Frederick Buscombe • 1905-06

[b. Sept. 2, 1862 Bodmin, England; d. July 21, 1938.]

Glassware merchant Fred Buscombe was a resident of the working class neighborhood of Mount Pleasant. It was a time when neighborhood as well as downtown commercial development in the city was flourishing. The expansion of streetcar lines to outlying communities allowed working class families to own homes while working downtown.

Low water pressure in neighborhoods on the south slopes of False Creek was a hot topic on the campaign trail in these years and Buscombe left his mark on the city by fostering the development of The Greater Vancouver Water Board. As the construction boom escalated, white-skinned workers were in short supply, and resentment of Asian workers led to ugly incidents of racism. During Buscombe’s second term as mayor council passed a motion asking the federal government to suspend the immigration of East Indians into Canada. This was seven years before the ill-fated Komagata Maru passengers were refused entry into Vancouver.