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George Green

Councillor: 1916
Recipient of Gold Key Award (1955)

Freemen - George Green

George Green was born in Rippengale, Lincolnshire and was brought to Canada at the age of two. As a young man he worked as an engineer on steam threshing machines in Saskatchewan; invented, built and operated a fence-post pile driver; and worked as a house mover, carpenter and construction foreman after he moved to Vancouver in 1904.

During World War One, George served in Scotland with the Canadian Forestry Corps. and in 1916, he returned to Burnaby and served as a member of the Municipal Council for one year. Keenly interested in the history of British Columbia in general, and of Burnaby in particular, George wrote many articles over the years but his greatest achievement in the field of local history was the publication of his book History of Burnaby and Vicinity which came to print in 1947 and was the result of 18 years of research and writing. His by-line on historical articles also became well known to readers of local newspapers and he served as the editor of the Vancouver Museum Notes for a time.

Georges’ prolific research and publications about Burnaby earned him the title of “Official Historian” for the Municipality and in 1950 Burnaby Council recognized his work by designating the George Green Park. In 1952, he was appointed Official Archivist and Historian for Burnaby’s Diamond Jubilee and in 1955 he became only the third person to be honoured with the Gold Key award.

Without George Green’s persistent pursuit and patient recording of Burnaby’s early days and subsequent growth, much of the Municipality’s history would be lost to us today. The dedication George wrote in his book serves as an eloquent encapsulation of his character, contributions and legacy to the people of Burnaby:

“…to the men and women of this present day who with
earnest endeavour are building thereon the structure of a
greater Burnaby; - and to those that hereafter shall come from
the far corners of the earth to dwell in peace and prosperity
within her borders, we dedicate this story of her earliest
 development. May the record of achievements and of
mistakes guide us to the goal of a brighter destiny.”

George Green died on June 2, 1955.

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