Happy Birthday Vancouver!

Today, the City of Vancouver is officially 125 years old. Hooray!   Back in 1936, the City celebrated its 50th birthday in fine style.  It was called the Golden Jubilee and every neighbourhood in Vancouver competed in displays of municipal jingoism with events and dances and parades.  Commercial Drive was not to be left behind:

On Grandview’s Jubilee Day, 23 July 1936, the Echo reported that there were “more people … than ever gathered in Grandview before.”  The News Herald reported that “what seemed to be every citizen in the area” joined in the “gay celebrations.”  It was, said the Echo, “the greatest day in Grandview history,” though they were always free with hyperbole when it came to local events. The stores and business places along Commercial Drive were welcoming and bright “with color, flags, bunting, etc.”  The Parade Committee, chaired by local music teacher Philip Enright, did a particularly fine job, and there were many comments on the floral work by the Buftons that decorated the Queen of Grandview’s float. The long procession, led by the Police Pipe Band and a detachment of Mounted Police, and which included many commercial floats along with decorated cars, trucks and bicycles, passed through all sections of the district. Jubilee Queens from several other areas of the City joined in the parade, but the centre of interest, naturally, was the Grandview Queen, Edith Goostrey. As usual on such occasions, Vancouver Mayor McGeer took a prominent part, saying later in the day that “nobody can enjoy a parade better than I.”  The parade ended on Victoria Drive between Kitchener and Grant where a “monster street dance” was planned for that night. After the crowning of the Queen at Victoria Park, the royal party along with the Mayor, the City Council party, the Chamber of Commerce executive and various guests were entertained at lunch at the Masonic Hall  … Looking back on the day, the Echo suggested that the eagerness of the people of Grandview to show off their best faces to the visiting crowds was in answer to the “dubious” attitude of outsiders to their neighborhood. “Whatever else the Jubilee may have done, it has provided Grandview with the opportunity to correct this impression.”

From “The Drive” p.85-86.

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