Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Naked Doukhobors and Peace

During 1920, plans were made to erect a Cenotaph on the old courthouse site at Cambie and Hastings Streets. This is what we now call Victory Square. The BC Electric employees won the eight-hour work day. Although this was becoming standard, it would be several years before the mill workers gained the same privilege.

1921 was another interesting year in Vancouver. The civic election tried out proportional representation voting but soon discarded it because it was too complicated. The Vancouver General Hospital treated 13,000 cases during this year and its budget rose to $1 million.

Printers in Vancouver went on strike in 1921 for a 44-hour work week. And won. They were the first Vancouver workmen to obtain that right.  On December 1, 1921, three Doukhobors stripped their clothing in the CPR Station.

The Peace Arch at Blaine was completed and dedicated at Blaine. This project was vigorously supported by Vancouver women's associations.

The Peace Arch is a monument that stands between Surrey, British Columbia Canada and Blaine, Washington USA. It was built by Sam Hill and dedicated in September of 1921. Standing 67 feet tall, 20.5 metres, the arch commemorates the Treaty of Ghent in 1814.

The Arch stands on the exact United States - Canada boundary between Interstate 5 and Highway 99 in the grass median between the north and southbound lanes.

On the crown of the Peace Arch is the Canadian Flag and the American Flag. The frieze below has two inscriptions.

For the Americans: "Children of a common mother". For the Canadians: "Brethren dwelling together in unity".

Inside the arch are two iron gates. On the east side, it reads: "1814 Open One Hundred Years 1914". On the west side: "May these gates never be closed".

On the Northern side of the arch is the Peace Arch Provincial Park and on the Southern side is the Peace Arch State Park. These are international parks, which means that visitors do not need a visa or passport to visit the parks as long as they stay within the park boundaries.

This arch was built and erected to symbolize the unity and peace between these great countries.

Philip Timms took this photo of the Peace Arch in the 1920's or 30's. Photo compliments of the Vancouver Public Library

Thanks to the book, Vancouver, From Milltown to Metropolis by Alan Morley for some of the above information and to Wikipedia for information on the Peace Arch. 

I hope you find the beauty around you.

Karen Magill

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