1935 mass Mother’s Day protest at Malkin Memorial Shell

The Vancouver Sun, May 13, 1935: BABY CARRIAGES HEAD MOTHERS’ DAY PARADE. Stanley Park Demonstration Demands Abolition of Relief Camps. Protesting against the relief camp system, a Mother’s Day Parade from Cambie Street grounds to Stanley Park and a demonstration on the Park featured Mother’s Day here Sunday. Three hundred women and 1400 men led by the C.C.F. band, started out from the grounds shortly after noon. four women pushing baby carriages before them marked the first line of the parade, which included single girls on relief, and Chinese unemployed. … Before the Malkin Memorial Shell in Stanley Park the women marched into the outline of a huge heart. This was solidly filled with the men, groups of whom bore huge letters to form the words “Mothers Abolish the Relief Camps”

CWACs & the Paparazzis

Photo: City of Vancouver Archives, 1945. Caption: “Canadian Women’s Army Corps members at play near second beach” (This may actually be Third Beach as Tatlow Trail exits there). Mil P219

The park has had “military reserve” status since 1859. Third Beach was used as a training centre for 300 Canadian Women’s Army Corps (CWAC’s) during WWII, probably due in part to its isolated location protected by a thick forest. This didn’t prevent newspapers photographers in trying to snap pictures of the CWAC’s in their beach wear.
Canada was one of the last countries in the British Empire to sanction female enlistment in its military forces. Over 45,000 women volunteered during WWII, 22,000 in the CWACs worked as secretaries, clerks, canteen workers, vehicle drivers and many other non-combat military jobs. Their basic pay was 2/3rds that of service men of equal rank.

Card Playing on a Skid Road

Photo: City of Vancouver Archives, 189? Caption: “Two men playing cards in the middle of a logging road in Stanley Park” SGN 139

Many of today’s 24 km of walking trails or paths in Stanley Park once served different purposes. From the 1860’s into the 1880’s, at least five logging companies cut down trees in Stanley Park. To get their logs to the water’s edge, the loggers sometimes used existing animal paths, First Nation’s routes or built their own. They skidded their trees (hence the term “skidroad”) along wooden planks they laid horizontally across the trail. This “corduroy road” was sometimes covered in dog fish oil to help the logs move more easily.