From 1934 to 1979, street photographer Foncie Pulice set up his camera on Vancouver city sidewalks and snapped candid shots of people strolling by. For almost half a century, he took thousands of photos, unwittingly capturing moments in time, the history of a city, and the lives of British Columbians.
Now documentary filmmaker Melanie Wood and British Columbia’s Knowledge Network are bringing these photographs together – collecting them from albums around the province and giving them a public home. Photo negatives of Foncie’s images do not exist. He destroyed most of them when he retired. Until now there was no central archive or collection.
Some thoughts from the subject of this 1940’s Foncie photo:
“I remember that week so well. I was upper deck stoker on HMCS Beacon Hill and spent a memorable day on board HMS Newcastle with some gordies who I met the night before at an intership boxing event. They where from Newcastle city in Co.Durham U.K. We spent the day drinking rum, b.s.ing and comparing their ship to her sister ship HMCS Ontario based in Esquimalt. Their ship still had its full armament from W.W.2, Ontario had been stripped of hers to just a few token guns. They spoke of being on sea exercises and firing full broadsides and how the ship healed over from the recoil. I had spent my young years just south of Newcastle and could converse with them in their Tyneside dialect. Thanks Foncie for the memory.”
This is a story about Vancouver, about British Columbia, and about it’s people… so they need your help. Visit Knowledge.ca/FonciesCorner to add your photos and stories to the collection.
We’re sharing a couple of Foncie photos here on V.I.A. each week leading up to the premiere of the documentary film being released in the summer. Share your memories (or the ones you find in your parents’ and grandparents’ archives) and become a part of Vancouver’s history!