9 O'Clock Gun
The 9 O'Clock Gun is a cannon located in Vancouver, British Columbia that is shot every night at 21:00 (9 p.m.) PT. The crests of King George III and Henry Phipps, 1st Earl of Mulgrave, Master-General of the Ordnance at the time the cannon was cast, are on the barrel.
The gun is a 12-pound muzzle-loaded naval cannon, cast in Woolwich, England in 1816. Seventy-eight years later, in about 1894, it was brought to Stanley Park by the Department of Marine and Fisheries to warn fishermen of the 18:00 Sunday close of fishing. On October 15, 1898 the gun was fired for the first time in Stanley Park at noon.
The 21:00 firing was later established as a time signal for the general population and to allow the chronometers of ships in port to be accurately set. The Brockton Point lighthouse keeper, William D. Jones, originally detonated a stick of dynamite over the water until the cannon was installed. The cannon is now activated automatically with an electronic trigger which was installed by the Parks Board electrical department. It is still loaded daily with a black powder charge. The fluorescent lights illuminating the gun from overhead go out exactly ten seconds before it fires, and turn back on a few seconds afterward.
The 9 O'Clock Gun has been silent for at least five periods: once during World War II, in 1969 when it was stolen and held by University of British Columbia Engineering students until a "ransom" was donated to BC Children's Hospital, in 2007 during a work stoppage, in 2008 when UBC Engineering students painted it red, and on 20 May 2011 with no explanation. After the 1969 theft, the cannon was surrounded by a stone and metal enclosure as shown in the photo.
The gun was restored and new pavilion designed by local architect Gregory Henriquez of Henriquez Partners Architects in 1986 and built as a centennial gift to the city from Ebco Industries, Chester Millar, First Generation Capital, and the Hudson's Bay Company.
In the past there was an ESSO floating gas station permanently anchored in line with the gun and on at least one occasion someone was able to toss rocks from the beach below into the barrel which then perforated the 'O' in the large illuminated sign above the barge. The barge was moved slightly after that event.
- "Vancouver's Nine O'Clock Gun". Retrieved 2008-05-28.
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