Series S02 - Personal and professional records

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Personal and professional records

General material designation

  • Textual record
  • Graphic material
  • Moving images

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  • Source of title proper: Title based on content of the series.

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Series

Reference code

CA CCOQ F12-S02

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area

Date(s)

  • 1953 - 2008 (Creation)
    Creator
    Cunnings, Don

Physical description area

Physical description

5 cm of textual records
34 photographs : multiple processes ; b&w and col. ; multiple dimensions
1 DVD : sd. ; b&w

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Archival description area

Name of creator

(1931-)

Biographical history

Don Cunnings (1931–) is an educator and recreation leader who established numerous associations and organizations toward the promotion of physical education and recreation in Coquitlam. He was the City of Coquitlam’s very first Parks and Recreation Director.

Cunnings was born on February 17, 1931 in Coquitlam, B.C. Cunnings won the junior provincial gymnastic championship for the province, which sparked in him an interest for recreation and physical education. Cunnings enrolled in the Pro-Rec Summer School for junior instructors and later received his Pro-Rec (Provincial Recreation) Instructor Certification in 1950. Cunnings also received a senior gymnastic coaching diploma from the Canadian National Gymnastic Association in 1959. While he held his position as Recreation Director for the City of Coquitlam, he attended the UBC School of Physical Education & Recreation and graduated in the class of 1962, and completed an Executive Development Program for Parks and Recreation at Indiana University in 1970.

Cunnings began his career as a physical education teacher at Our Lady of Lourdes Elementary and Secondary School from 1950-1953. He became the Division Head of Essondale's Crease Clinic Recreation Therapy Department in 1953 before taking on the position of Recreation Director for the District of Coquitlam's Recreation Commission in 1955, then Recreation Director in 1958, then Inter-Municipal Recreation Director from 1962-1965, until his appointment as the Director of the Leisure and Parks Service in 1966, which he held until 1994. By the time he retired, he had served the Coquitlam’s recreation department for nearly forty years, and has since acted as a consultant for the City.

Throughout his life, Cunnings has held numerous memberships and taken on many leadership roles in his community. He was one of the founding members of the British Columbia Recreation Association (1958), and served as President for the association through 1963-1964. He also held the position of Vice President of the Canadian Association of Physical Education, Health Education & Recreation (CAPHER). After receiving emergency planning, command and control, and search and rescue management programs, Cunnings created and directed the first Search and Rescue team in Coquitlam in 1973. From 1977 to 1987, Cunnings was appointed as Acting Municipal Manager during the Manager’s annual leave. Notably, Cunnings led the visioning team that developed the City of Coquitlam’s “Town Centre” park during 1980-1994. After his retirement, Cunning has focused much of his time engaging with the community and volunteering for local organizations. He was Vice President of the Douglas College Foundation Board in 1997 and served as President of the Board of Directors for the Douglas College Centre for Sport, Recreation, and Wellness Society from 2005 to 2007.

Additionally, Cunnings has acted as a guest speaker and lecturer at local, provincial, and national conferences in Canada and the USA and has had guest appearances on television and local and provincial videos. He has published numerous newspaper articles about recreation and parks.

The City of Coquitlam, Douglas College, and School District #43 jointly named "Cunnings Field" in Coquitlam in his honour in 1999. Cunnings was inducted into the Coquitlam Sports Hall of Fame on June 22nd, 2012, recognizing his contributions as a gymnastics coach, his achievements as a gymnast, and for his work as Coquitlam's very first Parks and Recreation Director. Cunnings was also awarded the City of Coquitlam’s Freedom of the City award on May 5, 2014.

Custodial history

Scope and content

The series consists of records created and accumulated by Cunnings and reflect his personal and professional interests. These records were accumulated by Cunnings for the purposes of reference and posterity rather than documenting the activities of the District of Coquitlam Parks and Recreation Department during his tenure.

The personal records consist of a letter of appointment as well as a selection of documentaries used by Cunnings as reference. His professional records contain photographs, ephemera, and correspondence generated in the course of Cunnings' positions as a gymnastics teacher at Our Lady of Lourdes, the Division Head of Essondale's Crease Clinic Recreation Therapy Department, and as a founding member of Coquitlam Search and Rescue (SAR).

Notes area

Physical condition

Arrangement

The files within the fonds originally were arranged into six series, each containing one file. Upon consultation with both the donor, and other archivists, the series amalgamates all the disparate series into one series containing both Cunnings' personal and professional pursuits. All file titles were supplied by the archivist.

Language of material

  • English

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General note

The series contains photographs F12-S02-F12.413 to 446.

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