Renfrew-Collingwood Community News

News stories from the Renfrew-Collingwood community in East Vancouver


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August 2018 issue of RCC News is here

RCC News August 2018

Happy summer! This issue of the RCC News is full of the many wonderful people, events and programs happening in our neighbourhood.

Get your latest issue of the RCC News at your local coffee shop, grocery store, library and community centre.

Or click on the cover image to view the new issue.

In this issue:

  • Creative City Strategy — New arts opportunity for engagement
  • RCC News 20 years: Renfrew-Collingwood’s humble historic landmark by John Mendoza
  • Hairstyling for seniors at Collingwood Neighbourhood House
  • Remembering Chris Jamieson
  • How to design a bird-friendly garden
  • Report on Community Open House No. 1 for seniors
  • What you need to know before buying a home

Do you have a local story to tell or an event to share? We’d love to hear about it! Email rccnews-editorial@cnh.bc.ca.

The deadline for the September 2018 issue is August 10. We welcome story submissions from 300 to 400 words long. Accompanying photos must be high resolution in a jpg file at least 1 MB large and include a photo caption and the name of the photographer.

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Family Tree Tips: Begin at the beginning

Family-Tree

An example of a family tree. Also look online for examples of pedigree charts. Image courtesy of Margaret Houben

BY LORETTA HOUBEN

The majority of us are the descendants of immigrants. Not too far in our distant past, either our parents, grandparents or great-grandparents relocated to this wonderful country of Canada, and somehow wound up in the Renfrew-Collingwood area.

While growing up here I was aware that my mother’s side of the family lived in Oregon and my father’s side of the family lived in the Lower Mainland. While researching my dad’s past in 2011, I became obsessed with the “hows and whys” of their move from the prairies where they previously lived.

My dad was born in Spalding, Saskatchewan, but his parents both came from Wales. His father came alone to Canada in 1910, and his mother arrived in 1927 as a young woman of 19, along with her parents and siblings.

Although my grandpa was born in North Wales, and my grandma in South Wales, they met on the prairies and eventually wound up here on the West Coast.

My mom’s family are German and moved to Texas, USA in 1910 to escape political and religious turmoil in the land of Russia. They got out just before the Russian Revolution and the First World War erupted close to their farm. Due to their farming expertise, they were able to save up money and purchase acreage in Amity, Oregon.

Through a series of events, my parents met and wound up in the city of Vancouver, far removed from their farm roots. It’s fascinating how the dots connect and if you know how to research you can connect them even further back and discover clues as to how and why your ancestors chose Canada or the USA to move to.

The word genealogy means “a record or account of the ancestry and descent of a person, family, group; the study of ancestries and histories; and the descent from an original form or progenitor; lineage; ancestry.” Everyone’s genealogy will of course be different and unique, which is why genealogy is now so popular, especially with the TV show series Who Do You Think You Are in Britain and the USA.

Thanks in large part to digitized documentation being uploaded to the internet by various organizations, a search into the past is now convenient and fairly easy, although when I began my journey of genealogy research I never knew how addictive it would become! If you have patience and your family information is intact, you will be rewarded as you search.

The first thing to be done is to fill in a family tree. Begin with yourself and your birth date and place of birth. Add your parent’s names and their birth dates and place of birth. If your parents are living, ask them for the names of their parents and dates/places of birth. Hopefully you will have this much to begin with.

I keep my paper copies in binders, inserted into clear plastic sheets. I found some lovely binders at Daiso Dollar Store in Aberdeen Mall in Richmond, which already have the clear sheets inside. They are a reasonable cost of $2 each and have 40 pages. Also keep a copy of everything on your computer and remember to do weekly backups.

A home photocopier/scanner unit is a marvellous asset in your family tree hobby. A clear concise way of keeping track of the information you will be adding is a definite must in genealogy research. You need to make files and update them regularly. Each person has their own system.

There is no right or wrong way to do this. Part of the hobby of genealogy is gathering information which is turned into charts but the fun part is the stories that come to light!

Here is a chart so you can begin as soon as possible. The best goal in your family tree research is not to put off to tomorrow what can be done today! And who knows, maybe you have someone famous or well known in the branches of that tree.

In the next installment, popular genealogy websites will be discussed, as well as a local British Columbia genealogical society who host free monthly meetings at the Vancouver library central branch.

Loretta Houben is deeply involved in researching the mysteries in her paternal family tree and has been quite successful in 2013.

First published in the September 2013 issue of the Renfrew-Collingwood Community News.

 


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The little house on Park Avenue

ParkAvenueStation

A snippet taken from a photo by Major Matthews in 1908, showing the Park Avenue station at Vanness and Boundary Road. No houses have been built on the hill up to Kingsway yet. Photo courtesy of Vancouver Archives

BY LORETTA HOUBEN

Once upon a time there was a little house in Collingwood. The city of South Vancouver grew and changed all around, while two World Wars and a major Depression took place. A BC Electric Rail tramline came and went on the left of the property, with the Park Avenue station just steps away.

In 1986 a modern new SkyTrain shadowed the view where the tramline once ran. The one-lane road in front changed to many lanes as it was widened, and its name changed from Park Avenue to Boundary Road.

ParkAvenueHouse

5515 Boundary Road in 2009, the little house where the Rickard family lived. Photo by Loretta Houben

The little house began life with an owner from England. Maybe he built the house himself. The first mention of Park Avenue in the BC Directories happens in 1914, when Cresswell B. Rickard, builder, is shown living in the modest little home at 129 Park North.

In 1917 he’s listed as a carpenter at the Vancouver shipyards, but then his occupation is a cabinet maker at 2993 Kingsway in 1920, a year in which there were only four households listed between Kingsway and Vanness Avenue on Park Avenue North.

In the 1921 Canadian census, Cresswell Rickard appears at 129 Park North in South Vancouver, with his wife Louisa Jane and their three sons, Reginald, Sidney and Earnest.

In 1925 Rickard is still at 129 Park North but working at 2902 Granville as a cabinet maker. He appears consistently until 1929, when he’s a cabinet maker at 1427 West Broadway.

Then in 1930 his home address changes to 5691 Boundary Road. The next year the address for the little house is 5515 Boundary Road, the number it remains until it’s eventually torn down in the 2010s to make way for a complex which consists of three large condo towers.

I’ve always been curious about old houses. I took a few photos of 5515 Boundary in 2009, as the look of it fascinated me. I tracked down the name of the owner by digging online and checked out C. B. Rickard’s marriage certificate where I discovered he was married in 1911 in Vancouver.

He remained in his little home until 1973, when he died at age 98. His death certificate states that he lived in the municipality where he died for 67 years. So, although I can’t find a trace of Boundary Road before 1914, where Rickard first appears in the directories, he may have lived here since 1906.

In a few more months, the brand-new Annex for the Collingwood Neighbourhood House will open. It sits on the spot where the little house at 5515 Boundary Road once sat, where the Rickard family lived.

As our neighbourhood changes dramatically, it’s good to stop and remember the pioneers who forged the way before our modern world evolved, and imagine what life was like as they raised their families in the tiny little homes with the large gardens and fruit trees, as the BCER tram rattled past, and the brand-new automobiles chugged up the hill to Westminster Road (now Kingsway).

Loretta Houben is a long-time resident of Collingwood and a regular contributor to the Renfrew-Collingwood Community News.

Copyright 2018 Renfrew-Collingwood Community News


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Read On: Change those bad habits

Read-On-word-search-bad-habits

Word Search: Change Bad Habits

BY TONY WANLESS

Do you have bad habits that you want to change?

Of course you do.

Unless you’re some kind of superhuman, you probably have several.

Bad habits are those annoying actions or thoughts you repeat regularly, even though you might not want to. They could involve the way you handle finances, your thoughts, your behaviours and interactions with other people, and many more.

These habits prevent you from being what you want to be. They cause strife in your relationships with other people. They often impact your work because they are usually the opposite of what you should be doing.

It’s only human to have bad habits. But it’s also part of being human to want to change those habits because they have a large and negative affect on your personal and your financial life. We all want to be a better person, if not for ourselves, then for those around us.

But it is difficult to change habits, because they are caused by repeating behaviours. Habits are made because your brain, which always wants to make things easier, creates a separate thought channel – a type of mental shortcut – to make a behaviour require less thought. This saves energy, or brainpower.

The more you repeat the behaviour, the stronger that separate channel becomes. As a result, it becomes increasingly difficult to change the habit.

But psychiatrists have some suggestions.

7 tips to change bad habits

  1. Change one habit at a time. It takes some work, and if you try doing several, you’ll probably fail. On the other hand, changing one habit usually leads to changing others.
  2. Identify the habit you want to change. You may not even be aware that you have it.
  3. Think about the habit and what good (or bad) it is doing for you. If not enough good, then you have a reason to change it.
  4. Replace the habit with a different one. You probably already know what that could be.
  5. Understand that you’ll fail or forget sometimes. Don’t give in, just do it right the next time. Eventually, it will take.
  6. It’s a good idea to keep track of your efforts to change a habit in some kind of journal. You’ll notice that you are getting better at it over time.
  7. Recognize that you CAN develop a new habit. But it will take time and some effort.

Definitions

annoying: causing irritation
strife: bitter sometimes violent conflict
impact: to have a direct effect on
channel: a way, course, or direction of thought or action

Copyright 2018 Renfrew-Collingwood Community News


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Collingwood’s Family Place celebrates 30 years

Family Place CNH

Julie Cheng, the editor of the RCC News, fondly recalls the times she spent at Family Place with her kids, about 20 years ago now. “Family Place was a lifesaver for me. It was priceless to meet other new parents, talk to adults and see my kids have fun with lots of new stimulating activities. I looked forward to Family Place every week.” Photos courtesy of Collingwood Neighbourhood House

BY PAUL REID

Congratulations to this wonderful program that has been providing a warm and nurturing place for local families for the past 30 years. Open to parents and caregivers of children (newborn to six years old) Family Place at Collingwood Neighbourhood House has been the place to meet others while enjoying a cup of coffee and conversation. There are arts and crafts for the children plus story time, circle time, and many fun toys to play with.

Satinder Singh

Satinder Singh has been with CNH’s Family Place since its very beginning in 1990.

One cannot talk about Family Place and not first learn more about Satinder Singh, CNH’s family services coordinator. She has been with the program since its very beginning in 1990. Satinder loves to work with both children and their parents at Family Place. “I still have the same passion as when I first started just from seeing the excitement each day in the children’s faces.”

“Collingwood Neighbourhood House is a very special place. It is very holistic. You get to see the amazing cycle of life.” She has seen the young kids grow up and become active members of the community. “Children who I remember at five years old now volunteer as adults! And after all these years, she keep in touch with a great number of these families.”

Satinder came to Canada in 1990, from Manama City, Bahrain (close to Saudi Arabia), where she had lived for 10 years. She is from India, growing up in the city of Lucknow in the north. Satinder still returns to Lucknow frequently to visit her family there.

The city is known for its fine schools and universities. “They have famous and successful alumni all over the world.” Satinder grew up here in a school that was straight out of Harry Potter. “I remember my uniform with the knee-length socks. We were learning British English. If we spoke in anything other than English, we would get fined.”

After meeting her husband, who was an engineer working for the merchant navy, a job that enabled him to move around, Satinder and he moved to the beautiful city of Manama in Bahrain. Satinder had it very well there. She was a “woman of leisure” with nannies and housemaids.

After 10 years in Bahrain, her husband thought that it would be a good idea to move to Vancouver. This proved to be a very lucky move since the Gulf War of the 1990s was about to explode all around Bahrain.

Satinder wasn’t exactly thrilled in the beginning. Life was suddenly a bit of a struggle as her husband’s job, though eventually hugely successful, in the beginning had him earning less.

This was a massive change for Satinder; in addition to what must have been a huge culture shock, just from the highly different environment on its own, this woman of leisure now also found herself needing to find a job!

It was then, during the summer of 1990, that Satinder walked into Collingwood Neighbourhood House. At this time, it was just the little storefront on Kingsway. A woman named Laurie Winters asked Satinder if she would care to volunteer. Sure, she said.

By fall 1990, Satinder was sent to a training program and began working with the Nobody’s Perfect program and Family Place.

In the early years, these programs ran once or twice per week out of the basement of the old two room schoolhouse at Carleton Elementary (the one that would later catch fire and be taken over by Green Thumb Theatre). It was during this time that Satinder worked at CNH in the day and her early childhood education certificate at night.

It would be five years down in the basement before Family Place would move into its current cozy room at CNH, complete with couches and fireplace in CNH’s new home on Joyce street.

All this time, she has been growing with CNH and the Family Place program. She recognizes and is thankful for the help of dedicated volunteers, staff and the families that take part. “It’s a communal effort.” In 30 years, Satinder has had only three assistants – something she attributes to their outstanding dedication.

In the beginning, Satinder was mentored by CNH director Oscar Allueva. “Together we developed the program and he taught me many things,” says Satinder. “I have also been working all these years with Sharon Gregson, CNH director of the early years. She has always inspired me. Paula Carr was another huge inspiration, taking us from the small storefront to our current location.”

This is Satinder’s second home in which, through her own experiences as an immigrant, she was able to create a loving, welcoming environment for people looking for help.

“When I came to Canada, I remember feeling lonely for quite awhile, not knowing anyone. It took years to find friends that I could relate to. So I know those feelings of loneliness and isolation for those who are new here.” A large percentage of the Family Place participants have come to Canada as new immigrants.

Satinder is thankful that she can be one of the few who truly loves their work. “I don’t think I ever want to retire. I want to work here up to the time I die.”

And although things started out rough for her in Vancouver, Satinder has long since felt that she is fulfilling her destiny here in Collingwood and Family Place. “I went full circle – from a life of exclusion, to one of inclusion.”

The program runs four days per week, from 10 am to 12 noon, Monday to Friday (excluding Thursday). It is open to everyone. There is no wait list.

“Everyone is welcome to join. It’s a great place to start and make new friends in a warm and nurturing environment. The children learn social skills in addition to music and dance. The parents learn too and everyone has fun participating. People bring their relatives, people get to know each other. It’s real community development.”

Let us end by congratulating Satinder and Family Place for recently winning an award of excellence. Well done and happy 30th anniversary!

Copyright 2018 Renfrew-Collingwood Community News


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Cambodia

Cambodia Robert Edwards

Photos courtesy of Robert F. Edwards

BY ROBERT F. EDWARDS

My dear friends and readers, I would like to share with you my visit once again to Cambodia. This time I was not travelling alone as a single backpacker, but was with a group of well-established charity organizations. One charity was the Developing World Connections, and the other a worldwide organization known as World Vision.

To commemorate the 20-year anniversary of the Renfrew-Collingwood Community News, we’re revisiting past stories that have particularly inspired us.
Among our ongoing contributors over the years has been the very personable Robert F. Edwards, who wrote engaging stories, offered his opinions and educated readers on various topics. The personal accounts of his travels around the world through his charity work has been inspiring. This particular story from July 2013 stood out for me as Robert talked about his experiences working with aid organizations to influence communities and bring personal joy to his own life. ─ Lisa Symons, sales and distribution

During my time spent with Developing World Connections, I had the opportunity and privilege of working alongside tradesmen and farmers in the southern part of Cambodia around Kep. This area, like most of Cambodia, is extremely poor and the farmers have no electricity or toilet facilities, just to mention a few things which they lack. Developing World Connections built not only two latrines but then went on for an irrigation system and completed smaller diversions to irrigate fields for the crops that are desperately needed. One of the most important of these crops is rice. It was a wonderful experience to help these farmers have a better life in the bare essentials that we take for granted.

The second part of my trip was equally, if not more, rewarding for me personally. I was given the opportunity by World Vision to visit four of my sponsored children in Cambodia. Along with this opportunity, I also shared some of the remarkable things that World Vision is doing. One was going to a school and talking to over 300 children about Canada. This general area has over 2,400 sponsored children through World Vision.

My most important part of my visit to Cambodia was to visit my wonderful sponsored children and their siblings as well as the mothers. My first child was from a district that the mother and daughter had to travel on one bicycle over eight kilometres with the temperature exceeding 34°C. I had a wonderful time (through an interpreter) sharing these precious moments with this wonderful girl and her mother. It made all of us realize and especially me this precious young girl was not just a face on a photograph.

Cambodia 2 Robert EdwardsIn the following days, thanks again to World Vision’s help, I visited my other three sponsored children who are much younger. The mothers and the siblings of these three children accompanied them on a long journey from one of the outposts in the district that World Vision was operating.

After sharing a considerable time with some things that I’d brought from Canada, the three children along with their mothers and siblings and World Vision personnel with myself all went to a Chinese smorgasbord. It was here when we sat down and started to enjoy the food that one of the World Vision’s personnel said to me, “you have a large family.”

We all had a good laugh for I lost count of how many children along with the three mothers were gathered around me. Walking up to the buffet, the little girl grabbed my hand and the little boy took my other hand and led the way. I truly felt not as a sponsor but as a grandfather enjoying my grandchildren.

The reason I’ve written this is not only to share sponsorships but relationships. Though these children and their parents were unable to communicate on a common language, we shared the most important thing that people can share in their lives together: happiness and love from all that were present.

Robert F. Edwards is a local resident who sometimes writes for the RCC News as The Other Guy’s Opinion.

Copyright (c) 2018 Renfrew-Collingwood Community News


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July 2018 issue of RCC News is here

RCC News July 2018

Happy Canada Day! Remember to stop by Youth Celebrate Canada Day.

This issue of the RCC News is full of the many wonderful people, events and programs happening in our neighbourhood.

Get your latest issue of the RCC News at your local coffee shop, grocery store, library and community centre.

Or click on the cover image to view the new issue.

In this issue:

  • Family Place celebrates 30 years
  • RCC News 20 years: Cambodia by Robert F. Edwards
  • Collingwood Corner: The little house on Park Avenue
  • Tips to live with coyotes in RC
  • Collingwood resident receives award
  • Donations for a new seniors shuttle bus
  • Personal Financial Planning 101
  • Respect for cultures woven throughout CNH
  • Mr. Hoo recognized for 25 years volunteering

Do you have a local story to tell or an event to share? We’d love to hear about it! Email rccnews-editorial@cnh.bc.ca.

The deadline for the August 2018 issue is July 10. We welcome story submissions from 300 to 400 words long. Accompanying photos must be high resolution in a jpg file at least 1 MB large and include a photo caption and the name of the photographer.