All had gathered to pay their last respects to Signy Eaton, the matriarch of the Eaton clan, widow of John David who had led the family's mighty retail chain in the halcyon days of the 1950s and 1960s, when the company controlled half of the country's department store sales.
The sparkling white terra cotta tiles of the Birks building lit the southeast corner of Granville and Georgia from 1913. Inside, sparkling jewelry, silver and fine china attracted the most demanding, and wealthy, clientele. It was a shock to the city when the Birks family decided to tear the impressive grand dame down in 1975.
When BC Electric chairman Dal Grauer decided to move to new headquarters south of Georgia Street, he wanted a building that would symbolize optimism and progress. What he got was a gleaming 21-storey modernist structure that glowed with electric light 24 hours a day.