Vivian is eleventh, John Ernest is No. 16, and Bingo – Lisa Codd’s favourite – is No. 18.
Each of the 36 hand-carved horses of Carousel No. 119, which celebrated its 100th anniversary on the weekend, has its own name, design and story. Ms. Codd’s personal pick was named after Bingo Hauser, the founder of West Coast Amusements, a B.C. carnival company. More than 20 years ago, Mr. Hauser was instrumental in bringing the carousel to Burnaby. The horse was named by its sponsor, Gordon Robson, former mayor of Maple Ridge.
“I enjoy the story of Bingo, but he’s also the most simply decorated horse,” said Ms. Codd, the curator of the Burnaby Village Museum. “He doesn’t have all the flash of the fancy flowers and flags and such that some of the other horses have.”
The ornate wooden merry-go-round was built in 1912 by C.W. Parker, who called himself “America’s Carnival King.” For the next several years, Carousel No. 119 – Mr. Parker’s 119th creation – toured the United States.
In 1936, No. 119 was moved to Vancouver’s Happyland, the predecessor to Playland, where it stayed until its final go-round at the Pacific National Exhibition in 1989.
After the PNE announced plans to dismantle it and auction off the horses, Mr. Hauser and others raised the money to bring it the Burnaby Village Museum, where it has been amusing riders of all ages since 1993. Today, it’s the museum’s most popular attraction, Ms. Codd said.
Last Saturday’s party had several special guests, Ms. Codd said. Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan was there, as were many of the people who worked on the restoration and relocation of the merry-go-round, including welders, electricians, carvers, machinists and organizers.