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Date Range From
1916
Date Range To
1920
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
IRON, STEEL
Catalogue Number
P20170034002
  2 images  
Material Type
Artifact
Date Range From
1916
Date Range To
1920
Materials
IRON, STEEL
No. Pieces
1
Height
1.3
Diameter
2
Description
IRON RING WITH WIDE BLANK SQUARE FRONT. RING HAS NO MARKING ON FRONT OR INSIDE. RING BAND WIDENS AT SQUARE FRONT AND NARROWS INTO BAND. RING IS TARNISHED ON INSIDE AND OUTSIDE OF BAND; OVERALL VERY GOOD CONDITION.
Subjects
ADORNMENT
Historical Association
MILITARY
PERSONAL CARE
History
ON NOVEMBER 20, 2017, COLLECTIONS TECHNICIAN KEVIN MACLEAN INTERVIEWED RITA BERLANDO REGARDING HER DONATION OF A GIFTED RING AND CRUCIFIX. BERLANDO WAS GIFTED THE OBJECTS FROM A PREVIOUS EMPLOYER, GLADSTONE VIRUTE, OF LETHBRIDGE. ON THE RING, BERLANDO RECALLED, “[THEY WERE FASHIONED FROM A BELL IN FRANCE OR BELGIUM] I HAVE NO IDEA…HOW THEY BECAME IN HIS POSSESSION. BUT TO HIM, HE MUST HAVE TREASURED THEM BECAUSE HE KNEW OF THE CHURCH THAT WAS BOMBED AND THE BELL THAT IT CAME FROM…WHEN HE GAVE THEM TO ME, I WAS INTRIGUED TO KNOW MORE ABOUT IT BUT HE DIDN’T HAVE TOO MUCH HISTORY ON THEM. NOT TO ME, ANYWAY.” ON GLADSTONE VIRTUE’S MILITARY SERVICE, BERLANDO NOTED, ““I DON’T THINK HE WANTED TO TALK ABOUT IT. I THINK HE HAD A PAST THAT HE WOULD RATHER NOT DISCUSS. IT WAS ALWAYS STRICTLY BUSINESS. IT WAS NEVER SITTING THERE AND DISCUSSING WHAT HIS LIFE WAS OR ANYTHING OF THAT NATURE.” “I DIDN’T KNOW TOO MUCH ABOUT HIM BUT I KNOW THAT HE WAS A MAN THAT PEOPLE RESPECTED, AND FOR HIM TO RESPECT ME, I THINK THAT WAS AN HONOUR.” “I WOULD LOVE TO KNOW HOW THESE TWO LITTLE ITEMS BECAME IN HIS POSSESSION AND WHERE WAS HE WHEN THEY WERE GIVEN TO HIM AND WAS HE PRESENT AT SOME TIME…I JUST FIND THAT HE MUST HAVE HAD THEM IN HIS POSSESSION FOR SOME TIME.” BERLANDO ELABORATED ON HOW THE RING CAME INTO HER POSSESSION, “[THIS ITEM] MEANS AN AWFUL LOT TO ME BECAUSE IT WAS GIVEN AT THE TIME THAT I WAS EMPLOYED WITH THE LAW FIRM OF VIRTUE AND COMPANY. IT WAS MR. GLADSTONE VIRTUE, SEMI-RETIRED WHEN I WAS EMPLOYED THERE, THAT HAD ASKED THAT I GO INTO HIS ROOM AND TAKE LETTERS [AND] NOTES FOR LETTERS THAT HE WISHED TO HAVE TYPED. I WAS HIRED AS A RECEPTIONIST, NOT FEELING THAT I WOULD HAVE THE RESPONSIBILITY AS A SECRETARY, SO I INFORMED HIM THAT I COULD NOT DO THIS DUTY. HE ASKED THAT I GET HIS SECRETARY TO TAKE HIS NOTES. AS THE MONTHS WENT BY, HE BECAME VERY – AND I USE THE WORD ‘ATTACHED’ – BECAUSE HE WOULD ALSO ASK ME TO DO SERVICES FOR HIM, WHICH I WOULD HAVE TO GO TO THE ROYAL BANK TO DO HIS BANKING [AND] HIS INVESTMENTS. WHEN HE WAS NO LONGER TO BE WITH THE FIRM, HE HANDED ME A LITTLE GIFT. THAT GIFT CONSIST[ED] OF A RING AND A CROSS THAT WAS MADE FROM A BELL OF A CHURCH THAT WAS BOMBED IN THE FIRST WAR. THAT MEANT AN AWFUL LOT TO ME SO I HAVE TREASURED IT CONTINUALLY AND [THE GIFTING] HAS TO DATE BACK TO [1965].” “[MR GLADSTONE VIRTURE] MUST HAVE KEPT IT AS A REMEMBRANCE FROM SOMEWHERE IN THE PAST THAT HE HAD THAT HE DID NOT [WANT TO] LEAVE IT TO HIS FAMILY, BUT [WITH] ME. THEREFORE, I DEFINITELY FELT THAT [IT] WAS A GIFT THAT I SHOULD TREASURE AND I HAVE TREASURED, AND I HAVE KEPT IT UNDER LOCK AND KEY. EVEN IN THE TRANSITION OF DOWNSIZING, I LIVED IN FEAR THAT FOR SOME REASON, THERE WERE ITEMS THAT I NO LONGER HAVE. I KEPT THINKING, ‘OH, DEAR LORD, I BETTER MAKE SURE I STILL HAVE THAT GIFT FROM MR. VIRTUE.’ WHEN I FOUND IT, THAT’S WHEN I REALLY SERIOUSLY THOUGHT I HAD TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT THEM.” “AT [THE TIME I WAS HIRED], FINANCES WERE DIFFICULT IN THE FAMILY HOME SO I APPLIED FOR THE POSITION OF RECEPTIONIST. THE POSITION REQUIRED NOT ONLY [WORKING] AS A RECEPTIONIST BUT AS A BOOKKEEPER AND AN OFFICE MANAGER. I HESITATED ONCE I WAS INFORMED OF THIS RESPONSIBILITY, BUT I UNDERTOOK THE POSITION AND DID ALL OF THE REQUIREMENTS THAT WAS EXPECTED OF ME. THE LAW FIRM AT THAT TIME CONSISTED OF CHARLES VIRTUE, WILLIAM RUSSELL, MR. GORDON AND THEN LATER ON, THERE WAS VAUGHN HEMBROFF THAT BECAME PARTNER AND GLENN MORRISON. IT’S ALWAYS MEANT A LOT OF THE PAST HISTORY OF MY LIFE. THINKING HOW I WAS HONOURED TO BE WITH THAT FIRM, THESE LITTLE ITEMS THAT WERE GIVEN TO ME JUST EVEN MEANT ALL THE MORE.” “BUT I REMEMBER DISTINCTLY THAT THEY SAID I COULDN’T LEAVE [IN 1964] UNTIL I HIRED SOMEONE THAT COULD REPLACE ME. THEY GAVE ME THE RESPONSIBILITY OF FINDING SOMEONE. MY INTENTION AT THAT TIME WAS TO LEAVE AND MOVE TO MONTREAL. I WAS LIMITED IN THE TIME THAT THIS RESPONSIBILITY WAS GIVEN, AND I DID SUGGEST A PARTICULAR PERSON BUT SHE ONLY WORKED THERE FOR A SHORT TIME AND THEY DIDN’T FEEL THAT SHE QUALIFIED AND COULD HANDLE THE WORK THAT I HAD TAKEN ON. THEN I HAD TO CONTINUE TO STAY UNTIL THEY FELT COMFORTABLE THAT THERE WAS SOMEONE THAT COULD REPLACE ME AND IT MUST HAVE BEEN 1965 [THAT I LEFT].” “EACH ONE OF THE LAWYERS HAD THEIR OWN PRIVATE SECRETARIES. ONE WOMAN IN PARTICULAR…MARY, WAS EXCELLENT IN TAKING LETTERS AND WAS AN EXCELLENT LAW SECRETARY, BUT COULD NOT DO THE BOOKKEEPING. I UNDERTOOK TO DO THE BOOKKEEPING FOR THE SECRETARIES AND THEREFORE, THERE HAD TO BE, AT LEAST FOUR EXTRA GIRLS AS SECRETARIES THERE. AS THEY INCREASED WITH STAFF, THEY WOULD ALSO HIRE MORE SECRETARIES.” ON MR. GLADSTONE VIRTUE, BERLANDO STATED, “I ADMIRED HIM BECAUSE HE DEMANDED RESPECT, HE DEMANDED PROFESSIONALISM. HE WAS VERY SERIOUS ABOUT HIS CLIENTS AND THEY HAD TO BE TREATED LIKE IT WAS AN HONOUR TO HAVE HIM AS THEIR LAWYER. HE WAS NOT A TALL MAN IN STATURE BUT HE STOOD OUT AS A SPECIAL PERSON…BUT HIS CLIENTS CAME FIRST. HE WOULD NEVER HESITATE TO MAKE SURE THAT IF HE HAD A CLIENT OR HAD AN APPOINTMENT THAT I HAD TO MAKE SURE THEY WERE TAKEN CARE OF. HE USED TO INVEST THROUGH THE ROYAL BANK AND HE WOULD HAVE ME GO DOWN AND MEET WITH THE MANAGER. [I WOULD] LET THEM KNOW THAT I WAS THERE ON BEHALF OF MR. VIRTUE AND PRESENT THEM WITH WHATEVER INFORMATION HE GAVE ME…THEY WERE TO TAKE CARE OF THAT. SO HE REALLY MADE ME HIS PERSONAL PERSON TO LOOK AFTER ALL OF HIS PRIVATE AFFAIRS, WHICH TO ME WAS AN HONOUR…EVEN THE LAWYERS HAD SO MUCH RESPECT FOR HIM. WHEN HE MADE A STATEMENT OR A COMMAND OR MADE INSTRUCTIONS FOR CHANGES, THEY WERE MADE AND THEY HAD TO BE ABIDED.” BERLANDO SPOKE ABOUT HER SENTIMENTS ON DONATING THE RING TO THE MUSEUM, NOTING, “AT THE AGE OF NINETY-ONE, WHICH I HAVE BEEN VERY FORTUNATE TO LIVE THIS LENGTH OF TIME, I HAVE TO TAKE INTO CONSIDERATION MANY ITEMS THAT I FEEL SHOULD BE INHERITED BY MY FAMILY…BUT NOT KNOWING THE IMPORTANCE OF THIS GIFT…[I WISH TO] LEAVE IT TO NO ONE OTHER THAN I FEEL THAT DESERVES TO HAVE IT, [WHICH] WOULD BE THE GALT MUSEUM. I DO WISH TO LEAVE IT TO SOMEONE THAT I THINK MAYBE COULD CARRY ON A LITTLE IMPORTANCE OF THE GIFT THAT WAS HANDED TO ME.” “I THINK THAT IT PUTS SUCH A TRUST IN ME, THAT I FEEL NOW, EVEN IN THE YEARS GONE BY, HOW I’VE ALWAYS WANTED SOMEONE, OR ANYONE THAT HAD ANY CONNECTIONS WITH ME, THAT THEY COULD TRUST ME. THAT I WOULD NEVER WANT TO HURT ANYONE AND I WOULD WANT TO CONTINUE TO HELP PEOPLE. WHEN I HEAR PEOPLE IN DISCUSSION OR IN COMMENTS THAT THEY CAN RECALL THINGS THAT I HAVE DONE FOR THEM THAT I CAN’T REMEMBER…I GUESS IT’S JUST MY NATURE TO BE THAT TYPE OF PERSON. [BUT] IF SOMEONE LIKE MR. VIRTUE COULD TRUST ME, AND THEN CLIENTS CAN TRUST ME, I THINK IT INSTILLED [A] TRUST THAT I’LL CARRY TO MY GRAVE.” ABNER GLADSTONE VIRTUE GRADUATED FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF ALBERTA IN 1913 AND BEGAN HIS CAREER IN LAW SHORTLY BEFORE THE START OF THE FIRST WORLD WAR. IN 1915, VIRTUE ENLISTED IN THE LETHBRIDGE MILITIA UNIT, THE 25TH FIELD ARTILLERY. UPON ITS FORMATION, VIRTUE ENLISTED AS A LIEUTENANT WITH THE LETHBRIDGE 61ST BATTERY THAT JOINED FRONT LINES IN FRANCE IN 1917. IN 1916, THE CARENCY CHURCH’S STEEPLE FELL FROM GERMAN GUN-FIRE. THE BELL FROM THE STEEPLE WAS RELATIVELY UNDAMAGED, AND MOVED TO BE BURIED IN VILLERS A ROIS FOR SAFETY. THE ARTILLERY BRIGADE OF THE 61ST BATTERY ARRIVED IN CARENCY, WHERE AMONGST THE CHURCH DEBRIS FRAGMENTS OF THE BELL WERE RETRIVED BY LETHBRIDGE FORCES. THE BATTERY FARRIER FASHIONED THE FRAGMENTS INTO SOUVENIRS THAT SOLDIERS RETURNED TO LETHBRIDGE WITH, INCLUDING GLADSTONE VIRTUE, WHO RETURNED TO LETHBRIDGE WITH A RING. AN ARTICLE FROM THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD PUBLISHED MARCH 24, 1931 ON THE FRONT PAGE REFERENCED "LIEUT. A.G. VIRTUE, WHO WAS IN CHARGE OF THE 61ST [ALBERTA BATTALION] WHEN IT WAS DEMOBILIZED, HAS ONE OF THE RINGS MADE FROM FRAGMENTS OF THE FAMOUS [CARENCY] BELL, SHOT FROM THE STEEPLE OF THE CHURCH BY GERMAN SHELL FIRE AND SHATTERED." VIRTUE RESUMED HIS LAW PRACTICE IN LETHBRIDGE FOLLOWING HIS RETUN FROM WAR, AND BECAME A SENIOR PARTNER IN THE FIRM OF VIRTUE, RUSSELL, MORGAN AND VIRTUE. THE BELL OF CARENCY CHURCH WAS RETRIEVED BY THE PARIS MUNICIPAL COUNCIL IN 1931, AND RETURNED TO THE CARENCY CHURCH. FOR MORE INFORMATION INCLUDING ARTICLES ON THE BELL AND VIRTUE’S INVOLVEMENT FROM THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD, AND THE FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTION, PLEASE SEE THE PERMANENT FILE P20170034001-GA.
Catalogue Number
P20170034002
Acquisition Date
2017-11
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail
Other Name
KNITTING BAG
Date Range From
1870
Date Range To
1999
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
CANVAS, FABRIC, THREAD
Catalogue Number
P20160003005
  1 image  
Material Type
Artifact
Other Name
KNITTING BAG
Date Range From
1870
Date Range To
1999
Materials
CANVAS, FABRIC, THREAD
No. Pieces
1
Length
41
Width
36
Description
HANDMADE BAG MADE OF 3 SECTIONS OF STRIPS OF ABOUT 5 INCHES (APPROX. 13 CM) EACH. IT IS RED WITH BLUE, YELLOW, GREEN, AND RAW MATERIAL ACCENTS. THE TRIM AT THE TOP OF THE BAG IS BLUE WITH A HANDLE OF THE SAME FABRIC ON EITHER SIDE. THERE IS A STRIP OF RAW, NOT PATTERNED FABRIC AT THE BOTTOM OF THE BAG. BOTH SIDES OF THE BAG HAVE THE SAME ARRANGEMENT OF PATTERNED STRIPS. THERE IS ONE SEAM CONNECTING THE FRONT AND THE BACK OF THE BAG ON BOTH SIDES. THE INSIDE IS UNLINED. GOOD TO VERY GOOD CONDITION. THERE IS SOME STITCHING COMING LOOSE AT VARIOUS POINTS OF THE PATTERNING.
Subjects
CONTAINER
Historical Association
DOMESTIC
ETHNOGRAPHIC
History
THE KONKINS WERE A RUSSIAN-SPEAKING FAMILY FROM THE TOWN OF SHOULDICE, ALBERTA, NEAR CALGARY. THEY AND MANY OTHER RUSSIAN FAMILIES COMPOSED THAT TOWN’S DOUKHOBOR COLONY. IT WAS THERE WILLIAM KONKIN MARRIED ELIZABETH WISHLOW. IN 1928 THEIR DAUGHTER, ELSIE WAS BORN. THEY LATER MOVED TO A FARM IN VAUXHALL, ALBERTA. THE PRECEDING AND FOLLOWING INFORMATION HAS BEEN EXTRACTED FROM A TWO-PART INTERVIEW WITH DONOR ELSIE MORRIS, WHICH WAS CONDUCTED BY COLLECTIONS TECHNICIAN KEVIN MACLEAN ON FEBRUARY 17, 2016. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION COMES FROM FAMILY HISTORIES AND TEXTS PROVIDED BY THE DONOR. A FULL HISTORY OF THE KONKIN FAMILY CAN BE FOUND WITH THE RECORD P20160003001. A STATEMENT WRITTEN BY MORRIS ATTACHED TO THE BAG STATES THAT THE MATERIAL OF THE BAG ORIGINATES FROM THE 1870S. THE STATEMENT READS: “THIS BAG WAS HAND WOVEN IN STRIPS [THAT WERE USED] TO SEW ON THE BOTTOM OF PETTICOATS. THE GIRLS AT THAT TIME HAD TO HAVE A TROUSEUA [SIC] TO LAST A LIFETIME BECAUSE AFTER MARRIAGE THERE WOULD BE NO TIME TO MAKE CLOTHES SO WHAT THEY MADE WAS STURDY. THEY STARTED ON THEIR TROUSEUS [SIC] AS SOON AS THEY COULD HOLD A NEEDLE. WHEN IT WAS HAYING TIME THE GIRLS WENT OUT INTO THE FIELD TO RAKE THE HAY. THEY WORE PETTICOATS OF LINEN TO WHICH THESE BANDS WERE SEWN. THE LONG SKIRTS WERE PICKED UP AT THE SIDES AND TUCKED INTO THE WAISTBANDS SO THAT THE BOTTOMS OF THE PETTICOATS WERE ON DISPLAY.” “THESE BANDS WERE ORIGINALLY MY GREAT GRANDMOTHER’S WHO CAME OUT OF RUSSIA WITH THE DOUKHOBOR SETTLEMENT IN 1899. THEY WERE PASSED ON TO MY MOTHER, ELIZABETH KONKIN, WHO MADE THEM INTO A BAG IN THE 1940S” THE STRIPS THAT MAKE UP THE BAG SERVED A UTILITARIAN PURPOSE WHEN SEWN TO THE BOTTOM OF THE PETTICOATS. IN THE INTERVIEW, MORRIS EXPLAINS: “… THESE STRIPS ARE VERY STRONG. THEY’RE LIKE CANVAS. THEY WERE SEWN ONTO THE BOTTOM OF THE LADY’S PETTICOATS AND THEY WORE A SKIRT ON TOP OF THE PETTICOATS. THESE STRIPS LASTED A LIFETIME, IN FACT MORE THAN ONE LIFETIME BECAUSE I’VE GOT THEM NOW. THEY WOULD TUCK THE SKIRTS INTO THEIR WAISTBAND ON THE SIDE SO THEIR PETTICOATS SHOWED AND THEY WERE TRYING TO PRESERVE THEIR SKIRTS NOT TO GET CAUGHT IN THE GRAIN. THE GIRLS LIKED TO WEAR THEM TO SHOW OFF BECAUSE THE BOYS WERE THERE AND THEY ALWAYS WORE THEIR VERY BEST SUNDAY CLOTHES WHEN THEY WENT CUTTING WHEAT OR GRAIN." “[THE FABRIC] CAME FROM RUSSIA. WITH THE AREA WHERE THEY CAME FROM IS NOW GEORGIA AND THEY LIVED ABOUT SEVEN MILES NORTH OF THE TURKISH BORDER, THE PRESENT DAY TURKISH BORDER… [THE DOUKHOBORS] CAME TO CANADA IN 1897 AND 1899.” MORRIS EXPLAINS THAT SURPLUS FABRIC WOULD HAVE BEEN BROUGHT TO CANADA FROM RUSSIA BY HER MATERNAL GRANDMOTHER FOR FUTURE USE AND TO AID THE GIRLS IN MAKING THEIR TROUSSEAUS: “THE TROUSSEAU THE GIRLS MADE HAD TO LAST THEM A LIFETIME BECAUSE THEY WOULDN’T HAVE TIME BUT RAISING CHILDREN TO SEWING THINGS. SEWING MACHINES WERE UNKNOWN THEN.” THE BANDS OF FABRIC THAT MAKE UP THE BAG WOULD HAVE BEEN REMAINS NEVER USED FROM ELIZABETH KONKIN’S TROUSSEAU. SHE HAND WOVE THE BAG WHILE SHE WAS LIVING IN SHOULDICE. THE BAG WAS USED BY MORRIS’ MOTHER TO STORE HER KNITTING SUPPLIES. WHEN MORRIS ACQUIRED THE BAG IN THE 1990S, IT MAINTAINED A SIMILAR PURPOSE: “WELL I USED TO CARRY MY STUFF FOR THE WEAVER’S GUILD BUT NOW I DON’T USE IT FOR ANYTHING. IT’S VERY HANDY YOU KNOW IT DOESN’T WEAR OUT.” THERE WAS ONLY ONE BAG MADE OUT OF THESE REMNANTS BY MORRIS’ MOTHER. PLEASE SEE THE PERMANENT FILE FOR MORE INFORMATION INCLUDING FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTION, OBITUARIES, PHOTOGRAPHS, AND FAMILY HISTORIES.
Catalogue Number
P20160003005
Acquisition Date
2016-02
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail
Other Name
"113TH BATTALION...LETHBRIDGE HIGHLANDERS"
Date Range From
1915
Date Range To
1930
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
WOOD, WICKER, PAINT
Catalogue Number
P20190007005
  2 images  
Material Type
Artifact
Other Name
"113TH BATTALION...LETHBRIDGE HIGHLANDERS"
Date Range From
1915
Date Range To
1930
Materials
WOOD, WICKER, PAINT
No. Pieces
1
Height
8.5
Length
52.6
Width
41.5
Description
BROWN WOOD TRAY WITH WICKER SIDES AND HANDLES; INSIDE OF TRAY HAS LARGE STENCILLED AND PAINTED CREST COMPRISED OF AN OVAL WITH BLACK OUTLINE, A BLACK, YELLOW, AND RED CROWN AT THE TOP, A GREEN MAPLE LEAF IN THE CENTER OF THE OVAL WITH “113” IN YELLOW, A BLACK BANNER ACROSS THE BASE OF THE OVAL WITH “CANADA” IN YELLOW, GREEN THISTLES AROUND THE BANNER, AND YELLOW TEXT ON BROWN BACKGROUND AROUND THE EDGES OF THE OVAL, “OVERSEAS BATTALION, LETHBRIDGE HIGHLANDERS”. WICKER SIDES ARE DISCOLOURED AND WORN; BASE IS SCRATCHED AND HAS BROKEN AND FRAYED WICKER ENDS AROUND EDGES; INSIDE OF TRAY HAS CRACKLING OF FINISH, IS SCRATCHED, AND PAINT IS FADED; OVERALL VERY GOOD CONDITION.
Subjects
CONTAINER
Historical Association
MILITARY
COMMEMORATIVE
History
ON MARCH 28, 2019, COLLECTIONS TECHNICIAN KEVIN MACLEAN INTERVIEWED CAROL AND BRETT CLIFTON REGARDING THEIR DONATION OF VARIOUS LETHBRIDGE AND MILITARY MEMORABILIA. THE OBJECTS WERE COLLECTED BY CAROL’S LATE HUSBAND, CHRIS CLIFTON, AND DONATED IN HIS MEMORY. ON THE TRAY, BRETT CLIFTON NOTED, “THE ONES [I FIND IMPORTANT], AFTER MY BREAK- IN, THERE WERE SOME OTHER THINGS THAT WERE TOTALLY IRREPLACEABLE TO ME, NOT NECESSARILY THE HIGHEST MONETARY VALUE, BUT SOMETHING WHERE I’D BE LIKE, “OH, DARN WHERE AM I EVER GOING TO FIND ANOTHER LETHBRIDGE HIGHLANDERS TRAY AGAIN?...SOME OF THE THINGS TOO THAT I CHOSE, THE PENNANTS AND THE TRAY IN PARTICULAR AND THE SPORRAN, ARE JUST THINGS LIKE, THEY’RE REALLY COOL FOR ME TO HAVE AND THEY’RE AWESOME TO SIT IN MY BASEMENT AND I CAN GO LOOK AT THEM ANY TIME I WANT, BUT NO ONE ELSE GETS TO SEE THEM. THERE’S A BROADER STORY TO BE TOLD IN A MORE, COMMUNITY APPRECIATION, I THINK, THAN JUST SITTING IN MY BASEMENT, IN MY MAN CAVE, LOOKING AT IT.” ON CHRIS CLIFTON’S ACQUISITIONS OF THE OBJECTS, CAROL CLIFTON NOTED, “[CHRIS SEARCHED ON] AUCTION WEB…HE WAS A VERY EARLY USER. THESE THINGS COST MONEY. CHRIS AND I WERE ALWAYS LIKE, ‘OH WELL, ONE DAY WE’LL DONATE THEM AND IT’LL BE OUR GIFT TO CHARITY SO IT’S NO BIG DEAL, WE’LL DO ANYTHING WE CAN AFFORD TO GET THE STUFF.’” “MUCH OF THE REST [OF THE COLLECTION] WAS FOUND BY CHRIS ON EBAY…IT COULD BE THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT [AND CHRIS WOULD SAY], ‘HEY, BRETT, GUESS WHAT’S ON EBAY?’” “HE DIDN’T THINK TWICE. IF [AN ITEM] WAS THERE AND HE COULD AFFORD IT, HE GOT IT. HE WORRIED ABOUT [IT] LATER, “WELL, GEE, SHOULD I HAVE BOUGHT IT OR NOT? YEAH, OF COURSE I SHOULD HAVE BOUGHT IT.” IT WAS LIKE HE FELT LIKE HE WAS SAVING IT. I SUPPOSE, AS A MUSEUM, YOU CAN’T NECESSARILY JUST BUY WITH THAT ABANDON BECAUSE YOU HAVE PEOPLE YOU HAVE TO ANSWER TO. WELL, HE DIDN’T HAVE TO ANSWER TO ANYONE BUT HIS CREDIT CARD COMPANY AND HIM. IF HE FELT IT BELONGED IN LETHBRIDGE HE BOUGHT IT AND ASKED QUESTIONS LATER. [HE WAS] BRINGING IT HOME.” ON HER HUSBAND’S INTEREST IN SOUTERN ALBERTA HISTORY, CAROL CLIFTON ELABORATED, “CHRIS PASSED AWAY…[HE] REALLY MADE US INTERESTED IN HISTORY. FOR HIM IT WAS ALL ABOUT LOCAL HISTORY, SO ANYTHING THAT HE COLLECTED HAD A LETHBRIDGE OR SOUTHERN ALBERTA CONNECTION OR HE DIDN’T COLLECT IT. HE LIKED TO RESEARCH THEM.” “[CHRIS] WAS VERY PROUD TO HAVE BEEN RAISED MORMON FROM A MORMON FAMILY THAT HAD DEEP PIONEER ROOTS INTO UTAH, AND WERE ORIGINALS TO UTAH AND ORIGINALS TO SOUTHERN ALBERTA. ALONG WITH THAT MORMONS…REALLY ENCOURAGE HISTORY IN TERMS OF COLLECTING THEIR ARTIFACTS OR RELIGIOUS ARTIFACTS, AND GENEALOGY. [CHRIS DID] ALL OF HIS OWN GENEALOGY AND HE WOULD DO GENEALOGY FOR ANYONE HE KNEW. WE JUST LITERALLY HAVE REAMS OF PERSONAL HISTORY AND GENEALOGY IN THAT FORM. IT GREW FROM THERE. [CHRIS] WAS A COLLECTOR AT HEART, HE BEGAN COIN COLLECTING AND DID A LOT OF WORK FOUNDING A NUMISMATICS SOCIETY IN TOWN AND BELONGED TO SEVERAL, AND DISPLAYED ON A NATIONAL LEVEL.” “IN TERMS OF THE MILITARY ITEMS, I WOULD SAY [HIS INTEREST BEGAN] WITH HIS DAD BEING FROM THE CALGARY TANK REGIMENT IN DIEPPE AND A PRISONER OF WAR. HIS DAD’S MOTHER HAD SAVED A BUNCH OF ITEMS AND BEFORE CHRIS’S DAD PASSED AWAY, HE GAVE EVERYTHING TO CHRIS…THAT KIND OF FOSTERED [HIS INTEREST IN MILITARY COLLECTIONS] AND THEN IT JUST GREW INTO INTERESTING LOCAL THINGS.” “CHRIS LOVED SOUTHERN ALBERTA, AND NO MATTER WHAT, HE NEVER WOULD HAVE LEFT SOUTHERN ALBERTA. HE LOVED TO TRAVEL BUT HE NEVER WOULD HAVE MOVED. HE LIVED IN MAGRATH AND LETHBRIDGE HIS WHOLE LIFE AND HAD NO INTEREST IN ANY OTHER PLACE BUT HERE.” ON CHRIS’S RESEARCH EFFORTS, CAROL CLIFTON RECALLED, “CHRIS WAS METICULOUS. ANYTHING CHRIS DID, HE DID IT TEN TIMES MORE THAN ANYONE ELSE WOULD. HE WOULD NOT GIVE UP…WHEN BRETT [CLIFTON] DID THE CENOTAPH WORK, CHRIS WOULD HELP HIM IDENTIFY [THE NAMES] AND IT WOULD BE A DEAD END AFTER ANOTHER DEAD END, AND THE NEXT THING YOU KNEW WAS CHRIS HAD FOUND A RELATIVE IN ENGLAND WHO WAS A GREAT GRANDDAUGHTER’S NEIGHBOR. HE WOULD LITERALLY SPEND YEARS RESEARCHING ONE THING. IT WAS JUST HIS PERSONALITY AND HIS LEVEL OF INTEREST AND HE DIDN’T STOP THERE, HE WOULD DO IT FOR ANYONE…HE WAS A VERY GIVING PERSON AND HE WAS SO FANTASTICALLY GOOD AT THAT TYPE OF RESEARCH.” “[CHRIS] AND BRETT TOGETHER WOULD DO [THE RESEARCH] AND I WOULD DO IT OUT OF INTEREST…I DON’T KNOW OF ANYONE WHO DID IT TO THE LEVEL HE DID. HE WOULD BE UP IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT FOLLOWING A LEAD IN EUROPE ON SOMEONE HE DIDN’T KNOW FOR SOMEONE HE BARELY KNEW…[CHRIS WAS] TOTALLY SELF-TAUGHT…OF COURSE WITH THE INTERNET IT BECAME MUCH EASIER FOR EVERYONE TO [SEARCH]. THE GENEALOGY HE DID BEFORE WAS PRE-INTERNET SO THAT INVOLVED A LOT OF ARCHIVAL THINGS…HE BEGAN RESEARCH WORK VERY EARLY IN THE INTERNET AND WE GOT OUR FIRST COMPUTER IN 1995, AND HE PRETTY MUCH DID RESEARCH FROM THEN ON. HE WAS INTERESTING IN THAT NO MATTER WHAT RESEARCH HE DID HE DIDN’T WANT CREDIT FOR IT. HE DIDN’T WANT TO BELONG TO THINGS…IN ADDITION, HE DIDN’T LIKE TO DO THE WRITING, ALTHOUGH HE COULD WRITE, BUT HE WAS THE BEST PROOF READER BECAUSE HE WAS SO METICULOUS, AND HE WOULD PROOF READ FOR ANYONE. [IF] SOMEBODY WROTE AN ARTICLE HE WOULD BE A PROOF READER OR A FACT CHECKER. IT WAS JUST HIS NATURE…[HE WAS] STUBBORN, AND COMPETITIVE, AND INTERESTED, AND METICULOUS, AND IF HE DID IT IT’S CORRECT. IF THERE’S A MISTAKE IN IT HE SURE DIDN’T KNOW IT. HE WOULD HAVE NEVER PUT ANYTHING DOWN HE WASN’T PRETTY DARN SURE OF.” ON THEIR MOTIVES FOR DONATING THE COLLECTIONS, CAROL CLIFTON NOTED, “THE FIRST REASON THAT WE DECIDED TO DONATE AT THIS TIME…IS THAT WE THOUGHT IT WOULD BE A NICE WAY TO HONOUR [CHRIS] TO MAKE SURE THAT THE COLLECTION ALWAYS STAYED IN SOUTHERN ALBERTA AND THAT IT’S AVAILABLE TO PEOPLE WITH SIMILAR INTERESTS. [THE DONATION] WOULD BE SOMETHING IN HIS MEMORY THAT WOULD KEEP HIS MEMORY ALIVE. THE SECOND REASON IS THAT BRETT HAD AN UNFORTUNATE BREAK-IN AT HIS HOUSE LAST FATHER’S DAY, AND MANY THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS OF THINGS WERE TAKEN, BUT VERY LUCKILY, NONE OF THE LOCAL HISTORY ITEMS OR THE MILITARY ITEMS WERE TOUCHED. THEY WERE FAR MORE VALUABLE THAN THE THINGS THAT WERE TAKEN, BUT WERE NOT TOUCHED, AND WE BEGAN TO REALIZE THAT WE’RE ONE BREAK-IN AWAY FROM LOSING A LOT OF HISTORY.” IN 2014 COLLECTIONS ASSISTANT JANE EDMUNDSON CONDUCTED A SURVERY OF MILITARY OBJECTS. THE FOLLOWING BRIEF HISTORY OF THE LETHBRIDGE HIGHLANDERS IS EXCERPTED FROM CHRISTOPHER R. KILFORD'S BOOK 'LETHBRIDGE AT WAR: THE MILITARY HISTORY OF LETHBRIDGE FROM 1990 TO 1996' (BATTERY BOOKS & PUBLISHING, 1996) AND COMPILED BY EDMUNDSON. "THE 113TH CANADIAN EXPEDITIONARY FORCE, THE LETHBRIDGE HIGHLANDERS, WERE ORGANIZED DECEMBER 22, 1915 [AS] PART OF A CANADIAN RECRUITING DRIVE WHERE MEN FROM THE SAME REGION COULD ENLIST AND SERVE TOGETHER. THIS TYPE OF COMMUNITY SPIRIT RECRUITING WAS VERY POPULAR AS IT DREW IN FRIENDS, NEIGHBOURS, CO-WORKERS, ETC. WITH THE PROMISE OF SERVING TOGETHER THROUGHOUT THE WAR. THE 113TH CONSISTED OF 883 MEN AND OFFICERS AND HAD ITS BARRACKS AT THE EXHIBITION GROUNDS IN LETHBRIDGE... BASIC TRAINING IN THE CEF INVOLVED RIFLE TRAINING, BOMBING OR HAND GRENADE PRACTICE, ROUTE MARCHES, RIFLE DRILL AND MANY INSPECTIONS... IN LATE MAY 1916 THE BATTALION MOVED TO SARCEE CAMP OUTSIDE CALGARY FOR FURTHER TRAINING THAT LASTED UNTIL SEPTEMBER... ON SEPTEMBER 26TH 1916 THE 113TH EMBARKED ALONG WITH THE 111TH AND 145TH BATTALIONS ON THE SS TUSCANIA... UPON ARRIVING IN ENGLAND THE BATTALION WAS TAKEN TO A HOLDING CAMP AT SANDLING NEAR SHORNCLIFFE... THE COMMANDING OFFICER LEARNED THAT THE 113TH WOULD BE BROKEN UP FOR REPLACEMENTS AND WOULD NOT SEE ACTION AS A UNIT AFTER ALL... THE 113TH WAS TRANSFERRED TO THE 17TH RESERVE BATTALION CEF, THE NOVA SCOTIA HIGHLANDERS, AFFILIATED WITH THE SCOTTISH SEAFORTH HIGHLANDERS... ON OCTOBER 12, 1916 MOST OF THE OLD 113TH PROCEEDED TO FRANCE... ALMOST IMMEDIATELY 300 MEN OF THE OLD 113TH WERE ASSIGNED AS REPLACEMENTS TO ONE OF THE MOST FAMOUS BATTALIONS IN THE CEF, THE 16TH BATTALION CANADIAN SCOTTISH." FOR MORE INFORMATION INCLUDING THE FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTION AND LETHBRIDGE HERALD ARTICLES, PLEASE SEE THE PERMANENT FILE P20190007001-GA.
Catalogue Number
P20190007005
Acquisition Date
2019-03
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail