William M. Mott, owner of Mott Electric Co. posing with cable
on the deck of the Pattullo Bridge shortly before it opened Nov.
15, 1937. Mr. Mott later served as mayor of New Westminster from
1943 to 1948.
(Photo: New Westminster Public Library)
- 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 The Privy Council ruled invalid provincial
laws regulating the marketing of tree fruits and vegetables that
had the effect (intended) of stifling Chinese farmers. Ladner farmers
Chung Chuck and Mah Lai had appealed to the Supreme Court.
Early Performer Alan Young began in
early 1937 at CJOR, Vancouver. He joined the staff of CJOR
as assistant to program director Dick Diespecker. He scripted and
starred in a weekly show, Signal Carnival, helped with news
broadcasts, typed extra copies of drama scripts and occasionally
swept the office. He stayed there for three years, playing every
kind of role in radio drama. For the rest of his interesting career,
go to this
February 2 Eudora Jane Lochead, pioneer store
owner and poet, died in North Vancouver. Her (estranged) husband,
James, was a logging contractor. Wrote Constance Brissenden: She
opened Hastings Grove Store, the first general store in the area,
on Curtis in Burnaby in 1911. Above the store, she ran a rooming
house with 20 bedrooms (tents outside housed the overflow); the
dining room sat 60 boarders. Concerts were held fortnightly with
Eudora playing the violin. Her next store, in an area now called
Lochdale, opened in 1913 at Sperling and Hastings, with a post office
added March 1, 1914. A poet, her best-known work was Would Life
Be Worth Living.
February 24 Jack Blaney, president of Simon
Fraser University from 1997 to 2000, and now senior fellow at the
Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue in downtown Vancouver, was born
March 5 First mention of marihuana
in a Vancouver newspaper. The story in the Province reported
that traces of hemp were found in a dead mans stomach.
March 13 Composer Michael Conway Baker was
born in West Palm Beach, Florida, came to Vancouver in 1958. His
output is immense: movie music, TV shows, special events and openingshis
music opened Expo 86 and GM Place. Visit this
March 22 Fire destroyed the business and editorial
offices of the Vancouver Sun, at 125 West Pender, with damage
set at more than $200,000. There was just one casualty: the janitor
suffered minor burns and smoke inhalation. The newspaper came
out on time that day. The paper moved into the Bekins Building
across the street and bought the building May 18. We still know
it today, 40 years after they moved out in 1965, as the Old Sun
March 24 London, England-born Helena Gutteridge
of the CCF became the first woman ever elected to Vancouver City
Council. But she had been active long before that. Gutteridge was
born in London, England about 1880, came to Vancouver in 1911 and
organized the B.C. Womens Suffrage League, fighting for votes
for women. In 1915 she convinced the Vancouver Trades and Labour
Council to support equal pay for equal work in their constitution,
and in 1919 she united labour with women's groups and won passage
of B.C.'s first minimum wage act. (It varied by industry, but $13
to $15 a week was the range.)
March 30 Broadcaster Robert Red
Robinson was born in Comox. Red started broadcasting at age 17 on
Vancouvers CJOR November 12, 1954. He played music never before
heard on local radio: Rock-n-roll and Rhythm & Blues. The kids
went nuts, and in a year he had 54 per cent of the audience. Hes
still going more than 50 years later! See this
March 31 Construction began on the Lions Gate
Bridge, then the longest suspension bridge in the British Empire,
to give better access to the British Properties. More than 300 men
were employed in the construction.
May 6 The mighty German passenger Zeppelin
Hindenburg was attempting a mooring at Lakehurst, New Jersey.
Something went terribly wrong and she burst into flame and crashed.
The famous film of that disaster has been seen countless times since.
May 12 A Coronation Day service (celebrating
the accession to the throne of George VI and Queen Elizabeth) was
held at Brockton Point in Stanley Park. Alderman Jonathan Rogers
planted the King George VI Oak in the park.
May 22 The Common Good Credit Unit (BCs
first credit union), established August 22, 1936, made its first
loan, totalling $27.
Also May 22 The Palomar Supper Club opened
at Burrard and Georgia in Vancouver at precisely 9:00 p.m. Music
was provided by the DeSantis Swing Orchestra. A Vancouver Sun
story May 25 reported that several hundred couples were on
hand early to dance to the music and enjoy their first sight of
this ultra-modern and exceptionally beautiful indoor entertainment
May 27 The Golden Gate Bridge opened in San
May 29 Harold Steves was born, the fourth
generation of the Steves family on the original Steveston site in
May 31 Frederick McBain Young, judge and Masonic
leader, died in Vancouver, aged 73. He was born October 30, 1863
in English River, Que. He was Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of
B.C. Masons in 1901 and 1902. Young laid the cornerstone of Vancouver's
Carnegie Library on March 29, 1902.
June 2 Charles A. Woodward, department store
founder, died in Vancouver, aged 84. He was born July 19, 1852 on
a farm near Hamilton, Ont. In 1891 he visited Vancouver and bought
two lots for a store, then moved here in 1892 and opened his first
store where Georgia meets Main. The big Hastings Street store opened
in 1903, known later especially for its Woodwards Food Floor,
the first self-serve food floor on the continent. In a day when
grocery stores were small, this gigantic emporium wasthe right
wordexciting. In 1910, the store held its first one-price
sale day, 25 Cents Day, a forerunner of $1.49 Day. Woodward was
a one-term Liberal MLA at age 71. When he died his son William took
over. Woodwards lasted 100 years, a good run. He was named
to the Canadian Business Hall of Fame in 1966. See The Woodwards
by Douglas Harker.
June 3 The Duke and Duchess of Windsor were
married in France.
June 16 The federal government announced a
contract for eleven Blackburn Shark warplanes to be
built by Boeing at Coal Harbour for the Royal Canadian Air Force.
June 22 Alabama-born Joe Louis, 23, faced
world heavyweight champion James J. Braddock in a title bout at
Chicago's Comiskey Park. Although he was dropped early in the fight,
Louis rose from the canvas to score an eighth-round knockout. Visit
site for more.
July 2 Aviator Amelia Earhart, three weeks
short of her 40th birthday, went missing on a flight over the South
Pacific. She was never found.
July 5 Gordon Sylvester Wismer, Vancouver
lawyer, began serving as attorney general in the Pattullo cabinet.
July 19 Sliced bread came to Vancouver, eight
cents a loaf. It was the greatest thing to hit the city since .
. . since . . .
July 20 In a ceremony at the Peace Arch, women
from Canada and the U.S. sang the two national anthems.
August 2 Dr. Norman Bethune spoke in Vancouver
for the Canadian Blood Transfusion Service.
August 4 The Oak movie theatre opened with
great fanfare at Kingsway and Marlboroughtickets were 25 cents
for adults and 10 cents for children. Hailed as a masterpiece of
art moderne, it operated until 1968.
August 20 Executive and government official
Larry Bell was born in Vancouver. He has headed White Spot Restaurants,
VanCity Savings, BC Hydro. See this
Also August 20 The first annual Kiddies
Karnival at Brockton Point.
September 1 Pilots Billy Wells and Maurice
McGregor completed a round-trip from Vancouver to Seattle and back
for a brand-new airline, Trans-Canada Air Lines. Trans-Canada was
founded by the federal government, and Don MacLaren was its first
employee. Lockheed 10s were its first aircraft. See 1936 for more.
Regular intercity and transcontinental air mail services now became
available from Vancouver (with Trans-Canada Airlines).
September 29 A shipment of food left B.C.
for the Prairies, which was suffering through the worst of the Great
September A. E. Crickmay shot a 235-pound
bear at 234 East 15th Street in North Vancouver.
October 1 This is the date on a photo (VLP40
City of Vancouver Archives) showing U.S. president Franklin Roosevelt,
his wife Eleanor, BCs Lt.-Gov. Eric Hamber and Premier Duff
Pattullo on the steps of the legislature in Victoria.
October 27 B.C. premier Duff Pattullo was
awarded an Hon. Doctorate of Laws at UBC.
November 12 The Vancouver Non-Partisan
Association was formed at a luncheon meeting at Hotel Vancouver
today, the papers reported, when a large group of representative
citizens met to discuss the action of the CCF (Co-operative Commonwealth
Federation) in nominating a party slate for the municipal elections
in December. Elections were staggered back then, and just
four aldermanic seats were to be filled. Of the four victors, we
believe Henry Lyman Corey was NPA (party affiliations weren't shown
on the ballots back then.) They've done better since: in the late
1990s, the NPA was the dominant force in Vancouver civic politics:
the mayor and all 10 councillors were members. In 2005 they are
in what is likely a temporary eclipse.
November 14 The Vancouver Golf Club clubhouse
burned to the ground.
November 15 The Pattullo Bridge opened to
traffic. Premier Duff Pattullo, wielding a welders torch,
ceremonially cut a metal chain across the roadway. Length of the
$4 million bridge, including approaches: 7,800 feet. Its clearance
above the Fraser 150 feet. The Dominion Bridge Co., and Northern
Construction & J.W. Stewart Ltd. built it. Major W.G. Swan was
the consulting engineer. Several services have been installed beneath
the deck, the heaviest being water mains for the municipalities
to the south. There was a toll on the bridge of 25 cents which was
not removed until February 12, 1952. Said Premier Pattullo at the
opening: It is a thing of beauty. Yeah, right.
On the first day the Pattullo opened 5,000 cars crossed
it. Today, average weekday traffic is more than 60,000 vehicles.
The Pattullo Bridge caused a boost in population of areas to the
south for many thousands who found houses in Vancouver too costly.
November 18 Broadcaster Mike Winlaw was born.
Also November 18 Julia Willmothe Henshaw,
botanist and novelist, died at Caulfeild in West Vancouver, aged
about 68. She was born in Durham, England in 1869. She followed
in her naturalist father's footsteps, wrote Constance Brissenden,
photographing mountain wildflowers. She settled in Vancouver
about 1887 with her husband Charles Grant Henshaw. She was an editor
of the Province and a columnist for the Vancouver Sun.
A novel, Hypnotized (1898), was called Book of the Year.
In 1914 the Henshaws drove the first car across the Rockies. She
wrote several important plant studies, including Mountain Wildflowers
of Canada (1906) and The Wild Flowers of B.C. (1908).
She won the Croix De Guerre as an ambulance driver in France during
the First World War. Mrs. Henshaw was the one woman listed
in the pre-war Canadian Whos Who. Incidentally, she
strongly opposed giving women the vote.
November 24 A benefit tea was held in Vancouver
for Chinese war refugees from the Sino-Japanese War.
Also in 1937
The Lougheed Highway was completed.
The Cave Supper Club opened on Hornby Street. It
would be a part of the night club scene in Vancouver until 1981.
Winnipeg-born Bob Smith, the city's first jazz disc
jockey, at age 17 began playing big-band 78s on the CJOR program
Sparkie New and George Ellis began the
Coastal Towing Co.
In his history of the Vancouver Fire Department,
It Began With a Ronald, Alex Matches writes that Vancouver
fire fighters began wearing a new composition helmet this year in
place of the old, traditional leather helmet.
The Federal Building (housing federal government
offices) was built. Today, one of the few remaining art deco buildings
in the city, its part of Sinclair Centre.
Industries listed for this year in Surrey include
sawmills, CNR shops, a gypsum plant, tannery, grain elevators, fishing,
brick plant, farming, summer resorts and golf courses.
George Miller became mayor of Vancouver. He was the
first mayor elected 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 Burquitlam Municipal Cemetery was established.
Gordon Shrum became head of physics at UBC.
With more than 3,000 patients in care, insulin shock
and Metrazol therapy (no longer used) was introduced at Essondale
mental hospital, the first full-time dentist was appointed, a new
nurses' home was built and the first psychologist was appointed.
The first Lions Ladies Club was established
The Fisherman, a monthly publication of the
United Fishermen & Allied Workers Union, began appearing.
The Turner Valley oil discovery in 1936 triggered
a boom market in the VSE's junior oils, with the volume reaching
120 million shares this year.
Nat Bailey, who had opened the White Spot Barbecue
at 67th and Granville in 1928, replaced it with the White Spot Restaurant
and Drive-in. The legend began.
Centre Park, a 1,200-seat softball diamond location,
opened at Broadway and Fir. It was demolished in 1950.
Capilano Golf Course was established. The clubs
first professional was Jock McKinnon, who, wrote Ted Hunt in May,
2002 for Vancouver Magazine, played there virtually every
day from 1937 to 1967. His remarkable collection of best scores,
Hunt wrote, gave him a 16 on the outward nine and 17 on the
back. Every hole was eagled or double-eagled save two: the par-3
16th, which became too long to ace at 230 yards; and the 18th, too
long to deuce at 590. The Guinness Book of Records honors
McKinnon for his unsurpassed 33, only two strokes from complete
perfection on a par-72 course.
The Vagabond Players were formed in New Westminster.
They perform in the Vagabond Theatre in Queens Park, have produced
more than 250 plays, won over thirty awards at the Regional and
Dominion Drama Festival.
William Deverell, Vancouver lawyer and author, was
born in Regina.
City archivist J.S. Matthews and native elder August
Jack Khaatsalano compiled a map showing Indian Villages &
Landmarks: Burrard Inlet & Howe Sound Before the White Man Came.
Its at the Vancouver City Archives.
New York City-born Charles Edward Borden, who grew
up in Germany, graduated from the University of California with
a PhD in German Literature. He will come to Vancouver, and become
the Grandfather of B.C. archaeology.
Edmond Maillard, Fraser Mills confessor and the man
for whom Maillardville was named, returned to France to teach at
a Franco-Canadian College in Rhone. He died in France in 1966. For
more, see the 1909 chronology.
Edmonton-born radio pioneer Bill Rea, 28, who had
been commercial manager at CJAT, Trail, came to Vancouver and began
at CJOR. He will launch CKNW in 1944.
The Fisheries Commission was formed. One of its organizers
was Thomas Reid, a Liberal MP representing New Westminster.
Jung Jin Sow, superintendent of a local Chinese school,
presented a Chinese perpetual calendar he had created, the first
of its kind, to the Vancouver City Archives.
Using her own money, New Westminster-born Dr. Ethlyn
Trapp set up a centre in Vancouver to prove the benefits of radiotherapy.
Port Elizabeth, South Africa-born Ethel Wilson, who
came to Vancouver in 1898, an orphan at the age of 10, began writing:
she submitted (at age 49) a magazine piece for the left-leaning
New Statesman and Nation titled "I Just Love Dogs." There
was much, much more to come. See this
Vancouvers Foon Sien Wong, a legal translator
and interpreter, was named publicity agent of the Chinese Benevolent
Association's (CBA) aid-to-China program during Sino-Japanese War.
The North Pacific Cannery began operation. It was
an affiliate of B.C. Packers. The company wrapped up in 1958.
In 1937 a total of 538 people were squatting the
Vancouver waterfront, in houseboats, shacks and tents. Their numbers
continued to grow over the next two years, despite attempts of the
city to destroy their homes.
Maurice A. Gaudry opened his Morrays Fountain
Lunch at the corner of Smithe and Seymour Streets. When I
started," he told the Provinces Aileen Campbell,
"I sold a cake donut and a coffee for a nickel and did it for
two or three years others raised, but I stuck by it.
He would acquire the entire 50-by-120-foot site in 1969, and sold
it to the city in 1977 for $350,000.
Movie stars Richard Arlen (American), Lilli Palmer
(German) and Antoinette Cellier (British) star in a filmed-in-and-around-Revelstoke
production called Silent Barriers. (The original title was
The Great Barrier.) It's about the building of the CPR through
the Rockies. There are a lot of familiar names portrayed: William
Van Horne, Sir John A. Macdonald, Major Rogers, James Hill . . .
the movie plays fast and loose with the facts, but it's fun to watch.
Thanks to site visitor Gordon Rebelato for getting us a copy of
this film, in which his father Ernie, now 83, was an extra! We had
a delightful chat with the older Mr. Rebelato about his experiences
working for the CPR in Revelstoke, and how he earned a quite decent
salary for the time of 75 cents an hour as an extra in that film.
(I was in the mob scenes, he said, laughing.) The movie
was enjoyable: fast and loud and exciting, and it was fun to see
the actor playing William Van Horne, the president of the CPR, putting
a furious fist to the jaw of a complaining worker.
In her 1943 book The Ports of British Columbia
Agnes Rothery says local tugboats began using radio this year.
1937 Cord Super Charged
- 1884] [1885 - 1891] [1892
[1900 - 1905] [1906
- 1908]