Friday, September 18, 2009

The hunt for a 23 year old brick...

CPR Engine 374 travelled from Atlantic Canada on its first transcontinental run and pulled into Vancouver BC on May 23, 1887. It was a great day for the whole nation. After ten years of construction, a twin line of steel linked Canada from coast to coast.
Engine 374 was retired in 1945.
In 1983, a Heritage Brick Program was begun, and people could purchase one brick for $19.86 to raise funds for the restoration of this wonderful engine.
$400,000 was raised, Robert and I being one of the many to splurge and purchase our brick.
The engine was ready for Vancouver's world fair, Expo 86, and I remember going to the place where the engine was on display, and discovering that the bricks weren't ready for display.
I was so disappointed.
After Expo, between 1988-1990, the public was invited to visit the engine and see the bricks. For some reason, we never made it to the pavilion.
Condos were built around the pavilion, and a new home for the engine was also added.
Recently a new Canada Line Skytrain line was built from downtown Vancouver to the YVR airport in Richmond.
I decided to try out the new line last Monday, and I chanced to get out at the Yaletown stop.
I could see Engine 374 just one block away. What hindered me from looking for my brick after all these years? Nothing at all.
A kind elderly gentleman volunteer, wearing an engineer's blue striped cap, tried to find my name on his laptop, but his program crashed. The bricks had been moved from outside, into the engine's new home. Some were lost, some were badly damaged.
I searched in the H's and after 5 minutes I found our brick!
It's in row 160, brick #27. You can see it above, and in the photo above that, my shopping bag marks the spot where the brick is located.
I'm only 23 years late.
It gave me a small thrill to see my name and Robert's beside the old engine, which has endured 122 years of history.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Loretta.....I think its exciting to have found your brick after all these years. Jeannie

Write 2 The Point said...

this is really cool Loretta. But even more cool--how do I get an awesome background like you have for your blog?

Jacqueline said...

How cool is that! I've always wanted to buy a brick to something. Some folks even do it in memory of someone they loved. What a great post and what a great adventure. One of those "bucket list items". Smiling, just across the border.