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Through the Lens of Andy Digney

https://search.heritageburnaby.ca/permalink/museumvideo10099
Repository
Burnaby Village Museum
Date
[between 1934 and 1964] (date of original film), edited and narrated in 2016
Collection/Fonds
Digney Family fonds
Description Level
Item
Physical Description
1 mp4 video file (12 min., 17 sec.) : digital, 23 fps, col., sd., stereo
Scope and Content
Burnaby resident Andy Digney captured footage of Burnaby and beyond from 1934 to 1964. This short, narrated film features a compilation of the Digney footage created and narrated by the Burnaby Village Museum. Highlights include the construction of the Oak Theatre, a Depression-era May Day workers’…
  1 Video  
Repository
Burnaby Village Museum
Date
[between 1934 and 1964] (date of original film), edited and narrated in 2016
Collection/Fonds
Digney Family fonds
Description Level
Item
Accession Code
BV019.18.1
Physical Description
1 mp4 video file (12 min., 17 sec.) : digital, 23 fps, col., sd., stereo
Material Details
278 MB
Media Type
Moving Images
Access Restriction
No restrictions
Reproduction Restriction
No known restrictions
Scope and Content
Burnaby resident Andy Digney captured footage of Burnaby and beyond from 1934 to 1964. This short, narrated film features a compilation of the Digney footage created and narrated by the Burnaby Village Museum. Highlights include the construction of the Oak Theatre, a Depression-era May Day workers’ parade, and visits to locations throughout the Lower Mainland, including Grouse Mountain, Burnaby’s Central Park, and the Capilano Suspension Bridge.
History/Biography
Andy Digney was born in London, England on July 27, 1886. His given names were Andrew Charles and in 1905, he immigrated with his elder brother to Raymore Saskatchewan and worked on a farm. In 1914, he met and married Alice Swan and in 1920 they had their one and only child, Ernest ('Dig'). The young family lived in Beatty Saskatchewan where they ran a small general store with a pool hall over the top. Andy sold the store and they moved to Carberry Manitoba where Andy worked selling lightening rods and hanging wallpaper. At this time he met and formed a partnership with someone who owned a hand cranked move projector and in the evenings, he and his wife, traveled to church halls in neighbouring towns showing movies. Eventually, he purchased his own movie projector and opened a small theatre in Carberry. He worked odd jobs during the daytime and projected movies in his small theatre at night. Eventually he made enough money to move to Brandon, Manitoba where he purchased a restaurant which he turned into a theatre with living quarters above. Andy called the theatre 'The Oak' since the mighty oak was strong and stood forever. After starting the first Oak Theatre in Brandon, Manitoba when talking pictures came along, Andy Digney, his wife Alice and son Ernest ('Dig') moved to Burnaby in 1935 and chose the site of their new theatre and home at the corner of Kingsway and Marlborough. The Oak Theatre - which opened on August 4, 1937 - was hailed as an artistic masterpiece for its ultra modern white stucco exterior, floodlights and pink-and-green neon marquee. The interior featured a mirrored ceiling, fireplace, and aquarium and had a colour scheme of orchid, royal blue, silver and black. Andy was a very involved member of the Burnaby community becoming the founding president of the Lion's club and the chairman of the committee raising money for war bonds during World War II. In 1944, Andy suffered a severe heart attack, forcing him to retire, so in 1945 he sold the theatre to Odeon Theatres of Canada who continued to operate at this location until 1968 when competition forced its closure and demolition. Andy and his family relocated to a home on Bonsor Avenue on 3/4 acres where he spent much of his time cultivating a lovely garden. In about 1946, Andy was approached by the B.C. Midget Auto Racing Association, who were looking for a good location to race the smaller, racing cars, popular at the time. Andy was interested and purchased 10 acres of property located near the corner of Irmin Street and MacPherson Avenue and built a race track. The Digney Speedway opened on July 8, 1948 with stands that had capacity of holding 4500 people. In 1949, when the popularity of midget racing declined, Digney started racing roadsters. However, he struggled to find local drivers, and it was expensive to bring in drivers from elsewhere. In 1951 Digney found a winner: jalopy racing. Local men would buy 1930s cars and strip them down, remove the glass, and weld the doors shut. By early 1952 over forty cars were showing up for jalopy races. By the early 1950s the Speedway was well established, with coverage in the sports pages and on radio. Andy's son Ernest Digney (also known as Dig) worked at the race track but moved away with his wife in 1951 to work in Seattle. Andy and his wife Joyce, along with their two young sons, Paul and Bruce returned to Burnaby in 1953 moving into a 550 square foot apartment located above the Digney Speedway restrooms. In 1954 Simpson Sears built a large store on Kingsway and their parking lot came up to the back garden of the family home on Bonsor Avenue. Andy thought of building small stores on his property but in the end decided to build a bowling alley, clearing out his beautiful garden. The Digney Bowl opened on August 19,1955 and Andy Digney, his wife Alice, son 'Dig' and daughter in law Joyce all worked at both the Speedway and the bowling alley. In 1956 Andy decided to finally retire and sold the bowling alley and home to his son 'Dig' which he paid for over time. 'Dig' and his family moved into the house on Bonsor Avenue and ran the bowling alley until their son Bruce took over in 1980. Andy Digney died in 1964 while travelling with his wife in England. His wife Alice died on June 3, 1982 and their son, Ernest ('Dig') died November 27, 2009.
Notes
Title based on contents
City of Burnaby Archives holds the original Digney film masters (562.003) that this narrated segment was disseminated from
Creator
Andy Digney
Names
Digney, Andy
Digney Bowling Alley
Digney Speedway
Geographic Access
Burnaby - 6521 Bonsor Avenue
Burnaby - Kingsway
Video Tracks
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Interview with Ella Beatty, 2005

https://search.heritageburnaby.ca/permalink/museumsoundrecording4475
Repository
Burnaby Village Museum
Date
1930-1949 (interview content), interviewed May 10, 2005
Collection/Fonds
Burnaby Village Museum Oral History Collection
Description Level
Item
Physical Description
1 mp3 recording (0:21:41 min)
Storage Location
Digital collection
Scope and Content
00:00-2:58: Ella describes the area around Kingsway and Edmonds as she remembers it from her childhood. She names the businesses on the four corners of the intersection, which included a small house which was turned into a business. 2:58-7:18: Ella mentions some of the organized activities of the …
  1 Audio  
Repository
Burnaby Village Museum
Date
1930-1949 (interview content), interviewed May 10, 2005
Collection/Fonds
Burnaby Village Museum Oral History Collection
Series
Growing Up in Burnaby
Description Level
Item
Accession Code
BV017.45.2
Storage Location
Digital collection
Physical Description
1 mp3 recording (0:21:41 min)
Material Details
Interviewer: Tom Gooden Interviewee: Ella Beatty Date of interview: May 10, 2005 Total Number of Tracks: 1 Total length of all Tracks: 21:41
Media Type
Sound Recording
Access Restriction
No restrictions
Reproduction Restriction
May be restricted by third party rights
Scope and Content
00:00-2:58: Ella describes the area around Kingsway and Edmonds as she remembers it from her childhood. She names the businesses on the four corners of the intersection, which included a small house which was turned into a business. 2:58-7:18: Ella mentions some of the organized activities of the time, and discusses household responsibilities of girls. Ella describes jobs she had as a teenager, such as a brief time working at the B.C. Electric Café at Carrall St. She talks about her allowance, and describes how she spent the money as well as her earnings from her jobs. XXX 7:18–13:55: Although Ella doesn’t recall being involved in many organized activities, she does mention Sunday school and a girl’s group. She talks about having A.R.P. and First Aid training during the Second World War. Ella notes that children made their own fun, and discusses the games she played, parks she went to, and how she got there. She describes how parents kept an eye on children without strictly supervising them. Ella also talks about neighborhood and school friends, describes her recreation, which was mainly informal, and where she played. XXX 13:55–15:30: Ella can’t choose any one memory of her childhood as being the most joyful, but she recalls the announcement of the declaration of war (of World War II) as her worst childhood memory. XXX 15:30–16:31: Ella describes the families in the neighborhood and her schoolmates as having similar cultural backgrounds. The very few immigrant families she remembers came from Europe. XXX 16:31–18:13: Ella describes her household living arrangements and her toys. XXX 18:13–20:25: Ella comments on the changes which have occurred in Burnaby since her childhood as the city has become built up. She notes that much of it began after the war as veterans returned home. XXX 20:25-21:41: Ella explains why she is still a Burnaby resident and remarks on the self-reliance that children acquired in the earlier days of the city.
History/Biography
Recording of an interview with Ella Beatty, recorded by Tom Gooden on May 10 2005. This recording was completed for an exhibit, Growing Up in Burnaby, for the Burnaby Village Museum. Major themes discussed are growing up in Burnaby in the 1930s and 40s.
Notes
Title based on contents of item
Creator
Tom Gooden
Subjects
Wars - World War, 1939-1945
Buildings
Names
Beatty, Ella
Gooden, Tom
Geographic Access
Burnaby - Kingsway
Burnaby - Edmonds Street
Audio Tracks

Interview with Ella Beatty, 2005

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Interview with Cice Brown, 2005 - Track 2

https://search.heritageburnaby.ca/permalink/museumsoundrecording4477
Repository
Burnaby Village Museum
Date
1930-1949 (interview content), interviewed May 10, 2005
Collection/Fonds
Burnaby Village Museum Oral History Collection
Description Level
Item
Physical Description
1 mp3 recording (0:06:11 min)
Storage Location
Digital collection
Scope and Content
Track 2: This portion of the recording pertains to responsibilities, chores, and money. Cice recalls her chores, and how she spent her allowance. She describes her jobs in Mr. Pitman’s drygoods stores, on Kingsway and on Jubilee Ave., and in Anne Reid’s candy shop. Asked about church, Cice discuss…
  1 Audio  
Repository
Burnaby Village Museum
Date
1930-1949 (interview content), interviewed May 10, 2005
Collection/Fonds
Burnaby Village Museum Oral History Collection
Series
Growing Up in Burnaby
Description Level
Item
Accession Code
BV017.45.3
Storage Location
Digital collection
Physical Description
1 mp3 recording (0:06:11 min)
Material Details
Interviewer: Tom Gooden Interviewee: Cice Brown Date of interview: May 10, 2005 Total Number of Tracks: 7 Total length of all Tracks: 0:40:19
Media Type
Sound Recording
Access Restriction
No restrictions
Scope and Content
Track 2: This portion of the recording pertains to responsibilities, chores, and money. Cice recalls her chores, and how she spent her allowance. She describes her jobs in Mr. Pitman’s drygoods stores, on Kingsway and on Jubilee Ave., and in Anne Reid’s candy shop. Asked about church, Cice discusses her involvement with the Henderson-Jubilee United church, and C.G.I.T..
History/Biography
Recording of an interview with Cice Brown, interviewed by Tom Gooden on May 10 2005. This recording was completed for an exhibit, Growing Up in Burnaby, for the Burnaby Village Museum. Major themes discussed are growing up in Burnaby in the 1930s and 40s.
Notes
Title based on contents of item
Creator
Tom Gooden
Subjects
Buildings - Commercial - General Stores
Buildings - Commercial - Grocery Stores
Buildings - Commercial - Stores
Names
Brown, Cice Chandler
Geographic Access
Burnaby - Kingsway
Burnaby - Jubilee Avenue
Audio Tracks

Interview with Cice Brown, 2005 - Track 2

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