Recording is of an interview with Edward Apps, conducted by Rod Fowler. Ed Apps 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 mainly about Ed Apps involvement in community groups, particularly his work in seniors organizations lobbying for seniors’ housing since his retirement, and views about the role of Rate Payer groups, unions and politics in the development of North and South Burnaby. He also talks about his origin in England, his war service, arrival with his wife Margaret in Burnaby in 1946, his work with the Burnaby School Board and for the local union, the location of some of the older schools, the history of his house, and briefly about his wife and children. To view “Narrow By” terms for each track expand this description and see “Notes”.
Edward Apps was born in 1918 in London, England, and grew up in Kent and Essex. In WWII he flew the third glider to land in Normandy on June 6th, 1944. He and his wife Margaret Hope (1915-1985) immigrated to British Columbia in 1946, joining his wife’s parents, who had immigrated earlier in 1939, in Burnaby Heights in North Burnaby. He worked for the Burnaby School Board as Foreman Painter, and served on CUPE Local 379 Executive, until his retirement in 1982. In 1948 Ed Apps bought his first lot, for $150.00, in the 4700 block on Georgia Street, building houses there and in the 4100 block before buying his present home, a ca.1900 farm building, in the same area in 1954. North Burnaby was “bush country and orchards” in the 1950s; his two sons played in the ravines; and the family used the tram system on Hastings and Boundary Road for transportation. Development of municipal services seemed slower in North than South Burnaby, and Ed Apps remembers the strong role Rate Payers groups had in creating local services and lobbying Municipal Council for provide services. After retirement Ed Apps became involved in several local and provincial seniors organizations, advocating for better housing, including serving on the Executives of the Network of Burnaby Seniors and the Council of Senior Citizens Organization, and was active in the provincial Seniors Research and Resource and CMHC Housing Committee. He also served on the Centennial Committee of Burnaby.
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.
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.
Track six of interview with Ed Apps
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