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Date Range From
1935
Date Range To
1950
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
CARDBOARD, INK
Catalogue Number
P20190002002
  2 images  
Material Type
Artifact
Date Range From
1935
Date Range To
1950
Materials
CARDBOARD, INK
No. Pieces
2
Height
3
Length
6.8
Width
3.3
Description
A.CARDBOARD AMMUNITION BOX TOP, 6.8CM LONG X 3.3CM WIDE X 3CM TALL. BROWN CARDBOARD WITH PRINTED YELLOW AND BLUE LABELS ON TOP, BOTTOM, AND SIDES. TOP OF BOX HAS PRINTED TEXT “22 LONG RIFLE, SMOKELESS GREASED, CIL SUPER-CLEAN, MADE IN CANADA BY, CANADIAN INDUSTRIES LIMITED, “DOMINION” AMMUNITION DIVISION, MONTREAL, CANADA” WITH “CIL” LOGO AND IMAGE OF A BULLET ALONG TOP EDGE. FRONT OF BOX HAS BLUE TEXT ON YELLOW BACKGROUND, “THESE CARTRIDGES ARE PRIMED WITH “SUPER-CLEAN” NON-RUSTING PRIMING. IF THE RIFLE HAS FIRST BEEN THOROUGHLY CLEANED AND “DOMINION” “SUPER-CLEAN” .22’S ARE USED EXCLUSIVELY, THEY WILL NOT RUST OR CORRODE THE BORE.” BACK OF BOX HAS BLUE TEXT ON YELLOW BACKGROUND, “THESE .22” LONG-RIFLE “SUPER-CLEAN” GREASED CARTRIDGES HAVE BEEN SPECIALLY DEVELOPED FOR GAME AS WELL AS TARGET SHOOTING, AND WILL BE FOUND TO BE POWERFUL AND ACCURATE AND ALWAYS DEPENDABLE”. BOTTOM OF BOX HAS BLUE TEXT ON YELLOW BACKGROUND “MADE IN CANADA BY, CANADIAN LIMITED INDUSTRIES, “DOMINION” AMMUNITION DIVISION, MONTREAL, CANADA.” SIDE OPENING FLAP HAS BLUE TEXT AND “CIL” LOGO ON YELLOW BACKGROUND, “”SUPER-CLEAN”, .22 LONG RIFLE, 50 R.F., SMOKELESS, GREASED”. BOX HAS TORN AND MISSING OPENING FLAP ON LEFT SIDE; BOX HAS TEAR ON TOP IN UPPER-RIGHT CORNER; BOX EDGES ARE WORN AND BOX TOP IS CREASED AND DENTED; OVERALL GOOD CONDITION. B.CARDBOARD BASE OF BOX, 6.3CM LONG X 3CM WIDE X 2.8CM TALL. BROWN CARDBOARD BOX WITHOUT TOP; SIDES FOLDED INTO BOX CREATING BASE. BOX IS STAINED DOWN INSIDE FLAPS AND ON INSIDE BASE; TOP EDGES AND CORNERS ARE WORN; OVERALL VERY GOOD CONDITION.
Subjects
ARMAMENT-ACCESSORY
Historical Association
SAFETY SERVICES
History
ON JANUARY 10, 2019, COLLECTIONS TECHNICIAN KEVIN MACLEAN INTERVIEWED JEAN BUCHANAN REGARDING HER DONATION OF A REVOLVER AND FIREARM ACCESSORIES. THE FIREARM WAS USED BY BUCHANAN’S FATHER, EDWARD ETTERSHANK BUCHANAN, DURING HIS CAREER WITH THE ALBERTA PROVINCIAL POLICE AND ROYAL CANADIAN MOUNTED POLICE. ON HER FATHER’S REVOLVER AND USE OF AMMUNITION, BUCHANAN RECALLED, “[MY DAD] USED [THE SMITH AND WESSON REVOLVER]…STARTING IN 1932, WITH THE RCMP, MAY BE WHEN HE GOT THAT GUN. HE HAD IT REGISTERED IN 1940, AND GETTING ANOTHER 5 YEARS REGISTRATION IT MUST HAVE BEEN 1935. [THE GUN] WAS HIS SIDEARM…HIS SERVICE WEAPON…HE HAD THAT ALL THE TIME…IT WOULD GO RIGHT ON HIS BELT THERE.” “[DAD KEPT THE GUN] IN [MY PARENTS’] BEDROOM. RIGHT ON THE BEDROOM CLOSET DOOR, RIGHT OPEN. I NEVER TOUCHED IT, BECAUSE HE HAD GIVEN ME MY TRAINING AND LET ME USE IT WHEN I WAS YOUNG. I HAD RESPECT FOR IT, AND I HAD NO SPECIAL CURIOSITY, WHICH IS A GOOD THING. [DAD KNEW I WAS] AN ADVENTUROUS PERSON, BUT I NEVER EVER TOUCHED IT, OUT OF COMPLETE RESPECT FOR DAD AND WHAT HE HAD THERE.” “ALL I CAN REMEMBER [IS HE HAD TWO HANDGUNS OR SIDEARMS]…HE DIDN’T GO OUT PRACTICING VERY MUCH; HE DIDN’T HAVE TO. HE COULD PASS HIS MARKSMANSHIP, AND THEN, EVERY TIME THERE WERE THINGS AT REGINA DEPOT TRAINING COURSES (UPGRADING, REFRESHER COURSES) THEY DID THEIR MARKSMANSHIP THERE, TOO. THEY WERE ALWAYS TESTED ON THEIR MARKSMANSHIP, AT REGINA DEPOT.” “I THINK [THE REVOLVER HAD] QUITE A BIT [OF MEANING TO MY DAD], BECAUSE HE HAD IT IN HIS HOUSE. IT WAS REALLY STRANGE BECAUSE I ASKED HIM WHERE IT WAS, WHEN HE SHOWED ME THE PAPERS, AND HE HAD IT IN A SHOE BOX IN HIS BEDROOM CLOSET. YOU DIDN’T HAVE TO HAVE GREAT [HIDING] PLACES FOR IT IN THOSE DAYS, BUT THAT’S WHERE HE KEPT IT. HE MADE SURE IT WAS THERE, AND HE KNEW WHERE IT WAS.” “[I HAVE NO] KNOWLEDGE ABOUT HIM HAVING TO FIRE THIS WEAPON…AT ANYONE. IF HE WOULD HAVE, HE WOULD HAVE FIRED TO MISS SOMEONE, JUST AS A WARNING SHOT. HE DEFINITELY WENT FOR WARNING SHOTS, BUT HE NEVER SHOT ANYBODY WITH IT." “[HE WOULD HAVE STOPPED CARRYING THE GUN] AT THE VERY END OF 1950, WHEN HE RETIRED FROM THE R.C.M.P.” “[I’VE HAD THE REVOLVER] SINCE 1998—THE PASSING OF MY FATHER, BECAUSE I WAS THE SOLE EXECUTRIX. IT WAS AUTOMATICALLY MY RESPONSIBILITY TO TAKE ALL OF HIS FIREARMS, IN MY POSSESSION.” “I WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR [THE CARE OF] IT, AND IT WAS A REAL KEEPSAKE. [THE GUN WAS] WAS VERY PERSONAL, BECAUSE I’M SURE [MY DAD] OWNED THAT EVEN BY BACK IN 1935, [WHEN] HE WAS IN WESTLOCK, IN CHARGE OF THE DETACHMENT THERE FOR 10 YEARS. IT WAS OF SENTIMENTAL VALUE BECAUSE HE TOOK ME OUT (I’M PRETTY SURE I WAS 8 YEARS OLD, WHEN HE HAD ME IN THE BACKYARD)—WE HAD FARMLAND AND FOREST—AND HE HAD A TARGET PRACTICE OUT THERE. HE HAD ME USE THAT FIREARM. HE SHOWED ME HOW TO USE IT, HOW TO AIM, AND HOW TO HANDLE IT SAFELY. I ALWAYS RESPECTED THAT, AND THAT WAS GOOD. THAT’S THE ORIGINAL HOLSTER FOR THAT GUN, WHICH YOU CAN SEE IS LOOPED, TO PUT ON HIS BELT. HE ALSO CARRIED A .32 COLT SEMI-AUTOMATIC.” “I’VE ALWAYS APPRECIATED REVOLVERS, AND RIFLES. IT’S NEVER BEEN ANYTHING THAT I THOUGHT ANY DANGER OF. YOU LEARN THE SAFETY, AND YOU TAKE YOUR COURSE. I HAVE MY COURSE DONE, AND I PASSED IT WITH FLYING COLORS. I HAD MY PERMIT TO HAVE IT. I HAVE TAKEN IT OUT, ON MY OWN ACREAGE, AND FIRED IT A BIT, BUT IT ISN’T SOMETHING I WANT TO DO. IT’S A SENTIMENTAL THING THAT I CAN NOW FEEL I’D LIKE TO HAVE IT IN YOUR MUSEUM. I KNOW IT’S NOW IN A SAFE PLACE, SO I DON’T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT IT EVER FALLING INTO THE WRONG HANDS. AND, IF I WANT TO COME AND VISIT IT, I CAN COME AND SEE IT.” ON JUNE 8, 2018, MACLEAN INTERVIEWED BUCHANAN REGARDING HER FATHER’S CAREER WITH THE ALBERTA PROVINCIAL POLICE AND ROYAL CANADIAN MOUNTED POLICE. BUCHANAN ELABORATED ON HER FATHER’S HISTORY, “[MY DAD WAS EDWARD BUCHANAN, WHO RETIRED AT THE RANK OF] SENIOR STAFF SERGEANT…HE RETIRED IN 1950 FROM THE [R.C.M.P].” “HE JOINED THE A.P.P. WHEN HE WAS TWENTY AND HE WAS STATIONED OUT NEAR ST. PAUL. IN ’21, HE MET MY MOTHER IN EDMONTON…BUT HE STAYED AT ST. PAUL AND THEN AFTER, HE GOT POSTED TO GRANDE PRAIRIE. HE WAS GOING TO GO TO GRANDE PRAIRIE BUT THEN IN ’22, THEY GOT MARRIED. A.P.P. HAD NO RESTRICTIONS ON THEIR MEMBERS GETTING MARRIED, LIKE THE R.C.M.P. HE DIDN’T HAVE TO WAIT TO GET MARRIED…THAT’S WHEN THEY WENT OUT TO BRAINARD.” “EVEN IN THE A.P.P., TO START WITH, HE HAD SOME SERVICE DOWN HERE AT THE LETHBRIDGE PRISON…BRINGING PRISONERS DOWN AND THEN MAYBE, AT THE VERY FIRST WINTER AS A ROOKIE, HE WAS ON JOB TO BE ON GUARD AT THE STATION. IT WASN’T LONG AND HE WAS SENT OUT TO ST. PAUL AND INTO MORE OF THE REAL POLICING.” “WHEN HE WAS IN THE A.P.P. [IN 1932] HE WAS THE TOP CLASS OF [THE] A.P.P. THAT AUTOMATICALLY WERE ACCEPTED INTO THE R.C.M.P. HE WAS PUT IN CHARGE, WHEN HE WAS IN THE A.P.P.—FIRST HE STARTED OUT IN CHARGE OF BRAINARD—HORSE LAKE—A LITTLE PLACE NEAR THE HORSE LAKE INDIAN RESERVATION. THEY CLOSED THAT DOWN AND TRANSFERRED HIM TO WEMBLEY, A LITTLE VILLAGE, AND HE WAS THE ONLY ONE IN CHARGE, THE ONLY OFFICER IN CHARGE OF WEMBLEY. THAT’S WHEN THAT 1932 [CHANGE] CAME ALONG AND HE JUST CHANGED THE SIGN UP THERE FROM A.P.P. TO R.C.M.P. AND WENT FROM THERE.” “IN ’32, IT WAS R.C.M.P. AND THAT STAYED R.C.M.P. UNTIL ’34. THEN HE WAS TRANSFERRED TO TAKE CHARGE OF THE WESTLOCK DETACHMENT WHICH WAS A BIG AREA. [THERE] WAS NO DETACHMENT IN BARRHEAD. HE HAD A HUGE AREA THERE TO COVER.” “[A.P.P. MEMBERS] WERE NOT AUTOMATICALLY TAKEN INTO THE R.C.M.P. THEY HAD THREE CATEGORIES THERE, OF THE A.P.P. MEMBERS…[THERE WERE] ONES THAT WERE NOT ACCEPTABLE, THAT THEY HADN’T DONE A VERY GOOD JOB IN THE A.P.P.; THEY SHOWED UP, GOOFIN’ AROUND, DOING THINGS THEY SHOULDN’T BE DOING. THEY WERE NOT ACCEPTABLE. THEN THERE [WERE THE ONES THAT] COULD BE GIVEN A LITTLE TRIAL RUN. THEY COULD APPLY. THEN THERE [WERE] ONES THAT COULD GET IN FOR A FULL YEAR AND THEN RE-APPLY. THEY’D BE ACCEPTED FOR A YEAR. THEN THERE’S THE TOP GRADE AND [THEY] WERE AUTOMATICALLY ACCEPTABLE. DAD WAS RIGHT UP THERE IN THAT TOP GRADE.” “A.P.P. MEMBERS WERE TRAINED BY THE NORTHWEST MOUNTED POLICE, NOT SOME GOOFBALLS THAT DIDN’T KNOW WHAT THEY WERE DOING. THESE WERE TRAINED BY THE BEST-TRAINED POLICE OFFICERS.” “ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER HANCOCK KNEW DAD REALLY WELL, HE’D EVEN BEEN IN THE A.P.P. HE CALLED DAD INTO THE OFFICE AND HE SAID, “BUCK, [DAD WAS EDWARD ETTERSHANK BUCHANAN BUT THEY CALLED HIM ‘BUCK’, A LOT] I WAS GOING TO SEND YOU DOWN TO TAKE CHARGE OF THE RED DEER DETACHMENT BUT I’VE HAD SO MUCH PROBLEM GETTING SOMEBODY TO GO DOWN TO TAKE THE LETHBRIDGE DETACHMENT…YOU’RE THE ONLY ONE, I THINK, THAT CAN HANDLE THE SITUATION WE’VE GOT DOWN THERE. THERE’S A LOT OF PROBLEMS AND I’M SURE YOU’RE THE ONLY ONE THAT CAN HANDLE IT. WILL YOU GO?” “[WE CAME DOWN HERE IN] ’44…I NEVER HAD ANY PROBLEM [WITH THE MOVE]. I WAS ALWAYS ADVENTUROUS. I HAD LOTS OF FRIENDS BUT I WAS ALWAYS HAPPY TO GO.” “WE RENTED A HOUSE ON 538 – 7TH STREET. IT’S ALL TORN DOWN NOW. DAD HAD TO COME DOWN A MONTH OR SO AHEAD OF US AND THEN HE COULDN’T FIND A HOUSE READY, SO WE CAME DOWN AND STAYED IN A HOTEL FOR ABOUT TWO MONTHS. I HAD TO START GRADE TEN; I WAS ONLY FOURTEEN, HERE. THAT WAS, TO ME, THE ONLY SAD PART OF MY LIFE, LEAVING THE WESTLOCK SCHOOL AND STARTING LCI. THE PERSONALIZATION WAS GONE WITH THE TEACHERS.” “[DAD] HAD TO OVERSEE THE POW CAMPS…HE TALKED ABOUT THE POW’S IN THIS RESPECT, THAT THERE WAS A LOT OF VERY GOOD GERMANS THAT WERE IN THERE. [THEY] WOULDN’T HAVE CHOSEN TO EVEN BE IN THE GERMAN ARMY…THEY WERE CONSCRIPTED OVER IN GERMANY, THEY DIDN’T HAVE ANY CHOICE, AND THEY WERE VERY DECENT, GOOD GUYS. HE RESPECTED THEM FOR THAT AND HELPED THEM, [GAVE] THEM ADVICE, “YOU KNOW, YOU GOTTA GO BACK TO GERMANY AND THEN APPLY TO COME BACK.” THERE WAS A TRUST THERE TO LET SOME OF THEM OUT TO WORK…‘CAUSE THERE [WAS] A LABOUR SHORTAGE FOR THE FARMERS AND THEY NEEDED THAT HELP. SOME OF THOSE FARMERS WERE VERY PLEASED TO GET SOME OF THESE GERMANS, AND SOME OF THE FARMERS’ DAUGHTERS WERE VERY PLEASED TO GET THAT, TOO. THEN THERE’S SOME LATER MARRIAGES AFTER THAT. IT WOULD BE A SHAME TO CONDEMN ALL THOSE POW’S BECAUSE A LOT OF THEM WERE VERY DECENT, GOOD, MORAL FELLOWS THAT DIDN’T WANT TO BE INVOLVED WITH ANY KILLING.” “HE WAS A PLAIN STAFF SERGEANT, NCO, SECOND IN CHARGE OF THE SUBDIVISION.” “[THEN HE] WENT BACK TO EDMONTON [TO RETIRE IN 1950], HIS HOME CITY WHERE HIS PARENTS WERE AND A LOT OF FRIENDS. HE JOINED THE R.C.M. P. VETS BUT WITH HIS RECORD, THE ATTORNEY GENERAL’S DEPARTMENT WERE NOT GOING TO LET HIM LOOSE. THEY MADE IT A FIRST APPOINTMENT OF AN INSPECTOR OF JAILS FOR THE PRISONS OF ALBERTA WHICH, AT THAT TIME, THERE WERE ONLY TWO: LETHBRIDGE AND FORT SASKATCHEWAN. [THE] ONLY PLACE IN FORT SASKATCHEWAN WAS FOR WOMEN, SO [WOMEN] HAD TO GO ALL THE WAY TO FORT SASKATCHEWAN, EVEN IF [THEY] WAS FROM LETHBRIDGE. THAT WASN’T A VERY GOOD DEAL, SO DAD COULD SEE A REAL NEED [FOR WORK]. IT WAS A REAL MESS WHEN HE LOOKED AT THE PRISONS.” “HE REALIZED, BEING AN R.C.M.P., THAT MANY OF THE YOUNG CITY POLICE, TOWN SHERIFFS, SOME OF THESE MAGISTRATES, THEY MESSED THINGS UP. HE STARTED A TRAINING SCHOOL FOR THESE MUNICIPAL POLICE AND THAT JUST WENT TERRIFICALLY. THEY HAD [THE SCHOOLS] IN CALGARY AND IN EDMONTON TWICE A YEAR. THEY HAD A BIG GROUP FROM MEDICINE HAT COME UP AND [TAKE] THE SCHOOLING, LETHBRIDGE CAME UP, AND SOME OF THE PRISON GUARDS TOOK [THE TRAINING], TOO.” “[HE] WORKED ON THAT FOR FIFTEEN/SIXTEEN YEARS. AFTER TWELVE YEARS, HE WAS SO BUSY THAT THEY MADE HIM SUPERINTENDENT OF PRISONS BECAUSE…THE FIRST THING HE HAD TO DO WAS TO DEVELOP THE PRISONS FOR ALBERTA. TWO WAS NOT SUFFICIENT.” “[DAD’S] PERSONALITY WAS ALWAYS QUIET, FIRM, NO-NONSENSE, HUMOROUS, BUT HE WAS NEVER ARROGANT. I NEVER HEARD HIM SWEAR OR GET MAD AT ANYBODY, NOT EVEN PRISONERS. HE HANDLED THEM VERY QUIETLY, AND VERY FIRMLY. THE STAFF…ALL LOVED HIM. I [HAVE] LETTERS AND THEY CAME ALL THE WAY UP TO THEIR ANNIVERSARIES LATER IN EDMONTON…“YOU’RE THE BEST BOSS WE EVER HAD.” ALL HE HAD WAS A VISION OF WHAT NEEDED TO BE DONE…HE COULD GO AND EXPLAIN THE NEED FOR THE JAILS, WHAT IT WOULD COST AND WHAT IT NEEDED TO FIX THE PROBLEM. HE NEVER HAD PROBLEM GETTING EXACTLY WHAT HE NEEDED FROM THEM.” ON THE DONATION OF THE REVOLVER AND AMMUNITION, BUCHANAN NOTED, “MY DAD KNEW I WOULD LOOK AFTER [HIS BELONGINGS] AND WANTED TO GET IT TO A MUSEUM. [DAD KNEW] THAT I WASN’T ONE TO PUT IT IN MY BASEMENT TO HAVE GOODNESS-KNOWS-WHAT-HAPPEN TO IT. HE HAD LEFT ALL OF THAT IN CHARGE OF ME. I WAS THE SOLE EXECUTOR OF THE ESTATE.” “I AM NOW AT THE YOUNG AGE OF 88; I’M NOT WORRIED ABOUT LIVING ANOTHER 10 YEARS. I DIDN’T WANT THE CHANCE OF ANYBODY STEALING IT, OR GETTING THEIR HANDS ON IT, SO I WANTED TO MAKE SURE YOU GOT IT. AND, I DON’T NEED IT, SO WHY KEEP IT? IF I GET LONESOME, AND WANT TO SEE IT, I’LL COME TO THE MUSEUM AND LOOK AT IT.” “I’LL FEEL HAPPY, TO KNOW IT’S GOT A GOOD HOME. I DON’T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT IT.” FOR MORE INFORMATION INCLUDING THE FULL TRANSCRIPTIONS FROM INTERVIEWS AND LETHBRIDGE HERALD ARTICLES, PLEASE SEE THE PERMANENT FILE P20190002001-GA.
Catalogue Number
P20190002002
Acquisition Date
2019-01
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail
Other Name
GUN OIL
Date Range From
1935
Date Range To
1950
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
GLASS, CORK, OIL
Catalogue Number
P20190002003
  2 images  
Material Type
Artifact
Other Name
GUN OIL
Date Range From
1935
Date Range To
1950
Materials
GLASS, CORK, OIL
No. Pieces
1
Height
10.4
Length
3.5
Width
4.6
Description
GLASS BOTTLE CONTAINING AMBER OIL, WITH CRACKED AND TORN CORK IN TOP OPENING. BOTTLE HAS ROUND NECK, DOMED TOP AND SQUARE BODY; BOTTLE HAS BLUE AND WHITE LABEL ON FRONT. FRONT LABEL BLUE BACKGROUND WITH WHITE CROWN ABOVE WHITE SHIELD WITH RED AND BLUE TEXT; LABEL IS TORN ACROSS SHIELD MAKING RED TEXT INDECIPHERABLE, BLUE TEXT BELOW READS “PURE VANILLA”; SHIELD HAS WHITE DOTS AROUND BASE AND WHITE TEXT BELOW “FLAVORING EXTRACTS, CAMPBELL BROS & WILSON LIMITED, WINNIPEG – CANADA, EST. 1882”. BACK OF BOTTLE HAS EMBOSSED IN GLASS “2 FL. OZ”. BASE OF BOTTLE HAS EMBOSSED IN GLASS “1, 4818, FDJ” WITH “D” IN A DIAMOND. CORK IS TORN OFF AT THE TOP OF THE BOTTLE NECK; LABEL IS WORN AND DISCOLORED; OVERALL VERY GOOD CONDITION.
Subjects
CONTAINER
Historical Association
SAFETY SERVICES
History
ON JANUARY 10, 2019, COLLECTIONS TECHNICIAN KEVIN MACLEAN INTERVIEWED JEAN BUCHANAN REGARDING HER DONATION OF A REVOLVER AND FIREARM ACCESSORIES. THE FIREARM WAS USED BY BUCHANAN’S FATHER, EDWARD ETTERSHANK BUCHANAN, DURING HIS CAREER WITH THE ALBERTA PROVINCIAL POLICE AND ROYAL CANADIAN MOUNTED POLICE. BUCHANAN ELABORATED ON THE USE OF THE GUN OIL, NOTING, “[DAD HAD A BAG] BECAUSE, IN HIS YOUNGER DAYS, HE OFTEN HAD TO GO OUT ON HORSEBACK. HE’D BE GONE, HUNTING DOWN A MURDERER, AND HE MIGHT HAVE HAD A GUIDE WITH HIM. HE TOOK SOME OF HIS CLEANING EQUIPMENT FOR THE REVOLVER, AND HIS RIFLE, TOO…HE COULD PACK HIS LUNCH…KNIVES, SURVIVAL, AND HIS DIRTY OLD CLEANING CLOTH THAT HE USED, AND AN OLD BOTTLE OF GUN OIL, SO HE COULD CLEAN THE GUN IN CASE HE HAPPENED TO DROP IT IN SOME MUD. YOU NEVER KNOW [WHAT MIGHT HAPPEN] WHEN YOU’RE OUT…YOU HAVE TO KEEP YOUR GUN VERY CLEAN. HE KEPT EVERYTHING VERY CLEAN…YOU HAVE TO KEEP THE GUN CLEAN IF YOU’RE GOING TO USE IT, BECAUSE YOU COULD DAMAGE IT IF YOU HAVE ANY DIRT IN THE BARREL.” ON HER FATHER’S REVOLVER, BUCHANAN RECALLED, “[MY DAD] USED [THE SMITH AND WESSON REVOLVER]…STARTING IN 1932, WITH THE RCMP, MAY BE WHEN HE GOT THAT GUN. HE HAD IT REGISTERED IN 1940, AND GETTING ANOTHER 5 YEARS REGISTRATION IT MUST HAVE BEEN 1935. [THE GUN] WAS HIS SIDEARM…HIS SERVICE WEAPON…HE HAD THAT ALL THE TIME…IT WOULD GO RIGHT ON HIS BELT THERE.” “[DAD KEPT THE GUN] IN [MY PARENTS’] BEDROOM. RIGHT ON THE BEDROOM CLOSET DOOR, RIGHT OPEN. I NEVER TOUCHED IT, BECAUSE HE HAD GIVEN ME MY TRAINING AND LET ME USE IT WHEN I WAS YOUNG. I HAD RESPECT FOR IT, AND I HAD NO SPECIAL CURIOSITY, WHICH IS A GOOD THING. [DAD KNEW I WAS] AN ADVENTUROUS PERSON, BUT I NEVER EVER TOUCHED IT, OUT OF COMPLETE RESPECT FOR DAD AND WHAT HE HAD THERE.” “ALL I CAN REMEMBER [IS HE HAD TWO HANDGUNS OR SIDEARMS]…HE DIDN’T GO OUT PRACTICING VERY MUCH; HE DIDN’T HAVE TO. HE COULD PASS HIS MARKSMANSHIP, AND THEN, EVERY TIME THERE WERE THINGS AT REGINA DEPOT TRAINING COURSES (UPGRADING, REFRESHER COURSES) THEY DID THEIR MARKSMANSHIP THERE, TOO. THEY WERE ALWAYS TESTED ON THEIR MARKSMANSHIP, AT REGINA DEPOT.” “I THINK [THE REVOLVER HAD] QUITE A BIT [OF MEANING TO MY DAD], BECAUSE HE HAD IT IN HIS HOUSE. IT WAS REALLY STRANGE BECAUSE I ASKED HIM WHERE IT WAS, WHEN HE SHOWED ME THE PAPERS, AND HE HAD IT IN A SHOE BOX IN HIS BEDROOM CLOSET. YOU DIDN’T HAVE TO HAVE GREAT [HIDING] PLACES FOR IT IN THOSE DAYS, BUT THAT’S WHERE HE KEPT IT. HE MADE SURE IT WAS THERE, AND HE KNEW WHERE IT WAS.” “[I HAVE NO] KNOWLEDGE ABOUT HIM HAVING TO FIRE THIS WEAPON…AT ANYONE. IF HE WOULD HAVE, HE WOULD HAVE FIRED TO MISS SOMEONE, JUST AS A WARNING SHOT. HE DEFINITELY WENT FOR WARNING SHOTS, BUT HE NEVER SHOT ANYBODY WITH IT." “[HE WOULD HAVE STOPPED CARRYING THE GUN] AT THE VERY END OF 1950, WHEN HE RETIRED FROM THE R.C.M.P.” “[I’VE HAD THE REVOLVER] SINCE 1998—THE PASSING OF MY FATHER, BECAUSE I WAS THE SOLE EXECUTRIX. IT WAS AUTOMATICALLY MY RESPONSIBILITY TO TAKE ALL OF HIS FIREARMS, IN MY POSSESSION.” “I WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR [THE CARE OF] IT, AND IT WAS A REAL KEEPSAKE. [THE GUN WAS] WAS VERY PERSONAL, BECAUSE I’M SURE [MY DAD] OWNED THAT EVEN BY BACK IN 1935, [WHEN] HE WAS IN WESTLOCK, IN CHARGE OF THE DETACHMENT THERE FOR 10 YEARS. IT WAS OF SENTIMENTAL VALUE BECAUSE HE TOOK ME OUT (I’M PRETTY SURE I WAS 8 YEARS OLD, WHEN HE HAD ME IN THE BACKYARD)—WE HAD FARMLAND AND FOREST—AND HE HAD A TARGET PRACTICE OUT THERE. HE HAD ME USE THAT FIREARM. HE SHOWED ME HOW TO USE IT, HOW TO AIM, AND HOW TO HANDLE IT SAFELY. I ALWAYS RESPECTED THAT, AND THAT WAS GOOD. THAT’S THE ORIGINAL HOLSTER FOR THAT GUN, WHICH YOU CAN SEE IS LOOPED, TO PUT ON HIS BELT. HE ALSO CARRIED A .32 COLT SEMI-AUTOMATIC.” “I’VE ALWAYS APPRECIATED REVOLVERS, AND RIFLES. IT’S NEVER BEEN ANYTHING THAT I THOUGHT ANY DANGER OF. YOU LEARN THE SAFETY, AND YOU TAKE YOUR COURSE. I HAVE MY COURSE DONE, AND I PASSED IT WITH FLYING COLORS. I HAD MY PERMIT TO HAVE IT. I HAVE TAKEN IT OUT, ON MY OWN ACREAGE, AND FIRED IT A BIT, BUT IT ISN’T SOMETHING I WANT TO DO. IT’S A SENTIMENTAL THING THAT I CAN NOW FEEL I’D LIKE TO HAVE IT IN YOUR MUSEUM. I KNOW IT’S NOW IN A SAFE PLACE, SO I DON’T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT IT EVER FALLING INTO THE WRONG HANDS. AND, IF I WANT TO COME AND VISIT IT, I CAN COME AND SEE IT.” ON JUNE 8, 2018, MACLEAN INTERVIEWED BUCHANAN REGARDING HER FATHER’S CAREER WITH THE ALBERTA PROVINCIAL POLICE AND ROYAL CANADIAN MOUNTED POLICE. BUCHANAN ELABORATED ON HER FATHER’S HISTORY, “[MY DAD WAS EDWARD BUCHANAN, WHO RETIRED AT THE RANK OF] SENIOR STAFF SERGEANT…HE RETIRED IN 1950 FROM THE [R.C.M.P].” “HE JOINED THE A.P.P. WHEN HE WAS TWENTY AND HE WAS STATIONED OUT NEAR ST. PAUL. IN ’21, HE MET MY MOTHER IN EDMONTON…BUT HE STAYED AT ST. PAUL AND THEN AFTER, HE GOT POSTED TO GRANDE PRAIRIE. HE WAS GOING TO GO TO GRANDE PRAIRIE BUT THEN IN ’22, THEY GOT MARRIED. A.P.P. HAD NO RESTRICTIONS ON THEIR MEMBERS GETTING MARRIED, LIKE THE R.C.M.P. HE DIDN’T HAVE TO WAIT TO GET MARRIED…THAT’S WHEN THEY WENT OUT TO BRAINARD.” “EVEN IN THE A.P.P., TO START WITH, HE HAD SOME SERVICE DOWN HERE AT THE LETHBRIDGE PRISON…BRINGING PRISONERS DOWN AND THEN MAYBE, AT THE VERY FIRST WINTER AS A ROOKIE, HE WAS ON JOB TO BE ON GUARD AT THE STATION. IT WASN’T LONG AND HE WAS SENT OUT TO ST. PAUL AND INTO MORE OF THE REAL POLICING.” “WHEN HE WAS IN THE A.P.P. [IN 1932] HE WAS THE TOP CLASS OF [THE] A.P.P. THAT AUTOMATICALLY WERE ACCEPTED INTO THE R.C.M.P. HE WAS PUT IN CHARGE, WHEN HE WAS IN THE A.P.P.—FIRST HE STARTED OUT IN CHARGE OF BRAINARD—HORSE LAKE—A LITTLE PLACE NEAR THE HORSE LAKE INDIAN RESERVATION. THEY CLOSED THAT DOWN AND TRANSFERRED HIM TO WEMBLEY, A LITTLE VILLAGE, AND HE WAS THE ONLY ONE IN CHARGE, THE ONLY OFFICER IN CHARGE OF WEMBLEY. THAT’S WHEN THAT 1932 [CHANGE] CAME ALONG AND HE JUST CHANGED THE SIGN UP THERE FROM A.P.P. TO R.C.M.P. AND WENT FROM THERE.” “IN ’32, IT WAS R.C.M.P. AND THAT STAYED R.C.M.P. UNTIL ’34. THEN HE WAS TRANSFERRED TO TAKE CHARGE OF THE WESTLOCK DETACHMENT WHICH WAS A BIG AREA. [THERE] WAS NO DETACHMENT IN BARRHEAD. HE HAD A HUGE AREA THERE TO COVER.” “[A.P.P. MEMBERS] WERE NOT AUTOMATICALLY TAKEN INTO THE R.C.M.P. THEY HAD THREE CATEGORIES THERE, OF THE A.P.P. MEMBERS…[THERE WERE] ONES THAT WERE NOT ACCEPTABLE, THAT THEY HADN’T DONE A VERY GOOD JOB IN THE A.P.P.; THEY SHOWED UP, GOOFIN’ AROUND, DOING THINGS THEY SHOULDN’T BE DOING. THEY WERE NOT ACCEPTABLE. THEN THERE [WERE THE ONES THAT] COULD BE GIVEN A LITTLE TRIAL RUN. THEY COULD APPLY. THEN THERE [WERE] ONES THAT COULD GET IN FOR A FULL YEAR AND THEN RE-APPLY. THEY’D BE ACCEPTED FOR A YEAR. THEN THERE’S THE TOP GRADE AND [THEY] WERE AUTOMATICALLY ACCEPTABLE. DAD WAS RIGHT UP THERE IN THAT TOP GRADE.” “A.P.P. MEMBERS WERE TRAINED BY THE NORTHWEST MOUNTED POLICE, NOT SOME GOOFBALLS THAT DIDN’T KNOW WHAT THEY WERE DOING. THESE WERE TRAINED BY THE BEST-TRAINED POLICE OFFICERS.” “ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER HANCOCK KNEW DAD REALLY WELL, HE’D EVEN BEEN IN THE A.P.P. HE CALLED DAD INTO THE OFFICE AND HE SAID, “BUCK, [DAD WAS EDWARD ETTERSHANK BUCHANAN BUT THEY CALLED HIM ‘BUCK’, A LOT] I WAS GOING TO SEND YOU DOWN TO TAKE CHARGE OF THE RED DEER DETACHMENT BUT I’VE HAD SO MUCH PROBLEM GETTING SOMEBODY TO GO DOWN TO TAKE THE LETHBRIDGE DETACHMENT…YOU’RE THE ONLY ONE, I THINK, THAT CAN HANDLE THE SITUATION WE’VE GOT DOWN THERE. THERE’S A LOT OF PROBLEMS AND I’M SURE YOU’RE THE ONLY ONE THAT CAN HANDLE IT. WILL YOU GO?” “[WE CAME DOWN HERE IN] ’44…I NEVER HAD ANY PROBLEM [WITH THE MOVE]. I WAS ALWAYS ADVENTUROUS. I HAD LOTS OF FRIENDS BUT I WAS ALWAYS HAPPY TO GO.” “WE RENTED A HOUSE ON 538 – 7TH STREET. IT’S ALL TORN DOWN NOW. DAD HAD TO COME DOWN A MONTH OR SO AHEAD OF US AND THEN HE COULDN’T FIND A HOUSE READY, SO WE CAME DOWN AND STAYED IN A HOTEL FOR ABOUT TWO MONTHS. I HAD TO START GRADE TEN; I WAS ONLY FOURTEEN, HERE. THAT WAS, TO ME, THE ONLY SAD PART OF MY LIFE, LEAVING THE WESTLOCK SCHOOL AND STARTING LCI. THE PERSONALIZATION WAS GONE WITH THE TEACHERS.” “[DAD] HAD TO OVERSEE THE POW CAMPS…HE TALKED ABOUT THE POW’S IN THIS RESPECT, THAT THERE WAS A LOT OF VERY GOOD GERMANS THAT WERE IN THERE. [THEY] WOULDN’T HAVE CHOSEN TO EVEN BE IN THE GERMAN ARMY…THEY WERE CONSCRIPTED OVER IN GERMANY, THEY DIDN’T HAVE ANY CHOICE, AND THEY WERE VERY DECENT, GOOD GUYS. HE RESPECTED THEM FOR THAT AND HELPED THEM, [GAVE] THEM ADVICE, “YOU KNOW, YOU GOTTA GO BACK TO GERMANY AND THEN APPLY TO COME BACK.” THERE WAS A TRUST THERE TO LET SOME OF THEM OUT TO WORK…‘CAUSE THERE [WAS] A LABOUR SHORTAGE FOR THE FARMERS AND THEY NEEDED THAT HELP. SOME OF THOSE FARMERS WERE VERY PLEASED TO GET SOME OF THESE GERMANS, AND SOME OF THE FARMERS’ DAUGHTERS WERE VERY PLEASED TO GET THAT, TOO. THEN THERE’S SOME LATER MARRIAGES AFTER THAT. IT WOULD BE A SHAME TO CONDEMN ALL THOSE POW’S BECAUSE A LOT OF THEM WERE VERY DECENT, GOOD, MORAL FELLOWS THAT DIDN’T WANT TO BE INVOLVED WITH ANY KILLING.” “HE WAS A PLAIN STAFF SERGEANT, NCO, SECOND IN CHARGE OF THE SUBDIVISION.” “[THEN HE] WENT BACK TO EDMONTON [TO RETIRE IN 1950], HIS HOME CITY WHERE HIS PARENTS WERE AND A LOT OF FRIENDS. HE JOINED THE R.C.M. P. VETS BUT WITH HIS RECORD, THE ATTORNEY GENERAL’S DEPARTMENT WERE NOT GOING TO LET HIM LOOSE. THEY MADE IT A FIRST APPOINTMENT OF AN INSPECTOR OF JAILS FOR THE PRISONS OF ALBERTA WHICH, AT THAT TIME, THERE WERE ONLY TWO: LETHBRIDGE AND FORT SASKATCHEWAN. [THE] ONLY PLACE IN FORT SASKATCHEWAN WAS FOR WOMEN, SO [WOMEN] HAD TO GO ALL THE WAY TO FORT SASKATCHEWAN, EVEN IF [THEY] WAS FROM LETHBRIDGE. THAT WASN’T A VERY GOOD DEAL, SO DAD COULD SEE A REAL NEED [FOR WORK]. IT WAS A REAL MESS WHEN HE LOOKED AT THE PRISONS.” “HE REALIZED, BEING AN R.C.M.P., THAT MANY OF THE YOUNG CITY POLICE, TOWN SHERIFFS, SOME OF THESE MAGISTRATES, THEY MESSED THINGS UP. HE STARTED A TRAINING SCHOOL FOR THESE MUNICIPAL POLICE AND THAT JUST WENT TERRIFICALLY. THEY HAD [THE SCHOOLS] IN CALGARY AND IN EDMONTON TWICE A YEAR. THEY HAD A BIG GROUP FROM MEDICINE HAT COME UP AND [TAKE] THE SCHOOLING, LETHBRIDGE CAME UP, AND SOME OF THE PRISON GUARDS TOOK [THE TRAINING], TOO.” “[HE] WORKED ON THAT FOR FIFTEEN/SIXTEEN YEARS. AFTER TWELVE YEARS, HE WAS SO BUSY THAT THEY MADE HIM SUPERINTENDENT OF PRISONS BECAUSE…THE FIRST THING HE HAD TO DO WAS TO DEVELOP THE PRISONS FOR ALBERTA. TWO WAS NOT SUFFICIENT.” “[DAD’S] PERSONALITY WAS ALWAYS QUIET, FIRM, NO-NONSENSE, HUMOROUS, BUT HE WAS NEVER ARROGANT. I NEVER HEARD HIM SWEAR OR GET MAD AT ANYBODY, NOT EVEN PRISONERS. HE HANDLED THEM VERY QUIETLY, AND VERY FIRMLY. THE STAFF…ALL LOVED HIM. I [HAVE] LETTERS AND THEY CAME ALL THE WAY UP TO THEIR ANNIVERSARIES LATER IN EDMONTON…“YOU’RE THE BEST BOSS WE EVER HAD.” ALL HE HAD WAS A VISION OF WHAT NEEDED TO BE DONE…HE COULD GO AND EXPLAIN THE NEED FOR THE JAILS, WHAT IT WOULD COST AND WHAT IT NEEDED TO FIX THE PROBLEM. HE NEVER HAD PROBLEM GETTING EXACTLY WHAT HE NEEDED FROM THEM.” ON THE DONATION OF THE REVOLVER AND AMMUNITION, BUCHANAN NOTED, “MY DAD KNEW I WOULD LOOK AFTER [HIS BELONGINGS] AND WANTED TO GET IT TO A MUSEUM. [DAD KNEW] THAT I WASN’T ONE TO PUT IT IN MY BASEMENT TO HAVE GOODNESS-KNOWS-WHAT-HAPPEN TO IT. HE HAD LEFT ALL OF THAT IN CHARGE OF ME. I WAS THE SOLE EXECUTOR OF THE ESTATE.” “I AM NOW AT THE YOUNG AGE OF 88; I’M NOT WORRIED ABOUT LIVING ANOTHER 10 YEARS. I DIDN’T WANT THE CHANCE OF ANYBODY STEALING IT, OR GETTING THEIR HANDS ON IT, SO I WANTED TO MAKE SURE YOU GOT IT. AND, I DON’T NEED IT, SO WHY KEEP IT? IF I GET LONESOME, AND WANT TO SEE IT, I’LL COME TO THE MUSEUM AND LOOK AT IT.” “I’LL FEEL HAPPY, TO KNOW IT’S GOT A GOOD HOME. I DON’T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT IT.” FOR MORE INFORMATION INCLUDING THE FULL TRANSCRIPTIONS FROM INTERVIEWS AND LETHBRIDGE HERALD ARTICLES, PLEASE SEE THE PERMANENT FILE P20190002001-GA.
Catalogue Number
P20190002003
Acquisition Date
2019-01
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail
Date Range From
1935
Date Range To
1950
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
COTTON
Catalogue Number
P20190002004
  2 images  
Material Type
Artifact
Date Range From
1935
Date Range To
1950
Materials
COTTON
No. Pieces
1
Length
45.8
Width
27.7
Description
COTTON CLEANING CLOTH, WHITE WITH RED STRIPES DOWN AND ACROSS. BOTTOM OF CLOTH HAS SECTION CUT OUT OF FRONT LEFT SIDE. FRONT IS HEAVILY STAINED WITH BLACK AND BROWN RESIDUE; RESIDUE HAS WORN THROUGH CLOTH TO BACK. RED EDGING IS FRAYED. CLOTH IS HEAVILY CREASED DOWN AND ACROSS MIDDLE. OVERALL GOOD CONDITION.
Subjects
ARMAMENT-ACCESSORY
Historical Association
SAFETY SERVICES
History
ON JANUARY 10, 2019, COLLECTIONS TECHNICIAN KEVIN MACLEAN INTERVIEWED JEAN BUCHANAN REGARDING HER DONATION OF A REVOLVER AND FIREARM ACCESSORIES. THE FIREARM WAS USED BY BUCHANAN’S FATHER, EDWARD ETTERSHANK BUCHANAN, DURING HIS CAREER WITH THE ALBERTA PROVINCIAL POLICE AND ROYAL CANADIAN MOUNTED POLICE. BUCHANAN ELABORATED ON THE USE OF THE CLEANING CLOTH, NOTING, “[DAD HAD A BAG] BECAUSE, IN HIS YOUNGER DAYS, HE OFTEN HAD TO GO OUT ON HORSEBACK. HE’D BE GONE, HUNTING DOWN A MURDERER, AND HE MIGHT HAVE HAD A GUIDE WITH HIM. HE TOOK SOME OF HIS CLEANING EQUIPMENT FOR THE REVOLVER, AND HIS RIFLE, TOO…HE COULD PACK HIS LUNCH…KNIVES, SURVIVAL, AND HIS DIRTY OLD CLEANING CLOTH THAT HE USED, AND AN OLD BOTTLE OF GUN OIL, SO HE COULD CLEAN THE GUN IN CASE HE HAPPENED TO DROP IT IN SOME MUD. YOU NEVER KNOW [WHAT MIGHT HAPPEN] WHEN YOU’RE OUT…YOU HAVE TO KEEP YOUR GUN VERY CLEAN. HE KEPT EVERYTHING VERY CLEAN…YOU HAVE TO KEEP THE GUN CLEAN IF YOU’RE GOING TO USE IT, BECAUSE YOU COULD DAMAGE IT IF YOU HAVE ANY DIRT IN THE BARREL.” “[THE GUNS] WERE A TOOL OF HIS JOB, BUT HE CERTAINLY WASN’T ONE THAT WANTED TO EVER USE IT, BUT IF HE HAD IT, HE HAD TO, OR TO JUST MAINTAIN THE PEACE.” ON HER FATHER’S REVOLVER, BUCHANAN RECALLED, “[MY DAD] USED [THE SMITH AND WESSON REVOLVER]…STARTING IN 1932, WITH THE RCMP, MAY BE WHEN HE GOT THAT GUN. HE HAD IT REGISTERED IN 1940, AND GETTING ANOTHER 5 YEARS REGISTRATION IT MUST HAVE BEEN 1935. [THE GUN] WAS HIS SIDEARM…HIS SERVICE WEAPON…HE HAD THAT ALL THE TIME…IT WOULD GO RIGHT ON HIS BELT THERE.” “[DAD KEPT THE GUN] IN [MY PARENTS’] BEDROOM. RIGHT ON THE BEDROOM CLOSET DOOR, RIGHT OPEN. I NEVER TOUCHED IT, BECAUSE HE HAD GIVEN ME MY TRAINING AND LET ME USE IT WHEN I WAS YOUNG. I HAD RESPECT FOR IT, AND I HAD NO SPECIAL CURIOSITY, WHICH IS A GOOD THING. [DAD KNEW I WAS] AN ADVENTUROUS PERSON, BUT I NEVER EVER TOUCHED IT, OUT OF COMPLETE RESPECT FOR DAD AND WHAT HE HAD THERE.” “ALL I CAN REMEMBER [IS HE HAD TWO HANDGUNS OR SIDEARMS]…HE DIDN’T GO OUT PRACTICING VERY MUCH; HE DIDN’T HAVE TO. HE COULD PASS HIS MARKSMANSHIP, AND THEN, EVERY TIME THERE WERE THINGS AT REGINA DEPOT TRAINING COURSES (UPGRADING, REFRESHER COURSES) THEY DID THEIR MARKSMANSHIP THERE, TOO. THEY WERE ALWAYS TESTED ON THEIR MARKSMANSHIP, AT REGINA DEPOT.” “I THINK [THE REVOLVER HAD] QUITE A BIT [OF MEANING TO MY DAD], BECAUSE HE HAD IT IN HIS HOUSE. IT WAS REALLY STRANGE BECAUSE I ASKED HIM WHERE IT WAS, WHEN HE SHOWED ME THE PAPERS, AND HE HAD IT IN A SHOE BOX IN HIS BEDROOM CLOSET. YOU DIDN’T HAVE TO HAVE GREAT [HIDING] PLACES FOR IT IN THOSE DAYS, BUT THAT’S WHERE HE KEPT IT. HE MADE SURE IT WAS THERE, AND HE KNEW WHERE IT WAS.” “[I HAVE NO] KNOWLEDGE ABOUT HIM HAVING TO FIRE THIS WEAPON…AT ANYONE. IF HE WOULD HAVE, HE WOULD HAVE FIRED TO MISS SOMEONE, JUST AS A WARNING SHOT. HE DEFINITELY WENT FOR WARNING SHOTS, BUT HE NEVER SHOT ANYBODY WITH IT." “[HE WOULD HAVE STOPPED CARRYING THE GUN] AT THE VERY END OF 1950, WHEN HE RETIRED FROM THE R.C.M.P.” “[I’VE HAD THE REVOLVER] SINCE 1998—THE PASSING OF MY FATHER, BECAUSE I WAS THE SOLE EXECUTRIX. IT WAS AUTOMATICALLY MY RESPONSIBILITY TO TAKE ALL OF HIS FIREARMS, IN MY POSSESSION.” “I WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR [THE CARE OF] IT, AND IT WAS A REAL KEEPSAKE. [THE GUN WAS] WAS VERY PERSONAL, BECAUSE I’M SURE [MY DAD] OWNED THAT EVEN BY BACK IN 1935, [WHEN] HE WAS IN WESTLOCK, IN CHARGE OF THE DETACHMENT THERE FOR 10 YEARS. IT WAS OF SENTIMENTAL VALUE BECAUSE HE TOOK ME OUT (I’M PRETTY SURE I WAS 8 YEARS OLD, WHEN HE HAD ME IN THE BACKYARD)—WE HAD FARMLAND AND FOREST—AND HE HAD A TARGET PRACTICE OUT THERE. HE HAD ME USE THAT FIREARM. HE SHOWED ME HOW TO USE IT, HOW TO AIM, AND HOW TO HANDLE IT SAFELY. I ALWAYS RESPECTED THAT, AND THAT WAS GOOD. THAT’S THE ORIGINAL HOLSTER FOR THAT GUN, WHICH YOU CAN SEE IS LOOPED, TO PUT ON HIS BELT. HE ALSO CARRIED A .32 COLT SEMI-AUTOMATIC.” “I’VE ALWAYS APPRECIATED REVOLVERS, AND RIFLES. IT’S NEVER BEEN ANYTHING THAT I THOUGHT ANY DANGER OF. YOU LEARN THE SAFETY, AND YOU TAKE YOUR COURSE. I HAVE MY COURSE DONE, AND I PASSED IT WITH FLYING COLORS. I HAD MY PERMIT TO HAVE IT. I HAVE TAKEN IT OUT, ON MY OWN ACREAGE, AND FIRED IT A BIT, BUT IT ISN’T SOMETHING I WANT TO DO. IT’S A SENTIMENTAL THING THAT I CAN NOW FEEL I’D LIKE TO HAVE IT IN YOUR MUSEUM. I KNOW IT’S NOW IN A SAFE PLACE, SO I DON’T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT IT EVER FALLING INTO THE WRONG HANDS. AND, IF I WANT TO COME AND VISIT IT, I CAN COME AND SEE IT.” ON JUNE 8, 2018, MACLEAN INTERVIEWED BUCHANAN REGARDING HER FATHER’S CAREER WITH THE ALBERTA PROVINCIAL POLICE AND ROYAL CANADIAN MOUNTED POLICE. BUCHANAN ELABORATED ON HER FATHER’S HISTORY, “[MY DAD WAS EDWARD BUCHANAN, WHO RETIRED AT THE RANK OF] SENIOR STAFF SERGEANT…HE RETIRED IN 1950 FROM THE [R.C.M.P].” “HE JOINED THE A.P.P. WHEN HE WAS TWENTY AND HE WAS STATIONED OUT NEAR ST. PAUL. IN ’21, HE MET MY MOTHER IN EDMONTON…BUT HE STAYED AT ST. PAUL AND THEN AFTER, HE GOT POSTED TO GRANDE PRAIRIE. HE WAS GOING TO GO TO GRANDE PRAIRIE BUT THEN IN ’22, THEY GOT MARRIED. A.P.P. HAD NO RESTRICTIONS ON THEIR MEMBERS GETTING MARRIED, LIKE THE R.C.M.P. HE DIDN’T HAVE TO WAIT TO GET MARRIED…THAT’S WHEN THEY WENT OUT TO BRAINARD.” “EVEN IN THE A.P.P., TO START WITH, HE HAD SOME SERVICE DOWN HERE AT THE LETHBRIDGE PRISON…BRINGING PRISONERS DOWN AND THEN MAYBE, AT THE VERY FIRST WINTER AS A ROOKIE, HE WAS ON JOB TO BE ON GUARD AT THE STATION. IT WASN’T LONG AND HE WAS SENT OUT TO ST. PAUL AND INTO MORE OF THE REAL POLICING.” “WHEN HE WAS IN THE A.P.P. [IN 1932] HE WAS THE TOP CLASS OF [THE] A.P.P. THAT AUTOMATICALLY WERE ACCEPTED INTO THE R.C.M.P. HE WAS PUT IN CHARGE, WHEN HE WAS IN THE A.P.P.—FIRST HE STARTED OUT IN CHARGE OF BRAINARD—HORSE LAKE—A LITTLE PLACE NEAR THE HORSE LAKE INDIAN RESERVATION. THEY CLOSED THAT DOWN AND TRANSFERRED HIM TO WEMBLEY, A LITTLE VILLAGE, AND HE WAS THE ONLY ONE IN CHARGE, THE ONLY OFFICER IN CHARGE OF WEMBLEY. THAT’S WHEN THAT 1932 [CHANGE] CAME ALONG AND HE JUST CHANGED THE SIGN UP THERE FROM A.P.P. TO R.C.M.P. AND WENT FROM THERE.” “IN ’32, IT WAS R.C.M.P. AND THAT STAYED R.C.M.P. UNTIL ’34. THEN HE WAS TRANSFERRED TO TAKE CHARGE OF THE WESTLOCK DETACHMENT WHICH WAS A BIG AREA. [THERE] WAS NO DETACHMENT IN BARRHEAD. HE HAD A HUGE AREA THERE TO COVER.” “[A.P.P. MEMBERS] WERE NOT AUTOMATICALLY TAKEN INTO THE R.C.M.P. THEY HAD THREE CATEGORIES THERE, OF THE A.P.P. MEMBERS…[THERE WERE] ONES THAT WERE NOT ACCEPTABLE, THAT THEY HADN’T DONE A VERY GOOD JOB IN THE A.P.P.; THEY SHOWED UP, GOOFIN’ AROUND, DOING THINGS THEY SHOULDN’T BE DOING. THEY WERE NOT ACCEPTABLE. THEN THERE [WERE THE ONES THAT] COULD BE GIVEN A LITTLE TRIAL RUN. THEY COULD APPLY. THEN THERE [WERE] ONES THAT COULD GET IN FOR A FULL YEAR AND THEN RE-APPLY. THEY’D BE ACCEPTED FOR A YEAR. THEN THERE’S THE TOP GRADE AND [THEY] WERE AUTOMATICALLY ACCEPTABLE. DAD WAS RIGHT UP THERE IN THAT TOP GRADE.” “A.P.P. MEMBERS WERE TRAINED BY THE NORTHWEST MOUNTED POLICE, NOT SOME GOOFBALLS THAT DIDN’T KNOW WHAT THEY WERE DOING. THESE WERE TRAINED BY THE BEST-TRAINED POLICE OFFICERS.” “ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER HANCOCK KNEW DAD REALLY WELL, HE’D EVEN BEEN IN THE A.P.P. HE CALLED DAD INTO THE OFFICE AND HE SAID, “BUCK, [DAD WAS EDWARD ETTERSHANK BUCHANAN BUT THEY CALLED HIM ‘BUCK’, A LOT] I WAS GOING TO SEND YOU DOWN TO TAKE CHARGE OF THE RED DEER DETACHMENT BUT I’VE HAD SO MUCH PROBLEM GETTING SOMEBODY TO GO DOWN TO TAKE THE LETHBRIDGE DETACHMENT…YOU’RE THE ONLY ONE, I THINK, THAT CAN HANDLE THE SITUATION WE’VE GOT DOWN THERE. THERE’S A LOT OF PROBLEMS AND I’M SURE YOU’RE THE ONLY ONE THAT CAN HANDLE IT. WILL YOU GO?” “[WE CAME DOWN HERE IN] ’44…I NEVER HAD ANY PROBLEM [WITH THE MOVE]. I WAS ALWAYS ADVENTUROUS. I HAD LOTS OF FRIENDS BUT I WAS ALWAYS HAPPY TO GO.” “WE RENTED A HOUSE ON 538 – 7TH STREET. IT’S ALL TORN DOWN NOW. DAD HAD TO COME DOWN A MONTH OR SO AHEAD OF US AND THEN HE COULDN’T FIND A HOUSE READY, SO WE CAME DOWN AND STAYED IN A HOTEL FOR ABOUT TWO MONTHS. I HAD TO START GRADE TEN; I WAS ONLY FOURTEEN, HERE. THAT WAS, TO ME, THE ONLY SAD PART OF MY LIFE, LEAVING THE WESTLOCK SCHOOL AND STARTING LCI. THE PERSONALIZATION WAS GONE WITH THE TEACHERS.” “[DAD] HAD TO OVERSEE THE POW CAMPS…HE TALKED ABOUT THE POW’S IN THIS RESPECT, THAT THERE WAS A LOT OF VERY GOOD GERMANS THAT WERE IN THERE. [THEY] WOULDN’T HAVE CHOSEN TO EVEN BE IN THE GERMAN ARMY…THEY WERE CONSCRIPTED OVER IN GERMANY, THEY DIDN’T HAVE ANY CHOICE, AND THEY WERE VERY DECENT, GOOD GUYS. HE RESPECTED THEM FOR THAT AND HELPED THEM, [GAVE] THEM ADVICE, “YOU KNOW, YOU GOTTA GO BACK TO GERMANY AND THEN APPLY TO COME BACK.” THERE WAS A TRUST THERE TO LET SOME OF THEM OUT TO WORK…‘CAUSE THERE [WAS] A LABOUR SHORTAGE FOR THE FARMERS AND THEY NEEDED THAT HELP. SOME OF THOSE FARMERS WERE VERY PLEASED TO GET SOME OF THESE GERMANS, AND SOME OF THE FARMERS’ DAUGHTERS WERE VERY PLEASED TO GET THAT, TOO. THEN THERE’S SOME LATER MARRIAGES AFTER THAT. IT WOULD BE A SHAME TO CONDEMN ALL THOSE POW’S BECAUSE A LOT OF THEM WERE VERY DECENT, GOOD, MORAL FELLOWS THAT DIDN’T WANT TO BE INVOLVED WITH ANY KILLING.” “HE WAS A PLAIN STAFF SERGEANT, NCO, SECOND IN CHARGE OF THE SUBDIVISION.” “[THEN HE] WENT BACK TO EDMONTON [TO RETIRE IN 1950], HIS HOME CITY WHERE HIS PARENTS WERE AND A LOT OF FRIENDS. HE JOINED THE R.C.M. P. VETS BUT WITH HIS RECORD, THE ATTORNEY GENERAL’S DEPARTMENT WERE NOT GOING TO LET HIM LOOSE. THEY MADE IT A FIRST APPOINTMENT OF AN INSPECTOR OF JAILS FOR THE PRISONS OF ALBERTA WHICH, AT THAT TIME, THERE WERE ONLY TWO: LETHBRIDGE AND FORT SASKATCHEWAN. [THE] ONLY PLACE IN FORT SASKATCHEWAN WAS FOR WOMEN, SO [WOMEN] HAD TO GO ALL THE WAY TO FORT SASKATCHEWAN, EVEN IF [THEY] WAS FROM LETHBRIDGE. THAT WASN’T A VERY GOOD DEAL, SO DAD COULD SEE A REAL NEED [FOR WORK]. IT WAS A REAL MESS WHEN HE LOOKED AT THE PRISONS.” “HE REALIZED, BEING AN R.C.M.P., THAT MANY OF THE YOUNG CITY POLICE, TOWN SHERIFFS, SOME OF THESE MAGISTRATES, THEY MESSED THINGS UP. HE STARTED A TRAINING SCHOOL FOR THESE MUNICIPAL POLICE AND THAT JUST WENT TERRIFICALLY. THEY HAD [THE SCHOOLS] IN CALGARY AND IN EDMONTON TWICE A YEAR. THEY HAD A BIG GROUP FROM MEDICINE HAT COME UP AND [TAKE] THE SCHOOLING, LETHBRIDGE CAME UP, AND SOME OF THE PRISON GUARDS TOOK [THE TRAINING], TOO.” “[HE] WORKED ON THAT FOR FIFTEEN/SIXTEEN YEARS. AFTER TWELVE YEARS, HE WAS SO BUSY THAT THEY MADE HIM SUPERINTENDENT OF PRISONS BECAUSE…THE FIRST THING HE HAD TO DO WAS TO DEVELOP THE PRISONS FOR ALBERTA. TWO WAS NOT SUFFICIENT.” “[DAD’S] PERSONALITY WAS ALWAYS QUIET, FIRM, NO-NONSENSE, HUMOROUS, BUT HE WAS NEVER ARROGANT. I NEVER HEARD HIM SWEAR OR GET MAD AT ANYBODY, NOT EVEN PRISONERS. HE HANDLED THEM VERY QUIETLY, AND VERY FIRMLY. THE STAFF…ALL LOVED HIM. I [HAVE] LETTERS AND THEY CAME ALL THE WAY UP TO THEIR ANNIVERSARIES LATER IN EDMONTON…“YOU’RE THE BEST BOSS WE EVER HAD.” ALL HE HAD WAS A VISION OF WHAT NEEDED TO BE DONE…HE COULD GO AND EXPLAIN THE NEED FOR THE JAILS, WHAT IT WOULD COST AND WHAT IT NEEDED TO FIX THE PROBLEM. HE NEVER HAD PROBLEM GETTING EXACTLY WHAT HE NEEDED FROM THEM.” ON THE DONATION OF THE REVOLVER AND AMMUNITION, BUCHANAN NOTED, “MY DAD KNEW I WOULD LOOK AFTER [HIS BELONGINGS] AND WANTED TO GET IT TO A MUSEUM. [DAD KNEW] THAT I WASN’T ONE TO PUT IT IN MY BASEMENT TO HAVE GOODNESS-KNOWS-WHAT-HAPPEN TO IT. HE HAD LEFT ALL OF THAT IN CHARGE OF ME. I WAS THE SOLE EXECUTOR OF THE ESTATE.” “I AM NOW AT THE YOUNG AGE OF 88; I’M NOT WORRIED ABOUT LIVING ANOTHER 10 YEARS. I DIDN’T WANT THE CHANCE OF ANYBODY STEALING IT, OR GETTING THEIR HANDS ON IT, SO I WANTED TO MAKE SURE YOU GOT IT. AND, I DON’T NEED IT, SO WHY KEEP IT? IF I GET LONESOME, AND WANT TO SEE IT, I’LL COME TO THE MUSEUM AND LOOK AT IT.” “I’LL FEEL HAPPY, TO KNOW IT’S GOT A GOOD HOME. I DON’T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT IT.” FOR MORE INFORMATION INCLUDING THE FULL TRANSCRIPTIONS FROM INTERVIEWS AND LETHBRIDGE HERALD ARTICLES, PLEASE SEE THE PERMANENT FILE P20190002001-GA.
Catalogue Number
P20190002004
Acquisition Date
2019-01
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail
Date Range From
1935
Date Range To
1950
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
COTTON, STEEL, BRASS
Catalogue Number
P20190002005
  1 image  
Material Type
Artifact
Date Range From
1935
Date Range To
1950
Materials
COTTON, STEEL, BRASS
No. Pieces
2
Length
126.5
Description
A. CLEANING ROD ATTACHED TO STRING AND WEIGHT, 126.5CM LONG. STAINED WHITE CORD WITH BRASS CYLINDRICAL WEIGHT AT ONE END; CORD HAS WIRE BRUSH TIED 13CM DOWN; BRUSH HAS METAL BODY WITH WIRE BRISTLES WRAPPED AROUND IN SPIRAL; BRUSH IS ATTACHED TO CORD WITH METAL LOOPS AT ENDS OF BODY. CORD IS STAINED AND SEVERELY CURLED FROM LOOPING; CORD IS FRAYING; OVERALL VERY GOOD CONDITION. B. CLEANING ROD, 7.8CM LONG. BLACK WIRE BRISTLES WRAPPED IN SPIRAL AROUND BRASS BODY; BODY HAS THREADED SCREW FITTING AT ONE END AND HAS WIRES TWISTED TOGETHER ON OTHER END. WIRES OF THE BRUSH ARE FRAYING AND HAVE DEBRIS CAUGHTL OVERALL VERY GOOD CONDITION.
Subjects
ARMAMENT-ACCESSORY
Historical Association
SAFETY SERVICES
History
ON JANUARY 10, 2019, COLLECTIONS TECHNICIAN KEVIN MACLEAN INTERVIEWED JEAN BUCHANAN REGARDING HER DONATION OF A REVOLVER AND FIREARM ACCESSORIES. THE FIREARM WAS USED BY BUCHANAN’S FATHER, EDWARD ETTERSHANK BUCHANAN, DURING HIS CAREER WITH THE ALBERTA PROVINCIAL POLICE AND ROYAL CANADIAN MOUNTED POLICE. BUCHANAN ELABORATED ON THE USE OF THE CLEANING ROD, NOTING, “[DAD HAD A BAG] BECAUSE, IN HIS YOUNGER DAYS, HE OFTEN HAD TO GO OUT ON HORSEBACK. HE’D BE GONE, HUNTING DOWN A MURDERER, AND HE MIGHT HAVE HAD A GUIDE WITH HIM. HE TOOK SOME OF HIS CLEANING EQUIPMENT FOR THE REVOLVER, AND HIS RIFLE, TOO…HE COULD PACK HIS LUNCH…KNIVES, SURVIVAL, AND HIS DIRTY OLD CLEANING CLOTH THAT HE USED, AND AN OLD BOTTLE OF GUN OIL, SO HE COULD CLEAN THE GUN IN CASE HE HAPPENED TO DROP IT IN SOME MUD. YOU NEVER KNOW [WHAT MIGHT HAPPEN] WHEN YOU’RE OUT…YOU HAVE TO KEEP YOUR GUN VERY CLEAN. HE KEPT EVERYTHING VERY CLEAN…YOU HAVE TO KEEP THE GUN CLEAN IF YOU’RE GOING TO USE IT, BECAUSE YOU COULD DAMAGE IT IF YOU HAVE ANY DIRT IN THE BARREL.” “THIS [CLEANING ROD] WAS AN INTERESTING OLD ONE FOR A RIFLE—A PIECE OF STRING THAT HAD A HEAVY WEIGHT AT THE END, SO YOU COULD DROP THE WEIGHT DOWN THE BARREL, AND THEN PULL THIS CLEANING BRASS WIRE THING OUT TO CLEAN THE BARREL. HE MADE IT HIMSELF, I THINK.” “HE HAD A BEAUTIFUL BRASS ONE [FOR HIS REVOLVERS] THAT YOU JUST HAVE THE LITTLE LENGTHS—ABOUT 4 LENGTHS—AND THEN YOU TAKE THE 2, AND UNSCREW IT – AND YOU CAN USE THAT FOR DIFFERENT LENGTHS OF FIREARMS.” “[THE GUNS] WERE A TOOL OF HIS JOB, BUT HE CERTAINLY WASN’T ONE THAT WANTED TO EVER USE IT, BUT IF HE HAD IT, HE HAD TO, OR TO JUST MAINTAIN THE PEACE.” ON HER FATHER’S REVOLVER, BUCHANAN RECALLED, “[MY DAD] USED [THE SMITH AND WESSON REVOLVER]…STARTING IN 1932, WITH THE RCMP, MAY BE WHEN HE GOT THAT GUN. HE HAD IT REGISTERED IN 1940, AND GETTING ANOTHER 5 YEARS REGISTRATION IT MUST HAVE BEEN 1935. [THE GUN] WAS HIS SIDEARM…HIS SERVICE WEAPON…HE HAD THAT ALL THE TIME…IT WOULD GO RIGHT ON HIS BELT THERE.” “[DAD KEPT THE GUN] IN [MY PARENTS’] BEDROOM. RIGHT ON THE BEDROOM CLOSET DOOR, RIGHT OPEN. I NEVER TOUCHED IT, BECAUSE HE HAD GIVEN ME MY TRAINING AND LET ME USE IT WHEN I WAS YOUNG. I HAD RESPECT FOR IT, AND I HAD NO SPECIAL CURIOSITY, WHICH IS A GOOD THING. [DAD KNEW I WAS] AN ADVENTUROUS PERSON, BUT I NEVER EVER TOUCHED IT, OUT OF COMPLETE RESPECT FOR DAD AND WHAT HE HAD THERE.” “ALL I CAN REMEMBER [IS HE HAD TWO HANDGUNS OR SIDEARMS]…HE DIDN’T GO OUT PRACTICING VERY MUCH; HE DIDN’T HAVE TO. HE COULD PASS HIS MARKSMANSHIP, AND THEN, EVERY TIME THERE WERE THINGS AT REGINA DEPOT TRAINING COURSES (UPGRADING, REFRESHER COURSES) THEY DID THEIR MARKSMANSHIP THERE, TOO. THEY WERE ALWAYS TESTED ON THEIR MARKSMANSHIP, AT REGINA DEPOT.” “I THINK [THE REVOLVER HAD] QUITE A BIT [OF MEANING TO MY DAD], BECAUSE HE HAD IT IN HIS HOUSE. IT WAS REALLY STRANGE BECAUSE I ASKED HIM WHERE IT WAS, WHEN HE SHOWED ME THE PAPERS, AND HE HAD IT IN A SHOE BOX IN HIS BEDROOM CLOSET. YOU DIDN’T HAVE TO HAVE GREAT [HIDING] PLACES FOR IT IN THOSE DAYS, BUT THAT’S WHERE HE KEPT IT. HE MADE SURE IT WAS THERE, AND HE KNEW WHERE IT WAS.” “[I HAVE NO] KNOWLEDGE ABOUT HIM HAVING TO FIRE THIS WEAPON…AT ANYONE. IF HE WOULD HAVE, HE WOULD HAVE FIRED TO MISS SOMEONE, JUST AS A WARNING SHOT. HE DEFINITELY WENT FOR WARNING SHOTS, BUT HE NEVER SHOT ANYBODY WITH IT.” “[HE WOULD HAVE STOPPED CARRYING THE GUN] AT THE VERY END OF 1950, WHEN HE RETIRED FROM THE R.C.M.P.” “[I’VE HAD THE REVOLVER] SINCE 1998—THE PASSING OF MY FATHER, BECAUSE I WAS THE SOLE EXECUTRIX. IT WAS AUTOMATICALLY MY RESPONSIBILITY TO TAKE ALL OF HIS FIREARMS, IN MY POSSESSION.” “I WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR [THE CARE OF] IT, AND IT WAS A REAL KEEPSAKE. [THE GUN WAS] WAS VERY PERSONAL, BECAUSE I’M SURE [MY DAD] OWNED THAT EVEN BY BACK IN 1935, [WHEN] HE WAS IN WESTLOCK, IN CHARGE OF THE DETACHMENT THERE FOR 10 YEARS. IT WAS OF SENTIMENTAL VALUE BECAUSE HE TOOK ME OUT (I’M PRETTY SURE I WAS 8 YEARS OLD, WHEN HE HAD ME IN THE BACKYARD)—WE HAD FARMLAND AND FOREST—AND HE HAD A TARGET PRACTICE OUT THERE. HE HAD ME USE THAT FIREARM. HE SHOWED ME HOW TO USE IT, HOW TO AIM, AND HOW TO HANDLE IT SAFELY. I ALWAYS RESPECTED THAT, AND THAT WAS GOOD. THAT’S THE ORIGINAL HOLSTER FOR THAT GUN, WHICH YOU CAN SEE IS LOOPED, TO PUT ON HIS BELT. HE ALSO CARRIED A .32 COLT SEMI-AUTOMATIC.” “I’VE ALWAYS APPRECIATED REVOLVERS, AND RIFLES. IT’S NEVER BEEN ANYTHING THAT I THOUGHT ANY DANGER OF. YOU LEARN THE SAFETY, AND YOU TAKE YOUR COURSE. I HAVE MY COURSE DONE, AND I PASSED IT WITH FLYING COLORS. I HAD MY PERMIT TO HAVE IT. I HAVE TAKEN IT OUT, ON MY OWN ACREAGE, AND FIRED IT A BIT, BUT IT ISN’T SOMETHING I WANT TO DO. IT’S A SENTIMENTAL THING THAT I CAN NOW FEEL I’D LIKE TO HAVE IT IN YOUR MUSEUM. I KNOW IT’S NOW IN A SAFE PLACE, SO I DON’T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT IT EVER FALLING INTO THE WRONG HANDS. AND, IF I WANT TO COME AND VISIT IT, I CAN COME AND SEE IT.” ON JUNE 8, 2018, MACLEAN INTERVIEWED BUCHANAN REGARDING HER FATHER’S CAREER WITH THE ALBERTA PROVINCIAL POLICE AND ROYAL CANADIAN MOUNTED POLICE. BUCHANAN ELABORATED ON HER FATHER’S HISTORY, “[MY DAD WAS EDWARD BUCHANAN, WHO RETIRED AT THE RANK OF] SENIOR STAFF SERGEANT…HE RETIRED IN 1950 FROM THE [R.C.M.P].” “HE JOINED THE A.P.P. WHEN HE WAS TWENTY AND HE WAS STATIONED OUT NEAR ST. PAUL. IN ’21, HE MET MY MOTHER IN EDMONTON…BUT HE STAYED AT ST. PAUL AND THEN AFTER, HE GOT POSTED TO GRANDE PRAIRIE. HE WAS GOING TO GO TO GRANDE PRAIRIE BUT THEN IN ’22, THEY GOT MARRIED. A.P.P. HAD NO RESTRICTIONS ON THEIR MEMBERS GETTING MARRIED, LIKE THE R.C.M.P. HE DIDN’T HAVE TO WAIT TO GET MARRIED…THAT’S WHEN THEY WENT OUT TO BRAINARD.” “EVEN IN THE A.P.P., TO START WITH, HE HAD SOME SERVICE DOWN HERE AT THE LETHBRIDGE PRISON…BRINGING PRISONERS DOWN AND THEN MAYBE, AT THE VERY FIRST WINTER AS A ROOKIE, HE WAS ON JOB TO BE ON GUARD AT THE STATION. IT WASN’T LONG AND HE WAS SENT OUT TO ST. PAUL AND INTO MORE OF THE REAL POLICING.” “WHEN HE WAS IN THE A.P.P. [IN 1932] HE WAS THE TOP CLASS OF [THE] A.P.P. THAT AUTOMATICALLY WERE ACCEPTED INTO THE R.C.M.P. HE WAS PUT IN CHARGE, WHEN HE WAS IN THE A.P.P.—FIRST HE STARTED OUT IN CHARGE OF BRAINARD—HORSE LAKE—A LITTLE PLACE NEAR THE HORSE LAKE INDIAN RESERVATION. THEY CLOSED THAT DOWN AND TRANSFERRED HIM TO WEMBLEY, A LITTLE VILLAGE, AND HE WAS THE ONLY ONE IN CHARGE, THE ONLY OFFICER IN CHARGE OF WEMBLEY. THAT’S WHEN THAT 1932 [CHANGE] CAME ALONG AND HE JUST CHANGED THE SIGN UP THERE FROM A.P.P. TO R.C.M.P. AND WENT FROM THERE.” “IN ’32, IT WAS R.C.M.P. AND THAT STAYED R.C.M.P. UNTIL ’34. THEN HE WAS TRANSFERRED TO TAKE CHARGE OF THE WESTLOCK DETACHMENT WHICH WAS A BIG AREA. [THERE] WAS NO DETACHMENT IN BARRHEAD. HE HAD A HUGE AREA THERE TO COVER.” “[A.P.P. MEMBERS] WERE NOT AUTOMATICALLY TAKEN INTO THE R.C.M.P. THEY HAD THREE CATEGORIES THERE, OF THE A.P.P. MEMBERS…[THERE WERE] ONES THAT WERE NOT ACCEPTABLE, THAT THEY HADN’T DONE A VERY GOOD JOB IN THE A.P.P.; THEY SHOWED UP, GOOFIN’ AROUND, DOING THINGS THEY SHOULDN’T BE DOING. THEY WERE NOT ACCEPTABLE. THEN THERE [WERE THE ONES THAT] COULD BE GIVEN A LITTLE TRIAL RUN. THEY COULD APPLY. THEN THERE [WERE] ONES THAT COULD GET IN FOR A FULL YEAR AND THEN RE-APPLY. THEY’D BE ACCEPTED FOR A YEAR. THEN THERE’S THE TOP GRADE AND [THEY] WERE AUTOMATICALLY ACCEPTABLE. DAD WAS RIGHT UP THERE IN THAT TOP GRADE.” “A.P.P. MEMBERS WERE TRAINED BY THE NORTHWEST MOUNTED POLICE, NOT SOME GOOFBALLS THAT DIDN’T KNOW WHAT THEY WERE DOING. THESE WERE TRAINED BY THE BEST-TRAINED POLICE OFFICERS.” “ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER HANCOCK KNEW DAD REALLY WELL, HE’D EVEN BEEN IN THE A.P.P. HE CALLED DAD INTO THE OFFICE AND HE SAID, “BUCK, [DAD WAS EDWARD ETTERSHANK BUCHANAN BUT THEY CALLED HIM ‘BUCK’, A LOT] I WAS GOING TO SEND YOU DOWN TO TAKE CHARGE OF THE RED DEER DETACHMENT BUT I’VE HAD SO MUCH PROBLEM GETTING SOMEBODY TO GO DOWN TO TAKE THE LETHBRIDGE DETACHMENT…YOU’RE THE ONLY ONE, I THINK, THAT CAN HANDLE THE SITUATION WE’VE GOT DOWN THERE. THERE’S A LOT OF PROBLEMS AND I’M SURE YOU’RE THE ONLY ONE THAT CAN HANDLE IT. WILL YOU GO?” “[WE CAME DOWN HERE IN] ’44…I NEVER HAD ANY PROBLEM [WITH THE MOVE]. I WAS ALWAYS ADVENTUROUS. I HAD LOTS OF FRIENDS BUT I WAS ALWAYS HAPPY TO GO.” “WE RENTED A HOUSE ON 538 – 7TH STREET. IT’S ALL TORN DOWN NOW. DAD HAD TO COME DOWN A MONTH OR SO AHEAD OF US AND THEN HE COULDN’T FIND A HOUSE READY, SO WE CAME DOWN AND STAYED IN A HOTEL FOR ABOUT TWO MONTHS. I HAD TO START GRADE TEN; I WAS ONLY FOURTEEN, HERE. THAT WAS, TO ME, THE ONLY SAD PART OF MY LIFE, LEAVING THE WESTLOCK SCHOOL AND STARTING LCI. THE PERSONALIZATION WAS GONE WITH THE TEACHERS.” “[DAD] HAD TO OVERSEE THE POW CAMPS…HE TALKED ABOUT THE POW’S IN THIS RESPECT, THAT THERE WAS A LOT OF VERY GOOD GERMANS THAT WERE IN THERE. [THEY] WOULDN’T HAVE CHOSEN TO EVEN BE IN THE GERMAN ARMY…THEY WERE CONSCRIPTED OVER IN GERMANY, THEY DIDN’T HAVE ANY CHOICE, AND THEY WERE VERY DECENT, GOOD GUYS. HE RESPECTED THEM FOR THAT AND HELPED THEM, [GAVE] THEM ADVICE, “YOU KNOW, YOU GOTTA GO BACK TO GERMANY AND THEN APPLY TO COME BACK.” THERE WAS A TRUST THERE TO LET SOME OF THEM OUT TO WORK…‘CAUSE THERE [WAS] A LABOUR SHORTAGE FOR THE FARMERS AND THEY NEEDED THAT HELP. SOME OF THOSE FARMERS WERE VERY PLEASED TO GET SOME OF THESE GERMANS, AND SOME OF THE FARMERS’ DAUGHTERS WERE VERY PLEASED TO GET THAT, TOO. THEN THERE’S SOME LATER MARRIAGES AFTER THAT. IT WOULD BE A SHAME TO CONDEMN ALL THOSE POW’S BECAUSE A LOT OF THEM WERE VERY DECENT, GOOD, MORAL FELLOWS THAT DIDN’T WANT TO BE INVOLVED WITH ANY KILLING.” “HE WAS A PLAIN STAFF SERGEANT, NCO, SECOND IN CHARGE OF THE SUBDIVISION.” “[THEN HE] WENT BACK TO EDMONTON [TO RETIRE IN 1950], HIS HOME CITY WHERE HIS PARENTS WERE AND A LOT OF FRIENDS. HE JOINED THE R.C.M. P. VETS BUT WITH HIS RECORD, THE ATTORNEY GENERAL’S DEPARTMENT WERE NOT GOING TO LET HIM LOOSE. THEY MADE IT A FIRST APPOINTMENT OF AN INSPECTOR OF JAILS FOR THE PRISONS OF ALBERTA WHICH, AT THAT TIME, THERE WERE ONLY TWO: LETHBRIDGE AND FORT SASKATCHEWAN. [THE] ONLY PLACE IN FORT SASKATCHEWAN WAS FOR WOMEN, SO [WOMEN] HAD TO GO ALL THE WAY TO FORT SASKATCHEWAN, EVEN IF [THEY] WAS FROM LETHBRIDGE. THAT WASN’T A VERY GOOD DEAL, SO DAD COULD SEE A REAL NEED [FOR WORK]. IT WAS A REAL MESS WHEN HE LOOKED AT THE PRISONS.” “HE REALIZED, BEING AN R.C.M.P., THAT MANY OF THE YOUNG CITY POLICE, TOWN SHERIFFS, SOME OF THESE MAGISTRATES, THEY MESSED THINGS UP. HE STARTED A TRAINING SCHOOL FOR THESE MUNICIPAL POLICE AND THAT JUST WENT TERRIFICALLY. THEY HAD [THE SCHOOLS] IN CALGARY AND IN EDMONTON TWICE A YEAR. THEY HAD A BIG GROUP FROM MEDICINE HAT COME UP AND [TAKE] THE SCHOOLING, LETHBRIDGE CAME UP, AND SOME OF THE PRISON GUARDS TOOK [THE TRAINING], TOO.” “[HE] WORKED ON THAT FOR FIFTEEN/SIXTEEN YEARS. AFTER TWELVE YEARS, HE WAS SO BUSY THAT THEY MADE HIM SUPERINTENDENT OF PRISONS BECAUSE…THE FIRST THING HE HAD TO DO WAS TO DEVELOP THE PRISONS FOR ALBERTA. TWO WAS NOT SUFFICIENT.” “[DAD’S] PERSONALITY WAS ALWAYS QUIET, FIRM, NO-NONSENSE, HUMOROUS, BUT HE WAS NEVER ARROGANT. I NEVER HEARD HIM SWEAR OR GET MAD AT ANYBODY, NOT EVEN PRISONERS. HE HANDLED THEM VERY QUIETLY, AND VERY FIRMLY. THE STAFF…ALL LOVED HIM. I [HAVE] LETTERS AND THEY CAME ALL THE WAY UP TO THEIR ANNIVERSARIES LATER IN EDMONTON…“YOU’RE THE BEST BOSS WE EVER HAD.” ALL HE HAD WAS A VISION OF WHAT NEEDED TO BE DONE…HE COULD GO AND EXPLAIN THE NEED FOR THE JAILS, WHAT IT WOULD COST AND WHAT IT NEEDED TO FIX THE PROBLEM. HE NEVER HAD PROBLEM GETTING EXACTLY WHAT HE NEEDED FROM THEM.” ON THE DONATION OF THE REVOLVER AND AMMUNITION, BUCHANAN NOTED, “MY DAD KNEW I WOULD LOOK AFTER [HIS BELONGINGS] AND WANTED TO GET IT TO A MUSEUM. [DAD KNEW] THAT I WASN’T ONE TO PUT IT IN MY BASEMENT TO HAVE GOODNESS-KNOWS-WHAT-HAPPEN TO IT. HE HAD LEFT ALL OF THAT IN CHARGE OF ME. I WAS THE SOLE EXECUTOR OF THE ESTATE.” “I AM NOW AT THE YOUNG AGE OF 88; I’M NOT WORRIED ABOUT LIVING ANOTHER 10 YEARS. I DIDN’T WANT THE CHANCE OF ANYBODY STEALING IT, OR GETTING THEIR HANDS ON IT, SO I WANTED TO MAKE SURE YOU GOT IT. AND, I DON’T NEED IT, SO WHY KEEP IT? IF I GET LONESOME, AND WANT TO SEE IT, I’LL COME TO THE MUSEUM AND LOOK AT IT.” “I’LL FEEL HAPPY, TO KNOW IT’S GOT A GOOD HOME. I DON’T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT IT.” FOR MORE INFORMATION INCLUDING THE FULL TRANSCRIPTIONS FROM INTERVIEWS AND LETHBRIDGE HERALD ARTICLES, PLEASE SEE THE PERMANENT FILE P20190002001-GA.
Catalogue Number
P20190002005
Acquisition Date
2019-01
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail
Date Range From
1935
Date Range To
1950
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
COTTON, LEATHER, METAL
Catalogue Number
P20190002006
  2 images  
Material Type
Artifact
Date Range From
1935
Date Range To
1950
Materials
COTTON, LEATHER, METAL
No. Pieces
1
Length
71.5
Width
34
Description
TAN CANVAS SHOULDER BAG WITH BROWN LEATHER TRIM. FRONT OF BAG HAS COVER FLAP WITH BROWN LEATHER TRIM ALONG EDGE OF FLAP, WITH BROWN LEATHER BUCKLE STRAP ATTACHED TO FRONT OF FLAP. FRONT OF BAG HAS TWO POUCHES WITH COVER FLAPS, WITH BROWN LEATHER TRIM ALONG EDGES OF COVER FLAPS, AND BROWN LEATHER BUCKLE STRAPS AND SILVER BUCKLES. FRONT OF BAG HAS SILVER AND BROWN LEATHER BUCKLE BETWEEN POUCHES. SHOULDER STRAP HAS SILVER BUCKLE ON RIGHT-WEARING STRAP; STRAP IS SEWN TO BAG ON LEFT-WEARING SIDE AND IS FIXED TO BAG WITH SILVER BUCKLE ON RIGHT-WEARING SIDE. BAG HAS BLACK MACHINE-STITCHING ON BASE AND AROUND BASES OF POUCHES. INSIDE BAG HAS WHITE TAG WITH RED TEXT SEWN ONTO INSIDE FRONT, “MADE BY WOODS, MFG CO LTD, OTTAWA, CANADA”. INSIDE BACK OF BAG HAS BLACK TEXT HANDWRITTEN IN INK, “E. BUCHANAN. R.C.M. POLICE” WITH “R.C.M.POLICE” UNDERLINED. BASE OF BAG IS STAINED BLACK AND BROWN; BAG IS STAINED ON OUTSIDE AND INSIDE, AND STAINED ON SHOULDER STRAP. BAG HAS RIP IN RIGHT-WEARING CORNER WHERE COVER FLAP IS SEWN TO BAG. BAG HAS FRAYING THREADS ON FRONT AND BACK. OVERALL VERY GOOD CONDITION.
Subjects
PERSONAL GEAR
Historical Association
SAFETY SERVICES
History
ON JANUARY 10, 2019, COLLECTIONS TECHNICIAN KEVIN MACLEAN INTERVIEWED JEAN BUCHANAN REGARDING HER DONATION OF A REVOLVER AND FIREARM ACCESSORIES. THE FIREARM WAS USED BY BUCHANAN’S FATHER, EDWARD ETTERSHANK BUCHANAN, DURING HIS CAREER WITH THE ALBERTA PROVINCIAL POLICE AND ROYAL CANADIAN MOUNTED POLICE. BUCHANAN ELABORATED ON THE USE OF THE BAG, NOTING, “THIS OLD BAG IS REALLY INTERESTING TO ME BECAUSE, IN HIS YOUNGER DAYS, HE OFTEN HAD TO GO OUT ON HORSEBACK. HE’D BE GONE, HUNTING DOWN A MURDERER, AND HE MIGHT HAVE HAD A GUIDE WITH HIM. HE TOOK SOME OF HIS CLEANING EQUIPMENT FOR THE REVOLVER, AND HIS RIFLE, TOO…HE COULD PACK HIS LUNCH…KNIVES, SURVIVAL, AND HIS DIRTY OLD CLEANING CLOTH THAT HE USED, AND AN OLD BOTTLE OF GUN OIL, SO HE COULD CLEAN THE GUN IN CASE HE HAPPENED TO DROP IT IN SOME MUD. YOU NEVER KNOW [WHAT MIGHT HAPPEN] WHEN YOU’RE OUT…YOU HAVE TO KEEP YOUR GUN VERY CLEAN. HE KEPT EVERYTHING VERY CLEAN…YOU HAVE TO KEEP THE GUN CLEAN IF YOU’RE GOING TO USE IT, BECAUSE YOU COULD DAMAGE IT IF YOU HAVE ANY DIRT IN THE BARREL.” “[THE GUNS] WERE A TOOL OF HIS JOB, BUT HE CERTAINLY WASN’T ONE THAT WANTED TO EVER USE IT, BUT IF HE HAD IT, HE HAD TO, OR TO JUST MAINTAIN THE PEACE.” ON HER FATHER’S REVOLVER, BUCHANAN RECALLED, “[MY DAD] USED [THE SMITH AND WESSON REVOLVER]…STARTING IN 1932, WITH THE RCMP, MAY BE WHEN HE GOT THAT GUN. HE HAD IT REGISTERED IN 1940, AND GETTING ANOTHER 5 YEARS REGISTRATION IT MUST HAVE BEEN 1935. [THE GUN] WAS HIS SIDEARM…HIS SERVICE WEAPON…HE HAD THAT ALL THE TIME…IT WOULD GO RIGHT ON HIS BELT THERE.” “[DAD KEPT THE GUN] IN [MY PARENTS’] BEDROOM. RIGHT ON THE BEDROOM CLOSET DOOR, RIGHT OPEN. I NEVER TOUCHED IT, BECAUSE HE HAD GIVEN ME MY TRAINING AND LET ME USE IT WHEN I WAS YOUNG. I HAD RESPECT FOR IT, AND I HAD NO SPECIAL CURIOSITY, WHICH IS A GOOD THING. [DAD KNEW I WAS] AN ADVENTUROUS PERSON, BUT I NEVER EVER TOUCHED IT, OUT OF COMPLETE RESPECT FOR DAD AND WHAT HE HAD THERE.” “ALL I CAN REMEMBER [IS HE HAD TWO HANDGUNS OR SIDEARMS]…HE DIDN’T GO OUT PRACTICING VERY MUCH; HE DIDN’T HAVE TO. HE COULD PASS HIS MARKSMANSHIP, AND THEN, EVERY TIME THERE WERE THINGS AT REGINA DEPOT TRAINING COURSES (UPGRADING, REFRESHER COURSES) THEY DID THEIR MARKSMANSHIP THERE, TOO. THEY WERE ALWAYS TESTED ON THEIR MARKSMANSHIP, AT REGINA DEPOT.” “I THINK [THE REVOLVER HAD] QUITE A BIT [OF MEANING TO MY DAD], BECAUSE HE HAD IT IN HIS HOUSE. IT WAS REALLY STRANGE BECAUSE I ASKED HIM WHERE IT WAS, WHEN HE SHOWED ME THE PAPERS, AND HE HAD IT IN A SHOE BOX IN HIS BEDROOM CLOSET. YOU DIDN’T HAVE TO HAVE GREAT [HIDING] PLACES FOR IT IN THOSE DAYS, BUT THAT’S WHERE HE KEPT IT. HE MADE SURE IT WAS THERE, AND HE KNEW WHERE IT WAS.” “[I HAVE NO] KNOWLEDGE ABOUT HIM HAVING TO FIRE THIS WEAPON…AT ANYONE. IF HE WOULD HAVE, HE WOULD HAVE FIRED TO MISS SOMEONE, JUST AS A WARNING SHOT. HE DEFINITELY WENT FOR WARNING SHOTS, BUT HE NEVER SHOT ANYBODY WITH IT." “[HE WOULD HAVE STOPPED CARRYING THE GUN] AT THE VERY END OF 1950, WHEN HE RETIRED FROM THE R.C.M.P.” “[I’VE HAD THE REVOLVER] SINCE 1998—THE PASSING OF MY FATHER, BECAUSE I WAS THE SOLE EXECUTRIX. IT WAS AUTOMATICALLY MY RESPONSIBILITY TO TAKE ALL OF HIS FIREARMS, IN MY POSSESSION.” “I WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR [THE CARE OF] IT, AND IT WAS A REAL KEEPSAKE. [THE GUN WAS] WAS VERY PERSONAL, BECAUSE I’M SURE [MY DAD] OWNED THAT EVEN BY BACK IN 1935, [WHEN] HE WAS IN WESTLOCK, IN CHARGE OF THE DETACHMENT THERE FOR 10 YEARS. IT WAS OF SENTIMENTAL VALUE BECAUSE HE TOOK ME OUT (I’M PRETTY SURE I WAS 8 YEARS OLD, WHEN HE HAD ME IN THE BACKYARD)—WE HAD FARMLAND AND FOREST—AND HE HAD A TARGET PRACTICE OUT THERE. HE HAD ME USE THAT FIREARM. HE SHOWED ME HOW TO USE IT, HOW TO AIM, AND HOW TO HANDLE IT SAFELY. I ALWAYS RESPECTED THAT, AND THAT WAS GOOD. THAT’S THE ORIGINAL HOLSTER FOR THAT GUN, WHICH YOU CAN SEE IS LOOPED, TO PUT ON HIS BELT. HE ALSO CARRIED A .32 COLT SEMI-AUTOMATIC.” “I’VE ALWAYS APPRECIATED REVOLVERS, AND RIFLES. IT’S NEVER BEEN ANYTHING THAT I THOUGHT ANY DANGER OF. YOU LEARN THE SAFETY, AND YOU TAKE YOUR COURSE. I HAVE MY COURSE DONE, AND I PASSED IT WITH FLYING COLORS. I HAD MY PERMIT TO HAVE IT. I HAVE TAKEN IT OUT, ON MY OWN ACREAGE, AND FIRED IT A BIT, BUT IT ISN’T SOMETHING I WANT TO DO. IT’S A SENTIMENTAL THING THAT I CAN NOW FEEL I’D LIKE TO HAVE IT IN YOUR MUSEUM. I KNOW IT’S NOW IN A SAFE PLACE, SO I DON’T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT IT EVER FALLING INTO THE WRONG HANDS. AND, IF I WANT TO COME AND VISIT IT, I CAN COME AND SEE IT.” ON JUNE 8, 2018, MACLEAN INTERVIEWED BUCHANAN REGARDING HER FATHER’S CAREER WITH THE ALBERTA PROVINCIAL POLICE AND ROYAL CANADIAN MOUNTED POLICE. BUCHANAN ELABORATED ON HER FATHER’S HISTORY, “[MY DAD WAS EDWARD BUCHANAN, WHO RETIRED AT THE RANK OF] SENIOR STAFF SERGEANT…HE RETIRED IN 1950 FROM THE [R.C.M.P].” “HE JOINED THE A.P.P. WHEN HE WAS TWENTY AND HE WAS STATIONED OUT NEAR ST. PAUL. IN ’21, HE MET MY MOTHER IN EDMONTON…BUT HE STAYED AT ST. PAUL AND THEN AFTER, HE GOT POSTED TO GRANDE PRAIRIE. HE WAS GOING TO GO TO GRANDE PRAIRIE BUT THEN IN ’22, THEY GOT MARRIED. A.P.P. HAD NO RESTRICTIONS ON THEIR MEMBERS GETTING MARRIED, LIKE THE R.C.M.P. HE DIDN’T HAVE TO WAIT TO GET MARRIED…THAT’S WHEN THEY WENT OUT TO BRAINARD.” “EVEN IN THE A.P.P., TO START WITH, HE HAD SOME SERVICE DOWN HERE AT THE LETHBRIDGE PRISON…BRINGING PRISONERS DOWN AND THEN MAYBE, AT THE VERY FIRST WINTER AS A ROOKIE, HE WAS ON JOB TO BE ON GUARD AT THE STATION. IT WASN’T LONG AND HE WAS SENT OUT TO ST. PAUL AND INTO MORE OF THE REAL POLICING.” “WHEN HE WAS IN THE A.P.P. [IN 1932] HE WAS THE TOP CLASS OF [THE] A.P.P. THAT AUTOMATICALLY WERE ACCEPTED INTO THE R.C.M.P. HE WAS PUT IN CHARGE, WHEN HE WAS IN THE A.P.P.—FIRST HE STARTED OUT IN CHARGE OF BRAINARD—HORSE LAKE—A LITTLE PLACE NEAR THE HORSE LAKE INDIAN RESERVATION. THEY CLOSED THAT DOWN AND TRANSFERRED HIM TO WEMBLEY, A LITTLE VILLAGE, AND HE WAS THE ONLY ONE IN CHARGE, THE ONLY OFFICER IN CHARGE OF WEMBLEY. THAT’S WHEN THAT 1932 [CHANGE] CAME ALONG AND HE JUST CHANGED THE SIGN UP THERE FROM A.P.P. TO R.C.M.P. AND WENT FROM THERE.” “IN ’32, IT WAS R.C.M.P. AND THAT STAYED R.C.M.P. UNTIL ’34. THEN HE WAS TRANSFERRED TO TAKE CHARGE OF THE WESTLOCK DETACHMENT WHICH WAS A BIG AREA. [THERE] WAS NO DETACHMENT IN BARRHEAD. HE HAD A HUGE AREA THERE TO COVER.” “[A.P.P. MEMBERS] WERE NOT AUTOMATICALLY TAKEN INTO THE R.C.M.P. THEY HAD THREE CATEGORIES THERE, OF THE A.P.P. MEMBERS…[THERE WERE] ONES THAT WERE NOT ACCEPTABLE, THAT THEY HADN’T DONE A VERY GOOD JOB IN THE A.P.P.; THEY SHOWED UP, GOOFIN’ AROUND, DOING THINGS THEY SHOULDN’T BE DOING. THEY WERE NOT ACCEPTABLE. THEN THERE [WERE THE ONES THAT] COULD BE GIVEN A LITTLE TRIAL RUN. THEY COULD APPLY. THEN THERE [WERE] ONES THAT COULD GET IN FOR A FULL YEAR AND THEN RE-APPLY. THEY’D BE ACCEPTED FOR A YEAR. THEN THERE’S THE TOP GRADE AND [THEY] WERE AUTOMATICALLY ACCEPTABLE. DAD WAS RIGHT UP THERE IN THAT TOP GRADE.” “A.P.P. MEMBERS WERE TRAINED BY THE NORTHWEST MOUNTED POLICE, NOT SOME GOOFBALLS THAT DIDN’T KNOW WHAT THEY WERE DOING. THESE WERE TRAINED BY THE BEST-TRAINED POLICE OFFICERS.” “ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER HANCOCK KNEW DAD REALLY WELL, HE’D EVEN BEEN IN THE A.P.P. HE CALLED DAD INTO THE OFFICE AND HE SAID, “BUCK, [DAD WAS EDWARD ETTERSHANK BUCHANAN BUT THEY CALLED HIM ‘BUCK’, A LOT] I WAS GOING TO SEND YOU DOWN TO TAKE CHARGE OF THE RED DEER DETACHMENT BUT I’VE HAD SO MUCH PROBLEM GETTING SOMEBODY TO GO DOWN TO TAKE THE LETHBRIDGE DETACHMENT…YOU’RE THE ONLY ONE, I THINK, THAT CAN HANDLE THE SITUATION WE’VE GOT DOWN THERE. THERE’S A LOT OF PROBLEMS AND I’M SURE YOU’RE THE ONLY ONE THAT CAN HANDLE IT. WILL YOU GO?” “[WE CAME DOWN HERE IN] ’44…I NEVER HAD ANY PROBLEM [WITH THE MOVE]. I WAS ALWAYS ADVENTUROUS. I HAD LOTS OF FRIENDS BUT I WAS ALWAYS HAPPY TO GO.” “WE RENTED A HOUSE ON 538 – 7TH STREET. IT’S ALL TORN DOWN NOW. DAD HAD TO COME DOWN A MONTH OR SO AHEAD OF US AND THEN HE COULDN’T FIND A HOUSE READY, SO WE CAME DOWN AND STAYED IN A HOTEL FOR ABOUT TWO MONTHS. I HAD TO START GRADE TEN; I WAS ONLY FOURTEEN, HERE. THAT WAS, TO ME, THE ONLY SAD PART OF MY LIFE, LEAVING THE WESTLOCK SCHOOL AND STARTING LCI. THE PERSONALIZATION WAS GONE WITH THE TEACHERS.” “[DAD] HAD TO OVERSEE THE POW CAMPS…HE TALKED ABOUT THE POW’S IN THIS RESPECT, THAT THERE WAS A LOT OF VERY GOOD GERMANS THAT WERE IN THERE. [THEY] WOULDN’T HAVE CHOSEN TO EVEN BE IN THE GERMAN ARMY…THEY WERE CONSCRIPTED OVER IN GERMANY, THEY DIDN’T HAVE ANY CHOICE, AND THEY WERE VERY DECENT, GOOD GUYS. HE RESPECTED THEM FOR THAT AND HELPED THEM, [GAVE] THEM ADVICE, “YOU KNOW, YOU GOTTA GO BACK TO GERMANY AND THEN APPLY TO COME BACK.” THERE WAS A TRUST THERE TO LET SOME OF THEM OUT TO WORK…‘CAUSE THERE [WAS] A LABOUR SHORTAGE FOR THE FARMERS AND THEY NEEDED THAT HELP. SOME OF THOSE FARMERS WERE VERY PLEASED TO GET SOME OF THESE GERMANS, AND SOME OF THE FARMERS’ DAUGHTERS WERE VERY PLEASED TO GET THAT, TOO. THEN THERE’S SOME LATER MARRIAGES AFTER THAT. IT WOULD BE A SHAME TO CONDEMN ALL THOSE POW’S BECAUSE A LOT OF THEM WERE VERY DECENT, GOOD, MORAL FELLOWS THAT DIDN’T WANT TO BE INVOLVED WITH ANY KILLING.” “HE WAS A PLAIN STAFF SERGEANT, NCO, SECOND IN CHARGE OF THE SUBDIVISION.” “[THEN HE] WENT BACK TO EDMONTON [TO RETIRE IN 1950], HIS HOME CITY WHERE HIS PARENTS WERE AND A LOT OF FRIENDS. HE JOINED THE R.C.M. P. VETS BUT WITH HIS RECORD, THE ATTORNEY GENERAL’S DEPARTMENT WERE NOT GOING TO LET HIM LOOSE. THEY MADE IT A FIRST APPOINTMENT OF AN INSPECTOR OF JAILS FOR THE PRISONS OF ALBERTA WHICH, AT THAT TIME, THERE WERE ONLY TWO: LETHBRIDGE AND FORT SASKATCHEWAN. [THE] ONLY PLACE IN FORT SASKATCHEWAN WAS FOR WOMEN, SO [WOMEN] HAD TO GO ALL THE WAY TO FORT SASKATCHEWAN, EVEN IF [THEY] WAS FROM LETHBRIDGE. THAT WASN’T A VERY GOOD DEAL, SO DAD COULD SEE A REAL NEED [FOR WORK]. IT WAS A REAL MESS WHEN HE LOOKED AT THE PRISONS.” “HE REALIZED, BEING AN R.C.M.P., THAT MANY OF THE YOUNG CITY POLICE, TOWN SHERIFFS, SOME OF THESE MAGISTRATES, THEY MESSED THINGS UP. HE STARTED A TRAINING SCHOOL FOR THESE MUNICIPAL POLICE AND THAT JUST WENT TERRIFICALLY. THEY HAD [THE SCHOOLS] IN CALGARY AND IN EDMONTON TWICE A YEAR. THEY HAD A BIG GROUP FROM MEDICINE HAT COME UP AND [TAKE] THE SCHOOLING, LETHBRIDGE CAME UP, AND SOME OF THE PRISON GUARDS TOOK [THE TRAINING], TOO.” “[HE] WORKED ON THAT FOR FIFTEEN/SIXTEEN YEARS. AFTER TWELVE YEARS, HE WAS SO BUSY THAT THEY MADE HIM SUPERINTENDENT OF PRISONS BECAUSE…THE FIRST THING HE HAD TO DO WAS TO DEVELOP THE PRISONS FOR ALBERTA. TWO WAS NOT SUFFICIENT.” “[DAD’S] PERSONALITY WAS ALWAYS QUIET, FIRM, NO-NONSENSE, HUMOROUS, BUT HE WAS NEVER ARROGANT. I NEVER HEARD HIM SWEAR OR GET MAD AT ANYBODY, NOT EVEN PRISONERS. HE HANDLED THEM VERY QUIETLY, AND VERY FIRMLY. THE STAFF…ALL LOVED HIM. I [HAVE] LETTERS AND THEY CAME ALL THE WAY UP TO THEIR ANNIVERSARIES LATER IN EDMONTON…“YOU’RE THE BEST BOSS WE EVER HAD.” ALL HE HAD WAS A VISION OF WHAT NEEDED TO BE DONE…HE COULD GO AND EXPLAIN THE NEED FOR THE JAILS, WHAT IT WOULD COST AND WHAT IT NEEDED TO FIX THE PROBLEM. HE NEVER HAD PROBLEM GETTING EXACTLY WHAT HE NEEDED FROM THEM.” ON THE DONATION OF THE REVOLVER AND AMMUNITION, BUCHANAN NOTED, “MY DAD KNEW I WOULD LOOK AFTER [HIS BELONGINGS] AND WANTED TO GET IT TO A MUSEUM. [DAD KNEW] THAT I WASN’T ONE TO PUT IT IN MY BASEMENT TO HAVE GOODNESS-KNOWS-WHAT-HAPPEN TO IT. HE HAD LEFT ALL OF THAT IN CHARGE OF ME. I WAS THE SOLE EXECUTOR OF THE ESTATE.” “I AM NOW AT THE YOUNG AGE OF 88; I’M NOT WORRIED ABOUT LIVING ANOTHER 10 YEARS. I DIDN’T WANT THE CHANCE OF ANYBODY STEALING IT, OR GETTING THEIR HANDS ON IT, SO I WANTED TO MAKE SURE YOU GOT IT. AND, I DON’T NEED IT, SO WHY KEEP IT? IF I GET LONESOME, AND WANT TO SEE IT, I’LL COME TO THE MUSEUM AND LOOK AT IT.” “I’LL FEEL HAPPY, TO KNOW IT’S GOT A GOOD HOME. I DON’T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT IT.” FOR MORE INFORMATION INCLUDING THE FULL TRANSCRIPTIONS FROM INTERVIEWS AND LETHBRIDGE HERALD ARTICLES, PLEASE SEE THE PERMANENT FILE P20190002001-GA.
Catalogue Number
P20190002006
Acquisition Date
2019-01
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail
Other Name
SMITH AND WESSON
Date Range From
1935
Date Range To
1950
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
STEEL, WOOD, NICKEL
Catalogue Number
P20190002001
  2 images  
Material Type
Artifact
Other Name
SMITH AND WESSON
Date Range From
1935
Date Range To
1950
Materials
STEEL, WOOD, NICKEL
No. Pieces
2
Length
29
Width
3
Description
A. HOLSTER, 28.5CM L X 12CM W. DARK BROWN LEATHER HOLSTER WITH FLAP COVERING TOP OPENING; FLAP SECURES TO THE FRONT OF HOLSTER WITH BRASS STUD AND HOLE PUNCHED THROUGH THE FLAP. HOLSTER HAS LIGHTER BROWN LEATHER CASING AT BARREL END STITCHED WITH LIGHT THREAD. BACK HAS LOOP FASTENED WITH SILVER STUDS FOR CARRYING ON A BELT. LEATHER IS CRACKED AND WORN; FRONT FLAP HAS GREEN CORROSION STAINS AROUND FASTENING HOLE; OVERALL VERY GOOD CONDITION. B. REVOLVER, SMITH AND WESSON, 29CM LONG X 3CM WIDE X 0.6 BARREL DIAMETER. REVOLVER HAS DARK WOOD HANDLE AND LONG BLACK STEEL BARREL, CYLINDER AND FRAME. BARREL HAS SIGHT PIN AT END OF BARREL. HANDLE HAS CROSS-HATCHED PATTERN ENGRAVED IN WOOD WITH SILVER TRIM ALONG INSIDE AND OUTSIDE OF HANDLE; HANDLE HAS ROUND SILVER PLATE WITH EMBOSSED “S&W” LOGO AT TOP OF HANDLE WOOD. REVOLVER HAS INSCRIPTION ON RIGHT SIDE BELOW CHAMBER “MADE IN U.S.A.”; REVOLVER TRIGGER HAS INSCRIPTION ON BOTTOM “REG. U.S. PAT. OFF.” LEFT SIDE BESIDE CHAMBER HAS “S&W”; BARREL HAS INSCRIPTION ON RIGHT SIDE “22 LONG RIFLE CTG” AND INSCRIPTION ON LEFT SIDE “SMITH & WESSON”. REVOLVER HAS STEEL CYLINDER RELEASE ON LEFT SIDE TO OPEN CHAMBER; REVOLVER HAS SIX CYLINDERS FOR CARTRIDGES. BASE OF HANDLE HAS METAL TRIM RUNNING ACROSS WITH INSCRIBED TEXT “638375” ON METAL. STEEL BARREL AND CYLINDER HAVE MINOR WEAR IN THE FINISH; HANDLE HAS MINOR WEAR AROUND BASE EDGES; OVERALL VERY GOOD CONDITION.
Subjects
ARMAMENT-FIREARM
ARMAMENT-ACCESSORY
Historical Association
SAFETY SERVICES
History
ON JANUARY 10, 2019, COLLECTIONS TECHNICIAN KEVIN MACLEAN INTERVIEWED JEAN BUCHANAN REGARDING HER DONATION OF A REVOLVER AND FIREARM ACCESSORIES. THE FIREARM WAS USED BY BUCHANAN’S FATHER, EDWARD ETTERSHANK BUCHANAN, DURING HIS CAREER WITH THE ALBERTA PROVINCIAL POLICE AND ROYAL CANADIAN MOUNTED POLICE. ON THE REVOLVER, BUCHANAN RECALLED, “[MY DAD] USED [THE SMITH AND WESSON REVOLVER]…STARTING IN 1932, WITH THE RCMP, MAY BE WHEN HE GOT THAT GUN. HE HAD IT REGISTERED IN 1940, AND GETTING ANOTHER 5 YEARS REGISTRATION IT MUST HAVE BEEN 1935.” “THIS WAS HIS SIDEARM…HIS SERVICE WEAPON…HE HAD THAT ALL THE TIME…IT WOULD GO RIGHT ON HIS BELT THERE.” “[DAD KEPT THE GUN] IN [MY PARENTS’] BEDROOM. RIGHT ON THE BEDROOM CLOSET DOOR, RIGHT OPEN. I NEVER TOUCHED IT, BECAUSE HE HAD GIVEN ME MY TRAINING AND LET ME USE IT WHEN I WAS YOUNG. I HAD RESPECT FOR IT, AND I HAD NO SPECIAL CURIOSITY, WHICH IS A GOOD THING. [DAD KNEW I WAS] AN ADVENTUROUS PERSON, BUT I NEVER EVER TOUCHED IT, OUT OF COMPLETE RESPECT FOR DAD AND WHAT HE HAD THERE.” “ALL I CAN REMEMBER [IS HE HAD TWO HANDGUNS OR SIDEARMS]…HE DIDN’T GO OUT PRACTICING VERY MUCH; HE DIDN’T HAVE TO. HE COULD PASS HIS MARKSMANSHIP, AND THEN, EVERY TIME THERE WERE THINGS AT REGINA DEPOT TRAINING COURSES (UPGRADING, REFRESHER COURSES) THEY DID THEIR MARKSMANSHIP THERE, TOO. THEY WERE ALWAYS TESTED ON THEIR MARKSMANSHIP, AT REGINA DEPOT.” “I THINK [THE REVOLVER HAD] QUITE A BIT [OF MEANING TO MY DAD], BECAUSE HE HAD IT IN HIS HOUSE. IT WAS REALLY STRANGE BECAUSE I ASKED HIM WHERE IT WAS, WHEN HE SHOWED ME THE PAPERS, AND HE HAD IT IN A SHOE BOX IN HIS BEDROOM CLOSET. YOU DIDN’T HAVE TO HAVE GREAT [HIDING] PLACES FOR IT IN THOSE DAYS, BUT THAT’S WHERE HE KEPT IT. HE MADE SURE IT WAS THERE, AND HE KNEW WHERE IT WAS.” “[I HAVE NO] KNOWLEDGE ABOUT HIM HAVING TO FIRE THIS WEAPON…AT ANYONE. IF HE WOULD HAVE, HE WOULD HAVE FIRED TO MISS SOMEONE, JUST AS A WARNING SHOT. HE DEFINITELY WENT FOR WARNING SHOTS, BUT HE NEVER SHOT ANYBODY WITH IT." “[HE WOULD HAVE STOPPED CARRYING THE GUN] AT THE VERY END OF 1950, WHEN HE RETIRED FROM THE R.C.M.P.” “[I’VE HAD THE REVOLVER] SINCE 1998—THE PASSING OF MY FATHER, BECAUSE I WAS THE SOLE EXECUTRIX. IT WAS AUTOMATICALLY MY RESPONSIBILITY TO TAKE ALL OF HIS FIREARMS, IN MY POSSESSION.” “I WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR [THE CARE OF] IT, AND IT WAS A REAL KEEPSAKE. [THE GUN] WAS VERY PERSONAL, BECAUSE I’M SURE [MY DAD] OWNED THAT EVEN BACK IN 1935, [WHEN] HE WAS IN WESTLOCK, IN CHARGE OF THE DETACHMENT THERE FOR 10 YEARS. IT WAS OF SENTIMENTAL VALUE BECAUSE HE TOOK ME OUT (I’M PRETTY SURE I WAS 8 YEARS OLD, WHEN HE HAD ME IN THE BACKYARD)—WE HAD FARMLAND AND FOREST—AND HE HAD A TARGET PRACTICE OUT THERE. HE HAD ME USE THAT FIREARM. HE SHOWED ME HOW TO USE IT, HOW TO AIM, AND HOW TO HANDLE IT SAFELY. I ALWAYS RESPECTED THAT, AND THAT WAS GOOD. THAT’S THE ORIGINAL HOLSTER FOR THAT GUN, WHICH YOU CAN SEE IS LOOPED, TO PUT ON HIS BELT. HE ALSO CARRIED A .32 COLT SEMI-AUTOMATIC.” “I’VE ALWAYS APPRECIATED REVOLVERS, AND RIFLES. IT’S NEVER BEEN ANYTHING THAT I THOUGHT ANY DANGER OF. YOU LEARN THE SAFETY, AND YOU TAKE YOUR COURSE. I HAVE MY COURSE DONE, AND I PASSED IT WITH FLYING COLORS. I HAD MY PERMIT TO HAVE IT. I HAVE TAKEN IT OUT, ON MY OWN ACREAGE, AND FIRED IT A BIT, BUT IT ISN’T SOMETHING I WANT TO DO. IT’S A SENTIMENTAL THING THAT I CAN NOW FEEL I’D LIKE TO HAVE IT IN YOUR MUSEUM. I KNOW IT’S NOW IN A SAFE PLACE, SO I DON’T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT IT EVER FALLING INTO THE WRONG HANDS. AND, IF I WANT TO COME AND VISIT IT, I CAN COME AND SEE IT.” ON JUNE 8, 2018, MACLEAN INTERVIEWED BUCHANAN REGARDING HER FATHER’S CAREER WITH THE ALBERTA PROVINCIAL POLICE AND ROYAL CANADIAN MOUNTED POLICE. BUCHANAN ELABORATED ON HER FATHER’S HISTORY, “[MY DAD WAS EDWARD BUCHANAN, WHO RETIRED AT THE RANK OF] SENIOR STAFF SERGEANT…HE RETIRED IN 1950 FROM THE [R.C.M.P].” “HE JOINED THE A.P.P. WHEN HE WAS TWENTY AND HE WAS STATIONED OUT NEAR ST. PAUL. IN ’21, HE MET MY MOTHER IN EDMONTON…BUT HE STAYED AT ST. PAUL AND THEN AFTER, HE GOT POSTED TO GRANDE PRAIRIE. HE WAS GOING TO GO TO GRANDE PRAIRIE BUT THEN IN ’22, THEY GOT MARRIED. A.P.P. HAD NO RESTRICTIONS ON THEIR MEMBERS GETTING MARRIED, LIKE THE R.C.M.P. HE DIDN’T HAVE TO WAIT TO GET MARRIED…THAT’S WHEN THEY WENT OUT TO BRAINARD.” “EVEN IN THE A.P.P., TO START WITH, HE HAD SOME SERVICE DOWN HERE AT THE LETHBRIDGE PRISON…BRINGING PRISONERS DOWN AND THEN MAYBE, AT THE VERY FIRST WINTER AS A ROOKIE, HE WAS ON JOB TO BE ON GUARD AT THE STATION. IT WASN’T LONG AND HE WAS SENT OUT TO ST. PAUL AND INTO MORE OF THE REAL POLICING.” “WHEN HE WAS IN THE A.P.P. [IN 1932] HE WAS THE TOP CLASS OF [THE] A.P.P. THAT AUTOMATICALLY WERE ACCEPTED INTO THE R.C.M.P. HE WAS PUT IN CHARGE, WHEN HE WAS IN THE A.P.P.—FIRST HE STARTED OUT IN CHARGE OF BRAINARD—HORSE LAKE—A LITTLE PLACE NEAR THE HORSE LAKE INDIAN RESERVATION. THEY CLOSED THAT DOWN AND TRANSFERRED HIM TO WEMBLEY, A LITTLE VILLAGE, AND HE WAS THE ONLY ONE IN CHARGE, THE ONLY OFFICER IN CHARGE OF WEMBLEY. THAT’S WHEN THAT 1932 [CHANGE] CAME ALONG AND HE JUST CHANGED THE SIGN UP THERE FROM A.P.P. TO R.C.M.P. AND WENT FROM THERE.” “IN ’32, IT WAS R.C.M.P. AND THAT STAYED R.C.M.P. UNTIL ’34. THEN HE WAS TRANSFERRED TO TAKE CHARGE OF THE WESTLOCK DETACHMENT WHICH WAS A BIG AREA. [THERE] WAS NO DETACHMENT IN BARRHEAD. HE HAD A HUGE AREA THERE TO COVER.” “[A.P.P. MEMBERS] WERE NOT AUTOMATICALLY TAKEN INTO THE R.C.M.P. THEY HAD THREE CATEGORIES THERE, OF THE A.P.P. MEMBERS…[THERE WERE] ONES THAT WERE NOT ACCEPTABLE, THAT THEY HADN’T DONE A VERY GOOD JOB IN THE A.P.P.; THEY SHOWED UP, GOOFIN’ AROUND, DOING THINGS THEY SHOULDN’T BE DOING. THEY WERE NOT ACCEPTABLE. THEN THERE [WERE THE ONES THAT] COULD BE GIVEN A LITTLE TRIAL RUN. THEY COULD APPLY. THEN THERE [WERE] ONES THAT COULD GET IN FOR A FULL YEAR AND THEN RE-APPLY. THEY’D BE ACCEPTED FOR A YEAR. THEN THERE’S THE TOP GRADE AND [THEY] WERE AUTOMATICALLY ACCEPTABLE. DAD WAS RIGHT UP THERE IN THAT TOP GRADE.” “A.P.P. MEMBERS WERE TRAINED BY THE NORTHWEST MOUNTED POLICE, NOT SOME GOOFBALLS THAT DIDN’T KNOW WHAT THEY WERE DOING. THESE WERE TRAINED BY THE BEST-TRAINED POLICE OFFICERS.” “ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER HANCOCK KNEW DAD REALLY WELL...HE CALLED DAD INTO THE OFFICE AND HE SAID, “BUCK, [DAD WAS EDWARD ETTERSHANK BUCHANAN BUT THEY CALLED HIM ‘BUCK’, A LOT] I WAS GOING TO SEND YOU DOWN TO TAKE CHARGE OF THE RED DEER DETACHMENT BUT I’VE HAD SO MUCH PROBLEM GETTING SOMEBODY TO GO DOWN TO TAKE THE LETHBRIDGE DETACHMENT…YOU’RE THE ONLY ONE, I THINK, THAT CAN HANDLE THE SITUATION WE’VE GOT DOWN THERE. THERE’S A LOT OF PROBLEMS AND I’M SURE YOU’RE THE ONLY ONE THAT CAN HANDLE IT. WILL YOU GO?” “[WE CAME DOWN HERE IN] ’44…I NEVER HAD ANY PROBLEM [WITH THE MOVE]. I WAS ALWAYS ADVENTUROUS. I HAD LOTS OF FRIENDS BUT I WAS ALWAYS HAPPY TO GO.” “WE RENTED A HOUSE ON 538 – 7TH STREET. IT’S ALL TORN DOWN NOW. DAD HAD TO COME DOWN A MONTH OR SO AHEAD OF US AND THEN HE COULDN’T FIND A HOUSE READY, SO WE CAME DOWN AND STAYED IN A HOTEL FOR ABOUT TWO MONTHS. I HAD TO START GRADE TEN; I WAS ONLY FOURTEEN, HERE. THAT WAS, TO ME, THE ONLY SAD PART OF MY LIFE, LEAVING THE WESTLOCK SCHOOL AND STARTING LCI. THE PERSONALIZATION WAS GONE WITH THE TEACHERS.” “[DAD] HAD TO OVERSEE THE POW CAMPS…HE TALKED ABOUT THE POW’S IN THIS RESPECT, THAT THERE WAS A LOT OF VERY GOOD GERMANS THAT WERE IN THERE. [THEY] WOULDN’T HAVE CHOSEN TO EVEN BE IN THE GERMAN ARMY…THEY WERE CONSCRIPTED OVER IN GERMANY, THEY DIDN’T HAVE ANY CHOICE, AND THEY WERE VERY DECENT, GOOD GUYS. HE RESPECTED THEM FOR THAT AND HELPED THEM, [GAVE] THEM ADVICE, “YOU KNOW, YOU GOTTA GO BACK TO GERMANY AND THEN APPLY TO COME BACK.” THERE WAS A TRUST THERE TO LET SOME OF THEM OUT TO WORK…‘CAUSE THERE [WAS] A LABOUR SHORTAGE FOR THE FARMERS AND THEY NEEDED THAT HELP. SOME OF THOSE FARMERS WERE VERY PLEASED TO GET SOME OF THESE GERMANS, AND SOME OF THE FARMERS’ DAUGHTERS WERE VERY PLEASED TO GET THAT, TOO. THEN THERE’S SOME LATER MARRIAGES AFTER THAT. IT WOULD BE A SHAME TO CONDEMN ALL THOSE POW’S BECAUSE A LOT OF THEM WERE VERY DECENT, GOOD, MORAL FELLOWS THAT DIDN’T WANT TO BE INVOLVED WITH ANY KILLING.” “HE WAS A PLAIN STAFF SERGEANT, NCO, SECOND IN CHARGE OF THE SUBDIVISION.” “[THEN HE] WENT BACK TO EDMONTON [TO RETIRE IN 1950], HIS HOME CITY WHERE HIS PARENTS WERE AND A LOT OF FRIENDS. HE JOINED THE R.C.M. P. VETS BUT WITH HIS RECORD, THE ATTORNEY GENERAL’S DEPARTMENT WERE NOT GOING TO LET HIM LOOSE. THEY MADE IT A FIRST APPOINTMENT OF AN INSPECTOR OF JAILS FOR THE PRISONS OF ALBERTA WHICH, AT THAT TIME, THERE WERE ONLY TWO: LETHBRIDGE AND FORT SASKATCHEWAN. [THE] ONLY PLACE IN FORT SASKATCHEWAN WAS FOR WOMEN, SO [WOMEN] HAD TO GO ALL THE WAY TO FORT SASKATCHEWAN, EVEN IF [THEY] WAS FROM LETHBRIDGE. THAT WASN’T A VERY GOOD DEAL, SO DAD COULD SEE A REAL NEED [FOR WORK]. IT WAS A REAL MESS WHEN HE LOOKED AT THE PRISONS.” “HE REALIZED, BEING AN R.C.M.P., THAT MANY OF THE YOUNG CITY POLICE, TOWN SHERIFFS, SOME OF THESE MAGISTRATES, THEY MESSED THINGS UP. HE STARTED A TRAINING SCHOOL FOR THESE MUNICIPAL POLICE AND THAT JUST WENT TERRIFICALLY. THEY HAD [THE SCHOOLS] IN CALGARY AND IN EDMONTON TWICE A YEAR. THEY HAD A BIG GROUP FROM MEDICINE HAT COME UP AND [TAKE] THE SCHOOLING, LETHBRIDGE CAME UP, AND SOME OF THE PRISON GUARDS TOOK [THE TRAINING], TOO.” “[HE] WORKED ON THAT FOR FIFTEEN/SIXTEEN YEARS. AFTER TWELVE YEARS, HE WAS SO BUSY THAT THEY MADE HIM SUPERINTENDENT OF PRISONS BECAUSE…THE FIRST THING HE HAD TO DO WAS TO DEVELOP THE PRISONS FOR ALBERTA. TWO WAS NOT SUFFICIENT.” “[DAD’S] PERSONALITY WAS ALWAYS QUIET, FIRM, NO-NONSENSE, HUMOROUS, BUT HE WAS NEVER ARROGANT. I NEVER HEARD HIM SWEAR OR GET MAD AT ANYBODY, NOT EVEN PRISONERS. HE HANDLED THEM VERY QUIETLY, AND VERY FIRMLY. THE STAFF…ALL LOVED HIM. I [HAVE] LETTERS AND THEY CAME ALL THE WAY UP TO THEIR ANNIVERSARIES LATER IN EDMONTON…“YOU’RE THE BEST BOSS WE EVER HAD.” ALL HE HAD WAS A VISION OF WHAT NEEDED TO BE DONE…HE COULD GO AND EXPLAIN THE NEED FOR THE JAILS, WHAT IT WOULD COST AND WHAT IT NEEDED TO FIX THE PROBLEM. HE NEVER HAD PROBLEM GETTING EXACTLY WHAT HE NEEDED FROM THEM.” ON THE DONATION OF THE REVOLVER, BUCHANAN NOTED, “MY DAD KNEW I WOULD LOOK AFTER [HIS BELONGINGS] AND WANTED TO GET IT TO A MUSEUM. [DAD KNEW] THAT I WASN’T ONE TO PUT IT IN MY BASEMENT TO HAVE GOODNESS-KNOWS-WHAT-HAPPEN TO IT. HE HAD LEFT ALL OF THAT IN CHARGE OF ME. I WAS THE SOLE EXECUTOR OF THE ESTATE.” “I AM NOW AT THE YOUNG AGE OF 88; I’M NOT WORRIED ABOUT LIVING ANOTHER 10 YEARS. I DIDN’T WANT THE CHANCE OF ANYBODY STEALING IT, OR GETTING THEIR HANDS ON IT, SO I WANTED TO MAKE SURE YOU GOT IT. AND, I DON’T NEED IT, SO WHY KEEP IT? IF I GET LONESOME, AND WANT TO SEE IT, I’LL COME TO THE MUSEUM AND LOOK AT IT.” “I’LL FEEL HAPPY, TO KNOW IT’S GOT A GOOD HOME. I DON’T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT IT.” FOR MORE INFORMATION INCLUDING THE FULL TRANSCRIPTIONS FROM INTERVIEWS AND LETHBRIDGE HERALD ARTICLES, PLEASE SEE THE PERMANENT FILE P20190002001-GA.
Catalogue Number
P20190002001
Acquisition Date
2019-01
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail
Date Range From
1943
Date Range To
1973
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
SHEET METAL, GLASS, CARDBOARD
Catalogue Number
P20160027000
  1 image  
Material Type
Artifact
Date Range From
1943
Date Range To
1973
Materials
SHEET METAL, GLASS, CARDBOARD
No. Pieces
2
Height
13.7
Length
5.4
Width
1.8
Description
A: THERMOMETER. THE THERMOMETER'S CASING IS METAL. THERE IS A COVER ON THE THERMOMTER THAT HAS 17 HOLES PUNCHED OUT OF THE FRONT (7 ROWS ALTERNATING BETWEEN 3 AND 2 HOLES PER ROW). THERE IS A SHORT BACK TO THE COVER. THE COVER IS ATTACHED TO THE THERMOMETER WITH 2 SMALL NAILS ON EITHER SIDE. THE THERMOMETER GLIDES OUT OF THE COVER AND HINGES BACK TO STAND (SUPPORTED BY BACK OF CASE AND THE 2 NAILS). THE BACKGROUND OF THE THERMOMETER IS WHITE AND IS ATTACHED TO THE METAL CASE. “US PAT 2329685” IS ON THE BOTTOM OF THE THERMOMETER. ON THE LEFT SIDE TEMPERATURE MEASUREMENTS FROM 1 TO 6 ARE ETCHED. THE NUMBERS ARE DIVIDED INTO INCREMENTS OF FOUR. ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE THERMOMETER THERE ARE “00” ACROSS FROM EACH NUMBER ON THE LEFT. THE THERMOMETER’S GLASS IS TINTED YELLOW WITH A TRANSLUCENT CENTER. THIS TUBE IS 12.4CM IN LENGTH. TWO SMALL METAL RINGS HOLD THE GLASS THERMOMETER TO THE MEASUREMENT BACKING. THERE IS A SMALL METAL HOOK AT THE TOP OF THE THERMOMETER. ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE THERMOMETER IN ITS CLOSED POSITION, "D. CARSE" IS HANDWRITTEN IN BLACK INK. GOOD CONDITION. RUSTING/STAINING OVERALL SURFACE. LOSS OF WHITE BACKING BEHIND THE THERMOMETER (SEVERE ON THE UPPER LEFT CORNER AND SLIGHT ON THE UPPER RIGHT CORNER). B: CARDBOARD CASE WITH OVERALL DIMENSIONS OF 13.9 CM X 6 CM X 2 CM. CARDBOARD BOX WITH GREEN LABEL ON FRONT. THE LABEL SAYS “RUXCO” “NO-600-MO-10” “OVEN TEST THERMOMETER RANGE 100 TO 600°F IN 10° DIVISIONS.” GOOD CONDITION. MISSING LEFT END OF BOX. SCRATCH ON THE SURFACE OF THE LEFT SIDE OF THE LABEL. STAINING IN VARIOUS PLACES.
Subjects
FOOD PROCESSING T&E
THERMAL T&E
Historical Association
TRADES
DOMESTIC
History
IN SEPTEMBER 2016, COLLECTIONS TECHNICIAN KEVIN MACLEAN INTERVIEWED IRENE MOCH ABOUT THE HISTORY OF A THERMOMETER SHE DONATED TO THE GALT MUSEUM AND ARCHIVES. THE THERMOMETER BELONGED TO HER FATHER, DAVID ROXBOROUGH CARSE, AND WAS USED BY HIM AS AN EMPLOYEE OF CANADIAN WESTERN NATURAL GAS COMPANY. THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION HAS BEEN EXTRACTED FROM THAT INTERVIEW: “HIS JOB WAS TO GO HOUSE-TO-HOUSE ON SPECIFIED CALLS TO REPAIR AND CHECK GAS APPLIANCES AT VARIOUS HOMES. HE LOVED HIS JOB. IT WAS GREAT PASSION AND HE WOULD SHARE A LOT OF HIS EXPERIENCES AT HOME WITH US. IT BECAME A BIG PART OF OUR FAMILY LIFE. HIS FIRST PASSION WAS HIS FAMILY AND HIS SECOND PASSION WAS HIS WORK. TWENTY- EIGHT YEARS, HE WAS WITH THE GAS COMPANY. HE WOULD BRING VARIOUS LITTLE ITEMS HOME, BUT MOSTLY IT WAS JUST HIS MEMORIES AND OUR MEMORIES OF THE STORIES THAT HE TOLD… MY MOM AND DAD WILLED THEIR HOUSE TO MY HUSBAND, WHO HAD BEEN CARING FOR IT OVER THE YEARS. [THEY] LEFT ALL THEIR TREASURES AS THEY WERE [TO] US BOTH TO DO WHAT WE FELT WAS BEST WITH EVERYTHING. THEY HAVE BEEN GONE SINCE 2000, 2003. SO FINALLY, THIS MOVE HAS FORCED ME TO GO THROUGH SOME OF THE THINGS THAT I HAVE, AND THIS HAS COME UP, AND IT MEANT A LOT. WE ALWAYS HAD GAS STOVE AND GAS RADIANT HEAT AND HE WOULD ALWAYS TEST MY MOTHER’S OVEN WITH THE THERMOMETER TO MAKE SURE THAT IT WAS FUNCTIONING PROPERLY. IT WAS VERY VISIBLE TO ALL OF US. IT WAS VERY IMPORTANT.” MOCH RECALLS THE THERMOMETER IN HER DAD’S WORK TOOLBOX: “… WHEREVER HE WENT, HE WOULD HAVE HIS TOOL BOX, AND THAT WAS THE FIRST THING THAT CAME OUT OF THE TOOL BOX. HE CARRIED IT IN HIS VEHICLE. HE DROVE TO THE HOUSES AND THE FIRST THING THAT CAME OUT OF HIS TOOL BOX WAS THAT.” IT WAS THE JOB AT CANADIAN WESTERN NATURAL GAS COMPANY THAT BROUGHT CARSE AND HIS FAMILY TO LETHBRIDGE: “HE HAD ANDREW’S HARDWARE IN FORT MACLEOD FOR I DON’T KNOW HOW MANY YEARS – QUITE A FEW – AND THEN HE WENT TO THE GAS PLANT IN BURDETT/ BOW ISLAND. AND FAMILY WAS COMING. [HE] NEEDED A STEADY JOB, [SO HE] CAME TO THE CITY [ TO] FIND A STEADY JOB. HE WAS A CERTIFIED PLUMBER AND GAS-FITTER SO HE APPLIED AT THE CANADIAN WESTERN AND NATURAL GAS… THAT WAS HIS WORLD. HE JUST BLOSSOMED. HE WAS A VERY PRIVATE PERSON, BUT HE LOVED TO BE WITH PEOPLE. THERE WAS A LOT OF COMRADERY AND HORSE-PLAY. HE WORKED BY HIMSELF. HE DIDN’T HAVE A PARTNER. AND [HE] WENT PLACE-TO-PLACE – AND IT GREW, AND GREW, AND GREW, AND GREW – 28 YEARS. AND IT WAS NOT UNCOMMON FOR OUR RESIDENCE PHONE AT HOME TO RING FROM VARIOUS PEOPLE, SAYING, ‘DON’T SEND SO-AND-SO; SEND DAVE BACK. DAVE KNOWS WHAT HE’S DONE HERE, AND THAT’S THE PERSON I WANT BACK.’ THAT WAS NOT UNCOMMON AT ALL TO HAPPEN AT OUR HOUSE. HE MADE A GOOD REPUTATION FOR HIMSELF, AND HE LOVED WHAT HE DID, AND IT SHOWED… HE BECAME A KIND OF AN IMAGE AND I THINK HE REVELED IN THAT. HE WAS KING OF HIS WORLD, REALLY. IT WAS VERY NICE.” “… THERE WAS ALWAYS SOMEBODY ON CALL," CONTINUED MOCH, "BUT, IF IT WAS A MAJOR BLIZZARD, OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT, THEN EVERYBODY WAS PRESSED INTO SERVICE. IF IT WAS TURKEY DAY, AND EVERYBODY WANTS TO COOK A TURKEY, AND THE PILOT LIGHT OR THE OVEN DIDN’T WORK, SOMEBODY HAD TO GO. AND THAT WAS THE BIG THING WITH THE GAS COMPANY. GAS COMPANY SERVICEMEN WERE FREE OF CHARGE AND THE ONLY CHARGE WOULD HAVE BEEN FOR A THERMOCOUPLE OR A PART THAT NEEDED TO BE REPLACED. PEOPLE WERE NOT SHY ABOUT CALLING THE GAS COMPANY TO REMEDY THEIR SITUATION. YES, THERE WAS ALWAYS SOMEONE ON CALL, AND HE HAD TO TAKE HIS TURN DOING THAT. BUT, IF THERE WAS A MASS BLIZZARD OR STORM OF SOME SORT, THEN THEY WERE ALL CALLED OUT.” MOCH EXPLAINED THE THERMOMETER WAS OF GREAT IMPORTANCE TO CARSE’S WORK: “MOST OF HIS CALLS WERE [BAKING RELATED]. PEOPLE ALWAYS BAKED IN THOSE DAYS – ALWAYS BAKED AND [IF], ‘THE OVEN WASN’T COOKING RIGHT,’ OR ‘IT WASN’T HOT ENOUGH,’ OR ‘HOW COME THIS FLOPPED?’ ‘WE’D BETTER CALIBRATE THE OVEN PROPERLY.’ AND SO [THEY'D CALL IN], ‘CAN DAVE COME OUT AND CHECK IT OUT AND CHECK THAT OUT FOR US?’ SO YES, THAT [THERMOMETRE] WAS ONE OF THE FIRST THINGS THAT HE BROUGHT OUT… MOM BAKED ALL THE TIME AS WELL, TWICE A WEEK PROBABLY. ON A REGULAR BASIS, HE WOULD JUST DOUBLE CHECK [WITH THE THERMOMETER] TO MAKE SURE THINGS WERE WORKING THE WAY THEY SHOULD. NOT NECESSARILY THAT THERE WAS A PROBLEM, BUT JUST SO THAT THEY STAY THE WAY THEY SHOULD BE. HE EDUCATED US ALL ABOUT THE BLUE FLAME AND HOW THE BLUE FLAME HAD TO HAVE THE LITTLE TIP ON THE END OF THE BLUE FLAME AND THAT MEANS IT’S BURNING CLEAN. IT WAS VERY EDUCATIONAL, TOO.” “[HE] ALWAYS CAME HOME FOR LUNCH. MOM ALWAYS HAD LUNCH READY. WE HAD LUNCH IN THE LIVING ROOM WITH A SANDWICH AND HE HAD A LITTLE SNOOZE. FIVE MINUTES, AND HE WAS OUT THE DOOR. HE WAS NEVER LATE. HE WAS ALWAYS HOME, AND HE WAS NEVER LATE COMING HOME FROM WORK. HE JUST LOVED IT… HE RETIRED IN SEPTEMBER 30, ’73. SO, PROBABLY ’43, ’44 THAT HE CAME TO LETHBRIDGE TO [WORK AT THE] GAS COMPANY.” ACCORDING TO HIS OBITUARY IN THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD, DAVID ROXBOROUGH CARSE PASSED AWAY IN LETHBRIDGE ON 15 NOVEMBER 2000. PLEASE SEE PERMANENT FILE FOR FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT, LETHBRIDGE HERALD ARTICLES, AND THERMOMETER PATENT.
Catalogue Number
P20160027000
Acquisition Date
2016-09
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail
Other Name
DYE SAMPLES
Date Range From
1940
Date Range To
1977
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
CARDBOARD, FABRIC, INK
Catalogue Number
P20160003004
  1 image  
Material Type
Artifact
Other Name
DYE SAMPLES
Date Range From
1940
Date Range To
1977
Materials
CARDBOARD, FABRIC, INK
No. Pieces
1
Length
22.6
Width
15
Description
BOOK WITH BLACK HARDCOVER. THE FRONT COVER OF THE BOOK HAS IN GOLD LETTERING “NACCO DYES” WITH A SMALL, GOLD LOGO IN THE CENTER AND “NATIONAL ANILINE & CHEMICAL CO. …” IN GOLD AT THE BOTTOM. THE SPINE OF THE BOOK HAS “NACCO DYES NO. 172” IN GOLD LETTERS. THE INSIDE COVER OF THE BOOK BEGINS WITH “NATIONAL SERVICE” WITH ADDITIONAL TEXT SUCCEEDING. THE PAGES ARE THICK, WHITE BOARD THAT ARE ATTACHED TO ONE ANOTHER WITH PAPER SEAMS. THE BOARDS FOLD OUT ACCORDIAN-STYLE INTO A HORIZONTAL LINE. THERE ARE 6 BOARDS IN TOTAL. THE FIRST FOUR BEGINNING FROM THE LEFT ARE TITLED, “NACCO UNION DYES.” EACH BOARD HAS TWO COLUMNS OF RECTANGULAR DYE SAMPLES. THERE ARE 9 ROWS ON EACH BOARD. THE TWO SAMPLES IN EACH ROW ARE THE SAME COLOUR BUT ON DIFFERENT TYPES OF FABRIC. THE 5TH BOARD IS DIVIDED INTO TWO COLUMNS. THE LEFT IS TITLED, “NACCO NEUTRAL DYES” AND THERE ARE 10 SAMPLES OF VARIOUS DYE COLOURS UNDERNEATH IT. THE RIGHT SIDE IS TITLED, “NACCO WOOL DYES.” GOOD CONDITION. THE BOARDS HAVE YELLOWED. SLIGHT SCUFFING ON THE BLACK COVER. SLIGHT BROWN STAIN ON 5TH AND 6TH BOARDS. ACCRETION ON LOWER SECTION ON THE BACKSIDE OF BOARD TO THE RIGHT OF THE TITLE PAGE (5TH BOARD).
Subjects
MERCHANDISING T&E
Historical Association
INDUSTRY
TRADES
RETAIL TRADE
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’ FATHER SOLD DYE TO LOCALS ON THE DOUKHOBOR COLONY. MORRIS DESCRIBES THE PURPOSE OF THE DYES AND HOW HER FATHER BECAME INVOLVED: “DYEING WAS NECESSARY TO DYE THE WOOL THAT YOU SPUN AND SOMETIMES YOU COULDN’T GET THE NECESSARY DYES IN THE STORE, SO I DON’T KNOW WHERE MY DAD GOT THOSE. THEY MIGHT HAVE SENT HIM SOME OR WHAT AND THEN HE WOULD CHOOSE THE COLOURS THEY WANTED AND HE WOULD ORDER THEM. NOW IT SO HAPPENS THAT THE PEOPLE IN THE COLONY ALL WANTED THESE PARTICULAR DYES BECAUSE THEY WERE BETTER THAN THE KIND THEY GOT IN THE STORE. I DON’T KNOW WHY. SO MY DAD BUILT A SCALE AND I REMEMBER THIS SCALE. IT STOOD ON THE TABLE, IT HAD A CENTRAL PART, THEN THERE WAS A ROD GOING ACROSS AND IT CAME DOWN LIKE THIS AND THREE NAILS ON ONE SIDE BROUGHT IT DOWN AND WHEN YOU WANTED TO SELL THE DYE YOU PUT A PIECE OF PAPER DOWN, PUT IN A SPOONFUL UNTIL WE BALANCED [IT] AND THEN YOU GOT AN EVEN BALANCE AND THAT AMOUNT CAME TO TEN CENTS. IF WANTED LESS THEN YOU PUT TWO NAILS DOWN AND THOSE CAME TO FIVE CENTS SO… I SUPPOSE [HE SOLD THE DYE] BECAUSE HE WANTED TO MAKE SOME MONEY. HE SOLD VEGETABLES IN THE WINTERTIME TO THE LOCALS WHO DIDN’T GROW GARDENS. IN SUMMERTIME IF HE COULD GET A JOB HARVESTING WORKING SOMEWHERE ON FARMS HE DID THAT. [HE WAS] THE MIDDLE MAN [SELLING DYES]… [A]ND NOBODY TOLD ANYONE THE STOREKEEPERS THAT OR HE’D HAVE PROBABLY BEEN TOLD TO STOP IT.” PLEASE SEE THE PERMANENT FILE FOR MORE INFORMATION INCLUDING FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTION, OBITUARIES, PHOTOGRAPHS, AND FAMILY HISTORIES.
Catalogue Number
P20160003004
Acquisition Date
2016-02
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail
Other Name
"R.W. AINSCOUGH, 93RD BATTERY"
Date Range From
1951
Date Range To
1959
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
COTTON, BRASS, COPPER
Catalogue Number
P20160017007
  2 images  
Material Type
Artifact
Other Name
"R.W. AINSCOUGH, 93RD BATTERY"
Date Range From
1951
Date Range To
1959
Materials
COTTON, BRASS, COPPER
No. Pieces
1
Length
90.2
Width
5.7
Description
GREY BELT WITH BRASS AND COPPER CLASP BUCKLE; BUCKLE HAS EMBOSSED CREST ON FRONT SHOWING A CROWN ABOVE AN ARTILLERY FIELD GUN, WITH A BANNER AT THE BOTTOM WITH THE TEXT “QUO FAS ET GLORIA DUCUNT”; BUCKLE HAS TEXT ENGRAVED ON BACK, “TOP, R.W. AINSCOUGH, 93 BTY (SP), R.C.A.”. BELT HAS BRASS AND COPPER CAPS ON ENDS WITH PAIRS OF METAL PRONGS EXTENDING FROM ENDS OF CAPS; BELT HAS TWO BRASS AND COPPER ADJUSTABLE LOOPS. INSIDE OF BELT HAS BLACK HAND-WRITTEN TEXT, “MAJOR R.W. AINSCOUGH, 93 BTY.” INSIDE OF BELT IS STAINED WITH WHITE AND YELLOW; INSIDE OF BELT IS WORN AND FRAYED BELOW PRONGS FROM ENDS; BUCKLE HAS WHITE AND GREEN RESIDUE FROM OXIDATION AT BASE OF CLASP; OVERALL VERY GOOD CONDITION.
Subjects
CLOTHING-ACCESSORY
Historical Association
MILITARY
PERSONAL CARE
History
ON SEPTEMBER 16, 2016, COLLECTIONS TECHNICIAN KEVIN MACLEAN INTERVIEWED CHRIS AINSCOUGH REGARDING HIS DONATION OF A COLLECTION OF MILITARY OBJECTS. THE OBJECTS BELONGED TO AISNCOUGH’S GRANDFATHER AND FATHER, WILLIAM GEORGE AINSCOUGH (FIRST WORLD WAR) AND REED WILSON AINSCOUGH (SECOND WORLD WAR AND POST-WAR). THE DONOR’S GREAT GRANDFATHER, WILLIAM THOMAS AINSCOUGH, MARRIED MARGARET A. AINSCOUGH IN 1878 AND EMIGRATED FROM SMITHFIELD, UTAH TO CANADA IN 1898, BRINGING SIX CHILDREN, AGED 1 TO 18, WITH THEM. WILLIAM GEORGE AINSCOUGH, THE DONOR’S GRANDFATHER, WAS AMONG THE CHILDREN (BORN 1885). THE AINSCOUGHS INITIALLY SETTLED IN WHISKEY GAP, ALBERTA, BEFORE RELOCATING TO WOOLFORD, ALBERTA. ACCORDING A RESUME FOR REED W. AINSCOUGH INCLUDED IN THE PERMANENT FILE, REED WILSON AINSCOUGH WAS BORN ON JUNE 21, 1918 IN CARDSTON, ALBERTA. IN 1940, REED AINSCOUGH JOINED THE 93RD BATTERY OF THE ROYAL CANADIAN ARTILLERY [RCA] STATIONED AT FORT MACLEOD, ALBERTA, AND WAS PROMOTED TO A SECOND LIEUTENANT. REED AINSCOUGH WAS POSTED OVERSEAS IN 1942 AND SERVED UNTIL HIS DISCHARGE ON JANUARY 8, 1946. LETHBRIDGE HERALD ARTICLES REPORTED REED AINSCOUGH AS BEING IN THE THICK OF THE FIGHTING IN FRANCE, NOTABLY AT CAEN. IT WAS REPORTED IN THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD IN 1944 THAT REED AINSCOUGH WAS PROMOTED TO CAPTAIN, AND WAS WOUNDED IN HIS LEG IN OCTOBER 1944. REED AINSCOUGH WAS SENT TO BELGIUM FOR SURGERY AND TO BE HOSPITALIZED, AND WAS RETURNED TO CANADA ON THE HOSPITAL SHIP H.M.C.S. LADY NELSON IN 1945. IN 1947, REED AINSCOUGH BECAME THE BATTERY COMMANDER OF THE 93RD BATTERY RCA, AND SERVED AS THE COMMANDER UNTIL 1959, BEING PROMOTED TO MAJOR IN 1951. IN 1959, UPON A TRANSFER WITH HIS EMPLOYMENT AT CANADA LIFE, HE MOVED TO MEDICINE HAT, ALBERTA, AND JOINED THE SOUTH ALBERTA LIGHT HORSE AS A SQUADRON COMMANDER IN 1961. IN 1964, HE WAS PROMOTED TO LIEUTENANT COLONEL AND COMMANDER OF THE SOUTH ALBERTA LIGHT HORSE, AND WAS APPOINTED AIDE-DE-CAMP TO LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR GRANT MACEWAN UNTIL HIS RETIREMENT. ON OCTOBER 20, 1993, REED WILSON AINSCOUGH PASSED AWAY IN LETHBRIDGE. ON HIS FATHER’S, REED WILSON AINSCOUGH’S, MILITARY SERVICE, CHRIS AINSCOUGH RECALLED, “I THINK THAT THE WAR WAS PROBABLY ONE OF THE BEST THINGS THAT HAPPENED TO MY DAD. HE NEVER SPOKE ABOUT IT MUCH, BUT THE FRIENDSHIPS THAT HE DEVELOPED THROUGH HIS CONTACTS IN THE WAR WENT ON RIGHT UNTIL HIS DEATH…IT’S PROBABLY LIKE BEING ON A TEAM, YOU KNOW, AND I THINK IT’S THAT FELLOWSHIP YOU GET FROM RELYING ON PEOPLE, AND TRAINING WITH PEOPLE, AND GETTING THEIR KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING. I THINK THAT’S SORT OF A BIG PART OF IT.” AINSCOUGH ELABORATED ON HIS MOTIVES FOR DONATING THE COLLECTION, STATING, “I THINK [THE OBJECTS ARE] A BIG PART OF SOUTH ALBERTA’S HISTORY. DAD WAS VERY ACTIVE IN THE MILITARY AND THE MILITIA FOR MANY YEARS. I THINK THAT’S THE BIGGEST PART [OF WANTING TO DONATE THE OBJECTS]…IT’S DIVESTING, BECAUSE AFTER MY DAD DIED [IN 1992], MY MOTHER STAYED IN THE HOUSE FOR ABOUT 5 YEARS, AND THEN SHE MOVED OUT TO THE COAST. IT WAS AT THAT TIME, WHEN WE WERE GOING THROUGH THE STUFF IN THE HOUSE, THAT WE THOUGHT THIS IS A GOOD TIME TO GET IT DOWN TO SOMEPLACE LIKE THE GALT THAT WOULD LOOK AFTER IT.” FOR MORE INFORMATION INCLUDING THE MILITARY SERVICE FILES FOR WILLIAM GEORGE AINSCOUGH AND FRANK AINSCOUGH, NEWSPAPER CLIPPINGS ON WILLIAM GEORGE AND REED AINSCOUGH, A RESUME FOR REED AINSCOUGH, AND THE FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTION, PLEASE SEE THE PERMANENT FILE P20160017001-GA.
Catalogue Number
P20160017007
Acquisition Date
2016-06
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail
Date Range From
1950
Date Range To
1960
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
WOOD, METAL
Catalogue Number
P20160008001
  2 images  
Material Type
Artifact
Date Range From
1950
Date Range To
1960
Materials
WOOD, METAL
No. Pieces
1
Height
38.3
Length
121.5
Width
4.6
Description
SIGN. WOOD AND METAL. BORDER OF SIGN IS PAINTED MEDIUM/DARK BROWN. MAIN PORTION OF SIGN IS GOLDEN ROD YELLOW, WITH BLACK LETTERING. TEXT READS: “A SAFE WORKER IS A VALUABLE EMPLOYEE”. TWO METAL BRACKETS FOR HANGING ATTACH TO BACK OF SIGN. EACH BRACKET ATTACHES TO THE BACK WITH TWO FLAT HEADED BOLTS, WHICH ARE VISIBLE ON THE YELLOW SIDE OF THE SIGN. NUTS HOLD THE BOLTS ON THE BACK. HANDWRITTEN IN BLUE INK ON BOTTOM LEFT SIDE “317-9353”. REVERSE OF SIGN IS UNFINISHED DARK, ROUGH PINE BORDER. OVERALL IN GOOD TO VERY GOOD CONDITION. SIGN IS VERY DIRTY. SOME OF BROWN PAINT AROUND BORDER HAS SCRATCHED OFF, REVEALING BLACK PAINT UNDERNEATH.
Subjects
VISUAL COMMUNICATION T&E
Historical Association
INDUSTRY
SAFETY SERVICES
TRANSPORTATION
History
THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION COMES FROM A SERIES OF LETHBRIDGE HERALD NEWSPAPER ARTICLES AND AN INTERVIEW WITH THE DONOR CONDUCTED BY KEVIN MACLEAN. FROM JOHN’S INTERVIEW: JOHN STARTED WORKING AT THE FROG SHOP IN KIPP, AB IN 1992. HE DESCRIBED HOW IT WAS THAT HE CAME TO WORK THERE: “I WAS WORKING AS A SEASONAL MACHINE OPERATOR ON THE PACIFIC REGION, WHICH MEANT THAT IN THE SPRINGTIME EVERY YEAR, I GENERALLY START OUT SOMEWHERE NEAR THE FRASER CANYON AND OVER THE COURSE OF THE YEAR I’D WORK ANYWHERE FROM THERE TO SWIFT CURRENT AND FROM THE U.S. BORDER AS FAR NORTH AS [THE CPR HAD TRACKS, TO ROUGHLY ST. PAUL, AB]. THE LENGTH OF MY YEAR’S EMPLOYMENT WOULD BE DETERMINED IN MY SENIORITY AND THE AMOUNT OF WORK THAT WAS AVAILABLE. I WAS REAL TIRED OF BEING ON THE ROAD. THE YEAR PREVIOUSLY, THERE’D BEEN A TEMPORARY JOB – A COUPLE OF TEMPORARY JOBS THAT WERE BULLETINED AT THE FROG SHOP IN THE FALL, PROCESSING SOME SCRAP MATERIAL THAT WAS THERE. A FRIEND AND MINE BID THOSE JOBS AND GOT THEM. THAT MEANT WE WERE ON THE SHOP’S SENIORITY LIST AND WHEN THE OPPORTUNITY AROSE, THERE WAS A POSITION THERE BULLETINED – ACTUALLY A COUPLE OF POSITIONS BULLETINED THERE – MY FRIEND AND I BID THEM TO BE ABLE TO BE AT HOME AND HAVE A YEAR ROUND JOB. MIGHT NOT HAVE BEEN THE BEST IDEA EVER, BUT IT WAS GOOD TO BE HOME AND SLEEP IN MY OWN BED AT NIGHT AND WAKE UP AND SEE MY HORSES IN THE MORNING.” JOHN REMOVED THIS SIGN FROM HIS WORKPLACE WHEN THE CANADIAN PACIFIC RAILWAY ELECTED TO CLOSE THE FROG SHOP IN KIPP IN THE SPRING OF 2002. JOHN’S SUPERVISOR, GUY MITCHELL, KNEW THAT HE HAD AN INTEREST IN HISTORY AND OLD THINGS AND ALLOWED JOHN TO TAKE SOME ITEMS HOME. JOHN RECOUNTED THE EXPERIENCE: “WHEN I ASKED [GUY] WHAT WAS TO BECOME OF THE [SAFE WORKER] SIGN HE SAID, ‘YOU CAN HAVE IT, JOHN. THEY’LL JUST THROW IT AWAY. IT’S JUST JUNK AS FAR AS ANYONE ELSE CONCERNED.’ I ASKED HIM, ‘GEE, COULD I HAVE THE LITTLE PLAQUE OFF THE DOOR?’ AND HE SAID, ‘OF COURSE, YEAH, TAKE IT. IT’S GOING TO GET – SOMEONE ELSE WILL KNOCK IT OFF AND IT’LL GET BROKEN. SO MUCH THE BETTER. YOU WANNA SEE IT HANG IN THERE, GO FOR IT. IT’S ALL YOURS.’” JOHN EXPLAINED THAT THIS SIGN HUNG ON THE WALL: “IT WAS HANGING ON THE WALL WELL ABOVE THE DOORWAY, AND [I] PUT A LADDER UP AND TOOK THE TWO BIG SCREWS OUT OF THE WALL THAT HELD IT IN PLACE, AND TOOK THE TWO LITTLE TINY SCREWS OUT OF THE DOORWAY THAT HELD THE FROG SHOP SIGN IN PLACE. THAT WAS ONE OF THE LAST DAY – I THINK IT MIGHT HAVE BEEN EVEN THE LAST DAY THAT WE WERE THERE – AS I RECALL THAT’S THE CASE.” JOHN EXPLAINED WHY HE WAS SO INTERESTED IN THIS PARTICULAR SIGN: “BUT THE SIGN WAS SIGNIFICANT TO ME IN IT OF ITSELF GIVEN THAT WE SOMETIMES JOKED THAT THAT WAS THE ENTIRETY FOR A LONG TIME OF THE RAILWAY’S SAFETY PROGRAM – WAS A SIGN LIKE THIS. ON ALL THE MIRRORS IN ALL OF THE EMPLOYEES’ BATHROOMS, GOING BACK AT LEAST WHEN I FIRST WORKED FOR THE RAILWAY THE SUMMER OUT OF THE UNIVERSITY IN 1975, THE MIRRORS WERE ALL PAINTED WITH A SIGN ABOVE - AT THE TOP AND THE BOTTOM OF THE MIRROR THAT SAID, “YOU’RE LOOKING AT THE MAN MOST RESPONSIBLE YOUR SAFETY.” THOSE WERE QUITE OFTEN CHANGED BY EMPLOYEES TO SAY SOMETHING QUITE DIFFERENT, BUT YEAH, IT WAS SOMETHING OF A JOKE.” HE WENT ON FURTHER, SAYING THAT IN 1978 HE AND A FRIEND LOOKED INTO THE OLD ROUNDHOUSE AT THE RAIL YARD IN LETHBRIDGE AND “WAS MORTIFIED” TO SEE THE WORKING CONDITIONS: “WE PULLED UP BEHIND THE OLD ROUNDHOUSE IN THE OLD YARD HERE IN LETHBRIDGE, AND LOOKED IN THE DOORWAY. THAT’S AS MUCH AS I KNOW OF THE OLD ROUNDHOUSE, AND I WAS MORTIFIED TO SEE MEN WORKING IN A POORLY VENTILATED, ANCIENT, REALLY FALLING APART BUILDING. MORE PIGEONS THAN PEOPLE INSIDE, IN A CLOUD OF DUST AND WELDING SMOKE THAT YOU COULD NOT SEE THROUGH. THAT’S WHERE THIS SIGN CAME FROM.” IN COMPARISON, THE WORKING CONDITIONS IN THE KIPP FROG SHOP WERE MUCH BETTER, BUT JOHN EXPLAINS THAT THERE WERE STILL PROBLEMS: “WHEN I WENT TO WORK AT THE FROG SHOP IN KIPP IN EARLY ’92, A GREAT NUMBER OF PEOPLE WORKING THERE, AND THEN THERE WERE ONLY 12 EMPLOYEES THERE AND A SUPERVISOR, HAD WORKED THERE. CONSEQUENTLY, THAT FACILITY WAS LIGHT YEARS BEYOND WHERE THEY WORKED PREVIOUSLY, AND THEY’RE PRETTY COMFORTABLE IN THEIR ENVIRONMENT. THEY FELT THAT, YOU KNOW, THEY WERE DOING PRETTY WELL. THERE WERE A NUMBER OF US OVER THE COURSE OF THE NEXT COUPLE OF YEARS THAT CAME TO WORK THERE THAT HAD PREVIOUSLY WORKED ON THE SEASONAL WORK CREWS, AS MACHINE OPERATORS, WERE HAPPY TO HAVE A FULL TIME, YEAR-ROUND JOB. IT WASN’T A VERY PLEASANT PLACE TO WORK. IT WAS VERY DUSTY, VERY NOISY, AND DESPITE A RELATIVELY DECENT WELDING FUME VENTILATION SYSTEM, IT WASN’T A GOOD PLACE TO BE. AND WE LOOKED AT THE SIGN EVERY DAY AS YOU WALKED OUT. IN THE COURSE OF READING THE MSDS ON THE WELDING WIRE AND THE WELDING ROD WE USED, AFTER I WORKED THERE FOR MAYBE A YEAR OR SO – MAYBE A COUPLE YEARS – I SAW THAT THE WELDING WIRE MANUFACTURER – WELL THE WELDING ROD MANUFACTURER – SUGGESTED THAT PEOPLE HAVE AT LEAST ANNUAL BLOOD TESTS TO DETERMINE THEIR BLOOD LEVELS OF HEAVY METALS, IN PARTICULAR MANGANESE.” JOHN EXPLAINED THAT TOO MUCH MAGNESIUM IN THE HUMAN BODY CAN MIMIC PARKINSON’S DISEASE, A CONDITION CALLED PARKINSONISM. SUMPTION PUSHED FOR BLOOD TESTING TO BE DONE IN THE 1990S: “THAT STARTED US DOWN THE ROAD THAT RESULTED IN A STUDY BEING DONE BY A GROUP OF INDUSTRIAL MEDICINE SPECIALISTS FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF CALGARY, INCLUDING OF THE FOREMOST – THE WORLD’S MOST FOREMOST – MOVEMENT DISORDER SPECIALIST … . CONSEQUENTLY, WE ALL SPENT TWO DAYS IN CALGARY, GOT MRI, GOT BLOOD TESTS, AND THEREAFTER WERE REGULARLY SUBJECTED TO URINE TESTS.” THE RESULTS OF ALL OF THIS TESTING: “CONSEQUENTLY, THE VENTILATION SYSTEM WAS IMPROVED, THE DUST CAPTURE SYSTEM WAS IMPROVED FOR THE GRINDING PROCEDURES, AND ALL EMPLOYEES WORE POWER PURIFIED AIR RESPIRATORS THEREAFTER. SO WE HAD A MUCH SAFER WORK ENVIRONMENT.” JOHN NEVER SAW THIS SIGN HANGING IN THE ROUNDHOUSE AND HAD THE FOLLOWING TO SAY: “IT’S FAR TOO OLD TO HAVE BEEN MADE FOR THE FROG SHOP IN 1982. WHEN YOU LOOK AT THESE … BOLTS – HAVEN’T SEEN THEM DO LIKE THAT IN AN AWFUL LONG TIME. THIS IS HAND-PUNCHED – THIS IS HAND-CUT AND HAND-PUNCHED. LOOT AT THE WIDTH OF THE PINE PLANK THAT IT’S ON. IT’S NOT REGULAR, OLD CPR RED. THEY DIDN’T BUY THINGS. THEY ARE NOTORIOUSLY CHEAP. I REMEMBER THIS YELLOW PAINT. THIS IS THE SAME YELLOW PAINT THAT THEY PAINTED THEIR MOTOR CARS WITH – THE LITTLE, FREEZE-YOUR-ASS-OFF TRACK MOBILES WE USED TO TRAVEL ON WHEN WE’RE WORKING ON THE TRACK. YEAH, I WAS TOLD THAT. BUT I KNOW THEY WOULDN’T HAVE A SIGN PAINTED. I KNOW THEY WOULDN’T BUY ONE FROM ANYONE. AND THAT WAS WHAT I WAS TOLD BY ALL THE PEOPLE THAT I WORKED WITH THERE; SOME OF WHOM HAD A GREAT MANY YEARS. AND THERE WERE A COUPLE OLD GUYS THAT I WORKED WITH THAT RETIRED AT 35 YEARS, SHORTLY AFTER I ARRIVED IN THE FROG SHOP THERE IN ’92.” JOHN DESCRIBED WHERE THE SIGN HUNG IN THE FROG SHOP IN KIPP: “IT HUNG IN THE DOORWAY THAT LEAD OUT OF THE SHOP INTO THE HALLWAY INTO OUR CHANGE ROOM. I LOOKED AT IT EVERY DAY, AT LUNCHTIME, COFFEE TIME.” JOHN ADDED THE FOLLOWING ABOUT WORKER SAFETY: “I JUST THINK THAT THIS IS TO ME ILLUSTRATIVE OF HOW FAR WE’VE COME WHEN IT COMES TO WORKERS’ SAFETY. AND WHEN YOU TAKE A LOOK AROUND TODAY OF HOW HORRIFYINGLY FAR WE HAVE TO GO. TO THINK THAT THERE ARE PEOPLE, WHAT LESS THAN TWO WEEKS AGO, STANDING IN FRONT OF THE LEGISLATURE IN EDMONTON FIGHTING THE NOTION THAT FARM WORKERS IN ALBERTA SHOULD HAVE THE SAME PROTECTION THAT THEY DO EVERYWHERE ELSE IN THE COUNTRY AND HAVE FOR YEARS AND YEARS. TOO MANY PEOPLE DIE GOING TO WORK. IT’S TOO EASY TO HAPPEN AND IT’S EVEN EASIER NOW. IT’S SCARY TO THINK OF YOUNG PEOPLE. I’VE WORKED WITH LOTS OF YOUNG PEOPLE AS THE YEARS HAVE GONE ON. I’M OLD. I KNOW OLD PEOPLE - OLDER PEOPLE - LOOKED OUT FOR ME AND HELPED ME; AND I’M REALLY FORTUNATE FOR THAT. BUT IN THIS HURRY-UP WORLD, NOW AND PARTICULARLY AS YOU SEE UNION MEMBERSHIP DECLINING AND IT BECOMING MORE AND MORE DIFFICULT TO OBTAIN A UNION CONTRACT, TO RATIFY A UNION VOTE, GEE I DON’T WANT TO SEE ANYONE - ANYBODY ELSE GET HURT. AND I HOPE THAT THAT GETS BETTER. BECAUSE I’VE SEEN REALLY BAD THINGS HAPPEN TO PEOPLE AND IT WASN’T BECAUSE THEY WERE DUMB AND IT WASN’T BECAUSE THEY WERE CARELESS. FAR TOO OFTEN IT WAS BECAUSE THEY JUST DIDN’T KNOW AND SOMEBODY WHO SHOULD KNOW BETTER DIDN’T GET IN LINE.” RELOCATING THE RAIL YARDS TO KIPP IS COVERED IN DETAIL IN SEVERAL LETHBRIDGE HERALD NEWSPAPER ARTICLES, ESPECIALLY IN THE PERIOD OF 1980 TO 1982. THESE ARTICLES TEND TO FOCUS ON THE BENEFIT FOR THE CITY OF LETHBRIDGE AND THE ABILITY TO REDEVELOP THE YARDS. FOR EXAMPLE, AN OCTOBER 10, 1980 ARTICLE DISCUSSES REDEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITIES: “THERE MUST BE A GOOD CORRIDOR WITH A DIVIDED HIGHWAY THROUGH THE CITY TO ACCOMMODATE BOTH TRAFFIC THAT DOESN’T WANT TO STOP AND TRAFFIC THAT WANTS TO GET OFF AT DOWNTOWN LETHBRIDGE. RAILWAY RELOCATION GIVES ROOM FOR SUCH A CORRIDOR FROM THE RAILWAY BRIDGE THROUGH TO 13TH ST.” FOR MORE DETAILS, PLEASE SEE PERMANENT FILE. FOR COPIES OF NEWSPAPER ARTICLES AND FOR A TRANSCRIPT OF THE INTERVIEW, PLEASE SEE PERMANENT FILE.
Catalogue Number
P20160008001
Acquisition Date
2016-03
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail
Date Range From
1940
Date Range To
1950
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
COTTON
Catalogue Number
P20150013006
  1 image  
Material Type
Artifact
Date Range From
1940
Date Range To
1950
Materials
COTTON
No. Pieces
1
Height
53.5
Length
33.2
Width
25.5
Description
CREAM AND BLUE PLAID, TERRY CLOTH BIB. BOTTOM HALF OF BIB HAS A 9.5CM BLUE STRIPE. IN THE CENTRE OF THE STRIPE ARE THE WORDS "GOOD BOY" WITH FLOWERS ON EITHER SIDE. BIB TIES AROUND NECK WITH TWO ATTACHED CREAM COLOURED TIES. MEASUREMENTS OF BIB FROM TIE TIP TO BOTTOM IS 53.5CM, WHILE BIB ITSELF IS ONLY 33.2CM. SOME STAINING ON BIB, ESPECIALLY IN THE CENTRE, ABOVE 'GOOD BOY'.
Subjects
CLOTHING-ACCESSORY
Historical Association
PERSONAL CARE
History
THIS BIB BELONGED TO ROBERT ALLAN SMITH (THE DONOR) AS A CHILD AND WAS SAVED FOR DONATION TO THE MUSEUM BY HIS MOTHER, PHYLLIS SMITH. THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION ON THE SMITH FAMILY WAS PROVIDED BY THE DONOR AT THE TIME OF DONATION. BEGINNING IN THE 1940S, THE SMITH FAMILY RESIDED AT 1254 7 AVENUE SOUTH. PHYLLIS REMAINED IN THE HOUSE UNTIL HER DEATH AT 104 YEARS OF AGE, ON SEPTEMBER 26, 2009. WHILE CLEANING UP HIS MOTHER’S HOUSE, THE DONOR CAME ACROSS SEVERAL BAGS MARKED ‘FOR MUSEUM’. THE ITEMS WERE USED BY THE DONOR FROM AN INFANT UNTIL THE AGE OF APPROXIMATELY 9 YEARS OLD. IN THE INTERVIEW, KEVIN ASKS IF ROBERT FELT HIS CHILDHOOD WAS IDYLLIC. ROBERT RESPONDS, SAYING: “FOR ME IT WAS. I MEAN, I WAS BORN IN WARTIME STILL AND MAYBE IT WASN’T IDYLLIC FOR MY PARENTS, BUT IT WAS FOR ME. AND THE NEIGHBOURHOODS WERE DIFFERENT THEN. YOU WERE JUST LET OUT THE DOOR AND YOU WENT OUT TO PLAY WITH THE NEIGHBOURHOOD KIDS AND THERE WERE NO CONCERNS THAT THE PARENTS HAVE TODAY. YES, A VERY HAPPY TIME, I WOULD SAY.” ROBERT WAS BORN IN OCTOBER 1940 TO PHYLLIS (NEE GROSS) AND ALLAN F. SMITH, AT ST. MICHAEL’S HOSPITAL. PHYLLIS WAS BORN TO FELIX AND MAGDALENA (NEE FETTIG) GROSS IN HARVEY, ND AND MOVED WITH HER FAMILY TO A FARM IN THE GRASSY LAKE AREA. SHE MOVED INTO LETHBRIDGE AND ATTENDED ST. BASIL’S SCHOOL IN THE 1910s. ALLAN WAS BORN IN ECHO BAY, ON, TO REV D.B. AND MRS. SMITH. HIS FATHER WAS A UNITED CHURCH MINISTER AND MOVED THE FAMILY TO EDMONTON. ALLAN WAS OFFERED A JOB AT WESTERN GROCERS IN LETHBRIDGE AND MET PHYLLIS WHILE IN THE CITY. THEY WERE MARRIED ON SEPTEMBER 2, 1939. ROBERT IS AN ONLY CHILD AND SUFFERED FROM RHEUMATIC FEVER AS A CHILD. HE BELIEVES THIS MAY BE PART OF THE REASON HIS MOTHER SAVED THESE ITEMS. HE EXPLAINS, SAYING: “I’M AN ONLY CHILD AND THEY WOULD BE MORE MEANINGFUL AND I WENT THROUGH A CHILDHOOD ILLNESS. I HAD RHEUMATIC FEVER. I MIGHT NOT HAVE SURVIVED. SOME OTHER KIDS DIDN’T SURVIVE, BUT I DID.” HE ALSO DESCRIBES HIS MOTHER AS BEING “A SAVER OF THINGS. HAVING GONE THROUGH THE DEPRESSION … THEY SAVED LOTS OF STUFF … ANYTHING THEY THINK THEY MIGHT USE IN THE FUTURE WAS SAVED.” PHYLLIS WAS ALSO A MEMBER OF THE LETHBRIDGE HISTORICAL SOCIETY IN THE 1970s AND WORKED AT THE GALT MUSEUM AS PART OF THE HISTORICAL SOCIETY. ACCORDING TO THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD, ROBERT RECEIVED MANY AWARDS WHILE IN HIGH SCHOOL AND UNIVERSITY, INCLUDING THE SCHLUMBERGER OF CANADA SCHOLARSHIP FOR PROFICIENCY IN ENGINEERING, A GOLD MEDAL FROM THE ASSOCIATION OF PROFESSIONAL ENGINEERS OF ALBERTA, AND RECEIVED THE HIGHEST GENERAL AVERAGE IN GRADUATION IN ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING AT THE UNIVERSITY OF ALBERTA. SEE PERMANENT FILE FOR FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTS AND COPIES OF LETHBRIDGE HERALD ARTICLES.
Catalogue Number
P20150013006
Acquisition Date
2015-03
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail

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