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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
SUPINA SOUVENIR BOWL
Date Range From
1918
Date Range To
1960
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
PORCELAIN
Catalogue Number
P20150016001
  1 image  
Material Type
Artifact
Other Name
SUPINA SOUVENIR BOWL
Date Range From
1918
Date Range To
1960
Materials
PORCELAIN
No. Pieces
1
Height
6
Diameter
21.5
Description
CHINA BOWL WITH AN IRREGULAR RIM THAT EXTENDS A FLORAL PETAL MOTIF ALONG BOWL’S INSIDE EDGE. CENTRE FEATURES COUNTRY LANDSCAPE INCLUDING A COTTAGE, SURROUNDED BY STAMP MARK IN GOLD STENCIL AND SCRIPT, “COMPLIMENTS OF N. F. SUPINA”. GOOD TO VERY GOOD CONDITION. SLIGHT CRACKING IN THE BOTTOM. THE BASE IS SCUFFED AND DIRTY. THERE ARE SOME MARKS ON THE OUTSIDE EDGE.
Subjects
FURNITURE
Historical Association
BUSINESS
COMMEMORATIVE
DOMESTIC
History
EVERAL HORHOZER (NÉE SUPINA) WAS BORN IN LETHBRIDGE IN THE YEAR OF 1927 TO HER PARENTS DONAH (NÉE HILL) AND NICHOLAS SUPINA. SUPINA WAS THE OWNER OF SUPINA’S MERCANTILE ON 13TH STREET NORTH, LETHBRIDGE. COLLECTIONS TECHNICIAN KEVIN MACLEAN CONDUCTED A SERIES OF INTERVIEWS (ON APRIL 2, APRIL 16, AND MAY 7, 2015) WITH HORHOZER REGARDING A GROUP OF ARTIFACTS SHE DONATED TO THE MUSEUM. THE INFORMATION BELOW HAS COME FROM THESE INTERVIEWS AND LETHBRIDGE HERALD RESEARCH REGARDING HORHOZER AND HER FAMILY. THIS BOWL IS A REMINDER OF THE STORE THAT WAS AN INTEGRAL PART OF LIFE IN THE SUPINA FAMILY. HORHOZER REMEMBERS: “MY DAD ALWAYS GAVE A CHRISTMAS GIFT. SO ONE YEAR HE GAVE THE PLATE AND ANOTHER YEAR HE GAVE THIS BOWL AND ACTUALLY THAT’S ALL I KNOW ABOUT IT… [A]LL THE CUSTOMERS, THE ONES THAT DEALT THERE ALL THE TIME [GOT A CHRISTMAS PRESENT]. THE GOOD PAYING ONES AND THE NOT-SO-GOOD PAYING ONES, I THINK THEY PROBABLY EVEN GOT IT TOO, BUT, AS LONG AS THEY WERE CUSTOMERS THEN THEY GOT ONE… MY MOTHER SAVED [IT] FIRSTLY, BECAUSE THEY REALLY MEANT SOMETHING - PART OF THE STORE I GUESS SHE’D SAY. SO, HAD THEM FOR A LONG, LONG TIME… MY MOM HAD ALL KINDS OF ORNAMENTS AROUND AND SHE’D JUST PUT THEM ON A TABLE OR WHATEVER. SHE WOULD CHANGE HER ORNAMENTS EVERY ONCE AND AWHILE, AND THEN SHE’D PUT THESE IN THE CUPBOARD." ABOUT THE HISTORY OF SUPINA’S MERCANTILE, HORHOZER EXPLAINS: “I WAS BORN INTO [THE STORE]. MY DAD STARTED SMALL. HIS DAD HAD A LITTLE CONFECTIONARY; THEN HE TURNED IT INTO A GROCERY STORE AND THEN HE SOLD IT TO MY DAD. MY DAD WAS THE ONE THAT TOOK IT OVER, THAT WAS ALREADY TAKING PLACE WHEN I WAS BORN. THERE WAS NO SPECIFIC MEMORY [OF THAT TRANSITIION] BECAUSE THAT’S ALL I KNEW REALLY.” “… MY DAD WAS BORN IN CZECHOSLOVAKIA. [HIS FAMILY] CAME HERE WHEN HE WAS TWO. [HIS YOUNGER SIBLINGS], THE FIVE BROTHERS AND THE ONE SISTER, WERE ALL BORN IN THAT SAME LITTLE HOUSE THERE. AND THAT’S WHERE MY GRANDPA HAD STARTED THE STORE, IT WAS JUST A CONFECTIONARY. EVENTUALLY IT GREW INTO QUITE A BUSINESS… IN THOSE DAYS, IT WAS HORSE AND BUGGY, SO THEY HAD FIVE HORSES AND BUGGIES THAT WERE RUNNING, WORKING, AND MY UNCLE ALWAYS LOOKED AFTER THE HORSES AND MAINTAINED THEM. THEY’D GO AND THEY’D PICK UP THE ORDER. LOTS OF THE PEOPLE THEN COULDN’T SPEAK ENGLISH, BUT MY DAD COULD SPEAK CZECH, AND THEN THEY’D USUALLY SEND – HE HAD ALL KINDS OF NATIONALITIES WORKING FOR HIM - [A PERSON OF MATCHING ETHNICITY], THAT KNEW THEIR LANGUAGE TO PICK UP THE ORDER. THEY BROUGHT IT BACK TO THE STORE, AND THEN DELIVERED IT BACK TO THE CUSTOMER, THAT WAS REAL SERVICE IN THOSE DAYS, ESPECIALLY WITH HORSE AND BUGGY IN THOSE WINTRY DAYS, AFTER THAT IT DEVELOPED INTO TRUCKS. THERE WERE LOTS OF MINERS IN THOSE DAYS AND WERE GOOD CUSTOMERS… HE AT ONE TIME EMPLOYED THIRTY-SIX PEOPLE IN THE STORE THERE.” AN ARTICLE IN LETHBRIDGE HERALD PUBLISHED ON MAY 5, 2004 STATES THAT NICK SUPINA PURCHASED THE STORE FROM HIS FATHER, MIKE SUPINA, IN 1918. IN THE INTERVIEW, HORHOZER CONTINUED TO SPEAK ABOUT THE BEGINNING DAYS OF THE SUPINA’S STORE: “MY GRANDPA WAS WORKING IN THE MINE. I DON’T KNOW HOW IT CAME THAT HE HAD THIS LITTLE BUSINESS… IT’S MY DAD THEN THAT HAD TO LOOK AFTER THE FAMILY BECAUSE THEY DIDN’T HAVE ANY MONEY. THERE WAS FIVE BOYS SO HE HAD THEM ALL. THEY WERE ALL CLOSE TOGETHER IN AGE. THERE’S STEVE AND BILLY AND JOHN AND MIKE… UNCLE STEVE, IS THE SECOND, HE’S THE ONE THAT STAYED WITH MY DAD, AND JOHNNY DID TOO. THEN THE OTHER TWO PURSUED THEIR OWN BUSINESSES. BILLY HAD A BUSINESS IN RED DEER AND SMALL BUSINESSES IN TWO OTHER PLACES. THEN MIKE, HE WENT TO THE STATES AND—OH, THAT WAS GEORGE, PARDON ME. HE HAD A SHOE STORE WHICH WAS VERY, VERY SUCCESSFUL. MIKE WAS THE ONLY ONE THAT WASN’T IN BUSINESS. THAT WAS BECAUSE HE WAS IN THE WAR…” THINKING BACK ON HER MEMORIES OF SUPINA’S, HORHOZER DESCRIBES, “[I]N THOSE DAYS YOU HAD GOOD FRUIT. I REMEMBER THE DELICIOUS PEACHES. I HAVEN’T SEEN A PEACH LIKE THAT SINCE… LOTS OF TIMES, THE FRUIT WOULD GO OVER-RIPE, LIKE YOUR APRICOTS AND PEACHES. MY MOTHER WOULD GO AND GET ALL THE OVER-RIPE FRUIT AND TAKE IT HOME AND MAKE BEAUTIFUL PIES AND TAKE THE PIES BACK TO THE STORE AND SELL THEM. SHE WAS A WONDERFUL BAKER. THEY DID EVERYTHING LIKE THAT TO HELP MAKE MORE MONEY. SOMETIMES MY DAD WOULD HAVE A SPECIAL ON, 3 CENTS A LOAF [OF BREAD. I HAD LOTS OF ADS FROM THE STORE, AND YOU’D GET SUCH A KICK OUT OF SEEING HAMBURGER, TWENTY-FIVE CENTS A POUND AND THINGS LIKE THAT. SO, YES I REMEMBER.” HORHOZER BEGAN WORKING AT THE STORE AT THE AGE OF 14: “I WORKED IN THE LADIESWEAR. I LIKED THAT VERY MUCH. THE MEAT DEPARTMENT WAS RIGHT ACROSS FROM THE LADIESWEAR. THAT’S KIND OF HOW I MET JOE. HE WORKED IN THE BUTCHER DEPARTMENT. I REMEMBER THE DAY HE WALKED IN THE STORE, I’LL NEVER FORGET [IT], HE HAD THIS RED CARDIGAN SWEATER ON AND I JUST FELL, HEAD OVER RIGHT THEN. HE WAS JUST STARTING WORK AND I THOUGHT, ‘WELL, THAT’S THE GUY I’M GOING TO MARRY.’” HORHOZER BELIEVED THAT AN IMPORTANT PART OF THE STORE’S SUCCESS WAS “… BECAUSE, [OF] THE SERVICE MAINLY. JUST THINK, GOING THERE, GETTING YOUR ORDERS, BRINGING THEM BACK, DOING THEM UP, THEY’D MAKE SURE THINGS WERE TOP QUALITY. THEY GOT TO KNOW EVERY CUSTOMER, OF COURSE, AND THEY KNEW WHAT THEY LIKED. HE HAD WONDERFUL PEOPLE WORKING FOR HIM. THEY JUST GAVE FANTASTIC SERVICE ALL THE TIME. PLUS, MY DAD WAS GRUFF, BUT HE WAS VERY, VERY KIND TO POOR PEOPLE THAT COULDN’T AFFORD –THERE’S LOTS THAT YEARS AFTER HE HAD PASSED AWAY [PEOPLE] WOULD COME UP TO ME AND SAY, ‘IF IT WASN’T FOR YOUR DAD, JOHNNY WOULDN’T HAVE HAD CHEESE,’ OR SOMETHING. I DIDN’T KNOW A THING ABOUT IT, BECAUSE HE WAS ONE THAT NEVER, EVER TOLD ANYBODY… THEN AT CHRISTMAS TIME HE WOULD GO TO THE STORE AND HE HAD A LIST OF EVERYBODY THAT HE KNEW WAS EXCEPTIONALLY POOR, AND HE WOULD FILL BASKETS. HE WOULD DO IT ALL BY HIMSELF… HE WOULDN’T TELL MY MOTHER AND I. HE WAS SO TIGHT-MOUTHED, FILL ALL THESE BASKETS AND DELIVER THEM TO THE PEOPLE HIMSELF WITHOUT TELLING A SOUL ABOUT IT. HE WAS THAT KIND OF PERSON. HE WAS VERY KIND THAT WAY.” SUPINA’S MERCANTILE SERVED LETHBRIDGE UNTIL IT CLOSED IN 1960. HORHOZER REMAINED IN RETAIL IN VARIOUS SHOPS IN THE CITY, INCLUDING THE DEPARTMENT STORE WOOLCO UNTIL HER RETIREMENT IN 1988. HORHOZER PASSED AWAY IN LETHBRIDGE IN 2016 AT THE AGE OF 88 YEARS OLD. PLEASE SEE THE PERMANENT FILE FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ABOUT SUPINA’S MERCANTILE AND THE LIFE OF EVERAL AND HER FAMILY, WHICH INCLUDES THE FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT AND LETHBRIDGE HERALD ARTICLES.
Catalogue Number
P20150016001
Acquisition Date
2015-05
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail