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authority records

Crocker (family)

Arthur Herbert Crocker was a ship-mate and later an engineer for Canadian Pacific. The Crocker family resided in Victoria, B.C.

Boulton, Edwin William

Edwin William Boulton was a Marine Engineer for the Royal Navy. Boulton is listed in the Royal Navy Lists (1886) as Assistant Engineer from 1842 until retirement in 1872.

West Vancouver Archives

  • 1994-

In keeping with the Canadian archival tradition of "total archives," the Corporation of the District of West Vancouver's Archives holdings comprise corporate and community records. With the incorporation of the municipality in 1912, the creation and collection of corporate records began. From 1980, the West Vancouver Museum & Historical Society collected community archival material from residents, transferring these records to the District in 1994 with the opening of the West Vancouver Museum and Archives in the Gertrude Lawson House. The Archives continues to accept, preserve and make available both corporate and community records.

Hopkins (family)

The Charles Hopkins family were pioneer settlers in Bentinck, [Ontario?], and later were early residents of the Otter area of Langley, B.C.

Sieward, H. Ferdinand, b. 1854

H. Ferdinand Sieward was born in Germany and, after a marine career in Nova Scotia, arrived in Victoria, B.C., in 1886., He worked for Hall, Goepel and Company and subsequently owned two sealing schooners, the Dora Sieward and the Mascotte.

Conway, G.S.

  • Person
  • 1896-1968

G. S. Conway was an engineer for the British Pacific Properties Limited and for the First Narrows Bridge Company LimitedGilbert S. Conway was a civil engineer for First Narrows Bridge Company Limited and British Pacific Properties Limited. He played a significant role managing the construction of Lions Gate Bridge, overseeing the work of three hundred men, and also in the development of the Capilano Estates residential area. From 1937 to 1938 he kept detailed diaries in which he recorded daily weather conditions and progress of the work on Lions Gate Bridge, and included newspaper clippings relating to the project. In later years, Gilbert Conway worked in West Vancouver as an independent contractor, consulting on a variety of engineering matters including cost estimates, development plans, investigations and reports, construction supervision, and waterworks installation.

Knox United Church (Parksville, B.C.)

  • Corporate body

Knox United Church, Parksville began its life as Knox Presbyterian Church. Presbyterian work in the Parksville area began in November, 1909, when a meeting was held after a servive to discuss establishing a Presbyterian church in Parksville. Services were initially held in a home in Errington. They formed a board to look after the building of a new church, which was begun in 1911 on the Island Highway, and was dedicated the following year. For the first two years, student ministers came from Wellington to lead services. An ordained minister was appointed to serve the Parksville Mission Field in 1913. In November, 1915 a Session was constituted for the Parksville Field, with members being elected from Parksville, Errington, Hilliers and Qualicum Beach. By 1917, Coombs was also part of this field.
The Parksville Mission Field came into church union in 1925, but the Field was reorganized in 1927. From 1927 to 1942, Parksville Pastoral Charge included Coombs, Errington and Nanoose. St. Andrew's United Church Errington was opened and dedicated on Feb. 16, 1930 as a part of the Parksville Pastoral Charge. In 1942, the Parksville-Qualicum Pastoral Charge was formed, and also included Errington and Coombs. This remained until 1953. Between 1953 and 1961, Knox United, Parksville was supplied from the Nanaimo Indian Pastoral Charge, which included Parksville, Nanoose and Errington. In 1961, the Parksville Pastoral Charge was formed, and included Nanoose and Errington until 1982. The church sold its property on the Island Highway in 1978 and for a year the congregation worshipped in the Roman Catholic Church in French Creek. In Februrary, 1979, a new church building was dedicated. In 1982, the preaching point at Errington was discontinued and the Parksville Pastoral Charge became a one point Pastoral Charge.

Imperial Order Daughters of the Empire. Duncan Lawson Chapter (West Vancouver, B.C.)

  • Corporate body

The Imperial Order Daughters of the Empire, Duncan Lawson Chapter was formed on April 22, 1920 at a meeting in Ambleside Hall. An application to become a chapter within the National Chapter of Canada was sent to IODE headquarters, and the affiliation certificate was signed on May 13, 1920.

The West Vancouver chapter was named after Duncan Lawson (1897-1918), the son of West Vancouver pioneers John Lawson (1860-1954) and Christina Lawson (1866-1955). Duncan Lawson was killed in action during World War I. Christina Lawson and Duncan Lawson's sister, Gertrude Lawson (1892-1989), were among the founding members of the Chapter.

The Duncan Lawson Chapter's motto was "Loyal Service", and it worked with schools and community groups to provide service and assistance.

The last meeting of the Duncan Lawson Chapter was held on February 13, 1978. The membership had been declining, and it was decided that there no longer was a sufficient basis for the continuation of the Chapter.

J.H. Perry Department Store

J.H. Perry Department Store was built around 1890 and it was one of the major department stores in Ladner, BC. It was first owned by H.J. Hutcherson and he sold the store to S.W. Walters in 1912. After Walters, Mr. J.W. Atkey bought the store in 1918 and he sold the store to Mr. R.F. Young who in turn sold it to Mr. J.H. Perry in 1934. Up until that time, the store included a grocery department and was known to many as the "White Store". In 1965, Gordon Peacock bought the store but retained the well known Perry name. The store operated, under different owners, until it was demolished in 1989.

Swainson, Neil

  • 1919-2009

Neil Swainson was a retired Professor of Political Science at the University of Victoria who conducted research on the Columbia River Treaty for his book, "Conflict on the Columbia" (1979).

John (family)

The Richard and Ann John family were pioneer settlers in North Saanich since 1858, establishing the Glamorgan Farm. The Johns had five children, Joseph, Richard, James, David, and Elizabeth. David John married Margaret Michell, a member of another pioneer family in Saanich. They operated the Aberavon Farm and had six children, William, Elizabeth, Mabel, George, Emily Jean, and Joseph.

Leahy, June, 1917-

June Leahy was born in Calgary, Alberta, in 1917. Her family moved to Victoria where she grew up, then met and married Bill Leahy (1913-1975). The couple moved to Duncan in 1948, and continued migrating up the east coast of Vancouver Island. They lived in Nanaimo for 20 years (1950-70), and then moved to Campbell River where they built their own house. Both Bill and June were self-taught photographers. The Leahys had three children: Dick, Susan and Ann. June Leahy became a freelance photographer the year after her daughter's birth and continued during the rest of her Nanaimo stay (11 years, 1959-1970). In addition to photography, she worked on Frank Ney's elections. Bill Leahy was in the automotive supply business.

Takata, Toyo, 1920-

Toyo Takata was born in or near the Japanese Tea Garden in Gorge Park. His father and uncle owned the Tea Garden and ran it until April, 1942, when they were expelled from Victoria and sent to detention camps in the British Columbia interior. Toyo Takata spent the war years in Slocan and later settled in Toronto, where he worked in the printing business.

Canada. Point Atkinson Lighthouse

  • Corporate body

In 1872 the Canadian Department of Marine and Fisheries and awarded a contract to Arthur Finney to build a lighthouse at Point Atkinson for the sum of $4250. The lighthouse was in operation in 1875 within the jurisdiction of the Department of Marine, Ottawa, under the terms of the B.N.A. Act, section 91.

The first lighthouse keepers were Edwin Woodward and his wife Ann. Finding the area too isolated, they moved to Ontario after five years, and the Weldwoods, who succeeded them stayed less than a year. Walter Erwin was the light keeper from 1880 to 1910. In 1889 a steam fog alarm was installed at Point Atkinson, and Thomas D. Grafton was hired as Erwin's assistant. When Erwin retired in 1909, Grafton took charge of the lighthouse and fog alarm and remained until 1934, when he was accidentally killed by an explosion of dynamite in his hand while bait fishing. Ernest Dawe became lighthouse keeper in 1935 and served until 1960.

In 1912, the original wooden lighthouse was replaced by a reinforced concrete tower, designed by Colonel William Patrick Anderson of the Department of Marine and Fisheries, and the surrounding area was designated a park. In 1942, Point Atkinson became a military station for the duration of World War II. Searchlights and cannon were installed, and cedar barracks in the forest behind the lighthouse housed eighty soldiers. In 1963 an electrical motorized system was introduced, and in 1974 the fog alarm was replaced with airchime foghorns

Gordon Odlum served as lighthouse keeper from 1963 to 1974; Bob Ferriday from 1974 to 1975; and Jim Barr from 1975. Donald Graham was the last lighthouse keeper, serving from 1980 to 1996 when the station was completely automated. In 1994 Point Atkinson Lighthouse was declared a National Historic Site.

Port Moody Historical Society

The Port Moody Historical Society was established on June 18, 1969. The mandate of the society was to preserve the history of Port Moody. In 1977 the society purchased the Port Moody CP railway station for one dollar. The building was then moved to Rocky Point Park and declared a heritage building. In 1979 the society established the Museum Restoration Committeee. The building was restored and currently houses the Port Moody Museum and Archives.

West Vancouver Historical Society

  • Corporate body
  • 1980-
 The West Vancouver Historical Society began as a committee within the Rotary Club of West Vancouver. Several active Rotarians, including Rupert Harrison, Hugh Johnston, Harvey Hill, and Thomas Erling-Tyrell, saw the need for preserving the history of West Vancouver. The concept was discussed at a series of meetings with the Mayor, Municipal Manager, and other officials of the Corporation of the District of West Vancouver. The Rotary Club was encouraged to proceed and the members approved the proposal on April 30, 1980. Start-up funding was assigned and an application for incorporation under the Society Act was prepared.

The West Vancouver Historical Society was incorporated by the Rotary Club as a non-profit society under the Society Act of British Columbia on July 17, 1980. An interim executive committee of Rotarians was appointed to organize a series of events as part of a membership campaign. The old West Vancouver Ferry “Hollyburn “ was chartered for a memory cruise and the first sixty members were signed up. A series of lectures and slide shows attracted sufficient new members during 1981 that the Rotary committee stepped aside and call for an election of officers from within the society membership. The first annual general meeting of the Society was held January 25, 1982. Bernard (Bernie) G. Holt, recently retired Senior Secondary School Principal, was elected President of the Society.

In 1984 the name of the West Vancouver Historical Society was changed to West Vancouver Museum and Historical Society (authorized September 12, 1984). This reflected a change in orientation. Initially the major purpose of the society had been to collect archival material, and only secondarily museum artifacts. The change in name indicated that the society would now also collect museum artifacts and start working towards the creation of a museum and archives in West Vancouver. The Society worked in partnership with the Municipality in the collection, preservation, storing, and housing of historical materials. Any items donated to the society became the property of the Municipality (the Corporation of the District of West Vancouver).

In March of 1983 the Historical Society began publication of a newsletter. The original title of the newsletter was Histrionics, later changed to History-Onics. The purpose of the newsletter is to inform the membership about the activities of the Society, and to publish vignettes related to the history of West Vancouver.

The Historical Society grew rapidly to embrace more than five hundred members. A fund raising program was implemented to obtain suitable housing for the growing collection. The Society was instrumental in securing the former home of Gertrude Lawson as a site for the West Vancouver Museum and Archives. The Society succeeded in raising more than $500,000, which, with Municipal, Provincial, and Heritage partners, led to the establishment of the West Vancouver Museum and Archives. The building was extensively renovated, and officially dedicated as the home of the West Vancouver Museum and Archives on June 29, 1992.

By 1993 professional operating staff was in place and the community Museum & Archives was a reality. The Society was able to revert to a support role by forming a volunteer pool for the facility and fund raising activities. At the annual general meeting on March 25, 1993 the name was changed back to West Vancouver Historical Society.

Moore, Syd

  • 1909-

Syd Moore was born in Nanaimo in 1909. He worked as a meat cutter at a number of local stores, including Eatons and Safeway. Moore was best known as a musician, playing the banjo and the ukelele in a variety of bands including the "Swingsters" with George Pimlock and Stan Brinham, "Syds Serenaders" with Alan Galloway, Enid Galloway, Wilf Turner and Godfrey Stewart and later, the "Bowenaires." Syd served in the navy in World War II and, shortly after, married Myrtle (maiden name unknown).

Thompson (family)

  • Family
  • 1855-1938
 The Thompson family were active pioneers in West Vancouver who contributed to the development of West Vancouver, and establishment of the West Vancouver Ferry Company and the West Vancouver Municipal Transportation Department.

The patriarch of this pioneering family was W.C. (William Charles) Thompson who was born near Cambridge, England on January 21, 1855. In 1875 he married Rachel Matilda Carr. After suffering the deaths of their first two children in infancy, they immigrated to Canada in 1879 and settled in Ontario. Their third child, Charlie was born in 1880, but sadly Rachel died soon after the birth. W.C. Thompson suffered a profound depression which lifted when he met Grace Lawson who became his second wife in 1881. In 1887 they had their first child Harry, and would have four more children together, although two died tragically in infancy.

W.C. Thompson was a successful businessman in Ontario when his wanderlust was reawakened after hearing about the scenic beauty and opportunities in B.C. from Grace’s brother – John Lawson. He sold his business interests in Ontario, and after a cold and tedious trip arrived in Vancouver in March 1909. Delighted with the countryside and climate, W.C. Thompson and his family settled in West Vancouver. He found that selling land in B.C. was easier than selling lumber in Ontario, and first in partnership with John Lawson, then on his own account bought and sold many blocks of land in the area at substantial profits.

W.C. Thompson became active in public affairs and was one of the principals in the formation of West Vancouver as a separate municipality and in the building of the first Municipal Hall. He and three other men, including John Lawson, formed The West Vancouver Transportation Company in October 1909, which operated the ferry and bus system. W.C. Thompson and his family lived in a large gracious house at 2058 Argyle that featured a bay window of curved glass overlooking English Bay, and hot water heating. He was active in community life, headed Church committees, and was also a member of the first West Vancouver School Board. During World War I, he continued to be very active in the District managing the construction of road bridges and waterworks which was highlighted by the opening of Marine Drive to Caulfield in 1915.

His wife Grace died in 1920, at the age of 63. In his latter years W.C. Thompson was a keen motorist and enjoyed touring which he did with his third wife Anne Case, whom he married in 1922. His children – Charlie, Harry, James, William, Robert (Bert), Florence, and their families also contributed to the development of West Vancouver. They worked on several projects including municipal electric and water systems, setting up West Vancouver’s first service station at 14th and Marine Drive, and establishing the West Vancouver Girl Guides. W.C. Thompson died on December 24, 1938, at the age of 83.

St. Andrew's Parish (Sunset Prairie, B.C.)

Originally served from Pouce Coupe, St. Andrew's, Sunset Prairie became a separate parish in the early 1930's and served several smaller surrounding communities. In 1961 the centre of the parish moved to Chetwynd and the parish acquired the name, Mission to the Hart Highway. St. Andrew's continued as part of the Mission to the Hart Highway until about 1975 when it was linked with St. Mark's, Dawson Creek.

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