Cecil Akrigg and Stan Lowe Go for a Climb


The first of two snapshots “tipped in” on a blank sheet of looseleaf paper inside Cecil Akrigg’s copy (now mine) of the souvenir brochure published on the occasion of the opening of the Lion’s Gate Bridge in 1939. In this photo, the bridge construction appears to be almost complete. However, this image was evidently made prior to installation of Charles Marega‘s lions. ca 1939. Akrigg or Lowe photo.


This is the second (and more vertigo-inducing) snapshot inside the Lion’s Gate Bridge brochure. ca 1939. Akrigg or Lowe photo. (Note: Both photos were a little over-exposed; I’ve tweaked the exposure of each for maximum clarity).


This sentence with the signatures of Akrigg and Lowe appear beneath the snapshots in Akrigg’s former copy of the brochure.

Cecil Akrigg and Stan Lowe were in their 20s when they made these images to remember their adventures in and around the Lion’s Gate Bridge ca 1939.

No mention is made as to whether their climb up the bridge tower (of just under 480 feet) was authorized by the powers that be, but it seems to me very doubtful! In adulthood, both men would have careers that were solidly respectable: Akrigg would become the Registrar of the Supreme Court of B.C.; Lowe would be an accountant.

Akrigg’s wife, Kathleen, died from cancer in 1983. Stan Lowe, who was Kathleen’s brother, also died from cancer two years later.

About a month prior to the publication of this post, Cecil Akrigg’s wartime story* and his wife’s battle with cancer were written up by the BC Cancer Foundation as part of their Leave a Legacy campaign. Akrigg, 99, has left his life insurance to the Foundation. No mention was made in the Foundation write-up of Akrigg’s and Lowe’s adventurous ascent of the Lion’s Gate Bridge, however!

I purchased the Lion’s Gate Bridge brochure from an antiquarian bookseller a few years ago.

CVA 1376-247 - [Fraser Boathouse, west of Kitsilano Pool] 1938 Cecil N. Akrigg photo

CVA 1376-247 – [Fraser Boathouse, west of Kitsilano Pool]. According to CVA notes, the image shows Claude Lowe and his son, Stan. 1938. Cecil N. Akrigg photo.

Upper part of tower

Lower part of tower-2

Tower Diagram 1938. This was included with my copy of the brochure. It was published much more recently, however. Produced as a fundraiser for Theatre Under The Stars. Portfolio Printsellers 1994.


*There is a recording of Akrigg recounting in a bit more detail some of his wartime experience at The Memory Project.

This entry was posted in biography, bridges/viaducts, people and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Cecil Akrigg and Stan Lowe Go for a Climb

  1. edie fishlock says:

    Cecil is my father and Stan was my uncle. Love this picture. Dad has kept an amazing archive of his life’s adventures. We celebrated his 100th birthday this September.

    • mdm says:

      I’m very pleased to hear from you! Please be in contact if there is anything in your Dad’s personal archive that would shed more light on ‘Vancouver As It Was’!

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