Author Archives: Chak Yung

The Henry Mole Diaries: Chronicling a pioneer, farmer and councillor

Nothing beats a good set of diaries for getting a flavour of how people lived in the past. In 2017 the Archives received the diaries of Henry Mole, a Vancouver settler in what is now Kerrisdale, who regularly chronicled his days from 1872 to 1914. There are 35 volumes, each averaging about 50 pages.

A selection of the Henry Mole diaries. Photo by Chak Yung

Mole, who lived from 1839 to 1923, was a successful farmer as well as, from 1894 to 1903, a councillor for the Municipality of South Vancouver. South Vancouver was established in 1892 and comprised all of current-day Vancouver south of 16th Avenue (up until 1908 when the Corporation of Point Grey was created south of 16th and west of Cambie). It amalgamated with the City of Vancouver in 1929. Continue reading

Kuo Kong Silk Company fonds

Researchers often point to the Sam Kee Company fonds or the Yip Sang family fonds as important records in our holdings that document Chinatown’s history. However, the first group of Chinese records acquired by the Archives was the Kuo Kong Silk Company (國光絲髮公司) fonds. Kuo Kong Silk Company was a retail shop located in Chinatown that operated for over 70 years.

Cover of 1935-1936 catalogue. Reference code AM369-S1--Catalogues of goods for sale.

Cover of 1935-1936 catalogue. Reference code AM369-S1–Catalogues of goods for sale.

The records were donated by Mrs. S. Jackman, proprietor of the company, in 1975 and include business correspondence, financial records and statements, personal correspondence, silk samples and product catalogues. Continue reading

Green & Huckvale Advertising Ltd. fonds

Ever wonder about Vancouver’s advertising past? One piece of the city’s advertising history is the Green & Huckvale Advertising Ltd. fonds. At its height, Green & Huckvale Advertising Ltd. was a Vancouver advertising and public relations agency that handled a mix of corporate, service, retail, government, and manufacturing clients. It was formed in 1975 as Sprackman, Green & Huckvale Advertising, with Joan Green as President and Creative Director Mel Sprackman as Director of Client Services (in charge of accounts and business development), and Marnie Huckvale as Public Relations Director.

Green & Huckvale graphic design for Calona “Tiffany” wine. Reference code: AM1453-S3--Calona Tiffany, Box 972-E-4 folder 1

Design for Calona “Tiffany” wine. From file AM1453-S4–Calona Tiffany

The fonds consists of textual records, photographs, audio tapes of radio advertisements, and graphic design materials relating to the agency’s early advertising and public relations projects for various local clients. Continue reading

Vancouver Golden Jubilee Society Records

The City’s 50th birthday was in 1936. Citizens of Vancouver, just like those now awaiting the 125th anniversary, were eagerly anticipating the City’s first major anniversary celebration: the Golden Jubilee.

Vancouver in 1936 was much different from 2011, and not just in terms of its landscape. Rather than gaining momentum from a large internationally watched event the year before, in 1936 the City was still suffering from the impact of the Great Depression. Although the population of Vancouver was over 250,000, making it the third largest city in Canada, high unemployment, relief camps, and episodes of social unrest were emblematic of the decade.

Golden Jubilee Society letterhead, 1936. 513-B-8 file 6

In spite of the unfavorable conditions and the criticism of spending too much, Mayor Gerry McGeer enthusiastically promoted the Golden Jubilee . Continue reading