Sapper Flap Jack Saturday: September 10th

On September 10th, 1898, New Westminster was very nearly destroyed by what is now referred to as “The Great Fire”. Pictures show a city completely ravaged; the devastation razed most of the city’s buildings.


Photo courtesy New Westminster Public Library, accession # 3123 New Westminster after the great fire. The view looks down Columbia Street. Street running left to right (right-hand side near foreground) is Church Street. Building at right next to Church with the arch is the YMCA. Cluster of buildings beyond this would be the Public Library, Firehall and the Post Office. Beyond that cluster of buildings Sixth Street runs down to Columbia Street. At the top of the hill are the ruins of the Court House. The aforementioned is all on the north side of the street. Photographer: possibly S.J. Thompson. Source: Suzanne Spohn

Maps of the city show us just how bad it was. The circled area was just… gone.


Photo Courtesy New Westminster Public Library.


City residents banded together and rebuilt most of the city in less than two years. (Imagine that happening in this day and age?) I am sure many residents of Sapperton pitched in, housed their friends, and generally made themselves useful.

On Saturday, September 10th (the same day and date of the Great Fire), New West Fire Fighters will be flipping the pancakes and cooking ham for Sapperton Old Age Pensioners Association. Sapper Flap Jack Saturday is from 8:30 am to 12 noon. Melitta will be supplying the coffee. Cost is $5.00 per person, children 9 and under free. Tickets at the door or call 604 – 522-0280.

Have you been to Sapperton Hall? If you attended the UBE sessions or live on this side of town and voted, you probably have. Tucked 1/4 block up from RCH’s Emergency entrance at 318 Keary Street, Sapperton Hall is a great little meeting place. Since April this year, it has been undergoing about $60,000 worth of upgrades. New high efficiency furnaces, new high capacity high efficiency hot water tank, repainting the interior walls of the lower floor, installing new thermal windows on the lower floor, adding a new handicap accessible washroom and increasing and updating the women’s washroom upstairs. They are now working on improving the electrical in the kitchen and installing a new hood over the stoves. Sapperton Hall, opened in 1962, has 10,000 sq. ft. on two floors. The upstairs has a beautiful hardwood floor and about 4,000 sq. ft. of open area plus a small stage. The lower floor has a lino floor and a good sized kitchen facility. There is also an elevator lift to assist wheelchairs or people with mobility challenges.

For more info, contact: Vic Leach, V.P., Sapperton O.A. Pensioners Assoc. Ph: 604 – 525-1829 or Sapperton Hall 604 – 522-0280