Vancouver's new Brill T-44 trolley buses
A ribbon-cutting ceremony opened the new Oakridge Transit Centre on West 41st Avenue and dignitaries were taken on inaugural runs in the city’s new Brill T-44 trolley buses. The trolleys here were lined up on Pender near Cambie.

Chronology Continued

[1757 - 1884] [1885 - 1891] [1892 - 1899]
[1900 - 1905] [1906 - 1908] [1909] [1910]
[1911] [1912] [1913] [1914] [1915] [1916]
[1917] [1918] [1919] [1920] [1921] [1922]
[1923] [1924] [1925] [1926] [1927] [1928]
[1929] [1930] [1931] [1932] [1933] [1934]
[1935] [1936] [1937] [1938] [1939] [1940]
[1941] [1942] [1943] [1944] [1945] [1946]
[1947] [1948] [1949] [1950] [1951] [1952]
[1953] [1954] [1955] [1956] [1957] [1958]
[1959] [1960] [1961] [1962] [1963] [1964]
[1965] [1966] [1967] [1968] [1969] [1970]
[1971] [1972] [1973] [1974] [1975] [1976]
[1977] [1978] [1979] [1980] [1981] [1982]
[1983] [1984] [1985] [1986] [1987] [1988]
[1989] [1990] [1991] [1992] [1993] [1994]

1948

This year is sponsored.

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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!
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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 VPL’s web site.

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 feet—a 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 evening.”

March 20 Hockey’s Bobby Orr was born in Parry Sound, Ontario.

April 14 Two-way escalators in Vancouver’s Hudson’s Bay store made the newspapers.

April 18 The Ink Spots, starring Vancouver’s 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 didn’t 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 Vancouver’s first boat show.

May 9 The Women’s 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 destroy.

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 points.”

Also July 31 “Canadians,” said Mrs. Florence Aymond, speaking in Victoria, “speak the most consistent English in the world—even 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 Jack’s widow—his second wife—died 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 city’s 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 Vancouver’s 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 US.

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 site.

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 KRSC—later 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 Eaton’s’ 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 Spencer—the head of the Spencer stores—said 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 Airport.

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 Parsons—born June 29, 1939 in the London, England suburb of Ealing—came 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 CTV’s West Coast correspondent. Offered the six o'clock anchor spot at BCTV, he jumped at it. He’s been telling us what’s happening for nearly 30 years now, anchor of the most-watched local English-language newscast in Canada.

1948 was big for Vancouver’s Jennie Wong. She’d 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, she’d 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.

Vancouver’s 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 Library.

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 paved roads.

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 Bridge—which had to be opened when ships went past—was 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 $700,000.

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. UBC’s Sedgewick Library, the former undergraduate library, was named for him. See this site.

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 UBC—and hang today in the university’s Woodward Biomedical Library—is told by Dr. William Gibson in a fascinating account here.

Dr. Gibson’s 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. It’s a corker.

As for the tapestries, here’s 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 Spirit—parallel 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 here, but you can’t really get the full effect—and discern the differences in the details—until you stand in front of the real thing. It’s 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, it’s known as Prospera Credit Union.

Jimmy Lovick, described as “the true giant” of Vancouver ad men, who’d 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
1948 Frazer Manhattan
(Photo: Richard A. Wright)

Continued....

[1757 - 1884] [1885 - 1891] [1892 - 1899]
[1900 - 1905] [1906 - 1908] [1909] [1910]
[1911] [1912] [1913] [1914] [1915] [1916]
[1917] [1918] [1919] [1920] [1921] [1922]
[1923] [1924] [1925] [1926] [1927] [1928]
[1929] [1930] [1931] [1932] [1933] [1934]
[1935] [1936] [1937] [1938] [1939] [1940]
[1941] [1942] [1943] [1944] [1945] [1946]
[1947] [1948] [1949] [1950] [1951] [1952]
[1953] [1954] [1955] [1956] [1957] [1958]
[1959] [1960] [1961] [1962] [1963] [1964]
[1965] [1966] [1967] [1968] [1969] [1970]
[1971] [1972] [1973] [1974] [1975] [1976]
[1977] [1978] [1979] [1980] [1981] [1982]
[1983] [1984] [1985] [1986] [1987] [1988]
[1989] [1990] [1991] [1992] [1993] [1994]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Larry Campbell
Mayor Larry Campbell

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Ink Spots
The Ink Spots,
Bill Kenny in front, vocalizing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CKMO's Wilf Ray interviews Sammy Davis, Jr. at the Commodore in 1948. There's something about Wilf that caught Sammy's notice!
CKMO's Wilf Ray interviews Sammy Davis, Jr. at the Commodore in 1948. There's something about Wilf that caught Sammy's notice!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Ms. Everything in Sport,” Olympic athlete Marion Lay
“Ms. Everything in Sport,”
Olympic athlete Marion Lay

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edmund Desjardins
Edmund Desjardins

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jennie Wong
Jennie Wong