And there is much more wonderful history to come!
Photo dated January 1937 of George Clark Miller, the Mayor of Vancouver at that time.
Photograph by: Vancouver Sun, Files
Link to Article: Vancouver Sun, November 13, 2012
Worried that the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation was about to take over city council with a slate of left-leaning candidates, Vancouver business leaders announced the creation of the Non-Partisan Association on Nov. 13, 1937.
“The CCF slate of candidates for the 11 open offices of the Dec. 8 polls will now be opposed by a slate of citizens backed by all walks of life in the community, without political ties,” reported The Vancouver Sun in a front-page story.
The new party had a membership of 2,000 people, and proposed to field a slate of four candidates for alderman, three for the park board, and four for school board. Oddly, the new party claimed not to be a party – it was formed to “oppose the introduction of party politics into Vancouver’s civic administration.” The non-party party did have several backers with party connections – its chairman was Col. Victor Odlum, who was a Liberal MLA in the 1920s. The NPA’s first mayoral candidate, George Miller, later ran for the Progressive Conservatives.
Several prominent businessmen were also involved in the formation of the NPA, including W.C. Woodward of Woodward’s department store, Col. Victor Spencer of Spencer’s department store, and industrialist Austin Taylor. Electors took to the new party, electing nine NPA members to two CCFers. But it was a tense election night, as the CCF led in early returns, only to see the NPA pull ahead when the West End poll came in.
A right-wing split kept Miller from winning the 1939 mayoralty, but the NPA recovered and dominated civic politics for decades. There have been 11 NPA mayors since 1941: Jack Cornett, Gerry McGeer, Charles Jones, Miller, Charles Edwin Thompson, Frederick Hume, William Rathie, Tom Campbell, Gordon Campbell, Philip Owen, and Sam Sullivan.
Vancouver Sun, November 13, 2012