The Units Overseas Visit to Vancouver

Written by: Diane Hamill, National Chair, Units Overseas Committee
April 5, 2017

Leaving the sunshine of Alaska, the flight from Juneau to Seattle was uneventful.  However, when I reached Seattle and boarded the flight to Vancouver, we were asked to deplane because the aircraft had a mechanical error.  Envisioning an overnight stay in Seattle, I was pleasantly surprised when Alaska Airlines promptly had another plane available and we were delayed only an hour.  Our gracious New Caledonia hostesses and husbands met Mrs. Hamill and they all four waited for my flight to arrive.  Clearing customs and entering Canadian soil, I was relieved to find four smiling welcoming friends ready to whisk me to the beautiful hotel.  It was a wonderful experience to see Vancouver in beautiful sunshine.  Thank you New Caledonia Daughters, and the many Washington State Daughters who joined in this international celebration of patriotism.

- Ann Dillon, President General

In between her visits to Alaska and Hawaii, it was my privilege to join Mrs. Dillon for a brief visit to one of our Units Overseas Chapters.  We arrived in Vancouver, British Columbia, the night of Sunday, March 5, and were greeted at the airport by New Caledonia Chapter Regent Barbara Chaworth-Musters and Honorary Regent, Lilian Heselton and her husband John.  Barbara drove us to the beautiful Pan Pacific Hotel located on the harbor in downtown Vancouver. 

Monday, March 6, was a full day of exciting adventures.  We started the day with breakfast, joining a table of welcoming Daughters from both Canada and Washington State. 

Our sightseeing began at the Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art.  Bill Reid was the pivotal force in introducing to the world the great art traditions of the indigenous people of the Northwest Coast. Reid was a master goldsmith, carver, sculptor, writer, broadcaster and spokesman. While enjoying the work of Bill Reid and other artists, we learned the indigenous peoples of the Northwest are referred to as the First Nations.

We continued with a drive through Stanley Park.  Stanley Park is a 1,000-acre public park that borders the downtown of Vancouver in British Columbia, Canada, and is almost surrounded by waters of Vancouver Harbor and English Bay.  We stopped to enjoy the First Nations’ art and totem poles.  The nine totem poles at Brockton Point are BC's most visited tourist attraction.  

Our lunch stop was at the Granville Island Market.  A fascinating assortment of colorful stalls, showcasing unique homemade products and the very finest in culinary delights. All fresh from the ocean, the oven or the field.  The most difficult part of our lunch stop was trying to choose from the many options!  While we could have lingered all day exploring Granville Island, we soon departed on the Aquabus Ferry to view the Olympic Village from the harbor. 

Next, we toured the the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden, the first of its kind outside of China. The garden is an authentic representation of an age – old garden tradition which reached its peak in the Ming Dynasty.  Our guide explained how the design of the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Garden is based on the harmony of four main elements: rock, water, plants, and architecture.  In combination, these four elements create an experience of perfect balance, yin and yang.

Some of our group enjoyed FlyOver Canada, a virtual flight ride across some of Canada’s most spectacular sights.  Others not quite so adventurous enjoyed a short rest before dinner! 

We enjoyed a lovely evening at The Boathouse Restaurant, Kitsilano Beach, Vancouver, BC.  Mrs. Dillon and I traveled to this beautiful location with Honorary Chapter Regent Carolyn Kramer.  Washington State Society Regent Julie Pittmann, Vice Regent Lanabeth Horgen, Honorary Vice Presidents General Beverley (Bev) G. Bills and several Washington Daughters joined the New Caledonia Daughters to honor and welcome the President General.  Following the delicious dinner, Mrs. Dillon presented several membership certificates and a chapter commendation. 

The New Caledonia Chapter was organized February 4, 1988.  The chapter is currently working on marking a Patriot’s grave with a DAR marker, and hopes to place a DAR marker designating the “Old Telegraph Road.”  This was an old First Nations road between Bellingham (Washington) Bay to where it crossed the Fraser River in the lower mainland of British Columbia.  While it was originally used by the First Nations People of the Pacific Northwest, it was then used to travel to the gold fields, and eventually the route for the telegraph.

While it had snowed the day before our arrival, the sun was shining for our adventure in Vancouver.  The delightful day was only exceeded by the warmth of the welcome of the New Caledonia Daughters!  

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