A ribbon-cutting ceremony opened the new Oakridge Transit
Centre on West 41st Avenue and dignitaries were taken on inaugural
runs in the citys new Brill T-44 trolley buses. The trolleys
here were lined up on Pender near Cambie.
- 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 3 Art Jones and Ray Munro, photographers
at the Vancouver Sun, both of them mad at Hal Straight of
the Sun for some unremembered reason, went into business
as freelancers in a company they called artray. Their base of operations
was Nine East Hastings Street. An early assignment: flooding in
the Fraser Valley (May). A vast collection of their photos has been
donated to the Vancouver Public Library, and can be seen on the
January 12 Future B.C. premier Gordon Campbell
was born in Vancouver.
January 30 Mahatma Mohandas Gandhi was assassinated.
February 19 Motel construction along Kingsway
was approved, can go ahead.
February 28 Future Vancouver mayor Larry Campbell
was born in Brantford Ontario. See a bio here.
March 6 Under a large photograph in the Province
of an unhappy young man sitting among the rubble of the partially
demolished Giant Dipper roller coaster appeared this story:
THEY'RE TEARING DOWN the Giant Dipper at Vancouver's
Hastings Park today to make room for the extension of the racetrack.
This may be good news to adult followers of the galloping bangtails,
but it's something close to a major tragedy for thousands of youngsters.
Shown viewing the crumbling skeleton with nostalgia and sorrow is
14-year-old Bob. Said Bob, If they want to rip things apart
in this town, why don't they start in on a few schools? The
Giant Dipper has been a top attraction at the midway since 1925.
It cost $65,000. It was almost a mile long, and the cars reached
40 miles an hour. The longest sheer drop was 60 feeta thrill
credited with having hastened the ripening of many a beautiful friendship.
In 1927 the Duke of Windsor, then the Prince of Wales, tried out
the Dipper one afternoon and liked it so well he returned in the
March 20 Hockeys Bobby Orr was born
in Parry Sound, Ontario.
April 14 Two-way escalators in Vancouvers
Hudsons Bay store made the newspapers.
April 18 The
Ink Spots, starring Vancouvers Bill Kenny,
started a two-week engagement at the Palomar, their first. They
had been booked for a June 1947 appearance, but some kind of problem
with the booking agent developed and they didnt appear. The
last known performance of the Ink Spots when Bill Kenny was still
with them was in Ottawa at the Gatineau Club either October 31st
or November 1st , 1953.
April 26 Vancouvers first boat show.
May 9 The Womens Auxiliary to the Air
Services dedicates a Remembrance Garden in Stanley Park as
a living memorial in honoured tribute to the service, sacrifice
and achievement of our gallant airmen. A poem on a plaque
in the garden reads:
Not here they fell who died a world to save
Not here they lie but in a thousand fields afar
Here is their living spirit that knows no grave
Not here they were but are
May 24 Flooding of the Fraser River began.
Before the flood ended in early June it had wreaked enormous havoc:
ten people died, there was $20 million in damage (in 1948 dollars),
more than 16,000 people lost their homes, rail service was disrupted
for two weeks, and more than 80 bridges were washed away. Greater
Vancouver was isolated from the rest of the country for days, as
both railways and the Trans-Canada Highway were cut. Barnston Island
was inundated and cattle had to be removed. Dead cattle floated
downstream from Fraser Valley farms.
On May 31 Premier Byron Johnson declared a
state of emergency.
Up and down the river thousands of citizens and more
than 3,000 troops labored together, filling sandbags and dumping
gravel, whatever it took to hold back the raging waters. The author
was in Grade 8 at Maple Ridge High School in Haney at the time,
and remembers being sent out with schoolmates to help lay sandbags.
Remarkable photographs of the flood can be seen at this
New Westminster Library site.
There had been a similar dramatic flooding in the
same areas more than 50 years earlier, with the water going even
higher, but the 1894 flooding occurred when there was far less to
June 28 Broadcast instructor (BCIT) Brian
Antonson was born.
July 14 The first cottage hospital
at Langley Memorial Hospital opened with 35 beds.
July 30 A story in the Province: Joy
Coghill, one of Vancouver's best known actresses, is going to Chicago
in search of her master's degree in directing and producing. Miss
Coghill started acting as a child in Scotland where she went to
school. When she came to Vancouver in 1940 she entered into dramatics
and attended UBC where she graduated with a B.A. degree. Recently,
she directed the UBC Players in School for Scandal.
July 31 Out of the London Olympics came a
cheering story of the Canadian basketball team's victory over first
Italy, then England. The big, fast Italian team went into
an early lead as the Canadians opened their bid for the zone title,
but were soon overtaken through the efforts of 21- year-old Pat
McGeer of University of British Columbia who led the team with 12
Also July 31 Canadians, said Mrs.
Florence Aymond, speaking in Victoria, speak the most consistent
English in the worldeven if it is consistently wrong.
Mrs. Aymond, described as a well-known examiner in speech arts and
drama, added We tend to flatten our vowels and take the music
out of our speech. But on the Coast, in Vancouver and Victoria particularly,
vowels in general are very good. We have musical vowel sounds with
affectation. Mrs. Aymond said Canadians tend toward harshness
of speech, and blamed it on the tremendous pace of living. Rushing,
she said, tends to tighten the muscles, so that we scamp our words
and don't take time to articulate.
August 10 Gassy Jacks widowhis
second wifedied at age 90 on the North Vancouver Indian Reserve.
Her native name was Qua-Hail-Ya, but she was known to Jack and others
as Madeline. She was 12 years old at the time of her 1870 marriage
to Deighton, the niece of his first wife, and the mother of his
only child, Richard Mason Deighton, born in 1871. Richard died,
just five years old, in November, 1875, six months after his father.
To the end of her days, Madeline spoke fondly of Jack.
August 13 There is a ribbon-cutting ceremony
to open the new Oakridge Transit Centre on West 41st Avenue just
east of Oak Street. Civic and other dignitaries are taken on inaugural
runs in the citys new Brill T-44 trolley buses. On the 15th
B.C. Electric offered free rides to the public on the new buses,
and on August 16th the first of 30 new T-44s entered revenue service
in the city.
First passengers received a route map and an explanation
of how the trolleys worked. Source: Vancouver's Trolley Buses
1948-1998 Celebrating a Half-Century of Service. Writer/Editor:
Heather Conn, BC Transit, 1999.
September 1 Vancouvers Mayor Charles
Jones died in office, just over a year after succeeding Gerry McGeer,
who had also died in office. Alderman George Miller, who had been
mayor in 1937-38, took over the mayor's duties until the end of
the year. (Charles Thompson became mayor in 1949.)
September 10 Margaret Sinclair was born in
Vancouver. When she was 18, she would meet Pierre Trudeau, who was
then Minister of Justice, in Tahiti. Trudeau became prime minister
in 1968, would marry Sinclair in North Vancouver March 4, 1971.
September 20 Bing Crosby brought his hugely
popular Philco radio show to Vancouver and recorded a program September
22 at the Sunset Memorial Centre on East 51st Avenue. It aired October
13. (Jack Cullen occasionally played excerpts from that show on
his own CKNW program.) Appearing with Bing on the show were jazz
violinist Joe Venuti and actors Marilyn Maxwell, William Gargan
and Ray Milland. This benefit for the Centre was unique in being
the only program in the Philco series transcribed outside of the
A song hit of the time was Hair of Gold, Eyes
of Blue. It began with the words I came down from Butte,
Montana, but Bing changed the lyrics on air to I came
down from West Vancouver.
Before the show, incidentally, Crosby was made a
full-blooded Indian Chief. The Squamish tribe made him
an honorary member with the title Chief Thunder Voice.
September 22 Bing Crosby drew a capacity crowd
to the Forum.
October 3 Hallelujah Point in Stanley Park
was officially named to commemorate the work over 60 years of the
Salvation Army in B.C. 1887-1947.
October 17 Actress Margot Kidder was born
in Yellowknife, NWT.
October 18 A small bust of former mayor Gerry
McGeer was unveiled to stand on the north side of City Hall.
November 14 Prince Charles was born at 9:14
p.m. London time in Buckingham Palace.
November 26 Ms. Everything in Sport,
Olympic athlete Marion Lay was born in Vancouver. Lay, well known
for her involvement in the advancement of women in sports, is active
today in planning the 2010 Winter Games. See a biography at this
November 28 A ghostly image of a Seattle high
school football game materialized on a four-by-five-inch screen
at a home in West Vancouver's British Properties. As reported in
the Province the following day, radio-shop proprietor E.A.
Mullins had built the primitive set from a kit that cost $238. Nine
viewers, Mullins family and friends, gathered to watch the
telecast from Seattle TV station KRSClater to become KING-TV.
December 1 The T. Eaton Co. took over the
nine stores in B.C. of the David Spencer chain. The president of
the company, John David Eaton, visiting from Toronto, said the purchase
wouldn't affect Eatons plans to demolish the old Hotel
Vancouver and eventually build a modern store at Georgia and Granville.
The newspapers held back the story of the sale because Chris Spencerthe
head of the Spencer storessaid he wanted to be the first to
tell his employees. The Spencer chain, which began modestly in 1873
in Victoria in a store called Victoria House, included stores in
Vancouver, Victoria, New Westminster, Nanaimo, Courtenay, Duncan,
Chilliwack and Mission. The Vancouver store had opened in 1906 on
Hastings between Seymour and Richards and eventually expanded to
take up the entire block.
Also in 1948
Edmund Desjardins, a founding director of the G.F.
Strong Centre, became its first manager, a post he held until 1979.
He guided its development into an outstanding rehabilitation institution.
Desjardins was confined to a wheelchair as a quadriplegic in 1944
as a result of a training accident at Sandhurst Military College
in England. As Chairman of the Architectural Committee for the Social
Planning and Review Council of British Columbia, Desjardins prepared
and presented a comprehensive set of design standards for persons
with disabilities that was adopted by the City of Vancouver in its
building by-law. His work was also important in the incorporation
of design standards for accessibility into British Columbia provincial
building codes. Mr. Desjardins would be appointed to the Order of
Canada in 1975. In 1996, at a civic ceremony, Vancouver mayor Philip
Owen said, Ed Desjardins' contribution to the health care
community and the public is immeasurable. His years of leadership,
teaching and support have changed the way we look at people with
disabilities. That work is literally set in stone all around this
city. His pioneering work on design standards for people with disabilities
is part of the Vancouver Building By-law and the B.C. Building Code.
Ed Desjardins has given us a legacy that will continue for generations.
The airport is officially named The Vancouver International
Ron Thom, architect, graduated from the Vancouver
School of Art.
North Vancouver mountaineer Don Munday, who with
his wife Phyllis climbed many B.C. mountains, produced a splendid
book, The Unknown Mountain, recounting their adventures.
The specific peak of the title is Mount Waddington, highest mountain
totally within B.C. (13,177 feet or 4,016 metres.) The Mundays reached
the northwest summit of Waddington in 1928.
Television newsman Tony Parsonsborn June 29,
1939 in the London, England suburb of Ealingcame to Canada
with his family in 1948. He eventually got into broadcasting, with
several years in Ontario radio and TV. Then came a posting to Vancouver
as CTVs West Coast correspondent. Offered the six o'clock
anchor spot at BCTV, he jumped at it. Hes been telling us
whats happening for nearly 30 years now, anchor of the most-watched
local English-language newscast in Canada.
1948 was big for Vancouvers Jennie Wong. Shed
entered a contest sponsored by The Vancouver Sun with several
radio stations participating. The winner would be given a radio
show of his or her own. Jennie, along with others, sent in her audition
tape to a panel consisting of Freddie Robbins, a New York City disk
jockey, Frank Sinatra, and orchestra leader Claude Thornhill. She
won the contest and was given a half-hour Saturday afternoon program
on CKMO that she called Jennie's Juke Joint. Besides being the first
Chinese-Canadian disk jockey, she was also the first female. Later,
shed work for CBC Edmonton as the weather girl
on their morning radio show, then start her own business doing theatrical
and television make-up in Edmonton. That gig lasted for 25 years!
She lives in Edmonton today as Jennie Diment.
Jack Varaleau, now of Vancouver, captured the British
Empire Weightlifting championship. He broke the Olympic record for
the event. Flight Sergeant Varaleau, who served in the Canadian
military from 1940 to 1969, would later pick up a gold medal at
the 1950 British Commonwealth Games.
Vancouvers Roy Mah began to publish a bilingual
(Chinese and English) newspaper, The New Citizen. It ran
until 1952. Microfiche copies are viewable at the Vancouver Public
Singer Karl Norman tells of an event at TUTS (Theatre
Under The Stars) in Stanley Park this year during a production of
the operetta Naughty Marietta. The power failed during the
show! The orchestra kept playing, Karl says, and
I kept singing, and people from the audience lined up their cars
at the back of Malkin Bowl and lit the performance with their headlights.
In 1925 Arthur Whalley opened a service station,
general store and soft drink stand in Surrey. When Pacific Stage
Lines later opened a bus stop there they called it Whalley's Corner.
The name Whalley was officially adopted this year.
Westlake Lodge on Hollyburn Mountain installed rope
tows. Lift tickets were $1.50.
Sixty thousand daffodil bulbs were planted along
Stanley Park Causeway, a gift from the Netherlands to thank Canadian
soldiers for helping to liberate their country from the Nazis.
The Surrey Parks Commission was established.
Bus service began in Burnaby, which now had many
The Cloverdale Rodeo was enlarged, but had to be
postponed to Labor Day because of the Fraser floods.
After World War II there was a housing crisis, so
120 acres of empty land in Vancouver were quickly developed in Vancouver
near Grandview Highway and Boundary Road. Alderman Halford Wilson,
chair of the civic street naming committee, announced that the new
streets there would be named after wartime personalities, locations,
battles and events. That gave us: Worthington and Falaise Avenues,
Dieppe, Anzio, Mons, Normandy, Seaforth and Maida Drives, and Vimy
and Matapan Crescents. Malta Place completed the set. (Donald and
Jack Worthington were soldiers, sons of a former alderman.)
The old Fraser Street Bridgewhich had to be
opened when ships went pastwas mechanized. Since 1905 the
bridge had had to be opened by hand. (It would have another 26 years
of life before being replaced by the Knight Street Bridge in 1974.)
Beginning in 1943, military historian Peter Moogk
has written, the receding danger of attack brought a gradual
reduction in the local defences to release trained personnel for
the Canadian Army in Europe, which was now in continuous action.
Soon after the war's end in September 1945 the gun batteries were
dismantled and closed. Fort Point Grey was the last to go, in 1948,
and there, appropriately, is a historic maker at the restored No.1
Gun position that recalls the battery's history.
The Welsh community, journalist Kevin Griffin reports,
raised enough money this year to send a hand-carved bardic chair
to the Royal National Eisteddfod in Bridgend, Wales. Presented annually
to the winning bard at the festival, the chair was made from black
walnut and white cowhide and combined traditional leeks of Welsh
Eisteddfod design with a West Coast native design by Bill Calder.
The Biological Sciences Building at UBC was built.
It has had many additions and alterations since.
The UBC Physics Building was opened by Premier John
Hart. In 1963 it was dedicated in honor of Dr. A.E. Hennings, a
UBC Professor of Physics for 29 years, and renamed the Hennings
Building. An outstanding feature is the exterior granite columns.
Many features of the design were incorporated from what were then
ultra-modern physics labs in Sweden. Built at a cost of more than
The UBC Main Library had a north wing added.
Garnet Gladwin Sedgewick, a Shakespearean scholar
and a member of UBC's English Department since 1918, retired. UBCs
Sedgewick Library, the former undergraduate library, was named for
him. See this
Two large Gobelin tapestries, Masters of the Spirit
and Masters of Science, were created in France and were finished
this year, each taking three years to complete. They were a gift
to UBC by the P.A. Woodward Foundation. The story of how these tapestries
were acquired by UBCand hang today in the universitys
Woodward Biomedical Libraryis told by Dr. William Gibson in
a fascinating account here.
Dr. Gibsons remarks touch only briefly on the
tapestries; they were just one acquisition in a mind-boggling variety
of acquisitions over the years of ancient manuscripts and other
objects. Make yourself a cup of tea or coffee and sit down to read
his long web site page. Its a corker.
As for the tapestries, heres what Gibson has
to say about his visit to France to Antoine Behna, who owned them.
The only tapestries which he had allowed out of France were
gifts to the Pope and President Truman. Nonetheless he showed me
several others stored in his extensive barns. One of those caught
my eye. It was entitled Masters of the Spiritparallel
to the one we had, but in this case the characters portrayed were
great philosophers and writers of the past. He would not part with
it however, for one of his oldest tapissiers, while working on this
massive 16 x 11 feet beauty suffered a cerebral haemorrhage at 68
years of age when he was only half finished the project.
The disastrous stroke affected the man's perception
so that the right half is a shambles compared with the left half
which preceded it. M. Behna would not allow it to be sold lest people
viewing it would make fun of his unfortunate weaver. I explained
that I was a neurologist with scientific interest in this amazing
result, and that my colleagues in far-off Vancouver had the same
interest. Finally he agreed that in those circumstances we could
buy it. I must say we paid rather handsomely for our interest.
The tapestry arrived eventually on a great roller, and was hung
above the Masters of Science. Many physicians and psychologists
have come to see it since.
This Neurological Tapestry is visible
but you cant really get the full effectand discern the
differences in the detailsuntil you stand in front of the
real thing. Its a dramatic experience.
North Vancouver District came out of receivership,
its citizens now able to run the city themselves.
The Canadian Journal of Mathematics, a bimonthly
academic journal, began to be published by the Canadian Mathematical
Society through the Department of Mathematics at UBC.
Hiballer Forest Magazine, a monthly trade
publication for the forestry industry, began to be published.
Maritime historians Leonard McCann and Rob Morris
write that the Prince George (II) was built in Esquimalt
this year, at the time the largest commercial vessel to have been
built in Canada. She served regularly and uneventfully on
the Canadian National Railway's tourist cruise run between Vancouver
and Alaska. Sold in 1975, the Prince George passed through
a bewildering succession of owners and projected uses, some of which
came to fruition, almost all of which lost heavily. Tied up in Britannia
Beach in Howe Sound she was totally gutted by fire in October, 1995.
Fourteen charter members signed a constitution, gathered
$48 in assets, and started what was, until fairly recently, Fraser
Valley Credit Union. The fourteen closed 1948 with 53 members and
assets of $2,441.35. Today, its known as Prospera Credit Union.
Jimmy Lovick, described as the true giant
of Vancouver ad men, whod been active in local advertising
since 1934, struck out on his own this year. He opened James Lovick
& Co. offices in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal. By
1958 Lovick & Co. would be the largest agency in Canada, with
additional offices in Edmonton, London, Ont., Halifax, New York
and San Francisco. Lovick established his headquarters in his own
building, a handsome structure at 1178 West Pender Street.
1948 Frazer Manhattan
(Photo: Richard A. Wright)
- 1884] [1885 - 1891] [1892
[1900 - 1905] [1906
- 1908]