The Burrard Bridge - Monstrosity? (See March 5 entry) [Vancouver
Public Library 12400]
- 1884] [1885 - 1891] [1892
[1900 - 1905] [1906
- 1908]  
  
This year is sponsored.
You'll note that this year includes events listed under "Also
in . . ." These are events for which we don't have a specific
date. If YOU know the
specific date of an event shown there, please
notify us . . . and cite the source! Many thanks!
January 3 The Suns Page One headline
January 4 about the police raid the night before on three local
establishments was great: POLICE OPEN WAR ON NIGHT CLUB DRINKING.
Imagine! People drinking liquor in a nightclub! Next
thing you know, theyll be dancing! Chief Constable Walter
Mulligan warned that his dry squad men were definitely going
to tighten up on liquor drinking in cabarets. Detectives swooped
down on three cabarets and confiscated 13 bottles of liquor from
underneath tables. Five were seized from the Cave Cabaret, two from
the Palomar (one of the men summonsed at the Palomar was well-known
entertainer Fran Dowie), and four more at the Mandarin.
The B.C. Cabaret Owners Association blamed
rabid prohibitionists. These attempted curbs on
drinking, they added, will only drive drink into vice
dens, autos and hotel rooms.
Much has changed in 56 years, and we can thank the
officials of the COA, among others, for that. Figuratively
rubbing their hands, the Sun reported, the COA said
Good! At last we can fight a test case out in the open over
B.C.s ridiculous liquor laws.
January 10 RCA Records introduced a new format
for music recordings: seven-inch singles that ran at 45 rpm. The
new records came with a large centre hole, easier to mount on the
spindle. New "drop-changer" players could play these records
for 50 minutes without interruption.
January 16 Streetcar service on the Kitsilano
Beach run was discontinued by BC Electric.
January The second Hotel Vancouver, since
1914 one of the citys most outstanding landmarks, was torn
down. It was the largest wrecking job ever undertaken in the British
Commonwealth. There is no alternative, read newspaper
reports, as no hotel operator is willing to buy, rehabilitate
and operate it at his own risk.
January 29 Harry Duker, Chairman of the Vancouver
Tourist Association fund-raising campaign, told the Sun he
was aiming for $75,000 in operating funds for 1949. During
the year (1948) 70,000 persons came to the associations headquarters
at Georgia and Seymour for information . . .
February 12 Peter Ladner, Vancouver city councillor
and vice-president of the Business in Vancouver Media Group, was
born. Business in Vancouver is the successful weekly business
March 5 Burrard Bridge engineer Major J.R.
Grant reacted to remarks by a local art teacher that the bridge
(opened in 1932) was a monstrosity. F.A. Ames of the
Vancouver Art School had told a Lions Club gathering that the bridge
pillars were ashcans with a gasoline station on top.
Grant explained, said the Sun, that the pillars were
built as large as they are on request from the harbormaster, who
wanted them prominent to avoid a navigation hazard at the False
Creek entrance. He went on to explain that the large base
of the piers was required because at the time (1932) the B.C. Electric
Railway had planned running a railway on a lower deck beneath the
roadway. That railway will never go in now, Grant said.
The BCER is no longer interested. He pooh-poohed Ames
criticisms, said hed rather trust the "esthetic ideas
of the engineer.
March 23 The Vancouver Rose Growers
Society was formed.
March 29 The sale of margarine was approved,
but, thanks to lobbying by the dairy industry (which feared, rightly,
the new product would hurt sales of butter), it had to be sold white,
April 1 Newfoundland entered Confederation.
Also April 1 Native Indian people got the
vote in BC. On-reserve residents will not get the federal vote until
1960. BC also gave its Japanese citizens the vote.
April 6 The Princess Marguerite arrived
April 7 The Rodgers and Hammerstein musical
South Pacific premiered on Broadway.
April 22 Margarine went on sale. It was packed,
colored white, into plastic bags. Included inside the bag: a small
pill of food coloring which had to be popped open inside the bag
by the consumer and kneaded into the margarine to make it yellow.
May 31 The new Labour Temple opened on West
June 15 Fire on the False Creek waterfront
caused $1 million damage.
June 25 Sod was turned for Woodwards
Department store at Park Royal. See December 3.
July 1 Canadian Pacific Airlines launched
its inaugural flight to Sydney, Australia. Then, on the 13th, they
carried the first all-Canadian airmail to Australia.
July 23 The Province, in a story on
local tourist activity, ran a photo of travel advisors
Doris Young, Alyse Francis and Anita Zanon. They reply to
all queries, even stupid ones, with courteous, sensible information.
Hedley Hipwell, president of the Vancouver Tourist Association,
referred to Vancouvers $30 million tourist industry
. . . The VTAs travel advisors, Hipwell explained, deal
with from 600 to 700 visitors a day. In 1948 they answered
120,000 phone calls. In 1927 there were 24,000 . . . Last year,
the girls gave out 160,000 travel folders and maps, answered 11,400
direct and 50,000 letters from other tourist bureaus, 8,000 coupon
advertisement enquiries. They wrote invitations to 9,000 convention
prospects . . . One of VTAs biggest jobs is finding rooms
for folk who arrive in Vancouver without reservations. It takes
the full time of one advisor to find accommodation for them.
August 12 Rick Antonson, the president and
CEO of Tourism Vancouver, was born in Vancouver. Tourism Vancouver,
representing 1,200 member businesses, is responsible for marketing
Greater Vancouver to the world. Antonson is an irrepressible promoter
of the citys attractions and a tireless reminder that tourism
is a major economic force here. See this
August 15 Kingsway was re-opened as a six-lane
highway between Vancouver and New Westminster. It was described
as strikingly handsome in the newspapers.
Also August 15 Radios Jack Cullen, who
was switching stations, did his last show at CKMO and his first
show at CKNW at the same time. He had taped his MO show earlier,
did his NW show live.
August 16 Margaret Mitchell, the author of
Gone With The Wind, was fatally injured when hit by a speeding
taxicab near her home in Atlanta, Georgia.
August 21 The biggest quake in BCs recorded
history, 8.1 on the Richter scale, occurred off the Queen Charlotte
Islands. Its major force was felt to the uninhabited west of the
Queen Charlotte Islands and damage was minimal. "While hardly
anyone in Vancouver felt the tremors, reports of the quake poured
in from throughout B.C. . . . Prince George residents ran into the
streets shouting earthquake, earthquake, as cafe signs
swung and poles swayed." Centres 1,500 miles (2,400 km) apart
felt the quake, and it was even detected in Jasper, Alberta. Seattle
measured it at 7.2. The Province reported on Page One that
a clock had stopped in the home of Mrs. Laurie Sanders, Imperial
Street in Burnaby.
September 10 Gloria Cranmer, future film maker
and linguist, born in Alert Bay July 4, 1931, became this year the
first native Indian woman to attend the University of British Columbia.
She graduated in anthropology (in 1956). Her contributions to British
Columbia native life are remarkable. She was awarded the Heritage
Society of British Columbias Heritage Award in 1996. And for
more, see this
October 22 The first official
tree was planted at Queen Elizabeth Park. It was called Little Mountain
Park back then, carved out of a rock quarry and chosen as the site
of Canadas first civic arboretum. The tree looked lonely
and a trifle battered, the Province wrote. Fittingly
enough, it was a Pacific dogwood, the only tree emblematic of B.C.
It stood in a grassy spot overlooking the smoke and skyscrapers
of downtown Vancouver. The original idea for the arboretum,
the paper reported, was suggested by Leander Manley, secretary-manager
of the Canadian Pulp and Paper Association, western branch.
November 2 The Hope-Princeton Highway officially
opened to traffic. The Highway (#3) closely followed the old Dewdney
Trail, the interior route along which provisions were moved north,
and gold and furs moved south. When the Hope-Princeton highway
opened, says the Manning Park website,
it not only provided a major transportation link between the
coast and interior, it also made accessible to people everywhere
the premier provincial park in British Columbia.
Also November 2 A civic banquet was given
at the Hotel Vancouver for visiting Prime Minister Nehru of India.
November 9 One of Vancouver's most sensational
murder stories began early this day with the discovery of the body
of Woodward's employee Blanche Fisher, 45 and unmarried. The victim
was found in False Creek near the Kitsilano Trestle. Suicide was
first considered, but was ruled out when it was discovered she wore
no shoes, stockings or underwear, and that there were many bruises
on her body. What made the case extraordinary was the identity of
the killer, who was eventually identified, charged and executed.
His name was Frederick Ducharme, 34, a very odd and twisted piece
of work, with a record for indecent exposure and bizarre behavior,
which cant be described here and which was only hinted at
in the more straitlaced newspaper reporting of the day. Ms. Fisher's
umbrella was found in his car, and articles of her clothing in his
squalid False Creek shack. (Jack Webster describes the case in detail
in his autobiography.) The story ran for several months. Ducharme
was found guilty of the murder and hanged July 14, 1950.
November 11 Kerrisdale Arena was officially
opened. One of the people on hand was Fred "Cyclone" Taylor.
Hockey legend Taylor was president of the Point Grey Community Centre
Association at the time. Park board chairman Bert Emery, acting
mayor R.K. Gervin and Harry Duker, who managed the raising of funds
for the building, were on hand too.
November 27 The Capilano River, swollen by
a violent rainstorm, swept away a large section of Marine Drive,
the only road link at the time to West Vancouver. Washed away as
well was part of the bridge over the Capilano, so army engineers
from Sardis rushed in to build an emergency Bailey bridge. That
was also washed away, and West Vancouver would be cut off for 10
December 1 Grouse Mountain Chairlift opened,
the world's first double chairlift. It replaced a two- to three-hour
hike from the skiers' bus stop at the base of the mountain.
December 3 A photograph appeared in the Province
showing the site for something called a shopping centre
on the north shore. It would be called Park Royal. It was Canadas
first shopping centre.
December 4 Dick Diespeckers radio column
in the Provincewhich followed local and international
radio personalities in precisely the way we cover TV and movie stars
todaytold us that "dynamic young sportscaster" Ray
Perrault had left CJOR to join the radio department of the O'Brien
Advertising Agency. Today, of course, hes Senator Ray Perrault.
December 11 Boxer Jimmy McLarnin laid the
cornerstone for Sunset Memorial Centre on East 51st Avenue. McLarnin
had played a large part in the establishment of the Centre (which
is now called the Sunset Community Centre.) When Stan Thomas, one
of the people involved in the creation of the complex, went to Hollywood
in 1947 it was McLarninwhom Thomas knewwho introduced
him to Bing Crosby, a friend of McLarnins. Bing agreed to
come up to Vancouver and record his radio show here to kick off
the Centres fund-raising campaign. Bings show was recorded
at the Forum September 22, 1948, attended by 9,000 people.
December 23 There was a farewell parade of
Vancouver's Seaforth Highlanders today, held for their retiring
commanding officer, Lt.-Col. D.M. Clark. Part of the ceremony included
an inspection by Brig. J.M. Rockingham of the Seaforth's ski company.
These special troops, we said, would train on Mount Seymour.
December 29 We confess: we dont understand
this story. A box called The Thing was put out to float
in English Bay by the leaders of the Polar Bear Club. When it was
brought into shore on January 1, 1951 during the swim it was opened
to reveal an effigy of Stalin, which was ceremoniously burned.
Also in 1949
CKNW moved from 1230 on the dial to 1320.
An American movie partly made in Vancouver more than 50 years ago actually took place here! How often does that happen? The 1949
thriller, Johnny Stool Pigeon, starring Howard Duff, Shelley
Winters, Dan Duryea and Tony Curtis, among others, told of international
drug dealers tracked to their downtown Vancouver lair by a heroic
U.S. Treasury agent. (Drugs in Vancouver? Ha! Never happen.)
A big song hit this year was Theres a Bluebird
on Your Windowsill, written by a Vancouver nurse, Elizabeth
Clarke. It became the first song written by a Canadian to sell a
million copies. (Ironically, Ms. Clarke spent $600 of her own money
to have the first recording of it made.) The story of how the song
came to be written is charming. Read
S.V. Smith became president of the Vancouver Real
Charles Edwin Thompson became mayor of Vancouver.
Born September 17, 1890 in Grey County, Ontario, Thompson, writes
Donna Jean McKinnon, was a teacher, rancher, automotive dealer,
and from 1945 to 1948 an alderman. His apparently contradictory
combination of progressive and regressive policies make him a hard
character to pin down. He felt that improvements to public transit,
roadways and sewer lines and efforts to equalize civic taxes should
be provided to law-abiding and politically correct citizens. However,
civil liberties were impaired during his term through a policy requiring
all civic employees to be screened for communist sympathies.
Winnipeg-born writer George Woodcock moved to B.C.,
aged about 37. He gave us more than 120 books, the first a collection
of poems published in 1938 when he was 26, the last a 1994 history
of B.C. His biography of George Orwell, The Crystal Spirit
(Governor Generals Award for non-fiction in 1966), and his
writings on anarchism were well-received. There is a fine, long
appreciation of him here,
and an interview as well.
Calgary-born (June 8, 1912) Clyde Gilmour began writing
movie reviews for the Vancouver Sun. He had been doing the
same on CBC radio here since 1947. Both gigs lasted to 1954, then
he went East to well-deserved national fame.
Pentictons Mike Fitzpatrick liked our story
in the September 20, 2005 Sun of the now-vanished News-Herald,
and sent along this reminiscence (which weve given a date
of 1949): In the late forties and early fifties I as well
as my pals had N-H paper routes in the McKenzie Dunbar areas. We
of course were no different than all the others across town who
were up at 4 am six days a week and off on our trusty CCM and Raleigh
bikes. (No fancy 10-speeds yet). Our substation was at 41st and
Collingwood, and I can easily remember the crews pulling up the
street car tracks and paving 41st in preparation for the first trolley
buses, the first trolley line in Vancouver I believe. We thought
41st Ave. was great with the new pavement at 5am, as there were
no cars at that hour of the day and we could play soccer on the
street while waiting for the papers when they were late, as they
often were. Although there were only 5 routes from that substation
they covered large areas compared to the Sun or Province
routes as fewer people subscribed to the N-H. Two or three
times a year we would do subscription drives, as they do today trying
to get new customers for the paper. Often, if we were able to get
enough new subscriptions we would be taken to Bellingham for the
day (always a Saturday). It was a big day for a group of 12 to 14
year olds. I remember so well the manager, Ian French, who drove
us down to Bellingham. He owned a beautiful brand new Olds 98 on
our last trips. It of course was the best car that we had ever been
in as none of our families could ever afford anything like that
in those days. I often wonder if Ian French is still going, as I
have good memories of him during those great times. It is always
interesting reading your articles.
1949 Oldsmobile 98
- 1884] [1885 - 1891] [1892
[1900 - 1905] [1906
- 1908]