- 1884] [1885 - 1891] [1892
[1900 - 1905] [1906
- 1908]  
  
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January 10 Laurence J. Peter, writer, died
in Palos Verdes, California, aged 70. Dr. Laurence Johnston Peter
was born in Vancouver September 16, 1919 and might have toiled forever
in obscurity as a teacher at UBC if he hadnt bumped into Vancouver
writer Raymond Hull in the Metro Theatre. They were standing in
the lobby during an intermission of an amateur production, and Hullwho
didnt know Petercasually commented that the production
was a failure. Peter responded with an observation that people in
any hierarchy invariably rise to their level of incompetence.
The result of that lobby conversation, struck up
so casually, was the best-selling book that has ever come out of
Ray Hull was intrigued by that line of Peters,
and collaborated with him on a book they called The Peter Principle.
A satire on corporate structure, it was rejected by more than 20
publishers before it was finally accepted by William Morrow &
Co. in 1969, and went on to sell more than eight million copiestranslated
into more than 20 languages. The central idea of the book is encapsulated
in a phrase still in use today: In a hierarchy, every employee
tends to rise to his level of incompetence.
After the book took off, Peter moved to southern
California to teach and write more books.
He had a gift for phrase making: Television
has changed the American child from an irresistible force into an
immovable object.Going to church does not make you a
Christian anymore than going to the garage makes you a car.
January 15 VIA Rail cut half of its passenger
network. Included in these cuts was a decision to run just one transcontinental
train between Toronto and Vancouver via CNs route through
Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Edmonton and Jasper.
January 21 Elod Macskasy, mathematics teacher
and chess player, died in Vancouver. He was born in Hungary April
17, 1919, came to Vancouver in 1956. Wrote Nathan Divinsky, a friend
and fellow chess enthusiast, He taught mathematics at UBC
for over 30 years, and was B.C.'s top chess player for most of that
time. He won the Canadian Open Championship in 1958 and had a great
influence on all the young B.C. chess players. He played on a number
of Canadian Olympic chess teams, and always with distinction. In
the late 50s and early 60s, he often could be found
at the old Heidelberg Restaurant on Robsonstrasse, the hangout for
European immigrants. Macskasy was a gentle, artistic man, a wonderful
Thanks to the generous support of the UBC Department
of Mathematics, the inaugural Macskasy Memorial chess tournament
would be held in 2005 in the same building where Prof. Macskasy
worked. There is an excellent illustrated reminiscence by his friends
of Macskasy here.
February 8 Richard Loney (famous for singing
O Canada at Canucks games) sang TWO versions of the national
anthem at a meeting of the Canadian Club in Vancouver. The first
one Loney sang had words written in 1909 by a Vancouver banker named
Ewing Buchan, a version that had gained a lot of popularity those
many decades ago . . . but was eventually beaten out by the R.S.
Weir version we know today. Loney sang the Weir version to close
the meeting. The first public singing of the Buchan version of O
Canada took place at a luncheon meeting of The Canadian Club
in Vancouver on February 9th, 1910.
For more, see the article on O Canada! on
our Archives page.
March 13 The last two strands of a fibre-optic
network were fused together in Vancouver, completing the longest
land-based network of its kind in the world: more than 7,000 km
from coast to coast. The network was built by the ten member telephone
companies of Telecom Canada, including B.C. Tel (now Telus). It
was the first and only system in the country capable of transmitting
voice, data and video communication all on one network. (It was
claimed the entire Encyclopaedia Britannica could be sent across
Canada in less than a second.)
Also March 13 Steve Woodman, entertainer,
died in Vancouver, aged 62. Stephen Francis Woodman was born August
24, 1927 in Saskatoon, Sask. The Vancouver Broadcasters website
tells us: Announcer CJCA, CFRN and CKUA Edmonton early 1950s;
announcer/narrator CBC Montreal 1956-58 including voice of Miss
Juggs, narrator In The Story Book 1957 and host Stevie-O 1958; with
co-host Keith Rich: Woodman & Rich mornings CKWX Vancouver 1960-61,
p.m. drive CKEY Toronto 1961, Montreal and WNBC New York; Los Angeles;
p.m. drive CKWX 1969-73.
Woodman was known as the man of 1,000 voices
on popular radio and TV shows from CKUA Edmonton to WNBC New York.
Woodman was the first Ronald McDonald in L.A., where he hosted a
TV show and performed in movies and award-winning commercials with
the legendary Mel Blanc. He moved to Vancouver in 1971. He was one
of the cast of CBCs Dr. Bundolos Pandemonium Medicine
Show, recorded live at UBC's student union building. He hosted CKWX's
Steve's Place and Vancouver Variety Club telethons. After a 1974
telethon, a car accident on black ice in Delta nearly took his life
and ended his career.
March 19 The first full day of operation of
the SkyBridge, built to carry the SkyTrain across the Fraser to
Surrey. The $28 million transit-only structure was built by Kerkhoff
Bridge and Industrial Division Ltd., of Chilliwack, and Hyundai
Engineering and Construction Division Co. Ltd. of Korea. Construction
had started October 28, 1987.
The 616-metre- (2,020 feet) long structure was part
of a $179 million, 3.1 kilometre SkyTrain extension. It is set aslant
the Fraser River to ease the curve coming from New Westminster.
The bridge, which carries trains 50 metres above the Fraser, is
the world's longest cable-stayed bridge designed solely for rapid
transit. There are two tracks, enabling SkyTrains to pass on the
bridge. The 104 deck sections were built in Richmond, barged up
the Fraser and then lifted into place by heavy equipment. Thirty-five
thousand cubic metres of concrete (4,000 truckloads), 13.5 kilometres
of stay cables and 13 kilometres of steel pilings were used in the
construction. The bridges two towers are each 123 metres (404
Spring The 1990 inductees into the Vancouver
Board of Trade Hall of Fame (awarded to companies or organizations
active in the city for 100 years) were:
- Vancouver General Hospital
- Bull, Housser & Tupper
- Edward Chapman
- BC Transit
April 11 Phyllis Munday, mountaineer, died
in Nanaimo, aged about 95. She was born Phyllis James in Ceylon
(Sri Lanka) in 1895. (We have also seen 1894.) She came to Vancouver
in 1901, climbed Grouse Mountain at age 10. With her husband
Don Munday, writes Constance Brissenden, she did early
backbreaking explorations of B.C. coastal mountains, notably Mt.
Waddington. She made many first ascents of highest peaks in Coast
Range. She was the first woman to climb Mt. Robson (1924). A Girl
Guider from 1910 to 1945, she began Vancouver's first company (1910)
with her mother. In 1924 she founded the Lone Guides for girls in
isolated areas. After retiring, she was named B.C.'s woodcraft and
nature advisor. She was awarded the Bronze Cross for carrying an
injured man down Grouse Mountain. Phyllis Munday was made a Member
of the Order of Canada in 1975. On August 15, 1998 a stamp
commemorating her was issued.
The Phyl Munday Nature House in Lighthouse Park is
maintained by volunteers in her memory. In 1948 Don Munday published
The Unknown Mountain to chronicle their adventures. The book was
reprinted in 1993 by Coyote Books in an expanded version that included
Beyond the Unknown Mountain by Angus M. Gunn. Don Munday died in
April 15 The Canada Customs building at the
Pacific Highway border crossing was closed for a few hours for safety
checks after earthquake tremors shook it. There was minimal damage.
April 20 Bryan Adams is named a member of
the Order of Canada. The Orders citation reads: One
of Canada's most successful recording artists and multi-Juno award
winner, this international rock super-star has made enormous contributions
to the pop music industry, for helping to develop an infrastructure
to propel other Canadian artists to the of the charts. He is a positive
influence on young people who has not become jaded by his success
but rather has used it to support social change and worthy causes
from famine relief to human rights.
In May of 1998 Adams will be promoted within the
Order to the rank of Officer.
April 27 Chunky Woodward, retailer,
died in Vancouver, aged 66. Charles Nanby Wynn Woodward was born
March 23, 1924 in Vancouver. Wrote Constance Brissenden: He
was the grandson of Charles A. Woodward, who founded the store,
and son of W.C. Woodward. He fought in the Second World War with
the 12th Manitoba Dragoons. In 1946 Chunky joined the family company.
In October 1956 he was named president of Woodward's B.C. and Alberta
chain. He was involved in the B.C. Place Stadium and the Whistler
Mountain developments. He worked with horses at his 220,000-hectare
Douglas Lake ranch and established rodeo circuits across Western
Canada. He received the W.A.C. Bennett Award for sports contributions
from the B.C. Sports Hall of Fame in 1986. He resigned as Woodward's
president in 1988. The firm was purchased by The Bay in 1993.
May 12 Roedde House Museum opened at 1415
Barclay Street. This restored 1893 house was built for Gustav and
Mathilda Roedde. Their website
says, in part, Work on the interior of Roedde House was lengthy
and painstaking, with faithful attention to detail gleaned from
historical records of contemporary houses, from consultation with
surviving members of the Roedde family and from the process of stripping
paint and wallpaper from century-old walls to discover the original
colours and finishings. The house was restored and authentically
furnished with all the accoutrements of middle-class life in the
1890s. Most recently, the restoration of the second floor of the
museum two children's bedrooms and Matilda's sewing room
was completed in March of 2000.
Janet Bingham has written (1996) More Than a House:
The Story of Roedde House and Barclay Heritage Square, a history
of this charming attraction and the historical compound on which
May 29 The Hongkong Bank (now HSBC Bank Canada)
bought Lloyds Bank Canada. With its purchase May 20, 1988 of Midland
Bank Canada the bank added nearly $5 billion in assets and 53 new
branches, mainly in Ontario and Quebec.
June 6 Marianne Linnell, civic leader, died
in Vancouver, aged about 76. She was born, writes Constance
Brissenden, in 1914 in Calgary. A Vancouver NPA alderman,
first elected in 1961, she served five terms to 1974. She was the
only woman member of Canada's Centennial Commission. She chaired
many committees from the Queen Elizabeth Theatre to sewers. In 1963,
as chair of the B.C. Aviation Council, she banned backyard burning.
She rejected Social Credit and ran as MLA for the Conservatives
(Vancouver-Point Grey, 1972) but was defeated by Garde Gardom. A
spokesperson for small business, municipal affairs and that
forgotten individual, the housewife, she was described as
more rare steak than asparagus souffle.
June 21 Among recipients of the Order of British
Columbia this year:
- Erwin Swangard, one of Canada's best known and most widely travelled
- Jack Shadbolt, long recognized as an artist of international
stature, but whose work has always spoken with a West Coast accent.
His images of our landscape transformed through his artistic vision
have had a major influence on the development of Canadian painting.
- Robert G. Rogers. Soldier, forest industry executive and BC
Lieutenant-Governor from 1993 to 1998.
- Leslie Peterson, a Vancouver lawyer and the provinces
attorney general from 1968 to 1972.
- Jim Pattison, described as a uniquely Canadian entrepreneur.
- Oscar Orr, a soldier, lawyer, magistrate and war-crimes trial
prosecutor. He was 98 at the time of his induction.
- Dr. Margaret Ormsby, the dean of BC historians. Her British
Columbia: a History (1964) is a standard work.
- Nathan Nemetz. "He has served British Columbia with dedication
and distinction as a mediator, arbitrator and judicial administrator."
He was made a Justice of the Supreme Court of B.C. in 1963 and
a Justice of the Court of Appeal in 1968.
- Grace McInnis, an extraordinary Member of Parliament and social
- Anne MacDonald, whose accomplishments include the establishment
of Presentation Hours Arts Centre in North Vancouver, one of the
finest community art centres in the Province. She was also responsible
for the preservation of St. John's Church and giving it new life
as a recital hall appropriately called Anne MacDonald Hall.
- Robert H. Lee, philanthropist and business leader. His
stature in the business community includes appointments as trustee
of the Bank of British Columbia, a directorship of the Real Estate
Institute of Canada and of the Port Authority of Vancouver.
Walter Koerner, founder with his brothers of the Alaska
Pine and Cellulose Company, benefactor to the University of British
Columbia and co-founder of the Koerner Foundation.
- Rick Hansen. He exemplifies the triumph of determination
over personal tragedy. He thereby has set, for all British Columbians,
the highest standard of individual accomplishment in the face
- Gurdev Gill, a pioneer of the Indo-Canadian community in British
Columbia. He was the first Indo-Canadian to graduate with a medical
degree from the University of British Columbia and the first Indo-Canadian
to practice medicine in Canada.
- Lori Fung, who capped her brilliant athletic career with the
distinction of winning the first Gold Medal ever in rhythmic gymnastics
at the 1984 Olympic Games.
- Helmut Eppich, who with his twin brother Hugo established EBCO
Industries Limited. The company is a great success story,
having grown from a small tool and die shop into a multi-faceted
group of companies engaged in heavy equipment manufacturing, high-tech,
sophisticated computer data collection systems and aerospace technology.
- Joseph Cohen, a successful businessman who has become
an outstanding philanthropist locally, nationally and internationally.
A highly respected leader, he has supported and raised millions
of dollars for a variety of worthy causes.
- Dr. David Boyes, who built the Cancer Control Agency of British
Columbia into a world-class institute.
- Henry Bell-Irving, decorated soldier, and Lieutenant-Governor
of BC from 1978 to 1983.
- Bryan Adams. With album sales exceeding 10 million, Bryan
Adams has established himself as one of the world's most successful
music talents. His schedule of concerts which takes him around
the world is frenetic. He has performed several times to live
audiences in excess of 100,000 and to millions on television.
A group portrait of the 1990 recipients can be seen
The same website has short biographical sketches of the Orders
June 29 Tom Hawthorn had an interesting article
in the Province today on the change ringing of
the bells of Holy Rosary Cathedral. The first peal from the eight
bells of Holy Rosary Cathedral, he informed us, occurred July 1,
1911. It was also the first peal in Canada of 5,000 changes or more
without a break. It took three hours. The bells were cast in France.
They were delivered to the church in 1900. The brass bells, named
after the Seven Sacraments, were not tuned to a scale. They
were reshipped to a foundry in Briston, England, where some were
melted and recast to complete a full octave of eight bells. The
heaviest, Hawthorn wrote, is an 813-kilogram (1,792-pound)
tenor . . .
A very interesting Wikipedia article
on change ringing describes it as the art of ringing
a set of tuned bells in a series of mathematical patterns called
'changes' without attempting to ring a conventional tune.
July 21 Tom Alsbury, former Vancouver mayor
(1959-1962), died, aged about 86. He was the first mayor born in
the 20th century. Albert Thomas Alsbury was born in 1904 in Edinburgh.
Wrote Donna-Jean McKinnon in The Greater Vancouver Book:
Alsbury gained notoriety with his policy of closing Board
of Administration meetings to the public, saying he had no
intention of taking a second look at the policy. Despite his
progressive goals and humanitarian interests, (he'd worked for the
CCF for 24 years before resigning to run for mayor), his abrasive,
hard-nosed personal style alienated many would-be supporters and
eventually led the Non-Partisan Association (NPA) to reject his
candidacy for the mayoralty term of 1963-64. He later became a lively
radio commentator on civic and provincial affairs, and became involved
in improving the lot of senior citizens.
August 4 20,000 people marched into B.C. Place
Stadium for the opening ceremonies of Celebration 90: Gay
Games III and Cultural Festival. Celebration 90,
say its organizers, was much more than a tourist bonanza for
the local economy ($15 million, according to some estimates); it
was also the world's largest sporting and cultural event that year
with 8,500 participants in 29 sports and 14 cultural events.
Wrote Daniel Gawthrop in The Greater Vancouver
Book: For Vancouver gays and lesbians, the Games also
marked a turning point that would have a rippling effect across
the country. With a single event, queer culture became
more visible in politics, media, entertainment and advertising than
ever before. This would have been unthinkable ten years earlier,
when Vancouver city council voted down a COPE proposal to proclaim
Gay Unity Week.
August 23 The Surrey campus of Kwantlen College
officially opened. There is a description of the opening, and a
The old Surrey campus closed for good, and several divisions of
Kwantlen's Newton campus also moved to the new site.
August Designated Schedule A heritage structures
- 117 West 10th, built in 1895
- 140 West 10th, built in 1910
- 144 West 10th, built in 1894
- 148 West 10th, built in 1908
- 150 West 10th, built in 1907
- 156 West 10th, built in 1894
- 2953-55 Ontario Street, built in 1907
- 989 Bute Street, built in 1899
- 1235 Nelson Street, built in 1931
The West 10th locations are the famous Davis
houses, buildings beautifully and carefully restored by the
John Davis family.
Designated a Schedule B heritage structures was:
- Kensington Place, 1386 Nicola, built in 1912
September 2 The Vancouver Indy began this
year. The citys choked downtown streets, wrote
Gordon McIntyre in The Greater Vancouver Book, had
never seen anything like it. Methanol-propelled Indy racing cars
made their debut in Vancouver's commercial core in the summer of
1990, zipping along residential lanes, through long shadows thrown
by office towers and under SkyTrain rails at speeds of up to 370
kilometres per hour (230 m.p.h.).
Many downtown and West End residents weren't
impressedthree days of high-pitched hell that gave them an
idea of what it must be like to live beside an airport runway. But
tourism and economic officials were gleeful: millions of people
worldwide watching the race live, giving Vancouver free advertising
the tourism board couldn't afford: $25 million in economic spinoff
pumped into local coffers; 25,000 out-of-town visitors.
By 1996 the event would draw more than 70,000 people
to race day Sunday and more than 170,000 in total for the three
days of practice qualifying and racing.
Roughly speaking, McIntyre continued,
the boomerang-shaped course is 2.65 kilometres long. The cars
drive clockwise, taking about 50 seconds to complete a lap (10 or
11 corners) and average about 160 kmh on a dry, sunny day.
It takes 340 truckloads of asphalt (5,000 tonnes)
to make the track, which is ringed by 2,000 steel-reinforced concrete
barriers, each 12-feet long, 2.5 feet high, two feet wide and weighing
7,000 pounds. There's also 10,000 feet of 10-foot-high chain link
fence to prevent debris from crashing cars from flying into the
stands, and 1,600 feet of tires stacked five-high to help keep drivers
from getting injured in a crash.
The IndyCar vehicles themselves are open-wheel
race cars powered by turbo-charged engines that produce 800 horsepower
with top speeds of 370 kmh. The chassis, made by two English companies
unless a race team is rich enough to build its own from scratch,
cost more than $500,000, and that's without extras. For your half
mill, you get the body, suspension and steering systems, and aerodynamic
wings. You don't get an engine. You don't even get a dashboard,
tires, electronics or turbocharger. You do get a 40-gallon fuel
tank, but then the cars only average 1.8 miles per gallon.
The Vancouver course would become notorious among
drivers. It was short, narrow and had tight turns, making it extremely
hard to pass.
The 1990 event got off to a tragic start. In the
inaugural race September 2, volunteer worker Jean Patrick Hein was
killed when struck by the car driven by Willy T. Ribbs. Heir had
jumped on the track to push the stalled car of Vancouver driver
Ross Bentley in a tight corner known as a chicane. Ribbs didn't
have time to see Hein on the track when he rounded the tight turn.
September Dr. Peter, (Dr. Peter
William Jepson-Young) began a weekly diary of his AIDS illness on
the CBC evening news. Until his death, writes Constance
Brissenden, he continued to educate viewers, becoming Canada's
leading HIV/AIDS spokesperson. The documentary of these diaries,
The Broadcast Tapes of Dr. Peter, won many awards including
an Academy Award nomination. He died November 15, 1992. The
story of his life was told in Affirmation: The AIDS Odyssey of
Dr. Peter, by Daniel Gawthrop.
September Designated Schedule A heritage structures
- 2967 West 42nd, built in 1915
- The Fee House, at 1119 Broughton, built in 1905. (Weve
also seen 1904; this was the home of the prominent Vancouver architect,
October 16 The District of North Vancouver
was granted its coat of arms. It was designed by Robert Watt, the
Chief Herald of Canada working with the Centennial Committee
and with comments from District Council.
Uniquely among the existing coats of arms in
the Region, Watt wrote, the shield of the District is
highly stylized, almost abstract. The District landscape is symbolized
with the snow-capped forested mountains beneath a blue sky and the
curving lines of the mountain streams and rivers flowing down to
meet the waters of the harbor. The crest is a 19th century sailing
ship, representing sea-going commerce and recalling the ships shown
on the first corporate seal. The ship flies two flags, the ensign
in use by Canadian merchant ships at the time of incorporation in
1891 and a special pennant in the District colors of blue, white
and green. The silver bear and deer represent the riches of the
Districts natural environment entrusted to citizens for preservation.
The representation of the Salish salmon in
gold honors the First Peoples. The motto is Montes Rivique Nobis
Inspirant, The Mountains and Their Streams are our Inspiration.
It was developed by the writer and translated by Graham L. Anderson.
October 22 Western Star Trucks Holdings Ltd.
was incorporated under that name in Abbotsford. (The company started
in 1957 in Cleveland, Ohio). They built heavy-duty trucks for the
world market at their facility in Kelowna, and built transit buses
in Ontario and New York state. In 2002 they would move their operations
to Portland, Oregon.
November 7 The British Columbia Entertainment
Hall of Fame began63 years to the day after the Orpheum Theatre
began. More than 100 local entertainers are honored with photographs
in the theatre, and plaques on the Granville Street sidewalk. The
opening ceremony paid special tribute to the late Ivan Ackery, who
was manager of the Orpheum from 1935 to 1969. He was born Ivor Frederick
Wilson Ackery in Bristol, England on October 30, 1899. In later
years hed change the Ivor to Ivan because thats what
everybody in Vancouver called him, anyway. A complete roster of
the Hall of Fame can be seen here.
November 8 Sam Bass, pharmacist, died in Vancouver,
aged 75. He was born April 25, 1915, on a farm near Winnipeg. He
was the son of immigrant farmers from the Kiev region of the Ukraine.
Sam and his brother Jack both became pharmacists, and brother Paul
received a PhD in pharmacology. Sam graduated from U. of Manitoba
in 1939. After serving in the Second World War as an RCAF pharmacist,
he was en route to California when he changed his mind and settled
in Vancouver. In 1945, with a loan, he bought Schoff's Drug Store
at Main and Union and renamed it London Drugs. A pioneer in his
field, he created the first modern drug store in B.C. and was the
first pharmacy discounter. Bass was a strong supporter of Jewish
charities and community affairs. He took his profit in pennies.
Today, the London
Drugs chainentirely Canadian-ownedhas 63
stores and more than 6,000 employees. They are the sponsors of the
1945 chapter in the forthcoming The History of Metropolitan Vancouver.
November 19 On the occasion of Douglas College's
20th anniversary, all 18 babies born at Maple Ridge, Burnaby, and
Royal Columbian Hospitals today, Douglas Day, received Douglas College
November Close to 70 percent of Vancouvers
voters endorsed capital spending for a new library facility, a capital
fund of about $36 million.
Also in 1990
We have a hunch that Jack Bell will not be best remembered
for the business ventures (including peat-harvesting technology)
that made him a millionaire many times over, but for his imaginative
philanthropy. UBC gave him an honorary degree this year, said he
was a man whose heart is in the right place. The Jack
Bell Foundation started the Vanpool/Carpool Program to reduce pollution
and traffic congestion. He donated $1 million to the construction
of the First Nations Longhouse at UBC, gave $4 million toward a
research centre and gerontology unit at VGH, gave money to the Downtown
Eastside Womens Centre, etc., etc. He was made a Freeman of
the City of Vancouver, and awarded the Order of British Columbia
in 1991. Bell was born in 1913 in Montreal.
The Mary Pack Arthritis Society Chair in Rheumatology
was established at UBC. It was named for arthritis campaigner Mary
Pack, 86, who devoted her life to arthritis and rheumatism care
and research. She was a teacher of physically handicapped children
for the Vancouver School Board. In 1945, dismayed by lack of services,
she started the B.C. Spastic Society which led to the B.C. Division
of the Canadian Arthritis and Rheumatism Society. She died May 11,
The B.C. Professional Pharmacists' Society, established
in 1968, changed its name to the British Columbia Pharmacy Association
www.bcpharmacy.ca. In 1990 it was a voluntary association of 1,600
member pharmacists and more than 420 member pharmacies (1,067 members
and 158 pharmacies in the Lower Mainland) providing a unified
voice for the concerns of the profession. The association
is distinct from the regulatory body (the College of Pharmacists
Richmond switched from being a municipality to being
Construction began on Cathedral Place and the Canadian
Craft Museum. The latter is gone now, but the striking Cathedral
Place at 925 West Georgia is still with us, in the space once occupied
by the Art Deco Georgia Medical Dental Building. It would open for
business in 1991. Architects: Paul Merrick.
Construction began on the Laurel Pavilion at Vancouver
Hospital and Health Sciences Centre, 855 West 12th Avenue. It would
open in 1992. Architects: Hemingway Nelson.
The Horace G. Barber House at 3846 West 10th Avenue,
designed by Ross A. Lort in 1936, was rehabilitated and added to
by Robert Lemon.
Construction started on Fraser Pointe, at 3023-43
East Kent Avenue North in Vancouver. You read that curious address
correctly. Architects: Howard/Yano. Fraser Pointe was built by VLC
Properties, the City's arm's-length development wing, to provide
rental housing for people with low and moderate incomes. Also starting
construction this year, and just to the east of Fraser Pointe, is
The Phoenix (architect Hughes Baldwin), which would provide 87 market-priced
Construction began on the Bob Prittie Metrotown Burnaby
Library and Civic Square, at 6100 Willingdon Avenue in Burnaby.
James K.M. Cheng Architects. More details when 1991 is added to
the site. (Bob Prittie was mayor of Burnaby from 1969 to 1973.)
New buildings at UBC included:
Botanical Gardens Centre (1990) (Architects: Downs
Archambault) The $1.95 million Centre became a favorite spot for
an increasing number of visitors, some arriving on tour buses. The
project was made possible by the generosity of the Hon. David Lam,
former Lieutenant-Governor of British Columbia, and his wife Marjorie.
Of post-and-beam and lumber frame construction, the three domestic-scale
buildings were linked by a walkway leading to a scenic Lookout.
Child Study Centre (1990) (Architects: Larry McFarland
Architects Ltd.) The focus of activities here was (and is) the study
of early childhood development. Parents brought young children into
a setting similar to a child-care setting, where the children are
the focus of research through observation and other techniques.
The Faculty of Education administers the facility.
The Forest Engineering Research Institute of Canada
(FERIC) building was constructed at UBC. (Architects: Henry Hawthorne
Architect Ltd.) Like the adjacent FORINTEK building, this striking
three-storey facility was constructed to illustrate the use of wood
in large scale/heavy construction buildings. It included the use
of newly-developed wood structural components combined with concrete.
FORINTEK Western Research Facility. (Architects:
The Hulbert Group B.C.) This two-storey forestry research facility
illustrated the use of wood in large scale/heavy construction buildings.
The building was clad with aluminum, faced plywood panels and cedar
siding. It was on land leased by UBC to FORINTEK and the Forest
Engineering Research Institute of Canada (FERIC).
Vancouver Vocational Institute changed its name.
It was now the City Centre campus of Vancouver Community College.
The Cancer Control Agency of BC changed its name
to the BC Cancer Agency.
Vancouver became the first city in Canada to provide
scheduled bus service to people with disabilities. What was then
B.C. Transit began to install wheelchair lifts onto its buses. These
were on scheduled runs throughout the system. It was the first time
wheelchair users could be accommodated on regular buses. (Trolley
buses never had them.) Today, the newest trolley buses ordered by
TransLink are all low-floor with ramps, and the system will be fully
accessible some time in 2007.
In 1990, the total prison inmate population for all
of the Lower Mainland's federal detention facilities was 1,990.
A study showed that Vancouver was now North America's
third largest film production centre, surpassed only by Los Angeles
and New York.
Movie historian and reviewer Michael Walsh had this
to say about locally made movies released in 1990:
Terminal City Ricochet (director Zale Dalen)
Full-volume rock music and a newsboy's rebellion contribute to the
chaos in this vision of urban derangement designed for inner city
The Russia House (director: Fred Schepisi)
Though most of this espionage thriller was filmed on actual Russian
locations, the key meeting between British and American spymasters
(Sean Connery, Roy Scheider) takes place at a safe house on Bowen
Xtro II (director: Harry Bromley-Davenport)
An American scientist (-Michael Vincent) battles a hideous, violent
thing from another world in an isolated subterranean military research
The Neverending Story II (director: George
Miller) In a sequel to the 1984 original a new Bastian (Jonathan
Brandis) finds the Antiquarian Bookshop still in business.
Look Who's Talking Too (1990: Amy Heckerling)
Another sequel. With two infants to handle the narration, the young
marrieds (Kirstie Alley and John Travolta) experience separation
and a reconciliation.
Matinee (director: Richard Martin) When the
local movie house books a Halloween horror festival, a Fraser Valley
girl (Beatrice Boepple) learns that serial killing runs in her family.
Deep Sleep (director: Patricia Gruben) An
unbalanced West Vancouver girl (Megan Follows) and an east side
bar musician (Damon D'Oliveira) uncover terrible secrets about U.S.-Asian
Short Time (director: Gregg Champion) Thinking
himself terminally ill, a Seattle cop (Dabney Coleman) risks all
in the hope of winning death-in-the-line-of-duty insurance benefits
for his family.
Bird On A Wire (director: John Badham) A real
exercise in illusion, this tale of lovers (Mel Gibson and Goldie
Hawn) on the run has Victoria and Lower Mainland locations doubling
for six different Eastern U.S. cities.
Narrow Margin (director: Peter Hyams) Hired
assassins pursue a U.S. district attorney (Gene Hackman) and a murder
witness (Anne Archer) aboard a Via Rail train in a thriller filmed
on B.C. rail's Howe Sound line.
The movie Bethune was released. Directed by
Vancouvers Philip Borsos, and starring Donald Sutherland,
Helen Mirren, Helen Shaver and Colm Fiore, this was about Dr. Norman
Bethune (1890-1939), who had gone to China in 1938 to provide badly
needed medical services to the Chinese, then fighting Japan. Thanks
to fervent praise from Mao Tse-tung after Bethunes death in
1939 he became a widely revered figure in China.
Bard on the Beach began. It was established,
says its website,
with a mandate to provide Vancouver residents and tourists
with affordable, accessible Shakespearean productions of the finest
quality. The Festival began as an Equity Co-op, funded primarily
by a Canada Council Explorations grant awarded to Artistic Director
and Founder, Christopher Gaze.
The first year's production was A Midsummer Night's
Dream. Gaze has said he got financing from my dentist,
my insurance man, anyone. We raised $36,000 and cleared $1,300 at
the end of the season.
Bard on the Beach is now a fully professional theatre
company, and the productions consistently receive both critical
and audience acclaim. The plays are staged in Vanier Park
on Vancouver's waterfront, in open-ended tents with a spectacular
backdrop of mountains, sea and sky . . . Over the years Bard on
the Beach attendance has grown significantly from 6,000 patrons
in 1990 to nearly 80,000 patrons in 2005.
Christopher Gaze has made an invaluable contribution
to the Vancouver cultural scene.
The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra obtained the services
of a new music director, Sergiu Comissiona. His arrival was described
as a musical rebirth at the VSO. The band,
wrote music reviewer Ray Chatelin, is playing better than
it has in memory, thanks to Comissiona, who is as exacting in the
rehearsal room as he is charming to the public. Comissiona
would lead the orchestra until 2000. He died March 5, 2005 in Oklahoma
Barry Ingham took over Ballet British Columbia after
Patricia Nearys departure, but his tenure was tragically brief:
17 months. He would die in 1992 and be succeeded by John Alleyne.
(Nearys reign was brief, too, just 10 months, but she was
fired by the Ballet BC board who found her, writes Chris Wood in
the Canadian Encyclopedia, sharp-tongued and demanding.)
The Pacific Baroque Orchestra was founded this year
by a group of westcoast musicians experienced in the performance
of classical and baroque music on instruments of the period. Led
by violinist Marc Destrubé, the ensemble not only played
instrumental concerts, but collaborated with choirs. One of the
reasons the Internet has made such an astonishing impact on our
lives is its ability to take you there. The Pacific Baroque Orchestras
lets you listen in on a rehearsal and see the musicians performing.
Its a bracing and beautiful 60 seconds, filmed by Paul Fremes.
An excerpt from the website: Recognizing that
the orchestra's core repertoire hails from a time when virtually
every concert featured premieres of new works, Artistic Director
Marc Destrubé has led the orchestra in workshops and concerts
devoted to new music composed for period instruments. Works commissioned
from composers Linda Catlin Smith, Peter Hannan, Jocelyn Morlock
and Bradshaw Pack have featured prominently in the orchestra's concert
Music Industry Association was incorporated. (Its
called Music BC today.) It is a non-profit society that supports
and promotes the spirit, development and growth of the BC music
community provincially, nationally and internationally. Music BC
provides education, resources, advocacy, opportunities for funding,
networking and a forum for communication.
A Chinatown building that once held a cache of guns
intended for the army of Dr. Sun Yat-Sen burned down this year.
The Chinese leader never received the armaments; they were discovered
when the building burned. See the article on Dr. Sun in our Archives
Among the locally flavored books that appeared in
It's Up to You: Women at UBC in the Early Years
by Lee Stewart, published by the UBC Academic Women's Association.
Theres a description here
from the UBC Press web site. An excerpt: The book profiles
the experience of women at UBC from the founding of the university
early in this century until after the Second World War. Stewart
argues that campaigns to open the university, to start nursing and
home economic programs, to establish the office of dean of women,
and to build women's residences each involved the persistent efforts
of women reformers, and each eventually succeeded.
Collingwood pioneers: memories of a Vancouver
district by Barbara Nielsen, published by Collingwood Pioneers.
Robin Ward's Vancouver by Robin Ward. Excellent
drawings of notable local structures and essays on their historical
and architectural significance. Harbour Publishing.
Vanishing Vancouver by Michael
Kluckner. Published by Whitecap Books. This splendid
book used Kluckners own affectionate watercolors, along with
color and black-and-white photographs, and maps, to look at bygoneor
soon to be bygoneVancouver. 208 pages. It went into two printings,
and in 1991 would be the winner of the Duthie Prize and the City
of Vancouver Book Prize. A rare combination of architectural
history, social history, contemporary politics, art and nostalgia.
Evelyn Lau, 20, won the Milton Acorn Memorial 1990
People's Poetry Award for You Are Not Who You Claim, her
first book of poetry.
The third edition of Easy Hiking Around Vancouver
by Jean Cousins and Heather Robinson appeared.
Peter Ward won the 1990 Certificate of Merit from
the Social Sciences Federation of Canada for White Canada Forever,
his study of anti-Asian attitudes and policies in B.C., named as
one of the top 20 best books written in English in the Social Sciences
during the preceding half century. A UBC history professor, Ward
was also the author of 1990's Courtship, Love and Marriage in
Coquitlam 100 Years: Reflections of the Past:
One Hundred Years of History as Told by the Pioneers Themselves
Who Recall Taming the Tree-filled Wilderness, the Warmth of a Growing
Community, and the Many Cultures Which Formed What Is Now Coquitlam
Published by the District of Coquitlam.
Reflections: one hundred years: a celebration
of the District of North Vancouver's centennial by Chuck Davis.
People like John Linn, Emily Patterson, Walter Draycott, Chief Dan
George, Chief Capilano Joe, song-writing Bentley C. Hilliam, Alfred
Wallace, Captain James van Bramer, Ron Andrews, Karen Magnussen
and others are written about. The book was written in three months
and shows it.
The Pacific Coast League 1903-1988 by Bill
ONeal. One visitor to Amazon.coms site
had this to say: Bill O'Neal's book is well written as it
chronicles the history of the Coast League decade by decade. For
someone like myself who was exposed to Coast League ball for such
a short period of time, Mr. O'Neal's book fills in a lot of the
history that I missed out on. The statistics throughout the book
are impressive and in my opinion the most complete of any book I
have read on the PCL. One other area of the book that I found to
be unique was the section that discusses all of the cities that
had PCL franchises. I didn't realize there were so many. I highly
recommend this book to anyone who is interested in learning more
about the history of the PCL and our baseball heritage on the West
The Greater Vancouver Appointment Book by
Chuck Davis. An idea by PR professional and friend John Keirstead
sparked a book series. Each consisted of 52 stories about Vancouver,
each story facing a page allowing room to write in the weeks
appointments. The stories were taken from Chucks Province
columns. The success of the first book, published by New Star Books,
inspired two sequels. This was the second.
The New Landlords by investigative journalist
and teacher Donald Gutstein examined Asian investment in Canadian
An anonymous donation of $10 million was made to
UBC this year, but someone tattled and it was learned the donation
came from the Chan brothers, Tom and Caleb.
The December 2004 issue of Canadian Business
had a feature on Canadas Rich 100. One of the
articles, by Alex Mlynek, was on the Chan brothers, who had arrived
here in 1987 at the height of what was often referred to as
the Asian invasion. Says Tom, the older of the two:
It created quite a shock to the local culture. There were
some very uncomfortable locals, which is understandable. The
backlash that ensued, Mlynek continues, was on top of
the major adjustments Tom and his wife and kids were prepared for
after they chose to leave densely populated Hong Kong for more
nature and more space. Tom, who was 41 when they arrived,
had visited Vancouver in the '60s and '70s as a student at the University
of California-Berkeley. He returned to the city for Expo 86, a trip
that inspired him and his wife to raise their family there. The
city is so beautiful, the air is fresh, and we think the people
are very friendly, he says.
The brothers started Burrard International Holdings,
a company that develops golf courses and properties. While
they co-own it, Mlynek writes, Caleb (the president)
is in charge of the business side and Tom handles the family's charitable
foundation. Business has been good: the Chans, who rank 58 on the
Rich 100, are worth $615 million. [Remember, site visitors,
this is 16 years ago.]
In 1997 the brothers would finance the building of
the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts at UBC.
Burrard International Holdings, by the way, has won
awards for its buildings. One example is Eugenia Place, at 1919
Beach Avenue, designed by Henriquez & Partners and winner of
a Governor General's Award for Architecture. The handsomely renovated
Burrard Building, headquarters of Chans firm, is another example.
The Chans are major supporters of the Seventh Day Adventist Church.
Speaking of architect Richard Henriquez, he won a
Governor General's Award of Merit for Architecture this year. Born
February 5, 1941 in Anatto Bay, Jamaica, Henriquez work is
often startling, always distinctive, frequently stunning: it includes
the Justice Institute in New Westminister, Eugenia Place (see the
Caleb Chan entry above), the restoration of Sinclair Centre in downtown
Vancouver (the project that won his company and Toby Russell Buckwell
& Partners the 1990 GGs award), the Capilano College Library
and much, much more. There are lots of examples here.
The splendid collection of ceramics donated to the
of Anthropology by Dr. Walter Koerner in 1988 was opened
to the public. The Gallery, says the site, was
an addition to the Museum of Anthropology, accommodating a unique
collection of Czech, Slovakian and Bohemian ceramics and tiles,
the lifetime work of Dr. Walter Koerner. One feature is a 12th-century
oven clad entirely in tiles.
The 600 pieces of rare European ceramics were
collected by Dr. Koerner over almost 80 years, making MOA a unique
ceramic resource in Canada. Some of the pieces are considered to
be the finest in North America, and the collection as a whole is
unique in the world. Now displayed in a new wing, the tranquil Koerner
Ceramics Gallery remains one of Vancouver's best kept secrets.
The Chris Gage Memorial Award was established through
the Bob Smith Scholarship Fund. It was a tribute to the superlatively
skilled Gage, a Regina-born jazz pianist and composer who came to
Vancouver at age 17 and performed here for two decades. He died
in Vancouver in 1964.
In the early 1980s, local Irish Canadians had managed
to start an Irish Centre on Prior Street in Strathcona but the centre
closed its doors this year.
Anne Macdonald, arts advocate, received the YWCA
Woman of Distinction Award for Community Service. See the brief
bio of this very accomplished lady in our Hall of Fame.
Hargate, England-born (April 25, 1910) Barney Pottsa
local entertainer since the 1930sreleased an album titled
Barney Potts LiveJust Barely. Potts, 80, was also inducted
into the British Columbia Entertainment Hall of Fame this year,
for his decades of performing. He led bands in the 1930s in Vancouver
nightspots such as Alma Academy, Happyland, Cinderella Ballroom,
Quadra Club, Mandarin Gardens, Odyssey Room and The Narrows. He
performed in musicals in 1940s, and spent 12 years with Theatre
Under the Stars. Accompanied by his wife, singer Thora Anders (b.
Sept. 12, 1913, Victoria), he played radio and TV (such as a Juliette
special with Robert Goulet), nightclubs and concert halls.
The sale of houses in Vancouver dropped an astonishing
40 per cent from the previous year, would rebound sharply in 1991.
Jon Steeves, a Vancouver computer consultant, had
devised a word game he called MooT (as in a moot question,
because the answers can often be debated) back in 1987. His friends
liked it so much he began to market and sell it this year. Its
still selling more than 16 years later. To learn more about this
excellent, challenging, and sometimes very funny, game go here.
A sample MooT question: Its name was coined by combining
the French words for velvet and hook. What synthetic material is
Comment: Fascinated by the microstructure of bursthey
have hook-like snags that can attach to passing objectsSwiss
engineer George de Mestral invented a synthetic hook-and-eye material.
He named it velours croché, hooked velvet, which eventually
was shortened to velcro.
Another sample: According to the Concise Oxford Dictionary,
its name probably derives from the Sanskrit word for the number
five. What type of drink is it?
Comment: The word punch probably derives
from the Sanskrit panca, five, as the drink properly
had five ingredientssimilarly, the Punjab is the land of the
Jon has written about how MooT was developed. Go
Roberta Bobbie Steen, a tireless promoter
of B.C. and national sporting opportunities for women, became founding
chair and executive director of Promotion Plus, the B.C. organization
for girls and women in sport and physical activity.
Canada Wide Magazines acquired control this year
of the monthly magazine BC Business, launched by Joe Martin in 1972.
Publications launched this year included:
The Globe and Mail's urbane glossy magazine
West. It would be cited as Western Magazine of the Year in
1991, and would die in 1992.
Canada Japan Business Journal, with text in
English and Japanese, this publication appeared six times a year.
Canadian Mill Product News Published 69 times
a year by Baum International Media Ltd.
GRC News A semi-annual free publication from
SFUs Gerontology Research Centre. It published news about
the Centre and senior citizens in BC.
Geist: the Canadian Magazine of Ideas and Culture
Published five times a year by the Geist Foundation, it included
commentaries on literature, society, and the arts.
Independent Senior Published monthly, with
articles of interest for seniors 55 and over.
Logger A bi-monthly trade publication for
the logging industry.
Sacred Fire A poetry magazine published four
times a year.
The Vancouver Board of Trade launched the federal
Debt Clock. It made news right across the country. The clock was
a massive 360-kilogram, 15-by-10-foot computerized calculator that
tracked the rise in federal debt. The clock inspired the Canadian
Taxpayers Association to create similar clocks, with faces for the
provinces of B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan and Ontario.
The clock was designed by the Vancouver architectural
firm Matsuzaki, Wright. It travelled the nation and was even rented
and brought to Ottawa by politicians. It was also located in Vancouver's
Seabus Terminal and at the Hongkong Bank of Canada.
The Vancouver Board of Trade launched another initiative
this year: its Business and the Arts Awards, established to carry
on the successful work initiated by the Vancouver Society for Business
and the Arts. The objective of the Awards is to encourage
the corporate sector's involvement with the arts and to recognize
those businesses that through financial aid, sponsorships, employee
involvement and other corporate services are committed to the arts
Winner this first year in the category Innovation
was Alcan Smelters & Chemicals Limited. Winner for Sustained
SupportMajor Corporation was Richmond Savings Credit Union
and winner for Small Business was Thomas Hobbs Florist.
1990 marked the beginning of a surge in downtown
construction. On average, in the first three years of the 1990s,
a major new office building went up in downtown Vancouver every
84 days. Then the pace would slow: in 1993 there would be just one
new tower (at 111 Dunsmuir), and in 1994 and 1995 there would be
none at all.
Larco Investments purchased Park Royal shopping centre
this year and gave it a $20 million facelift, including new shops,
a fashion galleria and marketplace.
Chanel opened a Vancouver location. Normand Pitre,
president of Chanel Canada, called Vancouver the Canadian
city of the future.
In a sign of the decline of the fishing industry
the Campbell Avenue fisherman's wharf to the east of the B.C. Sugar
Refinery closed down.
By 1990 BC Rails total length of track was
1,387 miles (2,232 km), making it the third largest railway in Canada.
A ban was imposed on leaded gasoline, but according
to B.C. Environment Ministry scientists, computer models of ozone
generation (by vehicles, waste burning, natural gas processing and
the action of hot sunshine) indicate the quality of our air will
change very little during the first decade of the 21st century,
i.e., to 2010.
The City of Vancouver began a composting program.
They supplied residents with subsidized compost bins so organic
waste (otherwise destined for landfills) could be recycled into
a usable soil conditioner. Within five years it had distributed
more than 15,000 compost bins (at $25 each) to householders, diverting
about 3,800 tonnes of organic material annually.
The Blue Box recycling system was adopted in Surrey.
The GVRD and its member municipalities switched to
a policy of buying only recycled motor oil. A study showed that
an estimated five million litres of waste oil was disposed of annually
by do-it-yourselfers in Greater Vancouver.
Vancouver resumed control of Vancouver International
Airport. It would be run by a locally-appointed Vancouver International
Airport Authority that was prepared to put $750 million into the
facilityhalf-a-billion more than Transport Canada had planned
to spend. The authority, Sean Rossiter wrote in The
Greater Vancouver Book, saw the airport expansion not
as a limitless drain on its funds, but as a profitable front door
to Canada from the Pacific Rim.
Arrivals and departures at the airport in 1990 totaled
9,544,300. That was an increase from 1989's 9,143,850, but 1991
would show a dip to 8,996,140.
Norsal, one of the more celebrated boats in
BCs history, sank in Hecate Strait. She was built by Menchions'
Coal Harbour shipyard in 1922 for use by the Powell River Company
executives, sold in 1946 to the J. Gordon Gibson lumbering family.
Gibson changed her name in 1973 to Maui Lu prior to his notable
trip to the Hawaiian Islands. Norsal was sold in 1977 and
operated as a coastal charter vessel until her sinking. (She was
named for Norman and Sally Lang, the children of Norman Lang of
the Powell River Co.)
Weyerhaeuser Canada planted its 50 millionth seedling
A report by the Workers Compensation Board
showed that in 1990 BC had 6.7 injuries per 100 person-years of
work. By 1995 that figure would be lowered to 5.3.
The city purchased the old Children's Hospital in
Marpole and began its restoration as a residence for seniors.
According to the federal census of 1991, the average
household income in Shaughnessy Heights declined by 10 per cent
between 1980 and 1990 from $112,106 to $102,933. (During the same
period, average Vancouver household incomes rose by 4.5 per cent.)
Vancouver began to adopt policies this year to encourage
artwork in publicly accessible spaces. The Public Art Program provides
opportunities for people to experience art in everyday life and
for artists and communities to participate in the design, look and
feel of the city. Check out this site.
Among the art works unveiled locally in 1990:
Placed Upon the Horizon (Casting Shadows)
was placed at 750 Hornby. The artist was Lawrence Weiner, who created
35-cm high yellow-cedar letters, 14' x 42'. Weiner, an American
artist whose work is based on the use of written language as object,
created this installation specifically for the Vancouver Art Gallery.
It was on the upper facade of the gallerys south side.
Untitled painting by Joe Plaskett in the lobby
at 888 Dunsmuir.
Mural at the Four Sisters Housing Co-op on
the eastern edge of Gastown, painted by Richard Tetrault. (Tetrault
also created the Street Performance mural at the Firehall Arts Centre
in 1987, and Summer City Street mural at Carnegie Community Centre
Kamui MintaraPlayground of the Gods
In Burnaby Mountain Park Naburi Toko and Shusei Toko, father and
son of Ainu descent (Japan's aboriginal people), created this wooden
installation. It commemorates 25 years of good will between Burnaby
and its sister city Kushiro, and refers to the Ainu creation myth.
Westwood Motorsport Park, which had opened in Coquitlam
in July 1959it was at the time the only European-style race
track in Canadaclosed.
Mitz Nozaki, who owned the Commodore Bowling Lanes,
retired this year and sold the lanes to Al Rose.
The Arctic Canada Pavilion was opened at the Vancouver
Aquarium. It included a two-million-litre beluga whale pool and
the Jean MacMillan Southam Arctic Gallery examining the beluga habitat.
The Gallery featured sounds of Arctic marine mammals.
1,200 independent truckers protesting their wages
blocked access to the border for freight trucks.
Barnston Island dairy farmers see a water supply
project fail because costs for water supplied from the Indian Reserve
hook-up are more than the farmers will pay.
1990 Chevrolet Corvette
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