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Remembering Chuck Davis

22 November 2010 | Email This Post Email This Post | Print This Post Print This Post

The historian and author Chuck Davis, who died on Saturday, is remembered in a tribute program featuring guests: Sam Sullivan, Alan Twigg, Howard White, and David Berner, hosted by Joseph Planta.

Text of introduction by Joseph Planta:

I am Planta: On the Line in Vancouver, at THECOMMENTARY.CA.

The inimitable historian and author Chuck Davis died this past Saturday. He was 75. He had battled cancer some years ago, but unfortunately it came back. Seven weeks ago, on the stage of the Vancouver Playhouse Theatre, at Sam Sullivan’s Public Salon, Davis announced he had weeks to live. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house as Davis professed his love for Vancouver and its surrounding area, how much he loved chronicling it, and how he needed help in getting his last book, the capstone of his writing career, The History of Metropolitan Vancouver, published.

It’s his love of Vancouver and its history that we remember and mourn now. His legendary The Vancouver Book was published in 1976, and its follow-up, The Greater Vancouver Book was published in 1997. A book of his, I grew up loving, was his history of radio station CKNW, Top Dog!, which was published in 1993. You see his enthusiasm and love for history in those books, as well as at his robust and indispensible website, www.vancouverhistory.ca. Something worth listening to is the interview Davis gave the broadcaster Mike Cleaver, which recounts his career and more. You can find that on Jack Bennest’s website, www.bcradiohistory.com.

This program now will look at Davis’s life and legacy, with my guests: former mayor Sam Sullivan; author and BC Bookworld publisher, Alan Twigg; Harbour Publishing’s Howard White; and the broadcaster and commentator David Berner.

Chuck Davis, who last month received the George Woodcock Lifetime Achievement Award for his writing, leaves behind a body of work, unmatched and unrivalled. They not only contain facts and figures about this town and its people, but they also capture a spirit and passion for Vancouver that we haven’t seen from historians before or since.

I mentioned Sam Sullivan’s public salon earlier, and I’m very pleased now to have on the program, the former mayor of the City of Vancouver, Sam Sullivan. Sam, hello.