This portion of the interview is about Don Brown’s first foot patrol area in the Royal Oak, Jubilee, McKay and Kingsway areas and about the difficulties responding to calls due to poor communication equipment, gaps in the road network, and inconsistent house numbers. He also talks about the size of…
This portion of the interview is about Don Brown’s first foot patrol area in the Royal Oak, Jubilee, McKay and Kingsway areas and about the difficulties responding to calls due to poor communication equipment, gaps in the road network, and inconsistent house numbers. He also talks about the size of the force and lack of office support.
Royal Canadian Mounted Police Sergeant Don Brown, November 2, 1997. Item no. 535-0979
Recording is of an interview with Don Brown, conducted by Rod Fowler. Don Brown 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 Don Brown’s description of the changes in Burnaby’s built and natural landscapes and socioeconomic conditions, especially between 1947 and 1975, the strong impression made on him by those changes evident in the interview. He talks about his work and career as a police officer with the Burnaby Provincial Police and RCMP. The interview also details his involvement in Burnaby politics and volunteer community groups. To view “Narrow By” terms for each track expand this description and see “Notes”.
Donald Neil “Don” Brown was born in Birmingham, England May 4, 1919, and immigrated with his parents and siblings to Winnipeg in 1922. At the outbreak of WWII Don Brown left high school and enlisted in the 12th Field Company, Royal Canadian Engineers, serving six years in the army. Before going overseas he married Helen Birch in 1939. In 1947 Don Brown joined the B.C. Provincial Police which was absorbed by the RCMP in 1950. He worked as a police officer in Burnaby from 1947 to 1954, and then was transferred to Ottawa (with a stop in Regina) for nine and a half years where he attended Carleton University to study forensics. In 1963 Don Brown was transferred back to Vancouver and bought and moved into a house on Watling Street in Burnaby where he still lived in 1990. Another transfer took him to Edmonton for five years, returning to Burnaby in 1975. Following retirement in 1980 with the rank of Supervisor and after 22 years in forensic laboratories, Don Brown started his own business as a private document examiner. Don Brown was active in Burnaby politics, serving as Alderman from 1979-1985. He was also involved in many community groups including the South Burnaby Men’s Club, which he helped found in 1952, as well as active in the Burnaby Historical Society, and served on the Burnaby School Board, Burnaby Centennial Committee, and the Community College for the Retired. Don and Helen Brown had six children: Donna, Don, Gina, Patricia, Christopher and Susan. Don Brown died May 16, 2009.
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 two of interview with Don Brown
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