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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!

March 14 From an article by Aaron Chapman, published in the Courier December 16, 2004: “On an early and rainy Tuesday morning, March 14, 1972, an older man in an old bathrobe, pajama bottoms and sandals walked into the side lobby of the Bayshore Inn in Vancouver. Surrounded by a half-dozen bodyguards and staff, the tall, oddly dressed gent casually strolled around the nearly unoccupied lobby, commenting, ‘This is pretty nice.’ He moved into the elevator with the men and up to the penthouse suite where he would remain unseen, never leaving his single room for the duration of his six-month stay. Howard Hughes had arrived in Vancouver.”

A few minutes after his arrival he stood at his penthouse window to watch a seaplane land. The last time Hughes had viewed the harbor was in 1945, when he piloted Vancouver actress-turned-Hollywood star Yvonne de Carlo on a flight over Vancouver. This time, local photographers began a stakeout, but without success because Hughes was soon ensconced in a blacked-out bedroom. His refuge in Vancouver lasted from July to September.

March 18 The first purpose-built Martial Arts Centre, or dojo house, outside Japan opened in Steveston.

April 1 The Pacific Great Eastern Railway vanished, and the British Columbia Railway was born. This site has good historical background. In 2004 BC Rail would be sold to the Canadian National Railway.

April 20 Bulldozers demolished squatters’ huts at “Four Seasons” site near the entrance to Stanley Park. The site will become a park in 1977.

May 1 Muhammad Ali was defending the North American Boxing Federation heavyweight championship when he won a 12-round decision over George Chuvalo at the Pacific Coliseum tonight. Vancouver stock market player Murray Pezim arranged the match.

June 3 The Rolling Stones held a concert at the Pacific Coliseum, a riot broke out and 21 police officers were injured.

June 9 Elek Imredy's Girl in Wet Suit sculpture was unveiled on a rock off Stanley Park. (She’s often misidentified as a mermaid. Check her feet. She’s got a couple.) There’s an interesting article on the sculpture, and its Hungarian-born creator, here: According to Peggy Imredy, the artist's widow, the Girl “represents Vancouver's dependence on the sea and the necessity to use the sea for the benefit of all.”

The woman who posed for the work was Debra Harrington of Vancouver, whose father Clyde was a professional photographer.

There’s a nice story about its unveiling. Tom Butler, a former public relations professional (now retired and living in PEI), tells us: “The project was conceived by the late Vancouver lawyer Doug McK. Brown, who hired me to stick-handle the event. After the obligatory speeches, when the denouement arrived, Brown announced that, since the Girl belonged henceforth to everyone who used the park, it would be inappropriate for himself or any of the politicians present to do the unveiling. Rather, the honor should go to the first citizen who strolled into view along the seawall. The assemblage waited for 10 minutes in the rain, while the Sea Cadet Band from Discovery tootled its entire repertoire. Finally, two girls came along arm-in-arm and were startled when Brown told them the honor was to be theirs. The girls together pulled a string on shore that reached out to the canvas covering the Girl—and the historic unveiling was accomplished.”

Tom still has in his files the names of those girls, who, he writes, “quite accidentally strolled into Vancouver history.” They were Sharon Lockhart, and neighbour and Killarney High School classmate Mary McGowan, both 15, and both Navy League Wrenettes.

Elek Imredy, the sculptor, was born in Pest, Hungary April 13, 1912. He came to Vancouver in 1957 after the 1956 Hungarian uprising. His sculptures are exhibited in Canada, the US and Europe, and include a life-size statue of prime minister Louis St. Laurent in the Supreme Court in Ottawa. He created the bust of archivist Major J.S. Matthews at the City of Vancouver Archives, a sculpture of Judge Matthew Begbie (Begbie Square) and Lady of Justice at the Vancouver Law Courts. See The Sculpture of Elek Imredy by Terry Noble.

June 18 Western Canada's first multilingual radio station, CJVB, started by Jan van Bruchem, signed on at AM 1470. See this site. Today, under new owners, most of its programming is in Cantonese and Mandarin.

July 31 Ethlyn Trapp, radiologist, died in West Vancouver, aged 81. She was born July 18, 1891 in New Westminster. Constance Brissenden writes, “She was a graduate of McGill (BA, 1913), then worked in military hospitals during the First World War. She earned her MD at McGill in 1927. She studied in Europe, then practiced in Vancouver. Using her own money, she set up a centre to prove the benefits of radiotherapy (1937).She was director of the B.C. Cancer Institute from 1939 to 1944. First woman president, B.C. Medical Association (1946-47); first woman president, National Cancer Institute of Canada (1952); president, Federation of Canadian Medical Women. In 1963 she was awarded a citation from the Canadian Medical Association for her cancer research. Medal of service, Order of Canada (1968). An art collector, she deeded her home, Klee Wyck (named for her friend Emily Carr), to West Vancouver as an arts centre.”

August 1 CP Air begins flying to Peking.

August 22/23 At 9:58 in pitch-black darkness on Tuesday night, August 22, 1972 a nurse named Fran Cannon, 30, stepped into the waters of Georgia Strait at Neck Point, just north of Nanaimo. Waiting for her just offshore was the Charlotte Strait, a tug owned by Rivtow Straits, and a smaller boat aboard which was Fran’s husband, Dennis. Fran was determined to be the first woman to swim across Georgia Strait.

The Charlotte Strait, with its two skippers, Joe Gosse and John Cosulich, and its smaller companion fell into place beside Fran as she began to swim strongly to the northeast. Her destination was Davis Bay at Sechelt, more than 25 kilometres distant. It was so dark the little crew had to shine flashlights on Fran to locate her in the waters of the Strait, which now began to chop slightly in 15-knot winds from the southeast. "We’d hoped for winds from the west," Fran says, "to help push me along, but I was never in trouble. No cramps or anything. I stopped in the water and rested every hour or so, and they fed me Sustagen [a fortified milk product] from a cup held out at the end of a broom handle."

At 1:05 on Wednesday afternoon, August 23 Fran stepped ashore at Davis Bay, almost exactly 15 hours after she’d started.

Why’d she do it? “Dennis and I had a friend, Mike Powley, who was the first man to swim the Strait. That was in August of 1967. I just wanted to be the first woman to do it.”

Fran and Dennis Cannon live on Bowen Island today.

August 30 Dave Barrett and the NDP won the provincial election. Barrett, a 43-year-old social worker from Coquitlam, became the province’s 26th premier, would serve to December 21, 1975 when Bill Bennett, son of the man Barrett defeated, defeated him in turn. Barrett was born in Vancouver October 2, 1930, worked as a social worker. He would be Leader of the Opposition from 1976 to his retirement from politics in 1983.

Outgoing premier W. A. C. Bennett, in office for 20 years, one month, and 15 days announced he had left the incoming administration with what he called a $574.8 million nest egg.

September 6 Web site designer (this one, for example) Stephanie Davis was born in Vancouver.

September 8 “A network of underground pedestrian ways,” wrote Art McKenzie in The Province, “is being developed in the downtown core of Vancouver that may ultimately allow shoppers to move between the various sectors on foot or by moving sidewalk or escalator free of the discomfort of weather and the hazard of surface traffic.”

The two major developments cited were Royal Centre and Pacific Centre. One of the projects being discussed was a tunnel from the Hotel Vancouver east to Pacific Centre, but a Canadian National Railway official (the CNR ran the hotel then) said that had not been considered seriously. "But," the paper reported, "there will definitely be a tunnel from the present courthouse to the Pacific Centre." Hasn’t happened yet.

Also September 8 David Miller of Vancouver won Olympic gold in yachting.

September 9 Dominic Charlie, Squamish leader and weather forecaster, died today, aged about 87. He was born or baptized on Christmas Day in 1885 near Jericho Beach. Old-timers will remember Dominic Charlie (or, to give him his Salish name, Tsee-Qawl-Tuhn) for his frequent appearances in local newspapers predicting, with impressive accuracy, the long-range weather. More importantly, he and his half-brother August Jack Khahtsahlano collected stories and saw them published as Squamish Legends: The First People. He decided late in life to learn to read and write English and sat in with the kids in a Grade One class. He was 85 at the time. The Tomahawk Grill named a hamburger for him.

September 12 Shin Shimotakahara (née Kusama), community leader, died in Toronto, aged about 81. She was born c. 1891 in Japan. Constance Brissenden writes, “A prominent woman in the Vancouver Japanese community before the Second World War. With her husband, Dr. Kozo Shimotakahara (born c. 1886 in Japan; died November 30, 1951 in Kaslo, B.C.), she ran a TB hospital and clinic for Japanese immigrants. Kozo arrived in Vancouver in 1900, and lived in the Japanese Methodist Church dormitory. He enrolled in Strathcona Elementary at 14, later studied medicine at U. of Chicago. He met Shin in Seattle while studying for his medical license exams (which he passed with first class honors). They corresponded in English until their marriage June 5, 1916. During the Second World War, the family was interned in Kaslo, where they remained. He practised medicine until the day of his death. From the late 1950s, Shin lived with her daughter in Toronto.”

September 26 Leon Joseph Koerner, forestry industry executive, died in Vancouver, aged 80. He was born May 24, 1892 in Novy Hrozenkov, Moravia, in what was then Czechoslovakia. From 1938 to 1972 he was a forestry industry innovator and executive. A creative philanthropist, he was particularly generous to UBC's faculty club and graduate student centre. He and his wife Thea established the Leon and Thea Koerner Foundation with a capital grant of $1 million and further bequests in their wills. The foundation serves culture and the creative arts, social services and higher education.

There is a fascinating short biography of the Koerners at this site, which details the harrowing ordeal they underwent as Hitler began his territorial designs on their country. A portion of it reads: "Leon Koerner received many honours during his lifetime including an honorary LLD. from the University of British Columbia in 1957 and an honorary Ph.D. from Simon Fraser University in 1967. Posthumously, he was inducted into the Canadian Business Hall of Fame in 1983, and in 1999 he was one of 50 men and women named as British Columbia’s business leaders of the century. Many tributes were paid to him in the press after his death, none more fitting than an editorial in the Vancouver Sun, which read, in part: “Leon Koerner had a consuming sense of debt, and it was not warranted . . . He contributed a whole new forest industry of immense value to the Canadian economy . . . His feeling of obligation persisted . . . and . . . became a magnificent obsession . . . The account he ran with Canada was a private affair, a thing of the heart. By any reckoning—except perhaps Leon Koerner’s—he died, this week, a debt–free man.”

The web site also outlines the programs of the Koerner Foundation.

September 30 John “Gassy Jack” Deighton's body, which had lain in an unmarked grave in New Westminster’s Fraserview Cemetery for 97 years (he died in 1875), was finally located. A headstone was erected today, thanks to the Gassy Jack Memorial Fund. Daniel Wood, a local freelance writer, had gone looking for Jack’s final resting place and after a long search—ending as Daniel spotted a tiny bare spot in the cemetery grass which he pried open with his fingers—found it.

November 10 We began using permanent licence plates on our cars in B.C., using stick-on tabs to indicate the year.

Also on November 10 At Cape Canaveral Telesat Canada launched the world’s first commercial domestic communications satellite, Anik 1, into geostationary orbit. (‘Anik’ means ‘little brother’ in the Inuit language.)

November 24 Wallis Walter Lefeaux, barrister, died in West Vancouver, aged 91. He was born September 19, 1881 in London, England. After clerking in England, he arrived in Canada in 1901. He worked as a fur trader, grocer and real estate agent. In 1912 he ran for the CCF as an MLA (Interior riding) but lost. In 1918 he became a lawyer and defended objectors to military training. In 1919 he defended the worker leaders of the Winnipeg General Strike. “He offered classes in economics in which Marx’s Das Kapital was taught.” An original CCF member, Lefeaux was elected president of the CCF for three consecutive terms. He was MLA for Vancouver Centre from 1941 to 1945. He declined requests to run for a federal seat.

December 4 A new minimum wage of $2 an hour went into effect in B.C. Labor minister Bill King made the announcement, and said that further increases to $2.25 and $2.50 would take place in two stages over the following 18 months. (The minimum wage today is $8 an hour.)

December 8 Broadcaster Dorwin Baird died in North Vancouver, aged just 56. He had been an announcer with CJOR in the 1950s, and a commentator on CKWX. He was the producer of a book review feature Silent Friends.

December 13 Art Phillips led his TEAM players to a big win in city council: Phillips was joined by eight TEAM aldermen, ending 35 years of NPA domination.

December 29 The Vancouver City Archives, in a building named for the late archivist Major J.S. Matthews, were officially opened at Vanier Park by outgoing Mayor Tom Campbell. It would be impossible to write on Vancouver history without the City Archives. The Major is responsible for the core of the collection. The archives, under the direction of Reuben Ware, is a great (and free) place to visit for anyone interested in local history.

Also in 1972

Three governments granted money for the beautification of Gastown. Utility wires were buried, trees were planted, and old-fashioned street lights—modeled somewhat after the originals—were installed. Subtle, unobtrusive touches were added: the chain-linked bollards between the sidewalks and the roadways, for example, are there to discourage jay-walking. That they happen to look good is a bonus. The streets were paved with brick. The city’s planner for Gastown, Jon Ellis, said it was the first time a North American city had torn up good streets to rebuild them in the old style.

Dennis Cocke became provincial Minister of Health.

May Brown won election to the Vancouver Parks and Recreation Board.

Sushma Sardana, a well known Kenya-born radio-personality in the Indo-Canadian community, moved to Vancouver from England, where she was with the BBC. She would become the first Hindi and Punjabi announcer at CJVB Radio in Vancouver until 1978 when she would start her own station.

Sydney, Nova Scotia-born (May 23, 1947) Gary Bannerman, a Province columnist, was lured away by radio CKNW to become one of “The Investigators.” He and Shirley Stocker and a large cast of others would conduct hundreds of ratings-boosting investigations. (Today, he jokes that he publishes more material than Harper Collins, a byproduct of a corporate communications consulting business: reports, newsletters, brochures, videos, Internet, Power Point and even coffee-table books.)

The Canadian Wildlife Service bought much of Reifel Island this year, and George Henry Reifel (born July 22, 1922 in Vancouver) donated the rest of the island to the Crown to maintain the George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary, named for his father, George Conrad Reifel. The latter had bought and renamed the island in 1927. It had been called Smoky Tom Island, but no one’s quite sure why. The Sanctuary is one of Canada’s premier bird-watching sites, and winter home of the lesser snow geese. They have more than 60,000 visitors annually. Click here for more.

Davey (David Lambie) Black, golfer, in his late 80s, was inducted into the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame. He was the golf pro at Shaughnessy Golf Club from 1920 to 1945. See his obituary entry for March 26, 1974 for a fuller description of his long and distinguished career.

Neighborhood pubs were approved by the provincial government, breaking the hotel industry’s monopoly on the sale of draft beer.

The musical Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris opened at the Arts Club Theatre, in a co-production with David Y.H. Lui that changed the face of entertainment in Vancouver. Over its initial run it drew 40,000 people to the Art's Club Seymour Street theatre—even selling out 11 a.m. Sunday matinees! The show starred Leon Bibb, Ruth Nichol, Anne Mortifee, Pat Rose and Brent Carver.

Joan Sutherland performed in the title role of Lucrezia Borgia for Vancouver Opera. It was her debut performance in this role.

The Vancouver Opera Guild began its Opera In The Schools program, designed as an introduction to opera for children in grades 1 to 7. They put on more than 170 performances within Greater Vancouver and in the interior. Now in its 33rd season, the program has brought more than 1.5 million people to the world of opera. Each year, more than 50,000 school children see a performance by the ensemble.

This season (until May of 2006) they’re presenting Naomi’s Road, a new opera for young audiences, composed by Ramona Luengen, with libretto by Ann Hodges. It’s based on Joy Kogawa's novel. Go here for more.

Griffiths Gibson Productions, which had started June 26, 1967 (with Brian Griffiths and Brian Gibson) expanded to become Griffiths Gibson & Ramsay Productions Limited, with the arrival in the firm of Miles Ramsay. They went on to become one of Canada’s leading commercial jingle studios.

Cyber-fiction master William Gibson, born March 17, 1948 in Conway, South Carolina, came to Vancouver. He started writing fiction at UBC while earning an English degree. He would sell his first science fiction story to Omni in 1981. His first novel, Neuromancer (1984), would win Hugo and Nebula Awards and the Philip K. Dick Memorial Award, an extraordinary hat trick in science fiction. An excellent interview with Gibson by Antony Johnson of Spike is here, and see this site.

Swiss-born Rene Dahinden, with the help of journalist Don Hunter, wrote Sasquatch, a summary of his 20 years’ research into the Sasquatch.

Stephani Paine (Stephani Hewlett Paine) joined the staff of the Vancouver Aquarium. She would be with them until 1991 as a curatorial assistant, staff biologist and manager of public affairs. Born in Vancouver in 1946, she has written Sea Life of the Pacific Northwest and Beachwalker: Sea Life of the West Coast. As a media personality, consultant and writer on marine biology she was most widely known as Stephani Hewlett. (The spelling ‘Stephani’ is correct.)

Penticton-born novelist E.G. Perrault published his second novel, The Twelfth Mile, described as “a suspenseful tale about a West Coast towboat operator.”

Writer Sean Rossiter, born in Halifax in 1946, came to B.C. He was (and is) a freelance expert on Vancouver civic affairs, while also teaching journalism. His essays on the history of aviation in Legends of the Air are drawn from 22 aircraft types housed in Seattle's Museum of Flight. Rossiter wrote the award-winning The Hotel Georgia: A Vancouver Tradition, published in 1998 by Douglas & McIntyre.

Bill Millerd became the Arts Club Theatre’s artistic and managing director. He still is!

The insanely surreal CBC radio program Dr. Bundolo's Pandemonium Medicine Show began. Taped before university students, who revelled in its irreverent and raunchy humor, it would last to 1980, then move to CBC-TV for two seasons. The show was produced by Don Kowalchuk, and written by Jeffrey Groberman and Dan Thatchuk (the latter now known as Colin Yardley). Stars included such folk as Bill Reiter, Norm Grohmann, Marla Gropper and Bill Buck.

Impresario Sam Feldman launched S.L. Feldman & Associates, and before long the one-time doorman commanded the majority of club and concert business west of the Manitoba/Ontario border.

Bridge Marker, a sculpture by George Norris, was installed at the west end of the Georgia Viaduct. It consisted of liquid-filled glass spheres designed to reflect traffic patterns.

Byron Black’s film Master Of Images was released. Says Michael Walsh: “Puckish conceptual artist Black offered his personal take on the state of cinema with this non-linear tale of a young woman (Lulu Ulul) who flees the city for some karmic readjustment and experiences a kaleidoscopic 1960s-style happening.”

Richard Walton’s film In Pursuit Of . . . was released. Michael Walsh describes it: “Private girls-schoolmates (Cecilia Smith, Celine La Freniere) learn about life and love in this upbeat, mildly moralistic romantic comedy.”

Universal Studios released The Groundstar Conspiracy, directed by Lamont Johnson. Simon Fraser University provided a futuristic background for this science fiction thriller. Michael Walsh writes: “A CIA spymaster (George Peppard) uses an amnesiac scientist (Michael Sarrazin) to trap the foreign agents responsible for blowing up a U.S. space research centre (Simon Fraser University).”

The movie Another Smith For Paradise, directed by Tom Shandel, was released. Writes Michael Walsh: “In this fictional examination of ethnic ambition, a dynamic Ukrainian-Canadian stock promoter (Henry Ramer) plans a grand gesture to impress Vancouver's WASP Establishment. Besides Ramer, the cast list includes many well-known local performers: Frances Hyland, Otto Lowy, Sam Payne and Pia Shandel.”

One Minute Before Death, a film directed by Rogelio Gonzales, was released. It was produced, says Michael Walsh, “with an American look for the Mexican market. Director Gonzales filmed Wanda Hendrix and Giselle McKenzie in an elegant old Shaughnessy mansion.” Based on the Edgar Allan Poe short story, this was also known as The Oval Portrait.

Photographer Ulli Steltzer, who was born in Frankfurt, Germany in 1923 and emigrated to the U.S. in 1953, moved to Vancouver. Her photographs would grace many outstanding books over the next two decades. Her photography and Robert Bringhurst's text for The Black Canoe would receive the Bill Duthie Booksellers' Choice award in 1992.

The literary landscape of the province was mightily enhanced this year when Howard White began the periodical Raincoast Chronicles, telling the stories of B.C. pioneers. They became a successful series of books, and by 1974 his company, Harbour Publishing, would be up and selling. White’s Order of British Columbia citation reads, in part, “He has brought the little-known fishing villages, logging camps, and coastal settlements to the public’s imagination, thus giving the coastal culture a permanent place in B.C. history and literature.” Many of the books were his own: Spilsbury’s Coast, Writing in the Rain, The Accidental Airline and others. His crowning achievement: The Encyclopedia of British Columbia. White was born April 18, 1945 in Abbotsford. His impeccable taste is illustrated by the fact that he will be the publisher of The History of Metropolitan Vancouver.

The Public Archives of Canada published The Great Vancouver Fire of 1886 by J.S. Matthews, city archivist.

Mitchell Press published The Ladners of Ladner: By Covered Wagon to the Welfare State, by Leon J. Ladner. Great title.

The Strathcona Boys & Girls' Library, in conjunction with Strathcona Elementary School, opened.

Construction of Pacific Centre started.

The boat-building Wallace family sold Burrard Drydock to Cornat Industries of Vancouver.

City Stage began running lunch-hour theatre out of a donut shop in the West End.

Karen Magnussen won a silver medal in figure skating at the Winter Olympics in Japan.

Vancouver’s Bruce Robertson was outstanding at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, swimming the second fastest time ever. He won a silver medal in the 100m butterfly, second only to Mark Spitz. Combined with his bronze medal in the 4x100 medley relay, Bruce brought home two of the five medals Canada won at the 1972 Games.

Lars Hansen, a 6-foot-10 centre from Coquitlam's Centennial Secondary, led his high school’s basketball team to the B.C. title. He would go on to play four seasons at the University of Washington in Seattle.

The UBC men’s basketball team won its fourth national championship.

The North Vancouver Museum and Archives collected the holdings of the lower mainland’s first museum, which had been at the Moodyville Mill. The museum features outstanding early photos and changing exhibits of lively social and industrial life, including the shipyards that fitted out 70 per cent of the Victory ships for the Second World War.

Wales-born chef John Bishop arrived in Vancouver, began to work in local restaurants.

Kazuyoshi Akiyama was appointed music director of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. See this site for more.

J.V. Clyne, chairman and CEO of MacMillan Bloedel, and a former judge on the B.C. Supreme Court, was made a Companion of the Order of Canada.

Burnaby's old Municipal Hall, opened in 1912, was torn down. It had been shared by the RCMP from 1935 to 1956, then by the library.

A roe herring fishery began on the Lower Fraser for the Japanese market. At $3,350 a tonne it was a lucrative business.

Cypress Lodge, on the west side of Alta Lake at Whistler, was bought by the Canadian Youth Hostels Association.

Harold Steves, a great-grandson of Richmond pioneer Manoah Steves—after whom Steveston is named—was elected as an NDP MLA. He had been a member of Richmond Council since 1968, and actively involved in preserving Steveston's heritage.

The Don't Make a Wave Committee changed its name to the Greenpeace Foundation.

Greenpeace III (originally the Vega) sailed to French Polynesia to protest against French atmospheric nuclear tests. The boat, a 12.5-metre hand-built ketch, belonged to David McTaggart, chairman of Greenpeace International from 1969 to 1973. The Vega was retired when McTaggart retired after being severely beaten, with others of his crew, during the 1972 protest. (In 1978 he wrote, with journalist and fellow Greenpeace member Robert Hunter, Greenpeace III: Journey Into the Bomb.) McTaggart died in a car accident March 23, 2001 near his home in Italy. See this site.

DeCosmos Village, the city’s first co-op housing development, opened at East 49th Avenue at Boundary Road within the Champlain Heights neighborhood. The designer was architect Francis Donaldson. The development was named for an early BC premier. Champlain Heights was the last undeveloped acreage within the city limits to be built up. Writes architectural historian Harold Kalman: “The showcase residential community was planned in the early 1970s, with curved roads and cul-de-sacs serving a mix of housing types and income levels. The City retained ownership of the land, leasing it to developers. This stucco-and-wood housing co-op, inspired by the idea of European townhouses around a public square, provides a comfortable, human scale.”

There was a huge fuss when the “Black Tower” went up. The TD Bank Tower at 700 West Georgia was not an instant hit with the public. Its glossy black 30 storeys and 127-metre height were greeted with cries of derision and dismay. Then there are those who say it’s quite elegant.

The old Georgia Viaduct, opened in 1915, was dismantled and a new one built. Bridge engineer Robert Harris wrote about the old span: “A classic product of low bidding ($494,000) and meagre supervision, it was never a sound bridge. Streetcar tracks were laid but never used. Every second lamppost was removed to save weight. Much blacktop was used to fill mysterious sags and hollows in the deck. People passing below were injured by falling concrete, and concrete spans were propped with timber. The bridge was replaced by the parallel Georgia and Dunsmuir viaducts in 1972, each carrying three lanes of one-way traffic.”

The alignments of the two new viaducts suited the city's downtown one-way street policy, with Georgia eastbound, Dunsmuir westbound. The two structures cost $11.2 million.

The provincial government delegated responsibility for air quality management to the Greater Vancouver Regional District, creating a regional focus for clean air initiatives. Since then the GVRD has been responsible for air quality monitoring and the regulation of air pollution sources.

The TRIUMF cyclotron, operated in conjunction with U Vic and the University of Alberta, was built at UBC. This facility, the largest of its kind in the world, continues to attract top-notch researchers despite occasional funding cutbacks. The name TRIUMF was coined to represent Tri-University Meson Facility, and is still used, although six universities are now involved, and another seven are listed as associates. See this site.

To quote its website: “The heart of the facility is the world's biggest cyclotron, which is used to accelerate 1000 trillion particles each second. A cyclotron is a special type of particle accelerator that accelerates particles as they follow a spiral path through it. The TRIUMF cyclotron accelerates particles inside an air-free chamber between the poles of an electromagnet whose magnetic field guides the particles in an expanding spiral path. The particles are accelerated by ‘kicks’ of electric voltage every half turn. When the beam reaches the outside edge of the tank, it is bent into pipes called beam lines, which lead to experimental halls.”

TRIUMF, they explain, is also a centre for the practical application of this basic research:

“It is the only centre in Canada using proton therapy to treat eye-cancers, and in the past was one of two centres in the world where pion beams were used on an experimental basis to destroy brain cancers in human patients.

“TRIUMF researchers have built a Positron Emission Tomograph (‘PET Scanner’), one of only three operating in Canada, used at the UBC hospital for specialized brain scans.

“Scientists at TRIUMF are participating in developing new radiopharmaceuticals, microchips, computer software, original new designs for small cyclotrons, remote-controlled equipment, analysis of mineral samples, and many other high-tech innovations.”

A building housing UBC’s Civil-Mechanical Laboratories opened.

UBC won a North American competition with an electrically-powered car, the ‘Wally Wagon,’ named for President Walter Gage (who was a favorite among engineering students).

The Buchanan Tower opened at UBC. It’s a 12-storey office/seminar room extension to the Buchanan Building. Completed at a cost of just under $2.6 million, it’s the tallest building on campus: 150 feet (45.7 m) high. It holds 267 faculty offices and nine seminar rooms.

UBC’s Geological Sciences Building opened. The building is architecturally unique on campus: it’s made entirely of standard-sized pieces fitted together, and has been compared to a ‘Meccano’ set. All of the interior walls are movable (except the dinosaur wall) enabling additions or changes to the building to be made quickly and relatively easily. The Pacific Museum of the Earth, opened June 19, 2003, is here, with one popular exhibit being the 80-million-year-old skeleton of a Lambeosaurus dinosaur. The dinosaur’s name is George. See this site.

The Woodward Instructional Resources Centre was completed at UBC, paid for with money given to UBC by the P.A. Woodward Foundation. The Centre was named for Charles Woodward, who founded the first pharmacy in B.C., as well as Woodward's Department Stores. The complex includes a Biomedical Library, five lecture halls with a seating capacity of 117-500, fourteen seminar rooms, Health Sciences Deans' Offices, the Department of Biomedical Communications and two lecture theatres each with a seating capacity of 700 people.

A 13.7 hectare site in the Lynnmour area of North Vancouver between Lynn Creek and the Seymour River was chosen as the site for Capilano College. A bear was found hibernating in the region when work began on clearing the site for the college's first permanent facility.

Robin Mayor was appointed principal of the Vancouver School of Art. In 1978 (thanks largely to Mayor’s efforts) it will become independent of Vancouver Community College, and be renamed the Emily Carr College of Art.

A 74-bed extended-care unit was completed on Richmond Hospital’s Westminster site; a second unit on Minoru Boulevard was acquired and converted, adding 36 beds.

BC Business, a monthly business magazine, was launched by Joe Martin of Agency Press. It passed through the hands of several owners, until in 1990 it was taken over by Canada Wide Magazines. The editor from 1985 to 2004 was Bonnie Irving, her 19 years at the helm possibly the longest tenure of any general-interest editor in the lower mainland. She was succeeded as editor by Noel Hulsman. The magazine’s writers, staff and freelance, have won many awards. Canada Wide has sponsored 1976 in The History of Metropolitan Vancouver.

Many other new publications appeared locally in 1972. They included:

* Beale's Industry Letter, a resource industry newsletter published 26 times a year. (The publisher, Colin Beale, died in 2006.)

* British Columbia Medical Association News, a bi-monthly publication for members of the British Columbia Medical Association.

* Capilano Review, a journal of poetry, art work and short fiction published three times a year at Capilano College.

* Discovery, a quarterly publication of the Vancouver Natural History Society.

* Kinesis: News About Women That's Not in the Dailies, published 10 times a year by Vancouver Status of Women. It covered news from a feminist angle, analyzed government policies, feminist theories and debates within the women's movement.

* Professional Recreation Society of B.C. Newsletter, a bi-monthly.

* Sentinela, a semi-monthly printed in Portuguese, with news of the Portuguese-speaking community.

The Lady Alexandra, built in 1924 and used for decades to carry vacationers and daytrippers to resorts and vacation spots at Bowen Island and along the southern B.C. coast, had become (in 1959) a floating restaurant in Coal Harbour. This year she was towed to Redondo Beach, California, to become a gambling hall. A storm later damaged her badly and she would be scrapped in 1980.

The J.H. Carlisle, Vancouver’s first fireboat, built in 1928 at Burrard Dry Dock, was converted to a workboat, and now toils at Port Edward on the Skeena River.

Harold Merilees died. He was called “Vancouver's first great ad man.” Michael McCullough wrote, in The Greater Vancouver Book, that Merilees got his start in 1925 in Spencer’s Department Store’s direct mail advertising department. “Merilees moved on to the B.C. Electric Railway Company in 1931, and eventually became the firm's manager of public information. During World War II, he was loaned to the National War Finance Committee to promote sales of Victory Bonds and combat absenteeism on the home front. In 1950 Merilees was elected president of the Advertising Association of the West, a federation of 47 advertising clubs in 14 western states and provinces. He would devote his skills to public projects such as Vancouver's diamond jubilee celebrations in 1946, the British Empire Games in 1954 and the B.C. Centennial in 1958. In 1962, as head of the Vancouver Tourist Association (precursor to Tourism Vancouver) he founded the Sea Festival. In 1969, he was elected as the Social Credit MLA for Vancouver-Burrard. He died in office.”

Back on May 25, 1981 Merilees’ name came up in the B.C. legislature in a funny little comment by NDP MLA Dennis Cocke, aimed at the member for Surrey, a fellow named Bill Vander Zalm, who just happened to have been born in the Netherlands.

MR. COCKE: I notice the member for Surrey (Hon. Mr. Vander Zalm) is beginning to get a little tense. Speaking of the member for Surrey, years ago we had a delightful member for Burrard here by the name of Harold Merilees, who unfortunately died. But before he died he made a suggestion that certain plants be planted along the freeway. Those plants were to be planted, say, from Vancouver out to Abbotsford, or as far as they could possibly get them. Suddenly we saw those plants emerging—a beautiful little yellow flower that I see now is beginning to run into competition. Now that daffodil that almost became part of the freeway is being usurped by tulips, and I wonder if the member for Surrey . . . .


MR. COCKE: I suggest, Mr. Chairman, that the member for Surrey, the Minister of Municipal Affairs, when he went back to his homeland, Holland, last year, probably imported more tulips than he could use, and suddenly we see them sprouting up, on the freeway. Congratulations. It's at least some place to sow them, and I rather like them. But in memory of Harold I think that we should make sure that there are more daffodils than tulips on the freeway between Vancouver and Abbotsford . . .

1972 Chevrolet Corvette Greenwood
1972 Chevrolet Corvette Greenwood


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Muhammad Ali won a 12-round decision 
        over George Chuvalo
Muhammad Ali won a 12-round decision
over George Chuvalo







Elek Imredy's Girl in Wet Suit sculpture was unveiled on a rock off Stanley Park
Elek Imredy's Girl in Wet Suit sculpture





































CP Air's inaugural flight to Peking (Beijing), China, August 1, 1972 (photo: National Archives, C 62483)
CP Air's inaugural flight to Peking (Beijing), China, August 1, 1972
[Photo: National Archives, C 62483]































































Dr. Kozo Shimotakahara in Kaslo, c. 1943
Dr. Kozo Shimotakahara in Kaslo, c. 1943
(Photo: The Langham Centre)









Leon and Thea Koerner (date unknown)
Leon and Thea Koerner (date unknown)
[Photo: UBC]

















John “Gassy Jack” Deighton's headstone
John “Gassy Jack” Deighton's headstone


























































































































William Gibson
William Gibson
(Photo courtesy BC Bookworld)
















Sean Rossiter
Sean Rossiter
(Photo courtesy BC Bookworld)















































Ulli Steltzer
Ulli Steltzer
(photo courtesy BC Bookworld)









































































































































































Geological Sciences Building (UBC) in 1972
Geological Sciences Building (UBC) in 1972

School children meet dinosaur George. (Photo: Pacific Museum of the Earth)
School children meet dinosaur George
(Photo: Pacific Museum of the Earth)