Chown Adult Day Centre was founded on March 17, 1976. The day centre moved locations in November of 2010 and is currently located on East 15th Ave in Vancouver, BC.
Our old location was on the lower level of the Chown Memorial & Chinese United Church (3519 Cambie Street, Vancouver, BC). The name Chown was given to the centre, as it was given to the Church. The following is the story of the Chown name.
Rev. Samuel Dwight Chown 1853 – 1933
In 1853, Samuel Chown was born in Kingston, Ontario. As a teenager, he had no intention of becoming a minister. In fact, he moved to the United States when he was 17 years old to make his fortune as a hardware merchant. But a telegram from his mother that she was lonesome for him brought him back to Kingston. At 21, he decided to become a minister in the Methodist Church.
In 1883, he was in his 30’s when he became the pastor of a small church in Kemptville, Ontario, and it was here that his sermons about the dangers of alcohol first aroused the anger of the liquor traffic trade.
His campaigns reached far beyond his fight against the liquor trade. He spoke loudly and angrily against businessmen who were paying small children 25 cents a day to work 12 hours in Canada’s cotton factories. He attacked politicians who were said to be bribing the church. In 1925, as the head of the 4,000 Methodist churches, the wealthiest Protestant body in Canada, he led his church into that remarkable union between the Methodist Church and a large number of Presbyterian churches known today as the United Church of Canada.
The union of churches was based on the words of the Bible that spoke of the common brotherhood of man. It would have significant economic benefits by ending the enormous duplication of church buildings and offices.
Today, there is a new and topical note to that story. For the union went beyond the spiritual uniting of various religious groups. It was also a patriotic movement. For one of the additional purposes was to help unite Canada at a time when differences between groups in the east and west were threatening to “break the back of Confederation at the head of the Great Lakes.” The London Times called it “an achievement without parallel” and it would be difficult, if not impossible, to find a story like it in the history of any of the churches of the world.
After the union, he wrote, The Story of Church Union in Canada and became chairman of all the commissions appointed to organize the new church.
At the time of his death in 1933, the church’s publication began its tribute with the words from 2nd Samuels, Chapter 3, Verse 8, “And the King said unto his servants, know ye not that there is a prince and a great man fallen this day in Israel.”
At the memorial service at Timothy Eaton Church, where Chown had served in the last years of his life, the program ended with these words, “One does not mourn for such as these. One glories in their having been”.
The Canadian government named one of the tallest peaks in the Rockies, Mount Chown in memory of Samuel Chown and his body lies buried in the cemetery at Kingston near the grave of Sir John A. Macdonald.
In 1975 Canada issued a portrait stamp to Dr. Samuel Dwight Chown on the 50thanniversary of the establishment of the United Church organization.