Monday, August 9, 2010

Church, Law and Food

In May of 1886 John Stewart was appointed Chief Constable and became the first Vancouver police officer. For a while he was the only one. A month later, after the great fire that caused so much damage, Mayor McLean was standing on Water Street and looking at Burrard Inlet. He saw barrels of whiskey floating by and immediately sworn in as a constable a former store owner who was standing nearby. The new constable's first assignment was to go into the water and get those barrels. At least we know that Mayor McLean had his priorities straight.

In 1945 two of my great uncles came home from World War II and joined the Vancouver Police Force. One of them became head of the union while the other had a bit of difficulty with authority figures and used to punch supervisors when he didn't agree with them. Not really the smartest career move I think. (I was going to post their photos but I can't find one of them. When I do I will post them)

I bet the building looked a lot different when my uncles joined!

Coroner's Court was built in 1932 and housed the Coroner's Court as well as the City Analyst’s laboratory, forensic lab and such.

Now it is home to the Police Museum. If you look closely at the top of this photo you can see a man and a bicycle. That is where I gather the museum is. Hopefully next month I will be able to visit the it.

Last night I was doing research for my next novel and I happened across some information on some of the buildings in Vancouver. So when I went out today I purposely searched for some of them.

I have passed the St. James Anglican Church numerous times both on foot and on the bus. Nice looking building, never thought much about it. But it is one of the city's older places of worship. The original church was destroyed in the great fire of 1886 and this one was built to replace it. It has survived and flourished to this day. Pretty good feat considering that it is located in the middle of a bad area of town.

The Vancouver Buddhist Church, circa 1973, was built on the spot where a Christain place of worship once stood. Christian, Buddhist, Wiccan, Pagan, Jew - it doesn't really matter does it? As long as we have a place to worship.

A fixture at 467-469 Powell Street, Payless Meats has been in operation since 1913. And while searching for more information I found a note from a consumer who agrees that you do pay less for meat here.

Remember when I wrote on Sunrise-Soya? Well this is where it all began, the Sunrise market. I needed some apples so I stopped here. I have never been in the place and I have been missing out! If I am ever looking for an obscure food product this will be the first place I stop. Crowded into this space is a variety of fresh fruit and vegetables, Asian treats and of course Sunrise Soya products. I also found the prices to be very reasonable and will take the extra time to walk down there to get my tofu from now on.

If you look at the one photo you can see Lion Hotel painted on the side of the building. Built in 1912 this establishment has been in continous use as a rooming house for residents of the area. At one time there was a gambling club on the main floor operated by Chinese and Japanese owners. Is it still there? I don't know.

There is so much to see and take pictures of that I never got to half of it. From murals

to buildings

to my short term escort (he didn't stay long)

There is something special everywhere you look in this city. Probably in yours as well.

I hope you find the beauty around you.

PS. Thank you to the VPD website for supplying the amusing stories of the early formation of the force.

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