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Date Range From
1915
Date Range To
1920
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
STEEL, IRON
Catalogue Number
P20170034001
  2 images  
Material Type
Artifact
Date Range From
1915
Date Range To
1920
Materials
STEEL, IRON
No. Pieces
1
Length
5
Width
4
Description
SILVER HOMEMADE CROSS SOLDERED TOGETHER AT CENTER; CROSS HAS WIDENED, SQUARE NAIL ENDS WITH HEAD AND ARM POINTS ENGRAVED WITH “W” SHAPE. FRONT OF CROSS HAS ADDITIONAL NAIL BENT OUT IN SHAPE OF BODY ON CROSS; SOLDERED UNDER NAIL HEAD AT CROSS CENTER AND AT END OF NAIL AT BASE OF CROSS. BACK OF CROSS HAS LOOP BENT AND SOLDERED AT ENDS TO TOP AND CENTER OF CROSS. CROSS IS RUSTED AND TARNISHED; OVERALL VERY GOOD CONDITION.
Subjects
CEREMONIAL ARTIFACT
Historical Association
MILITARY
PERSONAL CARE
History
ON NOVEMBER 20, 2017, COLLECTIONS TECHNICIAN KEVIN MACLEAN INTERVIEWED RITA BERLANDO REGARDING HER DONATION OF A GIFTED RING AND CRUCIFIX. BERLANDO WAS GIFTED THE OBJECTS FROM A PREVIOUS EMPLOYER, GLADSTONE VIRUTE, OF LETHBRIDGE. THE CRUCIFIX WAS HANDMADE, FASHIONED FROM MASS-PRODUCED HORSESHOE NAILS. ON THE CRUCIFIX, BERLANDO RECALLED, “I HAVE NO IDEA…HOW [IT] BECAME IN HIS POSSESSION…WHEN HE GAVE [IT] TO ME, I WAS INTRIGUED TO KNOW MORE ABOUT IT BUT HE DIDN’T HAVE TOO MUCH HISTORY ON THEM. NOT TO ME, ANYWAY.” ON GLADSTONE VIRTUE’S MILITARY SERVICE, BERLANDO NOTED, ““I DON’T THINK HE WANTED TO TALK ABOUT IT. I THINK HE HAD A PAST THAT HE WOULD RATHER NOT DISCUSS. IT WAS ALWAYS STRICTLY BUSINESS. IT WAS NEVER SITTING THERE AND DISCUSSING WHAT HIS LIFE WAS OR ANYTHING OF THAT NATURE.” “I DIDN’T KNOW TOO MUCH ABOUT HIM BUT I KNOW THAT HE WAS A MAN THAT PEOPLE RESPECTED, AND FOR HIM TO RESPECT ME, I THINK THAT WAS AN HONOUR.” “I WOULD LOVE TO KNOW HOW THESE TWO LITTLE ITEMS BECAME IN HIS POSSESSION AND WHERE WAS HE WHEN THEY WERE GIVEN TO HIM AND WAS HE PRESENT AT SOME TIME…I JUST FIND THAT HE MUST HAVE HAD THEM IN HIS POSSESSION FOR SOME TIME.” BERLANDO ELABORATED ON HOW THE CRUCIFIX CAME INTO HER POSSESSION, “[THIS ITEM] MEANS AN AWFUL LOT TO ME BECAUSE IT WAS GIVEN AT THE TIME THAT I WAS EMPLOYED WITH THE LAW FIRM OF VIRTUE AND COMPANY. IT WAS MR. GLADSTONE VIRTUE, SEMI-RETIRED WHEN I WAS EMPLOYED THERE, THAT HAD ASKED THAT I GO INTO HIS ROOM AND TAKE LETTERS [AND] NOTES FOR LETTERS THAT HE WISHED TO HAVE TYPED. I WAS HIRED AS A RECEPTIONIST, NOT FEELING THAT I WOULD HAVE THE RESPONSIBILITY AS A SECRETARY, SO I INFORMED HIM THAT I COULD NOT DO THIS DUTY. HE ASKED THAT I GET HIS SECRETARY TO TAKE HIS NOTES. AS THE MONTHS WENT BY, HE BECAME VERY – AND I USE THE WORD ‘ATTACHED’ – BECAUSE HE WOULD ALSO ASK ME TO DO SERVICES FOR HIM, WHICH I WOULD HAVE TO GO TO THE ROYAL BANK TO DO HIS BANKING [AND] HIS INVESTMENTS. WHEN HE WAS NO LONGER TO BE WITH THE FIRM, HE HANDED ME A LITTLE GIFT. THAT GIFT CONSIST[ED] OF A RING AND A CROSS THAT WAS MADE FROM A BELL OF A CHURCH THAT WAS BOMBED IN THE FIRST WAR. THAT MEANT AN AWFUL LOT TO ME SO I HAVE TREASURED IT CONTINUALLY AND [THE GIFTING] HAS TO DATE BACK TO [1965].” “[MR GLADSTONE VIRTURE] MUST HAVE KEPT IT AS A REMEMBRANCE FROM SOMEWHERE IN THE PAST THAT HE HAD THAT HE DID NOT [WANT TO] LEAVE IT TO HIS FAMILY, BUT [WITH] ME. THEREFORE, I DEFINITELY FELT THAT [IT] WAS A GIFT THAT I SHOULD TREASURE AND I HAVE TREASURED, AND I HAVE KEPT IT UNDER LOCK AND KEY. EVEN IN THE TRANSITION OF DOWNSIZING, I LIVED IN FEAR THAT FOR SOME REASON, THERE WERE ITEMS THAT I NO LONGER HAVE. I KEPT THINKING, ‘OH, DEAR LORD, I BETTER MAKE SURE I STILL HAVE THAT GIFT FROM MR. VIRTUE.’ WHEN I FOUND IT, THAT’S WHEN I REALLY SERIOUSLY THOUGHT I HAD TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT THEM.” “AT [THE TIME I WAS HIRED], FINANCES WERE DIFFICULT IN THE FAMILY HOME SO I APPLIED FOR THE POSITION OF RECEPTIONIST. THE POSITION REQUIRED NOT ONLY [WORKING] AS A RECEPTIONIST BUT AS A BOOKKEEPER AND AN OFFICE MANAGER. I HESITATED ONCE I WAS INFORMED OF THIS RESPONSIBILITY, BUT I UNDERTOOK THE POSITION AND DID ALL OF THE REQUIREMENTS THAT WAS EXPECTED OF ME. THE LAW FIRM AT THAT TIME CONSISTED OF CHARLES VIRTUE, WILLIAM RUSSELL, MR. GORDON AND THEN LATER ON, THERE WAS VAUGHN HEMBROFF THAT BECAME PARTNER AND GLENN MORRISON. IT’S ALWAYS MEANT A LOT OF THE PAST HISTORY OF MY LIFE. THINKING HOW I WAS HONOURED TO BE WITH THAT FIRM, THESE LITTLE ITEMS THAT WERE GIVEN TO ME JUST EVEN MEANT ALL THE MORE.” “BUT I REMEMBER DISTINCTLY THAT THEY SAID I COULDN’T LEAVE [IN 1964] UNTIL I HIRED SOMEONE THAT COULD REPLACE ME. THEY GAVE ME THE RESPONSIBILITY OF FINDING SOMEONE. MY INTENTION AT THAT TIME WAS TO LEAVE AND MOVE TO MONTREAL. I WAS LIMITED IN THE TIME THAT THIS RESPONSIBILITY WAS GIVEN, AND I DID SUGGEST A PARTICULAR PERSON BUT SHE ONLY WORKED THERE FOR A SHORT TIME AND THEY DIDN’T FEEL THAT SHE QUALIFIED AND COULD HANDLE THE WORK THAT I HAD TAKEN ON. THEN I HAD TO CONTINUE TO STAY UNTIL THEY FELT COMFORTABLE THAT THERE WAS SOMEONE THAT COULD REPLACE ME AND IT MUST HAVE BEEN 1965 [THAT I LEFT].” “EACH ONE OF THE LAWYERS HAD THEIR OWN PRIVATE SECRETARIES. ONE WOMAN IN PARTICULAR…MARY, WAS EXCELLENT IN TAKING LETTERS AND WAS AN EXCELLENT LAW SECRETARY, BUT COULD NOT DO THE BOOKKEEPING. I UNDERTOOK TO DO THE BOOKKEEPING FOR THE SECRETARIES AND THEREFORE, THERE HAD TO BE, AT LEAST FOUR EXTRA GIRLS AS SECRETARIES THERE. AS THEY INCREASED WITH STAFF, THEY WOULD ALSO HIRE MORE SECRETARIES.” ON MR. GLADSTONE VIRTUE, BERLANDO STATED, “I ADMIRED HIM BECAUSE HE DEMANDED RESPECT, HE DEMANDED PROFESSIONALISM. HE WAS VERY SERIOUS ABOUT HIS CLIENTS AND THEY HAD TO BE TREATED LIKE IT WAS AN HONOUR TO HAVE HIM AS THEIR LAWYER. HE WAS NOT A TALL MAN IN STATURE BUT HE STOOD OUT AS A SPECIAL PERSON…BUT HIS CLIENTS CAME FIRST. HE WOULD NEVER HESITATE TO MAKE SURE THAT IF HE HAD A CLIENT OR HAD AN APPOINTMENT THAT I HAD TO MAKE SURE THEY WERE TAKEN CARE OF. HE USED TO INVEST THROUGH THE ROYAL BANK AND HE WOULD HAVE ME GO DOWN AND MEET WITH THE MANAGER. [I WOULD] LET THEM KNOW THAT I WAS THERE ON BEHALF OF MR. VIRTUE AND PRESENT THEM WITH WHATEVER INFORMATION HE GAVE ME…THEY WERE TO TAKE CARE OF THAT. SO HE REALLY MADE ME HIS PERSONAL PERSON TO LOOK AFTER ALL OF HIS PRIVATE AFFAIRS, WHICH TO ME WAS AN HONOUR…EVEN THE LAWYERS HAD SO MUCH RESPECT FOR HIM. WHEN HE MADE A STATEMENT OR A COMMAND OR MADE INSTRUCTIONS FOR CHANGES, THEY WERE MADE AND THEY HAD TO BE ABIDED.” BERLANDO SPOKE ABOUT HER SENTIMENTS ON DONATING THE CRUCIFIX TO THE MUSEUM, NOTING, “AT THE AGE OF NINETY-ONE, WHICH I HAVE BEEN VERY FORTUNATE TO LIVE THIS LENGTH OF TIME, I HAVE TO TAKE INTO CONSIDERATION MANY ITEMS THAT I FEEL SHOULD BE INHERITED BY MY FAMILY…BUT NOT KNOWING THE IMPORTANCE OF THIS GIFT…[I WISH TO] LEAVE IT TO NO ONE OTHER THAN I FEEL THAT DESERVES TO HAVE IT, [WHICH] WOULD BE THE GALT MUSEUM. I DO WISH TO LEAVE IT TO SOMEONE THAT I THINK MAYBE COULD CARRY ON A LITTLE IMPORTANCE OF THE GIFT THAT WAS HANDED TO ME.” “I THINK THAT IT PUTS SUCH A TRUST IN ME, THAT I FEEL NOW, EVEN IN THE YEARS GONE BY, HOW I’VE ALWAYS WANTED SOMEONE, OR ANYONE THAT HAD ANY CONNECTIONS WITH ME, THAT THEY COULD TRUST ME. THAT I WOULD NEVER WANT TO HURT ANYONE AND I WOULD WANT TO CONTINUE TO HELP PEOPLE. WHEN I HEAR PEOPLE IN DISCUSSION OR IN COMMENTS THAT THEY CAN RECALL THINGS THAT I HAVE DONE FOR THEM THAT I CAN’T REMEMBER…I GUESS IT’S JUST MY NATURE TO BE THAT TYPE OF PERSON. [BUT] IF SOMEONE LIKE MR. VIRTUE COULD TRUST ME, AND THEN CLIENTS CAN TRUST ME, I THINK IT INSTILLED [A] TRUST THAT I’LL CARRY TO MY GRAVE.” ABNER GLADSTONE VIRTUE GRADUATED FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF ALBERTA IN 1913 AND BEGAN HIS CAREER IN LAW SHORTLY BEFORE THE START OF THE FIRST WORLD WAR. IN 1915, VIRTUE ENLISTED IN THE LETHBRIDGE MILITIA UNIT, THE 25TH FIELD ARTILLERY. UPON ITS FORMATION, VIRTUE ENLISTED AS A LIEUTENANT WITH THE LETHBRIDGE 61ST BATTERY THAT JOINED FRONT LINES IN FRANCE IN 1917. VIRTUE RESUMED HIS LAW PRACTICE IN LETHBRIDGE FOLLOWING HIS RETUN FROM THE WAR, AND BECAME A SENIOR PARTNER IN THE FIRM OF VIRTUE, RUSSELL, MORGAN AND VIRTUE. FOR MORE INFORMATION INCLUDING ARTICLES ON THE BELL AND VIRTUE’S INVOLVEMENT FROM THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD, AND THE FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTION, PLEASE SEE THE PERMANENT FILE P20170034001-GA.
Catalogue Number
P20170034001
Acquisition Date
2017-11
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail
Other Name
ALBERTA PROVINCIAL POLICE BUTTON
Date Range From
1919
Date Range To
1932
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
METAL
Catalogue Number
P20180014002
  2 images  
Material Type
Artifact
Other Name
ALBERTA PROVINCIAL POLICE BUTTON
Date Range From
1919
Date Range To
1932
Materials
METAL
No. Pieces
1
Diameter
2.7
Description
A: SILVER-COLOURED METAL BUTTON. SHIELD OF ALBERTA EMBOSSED ON THE CENTER OF THE BUTTON. “ALBERTA PROVINCIAL POLICE” EMBOSSED AROUND THE CREST. SHINY FINISH. THE BACK OF THE BUTTON IS BRASS IN COLOUR. AROUND THE CENTRE OF THE BACK “W. SCULLY MONTREAL” IS MACHINE ENGRAVED. THERE IS A LOOP FOR A PIN FASTENER LOOSELY ATTACHED TO THE BACK B: TWO-PRONGED BRASS PIN WITH A CIRCULAR LOOP ON ONE END AND THE TWO ENDS ON THE PIN EXTENDING OUT INTO A V-SHAPE ON THE OTHER. PIN IS 3.2 CM IN LENGTH AND AT THE WIDEST POINT THE PRONGS ARE 1.1 CM APART. CONDITION: SLIGHT SCRATCHING ON THE FRONT AND BACK SURFACES OF THE BUTTON. BRASS BACK IS SLIGHTLY TARNISHED. METAL OF PIN IN SLIGHTLY DISCOLOURED.
Subjects
CLOTHING-ACCESSORY
Historical Association
SAFETY SERVICES
History
THIS BUTTON BELONGED TO DONOR'S FATHER, EDWARD ETTERSHANK BUCHANAN. ACCORDING TO THE BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORY PROVIDED WITH A BUCHANAN A. P. P.-RELATED DONATION MADE BY JEAN I. BUCHANAN IN 2002 (P20020090). IT STATES, "BORN IN GLASGOW, SCOTLAND, WHERE BUCHANAN BEGAN REGULAR SCHOOLING AT THE AGE OF 4, WHICH ENABLED HIM TO COMPLETE HIS HIGH SCHOOL BEFORE HIS PARENTS MOVED THE FAMILY TO CANADA IN MAY 1914. THE FAMILY SETTLED IN EDMONTON, ALBERTA, WHERE EDWARD FOUND A JOB PLUS ENROLLED IN NIGHT CLASSES AT THE EDMONTON TECHNICAL SCHOOL TAKING ENGLISH, CANADIAN HISTORY, TRIGONOMETRY AND MANUAL TRAINING IN WOODWORKING. IN FEBRUARY 1917, THE ALBERTA PROVINCIAL POLICE WAS ORGANIZED. ED JOINED IN MAY OF 1920." AN INTERVIEW WAS CONDUCTED BY GALT’S COLLECTION TECHNICIAN KEVIN MACLEAN ON JUNE 8, 2018 WITH THE DONOR JEAN I. BUCHANAN IN REGARDS TO A NEW ARTIFACT OFFER SHE WAS MAKING TO THE MUSEUM (P20180014001-2). THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION REGARDING THE CAREER OF SENIOR STAFF SERGEANT EDWARD ETTERSHANK “BUCK” BUCHANAN – THE DONOR’S FATHER – HAS BEEN EXTRACTED FROM THAT INTERVIEW. AN INTERVIEW WAS CONDUCTED BY GALT’S COLLECTION TECHNICIAN KEVIN MACLEAN ON JUNE 8, 2018 WITH THE DONOR JEAN I. BUCHANAN IN REGARDS TO A NEW ARTIFACT OFFER SHE WAS MAKING TO THE MUSEUM (P20180014001-2). THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION REGARDING THE CAREER OF SENIOR STAFF SERGEANT EDWARD ETTERSHANK “BUCK” BUCHANAN – THE DONOR’S FATHER – HAS BEEN EXTRACTED FROM THAT INTERVIEW. DESCRIBING HER FATHER’S CAREER, BUCHANAN BEGAN, “[MY DAD] JOINED THE A.P.P. WHEN HE WAS TWENTY AND HE WAS STATIONED OUT NEAR ST. PAUL…AS A ROOKIE – RIGHT AT THE START – HE WAS ON JOB TO BE ON GUARD AT THE STATION. AND IT WASN’T LONG UNTIL HE WAS SENT OUT TO ST. PAUL AND INTO MORE REAL POLICING. WHEN THE CRAZY PROHIBITION WAS BROUGHT IN, THAT WAS A REAL PAIN FOR THE POLICE. IT WAS [A MOVEMENT] PUSHED BY THESE DO-GOODERS, WHO DIDN’T REALIZE WHAT THEY WERE DOING. DAD WAS VERY UPSET TALKING ABOUT THAT. EVEN WHEN HE WAS JUST A YOUNG FELLOW, [HE WAS] FINDING YOUNG, GOOD FARM BOYS BLIND OR DEAD OVER A FENCE, BECAUSE THEY HAD A PROBLEM WITH THE PROHIBITION AND GETTING MOONSHINE THAT WASN’T MATURE OR SOMETHING, [WHICH] WAS POISONOUS.” “IN 1921 HE MET MY MOTHER IN EDMONTON,” BUCHANAN CONTINUED, “BUT HE STAYED AT ST. PAUL. HE THEN GOT POSTED TO GRANDE PRAIRIE AND HE WAS GOING TO GO THERE, BUT THEN IN 1922 THEY GOT MARRIED [SO HE DID NOT GO TO GRAND PRAIRIE] FORTUNATELY, THE A.P.P. HAD NO RESTRICTIONS ON THEIR MEMBERS GETTING MARRIED, LIKE THE R.C.M.P. DID, SO HE DIDN’T HAVE TO WAIT TO GET MARRIED. [AFTER MY PARENTS’ MARRIAGE] THEY WENT OUT TO BRAINARD, WHERE HE WAS ON HIS OWN [AT THE POSTING]. FROM THERE, HE DID A LOT OF WORK GOING BACK AND FORTH.” “BRAINARD [WAS] A LITTLE PLACE NEAR THE HORSE LAKE INDIAN RESERVATION… THEY BUILT DAD A LOG CABIN DOWN THERE FOR THE HOUSE WITH HIS NEW WIFE AND [SOON AFTER THEY WERE] EXPECTING THEIR FIRST CHILD. [THE CABIN HAD] ONE BIG ROOM WITH CURTAINS HERE AND THERE, AND HE DIDN’T HAVE A PRISON THERE. WHEN HE TOOK IN A PRISONER, THAT’S WHEN HE NEEDED THE OREGON BOOT AND THE BALL AND CHAIN BECAUSE HE HAD A BIG BOLT ON THE FLOOR NEAR HIS OFFICE. THAT’S WHERE THE GUY HAD TO SIT, CHAINED, UNTIL [MY FATHER] COULD TAKE HIM ON INTO EDMONTON…EVEN IN THE A.P.P. TO START WITH, HE HAD SOME SERVICE DOWN HERE AT THE LETHBRIDGE PRISON. [HE WOULD BE] BRINGING PRISONERS DOWN [TO LETHBRIDGE],” BUCHANAN EXPLAINED EXPANDING ON HOW HER FATHER’S WORK TOOK HIM “BACK AND FORTH.” “THEN THEY CLOSED THAT [BRAINAR POST] DOWN AND TRANSFERRED HIM TO WEMBLEY – A LITTLE VILLAGE – AND HE WAS THE ONLY OFFICER IN CHARGE OF WEMBLEY. [HE WAS THERE] WHEN 1932 CAME ALONG AND THEN HE JUST CHANGED THE SIGN UP THERE FROM A.P.P. TO R.C.M.P… AND THAT STAYED R.C.M.P. UNTIL ’34. [FROM THERE] HE WAS TRANSFERRED TO TAKE CHARGE OF THE WESTLOCK DETACHMENT, WHICH WAS A BIG AREA. HE HAD A HUGE AREA THERE TO [COVER]. AND THERE AGAIN, WE HAD A NICE, BIG WHITE HOUSE AND A JAIL THIS TIME… THE JAIL OFFICE AND THE COURTROOM AND EVERYTHING WAS CONNECTED [TO THE HOUSE]. YOU JUST GO DOWN THE HALL AND OPEN THE DOOR AND THERE YOU GO, AND THERE’S TWO JAILS IN THERE. [THERE] HE WAS GETTING ROOKIES COMING OUT FROM EDMONTON TO TRAIN UNDER HIM… [I WAS BORN IN] ’30 [AND] NOW IN ’34, I REMEMBER GOING THERE [TO WESTLOCK].” SPEAKING ABOUT THE DISSOLUTION OF THE A. P. P. IN 1932 AND THE ABSORPTION OF SOME OF ITS MEMBERS INTO THE R. C. M P., BUCHANAN EXPLAINED, “[A. P. P. OFFICERS] WERE NOT AUTOMATICALLY TAKEN INTO THE R.C.M.P. THEY [WERE RANKED] INTO THREE CATEGORIES. [FIRST, THERE WERE THE] ONES THAT WERE NOT ACCEPTABLE; THEY HADN’T DONE A VERY GOOD JOB IN THE A.P.P. THEY SHOWED UP, GOOFIN’ AROUND, DOING THINGS THEY SHOULDN’T BE DOING. THEN THERE WERE THE ONES THAT COULD BE GIVEN A LITTLE TRIAL RUN. THEY COULD APPLY [INTO THE FORCE FOR THE TRIAL PERIOD]. THEY COULD [BE ACCEPTED] FOR A FULL YEAR AND THEN RE-APPLY AGAIN [FOR FULL-TIME]. THEN THERE’S THE TOP GRADE, [WHO] WERE AUTOMATICALLY ACCEPTABLE. DAD WAS RIGHT UP THERE IN THAT TOP GRADE…IT IS IMPORTANT [TO REMEMBER], THOSE A.P.P. MEMBERS WERE TRAINED BY THE NORTHWEST MOUNTED POLICE, NOT SOME GOOFBALLS THAT DIDN’T KNOW WHAT THEY WERE DOING OR ANYTHING LIKE THAT. THEY WERE TRAINED BY THE BEST-TRAINED POLICE OFFICERS.” WHEN ANSWERING HOW HER FATHER ENDED UP WORKING IN LETHBRIDGE, BUCHANAN SAID, “[AFTER THE DISSOLUTION OF THE A. P. P.], ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER [OF THE R. C. M. P.] HANCOCK (WILLIAM FREDERICK WATKINS “BILL” HANCOCK) KNEW DAD REALLY WELL. [PREVIOUSLY, HANCOCK] WAS THE [ACTING COMMISSIONER] FOR THE ALBERTA [PROVINCIAL POLICE]. [HANCOCK] CALLED DAD INTO THE OFFICE AND HE SAID, ‘BUCK – DAD WAS EDWARD ETTERSHANK BUCHANAN, BUT THEY CALLED HIM ‘BUCK’A LOT – I WAS GOING TO SEND YOU DOWN TO TAKE CHARGE OF THE RED DEER DETACHMENT, BUT I’VE HAD SO MUCH PROBLEM GETTING SOMEBODY TO GO DOWN TO TAKE THE LETHBRIDGE DETACHMENT. YOU’RE THE ONLY ONE THAT CAN HANDLE THE SITUATION WE’VE GOT DOWN THERE. THERE’S A LOT OF PROBLEMS AND I’M SURE YOU’RE THE ONLY ONE THAT CAN HANDLE IT. WILL YOU GO?’” AS A RESULT, EDWARD BUCHANAN WAS RELOCATED TO THE R. C. M. P.’S LETHBRIDGE DETACHMENT IN 1944. JEAN BUCHANAN CONTINUED, “DAD’S PERSONALITY WAS ALWAYS QUIET, FIRM, NO-NONSENSE, BUT HE WAS NEVER ARROGANT. I NEVER HEARD HIM SWEAR OR GET MAD AT ANYBODY, NOT EVEN PRISONERS. HE HANDLED THEM VERY QUIETLY, VERY FIRMLY. AND THE STAFF [IN LETHBRIDGE] ENDED UP LOVING HIM. THE SECRETARIES AND EVERYTHING, THEY WERE CRYING WHEN HE LEFT. AND I GOT LETTERS AND THEY CAME ALL THE WAY UP TO THEIR ANNIVERSARIES LATER IN EDMONTON… BUT [IN TERMS OF] THE SITUATION [WHICH ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER HANCOCK WAS REFERRING TO], NO, HE WAS FINE. HE NEVER HAD ANY TROUBLE. HE JUST FIRMLY, QUIETLY DEALT WITH EVERYTHING AND EVERYTHING WAS FINE. I NEVER SAW HIM STRESSED OUT. ALWAYS COOL, LAID BACK.” “[WHEN WE MOVED TO LETHBRIDGE], WE RENTED A HOUSE ON 538 – 7TH STREET SOUTH. IT’S ALL TORN DOWN NOW. BUT WE HAD [SOME] TROUBLE BECAUSE DAD HAD TO COME DOWN A MONTH OR SO AHEAD OF US. HE COULDN’T FIND A HOUSE [THAT WAS] READY, SO WHEN WE CAME DOWN [WE] STAYED IN A HOTEL FOR ABOUT TWO MONTHS. AND THEN I HAD TO START GRADE TEN; I WAS ONLY FOURTEEN. THAT WAS, TO ME, THE ONLY SAD PART OF MY LIFE – LEAVING THE WESTLOCK SCHOOL AND STARTING LCI. THE PERSONALIZATION WAS GONE WITH THE TEACHERS. ANYWAY, I GOT THROUGH GRADE TWELVE AND THAT’S ALRIGHT.” “[ANOTHER THING HE WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR HERE IN LETHBRIDGE] WAS TO OVERSEE THE PRISONER OF WAR (POW) CAMPS…HE TALKED ABOUT THE POWS IN THE RESPECT THAT THERE WAS A LOT OF VERY GOOD GERMANS THAT WERE IN THERE. THEY WOULDN’T HAVE CHOSEN TO EVEN BE IN THE GERMAN ARMY, BUT THEY WERE CONSCRIPTED OVER IN GERMANY. THEY DIDN’T HAVE ANY CHOICE, AND THEY WERE VERY DECENT, GOOD GUYS. [MY DAD] RESPECTED THEM FOR THAT… AND THEN THERE WAS A TRUST THERE TO LET SOME OF THEM OUT TO WORK ON THE [FARMS], BECAUSE THERE WAS A LABOUR SHORTAGE FOR THE FARMERS… BUT, OF COURSE, I KNEW ABOUT THE CRUELTY OF SOME OF THE HARD-CORE NAZIS THAT WERE IN THERE. THE TROUBLE WAS THERE WASN’T ENOUGH FORCE POLICE TO GO IN THERE SAFELY. THEY COULDN’T EVEN GET IN THE POW CAMP AND THE CIVIL GUARDS WERE THE ONLY ONES THAT WERE AVAILABLE, BUT THEY DIDN’T EVEN DARE GO IN HALF THE TIME. IT WAS REALLY SOMETHING. THERE WERE SOME GUYS IN THERE THAT WERE REALLY, REALLY MEAN…” “AND OH YES, A FEW [MEN DID TRY TO ESCAPE THE CAMP],” BUCHANAN CONTINUED, “BUT THEY DIDN’T GET VERY FAR. THEY NEVER GOT AWAY. I’VE GOT RECORDS OF ONES THAT WERE CAUGHT. THEY STOLE SOMEBODY’S CAR. SOME OF THEM GOT A REGULAR SENTENCE FOR BREAKING ONE OF OUR LAWS.” BUCHANAN CONFIRMS THAT HER FATHER RETIRED FROM THE ROYAL CANADIAN MOUNTED POLICE IN 1950 WHILE IN LETHBRIDGE. AFTER RETIREMENT, SHE EXPLAINED, “[HE] WENT BACK TO EDMONTON, HIS HOME CITY WHERE HIS PARENTS WERE AND A LOT OF FRIENDS… BUT THE ATTORNEY GENERAL’S DEPARTMENT WERE NOT GOING TO LET HIM LOOSE WITH HIS RECORD, SO THEY MADE IT A FIRST APPOINTMENT OF AN INSPECTOR OF JAILS FOR THE PRISONS OF ALBERTA…HE THEN WORKED ON THAT FOR FIFTEEN OR SIXTEEN YEARS. AFTER TWELVE YEARS, THEY MADE HIM SUPERINTENDENT OF PRISONS…” EDWARD BUCHANAN “SORT OF” RETIRED FROM THAT ROLE IN THE 1970S, HIS DAUGHTER EXPLAINED. HE CONTINUED WORKING IN SOME CAPACITIES UNTIL HIS PASSING IN 1998. “[I RECEIVED MY DAD’S R. C. M. P. POSSESSIONS, BECAUSE HE] KNEW I WOULD LOOK AFTER IT AND WANTED TO GET IT TO A MUSEUM… HE LIVED TO BE NINETY-EIGHT AND I DON’T THINK HE EVER THREW ANYTHING OUT SINCE HE WAS IN HIS TWENTIES.” ACCORDING TO EDWARD E. “BUCK” BUCHANAN’S OBITUARY, HE PASSED AWAY IN IN EDMONTON IN 1998. HIS WIFE’S NAME WAS CHRISTENE BUCHANAN AND TOGETHER THEY HAD FIVE CHILDREN – EDWARD, ROBERT, JEAN, WILLIAM, AND ROSE-MARIE. THE OBITUARY STATES HE SERVED 31 YEARS IN THE R.C.M.P, AND 15 YEARS AS THE SUPERINTENDENT OF CORRECTIONS FOR ALBERTA. PLEASE SEE PERMANENT FILE FOR MORE INFORMATION, INCLUDING FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTION.
Catalogue Number
P20180014002
Acquisition Date
2018-06
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail
Other Name
TROPHY BELT
Date Range From
1916
Date Range To
1919
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
LEATHER, BRASS, SILVER
Catalogue Number
P20190007009
  2 images  
Material Type
Artifact
Other Name
TROPHY BELT
Date Range From
1916
Date Range To
1919
Materials
LEATHER, BRASS, SILVER
No. Pieces
1
Length
101.3
Width
7.8
Description
LEATHER BELT WITH PINS AND BUTTONS FIXED; BELT HAS SILVER BUCKLE AT RIGHT END AND BUCKLE STRAP AT LEFT END; LEATHER IS STAMPED AT LEFT END WITH TEXT “[ILLEGIBLE] & COGGSHALL MILES [ILLEGIBLE]”. BELT HAS 22 PINS ATTACHED; PINS DISPLAYED INCLUDE: BRASS BAR WITH EMBOSSED TEXT “CANADA” [3 ON BELT]; COPPER AND BRASS BUTTON WITH LION IN CENTER AND TEXT AROUND EDGES “43 CAMERON HIGHLANDERS OF CANADA” [11 ON BELT]; COPPER AND BRASS MAPLE LEAF PIN WITH CROWN ABOVE TEXT “43 CAMERONS, CANADA” [2 ON BELT]; BRASS PIN DEPICTING OVAL SHIELD WITH CROWN AT TOP, MAPLE LEAF AND THISTLES AROUND BANNER, AND TEXT EMBOSSED ON OVAL BORDERS AND BANNER “OVERSEAS BATTALION, 113 CANADA, LETHBRIDGE HIGHLANDERS” [3 ON BELT]; COPPER AND BRASS PIN DEPICTING “C” ABOVE A BAR AND “43” BELOW BAR [2 ON BELT]; SILVER PIN DEPICTING ROUND SHIELD WITH CROWN AT TOP, MAPLE LEAVES DECORATING LEFT EDGE AND THISTLES DECORATING RIGHT EDGE, WITH AN “X” IN CENTER WITH A LION OVERLAID, AND TEXT EMBOSSED OVER INSIDE BORDER, “43 CAMERON HIGHLANDERS OF CANADA” AND TEXT EMBOSSED AT BASE, “BATTN. C.E.F., WINNIPEG” [1 ON BELT]. LEATHER IS CRACKED AND WORN; BELT SHOWS SLIGHT GREEN RESIDUE AROUND PINS AND BELT BUCKLE HOLES FROM COPPER OXIDATION; BUTTONS, PINS, AND BELT BUCKLE ARE TARNISHED; OVERALL VERY GOOD CONDITION.
Subjects
CLOTHING-ACCESSORY
Historical Association
MILITARY
PERSONAL CARE
History
ACCORDING TO HIS CANADIAN MILITARY SERVICE FILE, JOHN MACDIARMID ENLISTED WITH THE 113TH OVERSEAS BATTALION (LETHBRIDGE HIGHLANDERS) ON AUGUST 22, 1916. MACDIARMID WAS TRANSFERRED TO THE 17TH BATTALION ON OCTOBER 8, 1916, AFTER SAILING FROM CANADA OVERSEAS ON SEPTEMBER 25, 1916 WITH HIS UNIT. MACDIARMID WAS TAKEN ON STRENGTH WITH THE 43RD CANADIAN RESERVE BATTALION SERVING IN FRANCE ON OCTOBER 27, 1916. MACDIARMID WAS DISCHARGED FROM SERVICE IN MAY 1919. A MEMO RECEIVED AND INCLUDED WITH HIS SERVICE FILE INDICATES THAT JOHN MACDIARMID PASSED AWAY ON NOVEMBER 26, 1918 AT THE SHAUGHNESSY HOSPITAL IN VANCOUVER, B.C. ON MARCH 28, 2019, COLLECTIONS TECHNICIAN KEVIN MACLEAN INTERVIEWED CAROL AND BRETT CLIFTON REGARDING THEIR DONATION OF VARIOUS LETHBRIDGE AND MILITARY MEMORABILIA. THE OBJECTS WERE COLLECTED BY CAROL’S LATE HUSBAND, CHRIS CLIFTON, AND DONATED IN HIS MEMORY. ON THE HATE BELT, BRETT CLIFTEN NOTED, “THE PENNANTS AND THE TRAY IN PARTICULAR AND THE SPORRAN, ARE JUST THINGS LIKE, THEY’RE REALLY COOL.” ON CHRIS CLIFTON’S ACQUISITIONS OF THE OBJECTS, CAROL CLIFTON NOTED, “[CHRIS SEARCHED ON] AUCTION WEB…HE WAS A VERY EARLY USER. THESE THINGS COST MONEY. CHRIS AND I WERE ALWAYS LIKE, ‘OH WELL, ONE DAY WE’LL DONATE THEM AND IT’LL BE OUR GIFT TO CHARITY...'” “MUCH OF THE REST [OF THE COLLECTION] WAS FOUND BY CHRIS ON EBAY…IT COULD BE THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT [AND CHRIS WOULD SAY], ‘HEY, BRETT, GUESS WHAT’S ON EBAY?’” “HE DIDN’T THINK TWICE. IF [AN ITEM] WAS THERE AND HE COULD AFFORD IT, HE GOT IT...IT WAS LIKE HE FELT LIKE HE WAS SAVING IT. I SUPPOSE, AS A MUSEUM, YOU CAN’T NECESSARILY JUST BUY WITH THAT ABANDON BECAUSE YOU HAVE PEOPLE YOU HAVE TO ANSWER TO. WELL, HE DIDN’T HAVE TO ANSWER TO ANYONE...IF HE FELT IT BELONGED IN LETHBRIDGE HE BOUGHT IT...[HE WAS] BRINGING IT HOME.” ON THEIR MOTIVES FOR DONATING THE COLLECTIONS, CAROL CLIFTON NOTED, “THE FIRST REASON THAT WE DECIDED TO DONATE AT THIS TIME…IS THAT WE THOUGHT IT WOULD BE A NICE WAY TO HONOUR [CHRIS] TO MAKE SURE THAT THE COLLECTION ALWAYS STAYED IN SOUTHERN ALBERTA AND THAT IT’S AVAILABLE TO PEOPLE WITH SIMILAR INTERESTS. [THE DONATION] WOULD BE SOMETHING IN HIS MEMORY THAT WOULD KEEP HIS MEMORY ALIVE.” ON HER HUSBAND’S INTEREST IN SOUTERN ALBERTA HISTORY, CAROL CLIFTON ELABORATED, “CHRIS PASSED AWAY…[HE] REALLY MADE US INTERESTED IN HISTORY. FOR HIM IT WAS ALL ABOUT LOCAL HISTORY, SO ANYTHING THAT HE COLLECTED HAD A LETHBRIDGE OR SOUTHERN ALBERTA CONNECTION OR HE DIDN’T COLLECT IT. HE LIKED TO RESEARCH THEM.” “[CHRIS] WAS VERY PROUD TO HAVE BEEN RAISED MORMON FROM A MORMON FAMILY THAT HAD DEEP PIONEER ROOTS INTO UTAH, AND WERE ORIGINALS TO UTAH AND ORIGINALS TO SOUTHERN ALBERTA. ALONG WITH THAT MORMONS…REALLY ENCOURAGE HISTORY IN TERMS OF COLLECTING THEIR ARTIFACTS OR RELIGIOUS ARTIFACTS, AND GENEALOGY. [CHRIS DID] ALL OF HIS OWN GENEALOGY AND HE WOULD DO GENEALOGY FOR ANYONE HE KNEW. WE JUST LITERALLY HAVE REAMS OF PERSONAL HISTORY AND GENEALOGY IN THAT FORM. IT GREW FROM THERE. [CHRIS] WAS A COLLECTOR AT HEART, HE BEGAN COIN COLLECTING AND DID A LOT OF WORK FOUNDING A NUMISMATICS SOCIETY IN TOWN AND BELONGED TO SEVERAL, AND DISPLAYED ON A NATIONAL LEVEL.” “IN TERMS OF THE MILITARY ITEMS, I WOULD SAY [HIS INTEREST BEGAN] WITH HIS DAD BEING FROM THE CALGARY TANK REGIMENT IN DIEPPE AND A PRISONER OF WAR. HIS DAD’S MOTHER HAD SAVED A BUNCH OF ITEMS AND BEFORE CHRIS’ DAD PASSED AWAY, HE GAVE EVERYTHING TO CHRIS…THAT KIND OF FOSTERED [HIS INTEREST IN MILITARY COLLECTIONS] AND THEN IT JUST GREW INTO INTERESTING LOCAL THINGS.” “CHRIS LOVED SOUTHERN ALBERTA, AND NO MATTER WHAT, HE NEVER WOULD HAVE LEFT SOUTHERN ALBERTA. HE LOVED TO TRAVEL BUT HE NEVER WOULD HAVE MOVED. HE LIVED IN MAGRATH AND LETHBRIDGE HIS WHOLE LIFE AND HAD NO INTEREST IN ANY OTHER PLACE BUT HERE.” ON CHRIS’ RESEARCH EFFORTS, CAROL CLIFTON RECALLED, “CHRIS WAS METICULOUS. ANYTHING CHRIS DID, HE DID IT TEN TIMES MORE THAN ANYONE ELSE WOULD. HE WOULD NOT GIVE UP…WHEN [HIS SON] BRETT DID THE CENOTAPH WORK, CHRIS WOULD HELP HIM IDENTIFY [THE NAMES] AND IT WOULD BE A DEAD END AFTER ANOTHER DEAD END, AND THE NEXT THING YOU KNEW WAS CHRIS HAD FOUND A RELATIVE IN ENGLAND WHO WAS A GREAT GRANDDAUGHTER’S NEIGHBOR. HE WOULD LITERALLY SPEND YEARS RESEARCHING ONE THING. IT WAS JUST HIS PERSONALITY AND HIS LEVEL OF INTEREST AND HE DIDN’T STOP THERE, HE WOULD DO IT FOR ANYONE…HE WAS A VERY GIVING PERSON AND HE WAS SO FANTASTICALLY GOOD AT THAT TYPE OF RESEARCH.” “[CHRIS] AND BRETT TOGETHER WOULD DO [THE RESEARCH] AND I WOULD DO IT OUT OF INTEREST…I DON’T KNOW OF ANYONE WHO DID IT TO THE LEVEL HE DID. HE WOULD BE UP IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT FOLLOWING A LEAD IN EUROPE ON SOMEONE HE DIDN’T KNOW FOR SOMEONE HE BARELY KNEW…[CHRIS WAS] TOTALLY SELF-TAUGHT…OF COURSE WITH THE INTERNET IT BECAME MUCH EASIER FOR EVERYONE TO [SEARCH]. THE GENEALOGY HE DID BEFORE WAS PRE-INTERNET SO THAT INVOLVED A LOT OF ARCHIVAL THINGS…HE BEGAN RESEARCH WORK VERY EARLY IN THE INTERNET AND WE GOT OUR FIRST COMPUTER IN 1995, AND HE PRETTY MUCH DID RESEARCH FROM THEN ON. HE WAS INTERESTING IN THAT NO MATTER WHAT RESEARCH HE DID HE DIDN’T WANT CREDIT FOR IT. HE DIDN’T WANT TO BELONG TO THINGS…IN ADDITION, HE DIDN’T LIKE TO DO THE WRITING, ALTHOUGH HE COULD WRITE, BUT HE WAS THE BEST PROOF READER BECAUSE HE WAS SO METICULOUS, AND HE WOULD PROOF READ FOR ANYONE. [IF] SOMEBODY WROTE AN ARTICLE HE WOULD BE A PROOF READER OR A FACT CHECKER. IT WAS JUST HIS NATURE…[HE WAS] STUBBORN, AND COMPETITIVE, AND INTERESTED, AND METICULOUS, AND IF HE DID IT IT’S CORRECT. IF THERE’S A MISTAKE IN IT HE SURE DIDN’T KNOW IT. HE WOULD HAVE NEVER PUT ANYTHING DOWN HE WASN’T PRETTY DARN SURE OF.” FOR MORE INFORMATION INCLUDING THE FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTION AND LETHBRIDGE HERALD ARTICLES, PLEASE SEE THE PERMANENT FILE P20190007001-GA.
Catalogue Number
P20190007009
Acquisition Date
2019-03
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail
Date Range From
1915
Date Range To
1925
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
GLASS, COTTON, PLASTIC
Catalogue Number
P20180003001
  1 image  
Material Type
Artifact
Date Range From
1915
Date Range To
1925
Materials
GLASS, COTTON, PLASTIC
No. Pieces
2
Length
39
Width
17.7
Description
A. BEADED HANDBAG WITH BROWN TORTOISESHELL TRIM AND CLASP ALONG TOP OPENING. BAG HAS BLACK BEADS COVERING EXTERIOR WITH RED, PINK, GREEN AND YELLOW BEADED STARBURST PATTERN; BAG HAS BEADED FRINGE WITH BLACK, YELLOW AND GREEN BEADS. BAG HANDLE IS NAVY BLUE COTTON WITH BLACK BEADS COVERING EXTERIOR; HANDLE ATTACHES TO TRIM ALONG OPENING WITH BROWN TORTOISESHELL RINGS. BAG CLASP HAS BROWN TORTOISESHELL BUTTON AT TOP OF BROWN TORTOISESHELL TRIM ALONG OPENING; INSIDE OF BAG IS LINED WITH WHITE, BLUE AND GREEN FLORAL-PATTERNED COTTON FABRIC WITH POCKET SEWN INTO LINING FOR HOLDING MIRROR. OUTER BEADING IS EXTREMELY DELICATE AND FRAGILE; INSIDE OF BAG IS SOILED ON TORTOISESHELL TRIM; OVERALL GOOD CONDITION. B. MIRROR, 6 CM LONG X 6.2 CM WIDE. SQUARE POCKET MIRROR SET IN CREAM SYNTHETIC LEATHER CASE; MIRROR BACKING COVERED IN WHITE, BLUE AND GREEN FLORAL-PATTERNED COTTON FABRIC THAT MATCHES INSIDE OF HANDBAG. CORNER OF MIRROR HAS SEWN LOOP OF BACKING FABRIC. FABRIC ON MIRROR IS DISCOLORED [DARKENED]; MIRROR SURFACE IS SOILED AND STAINED; MIRROR SURFACE HAS SCRATCH ALONG EDGE; OVERALL VERY GOOD CONDITION.
Subjects
CLOTHING-ACCESSORY
Historical Association
PERSONAL CARE
History
ON MARCH 12, 2018, COLLECTIONS TECHNICIAN KEVIN MACLEAN INTERVIEWED KERRY WRIGHT REGARDING HER DONATION OF A HANDBAG AND DRESS FROM THE 1920S. WRIGHT ACQUIRED THE OBJECTS FROM HER MOTHER UPON HER PASSING. THE OBJECTS BELONGED TO WRIGHT’S MATERNAL GRANDMOTHER, CLARA SAXON, PRIOR TO HER DEATH IN 1924. ON THE HANDBAG, WRIGHT ELABORATED, “I THINK THAT THAT HANDBAG WOULD BE SOMETHING THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN A TREASURE BECAUSE IT WAS SO INTRICATE, AND IT WOULD HAVE COST A LITTLE BIT MORE THAN WHAT [MY GRANDPARENTS’ SOCIO-ECONOMIC STATUS WAS. I THINK THAT PROBABLY WAS SOMETHING THAT WAS VERY SPECIAL TO [CLARA].” WRIGHT RECALLED HER FAMILY’S HISTORY AND THE CIRCUMSTANCES THAT LED TO WRIGHT’S MOTHER ACQUIRING THE OBJECTS, STATING, “1924. [MY] MOM [LILY WRIGHT] WAS BORN ON SEPTEMBER 29 [1924] AND CLARA PASSED AWAY…ON NOVEMBER 22 [1924].” “[MY MOTHER WAS] SIX WEEKS OLD AND HER MOTHER DIED. THERE WAS NEVER ANY QUESTION THAT HER GRANDPARENTS AUTOMATICALLY [LOOKED] AFTER HER. I REALLY DON’T KNOW TOO MUCH ABOUT CLARA’S HUSBAND [HENRY SAXON]. I KNEW HIS NAME BUT HE PASSED AWAY WHEN MY MOTHER WAS ABOUT 8. OCCASIONALLY HE WOULD COME TO VISIT BUT NOT [OFTEN].” “[MY] MOTHER HAD ALWAYS SAID THAT THE DOCTORS DIDN’T KNOW WHAT SHE DIED FROM. BOTH OF HER PARENTS WERE DIABETICS AND MY GUESS WOULD HAVE TO BE GESTATION DIABETES. I DON’T BELIEVE THERE WAS ANY KIND OF INFECTION FROM WHAT ANYBODY HAD BEEN ABLE TO TELL…[SHE WAS TAKEN] TO THE DOCTOR RIGHT AWAY AND THEY SAID, “ OH, WHO KNOWS?” SHE LEFT AND DIED. HER SISTER NEVER DID KNOW WHAT SHE DIED OF EITHER AND THEY’RE ALSO DIABETIC NOW.” “[CLARA] LIVED IN LETHBRIDGE WHEN SHE PASSED…IT WAS MY GUESS THAT HER AND JOHN WERE MARRIED IN ST. MARY’S ANGLICAN CHURCH UP ON THE NORTH SIDE.” “[I GOT THESE PIECES] THROUGH MY MOTHER [LILY WRIGHT]. SHE HAD THEM PUT AWAY. HER GRANDPARENTS WHO RAISED HER KEPT A FEW THINGS LIKE THIS AND THEY WERE ALWAYS IN THE TRUNK DOWNSTAIRS. WHEN WE HAD TO CLEAN OUT MOM’S PLACE WHEN SHE WENT IN TO A NURSING HOME, MY SISTER AND I WENT “DO YOU WANT THIS, DO YOU WANT THIS? I SAID, THAT WAS CLARA’S, I WANT THAT. THAT’S HOW IT CAME INTO MY OWNERSHIP AND I’VE BEEN CARRYING IT AROUND FOR ABOUT FIFTEEN YEARS.” “[THESE ARE OBJECTS] THAT I FELT SHE WOULD HAVE APPRECIATED THAT THEY MEANT SOMETHING TO ME, TO HANG ON TO AND STILL HAVE SOMETHING OF HERS…[THEY WERE IN] AN OLD STEAMER TRUNK, AN OLD METAL TRUNK AND I THINK PROBABLY AROUND THE TIME [MY MOTHER] AND DAD GOT MARRIED [’46…I’M PRETTY SURE THAT [MOM] HAD GOT [THE TRUNK] AS A SECONDARY HOPE CHEST. IT HAD CLARA’S WEDDING GOWN, HER SHOES…IT MEANT SOMETHING TO [MY MOTHER] SO SHE [HAD] THEM. [THERE WERE] A FEW ORNAMENTS AND GADGETS THAT MOM HAD PICKED UP OVER THE YEARS AND THERE REALLY WASN’T TOO MUCH OF CLARA’S BECAUSE SHE WAS ONLY 22 WHEN SHE PASSED.” “[THE TRUNK] WAS DOWNSTAIRS UNDER THE STAIRS AND IT WAS ONE TRUNK THAT SHE HAD ALWAYS ASKED US NOT TO GO IN. I WAS A PRECOCIOUS CHILD AND BEING TOLD THAT I COULDN’T GO NEAR THE STUFF, I DID ANYWAY. WHEN THEY WERE ON THE FARM, CLARA’S FATHER LIVED WITH MY MOM AND DAD, MYSELF AND MY SISTER UNTIL I WAS FOUR. [MY GREAT-GRANDFATHER] PASSED AWAY WHEN I WAS FOUR. HE LIVED IN THE FARMHOUSE BASEMENT, AND I DIDN’T LIKE THAT HE WAS DOWN THERE BY HIMSELF ALL THE TIME, SO I’D SNEAK DOWN THERE. I HAD GRAMPA JOHN’S PERMISSION TO LOOK THROUGH THAT STUFF BUT MY MOTHER DIDN’T KNOW.” “I IMAGINE IT WAS [MY GREAT GRANDFATHER] THAT TOLD ME [ABOUT CLARA]. EVENTUALLY MOTHER DID TELL ME THAT CLARA’S STUFF WAS IN THAT TRUNK.” “PROBABLY ABOUT ONCE A YEAR, I’D JUST TAKE [THE OBJECTS OUT] AND LOOK AT [THEM]. IT’S BEEN A BIG DEBATE WHETHER I WOULD GO AHEAD AND FIND SOMEBODY THAT COULD RESTORE THE PURSE OR WHETHER I SHOULD JUST PASS IT ALONG. I’M NOT A WEALTHY PERSON, SO I THOUGHT THIS WOULD BE A BETTER HOME FOR IT RATHER THAN INVESTING A BUNCH OF MONEY IN SOMETHING THAT WOULD COME HERE EVENTUALLY ANYWAY.” “[THESE OBJECTS] ARE SOMETHING THAT I KNEW DIDN’T BELONG IN THE GARBAGE. I GUESS IT WAS TO GET SOME KIND OF CONNECTION WITH MY PAST. I NEVER KNEW [CLARA]. MY MOTHER, SHE NEVER KNEW HER MOTHER. IT WAS JUST REASON THAT I HUNG ON TO THEM. NOW THAT I’M DOWNSIZING, HAVING TO LIVE IN A SMALLER PLACE, I HAVE TO LET GO OF A LOT OF STUFF. THIS IS A GOOD HOME FOR [THEM]. THAT HANDBAG WAS JUST SO SPECIAL.” IN AN EMAIL FROM WRIGHT TO MACLEAN, WRIGHT ELABORATES ON THE HISTORY OF CLARA SAXON. CLARA WAS BORN CLARA MELLING IN WIGAN, LANCASHIRE, ENGLAND IN DECEMBER 1902 TO ISABELLA (SMITH) MELLING AND JOHN MELLING. IN 1912, THE MELLING FAMILY EMIGRATED TO CANADA. CLARA’S SISTER, LILY MELLING, MARRIED ANDY ALLISON. CLARA MARRIED HENRY SAXON ON NOVEMBER 21, 1923, AND HAD ONE DAUGHTER, LILY (WRIGHT) SAXON BORN SEPTEMBER 29, 1924. CLARA WENT TO A MOVIE WITH HER SISTER ON NOVEMBER 18, 1924 AND FELL ILL. SHE PASSED AWAY OF AN UNDETERMINED CAUSE. LETHBRIDGE HERALD ARTICLES FROM NOVEMBER 20, 1924 AND DECEMBER 3, 1924, CONFIRM THAT THE CAUSE OF DEATH WAS NEVER DETERMINED. A POST-MORTEM WAS CONDUCTED AND STOMACH CONTENTS SENT TO EDMONTON, ALBERTA FOR ANALYSIS. IN A LETHBRIDGE HERALD ARTICLE FROM DECEMBER 3, 1924, THE JURY FORMED TO ENQUIRE INTO THE DEATH OF CLARA SAXON RULED CAUSE OF DEATH UNKNOWN AFTER THE POST-MORTEM AND ANALYSIS OF STOMACH CONTENTS FOUND NO ABNORMALITIES, AND THE JURY WAS ADJOURNED. FOR MORE INFORMATION INCLUDING THE FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTION AND COPIES OF LETHBRIDGE HERALD ARTICLES, PLEASE SEE THE PERMANENT FILE P20180003001-GA.
Catalogue Number
P20180003001
Acquisition Date
2018-03
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail