The Handsworth Music Dynasty – a tribute to High School Music Excellence!


Buy the Book:

To order a book please leave a message in the reply box below

Published by: Warfleet Press
Release Date: Fall, 2022
Pages: 268
ISBN: 978-0-9812574-0-2


The Handsworth Secondary School Music Program and its directors over the years: Bob Rebagliati, Keith Woodward, Bob Rankin, Brian G’ofrerer, Peter van Ooyen and others.

The Handsworth music dynasty started in 1976 when Bob Rebagliati came to Handsworth. He inherited a good program from Bob Rankin, Joe Berarducci and Brian G’froerer but when Bob arrived it skyrocketed! The vehicle for his success and the success of his young charges were the jazz ensembles he moulded over the years within the district. A comprehensive, well-balanced, rigorous music program that was high in quality. Before Handsworth, it was Hamilton Junior where he achieved national acclaim by winning the cherished gold medal award at the 1976 Canadian Stage Band Festival, the largest and most prestigious event of its kind in Canada. In 1979, his senior jazz ensemble at Handsworth placed first in the New West Jazz Festival. He was able to hire two more music specialists Mary Hume and Bruce Hoadley. Because of Handsworth’s modular timetable, they could all teach their speciality: Mary/woodwinds, Bruce/brass and Bob/percussion.

Other awards followed: at the Coquitlam Music Festival, the New West Jazz Festival, the West Coast Jazz Festival and again at the Canadian Stage Band Festival. In between Bob found time to become President of the North Van Music Teachers Association and President of the B.C. Jazz Educators Association as well as a clinician and adjudicator for jazz festivals throughout the province. With three specialist music educators and Bob Rankin, a former Handsworth music educator as Music Superintendent for North Van, they were able to offer a complete music program from elementary through secondary as well as have an orchestral program led by Roger Wecker and later Peter van Ooyen.

By 1991, over thirty of Reb’s charges had gone on to careers or further education in music, even to Julliard in New York. An organizational whiz who put in twelve hour days his program attracted one-third of the school’s population. His bands were consistently in the top three in BC at various music festivals and they won the cherished first place gold at the Canadian Nationals several times. He took his charges to the Yukon, Nova Scotia, New Orleans, Hawaii, Florida and Banff, usually to a festival. In 1991 Bob was the first secondary school teacher to ever receive the Professional Music Educator’s Award.

Due to budget cuts when Mary and Bruce moved on Bob could only hire one person to replace them. Keith Woodward was hired to take over both their loads.  In 1992, when huge budget cuts were announced and all the Music Supervisor positions in the province were cut they lost Bob Rankin.

For the next fifteen years, Keith and Bob team taught and continued to build Handsworth into the jazziest school in Canada cementing its reputation in 1999 with four gold medals at Music Fest Canada. Bob retired in 2004 after twenty-eight years as a top-flight music educator. Keith wasn’t allowed to hire  a replacement for him but instead had to take over his load as well as his own which he did for another ten years before retiring in 2014. Keith says in his bio in Hearts, Minds & Souls, B.C. Music Educators, volume 1, “I organized 51 band trips, 116 field trips and over 1000 performances.” During his time at the helm, Keith took his charges to China, Australia, Europe and Alaska. Today the program is run by David Bradshaw.

Handsworth is just one example of the many fine music programs that existed in BC during the Golden Age of Public School Music Education (the 1960s to 1990s). Such programs were possible because the government placed a high value on the arts, unlike today. Arthur Delamont said in his later years, “You are going to miss me when I am gone!” and he was sure right. We also miss the great public school music programs that existed around the province such as this one.


Book II, The School Music Book Project

Legends Series

-putting a face on B.C.s historic arts programs

HEARTS, MINDS & SOULS, B.C. Music Educators Series, Volume I


Buy the Book:
Amazon Canada

To order this book, please leave a message in the reply box below

Published by: Warfleet Press
Release Date: 2nd ed., June, 2020
Pages: 352
ISBN: 978-0-9868793-6-4


Twenty-five B.C. Public School Music Educators who were involved in music education during the 1960s through the early 1990s (The Golden Age of Music Education in B.C. Public Schools). Subsequent volumes will include music educators in the millennium.

BACKGROUND: In the sixties, the performing arts were thriving, spurred on by the culture of the day. Live music could be heard everywhere: television, radio, films, parks and in the neighbourhoods (garage bands). Kids wanted to emulate what they were hearing and the schools obliged.

This period was special because it marked the first time that instrumental music became accredited in the public schools of B.C.. A small group of music educators worked hard to get instrumental music into the curriculum.  A music specialist was hired in each district. Not all had degrees. It was their job to head-hunt others that could develop strong music programs (including instrumental) in the district’s schools. These specialists became District Music Supervisors.

Fred Turner, the Director of the New Westminster Boys & Girls Band, became the first District Music Supervisor for Vancouver to actively hire instrumental music teachers. He hired Ron Pajala to develop an instrumental music program at John Oliver Secondary School. Fred’s son Kerry Turner began developing instrumental music programs in the Burnaby School District. Kerry later became an Arts Supervisor for the Abbotsford S.D. Later, Bob Rankin became the District Music Supervisor for North Vancouver and Curt Jantzen for Surrey. Dennis Tupman took over from Fred Turner and in 1975 hired Pete Stigings for Magee Secondary.

Dave Henderson was head-hunted by the principal of Sutherland Secondary in North Vancouver. Ernie Colledge was hired to develop the music program at Eric Hamber Secondary School in 1962.

The U.B.C. Music Department graduated its first instrumental music student in 1964. Margaret Neill (Behenna) graduated in 1966 and went on to develop an amazing program in Delta. The next wave of students who started U.B.C. Music in the mid-sixties could see the potential ahead. They graduated in the early seventies and included Gerry King, Bob Rebagliati, Rob Karr, Mary Howland (Ellenton) and Marilynn Turner. All would go on to develop or contribute to the development of amazing music programs all over Metro Vancouver. Others who followed a few years later were: Bob LaBonte, Chris Robinson, Tom Koven, Mark Kowalenko, Sandy Koven, Keith Woodward and Dave Fullerton (Keith Mann Award winner).

This new breed of exceptionally dedicated, well educated, enthusiastic and talented music educators didn’t all come from U.B.C. David Proznick was recruited from Saskatchewan. He developed an amazing program at Semiahmoo Secondary in White Rock and became a recipient of the Keith Mann Award, one of only three in B.C. Bob Schaefer came from Oregon and developed a program at New Westminster Secondary. His contributions included founding the New Westminster or Hyak Jazz Festival. Peter van Ooyen came from Michigan.

The Golden Age of Music Education lasted until 1992 when funding and the position of District Music Supervisor were cut by the B.C. government.

Above are only a representative few of the many fine and dedicated music educators who have taught in the school districts of British Columbia over the decades. They have tried to remember others in our interviews and mention them by name when the opportunity arose. Unfortunately, we could never remember everyone.


Why Stay We Here?

A story by George Godwin!


A recent (autumn 2003) review in “Canadian Military History” has called Why Stay We Here? ‘arguably the finest Canadian novel of the First World War.’

Desmond Morton, one of Canada’s most respected historians on World War I, (author of “When Your Number’s Up”) has this to say about “Why Stay we Here?”: “This book is the testimony of a profoundly sensitive and observant man, caught in a Hell of inhumanity and kept there by his allegiance to the values of the old-fashioned world of his youth.”

Why Stay We Here?, the sequel to The Eternal Forest, was first published in 1930 and soon went out of print. It remained out of print until I republished it in 2002. This book follows Stephen Craig (Godwin himself) as he makes his way back to England and signs up to fight in World War I. Having spent several years in Dresden in his youth Godwin has no anti-German bias. His motive for joining the fight is purely economic; homesteading in British Columbia had led to poverty.

See the following clip for a reading of some passages from Why Stay We Here?

Ross Bay clip Reflections on Armistice Day and the War-wounded (7 min. special, produced by Shaw TV, Victoria, BC)

The Train To Haida Gwaii


One hundred Alaska and B.C. First Nation’s artists are profiled.

Buy the Book:
Amazon Canada

To order this book, please leave a message in the reply box below

Published by: Warfleet Press
Release Date: June, 2020
Pages: 362


    It has been many months now since I returned from the mist-shrouded ‘Island of Artists’ off the west coast of British Columbia, and the vast land to the north known as the Alaskan Panhandle. I have had time to reflect on the wonderful people I met along the way, and how I finally found myself on a ten seater float plane high above Hecate Strait on my way to the mystical village of Masset, some seven weeks after my departure from Vancouver. What happened to me during those seven weeks and the two weeks that followed on the ‘Island of Artists,’ was nothing short of amazing and an experience that I will cherish forever.

My original plan had been to visit the new Haida Heritage Centre at Kaay Llnagaay in Skidegate but the morning after I arrived in Prince Rupert on Air Canada Jazz Flight 203 my plans changed drastically. I found myself about to embark on another adventure of a lifetime. The Alaska Marine Highway Ferry arrived in Prince Rupert the next morning and I stepped on board.

I saw more than Alaska. I had always wanted to see Alaska and see Alaska I did! I spent a week each in Ketchikan, Sitka, Juneau, Haines and finally Anchorage. I left Anchorage on October 30 and arrived back in Prince Rupert on November 1. Once back in Prince Rupert, the weather was still quite mild, so I took a chance and headed east to Terrace for a week and then to Hazelton. I had in mind that I wanted to be on the ‘Island of Artists’ for my birthday (November 22), but how could I get back to Prince Rupert and then to Haida Gwaii safe and sound, with the least amount of wear and tear on my body and soul? That was the challenge. I decided to take the train. After all my other adventures on this trip, I was so happy that I wasn’t going to miss out on finally going to Haida Gwaii, that I affectionately dubbed the train:

‘The Train to Haida Gwaii’

Along my incredible journey, I met and discovered many national treasures. I refer to them all affectionately as, the passengers on the train to Haida Gwaii: Nathan Jackson, Ken Dekker, Norman Jackson, Marvin Oliver, Brita Alinder, Reggie Peterson Sr., Charlie Shockley Jr., Nicholas Galanin, Tommy Joseph, Dave Galanin, Willis Osbakken, Ed Malline, Gene Chilton, Doug Chilton, Brian Chilton, Sonny Grant, Anna Brown Ehlers, Percy & Ed Kunz, Beasley Boys, Florence Sheakley, Donald Gregory, Lonnie Hodge, Wayne Price, John Hagen, Clifford Thomas, Greg Horner, ‘the three ladies from the gift shop at the Native Medical Center in Anchorage,’ Darlene C. Nichols, Diana Burton, Gloria Cunningham, Jerry Lieb Jr., Laura Wright, Franklin F. Matchian, Moses Wasslie, Julian Iya, Bryon Lloyd Amos, Jan L. See, Lisa L. Powell, Karen Pungowiyi, Rose Albert, Emma Hildebrand, Robin P. Fields, Dennis Pungowiyi, Lenwood Saccheus, Eva Bryant, Douglas Yates, Ursula Paniyak, laura J. Lagstrom, Susan Henry, Patrick Lind, Percy C. Avugiak, Peter Lind Jr., Peter Lind Sr., Alfred Naumoff, Andrew Abyo, Marlene Nielsen, Tony Weyiouanna, Francis & Mary Kakoona, Dennis Sinnock, Walter K. Nayokpuk, Martina John, Lela Ahgook, Beauford “Charlie” Pardue, June L. Pardue, Umara Nupowhotuk, Rainey Higbee, Samantha Goodwin, Larry S. Okomailak Sr., Joanne Swanson, Selina Alexander, Geo McKay, Jacqueline McNeil, Titus Aukland, Todd Stephens, Dempsey Bob, Stan Bevin, Earle Muldon, Alver C. Tait, Ron Sebastian, Evelyn Vanderhoop, Jim Hart, Reg Davidson, Christian White, Christine Carty, Marlene Liddle, Teri Russ, James Sawyer, Joyce Bennett, Robert Bennett, Cory Savard, Cooper Wilson, Carrie Anne Vanderhoop Bellis, Merle Anderson, Georgia Bennett, Ernie Burnett, Ben Davidson, Roberta Olson, Dolly Garza, Gladys Vandal, Claytone Gladstone, Robert Vogstad, Giitsxaa, Sylvia Young, Victoria Moody, Tim Boyko, Garner Moody, Billy Bellis, Nelson Cross, Tom Greene Jr., Norman Price, Wayne Wilson, Gregory N.Williams, Ben Davidson, Val Malesku, Wendy Malesku.

There were none more important than another and they all had a story to tell as they went about their daily lives. I am only sorry that three people who should have been on board missed the train: Delores Churchill, Teri Rofkar and Robert Davidson. However, the next time you see ‘The Train To Haida Gwaii’ on a bookshelf near you I hope that they too will be on board.

EXCERPT: Chapter 7 – The Ladies from the Hospital – A visit to the Alaska Native Art Fair.

     There were lots of native people scurrying in and out through the tall glass front doors of the Dena’ina Center when I arrived. What a great place to celebrate the creativity of these impressive artists, I thought. Inside, the foyer was packed as well. People were talking and moving about; some were dressed in colorful regalia but most just in street clothes. I caught a glimpse of the main exhibit hall above the heads of the people entering and leaving. I could see booths filled with colorful art, even though I was still some distance from the doorway and trying to make my way through the crowd. Finally, I made it through the doors and it was breathtaking! There were over 100 booths set up around the perimeter of the room and several more rows of booths in the middle. I didn’t know where to begin so I started moving around the perimeter.
       All the booths were different. The lady in the first booth, sold brown fur-edged gloves, with intricate bead work on the backside. The artists’ name was Eva Bryant. I told her about my guide and asked if I could take her photo to include on a free artist profile. She happily agreed. I learned Eva excells in skin sewing, meticulously joining leather and fur into practical clothing.
       “I’ve been sewing since I can remember,” she said. “I guess whatever my mother did I wanted to do.” She was Yup’ik and also a bilingual tutor.
At the next table, I met Douglas Yates. He was from the small fishing village of Metlakatla. He had apprenticed under master carver David Boxley and was renowned for his striking hand-engraved copper clan crest shields. They were magnificent.
       There were so many artists, I felt like a kid in a candy shop. In the next booth, I met a lady named Donna from Chugiak who made wonderful moccasins out of seal fur with beading on the top. Then, there was Susan Henry from Wasila who made miniature dolls and an artist named Patrick Lind who told me,
        “My life has led me to be a commercial freelance artist. The rugged coastal region where I live inspires me as an artist to take pride in my culture.”
Everything I saw, was meticulously handcrafted. Percy C. Avugiak, a marvelous painter who paints in bright oranges and blues and yellows and greens, was there.
        It was often a family affair. Peter Lind Jr. is a third generation Alutiiq artist born in Dillingham. He cuts ivory jewelry which is then beaded by his wife Susan who was born in Kodiak. Peter Lind Sr. said he always wanted to learn about his culture.

        The artists were from all over Alaska. Alfred Naumoff was an Alutiiq from Kodiak Island. He specializes in masks, kayaks and jewelry. Andrew Abyo confided to me that he was known for doing lots of historical research. He specializes in Alutiiq bentwood visors, atlatls (23), harpoons, full size paddles, traditional games and baidarka carvings.
         Then I met Marlene and Gary Nielsen.
        “My dolls and masks all have the facial features of my grandma,” Marlene said. “My grandma was Anna Andrew. She was blind and my biggest inspiration. She sewed, split fish and picked berries. My goal as an artist is to help our youth to remember who we are and where we come from. My husband and sons also carve wood, ivory and make spears and knives. I am Yup’ik.”  Marlene came from the village of Kokhanok (24).
       Anne and Tod Fritze specialize in beaver mittens and fur hats. The majority of the fur sewn by them comes from beaver, fox, otter, marten and wolves that were trapped by Todd and their boys, Bem and Bryan. They were from Dillingham. All were amazing!

PHOTO CREDIT: (TOP) Ksan Native Village (replica), Hazelton, B.C. 

An Insider’s Story of the Rise and Fall of Canadian Airlines

Buy the Book:
Amazon Canada

To order this book, please leave a message in the reply box below

Published by: Warfleet Press
Release Date: Available
Pages: 352
ISBN: 978-0-9868793-3-3

Sid Fattedad a former Canadian Airlines VP, intertwines his and the story of the Rise & Fall of Canadian Airlines.


The demise of Canada’s other National air carrier, Canadian Airlines International in 1999 was heart-wrenching to employees, unions, management and to the citizens of Canada.

Confusion and stories abound as to what actually happened. This book sets the record straight as the man behind the employee rescue plan to save the airline decides to tell his story. Sid Fattedad emigrated to Vancouver from Hong Kong in 1968 to play the drums in a rock and roll band, the Five-Man Cargo. Having worked as an articling student in Hong Kong, the lustre of the music industry soon wore off and he found himself working as a junior accounting clerk for Canadian Pacific Airlines.

It wasn’t long before Canadian Pacific became CP Air, the planes were painted orange and Sid became senior clerk of corporate accounting.

The rising cost of oil in the 1970s, labour unrest and the acquisition of new planes made running an airline hard on the bottom line and the accounting department was always in the forefront. It was work all week, socialize at the pubs on the weekend with a tightly knit group called the ‘boat crew,’ who would often travel to England commandeering riverboats on the canals of the Norfolk Broads, visiting pubs along the way. Sid became known as Kato.

After receiving his CGA Sid was promoted to Travelling Auditor where he learned first hand CP Air’s overseas operations. The ‘night of the long knives, the Kremlin and ‘The General,’ all play into the story as the 1980s saw a sea of change at CP Air… Colussy fails to purchase Wardair and Sid is named to the board of TransPacific Tours Limited a little known but highly profitable subsidiary company. Don Carty purchases Nordair and Sid becomes Comptroller of CP Air.

A backwards take-over. Carty attempts to purchase PWA but is thwarted by the FASB and PWA purchases CP Air. Sid is appointed Vice- President of the Pacific Division, the most profitable division in the company. In 1988, PWA buys out Wardair. The new company made up of PWA, CP Air, Wardair and Nordair is called CAIL.

Sid loved working in the field and got to know all the key players in the Pacific Division Tony Buckley, Tokyo, Harry Hargadon, Hong Kong, Keith Pope, Australia, Roy Fullerton, Hawaii, David Solloway, Thailand, Willy Thorogood, Shanghai, Warwick Beadle, New Zealand, Mike Waters, Fiji and Larry Nelson. Sid institutes the Quality program which leads to another promotion to Calgary as Senior Vice President in charge of customer service worldwide.

In 1991 he returned to Vancouver as Vice President Western region and retired in 1992. Loved by all for his devotion to the company, he was given a huge send-off.

A PWA merger with American Airlines, that same year, falls through and PWA stock drops, leaving the real possibility that a merger with Air Canada might be in the works thus creating a domestic monopoly. Not good for management, unions, the consumer or the airline’s employees.

Sid maps out a plan to save the airlines and forms the Council of Canadian Airline Employees. The employees decide to try and purchase the airline themselves. They get all but one of the unions on board and present their offer.

What takes place from here on in you will have to read about it in Sid’s book but it is filled with treachery, deceit and government interference.

Sid went on to a second career as Chief Financial Officer for the Workers Compensation Board of British Columbia for 14 years from 1993 to 2007.

In 2012, Sid was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease.

My Greek Barber’s Diary

The George Chronopoulos Story!

Buy the Book:
Amazon Canada

To order this book, please leave a message in the reply box below

Published by: Warfleet Press
Release Date: Available
Pages: 371
ISBN: 978-0-9868793-4-0


The heartwarming true story of how one man influenced so many over the course of his lifetime.

Born in the small village of Militsa, Greece in 1935, George Chronopoulos lived through the Nazi occupation of Greece in World War II and the Greek Civil War of 1944-1949. In the early days, his village had no electricity yet his family lived like kings on their farm.

His father decided that he would become a barber in Pilos, where he had moved as a young boy to be by the sea for health reasons. It wasn’t long before he moved to Kalamata and then to Athens where he eventually joined the army. Because he was a barber he was in great demand in the army and got to know Generals and others in high command. After the army everyone was leaving Greece, so his father said, “If you want to go, I do not mind,” and he too immigrated, to Montreal.

In Montreal, he married a girl from back home, Savoula. He learned how to do the latest in styles and razor cuts from the guys in Montreal, Perry Como Style, Hollywood Style and in 1960 they moved to Vancouver.

His first job in Vancouver was at the Hotel Vancouver Barber Shop for three days. Next, he moved to a small shop at 41st & Oak. “I’ve got the best barber in town,” bragged the owner. It wasn’t long before Gus Lloyd spotted him and hired him for his Waverly Barber Shop on Georgia Street. Jack Wasserman wrote about him, “There is a new guy in town who does styles for men. Men’s hairdos.” Lots of business types came into the Waverly and the lifestyle was contagious. Seeing himself as an entrepreneur, he went into partnership with Gus; they bought a building on Richards Street and opened the Bouzouki Greek Coffee Shop.

He opened his own hair salon, the Riviera on Seymour, in 1964. It wasn’t long before he was established in Vancouver. “There was no one doing what I was doing!” He had the establishment coming to him, the Jewish Community Syd Belzberg, Leon Kahn, Irving Kates, Sid Golden, Max Fugman, Roy Cantor, Joe Segal, members of the Richmond Golf & Country Club; every CEO in town including Jimmy Pattsion and Peter Brown all came to him through word of mouth.

In the seventies, he opened a second location on the lower level of the Hyatt Hotel called The Royal Riviera. He continued buying other businesses, mainly restaurants at first and later condos. He started his own painting and renovation companies. His real estate and business dealings took him first to the US and then to Britain, Switzerland, Bucharest and India.

He and Savoula raised three daughters over the years and he was instrumental in raising money for the Greek community and through his connections, for many other charities in Vancouver and across Canada. Church and family were always foremost in his life!

Mr. D – The Life & Times of a Legend

The Arthur Delamont Story!

Buy the Book:
Amazon Canada

To order this book, please leave a message in the reply box below

Published by: Warfleet Press
Release Date: Available
Pages: 362
ISBN13: 978-0-9812574-6-4


The story of the youth band movement in Canada. The youth band movement in Canada, began in Vancouver in 1933 when Arthur Delamont’s Kitsilano Boy’s Band won the Junior Band Championship of the World at the Chicago World’s Fair.  Besides all the main players, it brings into the picture a host of other characters and musical figures that were around during the day, such as the unsung heroes: the parent organizations which played a crucial role in getting Delamont’s bands off on their amazing two to five month trips, Garfield White who was instrumental in securing the assistance of the CPR both in Canada and abroad for his trips, Lillie Delamont, Arthur’s wife, who accompanied him on all the 1930s and 1950s tours. Both Lillie and Garfield were responsible for leaving a thorough accounting of the boys’ adventures both at home and on tour over the decades. It also tells the story of the group of music educators who in the early 1960s, struggled to get instrumental music into the school curriculum in B.C. It is also my last book to date, on Arthur Delamont and his Vancouver Boys’ Band. 

Competition was keen in building musicianship. The music festivals which were around from the 1930s to the present are mentioned whenever possible. The band was always entering contests at home and abroad and they always took first place due to its members high level of musicianship. British adjudicators showered praise on Delamont’s boys often comparing them to the crack Grenadier Guard’s Band.

I tried to make sure every boy had a voice. Of the over 100 interviews I conducted with old boys, I tried to include at least one anecdote passed down to me by each boy. With some boys, I included several, such as Dal Richards who was a wealth of information as was Kenny Douglas, Gordon Laird and Michael Hadley to mention a few. All were interesting and deserve remembering.

What was it really all about? This book also explores the meta-narrative. Was it just a man with a band who took a bunch of kids on a few trips to England? It was anything but as you will discover as you read page after page of how Arthur took a bunch of ragtag neighbourhood kids and built them into the finest junior band in the land, in five years. Their march through the provincial, national and world band titles is the stuff of legends. And as one adjudicator said in Chicago in 1933 when they beat the Chicago Boys’ Band by 24 1/2 points to win the world band title, “Their win was anything but marginal.”  Arthur knew what he was doing. When one of his boys asked him what was next after their win in Chicago, he said,” Why England of course!”

Comparisons were many. Arthur’s band was often compared to the John Philip Sousa Band and would stand in for them on concert programs while on tour in England. I have explored this comparison in depth and compiled it here for all to see. One interesting comparison is Sousa’s band library and Delamont’s library were the two largest privately held music libraries of their kind in the day.

We have to mention the photos. The band’s best now iconic photos are all included as well as lots of photos never before seen from the private collections of several of the boys, given to me by their relatives who I managed to track down over the years. This book is a photo archive in itself.

What the Greater Vancouver Book is to Vancouver, this book is to the Kits Band. It is chock full of details, facts, names, places; everything about the band that you could ever possibly want to know. It also explores the historic connections the band enjoyed with the RCMP Band, The Ted Heath Orchestra, The Boss Brass and Gordon Delamont. It is the only complete book on the band to date. Each of my other five books only cover a part of the band’s story. It also comes with a CD of the band performing nineteen well-known pieces (its signature repertoire), from 1934 to 1978. It was published in May 2014 and copies are currently available.


“You deserve the Order of Canada for preserving this unique musical history.” – Bill Millerd, Director, Arts Club Theatre


July 21, 1934. The boys arrive in Bugle, Cornwall for the 17th Annual Bandsmen’s Festival for the West of England held under Royal patronage.

“When Frank Wright, the noted adjudicator, stepped from the train the setting, glowing under the rays of a glorious sun, was in itself complete compensation for the tedium of his all night journey from Lancashire. It was Bugle’s Gala Day, for the West of England band championships were to be decided during the afternoon. One could feel the enthusiasm and vitality in the atmosphere. Bandsmen in their gaily colored uniforms were everywhere, and one could gather from the snatches of conversation that the one topic was: “WHO WOULD WIN?” (The Cornwall Guardian, July 26, 1934)
A local newspaper reporter wrote the following article: The day dawned ominously for the Festival. When all awoke to see rain greyly falling from skies uniformly grey, the hearts of those doomed to go to the Festival were heavy indeed. It seemed, in prospect, as if the revival were to be doomed by the weather. But there was magic in the air. Before mid-morning the grey clouds began to lift. Magnificent, lofty cumulus clouds sailed across the blue and for the whole Festival the sun burned down and scorched all as they sat or stood listening to the playing of the bands. They were not doomed after all; fears were fortunately liars and their initial hopes were anything but dupes. For even listening was made hot work! What then must the heat have been like for the competing bandsmen? One of the St. Dennis bandsmen said when he was having a late tea, just before seven, that he had never known playing to be hotter work. How refreshing the trees looked, parched though they were, by contrast with the arid white china clay cones (huge mounds of clay used for English pottery seen nearby).
Arthur’s boys however, did not seem to mind the heat. They went about in two’s and three’s, eating innumerable ices and resting in whatever shade they could find, before and after their playing. After all they were world champions in their class, gaining their world championship at the mammoth brass band contest in Chicago. That they had come to Bugle to compete in the only British contest they had ever entered was due to the perspicacity of Mr. F.J.P. Richards, the zealous honorary secretary of the Festival, the presiding genius of the occasion as one might well describe him, who, when he heard earlier in the year that the Boys were coming to England, snapped them up for his Festival. It was the first time that any overseas band had competed at the West of England Festival and naturally Bugle and the four thousand people who heard them gave the Kitsilano Boys a rousing Cornish welcome.
The boys, whose ages ranged from eleven to nineteen, added greatly to the picturesqueness of the scenes. The sight of some of them under the trees near the marquee made one half fancy that one was at some Continental fete galante. Their tightish fitting black trousers with a broad red stripe, white silk shirts and flowing capes with bright red sides and black backs and black and red Glengarry caps worn at an angle were quite dashing.

June, 1939 Winnipeg, A Boy With A Horn
The following article appeared in The South-East Corner (a Winnipeg newspaper) It was written by Harris Turner in June, 1939 the day after the boys played in Winnipeg.

I met a lad who plays a horn in a band. Anybody who ever played any kind of horn in any band always aroused my envy, but this young fellow played a slide-trombone, which is the most enviable of all musical weapons, and he played it in the Kitsilano Boys’ Band, which, according to the Century of Progress Exhibition, is the best boys’ band in the world. This boy had a uniform that would make a peacock look like a dirty, grey sock. Why was I deprived of the privilege of learning to play the slide-trombone? Why didn’t somebody handcuff me to a slide trombone and refuse me food and sleep until I learned to play it? Why don’t they make slide trombone playing a compulsory subject in public schools? Why don’t they give slide-trombones away with subscriptions to the Western Producer instead of handing out carving knives and aprons?
You may not know that the Kitsilano Boys’ Band comes from Vancouver. It comes from Vancouver every year or two to startle the Boys’ Band universe with its magnificent uniform and its still more magnificent musical accomplishments. It played in Kamloops, in Calgary, in Regina, in Winnipeg, in Kenora, in Fort William and in Sudbury. It is playing in Toronto today and in a day or two it is going to play at the World’s Fair in New York, and then it is going to play in Montreal, and from Montreal, on June 30, it is sailing on the Duchess of Bedford for England, and on the other side of the Atlantic it is going to play in London and all the places in Europe that are aware that metal can be used in the manufacture of slide-trombones and cornets as well as in the production of guns and grenades.

September 3, 1939. SS Athenia Sunk by a German
U-boat Britain and France declared war on Germany.

The Athenia which left Liverpool at the same time as the Empress departed Southampton was sunk by a German U-boat just out of Liverpool (see photo page 98). When news of the Athenia reached the boys, they were greatly saddened because the contingent of American art students whom they had befriended on the journey over had been on board. When news of the Athenia reached Vancouver the boys’ parents thought the boys had been lost, as it had been widely reported that they had been booked the Athenia for their journey home. The Empress remained in the Cherbourg harbor overnight and under cover of darkness at least a hundred (a guess) Polish peasants swarmed on board and concealed themselves in the forward hold. There were people of all ages, some families–none with luggage, other than what they could carry on their backs. Of course they had no tickets and for a while it looked as if they were to be forcibly put ashore. Also, there was talk of delaying the sailing so that the ship, which was painted a brilliant white, could be camouflaged. However, it was likely that the news of the sinking of the ‘Athenia’ off the north coast of Ireland influenced the Captain’s decision to “make a run for it.” The peasants were allowed to remain on board. (Carson Manzer, chartered accountant)

The Empress zigzags back across the Atlantic to avoid U-boats!

To avoid any chance of encountering the submarine which had torpedoed the ‘Athenia,’ the Captain set off to the southwest, down the Bay of Biscay and off the coast of Spain, wisely reasoning that the submarine likely planned to proceed south, down the west coast of Ireland, to intercept the boys’ ship had it taken the usual direct route to Canada, in about the same area that the ‘Lusitania,’ had been torpedoed in 1915 with the loss of eleven hundred lives. Once safely at sea, zigzagging constantly, but at the full speed of 26 knots, (as compared with a U boat’s estimated top speed of 10 knots), daily morning boat drills commenced. (Carson Manzer 1939, chartered accountant)

PHOTO CREDIT: (TOP) The band in the 1930s and 1950s, always had their photo taken in front of Victoria Monument in London when on a tour of Great Britain. It was a mirror image of the photo of the band that the boys sold on a postcard to concert goers. The photo on the postcard was of the band in front of Vancouver City Hall when it was located in downtown Vancouver. It is now the Vancouver Art Gallery. It was also Arthur’s way of showing his respect to the land of his birth.


Denton Park

Denton Park

Buy the Book:
Amazon Canada

To order this book, please leave a message in the reply box below

Published by: Warfleet Press
Release Date: Copies available
Pages: 278
ISBN: 978-0-9868793-1-9


Meet some of the ’50s boys from the Vancouver Boys’ Band. Listen to them talk about their days in the band and Arthur Delamont’s influence on their lives and on generations of Vancouver’s youth. The lessons they learned while in the band were far more than musical. They had to do with management skills, deportment, discipline, team work, standing on your own two feet, representing others, performance skills, programming and showmanship. They learned what it meant to live a competitive lifestyle and to strive to be in the top one percent. “Do the best you can each day and don’t settle for second best,” he would say! “Nobody remembers the also ran! You either win or you lose!”

Some of the interviews are done posthumously, as one boy reflects
on some of the others who have passed away. The interviews offer
some insight into what it was like to have been a member of “The
Worlds Most Famous Boys Band,” a true Canadian success story. The stories they tell run the range of emotions from the humorous, to
the serious, to scary, to loving, to surprising but always from the heart.
The boys went on to become doctors, lawyers, accountants, civil
servants, engineers, teachers, scientists, composers and writers and
are today, twenty-five years after his death, the Legacy of Arthur

The Kitsilano Showboat

The story of Bea Leinbach and her Kitsilano Showboat.


To order this book, please leave a message in the reply box below or send a message to:

Published by: Warfleet Press
Release Date: 2nd Ed/ Fall 2022
Pages: 189
ISBN: 978-0-9868793-6-4


The Kitsilano Showboat just keeps rolling along! Now in its 84th year, this book, compiled for the 75th anniversary of the Showboat, looks at:
* The  origins of the Showboat  in 1935
* The lady who single-handedly was  responsible for the success
of the Kitsilano Showboat over the years, Bea Leinbach or Captain
Bea as she is known to all
* The many performers who over the years went on to star status
and to become celebrities
* Supporters of the Showboat over the years, the executive and
volunteers who without their help Showboat would never have
been possible
* The 100s of dance and musical theatre groups who provided the
acts over the years
* The 1000s of entertainers who became better citizens and lived
happier more fulfilled lives because they each had their moment of
stardom on the stage of the Kitsilano Showboat.
Everyone remembers seeing Showboat at some time in their youth
if they lived in Vancouver. Families would stroll down to Kits beach
and lay a blanket on the lawn or sit on the bleachers. It was all free
and still is, no one gets paid, the performers, the staff, the
executive, only the audience. The audience gets paid in spades
with a beautiful evening under the stars watching the acts unfold
on stage and the activities around them, in the water, the pool and
on the beach. The motto of the Showboat has been since it began,

“amateur entertainment for three months during the summertime
in the most beautiful setting in the world.”
A place where kids can come and perform in front of a real live
audience on a real stage. No matter what stage in their lives they
eventually wind up on, they all remember fondly the first stage they
were ever on, the Kitsilano Showboat with Captain Bea.

Since the 1940s, Bea Leinbach has been the organizing guru
behind many civic and municipal organizations in Vancouver and
Kitsilano. Whenever entertainers were needed people called on
Captain Bea. In the early days when Bert Emery thought up the
the idea for a Mississippi Showboat moored on the beach at Kitsilano,
he also developed a Kiddies parade which was held at the
beginning of each summer. Then there was the venerable Miss
Kitsilano Contest which was held for decades. Bea Leinbach
started another institution akin to the Showboat called the Kitsilano
Community Concert Party.  Made up of around 12 to 15
entertainers from each past Showboat season, they performed at
institutions around town, seniors homes, and hospitals, during the rest
of the year for people who were unable to get out to see the
Showboat…..  all these activities including the Showboat were
designed to increase civic spirit and bring the communities closer
together and they sure did!

Over the course of the years, Captain Bea received many awards,
from the Kitsilano Best Citizenship Award to a National Citizenship
Award, to  a much-coveted YWCA Women of Distinction Award all
the way up to the Order of Canada.

We hope you enjoy the story of Bea Leinback’s Outdoor School of
the Performing Arts, ‘ The Kitsilano Showboat.’

The Red Cape Boys


Buy the Book:
Amazon Canada

To order this book, please leave a message in the reply box below

Published by: Warfleet Press
Release Date: Copies available
Pages: 410
ISBN13: 978-0-9812574-9-5

Some well known alumni from the Kitsilano Boys Band:

Gordon McCullough, Clif Bryson, Roy Johnston, Gordon Delamont, Dal Richards, Jim McCulloch, Don Radelet, Jimmy Pattison, Ray Smith, Ron Collier, Kenny Douglas, Brian Bolam, Donny Clarke, Bing Thom, Arnie Chycoski. Bob Calder, Bill Millerd, Bill Ingeldew, Bob Buckley, Richard Van Slyke, Bill Inman, Malcolm Brodie, Marek Norman, Dave Calder, Tom Walker…


What makes some people successful and others not? There are
lots of theories going around but one thing that successful
people seem to all have in common is that they were usually
inspired at an early age to excel. Call it a role model if you like,
but it is more than that. We can all think of someone who was a
role model in our lives.I believe it has to do with experiencing
success ourselves at an early age which makes us always want
to aspire to that level and beyond throughout our lives.
Such was the case with the fellows you will read about in, The
Red Cape Boys. They all belonged to the Worlds Most Famous
Boys Band at some point during the fifty-year history of the band.
The band was the most successful band of its kind in history,
winning over 200 championship awards. When they were in the
band, they were all between the ages of 8 and 18. When they left
the band they all went on to individual careers in many fields,
accounting, teaching, music, the military, government and so on.
Five of them received the Order Of Canada. What makes their
stories even more remarkable is that they were all inspired by
the same man, the conductor of the band.

Read about the life journeys of twenty-seven prominent and
successful Canadians, who went on to have wonderful lives and
very successful careers but never forgot the man who inspired
them all!

Read about  their first encounters with the legendary conductor
and founder of the band, Arthur Delamont,  the trips they went on,
other fellows in the band that they knew, their lives after the band,
and how the whole experience influenced their lives, some 30,
40 or 50 years after they were known as, the red cape boys……