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Other Name
STAGE PERFORMANCE BORDER
Date Range From
1918
Date Range To
1950
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
PLYWOOD, PAINT
Catalogue Number
P20110031021
  2 images  
Material Type
Artifact
Other Name
STAGE PERFORMANCE BORDER
Date Range From
1918
Date Range To
1950
Materials
PLYWOOD, PAINT
No. Pieces
5
Height
303.5
Length
114.3
Description
STAGE PERFORMANCE BORDER, IN FIVE PANEL PIECES. .001 TOP CENTRE PANEL. RECTANGULAR. VERY THIN PLYWOOD. GREEN BACKGROUND WITH PINK/RED FLOWERS. TWO FLAGS IN THE CENTRE: THE KUOMINTANG/NATIONAL LEAGUE FLAG IS ON THE LEFT (NAVY BLUE WITH A GOLDEN YELLOW SUN IN THE MIDDLE) AND THE FLAG OF THE REPUBLIC OF CHINA IS ON THE RIGHT (RED BODY, WITH A NAVY BLUE RECTANGLE IN THE TOP LEFT CORNER AND A GOLDEN YELLOW SUN IN THE MIDDLE OF THIS NAVY SECTION). BETWEEN THE FLAGS IS A NAVY BLUE, ROUGHLY OCTAGON SHAPE, WITH ANOTHER GOLDEN YELLOW SUN IN THE CENTRE. ALONG THE BOTTOM IS A REPEATING PATTERN IN RED AND YELLOW OF TWO DOTS, A LINE, AND A DOT. SCREW HOLES ALONG THE TOP AND SIDES FOR MOUNTING. ON THE FAR RIGHT SIDE OF THE PANEL IS A SMALL RECTANGULAR PIECE, ATTACHED WITH WIRE, ROUGHLY 19CM X 7.6CM. PANEL IS 241.6CM X 47.6CM POOR TO FAIR CONDITION. PANEL IS WELL WORN, THE COLOURS ARE FADED, AND THE PAINT IS CHIPPED IN SEVERAL SPOTS. .002 TOP SIDE PANEL. RECTANGULAR. VERY THIN PLYWOOD. ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE PANEL ARE THE TOPS OF TWO COLUMNS. A SMALL PINK/RED FLOWER ON A GREEN VINE IS VISIBLE ON THE COLUMN. TO THE LEFT OF THE COLUMNS IS A SECTION OF GREEN WITH PINK/RED FLOWERS. ALONG THE BOTTOM IS A REPEATING PATTERN IN RED AND YELLOW OF TWO DOTS, A LINE, AND A DOT. BELOW THE RED AND YELLOW SECTION IS A NAVY BLUE SECTION, WITH A YELLOW SECTION JUST TO THE RIGHT OF THE COLUMN. SCREW HOLES ALONG THE TOP AND SIDES FOR MOUNTING. PANEL IS 200.7CM X 56.2CM POOR TO FAIR CONDITION. PAINT SCRATCHED OFF, ESPECIALLY ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE GREEN FLOWER SECTION. NOT AS FADED OR AS WORN AS .001. TAPE REMNANTS IN THE GREEN SECTION TO THE RIGHT OF COLUMNS. .003 TOP SIDE PANEL. RECTANGULAR. VERY THIN PLYWOOD. ON THE LEFT SIDE OF THE PANEL ARE THE TOPS OF TWO COLUMNS. TO THE LEFT OF THE COLUMNS IS A SECTION OF GREEN WITH PINK/RED FLOWERS. ALONG THE BOTTOM IS A REPEATING PATTERN IN RED AND YELLOW OF TWO DOTS, A LINE, AND A DOT. BELOW THE RED AND YELLOW SECTION IS A NAVY BLUE SECTION, WITH A YELLOW SECTION JUST TO THE RIGHT OF THE COLUMN. SCREW HOLES ALONG THE TOP AND SIDES FOR MOUNTING. PANEL IS 243.2CM X 55.2CM POOR TO FAIR CONDITION. TAN PAINT ALONG THE BOTTOM, OVER THE GREEN SECTION, IN SEVERAL AREAS. THE NAVY BLUE SECTION HAS A LOT OF HAIRLINE CRACKS IN THE PAINT. .004 SIDE PANEL. RECTANGULAR. VERY THIN PLYWOOD. ON THE BOTTOM OF THE PANEL IS A RECTANGLE IN THREE SHADES OF BROWN/TAN. ALONG THE LEFT SIDE OF THE PANEL THERE ARE TWO COLUMNS, WHICH HAVE PINK/RED FLOWERS ON GREEN VINES WRAPPED AROUND THEM. NAVY BLUE CURTAIN TO THE RIGHT OF COLUMNS. THERE IS A VERTICAL RECTANGLE OVER THIS NAVY CURTAIN. THE RECTANGLE HAS A LIGHT BLUE/GREEN BACKGROUND AND HAS SEVEN CHINESE CHARACTERS IN YELLOW. THERE IS ORNAMENTATION AROUND THIS RECTANGLE. THE NAVY CURTAIN IS HELD BACK WITH A GOLDEN YELLOW TIEBACK NEAR THE TOP. ON THE FAR RIGHT SIDE IS A VERTICAL RECTANGLE WITH AN ORANGE BACKGROUND AND SEVEN CHINESE CHARACTERS IN BLACK. SCREW HOLES FOR MOUNTING AROUND EDGE OF PANEL. PANEL IS 303.5CM X 114.3CM POOR TO FAIR CONDITION. IN WORSE CONDITION THAN .005. LOTS OF LITTLE HOLES, ESPECIALLY ON THE NAVY CURTAIN. LOTS OF WALL PAINT FLECKS, ESPECIALLY ON THE COLUMNS. THE BLUE VERTICAL RECTANGLE IS MORE GREEN THAN ON .005 AND THE PAINT IS VERY, VERY WORN. .005 SIDE PANEL. RECTANGULAR. VERY THIN PLYWOOD. ON THE BOTTOM OF THE PANEL IS A RECTANGLE IN THREE SHADES OF BROWN/TAN. ALONG THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE PANEL THERE ARE TWO COLUMNS, WHICH HAVE PINK/RED FLOWERS ON GREEN VINES WRAPPED AROUND THEM. NAVY BLUE CURTAIN TO THE LEFT OF COLUMNS. THERE IS A VERTICAL RECTANGLE OVER THIS NAVY CURTAIN. THE RECTANGLE HAS A LIGHT BLUE/GREEN BACKGROUND AND HAS SEVEN CHINESE CHARACTERS IN YELLOW. THERE IS ORNAMENTATION AROUND THIS RECTANGLE. BELOW THIS BLUE RECTANGLE, ON THE NAVY CURTAIN, ARE SEVERAL CHINESE CHARACTERS ON A DIAGONAL, PAINTED ON IN RED. THE NAVY CURTAIN IS HELD BACK WITH A GOLDEN YELLOW TIEBACK NEAR THE TOP. ON THE FAR LEFT SIDE IS A VERTICAL RECTANGLE WITH AN ORANGE BACKGROUND AND SEVEN CHINESE CHARACTERS IN BLACK. SCREW HOLES FOR MOUNTING AROUND EDGE OF PANEL. PANEL IS 303.5CM X 114.3CM POOR TO FAIR CONDITION. LOTS OF CHIPPED PAINT. PANEL IS FADED/DISCOLOURED. BOTTOM BACK IS IN ESPECIALLY POOR CONDITION AND IS VERY DIRTY.
Subjects
PUBLIC ENTERTAINMENT DEVICE
Historical Association
ASSOCIATIONS
FINE ARTS
LEISURE
History
THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION ABOUT THIS ARTIFACT COMES FROM INTERVIEWS HELD WITH MAY LEE AND JUDY CHAN, RICHARD LOO, AND HONG WONG AND JANICE WONG. PERSONAL DETAILS ABOUT THE LIVES OF MAY LEE, RICHARD LOO, AND HONG WONG THEIR IMMIGRATION TO CANADA ARE FOUND BELOW THE ARTIFACT DETAILS AND BELOW THE INFORMATION ABOUT THE CHINESE NATIONAL LEAGUE SOCIETY BUILDING. MAY RECALLED THAT THERE WERE OPERAS AT THE SOCIETY BUILDING, BUT THAT THEY DIDN’T COME VERY OFTEN. SHE DIDN’T RECALL ATTENDING MANY OPERAS, BUT DID REMEMBER THAT “HONG WONG WAS SINGING THERE.” RICHARD, MEANWHILE, THOUGHT THAT THE OPERAS WERE FINISHED BEFORE HE ARRIVED IN LETHBRIDGE. HE NEVER SAW AN OPERA PRODUCTION AT THE SOCIETY BUILDING, BUT DID RECALL THAT PROJECTION FILMS WERE SHOWN. RICHARD SUGGESTED “ASK HONG. HE LIKED A LITTLE BIT OF OPERA TOO … HE SANG IN STUFF LIKE THAT.” HONG INDICATED THAT THERE WAS NO OPERAS AT THE SOCIETY BUILDING WHEN HE CAME IN 1951, BUT THAT THE SOCIETY DID STAGE PRODUCTIONS AT THE UNIVERSITY. ASKED WHERE THE COSTUMES CAME FROM, HONG SAID “WE GOT THEM FROM CALGARY AT THAT TIME, WELL, ACTUALLY WE JUST BORROWED THEM. WE DIDN’T HAVE THE MONEY TO BUY THEM.” HONG CONTINUED SAYING THAT THIS STAGE PERFORMANCE BORDER WAS USED IN CONJUNCTION WITH A LARGE MURAL (SEE P20010027000) AND A STAGE. A SERIES OF ARTICLES PUBLISHED IN THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD GIVE BACKGROUND INFORMATION ABOUT THE CHINESE NATIONAL LEAGUE SOCIETY AND ITS BUILDING: THE BUILDING THAT HOUSED THE CHINESE NATIONAL LEAGUE SOCIETY WAS BUILT IN 1909-1910 IN THE 300 BLOCK OF 2 AVENUE SOUTH AND IT WAS ORIGINALLY A RESTAURANT. BY 1915 IT HAD BECOME THE HEADQUARTERS FOR THE LETHBRIDGE BRANCH OF THE KAO MIN TANG (ALTERNATIVE SPELLINGS INCLUDE KUOMINTANG, KUO MIN TANG, GUOMINDANG, AND GUO MIN DANG). THE BUILDING WAS DESIGNATED AS A PROVINCIAL HERITAGE RESOURCE IN 1995 BECAUSE OF ITS VALUE AS A SOCIAL AND CULTURAL CENTRE FOR THE LETHBRIDGE CHINESE COMMUNITY. THE BUILDING WAS USED IN A VARIETY OF WAYS BY THE SOCIETY AND INCLUDED, AT VARIOUS TIMES, A RESTAURANT, A SCHOOL, AND LIVING ACCOMODATIONS. IN FEBRUARY 2011 A SECTION OF THE BRICK FAÇADE FELL OFF THE BUILDING AND CITY INSPECTORS DETERMINED THAT THE TIMBER AND RED BRICK STRUCTURE WAS POTENTIALLY UNSTABLE. THE BUILDING WAS TORN DOWN A SHORT TIME LATER. LETHBRIDGE'S CHINATOWN EMERGED IN 1901, A RESULT OF THE CHINESE POPULATION BEING RELEGATED TO A SECTION OF THE CITY BETWEEN GALT GARDENS AND THE COULEES. IN A JANUARY 7, 2002 ARTICLE ALBERT LEONG EXPLAINS THAT NO ONE REALLY WANTED CHINESE PEOPLE AROUND AND THAT “’ THEY WERE TOLD THAT THE ONLY PLACE THEY COULD START BUSINESSES WAS BETWEEN THE COULEES AT THE PARK, BECAUSE THE CITY DIDN’T WANT ANY COMPETITION FOR THE WHITE BUSINESSMEN … BUT ‘GHETTO-IZED’ OR NOT, THE CHINESE WHO CAME TO LETHBRIDGE FORMED AN IMPORTANT PART OF THE BACKBONE OF THIS CITY, [AND MADE] NOTEWORTHY [CONTRIBUTIONS] TO THE HISTORY OF THIS PLACE.’” BUSINESSES SUCH AS LAUNDRIES, MARKET GARDENS, AND RESTAURANTS WERE OPENED IN CHINATOWN, WITH THE RESIDENTS LIVING IN ROOMS ABOVE THE BUSINESSES. IN 1912 THERE WERE ABOUT 100 PEOPLE LIVING IN CHINATOWN AND BY THE 1930S, IT WAS A BUSTLING COMMUNITY. THE POPULATION OF CHINATOWN DWINDLED FOLLOWING THE SECOND WORLD WAR. JANICE WONG, PRESIDENT OF THE SOCIETY IN 2015, GAVE THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION ABOUT THE SOCIETY IN AN INTERVIEW: AS OF 2015, THE SOCIETY EXISTS MORE AS A SOCIAL CLUB AND THE SOCIETY HOLDS THREE CELEBRATORY DINNERS EACH YEAR, USUALLY HELD AT THE NEW DYNASTY RESTAURANT. THE SOCIETY ALSO VISITS THE CEMETERY ON A YEARLY BASIS “TO HONOUR THE ANCESTORS, CLEAN THE TOMBS, BRING FOOD, DO THE USUAL THINGS THAT WE USED TO DO – EAT ON GRAVES, BURN THE INCENSE. WE DO THAT EVERY YEAR STILL TO HONOUR OUR ANCESTORS. IT IS USUALLY IN THE SPRING … IN APRIL.” JANICE BRIEFLY DISCUSSED THE FUTURE OF THE SOCIETY, INDICATING THAT THERE IS SOME TALK ABOUT RE-BUILDING “BUT THAT INVOLVES A LOT OF PLANNING, AND MONEY, AND FUNDRAISING” AND SHE QUESTIONS WHETHER OR NOT THERE IS ENOUGH OF A MEMBERSHIP BASE TO GO FORWARD WITH RE-BUILDING. SHE ALSO EXPLAINED THAT PREVIOUS CHINESE IMMIGRANTS HAD TENDED TO COME FROM THE SAME GEOGRAPHIC REGION, BUT THAT PRESENTLY IMMIGRANTS ARE COMING FROM ALL OVER CHINA: “THERE’S A LOT OF INFLUX OF PEOPLE FROM CHINA THAT AREN’T FROM THE SAME AREA, BECAUSE TRADITIONALLY, THE PEOPLE WERE ALL FROM THE SAME AREA AND SPOKE THE SAME DIALECT AND HAD THAT SORT OF THING KEEPING THEM TOGETHER AS A COMMUNITY OVERSEAS FROM CHINA.” PERSONAL DETAILS ABOUT THE LIVES OF MAY LEE, RICHARD LOO, AND HONG WONG AND THEIR IMMIGRATION TO CANADA ARE BELOW: MAY LEE: MAY WAS ACTUALLY BORN IN CANADA AND IS KNOWN AS A GOLD MOUNTAIN GIRL, BECAUSE SHE IS A CANADIAN-BORN CHINESE WOMAN. MAY EXPLAINS: “I WAS BORN IN CANADA. I WAS BORN IN NANOOSE BAY. WHEN I WAS 4 YEARS OLD, WE MOVED TO VICTORIA. WHEN I WAS 9 YEARS OLD AND THE WHOLE FAMILY, IN 1930, GO BACK TO CHINA.” DURING THE WAR, THE JAPANESE BOMBED THE GIRLS’ HIGH SCHOOL IN TOCSIN CITY AND MAY’S MOTHER DECIDED TO SEND MAY AND HER BROTHER TO HONG KONG TO START THE PROCESS OF COMING TO CANADA. MAY STARTED ENGLISH SCHOOL IN HONG KONG, BUT OFTEN MISSED CLASSES BECAUSE SHE WAS SICK FROM THE HEAT. SHE SAYS THAT SHE’S LEARNED MOST OF HER ENGLISH FROM HER HUSBAND, HER CHILDREN, GRANDCHILDREN, AND EVEN GREAT-GRANDCHILDREN. SHE WAS MARRIED TO HOM MEN LEE, AKA JIMMY LEE, ON NOVEMBER 16, 1938 IN VICTORIA, BC. JIMMY WAS BORN IN LETHBRIDGE AT THE GALT HOSPITAL, BUT WAS SENT BACK TO CHINA AS A CHILD FOR HIS EDUCATION. JIMMY’S FAMILY HAD COME TO LETHBRIDGE IN 1914 AND OWNED LEE-DUC CLEANERS. THE LEE FAMILY LIVED ABOVE THE SHOP, WHICH WAS ON 13TH STREET NORTH, NEAR HIGA’S JEWELERS. MAY’S MAIN MEMORY OF CHINATOWN: “ALL I REMEMBER IN CHINATOWN, IN SUMMERTIME, LOTS OF OLD GUYS SITTING IN FRONT OF GUOMINDANG. AUNTIE HELEN GREW UP IN CHINATOWN. I THINK SHE KNOWS MORE ABOUT CHINATOWN. IN THE OLDEN DAYS, I HARDLY GO OUT, JUST TO BUY GROCERIES.” JUDY ADDED THAT MAY HAD 8 CHILDREN AND WAS KEPT BUSY AT HOME RAISING THEM. RICHARD LOO: RICHARD ARRIVED IN LETHBRIDGE IN 1953, HAVING LEFT THE MAINLAND OF CHINA IN 1949. RICHARD’S GRANDFATHER HAD MOVED TO CANADA IN EITHER LATE 1800S OR THE EARLY 1900S AND HAD HAD TO PAY THE HEAD TAX. HIS GRANDFATHER WORKED AS A COOK IN RESTAURANTS, EITHER IN LETHBRIDGE OR IN TABER (ACCORDING TO RICHARD, HIS GRANDFATHER WORKED THROUGH THE WAR YEARS IN TABER). RICHARD’S GRANDFATHER HAD PLANNED ON MOVING BACK TO CHINA WHEN HE RETIRED, BUT THEN THE COMMUNISTS TOOK OVER, AND HE ELECTED TO STAY. AT THAT TIME, HE INVITED RICHARD TO MOVE TO LETHBRIDGE AS WELL. RICHARD LEFT HONG KONG, AFTER LIVING THERE FOR 8 MONTHS, ON A FRIDAY AFTERNOON AT 2PM LOCAL TIME. HE FINALLY ARRIVED IN LETHBRIDGE SUNDAY AFTERNOON. HE WAS LUCKY IN THAT HE WAS ABLE TO GET HIS FLIGHTS ON SALE. NORMALLY A TICKET FROM HONG KONG TO VANCOUVER WOULD HAVE COST $700, BUT RICHARD WAS ABLE TO SECURE A FLIGHT FOR ONLY $500. HE ALSO INDICATED THAT HIS FLIGHT TO LETHBRIDGE WAS ONLY $39.95. ON RECALLING HIS FIRST TIME IN LETHBRIDGE, RICHARD RECOUNTED THE FOLLOWING STORY: “SO, BY THE TIME I GOT TO THE AIRPORT, I DIDN’T KNOW HOW TO SAY NOTHING. DIDN’T KNOW – MAYBE COULD SAY ‘GOOD MORNING’ – THAT’S ALL YOU COULD SAY, JUST ANYWAYS HOW TO SAY ‘HELLO’ – SO, ANYWAY, SO IN THE MEANTIME, THE FELLOW AT THE AIRPORT MUST HAVE KNOWN ZEKE, YOU KNOW ZEKE QUAN [OWNER OF] THE LOTUS INN [RESTAURANT], AND HE PHONED HIM UP. HE SAYS, ‘ZEKE.’ I DIDN’T KNOW WHAT HE WAS TALKING ABOUT – NOTHING. AND THEN HE SAYS, ‘HEY, THIS IS A CHINA BOY HERE. WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO WITH HIM?’ SO, ZEKE SAYS, ‘OH, JUST TAKE HIM TO CHINATOWN AND DUMP HIM.’ NOW, I DIDN’T KNOW THOSE, NOT UNTIL LATER ON. ZEKE’S SON GO TO SAME SCHOOL I DID – CENTRAL SCHOOL.” RICHARD INITIALLY LIVED IN THE SOCIETY BUILDING FOR SEVERAL YEARS, OCCUPYING A ROOM THAT HAD BEEN RECENTLY VACATED BY ANOTHER MAN NAMED LOO WHO HAD GONE TO WORK IN PICTURE BUTTE. RICHARD RECALLED THAT THE SOCIETY WAS A GOOD PLACE TO FEEL A SENSE OF COMMUNITY AND THAT IT WAS A WELCOMING PLACE FOR NEW CHINESE IMMIGRANTS, A PLACE WHERE THEY WEREN’T DISCRIMINATED AGAINST. HONG WONG: HONG ARRIVED IN LETHBRIDGE IN 1951 AND WAS INVITED TO THE CITY BY HIS UNCLE SHUEY WONG, WHO WAS ALREADY LIVING HERE. UNCLE SHUEY HAD COME TO CANADA SEVERAL YEARS BEFORE AND HAD HAD TO PAY THE $500 HEAD TAX. HONG TRAVELED WITH HIS BROTHER FROM MAINLAND CHINA TO HONG KONG, IN ORDER TO GO TO THE CANADIAN EMBASSY. ON HIS FERRY RIDE TO HONG KONG, HE WAS SHOT BY BANDITS AND WAS REQUIRED TO STAY IN THE HOSPITAL FOR QUITE SOME TIME TO RECOVER. HIS BROTHER ELECTED TO REMAIN IN HONG KONG, AS HIS MOTHER-IN-LAW LIVED IN THE CITY AND GOT HONG’S BROTHER WORK IN A THEATRE. TO GET TO CANADA, HONG FLEW FROM JAPAN TO GUAM, TO VANCOUVER, AND THEN FINALLY TO LETHBRIDGE. HIS FIRST IMPRESSION OF LETHBRIDGE: COLD. HONG SAID: “’WELL, IN HONG KONG IT WAS AROUND MAYBE 20 SOME 30 ABOVE. AND HERE, AT THAT TIME, MAYBE 20 BELOW, OR 20 SOME BELOW. I DIDN’T HAVE THE EAR MUFFS. I SAID, ‘GEE, I’M NOT SO HAPPY HERE, IT SEEMS SO COLD.’” UNCLE SHUEY TOLD HONG THAT IT WAS ONE OF THE COLDEST WINTERS HE COULD REMEMBER. HONG WORKED FOR HIS UNCLE IN HIS SHOP ON 9TH AVENUE, DOING CHORES AROUND THE STORE, UNTIL HIS ENGLISH HAD IMPROVED ENOUGH SO THAT HE COULD SERVE CUSTOMERS. HE JOINED THE CHINESE NATIONALIST LEAGUE SOCIETY ALMOST AS SOON AS HE ARRIVED: “WHEN I CAME HERE, I JOINED IN THE SAME YEAR BECAUSE MY UNCLE WAS A MEMBER. SO THAT’S WHY HE GOT ME IN TO BE A MEMBER. OH, AT THAT TIME, I BET, 95% OF THE CHINESE PEOPLE THEY BELONG TO THE CHINESE NATIONAL LEAGUE, I BELIEVE.” HE CONTINUED, SAYING THAT YOU COULDN’T BE A MEMBER OF BOTH THE SOCIETY AND THE MASONS, AND HE BELIEVES ABOUT 5% OF THE CITY’S CHINESE POPULATION WOULD HAVE BELONGED TO THE MASONS. HE ADDED: “BUT WE ARE STILL FRIENDS, STILL FRIENDS. WE’RE NOT ENEMY OR ANYTHING BUT, IT’S JUST THAT THE ORGANIZATIONS ARE DIFFERENT. THAT’S ALL.” HONG ENJOYED THE CAMARADERIE OF THE SOCIETY. HE SAID: “I REMEMBER, I LIKE IT BECAUSE THEY HAVE THE PARTY AND SO MANY PEOPLE. AND THEN YOU MEET ALL THE CHINESE PEOPLE THERE IN THE ONE GROUP. WELL, ANYWAY, WHEN YOU SEE SO MANY PEOPLE IN ONE PARTY, AND THEN WHEN THEY COME OUT MOSTLY THE PEOPLE THAT PARTY AND IT FEELS LIKE A LOTS OF FRIENDS OR EVEN LIKE THE FAMILY. SO YOU FEEL GOOD, YOU FEEL BETTER, AND THEN, WELL, MY UNCLE BELONGS THERE TOO AND THEN THE OTHERS BELONG THERE TOO, YEAH, EVERYBODY LIKE IN THE BIG FAMILY. YES, NICE, OTHERWISE YOU DON’T HAVE ANY FRIENDS, YOU DON’T MEET ANYBODY, IF YOU NOT BELONG THERE, I THINK NOT SO FRIENDLY TO YOU.” HONG INDICATED THAT WHEN A SPECIAL MEAL WAS HELD AT THE SOCIETY, IT WAS THE MEN WHO DID THE COOKING: “AT THAT TIME JUST ABOUT EVERYBODY KNOWS HOW TO COOK BECAUSE MOSTLY WE WORK IN THE KITCHEN WHEN THEY CAME HERE.” HE SAID THAT DINERS WOULD PAY A SMALL FEE TO EAT AT THE LEAGUE WHEN SPECIAL MEALS WERE PUT ON. SEE PERMANENT FILE FOR COPIES OF LETHBRIDGE HERALD ARTICLES AND FOR INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTS.
Catalogue Number
P20110031021
Acquisition Date
2011-11
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail
Date Range From
1906
Date Range To
1949
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
WOOD, GLASS
Catalogue Number
P20160040000
  2 images  
Material Type
Artifact
Date Range From
1906
Date Range To
1949
Materials
WOOD, GLASS
No. Pieces
1
Height
7
Length
60.5
Width
30.2
Description
WASHBOARD WITH WOODEN FRAME AND A GREEN-TINTED GLASS GRATE. THE FRONT OF THE WASHBOARD HAS A RIDGE AT THE TOP – LIKELY USED FOR SUPPORT – WHICH IS APPROXIMATELY 6.7 CM DEEP. THE UPPER SECTION OF THE WASHBOARD IS WOODEN WITH SEVERELY FADED BLACK LETTERING THAT READS “MANUFACTURED BY…” THERE IS A CURVED STRIP OF WOOD ACROSS THE BOTTOM OF THE UPPER SECTION AND ANOTHER WOODEN PIECE BELOW THAT WITH THREE RIDGES. THE GLASS HAS A HORIZONTAL GRATE AND IS TEXTURED. THERE IS A HORIZONTAL WOODEN PIECE OF WOOD SUPPORTING THE GLASS AT ITS BASE. THE SIDES OF THE WOODEN FRAME EXTEND ABOUT 13.5 CM BEYOND THE GLASS TO ACT AS THE WASHBOARD’S LEGS. ON THE BACK THERE IS A FLAT PIECE OF WOOD NAILED TO THE FRAME ON THE UPPER SECTION. THE BRAND’S STAMP ON THIS BOARD IS FADED. THERE ARE SEVERELY FADED RED LETTERS AT THE UPPER SECTION OF THIS BOARD WITH A WORD SPECULATED TO BEGIN WITH THE LETTER “E”. UNDERNEATH THE RED INK LETTERS IS “MANUFACTURED BY THE CANADIAN WOODENWARE CO. WINNIPEG ST. THOMAS MONTREAL” STAMPED IN BLACK INK. THE NAILS AROUND THE PERIMETER OF THIS UPPER BOARD VARY IN SIZES. THE BACK SIDE OF THE GLASS GRATE IS SMOOTH. GOOD CONDITION. THERE IS REMNANTS OF SOAP ACCUMULATING AT THE SIDES OF THE GLASS OF THE WASHBOARD. THERE IS SOAP SCUM RUNNING ALONG THE GLASS OF THE BACK OF THE GRATE. THE WOOD FRAME IS WORN AND ROUGH OVER THE GENERAL SURFACE, ESPECIALLY ON THE FRONT, UPPER SECTION. THERE IS A PART OF THE WOOD MISSING FROM THE TOP LEFT OF THE RIDGE. THERE IS AN ACCRETION OF BEIGE PAINT ON THE BACK OF THE GLASS GRATE.
Subjects
MAINTENANCE T&E
Historical Association
DOMESTIC
History
THIS WASHBOARD CAME TO THE MUSEUM FROM DONOR, LOUISE VERES, WHO RECALLED ITS USE BY HER MOTHER, HELEN LUCILLE BORGGARD (NEE SORGARD). IN AN EMAIL SENT IN NOVEMBER 2016 TO COLLECTIONS TECHNICIAN KEVIN MACLEAN, LOUISE WROTE OF THE ARTIFACT’S HISTORY AND THE PROCESS OF WASHING CLOTHING BEFORE THE EXISTENCE OF AUTOMATED WASHING MACHINES: “DURING THE FIRST PART OF THE 1900[S], MONDAY WAS ALWAYS CONSIDERED WASH DAY IN OUR FAMILY. WHEN MY GRANDMOTHER CAME TO CANADA IN 1906 AND WHEN MY MOM WAS FIRST MARRIED IN 1934 CLOTHES HAD TO BE WASHED BY HAND. FOR THIS CHORE THEY HAD TWO BIG GALVANIZED TUBS. ONE TUB HAD HOME MADE LYE SOAP ADDED FOR WASHING THE DIRTY CLOTHES AND ONE WITHOUT SOAP FOR RINSING TO GET THE SOAP OUT. THE TUBS WERE SET ON A BENCH IN THE MIDDLE OF THE KITCHEN CLOSE TO THE STOVE WHERE THE WATER WAS HEATED IN BUCKETS. IF THERE WERE DIRTY COLLARS OR SOILED KNEES THEY WERE SCRUBBED ON THIS WASHBOARD AND IF THERE WAS GREASE ON CLOTHES, LARD WAS APPLIED TO THE GREASE AND THEN THAT SOILED AREA WAS VIGOROUSLY RUBBED OVER THE WASHBOARD. THE ARTICLE WAS SWISHED AROUND IN THE SOAPY WATER AND PUT THROUGH THE WRINGER THAT SAT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE STAND. IF YOU DIDN’T HAVE A WRINGER YOU WRUNG AS MUCH WATER AS YOU COULD BY HAND. THE CLOTHES DROPPED INTO THE OTHER TUB THAT HAD CLEAR, COLD RINSE WATER IN IT. THEN YOU PUT THE RINSED CLOTHES THROUGH THE WRINGER, CAUGHT THEM, GAVE THEM A GOOD SHAKE, PUT THEM IN A WICKER BASKET AND CARRIED THE WASHED CLOTHES OUTSIDE AND HUNG THEM ON THE CLOTHES LINES. THE CLOTHES WERE CLIPPED ON THE LINE WITH WOODEN CLOTHES PEGS. SOMETIMES MOM USED A PRODUCT CALLED BLUING THAT WAS PUT INTO THE RINSE WATER, THE BLUING WAS TO MAKE THE WHITES SEEM EXTRA WHITE ALTHOUGH WHEN YOU HUNG THEM OUTSIDE TO DRY BY SUN THEY WOULD GET BLEACHED AND WERE WHITER THAN WHITE. I SUSPECT THEY WERE WHITER THAN MOST WHITE CLOTHES TODAY. IN THE WINTER, OR IF THERE WAS BAD WEATHER, SHE WOULD HANG THE WET CLOTHES AROUND THE HOUSE ON ANYTHING THAT WOULD GIVE THEM AIR AND A CHANCE TO DRY. IF SHE HUNG THEM OUT AND THE WIND CAME UP THEY WOULD SOMETIMES LOOSEN THEMSELVES FROM THE CLOTHES PINS AND FALL INTO THE DIRT OR GRASS THAT LAY UNDERNEATH. THEN THEY WOULD HAVE TO BE REWASHED. YOU HAD TO BE EXTRA CAREFUL IN THE WINTER WHEN HANGING CLOTHES OUTSIDE. SOMETIMES A COLD WIND WOULD BLOW IN AND YOUR FROZEN CLOTHES ON THE LINE WOULD CRACK OR BE SHREDDED, PERHAPS DOWN THE MIDDLE OF SHIRTS OR SHEETS. IF YOU WERE GOING AWAY FOR THE AFTERNOON YOU USUALLY TOOK THE CLOTHES OFF THE LINE FIRST, EVEN IF THEY WEREN’T DRY. THIS WAS ALL VERY TIME CONSUMING, BUT IT WORKED. THE CLOTHES SMELLED INTOXICATINGLY WONDERFUL WHEN THEY CAME IN OFF THE LINE AND IF THEY STILL WEREN’T DRY YOU HUNG THEM ON LINES IN THE HOUSE. THEN MOM GOT HER FIRST WASHING MACHINE. IT HAD AN ELECTRIC MOTOR ATTACHED AND IT WOULD AGITATE THE CLOTHES IN THE WATER, THEN YOU COULD WRING THE CLOTHES OUT WITH WRINGER AND THEY WOULD FALL INTO A TUB OF COLD RISE WATER. YOU WOULD AGITATE THEM AROUND BY HAND TO RINSE THEM AND PUT THEM THROUGH THE WRINGER AGAIN. THAT PROCESS SEEMED LIKE A PIECE OF CAKE AS IT GOT MUCH MORE OF THE WATER OUT. THAT PROGRESSED TO AN AUTOMATIC WASHING MACHINE YOU PLUGGED INTO AN ELECTRIC CIRCUIT AND YOU SIMPLY DID IT THE WAY WE ARE USED TO TODAY. YOU WOULD BE SURPRISED AT THE TIME IT TOOK TO WASH AND DRY THE CLOTHES BEFORE THE NEW AUTOMATIC WASHERS WE USE TODAY CAME INTO EXISTENCE.” IN ADDITION TO THE INFORMATION PROVIDED BY VERES IN THE EMAIL REFERRED TO ABOVE, SHE WAS INTERVIEWED BY MACLEAN AT THE TIME OF DONATION (NOVEMBER 2016). THE FOLLOWING EXCERPT HAS BEEN EXTRACTED FROM THAT INTERVIEW: “MY FIRST NAME IS MARJORIE… BUT I GO BY MY SECOND NAME, WHICH IS LOUISE… I WAS BORN IN 1938.” “MY MOM’S NAME IS HELEN LUCILLE BORGGARD, AND HER MARRIED NAME WAS SORGARD… SORGARD IS NORWEGIAN, AND BORGGARD IS DANISH… MY MOTHER TOOK [THE WASHBOARD] OVER FROM MY GRANDMOTHER. MY GRANDMOTHER AND MY GRANDFATHER CAME IN 1906. THEY USED THE WASHBOARD AND THEN THEY GAVE IT TO HER. THEY HAD 10 CHILDREN. I’M SURE IT WAS WELL-USED. MY MOTHER MARRIED IN 1935 AND SHE TOOK THE WASHBOARD AND USED IT UNTIL 1949 WHEN WE MOVED FROM THE FARM TO GRASSY LAKE IN TURIN AND IRON SPRINGS. SHE FINALLY HAD ELECTRICITY AND RUNNING WATER, AND UP TO THAT POINT IT WAS 'PACK YOUR OWN WATER IN A BUCKET AND HEAT IT ON THE STOVE.' AND, SOMETIMES, WRING THE CLOTHES OUT. THEY DIDN’T HAVE ANY MODERN CONVENIENCE AT ALL. [FOLLOWING THESE MODERN CONVENIENCES,] THE WASHBOARD WAS PUT IN A BACK ROOM, BUT IT WAS KEPT. THEN THEY MOVED TO RIONDEL, B.C., AND THEY GAVE ME THE WASHBOARD…” “[T]HE WASHBOARD HAS A LOT OF MEMORIES FOR ME, I GUESS MAINLY BECAUSE WE USED IT EVERY MONDAY. WE WASHED OUR CLOTHES, AND WHEN THEY WERE DIRTY, WE SCRUBBED THEM ON THIS WASHBOARD… IT REALLY WORKED WELL. I GUESS IT’S BECAUSE MY MOM WORKED REALLY HARD.” “I’VE PROBABLY HAD IT FOR 35 YEARS. MY MOTHER DIED 4 YEARS AGO AT 98 [YEARS]. I’M IN A FAMILY OF 4 CHILDREN, AND 3 OF THEM WERE BOYS, AND THEY WEREN’T TOO INTERESTED IN THE WASHBOARD, BUT IT JUST SEEMED LIKE IT WAS PART OF THE FAMILY AND IT DESERVED A HOME… I KNOW I DON’T WASH CLOTHES LIKE THAT ANYMORE. WHEN YOU LOOK AT IT [YOU CAN] SEE THE MARKS FROM THE LYE SOAP THAT WAS USED WHEN THEY SCRUBBED ON THE BOARD, AND THE USE THAT IT’S GONE THROUGH. YOU CAN TELL THAT IT HAS BEEN MENDED, BUT IT’S STILL IN REALLY GOOD SHAPE. I JUST THOUGHT THAT I WANTED IT QUITE BADLY [AND] I GOT IT.” SHE CONTINUED TO RECOUNT HER MEMORIES OF THE WASHBOARD, “I GUESS MOST WHAT I REMEMBER IS THE STOVE - HAVING THESE BUCKETS OF WATER ON THEM BEING HEATED FOR WASHING THE CLOTHES. THIS WATER HAD TO BE PACKED BY BUCKET FROM THE CISTERN. THEN THERE WERE TWO BIG GALVANIZED TUBS [THAT] SAT ON A BENCH. ON ONE SIDE SHE PUT LYE SOAP IN IT AND SHE SWISHED IT AROUND. WHEN SHE SAW SOME SOILS, SHE WOULD RUN THE CLOTHES OVER THE WASHBOARD AND THEY WOULD COME OUT REALLY CLEAN. THEN SHE WOULD PUT THE CLOTHES INTO THE RINSE WATER AND IT HAD BLUING IN IT. THAT WAS FOR THE WHITE CLOTHES, AT LEAST. THAT WAS COLD WATER, THOUGH. THEN THEY HAD TO PACK ALL THIS WATER OUT ... TO FEED THE PIGS BECAUSE WE DIDN’T HAVE VERY MUCH WATER. NO ONE HAD VERY MUCH WATER. WATER WAS A REALLY VALUABLE COMMODITY. THE WASHBOARD WAS HOW WE KEPT UP WITH CLEAN CLOTHES.” WHEN ASKED IF SHE HAD A ROLE IN THE LAUNDRY PROCESS AS A CHILD, VERES EXPLAINED, “NO. IF [MOM] HAD WATER ON THE STOVE, I WASN’T ALLOWED CLOSE. AT 10, I WAS TOO SMALL TO BE HELPING VERY MUCH, BUT I DO REMEMBER HER DOING THIS. THEN YOU TOOK THE CLOTHES OUT TO THE CLOTHES LINE; HUNG IT ON THE CLOTHES LINE WITH CLIPS OR PINS. SOMETIMES THE WIND WOULD COME UP IN THE SUMMER AND THE CLOTHES WOULD BLOW, AND THEY WOULD FALL ONTO THE GROUND, INTO THE DIRT, OR THE GRASS, AND SHE’D HAVE TO PICK THEM UP, BRING THEM BACK INTO THE HOUSE; SHAKE ALL THE DIRT OFF AND WASH THEM ALL OVER AGAIN. IN THE WINTER, WHEN SHE HUNG THEM ON THE LINE PERHAPS IT WAS A CHINOOK AND A NICE DAY. BUT, IF IT TURNED COLD, THE CLOTHES FROZE BEFORE THEY DRIED ON THE LINE. THEY WOULD BE FLAPPING AWAY, BUT THEY WOULD CRACK AND BREAK. THE SHIRTS WOULD CRACK DOWN THE MIDDLE OF THE BACK AND BE SHREDDED, AND THE SHEETS WOULD BE SHREDDED, AND THERE WASN’T MONEY TO BUY ANYMORE. YOU HAD TO BE VERY CAREFUL. BEFORE YOU WENT TO TOWN. YOU’D TAKE THEM OFF, EVEN IF THEY WERE STILL WET, AND MAYBE DRY THEM IN THE HOUSE ON ANOTHER LINE. IT WASN’T AN EASY CHORE AND THIS HAPPENED EVERY MONDAY. THEN YOU IRONED THEM WITH THESE BIG FLAT IRONS…” VERES THEN BEGAN TO TALK ABOUT HER FAMILY’S EARLIER HISTORY: “MY GRANDMOTHER, AGNES NANCY SORGARD, WAS A MATTHEWS… BORN IN INDIANA. HER MOM AND DAD HAD COME FROM IRELAND [AND] HAD A HOMESTEAD IN NORTH DAKOTA, AND [IT] WAS NEXT TO WHERE MY GRANDFATHER WAS [WHERE] THEY MET. HE WAS FROM NORWAY... THEY MARRIED, HAD 3 CHILDREN THERE, [THEN] CAME TO ALBERTA.” VERES WAS TOLD THAT THE WASHBOARD FIRST BELONGED TO HER GRANDMOTHER. “MY GRANDMOTHER, AFTER MY MOM MARRIED, PROBABLY HAD A WASHING MACHINE THAT WAS RUN BY KEROSENE. SO SHE PROBABLY DIDN’T NEED [THE WASHBOARD] ANYMORE. IF YOU HAD A FAIRLY DECENT WRINGER, YOU COULD WRING THE WATER OUT OF THE CLOTHES AND A LOT OF THE SOILED PART WOULD COME OUT. MY GRANDPA PROBABLY WASN’T FARMING AS MUCH THEN, AND WE ENDED UP WITH [THE WASHBOARD], SO THAT WAS GOOD.” THE DONOR’S MOTHER, LUCILLE (SORGARD) BORGGARD, CONTRIBUTED TO THE FAMILY HISTORY BOOK TITLED, “IT’S A LONG WAY FROM KILLYCOLPY: A HISTORY OF THE MATTHEWS FAMILY”. THIS WRITTEN ACCOUNT OF BORGGARD’S HISTORY ILLUSTRATES HER OWN HARD WORK THAT HER DAUGHTER RECALLED. IN THE HISTORY BORGGARD WROTE, “I WAS BORN ON FEBRUARY 4, 1914 TO GEORGE AND AGNES SORGARD, THE SEVENTH CHILD IN A FAMILY OF TEN. MY FAMILY HAD COME FROM MINOT, NORTH DAKOTA IN 1907 TO HOMESTEAD IN THE TURIN DISTRICT. AFTER FARMING IN TURIN FOR SEVERAL YEARS MY DAD SOLD HIS HOMESTEAD TO THE JOHN KOENEN FAMILY AND MOVED TO A SMALL RANCH ON THE NORTH SIDE OF THE LITTLE BOW RIVER WHERE THEY LIVED UNTIL 1916. IN THE SPRING THE RIVER WOULD OVER-RUN ITS BANKS MAKING IT IMPOSSIBLE FOR THE CHILDREN TO GO TO SCHOOL SO MY DAD BUILT A HOUSE ON THE SOUTH SIDE OF THE RIVER WHERE WE LIVED UNTIL 1927... IN 1928, WE MOVED FROM THE HOME BY OUR BELOVED RIVER TO A FARM TWO MILES NORTH OF IRON SPRINGS.” “I WORKED AT HOME AND MY SISTER CARRIE AND I COOKED ON MY DAD’S COOK-CAR DURING THE HARVEST. THEY WERE LONG DAYS, RISING AT FOUR THIRTY FOR AN EARLY BREAKFAST AND WE DID NOT GET TO BED TILL TEN O’CLOCK. WE HAD TO MAKE BREAD AND DO ALL THE BAKING. WE MOVED FROM FARM TO FARM DOING ALL THE THRESHING IN THE DISTRICT FOR THE FARMERS…” ACCORDING TO HER OBITUARY IN THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD, HELEN LUCILLE BORGGARD PASSED AWAY ON JUNE 13, 2012. HER OBITUARY STATES HER HUSBAND CLARENCE PASSED AWAY IN 1994. PLEASE SEE THE PERMANENT FILE FOR MORE INFORMATION INCLUDING FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTION, FAMILY HISTORY, AND OBITUARY.
Catalogue Number
P20160040000
Acquisition Date
2016-11
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail