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Date Range From
1925
Date Range To
1935
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
METAL, CANVAS, FABRIC, PAPER
Catalogue Number
P20200029005
  1 image  
Material Type
Artifact
Date Range From
1925
Date Range To
1935
Materials
METAL, CANVAS, FABRIC, PAPER
No. Pieces
9
Height
4
Length
16
Width
8.5
Description
A) BROWN CANVAS POUCH WITH A METAL SNAP CLOSURE. THE BAG FLAP HAS A LIGHTER BROWN BIAS TAPE EDGE. THERE IS A FABRIC HOLSTER SEWN ON THE BACK OF THE BAG. THERE ARE SOME FRAYS AND THE EDGE ON THE FLAP IS TORN. OVERALL THE POUCH IS IN GOOD CONDITION. B) BROWN HARD TIN CASE THAT FITS INTO THE POUCH. THE CASE READS “TRAVELKIT THE OFFICIAL FIRST AID KIT OF THE BOY SCOUTS ASSOCIATION OF CANADA PREPARED BY JOHNSON & JOHNSON LIMITED MONTREAL,—CANADA MADE IN CANADA” IN RED AND BLACK ON THE FRONT. THE CASE HAS ROUNDED EDGES, A HINGE, AND GROOVED OPENING MECHANISM. THE CASE IS GOLD ON THE INSIDE. THE PAINT HAS WORN OFF ON THE OUTSIDE IN SEVERAL SPOTS, BUT THE CASE IS IN VERY GOOD CONDITION. C) GREY PAPER BOOKLET WITH THE TITLE “FIRST AID IN OUTLINE”. THE FRONT ALSO SAYS “A BRIEF GUIDE FOR THE APPLICATION OF FIRST AID IN EMERGENCY PREPARED FOR BOY SCOUTS, AMBULANCE MEN, AND LAY USE PUBLISHED BY JOHNSON & JOHNSON, LTD. MONTREAL, CANADA. PRINTED IN CANADA”. THE BOOKLET DESCRIBES FIRST AID TECHNIQUES WITH BLACK AND WHITE PHOTOS INSIDE. LENGTH: 12.5CM WIDTH: 7.5CM D) SEALED ENVELOPE WITH “PERFECT ABSORBENT COTTON TRIAL SIZE JOHNSON & JOHNSON LIMITED MONTREAL CANADA” PRINTED IN BLACK AND RED ON THE FRONT. THE FRONT OF THE ENVELOPE HAS A RED, ORANGE, AND YELLOW CROSSHATCH AND CHAIN LINK DESIGN. LENGTH: 10.7CM WIDTH: 6.5CM E) UNOPENED TRANSLUCENT BAG THAT READS “MEDIUM BANDAGE COMPRESS…SIZE…DIRECTIONS…MONTREAL CANADA”. THE BAG CONTAINS THE ORIGINAL WHITE FABRIC. THE BAG IS WRINKLED AND DISCOLOURED. LENGTH: 8.5CM WIDTH: 8.5CM F) UNOPENED TRANSLUCENT BAG THAT SAYS “ASEPTIC GAUZE PAD (SURGICAL WIPE)…MADE IN CANADA”. THERE IS THE ORIGINAL WHITE MATERIAL INSIDE THE BAG. THE BAG IS SLIGHTLY FOLDED UP AT ONE END AND DISCOLOURED. LENGTH: 9CM WIDTH: 9CM G) METALLIC TUBE WITH PAPER LABEL THAT READS “SAVON CREAM FOR IVY OR OAK POISON PUNCTURE SEAL WITH CAP…MADE IN USA” ON THE FRONT. ON THE BACK THERE IS DIRECTIONS FOR USE “COVER…REPEAT”. THE TUBE IS FULL AND THE LABEL HAS A RED, ORANGE, AND YELLOW CROSSHATCH AND CHAIN LINK DESIGN. THE TUBE HAS A SMALL PUNCTURE ON THE FRONT NEAR THE BOTTOM, WHERE THE CONTENTS HAVE LEAKED OUT AND SOLIDIFIED. LENGTH: 7.5CM WIDTH: 2.5CM H) COTTON SMELLING SALT CYLINDER WITH A WHITE PAPER LABEL THAT SAYS “CRUSH AMMONIA INHALANT JOHNSON & JOHNSON”. LENGTH: 4.5CM WIDTH: 0.7CM I) TWO METAL SAFETY PINS ATTACHED TO A SMALL PIECE OF WHITE PAPER. THE PAPER IS DISCOLOURED. LENGTH: 4CM WIDTH: 2CM
Subjects
MEDICAL & DENTAL T&E
PERSONAL GEAR
Historical Association
ASSOCIATIONS
HEALTH SERVICES
PERSONAL CARE
LEISURE
History
KENNETH RUSSELL, WHO PASSED AWAY IN 1983, WAS A LETHBRIDGE BOY SCOUT IN HIS YOUTH; A MEMBER OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS; AND LATER BECAME A SCOUT LEADER AND SCHOOL TEACHER. HE WAS ONE OF 150 CANADIAN CONTINGENT BOY SCOUTS TO ATTEND THE 3RD WORLD SCOUT JAMBOREE IN ENGLAND IN 1929, ALSO CALLED THE “COMING-OF-AGE” JAMBOREE DUE TO IT FALLING ON THE 21ST ANNIVERSARY OF THE PUBLICATION OF “SCOUTING FOR BOYS”. ACCORDING TO A MAY 9, 1929 LETHBRIDGE HERALD ARTICLE, KEN RUSSELL WAS SELECTED TO ATTEND THE WORLD JAMBOREE BY THE DISTRICT BOY SCOUT COUNCIL ALONG WITH FELLOW LOCAL KING SCOUT NORMAN MIDDLETON. THE COST OF THE TRIP WAS COVERED THROUGH FUNDRAISING EFFORTS. A SEPTEMBER 7TH, 1929 LETHBRIDGE HERALD ARTICLE MENTIONED THAT THE ATTENDEES FROM CANADA TRAVELLED BY BOAT ABOARD THE ANTONIA TO ENGLAND, THEN CONGREGATED WITH AROUND 50 000 SCOUTS FROM AROUND THE WORLD IN A CAMP IN ARROWE PARK. THE JAMBOREE CONSISTED OF VARIOUS EVENTS AND INCLUDED APPEARANCES FROM FOUNDER OF THE SCOUTING MOVEMENT BADEN-POWELL, THE DUKE OF CONNAUGHT, AND THE PRINCE OF WALES. ON SEPTEMBER 8TH, 2020 COLLECTIONS TECHNICIAN KEVIN MACLEAN MET WITH SIBLINGS KENNA ASPLUND, DALE RUSSELL, GRAEME RUSSELL, AND CHRISTOPHER (KIT) RUSSELL TO DISCUSS THEIR LATE FATHER KENNETH RUSSELL’S BOY SCOUT ITEMS THAT KENNA DONATED TO THE MUSEUM. THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION IS DERIVED FROM THEIR MEETING. KENNA SAID HER MOM BRIEFLY SPOKE ABOUT THE SCOUT MATERIALS BEFORE HER PASSING: “…[MY MOM TOLD ME] THAT IT WAS [DAD’S] STUFF FROM THE WORLD JAMBOREE. SOMEHOW I KNEW BEFORE THAT HE HAD ATTENDED IT… THERE WASN'T ANYTHING SPECIFIC SHE SAID ABOUT ANY SPECIFIC ITEMS, BUT SHE SEEMED VERY AWARE WHAT ALL THE STUFF WAS.” KENNA EXPLAINED WHY SHE DECIDED TO DONATE THE ITEMS TO THE MUSEUM: “…ALTHOUGH MY MOTHER PASSED AWAY, HER HOUSE WAS NOT TOTALLY CLEANED OUT. SO WHEN GOING THROUGH ALL OF THE THINGS, SOME OF WHICH I HAD AT MY HOUSE…AND REALIZING THIS WAS SOMETHING VERY COOL…I JUST THOUGHT IT WOULD BE [VALUABLE] TO SOUTHERN ALBERTA BECAUSE IT ORIGINATED HERE. IT ALL HAD TO DEAL WITH BEING A CANADIAN SCOUT AND BEING ABLE TO GO TAKE PART IN THIS [JAMBOREE]. THERE WAS ONLY [A RELATIVELY SMALL NUMBER OF] SCOUTS FROM CANADA. I FOUND A BOOK THAT TOLD ME…OUT OF ALL OF ALBERTA THERE WERE ONLY SIX THAT WERE ALLOWED TO GO.” KENNA EXPLAINED HOW SHE WAS ACQUAINTED WITH A TRUNK THAT HOUSED THE SCOUT ITEMS: “…AS A CHILD I REMEMBER THE TRUNK IN…MY FIRST HOUSE IN DIAMOND CITY DOWN IN THE BASEMENT BY THOSE STEEL CABINETS… I KNEW IT WAS A TRUNK OF DAD’S STUFF, BUT NOBODY EVER SHOWED ME AT THAT TIME WHAT WAS IN IT. IT WASN’T UNTIL LATER AT THE SECOND HOUSE WHEN WE TOOK IT OUT AND PUT IT INTO A ROUGH TOTE, THAT MOM EXPLAINED WHAT ALL OF THE STUFF WAS AND I HAD PINNED ON THINGS SO THAT I KNEW WHERE THEY WERE FROM.” WHEN ASKED IF THE OTHER SIBLINGS REMEMBERED SEEING THEIR FATHER’S SCOUT ITEMS AS KIDS, GRAEME RESPONDED: “I REMEMBER SEEING THEM BUT THEY WERE PACKED AWAY IN THE TRUNK. HE HAD A SPECIAL TRUNK THAT WAS HIS SCOUT TRUNK, AND THIS [DONATED] STUFF WAS IN THERE.” DALE ALSO REMEMBERED THE TRUNK OF SCOUT MATERIALS BEING IN HIS GRANDPARENT’S HOME AT AN EARLIER TIME: “I REMEMBER THE TRUNK WHEN IT WAS IN OUR GRANDFATHER’S HOME UPSTAIRS… DAD TOOK ME UP THERE TO LOOK AT IT. HE WAS PULLING STUFF OUT…” DALE CONTINUED: “HE DID NOT TALK ABOUT IT, HE JUST PULLED IT OUT AND SHOWED ME SOME OF IT. I WAS A BOY SCOUT AT THE TIME...” DALE REMEMBERED ANOTHER ITEM BEING IN THE TRUNK AT SOME POINT IN TIME: “…THERE USED TO BE A ROPE IN THAT BOX ALSO, BUT I DO NOT KNOW WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO IT. HE WAS DOING ROPE TRICKS WHEN HE WAS OVER IN ENGLAND AS A DEMONSTRATION.” DALE PROVIDED MORE DETAILS AND THE TEACHING HIS DAD SHARED ALONG WITH THE ROPE: “…[IT WAS] A WHITE BRAIDED COTTON ROPE. HE TOLD ME THE STORY THAT HE WAS ON A STREET CORNER IN LONDON DOING ROPE TRICKS AS PART OF THEIR ASSIGNMENT, AND A MAN CAME UP AND STARTED TALKING TO HIM WHO ACTUALLY HAPPENED TO BE FROM LETHBRIDGE. HE SAID THE…LESSON HE WAS TRYING TO EMPHASIZE TO ME AT THE TIME WAS, ‘NO MATTER WHERE YOU ARE PEOPLE PROBABLY KNOW YOU [SO] ACT ACCORDINGLY.’ I DON’T KNOW WHERE THE ROPE IS, I HAVEN’T SEEN IT FOR YEARS, BUT I DID SEE IT ONE TIME IN THAT BOX.” DALE ADDED: “I WAS PROBABLY A SCOUT, ABOUT TWELVE [OR] THIRTEEN YEARS OLD [WHEN HE TOLD ME THE STORY].” KIT RECOLLECTED WHAT HIS FATHER SHARED ABOUT THE WORLD BOY SCOUT JAMBOREE: “…WHEN I WAS IN SIXTH GRADE [MY DAD] TAUGHT ME IN COALHURST, AND HE TOLD THE WHOLE CLASS ABOUT BEING IN ENGLAND AND…BEING SHOWN AROUND SHERWOOD FOREST. I CAN’T REMEMBER WHO HE SAID THE OWNER OF THE PLACE WAS, SOME DUKE OR EARL, BUT HE SAID THE GUY TOOK GREAT PLEASURE IN TAKING [THE SCOUTS] AROUND AND SHOWING THEM HOW IN SHERWOOD FOREST, THERE WERE CAVES THAT WERE COVERED IN VINES, WHICH ADDED TO THE MYSTIQUE OF ROBIN HOOD, SO TO SPEAK... [THOSE ARE THE MEMORIES] I HAVE.” KENNA ALSO REMEMBERED SOME FRAGMENTS HER DAD HAD TOLD HER ABOUT THE JAMBOREE: “…HE TOLD ME ABOUT RUNNING AROUND THE TENT AND RUNNING INTO THE PRINCE OF WALES, AND HOW EMBARRASSED HE WAS AND HOW ‘UN-SCOUT-LIKE’ HIS CONDUCT WAS… I DO REMEMBER HIM QUITE OFTEN MESSING AROUND AND PRETENDING TO DO THE SWORD DANCE USING STICKS AND THE STUFF HE HAD BEEN TAUGHT WHEN HE WAS IN ENGLAND. IT IS INTERESTING, BECAUSE I AM READING THIS ONE BOOK; IT IS WRITTEN BY LORD BADEN-POWELL BUT IT IS A SUMMARY OR A REPORT ON THE CANADIANS TO HIS EXCELLENCY COUNT WELLINGTON WHO WAS THE CHIEF SCOUT FOR CANADA. HE [TALKED ABOUT]...THE CANADIAN SCOUTS AND THE VISITORS THEY HAD TO THEIR CAMP AND…ABOUT HOW THE SCOTTISH CONTINGENT CAME OVER AND TAUGHT THEM ALL THEIR FOLK DANCING. I AM WONDERING IF THAT IS WHERE THAT CAME FROM, [HOWEVER MY DAD] NEVER ACTUALLY SAID THAT.” DALE SHARED ANOTHER OUTING HIS FATHER WENT ON WITH BOY SCOUTS: “…HE SPENT I THINK A SUMMER...IN GLACIER PARK WITH THE AMERICANS AND HE WAS SHORT HIS SWIMMING [BADGE] TO GET HIS EAGLE SCOUT ON THE U.S. SIDE. THE REASON HE COULD NOT DO THAT WAS BECAUSE HE SAID THE WATER WAS TOO COLD AND HE KEPT LOSING HIS BREATH WHEN HE WAS DIVING IN THE WATER TRYING TO PASS THEIR SWIMMING REQUIREMENTS. OTHERWISE, HE WOULD HAVE BEEN AN EAGLE SCOUT IN ADDITION TO A QUEEN SCOUT…OR KING SCOUT, WHATEVER IT WAS AT THAT TIME. HE ALSO TALKED ABOUT THAT CAMP. THEY HAD A CUB COME INTO THE CAMP, SO THE BOYS FORMED A CIRCLE AROUND IT, THEY WERE GOING TO CATCH IT. SO THESE SCOUTS ALL GOT IN A CIRCLE AND WENT AROUND THIS CUB, THINKING THEY WERE GOING TO CORRAL [AROUND] IT, AND HE SAID THE CUB TOOK OFF AND IT JUST KNOCKED THE BOYS OVER. HE SAID, ‘NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE STRENGTH OF A BEAR’… I THINK THAT [STORY] AND BUILDING THE TRAIL ARE ABOUT ALL I CAN REMEMBER OF WHAT HE SAID…” WHEN ASKED TO SPEAK ABOUT THEIR DAD’S INVOLVEMENT IN BOY SCOUTS, KIT SAID: “…WHEN I BECAME A SCOUT LEADER, HE WAS TOTALLY SUPPORTIVE OF ME DOING IT ALL. HE REALLY LIKED THE SCOUT PROGRAM.” KIT WENT ON: “I THINK BECAUSE [SCOUTING] GAVE KIDS DIRECTION… IT GAVE PARTICULARILY CITY KIDS SOMETHING TO KEEP THEM OUT OF TROUBLE. IT GAVE THEM SOMETHING TO BE DOING THAT WAS WORTHWHILE. IT IS A WORTHWHILE PROGRAM.” DALE ALSO INTERPRETED THE IMPORTANCE OF THE SCOUTS TO HIS DAD: “…HE WAS A VERY SMALL INDIVIDUAL. WHEN HE WENT TO UNIVERSITY HE WAS NINETY-EIGHT POUNDS. IN THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD THERE ARE MANY REFERENCES TO HIS AWARDS IN TRACK-AND-FIELD, SO HE WAS VERY ATHLETIC, BUT HE WAS VERY TINY. THE SCOUTING PROGRAM GAVE HIM SELF-CONFIDENCE. THERE ARE MANY ARTICLES WHEN HE WAS IN HIGH SCHOOL IN…THE PAPER…AT THE TIME, ACKNOWLEDGING HIS AWARDS IN TRACK-AND-FIELD.” DALE CONTINUED: “…I NEVER WENT VERY FAR IN SCOUTING. I ENJOYED IT, BUT I DID NOT ACCOMPLISH [EVEN CLOSE TO] WHAT HE DID...” DALE SPOKE ON HOW HIS DAD USED THE LESSONS HE LEARNT THROUGH SCOUTS IN HIS PARENTING: “…HE WAS VERY RETICENT TO PUSH HIMSELF FORWARD; HE PREFERRED TO BE ON THE BACK SEAT OF THINGS. HE HAD A LOT OF PRIDE IN [THESE OBJECTS] OBVIOUSLY BY KEEPING [THEM], BUT HE NEVER REALLY DEMONSTRATED IT… HE ONLY TALKED ABOUT IT IN PASSING WHEN THERE WAS A TOPIC THAT IT WAS RELEVANT TO. OTHER THAN THAT, HE DID NOT. FOR EXAMPLE, GIVING ME A LECTURE ON MY CONDUCT, EVEN WHEN I WAS AWAY FROM HOME, AND WITH THAT REFERENCE, THE ROPE TRICK. THAT WAS HIS STYLE, IT WASN’T TO TELL US HOW HE WAS ON THE CORNER DOING ROPE TRICKS, IT WAS TO TELL ME TO PAY ATTENTION.” KENNA ADDED: “AND I THINK THAT IS THE SAME REASON WHY I HEARD ABOUT HIM RUNNING AROUND THE TENT, WAS BECAUSE SOMETIMES I WOULD RUN TO THINGS OR PEOPLE HEAD-LONG.” KENNA CONTINUED TO SPEAK ABOUT GROWING UP WITH THEIR DAD UTILIZING LESSONS LEARNED THROUGH BEING A SCOUT: “…I JUST REMEMBER BEING REALLY JEALOUS THAT MY BROTHERS HAD THESE COOL [SCOUT] HATS… [I WAS] READING HIS JOURNAL…LAST NIGHT AND THEN I FOUND THIS NOTEBOOK THAT HE HAS HANDWRITTEN ALL THAT IS REQUIRED OF A SCOUT LEADER AND THE TRAINING COURSE... AS I WAS READING THROUGH IT, I REALIZED THAT THE TRAINING AND KNOWLEDGE THAT HE HAD, HE DID USE THROUGHOUT HIS LIFE. IT WAS LITTLE THINGS, JUST IN TEACHING YOU HOW TO WALK DOWN THE COULEE AND CHECK FOR RATTLESNAKES. A LOT IT WAS HIS KNOWLEDGE THAT HE HAD LEARNED AS A SCOUT AND AS A SCOUT LEADER. HE WAS JUST CALMLY PASSING ON, LIKE DALE SAID, AS THE MOMENT [WARRANTED] IT, NOT NECESSARILY AS A BIG THING.” FOR MORE INFORMATION, OR TO ACCESS THE FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTS, PLEASE SEE THE DONATION’S PERMANENT FILE.
Catalogue Number
P20200029005
Acquisition Date
2020-07
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail
Date Range From
1900
Date Range To
1942
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
BRASS, METAL, LEATHER
Catalogue Number
P20190012000
  2 images  
Material Type
Artifact
Date Range From
1900
Date Range To
1942
Materials
BRASS, METAL, LEATHER
No. Pieces
1
Length
92
Width
42
Description
BRASS TUBA WITH SILVER METAL TRIM, FITTINGS, AND KEYS; TUBA HAS FOUR VALVE KEYS ON THE SIDE; TUBA HAS A BLACK RUBBER MOUTHPIECE WITH CORK FITTING; TUBA HAS A BROWN LEATHER SHOULDER STRAP WITH SILVER BUCKLE. TUBA HAS ETCHED TEXT AT THE BASE OF THE BELL “SPRINZ & SCHMOHL, BERLIN”; TUBA HAS RUBBER BAND TIED AROUND THE WATER KEY AT THE BASE OF THE MAIN TUBE. TUBA HAS DENTS IN MAIN TUBE; TUBA HAS CORROSION ON MAIN TUBE AND VALVES, AND AT THE BASES OF VALVE KEYS; INSIDE OF TUBA BELL HAS CHIPPING, RUST, AND DENTS; LEATHER STRAP HAS MINOR STAINING ON SUEDE UNDERSIDE; OVERALL GOOD CONDITION.
Subjects
MUSICAL T&E
Historical Association
LEISURE
MILITARY
History
ON JUNE 20, 2019, COLLECTIONS TECHNICIAN KEVIN MACLEAN INTERVIEWED ROBERT FINDLAY REGARDING THE DONATION OF A TUBA. THE INSTRUMENT WAS USED IN LETHBRIDGE COMMUNITY BANDS AND AT THE LETHBRIDGE PRISONER OF WAR CAMP, CAMP 133. ON THE TUBA, FINDLAY ELABORATED, “[THE TUBA] WAS VERY UNIQUE WITH THE FOUR ROTARY VALVES…WHEN THEY GOT FOUR ROTARY VALVES INSTEAD OF PLAYING FIRST AND THIRD VALVE YOU JUST HIT THE FOURTH VALVE AND IT MAKES IT A LOT EASIER. IT’S A REAL QUALITY INSTRUMENT THAT TUBA. IT WOULD BE SORT OF THE PREDECESSOR OF WHAT THEY CALL A MIRAPHONE TUBA WHICH IS A REAL EXPENSIVE TYPE. YOU CAN SEE THE SILVER TRIM AROUND THE TOP…IT WAS WELL MADE IN ITS DAY.” “[I GOT THE TUBA]…IN THE [LATE] SEVENTIES…I GAVE SOME OF [THE INSTRUMENTS] AWAY WHEN MR. FRANK HOSEK WAS MY BAND DIRECTOR AND HE WAS THE COMMUNITY BAND FELLOW IN LETHBRIDGE AND HE GAVE THEM TO ME SO I THOUGHT WELL SOME SHOULD END UP IN THE MUSEUM…I KEPT A COUPLE [OTHER INSTRUMENTS] JUST FOR MY OWN BENEFIT [THE HELICON AND THE TUBA]. WE USED TO PLAY THE TUBA OUT FOR CHRISTMAS CAROLS EVERY YEAR.” FNDLAY CLAIMED, ON THE ORIGIN OF THE TUBA, “[THE TUBA IS] AN ANTIQUE…[DURING THE SECOND WORLD WAR] ROMMEL’S DESERT CORPS BAND WAS CAPTURED…IN NORTH AFRICA AND THEY BROUGHT THEM OVER HERE TO THE PRISONER OF WAR CAMP IN LETHBRIDGE AND THESE INSTRUMENTS CAME WITH THE GERMANS…[THE MILITARY HISTORY IS] PART AND PARCEL OF THE HISTORY OF THE [TUBA], LETHBRIDGE HAD ONE OF THE LARGEST PRISONER OF WAR CAMPS IN ALBERTA…IT WAS A BIG ONE ANYWAYS.” ON HOSEK AND HIS ACQUISITION OF THE TUBA FROM HOSEK, FINDLAY RECALLED, “I THINK [HOSEK] STARTED A COMMUNITY BAND IN LETHBRIDGE AFTER THE SECOND WORLD WAR AND THESE WERE THE INSTRUMENTS THEY USED TO START [THE BAND]…THE IDEA [FOR THE BAND WAS] EVERYTHING COULD BE MOBILE, A MOBILE BAND.” “I WAS IN THE LETHBRIDGE CITY BAND IN THE ‘50S…THAT’S WHERE I GOT MY LESSONS FROM, FROM [HOSEK]…[THEY WERE USING] THE TUBA.” “[I DIDN’T PLAY THE TUBA AT THE TIME] I PLAYED SAXOPHONE BUT I GOT TO BE REALLY GOOD FRIENDS WITH MR. HOSEK AND WHEN HIS WIFE DIED HE HAD TO MOVE OUT HIS HOUSE, AND THAT’S WHEN HE WANTED TO KNOW IF I WANTED THE INSTRUMENTS, SO THAT’S WHEN I GOT THEM.” “[HOSEK OFFERED THE INSTRUMENTS TO ME] BECAUSE I WAS STARTING A COMMUNITY BAND…[AT] COALDALE…AND WAS STARTING A BAND PROGRAM OUT THERE AT THE SCHOOLS AND WE DIDN’T HAVE ANY MONEY FOR INSTRUMENTS AND THERE WAS A BASE DRUM [THAT] BELONGS…TO THE SAME VINTAGE AS [THE TUBA]. I THINK IT WAS HIS REGIMENTAL BASS DRUM STILL SITTING OUT IN COALDALE...[I WASN’T USING ALL OF THEM FOR THE COALDALE SCHOOL BAND BECAUSE] SOME [OF THE INSTRUMENTS] DON’T WORK VERY GOOD.” “[I TOOK FROM THE GARAGE] A GOOD TEN INSTRUMENTS. [THERE] MUST HAVE BEEN TEN OR TWELVE THERE…I KNOW THEY WERE [SOURCED AT THE SAME TIME AS OTHERS FROM THE POW CAMP].” FINDLAY SHARED HIS INTEREST IN THE TUBA, NOTING, “[THE INSTRUMENT IS INTERESTING TO ME] JUST THAT [IT’S] MEMORABILIA OF THE SECOND WORLD WAR. [THE INSTRUMENT IS] STILL HERE AND [IT WILL] STILL PLAY. IT’S PRETTY AMAZING.” “[MY FAVOURITE INSTRUMENT OF THE COLLECTION WOULD BE THE TUBA] BECAUSE I PLAY THE TUBA. THAT’S WHY. NOT TOO MANY PEOPLE PLAY THE TUBA…IT’S THE SAME FINGERING AS A TRUMPET [BUT] THEY READ IT IN THE BASE CLEFT…YOU CAN MOVE OFF IF YOU NEED SOMEBODY TO PLAY A TUBA…THEY CAN PLAY IT PRETTY QUICK IF THEY’RE A TRUMPET PLAYER…THERE WAS A BUNCH OF OTHER STUFF. SOME OF IT GOT SOLD…THERE [WERE] OTHER OLD TUBAS THERE BUT THAT WAS THE NICEST ONE.” IN AN EMAIL TO THE GALT MUSEUM COLLECTIONS TECHNICIAN, KEVIN MACLEAN, ON JANUARY 22, 2020, MURRAY MASON RECALLED THE TUBA AND ROBERT FINDLAY. MASON NOTED, “ROBERT [FINDLAY] AND I LIVED WITHIN A BLOCK OF ONE ANOTHER IN THE 1990’S IN THE GILBERT PATERSON/MCKILLOP CHURCH AREA. ON NEW YEAR’S EVE AT MIDNIGHT…WE DID THIS FOR SEVERAL YEARS…WE WOULD FO OUT ONTO THE STREET…ROBERT LEADING THE WAY PLAYING THE TUBA WHILE THE MEN AND WOMEN FOLLOWED AND SANG. OCCASIONALLY I WOULD LIGHT A FIRE CRACKER…AND DROP IT INTO THE TUBA AND IT WOULD EXPLODE AND SPARKS WOULD FLY OUT OF IT. AS YOU CAN IMAGINE, PEOPLE CAME OUT OF THEIR HOUSES TO LISTEN AS THE TUBA IS VERY LOUD…AND WE WERE INVITED IN TO SOME OF THE HOUSES FOR DRINKS BEFORE WE CARRIED ON OUR MARCH. ONE [NEW YEAR’S EVE] WE WERE IN A HOUSE AND I RAN ACROSS AN AUSTRIAN WHO HAD BEEN IN THE AFRIKA KORPS AND A POW IN [LETHBRIDGE] AND CAME BACK…I THINK ROBERT PLAYED EDELWIESS ON THE TUBA BEFORE WE HEADED ON OUR WAY.” MASON FURTHER RECALLED, ON THE HISTORY OF THE TUBA, “…IT’S A 4-VALVE TUBA WHICH IS RARE TO BEGIN WITH AND THE GERMANS HAD IT FITTED SO THAT THE TUBA PLAYER COULD ALSO RIDE A MOTORCYCLE…ALL MEMBERS OF THE AFRIKA KORPS BAND RODE MOTORCYCLES AND MANY OF THEIR INSTRUMENTS WERE SPECIALLY DESIGNED FOR THAT PURPOSE…THE BAND WAS PART OF A PANZER ARMY AND THEY MOVED FAST…” FOR MORE INFORMATION INCLUDING THE FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTION AND MURRAY MASON’S EMAIL, PLEASE SEE THE PERMANENT FILE P20190012000-GA. IN OCTOBER 2007, FRANK HOSEK, THE ORIGINAL CONDUCTOR OF THE LETHBRIDGE A.C.T. JUNIOR BAND, WAS CONTACTED TO CLARIFY QUESTIONS REGARDING TWO INSTRUMENTS CLAIMED BY BOB FINDLAY TO HAVE USED BEEN BY THE BAND AND INMATES IN CAMP 133. HE STATED, “THE INSTRUMENTS WERE GIVEN TO THE ASSOCIATION OF CANADIAN TRAVELERS (A.C.T.) (WHICH), WANTED TO DO SOMETHING FOR THE YOUNG PEOPLE (BOYS AND GIRLS) OF LETHBRIDGE. SINCE THERE WAS NO BAND IN LETHBRIDGE AT THE TIME, AND MUSIC WAS NOT TAUGHT IN THE SCHOOLS, THE ASSOCIATION DECIDED THAT THIS IS WHERE THEY WOULD MAKE THEIR EFFORT.” HOSEK RECALLED THAT THE INSTRUMENTS WERE LEFT BEHIND AT THE CAMP WHEN ITS INTERNEES WERE REPATRIATED BACK TO GERMANY. THE INSTRUMENTS WERE GIVEN TO THE A.C.T. BY FEDERAL AUTHORITIES PRIOR TO THE CAMP’S DISMANTLEMENT AND DEMOLITION. AN EQUIVALENT NUMBER OF INSTRUMENTS WERE ACQUIRED BY THE A.C.T. TO FORM A COMPLETE BAND – EVERYTHING, CLAIMED HOSEK, “FROM A SOUSAPHONE TO A CORNET (TRUMPET)”. HOSEK STATED THAT THE CAMP INSTRUMENTS WERE PROVIDED FOR THE PRISONERS BY THE INTERNATIONAL RED CROSS. THE FLUGELHORN, HE REMEMBERED CORRECTLY, WAS MADE IN GRASLITZ, GERMANY. SUCH INSTRUMENTS, HE COMMENTED, WERE “MADE IN CIRCULAR FORM” AND FIT OVER THE SHOULDERS OF THE PLAYER. THIS DESIGN ALLOWED PLAYERS THE ABILITY TO FINGER THE INSTRUMENT WITH ONE HAND WHILE, FOR EXAMPLE, STEERING A BICYCLE WITH THE OTHER. AFTER THE A.C.T. ACQUIRED THE INSTRUMENTS, IT HAD TO FIND A TEACHER AND CONDUCTOR. TO THAT END, HOSEK SAID THE ASSOCIATION ADVERTISED IN THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD AND HE, HAVING JUST RETURNED FROM ACTIVE DUTY IN THE OVERSEAS, “NEEDED A JOB”. AN AGREEMENT WAS REACHED BETWEEN HOSEK AND THE ASSOCIATION PERTAINING TO HIS SALARY AND HE THEREAFTER MOVED TO LETHBRIDGE TO BECOME THE BAND’S TEACHER AND CONDUCTOR. LATER, HE DECIDED TO PLACE HIS FATHER, FRANK SR., AS THE BAND’S HEAD LEADER. HOSEK, IN TURN, STARTED A BAND IN COALDALE AND PINCHER CREEK IN ADDITION TO FORMING A SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA IN LETHBRIDGE, CONSISTING OF HIS PRIVATE STUDENTS. WHEN THE DUTY OF SPONSORING THE BAND BECAME TOO HEAVY A BURDEN FOR THE A.C.T., THE BAND WAS TAKEN OVER AND SPONSORED BY THE KIWANIS CLUB. HIS FATHER CONTINUED ON AS THE BAND’S DIRECTOR. THE BAND’S DEMISE CAME WHEN INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC WAS INTRODUCED IN THE SCHOOLS. HOSEK BELIEVED THAT INSTRUMENTS’ DONOR, BOB FINDLAY, ”TOOK OVER LEADERSHIP OF THE BAND AFTER HIS FATHER WENT INTO RETIREMENT.” HE THOUGHT THAT THE INSTRUMENTS MAY HAVE BEEN DISCARDED AT HAMILTON JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL AFTER THE BAND DISBANDED. WHEN ASKED ABOUT HIS KNOWLEDGE OF CAMP 133 ACCORDIONS, HE RECALLED, “I HAD FOR A TIME A LARGE CLASS OF ACCORDION STUDENTS. THIS PARTICULAR INSTRUMENT YOU REFER TO MAY HAVE BEEN MIXED UP WITH ALL THE INSTRUMENTS.” PLEASE REFER TO PERMANENT FILE P19900049001-GA FOR MORE INFORMATION. IN 2014 COLLECTIONS ASSISTANT JANE EDMUNDSON DEVELOPED THE FOLLOWING BRIEF HISTORY OF PRISONER OF WAR CAMP 133 WITH INFORMATION FROM THE GALT MUSEUM BROCHURE "LETHBRDGE'S INTERNMENT CAMPS" AND THE LIBRARY AND ARCHIVES CANADA WEBSITE. DURING WORLD WAR II THERE WERE 40 PRISONER OF WAR (P.O.W.) CAMPS CONSTRUCTED ACROSS CANADA TO HOUSE THE LARGE NUMBER OF INCOMING POWS - ENEMY MILITARY PERSONNEL THAT WERE CAPTURED IN COMBAT. CAMPS WERE BUILT IN ONTARIO, QUEBEC, THE MARITIMES AND ALBERTA. THE CAMPS IN LETHBRIDGE AND MEDICINE HAT WERE THE LARGEST, TOGETHER HOUSING 22,000 MEN. THE LETHBRIDGE CAMP, NO. 133, WAS BUILT IN THE SUMMER OF 1942, AND BY NOVEMBER OF THAT YEAR HOUSED 13,341 PRISONERS. THE CAMP WAS DIVIDED INTO SIX SECTIONS, EACH WITH SIX DORMITORIES, MESS HALLS, KITCHENS, AND ENTERTAINMENT FACILITIES. MEALS WERE IN SHIFTS WITH PRISONERS SERVING AS COOKS. TAILOR, BARBER AND SHOE REPAIR SHOPS WERE ALSO STAFFED BY PRISONERS, AND NON-COMBAT POWS PRACTICED THEIR PRE-WAR PROFESSIONS AS MEDICAL DOCTORS AND DENTISTS. HOUSING AND RATIONS WERE THE SAME STANDARD AS FOR THE CANADIAN ARMED FORCES, WHICH SOMETIMES CAUSED RESENTMENT AMONG LETHBRIDGE CIVILIAN RESIDENTS, WHO WERE UNABLE TO OBTAIN MANY OF THE SAME SUPPLIES ON THEIR STRICT WARTIME RATION ALLOWANCES. WITH MANY YOUNG LOCAL MEN AWAY AT WAR, LOCAL FARMERS BEGAN TO REQUEST LABOUR ASSISTANCE FROM THE CAMP, ESPECIALLY FOR THE SUGAR BEET INDUSTRY. BY 1943 AN AGREEMENT WAS REACHED AND SOME OF THE PRISONERS WORKED ON FARMS THROUGHOUT SOUTHERN ALBERTA. MOST OF THESE PRISONERS WENT FROM THE CAMP TO THE FARMS DAILY, BUT SOME WERE KEPT AT 'LODGES' AT THE MORE DISTANT FARMS FOR DAYS AT A TIME, WITH MINIMAL GUARDING. FOR THEIR LABOUR, THE PRISONERS WERE PAID 50 CENTS PER DAY. WITH WAR'S END, CAMP 133 CLOSED IN DECEMBER 1946 AND ITS PRISONERS WERE SENT BACK TO GERMANY. THE AREA WHERE THE CAMP STOOD EVENTUALLY BECAME AN INDUSTRIAL PARK AND PART OF THE FEDERAL AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH CENTRE.
Catalogue Number
P20190012000
Acquisition Date
2019-06
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail
Date Range From
1899
Date Range To
1968
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
LEATHER, WOOD, METAL
Catalogue Number
P20170010000
  2 images  
Material Type
Artifact
Date Range From
1899
Date Range To
1968
Materials
LEATHER, WOOD, METAL
No. Pieces
12
Height
55.5
Length
28.5
Width
10
Description
A: RIGHT BROWN LEATHER BOOT. THE LEATHER IS ABOUT 2CM THICK, MEASURED FROM THE TOP. WORN BLACK LEATHER SOLE, HEEL AFFIXED WITH WORN METAL NAILS. TWO LACE LINES ARE ON THE BOOT, ONE MEASURES SEVEN HOLES LONG ABOVE THE TOP OF THE FOOT, THE OTHER MEASURING FIVE HOLES LONG ON THE TOP OUTSIDE EDGE OF THE BOOT. THE LACE HOLES ARE RIMMED WITH RED METAL FRAMES. THE SOLE IS WORN, STAINED, AND FRAYED RED. TEXT STAMPED ON THE SOLE READS “A.E. N…ON CO. SYRACCUSE N.Y. U.S.A.” THE BOOTS LEATHER IS WORN ON THE TOE AND SCRATCHED ALL OVER. A CUT IN THE LEATHER SITS ABOVE THE TOE. THE STITCHING AT THE BACK OF THE BOOT HAS TORN OPEN AND AT THE TOP OF THE BOOT, NEXT TO THE LEATHER PULL, THE BOOT IS SPLIT NEXT TO THE SEAM. THE LEATHER INSIDE THE BOOT IS FLAKING OFF IN THE HEEL AND THE INSIDE EDGE. WHITE FABRIC PULL LOOPS SIT ON THE LEFT AND RIGHT INSIDE OF THE BOOT. DIMENSIONS: H: 46 CM, L: 28.5CM, W: 10 CM. CONDITION: GOOD. B: THE TOE-SHAPED PIECE OF THE RIGHT BOOT’S WOOD INSERT. MADE OUT OF THE FOOT-SHAPED PIECE AND A HANDLE PIECE TO FIT INTO THE FRONT LEG INSERT PIECE, ATTACHED TO EACH OTHER WITH TWO LARGE SCREWS. WRITTEN ON TOP OF THE INSERT IN BLACK INK IS THE LETTER “R”. THE VARNISH IS CHIPPED AND DENTED. DIMENSIONS: H: 10 CM, L: 21 CM, W: 8 CM. CONDITION: VERY GOOD. C: THE FRONT PIECE OF THE RIGHT BOOT’S WOOD INSERT. ENDS IN TWO PRONGS TO SLOT OVER THE TOE INSERT OF THE BOOT, A TRACK RUNS ON THE BACK SIDE FOR THE INSERTION OF THE HANDLED INSERT PIECE. STAMPED ONTO THE TOP OF THE WOOD INSERT ARE THE WORDS “ROBINBROS. MONTREAL” AND “MADE IN CANADA”. ON THE LEFT SIDE IS A STAMPED “6” AND ON THE RIGHT SIDE IS A STAMPED “R”. WRITTEN ON THE UNVARNISHED BACK OF THE INSERT IN BLACK INK IS “R” AND “6 R…”. THE VARNISH IS SCRATCHED AND DENTED, JUST AT THE TOP FRONT EDGE. H: 43 CM, L: 5 CM, W: 8.4 CM. CONDITION: VERY GOOD. D: THE BACK PIECE OF THE RIGHT BOOT’S WOOD INSERT. SHAPED LIKE THE BACK OF THE LEG, ENDING IN THE HEEL. THE FLAT FRONT HAS WRITTEN ON IT IN BLACK INK “R”. THE VARNISH IS SCRATCHED AND DIMPLED. STAMPED ONTO THE TOP OF THE WOOD INSERT ARE THE WORDS “ROBINBROS. MONTREAL” AND “MADE IN CANADA”. ON THE TOP LEFT SIDE IS A STAMPED “6” AND ON THE TOP RIGHT SIDE IS A STAMPED “R”. DIMENSIONS: H: 42.5 CM, L: 5.5 CM, W: 9 CM. CONDITION: VERY GOOD. E: THE MIDDLE PIECE OF THE RIGHT BOOT’S WOOD INSERT. THIN, THE INSERT TAPERS FROM THE TOP TO THE HEEL. THE VARNISH IS DARK, MINIMALLY SCRATCHED BUT DENTED AND DIMPLED. DIMENSIONS: H: 44.2 CM, L: 2.2 CM, W: 9 CM. CONDITION: VERY GOOD. F: THE HANDLED PIECE OF THE RIGHT BOOT’S WOOD INSERT, MEANT TO FIT BETWEEN THE FRONT AND MIDDLE INSERT PIECE. THE FRONT OF THE PIECE FITS INTO THE FRONT WOOD INSERT’S TRACK. THE VARNISH IS MOSTLY WORN AWAY, SURVIVING ON THE HANDLE. THE WOOD IS SCRATCHED AND DIMPLED. ON THE BACK OF THE INSERT IN BLACK INK IS THE LETTER “L”. STAMPED ON THE TOP LEFT SIDE IS A STAMPED “6” AND ON THE TOP RIGHT SIDE IS A STAMPED “R”. DIMENSIONS: H: 55 CM, L: 1.6 CM, W: 8.5 CM. CONDITION: GOOD. G: THE LEFT BROWN LEATHER BOOT. THE LEATHER IS ABOUT 2CM THICK, MEASURED FROM THE TOP. WORN BLACK LEATHER SOLE, HEEL AFFIXED WITH WORN SILVER NAILS. TWO LACE LINES ARE ON THE BOOT, ONE MEASURES SEVEN HOLES LONG ABOVE THE TOP OF THE FOOT, THE OTHER MEASURING FIVE HOLES LONG ON THE TOP OUTSIDE EDGE OF THE BOOT. THE LACE HOLES ARE RIMMED WITH RED METAL FRAMES. THE SOLE IS WORN, STAINED, AND FRAYED RED. TEXT STAMPED ON THE SOLE READS “A.E. NETTLET… CO. S…SE N.Y. ...S.A.” THE BOOTS LEATHER IS WORN OVER THE TOP OF THE FOOT, THE SIDE OF THE HEEL, AND SCRATCHED ALL OVER. THE LEATHER INSIDE THE BOOT IS FLAKING OFF IN THE HEEL AND THE INSIDE EDGE. WHITE FABRIC PULL LOOPS SIT ON THE LEFT AND RIGHT INSIDE OF THE BOOT. DIMENSIONS: H: 46 CM, L: 28.8 CM, W: 9.7 CM. CONDITION: GOOD. H: THE TOE SHAPED PIECE OF THE LEFT BOOT’S WOOD INSERT. MADE OUT OF THE FOOT SHAPED PIECE AND A HANDLE PIECE TO FIT INTO THE FRONT LEG INSERT PIECE, ATTACHED TO EACH OTHER WITH TWO LARGE SCREWS. WRITTEN ON TOP OF THE INSERT IN BLACK INK IS THE LETTER “L”. THE VARNISH IS MINIMALLY DENTED. DIMENSIONS: H: 10 CM, L: 21 CM, W: 8 CM. CONDITION: VERY GOOD. I: THE FRONT PIECE OF THE LEFT BOOT’S WOOD INSERT. ENDS IN TWO PRONGS TO SLOT OVER THE TOE INSERT OF THE BOOT, A TRACK RUNS ON THE BACK SIDE FOR THE INSERTION OF THE HANDLED INSERT PIECE. STAMPED ONTO THE TOP OF THE WOOD INSERT ARE THE WORDS “ROBINBROS. MONTREAL” AND “MADE IN CANADA”. ON THE LEFT SIDE IS A STAMPED “6” AND ON THE RIGHT SIDE IS A STAMPED “L”. WRITTEN ON THE UNVARNISHED BACK OF THE INSERT IN BLACK INK IS “L” AND “6 LEFT”. THE VARNISH IS SCRATCHED AND DENTED, MOSTLY AT THE TOP FRONT EDGE. DIMENSIONS: H: 43 CM, L: 5 CM, W: 8.4 CM. CONDITION: GOOD. J: THE BACK PIECE OF THE LEFT BOOT’S WOOD INSERT. SHAPED LIKE THE BACK OF THE LEG, ENDING IN THE HEEL. THE FLAT FRONT HAS WRITTEN ON IT IN BLACK INK “L”. THE VARNISH IS MINIMALLY SCRATCHED AND DIMPLED. STAMPED ONTO THE TOP OF THE WOOD INSERT ARE THE WORDS “ROBINBROS. MONTREAL” AND “MADE IN CANADA”. ON THE TOP LEFT SIDE IS A STAMPED “6” AND ON THE TOP RIGHT SIDE IS A STAMPED “L”. DIMENSIONS: H: 42.5 CM, L: 5.5 CM, W: 9 CM. CONDITION: VERY GOOD. K: THE MIDDLE PIECE OF THE LEFT BOOT’S WOOD INSERT. THIN, THE INSERT TAPERS FROM THE TOP TO THE HEEL. THE VARNISH IS DARK, SCRATCHED AND WORN IN PLACES. A KNOT IN THE WOOD HAS FALLEN OUT AND LEFT A HOLE IN THE TOP OF THE INSERT. DIMENSIONS: H: 44.3 CM, L: 2.5 CM, W: 9 CM. CONDITION: VERY GOOD. L: THE HANDLED PIECE OF THE RIGHT BOOT’S WOOD INSERT, MEANT TO FIT BETWEEN THE FRONT AND MIDDLE INSERT PIECE. THE FRONT OF THE PIECE FITS INTO THE FRONT WOOD INSERT’S TRACK. THE VARNISH IS MOSTLY WORN AWAY, SURVIVING ON THE HANDLE. THE WOOD IS SCRATCHED AND DIMPLED. ON THE BACK OF THE INSERT IN BLACK INK IS THE LETTER “R” WITH TWO LINES DRAWN OVER IT. STAMPED ON THE TOP LEFT SIDE IS A STAMPED “6” AND ON THE TOP RIGHT SIDE IS A STAMPED “L”. ON THE LEFT SIDE OF THE INSERT IS A NAIL, THE TOP GRINDED DOWN. DIMENSIONS: H: 55.5 CM, L: 1.9 CM, W: 8.6 CM. CONDITION: GOOD.
Subjects
CLOTHING-FOOTWEAR
Historical Association
PERSONAL CARE
MILITARY
PROFESSIONS
LEISURE
History
THIS PAIR OF RIDING BOOTS BELONGED TO MURRAY NELSON, THE BROTHER DONOR KATHRYN HINMAN. TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE HISTORY OF THESE BOOTS AND THEIR OWNER, GALT COLLECTIONS TECHNICIAN KEVIN MACLEAN INTERVIEWED HINMAN AT THE MUSEUM ON MARCH 20, 2017. THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION HAS BEEN EXTRACTED FROM THAT INTERVIEW: “THE PREVIOUS OWNER OF THESE BOOTS WAS MY BROTHER, MURRAY [NELSON],” HINMAN BEGAN, “HE PASSED AWAY AT THE END OF NOVEMBER 2015… HE WAS A LOCAL MUSICIAN. HE CAME INTO THE POSSESSION OF THESE BOOTS FROM MY GRANDFATHER, GEORGE S. BROWN, WHO WAS LIEUTENANT COLONEL GEORGE S. BROWN. MY GRANDDAD WAS A GREAT FRIEND OF BRIGADIER GENERAL STEWART. GRANDDAD CAME INTO POSSESSION OF THESE BOOTS AT SOME POINT FROM DR. STEWART AND WHEN MY BROTHER WAS ABOUT EIGHTEEN, MY GRANDFATHER PASSED THEM ON TO HIM.” “[MURRAY DID] TELL ME THAT HE WAS IN THE GARAGE OUT AT THE FARM, WHICH IS ACTUALLY BROWN ROAD JUST OFF THE COUTTS’ HIGHWAY AND THAT WAS WHERE MY GRANDFATHER’S ACREAGE WAS. ON THAT ACREAGE, THERE WAS A GARAGE [AMONG] MANY BUILDINGS. MURRAY HAD SAID GRANDDAD HAD TAKEN HIM INTO THE GARAGE AND WHEN MURRAY EXPRESSED AN INTEREST IN [THE BOOTS THERE] GRANDDAD SAID, ‘YUP, YOU CAN HAVE THEM. THEY WERE GENERAL STEWART’S FROM THE BOER WAR. TAKE GOOD CARE OF THEM.’” “[MY BROTHER] USED TO WEAR THEM PLAYING IN BANDS WHEN HE WAS EIGHTEEN AND UP,” HINMAN CONTINUED, “[THEY WERE] PART OF HIS DRESS CODE… THEY’RE LOVELY BOOTS. THE STORY WAS THAT THEY WERE FROM THE BOER WAR, WHICH PUTS THEM OVER ONE HUNDRED YEARS OLD… [MY BROTHER] PROBABLY ACQUIRED [THESE BOOTS WHEN] MY GRANDFATHER PASSED AWAY IN 1968. MURRAY WOULD HAVE BEEN EIGHTEEN [THAT YEAR]. HE WAS IN HIS ELEMENT PLAYING WITH THE BANDS, EXPERIMENTING WITH ALL DIFFERENT KINDS OF MUSIC [AT THAT TIME]. I REMEMBER HIM LOOKING VERY COOL WEARING THEM. ALTHOUGH THESE ARE A VERY SMALL SIZE, RIGHT? SO I’M SURE THEY WERE A LITTLE PINCHEY.” “[MY BROTHER HAD] LONG HAIR – WELL EVERYBODY HAD LONG HAIR IN THE 60’S AND 70’S. [HE WAS] VERY COOL AND AT THAT POINT TOO MY DAD (BILL NELSON) HAD ACQUIRED A SMALL MGA, BURGUNDY-COLOURED, AND [MY BROTHER] USED TO BOMB AROUND AND GO TO BAND PRACTICE IN THAT. OH YEAH, HE WAS NOTORIOUS,” HINMAN LAUGHED, REMEMBERING. WHEN ASKED ABOUT HER BROTHER, HINMAN REPLIED, “MY BROTHER WAS BORN IN 1950. HE WAS JUST A LITTLE OVER SIXTY-FIVE WHEN HE PASSED AWAY. HE WAS AN ACTIVE MUSIC TEACHER AND LOCAL GUITAR TEACHER IN TOWN. YOU COULD SEE HIM BUSKING ON THE STREETS IN FRONT OF THE PENNY COFFEE HOUSE AND IN FRONT OF ESQUIRE’S COFFEE HOUSE. EVERYBODY KNEW HIM. HE USED TO BUSK AT THE FARMER’S MARKET ON FIFTH STREET ON FIRST FRIDAYS. HE PLAYED IN BANDS FOREVER.” “[HE WAS IN A] ROCK’N ROLL BAND. HE WAS IN SO MANY BANDS OVER THE YEARS AND I DON’T KNOW THE NAMES OF THE EARLY BANDS. ONE OF [THE BANDS HE PLAYED WITH] WAS KRANDEL’S KLOUD MACHINE, ONE OF THEM WAS THE SHAMAN, AND THEN HE MOVED TO VANCOUVER FOR A COUPLE OF YEARS AND PLAYED IN VANCOUVER – UP AND DOWN THE WEST COAST. WHEN HE CAME BACK FROM THE COAST, HE JUST PLAYED EVERYWHERE IN SOUTHERN ALBERTA WITH VARIOUS PEOPLE… ANYWAY HE WAS VERY WELL KNOWN IN THE BAND SCENE AND HE HAD A RECORDING STUDIO. THAT WAS A PASSION. HE CALLED HIS RECORDING STUDIO, AARDVARK RECORDINGS. HE HAD HIS FIRST RECORDING STUDIO IN THE BASEMENT OF KRUEGER’S MUSIC, WHERE HE TAUGHT MUSIC FOR BILL KRUEGER. THEN HE MOVED ALL HIS STUFF OVER AND HE WAS IN THE BASEMENT OF THE TRIANON FOR YEARS TEACHING RECORDING AND THEN HE GOT INVOLVED IN TECHNOLOGY, SO HE STARTED FIXING COMPUTERS AND DID COMPUTER PROGRAMMING. HE KIND OF USED TECHNOLOGY IN THE RECORDING STUDIO. HE HAD THIS HUGE SOUND BOARD WITH ALL THE SWITCHES AND WHATEVER AND HE HAD TONS OF LIKE STACKS OF MACHINES [FOR RECORDING],” HINMAN REMEMBERED. “[MY BROTHER] HAD A REPUTATION,” HINMAN WENT ON, “[PEOPLE WOULD SAY TO ME], ‘OH YOUR MURRAY’S SISTER.’ IT WAS GREAT AND ACTUALLY MY HUSBAND WAS BORN IN CARDSTON AND HE HAD A BAND THAT HE USED TO PLAY IN SOUTHERN ALBERTA WITH. WE HAVE AN ACTUAL RECORDING FROM THE BASEMENT RECORDING STUDIO AT KRUEGER’S, WHEN [MY BROTHER] RECORDED WITH MY HUSBAND’S BAND. IT WAS GREAT.” WHEN ASKED ABOUT THE MUSICAL INFLUENCE WITHIN HER FAMILY, HINMAN EXPLAINED, “MY MOM (MARGARET NELSON) WAS A LOCAL MUSIC TEACHER. SHE WAS A PIANO TEACHER. MY DAD’S MOTHER WAS KATE MARQUIS NELSON, WHO WAS A LOCAL PIANO TEACHER SO [WE HAD INFLUENCE] FROM BOTH ENDS. WE ALL GREW UP IN OUR HOUSEHOLD WITH MUSIC. I HAVE A DEGREE IN MUSIC AND I’M A MUSIC TEACHER AND MY YOUNGER BROTHER, MARK, PLAYS CLASSICAL GUITAR. WE HAD MUSIC EVERYWHERE. I HAVE SOME PICTURES AT HOME OF THE THREE KIDS WITH A DRUM SET AND I’M ON THE KEYBOARD AND MURRAY IS PLAYING GUITAR AND, EVEN A PICTURE OF MY MOM SITTING AT THE DRUMS TAKING PART IN THE MERRIMENT IN OUR BASEMENT.” “MY DAD PLAYED IN THE SYMPHONY. IN FACT, MY MOM AND DAD REVIVED THE SYMPHONY IN THE EARLY ‘60S. SO IT WAS JUST NATURAL FOR MURRAY TO [BE MUSICAL]. HE PLAYED EVERYTHING. HE PLAYED BANJO WITH MUSICAL THEATRE ONE YEAR, AND TAUGHT BANJO. HE THOUGHT THAT HE WAS THE ‘ONLY’ BANJO TEACHER IN LETHBRIDGE. HE [ALSO] THOUGHT THAT HE WAS THE ONLY REAL GOOD GUITARIST TEACHER IN LETHBRIDGE TOO,” HINMAN LAUGHED. “SO ANYWAY,” SHE CONTINUED, “IT WAS A STRUGGLE FINANCIALLY. MUSIC IS NOT AN EASY, AN EASY PROFESSION TO BE IN, A PERFORMING MUSICIAN. HE QUIT HIGH SCHOOL WHEN HE WAS PROBABLY SIXTEEN, BUT IN HIS MID TO LATE TWENTIES, HE FINISHED HIS DIPLOMA AND HE STARTED NURSING AT THE COLLEGE. HE DID PRETTY WELL [THERE], BUT HE DIDN’T DEAL WELL WITH AUTHORITY, SO HE DIDN’T FINISH IT. BUT [THROUGH THAT HE] GOT A LOT OF GOOD PRACTICAL KNOWLEDGE. [AFTERWARDS] PROCEEDED TO PURSUE HIS PASSION, WHICH WAS MUSIC. IN THE LAST FEW YEARS OF HIS LIFE HE FIXED THOSE COMPUTER SIGNS THAT SIT ON THE SIDE OF THE ROAD. HE WOULD FIX THE MOTHER BOARD… HE JUST DID WHAT HE WANTED. HE LIVED IS LIFE HIS WAY.” TO THE QUESTION OF WHY HER GRANDFATHER, GEORGE S. BROWN, RECEIVED THE BOOTS FROM GENERAL JOHN SMITH STEWART, HINMAN ANSWERED, “THE ONLY REASON I CAN THINK OF IS THAT BECAUSE THEY WERE GREAT FRIENDS… [IF GENERAL STEWART PASSED AWAY IN THE 1970S], THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN AFTER MY GRANDFATHER [DIED]. I KNOW THAT THEY WERE INVOLVED IN THE MILITARY STUFF LOCALLY. ELLA STEWART AND MY GRANDMOTHER WERE GREAT FRIENDS. SOMEHOW [THESE BOOTS WERE] JUST PASSED ALONG TO GRANDDAD.” “WHEN MURRAY WAS DIAGNOSED WITH THE CANCER IN JUNE OF 2015, I KNEW THAT THERE WAS SOME ITEMS THAT HE HAD THAT I NEEDED TO RETRIEVE BECAUSE THEY WERE FAMILY HISTORY,” HINMAN REMEMBERED, “[AMONG THOSE TREASURED THINGS WERE] GENERAL STEWART’S BOOTS, SO I RETRIEVED THEM IN JULY… [MURRAY SAID], ‘TAKE THEM. DO WHAT YOU NEED TO DO WITH THEM.’” “[ONE REASON MY BROTHER HELD ON TO THE BOOTS WAS] HE WAS VERY CLOSE TO MY GRANDPARENTS, BECAUSE HE USED TO SPEND A LOT OF TIME OUT AT THE FARM,” HINMAN EXPLAINED, “I THINK THAT HE JUST COULDN’T BRING HIMSELF TO PART WITH THEM, BECAUSE THEY WERE PART OF HIS FAMILY HISTORY. IT WAS A SPECIAL KIND OF THING BECAUSE GRANDDAD HAD ACTUALLY PASSED THEM TO HIM.” MURRAY NELSON’S OBITUARY WAS PUBLISHED ON THE MARTIN BROTHERS FUNERAL CHAPELS WEBSITE. IT STATES, “WILLIAM MURRAY NELSON, AGE 65, PASSED AWAY PEACEFULLY AT THE LETHBRIDGE REGIONAL HOSPITAL ON SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 29, 2015, AFTER A VALIANT BATTLE WITH CANCER. MUSICIAN, PERFORMER, TEACHER, MENTOR, SOUND GUY, RECORDING GUY, VIDEO GUY, COMPUTER GUY, SIGN GUY; HE WAS A MAN WHO LIVED LIFE HIS WAY, ON HIS TERMS, DOING WHAT HE LOVED.” AN ARTICLE PUBLISHED IN THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD ON DECEMBER 9, 2015, SHORTLY AFTER THE MUSICIAN’S DEATH STATES THAT AT A LOCAL MUSIC SHOW, PROMINENT LEHTBRIDGE SONGWRITER, LEEROY STAGGER, BEGAN THE SHOW WITH A TRIBUTE TO NELSON. TO FURTHER UNDERSCORE NELSON’S REPUTATION IN THE CITY, A DECEMBER 23, 2015 ARTICLE TITLED, “2015 WAS A MEMORABLE YEAR FOR CITY MUSIC SCENE,” WRITTEN FOR THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD BY RICHARD AMERY STATED, “LETHBRIDGE SAID GOODBYE TO MURRAY NELSON, WHO PASSED AWAY FROM CANCER THIS YEAR. NELSON WAS ONE OF THE SCENE’S MORE PROMINENT PERFORMERS ON STAGE PERFORMING SOLO AND WITH A VARIETY OF BANDS AS WELL AS BUSKING ON THE STREETS ALL OVER LETHBRIDGE…HIS MEMORY WILL LIVE ON IN THE STUDENTS HE TAUGHT AND THE SOULS HE TOUCHED ON STAGE OR JUST CHATTING AT VARIOUS WATER HOLES.” PLEASE SEE PERMANENT FILE FOR MORE INFORMATION, INCLUDING FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTION AND THE COPIES OF LETHBRIDGE HERALD ARTICLES REFERENCED.
Catalogue Number
P20170010000
Acquisition Date
2017-03
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail
Other Name
HAIR COMB
Date Range From
1923
Date Range To
1924
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
CORAL
Catalogue Number
P20160042002
  1 image  
Material Type
Artifact
Other Name
HAIR COMB
Date Range From
1923
Date Range To
1924
Materials
CORAL
No. Pieces
1
Length
10
Width
3.4
Description
STRAIGHT-EDGED COMB. AMBER-COLOURED, TRANSLUCENT MATERIAL SPECULATED CORAL BY DONOR. THE HANDLE EDGE IS CURVED AND THE COMB'S LENGTH TAPERS INWARD FROM THE HANDLE EDGE TO TEETH EDGE. TEETH WIDTH APPROX. 0.2 - 0.5 CM. THERE IS A 1.1 CM WIDE EDGE BETWEEN TEETH AND EDGE OF COMB ON EITHER SIDE. CONDITION: SMALL CHIP ON SIDE EDGE AND SLIGHT LOSS OF FINISH ON TEETH.
Subjects
TOILET ARTICLE
Historical Association
PERSONAL CARE
ETHNOGRAPHIC
History
ON 2 DECEMBER 2016, COLLECTIONS TECHNICIAN KEVIN MACLEAN INTERVIEWED THE DONORS, MAKIO (MAC) AND REYKO NISHIYAMA, IN THEIR HOME TO DISCUSS ITEMS THEY WERE DONATING TO THE GALT. THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION HAS BEEN EXTRACTED FROM THAT INTERVIEW: MRS. NISHIYAMA EXPLAINED THIS COMB CAME INTO HER CUSTODY AFTER ITS INITIAL OWNERS – HER PARENTS TAKASHI AND CHIAKI KARAKI – MOVED FROM THEIR RAYMOND HOME TO BRITISH COLUMBIA. SHE SAID, “… [AFTER THE] SIXTY YEARS OF FARMING, MY [PARENTS] DID IN RAYMOND… THEY SELL THE WHOLE THING AND MOVE! I’M LEFT BEHIND IN RAYMOND BY MYSELF, MARRIED… WHEN THEY MOVE TO QUESNEL, B.C [IN THE LATE 1950S], THEY HAD TO LEAVE BEHIND THEIR TRUNK AND IT HAD ALL THE TREASURES IN IT.” OTHER TREASURES FOUND IN THE TRUNK ALONG WITH THE COMB WERE HER MOTHER’S HAIR ORNAMENTS AND A VASE (P20160042001 & 003-004). MRS. NISHIYAMA REMEMBERED, “[MY MOTHER] EXPLAINED TO ME THAT SHE’D KEPT THESE BECAUSE THEY WERE HERS – GIVEN TO HER BY HER PARENTS – AND SHE WANTED ME TO SORT OF TAKE CARE OF THEM… [THEY WERE] NOT ANYTHING TO USE AROUND HERE, ANYWAY, SO WE JUST THOUGHT THEY WERE BEAUTIFUL, AND, ONCE IN A WHILE, WE GET TO SEE IT.” WHEN ASKED IF SHE REMEMBERED HER MOTHER USING THE COMB AND HAIR ACCESSORIES, MRS. NISHIYAMA STATED, “NO. BY THE TIME SHE GOT TO THE FARM, SHE REALIZED THERE’S NO DRESSING UP OR NOTHING. YOU KNOW THE HAIRDOS – THE FANCY HAIRDOS THAT THEY HAD IN JAPAN - THEY WERE LONG GONE, SO THEY JUST WENT BY. I KNOW SHE BRAIDED HER HAIR AND WORE A BUN ON THE BACK OF HER HEAD, FOR YEARS AND YEARS, BEFORE SHE CUT IT SHORT. SO, I JUST REMEMBERED A LITTLE TREASURE THAT SHE HAD IN THE DRAWER… IT WAS IN A SPECIAL SPOT IN THE DRESSER, AND WE ONLY GOT TO SEE IT ONCE IN A WHILE. IT WAS SPECIAL. IT WAS HER TREASURES THAT SHE KEPT.” MRS. NISHIYAMA EXPLAINED THAT HER MOTHER PROBABLY DID NOT USE THE COMB ONCE SHE WAS IN ALBERTA. SHE SAID, “I DOUBT [THEY WERE USED]. IT DOESN’T LOOK SERVICEABLE REALLY, BUT IT’S DAYS BEFORE PLASTIC – AND I KNOW SHE TOLD ME IT WAS A SPECIAL MATERIAL. I MEAN, A SPECIAL NATURAL MATERIAL. WHETHER IT’S CORAL, I’M NOT SURE. I CAN’T SAY THAT. SPEAKING OF THE ITEMS’ USE ONCE THEY WERE IN HER POSSESSION, MRS. NISHIYAMA SAID, “[THEY WERE] NOT REALLY [USED]. I THINK I’VE HAD IT OUT WHEN THEY ASKED FOR IT AT JAPANESE GARDENS. I THINK WE HAD SOMETHING ELSE SOMEWHERE, WHERE WE HAD A DISPLAY… I THINK THAT’S THE ONLY TIMES THAT THEY CAME OUT… THIS (THE COMB) WAS SOMETHING THAT WE ONLY GOT TO SEE OCCASIONALLY.” THE TRUNK, ALONG WITH ITS CONTENTS, WERE BROUGHT TO SOUTHERN ALBERTA FROM JAPAN BY HER MOTHER, CHIAKI KARAKI (NEE KUMAGAI), FOLLOWING HER MARRIAGE TO TAKASHI KARAKI. MRS. NISHIYAMA EXPLAINED HER PARENTS’ MARRIAGE STORY: “… SHE CAME OVER AS A VERY YOUNG BRIDE… NOT QUITE EIGHTEEN… I OFTEN SAID TO MY MOTHER…, ‘HOW IN THE WORLD DID YOUR PARENTS EVER LET YOU GO TO CANADA? YOU DIDN’T KNOW THE LANGUAGE – IT’S A DIFFERENT COUNTRY.’ SHE DIDN’T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT MY DAD, EXCEPT THAT HE WAS A FARMER. HE’S SEVENTEEN YEARS OLDER THAN SHE WAS THEN. IT DOESN’T MAKE SENSE. SHE JUST SAID, ‘MY PARENTS SAID TO GO, SO I CAME’ … IT TOOK A LOT OF COURAGE…” MRS. NISHIYAMA WENT ON, “ALL JAPANESE MARRIAGES WERE DONE [BY] GO-BETWEENS. THERE WERE, I WOULD SAY, HARDLY ANY, IN FACT, I DON’T THINK THERE WAS ANY… FALLING-IN-LOVE KIND OF THING. THAT WAS JUST NOT EVEN THOUGHT ABOUT… MY DAD’S FOLKS WERE IN THE VILLAGE. THEY WERE FARMERS… THEY HAD A LARGE HOUSE AND THEY RAISED SILKWORMS. MY MOTHER’S FOLKS LIVED IN THE TOWN… SHE COMES FROM A VERY MODEST FAMILY, BUT HER DAD WAS A PAWN BROKER…” A FAMILY HISTORY WRITTEN BY MRS. NISHIYAMA AND HER BROTHER, SUSUMU KARAKI, IN THE BOOK TITLED "NISHIKI: NIKKEI TAPESTRY: A HISTORY OF SOUTHERN ALBERTA JAPANESE CANADIANS" (PUBLISHED 2001), ELABORATES ON THE FAMILY’S STORY. IT STATES THEIR FATHER, TAKASHI KARAKI, WAS BORN ON 1 JULY 1889 IN NAGANO PREFECTURE, JAPAN. THE HISTORY READS, “AFTER GRADUATING FROM HIGH SCHOOL IN 1907… HE LEFT A COMFORTABLE HOME… TO VENTURE OUT FOR A NEW LIFE IN AMERICA.” IT EXPLAINS HE LANDED IN VANCOUVER, AND WAS LURED BY A HIGH SALARY JOB IN SKEENA, BRITISH COLUMBIA. AFTER WORKING IN BRITISH COLUMBIA, THE HISTORY SAYS THAT “IN 1909, HE AND SEVERAL HUNDRED OTHER YOUNG JAPANESE MEN WERE RECRUITED BY AN AGENT OF THE KNIGHT SUGAR COMPANY TO WORK IN THE SUGAR BEET FIELDS IN RAYMOND, [ALBERTA] WITH PROMISES OF GOOD PAY AND EASY WORK...” THE MEN SOON LEARNED THAT THE WORK WAS MUCH MORE DIFFICULT AND THE PAY SIGNIFICANTLY LOWER THAN THEY HAD BEEN INITIALLY BEEN PROMISED, SO MANY RETURNED TO BRITISH COLUMBIA AFTER THEIR CONTRACT YEAR. KARAKI WAS OF THE GROUP THAT DECIDED TO STAY ON WITH THE COMPANY UNTIL ITS CLOSURE IN 1914. AFTER THAT, HE BEGAN A FARMING OPERATION WITH TWO OF THE FRIENDS HE MADE IN THE COMPANY – LEASING LAND FROM FIRST THE KNIGHT SUGAR COMPANY, THEN FROM A LOCAL NAMED ROLLO KINSEY, AND FINALLY FROM THE MCINTYRE RANCH IN MAGRATH. EVEN THOUGH THE PARTNERSHIP DISSOLVED AFTER THE FIRST THREE YEARS, KARAKI PERSISTED UNDER THE TRYING CONDITIONS, AND BY 1918 HE MADE THE DECISION TO MAKE ALBERTA HIS PERMANENT HOME AND TO BECOME A CANADIAN CITIZEN. HE PURCHASED A DRY LAND FARM IN RAYMOND AND FARMED THAT FOR FIVE YEARS BEFORE DECIDING HE WANTED TO GET MARRIED AND RAISE A FAMILY OF HIS OWN. HE RETURNED TO JAPAN IN 1923, WHERE HE MET THROUGH FAMILY AND FRIENDS, CHIAKI KUMAGAI, WHO WAS ALSO FROM THE NAGANO PREFECTURE. THE COUPLE MARRIED IN DECEMBER 1923, AND THE NEWLYWEDS RETURNED TO RAYMOND IN SPRING 1924. IN THE 2016 INTERVIEW, MRS. NISHIYAMA ADDED, “THERE WAS SOMEBODY ELSE. GO-BETWEENS HAD PICKED OUT SOMEONE ELSE FOR HIM, SO SOMEONE ELSE LOOKED AT HIM AND SAID ‘NO, THANK YOU.’ YOU KNOW, SOMETIMES IT WORKS, AND SOMETIMES IT DIDN’T. SO, THEN THEY HAD TO SCROUNGE A LITTLE BIT, AND MY MOTHER’S TOWN WAS NOT SO FAR FROM WHERE DAD’S FAMILY LIVED, SO THEY SAID, ‘WELL, WE’RE NOT THAT FAR APART. WHEN YOU COME HOME FOR A VISIT, YOU WILL BE ABLE TO VISIT.’” WHEN DESCRIBING THE HOME THE COUPLE INTIALLY SETTLED IN, MRS. NISHIYAMA EXPLAINED, “WE [WERE] 8 MILES SOUTH OF RAYMOND, IN WHAT WE CALL THE MAMMOTH SCHOOL DISTRICT… THERE WERE QUITE A FEW JAPANESE FAMILIES IN AND AROUND THAT MAMMOTH SCHOOL DISTRICT, SO WE WERE SORT OF THE MAJORITY.” MRS. NISHIYAMA SAID THAT HER MOTHER SPOKE OFTEN OF HER EARLY DAYS IN SOUTHERN ALBERTA. MRS. NISHIYAMA RECALLED, “IT WAS REALLY VERY LONELY [FOR MY MOTHER]. SHE’S YOUNG; THE CLOSEST NEIGHBOR WAS HALF A MILE AWAY… WHEN SHE GOT TO THE FARM, SHE SAID, ‘YOU SAID OUR NEIGHBORS ARE TAKAGUCHI’S. IS THAT HOUSE OVER THERE OUR NEIGHBORS?’ DAD SAID, ‘NO, THAT’S A CHICKEN COOP. THE NEIGHBOR’S HOUSE IS AWAY OVER THERE.’ FOR HER, THAT’S JUST APPALLING, COMING FROM A TOWN WHERE NEIGHBORS WERE CLOSE…DAD WOULD GET UP ONTO THE FIELD. NO ONE TO TALK TO EVEN. FORTUNATELY, SHE SAID, HER BROTHER-IN-LAW (DAD HAD A YOUNGER BROTHER HELPING HIM AT THAT TIME) – AND HE SAID, ‘GET ON THE BACK OF MY TRACTOR AND (IT WASN’T TRACTOR THEN – IT WAS HORSE AND BUGGY, BUT ANYWAY -) JUST COME AND RIDE THE FIELD WITH ME.’ AND, SHE DID JUST BECAUSE SHE COULDN’T STAND BEING BY HERSELF IN A LONELY OUTPOST, ON THE PRAIRIES, WITH NOTHING TO LOOK AT…” ACCORDING TO THE KARAKI FAMILY HISTORY IN THE NISHIKI BOOK, THE COUPLE RAISED A FAMILY OF SIX CHILDREN INCLUDING THE DONOR, REYKO NISHIYAMA. BY 1956, THEY SOLD THEIR FARM AND RELOCATED TO BRITISH COLUMBIA. TAKASHI PASSED AWAY IN THERE IN 1974 AT THE AGE OF 85 AND CHIAKI PASSED AWAY 14 YEARS LATER IN 1988. PLEASE SEE PERMANENT FILE FOR MORE INFORMATION, INCLUDING FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTIONS AND COPIES OF THE FAMILY HISTORIES.
Catalogue Number
P20160042002
Acquisition Date
2016-12
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail
Date Range From
1923
Date Range To
1924
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
BONE, RHINESTONE
Catalogue Number
P20160042003
  1 image  
Material Type
Artifact
Date Range From
1923
Date Range To
1924
Materials
BONE, RHINESTONE
No. Pieces
1
Height
16.3
Length
8.5
Description
FAN-SHAPED HAIR ORNAMENT WITH TWO LARGE PRONGS. CREAM-COLOURED WITH BROWN DAPPLING. 5 WHITE TULIP-SHAPED DESIGNS ON FANNED EDGE OF ORNAMENT WITH GREEN RHINESTONES INLAID IN THE WHITE SECTIONS OF DESIGN. TWO THIN LINES ARE ETCHED ON EITHER SIDE OF EACH WHITE TULIP SECTION. CONDITION: DESIGN FADED WITH ONE GREEN RHINESTONE MISSING ON AN INNER TULIP. SLIGHT LOSS OF FINISH ESPECIALLY AT THE WHITE PORTIONS OF DESIGN. SCUFFED SURFACE OVERALL.
Subjects
ADORNMENT
Historical Association
PERSONAL CARE
ETHNOGRAPHIC
History
ON 2 DECEMBER 2016, COLLECTIONS TECHNICIAN KEVIN MACLEAN INTERVIEWED THE DONORS, MAKIO (MAC) AND REYKO NISHIYAMA, IN THEIR HOME TO DISCUSS ITEMS THEY WERE DONATING TO THE GALT. THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION HAS BEEN EXTRACTED FROM THAT INTERVIEW: MRS. NISHIYAMA EXPLAINED THIS HAIR ORNAMENT AND A MATCHING ONE CAME INTO HER CUSTODY AFTER ITS INITIAL OWNERS – HER PARENTS TAKASHI AND CHIAKI KARAKI – MOVED FROM THEIR RAYMOND HOME TO BRITISH COLUMBIA. SHE SAID, “… [AFTER THE] SIXTY YEARS OF FARMING, MY [PARENTS] DID IN RAYMOND… THEY SELL THE WHOLE THING AND MOVE! I’M LEFT BEHIND IN RAYMOND BY MYSELF, MARRIED… WHEN THEY MOVE TO QUESNEL, B.C [IN THE LATE 1950S], THEY HAD TO LEAVE BEHIND THEIR TRUNK AND IT HAD ALL THE TREASURES IN IT.” OTHER TREASURES FOUND IN THE TRUNK WERE HER MOTHER’S COMB AND A VASE ALSO DONATED WITH THE TWO HAIR ORNAMENTS (P20160042001 & 003-004). MRS. NISHIYAMA REMEMBERED, “[MY MOTHER] EXPLAINED TO ME THAT SHE’D KEPT THESE BECAUSE THEY WERE HERS – GIVEN TO HER BY HER PARENTS – AND SHE WANTED ME TO SORT OF TAKE CARE OF THEM… [THEY] CAME WITH HER WHEN SHE GOT MARRIED… SHE CAME OVER AS A VERY YOUNG BRIDE… [THESE] TWO PIECES ARE HER HAIR ORNAMENTS, AND I’M GUESSING THAT THEY ARE BONE… [THEY WERE] NOT ANYTHING TO USE AROUND HERE, ANYWAY, SO WE JUST THOUGHT THEY WERE BEAUTIFUL, AND, ONCE IN A WHILE, WE GET TO SEE IT.” WHEN ASKED IF SHE REMEMBERED HER MOTHER USING THE COMB AND HAIR ACCESSORIES, MRS. NISHIYAMA STATED, “NO. BY THE TIME SHE GOT TO THE FARM, SHE REALIZED THERE’S NO DRESSING UP OR NOTHING. YOU KNOW THE HAIRDOS – THE FANCY HAIRDOS THAT THEY HAD IN JAPAN - THEY WERE LONG GONE, SO THEY JUST WENT BY. I KNOW SHE BRAIDED HER HAIR AND WORE A BUN ON THE BACK OF HER HEAD, FOR YEARS AND YEARS, BEFORE SHE CUT IT SHORT. SO, I JUST REMEMBERED A LITTLE TREASURE THAT SHE HAD IN THE DRAWER… IT WAS IN A SPECIAL SPOT IN THE DRESSER, AND WE ONLY GOT TO SEE IT ONCE IN A WHILE. IT WAS SPECIAL. IT WAS HER TREASURES THAT SHE KEPT.” SPEAKING OF THE ITEMS’ USE ONCE THEY WERE IN HER POSSESSION, MRS. NISHIYAMA SAID, “[THEY WERE] NOT REALLY [USED]. I THINK I’VE HAD IT OUT WHEN THEY ASKED FOR IT AT JAPANESE GARDENS. I THINK WE HAD SOMETHING ELSE SOMEWHERE, WHERE WE HAD A DISPLAY… I THINK THAT’S THE ONLY TIMES THAT THEY CAME OUT…” THE TRUNK, ALONG WITH ITS CONTENTS, WERE BROUGHT TO SOUTHERN ALBERTA FROM JAPAN BY HER MOTHER, CHIAKI KARAKI (NEE KUMAGAI), FOLLOWING HER MARRIAGE TO TAKASHI KARAKI. MRS. NISHIYAMA EXPLAINED HER PARENTS’ MARRIAGE STORY: “… SHE CAME OVER AS A VERY YOUNG BRIDE… NOT QUITE EIGHTEEN… I OFTEN SAID TO MY MOTHER…, ‘HOW IN THE WORLD DID YOUR PARENTS EVER LET YOU GO TO CANADA? YOU DIDN’T KNOW THE LANGUAGE – IT’S A DIFFERENT COUNTRY.’ SHE DIDN’T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT MY DAD, EXCEPT THAT HE WAS A FARMER. HE’S SEVENTEEN YEARS OLDER THAN SHE WAS THEN. IT DOESN’T MAKE SENSE. SHE JUST SAID, ‘MY PARENTS SAID TO GO, SO I CAME’ … IT TOOK A LOT OF COURAGE…” MRS. NISHIYAMA WENT ON, “ALL JAPANESE MARRIAGES WERE DONE [BY] GO-BETWEENS. THERE WERE, I WOULD SAY, HARDLY ANY, IN FACT, I DON’T THINK THERE WAS ANY… FALLING-IN-LOVE KIND OF THING. THAT WAS JUST NOT EVEN THOUGHT ABOUT… MY DAD’S FOLKS WERE IN THE VILLAGE. THEY WERE FARMERS… THEY HAD A LARGE HOUSE AND THEY RAISED SILKWORMS. MY MOTHER’S FOLKS LIVED IN THE TOWN… SHE COMES FROM A VERY MODEST FAMILY, BUT HER DAD WAS A PAWN BROKER…” A FAMILY HISTORY WRITTEN BY MRS. NISHIYAMA AND HER BROTHER, SUSUMU KARAKI, IN THE BOOK TITLED "NISHIKI: NIKKEI TAPESTRY: A HISTORY OF SOUTHERN ALBERTA JAPANESE CANADIANS" (PUBLISHED 2001), ELABORATES ON THE FAMILY’S STORY. IT STATES THEIR FATHER, TAKASHI KARAKI, WAS BORN ON 1 JULY 1889 IN NAGANO PREFECTURE, JAPAN. THE HISTORY READS, “AFTER GRADUATING FROM HIGH SCHOOL IN 1907… HE LEFT A COMFORTABLE HOME… TO VENTURE OUT FOR A NEW LIFE IN AMERICA.” IT EXPLAINS HE LANDED IN VANCOUVER, AND WAS LURED BY A HIGH SALARY JOB IN SKEENA, BRITISH COLUMBIA. AFTER WORKING IN BRITISH COLUMBIA, THE HISTORY SAYS THAT “IN 1909, HE AND SEVERAL HUNDRED OTHER YOUNG JAPANESE MEN WERE RECRUITED BY AN AGENT OF THE KNIGHT SUGAR COMPANY TO WORK IN THE SUGAR BEET FIELDS IN RAYMOND, [ALBERTA] WITH PROMISES OF GOOD PAY AND EASY WORK...” THE MEN SOON LEARNED THAT THE WORK WAS MUCH MORE DIFFICULT AND THE PAY SIGNIFICANTLY LOWER THAN THEY HAD BEEN INITIALLY BEEN PROMISED, SO MANY RETURNED TO BRITISH COLUMBIA AFTER THEIR CONTRACT YEAR. KARAKI WAS OF THE GROUP THAT DECIDED TO STAY ON WITH THE COMPANY UNTIL ITS CLOSURE IN 1914. AFTER THAT, HE BEGAN A FARMING OPERATION WITH TWO OF THE FRIENDS HE MADE IN THE COMPANY – LEASING LAND FROM FIRST THE KNIGHT SUGAR COMPANY, THEN FROM A LOCAL NAMED ROLLO KINSEY, AND FINALLY FROM THE MCINTYRE RANCH IN MAGRATH. EVEN THOUGH THE PARTNERSHIP DISSOLVED AFTER THE FIRST THREE YEARS, KARAKI PERSISTED UNDER THE TRYING CONDITIONS, AND BY 1918 HE MADE THE DECISION TO MAKE ALBERTA HIS PERMANENT HOME AND TO BECOME A CANADIAN CITIZEN. HE PURCHASED A DRY LAND FARM IN RAYMOND AND FARMED THAT FOR FIVE YEARS BEFORE DECIDING HE WANTED TO GET MARRIED AND RAISE A FAMILY OF HIS OWN. HE RETURNED TO JAPAN IN 1923, WHERE HE MET THROUGH FAMILY AND FRIENDS, CHIAKI KUMAGAI, WHO WAS ALSO FROM THE NAGANO PREFECTURE. THE COUPLE MARRIED IN DECEMBER 1923, AND THE NEWLYWEDS RETURNED TO RAYMOND IN SPRING 1924. IN THE 2016 INTERVIEW, MRS. NISHIYAMA ADDED, “THERE WAS SOMEBODY ELSE. GO-BETWEENS HAD PICKED OUT SOMEONE ELSE FOR HIM, SO SOMEONE ELSE LOOKED AT HIM AND SAID ‘NO, THANK YOU.’ YOU KNOW, SOMETIMES IT WORKS, AND SOMETIMES IT DIDN’T. SO, THEN THEY HAD TO SCROUNGE A LITTLE BIT, AND MY MOTHER’S TOWN WAS NOT SO FAR FROM WHERE DAD’S FAMILY LIVED, SO THEY SAID, ‘WELL, WE’RE NOT THAT FAR APART. WHEN YOU COME HOME FOR A VISIT, YOU WILL BE ABLE TO VISIT.’” WHEN DESCRIBING THE HOME THE COUPLE INTIALLY SETTLED IN, MRS. NISHIYAMA EXPLAINED, “WE [WERE] 8 MILES SOUTH OF RAYMOND, IN WHAT WE CALL THE MAMMOTH SCHOOL DISTRICT… THERE WERE QUITE A FEW JAPANESE FAMILIES IN AND AROUND THAT MAMMOTH SCHOOL DISTRICT, SO WE WERE SORT OF THE MAJORITY.” MRS. NISHIYAMA SAID THAT HER MOTHER SPOKE OFTEN OF HER EARLY DAYS IN SOUTHERN ALBERTA. MRS. NISHIYAMA RECALLED, “IT WAS REALLY VERY LONELY [FOR MY MOTHER]. SHE’S YOUNG; THE CLOSEST NEIGHBOR WAS HALF A MILE AWAY… WHEN SHE GOT TO THE FARM, SHE SAID, ‘YOU SAID OUR NEIGHBORS ARE TAKAGUCHI’S. IS THAT HOUSE OVER THERE OUR NEIGHBORS?’ DAD SAID, ‘NO, THAT’S A CHICKEN COOP. THE NEIGHBOR’S HOUSE IS AWAY OVER THERE.’ FOR HER, THAT’S JUST APPALLING, COMING FROM A TOWN WHERE NEIGHBORS WERE CLOSE…DAD WOULD GET UP ONTO THE FIELD. NO ONE TO TALK TO EVEN. FORTUNATELY, SHE SAID, HER BROTHER-IN-LAW (DAD HAD A YOUNGER BROTHER HELPING HIM AT THAT TIME) – AND HE SAID, ‘GET ON THE BACK OF MY TRACTOR AND (IT WASN’T TRACTOR THEN – IT WAS HORSE AND BUGGY, BUT ANYWAY -) JUST COME AND RIDE THE FIELD WITH ME.’ AND, SHE DID JUST BECAUSE SHE COULDN’T STAND BEING BY HERSELF IN A LONELY OUTPOST, ON THE PRAIRIES, WITH NOTHING TO LOOK AT…” ACCORDING TO THE KARAKI FAMILY HISTORY IN THE NISHIKI BOOK, THE COUPLE RAISED A FAMILY OF SIX CHILDREN INCLUDING THE DONOR, REYKO NISHIYAMA. BY 1956, THEY SOLD THEIR FARM AND RELOCATED TO BRITISH COLUMBIA. TAKASHI PASSED AWAY IN THERE IN 1974 AT THE AGE OF 85 AND CHIAKI PASSED AWAY 14 YEARS LATER IN 1988. PLEASE SEE PERMANENT FILE FOR MORE INFORMATION, INCLUDING FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTIONS AND COPIES OF THE FAMILY HISTORIES.
Catalogue Number
P20160042003
Acquisition Date
2016-12
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail
Date Range From
1923
Date Range To
1924
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
BONE, RHINESTONES
Catalogue Number
P20160042004
  1 image  
Material Type
Artifact
Date Range From
1923
Date Range To
1924
Materials
BONE, RHINESTONES
No. Pieces
1
Length
11
Width
6.5
Description
CROWN-SHAPED HAIR ORNAMENT. SHAPE IS MADE UP OF FOUR TULIP SHAPES. BONE COLOUR IS CREAM WITH BROWN DAPPLING. THE TULIPS ARE WHITE INLAID WITH GREEN RHINESTONES. LEAF-SHAPED DESIGNS ON THE BASE (TWO PER FLOWER) ARE BLACK INLAID WITH PALE BLUE RHINESTONES. FINE LINES ARE ETCHED INTO THE BLACK OF LEAVES AND AROUND THE FLOWER HEADS. CONDITION: DESIGNS ARE SLIGHTLY FADED WITH SLIGHT DIRT ACCUMULATION ON WHITE AREAS OF FLOWERS. TWO GREEN RHINESTONS AND ONE BLUE RHINESTONE MISSING. CLOSING MECHANISM AT BACK IS MISSING. SLIGHT SCUFFS ON OVERALL SURFACE.
Subjects
ADORNMENT
Historical Association
PERSONAL CARE
ETHNOGRAPHIC
History
ON 2 DECEMBER 2016, COLLECTIONS TECHNICIAN KEVIN MACLEAN INTERVIEWED THE DONORS, MAKIO (MAC) AND REYKO NISHIYAMA, IN THEIR HOME TO DISCUSS ITEMS THEY WERE DONATING TO THE GALT. THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION HAS BEEN EXTRACTED FROM THAT INTERVIEW: MRS. NISHIYAMA EXPLAINED THIS HAIR ORNAMENT AND A MATCHING ONE CAME INTO HER CUSTODY AFTER ITS INITIAL OWNERS – HER PARENTS TAKASHI AND CHIAKI KARAKI – MOVED FROM THEIR RAYMOND HOME TO BRITISH COLUMBIA. SHE SAID, “… [AFTER THE] SIXTY YEARS OF FARMING, MY [PARENTS] DID IN RAYMOND… THEY SELL THE WHOLE THING AND MOVE! I’M LEFT BEHIND IN RAYMOND BY MYSELF, MARRIED… WHEN THEY MOVE TO QUESNEL, B.C [IN THE LATE 1950S], THEY HAD TO LEAVE BEHIND THEIR TRUNK AND IT HAD ALL THE TREASURES IN IT.” OTHER TREASURES FOUND IN THE TRUNK WERE HER MOTHER’S COMB AND A VASE ALSO DONATED WITH THE HAIR ORNAMENTS (P20160042001 & 003-004). MRS. NISHIYAMA REMEMBERED, “[MY MOTHER] EXPLAINED TO ME THAT SHE’D KEPT THESE BECAUSE THEY WERE HERS – GIVEN TO HER BY HER PARENTS – AND SHE WANTED ME TO SORT OF TAKE CARE OF THEM… [THEY] CAME WITH HER WHEN SHE GOT MARRIED… SHE CAME OVER AS A VERY YOUNG BRIDE… [THESE] TWO PIECES ARE HER HAIR ORNAMENTS, AND I’M GUESSING THAT THEY ARE BONE… [THEY WERE] NOT ANYTHING TO USE AROUND HERE, ANYWAY, SO WE JUST THOUGHT THEY WERE BEAUTIFUL, AND, ONCE IN A WHILE, WE GET TO SEE IT.” WHEN ASKED IF SHE REMEMBERED HER MOTHER USING THE COMB AND HAIR ACCESSORIES, MRS. NISHIYAMA STATED, “NO. BY THE TIME SHE GOT TO THE FARM, SHE REALIZED THERE’S NO DRESSING UP OR NOTHING. YOU KNOW THE HAIRDOS – THE FANCY HAIRDOS THAT THEY HAD IN JAPAN - THEY WERE LONG GONE, SO THEY JUST WENT BY. I KNOW SHE BRAIDED HER HAIR AND WORE A BUN ON THE BACK OF HER HEAD, FOR YEARS AND YEARS, BEFORE SHE CUT IT SHORT. SO, I JUST REMEMBERED A LITTLE TREASURE THAT SHE HAD IN THE DRAWER… IT WAS IN A SPECIAL SPOT IN THE DRESSER, AND WE ONLY GOT TO SEE IT ONCE IN A WHILE. IT WAS SPECIAL. IT WAS HER TREASURES THAT SHE KEPT.” SPEAKING OF THE ITEMS’ USE ONCE THEY WERE IN HER POSSESSION, MRS. NISHIYAMA SAID, “[THEY WERE] NOT REALLY [USED]. I THINK I’VE HAD IT OUT WHEN THEY ASKED FOR IT AT JAPANESE GARDENS. I THINK WE HAD SOMETHING ELSE SOMEWHERE, WHERE WE HAD A DISPLAY… I THINK THAT’S THE ONLY TIMES THAT THEY CAME OUT…” THE TRUNK, ALONG WITH ITS CONTENTS, WERE BROUGHT TO SOUTHERN ALBERTA FROM JAPAN BY HER MOTHER, CHIAKI KARAKI (NEE KUMAGAI), FOLLOWING HER MARRIAGE TO TAKASHI KARAKI. MRS. NISHIYAMA EXPLAINED HER PARENTS’ MARRIAGE STORY: “… SHE CAME OVER AS A VERY YOUNG BRIDE… NOT QUITE EIGHTEEN… I OFTEN SAID TO MY MOTHER…, ‘HOW IN THE WORLD DID YOUR PARENTS EVER LET YOU GO TO CANADA? YOU DIDN’T KNOW THE LANGUAGE – IT’S A DIFFERENT COUNTRY.’ SHE DIDN’T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT MY DAD, EXCEPT THAT HE WAS A FARMER. HE’S SEVENTEEN YEARS OLDER THAN SHE WAS THEN. IT DOESN’T MAKE SENSE. SHE JUST SAID, ‘MY PARENTS SAID TO GO, SO I CAME’ … IT TOOK A LOT OF COURAGE…” MRS. NISHIYAMA WENT ON, “ALL JAPANESE MARRIAGES WERE DONE [BY] GO-BETWEENS. THERE WERE, I WOULD SAY, HARDLY ANY, IN FACT, I DON’T THINK THERE WAS ANY… FALLING-IN-LOVE KIND OF THING. THAT WAS JUST NOT EVEN THOUGHT ABOUT… MY DAD’S FOLKS WERE IN THE VILLAGE. THEY WERE FARMERS… THEY HAD A LARGE HOUSE AND THEY RAISED SILKWORMS. MY MOTHER’S FOLKS LIVED IN THE TOWN… SHE COMES FROM A VERY MODEST FAMILY, BUT HER DAD WAS A PAWN BROKER…” A FAMILY HISTORY WRITTEN BY MRS. NISHIYAMA AND HER BROTHER, SUSUMU KARAKI, IN THE BOOK TITLED "NISHIKI: NIKKEI TAPESTRY: A HISTORY OF SOUTHERN ALBERTA JAPANESE CANADIANS" (PUBLISHED 2001), ELABORATES ON THE FAMILY’S STORY. IT STATES THEIR FATHER, TAKASHI KARAKI, WAS BORN ON 1 JULY 1889 IN NAGANO PREFECTURE, JAPAN. THE HISTORY READS, “AFTER GRADUATING FROM HIGH SCHOOL IN 1907… HE LEFT A COMFORTABLE HOME… TO VENTURE OUT FOR A NEW LIFE IN AMERICA.” IT EXPLAINS HE LANDED IN VANCOUVER, AND WAS LURED BY A HIGH SALARY JOB IN SKEENA, BRITISH COLUMBIA. AFTER WORKING IN BRITISH COLUMBIA, THE HISTORY SAYS THAT “IN 1909, HE AND SEVERAL HUNDRED OTHER YOUNG JAPANESE MEN WERE RECRUITED BY AN AGENT OF THE KNIGHT SUGAR COMPANY TO WORK IN THE SUGAR BEET FIELDS IN RAYMOND, [ALBERTA] WITH PROMISES OF GOOD PAY AND EASY WORK...” THE MEN SOON LEARNED THAT THE WORK WAS MUCH MORE DIFFICULT AND THE PAY SIGNIFICANTLY LOWER THAN THEY HAD BEEN INITIALLY BEEN PROMISED, SO MANY RETURNED TO BRITISH COLUMBIA AFTER THEIR CONTRACT YEAR. KARAKI WAS OF THE GROUP THAT DECIDED TO STAY ON WITH THE COMPANY UNTIL ITS CLOSURE IN 1914. AFTER THAT, HE BEGAN A FARMING OPERATION WITH TWO OF THE FRIENDS HE MADE IN THE COMPANY – LEASING LAND FROM FIRST THE KNIGHT SUGAR COMPANY, THEN FROM A LOCAL NAMED ROLLO KINSEY, AND FINALLY FROM THE MCINTYRE RANCH IN MAGRATH. EVEN THOUGH THE PARTNERSHIP DISSOLVED AFTER THE FIRST THREE YEARS, KARAKI PERSISTED UNDER THE TRYING CONDITIONS, AND BY 1918 HE MADE THE DECISION TO MAKE ALBERTA HIS PERMANENT HOME AND TO BECOME A CANADIAN CITIZEN. HE PURCHASED A DRY LAND FARM IN RAYMOND AND FARMED THAT FOR FIVE YEARS BEFORE DECIDING HE WANTED TO GET MARRIED AND RAISE A FAMILY OF HIS OWN. HE RETURNED TO JAPAN IN 1923, WHERE HE MET THROUGH FAMILY AND FRIENDS, CHIAKI KUMAGAI, WHO WAS ALSO FROM THE NAGANO PREFECTURE. THE COUPLE MARRIED IN DECEMBER 1923, AND THE NEWLYWEDS RETURNED TO RAYMOND IN SPRING 1924. IN THE 2016 INTERVIEW, MRS. NISHIYAMA ADDED, “THERE WAS SOMEBODY ELSE. GO-BETWEENS HAD PICKED OUT SOMEONE ELSE FOR HIM, SO SOMEONE ELSE LOOKED AT HIM AND SAID ‘NO, THANK YOU.’ YOU KNOW, SOMETIMES IT WORKS, AND SOMETIMES IT DIDN’T. SO, THEN THEY HAD TO SCROUNGE A LITTLE BIT, AND MY MOTHER’S TOWN WAS NOT SO FAR FROM WHERE DAD’S FAMILY LIVED, SO THEY SAID, ‘WELL, WE’RE NOT THAT FAR APART. WHEN YOU COME HOME FOR A VISIT, YOU WILL BE ABLE TO VISIT.’” WHEN DESCRIBING THE HOME THE COUPLE INTIALLY SETTLED IN, MRS. NISHIYAMA EXPLAINED, “WE [WERE] 8 MILES SOUTH OF RAYMOND, IN WHAT WE CALL THE MAMMOTH SCHOOL DISTRICT… THERE WERE QUITE A FEW JAPANESE FAMILIES IN AND AROUND THAT MAMMOTH SCHOOL DISTRICT, SO WE WERE SORT OF THE MAJORITY.” MRS. NISHIYAMA SAID THAT HER MOTHER SPOKE OFTEN OF HER EARLY DAYS IN SOUTHERN ALBERTA. MRS. NISHIYAMA RECALLED, “IT WAS REALLY VERY LONELY [FOR MY MOTHER]. SHE’S YOUNG; THE CLOSEST NEIGHBOR WAS HALF A MILE AWAY… WHEN SHE GOT TO THE FARM, SHE SAID, ‘YOU SAID OUR NEIGHBORS ARE TAKAGUCHI’S. IS THAT HOUSE OVER THERE OUR NEIGHBORS?’ DAD SAID, ‘NO, THAT’S A CHICKEN COOP. THE NEIGHBOR’S HOUSE IS AWAY OVER THERE.’ FOR HER, THAT’S JUST APPALLING, COMING FROM A TOWN WHERE NEIGHBORS WERE CLOSE…DAD WOULD GET UP ONTO THE FIELD. NO ONE TO TALK TO EVEN. FORTUNATELY, SHE SAID, HER BROTHER-IN-LAW (DAD HAD A YOUNGER BROTHER HELPING HIM AT THAT TIME) – AND HE SAID, ‘GET ON THE BACK OF MY TRACTOR AND (IT WASN’T TRACTOR THEN – IT WAS HORSE AND BUGGY, BUT ANYWAY -) JUST COME AND RIDE THE FIELD WITH ME.’ AND, SHE DID JUST BECAUSE SHE COULDN’T STAND BEING BY HERSELF IN A LONELY OUTPOST, ON THE PRAIRIES, WITH NOTHING TO LOOK AT…” ACCORDING TO THE KARAKI FAMILY HISTORY IN THE NISHIKI BOOK, THE COUPLE RAISED A FAMILY OF SIX CHILDREN INCLUDING THE DONOR, REYKO NISHIYAMA. BY 1956, THEY SOLD THEIR FARM AND RELOCATED TO BRITISH COLUMBIA. TAKASHI PASSED AWAY IN THERE IN 1974 AT THE AGE OF 85 AND CHIAKI PASSED AWAY 14 YEARS LATER IN 1988. PLEASE SEE PERMANENT FILE FOR MORE INFORMATION, INCLUDING FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTIONS AND COPIES OF THE FAMILY HISTORIES.
Catalogue Number
P20160042004
Acquisition Date
2016-12
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail
Other Name
BUTTON ACCORDION
Date Range From
1920
Date Range To
1930
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
WOOD, METAL, PLASTIC
Catalogue Number
P20180011000
  2 images  
Material Type
Artifact
Other Name
BUTTON ACCORDION
Date Range From
1920
Date Range To
1930
Materials
WOOD, METAL, PLASTIC
No. Pieces
2
Height
37
Length
36.4
Width
20
Description
A. BUTTON ACCORDION, 37 CM TALL X 36.4 CM LONG X 20 CM WIDE. ACCORDION IS BROWN POLISHED WOOD WITH BLACK AND LIGHT BROWN TRIM; ACCORDION HAS BLACK PLASTIC BELLOWS AND SILVER PLATE OVER THREE ROWS OF WHITE BUTTONS AT SIDE; OPOPSITE END OF ACCORDION HAS FOUR ROWS OF WHITE AND BLACK PLASTIC BUTTONS SET IN SILVER PLATE ABOVE BLACK LEATHER STRAP. TOP OF ACCORDION HAS TWO SILVER BASS/TREBLE SWITCHES. BORDERS AROUND BELLOWS HAVE PEAL/TORTOISE SHELL INLAID. ACCORDION IS MISSING BUTTON FROM FOURTH ROW OF BUTTONS, AND HAS TWO WOODEN SUBSTITUTE BUTTONS IN SECOND AND FOURTH ROWS. FRONT OF ACCORDION HAS WINDOW ABOVE BELLOWS WITH GLASS PLATE OVER WHITE PAPER AND BLACK TEXT “C. DALLAPE, TRENTO (ITALIA)”. ACCORDION HAS FOUR BRASS FEET ON SIDE WITH FOUR ROWS OF BUTTONS. WOOD IS WORN AT HANDLES AND EDGES; METAL PLATES AND ACCENTS HAVE CORROSION. OVERALL VERY GOOD CONDITION. B. BLUE COTTON BAG, 72 CM LONG X 53 CM WIDE. BAG HAS HANDLE ATTACHED TO COVER FLAP; COVER FLAP HAS THREE BUTTON HOLES. BAG HAS TWO BLACK PLASTIC BUTTONS ON FRONT ALONG TOP EDGE. BAG HAS PATCHES STITCHED WITH BLACK THREAD ON FRONT UPPER LEFT CORNER, ON BACK IN THE CENTER OF BAG, AND ON THE BACK BESIDE LEFT CORNER OF HANDLE. BAG IS TORN IN LOWER RIGHT CORNER AND FRAYED; BAG IS TORN ALONG LEFT AND RIGHT EDGES AND ON FRONT AT UPPER RIGHT EDGE; BACK HAS TORN HOLES AT BOTTOM. OVERALL GOOD CONDITION.
Subjects
MUSICAL T&E
Historical Association
HOME ENTERTAINMENT
LEISURE
History
ON MAY 22, 2018, COLLECTIONS TECHNICIAN KEVIN MACLEAN INTERVIEWED LESLIE MORTON REGARDING HER DONATION OF A BUTTON ACCORDION. THE ACCORDION WAS OWNED AND PLAYED BY MORTON’S GRANDFATHER, GIUSEPPE (JOSEPH) "FABRO" BRIDAROLLI, AND WAS LATER OWNED BY HER UNCLE, SYLVIO "SYL" BRIDAROLLI, BEFORE BECOMING IN HER POSSESSION. MORTON DISCUSSED HER MEMORIES OF THE ACCORDION IN HER HOME, STATING, “IT’S A BUTTON ACCORDION…THERE’S BUTTON ACCORDIONS AND PIANO ACCORDIONS, AND I PLAY THE PIANO. IF I HAD A PIANO ACCORDION, I COULD AT LEAST PICK OUT THE NOTES BECAUSE I COULD READ THE MUSIC. THIS IS SOMETHING DIFFERENT. YOU HAVE TO BE A REAL MUSICIAN TO PLAY A BUTTON ACCORDION BECAUSE IT IS TOTALLY BY EAR. THERE’S THE MELODY SIDE AND THE CHORD SIDE AND YOU JUST DO IT BY EAR. IF YOU LISTEN TO HIS TAPE [IN ARCHIVES]…HE WAS JUST TURNING 81 WHEN HE MADE THIS TAPE AND HE WAS TRYING TO REMEMBER SOME OF THE SONGS HE KNEW. ONE CAME OUT REALLY GOOD AND THEN HE GOT THE MELODY OF SOMETHING. HE WAS PICKING IT OUT AND HE WAS INTO THINGS HE WAS MORE FAMILIAR WITH. HE WAS VERY MUSICAL AND HAD A REAL EAR. IT’S SORT OF LIKE AN IRISH BUTTON ACCORDION BUT NOT QUITE. IT’S BIGGER.” “WHAT I REMEMBER [MY GRANDPARENTS] TELLING ME IS WHEN HE WAS HERE, HE HAD IT MADE FOR HIM IN ITALY AND IT WAS SENT OVER TO CANADA WHEN HE LIVED HERE. I ALSO UNDERSTOOD HE PLAYED IN ITALY BUT THIS ACCORDION WAS MADE FOR HIM THERE AND SENT OVER [IN THE 1920S].” “IT’S A TREASURE. I WOULD SAY OF ALL THE THINGS I FOUND IN MY PARENTS’ HOME AND ALL THE THINGS I’VE HAD TO FIND HOMES FOR, ALL THE THINGS THAT WOULD REMIND ME OF MY CHILDHOOD, THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING. EVER. IT EVOKES REALLY STRONG MEMORIES. THERE’S SOMETHING ABOUT MUSIC IN A FAMILY. IF YOU CAN MEET TOGETHER AND YOU CAN SHARE MUSIC, WHICH OUR FAMILY DID, IT LEAVES AN IMPRESSION THAT YOU DON’T EVER FORGET.” “[THE ACCORDION] REALLY WAS FOR MY GRANDFATHER [GIUESEPPE “JOSEPH” BRIDAROLLI]. IT WAS FROM HIM. THAT’S WHERE THE [LOVE OF] MUSIC CAME FROM FOR ALL [MY FAMILY].” “WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL, WE WOULD GO OVER TO [MY GRANDPARENTS’] HOUSE AT 909 - 8TH STREET NORTH, [MY GRANDFATHER] ALWAYS PLAYED. HE’D JUST SIT IN HIS KITCHEN AND HE’D PLAY SOMETHING FOR US. HE WOULD SIT ON A BENCH BY THE BACK DOOR OUTSIDE AND HE WOULD PLAY SOMETHING FOR US. AT CHRISTMAS, MY GRANDPARENTS WOULD COME OVER [TO OUR HOME] AND HE WOULD PLAY THE ACCORDION. MY MOTHER WOULD PLAY THE VIOLIN, MY SISTER THE PIANO. SHE WAS BETTER THAN ME AND WE WOULD ALL SING CAROLS. FOR MY UNCLE IT WOULD BE THE SAME. HE ALWAYS WAS THERE PLAYING HIS ACCORDION. WHEN MY UNCLE AND AUNT CAME TO VISIT, IT WAS THE SAME THING. HE’D PLAY.” ON HER FAMILY’S HISTORY AND CONNECTION TO THE ACCORDION, MORTON ELABORTED, “[MY GRANDFATHER] STOPPED WORKING IN THE MINES IN THE FIFTIES. HE WAS STILL DOING IT IN THE FIFTIES. WHEN THEY CAME OVER FOR SUNDAY DINNER OR WE WENT OVER THERE [MY GRANDFATHER WOULD PLAY]. [WHEN] MY GRANDMOTHER WAS WELL ENOUGH, WE WOULD ALTERNATE [HOMES FOR DINNERS]. THEN WHEN IT GOT HARDER FOR HER [SUNDAY DINNER] WAS ALWAYS IN OUR HOME. I MADE A TAPE WHEN MY PARENTS WENT TO INDIA IN 1971, AND THAT’S WHEN MY UNCLE GOT MARRIED AS WELL. WE CORRESPONDED BY CASSETTE TAPE. THAT SOUNDS VERY ANTIQUATED NOWADAYS. THERE WAS NO EMAIL. PHONES WERE DIFFICULT WHEN YOU TRIED TO PHONE INDIA AND [WE] HAD TO YELL INTO THE PHONE. SO WE DECIDED TO MAKE CASSETTE TAPES…I WENT DOWN SEPTEMBER THE 5TH, 1971…AND I HAD HIM PLAY THE ACCORDION SO THAT I COULD SEND THIS TAPE TO MY PARENTS. [THIS TAPE HAS] HIS VOICE A LITTLE BIT IN THE BACKGROUND AND MINE A TINY BIT BUT IT’S HIS MUSIC THAT’S IMPORTANT. IT WAS SENT OVER TO INDIA FOR THEM AND WE’VE KEPT IT EVER SINCE. HE DIED IN ’72 AND WE PLAYED THAT ACCORDION TAPE A HUNDRED MILLION TIMES. MY UNCLE ALSO HAD ONE OF COURSE. HE WAS ALWAYS PLAYING. MY MOTHER TELLS A STORY, ALTHOUGH IT’S NOT A FAMILY ONE BUT SHE SAID THAT FRIENDS OF HIS, WHEN IT WAS THEIR BIRTHDAY, HE WOULD GO OVER SIT UNDER THEIR WINDOW AND HE WOULD PLAY THE ACCORDION. HE WOULD PLAY AT GATHERINGS OF THE ITALIAN COMMUNITY. HE PLAYED AT DANCES.” “MY GRANDFATHER WAS BORN SEPTEMBER 7TH 1890 AND MY GRANDMOTHER [MARIA BERTE] WAS JANUARY 9TH, 1893. THEY WERE FROM CAVENDINE, ITALY, WHICH IS IN THE PROVINCE OF TRENTO AND THAT’S WHERE THIS ACCORDION WAS MANUFACTURED…THEY WERE VERY POOR OVER THERE…I FOUND A PAPER IN THE MIDDLE OF THE FAMILY DOCUMENTS THAT, I DON’T SPEAK ITALIAN, BUT IT LOOKED LIKE A POVERTY DOCUMENT THAT HAS MY GRANDFATHER—HIS FATHER’S NAME ON IT. THEY WERE VERY POOR AND THEY WOULD HAVE COME HERE TO MAKE A BETTER LIFE FOR HIS FAMILY.” “I UNDERSTAND THAT MY GRANDFATHER CAME OVER BY HIMSELF PRIOR TO 1920. HE WAS IN LETHBRIDGE AND SIZED THINGS UP. HE WENT BACK TO ITALY AND GOT MARRIED TO MY GRANDMOTHER IN 1920. MY MOTHER WAS BORN OVER THERE. IT WAS 1924, IN OCTOBER WHEN HE BROUGHT HIS WIFE AND HIS YOUNG DAUGHTER, ANN, OVER. THEY CAME ON A BOAT AND LANDED IN THE MARITIMES, AND THEY MADE THEIR WAY TO LETHBRIDGE. THEY STARTED IN COALHURST FOR A SHORT WHILE…AND THEN THEY MOVED TO LETHBRIDGE. MY UNCLE WAS BORN HERE IN 1926.” “I CAN GUESS [MY GRANDPARENTS MOVED TO SOUTHERN ALBERTA] BECAUSE [OF] MILLIE LUCIANI—THERE WERE BERTE FAMILIES HERE AND MY GRANDMOTHER WAS A BERTE. MILLIE LUCICANI’S FATHER[WAS A BERTE AND HE WAS A COUSIN OF MY [GRAND]MOTHER] … THERE WAS COMMUNICATION THERE THAT THIS WAS THE PLACE TO COME BECAUSE THEY WERE ALREADY HERE.” “WHEN MY GRANDFATHER DIED IN 1972, I HAD THIS ACCORDION AND THEN, AT A CERTAIN POINT I GAVE IT TO MY UNCLE, HIS SON, SYL. HE HAD IT IN FERNIE THEN IN MERRITT. HE DIED IN 2011 AND MY AUNT SENT IT TO ME. WE TALKED ABOUT LEAVING IT TO THE MUSEUM BUT I DIDN’T WANT TO LET GO OF IT YET. WHAT HAS SPURRED IT ON IS THAT THERE IS NOBODY ELSE TO PASS IT ON TO.” “I WAS GIVEN THIS BECAUSE, WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL I JUST LOVED IT. HE PLAYED AND I LOVED IT. MY UNCLE LOVED IT TOO, HE DIDN’T LIVE HERE AND BECAUSE IT WAS EASY AND MY PARENTS HAD TO LEAVE FOR INDIA, I GOT IT TEMPORARILY. IT DID BELONG MORE TO MY MOM AND MY UNCLE THAN TO ME, BUT I HAD IT FIRST FOR QUITE A WHILE.” “MY SISTER AND I WERE TALKING AND WE THOUGHT, WELL REALLY IT WAS MORE [OUR UNCLE’S] THAN OURS. THAT’S WHY [I GAVE IT TO HIM]. BY GOING TO ME IT WENT TO MY MOM AND SHE WAS THE ELDEST. BUT WHEN MY MOTHER WAS GETTING REALLY SICK AND HE WAS COMING TO VISIT HER AND SHE WASN’T GOING TO LIVE, THEN IT WAS REALLY IMPORTANT THAT IT GO TO THE NEXT PERSON WHICH REALLY WOULD BE MY UNCLE. WE THOUGHT IT WAS THE RIGHT THING AND HE WAS ENCHANTED. IT WAS REALLY HIS AT THAT POINT.” “I WANTED TO LEARN HOW TO PLAY IT SO I TRIED, BUT I HAD ARTHRITIS IN MY SHOULDERS SO I COULDN’T. I WOULD TAKE [IT] OUT EVERY ONCE IN A WHILE AND TRY TO PLAY “SILENT NIGHT”. I JUST TOOK IT WHEREVER I WENT AND TRIED TO LOOK AFTER IT.” “IT WOULD BE [ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT THINGS IN MY HOME] AND I’M SURE FOR MY UNCLE TOO. PICTURES ARE REALLY IMPORTANT TO OUR FAMILY AND TO ME. I KNOW TO MY UNCLE SYL AS WELL THIS WOULD BE [IMPORTANT] BECAUSE WE ALL REMEMBERED [MY GRANDFATHER] PLAYING ALL THE TIME. HE NEVER SAT DOWN WITHOUT IT ON HIS LAP. TO MY UNCLE IT WOULD BE EVEN STRONGER BECAUSE, OF COURSE, HE GREW UP WITH HIS FATHER PLAYING THE ACCORDION.” “MY GRANDPARENTS HAD TWO CHILDREN, MY MOTHER ANN, AND HER BROTHER SYL. SYL NEVER HAD ANY CHILDREN, THEY ADOPTED A GIRL ONCE BUT THAT WAS LONG AGO [AND] SHE’S OUT OF THE PICTURE. THERE’S MY AUNT, HIS WIFE, AND THERE’S ME. MY PARENTS HAVE PASSED AWAY AND MY SISTER, LAUREL, PASSED AWAY IN 2009 IN GENEVA. IF SOMETHING HAPPENS TO ME, THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO WAY THIS BRIDAROLLI FAMILY WILL CARRY ON. THE ANDERSON FAMILY [MY FATHER’S FAMILY] THERE WERE EIGHT OF THEM. THERE’S NOBODY ELSE. THERE’S ME AND I FEEL A LITTLE RESPONSIBILITY TO MAKE SURE IT’S POSSIBLE THAT THE JOSEPH BRIDAROLLI FAMILY IS IN SOME WAY REMEMBERED. MY GRANDFATHER WAS A COAL MINER IN LETHBRIDGE AND HE ALSO WAS A PART OF THE ITALIAN COMMUNITY AND THEY WEREN’T RICH; THEY WEREN’T POWERFUL. THEY DIDN’T HOLD POSITIONS BUT I THINK THEIR STORY IS VERY IMPORTANT AS IMMIGRANTS FROM ITALY AND I’D LIKE TO TELL THEIR STORY. THAT’S THE REASON I BROUGHT IT. I THINK IT WOULD BE REALLY IMPORTANT THAT IN SOME WAY IT IS PERPETUATED BOTH FOR MY UNCLE AND MY MOTHER AS WELL AS HER PARENTS.” FOR MORE INFORMATION INCLUDING LETHBRIDGE HERALD ARTICLES AND THE FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTION, PLEASE SEE THE PERMANENT FILE P20180011000-GA.
Catalogue Number
P20180011000
Acquisition Date
2018-05
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail
Other Name
BLANKET
Date Range From
1920
Date Range To
1990
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
RAW FLAX YARN
Catalogue Number
P20160003007
  2 images  
Material Type
Artifact
Other Name
BLANKET
Date Range From
1920
Date Range To
1990
Materials
RAW FLAX YARN
No. Pieces
1
Length
139
Width
99.5
Description
HAND-WOVEN BLANKET MADE FROM RAW FLAX. THE BLANKET IS COMPOSED OF 2 SECTIONS OF THE SAME SIZE OF MATERIAL THAT ARE JOINED TOGETHER WITH A SEAM AT THE CENTER. ON THE FRONT SIDE (WITH NEAT SIDE OF THE STITCHING AND PATCHES), THERE ARE THREE PATCHES ON THE BLANKET MADE FROM LIGHTER, RAW-COLOURED MATERIAL. ONE SECTION OF THE FABRIC HAS TWO OF THE PATCHES ALIGNED VERTICALLY NEAR THE CENTER SEAM. THE AREA SHOWING ON ONE PATCH IS 3 CM X 5 CM AND THE OTHER IS SHOWING 5 CM X 6 CM. ON THE OPPOSITE SECTION THERE IS ONE PATCH THAT IS 16 CM X 8.5 CM SEWN AT THE EDGE OF THE BLANKET. THE BLANKET IS HEMMED ON BOTH SHORT SIDES. ON THE OPPOSING/BACK SIDE OF THE BLANKET, THE FULL PIECES OF THE FABRIC FOR THE PATCHES ARE SHOWING. THE SMALLER PATCH OF THE TWO ON THE ONE HALF-SECTION OF THE BLANKET IS 8CM X 10 CM AND THE OTHER PATCH ON THAT SIDE IS 14CM X 15CM. THE PATCH ON THE OTHER HALF-SECTION IS THE SAME SIZE AS WHEN VIEWED FROM THE FRONT. THERE IS A SEVERELY FADED BLUE STAMP ON THIS PATCH’S FABRIC. FAIR CONDITION. THERE IS RED STAINING THAT CAN BE SEEN FROM BOTH SIDES OF THE BLANKET AT THE CENTER SEAM, NEAR THE EDGE OF THE BLANKET AT THE SIDE WITH 2 PATCHES (CLOSER TO THE LARGER PATCH), AND NEAR THE SMALL PATCH AT THE END FURTHER FROM THE CENTER. THERE IS A HOLE WITH MANY LOOSE THREADS SURROUNDING NEAR THE CENTER OF THE HALF SECTION WITH ONE PATCH. THERE ARE VARIOUS THREADS COMING LOOSE AT MULTIPLE POINTS OF THE BLANKET.
Subjects
AGRICULTURAL T&E
BEDDING
Historical Association
AGRICULTURE
DOMESTIC
ETHNOGRAPHIC
History
THE KONKINS WERE A RUSSIAN-SPEAKING FAMILY FROM THE TOWN OF SHOULDICE, ALBERTA, NEAR CALGARY. THEY AND MANY OTHER RUSSIAN FAMILIES COMPOSED THAT TOWN’S DOUKHOBOR COLONY. IT WAS THERE WILLIAM KONKIN MARRIED ELIZABETH WISHLOW. IN 1928, THEIR DAUGHTER, ELSIE WAS BORN. THEY LATER MOVED TO A FARM IN VAUXHALL, ALBERTA. THE PRECEDING AND FOLLOWING INFORMATION HAS BEEN EXTRACTED FROM A TWO-PART INTERVIEW WITH DONOR ELSIE MORRIS, WHICH WAS CONDUCTED BY COLLECTIONS TECHNICIAN KEVIN MACLEAN ON FEBRUARY 17, 2016. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION COMES FROM FAMILY HISTORIES AND TEXTS PROVIDED BY THE DONOR. A FULL HISTORY OF THE KONKIN FAMILY CAN BE FOUND WITH THE RECORD P20160003001. ACCORDING TO A NOTE THAT WAS ATTACHED TO THIS LIGHTWEIGHT BLANKET AT THE TIME OF ACQUISITION THE BLANKET IS BELIEVED TO HAVE BEEN MADE C. 1920S. MORRIS SAYS HER MEMORY OF THE BLANKET DATES AS FAR BACK AS SHE CAN REMEMBER: “RIGHT INTO THE ‘30S, ‘40S AND ‘50S BECAUSE MY MOTHER DID THAT RIGHT UP UNTIL NEAR THE END. I USE THAT EVEN IN LETHBRIDGE WHEN I HAD A GARDEN. [THIS TYPE OF BLANKET] WAS USED FOR TWO PURPOSES. IT WAS EITHER PUT ON THE BED UNDERNEATH THE MATTRESS THE LADIES MADE OUT OF WOOL AND OR ELSE IT WAS USED, A DIFFERENT PIECE OF CLOTH WOULD BE USED FOR FLAILING THINGS. [THE] FLAIL ACTUALLY GOES WITH IT AND THEY BANG ON THE SEEDS AND IT WOULD TAKE THE HULLS OFF… IT’S HAND WOVEN AND IT’S MADE OUT OF POOR QUALITY FLAX… IT’S UNBLEACHED, DEFINITELY… RAW LINEN." THIS SPECIFIC BLANKET WAS USED FOR SEEDS MORRIS RECALLS: “…IT HAD TO BE A WINDY DAY… WE WOULD PICK DRIED PEAS OR BEANS OR WHATEVER BEET SEEDS AND WE WOULD BEAT AWAY AND THEN WE WOULD STAND UP, HOLD IT UP AND THE BREEZE WOULD BLOW THE HULLS OFF AND THE SEEDS WOULD GO STRAIGHT DOWN [ONTO THE BLANKET.” THE SEEDS WOULD THEN BE CARRIED ON THE BLANKET AND THEN PUT INTO A PAIL. OF THE BLANKET’S CLEAN STATE, MORRIS EXPLAINS, “THEY’RE ALWAYS WASHED AFTER THEY’RE FINISHED USING THEM.” WHEN SHE LOOKS AT THIS ARTIFACT, MORRIS SAYS: “I FEEL LIKE I’M OUT ON THE FARM, I SEE FIELDS AND FIELDS OF FLAX, BLUE FLAX. BUT THAT’S NOT WHAT SHE USED IT FOR. SHE DID USE IT IF SHE WANTED A LITTLE BIT OF THE FLAX THEN SHE’D POUND THE FLAX, BUT THAT WASN’T OFTEN. IT WAS MOSTLY BEANS AND PEAS.” IT IS UNKNOWN WHO WOVE THIS BLANKET. PLEASE SEE THE PERMANENT FILE FOR MORE INFORMATION INCLUDING FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTION, OBITUARIES, PHOTOGRAPHS, AND FAMILY HISTORIES.
Catalogue Number
P20160003007
Acquisition Date
2016-02
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail
Date Range From
1907
Date Range To
1995
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
WOOD, METAL, VARNISH
Catalogue Number
P20160003008
  2 images  
Material Type
Artifact
Date Range From
1907
Date Range To
1995
Materials
WOOD, METAL, VARNISH
No. Pieces
1
Height
107
Diameter
54.5
Description
WOODEN SPINNING WHEEL COATED WITH RED WOOD VARNISH. THE BOBBIN IS APPROX. 11.5CM IN LENGTH AND APPROX. 9CM IN DIAMETER. THERE IS SOME HANDSPUN, WHITE YARN REMAINING ON THE BOBBIN, IN ADDITION TO A SMALL AMOUNT OF GREEN YARN. THE SPINNING WHEEL IS FULLY ASSEMBLED. ON EITHER SIDE OF THE FLYER THERE ARE 10 METAL HOOKS. ON THE LEFT SIDE ONE OF THE 10 HOOKS IS PARTIALLY BROKEN OFF. ON THE FRONT MAIDEN, A WHITE STRING IS TIED AROUND A FRONT KNOB WITH A METAL WIRE BENT LIKE A HOOK (POSSIBLY TO PULL YARN THROUGH THE METAL ORIFICE ATTACHED TO FLYER). LONG SECTION OF RED YARN LOOPED AROUND THE SPINNING WHEEL (MAY BE DRIVE BAND). TREADLE IS TIED TO THE FOOTMAN WITH A DARK GREY, FLAT STRING THAT IS 5MM IN WIDTH. GOOD CONDITION. TREADLE IS WELL WORN WITH VARNISH WORN OFF AND METAL NAIL HEADS EXPOSED.
Subjects
TEXTILEWORKING T&E
Historical Association
DOMESTIC
ETHNOGRAPHIC
History
THE KONKINS WERE A RUSSIAN-SPEAKING FAMILY FROM THE TOWN OF SHOULDICE, ALBERTA, NEAR CALGARY. THEY AND MANY OTHER RUSSIAN FAMILIES COMPOSED THAT TOWN’S DOUKHOBOR COLONY. IT WAS THERE WILLIAM KONKIN MARRIED ELIZABETH WISHLOW. IN 1928, THEIR DAUGHTER, ELSIE WAS BORN. THEY LATER MOVED TO A FARM IN VAUXHALL, ALBERTA. THE PRECEDING AND FOLLOWING INFORMATION HAS BEEN EXTRACTED FROM A TWO-PART INTERVIEW WITH DONOR ELSIE MORRIS, WHICH WAS CONDUCTED BY COLLECTIONS TECHNICIAN KEVIN MACLEAN ON FEBRUARY 17, 2016. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION COMES FROM FAMILY HISTORIES AND TEXTS PROVIDED BY THE DONOR. A FULL HISTORY OF THE KONKIN FAMILY CAN BE FOUND WITH THE RECORD P20160003001. MORRIS ACQUIRED THIS SPINNING WHEEL FROM HER MOTHER AT THE SAME TIME SHE ACQUIRED THE RUG (P20160003006-GA). SHE EXPLAINS: “I ASKED HER IF I COULD USE THE SPINNING WHEEL – SHE TAUGHT ME HOW TO SPIN. AND SHE ALSO TAUGHT ME HOW TO WEAVE, ACTUALLY MY GRANDMOTHER DID THAT MORE SO THAN MY MOTHER. AND I BELONG TO THE WEAVERS’ GUILD, SO I THOUGHT THAT I BETTER DO SOME SPINNING. AND I DID SOME, SO THAT’S WHY I’VE GOT IT HERE AND MOTHER SAID NOT TO BOTHER BRINGING IT BECAUSE SHE WASN’T GOING TO DO ANYMORE SPINNING. SHE HAD LOTS AND LOTS OF YARN THAT SHE DID. SO IT’S BEEN SITTING HERE; IT WAS IN THE BASEMENT.” THE WHEEL WAS MADE FOR ELIZABETH KONKIN WHEN SHE WAS A CHILD IN BRITISH COLUMBIA. MORRIS EXPLAINED THAT: “… [THE SPINNING WHEEL] WAS MADE ESPECIALLY FOR HER. SHE WAS VERY YOUNG. AND THAT IS THE CADILLAC OF SPINNING WHEELS… BECAUSE SHE KNEW WHO THE SPINNERS WERE, WHO THE SPINNING WHEEL CARPENTERS WERE. AND THERE WAS ONE PARTICULAR MAN AND HER MOTHER SAID, ‘WE’LL GO TO THAT ONE.’ AND THEN IN TURN, IN PAYMENT, SHE WOVE HIM ENOUGH MATERIAL TO MAKE A SUIT – A LINEN ONE… [T]HEY DIDN’T LIVE IN CASTELLAR, THEY LIVED IN ANOTHER PLACE. IT’S CALLED - IN RUSSIAN IT IS CALLED OOTISCHENIA. IT’S WHERE THE BIG – ONE OF THE BIG DAMS IS. IF YOU EVER GO ON THAT ROAD, THERE’LL BE DAMS – I THINK ABOUT 3 HUGE ONES… NEAR CASTELLAR, YEAH.” WHEN ASKED ABOUT THE TIME THE WHEEL WAS BUILT FOR HER MOTHER, MORRIS ANSWERED: “… [S]HE GOT IT LONG BEFORE [HER MARRIAGE].” SHE EXPLAINED THAT PRIOR TO MARRYING, GIRLS WOULD PUT TOGETHER TROUSSEAUS “AND THEY MAKE ALL KINDS OF FANCY THINGS WHICH THEY NEVER USE.” MORRIS RECALLS THE SPINNING WHEEL BEING USED WITHIN HER FAMILY’S HOME IN SHOULDICE AND IN THE LEAN-TO AREA IN THEIR HOME AT VAUXHALL: ‘WELL I THINK [THE SKILL IS] IN THE GENES ACTUALLY. BECAUSE MOST FAMILIES WOVE, AND THEY CERTAINLY SPUN, AS FAR AS I REMEMBER. I KNOW EVERY FALL THE LOOM WOULD COME OUT AND WE WERE LIVING WITH MY GRANDPARENTS ON MY DAD’S [SIDE]. WE LIVED UPSTAIRS, AND EVERY WINTER THEY’D HAUL THAT HUGE LOOM INTO THE BATHHOUSE – THE STEAM BATHHOUSE – BECAUSE THERE WAS NO ROOM ANYWHERE ELSE. AND THEY – THE LADIES SET IT UP AND IN THE SUMMERTIME. THEY TORE THE RAGS FOR THE RUGS, OR SPUN THEM. [FOR] WHATEVER THEY WERE GOING TO MAKE. MY MOM WAS SPINNING WHEN I WAS OLD. [S]HE USED MAKE MITTENS AND SOCKS FOR THE KIDS FOR MY CHILDREN AND SO WHEN SHE DIED THERE WAS A WHOLE STACK OF THESE MITTENS AND SOCKS AND I’VE BEEN GIVING IT TO MY GRAND[KIDS AND] MY GREAT GRANDKIDS” MORRIS ALSO USED THIS SPINNING WHEEL MANY TIMES HERSELF. SHE SAID, “IT WAS VERY EASY TO SPIN AND WHEN YOU TRY SOMEBODY ELSE’S SPINNING WHEEL YOU KNOW THE DIFFERENCE RIGHT AWAY. IT’S LIKE DRIVING A CADILLAC AND THEN DRIVING AN OLD FORD. IT’S JUST, IT’S SMOOTH. OUR SON, I TOLD YOU HE WAS VERY CLEVER, HE TRIED SPINNING AND HE SAID IT WAS JUST A VERY, VERY GOOD SPINNING WHEEL. WHEN I WAS IN THE GUILD I TRIED DOING [WHAT] MY MOTHER TAUGHT ME HOW TO SPIN FINE THREAD AND I WANTED HEAVY THREAD BECAUSE NOW [THEY'RE] MAKING THESE WALL HANGINGS. THEY USE THREAD AS THICK AS TWO FINGERS SO I DID THAT AND I DYED IT. I WENT OUT AND CREATED MY OWN DYES. THAT WAS FUN AND THEN I HAVE A SAMPLER OF ALL THE DYES I MADE… I STOPPED SPINNING SHORTLY BEFORE I STOPPED WEAVING… I LOVED WEAVING. FIRST OF ALL I LEARNED HOW TO EMBROIDER. I LIKED THAT THEN I LEARNED HOW CROCHET, I LIKED THAT. THEN I LEARNED HOW TO KNIT AND THAT WAS TOPS. THEN ONE DAY I WAS VISITING MY FRIEND, FRANCES, AND SHE WAS GOING TO THE BOWMAN AND I SAID, 'WHERE ARE YOU GOING?' SHE SAID 'I’M GOING THERE TO WEAVE.' I SAID, 'I DIDN’T KNOW YOU COULD WEAVE?' SHE SAID, 'OH YES,' AND I SAID ‘IS IT HARD?' SHE SAID, ‘NO,” SO I WENT THERE AND I SAW THE THINGS SHE WOVE. THEY WERE BEAUTIFUL AND SO I JOINED THE GROUP AND THEN OF COURSE I WANTED TO HAVE SOME OF THE STUFF I HAD SPUN MYSELF AND DYED MYSELF AND NOBODY ELSE WANTED. THEN I DECIDED, ‘ALRIGHT, I’VE WOVEN ALL THESE THINGS, WOVE MYSELF A SUIT, LONG SKIRT YOU NAME IT. PLACE MATS GALORE. THIS LITTLE RUNNER,’ AND I THOUGHT, ‘WELL, WHAT AM I GOING TO DO WITH THE REST BECAUSE NOBODY WANTS HOMESPUN STUFF. THEY WANT TO GO TO WALMART OR SOME PLACE AND BUY SOMETHING READYMADE,’ SO I GAVE UP SPINNING AND WEAVING… I STOPPED AFTER I MADE MY SUIT. THAT MUST HAVE BEEN ABOUT TWENTY YEARS AGO, EASILY.” MORRIS’ MOTHER WOULD WEAVE IN SHOULDICE, BUT “[I]N VAUXHALL, NO, SHE WASN’T [WEAVING]. SHE DIDN’T HAVE A LOOM.” MORRIS SAID IN SHOULDICE, “I LEARNED HOW TO THROW THE SHUTTLE BACK AND FORTH TO WEAVE RUGS BECAUSE I USED TO SIT THERE WATCHING MY GRANDMOTHER AND SHE LET ME DO THAT, AND THEN YOU SEE WHEN I GOT SO INTERESTED IN WEAVING THAT I BOUGHT A LOOM, SITTING DOWN IN THE BASEMENT. I’VE BEEN TRYING TO SELL IT EVER SINCE AND NOBODY WANTS IT. I OFFERED TO GIVE IT FOR FREE AND NOBODY WANTS IT BECAUSE THEY DON’T HAVE SPACE FOR IT.” PLEASE SEE THE PERMANENT FILE FOR MORE INFORMATION INCLUDING FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTION, OBITUARIES, PHOTOGRAPHS, AND FAMILY HISTORIES.
Catalogue Number
P20160003008
Acquisition Date
2016-02
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail
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
Other Name
KNITTING BAG
Date Range From
1870
Date Range To
1999
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
CANVAS, FABRIC, THREAD
Catalogue Number
P20160003005
  1 image  
Material Type
Artifact
Other Name
KNITTING BAG
Date Range From
1870
Date Range To
1999
Materials
CANVAS, FABRIC, THREAD
No. Pieces
1
Length
41
Width
36
Description
HANDMADE BAG MADE OF 3 SECTIONS OF STRIPS OF ABOUT 5 INCHES (APPROX. 13 CM) EACH. IT IS RED WITH BLUE, YELLOW, GREEN, AND RAW MATERIAL ACCENTS. THE TRIM AT THE TOP OF THE BAG IS BLUE WITH A HANDLE OF THE SAME FABRIC ON EITHER SIDE. THERE IS A STRIP OF RAW, NOT PATTERNED FABRIC AT THE BOTTOM OF THE BAG. BOTH SIDES OF THE BAG HAVE THE SAME ARRANGEMENT OF PATTERNED STRIPS. THERE IS ONE SEAM CONNECTING THE FRONT AND THE BACK OF THE BAG ON BOTH SIDES. THE INSIDE IS UNLINED. GOOD TO VERY GOOD CONDITION. THERE IS SOME STITCHING COMING LOOSE AT VARIOUS POINTS OF THE PATTERNING.
Subjects
CONTAINER
Historical Association
DOMESTIC
ETHNOGRAPHIC
History
THE KONKINS WERE A RUSSIAN-SPEAKING FAMILY FROM THE TOWN OF SHOULDICE, ALBERTA, NEAR CALGARY. THEY AND MANY OTHER RUSSIAN FAMILIES COMPOSED THAT TOWN’S DOUKHOBOR COLONY. IT WAS THERE WILLIAM KONKIN MARRIED ELIZABETH WISHLOW. IN 1928 THEIR DAUGHTER, ELSIE WAS BORN. THEY LATER MOVED TO A FARM IN VAUXHALL, ALBERTA. THE PRECEDING AND FOLLOWING INFORMATION HAS BEEN EXTRACTED FROM A TWO-PART INTERVIEW WITH DONOR ELSIE MORRIS, WHICH WAS CONDUCTED BY COLLECTIONS TECHNICIAN KEVIN MACLEAN ON FEBRUARY 17, 2016. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION COMES FROM FAMILY HISTORIES AND TEXTS PROVIDED BY THE DONOR. A FULL HISTORY OF THE KONKIN FAMILY CAN BE FOUND WITH THE RECORD P20160003001. A STATEMENT WRITTEN BY MORRIS ATTACHED TO THE BAG STATES THAT THE MATERIAL OF THE BAG ORIGINATES FROM THE 1870S. THE STATEMENT READS: “THIS BAG WAS HAND WOVEN IN STRIPS [THAT WERE USED] TO SEW ON THE BOTTOM OF PETTICOATS. THE GIRLS AT THAT TIME HAD TO HAVE A TROUSEUA [SIC] TO LAST A LIFETIME BECAUSE AFTER MARRIAGE THERE WOULD BE NO TIME TO MAKE CLOTHES SO WHAT THEY MADE WAS STURDY. THEY STARTED ON THEIR TROUSEUS [SIC] AS SOON AS THEY COULD HOLD A NEEDLE. WHEN IT WAS HAYING TIME THE GIRLS WENT OUT INTO THE FIELD TO RAKE THE HAY. THEY WORE PETTICOATS OF LINEN TO WHICH THESE BANDS WERE SEWN. THE LONG SKIRTS WERE PICKED UP AT THE SIDES AND TUCKED INTO THE WAISTBANDS SO THAT THE BOTTOMS OF THE PETTICOATS WERE ON DISPLAY.” “THESE BANDS WERE ORIGINALLY MY GREAT GRANDMOTHER’S WHO CAME OUT OF RUSSIA WITH THE DOUKHOBOR SETTLEMENT IN 1899. THEY WERE PASSED ON TO MY MOTHER, ELIZABETH KONKIN, WHO MADE THEM INTO A BAG IN THE 1940S” THE STRIPS THAT MAKE UP THE BAG SERVED A UTILITARIAN PURPOSE WHEN SEWN TO THE BOTTOM OF THE PETTICOATS. IN THE INTERVIEW, MORRIS EXPLAINS: “… THESE STRIPS ARE VERY STRONG. THEY’RE LIKE CANVAS. THEY WERE SEWN ONTO THE BOTTOM OF THE LADY’S PETTICOATS AND THEY WORE A SKIRT ON TOP OF THE PETTICOATS. THESE STRIPS LASTED A LIFETIME, IN FACT MORE THAN ONE LIFETIME BECAUSE I’VE GOT THEM NOW. THEY WOULD TUCK THE SKIRTS INTO THEIR WAISTBAND ON THE SIDE SO THEIR PETTICOATS SHOWED AND THEY WERE TRYING TO PRESERVE THEIR SKIRTS NOT TO GET CAUGHT IN THE GRAIN. THE GIRLS LIKED TO WEAR THEM TO SHOW OFF BECAUSE THE BOYS WERE THERE AND THEY ALWAYS WORE THEIR VERY BEST SUNDAY CLOTHES WHEN THEY WENT CUTTING WHEAT OR GRAIN." “[THE FABRIC] CAME FROM RUSSIA. WITH THE AREA WHERE THEY CAME FROM IS NOW GEORGIA AND THEY LIVED ABOUT SEVEN MILES NORTH OF THE TURKISH BORDER, THE PRESENT DAY TURKISH BORDER… [THE DOUKHOBORS] CAME TO CANADA IN 1897 AND 1899.” MORRIS EXPLAINS THAT SURPLUS FABRIC WOULD HAVE BEEN BROUGHT TO CANADA FROM RUSSIA BY HER MATERNAL GRANDMOTHER FOR FUTURE USE AND TO AID THE GIRLS IN MAKING THEIR TROUSSEAUS: “THE TROUSSEAU THE GIRLS MADE HAD TO LAST THEM A LIFETIME BECAUSE THEY WOULDN’T HAVE TIME BUT RAISING CHILDREN TO SEWING THINGS. SEWING MACHINES WERE UNKNOWN THEN.” THE BANDS OF FABRIC THAT MAKE UP THE BAG WOULD HAVE BEEN REMAINS NEVER USED FROM ELIZABETH KONKIN’S TROUSSEAU. SHE HAND WOVE THE BAG WHILE SHE WAS LIVING IN SHOULDICE. THE BAG WAS USED BY MORRIS’ MOTHER TO STORE HER KNITTING SUPPLIES. WHEN MORRIS ACQUIRED THE BAG IN THE 1990S, IT MAINTAINED A SIMILAR PURPOSE: “WELL I USED TO CARRY MY STUFF FOR THE WEAVER’S GUILD BUT NOW I DON’T USE IT FOR ANYTHING. IT’S VERY HANDY YOU KNOW IT DOESN’T WEAR OUT.” THERE WAS ONLY ONE BAG MADE OUT OF THESE REMNANTS BY MORRIS’ MOTHER. PLEASE SEE THE PERMANENT FILE FOR MORE INFORMATION INCLUDING FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTION, OBITUARIES, PHOTOGRAPHS, AND FAMILY HISTORIES.
Catalogue Number
P20160003005
Acquisition Date
2016-02
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail
Other Name
JAPANESE CERAMIC VASE
Date Range From
1923
Date Range To
1956
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
CERAMIC
Catalogue Number
P20160042001
  2 images  
Material Type
Artifact
Other Name
JAPANESE CERAMIC VASE
Date Range From
1923
Date Range To
1956
Materials
CERAMIC
No. Pieces
1
Height
32.5
Length
17.5
Diameter
17.5
Description
BLACK AND SILVER GLAZED, CERAMIC VASE WITH RED AND GOLD DESIGNS PAINTED ON OPPOSITE SIDES OF THE VASE. ONE DESIGN SHOWCASES A CRANE FLYING TOWARDS A TREE BRANCH, WHILE THE OTHER SHOWCASES TWO CRANES PERCHED ON A LARGE TREE BRANCH BENEATH A RED DISC/MOON. “MADE IN JAPAN” IS STAMPED INTO BASE OF VASE. CONDITION: THE LIP OF THE VASE HAS A 4.3 CM CHIP AND IS MISSING 7.6 CM ALONG TOP EDGE. LOOSE OF PAINT AND OVERALL FINISH OF DESIGN. SLIGHT CHIPPING AROUND BASE.
Subjects
HOUSEHOLD ACCESSORY
Historical Association
DOMESTIC
FURNISHINGS
ETHNOGRAPHIC
History
ON 2 DECEMBER 2016, COLLECTIONS TECHNICIAN KEVIN MACLEAN INTERVIEWED THE DONORS, MAKIO (MAC) AND REYKO NISHIYAMA, IN THEIR HOME TO DISCUSS ITEMS THEY WERE DONATING TO THE GALT. THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION HAS BEEN EXTRACTED FROM THAT INTERVIEW: MRS. NISHIYAMA EXPLAINED THAT THIS VASE CAME INTO HER CUSTODY AFTER ITS INITIAL OWNERS – HER PARENTS TAKASHI AND CHIAKI KARAKI – MOVED FROM THEIR RAYMOND HOME TO BRITISH COLUMBIA. SHE SAID, “… [AFTER THE] SIXTY YEARS OF FARMING, MY [PARENTS] DID IN RAYMOND… THEY SELL THE WHOLE THING AND MOVE! I’M LEFT BEHIND IN RAYMOND BY MYSELF, MARRIED… WHEN THEY MOVE TO QUESNEL, B.C [IN THE LATE 1950S], THEY HAD TO LEAVE BEHIND THEIR TRUNK AND IT HAD ALL THE TREASURES IN IT.” THIS VASE WAS VISIBLE THROUGHOUT MRS. NISHIYAMA’S CHILDHOOD. SHE EXPLAINED, “[THE VASE] WAS MORE AN EVERYDAY THING.” IT WAS PLACED BY THE DOOR OF THE FARM HOUSE. AND “[THE] ONLY THING THAT WAS IN THERE WAS [MY MOTHER’S] UMBRELLA.” OTHER TREASURES FOUND IN THE TRUNK WERE HER MOTHER’S HAIR ORNAMENTS AND COMB ALSO DONATED WITH THE VASE (P20160042002-004). THE TRUNK, ALONG WITH ITS CONTENTS, WERE BROUGHT TO SOUTHERN ALBERTA FROM JAPAN BY HER MOTHER, CHIAKI KARAKI (NEE KUMAGAI), FOLLOWING HER MARRIAGE TO TAKASHI KARAKI. MRS. NISHIYAMA EXPLAINED HER PARENTS’ MARRIAGE STORY: “… SHE CAME OVER AS A VERY YOUNG BRIDE… NOT QUITE EIGHTEEN… I OFTEN SAID TO MY MOTHER…, ‘HOW IN THE WORLD DID YOUR PARENTS EVER LET YOU GO TO CANADA? YOU DIDN’T KNOW THE LANGUAGE – IT’S A DIFFERENT COUNTRY.’ SHE DIDN’T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT MY DAD, EXCEPT THAT HE WAS A FARMER. HE’S SEVENTEEN YEARS OLDER THAN SHE WAS THEN. IT DOESN’T MAKE SENSE. SHE JUST SAID, ‘MY PARENTS SAID TO GO, SO I CAME’ … IT TOOK A LOT OF COURAGE…” MRS. NISHIYAMA WENT ON, “ALL JAPANESE MARRIAGES WERE DONE [BY] GO-BETWEENS. THERE WERE, I WOULD SAY, HARDLY ANY, IN FACT, I DON’T THINK THERE WAS ANY… FALLING-IN-LOVE KIND OF THING. THAT WAS JUST NOT EVEN THOUGHT ABOUT… MY DAD’S FOLKS WERE IN THE VILLAGE. THEY WERE FARMERS… THEY HAD A LARGE HOUSE AND THEY RAISED SILKWORMS. MY MOTHER’S FOLKS LIVED IN THE TOWN… SHE COMES FROM A VERY MODEST FAMILY, BUT HER DAD WAS A PAWN BROKER…” A FAMILY HISTORY WRITTEN BY MRS. NISHIYAMA AND HER BROTHER, SUSUMU KARAKI, IN THE BOOK TITLED "NISHIKI: NIKKEI TAPESTRY: A HISTORY OF SOUTHERN ALBERTA JAPANESE CANADIANS" (PUBLISHED 2001), ELABORATES ON THE FAMILY’S STORY. IT STATES THEIR FATHER, TAKASHI KARAKI, WAS BORN ON 1 JULY 1889 IN NAGANO PREFECTURE, JAPAN. THE HISTORY READS, “AFTER GRADUATING FROM HIGH SCHOOL IN 1907… HE LEFT A COMFORTABLE HOME… TO VENTURE OUT FOR A NEW LIFE IN AMERICA.” IT EXPLAINS HE LANDED IN VANCOUVER, AND WAS LURED BY A HIGH SALARY JOB IN SKEENA, BRITISH COLUMBIA. AFTER WORKING IN BRITISH COLUMBIA, THE HISTORY SAYS THAT “IN 1909, HE AND SEVERAL HUNDRED OTHER YOUNG JAPANESE MEN WERE RECRUITED BY AN AGENT OF THE KNIGHT SUGAR COMPANY TO WORK IN THE SUGAR BEET FIELDS IN RAYMOND, [ALBERTA] WITH PROMISES OF GOOD PAY AND EASY WORK...” THE MEN SOON LEARNED THAT THE WORK WAS MUCH MORE DIFFICULT AND THE PAY SIGNIFICANTLY LOWER THAN THEY HAD BEEN INITIALLY BEEN PROMISED, SO MANY RETURNED TO BRITISH COLUMBIA AFTER THEIR CONTRACT YEAR. KARAKI WAS OF THE GROUP THAT DECIDED TO STAY ON WITH THE COMPANY UNTIL ITS CLOSURE IN 1914. AFTER THAT, HE BEGAN A FARMING OPERATION WITH TWO OF THE FRIENDS HE MADE IN THE COMPANY – LEASING LAND FROM FIRST THE KNIGHT SUGAR COMPANY, THEN FROM A LOCAL NAMED ROLLO KINSEY, AND FINALLY FROM THE MCINTYRE RANCH IN MAGRATH. EVEN THOUGH THE PARTNERSHIP DISSOLVED AFTER THE FIRST THREE YEARS, KARAKI PERSISTED UNDER THE TRYING CONDITIONS, AND BY 1918 HE MADE THE DECISION TO MAKE ALBERTA HIS PERMANENT HOME AND TO BECOME A CANADIAN CITIZEN. HE PURCHASED A DRY LAND FARM IN RAYMOND AND FARMED THAT FOR FIVE YEARS BEFORE DECIDING HE WANTED TO GET MARRIED AND RAISE A FAMILY OF HIS OWN. HE RETURNED TO JAPAN IN 1923, WHERE HE MET THROUGH FAMILY AND FRIENDS, CHIAKI KUMAGAI, WHO WAS ALSO FROM THE NAGANO PREFECTURE. THE COUPLE MARRIED IN DECEMBER 1923, AND THE NEWLYWEDS RETURNED TO RAYMOND IN SPRING 1924. IN THE 2016 INTERVIEW, MRS. NISHIYAMA ADDED, “THERE WAS SOMEBODY ELSE. GO-BETWEENS HAD PICKED OUT SOMEONE ELSE FOR HIM, SO SOMEONE ELSE LOOKED AT HIM AND SAID ‘NO, THANK YOU.’ YOU KNOW, SOMETIMES IT WORKS, AND SOMETIMES IT DIDN’T. SO, THEN THEY HAD TO SCROUNGE A LITTLE BIT, AND MY MOTHER’S TOWN WAS NOT SO FAR FROM WHERE DAD’S FAMILY LIVED, SO THEY SAID, ‘WELL, WE’RE NOT THAT FAR APART. WHEN YOU COME HOME FOR A VISIT, YOU WILL BE ABLE TO VISIT.’” WHEN DESCRIBING THE HOME THE COUPLE INTIALLY SETTLED IN, MRS. NISHIYAMA EXPLAINED, “WE [WERE] 8 MILES SOUTH OF RAYMOND, IN WHAT WE CALL THE MAMMOTH SCHOOL DISTRICT… THERE WERE QUITE A FEW JAPANESE FAMILIES IN AND AROUND THAT MAMMOTH SCHOOL DISTRICT, SO WE WERE SORT OF THE MAJORITY.” MRS. NISHIYAMA SAID THAT HER MOTHER SPOKE OFTEN OF HER EARLY DAYS IN SOUTHERN ALBERTA. MRS. NISHIYAMA RECALLED, “IT WAS REALLY VERY LONELY [FOR MY MOTHER]. SHE’S YOUNG; THE CLOSEST NEIGHBOR WAS HALF A MILE AWAY… WHEN SHE GOT TO THE FARM, SHE SAID, ‘YOU SAID OUR NEIGHBORS ARE TAKAGUCHI’S. IS THAT HOUSE OVER THERE OUR NEIGHBORS?’ DAD SAID, ‘NO, THAT’S A CHICKEN COOP. THE NEIGHBOR’S HOUSE IS AWAY OVER THERE.’ FOR HER, THAT’S JUST APPALLING, COMING FROM A TOWN WHERE NEIGHBORS WERE CLOSE…DAD WOULD GET UP ONTO THE FIELD. NO ONE TO TALK TO EVEN. FORTUNATELY, SHE SAID, HER BROTHER-IN-LAW (DAD HAD A YOUNGER BROTHER HELPING HIM AT THAT TIME) – AND HE SAID, ‘GET ON THE BACK OF MY TRACTOR AND (IT WASN’T TRACTOR THEN – IT WAS HORSE AND BUGGY, BUT ANYWAY -) JUST COME AND RIDE THE FIELD WITH ME.’ AND, SHE DID JUST BECAUSE SHE COULDN’T STAND BEING BY HERSELF IN A LONELY OUTPOST, ON THE PRAIRIES, WITH NOTHING TO LOOK AT…” ACCORDING TO THE KARAKI FAMILY HISTORY IN THE NISHIKI BOOK, THE COUPLE RAISED A FAMILY OF SIX CHILDREN INCLUDING THE DONOR, REYKO NISHIYAMA. BY 1956, THEY SOLD THEIR FARM AND RELOCATED TO BRITISH COLUMBIA. TAKASHI PASSED AWAY IN THERE IN 1974 AT THE AGE OF 85 AND CHIAKI PASSED AWAY 14 YEARS LATER IN 1988. PLEASE SEE PERMANENT FILE FOR MORE INFORMATION, INCLUDING FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTIONS AND COPIES OF THE FAMILY HISTORIES.
Catalogue Number
P20160042001
Acquisition Date
2016-12
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail
Other Name
SUPINA SOUVENIR BOWL
Date Range From
1918
Date Range To
1960
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
PORCELAIN
Catalogue Number
P20150016001
  1 image  
Material Type
Artifact
Other Name
SUPINA SOUVENIR BOWL
Date Range From
1918
Date Range To
1960
Materials
PORCELAIN
No. Pieces
1
Height
6
Diameter
21.5
Description
CHINA BOWL WITH AN IRREGULAR RIM THAT EXTENDS A FLORAL PETAL MOTIF ALONG BOWL’S INSIDE EDGE. CENTRE FEATURES COUNTRY LANDSCAPE INCLUDING A COTTAGE, SURROUNDED BY STAMP MARK IN GOLD STENCIL AND SCRIPT, “COMPLIMENTS OF N. F. SUPINA”. GOOD TO VERY GOOD CONDITION. SLIGHT CRACKING IN THE BOTTOM. THE BASE IS SCUFFED AND DIRTY. THERE ARE SOME MARKS ON THE OUTSIDE EDGE.
Subjects
FURNITURE
Historical Association
BUSINESS
COMMEMORATIVE
DOMESTIC
History
EVERAL HORHOZER (NÉE SUPINA) WAS BORN IN LETHBRIDGE IN THE YEAR OF 1927 TO HER PARENTS DONAH (NÉE HILL) AND NICHOLAS SUPINA. SUPINA WAS THE OWNER OF SUPINA’S MERCANTILE ON 13TH STREET NORTH, LETHBRIDGE. COLLECTIONS TECHNICIAN KEVIN MACLEAN CONDUCTED A SERIES OF INTERVIEWS (ON APRIL 2, APRIL 16, AND MAY 7, 2015) WITH HORHOZER REGARDING A GROUP OF ARTIFACTS SHE DONATED TO THE MUSEUM. THE INFORMATION BELOW HAS COME FROM THESE INTERVIEWS AND LETHBRIDGE HERALD RESEARCH REGARDING HORHOZER AND HER FAMILY. THIS BOWL IS A REMINDER OF THE STORE THAT WAS AN INTEGRAL PART OF LIFE IN THE SUPINA FAMILY. HORHOZER REMEMBERS: “MY DAD ALWAYS GAVE A CHRISTMAS GIFT. SO ONE YEAR HE GAVE THE PLATE AND ANOTHER YEAR HE GAVE THIS BOWL AND ACTUALLY THAT’S ALL I KNOW ABOUT IT… [A]LL THE CUSTOMERS, THE ONES THAT DEALT THERE ALL THE TIME [GOT A CHRISTMAS PRESENT]. THE GOOD PAYING ONES AND THE NOT-SO-GOOD PAYING ONES, I THINK THEY PROBABLY EVEN GOT IT TOO, BUT, AS LONG AS THEY WERE CUSTOMERS THEN THEY GOT ONE… MY MOTHER SAVED [IT] FIRSTLY, BECAUSE THEY REALLY MEANT SOMETHING - PART OF THE STORE I GUESS SHE’D SAY. SO, HAD THEM FOR A LONG, LONG TIME… MY MOM HAD ALL KINDS OF ORNAMENTS AROUND AND SHE’D JUST PUT THEM ON A TABLE OR WHATEVER. SHE WOULD CHANGE HER ORNAMENTS EVERY ONCE AND AWHILE, AND THEN SHE’D PUT THESE IN THE CUPBOARD." ABOUT THE HISTORY OF SUPINA’S MERCANTILE, HORHOZER EXPLAINS: “I WAS BORN INTO [THE STORE]. MY DAD STARTED SMALL. HIS DAD HAD A LITTLE CONFECTIONARY; THEN HE TURNED IT INTO A GROCERY STORE AND THEN HE SOLD IT TO MY DAD. MY DAD WAS THE ONE THAT TOOK IT OVER, THAT WAS ALREADY TAKING PLACE WHEN I WAS BORN. THERE WAS NO SPECIFIC MEMORY [OF THAT TRANSITIION] BECAUSE THAT’S ALL I KNEW REALLY.” “… MY DAD WAS BORN IN CZECHOSLOVAKIA. [HIS FAMILY] CAME HERE WHEN HE WAS TWO. [HIS YOUNGER SIBLINGS], THE FIVE BROTHERS AND THE ONE SISTER, WERE ALL BORN IN THAT SAME LITTLE HOUSE THERE. AND THAT’S WHERE MY GRANDPA HAD STARTED THE STORE, IT WAS JUST A CONFECTIONARY. EVENTUALLY IT GREW INTO QUITE A BUSINESS… IN THOSE DAYS, IT WAS HORSE AND BUGGY, SO THEY HAD FIVE HORSES AND BUGGIES THAT WERE RUNNING, WORKING, AND MY UNCLE ALWAYS LOOKED AFTER THE HORSES AND MAINTAINED THEM. THEY’D GO AND THEY’D PICK UP THE ORDER. LOTS OF THE PEOPLE THEN COULDN’T SPEAK ENGLISH, BUT MY DAD COULD SPEAK CZECH, AND THEN THEY’D USUALLY SEND – HE HAD ALL KINDS OF NATIONALITIES WORKING FOR HIM - [A PERSON OF MATCHING ETHNICITY], THAT KNEW THEIR LANGUAGE TO PICK UP THE ORDER. THEY BROUGHT IT BACK TO THE STORE, AND THEN DELIVERED IT BACK TO THE CUSTOMER, THAT WAS REAL SERVICE IN THOSE DAYS, ESPECIALLY WITH HORSE AND BUGGY IN THOSE WINTRY DAYS, AFTER THAT IT DEVELOPED INTO TRUCKS. THERE WERE LOTS OF MINERS IN THOSE DAYS AND WERE GOOD CUSTOMERS… HE AT ONE TIME EMPLOYED THIRTY-SIX PEOPLE IN THE STORE THERE.” AN ARTICLE IN LETHBRIDGE HERALD PUBLISHED ON MAY 5, 2004 STATES THAT NICK SUPINA PURCHASED THE STORE FROM HIS FATHER, MIKE SUPINA, IN 1918. IN THE INTERVIEW, HORHOZER CONTINUED TO SPEAK ABOUT THE BEGINNING DAYS OF THE SUPINA’S STORE: “MY GRANDPA WAS WORKING IN THE MINE. I DON’T KNOW HOW IT CAME THAT HE HAD THIS LITTLE BUSINESS… IT’S MY DAD THEN THAT HAD TO LOOK AFTER THE FAMILY BECAUSE THEY DIDN’T HAVE ANY MONEY. THERE WAS FIVE BOYS SO HE HAD THEM ALL. THEY WERE ALL CLOSE TOGETHER IN AGE. THERE’S STEVE AND BILLY AND JOHN AND MIKE… UNCLE STEVE, IS THE SECOND, HE’S THE ONE THAT STAYED WITH MY DAD, AND JOHNNY DID TOO. THEN THE OTHER TWO PURSUED THEIR OWN BUSINESSES. BILLY HAD A BUSINESS IN RED DEER AND SMALL BUSINESSES IN TWO OTHER PLACES. THEN MIKE, HE WENT TO THE STATES AND—OH, THAT WAS GEORGE, PARDON ME. HE HAD A SHOE STORE WHICH WAS VERY, VERY SUCCESSFUL. MIKE WAS THE ONLY ONE THAT WASN’T IN BUSINESS. THAT WAS BECAUSE HE WAS IN THE WAR…” THINKING BACK ON HER MEMORIES OF SUPINA’S, HORHOZER DESCRIBES, “[I]N THOSE DAYS YOU HAD GOOD FRUIT. I REMEMBER THE DELICIOUS PEACHES. I HAVEN’T SEEN A PEACH LIKE THAT SINCE… LOTS OF TIMES, THE FRUIT WOULD GO OVER-RIPE, LIKE YOUR APRICOTS AND PEACHES. MY MOTHER WOULD GO AND GET ALL THE OVER-RIPE FRUIT AND TAKE IT HOME AND MAKE BEAUTIFUL PIES AND TAKE THE PIES BACK TO THE STORE AND SELL THEM. SHE WAS A WONDERFUL BAKER. THEY DID EVERYTHING LIKE THAT TO HELP MAKE MORE MONEY. SOMETIMES MY DAD WOULD HAVE A SPECIAL ON, 3 CENTS A LOAF [OF BREAD. I HAD LOTS OF ADS FROM THE STORE, AND YOU’D GET SUCH A KICK OUT OF SEEING HAMBURGER, TWENTY-FIVE CENTS A POUND AND THINGS LIKE THAT. SO, YES I REMEMBER.” HORHOZER BEGAN WORKING AT THE STORE AT THE AGE OF 14: “I WORKED IN THE LADIESWEAR. I LIKED THAT VERY MUCH. THE MEAT DEPARTMENT WAS RIGHT ACROSS FROM THE LADIESWEAR. THAT’S KIND OF HOW I MET JOE. HE WORKED IN THE BUTCHER DEPARTMENT. I REMEMBER THE DAY HE WALKED IN THE STORE, I’LL NEVER FORGET [IT], HE HAD THIS RED CARDIGAN SWEATER ON AND I JUST FELL, HEAD OVER RIGHT THEN. HE WAS JUST STARTING WORK AND I THOUGHT, ‘WELL, THAT’S THE GUY I’M GOING TO MARRY.’” HORHOZER BELIEVED THAT AN IMPORTANT PART OF THE STORE’S SUCCESS WAS “… BECAUSE, [OF] THE SERVICE MAINLY. JUST THINK, GOING THERE, GETTING YOUR ORDERS, BRINGING THEM BACK, DOING THEM UP, THEY’D MAKE SURE THINGS WERE TOP QUALITY. THEY GOT TO KNOW EVERY CUSTOMER, OF COURSE, AND THEY KNEW WHAT THEY LIKED. HE HAD WONDERFUL PEOPLE WORKING FOR HIM. THEY JUST GAVE FANTASTIC SERVICE ALL THE TIME. PLUS, MY DAD WAS GRUFF, BUT HE WAS VERY, VERY KIND TO POOR PEOPLE THAT COULDN’T AFFORD –THERE’S LOTS THAT YEARS AFTER HE HAD PASSED AWAY [PEOPLE] WOULD COME UP TO ME AND SAY, ‘IF IT WASN’T FOR YOUR DAD, JOHNNY WOULDN’T HAVE HAD CHEESE,’ OR SOMETHING. I DIDN’T KNOW A THING ABOUT IT, BECAUSE HE WAS ONE THAT NEVER, EVER TOLD ANYBODY… THEN AT CHRISTMAS TIME HE WOULD GO TO THE STORE AND HE HAD A LIST OF EVERYBODY THAT HE KNEW WAS EXCEPTIONALLY POOR, AND HE WOULD FILL BASKETS. HE WOULD DO IT ALL BY HIMSELF… HE WOULDN’T TELL MY MOTHER AND I. HE WAS SO TIGHT-MOUTHED, FILL ALL THESE BASKETS AND DELIVER THEM TO THE PEOPLE HIMSELF WITHOUT TELLING A SOUL ABOUT IT. HE WAS THAT KIND OF PERSON. HE WAS VERY KIND THAT WAY.” SUPINA’S MERCANTILE SERVED LETHBRIDGE UNTIL IT CLOSED IN 1960. HORHOZER REMAINED IN RETAIL IN VARIOUS SHOPS IN THE CITY, INCLUDING THE DEPARTMENT STORE WOOLCO UNTIL HER RETIREMENT IN 1988. HORHOZER PASSED AWAY IN LETHBRIDGE IN 2016 AT THE AGE OF 88 YEARS OLD. PLEASE SEE THE PERMANENT FILE FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ABOUT SUPINA’S MERCANTILE AND THE LIFE OF EVERAL AND HER FAMILY, WHICH INCLUDES THE FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT AND LETHBRIDGE HERALD ARTICLES.
Catalogue Number
P20150016001
Acquisition Date
2015-05
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail
Other Name
FLAIL PADDLE
Date Range From
1920
Date Range To
1990
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
WOOD
Catalogue Number
P20160003001
  1 image  
Material Type
Artifact
Other Name
FLAIL PADDLE
Date Range From
1920
Date Range To
1990
Materials
WOOD
No. Pieces
1
Height
4
Length
41
Width
12
Description
WOODEN FLAIL. ONE END HAS A PADDLE WITH A WIDTH THAT TAPERS FROM 12 CM AT THE TOP TO 10 CM AT THE BASE. THE PADDLE IS WELL WORN IN THE CENTER WITH A HEIGHT OF 4 CM AT THE ENDS AND 2 CM IN THE CENTER. HANDLE IS ATTACHED TO THE PADDLE AND IS 16 CM LONG WITH A CIRCULAR SHAPE AT THE END OF THE HANDLE. ENGRAVED ON THE CIRCLE THE INITIALS OF DONOR’S MATERNAL GRANDMOTHER, ELIZABETH EVANAVNA WISHLOW, “ . . .” GOOD CONDITION. THERE IS SLIGHT SPLITTING OF THE WOOD ON THE PADDLE AND AROUND THE JOINT BETWEEN THE HANDLE AND THE PADDLE. OVERALL WEAR FROM USE.
Subjects
AGRICULTURAL T&E
Historical Association
AGRICULTURE
ETHNOGRAPHIC
History
THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION HAS BEEN EXTRACTED FROM A TWO-PART INTERVIEW WITH DONOR ELSIE MORRIS, WHICH WAS CONDUCTED BY COLLECTIONS TECHNICIAN KEVIN MACLEAN ON FEBRUARY 17, 2016. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION COMES FROM FAMILY HISTORIES AND TEXTS PROVIDED BY THE DONOR. THIS WOODEN DOUKHOBOR TOOL IS CALLED A “FLAIL.” A NOTE WRITTEN BY ELSIE MORRIS THAT WAS ATTACHED TO THE FLAIL AT THE TIME OF DONATION EXPLAINS, “FLAIL USED FOR BEATING OUT SEEDS. BELONGED TO ELIZABETH EVANAVNA WISHLOW, THEN HANDED TO HER DAUGHTER ELIZABETH PETROVNA KONKIN WHO PASSED IT ON TO HER DAUGHTER ELIZABETH W. MORRIS.” ALTERNATELY, IN THE INTERVIEW, MORRIS REMEMBERED HER GRANDMOTHER’S, “… NAME WAS JUSOULNA AND THE MIDDLE INITIAL IS THE DAUGHTER OF YVONNE. YVONNE WAS HER FATHER’S NAME AND WISHLOW WAS HER LAST NAME.” THE FLAIL AND THE BLANKET, ALSO DONATED BY MORRIS, WERE USED TOGETHER AT HARVEST TIME TO EXTRACT AND COLLECT SEEDS FROM GARDEN CROPS. ELSIE RECALLED THAT ON WINDY DAYS, “WE WOULD PICK DRIED PEAS OR BEANS, OR WHATEVER, AND WE WOULD [LAY THEM OUT ON THE BLANKET], BEAT AWAY AND THEN HOLD [THE BLANKET] UP, AND THE BREEZE WOULD BLOW THE HULLS OFF AND THE SEEDS WOULD GO STRAIGHT DOWN.” THE FLAIL CONTINUED TO BE USED BY ELIZABETH “RIGHT UP TO THE END,” POSSIBLY INTO THE 1990S, AND THEREAFTER BY MORRIS. WHEN ASKED WHY SHE STOPPED USING IT HERSELF, MORRIS SAID, “I DON’T GARDEN ANYMORE. FURTHERMORE, PEAS ARE SO INEXPENSIVE THAT YOU DON’T WANT TO GO TO ALL THAT WORK... I DON’T KNOW HOW MANY PEOPLE HARVEST THEIR SEEDS. I THINK WE JUST GO AND BUY THEM IN PACKETS NOW.” THE KONKINS WERE A RUSSIAN-SPEAKING FAMILY FROM THE TOWN OF SHOULDICE, ALBERTA, NEAR CALGARY. THEY AND MANY OTHER RUSSIAN FAMILIES COMPOSED THAT TOWN’S DOUKHOBOR COLONY. DOUKHOBOURS CAME TO CANADA IN FINAL YEARS OF THE 19TH CENTURY TO ESCAPE RELIGIOUS PERSECUTION IN RUSSIA. ELIZABETH KONKIN (NEE WISHLOW) WAS BORN IN CANORA, SK ON JANUARY 22, 1907 TO HER PARENTS, PETER AND ELIZABETH WISHLOW. AT THE AGE OF 6 SHE MOVED WITH HER FAMILY TO A DOUKHOBOR SETTLEMENT AT BRILLIANT, BC, AND THEY LATER MOVED TO THE DOUKHOBOR SETTLEMENT AT SHOULDICE. IT WAS HERE THAT SHE MET AND MARRIED WILLIAM KONKIN. THEIR DAUGHTER, ELSIE MORRIS (NÉE KONKIN), WAS BORN IN SHOULDICE IN 1928. INITIALLY, WILLIAM TRIED TO SUPPORT HIS FAMILY BY GROWING AND PEDDLING VEGETABLES. WHEN THE FAMILY RECOGNIZED THAT GARDENING WOULD NOT PROVIDE THEM WITH THE INCOME THEY NEEDED, WILLIAM VENTURED OUT TO FARM A QUARTER SECTION OF IRRIGATED LAND 120 KM (75 MILES) AWAY IN VAUXHALL. IN 1941, AFTER THREE YEARS OF FARMING REMOTELY, HE AND ELIZABETH DECIDED TO LEAVE THE ALBERTA COLONY AND RELOCATE TO VAUXHALL. MORRIS WAS 12 YEARS OLD AT THE TIME. MORRIS STATED: “… [T]HEY LEFT THE COLONY BECAUSE THERE WERE THINGS GOING ON THAT THEY DID NOT LIKE SO THEY WANTED TO FARM ON THEIR OWN. SO NOW NOBODY HAD MONEY, SO VAUXHALL HAD LAND, YOU KNOW, THAT THEY WANTED TO HAVE THE PEOPLE AND THEY DIDN’T HAVE TO PUT ANY DOWN DEPOSIT THEY JUST WERE GIVEN THE LAND AND THEY HAD TO SIGN A PAPER SAYING THEY WOULD GIVE THEM ONE FOURTH OF THE CROP EVERY YEAR. THAT WAS HOW MY DAD GOT PAID BUT WHAT MY DAD DIDN’T KNOW WAS THAT THE MONEY THAT WENT IN THERE WAS ACTUALLY PAYING OFF THE FARM SO HE WENT TO SEE MR., WHAT WAS HIS LAST NAME, HE WAS THE PERSON IN CHARGE. ANYWAY HE SAID TO HIM “HOW LONG WILL IT BE BEFORE I CAN PAY OFF THIS FARM” AND HE SAYS “YOU’VE BEEN PAYING IT RIGHT ALONG YOU OWE ABOUT TWO HUNDRED AND A FEW DOLLARS”. WELL THAT WAS A REAL SURPRISE FOR THEM SO THEY GAVE THEM THE TWO HUNDRED AND WHATEVER IT WAS THAT HE OWED AND HE BECAME THE OWNER OF THE FARM." MORRIS WENT ON, ”THE DOUKHOBORS ARE AGRARIAN, THEY LIKE TO GROW THINGS THAT’S THEIR CULTURE OF OCCUPATION AND SO THE ONES WHO LIKED FRUIT MOVED TO B.C. LIKE MY UNCLE DID AND MY DAD LIKED FARMING SO HE MOVED TO VAUXHALL AND THERE WERE LET’S SEE, I THINK THERE WERE FOUR OTHER FAMILIES THAT MOVED TO VAUXHALL AND THREE OF THE MEN GOT TOGETHER AND DECIDED THEY WERE GOING TO GET THEIR TOOLS TOGETHER LIKE A TRACTOR AND MACHINERY THEY NEEDED AND THEN THEY WOULD TAKE TURNS…” THE KONKINS RETIRED TO LETHBRIDGE FROM VAUXHALL IN 1968. MORRIS, BY THEN A SCHOOL TEACHER, RELOCATED TO LETHBRIDGE WITH HER OWN FAMILY. WILLIAM KONKIN PASSED AWAY IN LETHBRIDGE ON MARCH 3, 1977 AT THE AGE OF 72 AND 23 YEARS LATER, ON APRIL 8, 2000, ELIZABETH KONKIN PASSED AWAY IN LETHBRIDGE. A NUMBER OF ARTIFACTS PREVIOUSLY BELONGING TO THE FAMILY EXIST IN THE GALT COLLECTION. THE KONKINS RETIRED TO LETHBRIDGE FROM VAUXHALL IN 1968. MORRIS, BY THEN A SCHOOL TEACHER, RELOCATED TO LETHBRIDGE WITH HER OWN FAMILY. WILLIAM KONKIN PASSED AWAY IN LETHBRIDGE ON MARCH 3, 1977 AT THE AGE OF 72 AND 23 YEARS LATER, ON APRIL 8, 2000, ELIZABETH KONKIN PASSED AWAY IN LETHBRIDGE. A NUMBER OF ARTIFACTS PREVIOUSLY BELONGING TO THE FAMILY EXIST IN THE GALT COLLECTION. PLEASE SEE THE PERMANENT FILE FOR MORE INFORMATION INCLUDING FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTION, OBITUARIES, PHOTOGRAPHS, AND FAMILY HISTORIES.
Catalogue Number
P20160003001
Acquisition Date
2016-02
Collection
Museum
Images
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