individuals, couples and family and other groups walking by in
many major Canadian cities. Theyd hand them a numbered ticket
with an invitation to drop by their shop later to buy a copy of
the picture. What would make Pulice absolutely unique in this trade
is the length of time he kept at it: 45 years. And for the last
33 years of his career he used the same camera: his Electric-Photo
cameranow preserved at the Vancouver Museumwas as familiar
a local landmark as the Marine Building.
He took pictures on Granville Street, at the Pacific
National Exhibition, in Stanley Park, elsewhere . . . millions
of pictures. Its possible that Foncie Pulice photographed
more people than anybody else in the world.
When I started back in 1934, Foncie recalled
in a Nov. 21, 1979 interview in the Province, there
were six companies in Vancouver, but when we really started to go
was during the war. The public couldnt get film, you see,
so the street photographers were all they had. Servicemen would
come home on leave, theyd have pictures taken. Families would
get together, wed take their picture. At one time, I was taking
4,000 to 5,000 pictures every day.
The PNE gave away a home as part of the first Prize
Home Lottery. This was the first time such a significant prize had
ever been awarded. The prize was valued at more than $5,000 including
home, east Vancouver lot and furnishings (from Eaton's).
Francis William Caulfeild died in London, England,
aged 94. In 1899 he had bought the land between Cypress Creek and
Point Atkinsonan area called Skunk Cove. He renamed it Caulfeild
and began to lay out a village. Shunning the North American grid
where straight streets and avenues intersect at right angles, he
laid out a village of the English type with winding lanes following
the natural contours of the wooded slopes. (A curiosity: he never
lived in B.C., although he visited often, making his last trip in
Howard Rodgers operated a water taxi and rescue boat
from Horseshoe Bay, running mercy missions for the Britannia Mines.
Amsterdam-born Dorothy Gretchen Steeves, 39, one
of the founders of the CCF, was elected as MLA for North Vancouver,
one of seven original CCF members in B.C. She would hold the seat
for 11 years.
Convicts in the B.C. Penitentiary refused to work
unless given wages, then went on a rampage destroying prison property.
It was the first disturbance of any note at the prison. It would
not be the last.
Minnekhada Lodge in Coquitlam was built as a country
retreat and hunting lodge by Eric W. Hamber, later Lt.-Gov. of B.C.
Architectural historian Dr. Harold Kalman has written: Begun
around 1910 as a productive farm, and expanded in the 1930s to become
a country retreat and hunting lodge, this social and architectural
anachronism was conceived on the model of an English stately home,
albeit rusticated by the realities of British Columbia. The Tudor
Revival hunting lodge was built by lumber magnates Eric Hamber and
Aldyen Irene (née Hendry) Hamber, who retained the Sioux
name given to the farm a generation earlier by lumberman Harry Jenkins.
Minnekhada has been home to two Lieutenant-Governors: Eric Hamber
(1936-41) and shipbuilder Colonel Clarence Wallace (1950-55). The
estate has hosted royalty and boasts a royal suite, and Governor-General
Lord Tweedsmuir and his sons played polo here. The area around the
house commands fine views of the Pitt River and retains a Japanese
garden. Minnekhada is now the people's palace, situated within a
regional park that boasts good trails and birdwatching opportunities.
Minnekhada is now managed by GVRD Parks. (The word is a Sioux Indian
name meaning water rattling by.)
A long row of horse chestnut trees was planted on
17th Street in West Vancouver by Boy Scouts to commemorate the visit
from England of Scout leader Lord Baden-Powell.
Berta Marega, sculptor Charles
Maregas wife, died. From that time,
researcher Peggy Imredy wrote, regardless of his commissions
and work, life appeared drained from him.
The Jewish Congress was founded in Vancouver.
The Kiwassa Club of Vancouver was formed by 100 wives
of members of the Kiwanis Club of Vancouver.
St. Peter's Cathedral on Blackwood Street in New
Westminster, built in 1886, was battered beyond repair by a powerful
storm. A new church was planned.
Deaf and blind Charlie Crane enrolled as a special
student at UBC. He proved outstanding in athletics, particularly
Radio station CRCV appeared, headquartered on Station
Street off Main. It had been CNRV, the CNR station, but now it was
run by a new entity called the Canadian Radio Commission, which
in 1936 would change yet again to the CBC, the Canadian Broadcasting
South Italy-born Joe Philliponi (born Filippone),
21, future nightclub owner, who had come to Vancouver in the early
1930s, started Eagle-Time Delivery Systems.
A monthly periodical, Garage & Service Station
News, first appeared.
Fraserview Golf Course opened.
Bobby Jones, considered along with Jack Nicklaus
one of the century's best golf players, visited Vancouver and played
at Shaughnessy Heights Golf Club.
Victoria-born Lynn Patrick, 22, whose name is mostly
associated with hockey, signed with footballs Winnipeg Blue
Bombers this year. In the first game, he set a season record for
the team with a 68-yard touchdown reception.
Jack Short, 25, began his astonishing run of broadcasting
race results over CJOR. (He had started in 1933 on another station.)
"Too tall and too lanky" to succeed as a jockey, he called
nearly 50,000 races at Exhibition Park, broadcast live for CJOR
radio. He invariably signed off his broadcasts with the famous catch
phrase, Adiós amigos! Jack wrapped it up in 1976.
June Roper, a teacher from Rosebud, Texas, settled
in Vancouver after a distinguished career as a dancer in Europe.
She will become an extraordinarily influential dancing teacher here.
Peter Stursberg began his journalism career at the
Victoria Daily Times.
Perth, Australia-born Dorothy Somerset, who had moved
to Vancouver in 1921, began as a director with the University Players'
Club. She would be a prominent theatre figure here for more than
Manitoba-born Ira Dilworth, scholar and broadcaster,
became a popular associate professor of English at UBC. Later, he
will become an influential CBC figure.
Buckinghamshire, England-born Charles Edward Findlater,
who had come to Vancouver in 1918 to teach voice and piano, founded
the Elgar Choir.
Jessie Columbia Hall received Vancouvers Good
Citizen Award. Her long career of volunteerism included working
with the Children's Aid Society, Vancouver Welfare Federation, Women's
Auxiliary of Christ Church and others. During WWI, she provided
supplies for a French field hospital. She was the first woman to
serve as a member of a Vancouver jury. President, Burrard Women's
Conservative Club (1931) and Victorian Order of Nurses.
Helen Gregory MacGill, the first woman to be a judge
in this province, was named to the B.C. board of industrial relations.
Dresden, Ontario-born Mildred Valley Thornton, artist
and art critic, arrived in Vancouver from Saskatchewan. She will
be a force on the local art scene for 25 years.
Lily Alice Lefevre, poet and philanthropist, presented
a $5,000 scholarship and gold medal to UBC in memory of her husband,
Dr. John Matthew Lefevre (1853-1906). They had come to Vancouver
in 1886, when Dr. Lefevre became surgeon general for the CPR's Pacific
Joseph Moore Steves, the second son of William Herbert
Steves, who founded Steveston, died. Joseph Steves developed B.C.'s
largest Holstein herd, supplying milk for Vancouver until the cattle
were sold during the Depression.
A local poet named Alexander Maitland Stephen wrote
the poem Vancouver this year. It was widely anthologized.
Here is an excerpt:
Who can snare the soul of a city
in a butterfly net of words?
Who can melt steel and concrete
into the flowing matrix of song?
Yet there is a word-symbol,
if it can be found,
There is a sign and a password
in the plastic stuff of mind,
an image behind the veil,
that can reveal the meaning of a city.
Nineveh, Babylon, Rome --
the sound of them is an echo in an empty room,
stirring the dust of dead mens bones.
the sound of it is a wave,
breaking on the shores of the future.
Tune in . . .
1934 Chrysler Airflow
- 1884] [1885 - 1891] [1892
[1900 - 1905] [1906
- 1908]