Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Those Who Help

On 1926 The Franciscan Sisters of Atonement arrived in Vancouver to take charge of the Catholic Japanese Misson School. For  almost twenty years the sisters did a great job of improving the school and implementing new programs. But then World War II happened and the Japanese were shuttled off to interment camps, many never to return to Vancouver.

So the sisters kept a daycare and kindergarten service going until 1993 when the new atmosphere of the neighbourhood brought to light different challenges. Since the early fifties The Franciscan Sisters of Atonement  has been a place where the hungry and needy could go for food and clothing.

In 1888 Frances Dalrymple Redmond (nee Byron), Sister Frances, arrived in Vancouver. At this time Vancouver had no hospital besides a three bed building run by the C.P.R. that served men only so although the seven bed facility that Sister Frances helped to get built was only meant to be a maternity building, it had to serve other functions.

Sister Frances made numerous trips to other parts of British Columbia. As a trained nurse and midwife she was able to set into motion many training avenues for other women who would follow her lead and become nurses.
The St. James Home Society was founded in 1917 to provide community housing to those within in the parish, using the now defunct hospital. This building was made in 1924 for working women. Presently it is a home for seniors.

This fine building was built in 1906 to house firemen. It was Vancouver's No. 1 fire hall and the first motorized hall. The fire fighters stayed until 1975 when the artistic folks moved in.

Present day Fire Hall No. 1 is located at 900 Heatley Avenue. Fire Hall No. 2 is at 199 Main Street.

Like the mural says the Vancouver Fire Department has been around since 1886, since our fair city was burned to the ground. These men and women put their lives at risk to answer the call for help. And it hasn't always been easy for them.

A very dark day in the Vancouver Fire Department's history was on May 10, 1918. The No. 11 hosewagon was on route to answer an alarm when it struck a streetcar at East 12th and Commercial Drive, killing four of its five man crew.

The vehicles for fire trucks and emergency response have changed quite a bit since those days.

Orange Hall wasn't originally built to help anyone. It was built as a connection of the Loyal Orange Lodge - the Protestants. Remember when I mentioned the architect William Tuff Whiteway who designed the Sun Tower? He designed this one too in a Richardsonian Romanesque architectural style. (there's a new term for me to study.)

The building was completed in 1907 and the lower floor with its big plate windows housed such tenants as a printing firm and Morgan Brothers Furniture .  In later years the upper floors were homes to different labor and cultural organizations, a gym and even a Jewish congregation who were waiting while their synagogue was being built.

In 1943 the building was abandoned and a year later the National Housing Administration hired architect William Frank Gardiner to oversee renovating the building so it could be used as housing. The original ceilings on the top two floors were quite high so another floor was added. Windows were altered to allow more light in and to match the style of those on the second floor. But Gardiner tried to maintain as much of the hall's original character as possible.

The first thing I noticed while walking by this building were these at the doorway. So elegant.

There are so many buildings that have been revamped for other uses and that have a history worth mentioning. Unfortunately I have now been warned twice about taking pictures in that area, how some citizens done there don't like it and will shove my camera in unmentionable places. I have a few left in my gallery so I will use those and perhaps avoid taking any more in areas that could cause me harm.

I hope you find the beauty around you.

TAGS:, , , ,,,,,

No comments:

Post a Comment