Friday, January 30, 2015

Guilby Park

       Probably should really be named Colby Park; unknown who Guilby was I have not been able to find out nothing about him / her.

But Guilby Park it is today

       The Colby’s received tentative approval to subdivide in May of 1953, and in July the planning department was okay with Colby’s 24-foot wide road around the park, by August a plan of the subdivision ( Plan 18364 ) had been created and deposited in the Land Registry office in September 1953, by January of 1954, approval was given to go ahead, with the Colby Subdivision with 16 lots, surrounding a central park was given.

      Rather nice when you look at the surrounding area today, that the park was part of the subdivision plan.  And lucky for the residents that the city did not sell it like they had with so many of the parks in the area prior to and including the 1950’s.
Guilby Street to the west; Richard Street to the east; Edgar Avenue is the southern boundary, and Shaw Avenue is the northern boundary (2014 aerial photo )

Clellan Lawrence Colby was born on the 16th of January 1885 somewhere in Nebraska, U.S.A. -  and he died at home at 634 Rochester Avenue where he had lived since 1929, on the 17th of October 1960. He had retired in 1955, after being involved locally in trucking, and top-soil sales, for 25 years. He had lived in B.C. for 32 years, and been living in Canada for 50 years. His father was Ambrose Colby.   Clellan is buried in Forest Lawn cemetery, in Burnaby.

        The 1911 census finds Clellan  farming in the Tramping Lake --- Battleford, Saskatchewan  area, somewhere in Township 38 Range 22  W3

      By the 1916 census he is married to Bertha, and farming somewhere in the Township 36 Range 18 W3  Grandview, Saskatchewan area.
The census states that Clellan immigrated in 1909, and Bertha in 1908.
Bertha Elizabeth Richards; Bertha Elizabeth Colby was born on the 24th of December 1885 in England – 13 August 1957 at home.   Bertha was also buried in Forest Lawn cemetery in Burnaby, by Bowell & Sons, funeral directors

Clellan and Bertha appear to have had two daughters:
 Betty Hazel Colby ( Mrs. Betty Hazel Dodd ) was married to Wilbert Ross Dodd (1900 - 1982)
and Nola Colby ( Mrs. Nola Cox ) who was married to John Charles Cox, they lived at 636 Shaw Avenue, which is part of the Colby Subdivision.

        So I guess the family gave up farming at the start of the Depression and moved to the Coast like so many of the Prairie peoples; and it is interesting that the family home appears to be still standing, and in good condition, if the outside is used as an indicator.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Bel-Air apartment fire

A still unsolved arson crime from 1993, that caused two deaths, is in the news.

Made it into the newspapers far away from the Lower Mainland.

Cariboo Observer  3 November 1993 page 5

Fire kills two and destroys apartment
Port Coquitlam - A fierce fire Sunday morning killed two people and destroyed a Port Coquitlam apartment building.
The building was home to over 50 people who are now homeless.
Killed in the fire was Agda Louise Easingwood, 65, who became separated from her husband as they fled the building.
Firefighters later found her collapsed in a hallway.
Firefighters found a second body in the building late Sunday, afternoon, that of a 20 year-old woman. Her name has not been released and both women are believed to have died from smoke inhalation.
The fire started, at about 3 a.m. in the front lobby of the 32-suite Bel-Air Manor at 2191 Tyner St. Fire officials suspect it may have been deliberately set.
"We believe it to be suspicious, but we are cheeking that out at this time," said Port Coquitlam Fire Chief John Baillie, adding the description of the fire suggests an accelerant such as lighter fluid. Bailie said the fire spread quickly through the 80-year old building. "It does not look like there were any fire stops whatsoever. We didn't have a hope in hell of stopping this once it got inside," he said.

And a call by the RCMP for any leads in 2015

Coquitlam RCMP hope for new info on old fire that killed two women
Coquitlam Mounties still seek answers 21 years after fire killed two

And the official call by the local Coquitlam RCMP renew call for witnesses in unsolved homicides from 1993.    File # 1993-43287

After the fire the building was removed and a new building replaced it in 1994, after which  the address was changed  to 2120 Central Avenue, Port Coquitlam. Previously it was 2191 Tyner Street, Port Coquitlam.
The arched doorway in this photo was the lobby,
which faced onto Tyner Street
 Agda Louise Easingwood 
Agda lived on the second floor in #220 with her husband Albert Edward Easingwood
She was born in Barriere, B.C. on the 20th of February 1928, and died on 31st of October 1993, she is buried in the Port Coquitlam Cemetery. ( Death certificate OneTwo )
Memorial at Port Coquitlam cemetery
Her parents were Ernst Waldemar Scmidt (21 March 1896 Streese, Germany – 5 November 1962 ) and
  Agda Elvira Rosen  ( 20 September 1901 Wetaskiwin, Alberta – 20 March 1987 Surrey, B.C. ) They were  married in 1926 at Chinook Cove, B.C.
other siblings of Agda are: Allen Edward Schmidt and Joanne Schmidt, possibly others.

 Valerie Michelle Diner
Valerie was born in North Vancouver, B.C. on the 22nd of November 1972; her parents were John Diner, and Patricia Noreen Pritchard.
( Death certificate: OneTwo )
Valerie worked at one of the local Mohawk gas stations. She lived in apartment #213.   A young life lost.

NOTE: The Bel-Air Apartments contained a warren of halls, totally built from wood, numerous renovations throughout its life; an accident waiting to happen; but in this case an arsonist did the deed, and sadly caused the deaths of two souls.  At the time the rumour was that the owner wanted everyone out.

      This fire reminded me of another fire, totally unrelated, almost across the street from the Bel-Air apartments, that happened 17 years earlier, when a friend, Thomas Regan Chobotor, (New Westminster, B.C. 31 January 1960 to 1 August 1976 ) lost his life to an accidental fire in the family home, ( 2250-2260 Tyner St. ) that was abandoned after the fire and replaced by an industrial building 2 years later.  Leaving his mother Darlene Maddess, step-father Vern Lawrence and brother Rick Chobotor to mourn his loss.
Regan Chobotor is the name he went by, and he is commemorated with a memorial marker in the Port Coquitlam cemetery.