October 3, 1948
A tiny spot in Stanley Park has a long and pleasant
history. Native people had been passing by for centuries, but around
1860 the Royal Engineers made a small clearing there for a survey
post. A fellow named Johnny Baker, whod married a local native
girl, built a shack in the clearing and moved in with his family.
He made the clearing larger, put in a little garden and started
keeping pigs. But in 1888 a road was built around the park (paved
with discarded shells dumped over centuries by the native residents)
and Johnny and his family had to move.
The Salvation Army had arrived in Vancouver in December
1887, holding their first meetings above a grocery store at Abbott
and Water Streets. But when the weather was nice the "Hallelujah
Lassies" and other adherents would go across the water"armed
with flag, drum and tambourine"to Johnny Bakers
clearing and have picnics there. They built a simple shelter and
a picnic table, and held services. Their singing and shouts of Hallelujah!
Hallelujah! led to locals calling the place Hallelujah Point.
On October 3, 194857 years ago todaythe
spot was officially named Hallelujah Point in honor of the Armys
60 years of service in B.C. Its where the Nine OClock
October 4, 1983
In 1969 Fred Hill, a linebacker with the Philadelphia
Eagles, and his wife Fran were told their three-year-old daughter
Kimberly had leukemia. Hill and his wife Fran took Kim to St. Christopher's
Hospital for Children in Philadelphia. For the next few months they
slept in chairs in Kim's room, ate out of vending machines and tried
not to show sadness in front of her. Hill talked to his teammates
and asked for help in raising funds, not just for Kim but for all
kids whose parents needed help.
Out of that painful experience came the idea for
Ronald McDonald House. (The McDonald's Restaurants franchise owners
in Philadelphia got behind the idea in a big way.)
There are more than 250 of these houses now. They're
described as homes-away-from-home for families with children undergoing
life-saving treatments at nearby hospitals. Locally owned and controlled,
and supported by donations, they offer the children and their families
a place to stay at a nominal overnight fee.
Vancouver's opened at 4116 Angus Drive in Shaughnessy
on October 4, 1983, exactly 21 years ago today. The three-storey
renovated house has 15 bedrooms, a playroom and more. The house
is on a beautiful piece of land about 15 minutes from the Children's
Hospital. Find out more at www.ronaldmcdonaldhousebc.com.
October 10, 1911
94 Years Ago Today
If youre 22 or younger the building at Georgia
and Hornby Streets has always been the Vancouver Art Gallery, but
if youre older youll remember it, too, in its earlier
life as the citys provincial courthouse. It has been sitting
there for more than 90 years.
The newspapers of October 10, 191194 years
ago todaywere full of praise for the handsome new building,
the finest of its kind in Canada. (It had replaced a
much smaller structure that sat at the rear of what is now Victory
Square.) The architect was Francis Rattenbury, whose other well-known
B.C. works include the legislative buildings and the Empress Hotel
For all its size, from the day it opened it was
considered too small and plans were laid out to build a west wing
at once. On the very day the new building opened, a problem arose
in one trial. "When the name of the accused was called out,
it was announced that he was locked in the cells and could not be
liberated till a locksmith was secured, owing to the fact that the
locks, being new, refused to open. The court was accordingly adjourned
till after the luncheon hour."
The Art Gallery moved into the building in 1983.
October 11, 1899
On October 11, 1899105 years ago todaythe
British and the Dutch (called Boers) in South Africa began a war
for control over the gold-rich territories in southern Africa. The
British Empire got involved with a fervor hard to understand today.
About 60 men from all around B.C. joined up to go over, Abut,
said one Vancouver volunteer, Awe were so crazy to join up it should
have been 6,000. Maybe it was because this was Canada's first
Small contingents from Victoria and New Westminster
assembled with the 17 Vancouver volunteers at the Drill Hall on
Pender Street. (The Shelly Building at 119 W. Pender at Beatty,
across the street from the Old Sun Tower, stands on that site today
and has a commemorative plaque in the lobby.) Mayor James Garden
gave each Vancouver man $25 on behalf of the citizens, and off they
marched to the CPR station to join up with the Canadian contingent
at Quebec City.
The Brits thought the war would be a short one,
but the Boers (Farmers) proved to be a tough bunch.
It took three years to beat them. A victory at Ladysmith was so
enthusiastically received here that mining magnate James Dunsmuir,
who learned of it while standing above Oyster Bay on Vancouver Island
contemplating plans to create a new town, named it Ladysmith.
Of the 60 men who went from BC to the war, one
did not return: Trooper Timlick, of New Westminster.
October 17, 1920
Canada has been crossed by airplane!
Thats how The Vancouver Sun began its
front-page story on the arrival at Minoru Park in Richmond on Sunday,
the 17th85 years ago todayof Air Commodore A.K. Tylee
of the Canadian Air Board and his crew aboard a DeHavilland D-H-9-A
The flight had been accomplished in relays of crews
and aircraft. The first crew left Halifax on October 7 aboard a
Fairey seaplane. At Winnipeg the seaplanes and flying boats used
throughout the eastern leg of the journey were replaced by three
DH9s, of which only one finally made it to Vancouver.
The Suns reporter was alerted, like
the rest of the waiting crowd, to a faint buzzing sound from the
east, and soon a tiny speck could be seen like a bird winging
its way across the leaden sky . . . the speck grew larger until
the giant machine could be made out. The plane cut its engine
above the Minoru field and glided in for a quiet landing.
In all, the flight had taken eleven days, but time
in the air was just 45 hours, when it took trains 132 hours to make
the same journey. It looked like there might be a future for the
October 18, 1934
If you were a rabid baseball fan waiting at the
CPR station in Vancouver October 18, 1934C70 years ago todayyou
might have had trouble breathing. Stepping down from the train that
day were Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Lefty Gomez, Charlie Gehringer,
Heinie Manush, Lefty O'Doul, manager Connie Mack and more than a
dozen other superstars of the game. They'd come to play an exhibition
game at Athletic Park, which stood at West 6th and Hemlock.
The Babe's team was called Babe Ruth's All
Americans, and they would play the American League All-Stars.
(Off-season barnstorming like this of squads made up of players
from various teams was eventually stopped.)
Three thousand fans showed up the next day in pelting
rain that lasted the whole game, with the field ankle-deep in mud,
but the playersthe Babe includedstayed, and so did the
crowd. Said Lefty O'Doul in the dugout, Say, this is some
baseball town, isn't it? Back in Portland there weren't five hundred
out and on a bright and sunny day.
Ruth, who had hit 60 home runs for the Yankees
a couple of years earlier, told the Sun's Hal Straight that nobody
would ever hit 60 again.
October 25, 1954
A fire that heavily damaged UBC's Brock Hall October
25, 195450 years ago todaysparked agitation for a metropolitan
fire department, one that would coordinate fire-fighting services
for the whole lower mainland.
It took three hours for the university's fire brigade
and five trucks from Vancouver to quell the blaze. Before the fire
forced them out and the roof collapsed, students swarmed into the
building to haul out whatever they could. Dick Underhill (now running
a law office on Bowen Island) was president then of the Alma Mater
Society, which had its offices in the building. We were actually
having a meeting at the time, he recalls, And everyone
pitched in to save things. There were some valuable paintings by
BC Binning that we rescued, and I recall dashing into the AMS office
to save some of the Society's records. Then all we could do was
stand outside and watch the fire burning merrily.
Brock Memorial Hall, opened January 31, 1940, was
named for Geological Engineering Dean R.W. Brock and his wife, both
killed in a float plane crash at Alta Lake July 31, 1935. The Hall
was home to dances, debates, concerts, banquets, meetings and plays.
Students immediately started a drive to raise funds to fix the building.
It was successful.
More SunSpots »