West Vancouver Beacon | September/October 2022 | Edition 52

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THE No. 52

BEACON Shedding light on the communities from Lions Bay to Dundarave

September/October 2022

Photo: Chris Adshead

Tracy Hayes art mural at Gleneagles Ch’axáý School.
















We are grateful to live and work on the unceded traditional territories of the Coast Salish peoples.

6 0 4 . 3 1 5 . 26 4 5 | KimTaylo rHo mes.co m Your Realtor for Life.



September/October 2022


Chris Stringer Publisher

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Lindy Pfeil Editor

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melissabaker @westvanbeacon.ca Please note that all contributing writers for The Beacon retain full rights and that the full or partial reproduction of feature articles is unauthorized without the consent of the author. Personal opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed are solely those of the respective contributors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of the Beacon, the publisher or the editorial and creative staff.

Submissions for The Beacon The Beacon is delivered bi-monthly to 5000+ households between Lions Bay and Dundarave. For submission guidelines and queries, please e-mail the Editor: lindypfeil@ westvanbeacon.ca Please note that all submissions are subject to space constraints and editing. For advertising queries, please e-mail the Director of Marketing: pennymitchell@westvanbeacon.ca For all other queries, please e-mail the Publisher: chrisstringer@westvanbeacon.ca All editions of The Beacon (beginning in September 2013), can also be read online at: www.westvanbeacon.ca.

The show must go on

o one warned me about motherhood. The Vancouver Fringe Festival is BC’s biggest theatre festival. It My convent education was useless. When I graduated started as an alternative theatre experience in 1985 and takes place from high school, I wasn’t even clear on how many ovaries I every September (except during pandemics) at different venues had. And my own mother made it all seem fairly easy: a meal every around the city. It’s billed as Theatre for Everyone. Well, we’re everynow and then, and a ride here and there. How hard could it be? one, I figured, so how hard could this be? I should have remembered My first inkling that it wouldn’t be all plain sailing was when I was the last time I uttered those words. expecting my son. My mother told me that while It was February when she-who-shall-not-beshe would obviously love this baby – her named made the suggestion. I was in South first grandchild – she had no intention Africa at the time and fall in Vancouof ever looking after him. ver seemed just far enough into “I’m done with all that,” she the future to make it seem like said, before lighting another a good idea. We all said yes, John Player Special, leavpartly because we all have ing me to wonder what “all a hard time saying no. But that” entailed. also because we secretly I have now been a hoped the lottery system mother for more than would not be in our favour. three decades. I still have The way the Fringe no idea what I’m doing. But works is that you send in I do understand how impossiyour performance proposal, ble “all that” is to define. Luckily, the genre and intended audience, I discovered others out there, also and then you wait to see what hapconfused by the whole motherpens. You do not need to be a ing thing. professional performer – a proPhoto: courtesy of Rik Klingle-Watt So, we did what mothers do: fessional anything. You simply Karen, Lindy, Alli, Elizabeth, Jennifer, and Fran are the writers created a little family built on need an idea – and the chutzpah and performers of Mother Tongues, at the Fringe in September. the solid foundations of dysto execute it on stage in front of function, confusion, tears, and laughter. We call ourselves Mothers strangers (something we didn’t think too much about when we sent on Ink. Mostly because we started out as a writing group. But also in the application.) because it’s a slightly more socially acceptable name than Mothers On May 6, we watched – from our little individual screens at on Ativan. home – the lottery system at work. Executive Director, Cory PhilWe started writing together online during COVID-19. It seems ley, opened the evening at The Liberty Distillery, with staff, friends, like yesterday. And also 100 years ago. Much has happened during partners, and board members all waiting for the official line up to be this time. To all of us. And to the world. revealed. One of us (who shall remain nameless) decided we should apply There had been 145 submissions. Of those, 63 had made it into to perform at the Fringe. the hat – in this instance, a large see-through Perspex box. Only 28

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September/October 2022


The Blacks of Sunset Beach BY

Peter Black


n the ‘60s our family ran a successful butcher shop in Kerrisdale, where we lived. Almost every Sunday my dad and mom would take me and my brother and sister to Horseshoe Bay, for fish and chips at Trolls. The Bay was very much like the little villages that littered the coast of Scotland, where Dad grew up. Dad and Joe Troll became quick friends and when Dad mentioned his love for the area, Joe informed him of a small parcel of waterfront lots for sale up the sound at Sunset Beach. They were owned by Rod Lee, and Mr. Lee was preparing to build a small marina (which is now Sunset Marina). Up to that time there were only a few old summer cottages there. Dad purchased a lot and built our family’s Bob Lewis summer house on it. In 1962, our family moved there fulltime. The butcher store was moved from Kerrisdale to Ambleside. In 1979, I moved from Ambleside to

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names would be pulled. Our chances were slim. Which suited us just fine thank you very much. Two board members did the lottery honours. With each additional name announced, I breathed a little sigh of relief. One by one, 15 bright orange squares of paper were pulled from the box, unfolded, read aloud. Not us. Not us. Not us. And then, number 16. Us. It happened so quickly. So uneventfully. As if it wasn’t a big deal at all. As if the six of

Sunset Beach with my wife Helen and our two sons. The marina was now in full operation and the Sundowner Restaurant had been a great addition to the area. Our boys’ first jobs were bussing tables at the restaurant and moving boats around the marina. For more than 35 years we enjoyed the seals, dolphins, and eagles. Most exciting was the winter storms and Squamish winds.

Peter’s first house at Sunset.

Photo provided

us – moms from the suburbs – had not just been given the most spectacular gift: a stage from which to share our stories. For a while we pretended not to be terrified. But that only lasted so long. Then we panicked. We called an in-person meeting. In Eagle Harbour. It was the first time some of us had met in real life. It turns out Zoom is useless when it comes to accurately depicting height. Or fantastic hair. There was a lot of “Oh, wow! Look at you!” moments. Not much work got done. There were forms to be completed. Many forms. And because we are not professional

Power outages and our wood burning fireplace made for warm, cozy nights. Happily, our sons were married in our garden, with our next-door neighbour, Judge Moss, tying the knots for both. Eventually Helen and I retired from the butcher store in Park Royal, sold our home at Sunset Beach, and returned to Ambleside, where we had started out, 40 years earlier.

Ferry viewed from Sunset Beach.

performers, there are things we didn’t have. Like headshots. And a media kit. Promotional material. Then came the tech sheet. And we were floored. There were so many foreign words. Crossover. Suspension. (Who would be suspended? And why?) Teardowns. Blackouts. Words that made us wonder what on earth we’d gotten ourselves into. Motherhood all over again. Thankfully, the Fringe staff are rather helpful. And quite lovely. And so, the show goes on. There is no complicated lighting. No

Peter at Sunset Beach in 1961.

Photo provided

Photo provided

glitzy scenery. No mood music. No fancy gimmicks. Just a naked stage. Six women. And true stories. Mother Tongues explores the language and voices of who we come from and the lasting impact of both having and being a mother. Heart wrenching, funny, and raw, these stories flip the myth of the Good Mother. We hope to see you there. So that together we can start to redefine what it means to be a mother. The Vancouver Fringe Festival runs from September 8 to 18. For showtimes and tickets visit MothersOnInk.com.




September/October 2022


From theatre kid to singing inspiration

she says. “I discovered that my f one were to walk into a North Shore drama room, choir true passion was actually the class, improv club, or theprocess of singing, and the technical side of it; how we atre camp and ask the studo what we do.” dents who most inspires Kimberly implements them, the name Kimberly Markarian would no doubt a teaching style known as arise from at least one voice Estill Voice – a model that educates the singer on what in the crowd. The odds are elements make the desired favourable, given that she has sound as they learn to make taught musical theatre in West the sound itself. Vancouver for over 20 years, and “Estill Voice helps empower currently provides private singing lessons to 48 students of the learner to understand Photo: courtesy of their instrument. You don’t varying ages. Kimberly Markarian Kimberly Markarian be- Kimberly performing in St. Albert’s necessarily need a ‘yes’ or a Children’s Theatre in 1986. ‘no’ from a teacher.” gan teaching music directly This year, four of her after graduating from university. She first taught voice out of necessity, students progressed from the Vancouver but soon realized that this was her true call- Kiwanis Music Festival to the British Columbia Provincials: Ashley Pistilli for the ing. “My heart really wasn’t in performing,” Provincial Excellence Class, Rose Lepin for

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Photo provided Kimberly at the 2022 Vancouver Kiwanis Music Festival with senior students Rose Lepin and Ashley Pistilli.

Senior Musical Theatre, Anastasia Lutsenko for Intermediate Classical Voice, and Adela Drabek for Junior Musical Theatre. Rose and Anastasia placed at Provincials. Anastasia then progressed to Canada West Nationals, along with Adela. Both achieved second place in their respective categories. When not teaching private lessons, Kimberly leads local youth in musical theatre. In 2002, she and Suzanne Fulton founded what is now known as the Kay Meek Youth Conservatory. The program has evolved enormously from its roots in the WVSS drama room as an SD45 day camp and has now become a multi-week intensive program in which auditioned students stage a complete musical. This year, the four-week Senior Conservatory staged 13: The Musical and the threeweek Junior Conservatory put on Shrek: The

Musical. Coming out of two pandemic-ridden summers, the program is bigger and better than ever. The conservatory experience always includes workshops and interactive lessons with experts, and this summer the program has introduced an intimacy coordinator into the productions. As the 2022 summer has brought new changes to the conservatory, the same is true for Kimberly as the next schoolyear begins. While still teaching at Harmonia Vocal Studio, she will also be sharing her knowledge with musical theatre majors at Capilano University. As she shares her talents with a wider range of students, Harmonia will still be accepting new singers as it always has; and Kimberly is enthusiastic about stoking the musical flames in our youth for years to come.

September/October 2022


Restoring Navvy Jack House BY

John Mawson


n enormous thank you to everyone who stopped by the Navvy Jack House tent at this year’s Harmony Arts Festival. Thank you for your interest in the house, and for supporting its restoration. The photographs of the house and its residents, from a time before West Vancouver existed, prompted people to ask questions and offer comments. Some shared stories of their own. Others had connections with the families who lived in the house over the past 100-plus years. For those who do not yet know the story

behind Navvy Jack House, it was built circa 1873 and occupied until 2017. Occupants included its namesake, John ‘Navvy Jack’ Thomas and his family, in an early union between settlers and Indigenous people, followed by John Lawson, ‘the father of West Vancouver’ and his family, Ms. Emma MacFarlane, the Hookham family, and finally the family of Lloyd and Bette Williams. The Navvy Jack House Citizen Group and the District of West Vancouver are restoring and repurposing the house for the use and benefit of our community. The cost estimate is $2.6 million, with $1 million coming from West Vancouver’s Community Amenity Contributions, and the balance, $1.6 million, from other sources, including

our community. Support for a waterfront destination, where refreshments can be enjoyed ‘with a side of heritage’—displays featuring stories from the first inhabitants and those who came to make this place their home—was gratifyingly positive. A community fundraising campaign is the next step in the project to restore and repurpose Navvy Jack House as a community amenity. For details about this project, to share your stories and memories about Navvy Jack House, to keep informed about the restoration campaign, and to contribute, visit savenavvyjackhouse.com

Photo: courtesy of Claudia Dow Volunteer John Mawson with a welcome donation for Navvy Jack House restoration project.

The power of connection - community perspectives BY

Elaine McHarg

Vice President, West Vancouver Foundation


he West Vancouver Foundation, founded in 1979, is dedicated to a bright, just, and sustainable future, with resources to ensure a vibrant quality of life for future generations. Vital Signs measures the vitality of our community and identifies significant trends across a range of areas. Initiated in 2016 by past WVF board member Barbara McMillan, it has become a highly respected source of insights into our community. West Vancouver’s Vital Signs® 2021/22 report reflects the perspectives of over 500

residents and examines fourteen issues, including belonging, housing, and health. It also explores the best things about living in West Vancouver, pressing issues, and hopes for the future. This is the first Vital Signs report to look at reconciliation and relations with Indigenous communities. “Beautiful” is the word most frequently used to describe West Vancouver. Belonging is fostered through personal friendships. Neighbourhoods (and neighbours) took on new significance during COVID-19.

Overall quality of life was graded an A with belonging, safety, sport and recreation options, and health and wellness also receiving top scores. But 43 per cent of respondents reported declining mental health due to COVID-19. The six areas receiving Bs are diversity, local economy, environmental action, civic engagement, learning, and arts and culture. Respondents provided dozens of suggestions to strengthen these areas. Housing options received the lowest score – F. Faring a little better was transportation (C), and how we help newcomers settle (C+). Housing has been a looming crisis for years. Respondents indicate strong support for action across several scenarios. The frustrations around housing, transportation, and growth overwhelm many of the


other urgent social and environmental priorities in the community. Vital Signs reporting is intended to ignite open, respectful conversations, to build a stronger, caring, more inclusive community. Organizations, agencies, and individual donors use the report in different ways. Some are inspired to bring neighbours and groups together. Others target their personal giving around specific causes, and many use the themes as a lens for their programs and planning. The Vital Signs reports are available at westvanfoundation. ca. Thoughts and questions are encouraged. The West Vancouver Foundation Vital Signs program is graciously supported by British Pacific Properties, Park Royal/Larco and the District of West Vancouver.


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September/October 2022


West Vancouver’s first commuter line


id you know that across the road from where Gleneagles-Ch’axay school now sits, there was once a railway station? Whytecliff Station was the end of the line for what was then the Pacific Great Eastern Railway (PGE). The PGE was chartered in 1912 and was to be the BC branch of the Grand Trunk Pacific. The plan was to connect Winnipeg with Prince Rupert. This story is about a small part of the route – a train across the North Shore from Lonsdale Quay to Horseshoe Bay. January 1, 1914 was a big day on the North Shore as the PGE started passenger service from the foot of Lonsdale Avenue to its then most westerly station at Dundarave. Invited citizens gathered at the decorated station. There was much excitement in the air. The North Shore Press of January 2, 1914 wrote: “At 10 am Conductor Middleton ordered all those possessing invitations aboard. Leaving North Vancouver there was a grand ovation, the motors quickly gathered speed and in a very short time the cars were gliding along. During the trip PGE officials proved themselves excellent hosts, the quality of the wine was unexcelled, sandwiches and cake were passed around.” Despite the difficult terrain, the route was pushed through and regular passenger service from Lonsdale to the 12.7 mile point at Whytecliff started on August 21, 1914. At that time, it was unsure if the line would continue north of Horseshoe Bay to Squamish as the route was considered by many to be impassable. Whytecliff station was only a few minutes’ walk from Horseshoe Bay and the service opened the area to beach goers, day trippers

and fishers. The route served 15 stations in West Vancouver including Larsons, which was near the golf clubhouse and The Orchard Restaurant. The population of West Vancouver increased at a steady rate after World War 1 and through the 1920s. Most new homes were summer cottages, but some were permanent. Whytecliff Park and Horseshoe Bay benefitted from the service. There were company picnics, band concerts, and many family gatherings. Traffic on the line was very busy on weekends, to the point that there were some problems. The West Van-Courier of September 16, 1920, reported that, “disgraceful scenes of drunkenness and rowdyism has been afflicted frequently this summer.” Sadly, the line’s days were numbered: the PGE’s ratio of freight to passengers was lopsided and there was little revenue received from moving freight. This was due partly to the line not being linked to the already completed northern section with its southern terminus in Squamish. Also, bus and automobile traffic increased along Marine Drive, making the isolated commuter rail link uneconomical. Despite a push in 1924 to complete the 28-mile route to Squamish, it was not built at that time. The estimated cost then was $2.3 million. Despite a short upturn in traffic in 1925, when on the May holiday weekend, the line carried over 4,000 passengers, business continued to decline, costing BC taxpayers $300,000 per year. Service stopped on November 29, 1928. But the right-of-way remained, often covered over by residents’ gardens, sheds, and blackberry bushes. It was not until the 1950s

that things changed again, but that is a story for another edition.

Thank you to the West Vancouver Archives, and the North Vancouver Archives for their help with this story.

Photo: courtesy of Derek Hayes from his 2018 book, Iron Road West, published by Harbour Publishing Whytecliff Station in July 1925, with gas railcar 104 and boxcar.

PGE route map, from the book The Pacific Great Eastern Railway Company, by Patrick O. Hind, published by the North Vancouver Museum Archives.

September/October 2022


Hitting the ground running BY


Anne Baird

n May 2015, three churches, St. Francisin-the-Wood, St. Christopher’s and St. Stephen’s, banded together to sponsor a young Syrian family. Ranim Fahham, her sister, and their four children, arrived in Vancouver in May 2016. Ranim, a civil engineer, and instructor at Syria’s Civil Engineering Institute in Aleppo, was a successful business owner who managed large projects. She hit the ground running, and in her first five months in Canada, sent out 200 resumes and applied for 200 jobs. She received a total of five responses. Some companies said she was “overqualified.” A few advisors suggested she “lower her sights” and apply for lower-level jobs at chain stores. Ranim’s response to this discouragement was to work harder. Church connections helped her to craft a compelling resume, and introduced her to Knight Piésold Consulting, a Vancouver engineering consulting company. In November of 2016, the company offered her a job as a designer/ intermediate drafter, tec 1. She accepted. Willing to work 13 hours a day, studying and taking courses at BCIT, she rose from level 1 to level 2 within a year. Perhaps, one day, she’ll find the time to become a fully certified Canadian civil engineer. Now, however, she’s fully engaged with her job, and with the time she devotes to helping other refugees. For a while, she did presentations for WorkBC and the Immigrant Services Society of BC, advising newcomers on how to find work, and how to integrate into Canada. But she felt that wasn’t enough. “Words don’t put food on the table. Ac-

tion is needed,” she says. “I wanted to be able to offer them jobs.” This led to her starting a new company, in February 2020: Food Story. Using a commercial kitchen, she hired staff to offer catering, a line of packaged frozen foods, and online ordering and delivery of Mediterranean cuisine. They were just getting started when the pandemic struck. For two years, they survived. Then, in May of 2022, she found a business partner in Amr Halem, an Egyptian restauranteur who used the same commercial kitchen she did. Combining their experience and talents, they created a new restaurant at 1157 Davie Street: Marhaba Food Story. The restaurant opened in the third week of June. In its second week of operation, a group of five friends from St. Francis decided to share dinner there. We wanted to celebrate our church’s sponsorship. It was a huge success! The food was delicious; the ambience, attractive and serene; the young staff eager to serve. Ranim was gracious; Amr, quietly supportive of their new project. The daily special, including beef, chicken, and lamb shawarma, with fragrant rice and steaming vegetables, was abundant. We didn’t miss alcohol, with the copious selection of juices, coffees, teas, smoothies, and pop on offer. Prices were reasonable. The name of the restaurant tells its story. “Marhaba” means “hello and welcome” in Arabic. The greeting, normally used between family and close friends, announces the intention of Marhaba to treat every customer as a friend. Marhaba also gives back to the community, providing low-cost meals, (sometimes


free), to non-profit organizations feeding the homeless. Ranim also speaks out, whenever she is invited, about the plight of refugee families, and how to help them integrate into Canada. Marhaba’s desire is Some of th e delicious to share their culture, offerings o n the men cuisine, customs, and u at Marhab a. history with new Canadian friends. It is part of Ranim’s dream of mapping a broad- travelers on this earth. By er future for everyone, where refugees can enjoying the differences and the journey, become fully Canadian while still cherish- we are all enriched. ing and sharing their own traditions. Marhaba! We are all, in some way, refugees and

Ranim and her business partner, Amr Halem, at Marhaba.

Photos: Anne Baird

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September/October 2022


In Captain Vancouver’s wake


ne spring in the early ’60s, I was a young officer navigating the 102foot Royal Canadian Navy sailing yacht HMCS Oriole. A graceful old steel ketch but with almost nothing in the way of technical aids. All sails were man-hauled and finding our way up the west coast was done by “dead-reckoning.” No electronics, no radar. Just a compass, a sextant, and a chronometer. We were a bit better off than Captains James Cook and George Vancou-

ver, only because we had charts (in no small measure thanks to them). Nonetheless, we were virtually sailing blind in thick fog. As vigilant as earlier explorers, we hugged the jagged shoreline until we reached the buoy marking the entrance to Imperial Eagle Channel, named for the ship of 18th century fur-trader Charles Barkley. With the fog clearing, the wind started blowing fresh and strong. A glorious ex-

perience – up full sail, running as fast as Oriole could take us. The taffrail log (speedometer) read 14 knots (over 25km/hr). The previous year, on her one hundredth birthday, showing she still had “the stuff,” Oriole managed to hold her own with the larger, and usually faster, famous Canadian schooner Bluenose II (like the one on the back of the dime). In my imagination I could see us overtaking Barkley’s Imperial Eagle to the head of the channel with dolphins surfing off our bow wave as they would have done in 1797. During our trip, I had the advantage of a special historian standing beside me at the helm. Our Haida coxswain had the most suitable name for the job: Leading Seaman Big Canoe. As we passed Nootka Sound, he reminded me of the hosting role played by Chief Maquinna, chief of the Nuu-chah-nulth people of Nootka Sound, with the British and Spanish at the site of his village in Friendly Cove. (Vancouver failed to mention the chief in his log). As we approached Queen Charlotte Sound, the waves got bigger and the weather stormier – typical of Cape Scott, at one end of the Graveyard of the Pacific. On this coast the sea is alive and competes with the lush forest to define the shoreline. The reef threatens to draw you in with the pounding breakers. I had always been impressed with Captain Vancouver’s formidable feats of seamanship and navigation. At 34 years of age, he became Master and Commander of the Royal Navy ship HMS Discovery, a three-masted squarerigged barque with a crew of 100. Yet even the cautious Vancouver managed to run his ship aground here. The weather there was as dangerous as any I have experienced. We had been following Vancouver’s famous route around the island, except in the opposite direction – clockwise. Yet, though we did it the hard way, the design of our vessel would have allowed us to outmaneuver and readily outrun his, beating into the wind.

In passing the headlands and islands, I compared the names on our charts to those in Vancouver’s log. I had access to an original copy of his voyages printed in 1801. One entry reads: “I name this headland after my good friend, Mr. Atkinson.” (He was the sail master who directed Admiral Nelson’s flagship at the famous Battle of Trafalgar.) It would be almost another century before Thomas Atkinson’s Point would Lt. Ian Macpherson, be recognizable to us with a lighthouse. Escaping the high seas into the lee of the island, we sailed down the calmer Johnstone Strait. The shores cradled us from both sides as we entered the tight gap of Seymour Narrows. Here, just a few years earlier, the largest non-nuclear explosion in history blew off the twin peaks of infamous Ripple Rock, a reef that had claimed more than 150 ships in one of the swiftest and most turbulent ocean passes in the world. Like all vessels since, we sailed over the top of the now decapitated reef without a scratch. Then south into the middle of the Salish Sea (at that time still named Georgia Strait for King George III.) During my journey in Oriole, I frequently imagined myself standing on the deck of HMS Discovery in 1792. Like Discovery, after sailing past the shores of West Vancouver, we crossed over to the point named for Vancouver’s Navy buddy, Captain George Grey. Many of the islands, headlands, and mountains are named after his friends and Navy colleagues: Howe, Johnstone, Knight, Jervis, and Broughton; the list goes on. However, most of the place names appearing on British charts about 50 years later

“The weather there was as dangerous as any I have experienced.”

HMCS Oriole off the west coast in1963.

Photo provided

September/October 2022

are ascribed to Captain George Richards, a Royal Navy hydrographer. He kept up the tradition by honouring a bevy of admirals such as Bowen, Keats, Gambier and other Navy types like Mayne and Pender. Most of the European explorers at that time completely ignored the fact that the Coast Salish people occupied most of this area and had names for the waterways and land on the coast. If not occupied with permanent villages, the sites were used for temporary camps and ceremonial grounds. At Point Grey, Vancouver had been surprised to find the Spaniards, Galiano and Valdes ahead of him. (They had previously named the RCNR, 1963. point Langara.) The Spanish legacy is obvious to those who have cruised the Gulf Islands. Even the British appreciated the Spanish contribution. In 1852, Captain Richard named two islands in honour of the Spanish captains. When Vancouver met up with them, the British and Spanish were working on over-

coming their old animosity and so continued to explore up the strait together. In Oriole, we continued the other way, almost becalmed through the southern Gulf Islands. At Saturna Island, off Elliot Bluff, an ancient Navy gunnery range, we anchored and went ashore with mine detectors to collect cannon balls for Victoria’s Maritime Museum. Then out at Juan de Fuca – the Spanish name for the Greek pilot who beat the rest of the Europeans in discovering the opening to the inland sea in the late 1500s. In recognition, Captain Barkley named the strait after him about 200 years later. While I was admiring the feats of the explorers during Oriole’s circumnavigation, our Haida historian was sensitizing me to their ethnocentric attitudes. He pointed out that his ancestors plied these inlets and passes long before European “discoverers” ever dreamt of the place. When he heard that Captain Vancouver, not known to be the cheeriest of souls, named one of the most idyllic inlets on our coast, Desolation Sound, he responded: “I guess he didn’t know it already had a name.” Reading through the original logbook, I realized I had overly romanticized the explorations of the late 1700s. Conditions for sailors in those times were grim, with frequent occurrences of “the cat out of the

HMCS Oriole 101 years old in Nova Scotia in 2022.

Photo provided


bag.” The cat was a whip usually kept in a canvas bag and used on defaulting sailors. I decided I preferred my voyage of discovery in the relative comfort of HMCS Oriole. D. Ian Macpherson, Lieut., RCNR (ret’d) The route followed by the HMCS Oriole. Map data @2022 Google

HMCS Oriole tacking in the open sea.

Photo provided



September/October 2022


Falling into blooming colour Fall is just a bit in the air now with blooming perennials showing off their best and soon many shrubs and trees will be ablaze in colour. • There is still time to plant veggie seeds. Get to the nursery now to plant in the first week of September. I’m planting kale (lacinato), pak choi (great in stir fries), radish (I like French breakfast), spinach and lettuce (try buttercrunch). The examples here like cool soil to germinate and will give you a nice harvest around the beginning of November. There are easy instructions on the packets. • Give hedges a final trim in September. • Aerate your lawns now (in addition to spring), applying a thin layer of turf mix top dressing and overseed generously as the cooler weather is better for seed

germination. Doing this twice a year will keep your lawn thick. • Visit nurseries now to check out the early arrival of spring bulbs that can be planted through November. Plant them 2.5 times the length of the bulb, ‘shoulder to shoulder’ in groups of 25. This method makes a great showing when the groups are randomly planted. Maybe plant a few indoors for early blooming. • Keep deadheading your annuals and perennials. You might want to save the seed pods to plant later. • Clear beds of annuals now and add to your compost pile.

• October is also a great time to select and plant new shrubs and ornamental trees when soil is cool, with a low risk of shock to the plant when it is re-planted. Some of the most rewarding are Styrax japonicus, Stewartia pseudocamellia, paper bark maple or try yuletide Camellia – it blooms at Christmas! • Continue to prune spent rose blossoms. Collect all the dropped leaves and destroy; do not compost. • It is important to keep your lawn free of leaves and you could give a final light winter fertilize and apply dolomite lime, about two weeks apart.

• Take up dahlias and gladioli and store them in a cool dry place. • As perennials lose their lustre, this is a good time to lift them to relocate or divide.

Luxury living in a seaside oasis

Imagine stress-free senior living at one of West Vancouver’s most enviable addresses. On the corner of Marine Drive and 22nd Ave., Westerleigh PARC offers upscale amenities like chef-prepared meals, fitness programs and transportation – all included. Take a casual stroll along the West Vancouver Seawall or visit shops and cafés at lively Dundarave or Ambleside Village. With easy access to the library, seniors centre and peaceful parks, Westerleigh’s location couldn’t be better. A LEED® Gold-certified building, Westerleigh PARC’s spacious one-bedroom suites – complete with modern compact kitchens, luxury plank flooring and gorgeous views – are available for rent starting at $6,830/month.

Call 604.922.9888 to book a tour and secure your suite today!


September/October 2022


The mystery of the little white cottage Laura Anderson with Dal McCrindle BY


he October image in West Vancouver Historical Society’s Local Visions 2022 calendar, is titled 2281. The white cottage on green lawn, fronted by a white fence with the number 2281 on one of its pickets, was photographed by Jim Breukelman. During the 1980s property boom, his acclaimed Hot Properties series documented Vancouver houses before they vanished into the landfill and out of our memories. The white cottage was one of these. Forty years on, however, Jim could not recall its location. All he had was the photograph and the house number – 2281. Where in West Vancouver would this house have been located? Somewhere flat and in a 2200 block, obviously. Opinions about 2281’s location generated lively discussion. As children, Val (Jones) McPolin, Sandra (McGillivray) Ortgies and Pamela (Searle) Anderson, lived on Bellevue from 2177 west to 22nd Street. The trio could not confirm a Bellevue address for the cottage, though they gave points for the flat location. Given the enormous transformation of our residential landscape, finding the address seemed an impossible task. But thanks to Helen McCrindle, all was revealed. With one glance at the thumbnail image of the house on the calendar’s back cover, Helen announced, “That’s the Burtons’ house!” The mystery of 2281 was resolved. Dal McCrindle recounts how they met their next-door neighbours in 1985, soon

after settling into their new home at 2195 Jefferson Avenue. Jim Burton was in his 90s and Susan around the 90-year mark. They, and their cottage at 2281 Jefferson, seemed from a bygone era. “It wasn’t long before our son, Bruce, took on the task of mowing the Burtons’ lawn,” says Dal. “A job that became mine whenever Bruce was busy with his studies or his social life.” Dal built a side gate to get the mower directly into the Burtons’ yard. Much to the McCrindles’ delight, Jim, who had been a professional baker, used the gate to bring over baked goods. The houses were separated by a laurel hedge that needed trimming every year, sometimes twice. “I couldn’t expect Jim to tend to his side of the hedge,” Dal explains. “So, I looked after it, and, over time, helped when their garden needed attention.” One day, Jim asked Dal to trim the rose bush beside their front door. Its thorns would snag the Burtons’ clothes as they entered or left the cottage. This rose was special. “We called it the Valentine rose for the double blossoms that formed a heart at the centre of the flower,” Dal says. “Instead of pruning the rose to end its daily attacks on the Burtons, I dug down and divided the root. With their blessing, I planted the detached root in our garden.” Years passed. The Burtons moved from their beloved cottage to a retirement home. Dal believes Jim lived to be 104, and Susan to 99. The new owner at 2281 didn’t stay long. The next owner tore down the cottage to make room for a bigger, modern house. All that remained of the Valentine rose

lived on in the McCrindles’ garden. More years passed. Helen and Dal moved to Maple Ridge for a time, then returned home to 2195 Jefferson. Although the garden needed attention, the Valentine rose was flourishing. “Each summer’s bloom reminded us of how wonderful neighbours can be,” Dal reminisces. They sold 2195 Jefferson in 2016, knowing it would be demolished and replaced with something modern and big. Losing the rose, though, was too much. “I dug down, divided the root, and brought half to our new home in Horseshoe Bay,” says Dal. “The Burton Valentine rose, with its heart-shaped flowers, is a perennial reminder of our neighbours and friends, Jim and Susan Burton.”

Helen and Dal McCrindle are celebrating six years in Horseshoe Bay, and 51 years of marriage.

Photo: courtesy of Dal and Helen McCrindle The Valentine Burton rose, 2022.

The white cottage, number 2187, as listed in Hot Properties 1983.

Photo: courtesy of Jim Breukelman

Landscape Design

Your garden ...Our pleasure








September/October 2022

Sustainability at the heart of education BY

Casey James


ocated on Nex’wlélex’m (Bowen Island), Island Pacific School is the first school in British Columbia to be carbon neutral. IPS has partnered with Sprout, a nonprofit organization committed to using accreditation to support schools on their

journey to carbon neutrality and operational efficiency. A small school of 65 students in grades 6-9, IPS is committed to sustainability and has made strides in becoming affiliated with the carbon neutral school association in BC. IPS is carbon positive by contributing 2,000KgCO2 more than the 27,000 KgCO2 calculated. Since joining Sprout, Island Pacific

Photo provided

Grade 6-9 students with Head of School, Scott Herrington.

1803 - 1003 PACIFIC STREET West End, Vancouver

School has launched a sustainability task force that will include alumni, parents, students, and staff to help put together and take part in an action plan to decrease their ecological footprint. “We are privileged to live and work and play on Nex’wlélex’m,” says head of school, Scott Herrington. “We are committed to greater sustainability, and we recognize we can do and must do our part to help our planet survive.” Any schools choosing to participate in making themselves a carbon neutral school through the Sprout program, need to meet three rigorous criteria: precise tracking, educational benefit, and positive community impact. Schools, kindergartens, clubs, and colleges can offset their carbon footprint emissions and support projects that help children, communities and our planet. These projects are making a significant difference, not just to our environment but to the global communities where they are based.

Welcome! Meticulously maintained SOUTHWEST FACING 2 bed 2 bath 1200+ sqft concrete unit on the 18th floor of the centrally located Sea Star building.

M A R K B A L L A R D,


C AY L E E S A M P S O N ,


Grade 7 students in the bee pollinating gardens at Island Pacific School.

$1,499,000 2 bed | 2 bath | 1,262 square feet





6 0 4 . 3 4 1. 3 1 4 7

6 0 4 . 3 5 3 . 2 816

6 0 4 . 3 6 0 . 75 2 9


September/October 2022


Life goes on at St. Francis-in-the-Wood BY


Chris Stringer

aulfeild’s historic landmark church, in its idyllic setting overlooking Tiddly Cove, returned to life a year ago after being interrupted, for the first time in 93 years, by COVID-19. In June 2021, St. Francis-in-the-Wood instituted live streaming so that services could continue for those who are still nervous about attending church in person. The 2021-2022 year has been significant for the church. Reverend Angus Stuart retired last September after 16 years of leadership. In March, music director, Caitlin Beaupre, resigned to become a full-time mother after 15 years at St. Francis. The church leadership is in the process of searching for a new priest and a music director. St. Francis has been fortunate that interim priest, Reverend Stephanie Shepard, has affected a smooth, seamless transition. Both regular and visiting parishioners over the past year have been delighted by her warm, welcoming personality.

Temporary music director, Tom Arntzen (tomarntzen.com) shared his extraordinary musical talent, both live and on-line, until returning, in June, to his regular preCOVID schedule of public performances and recordings. A piano virtuoso, Tom received standing ovations with his performances on the church Steinway. The ubiquitous Hey Jung Ho has kindly stepped in to direct the music program until a new music director is hired. Sunday service at 10 am includes communion while Christenings can be fun! children enjoy playing and learning at Godly Play. A communion service is also held at 10 am on Wednesdays followed by Bible study. Weddings and christenings have resumed, all with a sense of cautious enthusiasm.

The Lychgate entrance.

Photo: Karen Hoffman Nickels, aka Cato, the COVID kitten. Photos provided

Nifty Thrifty bargains await.

Charity Shopping

the lives of aging adults and their families.

NIFTY THRIFTY STORE Caulfeild Cove Hall at St. Francis-in-the-Wood-Church 4773 South Piccadilly Rd, West Vancouver

Saturday, September 10th 10am - 2pm H CASLY ories ON ing & access | Women’s cloth

Home Instead® helps older adults age safely in the place they enjoy most. We are seeking compassionate CAREGivers to help in our community. Call 604-925-1570 or visit homeinstead.ca/3022

The parishioners’ traditional men’s breakfasts resume in October. After a summer break the Nifty Thrifty store re-opens on September 10 from 10 am to 2 pm every Saturday. The community favourite Pub Quiz returns on November 11, after a three-year absence. Check the November Beacon for details.

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Proceeds to the charities supported by St. Francis-in-the-Wood Church

www.stfrancisinthewood.ca | 604.922.3531



“The place where neighbours meet”

Bank of Montreal .................... 604.921.2982 BC Liquor Store ......................... 604.922.8201 Caulfeild Dental Centre ....... 604.922.1305 Caulfeild Gallery & Framing .. 604.926.1886 Caulfeild Insurance Centre .. 604.922.9100 Caulfeild Medical Clinic ........ 604.922.1544

September/October 2022

SAVE GAS, SHOP LOCAL! Caulfeild Veterinary Hospital .. 604.922.2344 Firststep Financial .................. 604.618.0131 Fisherman’s Market ............... 604.281.2000 Forecast Coffee ............................ 604.281.0167 Iris Optometrists & Opticians ... 604.923.4747 J Gregory Men’s Apparel ...... 604.921.2646

Marilyn’s Boutique ................. 604.925.4110 Mega Sushi ................................. 604.281.0200 New Generation Club ............ 604.926.5550 Pastameli’s Restaurant ........ 604.922.9333 Pharmasave ............................... 604.926.5331 Post Office ................................ 1.800.267.1177

Safeway ....................................... 604.926.2550 Starbucks .................................... 604.926.2550 Subway ......................................... 604.922.7501 Valetor Cleaners ...................... 604.925.3900 Village Pet Food ....................... 604.925.3334 Windsor Meats Co ................... 604.926.6168


North Shoreʼs Trusted Window and Door Replacement Experts Since 1989 www.longlife.ca | 604-439-0982 hello@longlife.ca

September/October 2022




1010 Wildwood, British Properties 8 Beds | 8 Baths | 6,522 Sq.Ft. Offered for $4,998,000

11A - 338 Taylor Way, Park Royal 2 Beds | 2 Baths | 1,324 Sq.Ft. Offered for $1,128,000





8712 Seascape Drive, Howe Sound 2 Beds | 3 Baths | 2,752 Sq.Ft. Offered for $1,650,000

160 Panorama, Lions Bay 3 Beds | 5 Baths | 3,808 Sq.Ft. Offered for $1,998,000


604.349.0098 Christy@RoyalLePage.ca REALTOR® | Listing Specialist


2018 - 2019

2397 Marine Drive West Vancouver, BC V7V 1K9



September/October 2022

the penny mitchell group penny & stephanie mitchell 604-816 -7825 • 604 -812-7158 pennymitchellgroup@gmail.com


the penny mitchell group the penny mitchell group penny & stephanie mitchell


penny & stephanie mitchell 604-816 -7825 • 604 -812-7158 604-816 -7825 • 604 -812-7158 pennymitchellgroup@gmail.com pennymitchellgroup@gmail.com