Monday, February 16, 2015

Wrapping up '48

1948 is a year Jennie Wong will long remember. The Vancouver Sun, along with several radio stations, sponsored a contest. In this competition, the winner would be given a radio show of their own. Jennie, along with other hopefuls, sent in her audition tape to a panel consisting of Frank Sinatra, Freddie Robbins, a New York City disc jockey and orchestra leader Claude Thornhill.

As you have probably already guessed, Wong won the contest and was given a half-hour Saturday show on CKMO. She called the show Jennie's Juke Joint, making Jennie the first Chinese-Canadian disc jockey. Wong went on to work for CBC Edmonton as the 'weather girl' for their morning radio show. She also started her own business, doing theatrical and Television make-up in Edmonton. A job that lasted 25 years. The last report I saw, she became Jennie Diment and still lives in Edmonton.

Jack Varaleau, now of Vancouver, won the British Empire Weightlifting championship, breaking the Olympic record at the same time. Varaleau was a flight sergeant who served in the Canadian military from 1940 to 1969. He would later go on to win gold at the 1950 British Commonwealth Games.

The New Citizen, a bilingual paper (Chinese and English) was started by Vancouver's Roy Mah.

An interesting thing happened at the Theatre Under the Stars - TUTS - in Stanley Park during the summer of 1948. Singer Karl Norman tells what happened when the power went out during a production of the operetta Naughty Marietta:

“The orchestra kept playing,” Karl says, “and I kept singing, and people from the audience lined up their cars at the back of Malkin Bowl and lit the performance with their headlights.”

In 1925, Arthur Whalley opened a service station, general store and soft drink stand in Surrey. Pacific Stage Lines later opened a bus stop there and called it Whalley's Corner. In 1948, the name Whalley was officially adopted.

Bus service began in Burnaby. The city now had paved roads!

The Cloverdale Rodeo was enlarged but due to the Fraser Floods, the event had to be delayed until after Labor Day.

This was the year that sixty thousand daffodils were planted along the Stanley Park Causeway. The bulbs were a gift from the Netherlands to thank Canadian soldiers for their efforts in liberating the country from the Nazis.

After World War II, there was a housing shortage. There was a 120 acres of vacant land near Boundary Road and Grandview Highway that the city began to develop. Alderman Halford Wilson was chair of the civic street naming committee. Wilson announced the streets were to be named after wartime personalities, locations, battles and events which is why the streets have such names as:

Worthington and Falaise Avenues, Dieppe, Anzio, Mons, Normandy, Seaforth and Maida Drives, and Vimy and Matapan Crescents. Malta Place. Donald and Jack Worthington, sons of a former alderman, were soldiers.

Since 1905, the Fraser Street bridge was opened for passing ships by hand. In 1948, it became mechanized to make life a little easier. That upgrade lasted 26 years, until the bridge was replaced by the Knight Street Bridge in 1974.

Starting in 1943, military historian Peter Moogk has written, “the receding danger of attack brought a gradual reduction in the local defences to release trained personnel for the Canadian Army in Europe, which was now in continuous action. Soon after the war's end in September 1945 the gun batteries were dismantled and closed. Fort Point Grey was the last to go, in 1948, and there, appropriately, is a historic maker at the restored No.1 Gun position that recalls the battery's history.”

Here's one for all you Mad Men fans out there. Jimmy Lovick, also known as the 'true giant' of Vancouver ad men, started out on his own in 1948. Lovick opened James Lovick and Co. offices in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal. By 1958, Lovick's company's were the largest ad agencies in Canada with additional offices in Edmonton, London, Ont., Halifax, New York and San Francisco. Lovick didn't desert Vancouver though, where he had started his career in 1934, His offices were in his own building at 1178 West Pender Street.

I hope you enjoyed this look at the year 1948 in Vancouver Canada. I would like to thank The History of Metropolitan Vancouver website for the above information.

I hope  you find the beauty around you.