Friday, December 4, 2015

Wrapping up 49

December 23, Vancouver's Seaforth Highlanders held a farewell parade for their retiring commanding officer, Lt-Col D.M. Clark. Part of the ceremony included an inspection by Brig. J.M. Rockingham of the Seaforth's ski company. These special troops would train on Mount Seymour.

On December 29, 1949, a strange thing happened. The leaders of the Polar Bear swim club put out a box called 'The Thing' in English Bay. On January 1, 1951, it was brought to shore - during the annual Polar Bear swim - and opened. Inside was an effigy of Stalin, which was ceremoniously burned.

1949 had other things occur.

The radio station, CKNW moved from 1230 on the dial to 1320.

The 1949 thriller, Johnny Stool Pigeon, starring Howard Duff, Shelley Winters, Dan Duryea and Tony Curtis, among others, told of international drug dealers tracked to their downtown Vancouver lair by a heroic U.S. Treasury agent. One of the few American movies that used Vancouver as a backdrop and set the story to actually take place here.

One of the big hit songs of 1949, There's A Bluebird on Your Windowsill was written by a Vancouver nurse, Elizabeth Clarke. It became the first song written by a Canadian to sell a million copies.  This was also an "indie" recording - Mrs. Clarke spent $600 of her own money to record the song.

In 1949, S.V. Smith became president of the Vancouver Real Estate Board.

1949 was also the year Charles Edwin Thompson became mayor of Vancouver. Thompson was born on May 17, 1890 in Grey County, Ontario.

Donna Jean McKinnon writes Thompson “was a teacher, rancher, automotive dealer, and from 1945 to 1948 an alderman. His apparently contradictory combination of progressive and regressive policies make him a hard character to pin down. He felt that improvements to public transit, roadways and sewer lines and efforts to equalize civic taxes should be provided to law-abiding and politically correct citizens. However, civil liberties were impaired during his term through a policy requiring all civic employees to be screened for communist sympathies.”

I wrote on Thompson and his term as mayor in this 2011 blog entry if you want to read more.

Writer George Woodcock, was born in Winnipeg and moved to BC in 1949.  He first published a collection of poems in 1938 when he was 26 and his final book, published in 1994, was a history of B.C. Woodcock wrote a biography of George Orwell called The Crystal Spirit won the Governor General's Award for non-fiction in 1966. His writings on anarchism were well-received. In total, George Woodcock gave the world 120 books.

Clyde Gilmour was born in Calgary on June 8, 1912 and in 1949, he began writing film and music reviews for the Vancouver Sun, a position he had held with CBC radio in Vancouver since 1947. He stayed with both jobs until 1954 when he went East to earn national fame.

Thanks to The History of Metropolitan Vancouver website for the above information.

I hope you find the beauty around you.

Karen Magill

No comments:

Post a Comment