Monday, January 9, 2012

Mr. Vancouver

My parents bought me something very special for Christmas this year,  something I am going to treasure. They bought me the book The Chuck Davis History of Metropolitan Vancouver and today I am going to tell you about the book and about Chuck Davis. The photos I show you are going to those of nature and anything I have found interesting on my walks around Vancouver.

Charles Hector "Chuck" Davis was born on November 17, 1935 in Winnipeg Manitoba. At the age of eight or nine, in 1944, he came to Vancouver with his father. Chuck was to leave this city again four years later when he went to Toronto.

Davis had left school at the age of 13 and held down a variety of jobs until he was old enough to join the Canadian Army. There he learned and gained experience in radio which led him to a career in broadcasting.

In 1973 Davis published his first book, a guide to Vancouver. The Vancouver Book, an almanac with contributions from over 100 local writers, came out in 1976.

Chuck wrote a daily items column for the Province that evolved into a weekly column on Vancouver history.

Chuck Davis is the creator of The History of Metropolitan Vancouver website which is a site I have used often for reference in writing this blog. He is also the author of numerous books including Two Weeks in Vancouver (written with John Ewing); Kids! Kids! Kids! And Vancouver (with Daniel Wood); Turn on to Canada!; Vancouver: An Illustrated Chronology (with Shirley Mooney); Top Dog! A History of CKNW; The Greater Vancouver Book: An Urban Encyclopedia; Where Rails Meet Rivers: The Story of Port Coquitlam; Vancouver Then and Now.
This book, The Chuck Davis History of Metropolitan Vancouver, was published in 2011- a year after Davis's death. It is called his final gift to Vancouver. Davis was suffering from cancer but wanted to see his final tome completed. So he arranged with like minded people he knew as well as the publisher, Harbour Publishing to ensure that this encyclopedia of Vancouver historical knowledge would be published during Vancouver's 125th year. And on November 16, 2011, on the eve of what would have been Davis's 76th birthday, this precious book was released to the public.

That was a brief glimpse into a man who spent so much of his life recording Vancouver's history for future generations. I will always treasure this book, will refer to it often and it will hold a place of honour on my bookshelf.

I hope you find the beauty around you.

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