Alan Lever - May 2, 1930 - February 21, 2016Monday, February 22, 2016
Alan Lever died yesterday. Here is his Vancouver Sun obituary.
ALAN LEVER | May 2, 1930 - February 21, 2016 | Alan Lever, loved husband of Barbara Lever, father of Michael Lever (Lalitha Rupesinghe), Claire Akres (Mike Akres) and Katie Lever (Omer Sattar), and brother, grandfather, and uncle to a large extended family, died on February 21, 2016 at the grand age of 85. For decades, Alan was a fixture in downtown Vancouver running his businesses, Lever Antiques and Toys for Men, with his unique brand of customer service. He was committed to the introduction of gun control through his appointment in 1990 by the Minister of Justice to the Canadian Advisory Council on Firearms and in his younger years he was on the Vancouver Civic Museum Board, which founded the Museum of Vancouver and secured the Saint Roche for the Maritime Museum. His dry wit, sharp knowledge, and deep love of family will be greatly missed. His family has so much gratitude for his many wonderful care workers at Coastal Health and St. Paul's Hospital. Services will be held at Schara Tzedeck Cemetery, 2345 Marine Drive, 201, New Westminster, BC V3M 6R8 on February 23, 2017 at 1:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Canadian Heart Association or the charity of choice. -
I had a personal relationship with Mr. Lever because he was a friend of then (70s and 80s) Vancouver Magazine editor Malcolm Parry. Because of Mr. Lever my portrait (taken by Mr. Parry) appeared on the cover. Here is the story behind it.
I started shooting as a magazine photographer around 1976 and until the late 90s when magazines began a decline in quantity, quality and editorial space I guarded my sources for finding stuff jealously. Before the advent of Google (have we forgotten about Altavista?) finding stuff in Vancouver was not so easy. Yet I remember that in the early 80s a band called Popular Front (they labeled themselves to be mercenary punks of the avant-garde ) hired me to take their photographs and they asked me if I could find a military halftrack. It took me less than an hour to find one (it was in the pre Granville Island, Granville Island) that had a .50 caliber machine gun mounted on the roof. Alas I have misfiled Popular Front so I cannot show the neat picture here. But I can show one of a man that is still in business since I first met him at the end of the 70s. He had then, as now, a business called Lever Arms Service. Alan Lever was a buddy of the then editor of Vancouver Magazine, Mac Parry. Every now and then I needed a gun for a prop so I went to Lever to borrow it. As soon as gun laws got stickier I had to take the pictures at Lever Arms since transporting guns without a license was against the law.
That was the case in 1982 during the Falklands War. Mac had asked me to write about my experience in the Argentine Navy during the mid 60s. He insisted in taking my photograph for the cover dressed in an Argentine Navy uniform. All I had kept was the band that went around my navy cap, but not the cap. I had to find everything else. The blue uniform came from a collector who had British Navy uniforms. The navy collar and the cap came from a collector of German U-boat uniforms. The Mauser rifle and the Israeli bayonet, that fit just right, came courtesy of Alan Lever. Mac took the picture (with my camera) at Lever Arms.
The tommy gun with Alan Lever had been fixed to be legal. In the picture you can see that it has a different cartridge holder. The usual round one can be seen in the picture, left. I took the photographt for a gay tabloid of the 80s called Bi-Line. I shot a series of pictures that made a narrative. This is the safest one that I can show. The location was an antique railroad parlour car that was owned by Harry Atterton. On paper he was the owner of the Sooke Railway Company. I believe the parlour car was the only rolling stock he owned. Atterton is now retired and lives in his restored castle in France.
Harry Atterton's Castle in France
Addendum: Popular Front found!