|We disembarked the Westerdam efficiently. However Dave had now picked up the head cold that Marie and everyone else on board got. We picked up our rental and were soon on our way to North Van in some light showers. We have been to YVR (Vancouver) several times before and Dave had lived here after university graduation, many years ago.|
Finding our way to 1053 Lillooet Rd, Dave’s old residence, was tricky due to all the new condo development. There is a Holiday Inn where the Coachhouse Inn used to be. Took a few photos and chatted with the people across the street, who incredibly had also lived in 1053. They said this place would fetch 450k now more than 10 times what it was worth back in the early 80s. It’s a small 2 bedroom condo.
We then made our way to North Van St Paul’s Church to say hi to Fr Tap Kurideepan. OMI. It is a heritage Squamish First Nation mission church that has great spirit and is going strong. We drove across the Lions Gate Bridge and found the Oblates residence called Pandosy Place in the heart of Kitsilano. Fr Robert Smith, OMI greeted us warmly as did Fr Jim Bleakley, OMI. It was Mary Immaculate’s Feast Day to honour her birthday. We were treated to a Liturgy of the Word followed by a social and dinner. Pandosy Place is named after Fr. Charles Pandosy, OMI who achieved folk hero status in B.C. after a life of itinerant ministry to first nations and settlers in the Okanagan Valley in the 19th century.
The next day we hit the road again and visited Dave’s old Imperial Oil work haunts in Burnaby and Port Moody. We drove by the Trans Mountain Pipeline Terminal. Judging by the construction going on there, they are expecting imminent approval despite the latest court challenges.
We drove up past Ioco to Belcara Park on Burrard Inlet and watched people fishing for crab. It was so peaceful and mystical. Returning home we opted to go out for dinner on W 4th Ave to avoid contaminating the 7 elderly Oblates living in beautiful Pandosy Place.
The next day was sunny so we drove up to Whistler along the beautiful Howe Sound. The highway has been twinned and greatly improved since the mid 1970s when Dave used to drive it in winter. We walked around Blackcomb and Whistler villages marveling at the world class resort this has now become. Visited the Olympic Centre and then headed home. Dave was still suffering from the head cold he got on the cruise. Marie was finally better.
Our last day we headed for Granville Island on foot, walking the Greenway path right next to our residence. Dave remembers when they opened this giant marketplace in 1979. It consists of shops, restaurants, a market and nautical service outlets all crammed into what is a former industrial site. State of the art back then it still looks pretty good now but is very crowded with tourists all the time. We took a longer walk back via Kitsilano Beach, our holiday here now almost over.
We are ready to go home sweet home. After Oraison (group silent prayer) we had a social hour with Frs. Robert, John, Gilbert, Vince, Oliver, Jules, Andrew and 2 others. It was great followed by dinner and laughs. We felt so welcome and honoured by our Oblate hosts, getting to participate in their daily prayerful lives.
The next morning we said our goodbyes and had an uneventful trip home. Our colds finally gone, thanks be to God.
It was a visit down memory lane – some good, some not so good. Thanks for reading.
I will be following this post up with one about the demise of Ioco Refinery and related issues.