Roedde House Museum April 2016 Newsletter
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March 2016

A message from Anthony Norfolk

Dear Friends and Family of Roedde House,

Now that Billie-Ann Woo has succeeded me as President, after nearly nine years I am prompted to identify successes  during that period. Doubling our budget and our staff resources, coupling with quadrupling of our attendance figures demonstrates and measures success. This reflects the significant enhancement of what we offer, and of public awareness that this has increased both in terms of quantity and quality.

We have upgraded our display cabinets, and added four new ones, all equipped with modern energy efficient strip lighting. We now develop our own new exhibits rather than relying only on our artefact collection. Our school curriculum has twice been revised, and has been translated into French, reflecting the introduction of bi-lingual capability. Forced to change direction by external forces the school program now focuses on inner city schools, though by no means exclusively. Our room by room guides are now in multiple languages and are accessible by cellphones. Our now bi-lingual website has been rebuilt completely, with a significant proportion of our artefacts now viewable on that website. Our classical and jazz concerts series are both in their third year and are self funding. Social media did not exist as we now experience it, and is now a central feature of our marketing.

We maintain good connections with current generations of the Roedde family. Establishment of an endowment at the Vancouver Foundation was achieved thanks to a member of the family. This contributes materially to our revenues. We have developed a fine cadre of volunteers. A number of them have graduated to sit on our Board, with one succeeding me as President. I am very proud of and grateful to all those who have made these achievements possible. Long may it continue. As Past President I will be sticking around to work on specific projects; the work continues with much more still to be done.

Anthony Norfolk
Annual General Meeting Re-Cap

New board President, Billie-Ann Woo headed her first AGM at Roedde House along with secretary, Sue Erb.  After the meeting, everybody gathered together for food and drinks in the Roedde dining room. Memorable treats featured on the table were volunteer and member Jane Newton-Moss' homemade Victorian inspired cake and pastries. 

Some other notable guests were: our friendly neighbour, Anthony Kupferschmidt executive director of the West End Senior's Network at Barclay Manor; Chief Storyteller Will Woods of Forbidden Vancouver; Second Sunday Concert Series Artistic Director, Catherine Laub; and former Roedde House Museum Manager, Sheila Giffen.  

Four of our curators mixed and mingled as well. Former summer student, Natalie Cammarasana, who is remounting her exhibit "A Sailor's Life for Me" on Bill Roedde's life of leisurely sailing and skillful yacht design chatted with Christy Brain, who is currently researching and curating this Summer's Dandy exhibit. Newcomer and researcher extraordinaire, Jennifer Lam hopefully picked up a few tips from 2015 summer student and curator of the current Victorian Childhood exhibiton display, Carly Whetter.

New board members were welcomed to the museum. Vince Connors, a founder of the West End Business Improvement Association is excited and happy to join the team. Michael Murgatroyd, one of the museum's dedicated docents has joined the board with a focus and mission on enhancing and promoting volunteer experience and relations, beginning with a "Tea and Learn" workshop event this month. Katherine Hume, a former Board Member and school docent, who now volunteers for concerts, tours, and special events, will be joining us again. As will Philip Waddell, who has once again taken up his former role as Vice President. Anthony Norfolk, Lloyd McGregor, Silmara Albi, and Cameron Cathcart still remain on the board.

We would like to thank all of the Board, volunteers and members for attending. We are grateful for the ongoing support of our continuing Board members and are excited to welcome and work with our new Executive and Directors. 


An evening of original jazz featuring Dan Reynolds on piano, Simon Millerd on trumpet, Mike Bjella on sax, James Meyer on bass & Adam Cormier on drums. Doors at 6:30pm. $12-$15.
Spontaneous Composition with Amicus Music Duo! The show starts at 3pm but come on down early for a museum tour and a cup of tea, included with your ticket! $12-$15
Get your Jazz Ticket!
Get your Second Sunday Ticket!
Readings at Roedde: An Afternoon with Bill Richardson

The funny and charming Bill Richardson led a sold-out reading at Roedde House last month. He read some of work from his book, The Last Little Bastard to Call Me Gramps: Poems of the Late Middle Ages interspersed with chapters from a short story. We would like to thank our gracious sponsors, Les Amis du Fromage for preparing delicious cheese trays and Jimmy's Cold Beer and Wine on Robson for providing the event with wine. We also thank everyone who made it out for the afternoon and hope that you will join us again for another Reading in the Roedde Parlour!
A renter’s story – the Greens at 1415 Barclay Street 1943-1946
by Stephanie Ann Warner
From 1943 – 1946 Walter and Raye Green rented rooms on the second floor of 1415 Barclay Street. Raye’s granddaughter Gail Irvine recently shared her Nanna Green’s photos and written memoirs with Roedde House volunteer Stephanie Warner.
“Gordon had, by good luck, found us a furnished suite, with Prairie people, where we stayed for nearly three years.” – Raye Green
L-R: Raye and Walter Green, Chrissie Green, Jean Green, Arnaud Green, Gordon Green around 1944. You can see the old apartment building next door.

Walter and Raye Green raised seven children during Depression in Saskatchewan. By 1943 their sons Gordon and Arthur were stationed with the RCAF in Vancouver. They loved the place. They urged their mom and dad to go out, and Raye thought, why not? “All but our youngest were away and there was nothing, except dear friends, to keep us there.”
The Greens sold everything they had (except clothes) to buy a ticket to Vancouver. Friends held a farewell party and gave them money. Their son Arnaud gave them $200. “We could hardly believe it.”
The Greens arrived in Vancouver on November 3 1943. Gordon had found them furnished rooms at 1415 Barclay Street, a rooming house run by the Oehlerkings, also from Saskatchewan. The Greens were lucky. Living space was scarce in the war years. The rent was $32.50/month which was “going rate” but seemed terrible to the Greens.
There were only 2 electric plates for cooking and no fridge, so “meals took some doing.” Mrs. Oehlerking, the landlady, was very kind and could cook the odd pie etc. in her oven.
On January 1 1944, Gordon Green and Jean Bremner married at the nearby St. John’s United Church. They had a small reception back at 1415 Barclay Street.
Gordon and Jean Green at their wedding reception at 1415 Barclay. It looks like this was in the downstairs parlour.
Not long after, Raye’s mother joined them, followed by their daughter Chrissie, who came out to finish her grade 12 at King George High School. Ray commented: “After mother, and then Chrissie, shared our suite, we were a bit crowded.” They also had to pay more rent for extra people.
Mrs. Oehlerking gave the Greens an extra bed which Chrissie and her grandma shared. They put a curtain up between the two beds. It was not satisfactory for Chrissie and her grandma but “the best we could do.” In July 1944, the Green’s son Arnaud transferred to Vancouver and boarded with them. This meant a single bed in the living room fixed as a couch during the day time.
In 1946, the Greens left 1415 Barclay Street. They rented an old mansion in Fairview and ran it as a rooming house. Finally, “Mother and Chrissie got their own rooms.”

 Raye Green, Arnaud Green, Raye’s mother Mrs. Thompson, Glen Green 1946 
New Kid on the Barclay Block: Billie-Ann Woo
Starting off as a docent on weekends, Billie-Ann was looking for something that fit into both her interests in history and art and her schedule as a full-time Marketing Communications professional.  

Her role has since grown to Vice President of the Board and now, its newest President. However, Billie-Ann still prefers to refer to herself as a “more-involved volunteer“. And her involvement with the museum has been a valued contribution to the growth and reach of the organization!

A notable contribution of Billie-Ann`s to Roedde are the events that she conceptualizes, organizes, and executes. In particular, she was Chair of the Museum`s 25th anniversary promotions and celebrations. “I think events are key to bringing people into the House,“ says Billie-Ann, “I want to keep developing more opportunities for people to come into the House and explore the depth of history the Museum has to offer and the educational and cultural learning value available.“

When asked which event she has most enjoyed working on to date, Billie-Ann is quick to answer: “Definitely Farmstead Day! I invited several vendors to come in and set up demonstrations. Having live chickens in the garden was really cool and hearing them cluck from the kitchen was something I will remember for a long time – and also reminds me of how important experiential experiences are in a museum.“

This month, Billie-Ann is directing a second iteration of Salon Hour at the museum, designed to welcome tourism and event planning professionals and present the museum as the unique visitor destination and venue that it is.

Even as a busy Board member, Billie-Ann still takes the time to work the front lines of the museum to do the tours. “I still put in regular docent shifts because I love meeting new people and sharing the House’s history with them.“ says Billie-Ann. In particular, she enjoys taking guests to Matilda`s sewing room. “I ask tour guests to really visualize the view 100 years back – no buildings, no trees – just a bright view of this beautiful city.“ she tells us.

What Billie-Ann most enjoys is getting to do different things at the museum that is uniquely distinct from her current role in marketing and communications in the business-to-business aviation sector. “Very different than the culture and heritage field! And, “ she adds, “I love working with my fellow Board members & Roedde House staff – they help me feed my creativity, curiosity, innovation & passion for the work. It’s a small community of enthusiastic, friendly, and welcoming people.“

We are lucky to have the creative, dynamic, and amazing Billie-Ann Woo on Team Roedde and proud to welcome her as our new President!
A Sailor's Life for Me: Bill Roedde and the Story of Carita
For the past few weeks, former summer student Natalie Cammarasana has been hard at work re-mounting "A Sailor's Life for Me". This exciting exhibit, highlights details of William A. Roedde's early years spent vacationing at Horseshoe Bay and his resulting enthusiasm for competitive sailing and yacht design. 

Featuring original trophies, hand-drawn architectural plans of the Roedde Class sloops, and one-of-a-kind photos of Bill and his beloved Carita, this intimate portrait of a sailor and early Vancouverite is not to be missed. "Old Bill", as he is remembered, with a twinkle in his eye and characteristic big smile, would have been glad to see us discover the legacy of his life-long passion.
Become a Part of Roedde House Museum!


Are you interested in becoming a friend of the Museum? Then we’d love for you to be a part of the Roedde House Preservation Society! For one year, Society Members receive free entry with a plus one to the museum, news and invites to our special events,  and a discount on house rentals. Members also have a direct impact on the decision-making of the Museum by voting at our Annual General Meeting. We want the people who love Roedde and all that it is to have a say in its future! Memberships start at $10. Apply HERE.

As a non-profit society, Roedde House relies on the generosity of donors to help us preserve and maintain this beautiful historic house as a community space. Your contribution will directly support our concerts, schools tours and cultural events so we can share Vancouver’s history with locals and visitors alike for years to come. Donations $25 and up are tax deductible. Donate HERE.

Join the front-lines and daily operations of Team Roedde! We are always looking for friendly, passionate, and dynamic community members to join our diversely talented group of Tour Guides, School Docents, Marketing Assistants, Visiting Curators, and Event Hosts! Apply HERE.
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Roedde House Museum
1415 Barclay Street, Vancouver, BC, Canada
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