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“The Pitching Professor:  The Life & Times of Ernie Kershaw”

Speaker: Len Corben




Our guest speaker was North Shore historian Len Corben who gave us a close-up view of his new book (184 pages and 140+ photos) on Ernie Kershaw.


For those of us who had Ernie as our West Van High teacher, tennis partner or North Shore friend, this is a good read. Ernie kept scrapbooks of his sporting events and activities and began writing his memoirs at age 89. Len used this and some 30 hours of taped interviews with Ernie to put the book together. Ernie died in February 2012 at 102.


Len – who researches and writes the Instant Replay sports history stories in The North Shore Outlook – has also authored INSTANT REPLAY: A Century of North Shore Sports Stories and has another one titled PLAY IT AGAIN! A Century PLUS of North Shore Sports Stories slated for release early in 2013.


Copies of the Kershaw book will be available at the meeting for $24.95.  Or you can contact Len at or (604) 988-0455 to purchase a book.



"The History of the PGE"
September 19th, 2012 - 7pm (Seniors Centre)
Timothy Horton

West Vancouver Canneries & Vancouver Theatre

Speaker: Bill Millerd

Join us for an evening with award-winning author

Claudia Cornwall

Wednesday, March 19, 7pm, West Vancouver Seniors' Centre

“Curt Lang was a beatnik poet, painter, photographer, beachcomber, boat builder, fisherman, and software entrepreneur. He was born in Vancouver in 1937 and died there in 1998. He and Freddy Douglas were known as the two hippest guys in Vancouver during the late fifties and sixties. At the World's Edge is my portrayal of Curt and the wild and crazy scene that swirled around him." [Claudia Cornwall]


Curt Lang was one of those people who manage to be inside something that is happening before most people really understand its importance. He was there as Vancouver sprouted an experimental literary scene, an abstract modernist art scene, a documentary photography scene, and an early geekdom inventing something called software for computers.


“The world that produced Lang was East Vancouver in the 1940s and 1950s, a place capable of spawning a teenager who would cross the old Second Narrows Bridge with a friend in search of Malcolm Lowry. It was a time when not only might an East Van boy care who Lowry was, but actually find Lowry and get drunk and argue with him as an act of homage.


"At the World's Edge is a detective story in which Cornwall investigates a man, and a kind of life, she deems elemental. The author knew Lang in his later years and she, being a gifted reporter, decided to go back and gather his story in order to retrieve glimpses of a Vancouver that now is all but polished from view." [The Tyee]


Claudia Cornwall, an award-winning freelance writer for over 20 years, has written five books. She has published in The Globe and Mail, Reader's Digest, BC Business, as well as the online magazine Tyee.

Claudia grew up in Vancouver and studied philosophy at UBC and the University of Calgary where she earned her doctgorate. She is married and has a son and daughter.

All welcome

Admission Free; Donations Appreciated



 Past WVHS Events

WVHS AGM & "So,... Where Were You When The Phone Rang?"
Wednesday, May 16, 2012 - West Vancouver Seniors' Centre 
Speaker: Barrie Chapman


A light-hearted look at the telecommunications history of West Vancouver.  Based on the book written by West Van resident Barrie Chapman in 1994, for the WV Museum & Archives.   Barrie Chapman was born in West Vancouver, attended the University of British Columbia and had a rewarding 37 year career with the B. C. Telephone Company.  He still lives in West Van with his wife Cherie and spends his retirement days running the Fit Fellas senior men's fitness program at the WV Seniors Centre and golfing every day he can.

Annual WVHS Barbecue 

August 25th, 2012 - 12 noon to 3 pm (Gertrude Lawson House Lawn)

"Hollyburn Lodge Through the Seasons & Generations

Wednesday, March 14th, 2012 - West Vancouver Seniors' Centre
Speaker: Don Grant


 WVHS Receives a Heritage Achievement Award

District of West Vancover Council Meeting 
November 28, 2011

(L-R) WVHS Past-President Jim Carter, DWV Councillor Bill Soprovich, DWV Councillor Michael Evison, WVHS President Ann Brousson,
DWV Councillor & Mayor-Elect Mike Smith 

CITATION: Over the past few years, the West Vancouver Historical Society has written, promoted and produced a commemorative book on the history of West Vancouver in time for the centennial celebration in 2012. Titled Cottages to Community: The Story of West Vancouver’s Neighbourhoods, the work charts the progression of West Vancouver from its earliest indigenous residents all the way to the modern day. The hard work of individuals such as author Francis Mansbridge, archivist John Moir, Chairman Jim Carter as well as the many members of the Society’s Board of Directors and Book Committee has allowed this vital record of West Vancouver’s history to become a reality. This award is being accepted by Jim Carter on behalf of the entire West Vancouver Historical Society. Jim Carter has dedicated the past three years to promoting the book, securing project funding, generating broad community interest, and using every opportunity to tell the story of West Vancouver.

WVHS Public Meeting: "Embracing Heritage Assets"
Guest Speaker - Brent Leigh (Deputy Administrative Officer for DWV)
Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011 - West Vancouver Seniors' Centre

“Cottages to Community" Book Launch
Thursday, September 15th - 2011 West Vancouver Memorial Library
Annual WVHS Barbecue
Saturday, August 20th, 2011 - West Vancouver Musum & Archives - 680 17th Street

West Vancouver Community Day

June 4th, 2011 West Vancouver Community Centre


The History of the West Vancouver Youth Band"

Bandmaster Douglas Macaulay
Wednesday, May 25, 2011 - West Vancouver Seniors' Centre 



Michael Roberts, P.
March 16, 2011 West Vancouver Seniors' Centre

Michael Roberts, a Professional Engineer and presently involved in the construction of the Port Mann Bridge, gave a well-researched slide presentation on the history of early bridges both in B.C., other Provinces and the U.S. This topic was particularly timely due to the replacement of the “Blue Bridge” which spans the Capilano River.  We learned that this bridge was built in 1929 and, in its day, was the longest metal structure in B.C. and replaced a concrete viaduct built in 1915.

Michael is a strong advocate of preserving or re-adapting bridges with historical significance rather than sending them to the scrap heap, not exactly an environmentally sustainable option.  He was able to give us some ideas of what can be done to reuse these historical structures such as providing space for farmer’s markets, community gardens, music festivals and in our case an extension of the Spirit Trail and bikeway.  Unfortunately, due to lack of both Governmental and community support the bridge will likely be demolished in June of this year.

(L-R) Michael Roberts and WVHS President Jim Carter meet after Michael's informative and thought-provoking presentation.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Hugh ‘Torchy’ Aikens, (1914-2000), was a passionate skier, hiker, and natural historian who spent decades exploring, photographing, and filming mountains and mountain people in BC, Alberta, Washington, and Oregon. Donald Grant worked with members of Torchy’s extended family on this film project that was premiered at a WVHS public meeting on November 24, 2010.

Included in the 60-minute production were photographs and movies taken during the 1930’s and ‘40’s on Hollyburn Mtn., Grouse Mtn., Mt. Seymour, Mt. Baker, various locations in Garibaldi Provincial Park, and the Canadian rockies. Also featured were photos of ski jumping and ski racing competitions at Princeton, Revelstoke, and Snoqualmie that took place during the 1940’s and early '50's.

"Hugh Aikens: Mountain Photographer" will be shown at the West Vancouver Museum on Saturday, April 16th, 2011 (1:30 p.m. 3:00 p.m.).

Gertrude Lawson House, 680 17th Street, West Vancouver

JIM CARTER (WVHS President): "What a great day.  We worried all week about the weather.  It turned out to be a perfect day.  Not too hot and lots of sunshine.

Special thanks to all who made the day such a great success.  First kudos go to Yvonne for the terrific job she did again this year in putting it all together.  She does everything.  From buying the food, toarranging the flowers, to setting up the tables, collecting the tents, arranging the drinks table, securing the singer and finally for making sure the rest of us have our jobs and get them done.  Thank you Yvonne -you pulled it off again this year.

A number of others made significant contributions to the success of the day. Dave Barker and Bill Bird were instrumental in arranging the barbeque, cooking the food and getting the tents.  Don Grant assisted insetting up the tents and decorations as well as setting up the chairs.  Joan Cox assisted with setting up the tables and collecting the donations and banking them.  Wendy Topham ran the membership desk with the able assistance of Ann Brousson.  Susan Dirassar assisted with the set up.  Peter Stralaeff returned to run the drinks  with the able assistance of his friend Peter. Gwen did a great job of quietly entertaining us throughout the session. Apologies to anyone who has beenleft out of this thank you."


SATURDAY, JUNE 5th, 2010

During Community Day, an event blessed by good weather, West Vancouver Historical Society Directors met many interested visitors who came to the WVHS booth to study the photo displays, ask questions, share storiesand learn about Society projects, including the Centennial 'coffee table' book.

AGM & "The History & Construction of the Lions Gate Bridge

WEDNESDAY, MAY 23rd, 2010

Well-known heritage consultant, advocate and author Don Luxton, who co-wrote the book "Lions Gate" with Lilia D'Acres,
gave a fascinating account of the history of the Lions Gate Bridge.


Premiere of the film, "Heroes of the Harnessed Hickory"

WEDNESDAY, March 3rd, 2010

To celebrate the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver/Whistler, Don Grant, archivist/historian for the Hollyburn Heritage Society, produced the film, "Heroes of the Harnessed Hickory". The film tells the story of Hollyburn's ski jumpers and ski racers who competed during the 1920's, '30's, '40's and '50's. Over 100 people attended the premiere at the West Vancouver Seniors' Centre.