BLAST FROM THE PAST
In 1935 the Workers Unity League set out to create a camp for disadvantaged children. In fact the first camp was held in Port Moody, but the camp was not at a permanent camp site. The first donation came from the original Port Moody Camp in the amount of $ 50.00.
The main task at hand in 1935 was to find a permanent site for what would become Camp Jubilee. A group of 26 volunteers loaded a boat for a ride up Indian Arm to look at a camp site which one of the volunteers knew was for sale. The volunteers approached the present site and were awed by views of Mount Seymour and hills rolled gently down to the water. At this time the land totaling 128 acres was under the ownership of the District of North for nonpayment of taxes.
The sale price of the land was $1662. To raise the money to buy the land, the volunteers had a fundraiser called a “Tag Day”, a penny drive of sorts on the streets of Vancouver. As it was the 50th Anniversary of the City of Vancouver, the camp was named Jubilee.
In 1936 the first summer camps were held welcoming a total of 300 campers. The registration fee in 1936 was $ 3.50 per camper and a total of six staff were hired including a director, cook, manager, camp mother and a nurse.
In 1946, the woman volunteers of the association formalized their own group, just for woman. They called themselves the Women’s Auxiliary and were very active. Without the volunteers of the Women’s Auxiliary, the camp would not have survived.
The founding members of the Association included: Ma Gower and her son Charlie (Fundraising), Mrs. Richard Fordham (Secretary), Dr. WJ Curry (Treasurer), Jack Stevenson, Jack Henderson and Dr. Murphy were trustees. Many more volunteered and are uncounted.
In these early years many unions and other groups were active in supporting Camp Jubilee such as painters, carpenters, firefighters and teamsters. The Lions and Elks were also very supportive as were Ukrainian and Scandinavian organizations.
Today, Camp Jubilee programs are run by the Camp Jubilee Society. The Society is comprised of representatives from union and labour friendly organizations.
Labour unions, service clubs, businesses, government and individuals support Camp Jubilee through the “Send-A-Kid to Camp” campaign (campership fund) which enables children (ages 8 – 16 years of age) from low income families to attend camp.
Today Camp Jubilee is much more than a summer camp. Camp Jubilee is open year round and caters to groups looking for an outdoor experience and is ideally suited for both youth and adult groups looking for a day trip, overnight or extended stay.
Take a look down memory lane and see how far Camp Jubilee has come!