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Other Name
MAHJONG SET
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
PLASTIC
Catalogue Number
P20150028000
  2 images  
Material Type
Artifact
Other Name
MAHJONG SET
Date
1987
Materials
PLASTIC
No. Pieces
159
Height
9.6
Length
23
Width
23
Description
A – G: 7 STANDARD 6-SIDED DICE. 6 OF THE DICE HAVE BLACK DOTS ON A WHITE BACKGROUND, EXCEPT RED DOTS FOR THE ONE AND THE FOUR ON ALL DICE. THE SEVENTH DIE IS THE SAME AS THE FIRST SIX BUT WITH BROWN DOTS INSTEAD OF BLACK. THE DICE ARE 1.4 CM CUBED WITH ROUNDED EDGES. GOOD CONDITION: NORMAL WEAR FROM USE. H-I: A DIRECTIONAL PIECE CUBE (LIKE A DIE) AND A HOLDER. THERE ARE RED CHINESE CHARACTERS ON 4 OF THE 6 SIDES OF THE WHITE CUBE. THE DIE IS 1.2 CM CUBED. THE PIECE’S CIRCULAR HOLDER HAS A RED TOP AND A WHITE BASE WITH A CUBE INSERT IN THE CENTER OF THE TOP THAT FITS THE DIRECTIONAL PIECE. THE HOLDER IS IN FAIR TO GOOD CONDITION. IT IS WELL WORN AND THE EDGES ARE YELLOWING. FAIR TO GOOD CONDITION WITH SOME WEAR TO THE CHARACTERS AND THE CORNERS OF THE DIE. J-BBBBBBB: MAHJONG GAME SET. 144 TILES PLUS 4 BLANK SPARES (148 TILES TOTAL). THERE ARE 108 SIMPLE TILES (OF THE 3 SUITS: DOTS, BAMBOO, AND CHARACTERS), THERE ARE 28 HONOURS TILES (16 WINDS AND 16 DRAGONS), AND THERE ARE TWO SETS OF BONUS TILES (FLOWERS AND SEASONS) EACH WITH 4 TILES IN THE SET. EACH TILE IS 3.5 X 2.8 X 2.1 CM. VERY GOOD TO EXCELLENT CONDITION WITH SLIGHT SCUFFING ON THE TILES. CCCCCCC – DDDDDDD: GREEN RUBBERMAID PLASTIC CONTAINER WITH A WHITE PLASTIC LID FOR THE MAHJONG SET’S CASE. THE BOTTOM OF THE CONTAINER READS “RUBBERMAID 4 QUARTS” “J-3204”. THE DIMENSIONS OF THE CONTAINER ARE 23 X 23 X 9.6 CM. THE DIMENSIONS OF THE LID ARE 23 X 24.5 X 1.5 CM. GOOD CONDITION. THE OVERALL SURFACE OF BOTH THE CONTAINER AND THE LID ARE SCRATCHED. ON THE LID, THE TOP COATING OF PLASTIC IS PEELING OFF. THERE IS ADHESIVE TAPE RESIDUE IN ONE CORNER.
Subjects
GAME
Historical Association
ETHNOGRAPHIC
LEISURE
History
ON NOVEMBER 10, 2015, COLLECTIONS TECHNICIAN KEVIN MACLEAN INTERVIEWED RICHARD LOO AT THE GALT MUSEUM REGARDING A MAHJONG SET HE WAS DONATING TO THE MUSEUM. THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION HAS BEEN EXTRACTED FROM THAT INTERVIEW: MAHJONG IS A TILE-BASED GAME THAT ORIGINATED IN CHINA. LOO RECALLS ACQUIRING THE SET APPROXIMATELY 30 OR 40 YEARS AGO. HE SAID HE GOT THEM, “WHEN I WENT BACK TO HONG KONG. LET’S SEE – ’87. I WENT TO HONG KONG IN ’87. I BOUGHT SEVERAL [MAHJONG] SETS… TO GIVE TO THE KIDS IF THEY WERE INTERESTED. HERE, THEY ARE NOT AVAILABLE – NOT IN THIS CITY. YOU CAN GET IT IN CALGARY, BUT, IF I BROUGHT IT BACK FROM CHINA, IT’S A BETTER DEAL FOR ME… I STILL HAVE A COUPLE OF SETS AT HOME. I GIVE SOME TO MY FRIENDS; SOME TO THE KIDS.” WHEN ASKED ABOUT HIS USE OF GAME SET, LOO EXPLAINED, “I USE IT NOT TOO MANY TIMES… THEY COME IN A CASE – LIKE A BRIEFCASE - JUST FLIMSY STUFF. IF IT WAS USED SO LONG, IT WOULD JUST GO IN PIECES. SO I PUT IT INTO CONTAINERS – KEEPS A BETTER SHAPE, THAT’S ALL.” HE EXPLAINS THAT THE GAME IS PLAYED, “MOSTLY AT HOME. TO FOOL AROUND; JUST TO KILL TIME,” AND THAT THE SET DONATED WAS A PERSONAL SET THAT HAS ALWAYS BEEN AT LOO’S HOUSE. “THERE ARE SO MANY DIFFERENT STYLES OF PLAY. WHEN I CAME, IN THOSE DAYS, WE PLAYED A DIFFERENT WAY, AND AFTER YOU STAYED FOR A LITTLE WHILE, THEY PLAYED A DIFFERENT WAY… YOU PLAY THIS GAME MORE GENERALLY FOR ENTERTAINMENT, KILLING TIME; THE PURPOSE IS NOT TO MAKE MONEY… SEE, I REMEMBER THOSE DAYS, WHEN I WAS YOUNG – JUST A KID THOSE DAYS, IN THE OLD COUNTRY, OLD DAYS. IN THE NEW YEAR, I SAW FOUR OLDER GENTLEMEN PLAY THESE GAMES, BUT I DON’T UNDERSTAND…. WE CALL IT OLD STYLE. NOBODY IS INTERESTED IN PLAYING OLD STYLE ANYMORE. [IT IS] QUITE COMPLICATED... THEY PLAY THIS ONE, JUST LIKE YOU PLAY RUMMY, BUT YOU HAVE TO USE YOUR HEAD A LITTLE BIT. SOMETIMES YOU’VE GOT LUCK TOO." LOO SAYS HE DOES NOT MISS PLAYING THE GAME, “FOR MY AGE, NO. RIGHT NOW, NOT INTERESTED - [I'VE] GOT OTHER THINGS TO DO. YOU PLAY FOR SO LONG, AND THEN, [YOU ARE] NOT INTERESTED ANYMORE. WE USED TO PLAY THIS ON NEW YEAR’S EVE, TILL THE NEXT MORNING. [WE WOULD] START ON NEW YEAR’S EVE TILL TOMORROW MORNING, 6 OR 7 O’CLOCK. NOT ANYMORE. WE PLAYED AT ALBERT’S PLACE, BOW ON TONG…” THE FOLLOWING BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION ABOUT RICHARD LOO HAS BEEN TAKEN FROM THE ARTIFACT RECORDS P20110031*: LOO ARRIVED IN LETHBRIDGE IN 1953, HAVING LEFT THE MAINLAND OF CHINA IN 1949. LOO'S GRANDFATHER HAD MOVED TO CANADA IN EITHER LATE 1800S OR THE EARLY 1900S AND HAD HAD TO PAY THE HEAD TAX. HIS GRANDFATHER WORKED AS A COOK IN RESTAURANTS, EITHER IN LETHBRIDGE OR IN TABER (ACCORDING TO LOO, HIS GRANDFATHER WORKED THROUGH THE WAR YEARS IN TABER). LOO’S GRANDFATHER HAD PLANNED ON MOVING BACK TO CHINA WHEN HE RETIRED, BUT THEN THE COMMUNISTS TOOK OVER, AND HE ELECTED TO STAY. AT THAT TIME, HE INVITED LOO TO MOVE TO LETHBRIDGE AS WELL. LOO LEFT HONG KONG, AFTER LIVING THERE FOR 8 MONTHS, ON A FRIDAY AFTERNOON AT 2PM LOCAL TIME. HE ARRIVED IN LETHBRIDGE SUNDAY AFTERNOON. HE WAS LUCKY IN THAT HE WAS ABLE TO GET HIS FLIGHTS ON SALE. NORMALLY A TICKET FROM HONG KONG TO VANCOUVER WOULD HAVE COST $700, BUT LOO WAS ABLE TO SECURE A FLIGHT FOR ONLY $500. HE ALSO INDICATED THAT HIS FLIGHT TO LETHBRIDGE WAS ONLY $39.95. ON RECALLING HIS FIRST TIME IN LETHBRIDGE, LOO RECOUNTED THE FOLLOWING STORY: “SO, BY THE TIME I GOT TO THE AIRPORT, I DIDN’T KNOW HOW TO SAY [ANYTHING]. DIDN’T KNOW – MAYBE COULD SAY ‘GOOD MORNING’ – THAT’S ALL I COULD SAY, JUST HOW TO SAY ‘HELLO.' IN THE MEANTIME, THE FELLOW AT THE AIRPORT MUST HAVE KNOWN ZEKE, YOU KNOW ZEKE QUAN [OWNER OF] THE LOTUS INN [RESTAURANT], AND HE PHONED HIM UP. HE SAYS, ‘ZEKE.’ I DIDN’T KNOW WHAT HE WAS TALKING ABOUT – NOTHING. AND THEN HE SAYS, ‘HEY, THIS IS A CHINA BOY HERE. WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO WITH HIM?’ SO, ZEKE SAYS, ‘OH, JUST TAKE HIM TO CHINATOWN AND DUMP HIM.’ NOW, I DIDN’T KNOW THOSE, NOT UNTIL LATER ON. ZEKE’S SON GO TO SAME SCHOOL I DID – CENTRAL SCHOOL.” LOO INITIALLY LIVED IN THE NATIONAL LEAGUE SOCIETY BUILDING FOR SEVERAL YEARS, OCCUPYING A ROOM THAT HAD BEEN RECENTLY VACATED BY ANOTHER MAN NAMED LOO WHO HAD GONE TO WORK IN PICTURE BUTTE. LOO RECALLED THAT THE SOCIETY WAS A GOOD PLACE TO FEEL A SENSE OF COMMUNITY AND THAT IT WAS A WELCOMING PLACE FOR NEW CHINESE IMMIGRANTS, A PLACE WHERE THEY WEREN’T DISCRIMINATED AGAINST. PLEASE SEE PERMANENT FILE FOR MORE INFORMATION, INCLUDING FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTION
Catalogue Number
P20150028000
Acquisition Date
2015-11
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
IRON, WOOD, PLASTIC
Catalogue Number
P20170008000
  2 images  
Material Type
Artifact
Date
1930
Materials
IRON, WOOD, PLASTIC
No. Pieces
27
Height
67
Length
35
Width
35
Description
WOOD AND IRON COIN-OPERATED SLOT MACHINE. A: BODY OF SLOT MACHINE WITH FRONT MADE OF IRON WITH RELIEF DESIGNS INCLUDING STARS. DESIGNS ARE PAINTED RED, GREEN, AND ORANGE. TOP OF THE MACHINE HAS A COIN SLOT THAT READS “5¢” EMBOSSED IN THE CENTER OF AN ORANGE PAINTED CIRCLE. BELOW ARE THREE REELS PLACED ON THE INSIDE OF THE MACHINE, VISIBLE FROM THE FRONT THROUGH THREE HOLLOW WINDOWS. THE REELS ARE CREAM-COLOURED WITH VARIOUS IMAGES OF FRUIT VERTICALLY ON THE CIRCULAR REEL. BLACK TEXT IS OVERLAID OVER THE FRUIT. EXAMPLE: THE LEFT REEL IS STOPPED AT CHERRIES WITH BLACK TEXT READING, “JOY AWAITS… COMPANY IN TWINS”. TO THE RIGHT OF THE WINDOWS IS A SCORE CARD WITH THE FRUIT IN THE LEFT COLUMN AND THEIR CORRESPONDING SCORE IN THE RIGHT CORNER (“20” AT THE TOP TO “2” AT THE BOTTOM). BELOW THE REEL SECTION ARE TWO RECTANGULAR TEXT PANELS, PAPER BEHIND PLASTIC WINDOWS. BOTH PANELS HAVE TITLES IN ORANGE TYPE – THE LEFT READS, “WATCH REELS… FORTUNE,” AND THE RIGHT READS, “YOUR NICKEL…” INSTRUCTIONS BELOW THE TITLES ARE PRINTED IN BLACK TEXT. THE LARGEST SECTION OF THE METAL FACE OF THE SLOT MACHINE HAS A RECTANGULAR GLASS WINDOW (GLASS IS SEVERELY CRACKED AND DISCOLOURED). THE WINDOW IS INSET IN PART OF THE MACHINE THAT IS PAINTED GREEN WITH ORANGE AND BLACK DESIGNS. THERE IS ONE OVAL WINDOW ON EITHER SIDE OF THE LARGE RECTANGULAR WINDOW. THERE IS A SLOT FOR TOKENS TO COME OUT ALONG THE FRONT BASE WITH A RED, GREEN, BLACK DESIGN. THE SIDES OF THE MACHINE ARE MADE FROM A DARK-STAINED WOOD WITH A GOLD PAINTED BORDER WITH ORNATE CORNERS. “MILLS NOVELTY” STAMP IN RED PAINT ON THE UPPER LEFT OF LEFT SIDE. RIGHT SIDE IS THE SAME AS THE LEFT, BUT WITH A METAL PLATE NAILED TO SIDE TITLED, “O. K. VENDER… MILLS NOVELTY CO. CHICAGO, ILL.” WITH PATENT INFORMATION LISTEL. METAL CRANK SECURED TO THE CENTER OF THE RIGHT SIDE AND A METAL KNOB ON THE BOTTOM LEFT OF SAME SIDE. THE MACHINE IN SECURED TO A WOODEN BASE. INSIDE OF THE MACHINE HAS VISIBLE REELS AND COMPONENTS FOR MACHINE OPERATION VISIBLE. FAIR CONDITION: MODERATE TO SEVERE WEAR TO OVERALL SURFACE. SIGNIFICANT LOSS OF SURFACE PAINT. WHITE METAL CORROSION VISIBLE ON THE FACE OF THE MACHINE. THE LEFT REEL ARE MODERATELY DISCOLOURED. THE MIDDLE AND RIGHT REEL ARE SEVERELY DISCOLOURED. PAPER BEHIND PLASTIC WINDOWS HAS YELLOWED. THE CRANK AND KNOB ON RIGHT SIDE ARE RUSTING ON OVERALL SURFACE. PATENT LISTING PLATE IS BROKEN AT THE TWO RIGHT CORNERS AT THE NAIL HOLES. WOOD STAIN HAS BEEN LOST IN SOME SURFACE AREAS OF SIDES. INSIDE PARTS OF THE MACHINE ARE SLIGHTLY RUSTED. BOTTOM SCREW LOOSE FROM BASE WHEN LIFTED. B: REMOVABLE BACK COVER OF SLOT MACHINE MADE OUT OF PRESSED SHEET METAL. PAPER ATTACHED TO THE INSIDE OF THE COVER WITH TYPED TEXT READING, “MR. OWNER: ALWAYS BEAR IN … CREATE FRICTION.” DIMENSIONS: 50CM X 3CM. POOR CONDITION: THE PAPER ON THE BACKING IS SIGNIFICANTLY TORN AND DISCOLOURED, RENDERING MUCH OF THE MESSAGE UNREADABLE. SIGNIFICANT DISCOLOURATION SCUFF MARKS ON OVERALL SURFACE. C-AA: 25 PLASTIC TOKENS THAT READ, “LOANED FOR AMUSEMENT ONLY” EMBOSSED ON ONE SIDE AND “PROPERTY OF O.K. VENDOR” ON THE OTHER. DIAMETER: 2 CM; WIDTH: 0.2 CM. FAIR CONDITION: SURFACE DIRT ON SEVERAL COINS. GENERAL WEAR TO COIN SURFACES.
Subjects
GAME
Historical Association
BUSINESS
LEISURE
History
ON 24 FEBRUARY 2017, COLLECTIONS TECHNICIAN KEVIN MACLEAN CONDUCTED AN INTERVIEW WITH PAM PTYCIA, THE DONOR OF THIS SLOT MACHINE. THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION HAS BEEN EXTRACTED FROM THAT INTERVIEW: DESCRIBING WHY SHE CHOSE TO DONATE THE SLOT MACHINE TO THE MUSEUM AT THIS SPECIFIC TIME, PAM SAID, “BOTH MY PARENTS HAVE PASSED AWAY. MY DAD JUST PASSED AWAY IN DECEMBER. SO CLEANING OUT THE HOUSE AND EVERYTHING ELSE, WE DECIDED IT WAS TIME… [MY DAD WAS] PETO NICAS [OF] LETHBRIDGE.” SHE AFFIRMED THAT THE SLOT MACHINE BELONGED TO HER GRANDFATHER. PTYCIA'S FATHER THEN PASSED DOWN THE ARTIFACT AND INFORMATION TO HER. PTYCIA EXPLAINED, “THE SLOT MACHINE, I WAS TOLD, WAS IN HIS DAD’S RESTAURANT, THE WHITE LUNCH CAFÉ ON 5TH STREET HERE IN LETHBRIDGE… [HIS DAD’S] NAME WAS ANDREW A. NICAS, HE WAS COMMONLY KNOWN AS SHORTY NICAS HERE IN TOWN… IF THE SLOT MACHINE DID COME FROM THE WHITE LUNCH CAFÉ, I THOUGHT IT MIGHT BE OF SOME INTEREST… BECAUSE THE GREEK COMMUNITY HAS REALLY DWINDLED DOWN. IT’S JUST NOT LIKE IT USED TO BE… I GUESS IT’S JUST THAT IT’S PART OF OUR HERITAGE.” MACLEAN ESTABLISHED THAT PTYCIA WAS BORN IN LETHBRIDGE DURING THE 1960S AND THAT THIS ARTIFACT WAS IN HER CHILDHOOD HOME AS SHE WAS GROWING UP. PTYCIA RECALLED, “I JUST REMEMBER IT BEING DOWNSTAIRS… JUST IN THE AREA WHERE THE LAUNDRY ROOM WAS… I REMEMBER PLAYING IT. IT WORKED BACK THEN… YOU PUT THE COINS IN THE TOP PART. YOU JUST PULL THE LEVER AND LET IT GO AND IF YOU HIT SOMETHING, THE COINS CAME BACK OUT… WHEN I GOT MARRIED AND MOVED OUT, MY DAD GAVE ME [IT] AND IT SAT IN OUR GARAGE FOR 30 SOME YEARS.” DURING THE INTERVIEW, PTYCIA STATED THAT CHRIST GEORGE CHRISTOU WAS HER FATHER’S PARTNER IN THE WHITE LUNCH CAFÉ BUSINESS. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION ABOUT THE WHITE LUNCH CAFÉ, MACLEAN INTERVIEWED CHRISTOU’S SON, DR. VAN CHRISTOU, IN HIS HOME ON 27 FEBRUARY 2017. CHRISTOU BEGAN, “I REMEMBER [THE SLOT MACHINES] VIVIDLY. THEY WERE ALL LINED UP ON THE SOUTH WALL OF THE WHITE LUNCH CAFÉ… ON THE LEFT HAND SIDE, AS YOU WALKED IN… I PLAYED WITH THEM, AS A CHILD... MY DAD GOT THAT IDEA FROM MY UNCLE FRANK, WHO HE BROUGHT OVER TO LETHBRIDGE. [FRANK] OPENED UP A POOL HALL, ACROSS THE ROAD FROM THE RESTAURANT BACK IN THE EARLY DAYS – IN THE ‘20S, I THINK – AND THEN MOVED TO BANFF. HE HAD SLOT MACHINES IN THAT [POOL HAT], AND HAD THEM IN BANFF AGAIN AND [HE] TALKED DAD INTO HAVING THEM IN THE RESTAURANT – THEY WERE A GOOD SOURCE OF INCOME.” HE EXPLAINED, “PEOPLE WOULD STAND AT THE SLOT MACHINES… THE RESTAURANT WAS DESIGNED WITH A HORSE-SHOE COUNTER ALL THE WAY AROUND, AND IT LEFT ENOUGH SPACE FOR THESE TO BE ALONG THE WALL, SO IT WAS JUST ‘STAND UP’ THE WAY YOU DO IN THE CASINOS. THERE WERE NO STOOLS FOR THOSE, BUT THEY HAD THEM FOR A NUMBER OF YEARS.” CHRISTOU WAS A CASHIER AT THE WHITE LUNCH AT THE AGE OF FIFTEEN TO SIXTEEN YEARS. HE WORKED ONLY ON SATURDAYS, AND STATED HE ENJOYED IT. HE SAID, “I LEARNED A LOT ABOUT BUSINESS – GIVING CHANGE, AND CONNECTING WITH A LOT OF THE BUSINESS PEOPLE THAT WERE IN THE AREA, AND GOT JOBS WITH THEM… BY THE TIME I WAS CASHIER, THEY HAD STOPPED USING [THE SLOT MACHINE]. I THINK THEY WERE OUT-LAWED. I THINK THERE WAS A CIVIC BY-LAW THAT FORBADE SLOT MACHINES, SO THEY WEREN’T IN USE AT THAT POINT. IT WAS EARLIER, WHEN I WAS YOUNGER, THAT I REMEMBER THEM BEING USED.” THE SLOT MACHINES WERE A SECONDARY MEMORY OF HIS FATHER’S WHITE LUNCH CAFÉ. CHRISTOU EXPLAINED, “TO ME, IT WASN’T AN IMPORTANT PART OF THE RESTAURANT BUSINESS. THE THINGS THAT I REMEMBER ARE MY DAD MAKING BANANA SPLITS; HE HAD A WONDERFUL SODA FOUNTAIN. THE FRONT OF THAT HORSE-SHOE WAS A MARBLE SODA FOUNTAIN – A MARVELOUS SODA FOUNTAIN – AND HE LOVED DOING THAT – MAKING MILKSHAKES, AND ALL KINDS OF SUNDAES, AND BANANA SPLITS." CONTINUING, HE EXPLAINED, “MY FATHER STARTED THE WHITE LUNCH CAFÉ IN 1907… [IT] WAS LOCATED IN THE OLIVER BUILDING, ON FIFTH STREET SOUTH, WHICH WAS MAIN STREET AT THAT TIME… THERE’S A VERY INTERESTING STORY AS TO HOW HE FOUND HIMSELF IN LETHBRIDGE. HE HAD COME OVER FROM GREECE – FROM A LITTLE VILLAGE IN GREECE [THE CORINTHIAN VILLAGE OF LIMNES] – SENT BY HIS FATHER. AT THAT TIME, THE FATHERS, IN A VERY PATRIARCHAL ATMOSPHERE, CHOSE THEIR BRIGHTEST AND BEST SON, AND SENT THEM TO AMERICA TO HELP THE FAMILY, AND DAD WAS 15 YEARS OLD WHEN HE WAS SENT TO NEW YORK. HE ARRIVED AT ELLIS ISLAND IN 1900, AT 15 YEARS OF AGE, WITHOUT ANY MONEY. I THINK HE HAD $2.00 IN HIS POCKET, AND NOT ANY KNOWLEDGE OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE AT ALL. THERE WAS A TEAM HIRING YOUNG GREEK IMMIGRANTS TO WORK ON THE GREAT NORTHERN RAILWAY THAT MET THEM AT ELLIS ISLAND. DAD HIRED ON WITH THEM, BUT HE WAS SMART ENOUGH TO BUY A DICTIONARY WITH THAT $2.00 HE HAD. [HE] BECAME THE INTERPRETER FOR THE GANG, AND WORKED HIS WAY ACROSS AMERICA. HE HAD COUSINS WHO HAD PRECEDED HIM, AND WERE ESTABLISHED IN PORTLAND, OREGON, AND THAT’S WHAT HIS DESTINATION WAS, SO THE GREAT NORTHERN GOT HIM ACROSS AMERICA TO PORTLAND. HE ESTABLISHED A BUSINESS THERE – A GROCERY BUSINESS – BUT DIDN’T LIKE IT BECAUSE IT WAS TOO WET. [HE] WORKED THERE FOR 7 YEARS, UNTIL 1907, WHEN A FRIEND OF HIS IN CALGARY, FROM A NEIGHBORING VILLAGE, WROTE HIM AND SAID THERE WAS A GREAT OPPORTUNITY TO OPEN A DAIRY IN CALGARY, AND WHY DON’T THEY GO INTO PARTNERSHIP? SO, WOULD DAD COME AND VISIT HIM – AND HE DID. HE TELLS THE STORY OF HOW IT HAD BEEN RAINING FOR 2 WEEKS IN PORTLAND – RAINED ALL THE WAY TO VANCOUVER – AND WAS STILL RAINING ALL THE WAY TO CALGARY. [HE] MET WITH HIS FRIEND, LIKED HIM, LIKED THE PROPOSITION – TOLD [THE FRIEND] HE WOULD GO BACK TO PORTLAND TO THINK IT OVER AND LET HIM KNOW [HE] CAME DOWN THROUGH LETHBRIDGE. STAYED OVERNIGHT AT THE LETHBRIDGE HOTEL. WOKE UP IN THE MORNING TO BRIGHT SUNSHINE, AND SAID, ‘I’M STAYING HERE.’ AND HE DID. AND HE STARTED THE WHITE LUNCH CAFÉ IMMEDIATELY. HE’D MADE ENOUGH MONEY IN PORTLAND WHERE HE WAS ABLE TO OPEN UP A FIRST CLASS RESTAURANT, WHICH WAS LETHBRIDGE’S PREMIERE RESTAURANT FOR THE NEXT 40 YEARS. THE WHITE LUNCH WAS JUST HALF THE SIZE IT WAS EVENTUALLY, TO BEGIN WITH AS BUSINESS GREW, HE GOT THE CONTRACT WITH THE CPR TO FEED CPR EMPLOYEES WHO CAME THROUGH LETHBRIDGE, AND, AS SOUTHERN ALBERTA BECAME SETTLED, FARMERS CAME IN TO SHOP ON SATURDAYS. BUSINESS GREW, AND DAD DID VERY WELL... [HE] BROUGHT IN MR. NICAS IN 1922, AS A PARTNER IN THE BUSINESS, AND THEY WORKED TOGETHER FOR MANY YEARS, UNTIL HE DIED.” “[AS KIDS] WE WOULD STOP IN FOR A MILKSHAKE, AND A PIECE OF PIE… LOCAL PEOPLE WOULD RARELY EAT IN THE RESTAURANT,” CHRISTOU ADDED, “NOW, PICTURE THIS – THIS WAS IN THE ‘30’S – RIGHT AT THE DEPTH OF THE DEPRESSION – PEOPLE DIDN’T HAVE ENOUGH MONEY. DENTISTS WOULD COME AND EAT AT THE RESTAURANT, AND THEY WOULD SHARE A PLATE OF PANCAKES. THEY’D COME ON SUNDAY [AND] THAT WOULD BE THEIR ONE MEAL A WEEK – AND THEY WERE THE WEALTHY PEOPLE IN TOWN. THE COMMON PEOPLE DIDN’T EAT IN RESTAURANTS AT ALL. IT WAS REALLY THE WORKING PEOPLE – THE MINERS, AND THE RAILWAY PEOPLE, AND THE FARMERS THAT WOULD COME TO TOWN THAT USED THE RESTAURANT FACILITIES. AND BECAUSE OF THAT, THE MENU WAS STRICTLY A WESTERN MENU. [PYTCIA’S] DAD COULD HAVE PRESENTED A FULL GREEK MENU, BUT IT WOULDN’T HAVE FLOWN AT ALL. NO ONE KNEW WHAT GREEK FOOD WAS, EVEN.” CHRISTOU RECALLED MEMORY OF THE WHITE LUNCH CAFÉ, “WE DIDN’T GO TO THE STORE THAT OFTEN BECAUSE THERE WAS A REAL SEPARATION BETWEEN HOME AND BUSINESS. DAD WAS NOT THAT HAPPY IN THE RESTAURANT BUSINESS. HE WAS A REAL FAMILY-ORIENTED PERSON, AND MISSED BEING AT HOME FOR THE MEALS THAT WE HAD AT HOME. HE HAD TO BE AT THE RESTAURANT. HE BROUGHT IN MR. NICAS AS A PARTNER, AND THAT RELIEVED HIM SO HE HAD SOME TIME AT HOME, AND LATER THEY HAD A NIGHT MANAGER – IT WAS A 24 HOUR BUSINESS. PETE, THE NIGHT MANAGER, RELIEVED THEM SOMEWHAT TOO, SO THAT THEY SPENT A LITTLE TIME AT HOME, BOTH HE AND MR. NICAS... THEY HAD EXCELLENT CHEFS; MOSTLY CHINESE CHEFS, WHO WERE TRAINED BY THE CPR, AT THE VANCOUVER HOTEL. THEY’D BE THE MAIN CHEFS THAT THEY WOULD HAVE.” “IT WAS A VERY, VERY BUSY PLACE, SAY, ON SATURDAY NIGHT… LETHBRIDGE WAS VERY BUSY IN THOSE DAYS. THERE’D BE A SALVATION ARMY PLAYING DOWN THE STREET, IN FRONT OF THE ALEXANDRA HOTEL. THE RESTAURANT WAS HALF-WAY BETWEEN – JUST PICTURE THIS, MAIN STREET, THE BUSIEST STREET – STREETCARS GOING UP AND DOWN THE STREET ALL THE TIME – WALL-TO-WALL PEOPLE – VERY, VERY BUSY – AND LOCATED HALF-WAY BETWEEN THE ALEXANDRA BEER PARLOR, AND THE DALLAS BEER PARLOR, AT THE DALLAS HOTEL – SO THOSE WERE THE REAL FOCAL POINTS FOR MOST OF THE FARMERS WHO CAME TO TOWN – AND THEY WOULD SEND THEIR FAMILIES TO THE THEATRE – THE ROXY THEATRE WAS ON THAT SAME STREET, AND THE CAPITAL, DOWN ON THE NEXT BLOCK – AND THE WHITE LUNCH BECAME SORT OF THE 'HOME AWAY FROM HOME' FOR THOSE FAMILIES THAT CAME INTO TOWN ON SATURDAYS, MANY OF WHOM STAYED OVERNIGHT. IT WAS A VERY, VERY BUSY COMMUNITY, AND THE WHITE LUNCH WAS THE PREMIERE RESTAURANT – IT WAS THE ONLY RESTAURANT THAT HAD BANQUET FACILITIES [BEFORE THE MARQUIS] IN THE BASEMENT, AND THE ROTARY CLUB, AND KIWANIS, AND KINSMEN, AND SO ON, HAD THEIR MEETINGS THERE.” CHRISTOU DESCRIBED THE CLOSING OF THE BUSINESS, “DAD WASN’T WELL. WHEN THE DEPRESSION HIT IN 1928, DAD LOST A FORTUNE, AND THE RESTAURANT BUSINESS WENT DOWNHILL TERRIBLY, BECAUSE NOBODY HAD ANY MONEY. I STILL REMEMBER BOXES OF CHITS – PEOPLE’S IOU’S – TO PAY FOR MEALS, THAT WERE NEVER PAID FOR. IT WAS VERY TOUGH TIMES FOR THEM FOR THE NEXT FEW YEARS… HIS HEALTH FAILED DURING THAT TIME. DAD BECAME A SEVERE ASTHMATIC, AND WITH HIS HEALTH SO POOR, AND BUSINESS GOING DOWNHILL, HE FINALLY SOLD OUT IN THE ‘50S… IN THE MEANTIME MY MOTHER HAD COAXED DAD TO ACQUIRE SOME RENTAL PROPERTIES, AND THEY WERE ABLE TO MANAGE WITH THAT, BUT THEY WERE VERY DIFFICULT TIMES. ACTUALLY A GREAT BENEFIT TO ME, IN THAT I WAS OLD ENOUGH TO UNDERSTAND HOW DIFFICULT IT WAS FOR THEM, AND THAT I STARTED JOBS. I WORKED AS A CASHIER AT THE RESTAURANT, WHEN I WAS IN HIGH SCHOOL, AND WORKED AT OTHER JOBS AS WELL – AT THE THEATRE, AS AN USHER AND DOORMAN AT THE CAPITOL THEATRE, AND AT THE PARAMOUNT. [I] SAVED ALL THAT MONEY FOR UNIVERSITY. THE WORK ETHIC STARTED EARLY FOR ME, BECAUSE OF THE DEPRESSION.” IN THE INTERVIEW, CHRISTOU DESCRIBED IN DETAIL HOW HIS FATHER BECAME THE FIRST GREEK IMMIGRANT TO SETTLE IN LETHBRIDGE, “... [MY FATHER] WAS THE FIRST ONE TO SETTLE PERMANENTLY. HE WAS A VERY GREGARIOUS AND LIKEABLE PERSONALITY, A VERY CIVILIZED HUMAN BEING. [HE] WELCOMED ALL THE GREEKS WHO CAME AND DIDN’T MIND IF THEY WENT INTO THE RESTAURANT BUSINESS AT ALL. SEVERAL [GREEKS] THAT HE WELCOMED, OPENED UP RESTAURANTS. THE SAVOY CAFÉ WAS OWNED BY MR. HYT; THE SHASTA CAFÉ WAS OWNED BY THE GOLIS BROTHERS, AND THE MAPLE LEAF CAFÉ WAS OWNED BY THE AFAGANIS BROTHERS – THREE AFAGANIS BROTHERS.” IN COMPARISON TO OTHER GREEK COMMUNITIES THAT WERE ESTABLISHED IN NORTH AMERICA, LETHBRIDGE’S WAS CLOSE-KNIT REGARDLESS OF A FAMILY’S GREEK REGION OF ORIGIN. CHRISTOU EXPLAINED HOW HE CAME TO LEARN THIS: “I DIDN’T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT [THE NATURE OF OUR COMMUNITY] UNTIL I WENT ON, AFTER GRADUATING IN DENTISTRY. I WENT DOWN TO ROCHESTER, NEW YORK, WHERE I TOOK MY POST-GRADUATE IN/AT THE EASTMAN DENTAL DISPENSARY, IN ORTHODONTICS… THEY HAD TWO GREEK CHURCHES THERE, AND I FOUND OUT THAT THERE, AND EVERYWHERE ELSE THAT I RESEARCHED AFTER THAT, THE GREEK COMMUNITIES WERE SPLIT QUITE BADLY IN TWO, BETWEEN THE GREEKS WHO CAME FROM ASIA MINOR, AND THE GREEKS THAT CAME FROM THE MAINLAND. [IT] BECAUSE OF THE DIFFICULTIES THAT THE GREEKS IN ASIA MINOR HAD, IN MAINTAINING THEIR RELIGION AND THEIR CULTURE. THEY WORKED HARDER AT IT THAN THE GREEKS ON THE MAINLAND, AND WERE BETTER EDUCATED, AND WHEN THEY FINALLY HAD THIS EXCHANGE OF CITIZENS – AND THE GREAT EXCHANGE BETWEEN TURKEY AND GREECE IN 1921 – THE GREEKS FROM ASIA MINOR WERE ABLE TO COME TO THE MAINLAND AND TAKE OVER THE MAIN GOVERNMENT AND OTHER IMPORTANT JOBS, AND WERE RESENTED BY THE PEOPLE ON THE MAINLAND. IN LETHBRIDGE, NONE OF THAT EXISTED AT ALL. I THINK THAT WAS MY DAD’S DOING… THERE WAS NO DISCRIMINATION WHATSOEVER… [MY DAD] AND MY MOTHER BOTH CAME FROM THE MAINLAND… THE AFAGANISES, FOR EXAMPLE [CAME FROM ASIA MINOR]. AND I MARRIED ONE OF THEM [HELEN AFAGANIS]... YES, AND THE GOLIS’, AND THE DANGGAS’, MANY OF THE OTHERS WERE FROM ASIA MINOR.” SPEAKING ABOUT WHAT IT WAS LIKE GROWING UP IN LETHBRIDGE WITHIN THE GREEK COMMUNITY, CHRISTOU SAID, “WELL, AS CHILDREN, WE DIDN’T WANT TO BE DIFFERENT. WE REALLY WANTED TO FIT IN WITH THE WASP [WHITE ANGLO-SAXON PROTESTANT] KIDS THAT WE LIVED WITH. [WE] DIDN’T LIKE, FOR EXAMPLE, HAVING TO SPEAK GREEK AT HOME AND GO TO GREEK SCHOOL. OUR PARENTS SET UP A GREEK SCHOOL FOR US. THERE WAS [A] STRANGE DOUBLE-SIDED-NESS TO IT, WHERE WE WERE VERY PROUD OF OUR CULTURE, AND DID LEARN GREEK VERY WELL (BECAME FULLY BILINGUAL), BUT THERE WAS DISCRIMINATION AT THAT TIME. WE WERE THE ONLY FOREIGN-SPEAKING PEOPLE, ON THE SOUTHSIDE OF LETHBRIDGE. THAT WAS A UNIQUE SITUATION OF THE GREEK COMMUNITY. ALL OTHER NATIONALITIES, WHO SPOKE ANOTHER LANGUAGE, LIVED ON THE NORTHSIDE. THE SOUTHSIDE WAS WASP-VILLE SO THERE WAS DISCRIMINATION AND WE FELT IT. WHEN I LEFT TO GO TO UNIVERSITY, AT 17 YEARS OF AGE, THE ONLY THING I WAS SURE OF, WAS THAT I’D NEVER COME BACK TO LETHBRIDGE BECAUSE OF THE DISCRIMINATION I FELT… THEY HAD A WAY OF LETTING YOU KNOW THAT YOU ARE A SECOND-CLASS CITIZEN, AND THAT YOU REALLY BELONGED ON THE NORTHSIDE. THE INTERESTING THING IS THAT, WHEN I CAME BACK, AND I WAS ONLY COMING BACK FOR A YEAR, I FELL IN LOVE WITH HELEN. WE GOT MARRIED; BUILT A HOME ON FIFTEENTH AVENUE, AND THERE WAS NO DISCRIMINATION WHATSOEVER, IN ONE GENERATION.” AS STATED BY CHRISTOU, THE GREEK COMMUNITY BEGAN TO SHRINK IN SIZE AFTER THE SECOND WORLD WAR FOR VARIOUS REASONS: “AFTER THE WAR, IT WAS A DIFFERENT COMMUNITY ALL TOGETHER. THAT COMMUNITY WAS REALLY VIBRANT UP UNTIL THE SECOND WORLD WAR… BEFORE WE GOT THE UNIVERSITY HERE, MOST YOUNG PEOPLE WOULD LEAVE TOWN. VERY FEW STAYED. THE SPOULOS BOYS STAYED. I STAYED AND HELEN STAYED BECAUSE WE GOT MARRIED. HER BROTHER CAME BACK, BUT VERY FEW OTHERS. [THE COMMUNITY] GRADUALLY DIED OUT – JUST PASSED AWAY... WE ARE THE LAST REMNANTS – JIM SPOULOS AND I, HARRY AFAGANIS AND JIM’S SISTER, OLIVIA – ARE THE LAST REMNANTS OF THAT WHOLE COMMUNITY.” ACCORDING TO HIS OBITUARY, ACCESSED FROM THE MARTIN BROTHERS FUNERAL CHAPEL WEBSITE, PETO NICAS, THE DONOR’S FATHER WAS BORN IN LETHBRIDGE ON 2 JANUARY 1924. HE BECAME A LETHBRIDGE ENTREPRENEUR, LIKE HIS FATHER, OPENING MCGUIRE’S MEN’S WEAR FOR 50 YEARS. HE PASSED AWAY ON 20 DECEMBER 2016. AN OBITUARY PUBLISHED IN THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD ON 1 APRIL 1944 FOR ANDREW A. NICAS, STATES THAT HE WAS BORN IN ARGOS, GREECE, AND IMMIGRATED TO THE UNITED STATES IN 1900. IN 1911, HE MOVED TO LETHBRIDGE. A QUOTE FROM THAT OBITUARY STATES, “FEW RESTAURANT OPERATORS IN THE PROVINCE WERE MORE WIDELY KNOWN THAN A. A. ‘SHORTY’ NICAS, GENEROUS, GENIAL, AND HOSPITABLE.” HE PASSED AWAY IN LETHBRIDGE ON 1 APRIL 1944. ACCORDING TO THE OBITUARY OF AGNES A. NICAS, WIFE OF SHORTY NICAS, STATES THAT SHE WAS BORN IN GREECE, MOVING TO MONTREAL AND THEN TO LETHBRIDGE IN 1919 UPON HER MARRIAGE TO NICAS. SHE PASSED AWAY ON 3 MARCH 1988. FROM DR. VAN CHRISTOU’S OBITUARY, ALSO ON THE MARTIN BROTHERS FUNERAL CHAPEL WEBSITE, HE WAS BORN IN LETHBRIDGE ON 24 JANUARY 1926. HIS PARENTS WERE CHRIST (CHRIS) AND ANASTASIA CHRISTOU. IN 1948, HE GRADUATED FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF ALBERTA WITH A DOCTORATE OF DENTISTRY, AND LATER COMPLETED HIS POSTGRADUATE IN ORTHODONTICS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF ROCHESTER FROM 1948-50. HE RETURNED TO LETHBRIDGE TO PRACTICE GENERAL DENTISTRY AND LATER ESTABLISHED HIS OWN ORTHODONTIST PRACTICE. HE MARRIED HELEN AFAGANIS IN 1952 AND TOGETHER THEY HAD FOUR CHILDREN. HE PASSED AWAY ON 27 SEPTEMBER 2017. CHRISTOU PROVIDED A WRITTEN HISTORY TITLED “LETHBRIDGE’S GREEK (HELLENIC) COMMUNITY,” WHERE HE LISTED THE TEN PRE-WORLD WAR II GREEK FAMILIES LIVING IN LETHBRIDGE, INCLUDING THE CHRISTOU FAMILY AND THE NICAS FAMILY. A LETHBRIDGE HERALD ARTICLE FROM 11 OCTOBER 1946 STATES THAT THE WHITE LUNCH CAFÉ WAS SOLD IN 1946. PLEASE SEE PERMANENT FILE FOR MORE INFORMATION, INCLUDING FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTIONS, THE WRITTEN HISTORY OF THE GREEK COMMUNITY, AND LETHBRIDGE HERALD RESEARCH.
Catalogue Number
P20170008000
Acquisition Date
2017-02
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
Date Range From
1942
Date Range To
1946
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
WOOD
Catalogue Number
P20160007002
  2 images  
Material Type
Artifact
Date Range From
1942
Date Range To
1946
Materials
WOOD
No. Pieces
34
Height
8.7
Length
20.5
Width
16.2
Description
.1: BOX, BOTTOM. WOOD. PAINTED RED ON THREE SIDES (TWO LONG AND ONE SHORT SIDE). FOURTH SIDE REMAINS UNFINISHED. PARTIALLY PAINTED BOTTOM. GROOVE ALONG TOP ON THREE SIDES FOR LID TO SLIDE INTO. H: 8.7CM L: 20.5CM W: 16.2CM POOR TO GOOD CONDITION. GROOVE FOR LID MISSING ALONG ONE LONG SIDE OF THE BOX. INTERIOR OF BOX IS STAINED, POSSIBLY WITH AN OILY SUBSTANCE. .2: BOX, LID. WOOD. PAINTED RED ON OUTSIDE, UNFINISHED INSIDE. CREST SHAPED INDENTATION IN LID, TO ALLOW IT TO BE OPENED. THREE SIDES OF LID HAVE A THIN SECTION OF WOOD, WHICH FITS INTO THE GROOVE OF THE BOX. H: 1.0CM L: 19.7CM W: 14.7CM POOR TO GOOD CONDITION. MISSING THIN SECTION OF WOOD ON ONE LONG SIDE. .3: ROOK. BLACK. WOOD. H: 4.7CM D: 3.1CM. GOOD CONDITION. SMALL CHIP ON BOTTOM. .4: ROOK. BLACK. WOOD. H: 4.7CM D: 3.1CM. EXCELLENT CONDITION. .5: KNIGHT. BLACK. WOOD. H: 5.0CM D: 3.1CM. GOOD CONDITION. SMALL CHIP ON BOTTOM. .6: KNIGHT. BLACK. WOOD. H: 5.0CM D: 3.1CM. EXCELLENT CONDITION. .7: BISHOP. BLACK. WOOD. H: 5.6CM D: 3.1CM. GOOD CONDITION. SMALL CIRCLE ON VERY TOP SUGGESTS THAT PIECE IS MISSING, ABOVE THE GROOVE. SMALL CHIP ON SHOULDER. .8: BISHOP. BLACK. WOOD. H: 5.6CM D: 3.1CM. GOOD CONDITION. SMALL CIRCLE ON VERY TOP SUGGESTS THAT PIECE IS MISSING, ABOVE THE GROOVE. LARGE CHIPS ON SHOULDER SO THAT ABOUT HALF IS MISSING. .9: QUEEN. BLACK. WOOD. H: 7.1CM D: 3.5CM. GOOD CONDITION. SMALL CIRCLE ON VERY TOP SUGGESTS THAT TOP IS MISSING, ABOVE THE CROWN. SMALL CHIP IN CROWN. SMALL CHIP ON SHOULDER. SMALL INDENTATION ON UPPER PORTION OF THE BASE. .10: KING. BLACK. WOOD. H: 8.5CM D: 3.5CM. VERY GOOD CONDITION. TOP CROSS PORTION BROKEN, LEAVING A THIN PIECE WOOD THAT IS 0.9CM TALL STICKING OUT OF THE TOP. .11: PAWN. BLACK. WOOD. H: 4.3CM D: 2.5CM. EXCELLENT CONDITION. .12: PAWN. BLACK. WOOD. H: 4.3CM D: 2.5CM. GOOD CONDITION. CHIP ON SHOULDER, ALMOST HALF IS MISSING. .13: PAWN. BLACK. WOOD. H: 4.3CM D: 2.5CM. GOOD CONDITION. CHIP ON SHOULDER, ALMOST HALF IS MISSING. .14: PAWN. BLACK. WOOD. H: 4.3CM D: 2.5CM. EXCELLENT CONDITION. .15: PAWN. BLACK. WOOD. H: 4.3CM D: 2.5CM. GOOD CONDITION. CHIP ON SHOULDER, ALMOST HALF IS MISSING. .16: PAWN. BLACK. WOOD. H: 4.3CM D: 2.5CM. GOOD CONDITION. SMALL CHIP ON SHOULDER. TWO WHITE SPOTS ON ROUND TOP. .17: PAWN. BLACK. WOOD. H: 4.3CM D: 2.5CM. GOOD CONDITION. TWO SMALL CHIPS ON BOTTOM. .18: PAWN. BLACK. WOOD. H: 4.3CM D: 2.5CM. GOOD CONDITION. CHIP ON SHOULDER, ALMOST HALF IS MISSING. .19: ROOK. WHITE. WOOD. H: 4.7CM D: 3.1CM. EXCELLENT CONDITION. .20: ROOK. WHITE. WOOD. H: 4.7CM D: 3.1CM. EXCELLENT CONDITION. .21: KNIGHT. WHITE. WOOD. H: 5.0CM D: 3.1CM. EXCELLENT CONDITION. DIRT HAS ACCUMULATED IN THE DETAILED CARVINGS OF THE KNIGHT. .22: KNIGHT. WHITE. WOOD. H: 5.0CM D: 3.1CM. EXCELLENT CONDITION. DIRT HAS ACCUMULATED IN THE DETAILED CARVINGS OF THE KNIGHT. .23: BISHOP. WHITE. WOOD. H: 5.6CM D: 3.1CM. GOOD CONDITION. SMALL CIRCLE ON VERY TOP SUGGESTS THAT PIECE IS MISSING, ABOVE THE GROOVE. SMALL GREEN SPOT JUST BLOW THE GROOVE. DIRTY JUST BELOW SHOULDER. .24: BISHOP. WHITE. WOOD. H: 5.6CM D: 3.1CM. GOOD CONDITION. SMALL CIRCLE ON VERY TOP SUGGESTS THAT PIECE IS MISSING, ABOVE THE GROOVE. SMALL CHIP ON SHOULDER. .25: QUEEN. WHITE. WOOD. H: 7.1CM D: 3.5CM. EXCELLENT CONDITION. SMALL CIRCLE ON VERY TOP SUGGESTS THAT TOP IS MISSING, ABOVE THE CROWN. .26: KING. WHITE. WOOD. H: 8.5CM D: 3.5CM. 3.5CM. EXCELLENT CONDITION. .27: PAWN. WHITE. WOOD. H: 4.3CM D: 2.5CM. GOOD CONDITION. SMALL CHIP ON BOTTOM. .28: PAWN. WHITE. WOOD. H: 4.3CM D: 2.5CM. EXCELLENT CONDITION. .29: PAWN. WHITE. WOOD. H: 4.3CM D: 2.5CM. EXCELLENT CONDITION. .30: PAWN. WHITE. WOOD. H: 4.3CM D: 2.5CM. EXCELLENT CONDITION. .31: PAWN. WHITE. WOOD. H: 4.3CM D: 2.5CM. EXCELLENT CONDITION. .32: PAWN. WHITE. WOOD. H: 4.3CM D: 2.5CM. EXCELLENT CONDITION. .33: PAWN. WHITE. WOOD. H: 4.3CM D: 2.5CM. EXCELLENT CONDITION. .34: PAWN. WHITE. WOOD. H: 4.3CM D: 2.5CM. FAIR TO GOOD CONDITION. ROUND PORTION ABOVE SHOULDER COMPLETELY MISSING.
Subjects
GAME
Historical Association
LEISURE
MILITARY
History
THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION COMES FROM AN INTERVIEW WITH HILARY WHITE AND WENDY RUSSELL, CONDUCTED BY KEVIN MACLEAN IN FEBRUARY 2016. WENDY IS THE DAUGHTER OF SERGEANT DENZIL ASHBY, WHO WAS IN CHARGE OF THE RCMP DETACHMENT IN MEDICINE HAT WHERE WILLI MUELLER WAS HELD PRIOR TO HIS HANGING IN 1946. HILARY IS WENDY’S NIECE AND IS THE DAUGHTER OF ROSEMARY WELLS. WILLI MUELLER GAVE THE PAINTING AND THE CHESS SET TO DENZIL ASHBY. UPON HIS DEATH IN 1983, THE ITEMS WERE GIVEN TO ROSEMARY. SHE IN TURN GAVE THE TWO PIECES TO HER NEPHEW (AND WENDY’S SON) MICHAEL RUSSELL. WENDY EXPLAINED THAT MICHAEL “WAS VERY INTERESTED IN ANYTHING TO DO WITH MILITARY, PARTICULARLY CANADIAN MILITARY HISTORY.” UPON MICHAEL’S DEATH, THE ITEMS WERE TRANSFERRED TO HILARY, WHO HAS DONATED THEM TO THE GALT. IN EXPLAINING HER MOTIVATIONS TO DO SO, HILARY SAID “I LIVE IN SINGAPORE AND I AM A RESEARCHER AT THE NATIONAL MUSEUM OF SINGAPORE, AND I KNOW HOW MUCH THESE THINGS ARE TREASURES, AND THE STORIES THAT GO WITH THEM. SO I WAS ENCOURAGED, WHILE WENDY HAS THE STORIES STILL FRESH IN HER MIND, (LAUGHTER) TO HOPEFULLY SHARE THEM WITH YOU.” THE RCMP DETACHMENT IN MEDICINE HAT HOUSED NOT ONLY THE PRISONERS, BUT THE ASHBY FAMILY AS WELL. WENDY EXPLAINED: “IT WAS JUST A RANCH HOME THAT HAD JUST BEEN DIVIDED AND MADE INTO A DETACHMENT. ON THE FRONT PART OF THE DETACHMENT, I REMEMBER, THERE WERE THE OFFICES, THE JAIL – I THINK THERE WERE TWO CELLS IN THE BASEMENT, AND I ONLY SORT OF PEEKED THROUGH A HOLE IN THE WALL TO SEE THEM. I DON’T THINK I EVER WENT NEAR THEM. AND THEN ON THE UPPER FLOOR, I THINK THE THIRD FLOOR, WAS WHERE THE CONSTABLES SLEPT. THERE WAS ONLY ONE MARRIED OFFICER AND THAT WAS MY FATHER AND THE REST WERE ALL CONSTABLES. SO WE WOULD USUALLY HAVE TWO OR THREE.” SHE ELABORATED, SAYING: “I CAN REMEMBER SITTING ON THE BASEMENT STEPS BECAUSE THE HOUSE WAS DIVIDED. IT WAS AN RCMP DETACHMENT AND SO THE JAILS WERE IN THE BASEMENT ON THE OFFICE SIDE, AND THE PERSONAL WAS ON THE OTHER, AND I WOULD SIT ON THE STAIRS AND LISTEN TO WILLI PLAY HIS HARMONICA. AND IT WAS LILI MARLENE. I GET ALL TEARY WHEN I THINK – BUT HE WAS A VERY, VERY PLEASANT YOUNG MAN. I DON’T REALLY VISUALIZE – I, SEEING PICTURES OF HIM NOW, I CAN RECALL HIS NICE COUNTENANCE. HE HAD A VERY FRIENDLY FACE AND VERY RELAXED, VERY, VERY PERSONABLE, VERY RELIABLE, VERY RESPECTFUL. AND I KNOW MY MOTHER, OF COURSE, DID ALL THE HOME COOKING FOR THE PRISONERS THERE, SO WILLI HAD NICE HOME COOKING, CHOCOLATE CAKE, AND I CAN’T REMEMBER ANYTHING THAT WAS BAD BECAUSE I THINK MY FATHER KEPT EVERYTHING VERY CALM. I HAD NO IDEA THAT THERE WAS A PRISONER OF WAR CAMP. I WOULDN’T KNOW WHAT THAT MEANT, AND EVEN THAT WILLI WAS GOING TO BE HANGED. BUT OF COURSE, MY SISTER DID.” SHE CONTINUED: “BEING A SMALL CHILD, I WAS JUST AWARE THAT HE WAS THERE. HE WAS CUTTING THE GRASS AND HE WAS A PLEASANT PERSON AND ROSEMARY WAS VERY FOND OF HIM. SHE WAS A TEENAGER AND HE WAS A NICE LOOKING YOUNG MAN AND I THINK SHE SORT OF HAD A CRUSH ON HIM. HE WAS VERY GENTLE AND AS I SAY, VERY RESPECTFUL.” SHE DESCRIBED WILLI FURTHER: “HE WAS VERY RESPECTFUL; HE WASN’T A PUSHY PERSON, OR LIKE, WE OFTEN THINK OF THE GERMANS AS BEING ALOOF AND – BUT HE WASN’T. HE WAS JUST A VERY NATURAL AND VERY – MY FATHER LEFT HIM IN CHARGE OF THE DETACHMENT ONCE. IT WAS A BIT OF – THIS IS ALL HEARSAY, BUT THERE WAS A FIRE SOMEWHERE NEAR MEDICINE HAT AND IT WAS SPREADING AND THEY NEEDED TO GO, SO DAD TOOK ALL THE – MAYBE TWO CONSTABLES AND HIMSELF, AND THEY HAD TO GO, SO HE LEFT WILLI CUTTING THE GRASS AND APPARENTLY HE TOLD HIM, HE SAID, ‘NOW WE HAVE AN EMERGENCY.’ HE SAID, ‘YOU’RE IN CHARGE OF THE DETACHMENT. I EXPECT YOU TO BE HERE WHEN I GET BACK.’ AND HE SAID, ‘YES,’ AND HE WAS.” WENDY’S MOTHER ALSO FOUND WILLI CHARMING: “MY MOTHER THOUGHT HE WAS LOVELY, BECAUSE HE WAS SUCH A GENTLEMAN, I THINK.” WENDY HAD THE FOLLOWING TO SAY ABOUT THE CHESS SET: “I THINK MY FATHER MENTIONED THAT THEY WERE PROVIDED WITH CHESS SETS OR THINGS TO OCCUPY THEIR TIME IN SOME OF THE CAMPS, AND THAT WILLI HAD THIS SET WITH HIM AND HE USED TO PLAY IT IN THE – I DON’T KNOW IF HE PLAYED WITH, YOU KNOW, BY HIMSELF OR SOMEBODY ELSE - ONE OF THE OTHER BOYS THAT WERE IN THE STATION WOULD PLAY WITH HIM. I DO KNOW THAT [THE PAINTING AND CHESS SET] BELONGED TO HIM, AND WHEN HE WAS TAKEN AWAY, HE PRESENTED THESE TO MY FATHER.” WENDY RECALLS BEING TOO YOUNG TO KNOW THAT WILLI HAD BEEN HANGED, BUT FIGURED THAT HER SISTER ROSEMARY KNEW: “WE JUST KNEW THAT HE HAD GONE. BUT ROSEMARY WOULD HAVE KNOWN [THAT HE WAS EXECUTED], AND THAT’S MAYBE WHY – I DON’T KNOW WHAT HILARY CAN TELL YOU, HOW, IF ROSEMARY TOLD HER HOW SHE FELT ABOUT IT.” HILARY RESPONDED, SAYING: “SHE DID A LOT. SHE TOLD ME LOTS OF STORIES, BUT I WAS LIKE, “AAH, MOM.” YOU KNOW I WAS FAIRLY YOUNG, PROBABLY ROLLING MY EYES ABOUT SOME ROMANCE OR SOMETHING SHE HAD WITH THIS GUY, AND I JUST REMEMBER HER TELLING ME THAT HE DIED ON HER BIRTHDAY AND IT WAS DEVASTATING, AND SHE STILL CRIED ABOUT IT … SHE MUST HAVE BEEN VERY EMOTIONALLY ATTACHED TO HIM … BUT I DON’T REALLY KNOW ANY OF THE DETAILS. I’M JUST READING ABOUT IT NOW, AND I DON’T WANT TO MIX IT UP BETWEEN WHAT SHE TOLD ME AND WHAT I’M READING.” WHEN ASKED IF THE PAINTING HAD BEEN DISPLAYED, WENDY REPLIED: “YES. [MY DAD DENZIL] HAD THIS IN HIS DEN AND HE HAD A DEN/OFFICE BECAUSE HE LATER BECAME A PROVINCIAL COURT JUDGE IN B.C. AND THIS WAS ALWAYS ON HIS WALL IN THAT LITTLE ROOM IN THE BASEMENT THAT HE HAD. THAT WAS JUST IN HIS DISPLAY CASE.” WENDY THINKS HER FATHER HELD ONTO THE PAINTING AND CHESS SET BECAUSE HE FELT WILLI SHOULDN’T HAVE BEEN HANGED: “I HAVE A FEELING [DAD] THOUGHT AT THE TIME, THAT WILLI SHOULD NEVER HAVE BEEN HANGED. AND I THINK THAT THAT WEIGHED ON HIM, BUT THIS IS MY FEELING, BECAUSE WILLI THOUGHT THAT BECAUSE HE WAS GIVING EVIDENCE. THIS WAS A TIME OF WAR WHEN WE ALLOWED, IF I UNDERSTAND, THE CAMPS BE RUN BY THE OFFICERS – THEY HAD THEIR OWN HIERARCHY – AND HE WAS COMMANDED OR ORDERED TO COMMIT THIS CRIME, AND DAD, I THINK, FELT BADLY ABOUT THIS. THIS WAS NOT THE – HE WAS ORDERED AND IN A TIME OF WAR, IF YOU DIDN’T DO WHAT YOUR OFFICER SAID, YOU WERE KILLED. YOU KNOW, YOU WERE – SO I THINK THAT, PERHAPS WAS A PART OF IT.” A SPECIAL SERIES FROM THE EDMONTON JOURNAL ENTITLED “HANGED: A SPECIAL SERIES ABOUT THE HISTORY OF CAPITAL PUNISHMENT IN ALBERTA” INDICATES THAT THE GERMAN P.O.W.S PLAYED CHESS TO PASS THE TIME: “THE FOUR GERMANS SPENT THE DAYS BEFORE THEIR EXECUTION PLAYING CHEST, SHOUTING THEIR MOVES TO EACH OTHER FROM SEPARATE CELLS. NONE OF THE MEN WOULD SPEAK TO [DONALD SHERMAN] STALEY, WHO SPENT HIS FINAL DAYS DOING JIGSAW PUZZLES ALONE.” THE FOLLOWING PARAGRAPHS PULL THEIR INFORMATION FROM A SERIES OF LETHBRIDGE HERALD ARTICLES. BIOGRAPHIC DETAILS FOR WILLI MUELLER ARE FOUND IN AN ARTICLE PUBLISHED ON APRIL 30, 1946: FELDWEBEL (SERGEANT MAJOR) WILLI MUELLER WAS BORN IN SILESIA, HIS NATIVE CITY BEING KLEINA IN THE PROVINCE OF GORSEROTZ. HE MADE HIS HOME IN ROSETZ IN TROCHENG, WHERE HE WORKED AS AN ENGINE MECHANIC IN CIVILIAN LIFE. MUELLER WENT INTO THE GERMAN NAVY IN 1934 AND THE FOLLOWING YEAR TRANSFERRED TO THE AIR FORCE.” AT THE TIME THE ARTICLE WAS PUBLISHED, MUELLER WAS A “32-YEAR-OLD LUFTWAFFE MECHANIC, WHO WAS CAPTURED NEAR GLASGOW, SCOTLAND, ON MAY 6, 1941, AFTER HIS BOMBER WAS SHOT DOWN INTO A SWAMP BY A SPITFIRE FIGHTER. HE WEARS BOTH THE FIRST AND SECOND CLASS VERSIONS OF THE IRON CROSS AND COMPLETED 87 OPERATIONAL FLIGHTS.” THE ARTICLE CONTINUED: “WHEN HIS PLANE WAS SHOT DOWN INTO A SWAMP NEAR GLASGOW, BOTH MUELLER’S LEGS WERE BROKEN AND HE ALSO SUFFERED A FRACTURE OF A VERTEBRA. THE CAPTAIN AND LIEUTENANT IN THE BOMBER WERE KILLED. AFTER BEING RELEASED FROM HOSPITAL AND REGAINING HIS HEALTH, MUELLER WAS BROUGHT TO CANADA AND FOR SIX MONTHS WORKED IN A LUMBER CAMP NEAR FLANDERS, ONT. A SINGLE MAN, HE SPEAKS SPANISH AND ONLY A LITTLE ENGLISH.” MUELLER WAS PUT ON TRIAL FOR HIS INVOLVEMENT IN THE MURDER OF UNTEROFFIZIER (CORPORAL) DR. KARL LEHMANN, A FELLOW GERMAN PRISONER OF WAR, ON SEPTEMBER 10, 1944, AT THE MEDICINE HAT PRISONER OF WAR CAMP, NUMBER 132. LEHMANN “WAS BELIEVED TO BE A GERMAN DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY AND AN ANTI-NAZI” ACCORDING TO AN APRIL 20, 1946 ARTICLE. A JULY 30, 1946 ARTICLE SAID THE FOLLOWING: “LEHMANN’S REPUTATION PRIOR TO HIS DEATH WAS THAT HE WAS A ‘GOOD SPORTSMAN’ AND A ‘GOOD COMRADE.’ AFTER HIS DEATH THE RUMOR HAD BEEN THAT HE WAS A ‘TRAITOR.’” THREE OTHER P.O.W.S WERE IMPLICATED IN THE MURDER AS WELL: BRUNO PERZENOWSKI (ALSO SPELT PERZONOWSKY), WALTER WOLF, AND HEINRICH BUSCH. AN ARTICLE PUBLISHED ON MAY 3, 1946 EXPLAINS THE MOTIVATION BEHIND THE KILLING OF LEHMANN: “PERZENOWSKI INFORMED THEM THAT HE HAD ‘ORDERS TO PUT LEHMANN ASIDE’ BECAUSE HE WAS PLANNING A COMMUNISTIC OVERTHROW AND THAT LEHMANN WAS SUPPOSED TO BE ‘THE CHIEF OF THIS COMMUNISTIC GROUP.’ MUELLER WROTE [IN A STATEMENT GIVEN TO POLICE VOLUNTARILY] THAT AS ‘I WAS A STRONG MAN, PERZENOWSKI GAVE ME THE ORDER TO HELP DO AWAY WITH LEHMANN.” ANOTHER ARTICLE PUBLISHED JUNE 27, 1946 GIVES ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: “MUELLER TOLD … THAT ON THE AFTERNOON OF LEHMANN’S HANGING HE HAD BEEN SUMMONED TO PERZENOWSKI’S QUARTERS. HERE HE WAS TOLD BY [PERZENOWSKI] OF AN ORDER RECEIVED FROM THE ‘HIGHER-UPS’ STATING THAT A ‘COURT HAD TAKEN PLACE AND THAT DURING THAT COURT THREE OR FIVE MEN HAD STATED UNDER OATH THAT CPL. LEHMANN HAD BEEN THE RINGLEADER OF A COMMUNISTIC GROUP WHICH THREATENED TO OVERTHROW THE CAMP LEADERSHIP.’ THE ORDER FURTHER STATED ‘THAT LEHMANN WAS TO BE REMOVED AND THAT I (MUELLER) WOULD HAVE TO ASSIST IN IT.’” IN AN ADDITIONAL ARTICLE, PUBLISHED MAY 13, 1946, AN UNIDENTIFIED GERMAN P.O.W. TESTIFIED THAT KARL LEHMANN WAS HANGED BECAUSE HE WAS “‘SUPPOSED TO BE DANGEROUS FOR THE GENERAL CAMP PUBLIC.’” FINALLY, AN ARTICLE FROM DECEMBER 18, 1946 EXPLAINS FURTHER: “NAZI LEADERS HAD ORDERED LEHMANN KILLED WHEN HE WAS A PRISONER OF WAR IN BRITAIN AFTER HAVING BEEN SHOT DOWN WHILE SERVING WITH THE LUFTWAFFE, BECAUSE HE WAS AN ANTI-NAZI. AT THAT TIME HE WAS DETAINED AT A CAMP WITH PERZENOWSKI, MUELLER, AND BUSCH BUT WAS TRANSFERRED TO CANADA BEFORE THE ORDERS COULD BE EXECUTED. HE AGAIN MET SOME OF HIS FORMER FELLOW CAPTIVES AT THE MEDICINE HAT CAMP AND AFTER THE ATTEMPT ON HITLER’S LIFE. NAZI LEADERS IN THAT CAMP WERE ORDERED BY HIDDEN SHORT WAVE RADIO TO KILL ALL TRAITORS TO NAZISM AND ALL COMMUNISTS. LEHMANN HAD BEEN LECTURING AGAINST NAZI IDEOLOGY AT THE CAMP.” AT HIS TRIAL, PERZENOWSKI TRIED TO TAKE THE BLAME FOR THE MURDER. AN ARTICLE FROM JUNE 28, 1946 GIVES THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION: SERGEANT-MAJOR BRUNO PERZENOWSKI “ADMITTED THAT WITHOUT HAVING BEEN DIRECTLY ORDERED TO DO SO, HE HAD GIVEN THE ORDER TO HAVE LEHMANN REMOVED, AND HE EXPRESSED THE DESIRE THAT FULL RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE MURDER BE PLACED ON HIM AND THAT THOSE HE HAD ORDERED TO ASSIST HIM IN THE HANGING BE NOT BLAMED.” IT CONTINUED SAYING THAT “…THE ACCUSED HAD CONSIDERED [THAT] HE WAS ACTING ACCORDING TO GERMAN MILITARY LAW WHEN ORDERING THE HANGING.” IN AN ARTICLE FROM JUNE 27, 1946, MUELLER EXPLAINED THAT THE MURDER “HAD BEEN PLANNED AND ALL PREPARATIONS MADE PRIOR TO HIS GOING TO THE HEAD BARRACKS OF HUTS DZ.” IT CONTINUED: “IT HAD ALSO BEEN ARRANGED THAT AT A GIVEN SIGNAL HE (MUELLER) WAS TO HIT LEHMANN ON THE CHIN AND KNOCK HIM DOWN. THEN THE NOOSE WAS TO BE PUT OVER HIS NECK AND HE WAS TO BE HANGED.” THE ARTICLE CONTINUED: “‘AS I ARRIVED AT THE HUT I WAS HANDED A ROPE AND A STICK BY SOMEONE AND I WAS INSTRUCTED TO HIT LEHMANN WITH THE STICK. I THREW THE STICK AWAY AND STUCK THE ROPE IN MY POCKET,’ [MUELLER] TESTIFIED. SHORTLY AFTER LEHMANN ARRIVED AND WAS ASKED BY PERZENOWSKI ‘IF HE KNEW ANYTHING ABOUT THE COMMUNISTIC ACTIVITIES. THAT WAS THE SIGNAL FOR ME TO HIT HIM.’ MUELLER SAID WHEN HE HIT HIM WITH HIS FIST, LEHMANN FELL OFF THE BENCH ON WHICH HE WAS SITTING AND THE REST OF THOSE IN THE ROOM ‘FELL UPON HIM.’ THE ROPE WAS THEN ADJUSTED ON THE VICTIM’S NECK BY ‘MYSELF AND BUSCH.’ LEHMANN WAS THEN LIFTED UP AND WHEN THE OTHER END OF THE ROPE HAD BEEN TIED, ‘I BELIEVE BY BUSCH’ TO THE GAS PIPE, ‘I LEFT.’ … [MUELLER] HAD NOT SEEN THE ORDER WHICH PERZENOWSKI SAID HE RECEIVED FROM THE ‘HIGHEST AUTHORITY’ AND HE ‘HAD THE IMPRESSION PERZENOWSKI DID NOT WANT HIM TO SEE IT.’” THE FOUR GERMAN P.O.W.S WERE FOUND GUILTY OF MURDER AND ALL WERE SENTENCED TO HANG. THREE OF THE MEN ATTEMPTED TO COMMIT SUICIDE PRIOR TO THEIR HANGING, INCLUDING MUELLER. THE MEN EXPLAINED, IN A DECEMBER 18, 1946 ARTICLE, “THAT THEY TRIED TO COMMIT SUICIDE IN A DETERMINED EFFORT TO ESCAPE HANGING LIKE CRIMINALS … THEY HAD MADE APPEALS TO BE SHOT ‘LIKE SOLDIERS.’” THE ARTICLE CONTINUED SAYING: “THE TRAP DOOR FOR MUELLER AND WOLF WAS SPRUNG AT 1242 AND THE LATTER WAS PRONOUNCED DEAD IN 12 MINUTES AND MUELLER WAS DEAD THREE MINUTES LATER.” THE FOUR P.O.W.S WERE HUNG AT THE SAME TIME AS DONALD SHERMAN STALEY, WHO WAS CONVICTED OF THE MURDER OF TWO YOUNG BOYS. THE DECEMBER 18 ARTICLE CONTINUED: “EACH OF THE NAZIS EXPRESSED RESENTMENT AT BEING SCHEDULED TO HANG WITH STALEY, THE GERMANS REGARDING HIM AS ‘A CRIMINAL’ BECAUSE HE MURDERED TWO YOUNG BOYS. THEY TREATED HIM WITH CONTEMPT … EACH OF THE MURDERERS WAS HANGED WEARING REGULAR PRISON CLOTHING CONSISTING OF A BLUE SHIRT, KHAKI TROUSERS AND A PAIR OF CANVAS SLIPPERS.” SEE PERMANENT FILE FOR A COPY OF THE INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT, A COPY OF THE SPECIAL “HANGED” FROM THE EDMONTON JOURNAL, AND FOR COPIES OF THE HERALD ARTICLES.
Catalogue Number
P20160007002
Acquisition Date
2016-03
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail
Other Name
WHAT THE FRACK HAPPENED?
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
COTTON, POLYESTER, PLASTIC
Catalogue Number
P20160014000
  2 images  
Material Type
Artifact
Other Name
WHAT THE FRACK HAPPENED?
Date
2014
Materials
COTTON, POLYESTER, PLASTIC
No. Pieces
3
Length
77.7
Width
86.8
Description
.1: VEST. PATCHWORK OF VARIETY OF MATERIALS AND TEXTURES. CLOSES AT FRONT WITH A LARGE BLUE, CIRCULAR, CONVEX BUTTON, WITH THREE SMALL STONES IN THE CENTRE OF THE BUTTON. A PIECE OF VELVET TRIM LOOPS AROUND THE BUTTON TO CLOSE. A WHITE PAPER TAG (P20160014000.2) HANGS FROM THIS BUTTON. FRONT DEPICTS A NATURE SCENE. ALONG TOP OF VEST, FABRIC IS PINK AND PURPLE, POSSIBLY DEPICTING A SUNRISE OR SUNSET. ON WEARER’S LEFT THERE IS A NATURE SCENE OF A PINE TREE AND ROCKS, WHICH HAS BEEN APPLIQUED AND EMBROIDERED ONTO VEST. LIGHT BROWN YARN DEPICTS THE TREE’S ROOTS, WHICH GO DOWN FROM THE TREE INTO A GREEN SECTION ON THE VEST. THERE ARE SEVERAL BUTTONS AND SMALL ROCKS OF VARIOUS COLOURS SEWN ONTO THIS GREEN SECTION. BELOW THIS IS A BLUE STRIPE, THEN A SECTION OF MULTIPLE SHADES OF BROWN, INCLUDING ONE SECTION THAT IS VERY TEXTURED AND IS LIKELY PAINTED/DYED TYVEK. THE WEARER’S LEFT SIDE DEPICTS A FARMING SCENE WITH MOUNTAINS IN THE BACKGROUND. BELOW THAT IS A CONTINUATION OF THE BLUE STRIPE FROM THE RIGHT SIDE. THEN THERE IS A SECTION OF MULTIPLE SHADES OF BROWN AND PURPLE. THERE IS ALSO ANOTHER SECTION OF PAINTED/DYED TYVEK ON THIS SIDE, WHICH IS PURPLE IN COLOUR AND THERE ARE SEQUINS, BUTTONS, AND SMALL ROCKS SEWN INTO AND ONTO THIS PURPLE SECTION. BACK OF VEST DEPICTS CONSEQUENCES OF FRACKING. TOP OF VEST ON BACK IS A SHADE OF PURPLE/PINK, WITH BLACK NETTING OVER IT. THERE ARE TWO BRIDGE TRUSSES ON THE WEARER’S RIGHT SIDE AND TWO GAS RIGS ON THE WEARER’S LEFT SIDE. BELOW THIS IS A STRIPE OF GOLD RIBBON, WITH 5 GOLD COLOURED KEYS AND FIVE SQUARE WOODEN BUTTONS ATTACHED HORIZONTALLY ACROSS THE VEST. BELOW GOLD STRIPE IS A PATCHWORK OF A VARIETY OF MATERIALS AND TEXTURES AND COLOURS INCLUDE VARIOUS SHADES OF PURPLE, GREEN, BLUE, RED, PINK, YELLOW, AND BROWN. MOST OF THE DIFFERENT PIECES OF MATERIAL ARE BORDERED WITH A RED FRINGE TRIM. ON WEARER’S LEFT SIDE, BELOW ARM HOLE, IS A SMALL SECTION OF BLUE FABRIC WITH THREE SMALL SEA SHELLS SEWN ON. BOTTOM RIGHT HAND CORNER OF THE BACK OF VEST HAS A MEDIUM SIZED WHITE AND RED BUTTON (P20160014000.3). INSIDE OF VEST LINED WITH BLACK NETTING ON THE FRONT AND WITH GOLD, BLACK, AND RED NETTING ON THE BACK. .2: TAG. WHITE, HEAVY PAPER. HANDWRITTEN IN BLUE INK “CREATED BY CHERYL ATKINSON, BEV HALL, FRANCES SCHULTZ.” REVERSE HAS HANDWRITTEN IN BLUE INK “ART VEST. $200.XX” WITH 26-14 TYPED IN BLACK INK. 3.8CM LONG X 6.5CM WIDE .3: BUTTON: ROUND BUTTON, WHITE BACKGROUND. DEPICTS A GAS RIG WITH A RED DIAGONAL LINE ACROSS THE RIG. TEXT OF BUTTON READS: “WWW.NODRILLINGLETHBRIDGE.CA”. 6.5CM DIAMETER
Subjects
CLOTHING-OUTERWEAR
Historical Association
DECORATIVE ARTS
History
THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION COMES FROM AN INTERVIEW WITH THE DONOR, CHERYL ATKINSON, CONDUCTED BY KEVIN MACLEAN IN MAY 2016. THIS VEST WAS CREATED AS PART OF AN ART GARMENT CHALLENGE PUT FORWARD BY THE TEXTILE SURFACE DESIGN GUILD. CHERYL WAS BOTH A PARTICIPANT AND AN ORGANIZER OF THIS ART CHALLENGE. CHERYL INDICATED THAT “PART OF THE CHALLENGE WAS TO WORK WITH OTHER MEMBERS OF THE GROUP WHO, MAYBE YOU HADN’T SPENT TIME TRYING TO WORK COLLABORATIVELY WITH.” IN JANUARY 2014 THE GUILD GOT TOGETHER TO DETERMINE THE WORKING GROUPS AND THE THEMES THAT WOULD BE WORKED ON, BASED ON “WHAT THEIR INTERESTS WERE IN LIFE. SO, SOME PEOPLE CHOSE GARDENING, ANOTHER GROUP DID ART, LIKE PURE ART, AND OUR GROUP CHOSE THE ENVIRONMENT. AND, AT THE TIME, THE ENVIRONMENT IN LETHBRIDGE WAS UNDER THREAT, IN QUESTION BECAUSE THERE WAS A COMPANY THAT WAS PLANNING TO DO DIRECTIONAL DRILLING, FRACKING, IN WEST LETHBRIDGE, AND ONE OF THE MEMBERS WHO JOINED OUR GROUP WAS PARTICULARLY CONCERNED ABOUT IT, SO WE THOUGHT THAT WOULD BE A GOOD SOURCE OF INSPIRATION FOR OUR ART GARMENT.” PART OF THE REASON THE GUILD WANTED TO DO A COLLABORATIVE PROJECT LIKE THIS IS BECAUSE THE GROUP HAD GROWN CONSIDERABLY IN SIZE: “OUR GROUP HAS EXPANDED A LOT. IN THE LAST NUMBER OF YEARS WE WENT FROM A GROUP OF ABOUT FIFTEEN PEOPLE TO A GROUP OF ABOUT FORTY PEOPLE, SO IT’S HARD TO GET TO KNOW FORTY PEOPLE INTIMATELY, SO WE WERE TRYING TO FIND A WAY TO CONNECT WITH EACH OTHER, LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR INTERESTS. AND SO, WE JUST, LIKE, HAD A CONVERSATION AND PEOPLE WERE TALKING ABOUT THINGS THEY WERE INTERESTED IN, AND THEN WE STARTED, I THINK WE PASSED AROUND A LIST OF, JUST LIKE A SHEET THAT PEOPLE WOULD WRITE DOWN KIND OF TOPICS OF THEIR INTEREST, AND THEN WE JUST STARTED MATCHING THEM UP, AND THEN WE PUT, WE DIDN’T WANT TO HAVE LIKE TEN PEOPLE ON ONE PROJECT AND ONE ON ANOTHER, SO WE TRIED TO SORT OF SPLIT THEM UP IF PEOPLE PUT DOWN MORE THAN ONE AREA OF INTEREST. SO, ENVIRONMENT JUST TURNED OUT TO BE FRANCES [SCHULTZ], BEV [HALL] AND I SO.” CHERYL INDICATED THAT THE ENVIRONMENT WAS ESPECIALLY IMPORTANT TO GROUP MEMBER BEV HALL: “I THINK THAT THE ISSUE ABOUT THE FRACKING CAME UP AS WE DISCUSSED, LIKE, WHAT WE WERE GOING TO DO ABOUT THE VEST … BEV FOR INSTANCE, LOVES TO HIKE IN THE MOUNTAINS AND THAT SHE FEELS CONNECTED TO THE NATURAL ENVIRONMENT IN SOUTHERN ALBERTA. AND I AM INTERESTED IN THINGS LIKE HERITAGE PLANTS AND NATIVE SPECIES AND THINGS LIKE THAT. I DON’T THINK ANY OF US HAD ANY, LIKE, WE’RE NOT TRAINED ENVIRONMENTALISTS IN ANY WAY. IT JUST SEEMED THAT THAT WAS AN AREA OF INTEREST THAT WE COULD USE AS A FOCUS FOR ART.” TO CREATE THE VEST, THE THREE WOMEN DIVIDED UP THE WORK: “WE DECIDED THAT TOGETHER WE WOULD MAKE A PATTERN AND CREATE THE SHAPE OF THE GARMENT. AND THEN, WE HAD A VERY TIGHT TIME PRESSURE, WE HAD SIX WEEKS TO FINISH IT … SO, WE DECIDED TO PARCEL IT OUT INTO PIECES. SO, FRANCES DID THE BACK, BEV DID THE SHOULDER AREA AT THE FRONT, AND I DID THE LOWER AREA AT THE FRONT. AND THEN BEV SEWED IT TOGETHER, AND THEN I EMBELLISHED IT AT THE END.” TO MAKE THE VEST, THE WOMEN USED FABRIC FROM THEIR COLLECTIONS: “WE KIND OF LOOKED AT THE MATERIALS THAT WE HAD, AND WE HAD QUITE A SELECTION! … AND TRIED TO DECIDE WHAT KINDS OF COLOURS OR TEXTURES, THINGS THAT WE COULD DRAW FROM ON OUR OWN PIECES, AND SOMETIMES WE SHARED THEM WITH THE OTHER PEOPLE THAT WERE – YOU KNOW, IF A PIECE OF MY FABRIC FIT BETTER IN BEV’S AREA, THEN I JUST GAVE HER, AND SHE COULD DECIDE WHETHER SHE’D USE IT OR NOT. AND THEN WE EACH TOOK OUR BITS HOME. BEV DID HER PART FIRST, AND THEN I ADDED MINE TO IT, SO SHE STARTED ON THE FRONT AND THEN I ADDED LATER, AND FRANCES DID THE BACK INDEPENDENTLY OF EACH OTHER. SO WE REALLY DIDN’T KNOW WHAT THE WHOLE PIECE WAS GOING TO LOOK LIKE UNTIL IT CAME TOGETHER AS ONE. AND THEN, ONCE THE PIECE WAS TOGETHER, IT WAS MEANT TO BE SHOWED AT THE TEXTILE GUILD MEETING IN MARCH, AND WE HAD A LITTLE FASHION SHOW, AND WE SHOWED IT OFF, AND RESULTING FROM THE PIECES THAT CAME TOGETHER AT THAT TIME, WE HAD A, WE WERE INVITED TO SHOW THE ARTWORK IN THE DISPLAY CASES AT CASA FOR SIX WEEKS.” CHERYL DESCRIBES THE PIECE: “SO THE IMAGERY IN THE PIECE, AT THE FRONT, WE HAVE THE NATURAL ENVIRONMENT OF SOUTHERN ALBERTA REPRESENTED ON THE TOP, THE SHOULDER AREAS. SO, THE MOUNTAINS, THE COULEES, THE TREES, THE VALLEY, THE WATER. AND THEN IT GOES DOWN TO THE LOWER, WHAT WE WOULD IMAGINE THE UNDERGROUND LAYERS LOOK LIKE IN THE EARTH, THE GEOLOGY, THE WATER TRAVELLING UNDERGROUND, THE ROCKS THE SOIL, THINGS LIKE THAT. AND THEN ON THE BACK SIDE OF THE VEST, WE SEE ALL OF THAT DISRUPTED DURING THE FRACKING PROCESS. WE SEE FRACTURING HAPPENING. THE WATER AND THE EARTH ARE GETTING ALL MIXED TOGETHER AND DAMAGED AND, THE BIG EMBELLISHMENT ACROSS THE BACK, THERE IS A SERIES OF GOLD KEYS RIGHT ACROSS THE BACK OF THE VEST, AND THEY ARE, ACTUALLY, WE HAD JUST MOVED OUT OF THE BOWMAN ARTS CENTRE AT THAT PERIOD IN TIME, AND WE HAD A LOT OF STUDIO KEYS LEFT OVER THAT WE DIDN’T KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH, SO WE JUST SEWED THEM ON THERE, AND THEY REPRESENT THE DRILLING COMPANY THAT WAS PROPOSING TO DO THE FRACKING IN WEST LETHBRIDGE. SO, IT’S SUBTLE, BUT THERE IS KIND OF A MESSAGE THERE. AND THERE’S ALSO A BUTTON ON THE BACK FROM THE ANTI-FRACKING CAMPAIGN.” CHERYL WAS MADE CUSTODIAN OF THE VEST BECAUSE SHE WAS “SORT OF THE PROJECT LEADER … IT WAS ALSO MEANT TO FIT ME, SO I THINK THAT’S ALSO WHY I AM THE ONE THAT HAS CUSTODY OF IT.” SHE IS PROUD OF HOW THE GROUP COLLABORATION TURNED OUT AND FINDS IT A LITTLE DIFFICULT TO PART WITH THE VEST: “IT IS HARD TO PART WITH IT, BUT I CAN’T, I MEAN IT’S SORT OF A SNAPSHOT IN TIME. I MEAN IT WAS SOMETHING THAT WAS VERY CURRENT AND IMPORTANT, AND I THINK WE ADDED SOMETHING TO THE CONVERSATION BY HAVING THIS ON DISPLAY AT THE TIME WHERE DECISION MAKING WAS HAPPENING. BUT I DON’T REALLY KNOW, LIKE I’M NOT GOING TO WEAR IT TO CHURCH ON SUNDAY OR SOMETHING, (LAUGHS) SO, I DON’T REALLY KNOW WHAT ELSE TO DO WITH IT SO.” INCLUDED IN THE DONATION PAPER WORK IS A SMALL DESCRIPTION OF THE VEST, FROM WHEN IT WAS DISPLAYED. THE TEXT READS AS FOLLOWS: “WHAT THE FRACK HAPPENED? CHERYL ATKINSON, BEV HALL, FRANCES SCHULTZ OUR WORLD IS A FRAGILE HOME. HOW WE EXPLOIT IT CAN HAVE DRASTIC EFFECTS FAR INTO THE FUTURE. THIS GARMENT IS AN ARTISTIC RESPONSE TO THE CURRENT, MAJOR ISSUE FACING THE CITY OF LETHBRIDGE. THE FRONT DEPICTS THE NATURAL GEO-LANDSCAPE OF THE CITY – PRISTINE SCENERY ABOVE GROUND AND THE MANY DIFFERENT GEOLOGIC LAYERS UNDERGROUND. THE BACK ATTEMPTS TO DEPICT WHAT FRACKING MIGHT DO TO THESE GEOLOGIC LAYERS, AS WELL AS THE THREAT TO THE SURFACE. HOUSES AND THE UNIVERSITY SIT AMONG OIL WELLS WITH THE GOLDEN KEYS SYMBOLIC OF THE SOURCE OF THE THREAT. MANY SURFACE DESIGN TECHNIQUES HAVE BEEN USED. THESE INCLUDE INDIGO DYEING, SHIBORI DYEING AND DISCHARGING, VEGETABLE PRINTING, TYVEK PAINTING WITH HEAT MOLDING, WAX BATIK, DYE PRINTING, BEADING, EMBROIDERY, COUCHING, MARBLING, ETC.” IN THE TEXTILE SURFACE DESIGN GUILD SPRING 2014 NEWSLETTER THE EXHIBIT IS DESCRIBED: “VESTED INTERESTS IS A COLLECTION OF ART GARMENTS CREATED COLLABORATIVELY BY TSDG MEMBERS. EACH VEST LOBBIES PASSIONATELY FOR A PERSONAL INTEREST HELD BY THE CREATIVE TEAM BEHIND ITS DESIGN. ON DISPLAY IN THE 2ND FLOOR SHOWCASE AT CASA UNTIL APRIL 26.” SEE PERMANENT FILE FOR COPY OF INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT, THE EXHIBIT DISPLAY TEXT, AND THE TEXTILE SURFACE DESIGN GUILD SPRING 2014 NEWSLETTER.
Catalogue Number
P20160014000
Acquisition Date
2016-05
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail

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