Some odd stuff has happened in Vancouver's past.
Here's a sampling (click to view):
· 1900 to 1922
· 1923 to 1930
· 1931 to 1935
· 1936 to 1940
· 1941 to 1946
· 1947 to 1954
· 1955 to 1960
· 1961 to 1965
From 1955 to 1960
For more details on these items see the Chronology for the
- On May 10, 1955 Tommy Burns died in Vancouver
at 74. He was the only Canadian to have been world heavyweight
boxing champion. Four people attended his burial: a boxing fan
and his wife and two grave diggers.
- In December 1955 disgraced ex-police chief Walter Mulligan left
Vancouver for the USA, while the commission of inquiry into his
activities was still going on. He got a job as a limousine-bus
dispatcher at Los Angeles airport.
- Writes Tom Hawthorn: In 1955, the Rev.
E.C. Pappert flipped through a copy of the UBC student newspaper
Ubyssey before pronouncing it the vilest rag you
can imagine. Of course, the student staff of the offending
journal merrily adopted the clergyman's slur as a motto. To this
day, it is used as a recruitment come-on.
- October 11, 1957 Earlier this year Anglican priest Stanley Higgs
had told the newspapers that general manager Cedric Tallis of
the Vancouver Mounties baseball club would be in contempt of law
if he pursued Sunday ball games. Sure enough, the Mounties were
found guilty today and fined for playing baseball on Sunday. (On
April 28, 1958 the Supreme Court of Canada would uphold B.C.'s
approval of a Vancouver City Charter bylaw amendment permitting
- In 1957 numbered streets came to Surrey, consecutively upward
from the 49th parallel. There is a 0 (Zero) Avenue
in Surrey, right on the US border. Step off into the bush on the
south side of O Avenue and youre in Washington State.
- In 1957 the Quilchena Golf Course in Vancouver was opened to
provide a place for Jewish golfers to play. They had been denied
entry to other clubs.
- On January 1, 1958 David Jones Greenlees was born in Richmond
at 1:01 a.m., the citys first baby of the year. To mark
the event the city named Greenlees Street.
- On December 22, 1958 a French adventurer completed a swim of
the Fraser River from Prince George to New Westminsters
Pattullo Bridge. (NOTE: in December!)
- In 1958 a man named Fred Steiner sold his Toronto radio store
and moved to Vancouver. He opened a shop here, and called it A&B
Sound. Why A&B? A&A was taken. True story.
- On February 5, 1959 a girl named Jennifer Granholm was born
in Vancouver. Today, shes the Governor of Michigan.
- On May 15, 1959 Vancouvers Harry Jerome broke the world
record for the 220-yard dash. The record had been set 31 years
earlier by Percy Williams, also of Vancouver.
- On July 15, 1959 the Deas Island Tunnel (today the George Massey
Tunnel) was officially opened. When you drive through the tunnel
under the Fraser River youre driving through the lowest
point on a public road in Canada. The roadbed is 20 metres below
- At the official opening of the tunnel, by Queen
Elizabeth II and BC premier W.A.C. Bennett, an ancient and curious
ceremony occurred: the premier handed the Queen a costly pair
of silver scissors, and she gave him a dime for them. The coin-for-scissors
trade is an old British custom, which holds that if the giver
of a cutting implement does not receive a coin in return, the
friendship between the giver and the receiver will be cut.
- In 1959 the Lady Alexandra, built in
1924, became a floating restaurant in Coal Harbour.
- In 1959 William Dale, director of the Vancouver Art Gallery,
announced that there were only two or three works of art worth
the name in the gallerys permanent collection. William Jarvis,
a former National Gallery director, called the VAGs permanent
collection, excepting Emily Carr, pitiful.
- On January 29, 1960 Donna Yee was named Miss Chinatown in the
first beauty contest ever held in a Canadian Chinese community.
- On May 19, 1960 a statue of Lord Stanley, after whom Stanley
Park was named, was unveiled by Governor General Georges Vanier
in the park . . . and thereby hangs a tale. On October 19, 1889
a letter was written (were not sure by whom) promising a
suitable monument to commemorate the naming and dedication by
Governor General Lord Stanley of Stanley Park. The city archivist,
J.S. Matthews, discovered that letter in 1950, more than 60 years
after it was written, and realized the promise had not been fulfilled.
So he began a fund-raising campaign. It took another 10 years,
but finally he raised enough money to commission the work.
- On July 3, 1960 Vancouvers first five-alarm fire, largest
in the history of the VFD, occurred when fire destroyed the B.C.
Forest Products plant and lumber storage facility on the south
shore of False Creek. The fire covered an area equal in size to
four city blocks and took many hours to put out. Every available
firefighter and piece of equipment was called out, including both
fire boats. Twelve firefighters were injured.
- In 1960 Vancouvers Great Northern Way was named in honor
of the railway company that donated much of the land the street
- In 1960, during construction of the Trans-Canada Highway through
the Fraser Valley, a man named Charlie Perkins stood guard over
his ivy-covered fir tree, directly in the path of the new road.
He had dedicated the tree to fallen comrades in World War I, and
the public outcry over the possible destruction of the tree resulted
in the engineers curving the road around it. That may be a unique
circumstance in the construction of a national highway. You can
see that curve on the Trans-Canada to this day.
- In 1960 a study showed that the average person in the Vancouver
area was eating 23 dozen eggs (276) a year. That has dropped considerably
- In 1960 the figurehead of the Empress of Japan
(a ship that sailed into Vancouver harbor many times between 1891
and 1922) was rescued from its Stanley Park location, where it
had been exposed to the elements for decades, and given to the
Maritime Museum for safekeeping and restoration. It is now on
display in the Museum. It is a much more impressive work than
the fibreglass reproduction now in the Park.
1961 - 1965 »