Triple-X Workers' Solidarity Association of B.C.

 

 

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1st Triple-X Board BBQ

On Location

Triple-X first board members at New Brighton Park, August 2012. Photo: Elaine Ayres
Triple-X first board members at New Brighton Park, August 2012.
PHOTO: Elaine Ayres



New Brighton House hotel, Vancouver Archives

Here Vancouver Began
(New Brighton Park, Vancouver, B.C.)

The New Brighton Park site on the sheltered south shore of the Burrard Inlet was called Khanamoot by Coast Salish First Nations (Musqueam and Tsleil-Waultuth). They beached their boats here while hunting and harvesting berries. All was forest towering to the skies.

In 1863 British Royal Engineers surveyed it into lots and named the area Hastings Townsite, to honour Admiral Hastings, British Navy.

Everything began at Hastings — the first Post Office, Customs, Canadian Pacific Railway office, road (Douglas Road), bridge, telegraph, dock, ferry, museum, playing field, stable, and hotel. It was the most fashionable watering place in British Columbia.

The site was redeveloped into a park with a swimming pool (paid for by Woodward's) and beachfront recreation area. New Brighton Park retains the name of the first hotel build here in 1880 known as the new "Brighton House."

Triple-X First Directors on the shore at New Brighton Park, August 2012. Photo: Elaine Ayres
Triple-X First Directors on the shore at New Brighton Park, August 2012.
PHOTO: Elaine Ayres



Battle of Ballantyne Pier, June 18, 1935

Battle of Ballantyne Pier
(New Brighton Park, Vancouver, B.C.)

From the Battle of Ballantyne Pier Memorial:

"On June 18, 1935, approximately five kilometers west of this point, over 1,000 locked out longshoremen and their supporters marched to Ballantyne Pier to reclaim their jobs.

"At the entrance to the pier, at the intersection of Heatley and Alexander Streets, the protesters were attacked by local, provincial and federal levels of law enforcement armed with tear gas and batons. The ensuing violence lasted over three hours. Dozens were hurt and more than two dozen were arrested.

"The labour battles of the 1930s stand in contrast to today.

"This tribute has been created by the International Longshore & Warehouse Union – Canada in honour of the historic events of that day. It provides a place for all those who wish to gather and celebrate an ongoing commitment to community and social justice."

Triple-X First Directors at the Battle for Ballantyne Pier Memorial at New Brighton Park, Vancouver B.C. Photo: Elaine Ayres, 2012
Triple-X First Directors at the Battle for Ballantyne Pier Memorial at New Brighton Park, Vancouver B.C.
PHOTO: Elaine Ayres, 2012.



Second Narrows Bridge collapse, June 17, 1958.

Ironworkers Memorial Bridge
(Second Narrows, Burrard Inlet, B.C.)

On June 17, 1958, Vancouver experienced the worst industrial accident in its history when the new bridge being built across Burrard Inlet collapsed. At 3:40 p.m., a span of the bridge suddenly buckled and collapsed taking a second span down with it. The collapse threw 79 bridge workers into the flooding tidal waters of Second Narrows, 18 of whom died, pulled underwater by the weight of their toolbelts. Later, a diver also died while trying to recover their bodies.

The collapse was caused by structural flaws due to an engineering miscalculation — and according to some reports — dangerous short-cuts and the use of cheap materials by the construction company. The cause of the accident was investigated by a Royal Commission.

Ironworkers Memorial Bridge (with old Second Narrows railway bridge behind), Second Narrows Crossing, Burrard Inlet, B.C. Photo: A. Sorfleet
Ironworkers Memorial Bridge (with old Second Narrows railway bridge behind), Second Narrows Crossing, Burrard Inlet, B.C.
Photo: A. Sorfleet, 2006

In 1960, Premier Bennett officially opened the Second Narrows Bridge, which is part of the Trans Canada Highway. The bridge was officially renamed the Ironworkers Memorial (Second Narrows Crossing) in 1994, to commemorate the workers who lost their lives during its construction.

On the 50th anniversary of the collapse (June 17, 2008) the Ironworkers and WorkSafeBC held a ceremony to honour the memory of the dead workers. Tributes to the fallen workers include songs "Steel Men" by Jimmy Dean (1962) and "The Bridge Came Tumbling Down" by Stompin' Tom Connors (1972); and Gary Geddes' book of poetry, Falsework (2007).

Triple-X First Directors with Ironworkers Memorial in background. Photo: Elaine Ayres, 2012
Triple-X First Directors with Ironworkers Memorial in background.
PHOTO: Elaine Ayres, 2012



Last modified: November 23, 2012
Created: November 20, 2012
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