Friday, September 7, 2012

1941 Marches On

Not only did a columnist die on September 23, 1941 but that was also the day that Basil Rathbone visited Vancouver as part of a war bond drive. This legendary actor is thought by some to have been the best Sherlock Holmes in the movies.

On October 21, a record was set when five women were elected as MLAs. One was Tilly Rolston from Vancouver Point Grey. Tilly would cross the floor from Conservative to Social Credit and in 1952 become Minister of Education.

Vancouver Burrard elected Mrs. Grace MacInnis - wife of Angus MacInnis, CFF member at Ottawa; Mrs. Laura Jamieson from Vancouver Central and Mrs. Dorothy Steeves from North Vancouver.

Four days later North Vancouver No. 5 was launched in False Creek. This was the last car ferry for the North Vancouver Ferry System - this service had started in 1900. Maintenance costs and improvement in vehicle traffic such as the Lion's Gate Bridge forced the company to close in 1958.

October 27 was the day that the troop transport Awatea left Vancouver for Hong Kong. This vessel was filled with troops of Winnipeg Grenadiers and the Royal Rifles of Canada. (Just for your information, Awatea is Maori for 'Eye of Dawn')

For five months, skilled technicians at the Vancouver Daily Province newspaper had been working hard to install intricate mechanisms to control the large presses. On October 28, the wife of the newspaper's production manager - W.W. Southam - pressed the buttons that brought the roaring machines to life.

Maj-Gen Victor Odlum of Vancouver had briefly been in command of the 2nd Division overseas. On November 6, 1941, Prime Minister Mackenzie King chose Odlum to be the new high commissioner to Australia. (ambassador) The PM is said to have told the House of Commons that 'nobody was so well qualified as Gen. Odlum'.

On November 9, the Westminster Regiment sailed for overseas service.

It was on November 12, 1941 that the first blood was donated to the Red Cross in Vancouver. Mayor Jack Cornett drew the name of a New Westminster grocer, Jimmy Muir, from a hat and gave man the honour of being the first person in Vancouver to give blood to the blood bank. Another early donor was David Smith, a carpenter at the Boeing factor on Coal Harbour. There were 500 men working at the factory at the time and every one of them donated blood. This blood was sent overseas to the war zone.

On November 25, Frederick S. Maclure died at Iona Island at the age of 77. Maclure was the co-publisher of the Vancouver Daily World with his sister Sara Ann McLagan.

November 26, W.A.C. (William Andrew Cecil) Bennett was first elected. Bennett would go on to become British Columbia's longest serving premier with just over twenty years in service.

November 26, 1941, was also the day that John Howe Carlisle died at the age of 84. Carlisle was Vancouver's first Fire Chief, starting out as a volunteer in the fire brigade in May 1886 - just before the Great Fire in June. A year later he had made brigade chief and by 1889,  Carlisle was chief of the Vancouver police department with eight full men and twelve call men. In 1906, there were 35 full time paid men, two engines, a 75-foot aerial truck and village truck, three two-horse hose wagons, two chemical two-horse wagons, two combined two-horse hose and chemical wagons and 15 firehalls. John Howe Carlisle served as Fire Chief for forty two years and he was the first to be awarded Vancouver's Good Citizen Award in 1922.

Thanks goes once again to the History of Metropolitan Vancouver website for the information.

I hope you can find the beauty around you.

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  1. Such a beautiful site, Karen. I love your flowers and the lovely colors. I know Vancouver well. My daughter lived there for 5 years, so we had lots of chances to visit.

  2. Wonderful as usual chickie! Basil is my all time favorite Sherlock Holmes too. Loved all the pictures of the flowers, so beautiful.