Our History in Photos

Here’s a bit of our history, originally recorded by Ralph Shaw, our founder and historian. More recent entries have been a group effort. Starting in 2010, Hansol Kim has been taking photos at the monthly meetings and posting them on his flickr pages.

The Vancouver Ukulele Circle was formed in September 2000 after Ralph Shaw & Virginia Ise put a small ad in a local newspaper.

This picture was taken at the very first meeting of the VUC.

Our 2nd Anniversary September 2002.

The guy in the blue shirt is Bruce Bissell who was Tiny Tim’s promotions manager during Tiny’s heyday.
He had a lot of great stories to tell us about his times on the road with Tiny Tim.

Check out the cake!

It was delicious too.
Made with coconut and pineapple for true
Hawaiian flavour! Plus licorice strings.

Aaaah! Our summer 2002 meeting on the beach at English Bay …
… plonking on ukuleles while the sun sets in the West.
It doesn’t get better than this folks!

May 4th 2003. Bernie, Virginia, Wendy and Ralph visited the Seattle Ukulele Players Association in a cross-border visit.

Here doing a spirited rendition of Sadie Green!

Here follow 3 pictures from our 3rd anniversary party.

This one is of Lorene & Art Reimer who did such a great job organising the party.

A grand evening it was.
We had a fabulous chinese meal at the Jade Rabbit Restaurant.
Followed by our own ukulele entertainment!

Makin Whoopee!

This is Ron (on bass), Michael and Wendy.

You can’t tell from the pictures but the restaurant is actually a former Polynesian/Hawaiian restaurant and still has most of the decor intact.

Wendy, Virginia, Bernie and Ralph singing: My Tacky Little Shack in Kitsilano.

Photo taken at Our Town May 16, 2006

At our May, 2006 meeting, we had a visit from Hilda and Alan Southworth, whose tour of the area put them in Vancouver just in time to visit us at Our Town before returning home to Preston, Lancashire, England. Alan has been a member of the George Formby Society for 28 years and is now an honorary member. He has played the ukulele banjo all that time and has a good repertoire of Formby and other songs. He did a wonderful selection of tunes for us. In the photo above, he is presenting Ralph with an official George Formby Society tie, which didn’t actually go that well with Ralph’s shirt! Below is a photo of the assembled group that evening, with Hilda in blue in front and Alan standing behind her.

The Canadian contingent made a respectable splash at the Portland Ukefest in June, 2006. Here are Ralph, Ragnar, Chris, James, Wendy, and Don, flanked by the rest of the Canadian contingent, singing O Canada. On the left is David, from Victoria, and on the right are Elayne and Norm from Dundas, Ontario.

Ah, summer! Here are some photos from the beach party in July 2006.

Our 6th Anniversary cake, September 2006

Paul Moore, visiting from Israel, did a great show for us at Ralph’s co-op in September, 2006. As well as banjo uke, he played musical items such as tin cans, empty bottles, plastic containers and a Venetian blind bass which he and Ralph scrounged from Vancouver alleys earlier that day – the musical version of “found art”. To misquote Paul, “the Gods of Vancouver Garbage were bountiful”. The kids just about stole the show, though.

2006 has been a good year for visitors. In October, Brian Turner and his family paid us a visit from Hereford, England, so we decided to do a “British Pub Night” at the Billy Bishop Legion. That’s Brian between Virginia and Claudia.

The Canadians were out in force again at the 2007 Portland Uke Fest. Elayne and Norm from Dundas, Ontario were back, as were (not as arranged in the picture) Don, Ralph, Wendy and James Hill (the fellow with the beard, in case you didn’t recognize him). New campers this year were James (Boswell), Gary, Cynthia, and Alex Jang and his mom Angela (behind Cynthia) from Victoria. We really did talk to Elayne and Norm, but Norm had just learned he’d made the successful bid in the silent auction for a new uke, so they were preoccupied when we were doing the photo shoot.

Here are the Vancouver workshop attendees at breakfast in Portland before the festival started.

Summer 2007 finally arrived in Vancouver, which we celebrated on the beach, as usual , except this year it was at Kits Beach.

Dalai joined us for the first time in April, 2008, and came armed with a camera, so we can finally show you what the normal (well, not normal, but you know, usual) scene looks like.

The Canadians were so numerous at the 2008 Portland Uke Fest that we hardly had to make a big deal of it any more, but we did anyway. Not in the order shown, Elayne and Norm from Dundas, Ontario were back with four friends: Luanne and David, and Elizabeth and Leonard. Alex (rather hidden in back) and his mom Angela returned from Victoria. James Hill was there, from Nova Scotia this time, as was new camper Stephen also from Nova Scotia. Returning from Vancouver were Don, Ralph, Gary, Wendy and Just Jimmy (new name this year!).  Other new Canadians this year were Jamyang from Victoria, Sherie from Duncan, Tony and Margaret, who were filming for the CBC, and Richard, who lives in Seattle but was born in Canada. We look like a pretty happy bunch, eh? It was easy to be happy at this awesome festival. You can click this photo to see it larger.

Back to Kits Beach for the August 2008 Beach Party. Founding member Virginia made it from Toronto for the event. This might have been “goodbye” to Laura and Noriko, so good thing we had the party to see them one last time. We had the usual passersby who joined us for a few songs. It was a stunning evening, and you can see that we spent about as much time photographing the view and each other as we did playing. Thanks to Noriko and Wendy for the photos, which are clickable to view larger sizes.

Here’s our 8th Anniversary cake – from Bon Ton Bakery. A Diplomat cake – it was yummy.

Christmas, 2008 – the party. Here we are huddled by the fire, carefully built by Ron. Ralph is leading the annual Christmas quiz complete with prizes, and performance time featured seasonal tunes. For you non-Canadians, Guy’s Christmas uke toque prize is pronounced
“uke tuke”.

Canadians at the 2009 Ukefest were so numerous that we no longer could make any pretense of being a cohesive group! Only 8 showed up for the “group photo”, so I had to round up the others and managed to incorrectly think I’d gotten a photo of Mariegold and Steve, so you two, please send me a photo and I’ll put you in. Our own group had nine attendees this year.

Around the border, starting at the upper left and moving counter-clockwise, are Gary, Heidi who lives in Seattle, Alex who lives in Victoria, James – lives in Nova Scotia, Angela (Alex’s mom, from Victoria), Jimmy, Leonard and Elizabeth from Ontario, Judy who lives in Florida, Kathleen, Jamyang from Victoria. From left to right in the centre are Wendy, Don, Elayne and Norm from Ontario, Jill, Allison from northern BC, Ralph, and Nova who lives in Seattle.
Canadians at Portland Ukefest 2009

2010 Beach Party – August 3. Thanks to Daphne for organizing this and for talking our neighbouring table into letting us use their propane. Who knew we weren’t allowed to use charcoal! Thanks to Ron for bringing his bass and for sending photos.
2010 Beach party2010 Beach Party
2010 Beach party2010 Beach party

We had our own Ukelympics in February, 2010.


Kid Vanukes July 09

Vanukes: Here comes the Rain