By Karen Ha, Marketing and Communications Assistant
Did you know that mountaineer Phyllis Munday is the namesake of one of two of the six-metre diameter tunnel boring machines used in the Broadway Subway Project in Vancouver?
A nurse and a passionate mountaineer, Phyllis Munday founded both the Girl Guide Movement in B.C. in 1910, and North Vancouver’s first St. John Ambulance Brigade in 1920. She was a pioneer for women in mountaineering and was one of two of the first women documented to have summitted Mount Robson, the highest peak in the Canadian Rocky Mountains.
She has explored the Coast Mountains, including Mount Munday, named after her and her husband, Don Munday.
Legacy of Phyllis Munday
Phyllis Munday was among the first group of Canadians to be invested as a Member of the Order of Canada in 1973 for her contributions to mountaineering, conservation, first aid and guiding. In 1998, she was featured on a Canada Post stamp.
Phyllis was born in Sri Lanka in 1894 and moved to B.C. in 1901. She passed away on Vancouver Island in 1990.
Naming of Tunnel Boring Machines
Tunnel boring machines are traditionally named after influential, historic and academic women, dating back to the 1550s. Each tunnel boring machine will take about one year to carve out two five-kilometre-long tunnels before being dismantled and removed at Cypress Street near the future Arbutus Station.
Phyllis is set to complete the westbound directional tunnel, whereas Elsie, the first tunnel boring machine named after Elizabeth “Elsie” MacGill, has already started its eastbound directional tunnel operations in October 2022.
After tunnelling is complete, work can begin on building tracks within the tunnels and finishing the six new stations along the route.
Once in service, the Broadway Subway Project will create a seamless extension of the existing Millennium Line from Vancouver’s VCC-Clark Station to Arbutus Street.
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