Category: Victoria History

The Chinese Labour Corps: One of BC’s Best Kept Secrets

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Robert Ashton kindly sent me this photo of hundreds of Chinese men standing on a hill with rows and rows of white army bell tents in the background.

He also found a 1920 copy of Pacific Marine Review with this story.

“During the last five months, almost 50,000 Chinese coolies have passed through the port of Vancouver on their way from work in the European war zone back to their homes in China.

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Top 10 Facebook Group Pages for 2016

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For my last post of the year, I’ve chosen the top 10 Facebook group pages. This list is highly subjective and based on a loose criteria—they have to deal with some aspect of the history of Greater Vancouver or Victoria, and you have to be able to see the posts without having to join (I’m intrigued by East Vancouver Selfies and Lululemon Barter Wars, but fear either rejection or disappointment).

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Jim Munro (1929-2016)

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I was so sad to hear of Jim Munro’s death last Monday. Jim was a huge promoter and lover of books, heritage buildings, art and authors, including of course, his first wife the Nobel prize winner Alice Munro.

He was also a lovely man. I had the pleasure of meeting Jim a few years back when I was researching Sensational Victoria.

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10 things I Love about Munro’s Books

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1. It’s in Victoria

2. It’s 52 years old. That means Munro’s has survived Amazon, consolidation and e-books.

3. Carole Sabiston’s tapestries. Eight large banners depict the seasons and decorate the interior of Munro’s. Carole is an incredibly accomplished textile artist. Her commissions include the giant Sunburst for the Expo ’86 opening ceremony in Vancouver and the five-panel work of mountains and oceans at Government House.

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Five Eccentric B.C. Houses

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A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the Switzer House, a futuristic  house that was painted shocking pink and looked like a space ship. The West Van house only survived 11 years and was sacrificed for the Upper Levels Highway in 1971.

Here are five of my favourite eccentric houses that still stand (or did at the time of research).

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