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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
Other Name
STAGE PERFORMANCE BORDER
Date Range From
1918
Date Range To
1950
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
PLYWOOD, PAINT
Catalogue Number
P20110031021
  2 images  
Material Type
Artifact
Other Name
STAGE PERFORMANCE BORDER
Date Range From
1918
Date Range To
1950
Materials
PLYWOOD, PAINT
No. Pieces
5
Height
303.5
Length
114.3
Description
STAGE PERFORMANCE BORDER, IN FIVE PANEL PIECES. .001 TOP CENTRE PANEL. RECTANGULAR. VERY THIN PLYWOOD. GREEN BACKGROUND WITH PINK/RED FLOWERS. TWO FLAGS IN THE CENTRE: THE KUOMINTANG/NATIONAL LEAGUE FLAG IS ON THE LEFT (NAVY BLUE WITH A GOLDEN YELLOW SUN IN THE MIDDLE) AND THE FLAG OF THE REPUBLIC OF CHINA IS ON THE RIGHT (RED BODY, WITH A NAVY BLUE RECTANGLE IN THE TOP LEFT CORNER AND A GOLDEN YELLOW SUN IN THE MIDDLE OF THIS NAVY SECTION). BETWEEN THE FLAGS IS A NAVY BLUE, ROUGHLY OCTAGON SHAPE, WITH ANOTHER GOLDEN YELLOW SUN IN THE CENTRE. ALONG THE BOTTOM IS A REPEATING PATTERN IN RED AND YELLOW OF TWO DOTS, A LINE, AND A DOT. SCREW HOLES ALONG THE TOP AND SIDES FOR MOUNTING. ON THE FAR RIGHT SIDE OF THE PANEL IS A SMALL RECTANGULAR PIECE, ATTACHED WITH WIRE, ROUGHLY 19CM X 7.6CM. PANEL IS 241.6CM X 47.6CM POOR TO FAIR CONDITION. PANEL IS WELL WORN, THE COLOURS ARE FADED, AND THE PAINT IS CHIPPED IN SEVERAL SPOTS. .002 TOP SIDE PANEL. RECTANGULAR. VERY THIN PLYWOOD. ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE PANEL ARE THE TOPS OF TWO COLUMNS. A SMALL PINK/RED FLOWER ON A GREEN VINE IS VISIBLE ON THE COLUMN. TO THE LEFT OF THE COLUMNS IS A SECTION OF GREEN WITH PINK/RED FLOWERS. ALONG THE BOTTOM IS A REPEATING PATTERN IN RED AND YELLOW OF TWO DOTS, A LINE, AND A DOT. BELOW THE RED AND YELLOW SECTION IS A NAVY BLUE SECTION, WITH A YELLOW SECTION JUST TO THE RIGHT OF THE COLUMN. SCREW HOLES ALONG THE TOP AND SIDES FOR MOUNTING. PANEL IS 200.7CM X 56.2CM POOR TO FAIR CONDITION. PAINT SCRATCHED OFF, ESPECIALLY ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE GREEN FLOWER SECTION. NOT AS FADED OR AS WORN AS .001. TAPE REMNANTS IN THE GREEN SECTION TO THE RIGHT OF COLUMNS. .003 TOP SIDE PANEL. RECTANGULAR. VERY THIN PLYWOOD. ON THE LEFT SIDE OF THE PANEL ARE THE TOPS OF TWO COLUMNS. TO THE LEFT OF THE COLUMNS IS A SECTION OF GREEN WITH PINK/RED FLOWERS. ALONG THE BOTTOM IS A REPEATING PATTERN IN RED AND YELLOW OF TWO DOTS, A LINE, AND A DOT. BELOW THE RED AND YELLOW SECTION IS A NAVY BLUE SECTION, WITH A YELLOW SECTION JUST TO THE RIGHT OF THE COLUMN. SCREW HOLES ALONG THE TOP AND SIDES FOR MOUNTING. PANEL IS 243.2CM X 55.2CM POOR TO FAIR CONDITION. TAN PAINT ALONG THE BOTTOM, OVER THE GREEN SECTION, IN SEVERAL AREAS. THE NAVY BLUE SECTION HAS A LOT OF HAIRLINE CRACKS IN THE PAINT. .004 SIDE PANEL. RECTANGULAR. VERY THIN PLYWOOD. ON THE BOTTOM OF THE PANEL IS A RECTANGLE IN THREE SHADES OF BROWN/TAN. ALONG THE LEFT SIDE OF THE PANEL THERE ARE TWO COLUMNS, WHICH HAVE PINK/RED FLOWERS ON GREEN VINES WRAPPED AROUND THEM. NAVY BLUE CURTAIN TO THE RIGHT OF COLUMNS. THERE IS A VERTICAL RECTANGLE OVER THIS NAVY CURTAIN. THE RECTANGLE HAS A LIGHT BLUE/GREEN BACKGROUND AND HAS SEVEN CHINESE CHARACTERS IN YELLOW. THERE IS ORNAMENTATION AROUND THIS RECTANGLE. THE NAVY CURTAIN IS HELD BACK WITH A GOLDEN YELLOW TIEBACK NEAR THE TOP. ON THE FAR RIGHT SIDE IS A VERTICAL RECTANGLE WITH AN ORANGE BACKGROUND AND SEVEN CHINESE CHARACTERS IN BLACK. SCREW HOLES FOR MOUNTING AROUND EDGE OF PANEL. PANEL IS 303.5CM X 114.3CM POOR TO FAIR CONDITION. IN WORSE CONDITION THAN .005. LOTS OF LITTLE HOLES, ESPECIALLY ON THE NAVY CURTAIN. LOTS OF WALL PAINT FLECKS, ESPECIALLY ON THE COLUMNS. THE BLUE VERTICAL RECTANGLE IS MORE GREEN THAN ON .005 AND THE PAINT IS VERY, VERY WORN. .005 SIDE PANEL. RECTANGULAR. VERY THIN PLYWOOD. ON THE BOTTOM OF THE PANEL IS A RECTANGLE IN THREE SHADES OF BROWN/TAN. ALONG THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE PANEL THERE ARE TWO COLUMNS, WHICH HAVE PINK/RED FLOWERS ON GREEN VINES WRAPPED AROUND THEM. NAVY BLUE CURTAIN TO THE LEFT OF COLUMNS. THERE IS A VERTICAL RECTANGLE OVER THIS NAVY CURTAIN. THE RECTANGLE HAS A LIGHT BLUE/GREEN BACKGROUND AND HAS SEVEN CHINESE CHARACTERS IN YELLOW. THERE IS ORNAMENTATION AROUND THIS RECTANGLE. BELOW THIS BLUE RECTANGLE, ON THE NAVY CURTAIN, ARE SEVERAL CHINESE CHARACTERS ON A DIAGONAL, PAINTED ON IN RED. THE NAVY CURTAIN IS HELD BACK WITH A GOLDEN YELLOW TIEBACK NEAR THE TOP. ON THE FAR LEFT SIDE IS A VERTICAL RECTANGLE WITH AN ORANGE BACKGROUND AND SEVEN CHINESE CHARACTERS IN BLACK. SCREW HOLES FOR MOUNTING AROUND EDGE OF PANEL. PANEL IS 303.5CM X 114.3CM POOR TO FAIR CONDITION. LOTS OF CHIPPED PAINT. PANEL IS FADED/DISCOLOURED. BOTTOM BACK IS IN ESPECIALLY POOR CONDITION AND IS VERY DIRTY.
Subjects
PUBLIC ENTERTAINMENT DEVICE
Historical Association
ASSOCIATIONS
FINE ARTS
LEISURE
History
THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION ABOUT THIS ARTIFACT COMES FROM INTERVIEWS HELD WITH MAY LEE AND JUDY CHAN, RICHARD LOO, AND HONG WONG AND JANICE WONG. PERSONAL DETAILS ABOUT THE LIVES OF MAY LEE, RICHARD LOO, AND HONG WONG THEIR IMMIGRATION TO CANADA ARE FOUND BELOW THE ARTIFACT DETAILS AND BELOW THE INFORMATION ABOUT THE CHINESE NATIONAL LEAGUE SOCIETY BUILDING. MAY RECALLED THAT THERE WERE OPERAS AT THE SOCIETY BUILDING, BUT THAT THEY DIDN’T COME VERY OFTEN. SHE DIDN’T RECALL ATTENDING MANY OPERAS, BUT DID REMEMBER THAT “HONG WONG WAS SINGING THERE.” RICHARD, MEANWHILE, THOUGHT THAT THE OPERAS WERE FINISHED BEFORE HE ARRIVED IN LETHBRIDGE. HE NEVER SAW AN OPERA PRODUCTION AT THE SOCIETY BUILDING, BUT DID RECALL THAT PROJECTION FILMS WERE SHOWN. RICHARD SUGGESTED “ASK HONG. HE LIKED A LITTLE BIT OF OPERA TOO … HE SANG IN STUFF LIKE THAT.” HONG INDICATED THAT THERE WAS NO OPERAS AT THE SOCIETY BUILDING WHEN HE CAME IN 1951, BUT THAT THE SOCIETY DID STAGE PRODUCTIONS AT THE UNIVERSITY. ASKED WHERE THE COSTUMES CAME FROM, HONG SAID “WE GOT THEM FROM CALGARY AT THAT TIME, WELL, ACTUALLY WE JUST BORROWED THEM. WE DIDN’T HAVE THE MONEY TO BUY THEM.” HONG CONTINUED SAYING THAT THIS STAGE PERFORMANCE BORDER WAS USED IN CONJUNCTION WITH A LARGE MURAL (SEE P20010027000) AND A STAGE. A SERIES OF ARTICLES PUBLISHED IN THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD GIVE BACKGROUND INFORMATION ABOUT THE CHINESE NATIONAL LEAGUE SOCIETY AND ITS BUILDING: THE BUILDING THAT HOUSED THE CHINESE NATIONAL LEAGUE SOCIETY WAS BUILT IN 1909-1910 IN THE 300 BLOCK OF 2 AVENUE SOUTH AND IT WAS ORIGINALLY A RESTAURANT. BY 1915 IT HAD BECOME THE HEADQUARTERS FOR THE LETHBRIDGE BRANCH OF THE KAO MIN TANG (ALTERNATIVE SPELLINGS INCLUDE KUOMINTANG, KUO MIN TANG, GUOMINDANG, AND GUO MIN DANG). THE BUILDING WAS DESIGNATED AS A PROVINCIAL HERITAGE RESOURCE IN 1995 BECAUSE OF ITS VALUE AS A SOCIAL AND CULTURAL CENTRE FOR THE LETHBRIDGE CHINESE COMMUNITY. THE BUILDING WAS USED IN A VARIETY OF WAYS BY THE SOCIETY AND INCLUDED, AT VARIOUS TIMES, A RESTAURANT, A SCHOOL, AND LIVING ACCOMODATIONS. IN FEBRUARY 2011 A SECTION OF THE BRICK FAÇADE FELL OFF THE BUILDING AND CITY INSPECTORS DETERMINED THAT THE TIMBER AND RED BRICK STRUCTURE WAS POTENTIALLY UNSTABLE. THE BUILDING WAS TORN DOWN A SHORT TIME LATER. LETHBRIDGE'S CHINATOWN EMERGED IN 1901, A RESULT OF THE CHINESE POPULATION BEING RELEGATED TO A SECTION OF THE CITY BETWEEN GALT GARDENS AND THE COULEES. IN A JANUARY 7, 2002 ARTICLE ALBERT LEONG EXPLAINS THAT NO ONE REALLY WANTED CHINESE PEOPLE AROUND AND THAT “’ THEY WERE TOLD THAT THE ONLY PLACE THEY COULD START BUSINESSES WAS BETWEEN THE COULEES AT THE PARK, BECAUSE THE CITY DIDN’T WANT ANY COMPETITION FOR THE WHITE BUSINESSMEN … BUT ‘GHETTO-IZED’ OR NOT, THE CHINESE WHO CAME TO LETHBRIDGE FORMED AN IMPORTANT PART OF THE BACKBONE OF THIS CITY, [AND MADE] NOTEWORTHY [CONTRIBUTIONS] TO THE HISTORY OF THIS PLACE.’” BUSINESSES SUCH AS LAUNDRIES, MARKET GARDENS, AND RESTAURANTS WERE OPENED IN CHINATOWN, WITH THE RESIDENTS LIVING IN ROOMS ABOVE THE BUSINESSES. IN 1912 THERE WERE ABOUT 100 PEOPLE LIVING IN CHINATOWN AND BY THE 1930S, IT WAS A BUSTLING COMMUNITY. THE POPULATION OF CHINATOWN DWINDLED FOLLOWING THE SECOND WORLD WAR. JANICE WONG, PRESIDENT OF THE SOCIETY IN 2015, GAVE THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION ABOUT THE SOCIETY IN AN INTERVIEW: AS OF 2015, THE SOCIETY EXISTS MORE AS A SOCIAL CLUB AND THE SOCIETY HOLDS THREE CELEBRATORY DINNERS EACH YEAR, USUALLY HELD AT THE NEW DYNASTY RESTAURANT. THE SOCIETY ALSO VISITS THE CEMETERY ON A YEARLY BASIS “TO HONOUR THE ANCESTORS, CLEAN THE TOMBS, BRING FOOD, DO THE USUAL THINGS THAT WE USED TO DO – EAT ON GRAVES, BURN THE INCENSE. WE DO THAT EVERY YEAR STILL TO HONOUR OUR ANCESTORS. IT IS USUALLY IN THE SPRING … IN APRIL.” JANICE BRIEFLY DISCUSSED THE FUTURE OF THE SOCIETY, INDICATING THAT THERE IS SOME TALK ABOUT RE-BUILDING “BUT THAT INVOLVES A LOT OF PLANNING, AND MONEY, AND FUNDRAISING” AND SHE QUESTIONS WHETHER OR NOT THERE IS ENOUGH OF A MEMBERSHIP BASE TO GO FORWARD WITH RE-BUILDING. SHE ALSO EXPLAINED THAT PREVIOUS CHINESE IMMIGRANTS HAD TENDED TO COME FROM THE SAME GEOGRAPHIC REGION, BUT THAT PRESENTLY IMMIGRANTS ARE COMING FROM ALL OVER CHINA: “THERE’S A LOT OF INFLUX OF PEOPLE FROM CHINA THAT AREN’T FROM THE SAME AREA, BECAUSE TRADITIONALLY, THE PEOPLE WERE ALL FROM THE SAME AREA AND SPOKE THE SAME DIALECT AND HAD THAT SORT OF THING KEEPING THEM TOGETHER AS A COMMUNITY OVERSEAS FROM CHINA.” PERSONAL DETAILS ABOUT THE LIVES OF MAY LEE, RICHARD LOO, AND HONG WONG AND THEIR IMMIGRATION TO CANADA ARE BELOW: MAY LEE: MAY WAS ACTUALLY BORN IN CANADA AND IS KNOWN AS A GOLD MOUNTAIN GIRL, BECAUSE SHE IS A CANADIAN-BORN CHINESE WOMAN. MAY EXPLAINS: “I WAS BORN IN CANADA. I WAS BORN IN NANOOSE BAY. WHEN I WAS 4 YEARS OLD, WE MOVED TO VICTORIA. WHEN I WAS 9 YEARS OLD AND THE WHOLE FAMILY, IN 1930, GO BACK TO CHINA.” DURING THE WAR, THE JAPANESE BOMBED THE GIRLS’ HIGH SCHOOL IN TOCSIN CITY AND MAY’S MOTHER DECIDED TO SEND MAY AND HER BROTHER TO HONG KONG TO START THE PROCESS OF COMING TO CANADA. MAY STARTED ENGLISH SCHOOL IN HONG KONG, BUT OFTEN MISSED CLASSES BECAUSE SHE WAS SICK FROM THE HEAT. SHE SAYS THAT SHE’S LEARNED MOST OF HER ENGLISH FROM HER HUSBAND, HER CHILDREN, GRANDCHILDREN, AND EVEN GREAT-GRANDCHILDREN. SHE WAS MARRIED TO HOM MEN LEE, AKA JIMMY LEE, ON NOVEMBER 16, 1938 IN VICTORIA, BC. JIMMY WAS BORN IN LETHBRIDGE AT THE GALT HOSPITAL, BUT WAS SENT BACK TO CHINA AS A CHILD FOR HIS EDUCATION. JIMMY’S FAMILY HAD COME TO LETHBRIDGE IN 1914 AND OWNED LEE-DUC CLEANERS. THE LEE FAMILY LIVED ABOVE THE SHOP, WHICH WAS ON 13TH STREET NORTH, NEAR HIGA’S JEWELERS. MAY’S MAIN MEMORY OF CHINATOWN: “ALL I REMEMBER IN CHINATOWN, IN SUMMERTIME, LOTS OF OLD GUYS SITTING IN FRONT OF GUOMINDANG. AUNTIE HELEN GREW UP IN CHINATOWN. I THINK SHE KNOWS MORE ABOUT CHINATOWN. IN THE OLDEN DAYS, I HARDLY GO OUT, JUST TO BUY GROCERIES.” JUDY ADDED THAT MAY HAD 8 CHILDREN AND WAS KEPT BUSY AT HOME RAISING THEM. RICHARD LOO: RICHARD ARRIVED IN LETHBRIDGE IN 1953, HAVING LEFT THE MAINLAND OF CHINA IN 1949. RICHARD’S GRANDFATHER HAD MOVED TO CANADA IN EITHER LATE 1800S OR THE EARLY 1900S AND HAD HAD TO PAY THE HEAD TAX. HIS GRANDFATHER WORKED AS A COOK IN RESTAURANTS, EITHER IN LETHBRIDGE OR IN TABER (ACCORDING TO RICHARD, HIS GRANDFATHER WORKED THROUGH THE WAR YEARS IN TABER). RICHARD’S GRANDFATHER HAD PLANNED ON MOVING BACK TO CHINA WHEN HE RETIRED, BUT THEN THE COMMUNISTS TOOK OVER, AND HE ELECTED TO STAY. AT THAT TIME, HE INVITED RICHARD TO MOVE TO LETHBRIDGE AS WELL. RICHARD LEFT HONG KONG, AFTER LIVING THERE FOR 8 MONTHS, ON A FRIDAY AFTERNOON AT 2PM LOCAL TIME. HE FINALLY ARRIVED IN LETHBRIDGE SUNDAY AFTERNOON. HE WAS LUCKY IN THAT HE WAS ABLE TO GET HIS FLIGHTS ON SALE. NORMALLY A TICKET FROM HONG KONG TO VANCOUVER WOULD HAVE COST $700, BUT RICHARD WAS ABLE TO SECURE A FLIGHT FOR ONLY $500. HE ALSO INDICATED THAT HIS FLIGHT TO LETHBRIDGE WAS ONLY $39.95. ON RECALLING HIS FIRST TIME IN LETHBRIDGE, RICHARD RECOUNTED THE FOLLOWING STORY: “SO, BY THE TIME I GOT TO THE AIRPORT, I DIDN’T KNOW HOW TO SAY NOTHING. DIDN’T KNOW – MAYBE COULD SAY ‘GOOD MORNING’ – THAT’S ALL YOU COULD SAY, JUST ANYWAYS HOW TO SAY ‘HELLO’ – SO, ANYWAY, SO IN THE MEANTIME, THE FELLOW AT THE AIRPORT MUST HAVE KNOWN ZEKE, YOU KNOW ZEKE QUAN [OWNER OF] THE LOTUS INN [RESTAURANT], AND HE PHONED HIM UP. HE SAYS, ‘ZEKE.’ I DIDN’T KNOW WHAT HE WAS TALKING ABOUT – NOTHING. AND THEN HE SAYS, ‘HEY, THIS IS A CHINA BOY HERE. WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO WITH HIM?’ SO, ZEKE SAYS, ‘OH, JUST TAKE HIM TO CHINATOWN AND DUMP HIM.’ NOW, I DIDN’T KNOW THOSE, NOT UNTIL LATER ON. ZEKE’S SON GO TO SAME SCHOOL I DID – CENTRAL SCHOOL.” RICHARD INITIALLY LIVED IN THE SOCIETY BUILDING FOR SEVERAL YEARS, OCCUPYING A ROOM THAT HAD BEEN RECENTLY VACATED BY ANOTHER MAN NAMED LOO WHO HAD GONE TO WORK IN PICTURE BUTTE. RICHARD RECALLED THAT THE SOCIETY WAS A GOOD PLACE TO FEEL A SENSE OF COMMUNITY AND THAT IT WAS A WELCOMING PLACE FOR NEW CHINESE IMMIGRANTS, A PLACE WHERE THEY WEREN’T DISCRIMINATED AGAINST. HONG WONG: HONG ARRIVED IN LETHBRIDGE IN 1951 AND WAS INVITED TO THE CITY BY HIS UNCLE SHUEY WONG, WHO WAS ALREADY LIVING HERE. UNCLE SHUEY HAD COME TO CANADA SEVERAL YEARS BEFORE AND HAD HAD TO PAY THE $500 HEAD TAX. HONG TRAVELED WITH HIS BROTHER FROM MAINLAND CHINA TO HONG KONG, IN ORDER TO GO TO THE CANADIAN EMBASSY. ON HIS FERRY RIDE TO HONG KONG, HE WAS SHOT BY BANDITS AND WAS REQUIRED TO STAY IN THE HOSPITAL FOR QUITE SOME TIME TO RECOVER. HIS BROTHER ELECTED TO REMAIN IN HONG KONG, AS HIS MOTHER-IN-LAW LIVED IN THE CITY AND GOT HONG’S BROTHER WORK IN A THEATRE. TO GET TO CANADA, HONG FLEW FROM JAPAN TO GUAM, TO VANCOUVER, AND THEN FINALLY TO LETHBRIDGE. HIS FIRST IMPRESSION OF LETHBRIDGE: COLD. HONG SAID: “’WELL, IN HONG KONG IT WAS AROUND MAYBE 20 SOME 30 ABOVE. AND HERE, AT THAT TIME, MAYBE 20 BELOW, OR 20 SOME BELOW. I DIDN’T HAVE THE EAR MUFFS. I SAID, ‘GEE, I’M NOT SO HAPPY HERE, IT SEEMS SO COLD.’” UNCLE SHUEY TOLD HONG THAT IT WAS ONE OF THE COLDEST WINTERS HE COULD REMEMBER. HONG WORKED FOR HIS UNCLE IN HIS SHOP ON 9TH AVENUE, DOING CHORES AROUND THE STORE, UNTIL HIS ENGLISH HAD IMPROVED ENOUGH SO THAT HE COULD SERVE CUSTOMERS. HE JOINED THE CHINESE NATIONALIST LEAGUE SOCIETY ALMOST AS SOON AS HE ARRIVED: “WHEN I CAME HERE, I JOINED IN THE SAME YEAR BECAUSE MY UNCLE WAS A MEMBER. SO THAT’S WHY HE GOT ME IN TO BE A MEMBER. OH, AT THAT TIME, I BET, 95% OF THE CHINESE PEOPLE THEY BELONG TO THE CHINESE NATIONAL LEAGUE, I BELIEVE.” HE CONTINUED, SAYING THAT YOU COULDN’T BE A MEMBER OF BOTH THE SOCIETY AND THE MASONS, AND HE BELIEVES ABOUT 5% OF THE CITY’S CHINESE POPULATION WOULD HAVE BELONGED TO THE MASONS. HE ADDED: “BUT WE ARE STILL FRIENDS, STILL FRIENDS. WE’RE NOT ENEMY OR ANYTHING BUT, IT’S JUST THAT THE ORGANIZATIONS ARE DIFFERENT. THAT’S ALL.” HONG ENJOYED THE CAMARADERIE OF THE SOCIETY. HE SAID: “I REMEMBER, I LIKE IT BECAUSE THEY HAVE THE PARTY AND SO MANY PEOPLE. AND THEN YOU MEET ALL THE CHINESE PEOPLE THERE IN THE ONE GROUP. WELL, ANYWAY, WHEN YOU SEE SO MANY PEOPLE IN ONE PARTY, AND THEN WHEN THEY COME OUT MOSTLY THE PEOPLE THAT PARTY AND IT FEELS LIKE A LOTS OF FRIENDS OR EVEN LIKE THE FAMILY. SO YOU FEEL GOOD, YOU FEEL BETTER, AND THEN, WELL, MY UNCLE BELONGS THERE TOO AND THEN THE OTHERS BELONG THERE TOO, YEAH, EVERYBODY LIKE IN THE BIG FAMILY. YES, NICE, OTHERWISE YOU DON’T HAVE ANY FRIENDS, YOU DON’T MEET ANYBODY, IF YOU NOT BELONG THERE, I THINK NOT SO FRIENDLY TO YOU.” HONG INDICATED THAT WHEN A SPECIAL MEAL WAS HELD AT THE SOCIETY, IT WAS THE MEN WHO DID THE COOKING: “AT THAT TIME JUST ABOUT EVERYBODY KNOWS HOW TO COOK BECAUSE MOSTLY WE WORK IN THE KITCHEN WHEN THEY CAME HERE.” HE SAID THAT DINERS WOULD PAY A SMALL FEE TO EAT AT THE LEAGUE WHEN SPECIAL MEALS WERE PUT ON. SEE PERMANENT FILE FOR COPIES OF LETHBRIDGE HERALD ARTICLES AND FOR INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTS.
Catalogue Number
P20110031021
Acquisition Date
2011-11
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail
Other Name
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