John Stolarski’s Old Newspaper Clippings





With the exception of his first two years in the Force, John Stolarski spent his entire career as a RCMP Police Dog Services handler (1961 – 1988).





Throughout this career, John clipped newspaper articles about members who he had worked with.

Despite the fact that John has passed away, his family has agreed for us to re-post these articles for the interest of RCMP Veterans and current members of the Force.

For this week, we have included several news articles which relate to the Vancouver Police department and their police dog members.


April 20, 1963 – NEW WESTMINSTER, BC – “I’ve called in the army and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police because these convicts are armed and dangerous.

That’s how Warden Tom Hall evaluated the situation at the riot-torn B.C. Penitentiary early today.

Photograph of

Photograph of BC Penitentiary Warden Tom Hall.

Inside the prison, he gave this story to reporters:

“The three men slipped out through a recreation auditorium window at about 9:15 p.m. Friday.

About 200 others were inside at the time.

Once in the yard, the three men were spotted by a patrolling officer who fired three shots in the air.

They ran back to the window and re-entered the building.

At this time, most of the convicts inside were filing out to return to their cells for night lock-up.

The three men, armed with knives, grabbed the supervising officer and took him to another area of the building as a hostage.

About 15 convicts were still in the main building.

We tried to reach the three to negotiate the officer’s release but they refused to talk to anyone except radio announcer Jack Webster.

I called Mr. Webster and he came immediately and worked throughout the night with me as a go-between.

Meanwhile the prisoners in the yard refused to return to their cells until the matter inside the auditorium was cleared up.

After some hours of negotiation the men outside began to get restless.

The started to break windows and other property.

I knew then we had a riot on our hands, so I ordered guards to use tear gas and called in the RCMP.

After about half an hour, we had the situation under control except for the officers being held hostage.

No one was hurt in suppression of the riot and the men were taken to their cells.

Inside the building, talks with the men continued but they continually refused to release the guard.

We realized he was in an extremely dangerous position as the men were armed and dangerous.

The guard however told Mr. Webster not to identify him as his wife was unaware of the incident and he did not want her to worry.

We hope to have him freed this morning.

In the meantime, I called for regular army troops from Camp Chilliwack to assist us in maintaining security for the next few days and they will be arriving this morning.”

Photograph o

Photograph of RCMP Officer file into gate at B.C. Penitentiary during riot that followed escape attempt Friday night.  They carry portable lighting equipment, helmets, tear gas and riot guns.

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Photograph of Helmeted Officers, carrying .303 rifles, make ready to enter the prison gate. Over 150 RCMP were on the scene during night as 200 inmates staged riot after three prisoners tried to escape.

Photograph of reinforcements pouring into B.C. Penitentiary to quell riot by prisoners.

Photograph of reinforcements pouring into B.C. Penitentiary to quell riot by prisoners.

Photograph of cell block

Photograph of cell block in the penitentiary is shown in this picture.  Men sitting and standing on the tiers are inmates.

Photograph of

Photograph of fire equipment and police cars, rushed to scene of riot and escape attempt at B.C. Penitentiary in New Westminster, wait outside prison walls.  A total of 250 police and 75 prison guards were assembled in and around the prison area.

Photograph of

Photograph of police and reporters stand outside prison gate waiting for next move of over 200 inmates who broke windows in sympathy riot staged after unsuccessful escape attempt in which a penitentiary guard was taken hostage by escapees.

NOTE: You can read more about this BC Penitentiary Riot and view more photographs by check out this webpage here.

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