By Constance Brissenden
With additional research by Larry Loyie
The History of Metropolitan
Vancouver Hall of Fame represents nearly 500 of the thousands of
people who have contributed to the history of the lower mainland
of BC. They come from all walks of life, all cultural backgrounds
and all occupations. All of the Hall of Famers are now deceased,
and we are proud to include a brief record of their accomplishments
here. For the first time, Metropolitan Vancouver has a biographical
directory that includes many individuals from communities overlooked
in the past.
If you have suggestions for inclusion (remember
the person must be deceased), please contact us HERE.
V W X
For Mayors of Vancouver,
James Van Bramer (also Bremer, Braemer) Ferry
captain b. US; d. Jan. 9, 1895, Santa Barbara, Calif. Partner of
sawmill owner Sew Moody (see bio). Both were Masons, founders of
Mount Hermon Lodge in 1869. His steam tug, Sea Foam, Burrard Inlet's
first regular transit service, ran from Brighton, near the site
of today's Alberta Wheat Pool elevator, to Moodyville, Stamp's Mill,
and back. On Nov. 5, 1869, its upper decks were destroyed by fire.
In 1888, built the Springer-Van Bramer block (Cordova and Cambie),
home to Mount Hermon and Cascade Masonic lodges. In early 1890s,
backed a treasure hunt to Cocos Island aboard his vessel, Eliza
Edward. Retired to Santa Barbara.
John Vanderpant Photographer b. Jan. 11, 1884,
Alkmaar, Netherlands; d. July 24, 1939, Vancouver. Arrived in New
Westminster in 1919. Ran a commercial portrait studio and promoted
arts locally, especially Group of Seven. An innovator, he was known
for his interpretive photography and pictorialism, the application
of painterly techniques. His experimental works, including close-ups
of vegetables and cement surfaces, were internationally known. The
Vanderpant Gallery on Robson was a centre of intellectual life in
the city from 1926-39. Biblio: Underlying Vibrations: The Photography
of John Vanderpant by Sheryl Salloum.
Whitford Julian VanDusen Lumber magnate b.
1889, Tara, Ont., d. Dec. 15, 1978, Vancouver. In 1912, he met H.R.
MacMillan at U. of T, who pushed him to study forestry (BSc, 1912).
From 1913 through WWI, worked as a B.C. forester. In the fall of
1919, joined H.R. MacMillan Export as manager; senior vice president
(1945-49). Following merger with Bloedel, Stewart and Welch, named
vice chair (1949-56). Remained on board of MacMillan Bloedel until
he retired (1969). Involved in philanthropic works, including Vancouver
Foundation (1943). Donated the purchase amount for the Shaughnessy
Golf Course, now the VanDusen Botanical Gardens.
William Cornelius Van Horne CPR executive
who named Vancouver b. Feb. 3, 1843, Chelsea, Ill.; d. Sept. 11,
1915, Montreal. Began work at 14, with Illinois Central Railroad.
By 1880, was general superintendent of the Milwaukee Road. Two years
later, joined CPR as general manager. Managed railway construction
from Winnipeg to Calgary (to August 1883). Visited Granville on
Aug. 6, 1884, pushed for renaming it Vancouver. Pushed rapid completion
of main line from Montreal to Port Moody. Named CPR president in
1888. Launched Empress line of Pacific steamships (1891) from Vancouver
to Hong Kong. Knighted in 1894.
C.B.K. (Charles Burwell Kerrins) Van Norman
Architect b. March 20, 1907, Meaford, Ont.; d. Sept. 13, 1975, Vancouver.
Graduated in architecture (U. of Manitoba, 1927). Came to Vancouver
in 1928. From 1930, his work included mansions for General A.D.
McRae, H.R. MacMillan (see bios) and F. Ronald Graham. Designed
Customs House, Burrard Building, Maritime Museum, Eagle Crest Lodge
at Qualicum Beach. Specialized in post-WWII schools and pre-fab
homes. Design consultant, Royal Centre (Burrard and Georgia); designed
many of Park Royal's stores. After convincing the city to allow
wider balconies than previously permitted, he won the Canadian Housing
Design Council's Centennial Award for Beach Towers (1600 Beach).
Frederick Horsman Varley Artist b. Jan. 2,
1881, Sheffield, Eng.; d. Sept. 8, 1969, Toronto, Ont. Attended
Sheffield School of Art (1892-1900) and Academie royale des beaux-arts
in Antwerp, Belgium (1900-02). Immigrated to Canada in 1912. A hometown
friend, artist Arthur Lismer, found him a job in Toronto as a commercial
illustrator. Later met Tom Thomson and Frank Carmichael. Acclaimed
for war paintings commissioned by Canadian War Records. A founder
of the Group of Seven (May 1920). Taught at Vancouver School of
Decorative and Applied Arts from 1926. In 1933, with J.W.G. MacDonald,
opened the B.C. College of Arts.
Alvo (Gustav Konstantin) von Alvensleben Realtor,
suspected spy b. July 25, 1879, Neu Gettersleben, Germany; d. 1965,
Seattle, Wash. Son of Count Werner von Alvensleben, he resigned
from the army and left Hamburg, arriving in Vancouver in June 1904.
A busy entrepreneur, he is said to have brought $10 million of German
investment to Western Canada. Bought Wigwam Inn at Indian River
Park, launched with a party for 600. Rumored to be a spy in 1914;
said to have left Vancouver in women's clothes on a night train
for Seattle. His Canadian assets were taken by the Custodian of
Enemy Property. Interned in 1917 near Salt Lake City. Moved to Seattle
after WWI; became a US citizen (1939). A possible submarine base
was found at the Pacofi Bay site of his Pacific Coast Fishing Co.
in the 1930s. He denied he had ever been a spy.
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