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Interview with Merrill M. Gordon by Rod Fowler March 19, 1990 - Track 7

https://search.heritageburnaby.ca/permalink/oralhistory478
Repository
City of Burnaby Archives
Summary
This portion of the interview is about Merrill Gordon’s political career and his volunteer work with Cliff Avenue soccer, the Burnaby Mental Health Association, the library board, and the New Vista Society. He talks about his association with Alan Emmott and the founding of the Better Burnaby Commi…
Date Range
1956-1990
Length
00:07:05
  1 Audio     1 Image  
Repository
City of Burnaby Archives
Summary
This portion of the interview is about Merrill Gordon’s political career and his volunteer work with Cliff Avenue soccer, the Burnaby Mental Health Association, the library board, and the New Vista Society. He talks about his association with Alan Emmott and the founding of the Better Burnaby Committee (BBC), his election to Burnaby Council in 1972 with BVA, and his membership in and work for the federal NDP
Date Range
1956-1990
Photo Info
Burnaby Alderman Merrill Gordon (second from right) following a candidates' meeting, 1973. Item no. 480-263
Length
00:07:05
Name
Emmott, Alan H
Subject
Persons - Volunteers
Officials - Aldermen and Councillors
Interviewer
Fowler, Rod
Interview Date
March 19, 1990
Scope and Content
Recording is of an interview with Merrill Gordon, conducted by Rod Fowler.Gordon Merrill was one of eleven participants interviewed as part of the SFU/Burnaby Centennial Committee's oral history series titled, "Voices of Burnaby". The interview is about Merrill Gordon’s childhood in the Depression, including his story about the family’s difficult trek to Burnaby from Alberta; his education, teachers and first volunteer activities at Grandview High School; his career at Fleck Brothers and the start of his own company Blaze Industries and later work in India; and his many volunteer activities in Burnaby. He describes how he started the Cliff Avenue United Football Club, the soccer club's subsequent growth and development, some of the people involved, and the founding of the youth soccer exchange. He also describes his work on the Parks Board and in the arts community, including the 1987 arts centre referendum, and involvement with the Burnaby Mountain Preservation Society (1988- ), and mentions his work for other groups including the New Vista Society, library board, and Burnaby Mental Health Committee. He also talks about his political career with the Better Burnaby Committee and Burnaby Voters Association, resulting in his 1972 election to Burnaby’s 1973 council. To view “Narrow By” terms for each track expand this description and see “Notes”.
Biographical Notes
Merrill M. Gordon was born in Saskatchewan in 1929 to parents farming north of North Battleford. After a fifth year of crop failure the family of four left the farm in 1934 to join relatives living near the corner of Union and Sperling in Burnaby. With little resources the family adapted as well as possible in the Depression years, moving often in the East Vancouver/North Burnaby area in an attempt to better their situation. Merrill’s father obtained work at sawmills including Kapoor’s Sawmill at Barnet, walking to work over Burnaby Mountain. After attending numerous public schools, Merrill Gordon eventually spent three years at Templeton School and then completed his education at Grandview High School of Commerce, majoring in accounting and commercial law. He worked a few years at Canadian Industries Ltd., then joined Fleck Brothers. In 1965 Merrill Gordon and his wife started their own company Blaze Industries of Canada that manufactured wood burning fireplaces, selling the company to AB Electrolux in 1980. After a short retirement, Merrill Gordon went back to work in 1981 for a company manufacturing solar panels, one project taking him and his wife intermittently to India over a four year period. Merrill Gordon helped found the political group Better Burnaby Committee, later the Burnaby Voters Association, with Alan Emmott and Bill Lewarne, ran for Burnaby Municipal Council and served one year as councillor in 1973. Merrill Gordon is well known for his over 40 years of volunteer work in Burnaby, particularly as founder in 1956 and director of the Cliff Avenue United Football Club, one of the largest soccer clubs in BC. He was also the founder of Burnaby Youth Soccer and the first youth soccer exchange with Washington State. His other volunteer work includes library trustee, Parks Commissioner (1987-1992), Director of New Vista Home for Seniors, Chair of campaign raising funds for building Shadbolt Arts Centre, and Chair of the Burnaby Mental Health Committee. In 1988 Merrill Gordon, Betty Gordon, Dean Lamont and several others formed the Burnaby Mountain Preservation Society, which advocated for the return of unused land to Burnaby from SFU and the subsequent creation of Burnaby Mountain Conservation Area. Merrill Gordon and Elizabeth Balfour (nee Leitch) (1926-2012) married in 1953 and had two children.
Total Tracks
11
Total Length
1:31:44
Other Tracks
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Interviewee Name
Gordon, Merrill
Interview Location
unknown
Interviewer Bio
Rod Fowler returned to university as a mature student in the 1980s after working about twenty years in the field of economics and computerization in business in England, Europe and Western Canada. He graduated with a BA from SFU in both History and Sociology in 1987, his MA degree in Geography in 1989, and his PhD in Cultural Geography at SFU. He taught courses in Geography, Sociology, History and Canadian Studies at several Lower Mainland colleges, before becoming a full time member of the Geography Department at Kwantlen University College.
Collection/Fonds
SFU/Burnaby Centennial Committee fonds
Series
Centennial Oral History project series
Item No.
MSS187-020_Track_7
Transcript Available
Transcript available
Media Type
Sound Recording
Web Notes
Interviews were digitized in 2015 allowing them to be accessible on Heritage Burnaby. The digitization project was initiated by the Community Heritage Commission with support from City of Burnaby Council.
Audio Tracks

Track seven of interview with Merrill Gordon

Images
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Interview with John Templeton, Alan James and Christine Leston by Kathy Bossort October 26, 2015 - Track 1

https://search.heritageburnaby.ca/permalink/oralhistory587
Repository
City of Burnaby Archives
Summary
This portion of the interview introduces John Templeton, Alan James and Christine Leston, three members of the stream keepers group Stoney Creek Environment Committee (SCEC), and their description of The Great Salmon Send-Off event on Stoney Creek and its start in 1990. John Templeton also talks ab…
Date Range
1970-2015
Length
0:14:04
  1 Audio  
Repository
City of Burnaby Archives
Summary
This portion of the interview introduces John Templeton, Alan James and Christine Leston, three members of the stream keepers group Stoney Creek Environment Committee (SCEC), and their description of The Great Salmon Send-Off event on Stoney Creek and its start in 1990. John Templeton also talks about the life cycle of chum and coho salmon.
Date Range
1970-2015
Length
0:14:04
Name
Stoney Creek Environment Committee
Great Salmon Send-Off
Subject
Geographic Features - Streams
Events
Organizations - Societies and Clubs
Persons - Volunteers
Geographic Access
Burnaby - Burnaby Mountain
Burnaby - Brunette River
Burnaby - Stoney Creek
Interviewer
Bossort, Kathy
Interview Date
October 26, 2015
Scope and Content
Recording is of an interview with John Templeton, Alan James & Christine Leston, members of the Stoney Creek Environment Committee, conducted by Kathy Bossort. The three members of SCEC were among 23 participants interviewed as part of the Community Heritage Commission’s Burnaby Mountain Oral History Project. The interview is mainly about the history and work of the stream keeper group Stoney Creek Environment Committee (SCEC) and the Stoney Creek Environmental Working Group, and about SCEC’s founder Jennifer Atkinson. The interview is made richer by the complementary views of the three interviewees, John Templeton (SCEC Chair), Alan James (Member-at-Large - Education), and Christine Leston (Treasurer).
Biographical Notes
The Stoney Creek Environment Committee is a streamkeeper group and registered non-profit society dedicated to protecting and restoring viable salmon-bearing streams within the Stoney Creek Watershed. (Stoney Creek originates on Burnaby Mountain and is part of the Brunette watershed which empties into the Fraser River.) The volunteer group, formed in 1995, was guided by the tireless efforts of Jennifer Atchison (1938-2010) after whom the Jennifer Atchison Environmental Centre in North Burnaby is named. The volunteer members of SCEC monitor water quality, generate inventories and reports on the biophysical assets and health of the watershed, provide educational opportunities, enhance stream and stream bank habitat, and speak on behalf of the Stoney Creek watershed. One of its key events is The Great Salmon Send-Off, the release of young salmon into Stoney Creek in May, which celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2015. The Stoney Creek Environmental Working Group (1999-present), managed by the City of Burnaby, undertakes to coordinate the actions of all stakeholders in the Stoney Creek watershed. It is comprised of representatives from community groups, such as SCEC, governmental and institutional agencies, and industries who are committed to sustaining and improving the quality of the Stoney Creek watershed’s water, wildlife and environment. John Templeton, currently SCEC Chair, joined SCEC in 2004. He was born in Coleraine ,County Londonderry, Northern Ireland, in 1957, and after immigrating to Canada, came to live in Burnaby in 1992, first in Forest Grove (1992-2014) and then in Forest Hills. He works as a millwright. Alan James,Member-at-large - Education, joined SCEC in 2003 He was born in 1939 in Berkeley, California, and came to live in Burnaby in about 2000. He is a retired geophycisist and computer consultant. Christine Leston joined SCEC in 1997, serving first as Secretary and then as Treasurer. She was born in 1943 in Cheshire, England, and came to live in Burnaby in 1974, first in Greentree Village, then Simon Fraser Village (1974-2004) and now the Edmonds area. She is a retired technical writer.
Total Tracks
9
Total Length
2:08:27
Other Tracks
View All Tracks
Interviewee Name
Templeton, John R.
James, Alan C.
Leston, Christine
Interview Location
Jennifer Atchison Environmental Centre, Burnaby
Interviewer Bio
Kathy Bossort is a retired archivist living in Ladner, BC. She worked at the Delta Museum and Archives after graduating from SLAIS (UBC) in 2001 with Masters degrees in library science and archival studies. Kathy grew up in Calgary, Alberta, and, prior to this career change, she lived in the West Kootenays, earning her living as a cook for BC tourist lodges and work camps. She continues to be interested in oral histories as a way to fill the gaps in the written record and bring richer meaning to history.
Collection/Fonds
Community Heritage Commission Special Projects fonds
Series
Burnaby Mountain Oral History Project series
Item No.
MSS196-006_Track_1
Media Type
Sound Recording
Audio Tracks

Track one of interview with John Templeton, Alan James & Christine Leston

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Interview with John Templeton, Alan James and Christine Leston by Kathy Bossort October 26, 2015 - Track 4

https://search.heritageburnaby.ca/permalink/oralhistory590
Repository
City of Burnaby Archives
Summary
This portion of the interview is about the Stoney Creek Environment Committee members’ description of the awards received by members of SCEC, the success of the Great Salmon Send-Off, how they preserve and spread knowledge created by the group, and the importance of the Jennifer Atchison Environmen…
Date Range
1995-2015
Length
0:13:24
  1 Audio  
Repository
City of Burnaby Archives
Summary
This portion of the interview is about the Stoney Creek Environment Committee members’ description of the awards received by members of SCEC, the success of the Great Salmon Send-Off, how they preserve and spread knowledge created by the group, and the importance of the Jennifer Atchison Environmental Centre to the identity and success of SCEC.
Date Range
1995-2015
Length
0:13:24
Name
Stoney Creek Environment Committee
Jennifer Atchison Environmental Centre
Great Salmon Send-Off
Subject
Geographic Features - Streams
Organizations - Societies and Clubs
Persons - Volunteers
Geographic Access
Burnaby - Burnaby Mountain
Burnaby - Burnaby Mountain Conservation Area
Burnaby - Stoney Creek
Interviewer
Bossort, Kathy
Interview Date
October 26, 2015
Scope and Content
Recording is of an interview with John Templeton, Alan James & Christine Leston, members of the Stoney Creek Environment Committee, conducted by Kathy Bossort. The three members of SCEC were among 23 participants interviewed as part of the Community Heritage Commission’s Burnaby Mountain Oral History Project. The interview is mainly about the history and work of the stream keeper group Stoney Creek Environment Committee (SCEC) and the Stoney Creek Environmental Working Group, and about SCEC’s founder Jennifer Atkinson. The interview is made richer by the complementary views of the three interviewees, John Templeton (SCEC Chair), Alan James (Member-at-Large - Education), and Christine Leston (Treasurer).
Biographical Notes
The Stoney Creek Environment Committee is a streamkeeper group and registered non-profit society dedicated to protecting and restoring viable salmon-bearing streams within the Stoney Creek Watershed. (Stoney Creek originates on Burnaby Mountain and is part of the Brunette watershed which empties into the Fraser River.) The volunteer group, formed in 1995, was guided by the tireless efforts of Jennifer Atchison (1938-2010) after whom the Jennifer Atchison Environmental Centre in North Burnaby is named. The volunteer members of SCEC monitor water quality, generate inventories and reports on the biophysical assets and health of the watershed, provide educational opportunities, enhance stream and stream bank habitat, and speak on behalf of the Stoney Creek watershed. One of its key events is The Great Salmon Send-Off, the release of young salmon into Stoney Creek in May, which celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2015. The Stoney Creek Environmental Working Group (1999-present), managed by the City of Burnaby, undertakes to coordinate the actions of all stakeholders in the Stoney Creek watershed. It is comprised of representatives from community groups, such as SCEC, governmental and institutional agencies, and industries who are committed to sustaining and improving the quality of the Stoney Creek watershed’s water, wildlife and environment. John Templeton, currently SCEC Chair, joined SCEC in 2004. He was born in Coleraine ,County Londonderry, Northern Ireland, in 1957, and after immigrating to Canada, came to live in Burnaby in 1992, first in Forest Grove (1992-2014) and then in Forest Hills. He works as a millwright. Alan James,Member-at-large - Education, joined SCEC in 2003 He was born in 1939 in Berkeley, California, and came to live in Burnaby in about 2000. He is a retired geophycisist and computer consultant. Christine Leston joined SCEC in 1997, serving first as Secretary and then as Treasurer. She was born in 1943 in Cheshire, England, and came to live in Burnaby in 1974, first in Greentree Village, then Simon Fraser Village (1974-2004) and now the Edmonds area. She is a retired technical writer.
Total Tracks
9
Total Length
2:08:27
Other Tracks
View All Tracks
Interviewee Name
Templeton, John R.
James, Alan C.
Leston, Christine
Interview Location
Jennifer Atchison Environmental Centre, Burnaby
Interviewer Bio
Kathy Bossort is a retired archivist living in Ladner, BC. She worked at the Delta Museum and Archives after graduating from SLAIS (UBC) in 2001 with Masters degrees in library science and archival studies. Kathy grew up in Calgary, Alberta, and, prior to this career change, she lived in the West Kootenays, earning her living as a cook for BC tourist lodges and work camps. She continues to be interested in oral histories as a way to fill the gaps in the written record and bring richer meaning to history.
Collection/Fonds
Community Heritage Commission Special Projects fonds
Series
Burnaby Mountain Oral History Project series
Item No.
MSS196-006_Track_4
Media Type
Sound Recording
Audio Tracks

Track four of interview with John Templeton, Alan James & Christine Leston

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