Chronology Continued

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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
specific date of an event shown there, please notify us . . . and cite the source! Many thanks!

January 12 UBC's Music Building, part of the Norman Mackenzie Centre for Fine Arts, opened at a cost of $2.5 million. The School of Music was first headed by Dr. G. Welton Marquis, a master of music composition. Prior to 1968, the music department was located in army huts along the West Mall.

January 18 CP Air took delivery of its first Douglas DC8-60. Its route will be Vancouver-Tokyo-Hong Kong.

February 15 B.C. skier Nancy Greene won gold in the Winter Olympics. Says the Canada's Walk of Fame website: “Despite an ankle injury just a month before the 1968 Olympics, Nancy Greene took home gold and silver medals in the giant slalom and slalom respectively. Her victory in the giant slalom by a margin of 2.68 seconds is still considered one of the most decisive wins in Olympic history. 1968 also saw her keep the World Cup title as she raced to 10 titles on the tour.”

February The Surrey Centennial Fine Arts Centre opened with a production of Brigadoon.

March 7 There was a big parade in Vancouver for Olympic Gold champion Nancy Greene.

Also March 7 Voters in the school districts of North and West Vancouver, and Howe Sound, decided overwhelmingly in favor of establishing a community college, the fourth two-year college approved in the province. Following the referendum, a new college council was formed, and at its inaugural meeting, members voted on a name. From among forty names—including Evergreen, Alpine, Sunset, Muskrat, and Seagull—suggested by North Shore residents, the clear winner was Capilano. See the September 10 entry below.

March 11 Methanex—the world’s largest producer and marketer of methanol—was incorporated in Alberta. Fuel cells convert hydrogen, of which methanol is a source, into electricity with zero emissions. Methanex—which has operations in North America, New Zealand and Chile.

March 12 The inaugural meeting of The Elector's Action Movement (TEAM) was held at Grandview Community Centre; they will go on to become a real force in Vancouver’s civic politics. Among the prominent people involved at the time: Arthur Phillips, Walter Hardwick, May Brown and Marguerite Ford. Walter Hardwick, whose influence was immense—urbanologist Gordon Price calls him “arguably the most influential alderman in Vancouver’s history”—was the first TEAM member to be elected, and that happened this year. When TEAM finally gained a majority on council in 1972, Art Phillips became mayor. Hardwick topped the polls.

April 1 Joachim Foikis, armed with a grant from the Canada Council, became Vancouver's Town Fool. He sported a jester’s cap and bells and strolled around warning of impending nuclear destruction.

April 20 Pierre Elliot Trudeau was elected Prime Minister.

April 26 Premier W.A.C. Bennett and Vancouver City Archivist Major J.S. Matthews dedicated New Brighton Park. One eye-witness reported that Major Matthews, who was a very forceful fellow with a stentorian voice, frightened some of the smaller children in the audience to tears.

May 2 John Emerson, actor and pianist, died in Vancouver, aged 57. Writes Constance Brissenden, “He was born in Vancouver March 13, 1911. He was the eldest of seven sons of a music-loving lawyer. After WWI, the family home became the focus of support for the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. Emerson attended UBC where he acted with the University Players' Club. From 1930 to 1964 he was a popular pianist and musical arranger. He promoted local talent, and discovered 13-year-old Mimi Hines in the east end. He was noted for reading poetry on his national CBC radio show, and wrote and performed in radio plays. From 1954 to 1956 he staged popular ‘capsule musicals’ at the Arctic Club. Praised for his versatility, he said ‘Versatility is a euphemism for doing all the things I have to do to earn a living.’ ACTRA (Association of Canadian Television and Radio Artists) gives an annual scholarship in his name. His name is on the StarWalk on Granville Street.”

May 17 George Clark Miller, mayor of Vancouver in 1937-38, died, aged 86. Writes Donna Jean McKinnon: “He was born January 9, 1882 in Huron County, Ontario. Miller was the first mayor elected in Vancouver under the at-large system, running as an independent. Wards had been done away with by an earlier plebiscite and party politics made its entry into Vancouver government. The strain of deprivation in Vancouver in the '30s and the indignation of the public over political showmanship made administratively-minded Alderman Miller a timely candidate in the election for the 1937-38 term. His slogan was 'Let's stop bickering and get down to work.’ He made no extravagant promises, and would not promise not to raise taxes. He stood for law and order and was opposed to civil protests, specifically those by the unemployed or against the Spanish civil war. A decade later, when then Mayor Charles E. Jones died in office (September 1, 1948), Alderman Miller took over the mayor's duties until the end of the year.

May 20 West Vancouver was “twinned” with the Montreal suburb of Verdun. A similar ceremony was held in Verdun on June 24. For an explanation of the admirable “twin city” concept, go to this site. Six delegates from Verdun, including Mayor J. Albert Gariépy and the city's director general, Guy Gagnon participated in the twinning ceremony in West Vancouver. During these respective events, a West Vancouver Park was named on Nun's Island in Verdun and a Verdun Park was inaugurated by West Vancouver officials.

May Simon Fraser University was censured by the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT). The charge: interference by the Board of Governors in academic affairs. The censure would be lifted in November.

June 1 Famed deaf and blind American woman Helen Keller died in Westport, Connecticut, aged 87.

June Kenneth Hare became president of UBC, succeeding Walter Gage.

July 2 John Robert Nicholson was sworn in as B.C.’s lieutenant governor, succeeding George Pearkes.

July 18 This was opening day for the Bank of British Columbia. A mob of customers descended on the brand-new bank at 999 West Pender, at the corner of Burrard. In a big newspaper advertisement the new bank wanted everyone to know that all its female employees wore “smartly tailored sea-blue uniforms” featuring mini-skirts. “But don’t let them fool you into thinking they’re without brains," the ad continued. "They’ve all been hand-picked for their secretarial, executive, teller or other banking duties. They’re smart in the head, too.”

Opening capital of the bank: $12.8 million in shareholders’ equity. To have a B.C.-based bank was a dream of Premier W.A.C. Bennett and, fittingly, it was Mr. Bennett who officiated at the opening.

August A large influx of Czechs and Slovaks occurred, after the Soviet army invaded what was then Czechoslovakia and put an end to what has become known as the Prague Spring. About 1,200 professionals, students, writers, artists and service industry workers, among others, arrived in British Columbia. Today there are about 10,500 Czechs and Slovaks in the Lower Mainland—the majority being Czech. (Czechoslovakia peacefully split into two republics in January 1993.)

Also in August Granville Street's Theatre Row beautification project opened.

September 7 Jimi Hendrix and the Jimi Hendrix Experience played at the Pacific Coliseum. He acknowledged his grandmother, who lived in Vancouver and was in the audience. There is a good description of the show here by Colin Hartridge, who was there.

September 10 On the first day of classes at Capilano College some 750 students had enrolled, twice the anticipated number. Classes were held in temporary quarters at West Vancouver Senior Secondary School, and later in several church basements, a warehouse, and even a bowling alley. The college operated on an after-hours basis, from 4:00 in the afternoon to 10:30 at night. Initially, the college offered 23 courses in four different career and vocational programs. Fees were set at $100 per semester.

The first principal was Vancouver-born Alfred (Alf) H. Glenesk. Unaware of the job opening to head the new college, Glenesk had not applied. But the fledgling college needed a man with his background. His 22 years in education and his experience as vice-principal of another recently established two-years college, Vancouver City College, made Glenesk the ideal candidate. He was persuaded to take the job, and served as principal of the college from its inception to the spring of 1974.

In 1968, the original Capilano College library was a 3.4 metre by 30.5 metre portable unit erected on the grounds of West Vancouver Senior Secondary. Well before its 15,000 books were in place, however, the library was described as already "bulging at the seams." In 1993, the college's 25th anniversary year, a new $10.9 million library would be opened.

Also September 10 Vancouver's $32 million International Airport terminal, designed by Zoltan Kiss on behalf of Thompson, Berwick, and Pratt, opened for use. It will be officially opened October 25.

September 11 Japan Air Lines inaugurated its Tokyo to Vancouver flights.

September 22 Mrs. Evelyn MacKechnie of Vancouver's Community Arts Council—which had been showing heritage film and slide shows on the area for years—led a group of about 200 people on a walking tour—in the rain—of Vancouver's derelict Gastown area. Gastown had been in decline for years, and the CAC thought public awareness of the historical importance of the area could arrest that decline. They were right. Media coverage was good, and the walk (which became the first of many) caught the attention of retailers and developers. The CAC organized more tours, and the prospect of Gastown’s demolition began to fade.

There's a funny story about one development firm, Town Group Ltd., which had been involved in negotiations to purchase the old Alhambra Hotel on Maple Tree Square. They'd been working on it long before the Arts Council involvement. Town Group—the principals were Larry Killam, Robert Saunders, Howard Meakin and Ian Rogers—had, wrote Gary Bannerman in his history of Gastown, just about closed the deal for $80,000. The day after the Arts Council walk, the price jumped to $89,500.

Gastown would get a big boost in 1970 when The Old Spaghetti Factory opened on Water Street. Its funky ambience drew big crowds to the area.

September Stanley E. Higgs, Anglican minister, was named the executive head of Vancouver's Central City Mission. (From 1960 to 1968 he had been chaplain of Haney Correctional Institute.) Higgs would retire from the Mission in April 1974 after 47 years of service to the church and the community. See his interesting entry in our Hall of Fame.

October 11 Thomas Reid, politician, died in Surrey, aged 82. “He was born,” writes Constance Brissenden, “April 18, 1886, in Cambuslang, Scotland, about eight kilometres southeast of Glasgow . . . and just 12 days after Vancouver’s incorporation. Reid came to Canada in 1909 and farmed in Newton, B.C. He was elected a Surrey councillor in 1922, and was reeve from 1924 to 1934. He was twice head of the Union of B.C. Municipalities. Reid was the Liberal MP for New Westminster from 1930 to 1949. He fought for railway freight reductions and natural resources issues. In 1937, he helped form the Fisheries Commission, retiring as chair in 1967. He was devoted to rehabilitation of Fraser salmon run. In 1958, as a result of his efforts, the run had its best year since 1905, with B.C. packing more than one million cases. Appointed to the Canadian senate (1949), becoming Canada's only bagpipe-playing senator.” Reid was vociferous in support of legislation restricting Oriental immigration. A Surrey elementary school is named for him.

October 14 George Norris’ famous Crab fountain sculpture was installed in front of the Planetarium and Centennial Museum in Vanier Park. The striking stainless-steel sculpture recalled a local native legend that the crab guards the entrance to the harbor. It remains one of the most photographed objects in the city. See this site.

October 24 The first kidney transplant in BC was performed at Vancouver General Hospital.

Also October 24 Grant McConachie Way, the road leading to Vancouver International Airport, opened to traffic. The road was named for the famed bush pilot and CP Air founder.

Also October 24 UBC has seen its share of strife over the years. Today its Faculty Club was the site of student unrest: American Jerry Rubin and a number of UBC students invaded the Faculty Club and took it over for 22 hours, after which they left voluntarily.

October 25 Vancouver's International Airport terminal was officially opened by Paul Hellyer, Minister of Transport. (It had been open for business since September 10.)

October 26 The Centennial Museum and H. R. MacMillan Planetarium were officially opened. The “centennial” in this case was the 100th anniversary of Canadian Confederation: the project got underway in 1967. Mayor Tom Campbell was there; so was H.R. MacMillan himself. The planetarium, costing $1.5 million, was his gift to the city. Today it’s the Vancouver Museum (renamed in 1981) and “the Pacific Space Centre, home of the H.R. MacMillan Planetarium.” The Space Centre would be launched in 1994. And, yes, that famous roof really was inspired by the shape of coastal-native hats.

October 27 Band leader Guy Lombardo, 66, with “the sweetest music this side of heaven,” appeared in Vancouver to a capacity audience at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre. Lombardo’s Royal Canadians was the most popular orchestra in North America: Over 50 years they sold 300 million records. Lombardo died in Houston, Texas, November 5, 1977.

October 29 In a Page One story, the Province reported on a prediction that “Vancouver’s rush-hour traffic will clog not only existing bridges over Burrard Inlet by 1985, but the new $100 million First Narrows crossing and parts of a proposed $135 million downtown freeway system as well.” We didn’t get the crossing or the downtown freeway system, and it’s a couple of decades later than 1985, but we’re certainly clogged.

Also October 29 The East Wing of City Hall, a four-storey annex constructed to make room for the growing civic bureaucracy, was officially opened by H.R.H. Prince Philip. Legend has it it was raining heavily while Philip officiated, and he said something like “I’m very pleased to officially open this building, whatever it is, on behalf of Her Majesty—now let’s get the hell inside out of the rain!” Architects of the building: Townley, Matheson, and Partners. Townley, Matheson designed the original city hall.

November 1 Chances are good that if you work in downtown Vancouver, or attend a performance at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre, or take in a Lions game at B.C. Place, or settle down to read at the Vancouver Public Library, you’re being warmed by the folks at Central Heat Distribution. They heat more than 180 buildings in the downtown through a network, many kilometres long, of subterranean pipes, bringing steam (converted from natural gas) from their building on Beatty Street to big clients like the new Shaw Tower all the way down to the tiny bursts of steam that sound the pipes on the Gastown Steam Clock. Customers include hotels, office buildings, small manufacturers, condominiums, shopping centres and civic buildings.

You can see the initials CHD on manhole covers throughout the downtown.

John Barnes, Central’s president, says the company started November 1, 1968.

A group of engineers had been talking over coffee about the fuel oil and coal used to heat buildings at the time, not to mention the beehive burners used to burn woodwaste. One of them, Dave Leaney, suggested Vancouver could have a “district energy” system like some other cities. Two years later it had started.

The result: cheaper heating bills for buildings (no boilers to buy) and far less pollution.

(Incidentally, the cavernous building CHD occupies at the west end of the Dunsmuir Viaduct was once home to the printing plant for Pacific Press.)

November 7 The Port Coquitlam cenotaph, now with the names of Port Coquitlam’s dead of World War II added, was moved to be placed prominently in City Hall Park. A plaque commemorating the Korean War was affixed to the cenotaph's base.

November 25 Students protesting against admissions policy ended a three-day occupation of the administration building at Simon Fraser University that resulted in the arrest by a squad of 100 unarmed RCMP officers of 114 people—almost one officer per protester. SFU’s brand-new president Dr. Kenneth Strand, who had called the RCMP in, had used a bull-horn to warn the students to vacate the premises. The Province printed the protesters' names, ages (most were from 18 to 22) and addresses, and noted that Strand said the university had adopted a “get tough” policy in the wake of the occupation.

December 12 Vancouver Sun columnist Allan Fotheringham was prescient in his comment on the opening of the 29-storey MacMillan Bloedel Building at Georgia and Thurlow in downtown Vancouver. “No major new building in town,” Fotheringham wrote, “will dare to build out to the property line now that Massey-Erickson have shown the advantages of stepping back to leave some welcome space for the poor pedestrians.”

Architects Arthur Erickson and Geoff Massey accomplished something else with the $14.5 million new building: its deeply recessed windows and the gentle tapering of its two abutting towers give it a handsome, heavy elegance. Eleven of the 29 floors were occupied by MacBlo; the others were to be rented out.

The company’s CEO, J.V. Clyne, told 250 invited guests at the opening: “This home office in Vancouver will testify that MacMillan Bloedel is a B.C. company, founded here and run from here.” Alas, no more. In November 1999 Weyerhaeuser, the big U.S. forest products company, became even bigger with a $3.6 billion takeover of MacBlo.

Today, with its original owner moved out, the building is known as, simply, 1075 Georgia Street West.

December 13 Kew Ghim Yip, physician, died in Vancouver, aged 66. He was born in Vancouver January 16, 1902. He took medicine at Queen's, but interned as a doctor in Ann Arbor, Michigan because of B.C. restrictions on Asian hospital interns. Kew practised in Chinatown for more than 40 years, from 1927 to his death. Larry Wong, of the Chinese Canadian Historical Society ( says that Kew was a son of well-known Chinatown merchant Yip Sang's second wife, and practised at 53 East Pender in the late 1930s. “In the days before medical coverage,” Constance Brissenden writes, “he conducted a free weekly clinic at Main and Hastings for old age pensioners and others. A doctor with Mount St. Joseph Hospital on Campbell Avenue, he helped fundraise for its Prince Edward site. Active in the Chinese community, he was known for his philanthropic work.”

December 14 Premier W.A.C. Bennett made the front pages today with a proposal that Canada be reshaped to consist of five provinces: British Columbia, Prairies, Ontario, Quebec, and Atlantic. The 60th parallel would disappear as a boundary, too, with both B.C. and Prairies extending right up to the Arctic Ocean. Bennett claimed this would result in an immediate 300-per-cent increase in living standards for residents of the Yukon and the Northwest Territories. The plan involved an extension of the Pacific Great Eastern railway (now BC Rail) from Fort Nelson to Whitehorse. The idea was hooted down in Ottawa and in the media, but Bennett said reaction of the public to the notion was decidedly in favor.

Gordon Wismer, lawyer and BC attorney general, died in Victoria, aged 80. He was born March 23, 1888 in Sutton, Ont., near the south end of Lake Simcoe. He worked his way west, arriving in Vancouver in 1907. He began a law practice in 1913 with Gerald G. McGeer. From 1922 Wismer ran his own firm, becoming one of B.C.'s best-known criminal lawyers. He was elected the Liberal MLA for Vancouver Centre in 1933, and served as attorney general under Duff Pattullo from July 5, 1937; under John Hart from April 4, 1946; and under ‘Boss’ Johnson until defeat of the coalition government in 1952. He established the New Haven Borstal School for Young Offenders in 1938, and in 1950 disbanded the B.C. Provincial Police Force, shifting policing duties to the RCMP.

December 28 We have a note that the thermometer dipped today to -.2 F, “the only sub-zero temperature ever recorded in Vancouver.” We have also seen a mark of -3 for December 29, 1968.

Also in 1968

BC’s population topped 2 million this year. It had reached one million in 1951. See this site. BC's population as of March, 2004 was 4.168 million.

A referendum in the two North Vancouvers on the question of amalgamation was overwhelmingly approved by voters in the municipality (90 per cent), but given just a razor-thin Yes vote in the city, (50.5 per cent) which had split away in 1907. The rules said there had to be 60 per cent approval in both places, so they remained separate. Heavily influencing the city’s vote was Mayor Carrie Cates, who was against amalgamation.

The federal, provincial and municipal governments joined forces to build the Pacific Coliseum. It opened this year. At the opening, Vancouver Civic Chaplain George Turpin offered the prayer: “Please God, bring us the NHL.” And lo, He did! The $6 million, 15,600 seat arena was a state-of-the-art facility that would become best known as the home of the Vancouver Canucks. (Their first game would be on October 9, 1970.)

Algo Communication Products began. They are the sponsors of 1968 in The History of Metropolitan Vancouver.

Hockey’s Lynn Patrick was inducted into the B.C. Sports Hall of Fame.

Whistler Mountain Ski School began.

Heli-skiing began at Whistler.

Coast Plaza at Stanley Park Hotel opened.

Adman Jimmy Lovick, described as “the true giant” of Vancouver ad men, died. The agency he had started in 1948, which by 1958 was the biggest in the country, did not long survive its founder’s death. “Lovick seemed to live on airplanes,” wrote business writer Michael McCullough, “becoming the first customer of Trans-Canada Airways to log a million air miles. He captured national accounts including Kelly Douglas (which owned the Super Valu chain of supermarkets and Nabob Foods) and Nelson Laundries. He parlayed his Social Credit Party connections into major provincial government contracts. Lovick once flew to Toronto to pitch the Toronto-Dominion Bank account. In the middle of an Ontario snowstorm, he drove down Bay Street in his pinstripe suit, in a rented convertible with the top down. Launching into his presentation to the bank's brass, he took off his trousers, opened a window and threw the pants out, trying to impress upon the bankers the need to change their pinstriped image. It worked.”

After Lovick’s death, McCullough continues, “the James Lovick Agency went through a series of mergers, becoming Baker Lovick, then McKim Baker Lovick. Now its remnant is part of New York-based BBDO.”

Punjab-born Dr. Har Gobind Khorana won the Nobel Prize for Medicine, for the synthesis of a gene in a test tube and original work in DNA research that opened up several new areas of research. In interviews he acknowledged the important influence of his work in 1952 at B.C. Research on the UBC campus. In 1970 Khorana would become Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Biology and Chemistry at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

See this site.

The first phase of the Peace River development was completed with the construction of the 183-metre-high W.A.C. Bennett Dam, initially bringing 681,000 kilowatts of power on line.

The Student Union Building (‘SUB’) went up at UBC. It’s unique on campus: it is student-funded and run by the Alma Mater Society. The AMS is a non-profit student organization whose main objective is to develop, promote and coordinate the activities and particular interests of the UBC student body. The AMS has a membership of more than 40,000 students and is one of the largest student employers in Canada, with 400 part-time student staff and 50 full-time staff on the payroll. AMS runs all food services in SUB except Subway Cafeteria.

SUB also houses 22 multi-purpose meeting rooms that accommodate 10 to 600 people for a wide variety of events.

An extension to UBC’s Faculty Club (designed by the architectural firm Erickson Massey, who won awards for it) was built with funds from membership fees.

UBC’s Metallurgical Engineering Building went up.

The Charles Crane Memorial Library, a unit of the Disability Resource Centre, was formed at UBC as a reading room with the donation of a personal collection of about 6,000 Braille books, belonging to the late Charles Allen Crane—one of the more remarkable people in local history. Crane, known as Charlie among friends, was often referred to as “Canada's Helen Keller”. Almost completely deaf and blind from birth (Helen Keller had normal sight and hearing until she was 19 months old), Charlie was a bright student at the Halifax and Jericho Hill schools for the deaf and a special student at UBC from 1934 to 1937. He was the first deaf/blind person to attend a university in Canada. He was also outstanding in athletics, particularly in wrestling. Later in life, due to lack of publicity and support, Charlie settled into a life of manual work and personal study. He became an avid Braille book collector, and with help from others also created his own Braille books. After Crane's death in 1965, by his previous request, his collection of 6,000 Braille books was bequeathed to UBC to benefit blind and visually impaired students. The Charles Crane Memorial Library is one of a kind in Canada. Since 1970 the library and its dedicated volunteers have recorded talking textbooks and background materials. A special disbursement was established in 1974 as a continuous funding base for the library, staff, book budgets and raw materials. By 1981, the centre had expanded to house nine sound-proof studios with state-of-the-art professional recording equipment and high-speed duplicating and editing equipment. Hundreds of cassettes can be copied per hour, serving 35 to 50 blind, visually-impaired or print-handicapped UBC students per year. Through inter-library loans, the Centre serves up to 500 students. In 1996 holdings were about 46,000 titles.

Talking books produced at the Crane Library are sold on a non-profit basis to libraries and schools in such places as New Zealand, Australia, Japan, Hong Kong, Papua New Guinea, Ghana, South Africa, the U.S. and Sweden. About 300 new Braille publications are purchased each year from commercial sources in Canada, the U.S., Great Britain and continental Europe.

The library is known today as the Crane Research Centre.

UBC’s Ladner Clock Tower was built near the university’s Main Library. It stands 123 feet high. Named after Dr. Leon J. Ladner, QC (who donated $150,000 of its $160,000 construction cost), it houses a 330-bell carillon meant to be played during special occasions, such as the May Congregation. For the past several years, the bell has not sounded because of corrosion problems. It was “built in honor and memory of the pioneers of B.C. and in particular Thomas Ellis and William Henry Ladner.”

The tower was not a popular structure when first built. Students of the university thought the money could have been better spent on just about anything else. Some of the names they bestowed on it were less than flattering, and it has been the butt of several engineering week pranks. One year engineers climbed up and painted the hands on the east face red (red and white are the engineering colors) leaving the rest black. Another year, a Volkswagen Beetle was put on top of the clock tower. No one knows how they got it up there, but we do know how it was brought down—the university rented a crane large enough to lift it off. The Engineering Undergraduate Society (EUS) had to pay for the rental of the crane! The Ladner Clock Tower is a good orienteering point for new students and lost visitors since it can be seen from most central points on campus.

UBC’s Biological Sciences Building (Botany, Zoology, Oceanography and Microbiology), built in 1950 with a south wing added in 1959, had a west wing added.

The Health Sciences Centre opened on the UBC campus.

Early members of the BCIT Student Association were instrumental in getting new facilities built on the Burnaby campus. With the construction of a new playing field and track this year, the association reached its first big goal. Next, they began a long campaign for a campus residence to accommodate a growing number of out-of-town students, Success would not arrive until September 1973.

A new two-storey library building opened at BCIT.

Vancouver magazine began publishing.

Pacific Yachting magazine began publishing.

Swimmer Elaine Tanner went to the 1968 Olympics in search of two golds, but had to settle for two silvers.

Park & Tilford Gardens, eight separate theme gardens on the North Shore, were created by a privately-owned distillery. In the Rose Garden there are nearly 300 plants in 24 varieties. There is free admission and parking, and the gardens are open seven days a week.

Marilyn Horne, who liked Vancouver, returned to star in the Vancouver Opera Association staging of Rossini’s Barber of Seville.

Neil Longton's Espresso Coffee House, “where local and visiting musicians could and would play until dawn," closed after a fire. Among performers often seen there, says reviewer/singer Renee Doruyter, "were a couple of Vancouver's best-known exports, the internationally renowned composer/arranger/ instrumentalist Don Thompson, now living in Toronto and one of the most musical drummers on the scene, and Terry Clarke, now based in New York.”

Soccer’s Vancouver Royals played this one year in the NASL.

The Vancouver Aquarium began to study Arctic marine mammals in the Lancaster Sound Area of Baffin Island.

The Silver Ann was the last vessel built at Britannia shipyard.

Relief, a cast bronze work by Eliza Mayhew, was installed in the Bank of Canada building at 900 West Hastings. “Architect W.W. Rennie commissioned this $30,000 work,” writes Elizabeth Godley, “after seeing photographs of the artist's work in Canadian Art.”

The Fathomless Richness of the Seabed, a ceramic mural by Jordi Bonet was installed in the lobby of the Guinness Tower at 1055 West Hastings. Architect Charles Pine commissioned the work. “Inspired by sea life,” writes Elizabeth Godley, “it beautifully complements the facade of the Marine Building, just around the corner.”

Relief, a sculpture in precast concrete by Leonhard Epp, was installed at the Gulf & Fraser Fishermen's Credit Union, 803 East Hastings. The building’s architect was Robert Harrison.

Tuning Fork, a distinctive corten steel sculpture by Gerhard Class, was installed on the plaza of UBC’s Music Building. Alfred Blundell donated this work, which cost $5,000.

An abstract fountain of bronze alloy at Capilano Road and Ridgeway in the District of North Vancouver was installed. The artist, George Norris, was commissioned by the District.

Choreographer Anna Wyman, who had come to Vancouver from Austria in 1967, began to present student performances.

The arrival of Imperial Records, Western Canada's first modern vinyl mastering and pressing plant, helped spur a generation of new labels. Many were custom imprints created by musicians to release their own music.

A building that began life in 1906 as the Grandview Methodist Church, at 1895 Venables, became home this year to Inner City Services which included the Vancouver Free University and storefront legal offices for such tenants as future premier Mike Harcourt. Today, it’s the Vancouver East Cultural Centre.

1968 was a fruitful year for local publication. All of these began that year:

* British Columbia Historical News A quarterly, published by the British Columbia Historical Federation. It is now titled British Columbia History, editor John Atkin.

* Capilano Courier A weekly published by Capilano College, Courier Publishing Society. A student publication with student news, opinion and letters.

* In Pharmation A monthly publication for membership of the British Columbia Pharmacists' Society.

* Logging & Sawmilling Journal A monthly trade publication.

* Nursing BC Published five times a year by the Registered Nurses Association of British Columbia.

* Pacific Yachting A monthly publication for the yachting fraternity.

* Soleil de Colombie A weekly publication, in French, with news about francophones in B.C.

*UBC Library News A free quarterly published by the University of British Columbia Main Library

* Vancouver Magazine A high-circulation monthly, a city lifestyle magazine.

* World Market Perspective A monthly business investment magazine.

Author Guy Bennett, born in Cambridge, England in 1959, came to Vancouver. In 1988 he will self-publish Guy's Guide to the Flipside, described by BC Bookworld as “an offbeat but acerbically truthful view of Vancouver's less-celebrated attractions.” The book was re-issued by Pulp Press in 1992. See this site.

Ethlyn Trapp, radiologist, was awarded the Order of Canada. For her extraordinarily distinguished career, see our Hall of Fame.

Nat Bailey and wife Eva sold 13 White Spot Restaurants and other related interests to General Foods for $6.5 million.

Dick McLean’s Leisure magazine first appears.

Kirkland Lake, Ontario-born Mario Bernardi, who began his professional conducting career in England, returned to Canada to form a professional chamber orchestra for the National Arts Centre. In his future: conducting Vancouver’s CBC Orchestra.

Author E.G. Perrault produced a thinly disguised biographical novel about the early days of rogue B.C. timber baron Gordon Gibson Sr., The Kingdom Carver. See his interesting entry here.

Calgary-born restaurateur Hy Aisenstat, who with his wife Barbara had started with Hy’s Steak House in Calgary in 1955, was now at the head of 12 companies, with restaurants across Canada, and in Chicago, Honolulu, Palm Springs and Beverly Hills. He called his restaurants “saloons.”

Frank Baker, restaurateur, promoter, trumpet player, etc., etc., opened the 1,200-seat The Attic in West Vancouver. Guests were entertained by Lance Harrison and His Dixieland Band. A real showman, Frank played the trumpet (learned at the Four Square Gospel Church) and always wore a trademark white suit. Outside The Attic, he showcased the Aston Martin driven in the James Bond movie Goldfinger.

Walter H. Gage, UBC mathematics professor, was given the Master Teacher award.

Harry Jerome, world-class sprinter, 27, competed in the Olympic Games in Mexico City, his final attempt for an Olympic medal, in the final of the 100 meters. He raced home-two tenths of a second slower than the winner, who set a new world record time of 9.9 seconds. Jerome finished seventh.

Eburne-born Arthur Laing, who had been the federal minister of Indian Affairs, was transferred to public works. The Arthur Laing Bridge would be named for him.

Richmond Minoru Chapel was re-dedicated and re-consecrated this year for the use of all denominations. It began its life in 1891 as a Methodist chapel built at the corner of Cambie and River Roads by volunteer labor. The frame structure featured a tower and pointed-arched windows, typical of Gothic Revival churches of the time. When the Methodists and Presbyterians united in 1925, the Chapel became known as Richmond United Church. In 1961 the Municipality of Richmond purchased the property on which the church stood in order to relocate the railway through Brighouse Industrial Estates. The church stood boarded up, its fate unsettled. Finally, with strong support from the former Reeve Henry Anderson, the church was moved to its present location in Pierrefonds Gardens. See this site.

Stratford, Ontario-born Frank Stalley became the director of radio for CBC in Vancouver. He will hold that post until 1972, then be posted to London, England.

The Great Northern Cannery, built in 1891 in West Vancouver, is sold by its owners, the Millerd family (who had bought it in 1923). The complex is now the site of Environment Canada's Pacific Research Laboratories. See this site.

Gordon Shrum stepped down as Chancellor at SFU.

The M.V. Scenic, which since 1932 has been the only floating post office in the British Empire, known as the Burrard Inlet T.P.O. (Travelling Post Office), comes to the end of its long and faithful service.

The Oak movie theatre, which opened August 4, 1937 with great fanfare at Kingsway and Marlborough, and hailed as a masterpiece of “art moderne,” closed its doors.

The Radio station that had started back in the 1920s as CFQC, then became CKMO, then C-FUN, changed owners and got its fourth name, CKVN, emphasizing news.

John R. Fisk became Chief Constable of the Vancouver Police Department, succeeding R.M. Booth. Fisk would serve to 1974.

The Richmond Arts Centre and Brighouse Centre Library opened.

Richmond Hospital expanded to 154 beds plus 29 bassinets.

Langley’s Cottage Hospital became Cedar Hill Centre, a 50-bed extended care facility.

A Martial Arts Centre was opened in Steveston.

The federal and provincial governments agreed to begin a $40 million program for bank and dike protection on the Lower Fraser, and other Lower Mainland rivers subject to flooding. The city of Richmond reached an agreement with the provincial government to share the cost of building and maintaining the dikes, taking the care of the dikes away from individual land owners.

The B.C. Professional Pharmacists' Society was established. Today it’s the British Columbia Pharmacy Association, a voluntary association of 1,600 member pharmacists and more than 420 member pharmacies (1,067 members and 158 pharmacies in the Lower Mainland) “which provides an active, unified voice for the concerns of the profession.” The association, registered under the Society Act, is distinct from the regulatory body (the College of Pharmacists of B.C.).

Harold Steves was elected to Richmond council. He will be actively involved in preserving Steveston's heritage. (He is the great-grandson of Manoah Steves, after whom Steveston was named.)

The Coast Plaza at Stanley Park Hotel was built at 1733 Comox.

John Henderson, a long-time Vancouver School Trustee (1943 to 1964) died, aged about 88. He had been named Vancouver's Good Citizen in 1961 because of his long service in a score of organizations and for many personal deeds. A Vancouver elementary school is named for him.

1968 Firebird
1968 Firebird


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BC Skier Nancy Green
B.C. skier Nancy Greene
won gold in the Winter Olympics









































































































































































































































































































































































Algo headquarters today
Algo headquarters today



























Dr. Har Gobind Khorana, Nobel laureate
Dr. Har Gobind Khorana,
Nobel laureate



























































Ladner Clock Tower, UBC (photo: UBC)
Ladner Clock Tower, UBC
(photo: UBC)