The History of Metropolitan Vancouver's

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.

A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

For Mayors of Vancouver, click here.


Stu (James Stuart) Keate Journalist b. Oct. 13, 1913, Vancouver; d. March 1, 1987, Vancouver. Graduated from UBC (1935) and went into journalism. Sports writer for the Daily Province, Toronto Star, Time and Life. Information officer in North Atlantic and Pacific theatres (1942-45). After the war, served as bureau chief of Time Inc. in Montreal. Publisher of Victoria Daily Times (1951-1964); publisher of Vancouver Sun, from 1964 until retiring in 1978. LL.D (UBC, 1985). Biblio: Paper Boy.

George Henry Keefer Contractor b. 1865, Bowling Green, Ont.; d. Dec. 8, 1957, Cobble Hill, Vancouver Island. Prominent in B.C. railway construction for 50 years. A railway contractor in 1886, he cleared the CPR right of way from Port Moody to English Bay, mostly with Stikine Indians. On June 12, 1886, looking for a camp site near today's Granville Bridge, he saw some dry brush and set it on fire to clean it up. On June 13, the "Great Fire" levelled Vancouver. He admitted his mistake many years later. (Some say his story is apocryhal.) Worked on railway lines in Washington state and B.C. before serving in WWI with Canadian Foresters (1914-19). Later a contractor for the Capilano Waterworks. Keefer St. is named for him.

Hugh KeenleysideHugh Llewellyn Keenleyside Diplomat b. July 7, 1898, Toronto, Ont.; d. Sept. 27, 1992, Saanich, B.C. Graduated from UBC (1920). Diplomat (1928-47). Opposed internment of Japanese in WWII. LL.D (UBC, 1945). Worked for UN in 1950s. Chair, B.C. Power Commission (1959-61). Co-chair, B.C. Hydro (1961-69). Chancellor, Notre Dame (1969-77). Companion, Order of Canada (1969). Winner of Vanier Medal (1962); Pearson Peace Medal (1982). Biblio: Memoirs of Hugh L. Keenleyside.

Robert Kelly Grocer b. 1862, Russell, Ont.; d. June 22, 1922, Vancouver. Came to Vancouver in 1890; worked at Oppenheimer Bros' grocery. His first business, Braid and Kelly, folded in the 1893-94 depression. Co-founder of pioneer Kelly Douglas wholesale grocery firm on Water St. in Gastown (1896). Outfitted gold seekers in 1898. In 1901, his partner Frank Douglas drowned en route from Skagway to Vancouver when ship hit an iceberg and sank. His brother, Edward Douglas, took over his role in the company. Coffee was introduced in 1896, and its trade name, Nabob, became a household word.

August Jack Khahtsahlano (also 'Haatsalano, Khahtsahlanogh, etc.) Squamish chief b. July 16, 1867, Snaug (below Burrard Bridge); baptized Feb. 12, 1879; d. June 14, 1967, Vancouver. Buried at Squamish. Son of Khaytulk (Supple Jack) of Chaythoos; grandson of Chief Khahtasalanough of Snaug. Worked in a sawmill. C. 1900, gave a potlatch to honor the receiving of his grandfather's name some years earlier. At the feast, he gave out more than 100 blankets. On August 26, 1938, by deed poll, he adopted name August Jack Khahtsahlano. His wife, Swanamia's English name was Mary Ann.

Jim (James) Kinnaird President, B.C. Federation of Labor b. Jan. 5, 1933, Edinburgh, Scotland; d. Feb. 17, 1983, Vancouver. Son of working class parents, he left school at 14. Arrived in Vancouver in 1956. Joined International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers; elected business manager, Local 213 (1967). President, B.C. and Yukon Building Trades Council. In 1972, appointed assistant deputy minister of labor by NDP. Elected president, B.C. Federation of Labor (1978), uniting the divided body. Served three terms as leader of 250,000 unionized workers. Died suddenly of a heart attack. "Disliked flamboyance and public shouting matches but was not above them."

Roy Kenzie Kiyooka Poet, photographer b. Jan. 18, 1926, Moose Jaw, Sask.; d. Jan. 15, 1994, Vancouver. Moved from Moose Jaw to Calgary until 1943. Spent the war years at a farm in Northern Alberta. From 1956-49, attended art school in Calgary, then began teaching. Came to Vancouver in 1960. Taught Fine Arts at UBC (1973-91). A founder of TISH poets and the Western Front. His book, Pear Tree Pomes, was nominated for a Governor-General's Award in 1988. Heavily involved in the Japanese Canadian community.

Leonard Sylvanus Klinck Agriculturalist, UBC president b. Jan. 20, 1877, Victoria Square, Ont.; d. March 27, 1969, West Vancouver. Graduate, Ontario Agricultural College (1903); Iowa State College (1905). Took over cereal husbandry department at McGill. Visited Vancouver in 1914 to consult with UBC President Wesbrook. Appointed dean of agriculture, the first appointee to UBC. After Wesbrook's sudden death (1918), he was UBC's second president (1919-44). LL.D (UBC, 1944). "Supervised UBC's growth from its early Fairview campus days, the war-delayed move to Point Grey, the controversies of the 1930s, and the trying times of WWII."

Edmund Shorey Knowlton Pioneer druggist b. c. 1868, Newboro, Ont.; d. Dec. 25, 1943, Vancouver. Came to B.C. in 1896. Opened Knowlton's Drug Store (1897), located at several sites on Westminster (now Main St.) and Hastings until settling in at 15 E. Hastings (1911). Managing director (to 1944), when he was replaced by Bruce B. Knowlton. By 1948, the company opened a second drug store in W. Vancouver. In 1965, the name was changed to Knowlans Drugs, but its original name was restored in 1970. A PNE director. President, Pharmaceutical Association of B.C.

Albert O. Koch "Father" of Congregation Beth Israel b. May 1, 1894, Long Island, NY; d. April 16, 1969, crossing the Mediterranean. Came to Vancouver in 1925 from New York via Montreal and launched National Dress Co., Vancouver's first garment manufacturing plant, and later Lauries dress store chain (1940). Founder and second president (1933-34, 1938-51) of Beth Israel Synagogue at 4350 Oak; a founder of Beth Israel Cemetery (consecrated July 28, 1946). Sold Lauries on . 31, 1969. On his retirement trip to Israel with wife Henrietta, he suffered a stroke and died aboard ship.

Leon Joseph Koerner Forestry executive b. May 24, 1892, Novy Hrozenkova, Moravia; d. Sept. 26, 1972, Vancouver. Executive in J. Koerner Timber Industry (1912-38), Czech Republic. From 1938-72, a forestry industry innovator and executive. A creative philanthropist, he was particularly generous to UBC's faculty club and graduate student centre. With wife Thea, established the Leon and Thea Koerner Foundation with a capital grant of one million dollars and further bequests in their wills. The foundation serves culture and the creative arts, social services and higher education. LL.D (UBC, 1957).

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