Hippie Influx

While doing some research through old issues of the Coquitlam Herald, we came across, among the ads for eight grapefruits for a $1 and the Fashion with Lu columns, a page 2 editorial on Tuesday February 6, 1968 that sided with Port Moody city council’s decision to turn down a business license for “the Vancouver hippie newspaper, Georgia Straight.”

Only one alderman voted against outright refusal of this “undesirable publication.” The concern seems to be that these “obscene” papers would be “peddled to gullible school children who do not always know the difference between good and bad.”

The editorial ends with this:

When their paper receives no public support or attention, these misguided people [the publishers of the Georgia Straight] will have to shave their beards, put on their shoes, and seek employment in the “straight” world they claim to despise.

There are enough problems in the world without the largely imagined or self-induced woes broadcast by the hippies and their sympathizers.

A few days after this editorial, some Vancouver papers remarked on this anti-hippie stance, enough so that the editor of the Coquitlam Herald felt a need to elaborate on why hippies were so undesirable. One of the reasons was that hippies knew their long hair would prevent them from gaining meaningful employment yet they insisted on keeping their hair.

It seems as if this fear of hippies permeated most of the Tri-Cities area of which Port Moody is a part. A spring edition of the Coquitlam Herald had a front-page article on Port Coquitlam police preparations for the hippie migration from Vancouver.

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