Friday, September 30, 2011


I was going to tell you about my trip to an open house at the local fire department but when I was doing research and looking for what to write on I found that there is a book all on the history of the Vancouver Fire Department. So I have requested it from the library and once I receive it and read it, I am going to do a few entries on our local fire department.

So today we'll look at 1934 and see photos of this beautiful city.

On January 1 there was a huge riot in the 100 blocks of East Pender in Chinatown. Police reserves fought for more than an hour to disperse the mobs and finally the fire department was called in to spray the unruly crowd with high pressure hoses. And what started the riot? A Chinese taxi driver got into an altercation with his Caucasian passenger and the driver allegedly hit the white man over the head with a hammer.

The Vancouver Library Board accepted the city's help  on January 5 to reopen the Library's reading room which had been closed the previous year due to lack of funds.

Prime Minister R.B. Bennett spoke at the Vancouver Board of Trades 47th anniversary dinner. It was held on January 19, 193 at the Hotel Vancouver. Bennett said that "Canada is a world example of successful weathering of this depression." I bet there were lots of homeless, unemployed men and families who would have disagreed.
On February 1 the Vienna Choir Boys performed in Vancouver.

May 13 acting Premier A. Wells Gray cut the ribbon on a new 25-bed children's hospital at 250 West 59th Avenue. Although the hospital had opened the year earlier the official ceremony had been delayed due to a scarlet fever outbreak.

(these photos are from the Chinatown Festival I attended this summer)

The first sod was turned for the Malkin Bowl in Stanley Park on May 21.

Future BC Premier Bill Vander Zalm (1986-1991) was born in Noordwykerhout, the Netherlands on May 29. His full name is His full birth name was Wilhelmus Nicholaas Theodore Marie Vander Zalm.

Jimmy McLarnin, a Vancouver boxer who had won the welterweight championship in 1933, lost it to Barney Ross. I think this happened in May - no date is listed - and McLarnin won the title back later that year in September. He held it until May of 1935.

The first regional library in North America - the Fraser Valley Union Library District - was established with headquarters in Abbotsford during June of 1934.

July 1, Canada Day, the first United Airlines Flight arrived at the Vancouver Airport.

On July 8 the first performance of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra was held at the Malkin Bowl to celebrate the official opening of the bowl. Years later Theatre Under the Stars (TUTS) would make their home there and a group called the Home Gas Orchestra often played there.

On July 13 Coquitlam councillor Thomas Douglas was shot dead at his North Road gas station. Because Douglas was a socialist - he had run provincially for the United Front, a socialist party - some thought that the murder was politically motivated.

On November 17 a conservative MLA R.H. Pooley made the Province's front page by accusing UBC professors of teaching communism to the students.

Also in November of 1934 the newly reconstructed Second Narrows Bridge opened. "The span over the real ships' channel,” engineering historian Robert Harris wrote, “was rebuilt as a 85.3-metre lift span, hoisted between two new steel towers."

On December 13 Gerald Grattan “Gerry” McGeer, 46, was swept into the mayoralty with the largest lead in Vancouver history. He received 25,000 votes out of 44,000 and ended the political career of Vancouver's most elected mayor - L.D. Taylor.

I hope you find the beauty around you.

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