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The life and adventures of Julia Henshaw, an early resident of Caulfeild, is the subject of an illustrated lecture by Michael Kluckner at West Vancouver Historical Society’s March 20, 2019 meeting.
Julia Henshaw and her husband established their home in the Caulfeild area in the early 1910s. Her garden on Piccadilly North was well known in the 1920s and 30s, and was one of the first on the West Coast to feature alpine plants.
Author and lecturer, botanist and explorer, socialite and war-time volunteer, Julia Henshaw was awarded the Croix de Guerre for her services as an ambulance driver in World War I. Her views of women’s roles and voting rights, of racial and class issues, and of Canada’s relationship to Great Britain and the United States, contrasted frequently with the values of her contemporaries in the early years of the last century.
Michael Kluckner wrote his graphic biography, Julia, after more than 30 years of piecing together her truly extraordinary life. Even after the book was published in 2018, details of Julia’s adventures continued to emerge.
Michael will tell how he was able, post-publication, to make contact with the Henshaws’ great granddaughter in England and obtain photographs and images of hand-coloured magic lantern slides Julia used to illustrate her lectures. The slides, primarily from Julia’s explorations and botanical studies in the Rocky Mountains, have not been seen since they were featured at those lectures more than a century ago.
Artist and writer Michael Kluckner is president of Vancouver Historical Society. His books on the history of Canadian cities, heritage, planning issues and art include Vancouver The Way It Was, Vanishing Vancouver, Paving Paradise, and British Columbia in Watercolour. His awards include the Duthie Prize, the Vancouver Book Prize and the Heritage Canada Medal of Achievement. Photo Credit: Sarah Jane Allen