While researching this week’s history post it dawned on me that I could profile significant events that happened each day this week in Vancouver’s past. Here’s a glimpse at what was taking place in our city at this time of year, throughout the last century.
December 20, 1911
Frank and Lester Patrick opened the Denman Arena (where Devonian Harbour Park is today in Coal Harbour). At that time it was the largest indoor artificial ice rink in the world. It was also the home of the Vancouver Millionaires, who won our city’s first (and only) Stanley Cup.
December 21, 1894
Construction began on St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver. In the years to follow, it would become a continental leader in healthcare. It was the first hospital to have its own x-ray machine in 1906 and is a renowned for its work in the areas of heart disease, kidney disease, nutritional disorders, HIV/AIDS and the care of the disadvantaged.
December 22, 1956
A French adventurer completed a swim of the Fraser River from Prince George to New Westminsterâ€™s Pattullo Bridge on this December day. A fellow named Fin Donnelly would do the same thing in 1995.
December 23, 1860
English-born Captain George Henry Richards began a survey of the BC coast and Burrard Inlet. Richards Street downtown is named after him.
December 24, 1951
Yvonne de Carlo visited her home town of Vancouver after being dubbed the “most beautiful woman in the world” that year. Aside from her silver screen roles, she was also Lily Munster in the classic TV series.
December 25, 1932
Greater Vancouverites listen to the first Christmas radio message from the sovereign as George V speaks from Sandringham.
Every date listed here was researched, found, and compiled by Chuck Davis. Although we lost Chuck late in 2010, you can help his work live on by visiting the Vancouver History website. The hopes are that his book, The History of Metropolitan Vancouver will be released in 2011, for Vancouver’s 125th anniversary.