Category: Women’s history

Who was Maxine?

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John Atkin can be a bit of a kill joy, always squashing rumours about secret tunnels in Chinatown, ghosts in the Dominion Building, and well, blood in Blood Alley. John squashes another rumour in his story about a tunnel that supposedly connected a sugar baron to a brothel, but in doing so he uncovered some fascinating information about Maxine MacGilvray, a successful businesswoman who moved to Vancouver in 1914.

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Tosca Trasolini and the Flying Seven

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The gorgeous woman pictured on the cover of Sensational Vancouver and featured in my chapter on Legendary Women is Tosca Trasolini. Tosca was a member of the Flying Seven, Canada’s first all-female aviators’ club. The club formed in 1935—the year she turned 24—after Margaret Fane—one of the Flying Seven flew to California to meet with Amelia Earhart, president of the Ninety-Nines—an American organization for women pilots.

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Britannia Heritage Shipyard and the story of Asayo Murakami

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About a month ago I was reading Merna Forster’s 100 Canadian Heroines and came across a profile of Asayo Murakami. Asayo is thought to be Canada’s last picture bride–an early version of the mail order bride.

What I loved about Asayo’s story was that she took one look at the short unattractive man who met her ship in 1923 and said no way.

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Black History Month: Barbara Howard

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Barbara Howard received a Queen’s Jubilee Medal last week at Burnaby City Hall.

Barbara turns 93 this year, and in the last couple of years she’s been festooned with a slew of honours including induction into both the Burnaby and the BC Sports Hall of Fame and a “Freedom of the Municipality” award from Belcarra Council, where she owns a cottage.

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