It happened this week in 1912

Dec. 8 - 14: Compiled by Dave Humphrey from the newspapers at the Cranbrook History Centre and Archives

December 8 – 14: Compiled by Dave Humphrey from the archived newspapers at the Cranbrook History Centre and Archives. Pictured above: The Methodist Choir and Band.

A good haul … A train holdup that for boldness has never been equaled in Vancouver was perpetrated last Saturday night just as the Canadian Pacific railway’s “Imperial Limited” transcontinental passenger train, leaving Vancouver at 7.45 p.m., was passing out of the city limits.

A man disguised by a black mask boarded the train as it was passing the British Columbia Sugar refinery, a mile and a half out, entered the Pullman and at the point of a revolver forced the passengers and the Pullman conductor to hand over their money and valuables. The man dropped off the train just before it arrived at Barnet, which is six miles from the city.

The total loss was $308 in bills, two watches and one chain, one diamond ring and two English sovereigns, amounting to about $10. The conductor contributed $30 of the $308.

There is no trace of the robber. The holdup was done in such a finished manner and with such a nicely planned time allowance that only the Pullman car victims were aware of the man’s presence, consequently, while the passengers of that car crouched back from the menace of the bandit’s revolver and he swiftly went through their pockets and travelling bags, the train continued merrily on its way.

The train conductor proceeded with his task of collecting tickets from the day coaches, the tourist passengers made preparations to settle down for the night, members of the train crew paced through the cars, and all seemed well.

The engineer pulled the whistle cord as the train neared Barnet and the bandit backed out of the Pullman door, swung over the rear railing and dropped off.

The passengers still sat still, afraid to move. Seconds passed, then by one impulse they jumped to their feet and rushed forward through the train. One of them found the conductor and shouted out the news. He reached up and jerked the signal cord and the train came to a halt at Barnet.

The Vancouver police were notified and a posse set out in automobiles, but no trace of the robber was found.

He could easily have turned to Vancouver through woods or perhaps escaped by launch on the inlet. The robber was a very thin, tall, dark man.

Cranbrook farmers … An interesting and well attended meeting of the Farmers’ Institute was held at the government building on Wednesday evening. The meeting hour will be at 7.30 in future.

A vote of thanks and $5.00 was tendered to the janitor of the building for his kindness in providing for the comfort of the Institute at the monthly meetings.

A motion was unanimously carried protesting against the action of some local merchants, who, in spite of the well-known fact that hundreds of acres of potatoes were grown in this district the past season have ordered their winter supply from outside dealers.

The feeling of the Institute as voiced by those present was that many local merchants preferred to import Ashcroft potatoes, rather than give the agricultural interests of the district an opening for home grown produce.

Several hinted that as they had to dispose of their produce outside it would be advisable to buy outside as well.

Pictured above: A Methodist Bible Class

Methodist bean feast … Last Saturday afternoon and evening the Ladies Aid of the Methodist church conducted a very enjoyable and profitable social and bean feast in Worden’s vacant store, Baker street. There were some eight booths, all beautifully decorated, and filled with timely Christmas gifts.

The bean supper was a rare feast, to which quite a large number did justice.

The takings amounted to a good substantial sum, a portion of which will go towards the payment of taxes and the balance to wipe out the debt on the new organ.

Dr. Moves … Dr. Watt has permanently taken up residence at Elko, where he is building a home and a small hospital. He has been gazetted district medical officer for the Elko district.

Fort Steele news … Miss Amy Woodlands has been engaged as principal of Fort Steele public school. She will be assisted in her work by Miss Eleanor Curley, late of Liverpool, England, who comes thoroughly equipped for her work, having had ten years’ experience in English public schools.

Curling — A general meeting of the Cranbrook Curling club will be held in the committee rooms of the Hotel Cranbrook at 8.30 o’clock, on the evening of Friday, December 13th, for the purpose of picking skips and rinks for the season. All members are specially requested to attend. The ice is now in fairly good shape at the curling rinks, and several games have been played lately.

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Kindergarten class … On Friday afternoon last, at the close of a most successful and progressive term, Mrs. Racklyeft held her breaking-up party of the Cranbrook kindergarten. Some of the parents showed their interest by sending cake, oranges, etc., much to the delight of the children. Mrs. Racklyeft will re-open the school at the beginning of next month, and will during the holidays visit the parents, telling them of her future plans.

Mock trial … Unusual interest is being taken in the mock trial being held in the Carmen’s hall on Saturday night. The trial is based on the case of “Jennie Brice,” taken from Everybody’s Magazine, which periodical is offering prizes for the best conducted trial. P. E. Wilson will be the presiding judge, Judge Thompson counsel for the defense, W. F. Gurd and Mr. Nisbet, being prosecuting counsel. The part of the prisoner is being taken by our genial school principal, Mr. Cranston, and witnesses in the case are all well-known local people. Silver collection in aid of Christ Church Ladies’ Aid.

Nasty accident … Fireman Dick Barrington on 511, while passing Sparwood Monday and looking from the cab window, was struck by a piece of lumber projecting from a car and was badly cut on the head. He may lose his left eye as a result of the accident.

Kootenay garage … The Kootenay Garage Co., moved into their new quarters on Norbury Avenue on Monday. The new garage is one of the largest and best equipped garages in the interior of B.C. It is constructed of brick with cement floors, and is 50 x 122 floor measurement. The electrical appliances which include an electric movable pump for filling tires were installed by Davis Bros., electrical engineers. Mr. A. Mott is the manager of the company.

Cry for help … On Thursday morning there came in to our office a Chinaman, by name Wong Fong, who is carrying on business on Armstrong Avenue, with the report that the gambling houses in Chinatown were being run continuously every day. The games begin at 12 noon, 6 p.m. and 9 p.m.

The reason for doing this is to make a break in the games and to possibly put outsiders off their track, as they can arrange the time when the games are not in progress to show possible inquirers that the games are properly stopped according to the byelaws of the city.

The appeal for help is from Wong Fong and his little wife who are almost heartbroken at the result these games are having on some of their relatives, and who, consequent on losing so much at the tables are constantly appealing to them for help in a material way.

In talking with Wong Fong we learn that he has constantly appealed to the police for assistance and they have only laughed at him and put him off. “See that man”, he said, as one of the City Police passed the door, “I have told that man 10 or 12 times and he has done nothing. Police no good. Who must I See? What must I do?”

In the interests of humanity we took this matter up for him and placed it in the hands of the Justice of the Peace and we are hoping some good will come for the efforts he is making.

We hear that Wong Fong is having a petition drafted out and will go to everyone in the city and get it signed and forwarded through proper channels if the gambling is not stopped at once. The man is in earnest and means only good to result to his people.

The house he makes complaint of contains eight tables and they are always in use, not only by his own people, but often there are white people [at] their games.

In the interests of the people he represents who know that under the new government of China gambling after the third offence, is punishable by death, in the interests of the white men who are not able to judge the proper standards of a respectable city, and in the interests of the city itself, these haunts of vice and iniquity should cease and that at once.

The cry for assistance should not be let pass unheeded by any civilized community or professedly Christian people who are supposed to be possessed of higher morals, and a better standard of life.

As a suggestion to those in authority we would say if only to be sure that these games are not played in the future, orders should be given at once to have the tables removed and so remove temptation out of the hands of those so weak as not to be able to resist the attraction.

New appointment … Fred Ryckman has received the appointment as Indian Policeman from the Dominion government. His duties will take him to St. Eugene Mission and other reserves in East Kootenay.

Bull River news … Some of the boys took in the dance at Bull River Friday night, and a few intend taking in the masquerade to be held there in a few days. Bull River is fast becoming a very soc­iable little place. Mr. Stinson, who drives the stage from Bull River, had the misfortune to let his team run away a few days ago, while on his way from Bull River to Wardner. Fortunately none of the passengers were injured.

Shows now shared … It is reported that D. O. LeRoy, of Vancouver, has purchased a half interest in the moving pictures at the Auditorium. Mr. LeRoy and Mr. Gueraid, with their extensive exper­ience in the show business, will no doubt give Cranbrook, playgoers the best shows that it is possible to secure.

The monthly meeting of the above association was held at the Royal Hotel on Saturday evening, December 7th, Hon. Vice-President Edgar Sainsbury in the chair.

After routine business had been disposed of, a letter was read from Mr. F. J. Lower, in which he presented a set of photographic films of the inspection by H.R.H. the governor-general on October 8th, to the association, and suggesting that copies should be printed and sold for the benefit of the association.

A letter was also received from Lt. Col. H. C. Lowther, D.S.O., giving H.R.H. consent to this cause. A resolution was passed in appreciation of Mr. Lower’s generous action and the executive authorized to make arrangements in accordance with his letter.

A general discussion followed as to the advisability of holding a smoking concert. It was finally decided to try and arrange a camp fire and sing song in conjunction with the Boy Scouts on Mr. Russell’s ranch, on the Wattsburg road, kindly offered for the purpose. A committee composed of A. L. Marchant and Secretary A. H. Webb was appointed to make arrangements with Scout Master Dunham and Mr. Russell.

The consideration of bylaws and other important matters were postponed until next meeting, which will be held on Saturday, January 4th.

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