We frequently remind people to check their old photos to see if there are any that might, by virtue of the scene captured in a print, add to our understanding and appreciation of the community and how it has changed over the years.
We usually say that we "know" that an image must be out there somewhere - and we continue to hold onto this belief.
Recently, as part of a walking tour, we showed a few images that fit the above comments.
We had views of east Columbia that showed the old Sapperton theatre as well as the early site of the well-known Spots CafÃ©.
We have had a theatre image for a while, but now we have a photo that shows the streetscape. We also have a photo of the confectionary store that, after a number of changes, became Spots CafÃ©.
Most of the time, photographs are just snapshots, taken by someone out on the street with a camera. Often such views are ignored or forgotten, as they are frequently uncaptioned, and so they disappear. We are pleased to have had the opportunity to see these.
Other photos concern a military group marching through New Westminster's downtown in 1915 while training prior to going overseas. The intriguing aspect of these images is that they clearly show a remarkable view of lower Eighth Street with all its buildings on the east side of the road as they line the street up the hill from Columbia.
Others views show part of the 700 block of Columbia Street, a couple of streetcars and even a "blue funnel" jitney, an early form of automobile transport - all this in a few small snaps taken, most likely, by someone drawn to the location by the marching soldiers.
A few years ago, we were able to acquire a hard-to-find view of St. Peter's church - not the current one but rather the one that used to stand half a block up Blackwood Street above Columbia.
The photo we got shows how dominant this church was and even includes a streetcar as well as the gas station that was on the Columbia Street corner.
One of the most exciting images to come our way in recent years concerns a funeral. For now, we will not identify the deceased except to say that we have used the photo on tours with a full description of its military aspects.
We now have a set of photos from church to cemetery, including a rifle squad firing a salute over a flower-covered grave. Truly wonderful images.
These are just a few examples of what can be found - that do sometimes turn up - or as we said earlier, those that we "just know" must be out there somewhere.
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