The story today is of a recent rescued 1950’s original $1.99 front yard Rhododendron from 3564 west 28th Avenue , that was once my family home , the little but now huge plant is a milky pink in colour , the name I think was “Shocking Pink” when the family received it as a gift in the 1950s ? Here is the history of the plant that I can remember so many years ago ! Our family rented a house at 7325 Blenheim Street , on the Blenheim Flats for $50 a month in the 1950s ! The strange looking house was called the “Castle House” and all of our mail from England was addressed to the “Castle House on the Flats ” somewhere in the 7,000 block and it got delivered by a great post man ! The 1930s built house , kind of looked like a Castle with Battle Turrets around a flat roof ! Yes all the Slack family that immigrated to Canada from England in 1948 , lived originally not too far from Nottingham Castle and near Sherwood Forest and our first very expensive 1950s rental house , kind of fitted in to our English Ancestry !

For sure Robin Hood is probably a family relation of ours a way back when and mom said I was conceived in the Blue Bell Woods , near “Robins Famous Major Oak Tree” ! Yes I do sign autographs as a blood relative of “Robin and his Gang of Great Guys and Gals from Nottinghamshire England ” Now the history of the $1.99 ” “Blushing Pink” named Rhodo !

My Mom , Dad and I worked part time for Murray and Wood Greenhouses in the 1950s , the huge green house was just across the Street from 7325 Blenheim Street on the Blenheim Flats ! I got a part-time job stapling together wooden border plant boxes , at 50 cents for every 500 , they were not plastic in the 1950s ! Dad filled them with composted “Turkey Manure” and Mom transplanted young flowering plants into them in the modern greenhouses ! It was hard in those days for Murray and Wood to make a profit and they watched their $ very carefully in those days ! When we moved “up the hill” to 3564 west 28th in Dunbar in the late 1950s , the good friends and business partners in the greenhouse , gave us a moving gift , of a very small $1.99 Rhododendron called “Blushing Pink”! We loved it , but planted it much too close to the front of our old but new to us , wonderful 3 mortgaged Dunbar home !

The soil was very, very poor at the top of the hill in Dunbar and we had no money to buy any good stuff for our new plant ! Dad and the rest of us , knew we’re all probably related to Robin Hood in England , some way or another , so we felt it was just fine for our leader to fill up his empty lunch bucket with , “unwanted composted , “good turkey fertilizer scraps ” every day , to put around the little plant ! The l Rhodo grew in leaps and bounds and had such huge blossoms that we had to sometimes “Sprag Up” the bushes branches every spring ! The Blushing Pink Rhodo at 3564 West 28th ave , was a favorite of everyone in the “Neighbourhood of Dunbar” for many, many years and when the house was sold a few years ago , I made a commitment to try to save our families now huge historic Dunbar “Blushing Pink” Rhodo , when the house came down!

Thanks to our good neighbours on 28th Avenue and some of my old retired fishboat equipment , the historic Dunbar Rhododendron was saved from being smashed up and sent to land fill ! A “Big Thank you for all your help , with the big Rhodo move ,

From the Slack family of Dunbar ! Terry

I can remember when Pacific Spirit Park , was not a Metro Vancouver Park , but just a “you can do any thing you want here . piece of U. E. L. Bush land ! What has not changed for probably thousands of years , is the wonderful “Signs of Spring ” in the park forest !

On my walks this week , I noticed that this urban forest was showing numerous great awakenings from winter signs ! Here they are : The Pink and Red Salmonberry flowers have fully opened now and added colour at last to the dull forest . With the flowers opening , comes numerous Male Rufus Humming Birds doing display flights near the top of Imperial Trail ! Yes look for the hummer sky diving events , on sunny warm days ! Female Anna’s Humming birds are also very active now , grabbing beaks full of hair from our Dog Hair Bags in the back yard and doing quick back and forth Buzzing Zumies into the park !

Oh just today , I noticed Pond and Stream Surface Strider’s have awakened on Musqueam Creek at Clinton Trail ! The “Insect Wolves of the Parks Creeks” are “Slipping and Sliding” and checking out every thing on the surface of the creek , with those funny pontoon life jacket legs sticking way out ! When the sun comes out , out come the Strider’s from some where in the stream side vegetation ! Where do they go to sleep at night , only the Shadow’s Know ?

It was just today that I found myself stopping and breathing in deeply on the Booming Ground Trail in the park ! Its a great place to visit , especially when a spring westerly or south west wind is blowing up the cliff face and on to the little trail The very unusual clean and wonderful smelling marsh air is here , stop and enjoy it . As a boy lived here on the marshes and for years I look forward to the historic first spring sweet smells of the marsh grasses , breaking through the river mud’s ! The little secret trail is just the east of the Simon Fraser Monument Lookout , on Marine Drive and for years I called it my Spring Marsh Sniffing Trail ! Please take a few minutes to have a look at the grove of Great Grand Fir Trees , just to the east of the lookout on the cliff top trail ! Watch the children , its a long way down from the top of the trail !

Other early spring plants with new green growth to look for in the park just now are : The Red Flowering current , Red Elderberry and the Skunk Cabbages have just come back to life at Clinton Trail and Musqueam Creek ! Have fun looking and sniffing for the first signs of Spring in Pacific Spirit Park !

Terry

SalmonberryDays We are pleased to announce that Dunbar’s Salmonberry Days is on again for the entire month of May!

Download our Salmonberry Days Calendar now and plan your outings!

A paper copy of this schedule will be delivered to your Dunbar home in April.

A little rust coloured “Male Rufous Humming birds came back to visit us this week , from his winter home in Southern Mexico ! He arrived fit as a fiddle , at our feeder on Wed. morning and started to do his attracting a female flight today ! He immediately lived up to his long historic reputation , of being feisty and a a wee bit nasty to other hummers ! The bright copper coloured “Rebel Rouser” started to chase our Anna’s Hummers away from the feeder right away !

Yes , my records indicate this male is a few weeks early arriving in Dunbar , probably flying in with a few other guys, riding on a Pineapple Express weather front ! The lazy mazy Freddy bird is here waiting at our feeder and plans to use a displaying flight a mating ambush , as soon as high flying females start to arrive ! “Oh My , That Male Rufous Cad ” !

Being a very early migrating Rufus hummer , can be dangerous , as wild nectar producing flowers and shrubs like Salmon berry , will not be out in flower for at least few weeks yet ! He must find food at our sugar water feeder and find a safe place at night to drift into a Torpor sleep !

Just one more issue , of being a early arriving male Rufous Hummer ! Our local wintering over Annas female hummers are starting to nest and are on eggs now ! The early male Rufous keeps the female Annas away from her quick back and forth to the nest , feeding cycle , at our feeder ! I can only wish for some ” Warm Spring Weather” ,for that will probably move our migrating early Male Rufus Hummer further north !

Terry

In the 1960 the small boatyard at the south foot of Blenheim Street in Vancouver , was the home port for about 60 small commercial fish boats ! It had two marine railways that moved Trollers , Gillnetters and Cod Boats on shore , after the fishing season was over for the year . The mostly wooden boats , were lined up in neat rows on old farm land west of Blenheim Street , with their bows , always facing up the river !

Once jacked up and side slipped from the cradle , the skipper always had to pull off a small sheet lead patch , covering up a hull engine room Cedar garboard planking Bung or plug and this was to let the bilge water run out into a my dads new metal drum “Bilge water oil separator” ! All the fish boat skippers had to use Alf Slacks 1960ies oil separator ,my gosh it was a way a head of its time , being a new river friendly invention ! If those “Big Season or Just making it a Season” Fishers ” wanted to be land docked next season . they they had to use the Alfies bilge oil separator ! After having the fishboat taken out of the water ,the fisherpeople that had a good year , just disappeared to warmer climates and the not so lucky just stayed around to keep a eye on the dry-docked boat all winter long !

The last cold weather , usually at the end of March, brought out the Fisher peoples canvas tarps , out to protect the planking at the waterline of the boat , from the , Ya you got it , the Hot Drying out SUN ! Spring at last and copper painting had to be done below the waterline , with special attention given to net guards . stem Iron , rudder plate and skegs irons ! My dad and I made a few extra bucks , heating up and smacking off with a big sledge hammer , all the damaged propellers ! You are not going to believe this , but some skippers forgot to replace the cedar planking bung , lead patch and were launched ! There was always lots of screaming and swearing when the boat hit the water with a geyser shooting up in the engine room ! Get her back up , was the call from the embarrassed skipper !

The little shipyard at the end south end of Blenheim Street in Vancouver , has many sad and funny stories still to be told ! Its our Vancouver’s history and it would be very sad to loose it .so lets get on and tell it , the way it was , not so many years ago !

Terry

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Here’s your chance to get the absolute latest Dunbar Residents’ Association’s Spring 2014 Newsletter. Learn all the great and good news about Dunbar and here’s your chance to get all this before anyone else on your block!

DRA Spring 2014 Newsletter

Is anyone interested in what was happening in Dunbar TEN YEARS this month? In February 2004? Have a look at that 10 year old DRA Newsletter at http://www.dunbar-vancouver.org/newsletter/archives/dra-nl-feb2004.pdf.

DRA Newsletter Archives

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President Jonathan Weisman
Vice President
Robert Westendorp
Treasurer Sonia Wicken
Secretary Colleen McGuinness
Member at Large Jonathan Baker
Member at Large Elisa Campbell
Member at Large Susan Chapman
Member at Large Trusha Desai
Member at Large Jon Ellis
Member at Large Noemi Gal-Or
Member at Large Bruce Gilmour
Member at Large Jane Ingman-Baker
Member at Large Robert Murray
Member at Large Andrea Sara

 

2013-2014 Board of Directors Biographies

JONATHAN BAKERJonathan Baker is a specialist in Municipal Law with the firm of Baker & Baker. In the early sixties he was a journalist with the Vancouver Province. From 1969 to 1975 he was a social planner with Vancouver’s Social Planning Department. He was a founding trustee and first program Director of the Vancouver Academy of Music. In 1976 he was appointed to the Granville Island Trust and was one of five Trustees who oversaw the development of Granville Island. Between 1978 and 1985 he was a Trustee of the Vancouver School Board and in 1986 he was elected to Vancouver City Council where he served for two terms. He was also a Trustee of the Library Board and the Pacific National Exhibition and a founding director of the Vancouver Contemporary Art Gallery. When not practicing law he spends his time babysitting an ever increasing number of grandchildren.
ELISA CAMPBELL
SUSAN CHAPMANSusan Chapman has lived with her family in Dunbar for over 30 years, except for a few intermittent time periods lived in a variety of other places in the world. She is a former lawyer, whose community activities have included involvement in various youth sports organizations and four years as a director of the Learning Disabilities Association of Vancouver. She and her husband, Robin Elliot, have four children. She has served on the DRA board for eight years and has a particular interest in preserving the community’s green space.
TRUSHA DESAI Trusha Desai (formerly known as Trusha Pandit) has lived in Vancouver for over twenty years where her involvement with the community and schools at various levels has been wide-ranging. She focuses on enhancement of democratic values and is engaged in the political process.Trusha does management consulting with a financial focus and strategic planning. She also runs a boutique bookkeeping service for small businesses who require part-time accounting. Trusha is highly proficient at a slew of accounting and computer software. She efiles Canadian personal tax returns.Trusha participated in a group art show (abstract and landscape) in Dunbar. Trusha’s passion is writing: poetry and haiku. Most importantly, Trusha is a mother of two.
JON ELLIS Jon Ellis came to Canada in 1970 with a Degree in Architecture from the University of Colorado, and very little else. He settled in Dunbar in 1975 and pursued a 30-year career as a city planner – 15 years for the City of Vancouver and 15 years as a private consultant. While at the City, he guided the development of the Provincial Historic Sites of Gastown and Chinatown, developed the first BC Heritage Conservation Act, and produced the enabling legislation for Business Improvement Areas in BC. As a private consultant, he served clients throughout BC and took time to earn a Certificate in Conflict Resolution from the Justice Institute of BC. Now retired, he is pursuing his lifelong avocation of cabinetmaking, serving clients primarily from the west side of Vancouver.
NOEMI GAL-ORNoemi Gal-Or (B.A., Tel Aviv University, Ph.D., Graduate Institute of International Studies, Geneva, Switzerland, LL.B., University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada) is Director of the Institute for Transborder Studies (ITS) and professor of Politics and International Law, the Department of Political Science, Kwantlen Polytechnic University. She has published extensively in various matters including security and strategic studies (specifically terrorism) and conflict resolution; international law (trade & investment, dispute settlement, humanitarian, human rights, and criminal, law); international organisations (UN, WTO); international political economy (cross-border integration); public policy; regional integration (EU, NAFTA, negotiated FTAA); migration; and gender. She consulted the Solicitor General of Canada and the Government of Israel in some of these areas.Prof. Gal-Or is a licensed sole practitioner in British Columbia, Canada. She is a practising member of the Law Society of BC and an active member of the Canadian Bar Association (CBA), and had served other legal professional, academic, and community associations in various positions. Currently, she is serving on the Executive of the CBA National International Law Section as Communications Officer as well as on its International Dispute Settlement Committee and the CBA’s Anti-Corruption Team; is vice-President, Board of Directors, International Law association (ILA) Canadian Branch, which she represents on the ILA’s Non-State Actor, Use of Force, and Feminism and International Law, Committees as well as the Study Group on International Organisations; member of the American Society of International Law (ASIL), vice-Chair of its UN21 Study Group and member of its International Organisations Study Group; board member, International Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists; and Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s representative on the Canada-US Relations Committee of the Vancouver Board of Trade.Prof. Gal-Or is manuscript referee for Oxford University Press; Leiden International Law Journal; Canadian Journal of Political Science; and St Antony’s (Ox) International Review (STAIR). She is a frequent contributor to various legal professional publications incl. the Lawyers Weekly and the CBA’s International Lawyer and Bulletin – the National International Law Section’s newsletter.
BRUCE GILMOUR Bruce A. Gilmour and Marley the golden retriever guide dog

Bruce is a small town BC boy (Merritt), born to cattle ranching and forest industry parents. Working in the forest industry, one evening he crashed his vehicle and lost his eyesight. Drawn to the city to complete his Bachelor’s Degree and for the opportunities a large city provides, he got married and settled down; his family continues to be a priority in his life.

Life balance is important for quality of life and health. Living in Dunbar has anchored much of this outlook for Bruce. Active and healthy living through the four seasons keeps him planning time for Pacific Spirit Park walks and jogging. Other interests include tandem cycling, downhill and water skiing, and assisting where he can with his daughter’s daily activity and future eventing with her horse.

Professional interests are directed around the theme of community and regional planning. Adjusting to and managing a disability have created the basis for learning what accessibility, inclusion, sustainability, and a welcoming experience feels and looks like. His intention is to support the work today in efforts to successfully achieve a long-term vision that sustains the social, economic, cultural, and ecological health of Dunbar.

JANE INGMAN-BAKERJane is a lawyer, with a doctorate in Biochemistry, who presently works as Tutor with the UBC Faculty of Medicine. She and her husband, Paul Hildebrand, have three children. Jane has been involved in many community activities and is presently serving on the Children’s and Family Research Institute Board and as the Chair of the Dunbar Vision Implementation Committee.
COLLEEN MCGUINNESSColleen has been a resident of the neighbourhood since the early 1980s. She is self-employed and works with a variety of clients involved with international relations and small business. Colleen believes that it is important for Dunbar to provide the intimate community connection that residents need in a large impersonal city. Her special interests include seniors’ housing, accessibility and universal design and aging in place. Colleen is a keen gardener and reader and a big fan of the Dunbar Library and shopping locally.
ROBERT MURRAY
ANDREA SARA
JONATHAN WEISMANJonathan and his wife moved to Vancouver from Ottawa a few years ago. He is a lawyer and his wife is a specialist at Children’s. They sought out a home in Dunbar as they were attracted to the residential quality of it and the unique opportunity it presented to live in a green urban environment. They have a home near Pacific Spirit Park which they recognize as a unique and very special place. Jonathan has been a member of DVIC for over a year and has taken a particular interest in the developments at UBC and the impact that they will have on Dunbar. He has a graduate degree in political science which he taught before entering the legal profession. He has proudly worked on many campaigns for politicians of different political bents and has an ongoing interest in all aspects of the democratic process.
ROBERT WESTENDORPRobert immediately fell in love with this welcoming City when he came here from Germany with his family over a decade ago. Moving to Dunbar marked his decision to stay here. Over the years Robert has become interested in local political issues and neighbourhood activities. Now he would like the chance to give back to the community. He feels that a young and evolving city like Vancouver needs strong community input. Robert has a PhD in electrical engineering and enjoys running, skiing, mountaineering, woodworking and most of all being with the family.
SONIA WICKENMy husband Ken and I have lived in Dunbar for over 40 years and I have always enjoyed volunteering in the neighbourhood whether at school, baseball or soccer while our son and daughter were involved. The last 20 plus years I’ve been involved with the Residents Association. My interest is in building liaisons with other neighbourhood organizations so Dunbar will continue to be such a liveable neighbourhood.

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