“Growing Up in Vancouver’s West End”, a project telling what it was like to grow up in the West End of Vancouver, has been initiated recently by three old classmates from the area. Many stories and letters have been received already from former students and residents. The bulk of stories received thus far deal with events and relationships in the 1940’s and 1950’s. Many themes are evident including colourful stories about bootlegging, gambling, sports, hangouts, school days, and the risks and adventure of living in and around the downtown core. This project will result in a book about living and growing up in the West End and also an archive of stories and information about the area for researchers and the public. Essentially, it is about growing up in Vancouver’s West End through stories and letters from old West Enders. It will be a history of the people and by the people rather than a more traditional historical piece.
A major task facing the organizers of the project is to reach a wide number of people who resided in the West End during their childhood and youth. We want to expand the scope of the endeavour to include stories and accounts that describe life across several eras. To that end, we invite people who grew up in the West End to contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We believe that our completed work will be a welcome addition to the cultural history of our city.
Gary Pennington, EdD
Roberts Creek, B.C.