In 1958, British Columbia is celebrating its 100th Anniversary. John Diefenbaker is Prime Minister of Canada, recently elected with the largest majority in Canadian history (it wouldn’t last, but that’s another story). The premiere of British Columbia is W.A.C. Bennett, who is a mere six years into an eventual twenty-year mandate. In July, he announces that BC will establish a ferry service between Vancouver Island and the mainland. On April 5, Ripple Rock, a navigational hazard lurking just below the surface of Seymour Narrows that had sunk or damaged 119 vessels and claimed almost as many lives is blown up in the world’s largest non-nuclear peacetime explosion. Nearby, the new Second Narrows Bridge collapses while under construction, killing 18 workers. Nabokov’s Lolita and Henry Miller’s Tropic of Cancer are both banned in Canada. The present Main Post Office is opened at 349 West Georgia. Ladner is connected to Lulu Island via the Deas Island Tunnel (later re-named the George Massey Tunnel). Terry Fox, who would later move to Port Coquiltam, is born in Winnipeg. The hula hoop craze sweeps Canada. The Upper Levels Highway to Horseshoe Bay is completed. Louie Gim Sing, a pioneer Chinese builder who helped lay the last rail track into Vancouver in 1887 and the oldest Chinese resident of Canada, dies at 107. The largest roller coaster in Canada is built at the PNE.
In April, in a house at First Avenue and Dunbar in Vancouver, a little magazine called simply The Bulletin is born. Consisting of a half dozen typewritten pages, the new publication has a simple purpose—to provide the Japanese Canadian families who have arrived back on the coast following the wartime internment a source of information. It is a place to read about the comings and goings of the community and to catch up on news, both local and national.
This month, 50 years later, we look back at the long and sometime tumultuous publishing history of The Bulletin/Geppo. As Editor since October, 1993, it is humbling to look back over fifty years worth of issues, to see the work that my predecessors in the Editor’s chair poured into this publication—month after month, year after year. They are indeed hard shoes to fill. Anyway, there’s a lot to read this month, so I’ll leave you now.
PS: on the cover, there is a mention of an interview with long-time managing editor Fumiko Greenaway. Due to this special issue being split up into two, with Part II running next month, the interview will appear in the May issue.