Joe Fortes, beloved English Bay
lifeguard, died in February, 1922.
- 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 1 At 2:00 a.m. motor vehicles in
British Columbia changed from driving on the left to driving on
the right hand side of the street. The change went surprisingly
smoothly; there were no accidents.
February 4 Joe Fortes, celebrated English
Bay lifeguard, died, aged about 57. His funeral at Holy Rosary Cathedral
was the most heavily attended in Vancouver history to that time,
with thousands outside the packed church. A small fact about Joe
that stays with you: he had, for all his life, one small well-thumbed
book by his bed, apparently the only book he ever read: The Imitation
of Christ by Thomas à Kempis. Joe arrived in Vancouver in
1885, aged about 20 (he was Barbados-born), as a crewman aboard
the Robert Kerr. He jumped ship to settle here and, being an excellent
swimmer, began to teach local people, especially kids. He taught
hundreds and hundreds of them to swim, and they loved him for it.
Credited with more than 100 rescues, in 1986 Fortes will be named
Citizen of the Century by the Vancouver Historical Society.
February 15 The investment firm of Odlum Brown
February 16 Radio personality Jack Cullen
February 18 Brothers M.J. Lannon and P.J.
Ryan founded Vancouver College.
February 21 Toronto-born James Welton Horne
died in Vancouver, aged 68. He moved to Coal Harbour in March 1885,
after business success in Manitoba, and invested in real estate.
He profited as the CPR approached. As founder of the B.C. Electric
Railway, he developed the street railway and interurban between
New Westminster and Vancouver. Over his career, he was a Vancouver
city councillor, a provincial MLA, and a parks board commissioner.
March 15 According to local radio buff Brian
Walks, Vancouvers first radio station, CJCE, run by the Vancouver
Sun, signed on today. The first night's programs featured a Digest
of the world's news at 8 p.m. followed by music from 8:30-9:30
p.m. The station shut down in 1923. Check
out this website.
March 18 The Vancouver Province started testing
its new radio service with a newscast at 8:30 p.m. The original
signal was heard as far away as High River, Alberta. Originally
Station FB, with its transmitter in the Merchant's Exchange
Building, it became CKCD in 1923.
March 22 The Weekly Optimist began publishing
in Delta, operated by the Dunning family. It will become the Delta
March 23 The Vancouver Daily World
newspaper launched its new radio station at 2 p.m. with news and
stock market reports. There were news bulletins throughout the day,
followed by music. Sign off was at 10 p.m.
March 31 William Henry Armstrong died in Vancouver,
aged 64. He was born September 18, 1857 in Stratford, Ont. After
1902 his firm, Armstrong, Morrison & Balfour, built the Fraser
River bridge at New Westminster, Great Northern Railway bridge across
False Creek, and early Granville and Main street bridges. Armstrong
paved many of Vancouver's streets. He caused a sensation in Vancouver
in 1899 when he brought in the first gas-powered automobile.
March After the establishment of government-owned
liquor stores in B.C. in 1921, they flourished. There were 51 stores
by March, 1922, including seven in Vancouver.
April 10 Sprott-Shaw Schools of Commerce &
Wireless Telegraphy and Radio Specialties Ltd started CJCE on AM
750 with 5 watts of power.
April 15 Lorraine McAllister, singer and actor,
was born in Saskatoon.
April 20 Radio Specialties Ltd. opened CFCQ
in Vancouver using 40 watts of power.
April 24 Thomas Ladner, farmer and salmon
canner died at age 84 in Vancouver. Born at Trenant Park in Cornwall,
England, he came to B.C. in 1858. In 1868, with his brother William,
he was the first to preempt land on the site of Ladner.
May 1 Victoria, spurred by a request from
the Vancouver School Board, took over the education of both the
deaf and the blind children of the province. And they found a building
for the new school, too. On May 1 the deaf students, 62 of them,
moved in. The blind kids followed in September. The British Columbia
School for the Deaf and the Blind had begun.
Also May 1 Richmond's first May Queen, Violet
Thompson, was crowned at Brighouse Park.
May 29 The Norsal, built to carry Powell River
Co. executives to the company's mill, made her maiden voyage from
June 22 Ontario-born grocer Robert Kelly died
in Vancouver, aged about 60. He came to Vancouver in 1890 and worked
for Oppenheimer Bros. He was the co-founder in 1896 of Kelly, Douglas
& Co. Ltd., wholesale grocery firm on Water St. in Gastown.
In 1901, his partner Frank Douglas drowned en route from Skagway
to Vancouver when his ship hit an iceberg and sank. Franks
brother Edward took over his role in the company. The firm introduced
their own coffee in 1896, and its trade name, Nabob, became a household
word. Kraft bought the brand in 1994, and its now the second-biggest
selling roast and ground coffee brand in Canada.
June 24 Restaurateur Frank Baker was born
July 22 George Henry Reifel was born in Vancouver.
In 1972, he will donate a portion of Reifel Island to the Crown
to maintain the George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary, named
for his father.
September 12 William Farrell, the first president
of B.C. Tel, died in Vancouver, aged about 68. Born in Huddersfield,
Eng., he came to Vancouver in 1891 and with associates formed the
nucleus of the B.C. Telephone Company. In 1948, the William Farrell
Building (Seymour and Robson) was built as B.C. Telephone's head
September Johan (Johannes) Buntzen, the first
general manager of the B.C. Electric Railway, died in Copenhagen
at age 63. He came to Vancouver in the early 1890s, managed early
development of the BCER from 1897. He supervised Buntzen Lake engineering
and electrical work, and was in charge of the Lake Coquitlam powerhouse
that provided Vancouver's electricity. He resigned from BCER in
1909 and retired to Copenhagen, his birthplace.
October 9 Robert McBeath, who had won the
Victoria Cross in action in France in 1917, and was now a Vancouver
police constable, was shot to death by a criminal. There is an excellent
article by Sgt. Steve Gibson at the Vancouver Police Department
Memorial site (click
here to view article). It describes the shooting, tells
how McBeath won the VC, and describes his funeral, one of the largest
in the citys history.
October 28 Students at the University of B.C.,
frustrated over endless delays by the provincial government in moving
them out to their new (and uncompleted) campus at Point Grey, took
part in the Great Trek today. Nearly 1,200 of them,
angry at having to study in the big and drafty Fairview shacks
on Willow Street, paraded through downtown Vancouver streetsled
by the band of the Irish Fusiliers. The students then boarded streetcars
to take them to Alma Road (now Alma Street) and the gates of the
campus. The male students boarded Broadway West streetcars, while
the women went on 10th Avenue cars. They continued their procession
along the dirt trail that led through the forest to the unfinished
site, joined forces at Point Grey and formed a huge UBC
with their bodies for the benefit of photographers. The government
responded by authorizing a $1.5 million loan to resume construction.
But it was still 1925 before the students could finally move in.
Fall Sumas Lake was pumped dry and the fertile
land beneath claimed for farming. It will become the richest, most
efficient dairy, berry and hop-growing region of the province.
December 11 Pauline Jewett, SFU President
from 1974 to 1978, was born in St. Catharines, Ont. She came west
to be president of SFU (1974-78), the first female president of
a major Canadian university. A good, brief bio
December 15 It became the law: women could
now serve on juries in B.C.
December 21 Isaac Oppenheimer, Vancouver businessman,
died in Spokane, Washington. He was one of the four Oppenheimer
brothers who thrived here. In 1886 he opened a wholesale grocery
warehouse in the Oppenheimer Bros. Building (Powell and Columbia),
Gastowns oldest brick building, now owned by singer Bryan
Adams. It became B.C.'s largest business of its type, and exists
today as The Oppenheimer Group, Vancouvers oldest locally-owned
company. Isaac was an alderman from1887 to 1889, with some of his
term overlapping with his brother Davids mayoralty.
Also in 1922
After his wife Grace died, realtor Henry Ceperley
sold their home, Fairacres, at Deer Lake in Burnaby and used the
money to build Ceperley Playground in Stanley Park. (Fairacres is
now the home of the Burnaby Art Gallery.)
In a move to curtail Japanese fishermen, fishing
licences to other than white, British subjects and Indians
were cut by up to 40 per cent. The Japanese fishermen took their
case to court and won, but the government enacted legislation to
allow the discrimination to continue. (The case went to the Privy
Council in England in 1929. The fishermen won, but by then only
A memorial to poet Pauline Johnson was unveiled near
Ferguson Point in Stanley Park. It was carved from natural rock
by James McLeod Hurry. The Women's Canadian Club had begun raising
funds in 1913 for this cairn, which marks the resting place of the
Mohawk poet's ashes. Incidentally, Johnson specifically decreed
in her will that no memorial be raised.
Electric power came at last to West Vancouver after
seven years of appeals to the B.C. Electric Company.
Pacific Stages Transport began a bus route from Vancouver
to Port Moody and Port Coquitlam. (Later the service was extended
to Haney and will eventually become Pacific Stage Lines.)
Charles Edward Tisdall became mayor of Vancouver.
He was a walnut farmer. Tisdall became the only mayor selected under
the system of proportional representation, in which the candidate
for city council who got the most votes became mayor. He succeeded
The Shaughnessy Heights Building Restriction Act,
which prohibited the division of single family dwellings into apartments
or housekeeping rooms, was passed in the provincial legislature.
There was one automobile for every 12 people in Vancouver.
Jake Grauer established the Frasea Dairy Farm on
Sea Island. It became Richmond's largest dairy farm, at one time
numbered 500 cows. The farm was shut down in 1954 to make way for
the expansion of the Vancouver International Airport.
Historian Cyril Leonoff writes: Benny Kubelsky
was playing the Orpheum circuit in 1922, along with the Marx brothers,
and accompanied Zeppo Marx to a family Passover seder in the home
of David Marks, a Vancouver tailor. There he met the Marks's daughter
Sadie. The couple married in 1927 and in the heyday of radio, under
the stage names of Jack Benny and Mary Livingstone, became a world-renowned
The B.C. Electric formed its own intercity bus operation,
B.C. Rapid Transit.
Rob Morris and Len McCann have written that the wooden-hulled
tug Master was built this year in Arthur Moscrop's False Creek Shipyard.
Presently maintained by an enthusiastic non-profit society,
Master attends maritime festivals as a representative of the pioneering
steam towboating era of the first half of the 20th century.
Baseballs Vancouver Beavers of the four-city
Northwestern League disbanded. They had won pennants in 1911, 1913
and 1914, then went into decline. They played at Athletic Park,
at West 7th and Hemlock.
Tom Fyles, a postman, became the first person to
complete a winter ascent of the Lions.
Canadian Pacifics Empress line of steamships
ended its service. The Empresses had been crossing the Pacific to
the Orient and Australasia since 1891. Empress of Japan, which had
arrived in Vancouver June 22, 1891 crossed the Pacific 315 timessetting
trans-Pacific speed records that were unchallenged during 22 years
of her active careerand steamed more than four million kilometres
(2.5 million miles.) She will sit in Vancouvers harbor for
four more years before being sold.
Sports writer Jim Kearney was born.
Novelist and screenwriter Ernie Perrault was born.
Historian Frederick Hubert Soward, 23, began teaching
in UBCs history department. In his early years he was known
as the boy wonder. He will keep at it until1966, headed
the department from 1953 to 1963.
Anne Margaret Angus wrote the first UBC student play
(The High Priest) performed by the University Players' Club.
Vancouvers first Good Citizen Award was given
to fire chief John Howe Carlisle.
The Vancouver Business and Professional Women's Club
Ontario-born Gordon Wismer, who had arrived in Vancouver
in 1907, began his own law firm in Vancouver, aged about 34. He
became one of B.C.'s best-known criminal lawyers, would go on to
become the provinces attorney-general.
With her husband Ephraim, Anne Sugarman founded the
Reform Jewish Sunday School. She had a full life, detailed in Pioneers,
Pedlars, and Prayer Shawls by Cyril Leonoff.
Minnesota-born George Frederic Strong, 25, began
to intern at Vancouver General Hospital. He will become internationally
known as a heart specialist. The G.F. Strong Centre is named for
Scotland-born future senator Thomas Reid was elected
a councillor in Surrey.
Radio CHLS founded by William Hassell. It was renamed
CKCD and run by the Daily Province.
Arthur William Delamont, 30, came to Vancouver. Born
in Hereford, England, as a young man he was active in the Salvation
Army Band in Moose Jaw, Sask. After his arrival here, he played
trumpet at the Pantages vaudeville theatre. He will become famous
as the organizer and conductor of the Kitsilano Boys Band.
The vaguely castle-like building on the east side
of Main at East 15th, which began life in 1915 as Postal Station
C, became the Dominion Agriculture Building. (Today, its called
H.R. Budd became president of the Vancouver Real
The Vancouver Information and Tourist Association
changed its name to the Greater Vancouver Publicity Association.
(Around 1922) Realtor Ernest Leonard Boultbee, with
a partner, formed Allan & Boultbee Ltd. It will merge with Macaulay,
Nicolls & Maitland around 1926. If any reader has precise dates,
we'd be pleased to know them. Contact us.
1922 Studebaker Roadster
- 1884] [1885 - 1891] [1892
[1900 - 1905] [1906
- 1908]