Ric Hall’s Photo Corner

Photograph of RCMP Constable Dale Pinchin and George Tranberg of the US Border Patrol.



I was recently contacted by a member working out of “E” Division Headquarters with regard to a photograph he obtained from the US Border Patrol.






The picture is of a member in Review Order and a US Border Patrol officer, their names are written on the back of photo, taken at the Peace Arch Park in 1963. The name of the RCMP member is 2/Cst. Dale Pinchin and the US Border Patrol member is George Tranberg.

The member making the enquiries was wondering if through the Vancouver Vets’ Association had any information on Dale Pinchin so he could make contact with him. He has met with George Tranberg.

The intent is to recreate the photograph with current day uniforms and eventually the hope is to be able have a Challenge Coin made up using the old and new photograph.

As it turns out Dale Pinchin is a member of the Vancouver Vets’ Association and he has been contacted and agreed to participate in the re-creation of the photograph sometime in July.

Veteran Dale Pinchin provided his memories of that day:

When doing these publicity/photo shoots, I was driven to the Peace Arch Park by my ‘handler’, Cpl. Mumford. Crowds of people were gathered together there from both nations to celebrate and participate in these “Hands Across The Border” ceremonies. The weather was exceptionally cooperative. As I remember it, various U.S. Agencies were involved in the ceremonies and photo shoot, including the U.S. Department of Immigration & Naturalization, who published some of the photos in their internal magazine for distribution throughout their department. There were many cameras and photos being taken by various government departments as well as by the general public, who were there in significant numbers.

Nearing the end of the activities, I noticed a rather elderly black gentleman speaking with ‘my handler’, Cpl. Mumford. This casually dressed gentleman had wavy graying hair and he exuded a countenance of distinguished refinement, or at least that is how he appeared to me. With him, were two ladies who appeared to be about the same age as this gentleman. They stood well off to one side as the gentleman spoke with Cpl. Mumford.

Moments later, Cpl. Mumford and the man walked over to where I was standing. Cpl. Mumford explained that the man had asked him if I would mind if he took my picture, and if I did not object, could the two ladies with him be included in the photo? Cpl. Mumford confirmed with me that I certainly had no objection and would be honoured to have my picture taken with them. With that, the man motioned to the two elderly ladies that it would be OK for them to be in the photograph with me.

(I should mention here, that I refer to these folks as being elderly. At that time, I had recently turned 20 years of age and from my age at that time, they seemed elderly. Since that was some 52 years ago, upon reflection, they were probably not that old at all, maybe in their 50’s or 60’s).

I stood in my ‘pose for a photo’ position and saw the gentleman standing some 40′ – 50′ away from me preparing to take the picture. To my left and to my right, some 5′ – 10′ on either side of me, stood the women. The man had to stand that far back to get us all in the picture. When I realized that he was doing, I stopped the process, approached the man (for the ladies had not yet been included in any of the conversations, as I recall), and asked him why the ladies were standing so far away from me, necessitating him standing so far back? He explained that where they come from (somewhere in the deep South, perhaps Mississippi or Alabama, or a nearby southern state) there were two areas of major concern to them:

  • having their picture taken with a white person, and
  • having their picture taken with a white policeman, either of which, he explained, would never have been tolerated where they had come from.

This was in the days when race riots occurred with some regularity in many of the southern states…

  • Little Rock, Arkansa – 1957/58;
  • Ole Miss, Oxford, Mississippi – 1962;
  • Selma, Alabama 1965*;
  • Watts, Los Angeles – 1965*.

Although these riots had not yet occurred, the events and emotions that later
led to the rioting, had been going on much longer, and were brewing even as
we were at the Peace Arch Park.

I called to the two women and gestured for them to come closer to me. They hesitatingly, slowly and cautiously moved a little closer to where I was standing. “No, closer”, I told them. They moved a little closer again. “You’re still too far away”, I said, “come right over here”, and motioned for them to come and be by my side. They could not, or would not do that. So I went to each of them and put my arms around them and pulled them tightly against me and squeezed the three of us together so tightly that it almost took our breaths away. “There, now. Now you can take your picture”, I told the gentleman. And he moved much closer and he did. And he took several more, explaining that he needed to take many pictures as he had to ensure that at least one of them turned out well. He explained that back home where they lived, no one would ever believe what they had just witnessed. The two black ladies (one was his wife and other was her sister, as I recall), were now crying and he had teared up as well. And he explained how it was living as they did, being black in the oppressive white world of the southern states, where the police were to ensure that the blacks were kept in their proper place. As we all continued talking and the women had become more comfortable, and their crying had nearly ceased, they were quite amazed at this view of a world that they did not know existed – where there were no evident racial barriers – and the police were one with the people.

I remember being conscious at that time of the inscription on the great white Peach Arch, “Children of a Common Mother”, referring to the common heritage of two great nations. But at this time, it spoke powerfully of two races of people, blacks and whites, co-existing together without any racial overtones or barriers. What we had taken for granted, they had never before experienced.

As we all left the Peace Arch Park that day, we all knew that each of us were changed just a little by our experience there that day…. and my eyes too, were a little misty.

Photograph of RCMP Constable Dale Pinchin and  Patrol inspector George Tranberg (Source of photo - Ric Hall's Photo Collection).

1963 – Photograph of RCMP Constable Dale Pinchin and Patrol inspector George Tranberg  taken Peace Arch border between Canada and the United States of America (Source of photo – Ric Hall’s Photo Collection).

If you have any old Force photographs which you would like to be included in a forthcoming Ric Hall’s Photo Corner webpage, please email Ric at rshall69@shaw.ca.

image of Ric Hall closing block for his Photo Corner webpage