“Just like the money in a Canada Savings Bond.”

MI-186 - Bing Goes Bang - In Vancouver

CVA M1-186. Screen capture from “BIng Goes Bang”, a news reel of Canada Paramount News. Shows Bing Crosby receiving the key to Vancouver from Acting Mayor George C. Miller, [1948].

Famous American crooner, Bing Crosby, drove a Caterpillar earth mover for the groundbreaking ceremony in 1948 of the Sunset Memorial Community Centre in south Vancouver. Crosby came to the city to record his Philco radio show as a fundraiser for the centre at the request of Vancouver native son and World Welterweight Champion (1933-35), Jimmy McLarnin. Some 8000 people attended the taping of the show, thereby raising $26,000 for construction of the community centre. Crosby returned the following year for the Centre’s opening, and performed for an audience of 1,500.

BC waving from Cate#1C9F809

CVA M1-186. Screen capture from “BIng Goes Bang”, a news reel of Canada Paramount News. Shows Bing Crosby on a Caterpillar earth mover preparing to break ground for Sunset Memorial Community Centre, [1948].

A new Sunset Community Centre (Memorial was dropped from the name of the new centre) was opened in 2008 (Bing Thom, architect) to replace the one opened by Crosby in 1950.

At the conclusion of the newsreel produced by Canada Paramount News (an arm of Paramount Pictures), Crosby sinks a golf ball into a hole, mugs for the camera and says, a bit glibly, “Just like money in the bank. Or as the folks in Canada say, Just like the money in a Canada Savings Bond.”

To listen to the Philco show taped in Vancouver (complete with today-questionable jokes pertaining to Crosby’s induction as an honorary chief of the Squamish people – Chief Thundervoice) , go here.

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