Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Who Are Our Heros?

News today was from Saskatoon, the Council of which decided not to add a sign at city limits in praise of local girl Joni Mitchell because "Saskatoon is ‘probably too large’ to have a sign saying so at the edge of town."

That got me thinking about what greets visitors to the North Shore when they come over our two beloved bridges - I'm not even sure if there's a "Welcome to..." sign on the roadways.

Assuming there is, what famous North Shore native would we choose to proclaim as one of our own? Karen Magnussen? Bryan Adams?  Todd "Digger" Fiander? Chief Dan George? Al Neil?

Or, even better, do either of the North Vans have an official tag line like "City of Champions?"

Just to get your creative juices flowing, here's an example from Whitesburg KY. When I lived there it only listed one grouch.


Anonymous said...

Todd Fiander a hero?

Uh - not even close by a long shot and certainly worthy to tie the shoelaces of those named.

Brett Hull grew up here though he isn't really associated with North Vancouver. I'd give huge props to any of the Kariya family. Two of his kids on pro or national teams and old TK a long time teacher at Argyle. Grover Covington, Shawn Millington and John Blain also come to mind.

Barry Rueger said...

Todd Flanders was honoured at this year's Civic Awards gala, so came naturally to mind.

Part of the reason for asking this question is a feeling that very few people in the District have much historical memory. It was kind of disturbing to hear that the new rec complex wouldn't be named "William Griffin" because no-one could remember who he was or what he did.

At the same time our new "town centers" are getting evocative names like "Lower Lynn" instead of being named after something that might remind us of past glories.

I see from Wikipedia that our motto is actually "Montes Rivique Noris Inspirant"

My Latin is weak, and the DNV web site doesn't have anything about the motto, so I did a Google translate which came up with:

"The mountains and streams Noris inspire"

Which in turn led me to:

"Noris is an independent woman for whom freedom is much more than just a seven-letter word! She´s an individualist who loathes restriction, is fascinated by the unknown and can often be undisciplined, taking risks without considering the potential consequences of her actions... Often proud and haughty, Noris can be disconcerting at times, oscillating between excitement and despondence: she certainly never does things by halves! "

At which point I gave up, assuming either a typo at Wikipedia, or an impossibly obscure reference to something that probably only William Griffin understood.

There is some actual District history on-line, but takes chance and serious hunting to find it. For instance, here's a history of mountain bikes in Deep Cove, going back to the 70s, that popped up a couple of weeks ago. You can also go digging around the North Vancouver Archives here.

Anonymous said...

Noris is the second person in the future perfect tense, so in this case either "The Mountains and Streams will inspire you" or "You will be inspired by the Mountains and Streams".

Robert Watt a Lynn Valley resident, was the first Chief Herald of Canada, and he worked with Mayor Marilyn Baker leading up to our centennial in 1991 to develop a coat of arms for the District. I don't know if this was when the motto was developed.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Please, please, please let us be remembered for history, events or geographic attractions.

The problem with naming after politicians is that once one of them gets a marque they ALL want marques.

Thank the Lord we got the Lions Gate Bridge.

Barry, please, I implore you do not go anywhere near that civic award for whats-his-name. You have no idea of the acrimony it set off in the community and between staff and council.

Anonymous said...

Plenty of worthy artists, architects and musicians associated with and gave form to the North Shore to bestow honours upon. Politicians are a dime a dozen and have done bugger all for anything but their own egos.

Anonymous said...

Plus elected politicians are paid. They are not volunteering their time. Much more accolades should be put on community activists and volunteers.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, good politicians are not a dime a dozen.

I do not support naming feature buildings after politicians. They should be named to add to the identity of that neighborhood.

That being said, the enterprising people who wanted a rec centre in Seymour got the vote they needed by suggesting it be named the Ron Andrews Rec Centre. Ron had been lukewarm up until that point, but amazingly made it happen. Win for them, Win for him, overcome the self interested politician. When it is replaced, it should be called the Blueridge Community Centre and Pool, or Seymour Heights Community Centre.

I do support recognizing public figures, including good local politicians in secondary features. How about a significant trail in Upper Cap called the Walton Trail? Or a trail along the Seymour River Marilyn Baker Trail? How about a Don Bell room at the new Rec Centre?

Don't get your knickers in a knot about local politicians playing a role in naming, at least it is local. Most of the named streets, parks, and schools have nothing to do with North Vancouver. And the new naming convention of just cramming two words together is even worse. So unless you like Burquitlam, ease up on the local figures.

Anonymous said...

Glad to advise you 4:24.
I have no relatives or other ties to developers.
I am also dead against densification in my neighbourhood, which is Lynn Valley.
Indeed, my reply to the 'Visioners' on council and DNV staff when asked my opinion on the future of Lynn Valley, is 'Get your planners OUT of my neighbourhood".
I'm just a geezer retired from the BC forest industry.

I do hope that allows you to oblige.

Anonymous said...

Well ok 4:24, I DO have relatives but none involved with any developers.

Barry Rueger said...

OK, claims of corruption or bribery need to include names and dates, and preferably links to corroborating information. If you're afraid of crossing legal boundaries that would leave you open to trouble, please email it to me at and I'll vet it before it's posted.

And don't assume that posting Anon will cover you - you can assume that Google keeps track of your IP address, and with the right sort of request can arrange for you be tracked down.

If there is actual documented evidence of payoffs or corruption it absolutely should be made public, but vague, unsubstantiated accusations just waste our time.

Hazen Colbert said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Barry Rueger said...

The last comment by Hazen Colbert has been removed because it really wasn't on-topic. I had asked who or what we should name things after in our District, and there were actually several interesting suggestions. Accusations of bribery don't really fit under that umbrella.

Instead I've opened up a Designated Corruption Thread.

Anonymous said...

Anon. Friday 12:16

At a DNV council meeting back in the day, Mayor Bell made a joke motion that Ron Andrews (who was actively against public recreation, he thought people should pay their own way.) The motion was seconded and passed. Thus, we have the Ron Andrews Rec Centre. Ernie Crist seconded the motion.

Anonymous said...

Its a good story. Don was elected in 1970 to council, and the source of funds for Ron Andrews was 1967 centennial funds. Was it built first, named much later? The story suggests it wasn't even approved until after Don Bell joined council in the Fall of 1970. Which would mean it wasn't built until about '75, but I thought it opened in '70... It was a dreary place even when I started using it in the 80's.

Anonymous said...

I guess there's always our hero Maggie Trudeau. She went to Delbrook secondary, and shortly thereafter married Pete at St. Stephen's, the little church just off Mountain Highway at 24th.
Still, what would the highway exit sign say? 'Mother of Boy Prince, Justin, lived and married here'? (Perhaps 'Boy Prince Justin conceived here' as he was born nine months after the marriage).

F.H. Varley might make the list. Are the rules that the hero must be a native son of DNV?

Anonymous said...

DNV? I thought this was open to the whole North Shore...

Barry Rueger said...

Totally! Who are the heroic people in the City's past?

Anonymous said...

It seems we do have a legitimate hero...

Tim Jones Peak

Anonymous said...

Good point 10:37.

I do tire of the Bryan Adams (yay North Van!!) byline even though he is an Argyle Secondary alumnus.

Anonymous said...

He hasn't looked back, if he threw a free Canada Day concert I might change my mind... hint hint. Spirit of the West has done a few free concerts as locals. I think three of them are from the North Shore hence "The Crawl".

Anonymous said...

Diana Krall and Elvis Costello lived here from many years. Bill Reid the artist lived here for a long time. Rudyard Kipling lived here for a long time back in the day. Grant Connell, Brett Hull, Paul Kariya, Alison Sydor plus a wack of canucks. Jim Byrnes played the Deep Cove theatre this week, I think he is a local.

Lyle Craver said...

Well how about Paul Kariya who grew up here and whose father T K Kariya taught math at Argyle for 20+ years.

(I did one of my teaching practicums under old TK and he was both a taskmaster and a fine gentleman in every way)

Or Grant Connell or John Blain for tennis and football respectively.

Fred Turner of Guess Who and Bachmann-Turner Overdrive lived in West Vancouver for years - don't know whether he still lives here.

Anonymous said...

How about the Hon James Sinclair, father of Margaret Trudeau and our good Prime Minister the Rght Hon Justin Trudeau.

Lyle raises BTO whose song Taking Care of Business so appropriately describes Mayor Walton:

You get up every morning
From your alarm clock's warning
Take the Tranlink bus into the CNV
There's a whistle up above
And people pushin', people shovin'
And my girls who try to look pretty
And if your Seabus is on time
You can get to work by nine
And start your slaving job to get your pay
If you ever get annoyed
Look at me I'm self-employed
I love to work at nothing all day
And I'll be...

Taking care of business every day
Taking care of business every way
I've been taking care of business, it's all mine
Taking care of business and jackin' overtime
Working out my nut!

If it were easy as biking
You could be a politican
If you could make sounds loud or mellow
Get a second-hand gavel or mace
Chances are you'll go far
If you get in with the right bunch of developers
People see you having fun