Category Archives: Pre-Hornby


I worked with Alvin Balkind when he curated UBC Fine Arts Gallery. This is a show of paintings and prints by Joe Plaskett .

There’s Jo and Annette Shaw, Commercial artist, who became a great friend. (didn’t move to Hornby, though, she did move to a Gulf Island.)

Colin Spencer. Advertising design. Another link to Hornby. He and his wife ,Charlotte, Moved to Hornby in the early 70’s and started a new house. They split. He left and she’s still here.

We were getting quite a reputation. Jack Shadbolt brought in his Owl Paintings for copying. Yup, another Hornby connection. The Shadbolts were great friends and supporters over the years.

Glenn’s impression of yours truly.


Me in 1969. The copy camera also had a 4×5 back. We had a lot of fun with it.

Hal Arnold, Jo Cain. Hal’s apartment.

Hal and Dick Dunne met in England they were both in the Canadian Airforce. Hal had safely finished his 50 missions over Germany. Dick arrived too late. (The war ended as he was doing his training) They bought a sailboat together and sailed around England. They were going to sail it back to Canada but common sense took over and they abandoned the idea.

I’m pretty sure that Glenn was over there too and the three began a lifelong friendship.


North Van traffic was crazy. This was before the Sea Bus. Once, I got so fed up standing in a non-moving bus that I got off long before we’d reached the bridge. i commenced to walk to work.

I was over the bridge and exiting Stanley Park when the bus finally caught up to me. A car driver pulled up beside me and said”Now would you like a ride?” I thanked him and said I had only a few blocks to go. He laughed and drove off.

The merge etiquette was amazing. Everybody knew the proper technique. Pretty smooth.

The early years.

So, this is  my sojourn into photography in the 1960’s. The highlighted texts are links. Just click on them to find out where I’m taking you. If you want to make a comment or see the comments just click on the title.

I don’t have an exact date when I joined the firm. Think it was late 1967 or early 1968. all the negs I made then and up to 1972 were jammed into envelopes. They ended up stored in boxes under the first Hornby house. So, about ten years ago I began organizing them. Which means that some of the dates are just guesses. These photos are in the same era but perhaps not in the proper order.

Dick Dunne/1970

Dick Dunne changed his name to Richard when the word ‘dick’ became fashionable and didn’t mean somebody’s name. Dick Wyndham refused to change his. He said ‘that’s what I’ve been called my whole life and I’m not about to change it.

Dick Wyndham teaches me mushroom hunting/Hornby Island-1972

Two important events occurred in 1969. First, Ken was offered a better job with one of our competitors. He couldn’t resist so he left Focus Prints and started a new life. Glenn asked me if I wanted to take on the manager’s job. I said I thought I was too young (25 years old) and he should get someone more familiar with the work. He was having none of this and after a few beers and arguments managed to recruit me.

Mr. Important

So, now I was manager with a fair salary which prompted me to do the next big thing in 1969. I bought a house! Across the bridge in North Van. George and Glenn were house owners over there as well. It was a fixer upper and the price was right, $14000. Hard to believe that a two story house with basement and large orchard would go for so little but this was North Van and not popular at the time.

Focus Prints was getting very busy. Glenn was spending more time working with me in the shop. We had to hire a helper and so Rick Scheirer joined the outfit. Al Sens moved out so we took over his space. Then the costume rental moved out and his giant studio became available.

A very nice couple opened this shop. Pretty soon the line neg business was over. Even Glenn, Dick, Hal used this shop.

We were now able to get into the photo mural business. An important move as the azo business was disappearing. A shop opened across the street using new technology. Making line negatives and enlarging or reducing them in the darkroom was outdated. The new method was a printing machine that could spew out copy at the correct size and font. We still did copy negs and began using the 5×7 camera for photography.

Rick Schierer and (Forgot his name) another new hire.

1969-1970 were very busy years.