Sign in a window at Broadway & Fraser
As one moves west along Broadway, one can see, just after the corner of Broadway and Fraser, the building shown above. I don’t know how many times I rode and drove past it before I noticed the smiling mug of W. R. Bennett, Premier of BC until 1986. I was too young to pay attention to provincial politics at that time, but I still have a “passport” from the Expo ’86 fair that came to Vancouver that year. Bennett’s picture is on the inside page of that passport, together with his welcome message.
I couldn’t help thinking it quite funny that here Vancouver has just celebrated the 2010 Olympics, and nobody has ever removed Bennett’s message for Expo ’86. (I sometimes wonder if this was put up post-Expo.) It’s a bitter-sweet, ironic, thing, really: despite the benefits of large events like this for the city, life often changes little for the poorer residents, most of whom live in the eastern part of the city. In the spirit of the 2010 Winter Olympics, then, I give you W. R. Bennett’s welcome message for Expo ’86: