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The 1941 census showed the Metropolitan Vancouver
population had increased to more than 400,000, with about 70 per
cent of us in Vancouver City itself.
January 31 The first orders were given to
west coast shipyards for 10,000-ton cargo ships to convey war material
and food to war-ravaged Europe. Working against time the shipyards
will build new facilities and hire thousands of workers from all
walks of life throughout the West. Most shipyards worked 24 hours
a day, seven days a week. The west coast climate allowed work to
continue year-round, and Lower Mainland shipyards will build more
than half the ships Canada supplied to the war effort.
February 7 Writer Crawford Kilian was born
in New York, came to Vancouver in 1967. He will become a Capilano
College English professor, and will write extensively on education.
He has also written many science fiction novels. See this
February 11 One of the key figures in local
history, CPR land commissioner, surveyor and alderman, Lauchlan
Alexander Hamilton died in Toronto, aged 88. He was born September
20, 1852 in Penetanguishene, Ontario. He worked with a crew that
surveyed the western reaches of the Canada/US border, and as a CPR
land commissioner and surveyor established many Prairie townsites.
Hamilton arrived in Vancouver in 1883. He surveyed and named many
Vancouver streets. As a Vancouver city councillor (1886-87), says
Constance Brissenden, he proposed Stanley Park and laid out its
perimeter. Hamilton Street was named for (and by) him. A plaque
on the building at the southwest corner of Hamilton and Hastings
Streets commemorates the 1885 beginning of his major survey of the
city. The Vancouver City Archives has his survey books. Theyre
February 20 Singer/composer Buffy Ste. Marie
February 22 Vancouver movie maker Jack Darcus
was born. He will become a successful painter as well as a film
February 28 Wartime Housing Limited (WHL)
was incorporated. It will build rental units across Canada for war
industry workers. On the north shore 750 single family homes will
be built, as well as barracks-type apartments for single workers,
Westview School, a recreation centre, and a fire hall. (The houses
were supposed to have been removed at the end of the War, but 135
units survive, some into the 1990s.)
Also February 28 Vancouver's new YMCA building
opened on Burrard Street.
March 1 CKNW news reporter Arnold Epp was
March 6 The name of a west side street, Narvaez
Drive, was adopted by city council on the recommendation of the
Town Planning Commission. The street looks down on the waters first
navigated by the Spanish explorer Jose Maria Narvaez in the summer
of 1791. And see August 16.
April 3 Walter Henry Grassie, jeweller, died
in Vancouver, aged 80. He was born January 22, 1861, in Seaforth,
Ontario. Educated in Seaforth, he entered the jewelry business there.
Grassie arrived by CPR train in Port Moody in July 1886, came to
Vancouver by boat. His first shop was a little wooden building on
Cordova. His store was particularly favored by railway men.
April 12 Journalist Kevin Griffin tells of
a notable story from Vancouvers Welsh community: On April
12, 1941 Bob Ito, a Japanese-Canadian boy of under 10 years of age,
won in one category and came second in another at the annual Eisteddfod
April 19 Broadcaster Cameron Bell was born.
April 23 Burrard Dry Dock laid the keel of
the SS Fort St. James, the first of its North Sands 10,000-ton
cargo vessels. It will take nine months to complete. The last North
Sands ship, begun in March of 1943, will take just three-and-a-half
months. Despite thousands of workers new to the ship-building industry,
mass production techniques quickly enabled the formation of an efficient
May 18 One thousand Air Raid Precaution (ARP)
volunteers put on a public demonstration at Mahon Park in North
Vancouver. Chief Warden G. Robert Bates made the mock air-raid as
realistic as possible complete with low-flying bomber and
May 22 Vancouver had its first trial blackout.
May 24 The German battleship Bismarck
sank HMS Hood (which had visited Vancouver June 25, 1924).
There were only three survivors from the British ship.
May 27 The Royal Navy sank the Bismarck.
July 19 The first twilight horse races were
run at Hastings Park.
July 29 A mass victory meeting was held at
Brockton Point. There was community singing led by Sir Ernest MacMillan
with the Kitsilano Boys Band and Spencer's Remnants Pipe Band.
July 30 Singer/composer Paul Anka was born.
August 12 The Marquess of Willingdon, who
was Governor General of Canada from 1926 to 1931, and after whom
Willingdon Street in Burnaby is named, died at 75. There is an interesting
article on him here.
August 16 A Narvaez Pageant was held in West
Vancouver to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the sighting of
this shore by the Spanish explorer. (Narvaezs 1791 explorations
here preceded George Vancouvers by a year.)
August 26 The first Sun Free Salmon Derby
took place with its headquarters at Dan Sewell's marina at Horseshoe
August The first annual Civic Picnic in North
Vancouver was held.
September 5 William
Culham Woodward, 56, was sworn in as B.C.s lieutenant
governor, succeeding Eric Hamber. He will serve to 1946. (He was
the son of retailer Charles Woodward and the father of Charles Chunky
Woodward. He ran Woodward Stores with his brother Percival Archibald
Woodward until 1956 when Chunky became president.)
September 15 In pouring rain at old Athletic
Park at 5th and Hemlock, the Vancouver Grizzlies football team (you
read that right!), in their all-red uniforms, registered their first
and only regular season win of this their only season. It was a
7 - 6 victory over the Saskatchewan Roughriders on a touchdown by
In the west, writes UBC athletics historian
Fred Hume, only Regina and Winnipeg boasted professional football
franchises. A third team was sought to fill out the Western Conference
of what is now known as the CFL, so what better choice than Vancouver?
This was the thinking of Italo Tiny Rader and journalist
Jim Coleman, two fellows in their late 20s who possessed a love
of football, an entrepreneurial spirit and an impressive sports
background. They pooled their talents to found our first professional
football team, the Vancouver Grizzlies . . . But looking at the
season as a whole, cruel and unusual punishment could only describe
the Grizzlies schedule. Travel was a big part of their life.
Their eight league games were played in a span of 33 days and at
one point they played four games on the road in nine days!
So, season stats: one win, seven losses.
September 18 The Asahi play their last game.
Writes Tom Hawthorn: Located in the heart of the Little Tokyo
neighborhood, Oppenheimer Parks most popular tenants were
the Asahi ("Asa" for morning, "hi" for sun),
a baseball club formed in 1914 and composed of Japanese-Canadians.
The Asahi played their final game on Sept. 18, 1941. In the off-season,
following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the Little Tokyo
community was banished to exile on farms and internment camps. The
Asahi never played again.
September 23 Province columnist Jimmy
Butterfield died in Penticton, about 63. He was born c. 1879 in
London, England. He began a daily column, The Common Round,
in 1923. Butterfields name stands out because he wrote on
local doings, at a time when newspaper style could be stiff and
long-winded, in a voice that sounded personal. In the 18 years he
produced his column, he only once explained the origin of its name:
it seems the minister at his church in England consistently misquoted
an old verse that ran: Its the daily round, the common
task, That makes life all you need to ask. The minister recalled
it as the common round, the daily task. An odd coincidence:
on the very day Jimmy told his readers the story behind his columns
name, September 23, 1941, he died.
Also September 23 Famed actor Basil Rathbone
(still the best Sherlock Holmes in the movies) visited Vancouver.
He was here as part of a war bond drive. (Jeremy Brett is the best
Holmes on television.)
October 9 Future politician Peter Hyndman
October 21 Five women were elected MLAs today,
a record. One of them was Tilly Rolston (Vancouver Point Grey),
who would later cross the floor from the Conservative to the Social
Credit side, and still later (1952) become education minister in
W.A.C. Bennett's cabinet. Other women elected to the 48-seat legislature
included, said the Province, Mrs. Grace MacInnis, petite,
vivacious, capable wife of Angus MacInnis, CCF member at Ottawa,
elected in Vancouver Burrard, Mrs. Dorothy Steeves (North Vancouver)
and Mrs. Laura Jamieson (Vancouver Centre). The last-named three
were with the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF). Liberal
Nancy Hodges was also elected. Wallis Walter Lefeaux, barrister,
was elected a CCF MLA for Vancouver Centre. There is a good brief
October 25 North Vancouver No. 5 was
launched in False Creek, writes historian Rob Morris, as the
last car ferry for the North Vancouver Ferry system, a service which
had commenced around 1900. No. 5 ran from the foot of Lonsdale Ave.
in North Vancouver to downtown Vancouver. Maintenance costs and
post-war changes in auto transport such as the Lions Gate bridge
ended the service in 1958.
October 27 The troop transport Awatea
(Maori for Eye of the Dawn) left Vancouver for Hong
Kong with troops of the Winnipeg Grenadiers and the Royal Rifles
Also October 28 Mrs. W.W. Southam pressed
the control button to set in motion the first of two new presses
at The Vancouver Daily Province. Her husband, W.W., was the
newspaper's production manager. Each press would, at normal operating
speed, be capable of producing 45,000 newspapers per hour. For
the past five months, skilled technicians have been installing the
intricate mechanisms that control the roaring monsters.
November 6 Maj.-Gen. Victor Odlum of Vancouver,
who had been briefly in command of the 2nd Division overseas, was
chosen by Prime Minister Mackenzie King to become the new high commissioner
(in effect, ambassador) to Australia. The PM told the House of Commons
that in view of the situation in the Orient the government
had decided the best possible appointment to the Australian post
should be made. He went on to say that nobody was so
well qualified for the post as Gen. Odlum if he could be persuaded
Also November 6 Writer and broadcaster Allen
Garr was born.
November 9 The Westminster Regiment sailed
for overseas service.
November 12 The first person to donate blood
to the Red Cross in Vancouver was a bantamweight New
Westminster grocer named Jimmy Muir. Last week, the
Province reported, the mayor (Jack Cornett) drew Muir's
name from a hat and gave him the honor of being the first person
in Vancouver to contribute blood in the Red Cross 'blood bank'.
Another early donor was David Smith, of West 12th Avenue, a
carpenter in the Boeing factory on Coal Harbour, where 500 workmen
have each offered a pint of blood. The blood was to be sent
to the war zones.
November 14 Dateline Washington: A space
magazine editor predicts that 20 years from now the nations of the
world will be supporting 2,000 men on missions all over the
solar system. The cost of these missions will be so great,
he said, that the nations will have no room left in their budgets
for the costs of war. Dr. Franco Fiorio, editor of the Italian-language
magazine Missili & Razzi, was speaking to the American
Rocket Society. Maybe he meant to say 200 years.
November 19 The Provinces review
of the brand-new Humphrey Bogart movie Maltese Falcon gave
no indication of the classic it was to become. Maltese
Falcon, it read, isn't merely a straight thriller
liberally sprinkled with bodies. It's a clever psychological study
of some of the queerest queers that the movie city has ever dared
to present to its public. Humphrey Bogart is the grim-faced Don
Juanesque detective, and Mary Astor is a lady with a past who is
different but none the less dangerous. We think queerest
queers must have meant something different back then.
November 25 Frederick S. Maclure, co-publisher
with his sister Sara Anne McLagan of the Vancouver Daily World
died at Iona Island, aged about 77. He was born c. 1864 in New Westminster.
November 26 W.A.C. Bennett was first elected.
November 28 John Howe Carlisle, Vancouvers
first fire chief, died in Burnaby, aged 84. He was born November
4, 1857 in Hillsboro, New Brunswick. Educated in Alberta,
Constance Brissenden writes, Carlisle arrived in Vancouver
in 1886 and joined the volunteer fire brigade in May, just before
the Great Fire of June 13. In 1887 he was made brigade chief, and
by 1889 was chief of the Vancouver Fire Department with eight full
paid men and 12 call men. By 1906, there were
35 full paid men, two engines, plus a 75-foot aerial truck and village
truck, three two-horse hose wagons, two chemical two-horse wagons,
two combined two-horse hose and chemical wagons and 15 firehalls.
Carlisle was chief of the department for 42 years. He was the first
to be awarded Vancouver's Good Citizen Award (1922). Carlisle St.
is named for him.
December 7 Japan bombed the U.S. naval base
at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Canada declared war on Japan the same day.
December 8 Britain and the US declared war
Also December 8 British Columbia went
to war against Japan Sunday, the Provinces Paul
Malone wrote, a few minutes after the first bombs fell on
Honolulu and the Philippines. All military bases were on the
alert, and leaves were cancelled. Sweeping defensive
measures and coastal blackouts were forecast. RCMP and Provincial
Police swiftly rounded up dangerous enemy aliens while spokesmen
for British Columbia's 24,000 Japanese declared their unswerving
allegiance to Canada. Japanese language schools and newspapers
were closed, and a roundup of the Japanese fishing fleet,
which will be immobilized, was under way. Internment of Japanese-Canadians
will begin in early 1942.
As defence against aerial attack, blackout curtains
were strung across windows and car headlights were painted blue,
causing night-time collisions.
December 8 The electric flame at the Stanley
Park war memorial commemorating the Japanese-Canadian contribution
during World War I was switched off. It will not be switched on
again until 1985.
December 9 John Hart, 63, Liberal, became
premier. He would serve to December 29, 1947.
December 10 Iwatichi Sugiyama, a naturalized
British subject, is the only Japanese to vote in Vancouver's civic
December 11 The US declared war on Germany
December 14 Gas masks went on sale to the
general public. School children did their part by learning to study
with them on, and taking part in drills.
December 18-20 Gracie Fields performed at
December Mohill, Ireland-born John Hart was
elected Liberal premier of a coalition government, a position held
until he retired in 1947.
Also in 1941
Highway 7 (the Lougheed) first appeared on a map.
Semiahmoo Park was established in White Rock with
land leased from the Semiahmoo Indian band. The band later protested
unfair terms in its agreement with the municipality.
Surrey municipality owned so much land from unpaid
taxes during the Depression it gave away lots to generate tax income
Einar Neilson founded Lieban, a retreat for artists
and intellectuals on Bowen Island.
In Greater Vancouver in 1941 four out of five homes
do not have all of the following: a car, a telephone, a radio
and a vacuum cleaner.
J.W. Cornett became mayor of Vancouver, succeeding
Lyle Telford. He will hold the post until 1946. A Vancouver street
is named for him, and Wenonah Street was named for his daughter.
J.M. Fromme, the Father of Lynn Valley,
who in 1899 built the first house in the valley, and who from 1924
to 1929 was the reeve of North Vancouver District, died at age 83.
A subsidiary of the CPR purchased a controlling share
of the Union Steamship Company.
The population of North Vancouver District is nearly
6,000. North Vancouver City's population is 9,000.
Horse racing in Richmond suffered a blow with the
closure of Brighouse Park, as crowds fell because of the war and
the opening of Hastings Park on the PNE grounds in Vancouver.
Most German-Canadians in the lower mainland interned
at the 1939 opening of the war had been released by 1941.
Holy Spirit [Catholic] Church in New Westminster's
Queensborough area began services.
UBCs Alumni Chronicle, a quarterly,
The federal government took over operation of the
airport. Ottawa underwrote the Sea Island Boeing plant this year,
and two new one-and-a-half kilometre (5,000-foot) runways were built.
River Towing was formed by Cecil Cosulich. The company
The 1,178-seat Vogue Theatre was opened at 918 Granville
Street as the Odeon theatre chain's prestige movie house
in response to the Capitol and the Orpheum, operated by Famous Players.
Writer Marion Crook was born in New Westminster.
She has written much, but became a specialist in the lives (and
travails) of teens. See this
Writer Daphne Marlatt was born in Melbourne, Australia.
She spent much of her childhood in Malaysia before coming to Vancouver
in 1951. See this
Writer and columnist Stan Persky was born in Chicago.
He will become a sociology professor at Capilano College, and write
many books and countless columns. See this
Writer Ian Slater was born in Toowoomba, Australia.
He is most well-known for his thrillers and an acclaimed biography
of George Orwell. See this
Writer Tamio Wakayama was born in New Westminster.
He spent his early childhood in an internment camp at Tashme, B.C.
William Crawford, the president and managing director
of Empire Stevedoring, B.C.'s largest waterfront employer, donated
his yacht Fyfer to the Canadian Navy for war use. The Fyfer,
launched in 1930, was called the finest private yacht on the
Pacific. Crawford served without pay as a civilian consultant
to the ministry of shipping during the war.
Winnipeg-born lawyer Alexander Campbell Des Brisay
was elected president of the Vancouver Bar Association.
Radio CKCD merged with CKWX.
Harold Winch, leader since 1938 of the provincial
CCF, and the MLA for Vancouver East. became Leader of the Opposition
This was an optimistic posting: Vancouvers
Leonard Marsh became a research advisor to the federal committee
on post-war reconstruction. It took four more years to be post-war,
but they were ready!
Vancouvers Alexander Duncan McRaewho
had distinguished himself in the First World Warwas named
national chair of the Canadian War Services Fund. During the Second
World War, General McRae donated his Shaughnessy mansion, Hycroft,
to the department of health and pensions to be converted to a veterans
hospital. McRae then moved to Qualicum Beach on Vancouver Island.
1941 Packard Touring Sedan
- 1884] [1885 - 1891] [1892
[1900 - 1905] [1906
- 1908]