edith-nye baby

Meet Vancouver’s first citizen of 1940. H’s Baby Boy Bickle, seen above with his mother, Mrs. William C. Bickle, 1208 East Thirteenth avenue, in the Vancouver General Hospital where he was born at 12:20 a.m. New Year’s Day.
He wins the Vancouver Sun’s “First Baby” cup and a lot of other presents offered by various Vancouver firms.

When we chose the 1940 New Year’s baby article from the Vancouver Sun to look back at in fond memory, it was an entirely random editorial decision. But once we’d posted the story, an eagle-eyed reader noticed something that makes this New Years Baby piece more interesting than many others.

“Boy to Mr. and Mrs. Clifford Olson, 2253 Oxford, at 10:10 p.m.”

Clifford Olson would grow up to be mentioned many more times in the pages of The Sun. And The Province. And The Globe and Mail. Olson would eventually confess to murdering two children and nine teens in the early 1980s in an infamous killing spree that had B.C. residents hiding in their homes. He died in prison on September 30, 2011 from cancer complications.

We’re quite sure the other New Years babies from 1940 ended up with a better outlook on life. If you know of any, we’d love to hear what became of the kids named below.


A baby boy, born in Vancouver General Hospital while the gay clamor of whistles, horns and bells welcoming 1940 still echoed through the city, was the first of eleven new citizens who arrived in the city’s three big hospitals during New Year’s Day.

He is Baby Bickle, son of Mr. and Mrs. William C. Bickle, 1208 East Thirteenth Avenue, who came into the world at 12:20am.

As “first Baby of 1940″ he carries off for himself and his mother the prizes in the event sponsored by the Vancouver Sun.

These include a silver spoon, the gift of O B Allan Ltd.; baby shoes from Evans Sheppard Ltd.; $5 worth of milk tickets from Associated Dairies; a case of Carnation Milk from the Carnation Co. Ltd.

These is also a 4 lb. tin of Ovaltine from A. Wander Ltd., a case of Pacific Milk from Pacific Milk Co. Ltd., a portrait of the baby by Bridgman’s studio, a silver cup from The Vancouver Sun, a dressing gown for the baby’s mother from B. M. Clarke Ltd., and a blouse or housefrock for the baby’s mother from Mode-O-Day Dresses. For the father, there is a hat from Smithbilt Hat Co.

Brown Bros. are also sending flowers and the First Baby in common with the next four to arrive on the scene will be given a week’s Stork Service.

In addition all the New Year’s Babies will get a baby book from David Spencer Ltd., and a dainty gift from Cunningham Drug Stores.

Besides Baby Bickle, the New Year Babies at the Vancouver General are:
Baby girl to Mr. and Mrs. Roy Nelson, 1546 Comox Street at 8:30 a.m.
Baby boy to Mr. and Mrs. William P. Walker, 6876 Marguerite Street at 6:59 p.m.

The day was an unusually light one in the General Maternity Ward, but St Paul’s was exceptionally busy with seven babies born during the day. these are as follows:
bubsGirl to Mr. and Mrs. John McKinley, 4121 Cambridge, at 7:35 a.m.
Boy to Mr. and Mrs. John L. Leigh, 492 E. Forty-sixth avenue , at 2:27 a.m.
Girl to Mr. and Mrs. Leslie Cameron, 3984 West Eighteenth, at 6:28 a.m.
Boy to Mr. and Mrs. W. Goss, 4285 West Eleventh, at 6:40 p.m.
Boy to Mr. and Mrs. Clifford Olson, 2253 Oxford, at 10:10 p.m.
Girl to Mr. and Mrs. R. Biggan, 8531 Fremlin, time not given.
Only birth on New Year’s Day at Grace Hospital was that of the little girl born to Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Haddock, 2626 West Thirty-fifth Avenue at 5:50 a.m.


New Westminster’s Royal Columbian and St. Mary’s Hospitals each introduced two new citizens to the New Year.

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One Response to “New Year’s Day arrivals, 1940: Clifford Olsen’s first mention in the press” Subscribe

  1. Melissa McKelvey January 23, 2013 at 8:57 am #

    Interesting historical note: Baby Boy Olson, born at St. Paul’s on 1 January 1940 to Mr. and Mrs. Clifford Olson, grew up to be Clifford Robert Olson, Jr., the notorious murderer.

    He made headlines the day he was born.

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