Renfrew-Collingwood Community News

News stories from the Renfrew-Collingwood community in East Vancouver


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Family tree tips for the new year: Storing and saving your family photos

NewYears1970-low

New Year’s Day, 1970: Loretta Houben (in the middle) with her two sisters and her dad.

BY LORETTA HOUBEN

Hopefully you had time during the busy Christmas season to look over a few of those old family photos you’ve stashed away in the closet. Maybe you shared your newfound passion with the older generation, and verified a name or two.

Older people love to reminisce about the past, which isn’t really that long ago. I urge you to do this while you have your grandparents and great aunts and great uncles around. I had an aunt who told me to do this with my Grandma way back in the 1990s. Fortunately my Grandma hand wrote on all her photos, but what if she hadn’t?

One of the best ways to preserve your valuable family photos is to scan each one into your computer. Scanners are now a great price, with many options available at your local Staples, Best Buy, London Drugs or any similar store. There are good ones available for under $100, and well worth the investment.

Once the scanner is hooked up to your computer, simply read the instructions and begin to scan and save each photo in the best resolution possible. If you scan at low resolution, your photo will be too small, and if you wish to view it later for details, alas, you won’t be able to.

I found this out the hard way when I scanned in a family photo (please see my article from December 2013) at a very low resolution, and now am unable to determine a specific clue due to the fuzziness of the image. Scanning takes time and commitment but is truly well worth it for yourself and future generations.

You will need to store the photos in files on your computer, so take time to label the folders using a system that makes sense to you, so you’re able to locate the photos at a later date. There are many ways to do this, as each computer program is different.

The fun part comes after the photos are saved. You can then share with other family members around the world, providing they have a computer too.

One of my favourite ways to do this is to upload my photos to Facebook. I make sure only family members are able to see them. I’ve created a family group on Facebook, and invited family members only. So far no one else has shared any photos, but I’m hopeful the idea will catch on!

There are also blogs. I use Blogger to upload my photos for free, new and old. Since I began in 2009, I’ve had a few relatives which I had lost track of contact me and reconnect, so this is very exciting indeed.

Family genealogy is currently one of the most popular hobbies, and people use the internet as a tool to search for family members. My mother’s maiden name is very unusual (Brutke) so when that name is entered into the search engines, my posts with old photos pop up immediately! I make sure to leave my email address on my blog so relatives can contact me.

Another fantastic site to post and keep your photos for free is Flickr.com. You can store hundreds of photos for no cost, so if something should happen to your computer, your mind can be at rest. Of course, the best option of all, once you’ve scanned in your precious photos, is to have two back-up devices: one that you keep, and one that you store off site, maybe at your in-law’s or parent’s home, or at work. These devices are now reasonably priced and small enough to carry easily.

Of course, after the scanning is complete, you should save and store your actual paper photos safely, too. I store mine in the sturdy cardboard boxes sold at Michael’s craft store. They have cardboard dividers that you can label and insert between photos so that you can section them in year order. One box can hold many photos, and it’s a convenient size and can stack well in a closet. They are often on sale for $2.50 each.

If you work on this project one night per week, in no time you will be finished, and you’ll experience a feeling of great accomplishment! Then you can return to searching for more names to add to that family tree.

The next installment will feature aspects of the 1921 Canadian census (a great genealogy tool), which was newly released to the public in the summer of 2013.

Loretta Houben looks forward to a new year getting deeper into genealogy research, and wishes all of you following these monthly series on family tree tips all the best for a successful year. First published in the January 2014 issue of the RCC News.

Copyright 2018 Renfrew-Collingwood Community News


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We’re moving on up!

How Collingwood Neighbourhood House moved from Kingsway to Joyce Street

To commemorate the 20-year anniversary of the Renfrew-Collingwood Community News, we’re revisiting past stories that have particularly inspired us. This article was first published in the Fall-Winter 1994 issue of the Collingwood Collage, a predecessor to the RCC News.
My favourite memory from the RCC News is writing the story about the Collingwood Neighbourhood House moving from Kingsway to Joyce. The story showed the growth of CNH and our work with Julie Cheng (editor) and others on the Communications Committee.
− Jeff Mazo

Times are changing again. What had been an ongoing process for the last few years finally came down to a two-hour city council meeting on June 24, 1994.

After many community consultations and endless meetings, the Vancouver Land Corporation (VLC) project along Joyce and Vanness was finally approved. As a result, Collingwood Neighbourhood House (CNH) will be moving (in the next few years) to a larger and permanent building at Joyce and Euclid.

All those concerned with the project were invited to the council meeting to voice their opinions. Only a handful of people spoke before council. They included David Podmore (VLC president), Chris Taulu (Joyce St. Area Planning Committee), Rob Burkhart (CNH president), Ken Greene (Collingwood businessman) and various residents of the area.

Like the previous public consultation meetings, there were models and sketches of the proposed development on display. There were also many questions and concerns still being raised about the development. These concerns included the increase of traffic, the effect of shadows from tall buildings, and the increase of the population density. Some speakers also saw problems with the unit sizes proposed for housing and the effects that the development could have on the neighbouring City of Burnaby.

Ultimately, there were only nine speakers and their positions were as follows: six for the development and three against it.

The council members’ vote was unanimous, but the individual councillors’ opinions of the project varied. For instance, Councillor Libby Davies voted for the development, but with reservations. She said there were some “skepticism and concern(s)” about the development such as increased population density.

She also suggested that since the entire project is to be built in phases, the community should use the pause between the phases to look carefully at the project again. If the community does not like what it sees, they can go back to city council.

On the other hand, Councillor Gordon Price voted for the project without reservations, but was surprised that there was little opposition to such a massive development.

Mayor Gordon Campbell praised the consultation process within Collingwood and said it should be a model for other community developments.

If all goes according to plans, VLC will break ground by spring of 1994, and Phase I, with the new neighbourhood house, will be completed in 1995.

Copyright 2018 Renfrew-Collingwood Community News

 


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January 2019 issue of RCC News is here

Happy new year!

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:

  • New trails open up the wonders of Renfrew Ravine
  • Urban Explorer: A day at UBC museums
  • New outdoor gathering place for local seniors
  • Fresh year, fresh start to financial fitness
  • Create a new year habit
  • Inaugural ONE CHALLENGE celebration
  • Perspectives: An Anti-racism Arts Festival
  • MP Don Davies recognizes food security group in Parliament
  • Collingwood Neighbourhood House Recreation Programs Winter 2019 insert

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 February 2019 issue is January 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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Read On: Beating the winter blues

BY TONY WANLESS

Doctors have long understood that, in these months, most people begin to feel sad, less energetic, quieter and, often, sleepier.

Our moods aren’t as cheerful as they were in the summer. Life seems more difficult. Happiness has gone.

In Vancouver, this end-of-the-year sadness is stronger. The dark, cold, rainy days and constant gloom make many people feel tired and glum.

These feelings are often called the “blahs” or “The Blues” – like in the songs about trouble and heartache.

Because our bodies need light to create the chemicals in our brains that make us happy or energetic, we often feel sad and unhappy, more tired, and, sometimes, hopeless, in the darkest times of the year.

But not everyone is affected by the year-end blues. Some people live through the period with few problems while others are so sad they want to pull a blanket over their heads until springtime.

This last feeling is more formally termed seasonal affective disorder (SAD) – a form of mental illness caused by a lack of light.

Doctors say that the best way to survive the year-end months is by being involved in activities like exercise and spending more time with friends and family.

These keep you energized during the dark period. Joyful activities produce chemicals in the brain that make you happy and so help beat the blues.

Also, most religions have created something to help the (mostly western) world survive the blues.

It’s called Christmas, which began as a religious ceremony in much of the Northern world as a way to cheer up people in the darkest time of year. Now, it is almost a month-long celebration that makes us happier.

So have a merry, happy Christmas, everyone. And try to remain cheerful.

Definitions

disorder: a state of confusion
affected: acted upon; influenced
formally: in accordance with the rules of convention or etiquette
western: living in or originating from the west, in particular Europe or the United States


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Family Tree Tips: Using Ancestry Library Edition at the Vancouver Public Library

BY LORETTA HOUBEN

The avid family tree researcher knows about ancestry.com or ancestry.ca. This is a powerful database with billions of genealogy documents stored online, accessible through an expensive membership unless purchased on sale. But are you aware that the ancestry site can be researched at your local library?

I attended a class to learn how to do this at the Collingwood Library in December 2018. Deanna from the Central Branch taught the hour and a half session. There were nine spots available, but only three people showed up that evening. We each were provided with a laptop to work with, and this made it easy to follow along as Deanna projected what she was doing onto a large screen.

Anyone with a library card can sign in to the computers available at the library. The Central Branch in downtown Vancouver has several computers with blue tags on top that can directly log into the Ancestry Library edition.

First you sign into Firefox, then add your library number and pin. Click the accept button, and then click on Digital Library, then choose Online Resources. Enter Ancestry Library Edition, then click on Find, then Access Now.

You will be able to search the census, vitals, military, immigration and quick links with member trees, birth, marriage and death records. Ancestry Library Edition includes most of the information found in a paid membership site, but the content is not exactly the same and some documentation might require paid membership to access. If you would like to know what databases are not included, the Central Branch has a printout for this, and other helpful printouts on tips for searching the Library Edition.

Deanna helped us navigate through some of the search pages by using the name John Smith. The class learned how to narrow down the different fields. For example, we explored the 1921 census for Canada. A map was shown under the search button, and we could click on it and narrow the search to a specific province.

When you discover a document you’d like to save, you can send the document home by email or add the information to a USB stick. I tried emailing and it was very easy to do.

The tips I learned were that if you do a broad or narrow search on names you will get a better result. Sometimes it’s difficult to find your ancestor’s name on a census, as the census takers often made up the surnames!

Another neat trick I learned was that the hammer and wrench tool on the side of an image means that if you click on it, you can print, download, rotate the image right or left, or flip horizontally!

Part of the database for the Ancestry Library Edition includes the 1851 to 1921 Census of Canada, US Border crossings from the US to Canada from 1908 to 1935, Canada City and Area Directories from 1819 to 1906, Canada Obituary Collection 1898 to 2015, Canada Ocean Arrivals 1919 to 1924 and Canadian Passenger Lists 1865 to 1935. To see the full list, pick up a printout at the Central Branch. The United Kingdom, England and Wales, Northern Ireland, Europe and the USA are also included.

To find out when the next Ancestry Library Edition class will be offered, search events on Vancouver Public Library online. The next one is Tuesday, January 15, 2019, at 6:30 pm until 8 pm.

I highly recommend taking a class. It will be like opening Pandora’s Box, and you will be surprised and delighted. You may also disappear down a rabbit hole or two for a few hours. Best of all, it’s free!

Loretta Houben is the author of the Family Tree Tips series published in the Renfrew-Collingwood Community News.

Copyright 2018 Renfrew-Collingwood Community News