#35 Canada’s forgotten superstar

Aloha Wanderwell: The Border-Smashing, Record-Setting Life of the World’s Youngest Explorer Fredericton, New Brunswick: Goose Lane Editions, 2016 by Christian Fink-Jensen and Randolph Eustace-Walden $24.95  /  9780864928955 Reviewed by Bonnie Reilly Schmidt First published October 31, 2016 * Recently BC’s remarkable Aloha Wanderwell (born Idris Hall, 1906-1996) was officially recognized by the Guinness Book of…
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#30 Bob Bouchette, Everyman scribe

First published October 21, 2016 Long before Allan Fotheringham or Eric Nicol, Vancouver’s most popular columnist was Bob Bouchette. The prolific non-conformist Bob Bouchette wrote literally thousands of columns, usually around 700 words each, mostly for The Vancouver Sun. His six-part series on the abysmal conditions of Vancouver’s relief camps during the Depression helped generate…
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The entrance to the Fraser Canyon showing the town of Yale, by Althea Moody, 1891

#29 Althea Moody and All Hallows

ESSAY: Across the Bright Continent: Althea Moody, Missionary and Artist in Western Canada by Jennifer Iredale First published October 21, 2016 * Missionary, linguist, educator, and artist Althea Moody (1865-1930) spent twenty years (1891-1911) teaching at the Anglican Church’s All Hallows School in Yale. This school admitted both “Indian” and “White” girls, making it exceptional…
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#24 The Usain Bolt of 1954

The Bannister-Landy Miracle Mile at the Commonwealth Games in Vancouver in 1954 is the subject of perhaps the most famous photo ever taken in B.C., capturing that poignant moment when Landy looked over his shoulder as he was being passed by Bannister. The world’s first sub-four-minute mile, as well as the heartbreaking plight of champion…
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Hungarian road safety stamp, 1973

#21 Bumbling down the Danube

1973: Bumbling down the Blue Danube, and the Red Danube, with Cornelius Burke by Howard Macdonald Stewart first published October-November 2016 * The Ormsby Review is pleased to present a memoir by Howard Stewart, born in Powell River in 1952 and a long-term resident of Denman Island. When Stewart was twenty, in 1973, near the…
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Postcard of the smelter at Trail, postmarked 1944

#19 The Reddest Rose

ESSAY: The Reddest Rose: Trade Unionist Harvey Murphy by Ron Vurzuh First Published: September 22nd, 2016 * Harvey Murphy is not a name that echoes loudly throughout the annals of 20th-century British Columbia labour history. In fact, the tireless trade union organizer, negotiator, and active Communist Party of Canada (CPC) bureaucrat has almost disappeared from…
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#8 Ann Blades

First Published: April 12th, 2015 B.C.’s maven of children’s literature, Judith Saltman, has designated Ann Blades’ self-illustrated Mary of Mile 18 (1971) as the “breakthrough” illustrated title by a B.C. writer for children. The published-from-Montreal story is based on Blades’ experiences as a novice teacher in northern B.C. Her second book in 1973 was similarly…
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#1 Welcome to The Ormsby Review

Richard Mackie and BCBookLook are teaming up to provide a new vehicle for serious writing about B.C. The Ormsby Review will be named after Margaret Ormsby, the venerable historian who often met with Richard Mackie for tea and talk during her retirement near Vernon. First published September 16th, 2016 * Note: The Ormsby Review was…
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Alan Fry (1931-2018)

“I have said more than once in frustration that if I had the power of God, I would put everyone on earth into a huge pot and stir them up so thoroughly they would come out all the same colour, probably some shade of brown. And there wouldn’t be any whites to lord it over…
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#269: A plague on our houses

Joan Givner compares Kevin Chong’s novel, The Plague (Arsenal Pulp $19.95), set in Vancouver with Albert Camus work of the same name published seventy years earlier. In 1947, Albert Camus published La Peste (The Plague), sometimes called his “resistance novel.” Set in the Algerian coastal city of Oran, it channelled his experiences during the German…
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HISTORY: It takes one to know one

In All the Fine Young Eagles: In the Cockpit with Canada’s Second World War Fighter Pilots (Douglas & McIntyre $28.95) — an updated and expanded second edition — David Bashow takes the reader into the cockpit, as its subtitle promises, but it does much more than that. He seamlessly portrays Canada’s fighter war at the…
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The wisdom of Solomon

Joel Solomon has befriended founders of Greenpeace, Hollyhock, TIDES and Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream; and he has backed Mayor Gregor Robertson.

Surrey highlighted from 1850s to 1980s

In Surrey: A City of Stories, she has provided a well-researched, engaging, and inclusive historical overview of B.C.’s fast-growing city. Surrey: A City of Stories by K. Jane Watt Surrey: City of Surrey Heritage Services (Fenton Street Publishing), 2017. $25.00  /  9780973910919 Reviewed by Janet Mary Nicol * This visually rich book provides a satisfying…
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Georgia Straight endures & thrives

“Georgia Straight: A 50th Anniversary is a must-read for those interested in B.C. and Lower Mainland life in the last fifty years.” — Ron Dart