John Braithwaite, City of North Vancouver Councillor. Image credit: MONOVA Archives
By Lisa Dalla Vecchia, Communications Manager
Did you know that the John Braithwaite Community Centre, located in the Lower Lonsdale area, is named in honour of a former long-term City of North Vancouver Councillor and one of B.C.'s first Black politicians? Click HERE to read a CBC article, which shares details about a Canadian who has contributed much to our community.
Joyce Griffiths, NVSD staff, recently shared personal memories of John Braithwaite, neighbour and friend.
Growing up, I lived in the Ridgeway neighbourhood, which at the time, was predominantly “white." To have a family of colour move in up the street could have created a stir, but for our family, it was quite the opposite experience. I spent many days riding my bike past the Braithwaite house hoping to meet one of the new neighbours.
One day as I rode by the house, I saw a very large man sitting on his front steps. Being my inquisitive, chatty self, I dropped my bike on his front lawn and introduced myself. I proceeded to tell him all about my family, about who lived in which house on our street, and what I knew about them. Being the kind and gentle man that he is, he listened intently, nodding, smiling, chuckling, and giving me his full attention.
This would be one of several visits I would have with John Braithwaite, and marked the beginning of a wonderful friendship. He always had time for our visits and allowed me to ramble on and on about whatever topic came to my young mind.
Shortly thereafter, while attending the North Shore Neighbourhood House's after-school program, I saw Mr. Braithwaite walking down the hall towards me. I was so excited to see him! Based on the chats we had had sitting on his front steps, I knew that if he was at the North Shore Neighbourhood House, it would be a great place for me to be after school!
Would you like to learn more about John Braithwaite? Visit the Archives section of the Museum and Archives of North Vancouver to start your research.