Yesterday we explored a new off-leash park at New Brighton Park. This park has it all – an outdoor swimming pool (I am not allowed in – I can’t see why not!), playground, concession stand (mmm… french fries…), beaches, a viewing platform, blackberries (some are ripe already – I catch them when hu-mom tosses them to me), and lots of space to run. In fact, so much space to run that sometimes I get beyond that invisible psychological leash zone and don’t ‘hear’ when my hu-mom recalls me. I mean, come on, I always come back, just not always exactly when she calls… She doesn’t like that…
There is a lot of history at the park. Over the past few years the City has gradually been restoring it from being an industrial site. But originally, it was part of the beginning of Vancouver, known in 1865 as Hastings Townsite.
There is also a plaque dedicating the “Battle of Ballantyne Pier” in 1935. I learned that this was the site of a docker’s strike in June that year, but that the trouble started way back in 1912! That’s when the International Longshoreman’s Association began to organize workers.
The strike in 1935 was met by police and RCMP resistance – marchers were met with clubs and tear gas! Shots were fired! The battle lasted three hours! Hard to imagine in Vancouver today. That strike ultimately failed, but two years later the International Longshore and Warehouse Union was formed and its work throughout the next decade and beyond improved wages and working conditions for its members.