Independent media needs you. Join the Tyee.


The Hook: Political news, freshly caught

Chuck Davis, dying Vancouver historian, seeks support for completion of his last book

Chuck Davis last week announced he is dying of cancer and asked for the public’s support to pay for the writer selected to complete his last book.

Davis, 74, has had a long career as a Vancouver broadcaster, columnist, and historian. In 1976 he was the editor of The Vancouver Book, which became the standard reference for decades. He followed it up with The Greater Vancouver Book in 1997.

In the last decade Davis has created and run a website, The History of Metropolitan Vancouver, which offers a year-by-year account of the city and region -- from Bowen Island to Langley -- from 1757 to 1994. Its materials are the basis of the new book he has been working on.

Speaking at Sam Sullivan's Public Salon on September 23, Davis said: “I could use a little help” in finding a writer to take over this current project and to find money for an estimated year of work to bring it up to date.

Talking to The Tyee, Davis said he has had “a flood of offers” to finish the book, and has narrowed the list down to two or three.

As well, lawyer Christine Elliott has volunteered to set up and administer a trust fund to pay for the writer who is finally chosen.

Elliott has published an open letter with instructions on how to donate to the fund:

People may send funds for the “Chuck Davis Vancouver Almanac Project” by cheque payable to “Christine Elliott in trust” to me at my address below where their cheque shows their name, their address and their telephone number:

Christine Elliott


Suite No. 102
, 280 Nelson Street

Vancouver, BC V6B 2E2

I will hold their funds in trust on my legal undertaking to the donor to pay the funds either:

1. with the prior written consent of the donor, to the group which is tasked with the “Chuck Davis Vancouver Almanac Project”; and

2. if I cannot do the foregoing by December 31, 2011, I will pay such funds, without interest, back to the donor at the address on their cheque;

3. if my trust cheque refunding their funds under paragraph 2 above is sent to the address on their cheque by registered mail of Canada Post and returned to me marked “Return to Sender” or “ No such person at this address” or some equivalent reason for returning my mail ” I will pay such funds to the Canadian Cancer Society, without obligation to obtain any receipt for a charitable donation.

Prior to any payout of trust funds by me under paragraph 1, I will, as required by our BC Law Society Rules, require two pieces of ID of the donor issued by a Canadian or Provincial Governmental body, one with a picture. (eg. BC Driver’s licence, Passport, Citizenship Card, BC ID card).


As a BC Lawyer, I am governed by our Law Society of BC and trust accounting rules.

This means I require a copy of any cheque before it is deposited into my trust account and will require ID as above before any payout other than as a refund to the donor.

Donors should know that it is not economic for me to invest their kind donation to earn interest. No interest will accrue on any donor’s funds.

No interest on any donor’s funds will be received by Christine Elliott because BC lawyers do not receive any interest on any “pooled trust account” – being one in which the funds of more than one person are deposited, as is the case here.

Davis told The Tyee that he had recently spoken with his publisher, Howard White of Harbour Publishing, who told him he was very enthusiastic about bringing the book out.

Crawford Kilian is a contributing editor of The Tyee and a longtime friend of Chuck Davis and his family.

Find more in:

What have we missed? What do you think? We want to know. Comment below. Keep in mind:


  • Verify facts, debunk rumours
  • Add context and background
  • Spot typos and logical fallacies
  • Highlight reporting blind spots
  • Ignore trolls
  • Treat all with respect and curiosity
  • Connect with each other

Do not:

  • Use sexist, classist, racist or homophobic language
  • Libel or defame
  • Bully or troll
  • Troll patrol. Instead, flag suspect activity.
comments powered by Disqus