A witness to history
Morse’s father, Swan Goranson, was 16 when he arrived in Vancouver from Sweden, two years after the city’s Great Fire. Swan and his brother, Hans, are listed on the Vancouver census rolls as fishermen. By https://www.londonbc.co.uk 1898, the year of the Great Fire of New Westminster, Swan was the owner of a grocery store on Hastings Street.
In 1900, Aina Lind came to Vancouver to join her sisters, one of whom, Rosa, was married to Hans Goranson. Six years later, Swan and Aina married and moved into the house he had built on East Pender Street. There Edna and her twin brothers, Paul and Ewalt, canada goose outlet store known as canada goose clearance Ed, were born. Although that part of the city was predominantly Scandinavian and canada goose outlet new york city the children spoke only Swedish until they started at Seymour School, Morse recalls that 27 nationalities were represented in her grade.
Childhood was a time of freedom for Edna and canada goose outlet in usa her cheap canada goose pals. They walked or rode the streetcars all over the city. A nickel would buy them an afternoon of cliffhanger adventure serials at the movies. Summers, the children would visit the PNE, returning home with bags full of samples and giveaways. They would follow the trail through Stanley Park canada goose outlet nyc to swim at Third buy canada goose jacket cheap Beach, where Morse would place a bouquet of dandelions on the grave of Pauline Johnson.
The family moved to Kerrisdale where Morse graduated from Magee secondary. By then the Depression was in full force and after two canada goose outlet sale years at UBC she went to work to help support the family. Morse does not regret leaving school. “It was the only thing Canada Goose Online to do,” she says. Morse talks about the love she and her brothers had for each other, insisting, however, that she was not their pet, rather she was Canada Goose sale “their tease,” especially during their childhood days.
Both brothers went on to distinguished careers, Ed in cancer research and Paul as an artist.
In 1933, Paul enrolled in the newly opened British Columbia College of Arts. Morse, hired as
the school’s registrar, has vivid memories of founders Jock Macdonald and Fred Varley. Varley, a member of the Group of Seven, was a mesmerizing storyteller, she recalls. “He had the gift canada goose outlet shop of art and of canada goose coats words.” canada goose outlet black friday Emily Carr canada goose outlet store uk would turn up from time to time, “a little square lady in a coat down to her ankles.” The school folded after only two years yet its influence on Vancouver’s cultural community is still remembered. Hughes and Orville Fisher had canada goose uk shop a studio in the dome of the Sun Tower on Beatty Street.
On her lunch hours, Morse would walk over from her job at a lumber company to bring doughnuts to the not so starving official canada goose outlet artists. Calling themselves the West Coast Brotherhood and cheap Canada Goose popularly known as the “Three Musketeers of Art,” they took on commissions for murals that culminated in a series, long since vanished, on British Columbia canada goose outlet parka industry for the 1939 Golden Gate Exposition in San Francisco. The trio signed on as war artists in the Second World War and canada goose outlet reviews Paul went on to a career as canada goose uk outlet canada goose outlet the scenic artist for New York City’s Metropolitan Opera.
Morse’s face lights up as she recalls life in Vancouver: evenings of dancing at the Commodore and Peter Pan ballrooms and weekends hiking on the North Shore mountains. During one hike on Grouse Mountain, “I stumbled over a root and fell flat on my face in the mud,” she remembers. “George Morse picked me up.”
George and Edna married and moved to West Vancouver in 1938, the year the Lions Gate Bridge opened. George, who died in 1982, was active in the West Vancouver Lions Club.
Edna continues to participate in the Special Services group at the West Vancouver Seniors Activity Centre and in her chapter of the women’s organization, PEO.
She enjoys her family three children, six grandchildren and twelve great grandchildren and sharing her memories over a cup of strong Swedish coffee.