Great War 100 Reads

Commemorating the centenary of the First World War in books

Monday Monuments and Memorials – Canadian Memorial Church, Vancouver … Part 1

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At the corner of W 15th Ave and Burrard St stands the Canadian Memorial Church and Centre for Peace, built as a memorial to Canadians who fought and died in WW1 … and as a ministry for peace and an end to war.

The Gothic revival church features several memorial elements, historical events and Christian symbolism:

  • The All Canada window over the entrance to the sanctuary is “in honour of all men and women of Canada who rendered service in the World War.” Miss Canada in the central panel declares that “right, not might, shall rule the world.” She overlooks events where Canada came together as a nation, and marks the battles of Ypres Somme, Vimy and Cambrai.
  • Stained glass windows in the sanctuary are dedicated to the nine provinces and Yukon Territory, each showing the coat of arms, a biblical scene and scenes from the province’s history. (Some of these reflect colonial, racial, gender and cultural values of the time.)
  • The chancel window focuses on sacrifice.
  • Reproductions of the Books of Remembrance from the Memorial Chapel in the Peace Tower are housed in a carved stone tablet at the front of the church, flanked by Michael and Gabriel, the angels of justice and peace.
  • The Casavant organ was donated in memory of US citizens who served with the Canadian Expeditionary Force and were killed in the war. The illuminated broadsheet listing the donors is by BC artist Rev J Williams Ogden.

Rev (Lt-Col) G.O. Fallis, the force behind building the church, had served as a padre in the CEF in the war. His fundraising efforts brought money for the church from all over Canada and the US. A memorial hall was built first, completed in 1923. The chapel was dedicated in November 1928.

You can read more about the history of the church here. Tune in next Monday for views of the narthex windows.

Thanks to Susan, kindred spirit in seeking out several Vancouver memorials, and to Colleen Cruickshank who kindly gave us a private tour of the church.


Welcome to new followers. I hope you enjoy the journey. Comments always welcome.

Oops! Followers who get Great War 100 Reads news by email received a message last week with a broken link. I accidentally published this post then fixed the schedule, but not before emails were dispatched. My apologies for the errant message. A first, hopefully the last.

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Author: greatwar100reads

Canadian crusader for equality and justice. Connoisseur and creator of the written word. Commemorating the centenary of the First World War in books and monuments. Read more at greatwar100reads.wordpress.com.

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