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Other Name
BLANKET
Date Range From
1920
Date Range To
1990
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
RAW FLAX YARN
Catalogue Number
P20160003007
  2 images  
Material Type
Artifact
Other Name
BLANKET
Date Range From
1920
Date Range To
1990
Materials
RAW FLAX YARN
No. Pieces
1
Length
139
Width
99.5
Description
HAND-WOVEN BLANKET MADE FROM RAW FLAX. THE BLANKET IS COMPOSED OF 2 SECTIONS OF THE SAME SIZE OF MATERIAL THAT ARE JOINED TOGETHER WITH A SEAM AT THE CENTER. ON THE FRONT SIDE (WITH NEAT SIDE OF THE STITCHING AND PATCHES), THERE ARE THREE PATCHES ON THE BLANKET MADE FROM LIGHTER, RAW-COLOURED MATERIAL. ONE SECTION OF THE FABRIC HAS TWO OF THE PATCHES ALIGNED VERTICALLY NEAR THE CENTER SEAM. THE AREA SHOWING ON ONE PATCH IS 3 CM X 5 CM AND THE OTHER IS SHOWING 5 CM X 6 CM. ON THE OPPOSITE SECTION THERE IS ONE PATCH THAT IS 16 CM X 8.5 CM SEWN AT THE EDGE OF THE BLANKET. THE BLANKET IS HEMMED ON BOTH SHORT SIDES. ON THE OPPOSING/BACK SIDE OF THE BLANKET, THE FULL PIECES OF THE FABRIC FOR THE PATCHES ARE SHOWING. THE SMALLER PATCH OF THE TWO ON THE ONE HALF-SECTION OF THE BLANKET IS 8CM X 10 CM AND THE OTHER PATCH ON THAT SIDE IS 14CM X 15CM. THE PATCH ON THE OTHER HALF-SECTION IS THE SAME SIZE AS WHEN VIEWED FROM THE FRONT. THERE IS A SEVERELY FADED BLUE STAMP ON THIS PATCH’S FABRIC. FAIR CONDITION. THERE IS RED STAINING THAT CAN BE SEEN FROM BOTH SIDES OF THE BLANKET AT THE CENTER SEAM, NEAR THE EDGE OF THE BLANKET AT THE SIDE WITH 2 PATCHES (CLOSER TO THE LARGER PATCH), AND NEAR THE SMALL PATCH AT THE END FURTHER FROM THE CENTER. THERE IS A HOLE WITH MANY LOOSE THREADS SURROUNDING NEAR THE CENTER OF THE HALF SECTION WITH ONE PATCH. THERE ARE VARIOUS THREADS COMING LOOSE AT MULTIPLE POINTS OF THE BLANKET.
Subjects
AGRICULTURAL T&E
BEDDING
Historical Association
AGRICULTURE
DOMESTIC
ETHNOGRAPHIC
History
THE KONKINS WERE A RUSSIAN-SPEAKING FAMILY FROM THE TOWN OF SHOULDICE, ALBERTA, NEAR CALGARY. THEY AND MANY OTHER RUSSIAN FAMILIES COMPOSED THAT TOWN’S DOUKHOBOR COLONY. IT WAS THERE WILLIAM KONKIN MARRIED ELIZABETH WISHLOW. IN 1928, THEIR DAUGHTER, ELSIE WAS BORN. THEY LATER MOVED TO A FARM IN VAUXHALL, ALBERTA. THE PRECEDING AND FOLLOWING INFORMATION HAS BEEN EXTRACTED FROM A TWO-PART INTERVIEW WITH DONOR ELSIE MORRIS, WHICH WAS CONDUCTED BY COLLECTIONS TECHNICIAN KEVIN MACLEAN ON FEBRUARY 17, 2016. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION COMES FROM FAMILY HISTORIES AND TEXTS PROVIDED BY THE DONOR. A FULL HISTORY OF THE KONKIN FAMILY CAN BE FOUND WITH THE RECORD P20160003001. ACCORDING TO A NOTE THAT WAS ATTACHED TO THIS LIGHTWEIGHT BLANKET AT THE TIME OF ACQUISITION THE BLANKET IS BELIEVED TO HAVE BEEN MADE C. 1920S. MORRIS SAYS HER MEMORY OF THE BLANKET DATES AS FAR BACK AS SHE CAN REMEMBER: “RIGHT INTO THE ‘30S, ‘40S AND ‘50S BECAUSE MY MOTHER DID THAT RIGHT UP UNTIL NEAR THE END. I USE THAT EVEN IN LETHBRIDGE WHEN I HAD A GARDEN. [THIS TYPE OF BLANKET] WAS USED FOR TWO PURPOSES. IT WAS EITHER PUT ON THE BED UNDERNEATH THE MATTRESS THE LADIES MADE OUT OF WOOL AND OR ELSE IT WAS USED, A DIFFERENT PIECE OF CLOTH WOULD BE USED FOR FLAILING THINGS. [THE] FLAIL ACTUALLY GOES WITH IT AND THEY BANG ON THE SEEDS AND IT WOULD TAKE THE HULLS OFF… IT’S HAND WOVEN AND IT’S MADE OUT OF POOR QUALITY FLAX… IT’S UNBLEACHED, DEFINITELY… RAW LINEN." THIS SPECIFIC BLANKET WAS USED FOR SEEDS MORRIS RECALLS: “…IT HAD TO BE A WINDY DAY… WE WOULD PICK DRIED PEAS OR BEANS OR WHATEVER BEET SEEDS AND WE WOULD BEAT AWAY AND THEN WE WOULD STAND UP, HOLD IT UP AND THE BREEZE WOULD BLOW THE HULLS OFF AND THE SEEDS WOULD GO STRAIGHT DOWN [ONTO THE BLANKET.” THE SEEDS WOULD THEN BE CARRIED ON THE BLANKET AND THEN PUT INTO A PAIL. OF THE BLANKET’S CLEAN STATE, MORRIS EXPLAINS, “THEY’RE ALWAYS WASHED AFTER THEY’RE FINISHED USING THEM.” WHEN SHE LOOKS AT THIS ARTIFACT, MORRIS SAYS: “I FEEL LIKE I’M OUT ON THE FARM, I SEE FIELDS AND FIELDS OF FLAX, BLUE FLAX. BUT THAT’S NOT WHAT SHE USED IT FOR. SHE DID USE IT IF SHE WANTED A LITTLE BIT OF THE FLAX THEN SHE’D POUND THE FLAX, BUT THAT WASN’T OFTEN. IT WAS MOSTLY BEANS AND PEAS.” IT IS UNKNOWN WHO WOVE THIS BLANKET. PLEASE SEE THE PERMANENT FILE FOR MORE INFORMATION INCLUDING FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTION, OBITUARIES, PHOTOGRAPHS, AND FAMILY HISTORIES.
Catalogue Number
P20160003007
Acquisition Date
2016-02
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
WOOL, DYE
Catalogue Number
P20160003006
  2 images  
Material Type
Artifact
Date
1929
Materials
WOOL, DYE
No. Pieces
1
Length
182.5
Width
117.5
Description
HAND-WOVEN RUG MADE FROM HAND-DYED, HANDSPUN WOOL. THERE IS A 3-4 CM WIDE BLACK BORDER AROUND ALL LENGTHS OF THE RUG, WITH FRINGE ON THE SHORT ENDS. INSIDE THE BLACK BORDER IS A SINGLE WOVEN BORDER OF LIGHT BLUE WOOL. INSIDE OF THIS BORDER IS A PATTERN SET ON A DARK BURGUNDY-COLOURED BACKGROUND. THERE IS A BLUE FLOWER IN THE CENTER OF THE RUG. ON ONE END THE DATE “1924” IS WOVEN IN RAW-COLOURED WOOL. THE “9” HAS BEEN WOVEN UPSIDE DOWN. ON THE OPPOSITE END OF THE RUG, THE INITIALS “ ” FOR THE NAME LISAVETA PETROVNA WISHLOW, ARE WOVEN IN LIGHT BLUE. THERE ARE 20 HARPS COLOURED EITHER BLUE, ORANGE, PINK, OR YELLOW AROUND ALL LENGTHS OF THE RUG. UNDER THE HARPS IS A GREEN VINE PATTERN AND A RED DECORATIVE BORDER. THE DESIGN ELEMENTS ARE LAID OUT SYMMETRICALLY OVER THE RUG AND CONSIST OF FLOWERS, DUCKS, AND BUTTERFLIES. VERY GOOD TO EXCELLENT CONDITION. SLIGHT WEAR TO THE WOOL FROM USE.
Subjects
FLOOR COVERING
Historical Association
DOMESTIC
ETHNOGRAPHIC
History
THE KONKINS WERE A RUSSIAN-SPEAKING FAMILY FROM THE TOWN OF SHOULDICE, ALBERTA, NEAR CALGARY. THEY AND MANY OTHER RUSSIAN FAMILIES COMPOSED THAT TOWN’S DOUKHOBOR COLONY. IT WAS THERE WILLIAM KONKIN MARRIED ELIZABETH WISHLOW. IN 1928, THEIR DAUGHTER, ELSIE WAS BORN. THEY LATER MOVED TO A FARM IN VAUXHALL, ALBERTA. THE PRECEDING AND FOLLOWING INFORMATION HAS BEEN EXTRACTED FROM A TWO-PART INTERVIEW WITH DONOR ELSIE MORRIS, WHICH WAS CONDUCTED BY COLLECTIONS TECHNICIAN KEVIN MACLEAN ON FEBRUARY 17, 2016. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION COMES FROM FAMILY HISTORIES AND TEXTS PROVIDED BY THE DONOR. A FULL HISTORY OF THE KONKIN FAMILY CAN BE FOUND WITH THE RECORD P20160003001. THIS RUG WAS HAND-WOVEN BY ELIZABETH KONKIN IN 1924. THE RUG WAS USED AS A WALL COVER IN THE WINTER AND ACTED AS AN INSULATOR. LATER IT WAS USED ON THE FLOOR AT CHRISTMASTIME. IT WAS INHERITED BY MORRIS PRIOR TO THE PASSING OF HER MOTHER: “I CAME INTO POSSESSION [OF IT] FROM MY MOTHER. SHE DIED IN 2003 AND I GOT THE RUG SLIGHTLY BEFORE THEN AND YES THAT WOULD BE ABOUT THE TIME… I HAVE NO OTHER SIBLINGS AND SO OBVIOUSLY EVERYTHING SHE MADE WOULD GO TO ME. MY SON SAID HE WOULD LIKE TO HAVE THE RUG, BUT CHANGED HIS MIND. HIS WIFE WAS NOT KEEN ON HAVING IT, SO I HAD TO DO SOMETHING WITH IT. TO ME IT IS A VERY BEAUTIFUL RUG AND I WANTED IT SOME PLACE WHERE IT WON’T GET TRASHED BY DOGS OR ANIMALS.” AFTER ACQUIRING THE RUG, MORRIS PLACED IT ON THE FLOOR OF HER HOME IN LETHBRIDGE: “THE LINO [ON THE FLOOR] STARTED TO WEAR OUT AND I THOUGHT YOU CAN’T PUT A RUG LIKE THAT ON ANOTHER LINO. IT JUST DOESN’T GO. BUT I DO LIKE HARDWOOD SO WE HAD HARDWOOD PUT THROUGHOUT THE BEDROOMS. THE LAST ROOM IS MY OFFICE, FIRST OF ALL, I HAD THE RUG IN THIS BEDROOM AND THEN IT WASN’T VERY CONVENIENT TO CLEAN BECAUSE THERE WASN’T THAT MUCH SPACE SO I PUT IT IN MY OFFICE WHERE I LOVED IT, BUT I KEPT STUMBLING OVER IT. I THOUGHT I MIGHT BREAK A LEG IF I DO THIS SO I BETTER GET RID OF IT… THE HARDWOOD WAS PUT IN BEFORE THE GST WENT IN. I DIDN’T HAVE THE RUG THEN BUT I THOUGHT THAT I WOULD BE GETTING THE RUG AND SO I WOULD HAVE IT HARDWOOD… WAS IT 1995? ANYWAY BEFORE GST WENT IN.” THE RUG HAD BEEN PRESENT THROUGHOUT MORRIS’ LIFE – FROM TIME SPENT ON THE DOUKHOBOR COLONY IN SHOULDICE, ALBERTA TO LIFE ON A FARM OUTSIDE OF VAUXHALL, ALBERTA: “I CAN REMEMBER WHEN I WAS BORN. THE RUG WAS IN MY PARENT’S HOME. WE LIVED ON A DOUKHOBOR COLONY, WE HAD MUD PLASTERED WALLS AND OUR HOUSE WAS WELL BUILT. MY DAD BUILT IT. SOME OF THE HOUSES ONLY HAD ONE LAYER OF WOOD AND THEY WERE VERY COLD, HOWEVER OUR BEDROOMS HAD WALLS ON THE NORTH SIDE. IN WINTER THEY GOT CHILLY, SO EVERY WINTER THEY WOULD NAIL UP THIS RUG UP AGAINST THE WALL. IT STAYED THERE FOR THE WINTER. FOR SUMMER IT CAME DOWN, I DON’T [KNOW] WHERE SHE STORED IT, I THINK POSSIBLY IN ONE OF THE BIGGER TRUNKS AND THEN TOOK IT OUT… THIS HOME [WHERE THE RUG WAS PLACED], IT’S OUTSIDE OF VAUXHALL. WE LEFT THE COLONY, MOVED TO VAUXHALL AND MOVED THE HOUSE. THE HOUSE WAS EXPANDED AND THEN WE LIVED IN THAT HOUSE. I LEFT HOME AND MY PARENTS HAD A HOUSE IN LETHBRIDGE WHICH DAD BUILT ALSO AND HE SOLD THE FARM. THEY ASKED IF WE WANTED TO GO AND WE DIDN’T. SO THEY SOLD THE FARM AND THERE WAS A BEAUTIFUL POND WHERE WE SWAM AND BOATED AND WE HAD LOTS OF TREES AROUND THE HOUSE. IT WAS ABOUT AN ACREAGE IF NOT MORE AND WHEN HE SOLD IT THE NEW OWNERS, VERY FRUGAL PEOPLE, [THEY] BURNT DOWN THE HOUSE, THE STEAM BATHROOM, THE GARAGE, THE WORKS. NOW MIND THEY WERE OLD STATE BY NOW AND THEY PLOWED [IT ALL INTO] IN THE POND BECAUSE THEY WANTED TO MAKE MONEY FROM THE GRAIN [FIELDS], SO WHEN I WENT THERE A COUPLE OF YEARS LATER, [I WAS] SURPRISED EVERYTHING WAS GONE, SO THAT WAS THAT." THE RUG MAY HAVE BEEN WOVEN BY MORRIS’ MOTHER ON THE DOUKHOBOR COLONY IN SHOULDICE OR DURING THE WINTER SPENT IN COWLEY: “… IT COULD HAVE BEEN WOVEN IN COWLEY BECAUSE THEY STAYED IN COWLEY FOR THE WINTER BUT I CAN’T BE TOO SURE. IT ALSO COULD HAVE BEEN MADE ON THE COLONY… TWENTY MILES EAST OF MOSSLEIGH.” ELIZABETH KONKIN WAS MARRIED IN 1927, SO THE INITIALS WOVEN ON THE RUG ARE OF HER MAIDEN NAME: “THAT’S AN “L” [ ] THAT’S LISAVETA (SIC.) BUT HER NAME IS YALALISAVETA (SIC.) BUT SHE PUT DOWN LISAVETA. PETROVNA THAT’S A “P” [ ] THAT’S DAUGHTER OF PETRO AND WISHLOW [ ] THAT WAS HER MAIDEN NAME. ... [AFTER MAKING THE RUG] THERE WAS SOME WARP LEFT OVER. … WARP IS THE STUFF THAT RUNS DOWN AND WEFT IS WHAT YOU PUT IN BETWEEN WITH A SHUTTLE BUT THIS WASN’T PUT IN WITH A SHUTTLE. EACH INDIVIDUAL THREAD WAS KNOTTED. IT’S LIKE DIFFAGHAN (SIC.) - A SWEDISH METHOD - AND THAT’S HOW IT WAS DONE. IF THERE WAS SOME LEFT OVER AND HER MOM INSISTED THAT SHE DO ANOTHER RUG. WELL SHE DIDN’T WANT TO DO IT. SHE SAYS “YOU MAKE IT FOR YOUR BROTHER.” SHE FELT HIS WIFE SHOULD DO HER OWN HOPE CHEST BUT SHE DID AND THE INTERESTING THING IS THAT HIS RUG THEY USED IT ON THE FLOOR. MY MOTHER DIDN’T USE THIS ONE ON THE FLOOR EXCEPT AT CHRISTMAS TIME SO THE WISHLOW FAMILY WHO HAD THE OTHER RUG, THE MOTHER WASN’T TOO KEENLY INTERESTED IN IT. THEY HAD IT IN THE LIVING ROOM AND THEN IT WENT UP FOR SALE TO A PLACE THAT WAS OWNED BY A MAN NAMED, HIS LAST NAME WAS EWASHEN (SIC.) …THAT’S [THE RUG’S] TWIN, YES.” MORRIS THEN GOES ON TO DESCRIBE SOME OF THE OTHER PATTERNING FOUND ON THE RUG: “OKAY THOSE ARE HARPS. SHE HAD PATTERNS TO GET THEM FROM OTHER WEAVERS AND THEN SHE’D TRACE THEM OUT. I DON’T KNOW WHAT SHE USED TO TRACE THEM ON THE WARP [WITH] AND THEN SHE’D WEAVE AWAY WITH THE THREAD THAT WERE THE WEFT. SHE PUT THE DESIGNS HERSELF ONTO THE RUG” THE RUG WAS BROUGHT TO LETHBRIDGE WHEN ELIZABETH AND WILLIAM KONKIN RETIRED THERE: “I WAS TEACHING SCHOOL IN COALDALE WHEN THEY MOVED AND DAD MADE THE HOUSE IN NORTH LETHBRIDGE… THE HOUSE IS NICELY BUILT AND IT’S WARM, IT’S COMFORTABLE SO THERE’S NO USE PUTTING IT UP ON THE WALL. EVERY CHRISTMAS SHE’D TAKE IT OUT AND WE’D ROLL AROUND ON THIS RUG AND SHE WOULD HANG IT UP AFTER THE NEW YEAR SO I SAID TO HER ‘WHY DON’T YOU PUT IT ON THE FLOOR?’ AND SHE SAID, 'WELL I DON’T WANT TO MESS IT UP.' HOWEVER, I SAID, 'WELL I’M GOING TO PUT IT ON THE FLOOR,' SO THAT’S WHERE IT WAS UNTIL I STARTED STUMBLING OVER IT.” AMONG THE OTHER ARTIFACTS DONATED BY MORRIS THAT WERE OWNED BY HER MOTHER, THE RUG WAS A SIGNIFIER OF THE HARD WORK REQUIRED WITHIN THE DOUKHOBOR LIFESTYLE: “[THE BLANKET AND THE SPINNING WHEEL] MEANT A LOT WELL AFTER THE WAR AND THINGS WERE CHEAP. THEY DIDN’T HAVE TO WEAVE THEIR OWN STUFF. PRIOR TO THAT, NOT IN MY MOTHER’S TIME EVEN BEFORE THAT MY GRANDMOTHER’S TIME, EVERY GIRL HAD TO WEAVE A TROUSSEAU FOR HERSELF TO LAST A LIFETIME BECAUSE SHE STARTED HAVING CHILDREN AND SHE WOULDN’T HAVE THE TIME TO DO IT. THERE WERE THINGS THAT WERE ANCIENT THAT WERE USED AND USED UNTIL THEY DIED HOWEVER, IN MY MOTHER’S DAY THEY KNITTED THEIR OWN SOCKS, THEY MADE THEIR OWN QUILTS. THE MEN DID THE BUILDING AND THEY LIVED OFF THE GARDENS BECAUSE THEY WERE VEGETARIANS SO THEY DIDN’T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT MEAT. THEY BOUGHT EGGS FROM THE NEIGHBOURS WHO WERE FARMERS. THE INTERESTING THING THERE WAS THAT THEY WEREN’T SUPPOSED TO EAT MEAT AND I ATE MEAT WHEN I WAS CLOSE TO TWENTY. WHEN I TELL MY VEGETARIAN RELATIVES WHAT ABOUT YOUR SHOES AND YOU’VE GOT LEATHER, COWHIDE WHATEVER AND THEY COULDN’T COME UP WITH AN ANSWER SO… THEY REPRESENTED HARD WORK THAT’S, THIS TAKES A LONG TIME WHEN YOU THINK OF EVERY KNOT THAT HAD TO BE TIED AND IT WAS PART OF HER TROUSSEAU. THE SPINNING WHEEL MEANT A LOT BECAUSE YOU HAD TO SPIN THE WOOL SO.” PLEASE SEE THE PERMANENT FILE FOR MORE INFORMATION INCLUDING FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTION, OBITUARIES, PHOTOGRAPHS, AND FAMILY HISTORIES.
Catalogue Number
P20160003006
Acquisition Date
2016-02
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail
Other Name
FLAIL PADDLE
Date Range From
1920
Date Range To
1990
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
WOOD
Catalogue Number
P20160003001
  1 image  
Material Type
Artifact
Other Name
FLAIL PADDLE
Date Range From
1920
Date Range To
1990
Materials
WOOD
No. Pieces
1
Height
4
Length
41
Width
12
Description
WOODEN FLAIL. ONE END HAS A PADDLE WITH A WIDTH THAT TAPERS FROM 12 CM AT THE TOP TO 10 CM AT THE BASE. THE PADDLE IS WELL WORN IN THE CENTER WITH A HEIGHT OF 4 CM AT THE ENDS AND 2 CM IN THE CENTER. HANDLE IS ATTACHED TO THE PADDLE AND IS 16 CM LONG WITH A CIRCULAR SHAPE AT THE END OF THE HANDLE. ENGRAVED ON THE CIRCLE THE INITIALS OF DONOR’S MATERNAL GRANDMOTHER, ELIZABETH EVANAVNA WISHLOW, “ . . .” GOOD CONDITION. THERE IS SLIGHT SPLITTING OF THE WOOD ON THE PADDLE AND AROUND THE JOINT BETWEEN THE HANDLE AND THE PADDLE. OVERALL WEAR FROM USE.
Subjects
AGRICULTURAL T&E
Historical Association
AGRICULTURE
ETHNOGRAPHIC
History
THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION HAS BEEN EXTRACTED FROM A TWO-PART INTERVIEW WITH DONOR ELSIE MORRIS, WHICH WAS CONDUCTED BY COLLECTIONS TECHNICIAN KEVIN MACLEAN ON FEBRUARY 17, 2016. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION COMES FROM FAMILY HISTORIES AND TEXTS PROVIDED BY THE DONOR. THIS WOODEN DOUKHOBOR TOOL IS CALLED A “FLAIL.” A NOTE WRITTEN BY ELSIE MORRIS THAT WAS ATTACHED TO THE FLAIL AT THE TIME OF DONATION EXPLAINS, “FLAIL USED FOR BEATING OUT SEEDS. BELONGED TO ELIZABETH EVANAVNA WISHLOW, THEN HANDED TO HER DAUGHTER ELIZABETH PETROVNA KONKIN WHO PASSED IT ON TO HER DAUGHTER ELIZABETH W. MORRIS.” ALTERNATELY, IN THE INTERVIEW, MORRIS REMEMBERED HER GRANDMOTHER’S, “… NAME WAS JUSOULNA AND THE MIDDLE INITIAL IS THE DAUGHTER OF YVONNE. YVONNE WAS HER FATHER’S NAME AND WISHLOW WAS HER LAST NAME.” THE FLAIL AND THE BLANKET, ALSO DONATED BY MORRIS, WERE USED TOGETHER AT HARVEST TIME TO EXTRACT AND COLLECT SEEDS FROM GARDEN CROPS. ELSIE RECALLED THAT ON WINDY DAYS, “WE WOULD PICK DRIED PEAS OR BEANS, OR WHATEVER, AND WE WOULD [LAY THEM OUT ON THE BLANKET], BEAT AWAY AND THEN HOLD [THE BLANKET] UP, AND THE BREEZE WOULD BLOW THE HULLS OFF AND THE SEEDS WOULD GO STRAIGHT DOWN.” THE FLAIL CONTINUED TO BE USED BY ELIZABETH “RIGHT UP TO THE END,” POSSIBLY INTO THE 1990S, AND THEREAFTER BY MORRIS. WHEN ASKED WHY SHE STOPPED USING IT HERSELF, MORRIS SAID, “I DON’T GARDEN ANYMORE. FURTHERMORE, PEAS ARE SO INEXPENSIVE THAT YOU DON’T WANT TO GO TO ALL THAT WORK... I DON’T KNOW HOW MANY PEOPLE HARVEST THEIR SEEDS. I THINK WE JUST GO AND BUY THEM IN PACKETS NOW.” THE KONKINS WERE A RUSSIAN-SPEAKING FAMILY FROM THE TOWN OF SHOULDICE, ALBERTA, NEAR CALGARY. THEY AND MANY OTHER RUSSIAN FAMILIES COMPOSED THAT TOWN’S DOUKHOBOR COLONY. DOUKHOBOURS CAME TO CANADA IN FINAL YEARS OF THE 19TH CENTURY TO ESCAPE RELIGIOUS PERSECUTION IN RUSSIA. ELIZABETH KONKIN (NEE WISHLOW) WAS BORN IN CANORA, SK ON JANUARY 22, 1907 TO HER PARENTS, PETER AND ELIZABETH WISHLOW. AT THE AGE OF 6 SHE MOVED WITH HER FAMILY TO A DOUKHOBOR SETTLEMENT AT BRILLIANT, BC, AND THEY LATER MOVED TO THE DOUKHOBOR SETTLEMENT AT SHOULDICE. IT WAS HERE THAT SHE MET AND MARRIED WILLIAM KONKIN. THEIR DAUGHTER, ELSIE MORRIS (NÉE KONKIN), WAS BORN IN SHOULDICE IN 1928. INITIALLY, WILLIAM TRIED TO SUPPORT HIS FAMILY BY GROWING AND PEDDLING VEGETABLES. WHEN THE FAMILY RECOGNIZED THAT GARDENING WOULD NOT PROVIDE THEM WITH THE INCOME THEY NEEDED, WILLIAM VENTURED OUT TO FARM A QUARTER SECTION OF IRRIGATED LAND 120 KM (75 MILES) AWAY IN VAUXHALL. IN 1941, AFTER THREE YEARS OF FARMING REMOTELY, HE AND ELIZABETH DECIDED TO LEAVE THE ALBERTA COLONY AND RELOCATE TO VAUXHALL. MORRIS WAS 12 YEARS OLD AT THE TIME. MORRIS STATED: “… [T]HEY LEFT THE COLONY BECAUSE THERE WERE THINGS GOING ON THAT THEY DID NOT LIKE SO THEY WANTED TO FARM ON THEIR OWN. SO NOW NOBODY HAD MONEY, SO VAUXHALL HAD LAND, YOU KNOW, THAT THEY WANTED TO HAVE THE PEOPLE AND THEY DIDN’T HAVE TO PUT ANY DOWN DEPOSIT THEY JUST WERE GIVEN THE LAND AND THEY HAD TO SIGN A PAPER SAYING THEY WOULD GIVE THEM ONE FOURTH OF THE CROP EVERY YEAR. THAT WAS HOW MY DAD GOT PAID BUT WHAT MY DAD DIDN’T KNOW WAS THAT THE MONEY THAT WENT IN THERE WAS ACTUALLY PAYING OFF THE FARM SO HE WENT TO SEE MR., WHAT WAS HIS LAST NAME, HE WAS THE PERSON IN CHARGE. ANYWAY HE SAID TO HIM “HOW LONG WILL IT BE BEFORE I CAN PAY OFF THIS FARM” AND HE SAYS “YOU’VE BEEN PAYING IT RIGHT ALONG YOU OWE ABOUT TWO HUNDRED AND A FEW DOLLARS”. WELL THAT WAS A REAL SURPRISE FOR THEM SO THEY GAVE THEM THE TWO HUNDRED AND WHATEVER IT WAS THAT HE OWED AND HE BECAME THE OWNER OF THE FARM." MORRIS WENT ON, ”THE DOUKHOBORS ARE AGRARIAN, THEY LIKE TO GROW THINGS THAT’S THEIR CULTURE OF OCCUPATION AND SO THE ONES WHO LIKED FRUIT MOVED TO B.C. LIKE MY UNCLE DID AND MY DAD LIKED FARMING SO HE MOVED TO VAUXHALL AND THERE WERE LET’S SEE, I THINK THERE WERE FOUR OTHER FAMILIES THAT MOVED TO VAUXHALL AND THREE OF THE MEN GOT TOGETHER AND DECIDED THEY WERE GOING TO GET THEIR TOOLS TOGETHER LIKE A TRACTOR AND MACHINERY THEY NEEDED AND THEN THEY WOULD TAKE TURNS…” THE KONKINS RETIRED TO LETHBRIDGE FROM VAUXHALL IN 1968. MORRIS, BY THEN A SCHOOL TEACHER, RELOCATED TO LETHBRIDGE WITH HER OWN FAMILY. WILLIAM KONKIN PASSED AWAY IN LETHBRIDGE ON MARCH 3, 1977 AT THE AGE OF 72 AND 23 YEARS LATER, ON APRIL 8, 2000, ELIZABETH KONKIN PASSED AWAY IN LETHBRIDGE. A NUMBER OF ARTIFACTS PREVIOUSLY BELONGING TO THE FAMILY EXIST IN THE GALT COLLECTION. THE KONKINS RETIRED TO LETHBRIDGE FROM VAUXHALL IN 1968. MORRIS, BY THEN A SCHOOL TEACHER, RELOCATED TO LETHBRIDGE WITH HER OWN FAMILY. WILLIAM KONKIN PASSED AWAY IN LETHBRIDGE ON MARCH 3, 1977 AT THE AGE OF 72 AND 23 YEARS LATER, ON APRIL 8, 2000, ELIZABETH KONKIN PASSED AWAY IN LETHBRIDGE. A NUMBER OF ARTIFACTS PREVIOUSLY BELONGING TO THE FAMILY EXIST IN THE GALT COLLECTION. PLEASE SEE THE PERMANENT FILE FOR MORE INFORMATION INCLUDING FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTION, OBITUARIES, PHOTOGRAPHS, AND FAMILY HISTORIES.
Catalogue Number
P20160003001
Acquisition Date
2016-02
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail
Other Name
"1000 PENGO" HUNGARIAN CURRENCY
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
PAPER, INK
Catalogue Number
P20160006001
  2 images  
Material Type
Artifact
Other Name
"1000 PENGO" HUNGARIAN CURRENCY
Date
1945
Materials
PAPER, INK
No. Pieces
1
Length
18.3
Width
8.9
Description
PINK PAPER BANK NOTE WITH BLUE INK DESIGN. FACE: TYPE READS “EZER PENGO” IN LARGE LETTERS WITH FIVE LINES OF TEXT UNDERNEATH IT. THE FIRST LINE BEGINS WITH “BUDAPEST, 1945…”, THE 3RD LINE IS MADE UP OF THREE SIGNATURES, AND THE LAST LINE ENDS IN “A TÖRÉNY BUNTETI”. THE TOP CENTER OF THE BILL READS: “1000” WITH A CREST BELOW. AN IMAGE OF A WOMAN WITH FLOWERS IN HAIR FILLS THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE BILL. AROUND THE TEXT AND IMAGES IS A FLORAL DESIGN. WHITE STAMP WITH PINK DESIGN READING “MAGYAR … BANK” STUCK TO THE RIGHT OF WOMAN’S FACE. BACK: FLORAL DESIGN BORDERING THE BORDER. “1000” IN TOP CENTER AND “EZER PENGO” IN CENTER OF DESIGN” STAMPED “F236” AND “040898” ON EITHER SIDE OF THE BILL. CONDITION: THE COLOUR IS SEVERELY FADED, ESPECIALLY ON THE OUTSIDE EDGES. THERE IS A BROWN STAIN VISIBLE ON THE RIGHT SIDE (WITH WOMAN’S IMAGE) THROUGH TO THE BACK SIDE. STAINING AND SLIGHT WEAR AROUND THE EDGES.
Subjects
EXCHANGE MEDIUM
Historical Association
CURRENCY/MAUNDY
History
THIS ARTIFACT WAS DONATED TO THE GALT MUSEUM & ARCHIVES AFTER BEING FEATURED IN THE GALT’S EXHIBITION CURATED BY WENDY AITKENS TITLED, "CHANGING PLACES: IMMIGRATION & DIVERSITY," WHICH RAN FROM 31 OCTOBER 2015 TO 17 JANUARY 2016. COPIED BELOW IS THE TEXT PANEL ASSOCIATED WITH THE ARTIFACT’S DONOR, ANTHONY (TONY) HORVATH FOR THE “CHANGING PLACES” EXHIBIT: “HORVATH WAS BORN IN AN AREA OF EASTERN EUROPE WHERE COUNTRIES’ BORDERS AND NAMES CHANGED MANY TIME DURING HIS LIFE. TONY FOUND HIMSELF WITHOUT A COUNTRY AFTER THE SECOND WORLD WAR. OF HUNGARIAN ANCESTRY, HE WAS DENIED WORK AND HE REFUSED TO BECOME A SERBIAN CITIZEN SO HE WAS ALLOWED TO LEAVE. HE TRAVELLED TO AUSTRIA AND THEN TO THE BREMERHAVEN DISPLACED PERSONS CAMP IN GERMANY. HE SAILED TO CANADA IN DECEMBER 1951 – FIGHTING SEA SICKNESS ALL THE WAY. HE TOOK THE TRAIN FROM HALIFAX TO MONTREAL AND FROM THERE HE WENT TO A FARM NEAR VERMILION, NORTH OF EDMONTON, WHERE HE CLEANED THE BARN AND FED PIGS. LEARNING THAT LETHBRIDGE HAD A LARGE HUNGARIAN COMMUNITY HE HITCH-HIKED SOUTH. HE HAD A FEW CLOTHES, $15 DOLLARS AND HIS VIOLIN. HIS FIRST JOB WAS IN THE BEET FIELDS NEAR PICTURE BUTTE. LATER HE DROVE HORSES THAT PULLED COAL CARTS IN THE SHAUGHNESSY UNDERGROUND MINE. PLAYING THE VIOLIN BROUGHT HIM MUCH JOY, MANY FRIENDS, AND HIS WIFE ANGELIKA. HE OFTEN WENT TO GALT GARDENS AFTER WORK TO PLAY HIS MUSIC AND SOON MET ANGIE, A YOUNG WOMAN RECENTLY ARRIVED FROM GERMANY. FEARING THE DANGEROUS WORK IN THE MINE, ANGIE DEMANDED THAT TONY FIND SAFER WORK ONCE THEY WERE MARRIED. INITIALLY HE WORKED FOR ELLISON MILLING COMPANY, BUT CANADIAN DRESSED MEAT PACKING HOUSE (BURNS MEATS) OFFERED $.08 MORE AN HOUR, SO HE SWITCHED EMPLOYMENT. HE WORKED THERE UNTIL HE RETIRED 27 YEARS LATER. ANGIE WORKED AT THE HOSPITAL AND THEN AS A TAILOR FOR SIMPSON SEARS DURING THAT SAME TIME PERIOD. TOGETHER THEY RAISED FOUR GIRLS.” THE INFORMATION THAT WAS PRESENTED ON THE TEXT PANEL WAS SOURCED FROM AN ORAL HISTORY INTERVIEW, WHICH WAS CONDUCTED BY AIKENS ON 8 JULY 2015. IN THAT INTERVIEW – STORED AT THE GALT ARCHIVES (20151076) – HORVATH SAID THAT HE WAS BORN IN THE BALKAN PENINSULA. HE SPOKE OF THE UNREST DURING THE SECOND WORLD WAR AND RECALLED SEEING THE BOMBING FROM ALLIES, SAYING “THE GROUND WAS SHAKEN.” HE REMEMBERED THE PUBLIC EXECUTIONS, MASS BURIALS, AND THE WOUNDED PEOPLE IN THE STREETS. IN THE INTERVIEW, HE DESCRIBED HOW THE QUALITY OF LIFE WAS NOT MUCH BETTER FOLLOWING THE WAR, DURING THE YEARS 1945 TO 1950. THERE WERE HARDSHIPS, SUCH AS LONG LINES FOR BREAD, AND THE CONFLICT HAD MADE FINDING GOOD WORK DIFFICULT FOR HORVATH – A HUNGARIAN, AND THEREFORE AN ETHNIC MINORITY IN YUGOSLAVIA. SOON AFTER HE STARTED HIS JOURNEY TO CANADA IN 1951, WHICH HE DESCRIBED TO GREATER DEPTH IN THE INTERVIEW. ON 5 JULY 2013, COLLECTIONS TECHNICIAN KEVIN MACLEAN INTERVIEWED HORVATH IN HIS HOME TO SPEAK ABOUT THE DONATION OF AN ARTIFACT (P20120044000) BY THE MEZEI ORCHESTRA, WHICH HORVATH WAS INVOLVED IN. THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION HAS BEEN EXTRACTED FROM THAT INTERVIEW: "I [WAS] BORN IN [THE 24TH OF JANUARY] 1931 AND THE SERBS OCCUPIED HUNGARY… SO I BORN ACTUALLY IN YUGOSLAVIA, AND THEN, IN 1939, WHEN THE WAR BROKE OUT – THE SECOND WORLD WAR – IN 1940, THE HUNGARIANS TOOK [IT] BACK… FROM SERBIA. AND IT WAS AGAIN HUNGARY UNTIL 1945, TILL THE WAR FINISHED. [ETHNICALLY HUNGARIAN,] I BECAME A NATIONAL MINORITY IN MY OWN COUNTRY… [A] NATIONAL MINORITY IN YUGOSLAVIA, BUT IT’S NOT YUGOSLAVIA ANYMORE. IT FALL APART AND IT’S AGAIN SERBIA.” IN THE INTERVIEW, HORVATH EXPLAINED, “I ENDED UP BACK AT HOME ABOUT 3 MONTHS BEFORE THE END OF THE [SECOND WORLD] WAR, BACK TO SERBIA TO A CITY CALLED SRBOBRAN. THE CIRCUMSTANCES WAS THAT THE LIFE STANDARD WAS POOR… BEFORE I CAME TO CANADA, I GOT A JOB IN ALEXANDERONKOVICH FACTORY, TORPEDO AND BOMBS AND ALL THAT. I WAS 18 MONTHS WORKING THERE, AND THEN I STARTED TO INVESTIGATE HOW COULD I COME OUT FROM THAT COUNTRY… I DECIDED… I [COULD] APPLY OFFICIALLY TO GIVE UP MY CITIZENSHIP – YUGOSLAVIAN CITIZENSHIP – AND [BECOME] OFFICIALLY [AN] ETHNIC MINORITY… I APPLIED TO EMIGRATE FROM SERBIA, AND I ENDED UP IN AUSTRIA AND FROM AUSTRIA TO BREMENHAVEN, A DISPLACED PERSON I [INDICATED I WAS], BUT ACTUALLY I WASN’T. I WAS A REAL IMMIGRANT BECAUSE I CAME WITH LEGAL PAPERS TO CANADA. IN 1951, I CAME TO CANADA, AND ENDED UP IN THE SUGAR BEETS, I EARNED A LIVING AS A LABOURER – CLEANING… COW STALLS, AND SO FORTH. I MET MY WIFE IN ’53. SHE IS FROM GERMANY. WE GOT MARRIED IN ’54, AND FORTUNATELY, WE HAVE 4 GROWN-UP DAUGHTERS BETWEEN US.” HORVATH ELABORATED ON HIS IMMIGRATION EXPERIENCE, “I HAD AUSTRALIAN OPTION. BUT THE CANADIAN CONSUL SENT MOVIES, PICTURES, ADVERTISEMENTS... [AND THEN] IN 1 MONTH, I WAS IN CANADA. FROM AUSTRIA TO BREMERHAVEN, IN GERMANY, IN 2-3 WEEKS, I WAS READY TO COME TO CANADA. [I] ENDED UP IN MONTREAL. THERE [WERE] STILL CAMPS FOR PRISONER OF WARS FROM THE SECOND WORLD WAR, LIKE GERMANS AND ALL THE OTHER, AND I WAS IN THERE FOR ABOUT 6 MONTHS, IN MONTREAL, FROM THERE, SOME FARMERS WERE LOOKING FOR LABOURERS. THEY ASKED ME DID I WANT TO COME TO ALBERTA. I DIDN’T KNOW ALBERTA. BIG DEAL, ALBERTA. I WASN’T SURE AT ALL, BUT WHEN I WAS TRAVELLING DAY AND NIGHT FROM THERE, TO GET TO EDMONTON FIRST, A FARMER WAS WAITING FOR ME, FROM VERMILION. I STILL REMEMBER THE NAME, BOB HOLDEN. HE WAS FROM ENGLAND, I THINK, PREVIOUSLY. HE HAD A FARM THERE AND HE NEEDED A LABOURER. I WAS A LABOURER, BUT WHEN THEY FOUND OUT I CAN PLAY THE MUSIC, FIRST I HAD A BEET SHACK. THEN THEY TOOK ME INTO HIS HOUSE. HE DIDN’T PAY MUCH. THE NEIGHBOUR [IN VERMILION] OVER THERE WAS A HUNGARIAN OLD FARMER. HE SAID TO ME, ‘SON, DON’T STAY HERE, GO TO LETHBRIDGE. THERE IS LOTS OF HUNGARIANS [THERE], AND YOU CAN GO TO THE SUGAR BEETS [FIELDS], AND YOU CAN MEET FRIENDS OVER THERE,’ AND SO ON. I HAD $15.00 IN MY POCKET BECAUSE THE FARMER DEDUCTED MY JEANS, WHAT HE BOUGHT, I CALLED THEM ‘COWBOY JEANS.' AND I ONLY HAD $15.00 LEFT, SO I HITCHHIKED FROM VERMILION ALL THE WAY ‘TIL I GET TO LETHBRIDGE I STILL HAVE SOME MONEY LEFT, AND I ENDED UP IN PICTURE BUTTE, JOE SCHAEFFER’S PLACE, WORKING IN THE SUGAR BEETS.” “IT WAS DIFFICULT AT THE BEGINNING… THE LANGUAGE…,” HORVATH EXPLAINED, “… VERY HARD BECAUSE HUNGARIAN DOESN’T HAVE A SIMILAR WORD WITH ENGLISH; GERMAN IS ABOUT 30%, SO I THANK MY WIFE; SHE LEARNED QUICKER THAN I DID, BUT, NOW, I AM O.K. I CAN GET BY.” WHEN HE FIRST CAME TO CANADA, HORVATH SAID, “I DIDN’T WANT TO BELIEVE [IT]. I THOUGHT IT’S A HEAVEN BECAUSE EVERYONE WAS FRIENDLY, NICE, YOU KNOW. MIND YOU, I WASN’T ASSOCIATING VERY MUCH WITH THE YOUNG MEN, 18-19 YEARS OLD, YOU KNOW.” HE TOLD AITKENS IN 2015 THAT HE DID NOT BRING MUCH ELSE. HE STATES, “[I] ESPECIALLY [DIDN’T BRING] MONEY. NO MONEY… EXCEPT WHAT IS WORTH NOTHING. INFLATION MONEY BY THE HUNDRED THOUSAND, MILLION, TEN MILLION… WHATEVER I HAD I GAVE TO THE OTHER MUSEUM THAT WAS IN THE GALT GARDEN (GURNEY MUSEUM)… INFLATED. THAT’S WHAT WE CALLED IT. THAT WAS INFLATION MONEY. IT WAS SO MANY, PEOPLE DIDN’T KNOW THE NUMBER. THEY JUST SAID, ‘5 YELLOW, 2 GREEN AND…’ YOU KNOW? JUST BY THE COLOUR. THE NUMBER WAS IN MILLIONS AND BILLIONS AND HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS. PEOPLE DIDN’T KNOW. NO VALUE. YOU COULD USE IT FOR BATHROOM.” INTERNET RESEARCH STATES THAT THE PENGO WAS THE CURRENCY OF HUNGARY FROM 1927 TO 1946 AND EXPERIENCED THE MOST SERIOUS HYPERINFLATION RECORDED (SOURCE ACCESSED 10 MAY 2018). HORVATH REMEMBERED THE BELONGINGS HE BROUGHT WITH HIM IN HIS IMMIGRATION TO CANADA. IN BOTH THE 2015 INTERVIEW WITH AITKENS AND THE 2013 INTERVIEW WITH MACLEAN, HE SPEAKS OF HIS VIOLIN. IN 2013, HE TOLD MACLEAN, “IT WAS A FAMILY VIOLIN. ACTUALLY, MY UNCLE, THE VERY FIRST ONE, I GOT IT FROM HIM, AND, OF COURSE IT WAS LAYING IN THE HOUSE TILL I WAS 8 YEARS OLD, AND THEY DIDN’T WANT ME TO FOOL AROUND WITH IT, TO BREAK IT OR WHATEVER, SO I GOT A SMALLER SIZE OF VIOLIN, HALF A SIZE, AND LATER, I GOT THAT BACK AND I BROUGHT IT WITH ME TO CANADA. THE VIOLIN GAVE ME OPPORTUNITIES NEVER TO BE ALONE. I HAD FRIENDS ON ACCOUNT OF THE VIOLIN; I HAD PARTIES ON ACCOUNT OF THE VIOLIN; I HAD FOOD; I HAD DRINK; AND I HAD GOOD TIME. IT WAS MY BEST PARTNER AND BEST FRIEND. THAT’S HOW I MET MY WIFE, WITH MY VIOLIN CASE UNDER MY ARM, AT LETHBRIDGE GALT GARDEN.” HE REMEMBERED BEING IMMEDIATELY EMBRACED BY THE HUNGARIAN COMMUNITY IN THE AREA: “IN PICTURE BUTTE, JOE SCHAEFFER’S NEIGHBOUR, MR. GABOR GENCSI, HEARD ME PLAYING, [AND] HE TOOK ME OVER. HE SAYS, ‘YOU DON’T WORK THAT HARD IN THE SUGAR BEETS. COME TO ME.’ HE HAD A WIFE BUT THEY HAD NO CHILDREN, AND HE SAYS THAT THEY ARE GOING TO ADOPT ME TO STAY. I SAYS, ‘NO, I CANNOT BE ADOPTED. I HAD MOTHER AND FATHER.’ BUT, WHEN HE HEARD ME PLAYING, I WENT OVER TO HIS PLACE – THE NEIGHBOUR[ING] FARM – HE GAVE ME $100.00 IN ONE BILL. I DIDN’T KNOW HOW MUCH IT WAS WORTH, AND HE SAID YOU ARE GOING TO GET THAT EVERY MONTH, AS LONG AS YOU ARE HERE, BUT YOU HAVE TO PLAY IN THE EVENING TO ME AND TO MY WIFE. THEN I KEPT ON PLAYING EVERY NIGHT. IT WAS A GOOD CHANCE FOR PRACTICE, YOU KNOW. THEY GAVE ME THE FIRST BEDROOM, AND THEY WENT TO THE SMALLER BEDROOM JUST TO TREAT ME WELL, FREE BOARD, FREE ROOM, JUST TO PLAY THE VIOLIN IN THE EVENING. SOMETIMES I WENT OUT AND DROVE THE HORSES WHEN HE WAS THROWING THE BALES ON THE WAGON, SO I HAD A VERY GOOD TREAT, AND A VERY GOOD CHANCE TO PLAY THE VIOLIN.” HORVATH ALSO PLAYED A ROLE IN GETTING HIS PARENTS TO IMMIGRATE TO CANADA, WHERE THEY SET UP A NEW LIFE. HORVATH SAID, “IN 1948, WHEN MY DAD CAME BACK FROM, BECAUSE HE WAS IN THE ARMY, ON THE GERMAN SIDE. HE WAS A PRISONER OF WAR IN RUSSIA, AND HE CAME BACK IN 1948 FROM RUSSIAN PRISONER OF WAR CAMP. I FELT VERY SORRY FOR MY DAD BECAUSE EVERY TIME YOU WANTED TO ASK SOMETHING ABOUT THE WAR IN RUSSIA, HE NEVER WANTED TO TALK ABOUT IT, NEVER, TO NOBODY. I DECIDED HERE, WHEN I WAS IN CANADA, THE BEST THING THEY WOULD COME OUT HERE, NO MATTER HOW OLD THEY ARE. THEY WERE VERY HAPPY… AND IN 1960 WHEN I WAS ALREADY ESTABLISHED HERE, AND MARRIED WITH CHILDREN, [I] BROUGHT MY FAMILY OUT, MY FATHER, MOTHER AND SISTER, WHO IS LIVING NOW IN STIRLING, ALBERTA. AND, THEY [WERE] ALREADY WAS IN THEIR 60’S WHEN I BROUGHT THEM OUT, BUT THEY MANAGED TO ESTABLISH THEMSELVES A GOOD LIFE HERE TOO ON 80 ACRES…” OF HIS IMMIGRATION STORY, HE TOLD AITKENS, “[IT WAS EXCITING TO] ME – TRAVELLING HALF OF EUROPE WITH NO MONEY IN THE POCKET, EXCEPT HAVING THE FIDDLE IN YOUR HAND…” PLEASE SEE PERMANENT FILE FOR MORE INFORMATION, INCLUDING THE TEXT PANEL COPY. FOR INFORMATION REGARDING HORVATH’S INTERVIEW WITH MACLEAN IN 2013, INCLUDING FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTION, PLEASE SEE PERMANENT FILE P20120044000.
Catalogue Number
P20160006001
Acquisition Date
2016-02
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail
Other Name
10,000 PENGO, HUNGARIAN CURRENCY
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
PAPER, INK
Catalogue Number
P20160006002
  2 images  
Material Type
Artifact
Other Name
10,000 PENGO, HUNGARIAN CURRENCY
Date
1945
Materials
PAPER, INK
No. Pieces
1
Length
16.9
Width
8.2
Description
OFF-GREEN PAPER BANK NOTE WITH MAROON INK DESIGN. CENTER LEFT OF BILL IS A PINK COLOUR. FACE: TEXT ON LEFT SIDE OF NOTE READS “10000” IN DESIGN ABOVE LARGER OVAL CONTAINING TEXT: “TIZEZER PENGO” IN LARGE LETTERS WITH TWO LINES OF TEXT BENEATH “BUDAPEST 1945…” AND ENDING IN “NEMZETI BANK” WITH THREE SIGNATURES AFTER. BANNER READING “A BANKJEGYHAMISITAST… BUNTETI” BELOW. IMAGE OF WOMAN WEARING TIARA ENCLOSED IN A CIRCLE ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE BANK NOTE. CREST BELOW IMAGE. FLORAL DESIGN OVERALL. BACK: FLORAL BORDER AROUND BACK SIDE WITH “10000” ENCLOSED IN A TULIP-SHAPE IN ALL FOUR CORNERS. CENTER READS “TIZEZER 1000 TIZEZER” WITHIN A DECORATIVE OVAL THAT IS SURROUND BY SMALL PRINT TEXT. “L879” AND “027538” STAMPED IN RED ON EITHER SIDE OF NOTE. CONDITION: SEVERELY DISCOLOURED. DARK STAIN ACROSS ENTIRE UPPER EDGE. SLIGHT WEAR TO EDGES.
Subjects
EXCHANGE MEDIUM
Historical Association
CURRENCY/MAUNDY
History
THIS ARTIFACT WAS DONATED TO THE GALT MUSEUM & ARCHIVES AFTER BEING FEATURED IN THE GALT’S EXHIBITION CURATED BY WENDY AITKENS TITLED, "CHANGING PLACES: IMMIGRATION & DIVERSITY," WHICH RAN FROM 31 OCTOBER 2015 TO 17 JANUARY 2016. COPIED BELOW IS THE TEXT PANEL ASSOCIATED WITH THE ARTIFACT’S DONOR, ANTHONY (TONY) HORVATH FOR THE “CHANGING PLACES” EXHIBIT: “HORVATH WAS BORN IN AN AREA OF EASTERN EUROPE WHERE COUNTRIES’ BORDERS AND NAMES CHANGED MANY TIME DURING HIS LIFE. TONY FOUND HIMSELF WITHOUT A COUNTRY AFTER THE SECOND WORLD WAR. OF HUNGARIAN ANCESTRY, HE WAS DENIED WORK AND HE REFUSED TO BECOME A SERBIAN CITIZEN SO HE WAS ALLOWED TO LEAVE. HE TRAVELLED TO AUSTRIA AND THEN TO THE BREMERHAVEN DISPLACED PERSONS CAMP IN GERMANY. HE SAILED TO CANADA IN DECEMBER 1951 – FIGHTING SEA SICKNESS ALL THE WAY. HE TOOK THE TRAIN FROM HALIFAX TO MONTREAL AND FROM THERE HE WENT TO A FARM NEAR VERMILION, NORTH OF EDMONTON, WHERE HE CLEANED THE BARN AND FED PIGS. LEARNING THAT LETHBRIDGE HAD A LARGE HUNGARIAN COMMUNITY HE HITCH-HIKED SOUTH. HE HAD A FEW CLOTHES, $15 DOLLARS AND HIS VIOLIN. HIS FIRST JOB WAS IN THE BEET FIELDS NEAR PICTURE BUTTE. LATER HE DROVE HORSES THAT PULLED COAL CARTS IN THE SHAUGHNESSY UNDERGROUND MINE. PLAYING THE VIOLIN BROUGHT HIM MUCH JOY, MANY FRIENDS, AND HIS WIFE ANGELIKA. HE OFTEN WENT TO GALT GARDENS AFTER WORK TO PLAY HIS MUSIC AND SOON MET ANGIE, A YOUNG WOMAN RECENTLY ARRIVED FROM GERMANY. FEARING THE DANGEROUS WORK IN THE MINE, ANGIE DEMANDED THAT TONY FIND SAFER WORK ONCE THEY WERE MARRIED. INITIALLY HE WORKED FOR ELLISON MILLING COMPANY, BUT CANADIAN DRESSED MEAT PACKING HOUSE (BURNS MEATS) OFFERED $.08 MORE AN HOUR, SO HE SWITCHED EMPLOYMENT. HE WORKED THERE UNTIL HE RETIRED 27 YEARS LATER. ANGIE WORKED AT THE HOSPITAL AND THEN AS A TAILOR FOR SIMPSON SEARS DURING THAT SAME TIME PERIOD. TOGETHER THEY RAISED FOUR GIRLS.” THE INFORMATION THAT WAS PRESENTED ON THE TEXT PANEL WAS SOURCED FROM AN ORAL HISTORY INTERVIEW, WHICH WAS CONDUCTED BY AIKENS ON 8 JULY 2015. IN THAT INTERVIEW – STORED AT THE GALT ARCHIVES (20151076) – HORVATH SAID THAT HE WAS BORN IN THE BALKAN PENINSULA. HE SPOKE OF THE UNREST DURING THE SECOND WORLD WAR AND RECALLED SEEING THE BOMBING FROM ALLIES, SAYING “THE GROUND WAS SHAKEN.” HE REMEMBERED THE PUBLIC EXECUTIONS, MASS BURIALS, AND THE WOUNDED PEOPLE IN THE STREETS. IN THE INTERVIEW, HE DESCRIBED HOW THE QUALITY OF LIFE WAS NOT MUCH BETTER FOLLOWING THE WAR, DURING THE YEARS 1945 TO 1950. THERE WERE HARDSHIPS, SUCH AS LONG LINES FOR BREAD, AND THE CONFLICT HAD MADE FINDING GOOD WORK DIFFICULT FOR HORVATH – A HUNGARIAN, AND THEREFORE AN ETHNIC MINORITY IN YUGOSLAVIA. SOON AFTER HE STARTED HIS JOURNEY TO CANADA IN 1951, WHICH HE DESCRIBED TO GREATER DEPTH IN THE INTERVIEW. ON 5 JULY 2013, COLLECTIONS TECHNICIAN KEVIN MACLEAN INTERVIEWED HORVATH IN HIS HOME TO SPEAK ABOUT THE DONATION OF AN ARTIFACT (P20120044000) BY THE MEZEI ORCHESTRA, WHICH HORVATH WAS INVOLVED IN. THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION HAS BEEN EXTRACTED FROM THAT INTERVIEW: "I [WAS] BORN IN [THE 24TH OF JANUARY] 1931 AND THE SERBS OCCUPIED HUNGARY… SO I BORN ACTUALLY IN YUGOSLAVIA, AND THEN, IN 1939, WHEN THE WAR BROKE OUT – THE SECOND WORLD WAR – IN 1940, THE HUNGARIANS TOOK [IT] BACK… FROM SERBIA. AND IT WAS AGAIN HUNGARY UNTIL 1945, TILL THE WAR FINISHED. [ETHNICALLY HUNGARIAN,] I BECAME A NATIONAL MINORITY IN MY OWN COUNTRY… [A] NATIONAL MINORITY IN YUGOSLAVIA, BUT IT’S NOT YUGOSLAVIA ANYMORE. IT FALL APART AND IT’S AGAIN SERBIA.” IN THE INTERVIEW, HORVATH EXPLAINED, “I ENDED UP BACK AT HOME ABOUT 3 MONTHS BEFORE THE END OF THE [SECOND WORLD] WAR, BACK TO SERBIA TO A CITY CALLED SRBOBRAN. THE CIRCUMSTANCES WAS THAT THE LIFE STANDARD WAS POOR… BEFORE I CAME TO CANADA, I GOT A JOB IN ALEXANDERONKOVICH FACTORY, TORPEDO AND BOMBS AND ALL THAT. I WAS 18 MONTHS WORKING THERE, AND THEN I STARTED TO INVESTIGATE HOW COULD I COME OUT FROM THAT COUNTRY… I DECIDED… I [COULD] APPLY OFFICIALLY TO GIVE UP MY CITIZENSHIP – YUGOSLAVIAN CITIZENSHIP – AND [BECOME] OFFICIALLY [AN] ETHNIC MINORITY… I APPLIED TO EMIGRATE FROM SERBIA, AND I ENDED UP IN AUSTRIA AND FROM AUSTRIA TO BREMENHAVEN, A DISPLACED PERSON I [INDICATED I WAS], BUT ACTUALLY I WASN’T. I WAS A REAL IMMIGRANT BECAUSE I CAME WITH LEGAL PAPERS TO CANADA. IN 1951, I CAME TO CANADA, AND ENDED UP IN THE SUGAR BEETS, I EARNED A LIVING AS A LABOURER – CLEANING… COW STALLS, AND SO FORTH. I MET MY WIFE IN ’53. SHE IS FROM GERMANY. WE GOT MARRIED IN ’54, AND FORTUNATELY, WE HAVE 4 GROWN-UP DAUGHTERS BETWEEN US.” HORVATH ELABORATED ON HIS IMMIGRATION EXPERIENCE, “I HAD AUSTRALIAN OPTION. BUT THE CANADIAN CONSUL SENT MOVIES, PICTURES, ADVERTISEMENTS... [AND THEN] IN 1 MONTH, I WAS IN CANADA. FROM AUSTRIA TO BREMERHAVEN, IN GERMANY, IN 2-3 WEEKS, I WAS READY TO COME TO CANADA. [I] ENDED UP IN MONTREAL. THERE [WERE] STILL CAMPS FOR PRISONER OF WARS FROM THE SECOND WORLD WAR, LIKE GERMANS AND ALL THE OTHER, AND I WAS IN THERE FOR ABOUT 6 MONTHS, IN MONTREAL, FROM THERE, SOME FARMERS WERE LOOKING FOR LABOURERS. THEY ASKED ME DID I WANT TO COME TO ALBERTA. I DIDN’T KNOW ALBERTA. BIG DEAL, ALBERTA. I WASN’T SURE AT ALL, BUT WHEN I WAS TRAVELLING DAY AND NIGHT FROM THERE, TO GET TO EDMONTON FIRST, A FARMER WAS WAITING FOR ME, FROM VERMILION. I STILL REMEMBER THE NAME, BOB HOLDEN. HE WAS FROM ENGLAND, I THINK, PREVIOUSLY. HE HAD A FARM THERE AND HE NEEDED A LABOURER. I WAS A LABOURER, BUT WHEN THEY FOUND OUT I CAN PLAY THE MUSIC, FIRST I HAD A BEET SHACK. THEN THEY TOOK ME INTO HIS HOUSE. HE DIDN’T PAY MUCH. THE NEIGHBOUR [IN VERMILION] OVER THERE WAS A HUNGARIAN OLD FARMER. HE SAID TO ME, ‘SON, DON’T STAY HERE, GO TO LETHBRIDGE. THERE IS LOTS OF HUNGARIANS [THERE], AND YOU CAN GO TO THE SUGAR BEETS [FIELDS], AND YOU CAN MEET FRIENDS OVER THERE,’ AND SO ON. I HAD $15.00 IN MY POCKET BECAUSE THE FARMER DEDUCTED MY JEANS, WHAT HE BOUGHT, I CALLED THEM ‘COWBOY JEANS.' AND I ONLY HAD $15.00 LEFT, SO I HITCHHIKED FROM VERMILION ALL THE WAY ‘TIL I GET TO LETHBRIDGE I STILL HAVE SOME MONEY LEFT, AND I ENDED UP IN PICTURE BUTTE, JOE SCHAEFFER’S PLACE, WORKING IN THE SUGAR BEETS.” “IT WAS DIFFICULT AT THE BEGINNING… THE LANGUAGE…,” HORVATH EXPLAINED, “… VERY HARD BECAUSE HUNGARIAN DOESN’T HAVE A SIMILAR WORD WITH ENGLISH; GERMAN IS ABOUT 30%, SO I THANK MY WIFE; SHE LEARNED QUICKER THAN I DID, BUT, NOW, I AM O.K. I CAN GET BY.” WHEN HE FIRST CAME TO CANADA, HORVATH SAID, “I DIDN’T WANT TO BELIEVE [IT]. I THOUGHT IT’S A HEAVEN BECAUSE EVERYONE WAS FRIENDLY, NICE, YOU KNOW. MIND YOU, I WASN’T ASSOCIATING VERY MUCH WITH THE YOUNG MEN, 18-19 YEARS OLD, YOU KNOW.” HE TOLD AITKENS IN 2015 THAT HE DID NOT BRING MUCH ELSE. HE STATES, “[I] ESPECIALLY [DIDN’T BRING] MONEY. NO MONEY… EXCEPT WHAT IS WORTH NOTHING. INFLATION MONEY BY THE HUNDRED THOUSAND, MILLION, TEN MILLION… WHATEVER I HAD I GAVE TO THE OTHER MUSEUM THAT WAS IN THE GALT GARDEN (GURNEY MUSEUM)… INFLATED. THAT’S WHAT WE CALLED IT. THAT WAS INFLATION MONEY. IT WAS SO MANY, PEOPLE DIDN’T KNOW THE NUMBER. THEY JUST SAID, ‘5 YELLOW, 2 GREEN AND…’ YOU KNOW? JUST BY THE COLOUR. THE NUMBER WAS IN MILLIONS AND BILLIONS AND HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS. PEOPLE DIDN’T KNOW. NO VALUE. YOU COULD USE IT FOR BATHROOM.” INTERNET RESEARCH STATES THAT THE PENGO WAS THE CURRENCY OF HUNGARY FROM 1927 TO 1946 AND EXPERIENCED THE MOST SERIOUS HYPERINFLATION RECORDED (SOURCE ACCESSED 10 MAY 2018). HORVATH REMEMBERED THE BELONGINGS HE BROUGHT WITH HIM IN HIS IMMIGRATION TO CANADA. IN BOTH THE 2015 INTERVIEW WITH AITKENS AND THE 2013 INTERVIEW WITH MACLEAN, HE SPEAKS OF HIS VIOLIN. IN 2013, HE TOLD MACLEAN, “IT WAS A FAMILY VIOLIN. ACTUALLY, MY UNCLE, THE VERY FIRST ONE, I GOT IT FROM HIM, AND, OF COURSE IT WAS LAYING IN THE HOUSE TILL I WAS 8 YEARS OLD, AND THEY DIDN’T WANT ME TO FOOL AROUND WITH IT, TO BREAK IT OR WHATEVER, SO I GOT A SMALLER SIZE OF VIOLIN, HALF A SIZE, AND LATER, I GOT THAT BACK AND I BROUGHT IT WITH ME TO CANADA. THE VIOLIN GAVE ME OPPORTUNITIES NEVER TO BE ALONE. I HAD FRIENDS ON ACCOUNT OF THE VIOLIN; I HAD PARTIES ON ACCOUNT OF THE VIOLIN; I HAD FOOD; I HAD DRINK; AND I HAD GOOD TIME. IT WAS MY BEST PARTNER AND BEST FRIEND. THAT’S HOW I MET MY WIFE, WITH MY VIOLIN CASE UNDER MY ARM, AT LETHBRIDGE GALT GARDEN.” HE REMEMBERED BEING IMMEDIATELY EMBRACED BY THE HUNGARIAN COMMUNITY IN THE AREA: “IN PICTURE BUTTE, JOE SCHAEFFER’S NEIGHBOUR, MR. GABOR GENCSI, HEARD ME PLAYING, [AND] HE TOOK ME OVER. HE SAYS, ‘YOU DON’T WORK THAT HARD IN THE SUGAR BEETS. COME TO ME.’ HE HAD A WIFE BUT THEY HAD NO CHILDREN, AND HE SAYS THAT THEY ARE GOING TO ADOPT ME TO STAY. I SAYS, ‘NO, I CANNOT BE ADOPTED. I HAD MOTHER AND FATHER.’ BUT, WHEN HE HEARD ME PLAYING, I WENT OVER TO HIS PLACE – THE NEIGHBOUR[ING] FARM – HE GAVE ME $100.00 IN ONE BILL. I DIDN’T KNOW HOW MUCH IT WAS WORTH, AND HE SAID YOU ARE GOING TO GET THAT EVERY MONTH, AS LONG AS YOU ARE HERE, BUT YOU HAVE TO PLAY IN THE EVENING TO ME AND TO MY WIFE. THEN I KEPT ON PLAYING EVERY NIGHT. IT WAS A GOOD CHANCE FOR PRACTICE, YOU KNOW. THEY GAVE ME THE FIRST BEDROOM, AND THEY WENT TO THE SMALLER BEDROOM JUST TO TREAT ME WELL, FREE BOARD, FREE ROOM, JUST TO PLAY THE VIOLIN IN THE EVENING. SOMETIMES I WENT OUT AND DROVE THE HORSES WHEN HE WAS THROWING THE BALES ON THE WAGON, SO I HAD A VERY GOOD TREAT, AND A VERY GOOD CHANCE TO PLAY THE VIOLIN.” HORVATH ALSO PLAYED A ROLE IN GETTING HIS PARENTS TO IMMIGRATE TO CANADA, WHERE THEY SET UP A NEW LIFE. HORVATH SAID, “IN 1948, WHEN MY DAD CAME BACK FROM, BECAUSE HE WAS IN THE ARMY, ON THE GERMAN SIDE. HE WAS A PRISONER OF WAR IN RUSSIA, AND HE CAME BACK IN 1948 FROM RUSSIAN PRISONER OF WAR CAMP. I FELT VERY SORRY FOR MY DAD BECAUSE EVERY TIME YOU WANTED TO ASK SOMETHING ABOUT THE WAR IN RUSSIA, HE NEVER WANTED TO TALK ABOUT IT, NEVER, TO NOBODY. I DECIDED HERE, WHEN I WAS IN CANADA, THE BEST THING THEY WOULD COME OUT HERE, NO MATTER HOW OLD THEY ARE. THEY WERE VERY HAPPY… AND IN 1960 WHEN I WAS ALREADY ESTABLISHED HERE, AND MARRIED WITH CHILDREN, [I] BROUGHT MY FAMILY OUT, MY FATHER, MOTHER AND SISTER, WHO IS LIVING NOW IN STIRLING, ALBERTA. AND, THEY [WERE] ALREADY WAS IN THEIR 60’S WHEN I BROUGHT THEM OUT, BUT THEY MANAGED TO ESTABLISH THEMSELVES A GOOD LIFE HERE TOO ON 80 ACRES…” OF HIS IMMIGRATION STORY, HE TOLD AITKENS, “[IT WAS EXCITING TO] ME – TRAVELLING HALF OF EUROPE WITH NO MONEY IN THE POCKET, EXCEPT HAVING THE FIDDLE IN YOUR HAND…” PLEASE SEE PERMANENT FILE FOR MORE INFORMATION, INCLUDING THE TEXT PANEL COPY. FOR INFORMATION REGARDING HORVATH’S INTERVIEW WITH MACLEAN IN 2013, INCLUDING FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTION, PLEASE SEE PERMANENT FILE P20120044000.
Catalogue Number
P20160006002
Acquisition Date
2016-02
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail
Other Name
100,000 PENGO, HUNGARIAN CURRENCY
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
PAPER, INK
Catalogue Number
P20160006003
  2 images  
Material Type
Artifact
Other Name
100,000 PENGO, HUNGARIAN CURRENCY
Date
1945
Materials
PAPER, INK
No. Pieces
1
Length
17.9
Width
8.2
Description
OFF-WHITE AND BLUE PAPER BANK NOTE WITH BROWN INKED DESIGN. FACE: LEFT OF NOTE CONTAINS TEXT BEGINNING IN “100000 SZAZER PENGO”, THEN “BUDAPEST 1945…” ENDING IN “A TURVENY BUNTETI”. IMAGE OF WOMAN WITH PLEATED HAIR ON LEFT SIDE. BROWN FLOWER DESIGN ON BLUE BACKGROUND OVERALL. BORDER IS UNINKED (WHITE). BACK: BROWN ON BLUE DESIGN WITH UNMARKED/UN-INKED BORDER. TOP CENTER READS, “100000” WITH CREST DESIGN IN CENTER OF NOTE AND “SZAZEZER PENGO” ON BOTTOM BORDER. TEXT ALONG TOP OF BILL. A HORN DESIGN ON EITHER SIDE OF BILL IN DARK BLUE INK. “M 284” AND “058914” IN DARK BLUE INK STAMPED ON EITHER SIDE OF THE BILL. CONDITION: SEVERELY DISCOLORED. DARK BROWN STAIN ALONG ENTIRE BOTTOM EDGE. EDGE SLIGHTLY WORN.
Subjects
EXCHANGE MEDIUM
Historical Association
CURRENCY/MAUNDY
History
THIS ARTIFACT WAS DONATED TO THE GALT MUSEUM & ARCHIVES AFTER BEING FEATURED IN THE GALT’S EXHIBITION CURATED BY WENDY AITKENS TITLED, "CHANGING PLACES: IMMIGRATION & DIVERSITY," WHICH RAN FROM 31 OCTOBER 2015 TO 17 JANUARY 2016. COPIED BELOW IS THE TEXT PANEL ASSOCIATED WITH THE ARTIFACT’S DONOR, ANTHONY (TONY) HORVATH FOR THE “CHANGING PLACES” EXHIBIT: “HORVATH WAS BORN IN AN AREA OF EASTERN EUROPE WHERE COUNTRIES’ BORDERS AND NAMES CHANGED MANY TIME DURING HIS LIFE. TONY FOUND HIMSELF WITHOUT A COUNTRY AFTER THE SECOND WORLD WAR. OF HUNGARIAN ANCESTRY, HE WAS DENIED WORK AND HE REFUSED TO BECOME A SERBIAN CITIZEN SO HE WAS ALLOWED TO LEAVE. HE TRAVELLED TO AUSTRIA AND THEN TO THE BREMERHAVEN DISPLACED PERSONS CAMP IN GERMANY. HE SAILED TO CANADA IN DECEMBER 1951 – FIGHTING SEA SICKNESS ALL THE WAY. HE TOOK THE TRAIN FROM HALIFAX TO MONTREAL AND FROM THERE HE WENT TO A FARM NEAR VERMILION, NORTH OF EDMONTON, WHERE HE CLEANED THE BARN AND FED PIGS. LEARNING THAT LETHBRIDGE HAD A LARGE HUNGARIAN COMMUNITY HE HITCH-HIKED SOUTH. HE HAD A FEW CLOTHES, $15 DOLLARS AND HIS VIOLIN. HIS FIRST JOB WAS IN THE BEET FIELDS NEAR PICTURE BUTTE. LATER HE DROVE HORSES THAT PULLED COAL CARTS IN THE SHAUGHNESSY UNDERGROUND MINE. PLAYING THE VIOLIN BROUGHT HIM MUCH JOY, MANY FRIENDS, AND HIS WIFE ANGELIKA. HE OFTEN WENT TO GALT GARDENS AFTER WORK TO PLAY HIS MUSIC AND SOON MET ANGIE, A YOUNG WOMAN RECENTLY ARRIVED FROM GERMANY. FEARING THE DANGEROUS WORK IN THE MINE, ANGIE DEMANDED THAT TONY FIND SAFER WORK ONCE THEY WERE MARRIED. INITIALLY HE WORKED FOR ELLISON MILLING COMPANY, BUT CANADIAN DRESSED MEAT PACKING HOUSE (BURNS MEATS) OFFERED $.08 MORE AN HOUR, SO HE SWITCHED EMPLOYMENT. HE WORKED THERE UNTIL HE RETIRED 27 YEARS LATER. ANGIE WORKED AT THE HOSPITAL AND THEN AS A TAILOR FOR SIMPSON SEARS DURING THAT SAME TIME PERIOD. TOGETHER THEY RAISED FOUR GIRLS.” THE INFORMATION THAT WAS PRESENTED ON THE TEXT PANEL WAS SOURCED FROM AN ORAL HISTORY INTERVIEW, WHICH WAS CONDUCTED BY AIKENS ON 8 JULY 2015. IN THAT INTERVIEW – STORED AT THE GALT ARCHIVES (20151076) – HORVATH SAID THAT HE WAS BORN IN THE BALKAN PENINSULA. HE SPOKE OF THE UNREST DURING THE SECOND WORLD WAR AND RECALLED SEEING THE BOMBING FROM ALLIES, SAYING “THE GROUND WAS SHAKEN.” HE REMEMBERED THE PUBLIC EXECUTIONS, MASS BURIALS, AND THE WOUNDED PEOPLE IN THE STREETS. IN THE INTERVIEW, HE DESCRIBED HOW THE QUALITY OF LIFE WAS NOT MUCH BETTER FOLLOWING THE WAR, DURING THE YEARS 1945 TO 1950. THERE WERE HARDSHIPS, SUCH AS LONG LINES FOR BREAD, AND THE CONFLICT HAD MADE FINDING GOOD WORK DIFFICULT FOR HORVATH – A HUNGARIAN, AND THEREFORE AN ETHNIC MINORITY IN YUGOSLAVIA. SOON AFTER HE STARTED HIS JOURNEY TO CANADA IN 1951, WHICH HE DESCRIBED TO GREATER DEPTH IN THE INTERVIEW. ON 5 JULY 2013, COLLECTIONS TECHNICIAN KEVIN MACLEAN INTERVIEWED HORVATH IN HIS HOME TO SPEAK ABOUT THE DONATION OF AN ARTIFACT (P20120044000) BY THE MEZEI ORCHESTRA, WHICH HORVATH WAS INVOLVED IN. THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION HAS BEEN EXTRACTED FROM THAT INTERVIEW: "I [WAS] BORN IN [THE 24TH OF JANUARY] 1931 AND THE SERBS OCCUPIED HUNGARY… SO I BORN ACTUALLY IN YUGOSLAVIA, AND THEN, IN 1939, WHEN THE WAR BROKE OUT – THE SECOND WORLD WAR – IN 1940, THE HUNGARIANS TOOK [IT] BACK… FROM SERBIA. AND IT WAS AGAIN HUNGARY UNTIL 1945, TILL THE WAR FINISHED. [ETHNICALLY HUNGARIAN,] I BECAME A NATIONAL MINORITY IN MY OWN COUNTRY… [A] NATIONAL MINORITY IN YUGOSLAVIA, BUT IT’S NOT YUGOSLAVIA ANYMORE. IT FALL APART AND IT’S AGAIN SERBIA.” IN THE INTERVIEW, HORVATH EXPLAINED, “I ENDED UP BACK AT HOME ABOUT 3 MONTHS BEFORE THE END OF THE [SECOND WORLD] WAR, BACK TO SERBIA TO A CITY CALLED SRBOBRAN. THE CIRCUMSTANCES WAS THAT THE LIFE STANDARD WAS POOR… BEFORE I CAME TO CANADA, I GOT A JOB IN ALEXANDERONKOVICH FACTORY, TORPEDO AND BOMBS AND ALL THAT. I WAS 18 MONTHS WORKING THERE, AND THEN I STARTED TO INVESTIGATE HOW COULD I COME OUT FROM THAT COUNTRY… I DECIDED… I [COULD] APPLY OFFICIALLY TO GIVE UP MY CITIZENSHIP – YUGOSLAVIAN CITIZENSHIP – AND [BECOME] OFFICIALLY [AN] ETHNIC MINORITY… I APPLIED TO EMIGRATE FROM SERBIA, AND I ENDED UP IN AUSTRIA AND FROM AUSTRIA TO BREMENHAVEN, A DISPLACED PERSON I [INDICATED I WAS], BUT ACTUALLY I WASN’T. I WAS A REAL IMMIGRANT BECAUSE I CAME WITH LEGAL PAPERS TO CANADA. IN 1951, I CAME TO CANADA, AND ENDED UP IN THE SUGAR BEETS, I EARNED A LIVING AS A LABOURER – CLEANING… COW STALLS, AND SO FORTH. I MET MY WIFE IN ’53. SHE IS FROM GERMANY. WE GOT MARRIED IN ’54, AND FORTUNATELY, WE HAVE 4 GROWN-UP DAUGHTERS BETWEEN US.” HORVATH ELABORATED ON HIS IMMIGRATION EXPERIENCE, “I HAD AUSTRALIAN OPTION. BUT THE CANADIAN CONSUL SENT MOVIES, PICTURES, ADVERTISEMENTS... [AND THEN] IN 1 MONTH, I WAS IN CANADA. FROM AUSTRIA TO BREMERHAVEN, IN GERMANY, IN 2-3 WEEKS, I WAS READY TO COME TO CANADA. [I] ENDED UP IN MONTREAL. THERE [WERE] STILL CAMPS FOR PRISONER OF WARS FROM THE SECOND WORLD WAR, LIKE GERMANS AND ALL THE OTHER, AND I WAS IN THERE FOR ABOUT 6 MONTHS, IN MONTREAL, FROM THERE, SOME FARMERS WERE LOOKING FOR LABOURERS. THEY ASKED ME DID I WANT TO COME TO ALBERTA. I DIDN’T KNOW ALBERTA. BIG DEAL, ALBERTA. I WASN’T SURE AT ALL, BUT WHEN I WAS TRAVELLING DAY AND NIGHT FROM THERE, TO GET TO EDMONTON FIRST, A FARMER WAS WAITING FOR ME, FROM VERMILION. I STILL REMEMBER THE NAME, BOB HOLDEN. HE WAS FROM ENGLAND, I THINK, PREVIOUSLY. HE HAD A FARM THERE AND HE NEEDED A LABOURER. I WAS A LABOURER, BUT WHEN THEY FOUND OUT I CAN PLAY THE MUSIC, FIRST I HAD A BEET SHACK. THEN THEY TOOK ME INTO HIS HOUSE. HE DIDN’T PAY MUCH. THE NEIGHBOUR [IN VERMILION] OVER THERE WAS A HUNGARIAN OLD FARMER. HE SAID TO ME, ‘SON, DON’T STAY HERE, GO TO LETHBRIDGE. THERE IS LOTS OF HUNGARIANS [THERE], AND YOU CAN GO TO THE SUGAR BEETS [FIELDS], AND YOU CAN MEET FRIENDS OVER THERE,’ AND SO ON. I HAD $15.00 IN MY POCKET BECAUSE THE FARMER DEDUCTED MY JEANS, WHAT HE BOUGHT, I CALLED THEM ‘COWBOY JEANS.' AND I ONLY HAD $15.00 LEFT, SO I HITCHHIKED FROM VERMILION ALL THE WAY ‘TIL I GET TO LETHBRIDGE I STILL HAVE SOME MONEY LEFT, AND I ENDED UP IN PICTURE BUTTE, JOE SCHAEFFER’S PLACE, WORKING IN THE SUGAR BEETS.” “IT WAS DIFFICULT AT THE BEGINNING… THE LANGUAGE…,” HORVATH EXPLAINED, “… VERY HARD BECAUSE HUNGARIAN DOESN’T HAVE A SIMILAR WORD WITH ENGLISH; GERMAN IS ABOUT 30%, SO I THANK MY WIFE; SHE LEARNED QUICKER THAN I DID, BUT, NOW, I AM O.K. I CAN GET BY.” WHEN HE FIRST CAME TO CANADA, HORVATH SAID, “I DIDN’T WANT TO BELIEVE [IT]. I THOUGHT IT’S A HEAVEN BECAUSE EVERYONE WAS FRIENDLY, NICE, YOU KNOW. MIND YOU, I WASN’T ASSOCIATING VERY MUCH WITH THE YOUNG MEN, 18-19 YEARS OLD, YOU KNOW.” HE TOLD AITKENS IN 2015 THAT HE DID NOT BRING MUCH ELSE. HE STATES, “[I] ESPECIALLY [DIDN’T BRING] MONEY. NO MONEY… EXCEPT WHAT IS WORTH NOTHING. INFLATION MONEY BY THE HUNDRED THOUSAND, MILLION, TEN MILLION… WHATEVER I HAD I GAVE TO THE OTHER MUSEUM THAT WAS IN THE GALT GARDEN (GURNEY MUSEUM)… INFLATED. THAT’S WHAT WE CALLED IT. THAT WAS INFLATION MONEY. IT WAS SO MANY, PEOPLE DIDN’T KNOW THE NUMBER. THEY JUST SAID, ‘5 YELLOW, 2 GREEN AND…’ YOU KNOW? JUST BY THE COLOUR. THE NUMBER WAS IN MILLIONS AND BILLIONS AND HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS. PEOPLE DIDN’T KNOW. NO VALUE. YOU COULD USE IT FOR BATHROOM.” INTERNET RESEARCH STATES THAT THE PENGO WAS THE CURRENCY OF HUNGARY FROM 1927 TO 1946 AND EXPERIENCED THE MOST SERIOUS HYPERINFLATION RECORDED (SOURCE ACCESSED 10 MAY 2018). HORVATH REMEMBERED THE BELONGINGS HE BROUGHT WITH HIM IN HIS IMMIGRATION TO CANADA. IN BOTH THE 2015 INTERVIEW WITH AITKENS AND THE 2013 INTERVIEW WITH MACLEAN, HE SPEAKS OF HIS VIOLIN. IN 2013, HE TOLD MACLEAN, “IT WAS A FAMILY VIOLIN. ACTUALLY, MY UNCLE, THE VERY FIRST ONE, I GOT IT FROM HIM, AND, OF COURSE IT WAS LAYING IN THE HOUSE TILL I WAS 8 YEARS OLD, AND THEY DIDN’T WANT ME TO FOOL AROUND WITH IT, TO BREAK IT OR WHATEVER, SO I GOT A SMALLER SIZE OF VIOLIN, HALF A SIZE, AND LATER, I GOT THAT BACK AND I BROUGHT IT WITH ME TO CANADA. THE VIOLIN GAVE ME OPPORTUNITIES NEVER TO BE ALONE. I HAD FRIENDS ON ACCOUNT OF THE VIOLIN; I HAD PARTIES ON ACCOUNT OF THE VIOLIN; I HAD FOOD; I HAD DRINK; AND I HAD GOOD TIME. IT WAS MY BEST PARTNER AND BEST FRIEND. THAT’S HOW I MET MY WIFE, WITH MY VIOLIN CASE UNDER MY ARM, AT LETHBRIDGE GALT GARDEN.” HE REMEMBERED BEING IMMEDIATELY EMBRACED BY THE HUNGARIAN COMMUNITY IN THE AREA: “IN PICTURE BUTTE, JOE SCHAEFFER’S NEIGHBOUR, MR. GABOR GENCSI, HEARD ME PLAYING, [AND] HE TOOK ME OVER. HE SAYS, ‘YOU DON’T WORK THAT HARD IN THE SUGAR BEETS. COME TO ME.’ HE HAD A WIFE BUT THEY HAD NO CHILDREN, AND HE SAYS THAT THEY ARE GOING TO ADOPT ME TO STAY. I SAYS, ‘NO, I CANNOT BE ADOPTED. I HAD MOTHER AND FATHER.’ BUT, WHEN HE HEARD ME PLAYING, I WENT OVER TO HIS PLACE – THE NEIGHBOUR[ING] FARM – HE GAVE ME $100.00 IN ONE BILL. I DIDN’T KNOW HOW MUCH IT WAS WORTH, AND HE SAID YOU ARE GOING TO GET THAT EVERY MONTH, AS LONG AS YOU ARE HERE, BUT YOU HAVE TO PLAY IN THE EVENING TO ME AND TO MY WIFE. THEN I KEPT ON PLAYING EVERY NIGHT. IT WAS A GOOD CHANCE FOR PRACTICE, YOU KNOW. THEY GAVE ME THE FIRST BEDROOM, AND THEY WENT TO THE SMALLER BEDROOM JUST TO TREAT ME WELL, FREE BOARD, FREE ROOM, JUST TO PLAY THE VIOLIN IN THE EVENING. SOMETIMES I WENT OUT AND DROVE THE HORSES WHEN HE WAS THROWING THE BALES ON THE WAGON, SO I HAD A VERY GOOD TREAT, AND A VERY GOOD CHANCE TO PLAY THE VIOLIN.” HORVATH ALSO PLAYED A ROLE IN GETTING HIS PARENTS TO IMMIGRATE TO CANADA, WHERE THEY SET UP A NEW LIFE. HORVATH SAID, “IN 1948, WHEN MY DAD CAME BACK FROM, BECAUSE HE WAS IN THE ARMY, ON THE GERMAN SIDE. HE WAS A PRISONER OF WAR IN RUSSIA, AND HE CAME BACK IN 1948 FROM RUSSIAN PRISONER OF WAR CAMP. I FELT VERY SORRY FOR MY DAD BECAUSE EVERY TIME YOU WANTED TO ASK SOMETHING ABOUT THE WAR IN RUSSIA, HE NEVER WANTED TO TALK ABOUT IT, NEVER, TO NOBODY. I DECIDED HERE, WHEN I WAS IN CANADA, THE BEST THING THEY WOULD COME OUT HERE, NO MATTER HOW OLD THEY ARE. THEY WERE VERY HAPPY… AND IN 1960 WHEN I WAS ALREADY ESTABLISHED HERE, AND MARRIED WITH CHILDREN, [I] BROUGHT MY FAMILY OUT, MY FATHER, MOTHER AND SISTER, WHO IS LIVING NOW IN STIRLING, ALBERTA. AND, THEY [WERE] ALREADY WAS IN THEIR 60’S WHEN I BROUGHT THEM OUT, BUT THEY MANAGED TO ESTABLISH THEMSELVES A GOOD LIFE HERE TOO ON 80 ACRES…” OF HIS IMMIGRATION STORY, HE TOLD AITKENS, “[IT WAS EXCITING TO] ME – TRAVELLING HALF OF EUROPE WITH NO MONEY IN THE POCKET, EXCEPT HAVING THE FIDDLE IN YOUR HAND…” PLEASE SEE PERMANENT FILE FOR MORE INFORMATION, INCLUDING THE TEXT PANEL COPY. FOR INFORMATION REGARDING HORVATH’S INTERVIEW WITH MACLEAN IN 2013, INCLUDING FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTION, PLEASE SEE PERMANENT FILE P20120044000.
Catalogue Number
P20160006003
Acquisition Date
2016-02
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail

6 records – page 1 of 1.