Fonds UBCA-ARC-1506 - Lorne and May Brown fonds

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Lorne and May Brown fonds

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  • Textual record
  • Photographic material

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  • Source of title proper: Title based on the contents of the fonds

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2 folders of textual records.
2 volumes.
4 photographs.

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Name of creator


Biographical history

May Brown (née Adams) was born in Alberta in 1919 and moved with her family to Surrey, B.C., in 1927. She earned her teacher's certificate at the Provincial Normal School in 1940. She later obtained a Bachelor's degree from McGill (1947) and a Master's degree from UBC (1961), both in physical education. After teaching in several public schools, Brown joined UBC's Department of Physical Education (now the School of Kinesiology) in 1947. She remained at UBC until 1955, during which time she also coached the women's swimming and field hockey teams. In her honour, UBC Athletics instituted the May Brown Trophy in 2007 for each year's outstanding graduating female athlete. She was also involved with the YWCA and the Canadian Camping Association. In 1972 she was elected to the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation and remained on the Board until 1976, serving as chair for the final two years. In 1976, May Brown was elected to the Vancouver City Council and served four terms as a councillor until her voluntary retirement in 1986. She also ran unsuccessfully for mayor in 1978. In addition, Brown served on the Greater Vancouver Regional District Executive Committee and chaired the Planning Committee. She was also a director of the Pacific National Exhibition, Chairperson of the Vancouver Regional Transit Commission, and a Director of B.C. Transit. May Brown has been acknowledged for career achievements by a UBC Alumni Achievement Award, a Sport BC Award, a YWCA Woman of Distinction award, membership in the UBC and B.C. Sports Halls of Fame, and membership in the Order of British Columbia and the Order of Canada.

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Biographical history

Lorne Brown was born in Belleville, Ontario, in 1908 but later moved with his family to Vancouver. He taught physical education at Kitsilano High School (1930-40). He worked in YMCA recreation services for the RCAF during World War II. Brown was Superintendent of Physical Education for the provincial Department of Education (1944-46) and served as Director of Health and Physical Education at the Provincial Normal School in Vancouver (1946-55). He earned his BPE (1952) and MA (1954) in Physical Education from Oregon. He joined the faculty of Education in UBC when the Faculty of Education opened that year, holding an associate professor position until his retirement in 1973. Brown served one term on Vancouver's Parks and Recreation Board (1967-68). His long-time enthusiasm for camping began at the YMCA's Camp Elphinstone, beginning in 1925 until he left in 1950 as the camp's co-director. Brown served as president of the BC Camping Association, The Canadian Association of Health, Physical Education and Recreation, and the Council of Outdoor Educators. He and his wife, May Brown, ran Camp Deka, a private boys' camp on Deka Lake near 100-Mile House in the Cariboo, from 1961 until he died in 1976.

Custodial history

Scope and content

Fonds consists of materials documenting the lives and careers of Lorne and May Brown and includes two self-published biographies (Lorne Brown Remembered and May Brown – A collection of stories), four photographs of Lorne Brown, a newspaper clipping about Camp Deka, and some of Lorne Brown’s UBC personnel records.

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Immediate source of acquisition

Donated by Greg Brown in February 2019.


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Photographs have been digitized and are available in UBC Library's Open Collections series UBC 138.1/

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Associated materials

Associated records from Lorne and May Brown can also be found at the City of Vancouver Archives and the British Columbia Archives.

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