Vancouver History: Christmas


Wednesday, December 24th, 2008 — 8:34am PST
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With dozens of centimeters of snow on the ground (and still falling) the city is muffled in a powdery silence.


Photo credit: John Biehler on Flickr

Here’s a quick roundup of Vancouver History notes, with a Christmas theme.

  • December 24, 1951. Sultry Hollywood actress Yvonne De Carlo, dubbed the “most beautiful woman in the world,” visited Vancouver (her home town) on this day.
  • In 1977, Burnaby’s Christmas hockey tournament for junior teams featured 98 teams and 1,600 players. It had become the largest event of its kind in the world and was listed in the Guinness Book of World Records. Many talented players were produced by Burnaby’s hockey program.
  • December 25, 1932. Greater Vancouverites listen to the first Christmas radio message from the sovereign as George V speaks from Sandringham.
  • Christmas 1859, eight months after arriving in New Westminster, the Royal Engineers had built a theatre. The theatrical fare at the Theatre Royal, New Westminster, was mostly light farces, comedies, minstrel shows, songs, dances and skits.
  • Eliza Machin, wife of the Carnegie Library’s first librarian James Edwin Machin, was choir mother of Christ Church Cathedral for 27 years, a founder of the Operatic Society and supporter of local musicians. She introduced Christmas dinners at the Carnegie Library, a tradition that continues today at the Carnegie Community Centre.

What constitutes a White Christmas is to have at least 1 cm of snow on the ground at the airport on Christmas morning, so I think we’re going to make it into the history books this year. My sister told me the other day that this is the first time since 1971 that all of Canada will have a white Christmas and it’s our first here on the West Coast since 1998.

Have a safe and happy Christmas everyone – and just in case you need to get out and travel, check the traffic webcams and transit service conditions for updates.

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