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Interview with Merrill M. Gordon by Rod Fowler March 19, 1990 - Track 6

https://search.heritageburnaby.ca/permalink/oralhistory477
Repository
City of Burnaby Archives
Summary
This portion of the interview is about the circumstances behind Merrill Gordon’s founding of the Cliff Avenue United Football Club in 1956, his subsequent involvement and role as President of the club for 15 years, and the growth and history of soccer clubs in Burnaby. He also talks about his frien…
Date Range
1956-1990
Length
00:13:27
  1 Audio     1 Image  
Repository
City of Burnaby Archives
Summary
This portion of the interview is about the circumstances behind Merrill Gordon’s founding of the Cliff Avenue United Football Club in 1956, his subsequent involvement and role as President of the club for 15 years, and the growth and history of soccer clubs in Burnaby. He also talks about his friend Mark Stockdale who was second president of the club for 16 years and creator of the rose garden on Burnaby Mountain.
Date Range
1956-1990
Photo Info
Burnaby Alderman Merrill Gordon (second from right) following a candidates' meeting, 1973. Item no. 480-263
Length
00:13:27
Name
Stockdale, Mark
Cliff Avenue United Football Club
Burnaby Mountain Centennial Rose Garden
Subject
Persons - Volunteers
Sports - Soccer
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_6
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 six of interview with Merrill Gordon

Images
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Interview with Rick Sporns by Kathy Bossort October 30, 2015 - Track 2

https://search.heritageburnaby.ca/permalink/oralhistory604
Repository
City of Burnaby Archives
Summary
This portion of the interview is about Rick Sporn’s description of the inspiration for and design of the Burnaby Mountain Centennial Rose Garden located in the Pavilion area on Burnaby Mountain. He talks about people involved in the 1991/92 City of Burnaby Centennial legacy project, including Mark …
Date Range
1990-2015
Length
0:12:58
  1 Audio  
Repository
City of Burnaby Archives
Summary
This portion of the interview is about Rick Sporn’s description of the inspiration for and design of the Burnaby Mountain Centennial Rose Garden located in the Pavilion area on Burnaby Mountain. He talks about people involved in the 1991/92 City of Burnaby Centennial legacy project, including Mark Stockdale and Doug Hosgood who suggested the project and selected and provided advise about the roses, and Bill Bissett, the City’s horticultural foreman.
Date Range
1990-2015
Length
0:12:58
Name
Kamui Mintara
Burnaby Mountain Centennial Rose Garden
Burnaby Mountain Conservation Area
Stockdale, Mark
Hosgood, Doug
Bissett, Bill
Subject
Geographic Features - Parks
Plants - Flowers
Geographic Access
Burnaby - Burnaby Mountain
Burnaby - Burnaby Mountain Park
Interviewer
Bossort, Kathy
Interview Date
October 30, 2015
Scope and Content
Recording is of an interview with Rick Sporns conducted by Kathy Bossort. Rick Sporns was one of 23 participants interviewed as part of the Community Heritage Commission’s Burnaby Mountain Oral History Project. The interview is mainly about Rick Sporn’s description of the history and design of Burnaby Mountain Centennial Rose Garden and the significance of the Centennial Pavilion area in the Burnaby Mountain Conservation Area. Rick Sporns also talks about his career with the City of Burnaby’s Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services, management of Burnaby Mountain Conservation Area, and the value of natural areas to Burnaby.
Biographical Notes
Richard Sporns was born in 1957 in Daly Municipality, Manitoba, to Ulrich and Charlotte Sporns. The family moved to the Burquitlam Area of Burnaby in about 1965. Rick Sporns obtained his BSc degree in biology at SFU and a degree in landscape architecture at UBC. In 1985 he began his career in the City of Burnaby’s Park, Recreation and Cultural Services department where he currently is Assistant Manager - Parks Design. Rick was responsible for designing Burnaby Mountain Centennial Rose Garden, a legacy project proposed by Mark Stockdale to commemorate Burnaby’s 1992 Centennial. The rose garden opened to the public July 18, 1992.
Total Tracks
6
Total Length
1:01:40
Other Tracks
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Interviewee Name
Sporns, Richard "Rick"
Interview Location
City of Burnaby Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services meeting room
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.
MSS196-008_Track_2
Media Type
Sound Recording
Audio Tracks

Track two of interview with Rick Sporns

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