Category: Women’s history

Women’s History Month: Remembering Kiyoko Tanaka-Goto

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Kiyoko Tanaka-Goto may not be the first person who springs to mind for women’s history month, but she was brave and entrepreneurial and succeeded at a time when there were few opportunities for women, especially ones who weren’t white. This is an excerpt from Sensational Vancouver.

Kiyoko Tanaka-Goto was an enterprising Japanese woman who was born in Tokyo and came to Canada in 1916 as a 19-year-old picture bride.

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Women Police Officers on Patrol

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This great Foncie photo of two women police officers ran in Sensational Vancouver, in a chapter called “Lurancy Harris’s Beat.” Lurancy was the first female police officer in Canada when she was hired along with Minnie Millar by the Vancouver Police Department in 1912, and one of my favourite historical characters.

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Phyllis James Munday (1894-1990)

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October is women’s history month, and sometimes this gets lost in all the fun around Halloween. So before the month gets much further ahead, I wanted to give a nod to one of British Columbia’s legendary women—Phyllis Munday.

This is an excerpt from Sensational Vancouver:

A reporter once asked Phyllis Munday if she’d ever been really frightened during all her years of climbing mountains.

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Joy Kogawa’s House

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Because May is Asian Heritage Month it seems fitting to run a story about Joy Kogawa. The following is an excerpt from Sensational Vancouver.

Joy Kogawa’s childhood house is a modest wood-framed bungalow in South Vancouver. There’s really nothing architecturally significant about it except that it’s one of the few original houses that remain in the neighbourhood.

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Rena’s Gravestone Garden

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Rena Del Pieve Gobbi came under fire last week for using discarded gravestones to hold up her garden.

The garden is at Commercial and Powell, wedged in between the Maple Leaf Storage and the train tracks. Since 2001, Rena, an artist and documentary film-maker, has lived at the Artist Resource Centre which is just across from the garden.

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In honour of International Women’s Day on March 8 – meet Lurancy Harris

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The following is an excerpt from Sensational Vancouver.

If you think it’s tough being a woman in the police, RCMP or military ranks today, imagine what it was like back in 1912 when Lurancy Harris and Minnie Millar became the first two women police officers in Canada.

Lurancy, a 48-year-old seamstress from Nova Scotia had moved to Vancouver in 1911 and rented a small apartment on Robson at Howe where the Chapters-Indigo store is today.

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Black History Month: Valerie Jerome

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Most people have heard of Harry Jerome. His name adorns recreation centres and his statue is in Stanley Park. At one time he was the fastest man alive, setting a total of seven world records. In 1970 he was made an officer of the Order of Canada. Fewer people remember his sister Valerie, yet she is just as amazing.

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