Daniel Francis

Reading the National Narrative


June 8, 2013


Stanley Park, Vancouver's jewel of an urban green space, celebrates its 125th anniversary this summer and last week I thought it might be fun to acknowledge the event by tagging along on a walking tour of the park.

Our very knowledgeable tour leader, Jolene Cumming, of the Stanley Park History Group,...

June 3, 2013

If you are interested in following the latest skirmishes in the so-called history wars, Pete Anderson has compiled a list of links at his  "History Applied" blog that will tell you more than you ever wanted to know.

June 1, 2013


Attention was paid in the press last week to a conference of orca experts taking place on Saturna Island, one of the southern Gulf Islands on the British Columbia coast. The conference was a commemoration of sorts of the first-ever live capture of a killer whale on July 16, 1964, at East Point on Saturna. (Details of the capture and the conference are...

May 30, 2013


When I was born, in 1947, my parents engaged a housekeeper to help my mother care for me and cope with my three elder siblings. The other day I met my nanny face-to-face for the first time; or, to be exact, the first time in sixty-six years.

Her name is Naomi Miller and she tapped me on the shoulder somewhere between the main course and dessert at a banquet in...

May 29, 2013

The latest issue (#88) of Geist magazine is on the stands with my column on a new book about Vancouver's Penthouse nightclub, Liquor, Lust and the Law, by Aaron Chapman (Arsenal Pulp Press).

I go interested in the Penthouse a few years ago when I was working on my own book, Red Light Neon, a history of prostitution in the city. The origins of the club go back to before the Second World War...