Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Mayors of Vancouver Part II
Following Templeton was James Ford Garden who was fortunate enough to serve three terms at the beginning of a decade of 'spectacular growth' for this city. Garden influenced the physical development of the city and was a leader.
Garden was an engineer by trade and he developed an early street car system, sidewalks, road grades and water connections.
In 1901 Thomas Owen Townley was Vancouver's mayor. During his term in office the large British population of Vancouver and the rest of the commonwealth nations mourned the death of Queen Victoria who had spent 63 years on the throne. Later that year Townley was a gracious host to the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and York when they visited the city as part of their Empire Tour.
When Townley failed to secure a second term as mayor he became registrar of land titles for Vancouver, a position he had previously held in New Westminster. He is also remembered for being the commander of Vancouver's first militia.
Dr. William J. McGuigan was our mayor in 1904. He also had the sad duty of being the coroner during the Great Fire.(His brother Thomas was our first city clerk)
McGuigan was an accomplished man holding degrees in both law and medicine but he didn't seem to let his personal ambition get in the way of his duties as mayor. He is quoted as saying "There should be no hint of personal ambition," he said, "at the expense of our collective security." And McGuigan gave himself fully to his duties.
During his one year in office he oversaw improvements to False Creek that led to the filling in of a section east of Main Street a decade later. He was also quite involved with the B.C. Medical Association, the High School Board, and the Free Library Board.
Construction was booming and white-skinned workers were in short supply. People resented the Asian workers and incidents of racism were common. Buscombe and his city council passed a motion asking the federal government to suspend immigration of East Indians into Canada.
Karen Magill, Theodore Ludgate, Vancouver, Asian, Deadman's Island, Stanley Park, History, Dr. William J. McGuigan