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Venue Code: (meeting sites from 1962)
VMM Vancouver Maritime Museum
HH Heritage House
VCM Vancouver Centennial Museum (to May 1981)
VM Vancouver Museum (to September 2009)
MoV Museum of Vancouver (from September 2009)
Please note: Photographic images accompanying the text on these pages are used by special arrangement with the Vancouver Public Library. We appreciate the Library's cooperation in making them available to us. To view other images from the Library's extensive collections, use the links below.
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Program Summaries

Glimpses of the Past through description, related books and internet connections

Select a year from the drop-down menu below to view summaries of talks

VPL #2542, Philip Timms, 190-, Princess Victoria  
VPL #2542, Philip Timms, 190-, Princess Victoria  

Pacific Princesses
[January 28, 1981 (VCM) Robert Turner]
(see entry, January 23, 1980)

Seminar on Local History
[February 14, 1981 (VCC-Langara Campus, King Edward Library) G. P. V. & Helen Akrigg]

A Priest versus the Potlatch, Rev. A. J. Hall & Fort Rupert Kwakuitls
[February 25, 1981 (Legion Hall) Barry Gough]

Sweeney Cooperage
[March 25, 1981 (VCM) Frank and Ed Sweeney]
(see October 25, 1989)

Coastal vessels
[April 6, 1981 (Incorporation Day Dinner at St. Andrew's Wesley Church) Gerald Rushton]
(see entries for February 22, 1962; September 24, 1974)

VPL #9349, Leonard Frank, 1933, miners sluicing at Barkerville  
VPL #9349, Leonard Frank, 1933, miners sluicing at Barkerville  

Chinese in the Gold Rushes in BC
[April 22, 1981 (Royal Canadian Legion, Billy Bishop Branch) Bill Barlee]
Chinese gold miners played an important role in the Gold Rushes of British Columbia. (see

Westminster Abbey, Mission, BC
[April 26, 1981 (Field Trip)]
(see The Encyclopedia of British Columbia, 466-67)

[May 27, 1981 (AGM at VM)]
(no speaker)

North Shore Museum
[June 29, 1981 (Field Trip)]

New Westminster heritage home tour
[September 19, 1981 (Field Trip)]

Sir Matthew Baillie Begbie
[September 23, 1981 (VM) David R. Williams]
Matthew Baillie Begbie (1819-94), an intinerant judge in BC early colonial days, was an establishment figure and a tough but humanitarian administrator. His statue sits in front of the New Westminster Court House. (see The Encyclopedia of British Columbia, 68; David Williams' Matthew Baillie Begbie, Fitzhenry & Whiteside, 1980)

Vancouver Architecture
[October 28, 1981 (VM) Melva Dwyer]
Murals by B. C. Binning, Jack Shadbolt and Lionel Thomas have contributed to the art in Vancouver architecture. (see The Encyclopedia of British Columbia, 27-35, 75, 641-42)

Fashions of the Past
[November 21, 1981 (Field Trip, St. James Church) Ivan Sayers]
(see entry for November 26, 1976)

Charles Hill-Tout
[November 25, 1981 (VM) Ralph Maud]
Charles Hill-Tout has not been given enough credit for his life's work in the archeological and museum fields. He was an amateur ethnologist and published three books around the turn of the century. (see The Encyclopedia of British Columbia, 329)

VPL #136, Canadian Photo Company, 1914, "Komagata Maru" incident  
VPL #136, Canadian Photo Company, 1914, "Komagata Maru" incident  

Komagata Maru
[January 27, 1982 (VM) Hugh Johnston]
(see entry for October 28, 1940)

Canneries of the British Columbia coast: social structures and operations
[February 24, 1982 (VM) Duncan Stacey]
Fishing settlements from Bella Coola, Namu, Rivers Inlet and Alert Bay exhibit distinctive patterns of fishing camps. They employed such things as water powered electric generators, water pipes, had wooden sidewalks on pilings, net-lofts with maple floors, etc. (see The Encyclopedia of British Columbia, 625-26; see also entry for March 28, 1979)

Rebellion of 1885 and the trial of Louis Riel
[March 24, 1982 (VM) Charles Hou]
Student re-enactments of the Louis Riel trial of 1885 when carried out in the Court House, bring the reality of history to life. (see

Vancouver sports over the decade
[April 6, 1982 (Incorporation Day Dinner, Our Lady of Hungary Church Hall) Robert Osborne]
Often ignored in Vancouver history, is the role of local sports figures. A museum was founded in 1966 to honour exceptional BC sportsmen and women and is housed in the BC Pavilion in the PNE grounds.
(see The Encyclopedia of British Columbia, 63;

VPL #12260, Leonard Frank, 1923, PNE Dance Hall  
VPL #12260, Leonard Frank, 1923, PNE Dance Hall  

History of the Pacific National Exhibition
[April 28, 1982 (VM) Ken Coates]
From its inception in the early years of this century to the present day, the Pacific National Exhibition has been the centre of controversy and political manipulation. Competing with the agriculture New Westminster fair, the PNE concentrated on industry and manufacturing. After WWII, grandstand entertainment and midway “ride” features grew to the point where neighbourhood locals have asked for its removal and reversion to parkland. (see The Encyclopedia of British Columbia, 524; John Miller's Early history of the Vancouver Exhibition Association, City Archives, 1953; see also

[May 26, 1982 (AGM at Vancouver Museum Auditorium]
(no speaker listed)

Roedde House
[June 23, 1982 (Field Trip)]
(see entries for January 28, 1987; May 22, 1991)

Fraser Port - From Gold Rush to Present
[September 22, 1982 (VM) Jacqueline Gresko]
New Westminster port has risen from fish boat to deep sea traffic and is now recognized as a port of international stature. Further development has taken place under the Fraser river Harbor Commission. (see Jaqueline Gresko's Fraser Port: freightway to the Pacific, 1858-1986, Sono Nis, 1986)

Vancouver's Forest Playground, an early social history of Stanley Park
[October 27, 1982 (VM) Robert McDonald]
From its early designation as a military reserve onwards, Stanley Park has had to face problems with squatters to attitudes of different social classes towards park use. However, it made a unique contribution to sport and recreation in the city's early history. (see Stanley Park's Secret, The Forgotten Families of Whoi Whoi, Kanaka Ranch and Brockton Point, Harbour Press, 2005; entries also for April 27, 1988; October 23, 1991; April 6, 2002; see also

VPL #6986, Philip Timms, 1906, Victoria Crescent in Nanaimo  
VPL #6986, Philip Timms, 1906, Victoria Crescent in Nanaimo  

The Hudson's Bay Company and the Vancouver Island Coal Miners
[November 24, 1982 (VM) Keith Ralston]
The HBC hierarchical ranking of Governors, clerks and servants became blurred its Nanaimo coal operations in the 1850s. It was difficult to place the pit boss, coal hewer or mine worker who turned windlasses, pushed carts or carried coal. By the early 1860s, it had got out of the coal mining business. (see Eric Newsome's The Coal Coast: the history of coal mining in B.C. - 1835-1900, Orca Book Publishers, 1989; see also

VPL #18968, no date, Philip Timms, Garibaldi Lake  
VPL #18968, no date, Philip Timms, Garibaldi Lake  

Mountains and Mountain Climbing in British Columbia
[January 26, 1983 (VM) Phyllis Munday]
Early mountain climbers in British Columbia had to do without modern conveniences or transportation to help them on their climbs. The love for the mountains, however, was a motivating force for these early climbers. (see entry for April 24, 1956; The Encyclopedia of British Columbia, 477)

As the City Saw Itself - Vancouver's Early Postcards
[February 23, 1983 (VM) Rev. Fred Thirkell]
The era of the postcard craze in Vancouver, 1900-14, was also the time of the city's adolescence. While archival records seem full of shots picturing the city's infancy, for the most part it was only the postcard that recorded the city's teen years. The rapid growth, the brashness and swagger of the young city during this period can be seen in postcards. (Fred Thirkell & Bob Scullion's Postcards from the past: Edwardian images of Great Vancouver and the Fraser Valley, Heritage House Publishing, 1996; and Vancouver & beyond: pictures and stories from the postcard era, 1900-1914, Heritage House Publishing, 2000)

VPL 7652, Philp Timms, 190-, Pauline Johnson on a path  
VPL 7652, Philp Timms, 190-, Pauline Johnson on a path  

Pauline: A Biography of Pauline Johnson
[March 23, 1983 (VM) Betty Keller]
Canadian poet and entertainer, Pauline Johnson, was taught by Owen Smiley, English music hall veteran, how to get audience attention. As well, when she went to school, she was told never to let a man touch her hand. (see Betty Keller's Pauline: a biography of Pauline Johnson, Douglas & McIntyre, 1981; entry for October 25, 2000; see also

The Vancouver Book
[April 6, 1983 (Incorporation Day Dinner at VMM) Chuck Davis]
The Vancouver Book is a massive compilation of facts and anecdotes about Vancouver and its personalities, the kind that haven't been included in any previous history of the city. (see The Greater Vancouver Book, Linkman Press, 1997)

Canada West Gold Rush Museum, Cloverdale
[April 16, 1983 (Field Trip)]
A unique private museum, owned by Bill Barlee, has many artifacts relating to the Gold Rush. It contains such items as the lock from the Kamloops jail that sequestered Bill Miner; a newly found Frederick Whymper painting of Billy Barker's claim; one of only three known views of Dawson; the only surviving cannon from Fort Rupert; a map of the CPR townsite at Emory Bar, etc. (5696 176th Street, Cloverdale - this museum is no longer in operation).

Jim Spilsbury, founder of the Queen Charlotte Airlines
[April 27, 1983 (VM) Jim Spilsbury]
Incorporated in 1945, QCA a year later was the third largest airline in Canada. It continued to serve the West Coast's isolated communities until 1955 when Jim Spilsbury sold it to PWA and went back to his radio business. (see entry for April 26, 1989)

[May 25, 1983 (AGM at VMM Auditorium)]

Jordan & Ste Michelle Cellars, Surrey
[July 23, 1983 (Field Trip)]
B.C.'s oldest winemaker and one of the largest aging cellars in North America. It also has a rare collection of giant oak casks.

Rediscovering Six Paul Kane Paintings: The Detective Work Process
[September 28, 1983 (VM) Susan Stewart]
Six Paul Kane paintings commissioned by Sir George Simpson in 1847 and lost for 120 years, were found, after much searching, in Scotland at the home of Sr. George's great-great grandson. They are now in Canadian private collections. (see

VPL #84815, Artray Studios, 1947, B. C. Coast shipwreck  
VPL #84815, Artray Studios, 1947, B. C. Coast shipwreck  

Shipwrecks in Coastal Waters
[October 26, 1983 (VM) Dave Griffiths]
The Underwater Archaeological Society of British Columbia have placed plaques on several historic wreck sites in B.C. waters. One was on the Robert Kerr, wrecked of Thetis Island in 1911. This vessel carried many residents to safety during Vancouver's fire in 1886. (see

Journal of George Inskip, HMS Virago
[November 23, 1983 (VM) G. P. V. Akrigg]
The diary of George Inskip told of a con man who was able to get free passage to Hawaii, of Mr. & Mrs. Langford and pretty daughter who had a first class tour to Fort Simpson and their observations on the local residents at the various stopping places. These observations were never meant for public view, so insight into local people was biased and often humourous. (see G. V. P. Akrigg's HMS Virgo in the Pacific, 1851-1855: to the Queen Charlotte's & beyond, Sono Nis Press, 1992)


Old Hastings Mill Store Museum
[January 14, 1984 (Field Trip)]
(see June 15, 2004 entry)

Diamond Head Lodge, Garibaldi Provincial Park
[January 25, 1984 (VM) Hans Brandvold]
The Brandvold family search for a suitable site for a lodge in British Columbia was recorded by a hand-cranked camera. After taking in supplies on horses and on the family's backs, a log structure, which became Diamond Head Lodge in Garibaldi Park, was completed in 1944. Since being taken over by the Provincial government, Diamond Head Lodge is closed. (see

Roughing it in the Bush in British Columbia, Mrs. R. C. Moody's experiences in BC 1858-1963
[February 22, 1984 (VM) Jacqueline Gresko]
Mary Moody, wife of Col. Richard Moody, arrived in BC in 1858 with four children and lived in a tent for the first while. She used the services of the Royal Engineers' doctor and even got the Sappers to assume nursemaid and gardening duties. However, she still had to deal with smallpox vaccinations that didn't take, the education of her children, a lack of trained servants and an excess of visitors - among them Governor James Douglas who treated the Moodys with disdain. (see entry for September 26, 1973)

An evening with Paul St. Pierre
[March 28, 1984 (VM) Paul St. Pierre]
Born and raised in Nova Scotia, Paul St. Pierre came to B.C. after serving with the Royal Canadian Air Force in WWII. He worked for several Lower Mainland newspapers before joining the Vancouver Sun. From 1968-72 he represented the Coast Chilcotin as a Liberal M.P. (see Paul St. Pierre's Breaking Smith's Quarterhorse, Douglas & McIntyre, 1984; and Smith and Other Events, Doubleday Canada, 1983; The Encyclopedia of British Columbia, 621)

St. Paul's Church, North Vancouver
[April 1, 1984 (Field Trip)]
The first church on the St. Paul's site was a small building erected by the Squamish natives and Oblate Missionaries in 1868 and dedicated to Our Lady of Sorrows. It was replaced in 1884 and rededicated St. Pauls. It was restored in 1980 and the 1881 bell from the west tower, and the 1900- wood crucifix now rest on the lawns outside.

VPL #10480, Leonard Frank, 1929, Marine Building under construction  
VPL #10480, Leonard Frank, 1929, Marine Building under construction  

Changes around Granville Square and the Marine Building
[April 6, 1984 (Incorporation Day Wine & Cheese at VMM) Mr. Birkett]

The Royal Engineers
[April 25, 1984 (VM) Jacqueline Gresko, Frances Woodward and John Spittle]
In 1859 the Royal Engineers, under the command of Colonel Richard Moody, built their camp on the north bank of the Fraser River. They were sent mainly to "pioneer British civilization" with the secondary purpose of deterring any possible invasion from the south. (The Encyclopedia of British Columbia, 614-15; see entry for September 24, 1980)

Slides of Stanley Park
[May 23, 1984 (AGM at VM) George Shaw]
(see entries for April 6, 1975, April 27, 1977, April 27, 1988, October 23, 1991, April 6, 2002, September 25, 2003)

VPL #7228, Philip Timms, 1908, the railway station at Haney  
VPL #7228, Philip Timms, 1908, the railway station at Haney  

Old Port Haney
[June 16, 1984 (Field Trip)]
The old Bank of Montreal building has become the Billy Miner Pub, St. Andrew's Church (1888) is now used for secular activities and the Brickyard House is the home of the Maple Ridge Museum. (see The Encyclopedia of British Columbia, 316)

Vancouver Heritage Conservation
[September 26, 1984 (VM) Dan Cornejo]
Each city has a focal point for heritage conservation. The city of Vancouver is currently inventorying and evaluating all of Vancouver's buildings, bridges, monuments and even trees. (see entries for March 24, 1969; January 25, 1977; February 1977; November 26, 1980; September 26, 1984; May 2, 1991; March 17, 1993; April 6, 1995; March 27, 1996; May 22, 1996, October 23, 2002)

Coal Mining Families and Communities of Vancouver Island
[October 24, 1984 (VM) Lynne Bowen]
Lives of people, such as miners from Vancouver Island, can be reconstructed from taped interviews that can be revisited long after the interview.
(see Lynne Bowen's Boss Whistle: the Coal Miners of Vancouver Island Remember, Oolichan Press, 1982; Eric Newsome's The Coal Coast, The History of Coal Mining in B.C. - 1835-1900, Orca Book Publishers, 1989)

Growing up British in British Columbia: Boys in Private School
[November 28, 1984 (VM) Jean Barman]
During the years 1900-1950, sixty private schools were organized throughout BC and were situated mainly in Victoria, parts of Vancouver Island, Vancouver, the Okanagan and the Interior. Seven exist today. They were organized on the "British model" which was the basic criteria of the private school formula. (see Jean Barman's Growing Up British in British Columbia: boys in private school, UBC Press, 1984])


The Squire of Kootenay West - Bert Herridge
[January 23, 1985 (VM) Maurice Hodgson]
England born Herbert W. "Bert" Herridge (1895-1973) settled with his parents in Nacusp in 1907. He had a fruit farm and a small logging business and was a CCF MP for 23 years. Considered on the left of the party, he retired in 1968.
(see Maurice Hodgon's The Squire of Kootenay West: a biography of Bert Herridge, Hancock House, 1976)

VPL #6741, Philip Timms, 1906, CP lumber Company workers at Port Moody  
VPL #6741, Philip Timms, 1906, CP lumber Company workers at Port Moody  

Working Lives in Vancouver, 1886-1986
[February 27, 1985 (VM) Louise May, Veronica Strong-Boag, Keith Ralston and Bob McDonald] (see Louise May, Veronica Strongbaug, Keith Ralston and Bob McDonald's Working Lives: Vancouver, 1886-1986, New Star Books, 1985)

Francis Rattenbury
[March 27, 1985 (VM) Anthony Barrett & Rhodri Liscombe]
Francis Rattenbury (1867-1835), who won a medal as a young apprentice for his sketch of an English grammar school, went on to design courthouses in Chilliwack, Nanaimo and Vancouver as well as the BC Legislative Building. He saw financial reverses, was murdered in England and lies in an unmarked grave in the Bournemouth Cemetery. (see Anthony Barrett & Rhodri Liscomb's Francis Rattenbury and British Columbia: architecture and challenge in the Imperial Age, UBC Press, 1983; see also January 24, 1979 entry)

Stars in Vancouver
[April 6, 1985 (Incorporation Day Wine & Cheese at MM) Hugh Pickett]
Hugh Pickett was responsible for bringing many stars to Vancouver. (see January 27, 1997 entry; see also Greg Potter & Red Robinson's Backstage Vancouver, a century of entertainment legends, Harbour Publishing, 2005)

VPL #18678, Philip Timms, nd, Point Atkinson lighthouse  
VPL #18678, Philip Timms, nd, Point Atkinson lighthouse  

British Columbia Lighthouses
[April 24, 1985 (VM) Don Graham]
Lighthouse keeping for families along the BC coast in past years was a life of deprivation. The men were underpaid and their wives worked as unpaid assistants. Often they had to supply their own winter fuel, often they ran out of food and were reduced to near starvation, and always they were isolated from medical help. Even though helicopters changed lives for the better, lighthouse keepers were a dedicated lot who generally loved their jobs. (see entry for March 28, 1990)

Captain James Hanna and the Beginning of Maritime Fur Trade
[May 22, 1985 (AGM at VM) Tomas Bartroli]
The maritime fur trade for sea otter pelts began in earnest on August 9, 1785 when Capt. James Hanna arrived at Nootka Sound from Macao. His dream of quick wealth was realized in his first expedition but his second trip in 1786 was not as successful as he arrived shortly after Capt. James Strange had traded in the area. (see

Duff Pattullo - The Depression Years
[September 25, 1985 (VM) Robin Fisher]
Ontario born Duff Pattullo first tried his fortunes in New York and the Yukon before settling in Prince Rupert. There he went into municipal politics and in 1916 was elected MLA, becoming Minister of Lands. In 1929 he reorganized a defeated Liberal party and was elected in 1933. As premier, he introduced marketing boards, unemployment insurance, health insurance and improved pensions and spent considerable sums on public works. However, non-support by Ottawa and business interests, led to him being dumped in 1941. (see The Encyclopedia of British Columbia, 533-34)

Early Maritime Artists of the Pacific Northwest Coast, 1741-1841
[October 23, 1985 (VM) John Frazier Henry]
Maritime artists, who accompanied fur trading and exploring ventures, were active on the Pacific Northwest Coast from 1741. They faithfully recorded the region and its inhabitants. As well, reproducers in Europe embellished the artwork to suit their concepts of North America. (see Frasier Henry's Early Maritime Artists of the Pacific Northwest Coast, 1741-1841, Douglas & McIntyre, 1984)

Across the Arctic by Dog Sled
[November 27, 1985 (VM) Donald McKechnie]
Sent by Cominco in 1927 around Alaska by boat to Coppermine, Donald McKechnie then took a dog sled journey across the Canadian Arctic in 1927-28. The 2700 km trip, made in co-operation with the Hudson's Bay Company, touched on the route taken by Samuel Hearne in 1771-72, and was probably the last major dog sled trip made in the North.

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