By Constance Brissenden
With additional research by Larry Loyie
The History of Metropolitan
Vancouver Hall of Fame represents nearly 500 of the thousands of
people who have contributed to the history of the lower mainland
of BC. They come from all walks of life, all cultural backgrounds
and all occupations. All of the Hall of Famers are now deceased,
and we are proud to include a brief record of their accomplishments
here. For the first time, Metropolitan Vancouver has a biographical
directory that includes many individuals from communities overlooked
in the past.
If you have suggestions for inclusion (remember
the person must be deceased), please contact us HERE.
B C D
For Mayors of Vancouver,
Nat (Nathaniel Ryal) Bailey White Spot Restaurant
founder b. Jan. 31, 1902, Saint Paul, Minn.; d. March 27, 1978,
Vancouver. His itinerant family arrived from Seattle in 1911. At
18, Nat moved his peanut stand to Athletic Park; later served Sunday
drivers at Lookout Point from a 1918 Model T truck. A customer's
shout, "Why don't you bring it to us?" inspired first
White Spot drive-in (opened June 1928, Granville and 67th). From
1930-60s, his second wife, Eva (Ouelette) co-managed his restaurants.
Thirteen White Spots and other interests were sold to General Foods
for $6.5 million (1968). A lifelong promoter of local baseball,
Nat Bailey Stadium is named for him. Biblio: Triple-O, The White
Spot Story by Constance Brissenden.
Frank Madill Baker Restaurateur b. June 24,
1922, Vancouver; d. Nov. 21, 1989, Vancouver. Opened Baker's Catering
(25th and Kingsway) and Spring Gardens (41st and Boulevard) in 1946.
With partner Frank Bernard, opened two restaurants in Georgian Towers
and bought Park Royal Hotel. After the partnership ended, opened
The Attic (1968) in West Vancouver, with 1,200 seats. Guests were
entertained by Lance Harrison and His Dixieland Band. A showman,
Frank played the trumpet (learned with the Four Square Gospel Church)
and always wore a trademark white suit. Outside The Attic, he showcased
the Aston Martin driven in the James Bond movie Goldfinger. As a
Vancouver alderman, he was responsible for the lights on city hall.
Russell Francis Baker Pioneer bush pilot b.
Jan. 31, 1910, Winnipeg, Man.; d. Nov. 15, 1958, West Vancouver.
Early bush pilot for several airlines, including Western Canada
Airways and Canadian Pacific. In 1946, began Central B.C. Airways
with a B.C. Forest Service fire-patrol contract. Took over airlines
in B.C. and Alberta to create an independent airline to serve western
communities. In 1953 the company name was changed to Pacific Western
Airlines. It grew to be the largest western regional air carrier.
PWA bought CP Air in 1987.
Alvin Balkind Curator b. March 28, 1921, Baltimore,
Maryland; d. Dec. 21, 1992, Vancouver. Received BA at Johns Hopkins,
later attended Sorbonne (1933-35). Came to Vancouver in 1954. His
New Design Gallery, founded in 1955 in Vancouver, was a centre for
the avant-garde. Curator of UBC Fine Arts Gallery (1962-73); chief
curator at Vancouver Art Gallery (1975-78). Won first $50,000 VIVA
award (Vancouver Institute for Visual Arts) in 1992.
W. Orson Banfield Businessman. He was born
May 17, 1897 in Vancouver. He died in Vancouver March 19, 1983 at
85. J.J. (John Joseph) Banfield and his family moved to Vancouver
in 1894 from Ontario. In 1912 J.J. built the Stadacona apartment
block (still standing) on Bute Street, giving it the Indian name
for Quebec City, his birthplace. Orson, his only son, attended local
schools, served as a mule train driver in the First World War and,
as a Trekker, graduated from UBC in 1923 in chemical engineering.
(Trekkers were participants in the Great March of October
1922 that saw more than 1,000 students descend on the Point Grey
peninsula to express their displeasure at the slowness of the government
in building the university there.) Orson joined his father in the
real estate and insurance business, and continued the family commitment
to Vancouvers economic and social life. Prominent among the
causes: the Rotary Club, Vancouver General Hospital (father and
son served as chair of the governing board at major periods of development),
and Shaughnessy Heights United Church. Orson served as a city alderman
in the 1960s and in 1977 was made a Freeman of the City of Vancouver.
The family name appears in VGHs Banfield Pavilion, the Stadacona
apartment block and Indian Arms Orlomah Beach (a composite
family name). There is much material on the family in the City Archives.
Frank (Francis Stillman) Barnard Street car
system founder, lieutenant-governor b. May 16, 1856, Toronto, Ont.;
d. April 11, 1936, Esquimalt, B.C. A founder of Vancouver's street
car system (opened June 28, 1890), he was one of B.C.'s four richest
people. President, Consolidated Railway (1894), later managing director
(1896-1906) after sale to British financiers (renamed B.C. Railway).
MP, Cariboo (1888-96); lieutenant-governor (1914-19). Knowing war
was near, he signed a special $1-million warrant approving Premier
McBride's purchase of two submarines. Knighted in 1918 by King George
V. "A living link of the industrialized B.C. with that of the
pre-railroad and Crown colony days."
Sam Bass Pharmacist b. April 25, 1915, on
a Winnipeg farm; d. Nov. 8, 1990, Vancouver. Son of Kiev area immigrant
farmers. Sam and brother Jack became pharmacists; brother Paul received
a PhD in pharmacology. Graduated from U. of Manitoba (1939). After
serving in WWII as an RCAF pharmacist, he was en route to California
when he settled in Vancouver. In 1945, on a loan, he bought Schoff's
Drug Store (Main and Union), and renamed it London Drugs. A pioneer
in his field, he created the first modern drug store in B.C. and
was the first pharmacy discounter. A strong supporter of Jewish
charities and community affairs. "He took his profit in pennies."
Truman Smith Baxter Mayor of Vancouver, 1913-14
See Mayors of Vancouver.
Edgar George Baynes Hotelier b. 1870, Dunmow,
Essex, on a farm; d. Nov. 5, 1956, Vancouver. Ran away at 13. One
of first homesteaders in Squamish River Valley. Served with the
2nd Essex Rifles (1887-88); with 5th Canadian Garrison Artillery
in Vancouver (1894-99). Came to Vancouver as a contractor (1888-89).
In 1891, opened Baynes and Horle, and built many Vancouver and B.C.
public schools. In 1906, established Port Haney Brick Co. Built
Grosvenor Hotel in 1913 and continued as manager. A parks commissioner
for 15 years, he campaigned for re-election in 1954, promoting city
Daniel Loftus Beckingsale First port doctor
b. Nov. 18, 1846, Isle of Wight; d. c. Feb. 14, 1929, London, Eng.
Graduated MB, CM (Edinburgh U., 1872); MD in 1874. Served on several
London hospital staffs. Came to Vancouver in June 1886. First port
doctor and early health officer. Formed the Vancouver Reading Room,
predecessor of the first public library. Moved to Interior because
of ill health, residing in Nelson in 1894. Lived in San Francisco
(1905-06) and survived the big earthquake. In 1916, he was practising
Frank Ross Begg Auto dealer b. Lindsay, Ont.;
d. Sept. 16, 1958, Vancouver. Arrived in Vancouver in 1898. From
1904-06, with brother Fred (Frederick Bruce) Begg (b. Lindsay, Ont.;
d. May 11, 1939, Vancouver), he operated a garage on Hastings. They
soon opened Begg Motor Co., Vancouver's first auto dealership. Frank
left an estate of nearly $2 million. Fred was president of the Vancouver
Motor Dealers Association when he died. He left an estate of $187,056.
His wife, Ethel Mae, later willed $375,000 for medical purposes.
As a result the Vancouver Preventorium, which housed young TB cases,
was rebuilt and renamed the F.B. Begg Memorial Preventorium.
Duncan Bell-Irving Aviator b. Aug. 28, 1894,
Vancouver; d. April 24, 1965, Vancouver. Son of Henry Ogle Bell-Irving
(see bio). Canada's first WWI flying ace. As a member of the RFC,
shot down six planes and a balloon. A lifelong supporter of the
Canadian Air Force. During WWII, he commanded an RCAF training school
at Trenton, Ont. Biblio: Gentleman Air Ace, by Elizabeth O'Kiely.
Henry Ogle Bell-Irving Salmon canner b. Jan.
26, 1856, Lockerbie, Dumfrieshire, Scotland; d. Feb. 19, 1931, Vancouver.
Arrived in Vancouver in 1885. Formed Anglo-British Columbia Packing
(ABC) in 1891. Owned canneries along the coast to become largest
exporter of tinned salmon. ABC was a major player in the coastal
canning industry from 1891-1969.
Alice Helena Berry (née Miller) Publisher
b. Aug. 10, 1868, New Westminster; d. 1919, Vancouver. Daughter
of Jonathan Miller. Married on June 24, 1890, second wife of Harry
(Henry Azariah) Berry (b. 1862, Jersey Islands, Wales; d. Sept.
20, 1899, Vancouver), head of H.A. Berry & Co. transfer agents.
After his death, she taught piano and was "lady manager"
of Mutual Life Insurance of Canada. A founder of The World Printing
and Publishing (1905). Purchased, with her father's help, the World
(1911) a newspaper established Sept. 25, 1888 and became the only
woman managing director of a Canadian daily. The World was the first
Canadian paper to bypass C.P. Telegraph and get its news from US
press associations. One of her partners was L.D. Taylor (see bio),
whom she later married (June 9, 1916).
Alexander Bethune Mayor of Vancouver, 1907-08
See Mayors of Vancouver.
Bertram Charles Binning Artist b. Feb. 10,
1909, Medicine Hat, Alta.; d. March 16, 1976, Vancouver. His family
moved to Vancouver in 1913. Attended Vancouver School of Art (VSA),
and art schools in Oregon, Greenwich Village and London, Eng. Joined
UBC's school of architecture (1949) after teaching at VSA. A founder
and head of UBC fine arts department (1955-68); instructor (1968-73).
Developed UBC's Fine Arts Gallery, launched Brock Hall Canadian
art collection and founder/director of the Festival of Contemporary
Arts. Order of Canada Medal of Service (1971); D.Litt (UBC, 1974).
Signed his work B.C. Binning. "One of the first real abstract
artists on the scene."
Earle Alfred Birney Poet b. May 13, 1904,
Calgary, Alta.; d. Aug. 27, 1995, Toronto, Ont. An English graduate
(UBC, 1926; PhD, U. of T, 1938), he wrote seriously from the late
1930s. Won two Governor-General poetry awards (1942, 1945) and the
Leacock Medal for Humor. Taught literature at UBC (1946-65). Founded
UBC's creative writing department, the first in Canada (1963). Published
more than 30 books including novels and poetry (Rag and Bone Shop;
Ghost in the Wheels: Selected Poems; Turrey (dramatized)). CBC broadcaster,
critic, literary editor of Canadian Forum, editor of Canadian Poetry
Magazine. Officer of the Order of Canada. D.Litt (UBC, 1987). Biblio:
Earle Birney: A Life by Elspeth Cameron.
Davey (David Lambie) Black Golfer b. 1884,
Troon, Ayrshire, Scotland; d. March 26, 1974, Vancouver. "The
Wee Scot" began his career as an apprentice club maker in Scotland.
After working at Outremont and Rivermeade golf clubs (1905-20),
he moved west as golf pro at Shaughnessy Golf Club (1920-45). Won
four national titles, the first in 1913; in 1928, won first B.C.
Open. In 1929, with Duncan Sutherland, beat Walter Hagen and Horton
Smith at the Point Grey Golf Club; in 1935, again with Sutherland,
bested the great Bobbie Jones partnered with Davie's son, B.C. amateur
champion Kenny Black (b. July 23, 1912, Montreal, Que.; d. Nov.
25, 1995, Oakville, Ont.). Inducted into B.C. Sports Hall of Fame
(1966); Canadian Golf Hall of Fame (1972).
George Black Butcher Hotelier b. 1831, Aberdeen,
Scotland; d. Dec. 21, 1896, Vancouver. In 1866, bought waterfront
Lot 26 for $25 down, $25 later, Vancouver's first real estate transaction.
Built a slaughterhouse and supplied meat to Hastings, Moodyville,
Stamp's Mill, and ships in harbor. Built two-storey New Brighton
Hotel at Hastings where New Westminster road met Burrard Inlet,
a popular resort rivalled only by Harrison Hot Springs. "The
laird of Hastings" was an "ardent Scotsman, who always
wore highland dress to dances, and also imported the area's first
race horses." He built Vancouver's first roller rink.
Henry Blair One of Vancouver's "fathers
of incorporation" b. May 24, 1861, Ont.; d. March 24, 1949,
Vancouver, B.C. Came west to the Cariboo in 1880. Mined to 1881,
then moved on to coast. Chairman of H.B. Smith's survey party, making
first map of City of Vancouver in 1886. Later logged on the north
arm of the Fraser River. The last survivor of 125 signatories to
petition the legislature for the incorporation of the City of Vancouver
Julius Harold Bloedel Lumberman b. March 1864,
Fond du Lac, Wisconsin; d. Sept. 20, 1957, Seattle, Wash. After
his mother's death, he was raised by an aunt. Said to have paid
for his first bike by renting it to friends. At 17, entered civil
engineering (U. of Michigan), but left due to money problems. Worked
on Wisconsin railway, then developed real estate in Sheboygan. With
$10,000 profit, moved west (1886). In 1890, opened Samish Logging
in Bellingham Bay, Wash. In 1911, began logging in B.C. Retired
in May 1942 as president of Bloedel, Stewart & Welch in favor
of his son Prentice Bloedel (b. Aug. 13, 1900, Bellingham, Wash.)
but continued as board chair. "His business philosophy was
to own timber. It was a passion that dominated his life." Julius'
archives were donated to U.B.C.; Prentice was lifelong supporter
of B.C. Council of Boy Scouts (Vancouver Coast Region) and won a
Silver Wolf Award in 1951 for "exceptional service to Scouting".
Mary Louise Bollert UBC's first dean of women
b. 1884, Guelph, Ont.; d. Aug. 1, 1945, Vancouver. Graduate, U.
of T (BA, 1906); Columbia U. (MA, 1908). Director of women's education
and social welfare programs in Toronto, then dean of women at Regina
College (1914-21). Appointed first dean of women at UBC (1921-41),
officially "advisor to women students," with a salary
far below that of male deans. A founder of B.C. Teachers Federation.
Delegate to many international women's conferences; one of 12 deans
of women invited to tour Japan (1934). President, Confederation
of University Women (1929-30). Biblio: "It's Up to You:"
Women at UBC in the early years by Lee Stewart.
Charles Edward Borden Archaeologist b. May
15, 1905, New York City; d. Dec. 25, 1978, Vancouver. "Grandfather
of B.C. archaeology." Grew up in Germany. Graduated from U.
of California in German Literature (PhD, 1937). Formed UBC's department
of archeology (1939) and also taught German. In 1945, served as
archeological resident with a small, privately funded dig in Point
Grey, followed by major B.C. studies. In 1949, appointed lecturer
in archeology and taught the first courses at UBC. In the mid-1950s
began studies in the Fraser Canyon. Wrote some three dozen publications
on B.C. and Fraser River archeology. D.Litt (UBC, 1975).
Phillip Borsos Film director b. May 5, 1953,
Hobart, Tasmania, Aust.; d. Feb. 2, 1995, Vancouver. Moved to Vancouver
at age 5. Made three short films of which Nails was nominated for
an Oscar in 1980. Feature movies included One Magic Christmas (1985),
The Mean Season (1985), Bethune (1991). The Grey Fox (1982), the
story of train robber Bill Miner (see bio), was nominated for Best
Film at the Golden Globe Awards (1983). Nails and The Grey Fox won
Genie Awards. His last movie was Far >From Home: The Adventures
of Yellow Dog (1995). "Demanding, exasperating and one of the
best film directors in Canada." Died of acute myeloid leukemia.
Bob (Robert Errol) Bouchette Columnist d.
June 12, 1938, Vancouver. Wrote Vancouver Sun column Lend me your
ears. Harangued the 1930s establishment to do more about poverty,
joblessness, relief camps. "The champion of the underdog ...
a shining knight out of time in the harsh world of the Depression."
Death by drowning off Second Beach.
Mabel Ellen Boultbee (née Springer)
Columnist b. April 29, 1875, Moodyville; Feb. 2, 1953, Ritz Hotel,
Vancouver. The first white child born on Burrard Inlet, she was
the daughter of Mary Frances Miller (sister of Jonathan Miller)
and Benjamin Springer, manager of Moody's Sawmill. A divorcee, she
briefly ran a school with her sister, Eva, in the 1890s. A journalist
for 30 years, she wrote the Vancouver Sun's women's pages until
just before her death. A prominent citizen and member of the Georgian
Club, her apartment (shared with Eva) was "famed among the
social elite of the 1930s and 1940s."
Francis Bowser Point Grey pioneer b. Sept.
13, 1858, Kingston (now Rexton), NB; d. Sept. 26, 1929, Vancouver.
"Trail blazer of Point Grey." At 17, went to sea for five
years, then came overland to Victoria (1883). Helped build CPR,
then joined Dominion Customs Service (1888-1908) as chief landing
officer to 1908. His first home was at MacDonald between 43rd and
44th avenues (1907); his second at Trafalgar and 45th (1926). Reeve
of Point Grey. Oldest brother of W.J. Bowser.
William John Bowser Premier b. Dec. 3, 1867,
Rexton, NB; d. Oct. 25, 1933, Vancouver. A Dalhousie graduate and
criminal law specialist, he came to Vancouver in 1891. Retained
in nearly all murder cases tried in Vancouver. In 1900, named Queen's
Counsel. PC MLA (1903-24); named attorney general (1907). Replaced
Richard McBride as premier on Dec. 15, 1915. Party politics and
bad management led to his defeat in the 1916 B.C. election. Led
Opposition (1916-24). After retirement, campaigned in 1933 as leader
of independent non-partisan group. Died delivering a speech at the
Hugh Boyd Richmond's first reeve (mayor) b.
1842, County Down, Ire.; d. Nov. 22, 1931, Bangor, Ire. Came to
B.C.'s Cariboo Gold Rush in 1862 but failed to find gold. Bought
Section 19, Sea Island, on March 7, 1865 with Alexander Kilgour.
Settled at Rosebrook Farm. Richmond reeve (1880-86). Left for Ireland
(1887) to live near Belfast. His farm was purchased by the Mackie
brothers in 1890. Crisscrossed Pacific Ocean 12 times after his
retirement. Richmond was named in honor of his wife Mary A. McColl
Boyd's birthplace in Yorkshire.
Angelo Ernest Branca Judge b. March 21, 1903,
Mount Sicker, B.C.; d. Oct. 3, 1984, Vancouver. Canadian amateur
middleweight boxing champion. Began practising law in Vancouver
in 1926 as leading defence attorney. Defended high profile cases,
including more than 60 murderers. "Lost only two ... to the
hangman." At 36, he was B.C.'s youngest crown prosecutor ever.
A judge with the B.C. Supreme Court (1963-66) and B.C. Court of
Appeal (1966-78). Leader in Italian community. A Christopher Columbus
statue on Clark was erected by the Italian community in his honor.
"A dear friend of the little guy." Biblio: Angelo Branca,
Gladiator of the Courts, by Vincent Moore.
William John Brewer First reeve of South Vancouver
b. c. 1841, Truro, Cornwall, Eng.; d. June 24, 1931, Vancouver.
Arrived in Vancouver area in 1870 after living in Australia. In
1884, purchased 10.5 hectares in Cedar Cottage district. Moved to
South Vancouver area after the great fire of 1886 destroyed his
Granville St. business. In 1889, elected Ward 4 alderman. Elected
first reeve of new municipality of South Vancouver (April 30, 1892).
Described as "irascible," he sided with local residents
who "preferred bad roads to good debts."
Samuel Brighouse Vancouver and Lulu Island
pioneer b. Jan. 13, 1836, Lindley, Huddersfield, Eng.; d. July 31,
1913, Huddersfield. Arrived in New Westminster in June 1862. With
partners John Morton and William Hailstone, they were known as “the
three Greenhorns.” They bought 222 hectares of land in today's
West End and started a brick factory which soon failed. He later
farmed on Lulu Island, returning to Vancouver in 1881. Ran for alderman
in civic election of 1887 after helping to obtain City charter.
In 1911, returned to England. His nephew Michael Wilkinson Brighouse
(d. 1932) was one of Lulu Island's largest landowners. He ran Richmond’s
Minoru Race Track on its opening in 1909.
Dave (David Hamilton) Brock Columnist, broadcaster
b. 1910, Ottawa, Ont.; d. Sept. 8, 1978, West Vancouver. Son of
Reginald W. Brock. Came to Vancouver at age 4. Attended UBC and
Harvard. Called to B.C. bar but never practised. Best known for
CBC radio and TV shows, talks and documentaries, notably the Seven
O'Clock Show. Wrote a column for Victoria Times in the 1960s. His
barbs were directed at people in power and politicians. Regularly
published in Punch, Saturday Night, Atlantic Monthly in the late
1930s and 1940s.
Reginald Walter Brock Geologist, UBC dean
b. Jan. 10, 1874, Perth, Ont.; d. July 30, 1935, Alta Lake, B.C.
One of Canada's leading geologists. Graduated from Queens (MA, Geology).
Worked as geologist with Dawson Survey of B.C. (1897). Chair of
geology at Queens (1902-07). Director of Geological Survey of Canada
(1907-14). One of the first four teachers chosen by UBC president
F.F. Wesbrook. In 1914, named dean of applied science but served
in WWI before resuming his duties. Brock and his wife Mildred were
killed in a plane accident. Brock Hall is named for him. Father
of Dave Brock.
Bernice R. Brown (née Dickhoff) Refugee
activist b. April 11, 1905, San Francisco, Calif.; d. Dec. 15, 1971,
West Vancouver. Worked at the San Francisco News, then married and
settled in Vancouver in 1930. Early editor, Jewish Western Bulletin.
In 1939 organized a Red Cross unit to enable Jewish women to do
war work. In addition to providing supplies for use overseas, they
resettled refugees and opened their homes to servicemen of all faiths.
Bernice received a Canadian Red Cross Distinguished Service Award
(1946). The unit continued until 1947, collecting clothes for Holocaust
survivors. Through the media, she urged Parliament to change immigration
policy and accept orphans of the Holocaust. She was later an active
member of the Canadian Institute of International Affairs.
Bob (Robert Paul) Brown Baseball promoter
b. July 5, 1876, Glencoe, Iowa; d. June 17, 1962, Vancouver. "Mr.
Baseball"'s career spanned 60 years. A successful athlete at
Notre Dame in 1890s, he was a pro ball player (1900-09) in Montana,
Oregon and Washington state, leading Spokane Indians to PCL pennant
win in 1908. A shoestring operator and shrewd promoter, he built
Athletic Park (opened April 18, 1913) on land leased from CPR. Owner/manager,
Vancouver Beavers (renamed Vancouver Canadians). Introduced Canada's
first night games played under lights. First inductee to B.C. Baseball
Hall of Fame.
Brent (Brenton) S. Brown Insurance manager,
backroom political force b. 1881, Stanley Bridge, PEI; d. Nov. 20,
1944, Vancouver. Educated in Vancouver. Joined Equitable Life (1899).
Provincial manager of Crown Life Insurance's B.C. office (1908-Nov.
1937). President of Liberal Association for 25 years. Numerous directorships.
Local sports supporter. Polish consulate. Died from injuries in
a car accident. "One of the most powerful political personalities
in the province," yet a "retiring figure." At his
funeral, thousands paid their respects.
Buda Hosmer Brown (née Jenkins) MLA
b. June 10, 1894, Bellingham, Wash.; d. Aug. 12, 1962, Vancouver.
Taught school in Washington state, then married Donald C. Brown.
In 1958, elected Social Credit MLA (Vancouver Point Grey). In 1960,
elected without portfolio in W.A.C. Bennett's cabinet as minister
at large, the first woman in a Bennett cabinet since Tilly Rolston.
Interests included traffic safety and youth fields. In 1961, when
UBC first-year female students received a survey Is Chastity Outmoded?
Brown protested in the House, saying it was "too indecent to
show the legislature." A parks commissioner, she was the first
woman president of International Northwest Parks Association.
Donald Cameron Brown Businessman, MLA b. Feb.
22, 1892, Winchester, Ont.; d. Oct. 26, 1963, Vancouver. Came to
Vancouver in 1910. Served as a pilot in WWI (Royal Flying Corps).
Married Buda Hosmer Brown on Sept. 9, 1919. Director, Vancouver
Flour Sales; founder and president, Wild Rose Mills (1933-62). Elected
twice as a Coalition MLA (Vancouver-Burrard, 1945 and 1949); deputy
speaker, 1949; defeated in 1952. Joined Socreds with wife in 1954.
Prominent in local organizations such as The Vancouver Board of
Trade and Kiwanis. A director of TUTS (Theatre Under the Stars).
Roy W. Brown Journalist b. c. 1880, New Brunswick;
d. Sept. 4, 1954, Vancouver. Came to Vancouver as a small boy. At
11, was the youngest pupil to enrol in Vancouver High School. In
1898, worked as office boy for the News-Advertiser, later as cub
reporter for the World. In 1899, scooped the Daily Province on property
losses from the New Westminster fire. Retired in 1938 as editor
of the Vancouver Province; appointed editorial director and vice
president of Vancouver Sun on Sept. 3, 1938. His biggest scoop was
the 1918 sinking of CPR's Princess Sophia off Alaska with 398 lives
John Bruce Sculptor b. 1863, Dundee, Scotland;
d. 1952, Calif. One of the first architectural sculptors to come
to North America (1988). Moved to Seattle (1889), then to Oakland
(1901). In 1908, carved two lions on the steps of Vancouver Courthouse,
op. in 1912. Said to have halted stonecutting when the money ran
out, leaving mane, nose and ears of the 15-ton lions unfinished.
On Nov. 3, 1942, the rear of one was cracked in an isolated bomb
incident. Also carved "Old Leo" in plaster of Paris over
a steel frame, used for displays by Spencer's department store.
John M. Buchanan B.C. Packers president b.
July 21, 1897, Steveston, B.C.; d. April 24, 1975 on a Mediterranean
cruise. Attended Steveston Elem., Bridgeport HS, UBC (BA, 1917).
In 1928, joined B.C. Fishing and Packing (now B.C. Packers). Appointed
general manager (1935); vice president (1941); president (1946).
A director of MacMillan Bloedel; member of the advisory board of
Canada Trust; director of the Royal Bank of B.C. (1956-58). Served
as president, UBC Alumni Association (1949-50); member of UBC senate
(1951-60); member of UBC board of governors (1951-57). In 1966,
elected UBC chancellor, retiring in May 1969.
Johan (Johannes) Buntzen First general manager,
BCER b. Dec. 16, 1859, Copenhagen, Denmark; d. Sept. 1922, Copenhagen.
Came to Vancouver in early 1890s. Worked as bookkeeper with Ross
and Ceperley, handling electric railway company affairs. Managed
early development of B.C. Electric Railway from 1897. Supervised
Buntzen Lake engineering and electrical work. In charge of Old No.
1, the Lake Coquitlam powerhouse that provided Vancouver's electricity
for 47 years. Resigned from BCER, . 20, 1909, as managing director.
Retired to Copenhagen.
Frank (Francis James) Burd Publisher b. Jan.
7, 1870, Muskegon, Mich.; d. Jan. 6, 1962, Vancouver. At 13, he
sold newspapers in Winnipeg, working days as an apprentice printer.
At 18, hired as circulation manager of Winnipeg Free Press. In 1899,
moved to Vancouver. Unable to find work, he moved to Yukon with
brother Richard Burde (sic) and began the Whitehorse Tribune in
a tent. In 1901, after eight months, returned to Vancouver. Hired
by Frank Carter-Cotton at News-Advertiser. Later joined Vancouver
Province as circulation manager with a $2.50 raise, bringing his
salary to $27.50 per week. A founder of Canadian Press (1917). In
1933, named president of the Province, retiring in 1935.
Robert Burnaby Surveyor b. Nov. 30, 1828,
Woodthorpe, Leicestershire, Eng.; d. Jan. 10, 1878, Loughborough,
Eng. Arrived in B.C. in 1858. Worked on survey of New Westminster.
A leading businessman, mainly in Victoria, until failing health
caused him to return to England in 1874. More landmarks named for
him than any other B.C. pioneer.
Raymond (William Stacy) Burr Actor b. May
21, 1917, New Westminster; d. Sept. 12, 1993, Dry Creek, Calif.
Nicknamed Fatso as a child. At six years, moved with mother to Vallejo,
Calif. Grew orchids at age 12, eventually shipping 3000 varieties
worldwide. As a young stage actor, worked in Toronto, NY and England.
Served in the navy during WWII, then worked in Hollywood films.
Famous for his television roles, Perry Mason (1957-66, late 1980s-93)
and Ironside (1967-75). A philanthropist and art collector, especially
in Fiji where he owned a home and properties.
John Francis Bursill (pen name Felix Penne)
Columnist, poet b. 1848, London, Eng.; d. Feb. 8, 1928, Burnaby,
B.C. From 1865, he worked as a Fleet Street journalist. Nearing
60, he came to Vancouver in 1905 to join his eldest son in East
Collingwood, a working class suburb of Vancouver. Founded Collingwood
Free Library (1911-53); founder, The Vancouver Dickens Fellowship
and The Shakespeare Society. Well-known Vancouver Sun columnist
in 1920s under pen name Felix Penne. Wrote and staged the musical
How a Forest Becomes a City. His best-known poem, I Shall Not Cease,
began, "Tis infamy to die and not be missed." Bursill
St. is named for him.
George James Bury Rail pioneer b. March 6,
1866, Montreal, Que.; d. July 20, 1958, Vancouver. Attended private
schools and Montreal College. Studied shorthand; joined the CPR
as a $20-a-month junior clerk, the start of a 40-year railway career.
In 1907, supervised western branch lines. With WWI, returned to
Montreal as vice president of CPR's operating system. In 1917 Britain
asked Canada for his services. Sent to Petrograd to report on Russian
railway system and revolution for British War cabinet. Knighted
on recommendation of British prime minister, Lloyd George (1917).
As president, Whalen Pulp & Paper (from 1920), he named Woodfibre,
Frederick Buscombe Mayor of Vancouver, 1905-06
See Mayors of Vancouver.
Jimmy (James) Butterfield Columnist b. c.
1879, London, Eng.; d. Sept. 23, 1941, Penticton, B.C. Began writing
in England for Exchange, Telegraph, London Echo, Westminster Gazette.
Freelanced in the Balkans after graduating from Cambridge and Heidelberg.
Ranched in Kootenays to 1910. In 1914, went overseas with 122nd
Battalion, Kootenay Regiment. Recuperated from TB at Balfour Sanatorium.
Wrote a daily column, The Common Round in the Vancouver Daily Province
(1923-41), competing with the Vancouver Sun's Bob Bouchette. "He
launched a dangerous but rarely poisonous shaft against nearly everything,
but especially against smugness and pseudo-respectability."
Back to the Top