Remembering Hollyburn's Pioneers - Group 2
Fred Burfield & Family
Fred passed away peacefully in his sleep in Nanaimo at the age of 94. Pre-deceased by his wife Evelyn, Brother Harry, and nephew Richard. Fred is survived by his daughter Peggy (Ernie Macfarlane), grandchildren Trevor and Shawna Havard and his niece Marion and her children Riki and Kurt.
Fred was born in the skiing town of Revelstoke and skiing dominated much of his life. He will be most remembered for his many years operating Hollyburn Ski Lodge on Hollyburn. Fred retired to Parksville in 1984 were he enjoyed fishing, golfing, and playing cards especially crib.
The following three pages on this website feature more information about Fred and the the Burfield family, including an article, photos and video,
"The Burfields At Hollyburn Ski Lodge (1946 -1983)" , "Burfield Family Home Movies - First Lake Summer" ,
"Called To Higher Ground"
The "Projects" sub-pages provide information about Fred Burfield's John Deere tractor and Bombardier snowmobile.
1910 - 2002
Words of the Reverend Canon George Hemingway on the occasion of the dedication of a snow pole to the memory of Gerry Hardman.
Gerald was the firstborn of Margaret Thomson (Airdree, Scotland) and Thomas Hardman (Bury, Lankashire, England), both of them pioneers on the mining valley of Fernie. Grandmother Margaret brought the young family to West Vancouver about 1918, shortly after my Mother was born.
Gerald went to work in his early teens, and he was loyal to his employer. I’m not quite sure, but I think he was at the Canadian Pacific Railway for the best part of 5 decades! Gerald was 7 years older than my Mother, so Pauline Johnson Elementary School was not opened until he was about 10 or 11, if I calculate correctly. So I don’t know where he went to grade school. My Mother and I both attended Pauline Johnson. I don’t know anything about Gerald’s high school education. What I do know is that he was a reader of almost everything. He loved history and geography, whether it be ancient history and the geography of the ancient world, or the recent history of British Columbia and the geography of his beloved railways. Gerald was careful with his money, and kept it well diversified. Every day he read the stock reports and the financial pages.
When Gerald was younger, he was rather much an outspoken Canadian chauvinist. This was true as much in his view of world affairs as it was of immigration policies. He consistently referred to by Father as “The Yank”, until they were both quite senior! It was in his later years that he began to see the economies and monetary policies of the world as so intertwined that one could no longer afford to be isolationist in any policies. There was a day when he proposed, in response to the newly organizing European Union, the thought that we should have a universal Western Hemisphere monetary unit, so as to reduce the severity of the up and down swings of small nation economies by buffering them with the power of the large economies like Canada, Brazil and the US. He thought that by stabilizing their economies, their social upheavals would be also curtailed.
Gerald and Doreen never had children. So Gerry really didn’t know quite what to do with his nephew’s and nieces. But he did know how to fish, how to hike, and how to ski. So that’s what he shared with me. I caught my first salmon from his rowboat down there offshore of the Dunderave Pier when I was about seven or eight. He wasn’t big on talking but he was good at showing! He got better as he aged!
After my mother died, Gerald began to visit with us more. Our home in San Diego has several nice navel orange trees. In the morning, Gerald would almost always take his coffee and position his chair directly under one of the orange trees, The he would sit there rolling his Players tobacco with a well practiced hand and light up. Then he would find just the right orange, after a long and ponderous search, which he would peel with a pocketknife. Gerald recalled to me that, when he was a child, the only time he was at all likely to have an orange all to himself was at Christmastime, when he might find one in the tow of his stocking. To be so privileged as to have to decide which orange he would have for breakfast, out of the hundreds on the tree, was a heavenly privilege!
Here are some memories from my sister, Lynn:
“I've lots of good memories, not all of them publicly quotable, given Gerry's salty humor. Picking pole beans in the back garden then sitting on stools side by side at the kitchen counter snapping them in preparation for freezing. Pruning out the azaleas in the front yard while Gerry sat on the porch and supervised. Gerry pouring orange juice on his cereal at breakfast because he hated milk. Sitting on the back porch of an afternoon, smoking cigarettes and sipping Cuba libres. One part Coca Cola, one part tap water, and one part rum. No ice! Watching the evening news of an evening and Gerry talking back to the television in the pithiest of terms. And my favorite: hiking the trail up on the ridge and coming upon a yearling bear. Scared the daylights out of me, and Gerry thought this was hilariously funny. My sister, Gail remembers these things:
Mark is Gerald’s grandnephew: “Mark's favorite memory is climbing up the mountain to the cabin, and having hot "Tang" in the loft. It was a cool day, and we had been hiking around with Uncle Gerry and some of his friends. We met them at his old cabin.”
“My favorite memory of Mark and Gerry is watching them sit on Gerry's back porch and talk about life and Vancouver. Mark also helped him sweep off the deck over the garage, and Gerry was so pleased with his help, and with Mark as a person.
I have a great picture of Uncle Gerry in our living room in San Diego, lying on the floor with Kevin when he was about three. They were both coloring in one of Kevin's coloring books. I think both were having a great time...communicating.
I loved going out to dinner near the ferry landing, or walking down to get ice cream at 10:00 p.m. on the embarcadero.
I loved his excitement in the garden, pointing out what was doing well, what needed help, and what the squirrels had gotten into. He wasn't all that fond of his squirrels.
My Sister, Laurie says,
“My memories of Uncle Gerald are... a vibrant man... lived life the way he wanted to... loved his rum... and said 'bloody' this and 'bloody' that a lot. The girls (his grandnieces, Amber and Lisa) vividly remember the 'bloody' part and laugh. That too...I remember laughing a lot when he was around.”
Gerald was a man of the land. He was ruggedly independent to the very end of his life. He loved his mountain. It stood for everything he valued. And so we, his nieces and nephews are happy to continue his vision by making a small contribution to the two things he valued most: the land and its history. This is the mountain where Gerald taught me to ski, and then warmed me with hot rum to thaw me out. The snow pole will be a useful and visible mark on this mountain, one of which he would be very proud and pleased. It will also be a tangible mark of the memories so many of us share. The support for the West Vancouver history project will, in some small way, further the safeguarding of the legacy of a generation of founders and builders: Men and women whose pioneering spirit has contributed to the conservation and spirit of one of the most beautiful cities in the Western Hemisphere.
I would like to end this moment with you by reading from the works of the woman who has so marked my history and that of my mother and my uncle, a woman who so embodies the spirit of Canada:
By Pauline Johnson
Sounds of the seas grow fainter,
Sounds of the sands have sped;
The sweep of gales,
The far white sails,
Are silent, spent and dead.
Sounds of the days of summer
Murmur and die away,
And distance hides
The long, low tides,
As night shuts out the day.
Gerry Hardman - A Hollyburn Mountain Skier
by Linda Swain, Cross Country Area Manager
(article from The CYPRESS BOWL MOUNTAINEER)
Gerry walked into my office the other day just to say hi! It was a beautiful warm late September day, I asked if he was going for a hike. He said, "I've just hiked to the shoulder and back, you know I used to run up there in no time flat, but today it took me 2 hours". Gerry is 84 years old this December. Anyone that knows Hollyburn Mountain knows that a hike to the shoulder (meadows) even for someone half his age, is a quite a climb!
But Gerry has been hiking and skiing on Hollyburn Mountain almost all of his 84 years. Gerry and his family moved to West Vancouver when he was 9 years old in 1920. The family lived in a tent in the vicinity of Earls Restaurant. In those days the Capilano River wasn't dammed, so after frequent floodings, the family moved to Ambleside around 14th Street while his dad built a home on property near the present Seniors Centre.
His first memory of venturing up Hollyburn Mountain was when he was about 11 years old, with a bunch ot kids his own age. They would hike up 22nd, or 26th Street for about an hour and a half to the site of the old Naismith Mill. The group would play in and around the buildings, which then consisted of the Mill building, a cook building, 1 or 2 bunk houses, a couple of cabins and a flume for lumber transport. The Mill had ceased operation just prior to when Gerry and his buddies came up his first time.
If it was raining, the kids would use the shingles that were lying around and ride the flume down from the Mill site to Sherman Station on the railway tracks almost directly up from Sandy Cove beach. The flume was built to get the lumber down to the planer mill, although “more lumber would end up jumping the flume into the bush, than ever got to the mill", laments Gerry. "We used to get going pretty darned fast, but I never fell off and never got hurt".
Gerry's first skiing experience came when he was 15 years old. He strapped on (literally) a pair of skis and skied from the original Ski Camp at the Mill site down the skid road to the future site of the "Forks Store", about one quarter mile below the original Ski Camp. After falling several times he thought "Gee, this is fun", and there began his 65 years of skiing on Hollyburn Mountain. At about the same time, the pioneer of skiing on Hollyburn Mountain, Rudolph J. Verne and others were enthusiastically promoting the growth of skiing as a sport. They created the Hollyburn Pacific Ski Club on March 27, 1927 and were officially recognized by the C.A.S.C. on April 15, 1927, as the first ski club on the Pacific Coast of North America. The first official competitions were held at and around the Hollyburn Ski Camp area on April 15 to 17, 1927. The members of the club were all pioneers of recreation on Hollyburn Mountain and included among others, Ralph Morris, Al and Eric Twist, Harry Collins and Abe Knight.
In 1926, the same year the Ski Camp was moved to its First Lake site (present site), Gerry built a cabin about 500 yards below the Mill site. The Mill buildings were gone by this time, but the flume was still there. He built his cabin out of flume boards, which were mostly yellow cedar. He and 3 or 4 other fellows used that cabin until 1935. Gerry started out skiing cross country until about the early 30's when downhill became more popular on Hollyburn Mountain with the addition of the rope tows installed by Norm Deacon. In 1935, Gerry went to higher levels for deeper and longer lasting snow and built Cabin #182, located immediately southwest of the Ranger Station.
In 1952 Gerry sold Cabin #182 and moved to a private property near the micro station. Sigge Schmidt, who still owns the cabin, celebrated the cabin's 50th birthday in 1985; Gerry was there to tell the story of how it all came to be.
Gerry worked for the Canadian Pacific Railroad for 46 years, and retired in 1972. He lives on Mathers Street in West Vancouver and is still a frequent visitor to the Mountain, both summer and winter. Although he doesn't don the boards anymore, you will often see him out talking to people near the start of the ski trails, and occasionally he has time for a snowmobile ride into the Lodge for a little reminiscing over a cup of hot chocolate.
Gerry Hardman - A PART OF HOLLYBURN’S HISTORY!
Gerry Hardman Photo Gallery
PHOTO 01: Gerry Hardman at the west end of Hollyburn Ridge, May 5th, 1929
PHOTO 02: Gerry Hardman rafting on the Nasmyth mill pond, May 19, 1929
PHOTO 03: Gerry Hardman "on the Fire Tower", Hollyburn Ridge, July, 1929
PHOTO 04: Gerry Hardman on top of the First Lake ski jump trestle, Hollyburn Ridge, April, 1930 (Gerry Hardman Collection)
PHOTO 05: Gerry Hardman, Black Mountain, September, 1930
PHOTO 06: Gerry Hardman at "the Cabin" built by Gerry five of his clssmates from West Vancouver High School, Hollyburn Ridge, November, 1931. Boards salvaged from the Nasmyth flume were used in the cabin's construction.
PHOTO 07: Interior view of the cabin (referred to in PHOTO 06), February 1932. (Gerry Hardman Collection)
PHOTO 08: Gerry Hardman on the south peak of Mt. Strachan, March, 1935
PHOTO 09: Gerry Hardman skiing on the Hollyburn shoulder, circa 1936
PHOTO 10: Gerry Hardman on Knight Ridge during a hike to the West Lion, August, 1936 (Gerry Hardman Collection)
PHOTO 11: Gerry Hardman at Lions Lake (glacial ponds), August, 1936
PHOTO 12: On top" of the West Lion, July 24, 1937. Gerry is wearing a hat. (Gerry Hardman Collection)
PHOTO 13: Gerry Hardman just below the peak of Crown Mtn, September, 1936 (Gerry Hardman Collection)
PHOTO 14: Gerry Hardman digging out his cabin, which he built c. 1936, Hollyburn Ridge, 1937 (Gerry Hardman Collection)
PHOTO 15: Gerry Hardman on Hollyburn Peak, February, 1941
PHOTO 16: Gerry Hardman feeding a whiskeyjack in front of the Hardman cabin, January, 1942 (Gerry Hardman Collection)
PHOTO 17: Gerry by the Hardman cabin, Hollyburn Ridge, March, 1942
PHOTO 18: Gerry and Doreen Hardman on the top of Romstads hill, Hollyburn Mtn, March, 1944 (Gerry Hardman Collection)
PHOTO 19: Gerry Hardman (wearing white cap) on Hollyburn Mtn ci. 1944
PHOTO 20: Gerry Hardman, Joan and Jack Laidman on the peak of Hollyburn Mtn., April 1955 (Gerry Hardman Collection)
PHOTO 21: Gerry Hardman, Joan and Jack Laidman, Hollyburn Ridge, January, 1986 (Gerry Hardman Collection)
PHOTO 22: Fred Burfield's retirement reception, Hollyburn Ski Lodge, Hollyburn Ridge, November, 1986. Gerry (far L) is seated by Greta Tapp.
PHOTO 23: Gerry Hardman, Hollyburn Ridge, August 23, 1987
PHOTO 24: Gerry Hardman, Black Mtn, September, 1993 (Gerry Hardman Collection)
February 26, 1909 - October 23, 2003
Alfred passed away October 23, 2003 at the age of 94. Alf was born in Sheffield, England on February 26, 1909 arriving in Canada at one year of age. A long time resident of Dunbar Alf joins wife Peggy and leaves son Miles (Karen) and daughter Trudy, twins Kade and Thea, Thane, Kira, Alexandra and recent arrival Ryan Anthony.
After attending Vancouver Technical School Alf worked throughout his working career as secretary-treasurer for Fleck Bros. His passion for sports included many interests of which climbing Crown Mtn. and scaling Camel's Head was one of many achievements. He won the 1926 AYPA Champion Tennis Cup and 1927 Senior Mixed Doubles advancing as BC Tennis Champion.
Many years on Hollyburn Mtn. included the building of his one room log"chateau" #183 and a high 28' out house...much needed for the 1932 record snowfall of 23'. Soccer coach, softball team player, bowler, Hollyburn ski racer and First Lake ski jumper filled his treasure chest of "trophies."
In 1930 Alf skated the frozen Fraserriver from Vancouver to near New Westminster. When Lost Lagoon froze his skates were laced with hockey stick in hand. His latter years with Peggy included; time at his "gentleman's" Nanoose Bay farm, cherished Whistler visits with Marion and Boswell, helping neighbours, and spending time with children.
At 91 years, he rode skidoos on Cypress Mtn. and enjoyed tandem bicycle rides with his son and daughter around the Stanley Park seawall. Alf enjoyed riding on the back of Miles' Harley Davidson motorcycle with a "high sign" wave and smile to all those passed by.
Thank you to Dr. Duncan Miller, Dr. Michele Williams, Cherry Harriman, and the professional Birch 2 team at St. Vincent's Langara Extended Care, not only for the care and compassion for Alf, but for being part of his 'family" life for many years.
Alf Staley Photo Gallery
PHOTO 01: Climbing party on the Camel’s Head, 1930’s (Alf Staley Collection)
PHOTO 02: Alf Staley on the Camel’s Head, 1930’s (Alf Staley Collection)
PHOTO 03: Alf Staley skiing on the Grouse Mtn. plateau, early 1930’s
PHOTO 04: Alf Staley (front row, far R) & friends on Grouse Mtn., early 1930’s
PHOTO 05: Alf Staley & friends at First Lake, Hollyburn Ridge, early 1930’s
PHOTO 06: Alf Staley & ? at First Lake, Hollyburn Ridge, early 1930’s. Two rental canoes and the First Lake ski jump are visible in the background.
PHOTO 07: Alf Staley & ?, First Lake, Hollyburn Ridge, 1930’s (Alf Staley Collection)
PHOTO 08: Alf Staley holding ski jumping skis, First Lake, Hollyburn Ridge, 1930’s
PHOTO 09: Alf Staley & ?, First Lake, Hollyburn Ridge, 1930’s (Alf Staley Collection)
PHOTO 10: Alf Staley & ?, First Lake, Hollyburn Ridge, 1930’s (Alf Staley Collection)
PHOTO 11: Alf Staley & ?, First Lake, Hollyburn Ridge, 1930’s (Alf Staley Collection
PHOTO 12: Alf Staley, Hollyburn Mtn., 1930’s (Alf Staley Collection)
PHOTO 13: Alf Staley & ?, Hollyburn Mtn., 1930’s (Alf Staley Collection)
PHOTO 14: Alf Staley & ?, Hollyburn Mtn., 1930’s (Alf Staley Collection)
PHOTO 15: Alf Staley & ?, Hollyburn Mtn., 1930’s (Alf Staley Collection)
PHOTO 16: Alf Staley & Bertha Haig on the summit of Mt. Stracha, 1930’s
PHOTO 17: Alf Staley & ? on the summit of Mt. Stracha, 1930’s (Alf Staley Collection)
PHOTO 18: Alf Staley on the summit of Mt. Stracha, 1930’s (Alf Staley Collection)
PHOTO 19: Alf Staley at his cabin on Hollyburn Ridge (Cabin 183) 1930’s
PHOTO 20: (L-R) Peggy Staley, Miles Staley, Trudy Staley & ? at the Staley canin on Hollyburn Ridge, 1940’s (Alf Staley Collection)
PHOTO 21: Martin (Skidoo operator), Trudy Staley and Alf Staley (age 89 years), Hollyburn Ridge, December 24, 1998 (Trudy Staley Collection)
PHOTO 22: Alf Staley (age 90 years), First Lake, Hollyburn Ridge, December 1999 (Trudy Staley Collection)
PHOTO 23: Alf Staley (age 89 years), Hollyburn Lodge, December 24, 1998
PHOTO 24: Alf Staley (age 89 years) and daughter Trudy Staley,Hollyburn Ski Lodge, December 24, 1998 (Trudy Staley Collection)
May 17, 1920 - April 2, 2013
Margaret Louisa Pratt (Peggy) peacefully passed away April 2, 2013 with family by her side. Born May 17, 1920 in Vancouver B.C. She resided in Pemberton Heights, North Vancouver for many years and spent 53 wonderful summers on Gambier Island. Predeceased by husband Jack (1957), son Ron (2012), daughter- in-law Janis (2003), sisters-in-law Margaret Sharkey, Jean Pratt, Eileen Woods. She is survived by brother Herb Woods (Ruth), daughter Judy (Tony), son Wayne, grandchildren Christopher and Andrew Ellis, Nick Pratt and Jacquie McNeill (James), great-grandchildren Janis Ann and Kassidy McNeill, and nephews and niece.
Peggy Pratt Photo Gallery
PHOTO 01: Peggy Pratt (nee Woods), Hollyburn Mountain, late 1930’s
PHOTO 02: Peggy Pratt (nee Woods), Hollyburn Mountain, late 1930’s
PHOTO 03: Peggy Pratt (nee Woods)Hollyburn Mountain, late 1930’s
PHOTO 04: Herb Woods & Peggy Pratt (nee Woods), Hollyburn Mountain, late 1930’s
PHOTO 05: Peggy Pratt (nee Woods), Hollyburn Mountain, late 1930’s
PHOTO 06: Peggy Pratt (nee Woods), Hollyburn Mountain, late 1930’s
PHOTO 07: Peggy Pratt (nee Woods), Hollyburn Mountain, late 1930’s, Crown Mtn. range in background. (Hugh Aikens/Pratt Family Collection)
PHOTO 08: Peggy Pratt (nee Woods) & ?, Hollyburn Ridge, c. 1940 (Pratt Family Collection)
PHOTO 09: Peggy Pratt (nee Woods) in front of a cabin on Hollyburn Ridge, c. 1940 (Pratt Family Collection)
PHOTO 10: Peggy Pratt (nee Woods) & friends in front of the First Aid cabin at the bottom of Romstads hill on Hollyburn Mtn, c. 1940 (Pratt Family Collection)
PHOTO 11: Peggy Pratt (nee Woods) & friends in front of the First Aid cabin at the bottom of Romstads hill on Hollyburn Mtn, c. 1940 (Pratt Family Collection)
PHOTO 12: Peggy Pratt (nee Woods) & friends at First Lake, c. 1940 (Pratt Family Collection)
PHOTO 13: (L-R) ?, Peggy Pratt (nee Woods), Herb Woods, ?
PHOTO 14: (L-R) ?, Herb Woods, ?, ?, Peggy Pratt (nee Woods)
PHOTO 15: Peggy Pratt (nee Woods) in Strachan Gully after injuring her ankle. Her brother, Herb Woods is at R. (Hugh Aikens/Pratt Family Collection)
PHOTO 16: Peggy Pratt (nee Woods), c. 1940 (Hugh Aikens/Pratt Family Collection)
PHOTO 17: Peggy Pratt (nee Woods) on the Skiers’ Train to Revelstoke, c. 1940 (Hugh Aikens Collection)
PHOTO 18: Peggy Pratt (nee Woods) & Jack Pratt, Hollyburn Mtn., c. 1940
December 14, 1908 - June 12, 1988
Chuck Gillrie Photo Gallery
PHOTO 01: Chuck & June Gillrie, Hollyburn Ridge c. 1940 (June Gillrie Collection)
PHOTO 02: “Swish Inn” (Cabin 199)under construction, Hollyburn Ridge c. 1940. Chuck Gillrie on far R, June Gillrie with her back to camera (June Gillrie Collection)
PHOTO 03: “Swish Inn” (Cabin 199) under construction, Hollyburn Ridge c. 1940 Chuck Gillrie at centre L (June Gillrie Collection)
PHOTO 04: “Swish Inn” (Cabin 199) under construction, lHollyburn Ridge, c. 1940, Chuck Gillrie at far R (June Gillrie Collection)
PHOTO 05: Chuck Gillrie (L) & Brian near First Lake, Hollyburn Ridge c. 1940
PHOTO 06: Chuck Gillrie (3rd L) & June Gillrie (2nd R) near First Lake, Hollyburn Ridge c. 1940 (June Gillrie Collection)
PHOTO 07: Clare Morrison, Hollyburn Ridge c. 1940 (June Gillrie Collection)
PHOTO 08: Chuck and June Gillrie, Hollyburn Mtn. c. 1940 (June Gillrie Collection)
PHOTO 09: Chuck Gillrie, Hollyburn Mtn. c. 1940 (June Gillrie Collection)
PHOTO 10: Chuck Gillrie on resting on the north peak of Black Mtn., Mt. Strachan (R background), the Lions (centre background) c. 1940 (June Gillrie Collection)
PHOTO 11: Chuck & June beside the diving tower at First Lake c. 1940
PHOTO 12: Chuck & June Gillrie enjoying a snack on the Hollyburn shoulder c. 1940 (June Gillrie Collection)
PHOTO 13: (L-R) ?, Chuck & June Gillrie beside Swish Inn, Hollyburn Ridge, 1940’s (June Gillrie Collection)
PHOTO 14: (L-R) June Gillrie, Fred Rush & Chuck Gillrie, Hollyburn Ridge, 1940’s (June Gillrie Collection)
PHOTO 15: Chuck Gillrie skiing on Hollyburn Mtn., 1940’s (June Gillrie Collection)
PHOTO 16: Chuck Gillrie skiing on Hollyburn Mtn., 1940’s (June Gillrie Collection)
PHOTO 17: Chuck & June Gillrie, Hollyburn Ridge, late 1940’s (June Gillrie Collection)
PHOTO 18: Chuck & June Gillrie, Hollyburn Ridge, late 1940’s (June Gillrie Collection)
Denise Maria Boving Fiala
December 16, 1925 – May 23, 2013
Just to let you know a girl who skied Hollyburn, a woman who skied Seymour; my mother, Denise Fiala has passed away. She loved the (Pioneer Skiers’) Reunions and was so happy that you are working so hard to keep the history of the mountains alive. Monica Burrows
An interesting life:
Denise Fiala nee Boving, was born in 1925 in Vancouver to a French mother & a Swedish father. She grew up at 4th & Tolmie in the house she would live in once she married & that she lived in until she moved to the Waterford. She lived in the same house for 81 of her 87 years. Her childhood winters were spent on Hollyburn Mountain. Her summers were spent on the beach in Selma Park where her family owned a cottage on land leased from the Sechelt nation.
She attended Lord Byng High School, graduated in 1943 & went on to work at Western Air Command as a perfectly capable clerical staffer even though she was classified as a substandard typist because she was so nervous during the typing test that she got onto the wrong row of keys & failed it.
When she was 21 she spent a year in Sweden getting her Master Weaver's certificate & learning to speak Swedish with her nieces and nephews, while living with her sister and her family.
In the 50's she met & married Hans, a recent immigrant from Austria & she learned to speak German, while keeping a home & raising their daughter with lots of great austrian & swedish cooking, hand sewn clothes and an enthusiasm for adventure. All winter they skied on Mt Seymour & in the summers as soon as the chores were done, Denise spent every day at Jericho beach.
Denise had a huge talent with textile arts & stitchery from her mother. She was a regular peruser of posh clothing at Point Grey's toniest rummage sales which she picked up to repurpose in beautifully sewn and creative new styles. She inherited a passion for gardening from her father who was head gardener at the UBC Botanical Garden for many years, lovingly caring for his personal garden full of plants from seeds he traded for from around the world.
During the 60's & 70's she taught weaving part time for the West Point Grey community centre & was the Exhibitions Chair for the Greater Vancouver Weavers & Spinners Guild. She won many awards for her designs & her weaving. When she was 55 years old she went back to work full time as the Weaving Instructor for Veteran's Affairs at Shaughnessy Hospital & spent 10 years there until retirement, designing projects for the veterans & even meeting the Governor General of the day while chaperoning one of her clients who had woven a tapestry Denise designed which now hangs in the headquarters of the Red Cross in Ottawa.
She was a loving and involved grandmother and delighted in her two granddaughters. She loved to travel and made deep friendships with friends she met on her trips. Denise was an outdoors person, rode her mountain bike until she was 75 & was a Friend of the Garden at the UBC Botanical Garden until her health gave out.
While it was with great trepidation that she made the move down to Tsawwassen from a lifetime in the same house, she was remarkably positive about it from day one & was thrilled to make new friends.An interesting life:
Denise Fiala Photo Gallery
PHOTO 01: Denise Boving (L), West Vancouver c. 1950 (Denise Fiala Collection)
PHOTO 02: Denise Boving (centre), West Vancouver c. 1950 (Denise Fiala Collection)
PHOTO 03: Denise Boving (L), West Vancouver c. 1950 (Denise Fiala Collection)
PHOTO 04: Denise Boving on the Hollyburn trail c. 1950 (Denise Fiala Collection)
PHOTO 05: Denise Boving (R) on the Hollyburn trail c. 1950 (Denise Fiala Collection)
PHOTO 06: Denise Boving, Hollyburn Ridge c. 1950 (Denise Fiala Collection)
PHOTO 07: Denise Boving, First Lake, Hollyburn Ridge, 1940’s
PHOTO 08: Denise Boving, First Lake, Hollyburn Ridge, 1940’s
PHOTO 09: Denise Boving (L) c. 1950 (Denise Fiala Collection)
PHOTO 10: Denise Boving (L) and friends in front of the cabin they rented on Hollyburn Ridge c. 1950 (Denise Fiala Collection)
PHOTO 11: Denise Boving at First Lake on Hollyburn Ridge c. 1950
PHOTO 12: Denise Boving (R) on top of the First Lake ski jump trestle on Hollyburn Ridge c. 1950 (Denise Fiala Collection)
PHOTO 13: Denise Boving (L) and friends on Hollyburn Mountain c. 1950
PHOTO 14: Denise Boving (L) and friends near Fourth Lake on Hollyburn Mountain
PHOTO 15: Denise Boving (R) on Hollyburn platea c. 1950 (Denise Fiala Collection)
PHOTO 16: Denise Boving on Hollyburn platea c. 1950 (Denise Fiala Collection)
PHOTO 17: Denise Boving (2nd L) and friends at the base of Romstads hill on Hollyburn Mountain c. 1950 (Denise Fiala Collection)
PHOTO 18: Denise Boving (2nd L) and friends at the top of Romstads hill on Hollyburn Mountain c. 1950 (Denise Fiala Collection)
April 3, 1929 - October 8, 2014
Robert Cecil Tapp, or Bob to anyone who met him was born in 1929 in Calgary and moved to Vancouver’s west side with his family at the age of 6. Early in his teen years, Bob and his friend Bill Sherwood, “saved their dimes” to ride the streetcar and then ferry from Dunbar to West Vancouver where they hiked from the waterfront to the cabin area and Hollyburn Lodge. Fromthat moment onward, young Bob never returned to Sunday school, and instead found his new “church” on Hollyburn Mountain.
In his teens and twenties, Bob, together with friends, purchased a half-dozen different cabins such as “Skiesta”, “Doghouse”, and “Circle 5”. Then in 1954 he met Greta Nemlander at the famed Saturday night dances at the lodge. Greta had found the mountain on her own, and was sharing the cabin “Little Brown Jug” with her girlfriends.
The two of them dated for the next 5 years creating lasting memories of dancing at Hollyburn or Highview Lodge, at ski jumping events on the North Shore mountains where dad was a judge and mom was the jumper and casual ski days on the slopes of Hollyburn. They also enjoyed annual ski trips to Sun Valley Idaho and Mount Baker with their legion of friends from Hollyburn.
In 1961 Bob and Greta made their final cabin purchase of “Holmenkollen”. Greta and Bob had married 2 years earlier, and had just had their first son Dan. In the 1960’s Bob and Greta, had 3 more children - Dave, Pete and Karen. In this tiny cabin the Tapp family of 6, spent many weekends and holidays enjoying and exploring the mountain.
In 1973, when the political pressure from West Vancouver was to remove the cabins on the hill, Bob and his good friend Jack Rockandel, formed the Hollyburn Ridge Association. For the next decade, Jack and Bob continued on with their cause, and with the support of other cabin owners managed to convince West Vancouver Council of their mistake. Over the next 30 something years Bob was a constant resource for all future HRA Directors who would take over the fight to preserve these little cabins on the mountain for future generations. Bob also resumed the Fall Festival in 1985 in the back yard of Holmenkollen which was to bring back the social aspect of the old summer regatta’s with ol’ style loggers sports which then included axe throwing in our little cabin backyard. With years of childhood memories of dad telling mountain stories our family was relieved and excited for dad when other historians such as Gordon Knight and Don Grant created the Hollyburn Heritage Society, a volunteer group dedicated to capturing the heritage and stories of the mountain for the greater community. Bob worked with other mountain stakeholders such as Cypress Bowl Recreation, (now Cypress Mountain), BC Parks, Friends of Cypress, West Van Municipality, and Streamkeepers. Dad created opportunities and built partnerships for the heritage of the mountain which was shared in historical landmarks such as the Gerry Hardman Snow pole, The Pioneers Picnic Table, The Naysmith Bridge Railing photo display, the ongoing preservation of Hollyburn Lodge and the last project the John Deere Tractor restoration project with his son Peter.
Dad loved his time on the mountain and took his 4 kids up there as much as possible and made sure we were aware of what it takes to keep this unique historical heritage alive. Passion and Commitment for the place.
Bob was known for inviting strangers and friends into our tiny (11x16’) cabin and to sit and share a few stories over a beer. This past May, dad suffered a stroke. After months of being in Lions Gate Hospital we had a beautiful day outing in August where he visited the Ambleside Ferry Building / WV Art Gallery with his 3 kids. Dad was overwhelmed with emotion of the talent and passion others like him had for the mountain.
Rest in peace Dad
Bob Tapp Photo Gallery 1
Bob Tapp Photo Gallery 2
December 11, 1927 - February 9, 2014
Alexander Willard Swanson passed away February 9th, 2014 at 86 years of age. Born on December 11th, 1927 in West Vancouver. Alex was an integral part of the WV community. As a child, Alex was a member of the WV Boys Band and Sailing Club. Alongside his brother Dave, Alex grew up on foot, on skis, on bike and by boat, before starting a career in the insurance industry. He volunteered for 17 years with WV fire department, and was a longtime member of the WV Legion. Alex and Wendy (married 48 years) raised 4 children, spending a great deal of time at their cabin "The Doghouse". This was the start of a long relationship with Hollyburn Mountain and the HollyburnHeritage Society. Alex was known as a collector of memorabilia; however, his legacy was his impact on people. Alex is lovingly remembered by his children, Rick (Karen), Lea (Bud), David (Kythe) and Dona, 9 grandchildren, 1 great-grandson, and his partner of 15 years, Jeanne Brookes. We extend our deepest appreciation to Jeanne and her family. Alex shared a wonderful life filled with laughter and happiness. He had a contagious spirit, and could put a smile on anyone's face with the right story or joke. Alex will continue to live on in our hearts.
Alex Swanson Photo Gallery
PHOTO 01: Alex Swanson on the outhouse steps near "The Doghouse",
PHOTO 02: Alex Swanson with his mother, inside "The Doghouse", Hollyburn Ridge, December 1961 (Alex Swanson Collection)
PHOTO 03: John Lind at work cutting firewood for the 'Y' cabins, Hollyburn Ridge, April 1962 (Alex Swanson Collection)
PHOTO 04: The Swanson family on the peak of Hollyburn Mtn., July 1962
PHOTO 05: Alex Swanson carrying a load of shakes, Hollyburn Ridge, July 1962
PHOTO 06: The Swansons at "The Doghouse", Hollyburn Ridge, July 1962
PHOTO 07: Alex Swanson ascending a ridge enroute to the West Lion with the East Lion in the background. August 1962 (Alex Swanson Collection)
PHOTO 08: Alex Swanson on the summit of the West Lion, August 1963
PHOTO 09: Alex Swanson & ? on the Hollyburn plateau, 1964
PHOTO 10: Alex Swanson at the foot of Romstads hill, March 1965
PHOTO 11: Alex Swanson approaching Yew Lake, September 1965
PHOTO 12: Alex Swanson on Hollyburn Mtn., January 1966
PHOTO 13: Alex Swanson and his sons on Hollyburn Mtn., April 1966
PHOTO 14: Alex Swanson hiking up Hollyburn Mtn., June 1966
PHOTO 15: Alex Swanson backpacking insulation to his cabin on Hollyburn Ridge, April 1968 (Alex Swanson Collection)
PHOTO 16: Alex Swanson on the summit of Hollyburn Mtn., April 1969
PHOTO 17: Alex Swanson cutting firewood near his cabin on Hollyburn Ridge, May 1971 (Alex Swanson Collection)
PHOTO 18: Alex Swanson at the front entrance to Hollyburn Ski Lodge, May 1971 (Alex Swanson Collection)
PHOTO 19: (L-R) ?, Kjell Karlsson & Alex Swanson riding a skidoo, Hollyburn Ridge, May 1973 (Alex Swanson Collection)
PHOTO 20: Alex Swanson enjoying a snooze on his skido near his cabin, “The Doghouse” on Hollyburn Ridge, May 1973 (Alex Swanson Collection)
PHOTO 21: Alex Swanson approaching the summit of Hollyburn Mtn., February 1974 (Alex Swanson Collection)
PHOTO 22: (L-R) Alex Swanson, ?, Kjell Karlsson on Hollyburn Ridge, June 1964
PHOTO 23: Alex Swanson skiing on Black Mtn., February 1982
PHOTO 24: Alex Swanson with one of his grandchildren, Hollyburn Ridge, April 1986 (Alex Swanson Collection)