Chuck Davis, Vancouver’s unofficial archivist, passed away Saturday after a battle with cancer at the age of 74.
Chuck loved Vancouver and spent many years researching the history of this city, one that he adopted decades ago. He was a relentless researcher and more ideas sprang to his mind in a single day than most of us get in a lifetime. One time I asked him about his special gift and he said “I sometimes wonder if it is a blessing or a curse…” referring to the demands made upon himself by his searching mind.
He would start on a project and while working on it would come up with several more ideas for books. Chuck was an ardent crossword puzzle player and then became a creator of crossword puzzles himself. He loved trivia and loved to uncover new facts about Vancouver, its history, its personalities and things that make this city unique.
I first met Chuck on a double date in Victoria in 1956. Our friendship carried on until his last days. He was first and foremost an optimist about life in general. He published The Vancouver Book back in 1976 and it is probably the most popular reference book for journalists, historians, broadcasters and others. Over the years he worked for CBC, The Vancouver Province, The Vancouver Sun and was a contributor to many media outlets. The mayor of Vancouver declared Chuck Davis Day in October.
He was awarded the 17th annual George Woodcock lifetime achievement award in recognition of his literary career and that award saw a plaque placed in the Writers Walk at the Vancouver Public Library. At a recent Radio Performers Membership meeting the story of his brave battle with cancer was told, and all 70 people in attendance signed a special card for him. Goodbye old friend. I will miss you.