Renfrew-Collingwood Community News

News stories from the Renfrew-Collingwood community in East Vancouver

Collingwood Corner: Prince Edward’s visit to Carleton school in 1919

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With the fate of Carleton school hanging in the balance (see “Carleton School: The fight has not been won,” Renfrew-Collingwood Community News, January 2021 issue), I thought it would be good to look back at a few unknown highlights in its long history.

HRH Prince of Wales speaking on the grounds of Sir Guy Carleton Elementary School on September 23, 1919. Photo from the Vancouver Archives

The Prince of Wales, who later became King Edward VIII and who abdicated in December 1936, took a two-month tour of Canada in 1919. He ended with a visit to Vancouver in September 1919, before heading to Victoria.

He loved the West and bought a ranch in Alberta, which he kept until 1962. On his visit here, which included a dinner and dance downtown on September 22, a visit to Hastings Mill and Stanley Park, and a trip to New Westminster, he stopped at Carleton School, where thousands of people thronged the huge school yard which fronts Kingsway to hear him.

A large crowd gathered to hear HRH Prince of Wales fills Carleton’s school grounds. Photo from Vancouver Archives

Prince Edward was extremely popular, and he loved the crowds so much, his right hand was nearly shaken off. His doctor advised him to desist from hand shaking on his second day here in order to avoid injury.

Why the Prince wound up making a speech at Carleton and what he spoke about is a mystery. I’ve searched the Vancouver library archives and read about his visit at online, but didn’t discover anything further.

Loretta Houben enjoys solving puzzling mysteries in the Collingwood area, where she has lived for 55 years.

Copyright 2021 Renfrew-Collingwood Community News

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