ADVENTURES OF VANCOUVER NEWSPAPERS- 1892-1926.

D.A. MCGREGOR

BC HISTORICAL Quarterly April 1946

EDITOR’S NOTE. —The following article forms a sequel to that by Miss Bessie Lamb, entitled “From ‘Tickler’ to ‘Telegram’: Notes on Early Vancouver Newspapers,” that appeared in the July 1945, issue of this Quarterly. Miss Lamb’s account ended with the demise of the Daily Telegram, and Mr. McGregor picks up the threads at that point.

When the Daily Telegram suspended publication in the fall of 1892[1] Vancouver was left with two daily newspapers, the News-Advertiser in the morning field and the Vancouver Daily World in the evening. The World was owned and edited by J. C. McLagan and was published from the building on Homer Street, near Pender, now occupied by the News-Herald. The News-Advertiser was owned and edited by F. L. Carter-Cotton and had its offices on the Pender and Cambie Street lot now occupied by the editorial and mechanical departments of the Vancouver Daily Province.

Judged by any modern standards, neither paper was a very good newspaper. There was a lack of balance about them, a lack of variety, and a lack of the features which are considered necessary to-day to attract and maintain reader interest. There was very little world news in either of them, and the local news ran quite largely to politics with appallingly long reports of political meetings and City Council meetings and sessions of the Legislature and, quite often, of Court proceedings. Party lines were not drawn in Provincial politics at the time, but the two news papers contrived to take opposite sides on most issues and to make a fight of it. In Federal politics, the News-Advertiser was staunchly Conservative while the World was Liberal, but not consistently so.

 The two newspapers were hardly in competition, seeing that each had a field so clearly its own, and there was no outside rivalry to cloud the clear journalistic skies. All the same, for one of the newspapers there was worry enough and it arose within its own domestic circle. When Carter-Cotton assumed control of the News-Advertiser in 1887 he had as partner R. W. Gordon, a Scotsman of some means who had not been long in Canada[2].  The two men were also partners in the San Juan Lime Company, which owned a valuable piece of land fronting on Burrard Inlet, near where the sugar refinery stands. In 1888 Gordon went off to the Old Country, leaving Cotton in charge of his interests. When he returned several years later he found that the water-front lot no longer belonged to the San Juan Lime Company, and that 20,000 shares of News-Advertiser stock had been sold. He claimed $15,000 from his partner, but Cotton could not pay, and Gordon entered suit against him. When the case came to trial Cotton refused to tell to whom he had sold the stock, and Mr. Justice Drake sentenced him to three. months in jail for contempt of Court.

The jail was in New Westminster and thither Cotton was taken, and from his cell there he conducted his newspaper for several weeks. Each morning some member of the newspaper staff had to visit the jail to receive the publisher’s instructions, and usually it was the junior reporter who had to go.[3]

 Finally, as a result of an out-of-Court arrangement, Cotton was released, but not before the Provincial election of 1894 had taken place. Cotton had been elected to the Legislature from Vancouver in 1890, along with J. W. Home, one of his particular political enemies, and was now a candidate again. Despite the handicap which kept him behind the bars during most of the election campaign he was re-elected, his associates, this time, being Adolphus Williams and Robert McPherson. His plight played quite a part in the election, but the incarcerated editor received very little sympathy from the press in either Vancouver or Victoria.[4]

So far as is known, Cotton never gave any one the information he refused to give the Court. His story was that part of the Inlet lot was required for trackage for the new sugar refinery, to which the city had donated a site by way of bonus, and that he had entered into a bargain with the city and the Canadian Pacific Railway through which he was to get title to another water-front lot. In the end he did not get title because the C.P.R. itself did not get title. Meanwhile the bank from which he and his partner had borrowed substantial sums was pressing for a reduction of the loan. He had to sell some of the News Advertiser shares, and as there was no ready market for such securities was compelled to appeal to friends. These had accommodated him, but on the understanding that he would not reveal their identity[5].

 For six years the News-Advertiser and the World had the daily newspaper field to themselves. Their circulation was small —about 1,500 each[6] —but the city was small, too. The 1891 census gave the population as 13,685, but the boosters, of course, claimed more, some of them going even to 20,000. During these six years no rival threatened the peace of mind of either publisher. Light, a weekly journal of political comment started in the spring of 1894, changed its name to the Mainlander in the following September, and in March 1895, came out as the B.C. Budget. There were rumours from time to time that its publishers intended to issue an evening daily, but the Mainlander scotched these with a denial. The World, it said, “as a purveyor of news is exceptionally efficient, even if its editorial notions are exceptionally eccentric.”[7] John A. Fulton and N. C. Schou, ex-alderman, were the moving spirits in the Mainlander, while William Baillie, William Wilson, and T. H. Hawson were the men behind the B.C. Budget.[8]

 All was not, however, as serene as it seemed. While the World and News-Advertiser were congratulating themselves that all was safe and secure, a new competitor was trying its wings in Victoria. This was the Province, whose first number was offered to the public on March 3, 1894, just three weeks before Light began to shine in Vancouver. The Province was a weekly journal built somewhat on the lines of Labouchere’s Truth, with some features adapted from the Spectator. “In the strict sense of the word,” it said in a later issue, “the Province is not a news paper. It is intended to be a journal of critical comment and a vehicle for the expression of independent thought.”[9] 

It was a small paper, 9 by 12 inches in size. Its founder was Hewitt Bostock; its first editor A. H. Scaife, who, when he was contributing fiction, as he frequently did, used the pseudonym “Kim Bàlir.” There were three directors—Mr. Scaife, Mr. Bostock, and Archer Martin, a rising Victoria lawyer. Later Mr. Scaife and Mr. Martin retired from the board and Walter Nichol and Ian Coltart took their places.

The Province explained its mission in its salutatory editorial:

We have entered the lists prepared and determined to win our way to public approval, if necessary through many encounters. We venture to hope that we may in some measure be successful in filling a want which to our own and other minds has been apparent for some time past. No weekly journal, precisely on the lines laid down by our paper, is published on this side of the Rocky Mountains. We think that there is room, and further that there is need for such a publication. The outcome of our opinion is the present issue of THE PROVINCE.

 Untrammeled as we are by ties of party, uninfluenced by vested or other interests, bound to no special denomination, we trust that our pages may prove of general utility, and offer a medium for the ventilation of opinions, from whatever source they may emanate, provided only that they are put forward with a view to the advancement of British Columbia. There is however one point upon which we desire that there should be no mistake as to our views. We are opposed to protection in every shape and form, and we advocate the adoption of free trade, or as near an approach to it as may be consistent with the requirements of revenue on a basis of the greatest economy.’[10]

A little later the young periodical amplified its attitude on the tariff in this wise: —

 British Columbia is truly a patient ass, so far as the tariff is concerned, for it bears uncomplainingly the heavy burden of a high impost from which it receives no benefit, but only ill, receiving in return an occasional carrot in the shape of a niggardly grant from Ottawa, doled out with, a sparing hand. . . . But to ask a British Columbian to vote for the tariff because it is going to benefit some hot-house monopolist two thousand miles away, is like asking a man to sand-bag his mother in order that the undertaker in the next street may swell his bank account from the profits of the funeral.[11]

 Mr. Hewitt Bostock, founder of the Province, was a young Englishman of means. He was born in 1864, graduated in 1885 from Trinity College, Cambridge, was called to the bar at Lincoln’s Inn, and came to British Columbia in 1888.[12] He bought a ranch at Monte Creek, near Kamloops, and returned to England to be married. By 1893 he was back in British Columbia, and the following year started the Province. His experience in the Interior and on the Coast, had convinced him that there were various abuses to be righted, and he offered himself to help right them. He decided to go into politics for the sake of the service he might render and thought a newspaper might help him. Hence the Province.

The Province did help, too It started out by making itself a readable weekly journal. It had ‘departments dealing, with such topics as politics, the Courts, books, music and drama, men and affairs. Gradually it developed correspondence from near and far—from Vancouver, Winnipeg, Ottawa, Quebec, London, and Paris. There were budgets of news and comment, too, from Vancouver Island points and Interior towns. Interesting letters were published, and particular attention was paid to mining.

Though the Province had no politics it took a stand on all sorts of local and national issues. It adopted the slogan, “Free Trade and Direct Taxation,” and nailed this motto to its mast head[13].  By free trade it said it “meant exactly that and not the partial free trade in operation in England.” No legislature, it added, “had as yet adopted the one common sense and practical method of raising revenue, viz, by direct taxation.”

Quite early in its career the Province organized an expedition to explore Vancouver Island from Carmanah Point southward. The expedition failed to complete its journey the first year, but went back reinforced a second time and pushed its way through. The Province published the diary of the trip.

 It took an active part in Victoria municipal elections, calling for a specific statement of a definite civic policy to be laid down in black and white. There should be an end, it insisted, to “vague and indefinite assurances of general present good intentions to be later followed by particular failures …[14]

 It opposed the guarantee of bonds for the Nakusp & Slocan Railway.[15] In a series of articles it suggested a trade policy for British Columbia.[16] It took strong exception to the Dominion Government’s policy on representation for the West. The West, it said, had been practically without representation in Parliament since 1878. The Government had used it as a storehouse for needy partisans, most of the members from western constituencies being merely echoes of Ottawa. Also, there had been no proper cabinet representation.[17]

 The paper showed an interest in harbour improvements, parks, playing fields, boulevards, fishing regulations, voters lists, architecture, mail service, freight rates, cheaper gas. It devoted a lot of space to cycling, campaigned for good roads, and published maps of the environs of Victoria and Vancouver. As early as June 1897, it was asking why British Columbia did not have a university.[18]

When the authorities were remiss, it criticized them; when the citizen neglected his duties as in failing to shovel snow, it did the same for him. It took Canon Beanlands, of Christ Church Cathedral, to task for preaching a political sermon.[19] It found fault with the ladies of Victoria when they “plumped” on election day for two women candidates for the school board.[20] It called the attention of the Government to the streets of Rossland which, it said, were in a disgraceful the condition.[21]

 It protested that it was time steamer Charmer was replaced on the Victoria—Vancouver run by a vessel better suited to the requirements of modern civilization.[22]  Later it complained of the insanitary conditions on the Charmer: “There is surely enough water between here and Vancouver to keep a steamer clean.”[23]

The Province took an active part in the Federal by-election in Victoria in January 1896, supporting William Templeman, Liberal, against Col. Prior, Conservative. The issue was the Manitoba School question, and the campaign was notable for the appearance for the first time on the Pacific Coast of Hon. Joseph Martin, who, before the century was out, was to cut quite a figure in British Columbia politics.

 In the general election of June 1896, Mr. Bostock, who ran as a Liberal, was elected in Yale-Cariboo. The victory was considered a resounding one, for Cariboo had gone Conservative through nine previous elections and Yale through eight. It was also the beginning of Mr. Bostock’s political career. In that election of 1896 every British Columbia constituency, save Victoria, returned Liberal members. Victoria elected Col. E. G. Prior and Thomas Earle. Mr. Templeman suffered defeat for the third time. In Winnipeg, Joseph Martin, who had championed British Columbia in the previous Parliament, also went down to defeat, and it was this circumstance, coupled with his failure to get a post in the Laurier cabinet, that turned him to British Columbia.

 After the election the Province spoke critically of the Dominion Franchise Act, pointing out that on June 23 there had been only two qualified voters in Trail, which had a population of 1,000 to 1,200, and only seventeen in Rossland, which had over 4,000 people.[24]

It took exception to the practice of putting men who held prominent official positions on the directorates or advisory boards of private corporations, and named specifically Hon. F. G Vernon, Agent-General in London, Premier Turner, and Hon. C. E. Pooley, President of the Council.[25] It criticized the action of Hon. Edgar Dewdney, Lieutenant-Governor, in going to London to help F. Augustus Heinze raise money to build the Columbia & Western Railway.[26]

Vancouver, a raw town with many growing pains, received weekly attention from the Province. If there was anything in the Mainland city like a musicale or dramatic entertainment that merited mention, the event was duly reported with encouragement and discriminating praise. But there were frequent prods, too. For instance: “When is the City Council of Vancouver going to put Georgia Street in proper order? This sounds rather like the problem, ‘What are the wild waves saying?’ both being apparently incapable of solution.”[27]

On another occasion, the Vancouver correspondent took exception to the “miserable little houses,” the “architectural monstrosities,” the “row of mustard-pots” on Georgia Hill. “At the bottom is a pepper-box (of dirty white shade), then come the mustard-pots, of colour violent enough to knock you down, save at the top of the row where the condiment has evidently become a trifle dry and consequently of a duller hue; truly ‘every prospect pleases’ and only this cruet-stand (and such like enormities) are vile! “[28]

There were two Province companies at this time, the one which owned and operated the Province, known as “The Province Limited Liability,” and “The Province Publishing Company,” which operated job printing plants in both Victoria and Vancouver. Early in 1897, the Vancouver World published a letter casting reflections on the Province Publishing Company, stating that the Company was discharging its white workmen and replacing them with cheap Japanese labour. The Company issued a writ for libel, the World expressed regrets and published a denial of the truth of the charge, and the suit was withdrawn.[29]

 Starting from zero, the Province built circulation rapidly. By May 25, 1895, it had a circulation of 1,450. By May 23, 1896, the circulation was 3,508. By November 6, 1897, it was possible to announce that the weekly had a larger circulation than any other paper, daily or weekly, published in British Columbia. [30]

Late in 1896, Arthur Hodgkin Scaife, who had been editor of the Province since its inception, and who had taken some part in Victoria’s civic affairs as well, suffered a break-down in health and, during his absence, Clive Phillipps-Wolley took charge.[31] Mr. Scaife returned for a few months, but finally it was decided that he should go on a trip to England, and on October 2 it was announced that, during Mr. Scaife’s absence, the editorial chair would be filled by Mr. W. C. Nichol, late of the Hamilton Herald. Thus, a new era began for the little weekly.

Walter Cameron Nichol was 31 at the time. He had been born in Ontario, son of a small-town lawyer and grandson of Col. Robert Nichol, who had been quartermaster-general of militia through the war of 1812.[32] He had served his time on Hamilton, London, and Toronto papers, and had been one of the founders of Saturday Night, working with E. E. Shepherd. He was thoroughly trained in newspaper work, had a quick, intelligent mind, and was master of a tantalizing, incisive style.

Mr. Nichol had come West, as so many thousands of others had done, hoping to make his fortune. From the East there seemed several possibilities: the Kootenay country, in which there was great mining activity and excitement; the Yukon, just opening up and with a strong appeal to the young and adventurous; and the Coast cities. Mr. Nichol tried the Kootenays first; had a look at Rossland and passed it up; spent some months at Kaslo working on the Kootenaian, and came on to the Coast. Before he left the East he had received from the Canadian Pacific Railway the promise of financial assistance if he should find some spot in which to found or buy into a newspaper. His job at Victoria gave him an opportunity to look round.

On the Province he took hold at once and the weekly became a brighter though perhaps less dignified journal than it had been under the scholarly Mr. Scaife. Mr. Scaife was sometimes severe in his criticisms, but always mature, always the gentleman. Mr. Nichol was not infrequently the small boy with a pea-shooter. Usually he hit lightly, but he hit repeatedly with a puckish persistence not untouched with malice. He flicked until he created a wound, then kept on flicking until his victim writhed and fumed.

He liked to goad J. C. McLagan, of the Vancouver World. Mr. McLagan had hoped to get a senatorship, but the prize had gone to William Templeman of the Victoria Times, and the World, as a consequence, was a bit cold toward the Laurier Government. The Province was sympathetic. It called Mr. McLagan “Senator” anyway and made out that Laurier had “jilted” him. The World spoke of the Province as “an obscure and very puerile weekly publication in Victoria,” and Mr. Nichol replied: —

…when Senator McLagan, of the esteemed Vancouver World, smites The Province hip and thigh with the editorial jawbone it is distressing indeed. . .. Does he suppose for one moment that the Liberals of this Province are prepared to bow down to the World, its man servants, its maid servants, its ox and its—Senator McLagan?[33]

The next week he went after the Senator again:

 . . The Province must confess to a very genuine admiration for him both as a man and as a journalist, and especially as a journalist. The Senator always appeals to The Province as being a combination of the Walters family, Henry Labouchere, Sir George Newnes, Ltd., James Gordon Bennett, C. P. Woolley, the late George Brown, and the later Charles A. Dana rolled into one. What can one do other than place him on a pedestal and -worship him from afar with looks of tremulous ecstasy and feelings that almost compel tears, even if he does rush around like a mad bull at the sight of the red flag.[34]

But Mr. Nichol did not always mock. Sometimes he lashed out savagely:

But why should the Senator plume himself as he does on being a life-long Liberal? It is not so very long ago that he was supporting the Conservatives tooth and nail through a Dominion campaign and everybody knows that he is willing to black the Legislature’s boots as long as Premier Turner and his associates are willing to-toss him odd coppers for the job.[35]

Captain Wolley was treated more urbanely but no less effectively:

 Speaking of versatility, Capt. Clive Phillipps-Wolley seems to have a full share of it. What with acting as an expert witness in prosecutions for criminal libel, refereeing mounted sword contests and flooding the market with novels and poems of marked ability, the Captain must find his time fairly well occupied, to say nothing of his having to keep a watchful eye and nose on the drains and cesspits of the Province. It is not every man who knows how to go blithely through life scattering the buds and blossoms of soulful poesy with one hand and chloride of lime with the other. Ibid.  [36]

The reference was to Captain Wolley’s position as sanitary inspector for the Province.

Mr. Nichol had a flair for brief and vivid description and was fond of affixing nicknames and using them till they stuck. He referred to the Colonist frequently as “the Daily Dunsmuir.”[37] Hon. G. B. Martin was “G. Bologna Martin” at first, afterwards “Chinese Martin.” Hon. C. E. Pooley was “Christian Endeavor Pooley.” There were references in the Province to “the blighting influence of the Dunsmuirs.” The passenger coaches of the Esquimalt & Nanaimo Railway were described as “vestibuled box cars.”[38]

Mr. Nichol had not been much more than a month with the Province before he involved himself and his associates in a suit for criminal libel which ran on for a considerable time, and became famous in the legal annals of the Province. He revived Mr. Scaife’s old charge that Hon. J. H. Turner, the Premier, and Hon. C. E. Pooley—Mr. Nichol liked to refer to him as “the equally Hon. C. E. Pooley “—had been using their official positions for the purpose of inducing the investing public of Great Britain to buy mining stocks. But he went considerably further than Mr. Scaife had ventured to go. In a lengthy article he charged that the two ministers were trading on their portfolios for personal gain; that they were “posing as decoy ducks to bring the dollars into the game bags of the needy promoters hiding behind the weeds”; that either they were making the Government of British Columbia subservient to their own private interests, and the interests of their company associates, or they were obtaining money from the British public under false pretenses. Either alternative, he said, was sufficiently discredit able to damn them for ever.[39] 

The article was a deliberate challenge and the ministers took it up, laying a charge, of criminal libel against the three directors, Mr. Bostock, Mr. Nichol, and Mr. Ian Coltart, and against Senator Templeman, publisher of the Victoria Times, which had reprinted the article.

The case came up in Police Court before Magistrate Farquhar Macrae for preliminary hearing, and Archer Martin, who was appearing for Mr. Nichol and Mr. Coltart, tried to put the complainants on the witness stand. Mr. Robert Cassidy, who appeared for Messrs. Turner and Pooley, objected and the magistrate sustained him, committing the accused for trial. When Mr. Bostock’s case was called later, Mr. Martin created quite a sensation by throwing up his brief because, he said, he could get no justice for his client in that Court.[40]

Magistrate Macrae had, before him in this one case, had he only known it, four young men who were to make great names for themselves and fill important positions in Canada. Mr. Templeman was to be for nine years a member of the Laurier Government; Mr. Bostock was to become a member of the King Government, and Speaker of the Senate; Mr. Martin was to become Chief Justice of British Columbia; and Mr. Nichol Lieutenant-Governor.

The object of the libel suit, apparently, was not so much to convict the accused as to stop comment on the charges which the Province had made against the two ministers and to prevent discussion in the Legislature, which was about to meet. Discussion was prevented in the Legislature, but, though the case was subjudice for months, Mr. Nichol found the means of discussing it obliquely whenever he felt inclined to do so. On one occasion he draped the front page of the Province in black, and announced in lugubrious language that the Hon. J. H. Turner “and the equally Hon. C. E. Pooley” had died of broken hearts because Magistrate Macrae and Mr. Cassidy, their counsel, would not allow them to tell in Court what they knew about the rewards that come to politicians when they lend or sell their names to mining stock promoters.

“Drape the world in black,” ran the dirge, “and let the dread signals fluttering from the doorposts tell their solemn story to the winds that sigh a requiem as they pass. . ..“ And so on for a column and a half of mockery till the page ended. Then on page 2 it was recorded that, just as the Province was going to press, word had come that the men were not dead. And this gave an opportunity for more quick slashes and sly stabs.[41]

It was in an atmosphere of high comedy such as this that the decision was made to transfer the Province to Vancouver and turn it into a daily. There were good reasons for the move. Mr. Bostock had been losing money on the weekly and was growing tired of meeting bills. He already had a building and a printing business in Vancouver and could publish a daily newspaper without much additional expenditure except for a newspaper press. There was a growing excitement in the Yukon, and a developing trade in Vancouver, with the promise of more trade and more population. Obviously, if a daily was to be started, Vancouver was the place.

 The venture was interesting to Mr. Bostock; it promised to help him cut his losses, and he realized that a daily in Vancouver could probably help him more politically than a weekly in Victoria. It was interesting to Mr. Nichol, too. This was the opportunity he had envisioned when he came West. And he must have thrilled a little in anticipation as he thought of the many battles he would have at short range with his irascible friend, “Senator” McLagan.

Mr. Bostock and Mr. Nichol no doubt had an understanding that the latter should have an opportunity to buy into the property they were founding, and that agreement was implemented within eighteen months. The first number of the daily was issued on March 26, 1898, from the plant on Hastings Street of the B.C. Printing and Engraving Corporation. The building still stands on the south side of the street, midway between Abbott and Cambie. The corporation still exists, too. It is now the B.C. Printing and Lithographing Company, located at Homer and Smithe.

There is always excitement when a new publication is launched and Volume 1, Number 1, is sent out to take its chances with the fickle public. What thought goes into its writing, into its com position, into its dress! What hopes are attached to it! what dreads! How will the public take it? What will, other publications say? How will the competitors react? Will it survive a month—six months—a year? Will it make a fortune or will it be a flop? The odds against the survival of a baby periodical may be appreciated when it is stated that something, in the neighbourhood of 300 such infants have seen the light in Vancouver since the charter was granted sixty years ago. There are a few men still about who were present at the birth of the Vancouver Daily Province, and though forty-eight years have passed. since then, they can still recall something of the excitement. Everybody present at the cradle had something to do; everybody wanted to do something. Mr. Nichol, in spite of his years of experience in “putting the paper to, bed,” was all nerves—so the story runs—and when the foreman, W. B. Hughes, thrust a roll of proofs into his hand and bade him read them, he was too excited to concentrate, and made such a mess of the job that the foreman was disgusted and called George Perry, temporarily in charge of circulation, to revise the poor work of the boss. History does not say anything of the language Mr. Hughes used as he transferred the proofs, but one may guess. Bernard McEvoy, who joined the Province staff a few years later, wrote on one occasion of the unspoken profanity and malediction he sometimes found filling Mr. Hughes’ dark eyes. One could travel far without finding a more kindly heart than that of Bill Hughes. But patience and equanimity were not among his virtues. He believed in speaking his mind, and Mr. McEvoy must have been the only one about the office to whom his maledictions were unspoken.

For a year or so the Daily Province experimented with formats and presses. It first came out as a seven-column four-page sheet, printed on a fiat-bed press that would not print more than four pages at a time. The original intention was to publish only four pages, with eight pages on Saturday; but too much advertising offered to pursue that policy and, after a few weeks, a Goss press capable of printing four or eight pages was installed, and soon a Potter press, which was sold to the Seattle Star about 1910, when two Duplex, Battle Creek tubular presses were installed.

For fourteen years after the advent of the Province the three Vancouver dailies ran along unchallenged by any formidable rival; the News-Advertiser appearing each morning except Monday, the World and the Province coming out every evening except Sunday. In Victoria, where the Colonist has for many years published a Sunday morning edition but has taken Monday off, the blank Monday morning never seems to worry any one. But it did worry Vancouver, and it was an attempt to fill the blank that brought the Vancouver Daily Ledger into the world.

During most of 1902 the Ledger was issued as a weekly, coming out on Mondays before noon. Its editor and manager was Dr. F. J. Reynolds, an American by birth and a veterinary surgeon who had practised in several Interior mining camps, and had for a time published the Ashcroft Journal. On December 29, 1902, the Ledger became a morning daily. In the first number the publisher announced that the newspaper would give general support to the Liberal-Conservative party and would pay particular attention to the mining industry. It carried a good deal of local news but not much telegraph. George Perry, who served the Greater Vancouver Water Board for many years as secretary, and has now retired, was managing editor, and other members of the staff were Bruce Bennett and Lawrence McRae, afterwards Sir Richard McBride’s private secretary.

John Hendry, moving spirit in the old Hastings Mill, was Reynolds’ financial backer, and was represented on the director ate by Thomas Wilson, his confidential secretary. Wilson’s Scottish conscience compelled him to do thoroughly any job he under took, and this involved a constraint upon the publisher of the Ledger which that gentleman did not like. By some means or other he succeeded in ousting Wilson from the directorate and moved the newspaper plant from the basement of the Flack Block, where it had been installed at the outset, to a building on the west side of Granville Street a little south of Pender. There, one day, he was visited by Hendry’s lawyer and a bailiff. The door was padlocked, and the Ledger was through. The last number in the British Columbia Archives is that of March 31, 1903.

From Vancouver, Dr. Reynolds went to Ladysmith where he published the Ladysmith Ledger. Later he started the Nanaimo Herald, carried it on for a time and sold it, about 1910, to J. S. H. Matson, of the Victoria Colonist.

The Ledger ran as a daily only a little over three months. Then Vancouver settled back to its three dailies again. The Province had, in the interval, established itself quite firmly. It got its first foothold by cutting subscription rates. The World and the News-Advertiser had been selling at a dollar a month. The Province started out at ten cents a week, and the World immediately cut its rate to that figure. “See,” jeered the Province, “because the Province has come to you, you can now get two newspapers for less than you formerly paid for one.”

The man in charge of the Province’s circulation during most of the first seven years was Louis D. Taylor, who was also for a time business manager and secretary of the Company. “I built that paper up,” said Mr. Taylor not long ago, in a reminiscent mood. “I helped to make it pay.”

The Province ran for eighteen months under the ownership of Mr. Bostock and the editorship of Mr. Nichol. Then the latter achieved his ambition. He was allowed to buy into the property. On September 30, 1899,[42] the business was incorporated as the Vancouver Printing and Publishing Company, with a capital of $100,000, divided into 1,000 shares. Mr. Bostock transferred the business and all its assets to the Company, and advanced enough money to purchase the newspaper press and other plant from the B.C. Printing and Engraving Corporation. For this he received 496 paid-up shares in the Company and agreed to sell half of these to Mr. Nichol for $10,325. The other shares, save for a few qualifying shares to directors and potential directors, were unissued. On February 1, 1900, L. D. Taylor was appointed secretary of the Company.

Though the newspaper built up circulation and made money ‘from the start, it appears at first to have had some trouble with financing. In its first thirteen months it had three different bankers, coming finally to the Bank of Montreal. Mr. Bostock had other interests which were more important to him than the Province. He was in Parliament. He had his ranch at Ducks, and the printing and engraving business in Vancouver. He needed money, and this was Mr. Nichol’s opportunity. He made a trip to Montreal in the late summer of 1901 and saw Thomas Shaughnessy. The promise made several years before was kept, and the Canadian Pacific Railway, through the Royal Trust Company, furnished enough money to buy out the Bostock interest in the newspaper. Shares of the Company were issued to the trust company as collateral for the loan, and Mr. Nichol was given an option to purchase them any time within seven years. He purchased them in less time than that and became sole owner of the newspaper property. It is interesting to note that the witness to Mr. Nichol’s signature on the agreement was George McLaren Brown, an old friend of Hamilton days who had already risen high in the service and confidence of the Canadian Pacific and was to rise still higher.

Vancouver’s three newspapers in the last couple of years of the old century and the first three or four of the new formed an interesting study in contrasts. They were as unlike one another as the three men who dominated them—three men of quite different backgrounds, who had come to the publisher’s desk along quite different routes. F. L. Carter-Cotton, publisher of the oldest paper, the News Advertiser, was, an Englishman who had had some experience in the diplomatic service and in India before coming to this continent and had reached British Columbia by way of the United States. He had lived in no other part of Canada. He was a scholarly man, well-read in the English classics. He knew finance and wrote in a polished and vigorous style consciously modelled on that of the English essayists. His attitude to problems was judicial. He liked to discuss questions of public interest, balancing the pros and cons, tipping the scales a little to his own side, perhaps, but was rarely violently partisan in any controversy. His weakness was that he had come into newspaper work at the top and had had no experience of reporting or selecting or editing news. His great interest was politics, and the best news story to him was a detailed report of a session of the Legislature or of a public meeting. The report had to be detailed and accurate or it was no good.

One of his old reporters used to tell of being censured by Mr. Cotton because he had not ended a report of a City Council session with the sentence, “The meeting then adjourned.” “Is the meeting still in session?” asked the old Chief, bringing the copy to the reporter’s desk. “No, of course not,” answered the reporter. “Then you should say so,” was the tart reply.

Another story relates to the economy practised in the News Advertiser office “With exemplary economy he took all the disused envelopes in the office, pasted them out in long strips like rolls of ancient papyrus, and on the backs wrote his editorials in a hand like copperplate engraving.”[43] 

In such things as sport, social chit-chat, and the light and frivolous things which newspapers depend upon to-day to attract readers, Mr. Cotton had no interest. It used to be said of the News-Advertiser about the turn of the century, when Harry Cotton was city editor and Sheldon Williams telegraph editor, that the only way to get a local news story a front-page position was to take it out to Hastings or New Westminster and have it wired in. When the steamer Islander went down in 1901 with some fifty passengers and crew, largely British Columbians, aboard, Mr. Cotton, who had the story exclusively, did not think it worth an “extra,” and his business manager left him in protest.

J.C. McLagan, one of the founders of the World and its principal owner, was a Scotsman by birth. He had come to Canada with his family when 15 and had been apprenticed shortly after to the printing trade in the office of the Sentinel at Woodstock, Ontario. When he was 23, he was foreman in the office of the Guelph Advertiser, and the next year he and James Innes, afterwards Member of Parliament for South Wellington, bought the Guelph Mercury, a weekly. The partners carried on the Mercury for seven years, and then Mr. McLagan withdrew and went into other business. He sat for several years on the Guelph City Council and suffered the loss of four of his children in nine days in a diphtheria epidemic. He was in British Columbia in 1881 but found nothing interesting and returned to Winnipeg. He was part-owner of the Winnipeg Sun for a time, then with the Free Press. In the fall of 1883 he was back in British Columbia again, in the real-estate business at Victoria, but doing some writing on the side for eastern newspapers, notably the Toronto Globe.[44]

When the first number of the Victoria Times was published on June 9, 1884, the manager was Thomas Gardiner. On August 25 Mr. Gardiner announced that, owing to the continued severe affection of his eyesight, he was compelled to desist from active duties and that “Mr. J. C. McLagan, a gentleman of rare journalistic ability and of great experience,” would take the management until further notice.

 Mr. McLagan’s “great experience,” it will be noted from this sketch, had been attained chiefly as a foreman printer, and his real experience as a journalist began when he joined the Victoria Times. He remained with the Times for four years, then disposed of his interests, and in September 1888, began the publication of the Vancouver Daily World. While he was in Winnipeg his wife died in Guelph, and shortly after he became manager of the Victoria Times he married Sara Anne Maclure, member of a well-known Matsqui family.[45]

 An able newspaperman who worked in Vancouver during practically all of Mr. McLagan’s years with the World, and for long after, has given his opinion of the venture:

 Room for the World there was, and as time passed and population increased it attained a reasonable measure of prosperity. But the World under Mr. McLaglan’s management failed utterly to grasp its opportunity. As a newspaper it was even less enterprising and far less conscientious than the News-Advertiser, and in comparison, with those of the morning paper its editorial utterances, on which it relied for much of its influence, were utterly puerile.[46]

Walter Nichol, of the Province, was born in Canada, went to Canadian schools, grew up in a Canadian atmosphere, learned his trade on Canadian newspapers. He had a sharp nose for news, a good idea of what people wanted to read, and a desire to give them what they wanted. He was interested in politics only in so far as politics was news. He was interested in politicians because they were figures in the public eye, and people knew them and wished to read about them. But he had decided notions as to how much politics, and how much about politicians, the people would stand for. He had an idea that his readers had other interests and set out to create demands and satisfy them. In his first editorial in the Daily Province he told his readers frankly that his newspaper was to be, “first and last, a business enterprise.” It would endeavour to print the news of the day brightly and attractively, and to “take the world philosophically and good-naturedly as it finds it.” He made no declaration of principles, set himself no elaborate programme.[47]

 In his paper he devoted a good deal of space to sports. He developed the social page. He published special features about Vancouver churches, Vancouver people, ships that plied the Coast waters. He had a number of clever young writers and gave them considerable scope. He published all the news he could get, but he wanted it written brightly and lightly. If there was any humour in an incident, he wanted that humour brought out. The space he saved by cutting down long reports he devoted to stories by George Ade and Mr. Dooley and Ella Wheeler Wilcox and others. He could write light prose himself, and light verse, and for a time did so. While Cotton and McLagan were always pontificating, or thundering, or arguing, Nichol preferred to entertain. For a considerable time, there was a poker story in the paper every few days. He told his readers he had no desire to influence their decisions or their actions. When a problem arose which he thought was of public interest, he would elucidate it if he could and leave the public to do what they would about it. He had a fondness for the indirect approach and used several devices to attain it. At first the Province reported the morning “cawcus” of the Haro Street crows, which had a habit of discussing civic and Provincial questions. It was this “cawcus” that first suggested that Joseph Martin be asked to be a candidate in Vancouver for legislative honours.[48]  A short column on the front page, “What the Dickie Bird Says,” gave bits of wisdom in brief compass. It was probably the work of J. R. Burde, the newspaper’s first city editor. The most successful of the devices was the False Creek Record, an imaginary newspaper conducted by Shad Farron, and from which the Province made a practice of quoting. Shad had a mild and ready but penetrating wit, and an urbane impertinence that provoked laughter but did not offend. His “With Worsnop to Steveston,” a war correspondent’s story of the dispatch of the militia to keep order in a fishermen’s strike, was a tour de force that old-timers still talk about after forty-six years. The False Creek Record claimed to be the only newspaper that knew things about people that they did not know themselves. So, its information was always exclusive.

But the Province did not always follow oblique courses. It could be direct enough and persistent enough when it chose. There is no parallel in British Columbia journalism to the venom and ridicule with which it pursued Hon. G. B. Martin, Commissioner of Land and Works in the Turner Government, until he was defeated in the election of 1898. In a speech in the Legislature, Mr. Martin had stated that he had employed all sorts of men on his ranch but that the best he had ever had was a Chinaman who had worked for $15 a month. That was all that was needed. The Province dubbed the minister “Chinese Martin,” and took after him full cry with such barbs as these:

 “Chinese Martin ought to run as member for Chinatown.”

 “They say Hon. Chinese Martin means to wear a pigtail, now.”

 “If Hon. Chinese Martin gets elected in North Yale it will be by the Chinese vote.”

“Everybody knows where to place Chinese Martin, now. He has given the world a queue.”

“If that $500 poll tax is clapped on the Chinese, where is Hon. G. B. Martin going to be at?”

“They say there is no truth in the rumor that Hon. G. B. Martin is about to open a Chinese laundry.”

“The Province owes an apology to its readers. It forgot to say anything about G. B. Martin on Saturday.”

 

Mr. Nichol’s somewhat frivolous attitude toward politics and politicians as contrasted with the serious attitude adopted by his competitors is demonstrated in a report from the Legislature in one of the early numbers of his daily—that of April 2, 1898. It is given complete, heading and all:

WINDY WALKEM TALKS

His Breezy Words Blew through Booth’s Whiskers and Ruffled the Draperies of the Plaster Couchee Couchee Dancers in the Legislature, Yesterday.

Victoria, April 1 (special) —This was Wa1kem Day in the local Legislature. The hon. member for South Nanaimo furnished solid fun for nearly two hours. He succeeded splendidly in maintaining his reputation as an irresponsible talker, beslavered the Government with his nauseating praise and finally presented his masters with numerous rhetorical bouquets and a certificate of character.[49]

 The years at the end of the century were years of political turmoil in British Columbia, and there was exciting political news. The Yukon was opening up, and there were stories of hardship and adventure and tragedy and of mines fabulously rich. There was development in the Kootenay and Okanagan, in the Cariboo and Cassiar. Someone always had a plan to build a railway from somewhere to somewhere else. For much of their news the Vancouver newspapers were thrown on their own resources. The telegraph service was costly and meagre, but that did not mean that Vancouver was cut off from the rest of the world. The city was at a cross-roads on a new world high way, and world travellers were constantly passing through it. Travellers from the East, ships from the Orient, ships from the North, all brought stories and Vancouver reporters were under pressure to get them. So they interviewed everybody above decks and below, and the interview, because of Vancouver newspapers’ necessities, took on a new importance in Vancouver.[50]

 In the matter of circulation, the Province rapidly outstripped its two rivals. It was not a month old before it was challenging the News-Advertiser and World to produce their circulation figures and allow them to be examined by a committee of leading business-men.[51][52] Before the year was up it was claiming a circulation greater than that of its two competitors combined. In an affidavit, Mr. Nichol gave the circulation as in excess of 4,300, and the South African War added nearly 2,000 more.

Williams’ Directory for 1899 gives the personnel operating the three daily papers as follows:

 News-Advertiser:

Managing Editor, Hon. F. L. Carter-Cotton.

City Editor, A. H. Cotton.

Business Manager, C. F. Cotton.

Circulation Manager, E. Whitaker.

Collector, F. Hodgson.

 Reporters, R. S. Williams, H. P. Sands, B. Sands.

Foreman, John Powell.

Night Foreman, T. Spink.

Composing Room: E. L. Woodruff, compositor; William Pond, Blackwood and Gus Dunn, operators, and Joseph Bonneau, machinist.

 Pressman, G. H. Pound.

World:

Manager, J. C. McLagan, Sr.

Sec.-Treas., J. C. McLagan, Jr.

Editor, J. M. O’Brien. City Editor, S. R. Robb.

Journalists, R. Brown, F. A. Hicks, T. F. Paterson.

Accountant, W. A. Gillis.

Sporting Editor, Mat Peard.

Clerk, G. W. Bayley.

Operators, George Bartley, D. E. VanDyke, E. Whitworth.

Pressman, William Bayley.

Asst.-Pressman, Charles Bayley.

Apprentice, William Weiss.

 

Province:

Editor, W. C. Nichol.

Subscription Manager, L. D. Taylor.

City Editor, J. R. Burde.

Advertising, B. F. Dickens.

Reporters: T. M. Bowerman, A. M. Burns, Carlyle Ellis.

 Accountant, W. A. Cox.

Clerks, R. Doherty, C. Sawers.

Foreman Composing Room, W. B. Hughes.

Compositors, R. Langdale, A. C. Campbell, W. H. Lewis, C. S. Camp bell, J. H. Watkins, J. H. Browne.

Press Room: J. Howard,

Foreman, B. Cook, and Frank McCanna, stereotyper.

 

 In the spring of 1901 J. C. McLagan died. He had been in poor health for some years, but had worked indefatigably. When he could no longer go to the office he conducted the business as well as he could from his bed at home. After his death the paper was conducted by Mrs. McLagan and her brother, Fred Maclure. For some years L. D. Taylor had been handling the Province circulation on a contract basis. In 1905 his contract expired, and when it was not renewed he and B. F. Dickens, who had been advertising manager of the Province some years before, made an offer for the World and it was accepted. Victor W. Odlurn, who had returned not long before after serving in the South African War, was a junior partner. He did not put any money into the business, however, and withdrew before long.

Indeed, nobody put up much money because nobody had much to put up. The purchase price was $65,000, of which $35,000 was represented by a chattel mortgage held by Hon. James Sutherland, of Woodstock, Ontario. The partners bought the property on a shoestring. They even bought a new press, agreeing to pay $5,000 on it when the press was installed and running. The chattel mortgage was due, and Mr. Taylor thought he ought to go East to see about it, but there was no money in the treasury for travelling expenses. “L. D.” was not the man to allow a little thing like that to baffle him. He went to the Canadian Pacific Railway. He had a new press coming from New York, he said. Would the Company like the business of transporting it? The Company would. So “L. D.” made an offer. If the C.P.R. would give him transportation to Woodstock and return, he would have the press shipped C.P.R. The bargain was struck, and the ingenious publisher saw Mr. Sutherland, who agreed to extend the mortgage on condition that the World would support the Laurier Government.[53]  That did not worry Mr. Taylor. He was a Laurier man anyway and supporting the Liberal Government would put him on the opposite side of the fence to the Province, which, Liberal at first, had swung into the Conservative camp not long before when Richard McBride became Premier.

Thus began a newspaper rivalry which ran for a full ten years, and gave rise in its course to much excitement and no little bitterness, and many an amusing incident. Mr. Taylor, who had been secretary of the Province, was succeeded in that position by R. G. Nichol, and on the latter’s death in 1909, by F. J. Burd, who, after coming down from the Yukon in 1901, had spent two years with the News-Advertiser, and then joined the Province as business manager. The circulation of the World at the time of the sale was 3,000, and that of the Province 8,000.

Mr. Taylor’s first editor was the redoubtable D. W. Higgins, who had founded the Victoria Chronicle more than forty years before, had later owned the Colonist, and used it to fight his old enemy, Amor de Cosmos, and had presided over the Legislature in the time of the Turner Government.[54] Later the editorial work was shared by J. Edward Norcross, who had come to the World from Nanaimo, by R. H. Hill, afterwards a war correspondent in the First World War, and by T. B. Cockburn. The newspaper needed money, and some came in from the Jonathan Miller estate, and with it came F. J. Miller, who acted as secretary-treasurer, and his sister, Mrs. A. H. Berry, who was assistant manager. Mrs. Berry afterwards married Mr. Taylor.

The rivalry of the two evening papers was as keen as it is possible to imagine. Not only did the World set out deliberately to oust the Province from its leading position, and the Province to hold all it had won, but there was a clash of personalities between the two publishers. In spite of the fact that they had worked together more or less closely for seven years, neither liked the other.

 It was well known in the city that the money with which Mr. Nichol had bought out Mr. Bostock had come to him from the Canadian Pacific, and there were rumours to the effect that the C.P.R. was the real owner of the Province and dominated its policies. The C.P.R. was not very popular in Vancouver at the time, for it had had a long and costly lawsuit with the city, which had gone to the Privy Council, and had cost the city the loss of all its street-ends on Burrard Inlet from Burrard Street to Gore Avenue. The Province was friendly to the C.P.R., but the rail way had no financial interest in the newspaper, and Mr. Taylor, who had been secretary of the Vancouver Printing and Publishing Company, knew this. All the same, the World gave currency to the rumours, and Mr. Nichol, who had pretty much given up writing by this time, sat down and himself penned a scorching editorial in which he said a number of blunt and bitter things about his rival. The result was a libel suit, vigorously prosecuted and stubbornly defended. The jury found that the Province’s statements were not libellous and assessed costs of $900 against Mr. Taylor. The Province had won a victory, but it did not like it very much, for the legal costs were very high. That experience, coupled with his earlier experience in the suit Premier Turner and Hon. C. E. Pooley had prosecuted against him, soured the Province publisher on libel suits, and he rarely went into Court afterwards. His staff was enjoined to be particularly careful and when, through error or inadvertence, actionable statements were made, as they are made on every newspaper occasionally, they were almost invariably settled out of Court.

 The libel suit formed the subject of an editorial in an early number of the B.C. Saturday Sunset, a weekly journal which had been started in the summer of 1907 by John P. McConnell and Richard S. Ford, his brother-in-law. As it sums up the two contestants rather neatly, it may be quoted:

Now that the cruel libel war is over and both the Province and the World claim victory, I trust that those two eminent journals will forget their spat and settle down to the business of giving the public all the news and of illuminating the atmosphere of British Columbia with trenchant editorial utterances of which each is so capable.

Both are good papers, and in this respect,  Vancouver is better equipped than any other city of its size in Canada. Each has a constituency that swears by it, and all that either needs to do is to keep on publishing all the news and making for itself a reputation for fairness and reliability to be and become all that any newspaper man with ideals could wish it to be.[55] 

There was a good deal of money afloat in Vancouver during the boom days and, as real-estate advertising was on a lavish scale, the newspapers reaped a harvest. With the profits that came to them they built up their properties. They enlarged their staffs, they improved their plants, they bought features and services, they used more and better pictures.

At first the only news service available was that provided by the two telegraph companies. It was rather meagre at best, and had to be supplemented by special dispatches, which were costly. In 1907, the western dailies joined to form a co-operative service, the Western Associated Press, which was much better, and, three years later, the Canadian Press was founded, a co-operative service, to which all the dailies in Canada contributed and from which they drew. This service, like the Western Associated Press before it, was a subscriber to the Associated Press service of the United States. It is still serving Canadian newspapers and has, with the years, been greatly expanded. Papers which wished to be individual had still, of course, to depend upon special dispatches or subscribe to supplementary services like the United Press, which Mr. Taylor secured for the World, or the International News Service, which the Province used for a time.

Mr. Taylor’s political ambitions were both an advantage to him and a handicap. They kept him constantly in the public eye in contrast to Mr. Nichol, who preferred to remain in the back ground. But they offered his rival numerous targets to shoot at, which he would not have had if “L. D.” had confined himself to operating a newspaper. While he was still in charge of the Province’s circulation Mr. Taylor had been elected Licence Commissioner and had a plan for the reform of the liquor business which the Province opposed as too extreme. He ran for alderman but was defeated, and in 1910 announced that he was a candidate for the mayor’s chair.

 “Don’t you do it, L. D.,” warned a candid friend who met the candidate on the street just before the announcement of his candidacy. “The man who controls a Vancouver newspaper of good circulation has more influence than any mayor—more even than the Premier.” But “L. D.” would not listen. He was a candidate and he won, and from that he went on. Sixteen times he ran for mayor, and eight times he was elected, serving eleven years in all. In 1910 Mr. Cotton sold the News-Advertiser to J. S. H. Matson, owner of the Victoria Colonist. The price was a boom price, $500,000. Mr. Matson placed the management in the hands of John Nelson, former manager of the Victoria Times, and brought from the East as editor Dr. S. D. Scott, who had been editor of the St. John Sun for many years and had represented various Maritime newspapers in the Press Gallery at Ottawa.

 It was the custom of the day in Vancouver, as in other places, for new newspapers to spring up at election times, shine brightly for a time, then, when the voting was over, fade quickly out of sight. Such a paper was the Morning Guardian, started in Vancouver in 1907 by Joseph Martin, with the assistance of Sam Gothard, who had, not long before, been publisher of a short-lived labour paper, the Trades Unionist, and was afterwards to publish Truth.

Mr. Martin had been Attorney-General of Manitoba and had sat in the House of Commons. After his defeat in Winnipeg in 1896 he had come to British Columbia and, after a clash with the benchers of the Law Society, had started to practise law and interest himself in Provincial politics. The Province had encouraged him to become a candidate in Vancouver in the election of 1898, printing among other pleas this editorial note: “To Mr. Joseph Martin, Dear Sir: Please run. Yours truly, The People.”[56]

The Province had supported him in the election, and he had been elected with three other city members, F. L. Carter-Cotton, Robert McPherson, and C. E. Tisdall. The Turner Government had been defeated at this election and the Semlin Government had succeeded. Mr. Martin and Mr. Cotton had both been taken into the cabinet, the former as Attorney-General and the latter as Minister of Finance. The two, however, had proven unable to agree, and Mr. Martin had been ousted and had gone into opposition. When the Semlin Government was dismissed by Lieutenant-Governor T. R. E. Maclnnis, in February 1900, Mr. Martin had been asked to form a ministry, and had done so over the protests of the Legislature. In the election of 1900 he had been re-elected in Vancouver, while his enemy, Mr. Cotton, had been defeated. His ministry, however, had been defeated after a little over three months in office. Mr. Martin remained in the Legislature until it was dissolved in 1903. He never returned to the House after that, but did not lose his desire to do so, and the Morning Guardian was his bid for election. It did not succeed, and soon petered out.

Mr. Martin started another paper, the Evening Journal, in 1915, after returning to Vancouver from his adventure into British politics. George M. Murray was his editor. Martin was a disillusioned and rather pathetic old man by this time, but one in whom the fires of ambition still burned. There was no reason for the Journal except that Joseph Martin wished to assert himself. Vancouver had grown and changed, however. It didn’t know Joe Martin any more, and showed no enthusiasm for his newspaper.

The Evening Journal carried on for some time, building up a considerable circulation but losing money steadily. At last—so the story runs—Mr. Martin sought the assistance of B. T. Rogers, principal owner of the B.C. Sugar Refining Company. Mr. Rogers was interested. He admired the Journal, he said, and would be glad to buy the World and let Mr. Martin operate the two newspapers together. There was only one consideration. Mr. Rogers would, of course, have to have full say as to the paper’s policy. [57]

One can imagine “Fighting Joe,” old as he then was, agreeing to any such proposition as that. One can also imagine the explosion that ended the interview. Another short-lived news paper about this time was the Evening Times, managed by J. C. Charlesworth.

But the Times and the Journal are carrying us ahead of our story. A number of things had, in the meantime, happened in Vancouver. The boom had collapsed, and with it had gone the easy money from real-estate advertising. The World had felt itself cramped in its quarters on Homer Street and had built itself a new and elaborate home at Pender and Beatty, over looking the old Great Northern station. The war had come, throwing new responsibilities on newspapers, and offering them vast opportunities for service to their public. Also, a new luminary, the Sun, had risen on the newspaper horizon.

The collapse of the boom had found various Vancouver businesses overextended, the World among them. The new building had been a costly affair and there were several mortgages on it, the principal being held by James J. Hill, of the Great Northern Railway. The investment did not turn out at all well. The newspaper was committed to payments amounting to $18,000 a year for rent.[58] It had hoped to clear enough from renting offices and loft space to meet its bills, but the war and the collapse of the boom quenched its hopes. The bondholders pressed for the sale of the World’s assets, and the Court issued an order to that effect. The purchaser was John Nelson, who had been manager of the News-Advertiser for the previous five years.

But buying the assets of the World and getting them were two different things. The World Building Company had a bill against the World for arrears of rent, and the new owners were afraid that the building company would hold the machinery until its account was met. They had no intention of meeting the account and wished to hasten the establishment of the World in its new quarters as much as possible. So they decided to take out as much of the plant as they could during a quiet week-end, while no one was looking. They had not bought the press, but the office furniture, the stereotyping plant, the linotypes, and the various forms and fonts and miscellaneous gear in a newspaper composing-room were theirs—if they could get them. The removal, as it turned out, was quite spectacular. Somehow, the news got abroad, and a crowd gathered. L. D. Taylor, who had no intention of losing his paper if he could avoid it, hired an electrician to put the freight elevator out of business. But the new owners had an electrician in their party; the lift was repaired, and the work went on.[59] The plant was removed to the building on the north-east corner of Richards and Hastings streets, where Woolworth’s store now stands. Later, the World moved to Richards and Pender streets, its last home.

The World’s difficulties were the Province’s opportunities, and it did not hesitate to take advantage of them. The war was Canada’s war and there was an instant and insistent demand for news and more news from the fighting fronts. The World, with its troubles, lacked the funds to buy services and special stories and pictures. The Province had the money and spent it. The result was that the Province built up a great circulation of its own and cut seriously into that of its rival’s.

The Sun, like the Province, was a development from a weekly. The B.C. Saturday Sunset has already been mentioned. It was started in mid-June 1907 and was issued first from a basement on Hastings Street, later moving to good offices on the west side of Seymour Street, just south of Pender. Its moving spirit was John P. McConnell, who had come west from Toronto some years before, riding through the mountains with John Innes, the artist.[60]  The paper was frankly modelled on Saturday Night, on which McConnell had been employed, and its pungent, frontpage comment, written by McConnell, was signed “Bruce,” as that in Saturday Night was signed “Don.” E. E. Shepherd, founder of Saturday Night, is said to have suggested the pseudonym as McConnell had been born in Bruce County.

John McConnell was a romantic. He liked the West and its picturesque, outdoor people. He gloried in the great open spaces and liked to write about them. He had a ready pen and a rich vocabulary, plentifully larded with terms of abuse. He was a writer rather than a manager or editor, but he made the Saturday Sunset an interesting and readable weekly newspaper with various attractive departments. Chiefly, however, the weekly was a journal of comment, and its great attraction was Bruce’s own uninhibited comment on page 1.

The Saturday Sunset was a success from the first and, besides their newspaper, the partners built up a substantial job-printing business. So, they were quite prosperous. Within a year their circulation was 5,000.[61] The Sunset claimed to have no political affiliations, and obviously it had none, for it boxed the compass in its political comment. The year of its founding was the year of the anti-Oriental riots in Vancouver, and the Sunset was accused by the Province of inciting those who took the law into their own hands. Almost at the outset Bruce launched two campaigns, one for a white British Columbia, opposing particularly the influx of the Japanese, the other for pure milk, supporting Dr. Underhill, the city medical health officer.

 The Legislature had passed the “Natal Act” unanimously, and Lieutenant-Governor Dunsmuir, who employed Orientals in his Vancouver Island coal mines, had refused his assent. “If ever the will of the people . . . were brazenly set at defiance,” Bruce asserted, “it is being done by Lieutenant-Governor Dunsmuir.”[62] He attacked the McBride Government for “its placid acquiescence to Dunsmuir rule.”[63]  He didn’t even spare the Laurier Government. In refusing to modify the agreement with Japan, “Sir Wilfrid,” he said, “is recreant to his duty as Premier of Canada . . . and is prepared to drive to the verge of sedition a Province which has always been among the most loyal in the British Empire.”[64]

Of the Province, which was by no means pro-Oriental, but which did not follow Bruce in his double-barrelled policy of white immigration and Oriental exclusion, Bruce said:

The Vancouver Daily Province stands for nothing. Instead of being a leader of public opinion, a journal with courage, stamina and virility, it is a servile, spineless laggard behind popular opinion, a jellified adapter to the conditions in which it and its alleged proprietor may find themselves.”[65] 

A week later it published a cartoon by Norman H. Hawkins showing a jumping-jack hanging on a fence. The limbs were labelled “Vancouver Daily Province,” and the face more or less resembled that of W. C. Nichol. The caption read: “Pertinent Query: If a jumping-jack sits on a fence, which side will it fall on when the strings are pulled? “[66]

The Province replied, and Bruce came down on it again, repeating the old rumours about subserviency to the C.P.R. The Province, he said, was “a rubber-spined, napkin-carrying, tipseeking, knee-bending advocate . . . of the C.P.R. willing to swallow a diet of railroad spikes and wheel-grease.” It was a “journalistic jumping-jack and weather cock, with its ear to the ground or a wet finger in the air” to measure “the strength and direction of coming winds and trims its sails accordingly.”[67] 

But the Province was not alone in being spattered with the vitriol from Bruce’s pen. Here is another example of his forth right style:

Magistrate Williams has given another exhibition of his usual fatheaded method of dealing out justice in the Police Court. A boy who comes before this pompous misfit of the bench is almost certain to be railroaded into jail on the most trivial charge. The latest example of his perverted ideas of enforcing law and order is the sentence of a sixteen-year-old boy to six months in prison for misappropriating $1.85. The boy should never have been brought up in a Police Court to begin with. He might as well have appeared before a dragon as before Magistrate Williams, whose dealing with juvenile cases is notorious for eccentricity and disproportionate sentences. Magistrate Williams appears to lack even an elemental understanding of a boy’s nature.[68]

Bruce met W. L. Mackenzie King when the latter, as Deputy Minister of Labour, came to Vancouver in the fall of 1907 to investigate the circumstances surrounding the anti-Oriental riots. The two had some disagreements, and at first Bruce was highly critical; but later he came to think highly of the young administrator and wrote in his paper:

One of the outstanding figures in Canadian affairs today is W. L. Mackenzie King, C.M.G. No young man in public office in this country has behind him a more distinguished record of useful public service than he has. He has been entrusted with many delicate and difficult tasks, all of which he has discharged with credit to himself and to the advantage of the interests involved, and of the country. As deputy minister of labor Mr. King has done more, perhaps, than any other man in Canada to bring about a good understanding between employer and employee and to settle disputes which have arisen from time to time, since his incumbency. I do not recall a single instance of dissatisfaction with his methods of handling disputes, either on the part of employer or employee.

What we have seen of his work in Vancouver has commanded a growing admiration and respect for his ability, fairness, and his ability to seize the salient facts in the Asiatic problem, not only from the point of view of this Province, but from that of the empire. It is regrettable that Sir Wilfrid Laurier has not always availed himself of the experience and grasp of the subject which Mr. King possesses.[69] 

Saturday Sunset devoted a great deal of space to the discussion of railway problems, then stirring British Columbia. It paid serious attention to the developing fruit industry of the Okanagan, and to the municipal growing pains of Vancouver. Ethel Cody Stoddard, who, under the pseudonym “Lady Van,” conducted a column of miscellany “About Things in General,” wrote strongly against the limp building regulations and lack of zoning which permitted the erection anywhere of those long rows of cabins which were Vancouver’s first apartment-houses. That was twenty years before Vancouver had a zoning by-law.[70]

 In the Dominion election of 1911 the Liberal party received a terrible beating in British Columbia, every candidate in the Province being defeated. In the post-mortem it was decided that the reason for this disaster was lack of adequate newspaper support. So, it was resolved that Liberalism must have a daily paper on which it could depend. The evening field in Vancouver was already occupied by the World and the Province, both of which had substantial circulations. The News-Advertiser’s circulation had never been large, so it was felt there was an opportunity to shoulder into the morning field. The first issue of the new daily was published on February 12, 1912. The birthday was a Monday, and the Sun rose auspiciously to fill Vancouver’s Monday morning blank. The first issue tells the story of the newspaper’s birth:

Last spring a number of Liberals in this city took steps looking toward the establishment of a daily newspaper. The necessity for a paper to consistently advocate the principles of Liberalism had been making itself felt for some time. There was no paper in the city that could be considered as consistently Liberal and it was felt that the first step toward rehabilitating the party in British Columbia should be the establishment of a daily news paper. Efforts were made to buy out one of the existing newspapers, but it was found that newspapers, like Hastings Street real estate, had grown immensely in value during the last few years and that the cost of acquiring one of the two papers which ought [to) have been turned into a Liberal organ would have been prohibitive, even had they been for sale.

Overtures were made to the owners of the Saturday Sunset to establish a morning newspaper and in due course an agreement was reached. A company [The Burrard Publishing Company, Limited] was organized and stock was sold. . .. The printing business established and owned by Messrs. Ford and McConnell was taken over strictly on its merits as a business proposition and it was at that time earning twelve per cent, on its valuation, with every promise of a considerable increase in the immediate future.[71]

The Ford-McConnell plant contained practically all the machinery needed for publishing a daily newspaper, except a newspaper press. It went into the company, it is understood, at a valuation of $80,000. A press was found in San Francisco. It had been through the fire but had been rehabilitated and was adequate. The directorate of the new company consisted of the following:

 President—F. C. Wade, K.C.

Vice-president—E. B. McMaster.

Directors—Richard S. Ford, John P. McConnell, T. F. Paterson, George E. McCrossan, and G. F. Risteen.

  1. S. Ford was named general manager and J. P. McConnell editor. John Henry Gerrie was brought from New York to act as managing editor. John B. Kerr, an old-time newspaperman who had been city editor of the News-Advertiser and for many years editorial writer on the Province, was engaged to write editorials. Arthur M. Burns was the first city editor, but died not long after the start, and was succeeded by Ned Sheppard. Bert Coleman looked after marine; Wilbur Bryan after sports; John Linkie was telegraph editor; Bradford Hyer financial editor. Pollough Pogue wrote feature stories and assisted with the editorial page. Graham Hyde drew cartoons and was succeeded by John Innes. William Carswell was advertising manager. Altogether, it was a very capable and well-trained staff.

There is an interesting story of the way the Sun got its name. McConnell had worked on the Toronto Globe in his younger days and, remembering its influence in Ontario, was ambitious to make his paper the Globe of the Pacific Coast. J. C. McLagan had had the same hope in starting the World twenty-four years before. McConnell thought it would be a good idea to call the new paper the Vancouver Globe. Thus, it would carry prestige from the start. Others suggested other names. To a working member of the staff who heard some of the discussion they all seemed equally bad. They had no meaning. “You have the Sunset,” he said. “You are going to have a morning paper. Why not call it the Morning Sun?” So, the Sun it was. It did not become the Morning Sun in name for another twelve years.

The Sun started out as a very good newspaper with great enthusiasm among the owners and the members of the staff. It did not have much advertising at the beginning, and so had plenty of space for news and features. It had good writers, and these made a very good selection, and turned out a readable and interesting journal. Had the paper been started earlier, when business was better, it might have had greater success. But the boom had passed its height in 1912, and financing became more and more difficult. Then came the war, which reduced revenues and increased expenses.

 In 1914 the Burrard Publishing Company was placed in the hands of a trustee under a mortgage, and early in 1915 the mortgage was foreclosed. Ford and McConnell were out. In July 1915, the B.C. Saturday Sunset, which the trustee had carried on for six months, suspended. In its valedictory it said:

Let it not be thought, however, that we feel disappointed in the real work that has been accomplished by the Saturday Sunset. By sincere criticism we believe that it has righted many wrongs and has served a useful purpose in many ways. It has been essentially a British Columbia weekly and has given the people outside of the Province much valuable information about British Columbia. It has ever been on the side of justice and right. Were it not for the fact that the publishers have another medium for carrying on the same work, the Saturday Sunset would remain in the field. Today the daily newspaper carries its message into every home and it is a message straight from the battlefront. That is what the people demand above all things.[72]

 So the Sunset set, and left the Sun to carry on. Ford went into business in Vancouver, importing goods from the Orient. McConnell bought the Western Call, a weekly which H. H. Stevens and Professor E. Odium had been carrying on for six and a half years, and at the beginning of 1916 began the publication of J.P.’s Weekly. He thought he could re-establish himself and perhaps create another Sunset; but something was missing. Either the old fire was not there or the demand was absent. J.P.’s Weekly sputtered along for nine months and then went out, and “J. P.” himself went placer-mining in the Cariboo.

 Among other things in his active life, he had tried his hand at politics, running as a Liberal in Yale in the Provincial election of 1912—the same election in which L. D. Taylor contested Rossland, also as a Liberal. Both were badly beaten. The contest in Yale is significant only for one of Bruce’s snappy bits of repartee. Hon. W. J. Bowser, then Attorney-General in the McBride cabinet, was making a speaking tour of the Province, and invited “J. P.” to meet him on the platform at Hope and discuss public issues. “J. P.” replied that he was too hoarse with much speaking to meet the Attorney-General. Bowser accepted the excuse but, wishing to make a bit of capital out of it if he could, turned to the gallery of reporters accompanying him and asked, “Can’t one of you fellows write me a verse about Bruce and his throat?” The prize went to Jim Morton of the News-Advertiser, who produced this gem which Bowser read from the platform:

 Because his words are loud and coarse,

Poor Bruce’s throat is sore and hoarse.

And now, it seems, his Sun has set

Although the World is wobbling yet.

 

Bruce flared up instantly when the verse was brought to his attention. “Bowser’s poetry is like his politics and his administration,” he said. “They are all equally rotten.”[73]

The syndicate which took control of the Sun after the foreclosure of the mortgage was headed by F. C. Wade. Mr. Wade was a lawyer who had made good in the Yukon and, like so many Yukoners, had come to Vancouver to live. He had an important practice in the city, but his interests were wider than law. He was deep in politics. He was well-read in legal lore, history, and the English classics, and liked to write. He wrote very well, too, in a balanced style, but his articles were too detailed, too lengthy, too diffuse, too completely documented for these modern days, when men must read and run.

Early in 1916 Sir Richard McBride, who had been Premier for nearly twelve years, retired from the premiership and went to England as Agent-General. Hon. W. J. Bowser, who succeeded him, undertook to recast the Government and appointed two new ministers—A. C. Flummerfelt of Victoria, as Minister of Finance, and C. E. Tisdall of Vancouver, as Minister of Public Works. Mr. Tisdall was already a member of the Legislature but, under the law of the time, had to return to his constituents for re-endorsement. At the by-election he was opposed by M. A. Macdonald, afterwards Chief Justice of the Province. Mr. Wade and the Sun took an active part in the contest:

The present contest is not purely political. It is a critical period in the history of a great Province and will have a great deal to do with the future prosperity of British Columbia. Mr. Macdonald is young and has a splendid record. Mr. Tisdall, older and perhaps more versed in so-called practical politics, has an even longer record, but it is one of abysmal silence whenever a government policy came under criticism. Throughout his political life Mr. Tisdall has been a hanger-on, following his leaders with dog-like fidelity that is more pathetic than amusing. Without individuality of any kind, he has been a pliable instrument in the hands of men who did not scruple to use him. Mr. Macdonald is a man; Mr. Tisdall merely a well-regulated machine.[74] 73

This by-election was merely a preliminary canter for Mr. Wade. He helped defeat Mr. Tisdall, and in the general election which followed later in the year he played a major part in defeating the Bowser Government and in bringing the Brewster Government into power., Of his effort in this connection, General V. W. Odium was later to say:

But it was the F. C. Wade pen that made The Sun become a power. Steeped in Canadian history and constitutional lore and gifted with a ready and musical flow of language, Mr. Wade proved himself the outstanding British Columbia editorial writer of his time. . . Mr. Wade, like Mr. Carter-Cotton, was a scholar; but he did not have the Carter-Cotton reticence. The Sun under Mr. Wade was largely responsible for destroying public confidence in the Bowser Conservative government and for bringing about the changes which took place in 1916.[75]

 The Bowser Government was destroyed, but the victory was won at great cost to the victor. While the campaign lasted, and the party needed its support, the Sun had to be kept going and Mr. Wade, who was already deeply committed, not only borrowed heavily for the Sun but issued his own personal checks to meet pressing bills. When the smoke of the campaign cleared away, he was some $30,000 behind. He hoped that in some way the new Liberal Government would be able to reimburse him for his losses. But no way was found. Premier Brewster died after less than sixteen months in office, and Hon. John Oliver, who succeeded, admitted the value of Mr. Wade’s services but not the obligation of the Government to reimburse him for his losses. He did do something, however. He appointed Mr. Wade Agent General in London. Mr. William Braid, who knew Mr. Wade’s losses and the cause for which they had been incurred, left his old friend $30,000 in his will. The legacy, however, was seized by Mr. Wade’s creditors, and not a dollar of it ever reached the man it was intended to benefit.[76]

In London, Mr. Wade became a very good Agent-General. He threw himself into the duties of his office with great enthusiasm. He had a wide and detailed knowledge of British Columbia, its resources, its beauties, and its needs, and it was his pleasure to make these known. In his spare time, he found relaxation hunting up the haunts of famous Londoners of by-gone days like Dr. Samuel Johnson and Charles Dickens and, on occasion, telling Londoners things they did not know about London. Strangely enough, he and Premier Oliver never seemed to hit it off. “Honest John” would never communicate with his Agent General directly, but would instruct his secretary to write: “I am directed to write you as follows: “

Mr. Wade was a man of strong personality, great ability, and sound scholarship. One wonders what he would have made of himself had he been content to concentrate his efforts in any one of the three fields in which he played notable parts, the law, politics, and journalism. When Mr. Wade relinquished control of the Sun in 1917, Mr. R. J. Cromie stepped into his shoes. Mr. Cromie entered the newspaper field as the confidential secretary of Colonel J. W. Stewart. Colonel Stewart was a famous railroad-builder, member of the firm of Foley, Welch & Stewart. He had had important contracts on the Canadian Northern Railway in British Columbia, and his firm had the contract for the construction of the Pacific Great Eastern. Just what his relations with the Sun were has never been disclosed. The Sun, practically from its inception, needed money. Colonel Stewart had money and, as his contracts were the subject of public investigation he also needed, or thought he needed, a newspaper that would be friendly. At any rate, he put a good deal of money into the Sun and eventually took the paper over, placing Mr. Cromie in charge. Then he went off to the First World War, in which he served with considerable distinction, and returned a Major-General. How the newspaper passed permanently into the possession of Mr. Cromie is another of the mysteries of Vancouver newspaperdom.

 Mr. Cromie knew nothing of the newspaper business when he took hold of the Sun, but he set himself to learn and he learned rapidly. He was a great reader and had an infinite curiosity. He liked to travel and talk to people and ask questions. He was fond of making experiments. He was never afraid of making mistakes or of getting his feet muddied. He was somewhat erratic at first and had a procession of managing editors. But he learned something from each and at last knew what he could do and what he wanted to do. He upset the somewhat comfortable traditions that had developed in Vancouver newspaper circles. The Sun under F. C. Wade had been aggressive enough politically. Under Mr. Cromie it adopted aggressive news policies and sales policies as well. It put up a strong fight for circulation and advertising. It posed as the champion of British Columbia against what it called selfish eastern interests. It took up the fight for more equitable freight rates, for better rail connection with the Interior. Mr. Cromie had little interest in playing the game of party politics, but he had a deep and consistent interest in building up his newspaper, and no scruples about using politics and parties to do it.

On September 1, 1917, the Sun took over the News-Advertiser, paying J. S. H. Matson only $100,000 for it, it was said. At one stroke Mr. Cromie did two good pieces of business. He eliminated a rival, which, though not very aggressive at the time, might any day become an aggressive rival; and he added that rival’s circulation to his own. The circulation of the News Advertiser at the time was 8,000, that claimed by the Sun 10,000. On the morning of the amalgamation the Sun had this to say of its new venture:

In the past the two journals have been lavish beyond their means in supplying the public demand for news. Owing to the war and the greatly increased demand for information from all parts of the World, the tax on them has been much greater than ever before. In addition to supplying the news, the two journals have in their editorial utterances appealed to two separate and distinct schools of thought, sometimes, doubtless, adopting views which could not but be regarded as extreme. Now that the Sun has undertaken to serve all classes, it will endeavor more than ever before to present only those views which will commend themselves to an intelligent public. At the same time, nothing but an aggressive policy can be promised, or need be expected.[77] 

The extinction of the News-Advertiser left Vancouver with three daily newspapers. The Sun, which had adopted the name The Vancouver Sun with which is incorporated the News Advertiser, was published every morning, Sunday included. The Province, owned by W. C. Nichol, and with Frank Burd as business manager and Roy Brown as editor, was issued six days in the week in the evening. The World, under the management of John Nelson, and with J. E. Norcross as editor, was also issued in the evening. When Mr. Cromie took over the Sun, Pollough Pogue, who had been Mr. Wade’s assistant, remained as editorial writer. He was succeeded by Frank McNamara and he, in turn, by Harold Weir. After J. B. Kerr left the Province for the Sun in 1912, the Province editorials were written by L. W. Makovski until the disappearance of the News-Advertiser. Then Dr. S. D. Scott transferred his activities to the Province and continued there until his death. Dr. Scott conducted also a weekly column of miscellany, “The Week-End,” in which he discussed men, affairs, and literature. He had begun this on the News-Advertiser and took it with him to the Province. Bernard McEvoy assisted Dr. Scott, reviewed books and wrote a column, “Street Corners,” using the pseudonym “Diogenes.” On coming back from the war, James Butterfield tried his hand at various things, then, on the suggestion of Ernest Paige, editor of the Veterans’ Weekly, started his “Common Round,” which he continued for many years. The World’s editorial writer in John Nelson’s time was Arthur C. Cummings, now editor of the Ottawa Citizen, while its columnist was Francis Bursill, whose pseudonym was “Felix Penne.” All three papers claimed to be independent in politics, but the Province leaned to the Conservative side and the Sun to the Liberal, while the World supported the Prohibition Party.

 In his younger days in Vancouver, Mr. Nichol of the Province had voiced his opinions quite freely on local and political issues, but as his wealth grew and his newspaper became prosperous he became more and more cautious. Not only did he cease to write vigorously himself, but he watered down the enthusiasm of his staff. It was his argument that he was conducting a business, and that in business it was foolish to say things that might offend a lot of one’s customers. Dr. Scott, who had been trained in the Maritime Provinces, where they take their politics straight, and who had had a completely free hand on the News-Advertiser, must have wondered at times what he was doing in this particular set-up. But he was a first-class newspaperman of long experience and managed to walk the tight rope easily and give a finished performance. The editorial in which he commented on the creation, late in December 1921, of the first Mackenzie King Cabinet was a little masterpiece in the difficult art of rounding a political corner: —

 “It will be agreed by most reasonable men,” wrote Dr. Scott, “that Mr. Mackenzie King has performed the first public task in his new position with some credit to himself and his party.” Each of the new cabinet members was accorded a brief mention and the editorial concludes:

Not many months ago we were called upon to announce a new ministry under Mr. Meighen. Mr. Mackenzie King brings his administration into being under somewhat safer auspices. But he, too, is called upon to face a situation of great difficulty and delicacy. The Prime Minister is entitled to the courtesy of a generous welcome and the compliments of the season.[78]

 As for Mr. Nichol, it is necessary, in giving him his due, to record that he was much less cold-blooded than his theories. He liked to think of himself as a James Gordon Bennett, but he was not ruthless enough to act the part. He often said that the proper way to run a newspaper was to engage bright young fellows, use their brains and their legs while they were active and fresh, and discharge them when their usefulness began to wane. But he never followed his own precepts. Either he couldn’t bring himself to do so, or his business manager and editor, both of whom had quite contrary ideas, and who really had more to do with giving the Province its character than the owner had, would not let him. At any rate, when he severed his connection with the paper there were several men on the staff who had been on it for many years, and in the mechanical department a few who had been there from the beginning.

The first major change in Vancouver newspapers in the post war years came in 1921, when John Nelson and his associates sold the World to Charles Campbell. It was not that Mr. Nelson wished to sell. He was conducting a good newspaper, though under difficulties, and would gladly have gone on. But the World was not making any money. The Province had gained too great a lead during the war and had forged still further ahead during the blank period between Mr. Taylor and Mr. Nelson. For a time, the Province actually subsidized the World to keep it going. At length, Mr. Nelson’s chief financial backer, John Davidson, a well-known contractor, grew weary of the burden and insisted that the property be liquidated.[79]

Charles Campbell at the time knew nothing of the details of operating a newspaper. As a boy he had sold newspapers on Vancouver streets, and as a prominent Liberal had had some connection with the organization of the Sun in 1912. He may have been in the background in later deals, but it was as the proprietor of a storage and warehouse business that he was known. He had recently sold his warehouse to the Provincial Government for use in connection with Provincial liquor control. The price was regarded as a handsome one. So Mr. Campbell had a consider able sum of ready money.

His father used to tell the story of the purchase of the World in this way:

Charlie came to me, one day, and said, “Father, I want to buy the World. Will you help me?” “Charlie,” I said, “What do you know about running a newspaper?” “Father,” Charlie answered, “I don’t know a thing.” Very well, Charlie,” I said to him, “I’ll help you.” It seemed to me that when a man admitted frankly that he knew nothing about a business and yet was willing to risk considerable capital in it, it was safe to go along with him. He would learn. So we bought the World.

The price was $250,000. To help him with his new property and teach him something of the business he admitted he did not know, Mr. Campbell brought C. F. Crandall from Montreal. Mr. Crandall had been managing editor of the Montreal Star and for a time had an option on the World. After leaving Vancouver he became general manager of the United Press.

The next Vancouver newspaper to change hands was the Province. W. C. Nichol, who may properly be referred to.as the founder, seeing that it was his idea and his energy that started the daily on its way in 1898, had been appointed Lieutenant Governor in 1920. During his term of office, he had developed a fondness for Victoria, and did not wish to return to Vancouver. The Province and his other business interests had made him a very wealthy man, and he had been thinking for some time of disposing of his newspaper property if he could get a suitable offer. The offer came in 1923. William Southam & Sons, a company which owned large job-printing plants in Eastern Canada, as well as newspapers in five Canadian cities, were desirous of extending their operations to the Pacific Coast and entered into negotiations. Before the end of the year the deal was completed, the figure a little short of $3,500,000. The new company was known as The Vancouver Daily Province, Limited. Mr. F. J. Burd became managing director, and Mr. R. W. Brown continued as editor. Some years before, the Province had outgrown the old building in which it had started in Hastings Street, and had taken over the E. W. MacLean Building, immediately to the west, to house the overflow. It had now outgrown the two buildings, and it was decided to seek larger quarters. The Pender Street lot immediately to the rear of the Hastings Street property was purchased, and some consideration was given to plans for a new building which would run from Hastings through to Pender, leaping the lane. Finally, the two buildings which had been erected some years before by F. L. Carter-Cotton, on the east side of Victory Square, were purchased and adapted to news paper purposes. The move was made on January 17, 1925 and was celebrated by J. B. Fitzmaurice in a half-page sketch of “the great trek.” In purchasing these two buildings the Province established itself on the sites occupied by two of Vancouver’s pioneer newspapers. The Weekly Herald, published by William Brown from June 1, 1887, to June 30, 1888, had been issued from the Hastings-Cambie corner, and the News-Advertiser was issued from the Pender-Cambie corner for several years after 1890. Then it moved across the square to the north-east corner of Pender and Hamilton.

After conducting the World for three years, Mr. Charles Campbell announced, on March 11, 1924, that he had sold the property to the Sun, that is, to R. J. Cromie. The price mentioned was $475,000. The World’s circulation at the time was 17,000. On purchasing the World, the Sun split its personality. In the morning, the Morning Sun came out, and in the evening the “Evening Sun with which is incorporated the Daily World.” The Evening Sun’s first issue was on March 12. The sub-title was retained until June 20, after which the World was seen no more. After the amalgamation, in the second quarter of 1924, the Audit Bureau of Circulation gave the Morning Sun’s circulation as 21,537, that of the Evening Sun as 16,256, that of the Sunday Sun as 41,751, and that of the Saturday edition of the Evening Sun as 24,147.

It is often asked how it was that the News-Advertiser, which had a start of eleven years over the Province, and the World, which had a start of ten, failed to hold their lead and failed even to stay in the field, while the Province went on and prospered. There are several reasons.

The News-Advertiser suffered under the handicap of being a morning newspaper, and a morning newspaper has a hard time unless it serves a large community. No matter what a morning paper’s excellences may be, the majority of the people in its community have no time to read it while its news is fresh. They have their jobs to attend to. Their reading time is in the evening. So they prefer an evening paper. The New York Times and the Toronto Globe and Mail are sometimes cited as evidence supporting a contrary theory. But the New York Times has a very large and select local constituency, and sufficient prestige to make people outside its local constituency willing to wait for it. The Globe and Mail is read in the morning in Toronto and Hamilton, and in the evening over a great section of rural and industrial Ontario. The News-Advertiser had no such advantages and was under the additional handicap which all Pacific Coast morning papers endure. The time element was against it.

 The Province made its first inroads on newspaper circulation in Vancouver by cutting the price. It sold for 10 cents a week while its rivals were charging $1 a month. The World cut its price, but the damage was done. The Province published a different sort of paper when it was apparent a different sort of paper was in demand. Its publisher was a trained newspaper man, while the publisher of the World in the beginning was a printer, and the publisher of the News-Advertiser a financier and politician. Later, when Mr. L. D. Taylor took over the World, he dissipated a lot of his energies in civic politics and in governing the city. Mr. Carter-Cotton was, through most of his news- paper career, a member of the Legislature, and held posts in two Governments. Mr. Nichol, in contrast, devoted himself to the conduct of his newspaper.

A further reason for the Province’s success is that it has always had the money to make whatever, improvements, whether mechanical or in the matter of services, the circumstances seemed to call for. From the time Mr. Nichol negotiated his loan from the Royal Trust Company for the purchase of the Bostock interest, he was never in difficulties. His rivals, on the other hand, had to watch the. pennies much more closely than he and were in a poorer position to watch. In purchasing the World, Mr. Cromie apparently neglected to stipulate that Mr. Campbell should stay out of the Vancouver newspaper field. At any rate, Mr. Campbell did not stay out. On June 2, 1924, he started publication of the Evening Star, invading the very portion of the field on which Mr. Cromie was pinning his greatest hopes. The Evening Star was a six-day paper with a reduced news service, selling at 1 cent a copy on the street and at 30 cents a month delivered. The Star, its publisher announced, would cover the news of the World in condensed form. Its slogan would be: “If it will help make a greater Vancouver, the Star is for it.”

The Province at the time was selling at 75 cents a month, delivered, and the Evening Sun at 50 cents. The Star’s cut rate was real competition, and a sort of newspaper war began. The Province and Sun wholesalers tried to prevent the street vendors who were members of their organization from selling the 1-cent paper, and the Star took full advantage of this, proclaiming itself the champion of the under-dog.

The Evening Star was not much more than six weeks old when its publisher sold it to General Victor W. OdIum and his father, Professor Edward Odlum. Professor Odium ‘became president of the company and contributed a column largely on philosophical and religious lines. General Odium became publisher and J. E. Norcross, who had been for many years with the World, took charge of the editorial page. The newspaper’s slogan became: “If it makes for a greater, a better and a cleaner Vancouver, the Star is for it.”

With three newspapers dividing the evening field, competition in Vancouver was keen. The Sun cut its rate to 25 cents a week, but later made an arrangement with the Star by which both adopted a 40-cent rate. The Province maintained its 75-cent rate, but in October added a magazine section edited by Lukin Johnston to its Saturday edition. On February 1, 1925, after moving to its new building and acquiring an elaborate outfit of new machinery, it began the publication of a Sunday edition, and continued on a seven-day basis until June 1, 1933.

In January 1926, General Odium and Mr. Cromie made a deal which stabilized the newspaper situation and had the effect of eliminating a lot of senseless and profitless competition. The Evening Star became the Morning Star, taking over the Morning Sun’s circulation, while the Sun acquired the Star’s evening circulation and withdrew from the morning field altogether. At the same time, the Sunday Sun, which was a relic of the Sunday morning edition of the old News-Advertiser, ceased publication as a Sunday newspaper, and became the Saturday edition of the Evening Sun.

Announcing the change, the Morning Star went into journalistic genealogies:

Through the purchase of The Morning Sun, The Star inherits the historic associations of the old News-Advertiser, of respected memory, and of The Sun itself, both as it was when in the hands of Messrs. Ford, McConnell and Wade, and as it became after it was acquired by Mr. R. J. Cromie and by him consolidated with the News-Advertiser.

The Star is pleased to take over The Sun’s rich inheritance; by so doing it has acquired a mixed family tree. In its veins now run traces of puritanism and of “black sheep.” Some of its antecedents have been loved because they have been so good; others because they have been so bad. Taken all in all, they have formed a very interesting arid decidedly able family and they have played considerable part in shaping the history of British Columbia.[80] 

Thus, in 1926, Vancouver, at forty, found itself again, as it had been through so many years, with three daily newspapers, one issued in the morning, two in the evening. But the papers, whatever ancestry and inheritances they might claim, were not the same as those that had served the pioneers. The News Advertiser and the World were gone, and in their stead were the Province, founded in 1898, the Sun, founded in 1912, and the Star, a 2-year-old baby.

This story of the adventures of Vancouver newspapers can not go on indefinitely, and this seems as good a point as any at which to stop. But first there are a number of loose ends to tie up. The dailies are not the only newspapers that have served or tried to serve Vancouver’s needs. The weeklies and monthlies —there have been hundreds of these—are worthy of an article of their own. Only a few of them can be mentioned here. They fall into several categories, according to the need they have tried to fill. Most numerous, perhaps, have been the community weeklies: George Murray’s Chinook, which was published in South Vancouver and ran for many years; the Western Call, which H. H. Stevens published in Mount Pleasant in the days before he went to Parliament; the Gazette, which served Point Grey under the management of J. A. Paton, and which is still serving it as the News-Gazette; the Citizen, which merged with the Gazette; the Express, which George Bartley started in North Vancouver, and which became the North Shore Press.

There are the old-time journals of comment like Light and the Mainlander, the B.C. Budget, the Monitor, the Two Voices, and Public Opinion, which described itself confidently as “Canada’s Best Weekly.” There are more modern periodicals of somewhat the same nature like J.P.’s Weekly, the Western Idea, and the Vancouver Eye Opener. There were more ambitious publications like the Globe, the New Deal, and the Critic, all three run by L. D. Taylor, and the Hook and the Saturday Tribune, published by J. S. Cowper.

 There are more than a score of labour journals, one rivalling another, and one growing out of another until it is nearly impossible to determine the line of descent. They run from George Bartley’s Independent, and R. P. Pettipiece’s Western Clarion, through the old Federationist to the Labor Statesman of to-day.

There are trade papers and papers devoted to special interests, like the B.C. Lumberman, the Western Canada Mining News, Harbor and Shipping, the Garden Beautiful, Sea Lore, the Veterans’ Weekly, and the Masonic Bulletin. There are financial and commercial papers like the Building Record, the B.C. Financial News, the B.C. Financial Times, and the Journal of Commerce. There are papers devoted specially to women, like the Chronicle, the Ladies’ Mirror, the Western Women’s Weekly, and About Town. There are religious papers like the Bulletin and the B.C. Catholic; house organs like Nabob and Telephone Talk; comic journals like the Klondyke Liar, the Ozonogram, and Ye Hornet; sporting sheets like the Sporting News and Al Hardy’s Green Sheet.

A special word about the comic journals should be in order. Ye Hornet was started by two men each of whom had special talent in his own field; by A. M. R. Gordon, who achieved some fame later by writing the poem on Kaiser Wilhelm, “Meinseif Und Gott,” and John Innes, the painter of Western Canada. Ozonogram was the brain-child of two old-time printer-journalists, R. T. Lowery and W. McAdam. Both were better known in Interior mining camps than on the Coast. Lowery ran the New Denver Ledge, the Greenwood Ledge, and other papers. McAdam issued the Sandon Paystreak. The Klondyke Liar was published about the turn of the century by Jack Lawson, who went afterwards to Texada Island, where he published the Coast Miner, the pioneer newspaper north of Vancouver.

There have been magazines, too, in Vancouver, some of them ambitious and quite substantial. There was Westward Ho, started by Percy Godenrath, who afterwards founded the Portland Canal Miner. The Man to Man Magazine, operated by Dr. Elliott Rowe, secretary of Vancouver’s 100,000 Club in the days when the city was much smaller than it is now, was taken over by the Saturday Sunset for a printing bill, and put in charge of Pollough Pogue, who changed the name to the B.C. Magazine. It was an interesting periodical and might have succeeded, but it starved to death. The business office at the Sunset developed the idea that any contributor to the magazine whose name was printed over his contribution was unreasonable to seek any other remuneration. The publicity was reward enough. The Outpost, a magazine edited by S. N. Dancy, lasted only one issue. More fortunate was the annual Scarlet and Gold. It is still running. The B.C. Monthly, edited by D. A. Chalmers, started in 1911 and ran on to the end of 1927.

All these scores of publications did not come off the presses day after day and week after week without the devotion, attention, and hard work of scores of newspapermen and printers. Some of these have been mentioned in the pages that have preceded. There are many more, and good stories are told about a lot of them.

Vancouver’s youth corresponded with the time of the printer-journalists and the tramp printers. It was not difficult to start a newspaper of sorts in those days. All that was needed was some type and a press, and often one or the other could be borrowed. Early presses passed round and round, and some of them had quite a history of their own.

The tramp printers roamed from city to city, worked a few days or weeks, and passed on. Some of them had regular or irregular circuits. They would follow the Sun, working in the north in the summer, and managing to get to California for the winter months. In spring they would start north again. One of these was Seneca G. Ketchum, known as the “minstrel printer.” Some time in the nineties he and Percy Whitworth started a comic weekly in Vancouver, boasting that their joint capital at the time of commencement was $3.50. Their paper was The Idea. According to reports, it was quite a brilliant effort, but no one seems to have thought of preserving a copy of it. It did not last long.

Another of the itinerant printers was “Dummy” Campbell, who was quite a dandy in his way. He made a point of spending his winters in Honolulu.

Shad Farron and his False Creek Record have been mentioned. Shad had a hand with Bill McAdam and T. A. McDonald in founding a short-lived daily, the Mainland News. Nothing is remembered of it now except that it succeeded in scooping all the other Vancouver newspapers on the story of the attempted relief of Port Arthur in the Russo-Japanese War. Shad was in poor health—he died of tuberculosis at a fairly early age—and the other reporters used to do what they could to save him “leg work.” The writing he could look after himself. One stormy night, Shad had a dispute with John Grady, the city jailer, and was thrown out of the police station. It was many a day after that before any reporter could be persuaded to write a good word about Grady. Do what he would, the jailer was always getting a “bad press.”

One night Shad turned up at the Province office after having visited rather many bars in his search for news. He realized his condition but was not worried as he could always write best when he had had a few drinks. He sat down at his typewriter and, as his custom was, pounded out his story without looking at the copy. When the story was completed, he pulled the last page out of the machine and glanced over his product. Then he was worried. He could not read a word of what he had written. The letters were there but the words made no sense. Sadly he pondered the situation for a time, then carried the copy to the man in charge of the night desk. “See what I have written,” he said. “Do you think there is anything wrong with me?” The night editor gave him no consolation, but in a few days Shad learned that one of his colleagues had purposely unscrewed the letters on the typewriter and scrambled them, hoping to give Shad a scare.

Sam Rob was one of the brilliant young men of the early days. He held various positions on the World in the time of J. C. McLagan and later, ending up as market reporter for the Province. When Rudyard Kipling paid his first visit to Vancouver, Sam was assigned the job of interviewing him. When Kipling’s train came in in the evening, Sam was on hand, but the poet did not get off, and Sam was told that he intended to spend the night in his compartment and had given the porter orders that nobody was to be allowed to see him. Sam thought he would try persuasion and wrote a little note, which he bribed the porter to deliver. In the note he pointed out that he had been specially assigned to see Mr. Kipling, who had been granting interviews in Winnipeg. He suggested that if he were refused an interview terrible things would happen to him when he went back and reported his lack of success to his city editor. Before long the reply came, something like this:

 Dear Mr. Rob:

 I am very sorry to disappoint you with your city editor, but the Winnipeg interviews you mention were the product of the fertile imagination of Winnipeg newspapermen, and, as a humble worker in the field of fiction I have no doubt I shall read with interest in The World tomorrow of your interview with me tonight.

RUDYARD KIPLING.[81]

Bill Harkin had come to Vancouver after years with the Montreal Star. He had had a wide experience, and among his assignments for the Star had been that of reporting the trial of Louis Riel at Regina. In Vancouver he took down the story of Sir Charles Tupper’s life from the old statesman’s dictation, and it was afterwards published in book form. In the days of the railway building excitement on the Coast, Bill did a lot of publicity work for the Canadian Northern magnates. He had his reward, too. He was given a receipt for the first payment on a couple of lots in the Port Mann townsite.

  1. T. Wilkinson, popularly known as “Wings,” worked first for the Province, then for the World, but it was as the World’s “Man on the Wing “that he achieved his reputation as a traveller and writer. “Wings” was always going somewhere or getting back, and in between he told the story of his experiences. Even after he retired from newspaper work and became a top-notch life insurance salesman, he continued his flights abroad. The last of them was to South America.
  2. B. Fitzmaurice started cartooning as a youngster on the Province and came back to the Province after some years in the East. He never pretended to be an expert draughtsman but had few equals in his ability to find the humour in a situation. One of his most famous efforts showed Joe Martin addressing an audience made up entirely of Joe Martins. In the first World War, when emphasis was laid on victory gardens and the home production of ‘vegetables, eggs, and meat, “Fitz” ran a useful and hilarious series featuring “Horace, the pig.” A later cartoon, showing Professor Odium taking his son Victor across his knee, roused even the applause of the victim.
  3. Francis Bursill, who wrote under the name “Felix Penne,” was an old Fleet Street character transplanted by some happy accident to the Pacific Coast. He brought quite a large library with him when he came from England, and was the founder of the Bursill Institute, at Collingwood. He was interested in literature and art, had a vast fund of stories, and wrote on books for the News-Advertiser, and later conducted a column, “The World’s Window,” for the World. With his straggly grey beard and armful of newspapers he was a striking figure about town and added an interesting Bohemian touch to Vancouver news paper life. For a time, he maintained a sort of salon on Pender Street near Cambie—a great room cluttered up with old furniture and books. Here he would entertain his friends, and occasionally would add to his meagre earnings by renting the place to such organizations as favoured it for a meeting. The Vagabond’s Club, which claimed Felix Penne as its father, held its fortnightly gatherings there in its best days.

Time and mortality have sadly riddled the ranks of the men —printers and reporters, editors and publishers—who supplied Vancouver with its news and opinion in the dozen years or so about the turn of the century. Most of them are gone, but a few remain, their heads grey, their shoulders bowed, and their legs a bit doddery.

  1. D. Taylor comes out on rare occasions, jaunty as ever with his red tie. J. F. Bledsoe, who has been mining engineer and fisheries inspector as well as editor and reporter, lives at Victoria and pursues his hobby of polishing stones. At Victoria, too, and still contributing occasional pieces to the papers, is James Morton, long political reporter for the News-Advertiser, and later secretary to Hon. John Oliver and author of Honest John’s biography. In Vancouver, Noel Robinson, first of the biographers of the old-timers, is a happy survivor of times fast receding. So is Bert Greenwood, long night-editor of the Province, and sworn enemy of all whistling newsboys and telegraph messengers. Lew Gordon, long city editor of the Province, and British Columbia’s first moving picture censor is raising mink in Langley. R. J. MacDougall, another city editor, after years of publishing the Herald at Penticton, now rules the town as mayor. Hugh Savage, who explored the Peace River country as a reporter in days before there were airplanes or railroads or an Alaska Highway there, and afterwards helped in a cougar hunt in Stanley Park, keeps a fatherly eye on the fortunes of the Cowichan Leader, and has adopted the Canadian flag as his hobby.
  2. A. MCGREGOR. VANCOUVER, BC.

[1] Bessie Lamb, “From ‘Tickler’ to ‘Telegram ‘: Notes on. Early Vancouver Newspapers,” British Columbia Historical Quarterly, IX. (1945), p. 198

[2] See ibid., p. 191, where Gordon is described as “an Edinburgh-born financier of large means.” It would perhaps be more correct to describe him as being comfortably off, rather than wealthy. He was a successful Scottish farmer, who had left Scotland because his landlord had refused to renew his lease to lands upon which he had made extensive improvements. After spending some time in England, he came to Canada. He settled first in Winnipeg, where he lost heavily in real estate, and then moved on to Vancouver.

[3] The junior reporter was Roy W. Brown, now editorial director of the Vancouver Sun

[4] See Province, June 9, 1894; Victoria Times, June 5, 1894.

[5] Gordon’s side of the case is presented in a letter published in the World on June 19, 1894. Cotton gave his side in a speech in Vancouver on April 28, 1894

[6] Canadian Newspaper Directory, Montreal, 1892, pp. 185–6.

[7] Mainlander, February 23, 1895

[8] Nicolai C. Schou had come from England to British Columbia about 1888. He was associated with the Commonwealth and the Ledger in New Westminster and joined the News-Advertiser staff in the early nineties. He remained with the News-Advertiser eleven years and died on Christmas Eve, 1903, a few weeks after becoming assistant. editor of the Victoria Colonist. He was the first Reeve of Burnaby and was re-elected ten times. He served one term as a Vancouver alderman. William Baillie bought the plant of the New Westminster Ledger, when it went out of business, and brought it to Vancouver.

[9] Province, October 23, 1897

[10] Ibid., March 3, 1894

[11] Ibid., March 31, 1894

[12] Encyclopedia of Canada, Toronto, 1935, I., p. 259.

[13] Province, November 2, 1895.

[14] Ibid., January 11, 1896.

[15] Ibid., January 18, 1896.

[16] Ibid., January 18, 25, and February 1, 1896

[17] Ibid., April 25, 1896

[18] Ibid., June 26, 1897.

[19] ibid., January 11, 1896.

[20] ibid., January 18, 1896.

[21] Ibid., January 18, 1896.

[22] Ibid., August 29, 1896

[23] Ibid., July 10, 1897.

[24] Ibid., August 15, 1896.

[25] Ibid., August 15, 1896; November 27, 1897.

[26] Ibid., August 22, 1896

[27] Ibid., September 4, 1897

[28] Ibid., March 14, 1896.

[29] Vancouver World, April 22, 1897.

[30] Province, November 6, 1897

[31] Captain Clive Oldnall Long Phillipps-Wolley, born in Dorsetshire on April 3, 1854, served for some years as British consul at Kertch, in the Crimea, published a book on Snort in the Crimea and Caucasus, studied law, was called to the bar at the Middle Temple, published several other books, including a novel, Gold, Gold in Cariboo (1893), came to British Columbia in 1896, and spent the remainder of his life in the Province. He was knighted in 1915, and died at Somenos on July 8, 1918. His later books included The Chicamon Stone, a story of the Cassiar, Songs of an English Esau, and Songs from a Young Man’s Land.—Encyclopedia of Canada, Toronto, 1937, V., p. 115.

[32] See ibid., p. 4. 98 B

[33] Province, January 8, 1898

[34] Ibid., January 15, 1898

[35] Ibid., January 8, 1898.

[36] Ibid.

[37] Ibid., January 1, 1898.

[38] Ibid., January 8, 1898

[39] Ibid., December 11, 1897.

[40] Ibid., January 15, 1898; see also ibid., February 12, 1898, supplement

[41] Ibid., January 29,1898

[42] Date of incorporation taken from the original minute book of the Company.

[43] James Morton in Vancouver Sun, magazine section, February 17, 1945.

[44] The Port Moody Gazette of April 5, 1884, tells of the visit to Port Moody of “Mr. J. C. McLagan, travelling correspondent for the Toronto Globe.”

[45] Bessie Lamb, “From ‘Tickler’ to ‘ Telegram’ ” British Columbia Historical Quarterly, IX. (1945), p. 190.

[46]  J. B. Kerr, “Journalism in Vancouver,” British Columbia Magazine, VII. (1911), p. 578.

[47] Daily Province, March 26, 1898.

[48] Ibid., May 9, 1898. The following day the Province discussed the suggestion of the crows seriously. Liberals and Conservatives alike, it said, were disgusted with the Government. “ From the point of view of the Province the solution of the problem lies in inducing Joseph Martin to come out and lead the opposition forces.”

[49] ) The “Booth” referred to was J. P. Booth, Member for North Victoria and Speaker of the Legislature from 1898 to 1902. The” Walkem” was Dr. William Wymond Walkem, brother of Hon. G. A. Walkem, third Premier of the Province. He sat for Nanaimo District through the 7th Legislature, and was a well-known physician of pioneer days

[50] J. B. Kerr, “Journalism in Vancouver,” British Columbia Magazine, VII. (1911), pp. 578—9.

 

[52] Daily Province, April 25, 1898

[53] Information given by L. D. Taylor to Ronald Kenvyn, and published by the Daily Province in an account of “L. D.’s” life, February 27—March 16, 1939

[54] Higgins was a Nova Scotian who had reached British Columbia via California in 1858 and had taken part in the Fraser River gold-rush. From 1886 to 1898 he had represented Esquimalt in the Legislature, and for the last eight years of that period had been Speaker of the House. He retired from the World in 1907, and died in Victoria, November 30, 1917. He was the author of The Mystic Spring and The Passing of a Race.

[55] B.C. Saturday Sunset, July 13, 1907.

[56] Daily Province, May 10, 1898.

[57] J. B. Williams in Daily Province (magazine section), May 30, 1936.

[58] L. D. Taylor to Ronald Kenvyn. See note 52 supra

[59] Ibid.

[60] J. B. Cowan, John Innes, Painter of the Canadian. West, p. 14

[61] B.C. Saturday Sunset, June 6, 1908

[62] Ibid, August 10, 1907.

[63] Ibid., October 12, 1907

[64] ibid., October 12, 1907.

[65] ibid.

[66] Ibid., October 19, 1907. Norman Hawkins, besides being a cartoonist, was an architect and an authority on heraldry and freemasonry.

[67] B.C. Saturday Sunset, October 19, 1907.

[68] Ibid., September 12, 1908.

[69] Ibid., June 20, 1908

[70] Ibid., March 28, 1908.

[71] Vancouver Sun, February 12, 1912.

[72] B.C. Saturday Sunset, July 17, 1915

[73] Details related to the writer personally by James Morton.

[74] Vancouver Sun, January 24, 1916

[75] Vancouver Morning Star, February 1, 1926.

[76] Information given by Mrs. Marjorie Wade, daughter of F. C. Wade, to Vancouver City Archives.

[77] ) Mr. Carter-Cotton survived the extinction of his old newspaper by about two years. His death occurred on November 20, 1919

[78] Vancouver Daily Province, December 30, 1921.

[79] After selling the World, Mr. Nelson devoted himself to magazine writing for a time, then joined the staff of the Sun Life Assurance Company as a public relations officer. He became interested in promoting better relations among the Canadian Provinces, then in fostering international friendships His interests took him into the Institute of Pacific Relations, and into Rotary. He became president of Rotary International and did a great deal of travelling. He died in Chicago on January 24, 1936

[80] Vancouver Morning Star, February 1,1926

[81] James Morton in the Vancouver Sun (magazine section), February 17, 1945