Friday, July 18, 2014

Rounding Off 45

Samuel Patrick Cromie, aged 27, returned from RCAF (Royal Canadian Air Force) service  and went back to work on November 1, 1945. Cromie was the third son of Vancouver Sun newspaper founder, Robert Cromie. The younger Cromie was employed at the Sun as a mechanical superintendent. Before the war, he had worked as a pressman in the circulation department. It didn't take long for Samuel to rise to the position of vice president.

With the end of the war, the Boeing aircraft factory on Coal Harbour was primarily inactive. On November 5, 1945, it was sold to B.C. Packers. The intent was likely to use the building as housing for their fishing fleet. “The big building, the main Boeing plant before the war added the Sea Island hangar and shops [in Richmond], would be used for the present as a net and gear storage loft . . . The building has a 132-foot frontage on West Georgia, extending back to the water's edge.”
November 6, 1945, the city council for Vancouver cancelled an order that established separate swimming days at Crystal Pool for non-white people. The pool was now open to everyone, regardless of the colour of their skin or race of their ancestors.

December 8, 1945 was the day that Vancouver lost one of the men who made this city great - Jonathan Rogers. Last month, I wrote a whole series on Rogers and here is one of the entries.

Also in December of 1945, the Burrard Dry Dock let go of the last of its female workers. There were 13,000 workers at the Dock and out of those 1,000 were women. At the war's height, 34 "Victory" ships were built in 26 months. The end of these positions wasn't a shock though. In fact, when the war ended, many women at the factory cried because they knew it meant the end of their jobs since the men would be coming home and returning to their positions.

Also in 1945, Seattle brewer, Emil Sick, bought the Capilano Stadium. It was run down and in poor shape and didn't open until June 15, 1951.

The United Fisherman and Allied Workers union was organized in 1945.

Lansdowne racetrack was sold to the B.C. Turf and Country Club.

The first Cloverdale Rodeo was staged in 1945.

D. MacKay ended his six-year term as chief of the Vancouver Police Department and was succeeded by A.G. McNeill.

Walter Moberly Elementary School - built in 1911 - burned down in 1945. It as rebuilt in 1946 at 1000 East 59th Avenue.

W.H. Malkin stepped down as chair of the Board of Directors of the British Columbia Cancer Society. He was replaced by Dr. A. Maxwell Evans. Evans served in that position for the next 33 years.

The first mall in Canada opened in 1945. The anchor store was Woodwards and it was heralded as innovative, state of the art shopping. The mall? West Vancouver's own, Park Royal.

The B.C. Power Commission was formed in 1945. This was good news to many British Columbians because the commission began extending electricity into rural areas.

This was the year that the city agreed to provide $1 million to build a new main library to replace the Carnegie building, which was built in 1901. The new library, however, wouldn't open until 1954.

Foon Sien Wong, a spokesman for Chinese rights, began the fight to get the vote for Chinese Canadians.

Mary Pack was dismayed by the lack of services for physically handicapped children in Vancouver. She started the B.C. Spastic Society, which would later become the B.C. Division of the Canadian Arthritis and Rheumatism Society in 1948.

1945 was an interesting year, a year full of changes. I want to thank the History of Metropolitan Vancouver website for the above information.

I hope you find the beauty around you.


  1. The home yards you show are very interesting. Do the people there recycle some of the waste and make ornaments? We are limited as to what we can have in our yards. The above yard with the skeleton would be considered to overwhelming and we'd be ticketed. Of course our state is considered a vacation hot spot so we have to make it look pretty much all the same. Back yards are also monitored.

    1. Some people really decorate their lawns and have fun with it.

  2. Such character and having fun doing it. Lucky! Lucky!