#30 Bob Bouchette, everyman scribe

Bob Bouchette’s last story, 1938 by Janet Nicol 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…
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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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#28 Rafe Mair’s fox-like rambles

First published Oct. 19, 2016 REVIEW: I Remember Horsebuns (North Saanich: Promontory Press, 2015) $14.95 978-1-987857-25-2 by Rafe Mair Reviewed by Ron Dart More fox than hedgehog   Isaiah Berlin, in his oft quoted, “The Hedgehog and the Fox: An Essay on Tolstoy’s View of History” (1953), took as his guiding theme a passage from Archilochus:…
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#27 Let them eat dirt

First published October 17, 2016 REVIEW Let Them Eat Dirt: Saving Our Children from an Oversanitized World by B. Brett Finlay and Marie-Claire Arrieta (Greystone) $19.95 reviewed by Mark Forsythe Our kids need dirt and face licks from the family dog. We live in an obsessively clean world with antibiotic soaps, cleansers, antibiotic drugs and…
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#26 Moby Doll revisited

REVIEW: The Killer Whale Who Changed the World By Mark Leiren-Young Vancouver: Greystone Books and the David Suzuki Institute, 2016. hc $29.95 Reviewed by Daniel Francis * My most memorable encounter with a killer whale occurred in 1987. Newly returned home after sixteen years living in eastern Canada, I thought it would be a good…
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#25 Remembering Jim Douglas

Jim Douglas called himself “just a book pedlar.” At age 15, he started in the book biz in Edinburgh delivering books to bookstores by peddling his bicycle. He became the most influential publishing presence in B.C. during the 1970s and early 1980s. Here [below], The Ormsby Review is pleased to provide an appreciation of Jim…
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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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#22 Haig-Brown & Al Purdy

“I want to catch some kind of Haig-Brown essence with the halo slightly askew.” — Al Purdy, 1974 by Ron Dart Al Purdy was one of Canada’s most prolific poets and writers, but when his many published books are listed, one volume, Cougar Hunter: A Memoir of Roderick Haig-Brown, is often omitted. Cougar Hunter has…
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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 in instalments, 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,…
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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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#18 The pianist and the knitter

First Published: September 19th, 2016 Ann Eriksson’s fifth novel The Performance (D&M $22.95) contrasts the worlds of elite classical piano with urban homelessness. Hana Knight, a privileged and talented young pianist, develops a tenuous friendship with Jacqueline, a homeless woman who collects empty bottles and cans to buy tickets to Hana’s concerts. Hana is blessed…
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#15 A Thruppence for your thoughts

First Published: April 27th, 2015 In 1944, Sylvia Thrupp expressed her belief that knowledge of local history is “essential for any one who professes to have a realistic approach to the political problems of the day.” Consequently UBC historian Sylvia L. Thrupp penned an article [below] in which she follows local history back to its…
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#14 BC Crimes Stories: Train Bomb

First Published: April 08th, 2015   This story is from the book, Dead Ends: BC Crime Stories (University of Regina Press $19.95), by journalist Paul Willcocks [in photo above]. It’s part of the University of Regina Press’s Canadian True Crime Series. Each book in this series contains 40 bizarre and sensational transgressions. 978-0-88977-348-6 * The…
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#13 BC Crime Stories: The Big Con

First Published: April 08th, 2015 * Everything about Ian Thow was big. The investment adviser’s house was a $5.5-million waterfront mansion outside Victoria, with four bedrooms and seven bathrooms. There was a dock on the Saanich Inlet for his yacht, a seventeen-metre Sea Ray that would sleep six, and two smaller boats. The seven-acre property…
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