Out bright and early this morning, to get to the Nikkei Centre in Burnaby by 9. Michael drove, while Penny and I complained about planning and suburbia. We were there to witness and cheer on the final student project presentations for the UBC Geog 429 course taught by David Brownstein.
For each of the last few years, Professor Brownstein has linked up his final year students one-on-one with a wide variety of community groups, to conduct a research project suggested by the group and accepted by the student. This was the third year the Grandview Heritage Group (GHG) has participated. The first two years were not entirely successful; but this year we struck gold with Kevin Shackles.
The project he agreed to undertake was a review history of the corner grocery stores in Grandview (not those on the Drive or Hastings) and to track their decline into non-existence.
Kevin really threw himself into this project and met with several of us on several occasions for discussions and suggestions. His presentation this morning was excellent, polished and focused. He will be making a more detailed presentation to the next meeting of GHG and we will publish his final papers on our website. The final paper will include a detailed spreadsheet covering the histories of all the grocery stores that used to colour our neighbourhood.
There were a total of 10 presentations this morning, covering subjects as diverse as the Point Atkinson military park, the history of air pollution in Vancouver, and a study of social divides in northern canneries and fisheries. Good stuff, all of them.
So, a good morning, and I was planning to come straight home and write about it. But in the car coming back, I had a small epiphany about how to handle a particular part of my current research, and as soon as I was home, I was buried deep within the 1901 Census of Vancouver and hardly came up for air until now.
A day full of history, and all the better for it.