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Henry Morey to Joe Plaskett – bridge views

June 15, 2013
IHP3769 Morey bridge souvenir   Fraser River bridge road photo -  Joe Plaskett

At left is a postcard view of the Fraser River Bridge, north end, published by Henry Morey & Company, Stationers at New Westminster,  as a souvenir of the bridge opening in 1904 – from the British Columbia Postcard Collection. On the right, a view  of the vehicle on-ramp to the Fraser River Bridge, south end,  in the last  year before the roadway was retired from service in 1937, from a photograph donated to the New Westminster Archives by Joe Plaskett.

Henry Morey & Co.

Henry Morey 1903Henry Morey was born December 2nd 1862 at New Westminster, the son of Jonathan Morey, one of the Royal Engineers who arrived in 1859.
Possessing a fine voice and an aptitude for music, at the age of 13 Morey was sent to study at Leipzig, Germany.
On his return to New Westminster, Henry Morey taught piano in a private studio at 8th Street and Agnes.  He also served an apprenticeship in the printing business of the Mainland Guardian newspaper. His father died in 1884 and in 1886 Morey went into business as a stationer. 
1891  Henry Morey advertTogether with the expected complete lines of paper and pens, office supplies, school supplies and artists materials,  his shop stocked a wide variety of items including: glassware and fine china from England, hammered brass trays from India, books, cards and calendars, dolls, toys and games. Following the lead of early New Westminster stationer JS Knevett—whose shop complete with "handsome trichord piano," would surely have attracted the attention of young Henry in 1876—Morey sold sheet music and musical instruments.
Morey’s also published their own postcards, of which the above bridge souvenir is an example.  The business occupied various premises on Columbia Street, the last at 601 Columbia. 
H. Morey & Co. sold out in 1923 to A.C. Nixon, which business exists to the present day.
In his retirement Morey devoted his time to church work at Holy Trinity and at St. Helen’s. 
At a tax sale following the bust of the Port Mann excitement, Morey purchased a number of properties at Brownsville. He moved across the river and built a fine house on the Old Yale Road. He developed extensive gardens on his property and served as organist, choirmaster and Warden of St. Helen’s Church.
Morey was a composer and a writer, contributing feature stories to magazines and daily newspapers, often about pioneer days in British Columbia.
In his last years Morey lived with his former business partner JS Hainsworth at 729 Queens Avenue, New Westminster. Morey died in 1936 at the age of 74.
Henry Morey left his Brownsville properties to friends and relatives. His larger Old Yale Road property of 5.95 acres, with large house and gardens, he bequeathed to an order of nuns, "The Community of the Love of Jesus," to be used as an orphanage. The order appears to have not stayed together long enough to develop the property and the house built by Henry Morey was lived in for a time by retired Anglican clergyman Frank Plaskett, father of budding artist Joe Plaskett.

Joe Plaskett

Joe PlaskettJoseph Plaskett was born July 12th 1918, the son of Anglican clergyman Frank Plaskett, Rector at St. Mary’s Church in Sapperton from 1912-1944.  For a time after his retirement, the Plaskett family lived in the former residence of Henry Morey on the Old Yale road.
At the time the bridge photo was taken, Joe Plaskett would have been 18 years old and attending the University of BC.  Following graduation he devoted his future to painting. Living for many years in Paris and Britain, Plaskett retained close ties with his homeland. His works now hang in the National Gallery in Ottawa. In 2006 following the publication of his biography, A Speaking Likeness, a show of some of his more recent paintings were exhibited for sale at the Bau-Xi gallery in Vancouver.
Please see the excellent  summary of his life and and work at GalleriesWest . The artist’s own website is

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