A Brief History of Vancouver Monthly Meeting
John & Ruth Vermilyea, Friends from Belleville, Ontario, establish a Quaker worship group on Lulu Island.
Vancouver Monthly Meeting is formally established on November 4, in connection with Canada Yearly Meeting.
1914 – 1945
The concerns of the Meeting include conscientious objectors to military service, relief in Europe, public education, labour relations, alienation of unionists from the churches, and work with the Canadian Japanese in WWII internment camps.
Rufus Jones makes a visit to Vancouver Friends. A Meeting House on West 10th Ave is purchased.
1945 – 1970
Friends, frequently in co-operation with the F.O.R. (Fellowship of Reconciliation), are very active in issues relating to peace, nuclear testing, the Korean War, and the Doukhobors.
The mid-1960s are marked by increasing activity and growth. They are also painful and difficult years, with radically differing agendas amongst Friends over the issue of homosexuality.
After the sale of the Meeting House on West 10th Ave in 1968, the Meeting gathers in various rented quarters and attempts to meet the needs of a great variety of newcomers who have left the USA in response to the Vietnam War.
Vancouver Friends including Dorothy and Irving Stowe are active in the establishment of Greenpeace in 1971.
The Meeting purchases a Salvation Army Chapel on West 70th Avenue. While it is called a Meeting House, it is not in the traditional Quaker style of architecture. The later 1970s are a time of recovery and expansion of activity.
1980 – 2000
The Meeting takes a strong stand in support of member Jerilynn Prior’s conscientious objection to paying military tax. She becomes the first person in Canada to claim in court that the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms provides the right not to pay for war.
Other concerns of the meeting include Aboriginal rights, the Campaign for Secure Dwellings (in the West Bank), a scholarship program for children in Guatemala, and the Alternatives to Violence Project.
After a year of threshing and discussion, Vancouver Monthly Meeting approves proceeding to take under its care same-sex marriages. Two women Friends are married under the care of the Meeting in August, 1992.
2000 to Present
Vancouver Monthly Meeting raises $84,000 towards building a primary school and water well in Chatamilu, Western Kenya. The school and well open in 2008. The Meeting continues to support Chatamilu students through scholarships.