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Woman's matches find sparks memories for Richmond residents

Joanne Kendrick discovered a box full of books of matches under her stairs, which represented a slew of Richmond businesses from the '60s and '70s

Little did Joanne Kendrick know that, when she posted a couple of pictures of old books of matches on Facebook, she would spark memories for hundreds of Richmondites.

But that’s exactly what did happen when Kendrick found the matches from the original Cronos’ Steak Lobster Pizza Spaghetti House on Granville Avenue.

She went looking for the big box of matches – which her father, Tom Medland, had given to her many years ago - under the stairs after being asked by a friend if she knew someone that used to work at Cronos back in the day.

But once she posted on Facebook the Cronos matches and a t-shirt from the restaurant that her brother still has (he used to deliver for them), the page lit up with comments from people reminiscing.

Realizing she’d set alight (ahem) many memories, Kendrick went back to the box and posted a catalogue of pictures of dozens more books of matches from Richmond businesses, and many more from her 87-year-old dad’s travels.

Other Richmond establishments represented on the matches of days gone by included: Boots, Fenders Restaurant, Place at the Pier, Minato's Mens hairstyling, the Pop Shoppe, the Airport Inn, the Black Angus and La Pergola.

“My dad collected them for decades and if we ever went anywhere, we would pick them up for him and bring them home,” said Kendrick, who grew up at the family home near No. 3 Road and Steveston Highway in the ‘60s and ‘70s, but now lives in Surrey.

“At one time, he had a massive glass vase that sat on the fireplace and he would drop the matches in there when he got a new one. It was almost full.

“He just loved collecting them from places he’d been in his travels. Most of them are from North America but there are a few from other places. And many are from Richmond.”

Kendrick said she recalls her dad coming to her and her brother a few years ago with a box each for them to keep, so they wouldn’t get lost.

“We are the family that doesn’t throw anything away. I still have my Partridge Family cards,” laughed Kendrick.

“Now people from Facebook are sending me old matches that they have. It’s crazy.”