Grandview’s Heritage Houses

July 19, 2018

The Centenary Houses project that the Grandview Heritage Group has been running annually since 2012 received a very welcome boost today with the publication of an excellent article by Naoibh O’Connor of the Vancouver Courier.

We thank her for her interest and encourage everyone to check out the Group’s website for all the details — and so much more!

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Mandela Day

July 18, 2018

nelson-mandela-day

Today would have been the 100th birthday of Nelson Mandela.

Mandela was and remains the great hero of my generation, reminding us all of the extraordinary value of determined integrity.

“It is in your hands to make of our world a better one for all.”  Have you done your 67 minutes yet?


Grandview’s Centenary Houses

July 16, 2018

For each of the last 6 years, the Grandview Heritage Group has been celebrating the best of our 100+year old houses with lawns signs.  This year’s set is a worthy addition to that collection.

You can find a link to a map with details on each of this year’s houses on the GHG website. On the site’s main menu, you can find links to all the previous years’ choices, too.

This is wonderful weather to wander the streets, maps in hand, and enjoy the glorious heritage that is Grandview-Woodland.


To Celebrate Our Life Line

July 1, 2018

Today is also the 80th anniversary of the opening of the First Avenue Viaduct.  We don’t often celebrate streets and other infrastructure; but the First Avenue Viaduct quite literally saved our neighbourhood from poverty and irrelevance.

By virtue of geographic location and City Hall indifference, Grandview and Commercial Drive had become a forgotten backwater of Vancouver.  However, due to the incredible foresight and hard work of a number of worthy locals (plus the support of one of our strangest mayors), the First Avenue Viaduct was built and opened on July 1st 1938.  It proved to be the lifeline we needed.

Please read the full story here.


Anarcho-Syndicalist Birthdays!

June 27, 2018

Today is the anniversary of the births of two of my primary political influences and allegiances.

 

 

On this day in 1869, Emma Goldman was born in Lithuania. She lived an ardently revolutionary life until her death in Toronto in 1940.  Her autobiography Living My Life (1931) is a constant inspiration, as was so much of her extraordinary output.

On Goldman’s 36th birthday in 1905, the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) was formed in Chicago. They engaged in revolutionary industrial unionism, promoting worker solidarity in the struggle to overthrow the employing class.  They believed in workshop democracy and full worker control.


Where Are The Young When We Need Them?

June 19, 2018

I’m going to make the claim that we need to blame the continuance of Trump and Trumpism on the failure of the millennials to rise up and protest.

Why are there not millions on the street protesting the child kidnappings, the steady erosion of womens’ rights, the failure to provide decent health coverage, the withering of education, the rapid elimination of safety and environmental regulations? A handful of kids protesting lack of gun control is good, but that’s a mere pinprick compared to enormous riotous gatherings, campus uprisings week after week, and endless TV coverage of mass opposition.

What we are facing today is just as bad as the Vietnam War; perhaps worse because this is happening in our own backyards and not thousands of miles away. In the 1960s, we then-young boomers couldn’t stop the war and bring Civil Rights advances all by ourselves; but the millions of bodies on the street, day after day, week after week made these victories certain in the end.

I’m content to blame the boomers — me and the rest of us — for the state we are in: Our failure to fulfil the revolutionary hopes of our youthful years and our willingness to be sucked into the self-satisfactory consumer-capitalist maw is a blot on our generation. But we are old now, and the failure of the millennials to rise up and take our place in the vanguard of human progress is a huge disappointment. Can they really be satisfied with their new toys and geegaws while the world goes to hell?


In Memoriam: For All Fallen Workers

June 17, 2018

Sixty years ago today, an engineering error caused the almost-completed Second Narrows Bridge to collapse. The working site was filed with men almost finished their shift. Nineteen of them died, many dragged to the bottom of the inlet by the weight of the their tool-laden belts.  It was an unmitigated disaster and is forever remembered in the official name of the structure — which was later completed — as the Ironworkers’ Memorial Second Narrows Crossing.

More than 100 BC workers are killed in workplace accidents every year in this province. As we drive across the Bridge, it is important that we remember both the workers who died on that particular day and those who continue to risk their lives each and every day right to the present. People are our most precious resource, and every single death is a disaster for each family concerned.