Skip header and navigation

9 records – page 1 of 1.

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
Date Range From
1923
Date Range To
1924
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
BONE, RHINESTONE
Catalogue Number
P20160042003
  1 image  
Material Type
Artifact
Date Range From
1923
Date Range To
1924
Materials
BONE, RHINESTONE
No. Pieces
1
Height
16.3
Length
8.5
Description
FAN-SHAPED HAIR ORNAMENT WITH TWO LARGE PRONGS. CREAM-COLOURED WITH BROWN DAPPLING. 5 WHITE TULIP-SHAPED DESIGNS ON FANNED EDGE OF ORNAMENT WITH GREEN RHINESTONES INLAID IN THE WHITE SECTIONS OF DESIGN. TWO THIN LINES ARE ETCHED ON EITHER SIDE OF EACH WHITE TULIP SECTION. CONDITION: DESIGN FADED WITH ONE GREEN RHINESTONE MISSING ON AN INNER TULIP. SLIGHT LOSS OF FINISH ESPECIALLY AT THE WHITE PORTIONS OF DESIGN. SCUFFED SURFACE OVERALL.
Subjects
ADORNMENT
Historical Association
PERSONAL CARE
ETHNOGRAPHIC
History
ON 2 DECEMBER 2016, COLLECTIONS TECHNICIAN KEVIN MACLEAN INTERVIEWED THE DONORS, MAKIO (MAC) AND REYKO NISHIYAMA, IN THEIR HOME TO DISCUSS ITEMS THEY WERE DONATING TO THE GALT. THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION HAS BEEN EXTRACTED FROM THAT INTERVIEW: MRS. NISHIYAMA EXPLAINED THIS HAIR ORNAMENT AND A MATCHING ONE CAME INTO HER CUSTODY AFTER ITS INITIAL OWNERS – HER PARENTS TAKASHI AND CHIAKI KARAKI – MOVED FROM THEIR RAYMOND HOME TO BRITISH COLUMBIA. SHE SAID, “… [AFTER THE] SIXTY YEARS OF FARMING, MY [PARENTS] DID IN RAYMOND… THEY SELL THE WHOLE THING AND MOVE! I’M LEFT BEHIND IN RAYMOND BY MYSELF, MARRIED… WHEN THEY MOVE TO QUESNEL, B.C [IN THE LATE 1950S], THEY HAD TO LEAVE BEHIND THEIR TRUNK AND IT HAD ALL THE TREASURES IN IT.” OTHER TREASURES FOUND IN THE TRUNK WERE HER MOTHER’S COMB AND A VASE ALSO DONATED WITH THE TWO HAIR ORNAMENTS (P20160042001 & 003-004). MRS. NISHIYAMA REMEMBERED, “[MY MOTHER] EXPLAINED TO ME THAT SHE’D KEPT THESE BECAUSE THEY WERE HERS – GIVEN TO HER BY HER PARENTS – AND SHE WANTED ME TO SORT OF TAKE CARE OF THEM… [THEY] CAME WITH HER WHEN SHE GOT MARRIED… SHE CAME OVER AS A VERY YOUNG BRIDE… [THESE] TWO PIECES ARE HER HAIR ORNAMENTS, AND I’M GUESSING THAT THEY ARE BONE… [THEY WERE] NOT ANYTHING TO USE AROUND HERE, ANYWAY, SO WE JUST THOUGHT THEY WERE BEAUTIFUL, AND, ONCE IN A WHILE, WE GET TO SEE IT.” WHEN ASKED IF SHE REMEMBERED HER MOTHER USING THE COMB AND HAIR ACCESSORIES, MRS. NISHIYAMA STATED, “NO. BY THE TIME SHE GOT TO THE FARM, SHE REALIZED THERE’S NO DRESSING UP OR NOTHING. YOU KNOW THE HAIRDOS – THE FANCY HAIRDOS THAT THEY HAD IN JAPAN - THEY WERE LONG GONE, SO THEY JUST WENT BY. I KNOW SHE BRAIDED HER HAIR AND WORE A BUN ON THE BACK OF HER HEAD, FOR YEARS AND YEARS, BEFORE SHE CUT IT SHORT. SO, I JUST REMEMBERED A LITTLE TREASURE THAT SHE HAD IN THE DRAWER… IT WAS IN A SPECIAL SPOT IN THE DRESSER, AND WE ONLY GOT TO SEE IT ONCE IN A WHILE. IT WAS SPECIAL. IT WAS HER TREASURES THAT SHE KEPT.” SPEAKING OF THE ITEMS’ USE ONCE THEY WERE IN HER POSSESSION, MRS. NISHIYAMA SAID, “[THEY WERE] NOT REALLY [USED]. I THINK I’VE HAD IT OUT WHEN THEY ASKED FOR IT AT JAPANESE GARDENS. I THINK WE HAD SOMETHING ELSE SOMEWHERE, WHERE WE HAD A DISPLAY… I THINK THAT’S THE ONLY TIMES THAT THEY CAME OUT…” THE TRUNK, ALONG WITH ITS CONTENTS, WERE BROUGHT TO SOUTHERN ALBERTA FROM JAPAN BY HER MOTHER, CHIAKI KARAKI (NEE KUMAGAI), FOLLOWING HER MARRIAGE TO TAKASHI KARAKI. MRS. NISHIYAMA EXPLAINED HER PARENTS’ MARRIAGE STORY: “… SHE CAME OVER AS A VERY YOUNG BRIDE… NOT QUITE EIGHTEEN… I OFTEN SAID TO MY MOTHER…, ‘HOW IN THE WORLD DID YOUR PARENTS EVER LET YOU GO TO CANADA? YOU DIDN’T KNOW THE LANGUAGE – IT’S A DIFFERENT COUNTRY.’ SHE DIDN’T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT MY DAD, EXCEPT THAT HE WAS A FARMER. HE’S SEVENTEEN YEARS OLDER THAN SHE WAS THEN. IT DOESN’T MAKE SENSE. SHE JUST SAID, ‘MY PARENTS SAID TO GO, SO I CAME’ … IT TOOK A LOT OF COURAGE…” MRS. NISHIYAMA WENT ON, “ALL JAPANESE MARRIAGES WERE DONE [BY] GO-BETWEENS. THERE WERE, I WOULD SAY, HARDLY ANY, IN FACT, I DON’T THINK THERE WAS ANY… FALLING-IN-LOVE KIND OF THING. THAT WAS JUST NOT EVEN THOUGHT ABOUT… MY DAD’S FOLKS WERE IN THE VILLAGE. THEY WERE FARMERS… THEY HAD A LARGE HOUSE AND THEY RAISED SILKWORMS. MY MOTHER’S FOLKS LIVED IN THE TOWN… SHE COMES FROM A VERY MODEST FAMILY, BUT HER DAD WAS A PAWN BROKER…” A FAMILY HISTORY WRITTEN BY MRS. NISHIYAMA AND HER BROTHER, SUSUMU KARAKI, IN THE BOOK TITLED "NISHIKI: NIKKEI TAPESTRY: A HISTORY OF SOUTHERN ALBERTA JAPANESE CANADIANS" (PUBLISHED 2001), ELABORATES ON THE FAMILY’S STORY. IT STATES THEIR FATHER, TAKASHI KARAKI, WAS BORN ON 1 JULY 1889 IN NAGANO PREFECTURE, JAPAN. THE HISTORY READS, “AFTER GRADUATING FROM HIGH SCHOOL IN 1907… HE LEFT A COMFORTABLE HOME… TO VENTURE OUT FOR A NEW LIFE IN AMERICA.” IT EXPLAINS HE LANDED IN VANCOUVER, AND WAS LURED BY A HIGH SALARY JOB IN SKEENA, BRITISH COLUMBIA. AFTER WORKING IN BRITISH COLUMBIA, THE HISTORY SAYS THAT “IN 1909, HE AND SEVERAL HUNDRED OTHER YOUNG JAPANESE MEN WERE RECRUITED BY AN AGENT OF THE KNIGHT SUGAR COMPANY TO WORK IN THE SUGAR BEET FIELDS IN RAYMOND, [ALBERTA] WITH PROMISES OF GOOD PAY AND EASY WORK...” THE MEN SOON LEARNED THAT THE WORK WAS MUCH MORE DIFFICULT AND THE PAY SIGNIFICANTLY LOWER THAN THEY HAD BEEN INITIALLY BEEN PROMISED, SO MANY RETURNED TO BRITISH COLUMBIA AFTER THEIR CONTRACT YEAR. KARAKI WAS OF THE GROUP THAT DECIDED TO STAY ON WITH THE COMPANY UNTIL ITS CLOSURE IN 1914. AFTER THAT, HE BEGAN A FARMING OPERATION WITH TWO OF THE FRIENDS HE MADE IN THE COMPANY – LEASING LAND FROM FIRST THE KNIGHT SUGAR COMPANY, THEN FROM A LOCAL NAMED ROLLO KINSEY, AND FINALLY FROM THE MCINTYRE RANCH IN MAGRATH. EVEN THOUGH THE PARTNERSHIP DISSOLVED AFTER THE FIRST THREE YEARS, KARAKI PERSISTED UNDER THE TRYING CONDITIONS, AND BY 1918 HE MADE THE DECISION TO MAKE ALBERTA HIS PERMANENT HOME AND TO BECOME A CANADIAN CITIZEN. HE PURCHASED A DRY LAND FARM IN RAYMOND AND FARMED THAT FOR FIVE YEARS BEFORE DECIDING HE WANTED TO GET MARRIED AND RAISE A FAMILY OF HIS OWN. HE RETURNED TO JAPAN IN 1923, WHERE HE MET THROUGH FAMILY AND FRIENDS, CHIAKI KUMAGAI, WHO WAS ALSO FROM THE NAGANO PREFECTURE. THE COUPLE MARRIED IN DECEMBER 1923, AND THE NEWLYWEDS RETURNED TO RAYMOND IN SPRING 1924. IN THE 2016 INTERVIEW, MRS. NISHIYAMA ADDED, “THERE WAS SOMEBODY ELSE. GO-BETWEENS HAD PICKED OUT SOMEONE ELSE FOR HIM, SO SOMEONE ELSE LOOKED AT HIM AND SAID ‘NO, THANK YOU.’ YOU KNOW, SOMETIMES IT WORKS, AND SOMETIMES IT DIDN’T. SO, THEN THEY HAD TO SCROUNGE A LITTLE BIT, AND MY MOTHER’S TOWN WAS NOT SO FAR FROM WHERE DAD’S FAMILY LIVED, SO THEY SAID, ‘WELL, WE’RE NOT THAT FAR APART. WHEN YOU COME HOME FOR A VISIT, YOU WILL BE ABLE TO VISIT.’” WHEN DESCRIBING THE HOME THE COUPLE INTIALLY SETTLED IN, MRS. NISHIYAMA EXPLAINED, “WE [WERE] 8 MILES SOUTH OF RAYMOND, IN WHAT WE CALL THE MAMMOTH SCHOOL DISTRICT… THERE WERE QUITE A FEW JAPANESE FAMILIES IN AND AROUND THAT MAMMOTH SCHOOL DISTRICT, SO WE WERE SORT OF THE MAJORITY.” MRS. NISHIYAMA SAID THAT HER MOTHER SPOKE OFTEN OF HER EARLY DAYS IN SOUTHERN ALBERTA. MRS. NISHIYAMA RECALLED, “IT WAS REALLY VERY LONELY [FOR MY MOTHER]. SHE’S YOUNG; THE CLOSEST NEIGHBOR WAS HALF A MILE AWAY… WHEN SHE GOT TO THE FARM, SHE SAID, ‘YOU SAID OUR NEIGHBORS ARE TAKAGUCHI’S. IS THAT HOUSE OVER THERE OUR NEIGHBORS?’ DAD SAID, ‘NO, THAT’S A CHICKEN COOP. THE NEIGHBOR’S HOUSE IS AWAY OVER THERE.’ FOR HER, THAT’S JUST APPALLING, COMING FROM A TOWN WHERE NEIGHBORS WERE CLOSE…DAD WOULD GET UP ONTO THE FIELD. NO ONE TO TALK TO EVEN. FORTUNATELY, SHE SAID, HER BROTHER-IN-LAW (DAD HAD A YOUNGER BROTHER HELPING HIM AT THAT TIME) – AND HE SAID, ‘GET ON THE BACK OF MY TRACTOR AND (IT WASN’T TRACTOR THEN – IT WAS HORSE AND BUGGY, BUT ANYWAY -) JUST COME AND RIDE THE FIELD WITH ME.’ AND, SHE DID JUST BECAUSE SHE COULDN’T STAND BEING BY HERSELF IN A LONELY OUTPOST, ON THE PRAIRIES, WITH NOTHING TO LOOK AT…” ACCORDING TO THE KARAKI FAMILY HISTORY IN THE NISHIKI BOOK, THE COUPLE RAISED A FAMILY OF SIX CHILDREN INCLUDING THE DONOR, REYKO NISHIYAMA. BY 1956, THEY SOLD THEIR FARM AND RELOCATED TO BRITISH COLUMBIA. TAKASHI PASSED AWAY IN THERE IN 1974 AT THE AGE OF 85 AND CHIAKI PASSED AWAY 14 YEARS LATER IN 1988. PLEASE SEE PERMANENT FILE FOR MORE INFORMATION, INCLUDING FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTIONS AND COPIES OF THE FAMILY HISTORIES.
Catalogue Number
P20160042003
Acquisition Date
2016-12
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail
Date Range From
1923
Date Range To
1924
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
BONE, RHINESTONES
Catalogue Number
P20160042004
  1 image  
Material Type
Artifact
Date Range From
1923
Date Range To
1924
Materials
BONE, RHINESTONES
No. Pieces
1
Length
11
Width
6.5
Description
CROWN-SHAPED HAIR ORNAMENT. SHAPE IS MADE UP OF FOUR TULIP SHAPES. BONE COLOUR IS CREAM WITH BROWN DAPPLING. THE TULIPS ARE WHITE INLAID WITH GREEN RHINESTONES. LEAF-SHAPED DESIGNS ON THE BASE (TWO PER FLOWER) ARE BLACK INLAID WITH PALE BLUE RHINESTONES. FINE LINES ARE ETCHED INTO THE BLACK OF LEAVES AND AROUND THE FLOWER HEADS. CONDITION: DESIGNS ARE SLIGHTLY FADED WITH SLIGHT DIRT ACCUMULATION ON WHITE AREAS OF FLOWERS. TWO GREEN RHINESTONS AND ONE BLUE RHINESTONE MISSING. CLOSING MECHANISM AT BACK IS MISSING. SLIGHT SCUFFS ON OVERALL SURFACE.
Subjects
ADORNMENT
Historical Association
PERSONAL CARE
ETHNOGRAPHIC
History
ON 2 DECEMBER 2016, COLLECTIONS TECHNICIAN KEVIN MACLEAN INTERVIEWED THE DONORS, MAKIO (MAC) AND REYKO NISHIYAMA, IN THEIR HOME TO DISCUSS ITEMS THEY WERE DONATING TO THE GALT. THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION HAS BEEN EXTRACTED FROM THAT INTERVIEW: MRS. NISHIYAMA EXPLAINED THIS HAIR ORNAMENT AND A MATCHING ONE CAME INTO HER CUSTODY AFTER ITS INITIAL OWNERS – HER PARENTS TAKASHI AND CHIAKI KARAKI – MOVED FROM THEIR RAYMOND HOME TO BRITISH COLUMBIA. SHE SAID, “… [AFTER THE] SIXTY YEARS OF FARMING, MY [PARENTS] DID IN RAYMOND… THEY SELL THE WHOLE THING AND MOVE! I’M LEFT BEHIND IN RAYMOND BY MYSELF, MARRIED… WHEN THEY MOVE TO QUESNEL, B.C [IN THE LATE 1950S], THEY HAD TO LEAVE BEHIND THEIR TRUNK AND IT HAD ALL THE TREASURES IN IT.” OTHER TREASURES FOUND IN THE TRUNK WERE HER MOTHER’S COMB AND A VASE ALSO DONATED WITH THE HAIR ORNAMENTS (P20160042001 & 003-004). MRS. NISHIYAMA REMEMBERED, “[MY MOTHER] EXPLAINED TO ME THAT SHE’D KEPT THESE BECAUSE THEY WERE HERS – GIVEN TO HER BY HER PARENTS – AND SHE WANTED ME TO SORT OF TAKE CARE OF THEM… [THEY] CAME WITH HER WHEN SHE GOT MARRIED… SHE CAME OVER AS A VERY YOUNG BRIDE… [THESE] TWO PIECES ARE HER HAIR ORNAMENTS, AND I’M GUESSING THAT THEY ARE BONE… [THEY WERE] NOT ANYTHING TO USE AROUND HERE, ANYWAY, SO WE JUST THOUGHT THEY WERE BEAUTIFUL, AND, ONCE IN A WHILE, WE GET TO SEE IT.” WHEN ASKED IF SHE REMEMBERED HER MOTHER USING THE COMB AND HAIR ACCESSORIES, MRS. NISHIYAMA STATED, “NO. BY THE TIME SHE GOT TO THE FARM, SHE REALIZED THERE’S NO DRESSING UP OR NOTHING. YOU KNOW THE HAIRDOS – THE FANCY HAIRDOS THAT THEY HAD IN JAPAN - THEY WERE LONG GONE, SO THEY JUST WENT BY. I KNOW SHE BRAIDED HER HAIR AND WORE A BUN ON THE BACK OF HER HEAD, FOR YEARS AND YEARS, BEFORE SHE CUT IT SHORT. SO, I JUST REMEMBERED A LITTLE TREASURE THAT SHE HAD IN THE DRAWER… IT WAS IN A SPECIAL SPOT IN THE DRESSER, AND WE ONLY GOT TO SEE IT ONCE IN A WHILE. IT WAS SPECIAL. IT WAS HER TREASURES THAT SHE KEPT.” SPEAKING OF THE ITEMS’ USE ONCE THEY WERE IN HER POSSESSION, MRS. NISHIYAMA SAID, “[THEY WERE] NOT REALLY [USED]. I THINK I’VE HAD IT OUT WHEN THEY ASKED FOR IT AT JAPANESE GARDENS. I THINK WE HAD SOMETHING ELSE SOMEWHERE, WHERE WE HAD A DISPLAY… I THINK THAT’S THE ONLY TIMES THAT THEY CAME OUT…” THE TRUNK, ALONG WITH ITS CONTENTS, WERE BROUGHT TO SOUTHERN ALBERTA FROM JAPAN BY HER MOTHER, CHIAKI KARAKI (NEE KUMAGAI), FOLLOWING HER MARRIAGE TO TAKASHI KARAKI. MRS. NISHIYAMA EXPLAINED HER PARENTS’ MARRIAGE STORY: “… SHE CAME OVER AS A VERY YOUNG BRIDE… NOT QUITE EIGHTEEN… I OFTEN SAID TO MY MOTHER…, ‘HOW IN THE WORLD DID YOUR PARENTS EVER LET YOU GO TO CANADA? YOU DIDN’T KNOW THE LANGUAGE – IT’S A DIFFERENT COUNTRY.’ SHE DIDN’T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT MY DAD, EXCEPT THAT HE WAS A FARMER. HE’S SEVENTEEN YEARS OLDER THAN SHE WAS THEN. IT DOESN’T MAKE SENSE. SHE JUST SAID, ‘MY PARENTS SAID TO GO, SO I CAME’ … IT TOOK A LOT OF COURAGE…” MRS. NISHIYAMA WENT ON, “ALL JAPANESE MARRIAGES WERE DONE [BY] GO-BETWEENS. THERE WERE, I WOULD SAY, HARDLY ANY, IN FACT, I DON’T THINK THERE WAS ANY… FALLING-IN-LOVE KIND OF THING. THAT WAS JUST NOT EVEN THOUGHT ABOUT… MY DAD’S FOLKS WERE IN THE VILLAGE. THEY WERE FARMERS… THEY HAD A LARGE HOUSE AND THEY RAISED SILKWORMS. MY MOTHER’S FOLKS LIVED IN THE TOWN… SHE COMES FROM A VERY MODEST FAMILY, BUT HER DAD WAS A PAWN BROKER…” A FAMILY HISTORY WRITTEN BY MRS. NISHIYAMA AND HER BROTHER, SUSUMU KARAKI, IN THE BOOK TITLED "NISHIKI: NIKKEI TAPESTRY: A HISTORY OF SOUTHERN ALBERTA JAPANESE CANADIANS" (PUBLISHED 2001), ELABORATES ON THE FAMILY’S STORY. IT STATES THEIR FATHER, TAKASHI KARAKI, WAS BORN ON 1 JULY 1889 IN NAGANO PREFECTURE, JAPAN. THE HISTORY READS, “AFTER GRADUATING FROM HIGH SCHOOL IN 1907… HE LEFT A COMFORTABLE HOME… TO VENTURE OUT FOR A NEW LIFE IN AMERICA.” IT EXPLAINS HE LANDED IN VANCOUVER, AND WAS LURED BY A HIGH SALARY JOB IN SKEENA, BRITISH COLUMBIA. AFTER WORKING IN BRITISH COLUMBIA, THE HISTORY SAYS THAT “IN 1909, HE AND SEVERAL HUNDRED OTHER YOUNG JAPANESE MEN WERE RECRUITED BY AN AGENT OF THE KNIGHT SUGAR COMPANY TO WORK IN THE SUGAR BEET FIELDS IN RAYMOND, [ALBERTA] WITH PROMISES OF GOOD PAY AND EASY WORK...” THE MEN SOON LEARNED THAT THE WORK WAS MUCH MORE DIFFICULT AND THE PAY SIGNIFICANTLY LOWER THAN THEY HAD BEEN INITIALLY BEEN PROMISED, SO MANY RETURNED TO BRITISH COLUMBIA AFTER THEIR CONTRACT YEAR. KARAKI WAS OF THE GROUP THAT DECIDED TO STAY ON WITH THE COMPANY UNTIL ITS CLOSURE IN 1914. AFTER THAT, HE BEGAN A FARMING OPERATION WITH TWO OF THE FRIENDS HE MADE IN THE COMPANY – LEASING LAND FROM FIRST THE KNIGHT SUGAR COMPANY, THEN FROM A LOCAL NAMED ROLLO KINSEY, AND FINALLY FROM THE MCINTYRE RANCH IN MAGRATH. EVEN THOUGH THE PARTNERSHIP DISSOLVED AFTER THE FIRST THREE YEARS, KARAKI PERSISTED UNDER THE TRYING CONDITIONS, AND BY 1918 HE MADE THE DECISION TO MAKE ALBERTA HIS PERMANENT HOME AND TO BECOME A CANADIAN CITIZEN. HE PURCHASED A DRY LAND FARM IN RAYMOND AND FARMED THAT FOR FIVE YEARS BEFORE DECIDING HE WANTED TO GET MARRIED AND RAISE A FAMILY OF HIS OWN. HE RETURNED TO JAPAN IN 1923, WHERE HE MET THROUGH FAMILY AND FRIENDS, CHIAKI KUMAGAI, WHO WAS ALSO FROM THE NAGANO PREFECTURE. THE COUPLE MARRIED IN DECEMBER 1923, AND THE NEWLYWEDS RETURNED TO RAYMOND IN SPRING 1924. IN THE 2016 INTERVIEW, MRS. NISHIYAMA ADDED, “THERE WAS SOMEBODY ELSE. GO-BETWEENS HAD PICKED OUT SOMEONE ELSE FOR HIM, SO SOMEONE ELSE LOOKED AT HIM AND SAID ‘NO, THANK YOU.’ YOU KNOW, SOMETIMES IT WORKS, AND SOMETIMES IT DIDN’T. SO, THEN THEY HAD TO SCROUNGE A LITTLE BIT, AND MY MOTHER’S TOWN WAS NOT SO FAR FROM WHERE DAD’S FAMILY LIVED, SO THEY SAID, ‘WELL, WE’RE NOT THAT FAR APART. WHEN YOU COME HOME FOR A VISIT, YOU WILL BE ABLE TO VISIT.’” WHEN DESCRIBING THE HOME THE COUPLE INTIALLY SETTLED IN, MRS. NISHIYAMA EXPLAINED, “WE [WERE] 8 MILES SOUTH OF RAYMOND, IN WHAT WE CALL THE MAMMOTH SCHOOL DISTRICT… THERE WERE QUITE A FEW JAPANESE FAMILIES IN AND AROUND THAT MAMMOTH SCHOOL DISTRICT, SO WE WERE SORT OF THE MAJORITY.” MRS. NISHIYAMA SAID THAT HER MOTHER SPOKE OFTEN OF HER EARLY DAYS IN SOUTHERN ALBERTA. MRS. NISHIYAMA RECALLED, “IT WAS REALLY VERY LONELY [FOR MY MOTHER]. SHE’S YOUNG; THE CLOSEST NEIGHBOR WAS HALF A MILE AWAY… WHEN SHE GOT TO THE FARM, SHE SAID, ‘YOU SAID OUR NEIGHBORS ARE TAKAGUCHI’S. IS THAT HOUSE OVER THERE OUR NEIGHBORS?’ DAD SAID, ‘NO, THAT’S A CHICKEN COOP. THE NEIGHBOR’S HOUSE IS AWAY OVER THERE.’ FOR HER, THAT’S JUST APPALLING, COMING FROM A TOWN WHERE NEIGHBORS WERE CLOSE…DAD WOULD GET UP ONTO THE FIELD. NO ONE TO TALK TO EVEN. FORTUNATELY, SHE SAID, HER BROTHER-IN-LAW (DAD HAD A YOUNGER BROTHER HELPING HIM AT THAT TIME) – AND HE SAID, ‘GET ON THE BACK OF MY TRACTOR AND (IT WASN’T TRACTOR THEN – IT WAS HORSE AND BUGGY, BUT ANYWAY -) JUST COME AND RIDE THE FIELD WITH ME.’ AND, SHE DID JUST BECAUSE SHE COULDN’T STAND BEING BY HERSELF IN A LONELY OUTPOST, ON THE PRAIRIES, WITH NOTHING TO LOOK AT…” ACCORDING TO THE KARAKI FAMILY HISTORY IN THE NISHIKI BOOK, THE COUPLE RAISED A FAMILY OF SIX CHILDREN INCLUDING THE DONOR, REYKO NISHIYAMA. BY 1956, THEY SOLD THEIR FARM AND RELOCATED TO BRITISH COLUMBIA. TAKASHI PASSED AWAY IN THERE IN 1974 AT THE AGE OF 85 AND CHIAKI PASSED AWAY 14 YEARS LATER IN 1988. PLEASE SEE PERMANENT FILE FOR MORE INFORMATION, INCLUDING FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTIONS AND COPIES OF THE FAMILY HISTORIES.
Catalogue Number
P20160042004
Acquisition Date
2016-12
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail
Date Range From
1941
Date Range To
1985
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
METAL, RHINESTONE
Catalogue Number
P20160044005
  2 images  
Material Type
Artifact
Date Range From
1941
Date Range To
1985
Materials
METAL, RHINESTONE
No. Pieces
2
Height
2.1
Length
2.5
Width
0.9
Description
A-B: PAIR OF GOLD-COLOURED COSTUME JEWELRY EARRINGS. CRESENT-SHAPED, CURVING OUT TO FRONT. WHITE RHINESTONES SET IN GOLD-COLOURED METAL VERTICALLY DOWN CURVE OF EARRING. SCREW-ON CLASP AT BACK. FAIR TO GOOD CONDITION: BOTTOM RHINESTONE MISSING OFF COMPONENT A AND SECOND FROM THE TOP RHINESTONE MISSING OFF B. METAL MODERATELY WORN/SCUFFED.
Subjects
ADORNMENT
Historical Association
LEISURE
PERSONAL CARE
History
THE LATE ALICE PEARL HUMMEL (13 JUNE 1922 – 7 APRIL 2016) PERFORMED AS PART OF THE “ANDERSON SISTERS ORCHESTRA” ALONGSIDE HER SISTERS – FLORENCE JEANNETTE MCINTOSH (MAY 1917 – 18 MARCH 1999), MARIE EVELYN POPSON (C.1921 - 8 MARCH 2008) AND RUTH GINZER (C. 1926 - D. 2016). THE FOUR DAUGHTERS WERE BORN TO PARENTS, MARTIN EDWARD ANDERSON AND IDA JOHANNA ANDERSON (NEE JOHNSON). THE BAND WAS A FAMILY AFFAIR THAT SAW GREAT SUCCESS IN THE SOUTHERN ALBERTA REGION. ALICE’S DAUGHTERS, ELEANOR SMITH AND RUTH HUMMEL, HONOURED THEIR MOTHER’S WISHES TO DONATE A NUMBER OF HER EFFECTS FROM HER TIME WITH LETHBRIDGE BAND TO THE MUSEUM. IN 2016 DECEMBER 16, COLLECTIONS TECHNICIAN KEVIN MACLEAN INTERVIEWED THE DAUGHTERS ABOUT THE DONATION. THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION HAS BEEN EXTRACTED FROM THAT EXCHANGE. OF THESE EARRINGS, RUTH RECALLED, “I KNOW THAT THESE WERE WORN WHEN THEY WERE PERFORMING. IF THEY WERE DRESSED ALIKE, THEY USUALLY HAD THE SAME JEWELRY AS WELL.” BOTH RUTH AND ELEANOR RECALLED THE EARRINGS BEING WORN BY THEIR MOTHER UP UNTIL THE 1980S. THE JEWELRY THE SISTERS WORE DURING THE PERFORMANCES “SHOWED A LOT OF USE,” RUTH EXPLAINED. “OTHER ONES REPLACED [OLDER PAIRS AS THEY WORE OUT] AND THEY WERE JUST SET ASIDE.” “ALL [THE SISTERS] LOVED TO DRESS UP. THERE WERE SOME OUTFITS THEY HAD THAT ACTUALLY HAVE GONE DOWN THROUGH FAMILY MEMBERS. HER GRANDDAUGHTER HAS A BEAUTIFUL FORMAL THAT [EACH SISTER] HAD. WHEN THEY DRESSED UP, THEY [REALLY] DRESSED UP. IT WAS WITH BRILLIANT, SHINY, BEAUTIFUL JEWELRY,” RUTH REMEMBERED. THE FOLLOWING IS A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE ANDERSON SISTERS AS TOLD BY DONORS ELEANOR SMITH AND RUTH HUMMEL IN THE 2016 INTERVIEW: “[THE ANDERSON SISTERS ORCHESTRA WAS] THE LONGEST RUNNING GROUP AT WATERTON LAKES PAVILION … [WHERE THEY PLAYED] FOR FIVE YEARS STRAIGHT,” ELEANOR EXPLAINED, “IN ADDITION TO DOING ALL KINDS OF OTHER THINGS, THEY WERE CONSTANTLY TRAVELLING [AND] WE HAVE THE RECORDINGS OF THAT.” RUTH ADDED, “THEY WERE ORIGINALLY FROM MONITOR (SASK). IN THE DIRTY 30S, WHEN THINGS GOT BAD FOR A LOT OF FARMS, THEY FOUND A WAY TO HAVE MUSIC LESSONS AND…PLAY FOR LOCAL DANCES. [ULTIMATELY, THE FAMILY] DECIDED TO LEAVE THE FARM AND HEADED OUT IN THE DIRECTION OF LETHBRIDGE (VIA DRUMHELLER). IT WAS TOUGH TIMES FOR A LOT OF PEOPLE IN THE 30S IN ALBERTA, BUT THE GIRLS, WITH THE TALENT THEY HAD, … HAD A WAY OUT…THEY COULD DO A LOT WHEN THEY STUCK TOGETHER AS A FAMILY. AND THEN THE ORCHESTRA REALLY CAME OUT OF THAT...” THE OBITUARY OF DONORS’ GRANDFATHER, MARTIN ANDERSON, (PUBLISHED IN THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD, 1981) STATES THE FAMILY ARRIVED IN LETHBRIDGE IN 1940. “THEY WERE SERIOUS MUSICIANS - VERY HUMBLE AND VERY QUIET,” RUTH CONTINUED, “[AS FAR AS PROMOTING THE BAND,] THAT WAS MORE GRANDPA’S JOB. WHEN IT CAME TO MUSIC, IT WAS A GIFT THEY PASSED ON - IN THE LATE ‘30S, ‘40S AND INTO THE ‘50S A BIT – [AND] IT WAS SOMETHING THEY FELT REALLY PRIVILEGED TO BE ABLE TO CONTRIBUTE IN THEIR OWN COMMUNITIES. [DURING] THE WAR YEARS, [THEY PLAYED FOR] THE ARMY BASES THAT WERE ALL CLOSE HERE AND [THEY WERE] A PART OF THAT HISTORY.” “[THEY WERE] ON THE ROAD 6 DAYS A WEEK [WITH THEIR CAR AND TRAILER]… PLAYING NOT JUST IN LETHBRIDGE [BUT] FAR REACHING OVER IN B.C., THE NORTHERN STATES, AND QUITE FAR NORTH IN ALBERTA. SO THEY WERE A REAL PART OF THINGS AND WORKED REAL HARD. I THINK IT’S AN IMPORTANT PART OF THE MUSIC HISTORY IN ALBERTA. THEY WERE, AFTER THE ANDERSON SISTERS [BAND WAS FINISHED], PROUD TO TAKE [MUSIC] INTO THE COMMUNITIES WHERE THEY WERE TEACHERS AND STILL PERFORMERS EVEN PAST THE FOUR OF THEM BEING TOGETHER.” WHEN ASKED ABOUT THEIR PERSONAL MEMORIES OF THE SISTERS PERFORMING TOGETHER, RUTH ANSWERED, “WELL ELEANOR WOULD HAVE BEEN A TODDLER, MYSELF AS WELL, THE LAST FEW TIMES THAT THEY PERFORMED AS THE ANDERSON SISTERS IN THAT ERA. BUT GROWING UP THROUGH THE YEARS, THERE WASN’T A TIME WHEN WE GOT TOGETHER AS A FAMILY WHERE WE DIDN’T HAVE A LOT OF MUSIC. THEY WOULD PLAY FOR US [AND] THEY WERE CALLED BACK SOMETIMES TO PERFORM AT COMMUNITY EVENTS… THE LAST ONE THAT I RECALL WAS SOMETHING IN GRANUM FOR AN ELKS 5OTH ANNIVERSARY IN GRANUM…THAT WAS THE LAST TIME PUBLICLY I REMEMBER.” THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION COMES FROM A HISTORY PUBLISHED IN THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD IN 24 MAY 2003 TITLED, “SISTER ACT: SOUTHERN ALBERTA’S SWINGIN’ ANDERSON SISTERS WERE ALL THE RAGE DURING THE SECOND WORLD WAR.” “IT WAS THE ERA OF SWUNG, OF MUSIC WITH MEMORABLE LYRICS, AND OF DANCE. IT WAS ALSO THE TIME OF THE SECOND WORLD WAR AND THE HEYDAY OF THE ANDERSON SISTERS, AND LITERALLY EVERY TOWN IN SOUTHERN ALBERTA WAS SWINGING AND SWAYING TO THE SOUNDS OF FLORENCE, MARIE, ALICE, AND RUTH." "DUBBED THE FOUR MAIDS OF MELODY BY CJOC RADIO…" THE ARTICLE CONTINUED, "[THE SISTERS] WERE THE TOAST OF SOUTHERN ALBERTA’S DANCE HALLS." INTERVIEWED FOR THE ARTICLE WAS ONE OF THE SISTERS, MARIE POPSON. SHE WAS QUOTED, "WE PLAYED THE TRIANON A LOT, THE OLD BUCKET OF BLOOD. THEY CALLED IT THAT BECAUSE IT WAS DURING THE WAR AND THERE WERE A LOT OF FIGHTS. PRIOR TO AND AFTER THE TRIANON WAS OK, BUT IT WAS REAL LIVELY DURING THE WAR… THE CROWDS [THERE] WERE SO LARGE THEY WERE AFRAID THE FLOOR WOULD WEAKEN… THE DANCE FLOOR WAS ON THE SECOND STORY OF THE BUILDING." THE ARTICLE EXPLAINED, "FLORENCE WAS THE ELDEST OF THE ANDERSON SISTERS AND AS SUCH WAS THE BAND’S LEADER. [SHE] PLAYED THE SAXOPHONE AND THE PIANO. MARIE… PLAYED THE PIANO AND ALICE PLAYED THE SAXOPHONE AND CLARINET. RUTH, 'THE BABY,' … PLAYED THE DRUMS, CLARINET AND TRUMPET." THE ARTICLE READS, "'RUTH STARTED PLAYING THE DRUMS AT AGE 11 AND LATER SHE COULD HANDLE THE DRUMMING WITH HER FEET AND PLAY THE TRUMPET AT THE SAME TIME FOR SOME OF OUR NUMBERS,’ SAYS MARIE WITH A TWIRL OF THE HAND. ‘FLO AND ALICE WERE OUR MAIN SINGERS AND I MADE UP THE TRIO SOMETIMES. RUTH DIDN’T SING. WHEN WE SANG AS A TRIO RUTH WOULD PLAY THE PIANO. ALICE WOULD ALSO SING SOLO. WE PLAYED ALL THE POPULAR MUSIC OF THE DAY AND OLD-TIME MUSIC AS WELL… MY SISTERS COULD ALSO PLAY THAT FAST-PACED SQUARE DANCE MUSIC ON THE SAX, AND THAT WAS SOMETHING. WE PLAYED WALTZES, POLKAS AND EVERYTHING… YOU NAME IT, WE PLAYED IT... OUR THEME SONG WAS BREEZING ALONG WITH THE BREEZE BUT MY FAVOURITE HAD TO BE SIDE BY SIDE, WHICH WE WERE AS A GROUP. WE WERE VERY CLOSE.'" THAT ARTICLE STATES THAT MARTIN AND IDA HAD EIGHT DAUGHTERS, IN FACT, BUT ONLY FOUR LIVED TO BECOME TEENAGERS. THE FOUR SURVIVING SISTERS BEGAN THEIR MUSICAL EDUCATION AT AN EARLY AGE, ALL BEGINNING WITH PIANO. THEY BEGAN PLAYING FOR VARIOUS TYPES OF EVENTS NEAR MONITOR, WHERE THEY WERE BORN. WHILE FLORENCE WAS WITH THE ALL GIRLS BAND IN CALGARY, THE THREE YOUNGER SISTERS FORMED THEIR OWN ORCHESTRA, MAKING THEIR DEBUT IN 1937. THE FOLLOWING YEAR, AFTER FLORENCE’S RETURN, THE ANDERSON SISTERS ORCHESTRA WAS FORMED. UPON ARRIVING IN LETHBRIDGE IN 1940, THEY AUDITIONED FOR THE CJOC RADIO STATION. THE ARTICLE STATES, “FOUR DAYS LATER THEY WERE ON THE AIR, LIVE, ON THE CHRISTMAS SHOPPER PROGRAM HEARD THREE TIMES A WEEK. THEY WERE ALSO ON THE AIR MONDAY NIGHTS FROM 9:15 TO 9:30 PM.” A NOTE THAT CAME WITH THE DONATION SAYS THE WEEKLY SHOW WITH CJOC WAS “BROADCAST LIVE ‘FROM HIGH ATOP THE MARQUIS HOTEL.’” BACK IN THE 2016 INTERVIEW AT THE MUSEUM, ALICE’S DAUGHTER ELEANOR COMMENTS ON THE BAND’S LEGACY. “I VOLUNTEER AT THE HOSPITAL [AND PLAY THE PIANO]. I USUALLY HAVE SENIORS INVOLVED THERE… AND WHEN I MENTION MY MOM’S NAME OR MY AUNT’S NAME, THEY REMEMBER DANCING TO THE ANDERSON SISTERS. SO, YOU KNOW, EVEN IN THIS DAY AND AGE, [PEOPLE] REMEMBER HOW MUCH FUN THEY HAD. [IT SHOWS] HOW RESPECTED THEY WERE AND I FIND THAT [BACKGROUND] JUST THRILLING.” “[MUSIC] WAS THEIR LIVELIHOOD,” RUTH ILLUMINATED, “SO [IT] WAS DRIVING THEM [THROUGH] TOUGH TIMES (SUCH AS THE DEPRESSION IN ALBERTA). THE GIRLS TOGETHER [WITH] THE TALENT THEY HAD, HAD A WAY OUT, WHERE A LOT OF OTHER PEOPLE HAD SOME BIGGER STRUGGLES. AND IT WAS THE TALENT IN THEM BEING TOGETHER. THEY COULD DO A LOT WHEN THEY STUCK TOGETHER AS A FAMILY.” PLEASE SEE PERMANENT FILE FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, INCLUDING FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTION, LETHBRIDGE HERALD ARTICLES AND CLIPPINGS ABOUT THE ANDERSON SISTERS AND THEIR SHOWS, AND FAMILY OBITUARIES.
Catalogue Number
P20160044005
Acquisition Date
2016-12
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail
Date Range From
1941
Date Range To
1985
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
METAL, PAINT
Catalogue Number
P20160044006
  1 image  
Material Type
Artifact
Date Range From
1941
Date Range To
1985
Materials
METAL, PAINT
No. Pieces
1
Height
3.7
Length
5
Width
0.6
Description
SILVER AND BLACK OVAL BROOCH; 3 RAISED SILVER METAL LINES (LIKE A STAFF ON SHEET MUSIC) HORIZONTALLY ACROSS BROOCH WITH A SILVER SIXTEENTH NOTE SET ON TOP OF THE LINES. BACKGROUND IS COATED IN MATTE BLACK VARNISH. GOOD CONDITION: BLACK PAINT PRESENT ON SILVER METAL IN A COUPLE OF SPOTS. SLIGHT LOSS OF VARNISH IN SOME PLACES ON FRONT OF BROOCH.
Subjects
ADORNMENT
Historical Association
LEISURE
PERSONAL CARE
History
THE LATE ALICE PEARL HUMMEL (13 JUNE 1922 – 7 APRIL 2016) PERFORMED AS PART OF THE “ANDERSON SISTERS ORCHESTRA” ALONGSIDE HER SISTERS – FLORENCE JEANNETTE MCINTOSH (MAY 1917 – 18 MARCH 1999), MARIE EVELYN POPSON (C.1921 - 8 MARCH 2008) AND RUTH GINZER (C. 1926 - D. 2016). THE FOUR DAUGHTERS WERE BORN TO PARENTS, MARTIN EDWARD ANDERSON AND IDA JOHANNA ANDERSON (NEE JOHNSON). THE BAND WAS A FAMILY AFFAIR THAT SAW GREAT SUCCESS IN THE SOUTHERN ALBERTA REGION. ALICE’S DAUGHTERS, ELEANOR SMITH AND RUTH HUMMEL, HONOURED THEIR MOTHER’S WISHES TO DONATE A NUMBER OF HER EFFECTS FROM HER TIME WITH LETHBRIDGE BAND TO THE MUSEUM. THE ANDERSON SISTERS HAD MATCHING UNIFORMS THEY WOULD OFTEN WEAR FOR PERFORMANCES, WHICH INCLUDED PIECES SUCH AS THIS BROOCH. IN 2016 DECEMBER 16, COLLECTIONS TECHNICIAN KEVIN MACLEAN INTERVIEWED THE DAUGHTERS ABOUT THE DONATION. THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION HAS BEEN EXTRACTED FROM THAT EXCHANGE. RUTH EXPLAINED, “IF THEY WERE DRESSED ALIKE, THEY USUALLY HAD THE SAME JEWELRY AS WELL.” BOTH RUTH AND ELEANOR RECALLED THE BROOCH BEING WORN BY THEIR MOTHER UP UNTIL THE 1980S. THE JEWELRY THE SISTERS WORE DURING THE PERFORMANCES “SHOWED A LOT OF USE,” RUTH EXPLAINED. “OTHER ONES REPLACED [OLDER PAIRS AS THEY WORE OUT] AND THEY WERE JUST SET ASIDE.” “ALL [THE SISTERS] LOVED TO DRESS UP. THERE WERE SOME OUTFITS THEY HAD THAT ACTUALLY HAVE GONE DOWN THROUGH FAMILY MEMBERS. HER GRANDDAUGHTER HAS A BEAUTIFUL FORMAL THAT [EACH SISTER] HAD. WHEN THEY DRESSED UP, THEY [REALLY] DRESSED UP. IT WAS WITH BRILLIANT, SHINY, BEAUTIFUL JEWELRY,” RUTH REMEMBERED. THE FOLLOWING IS A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE ANDERSON SISTERS AS TOLD BY DONORS ELEANOR SMITH AND RUTH HUMMEL IN THE 2016 INTERVIEW: “[THE ANDERSON SISTERS ORCHESTRA WAS] THE LONGEST RUNNING GROUP AT WATERTON LAKES PAVILION … [WHERE THEY PLAYED] FOR FIVE YEARS STRAIGHT,” ELEANOR EXPLAINED, “IN ADDITION TO DOING ALL KINDS OF OTHER THINGS, THEY WERE CONSTANTLY TRAVELLING [AND] WE HAVE THE RECORDINGS OF THAT.” RUTH ADDED, “THEY WERE ORIGINALLY FROM MONITOR (SASK). IN THE DIRTY 30S, WHEN THINGS GOT BAD FOR A LOT OF FARMS, THEY FOUND A WAY TO HAVE MUSIC LESSONS AND…PLAY FOR LOCAL DANCES. [ULTIMATELY, THE FAMILY] DECIDED TO LEAVE THE FARM AND HEADED OUT IN THE DIRECTION OF LETHBRIDGE (VIA DRUMHELLER). IT WAS TOUGH TIMES FOR A LOT OF PEOPLE IN THE 30S IN ALBERTA, BUT THE GIRLS, WITH THE TALENT THEY HAD, … HAD A WAY OUT…THEY COULD DO A LOT WHEN THEY STUCK TOGETHER AS A FAMILY. AND THEN THE ORCHESTRA REALLY CAME OUT OF THAT...” THE OBITUARY OF DONORS’ GRANDFATHER, MARTIN ANDERSON, (PUBLISHED IN THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD, 1981) STATES THE FAMILY ARRIVED IN LETHBRIDGE IN 1940. “THEY WERE SERIOUS MUSICIANS - VERY HUMBLE AND VERY QUIET,” RUTH CONTINUED, “[AS FAR AS PROMOTING THE BAND,] THAT WAS MORE GRANDPA’S JOB. WHEN IT CAME TO MUSIC, IT WAS A GIFT THEY PASSED ON - IN THE LATE ‘30S, ‘40S AND INTO THE ‘50S A BIT – [AND] IT WAS SOMETHING THEY FELT REALLY PRIVILEGED TO BE ABLE TO CONTRIBUTE IN THEIR OWN COMMUNITIES. [DURING] THE WAR YEARS, [THEY PLAYED FOR] THE ARMY BASES THAT WERE ALL CLOSE HERE AND [THEY WERE] A PART OF THAT HISTORY.” “[THEY WERE] ON THE ROAD 6 DAYS A WEEK [WITH THEIR CAR AND TRAILER]… PLAYING NOT JUST IN LETHBRIDGE [BUT] FAR REACHING OVER IN B.C., THE NORTHERN STATES, AND QUITE FAR NORTH IN ALBERTA. SO THEY WERE A REAL PART OF THINGS AND WORKED REAL HARD. I THINK IT’S AN IMPORTANT PART OF THE MUSIC HISTORY IN ALBERTA. THEY WERE, AFTER THE ANDERSON SISTERS [BAND WAS FINISHED], PROUD TO TAKE [MUSIC] INTO THE COMMUNITIES WHERE THEY WERE TEACHERS AND STILL PERFORMERS EVEN PAST THE FOUR OF THEM BEING TOGETHER.” WHEN ASKED ABOUT THEIR PERSONAL MEMORIES OF THE SISTERS PERFORMING TOGETHER, RUTH ANSWERED, “WELL ELEANOR WOULD HAVE BEEN A TODDLER, MYSELF AS WELL, THE LAST FEW TIMES THAT THEY PERFORMED AS THE ANDERSON SISTERS IN THAT ERA. BUT GROWING UP THROUGH THE YEARS, THERE WASN’T A TIME WHEN WE GOT TOGETHER AS A FAMILY WHERE WE DIDN’T HAVE A LOT OF MUSIC. THEY WOULD PLAY FOR US [AND] THEY WERE CALLED BACK SOMETIMES TO PERFORM AT COMMUNITY EVENTS… THE LAST ONE THAT I RECALL WAS SOMETHING IN GRANUM FOR AN ELKS 5OTH ANNIVERSARY IN GRANUM…THAT WAS THE LAST TIME PUBLICLY I REMEMBER.” THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION COMES FROM A HISTORY PUBLISHED IN THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD IN 24 MAY 2003 TITLED, “SISTER ACT: SOUTHERN ALBERTA’S SWINGIN’ ANDERSON SISTERS WERE ALL THE RAGE DURING THE SECOND WORLD WAR.” “IT WAS THE ERA OF SWUNG, OF MUSIC WITH MEMORABLE LYRICS, AND OF DANCE. IT WAS ALSO THE TIME OF THE SECOND WORLD WAR AND THE HEYDAY OF THE ANDERSON SISTERS, AND LITERALLY EVERY TOWN IN SOUTHERN ALBERTA WAS SWINGING AND SWAYING TO THE SOUNDS OF FLORENCE, MARIE, ALICE, AND RUTH." "DUBBED THE FOUR MAIDS OF MELODY BY CJOC RADIO…" THE ARTICLE CONTINUED, "[THE SISTERS] WERE THE TOAST OF SOUTHERN ALBERTA’S DANCE HALLS." INTERVIEWED FOR THE ARTICLE WAS ONE OF THE SISTERS, MARIE POPSON. SHE WAS QUOTED, "WE PLAYED THE TRIANON A LOT, THE OLD BUCKET OF BLOOD. THEY CALLED IT THAT BECAUSE IT WAS DURING THE WAR AND THERE WERE A LOT OF FIGHTS. PRIOR TO AND AFTER THE TRIANON WAS OK, BUT IT WAS REAL LIVELY DURING THE WAR… THE CROWDS [THERE] WERE SO LARGE THEY WERE AFRAID THE FLOOR WOULD WEAKEN… THE DANCE FLOOR WAS ON THE SECOND STORY OF THE BUILDING." THE ARTICLE EXPLAINED, "FLORENCE WAS THE ELDEST OF THE ANDERSON SISTERS AND AS SUCH WAS THE BAND’S LEADER. [SHE] PLAYED THE SAXOPHONE AND THE PIANO. MARIE… PLAYED THE PIANO AND ALICE PLAYED THE SAXOPHONE AND CLARINET. RUTH, 'THE BABY,' … PLAYED THE DRUMS, CLARINET AND TRUMPET." THE ARTICLE READS, "'RUTH STARTED PLAYING THE DRUMS AT AGE 11 AND LATER SHE COULD HANDLE THE DRUMMING WITH HER FEET AND PLAY THE TRUMPET AT THE SAME TIME FOR SOME OF OUR NUMBERS,’ SAYS MARIE WITH A TWIRL OF THE HAND. ‘FLO AND ALICE WERE OUR MAIN SINGERS AND I MADE UP THE TRIO SOMETIMES. RUTH DIDN’T SING. WHEN WE SANG AS A TRIO RUTH WOULD PLAY THE PIANO. ALICE WOULD ALSO SING SOLO. WE PLAYED ALL THE POPULAR MUSIC OF THE DAY AND OLD-TIME MUSIC AS WELL… MY SISTERS COULD ALSO PLAY THAT FAST-PACED SQUARE DANCE MUSIC ON THE SAX, AND THAT WAS SOMETHING. WE PLAYED WALTZES, POLKAS AND EVERYTHING… YOU NAME IT, WE PLAYED IT... OUR THEME SONG WAS BREEZING ALONG WITH THE BREEZE BUT MY FAVOURITE HAD TO BE SIDE BY SIDE, WHICH WE WERE AS A GROUP. WE WERE VERY CLOSE.'" THAT ARTICLE STATES THAT MARTIN AND IDA HAD EIGHT DAUGHTERS, IN FACT, BUT ONLY FOUR LIVED TO BECOME TEENAGERS. THE FOUR SURVIVING SISTERS BEGAN THEIR MUSICAL EDUCATION AT AN EARLY AGE, ALL BEGINNING WITH PIANO. THEY BEGAN PLAYING FOR VARIOUS TYPES OF EVENTS NEAR MONITOR, WHERE THEY WERE BORN. WHILE FLORENCE WAS WITH THE ALL GIRLS BAND IN CALGARY, THE THREE YOUNGER SISTERS FORMED THEIR OWN ORCHESTRA, MAKING THEIR DEBUT IN 1937. THE FOLLOWING YEAR, AFTER FLORENCE’S RETURN, THE ANDERSON SISTERS ORCHESTRA WAS FORMED. UPON ARRIVING IN LETHBRIDGE IN 1940, THEY AUDITIONED FOR THE CJOC RADIO STATION. THE ARTICLE STATES, “FOUR DAYS LATER THEY WERE ON THE AIR, LIVE, ON THE CHRISTMAS SHOPPER PROGRAM HEARD THREE TIMES A WEEK. THEY WERE ALSO ON THE AIR MONDAY NIGHTS FROM 9:15 TO 9:30 PM.” A NOTE THAT CAME WITH THE DONATION SAYS THE WEEKLY SHOW WITH CJOC WAS “BROADCAST LIVE ‘FROM HIGH ATOP THE MARQUIS HOTEL.’” BACK IN THE 2016 INTERVIEW AT THE MUSEUM, ALICE’S DAUGHTER ELEANOR COMMENTS ON THE BAND’S LEGACY. “I VOLUNTEER AT THE HOSPITAL [AND PLAY THE PIANO]. I USUALLY HAVE SENIORS INVOLVED THERE… AND WHEN I MENTION MY MOM’S NAME OR MY AUNT’S NAME, THEY REMEMBER DANCING TO THE ANDERSON SISTERS. SO, YOU KNOW, EVEN IN THIS DAY AND AGE, [PEOPLE] REMEMBER HOW MUCH FUN THEY HAD. [IT SHOWS] HOW RESPECTED THEY WERE AND I FIND THAT [BACKGROUND] JUST THRILLING.” “[MUSIC] WAS THEIR LIVELIHOOD,” RUTH ILLUMINATED, “SO [IT] WAS DRIVING THEM [THROUGH] TOUGH TIMES (SUCH AS THE DEPRESSION IN ALBERTA). THE GIRLS TOGETHER [WITH] THE TALENT THEY HAD, HAD A WAY OUT, WHERE A LOT OF OTHER PEOPLE HAD SOME BIGGER STRUGGLES. AND IT WAS THE TALENT IN THEM BEING TOGETHER. THEY COULD DO A LOT WHEN THEY STUCK TOGETHER AS A FAMILY.” PLEASE SEE PERMANENT FILE FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, INCLUDING FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTION, LETHBRIDGE HERALD ARTICLES AND CLIPPINGS ABOUT THE ANDERSON SISTERS AND THEIR SHOWS, AND FAMILY OBITUARIES.
Catalogue Number
P20160044006
Acquisition Date
2016-12
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail
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
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
SILVER, METAL
Catalogue Number
P20170037000
  2 images  
Material Type
Artifact
Date
1940
Materials
SILVER, METAL
No. Pieces
1
Length
17.4
Width
2.4
Description
STERLING SILVER BRACELET; BRACLET BANDS COMPRISED OF METAL LINKS WITH SPRINGRING CLASP AT END OF ONE CHAIN. CENTER OF BRACELET HAS OVAL STERLING SILVER DISC WITH CREST ON FRONT COMPRISED ON BLUE TEXT “RCAF” SURROUNDED BY LAUREL LEAVES, WITH A CROWN ABOVE AND OUTSTRETCHED WINGS ON SIDES. “RCAF” CREST ABOVE INSCRIPTION “PERLEY-MARTIN T.H., 4309A, J3513”. BACK OF DISC HAS INSCRIPTION “NO.5 E.F.T.S., LETHBRIDGE ALTA., CLASS NO.1, 22.7.40 TO 3.10.40, SIRKS, STRELING”. CHAINS ATTACHED TO THE CENTER DISC WITH METAL LOOPS ON SIDES OF DISC. CHAINS AND DISC TARNISHED; INSCRIPTION TEXT ON FRONT AND BACK IS WORN; OVERALL VERY GOOD CONDITION.
Subjects
PERSONAL SYMBOL
ADORNMENT
Historical Association
MILITARY
History
THE IDENTIFICATION BRACELET BELONGED TO FLYING OFFICER THOMAS HENRY PERLEY-MARTIN, AND WAS FASHIONED AS AN IDENTIFER FOR THE NO. 5 ELEMENTARY FLYING TRAINING SCHOOL IN LETHBRIDGE, ALBERTA. INFORMATION COMPILED ON THE NO. 5 ELEMENTARY FLYING TRAINING SCHOOL AND OTHER FLIGHT TRAINING SCHOOLS WAS SOURCED FROM LETHBRIDGE HERALD ARTICLES AND VETERANS AFFAIRS CANADA’S WEBSITE SECTION ON THE BRITISH COMMONWEALTH AIR TRAINING PLAN. AT THE OUTBREAK OF THE SECOND WORLD WAR, THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT, IN PARTNERSHIP WITH CANADA AND ADDITIONAL COMMONWEALTH COUNTRIES, CREATED THE BRITISH COMMONWEALTH AIR TRAINING PLAN TO ENHANCE TRAINING PROGRAMS FOR ROYAL AIR FORCE OFFICERS. THE PLAN ESTABLISHED THAT COMMONWEALTH COUNTRIES WOULD BUILD FLIGHT SCHOOLS TO TRAIN OFFICERS FOR THE ROYAL AIR FORCE OR COMMONWEALTH AIR FORCES TO SERVE ALONGSIDE THE ROYAL AIR FORCE, INCLUDING THE ROYAL CANADIAN AIR FORCE. OFFICERS WOULD TRAVEL FROM THE UNITED KINGDOM TO A COMMONWEALTH COUNTRY, OR ENLISTED FROM THE COMMONWEALTH COUNTRY. CANADA ESTABLISHED 196 TRAINING FACILITIES AND RELIEF FIELDS, AND GRADUATED 72,835 STUDENTS, ACCORDING TO STATISTICS FROM THE GOVERNMENT OF CANADA’S WEBSITE ON THE ROYAL CANADIAN AIR FORCE. IN THE SPRING OF 1940, THE ELEMENTARY FLIGHT TRAINING SCHOOL NO. 5 IN LETHBRIDGE OPENED, SEEING ITS FIRST RECRUITS FOR THE R.C.A.F. ENROLL AND ARRIVE ON JULY 22, 1940 FROM REGINA, SASKATCHEWAN. THE FLIGHT SCHOOL WAS ESTABLISHED AT KENYON FIELDS ON THE SOUTH SIDE OF THE CITY. STUDENTS WERE TAUGHT TO FLY IN 7 WEEKS, WITH AN ADDITIONAL 5 WEEK EXTENSION COURSE IN MORE ADVANCED FLYING. OF THE FIRST CLASS, GRADUATING OCTOBER 1940, WAS THOMAS HENRY PERLEY-MARTIN. PERLEY-MARTIN WAS BORN ON JANUARY 9, 1921 IN WINNIPEG, MANITOBA. PERLEY-MARTIN SERVED IN THE QUEEN’S OWN HIGHLANDERS OF CANADA CADETS FROM 1935-38, AND ENLISTED IN THE NON-PERMANENT ACTIVE AIR FORCE OF THE R.C.A.F. IN 1938. PERLEY-MARTIN UNDERTOOK INITIAL FLIGHT TRAINING IN TORONTO, ONTARIO, GRADUATING TO ELEMENTARY FLIGHT TRAINING IN LETHBRIDGE IN 1940. GRADUATES FROM THE LETHBRIDGE E.F.T.S. WERE GIVEN, ACCORDING TO LETHBRIDGE HERALD ARTICLES, '…AN ENGRAVED IDENTIFICATION DISC BY THE SCHOOL', AS STATED BY DENNIS YORATH, MANAGER AT NO. 5 E.F.T.S. IT IS ONLY SPECULATION THAT THE DISC DESCRIBED BY THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD IS THE ONE AFFIXED TO THE BRACELET. IN DECEMBER 1940-JANUARY 1941, THE NO. 5 E.F.T.S. WAS RELOCATED TO HIGH RIVER, ALBERTA, AND THE NO. 8 BOMBER AND GUNNERY SCHOOL WAS ESTABLISHED AT KENYON FIELD, LETHBRIDGE, OPENING IN OCTOBER 1941. UPON COMPLETING HIS E.F.T.S. TRAINING, PERLEY-MARTIN WENT ON TO COMPLETE HIS INTERMEDIATE AND ADVANCED TRAINING AT THE NO. 1 SERVICE FLYING TRAINING SCHOOL AT CAMP BORDEN, ONTARIO. REPORTS FROM THE SERVICE FILE OF T.H. PERLEY-MARTIN INDICATE THAT IN 1941, FOLLOWING HIS TRAINING IN CANADA, PERLEY-MARTIN WAS STATIONED IN OLD SARUM, ENGLAND. PERLEY-MARTIN WAS NOT RECOMMENDED FOR FLYING OR OTHER DUTIES IN 1941 FOLLOWING FLYING OFFENSES AND OUTSTANDING DEBTS, WITH THE OFFENSES RESULTING IN PERLEY-MARTIN BEING COURT MARTIALED AND TRIED. IN MARCH 1942, PERLEY-MARTIN WAS RETIRED FROM SERVICE, AND IN AUGUST 1942 HE BECAME A PILOT GENERAL WITH THE #122 SQN. ON JANUARY 7, 1945, PERLEY-MARTIN WAS KILLED DURING FLYING OPERATIONS IN JARVIS, ONTARIO, WHERE HE WAS AN INSTRUCTOR, WHILE ATTEMPTING TO LAND AN ANSON AIRCRAFT #7013 IN POOR VISIBILITY. ACCORDING TO A MEMORIAL WRITTEN ON PERLEY-MARTIN, HE WAS BURIED IN MOUNTAIN VIEW CEMETERY IN VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA. WHILE IN ENGLAND IN 1941, PERLEY-MARTIN MARRIED OLIVE CYNTHIA ROBERTS. THE COUPLE HAD ONE SON, BARRY THOMAS PERLEY-MARTIN. OLIVE AND BARRY RETURNED TO ENGLAND FOLLOWING THOMAS HENRY PERLEY-MARTIN’S DEATH, ACCORDING TO AN EMAIL FROM MARY PERLEY-MARTIN, THE WIFE OF THE LATE BARRY THOMAS PERLEY-MARTIN. THE BRACELET WAS PURCHASED BY THE GALT MUSEUM IN DECEMBER 2017 FROM T.M. SAUNDERS. FOR MORE INFORMATION INCLUDING LETHBRIDGE HERALD ARTICLES ON THE FLIGHT SCHOOLS AND WINNIPEG FREE PRESS ARTICLES ON T.H. PERLEY-MARTIN, PLEASE SEE THE PERMANENT FILE P20170037000-GA.
Catalogue Number
P20170037000
Acquisition Date
2017-12
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail
Date Range From
1942
Date Range To
1946
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
SILVER, METAL
Catalogue Number
P20150021000
  2 images  
Material Type
Artifact
Date Range From
1942
Date Range To
1946
Materials
SILVER, METAL
No. Pieces
1
Length
17.7
Width
2
Description
STERLING SILVER BRACELET; BRACELET BANDS COMPRISED OF METAL LINKS WITH SNAP LOCK CLASP AT END OF ONE CHAIN. CENTER OF BRACELET HAS OVAL STERLING SILVER DISC WITH CREST ON FRONT OF AN EAGLE WITH OUTSTRETCHED WINGS HOLDING A CIRCLE IN ITS FEET, WITH SWASTIKA IN CENTER OF CIRCLE; FRONT HAS INSCRIPTION ON SIDES CREST “CAMP 133”. BACK OF DISC HAS INSCRIPTION “R.J. BORLAND, M2598, STERLING”. CHAINS ATTACHED TO THE CENTER DISC THROUGH HOLES IN SIDES OF DISC. CHAINS AND DISC ARE TARNISHED; INSCRIPTION TEXT ON FRONT AND BACK ARE WORN; OVERALL VERY GOOD CONDITION.
Subjects
PERSONAL SYMBOL
ADORNMENT
Historical Association
MILITARY
History
THE BRACELET WAS CREATED AT CAMP 133, THE LETHBRIDGE PRISONER OF WAR CAMP DURING THE SECOND WORLD WAR. THE CURATOR OF THE ROYAL ALBERTA MUSEUM’S MILITARY AND POLITICAL HISTORY DEPARTMENT NOTED IN AN EMAIL, ON THE BRACELET, THAT THE EAGLE DID NOT APPEAR TO BE AN OFFICIAL MILITARY SYMBOL. THE EAGLE WAS POSSIBLY FASHIONED BY HAND, OR CAST AS A COPY. HISTORIAN ROBERT HENDERSON ELABORATED, “NO DOUBT A PRIVATE PURCHASE BY THE GUARD—PROBABLY [BY] ROBERT BORLAND [WHO] SAW SERVICE AT LETHBRIDGE. THE NAZI SYMBOL REPRESENTS EARLY [1933+ ERA] NAZI STYLE SYMBOL, PROBABLY OBTAINED FROM A POW IN TRADE OR FRIENDSHIP. THE LETTERING ON IT [WAS] NO DOUBT DONE BY A JEWELLER WITH APPROPRIATE EQUIPMENT, NOT BY A POW WITHIN THE CAMP. WRIST BRACELETS WERE POPULAR ITEMS TO BE GIVEN TO THE GUARDS BY FAMILY OR SWEETHEARTS, OR BY FRIENDS WHEN THE GUARD WAS POSTED AWAY FROM HOME.” IN 2014 COLLECTIONS ASSISTANT JANE EDMUNDSON DEVELOPED THE FOLLOWING BRIEF HISTORY OF PRISONER OF WAR CAMP 133 WITH INFORMATION FROM THE GALT MUSEUM BROCHURE "LETHBRDGE'S INTERNMENT CAMPS" AND THE LIBRARY AND ARCHIVES CANADA WEBSITE. DURING WORLD WAR II THERE WERE 40 PRISONER OF WAR (P.O.W.) CAMPS CONSTRUCTED ACROSS CANADA TO HOUSE THE LARGE NUMBER OF INCOMING POWS - ENEMY MILITARY PERSONNEL THAT WERE CAPTURED IN COMBAT. CAMPS WERE BUILT IN ONTARIO, QUEBEC, THE MARITIMES AND ALBERTA. THE CAMPS IN LETHBRIDGE AND MEDICINE HAT WERE THE LARGEST, TOGETHER HOUSING 22,000 MEN. THE LETHBRIDGE CAMP, NO. 133, WAS BUILT IN THE SUMMER OF 1942, AND BY NOVEMBER OF THAT YEAR HOUSED 13,341 PRISONERS. THE CAMP WAS DIVIDED INTO SIX SECTIONS, EACH WITH SIX DORMITORIES, MESS HALLS, KITCHENS, AND ENTERTAINMENT FACILITIES. MEALS WERE IN SHIFTS WITH PRISONERS SERVING AS COOKS. TAILOR, BARBER AND SHOE REPAIR SHOPS WERE ALSO STAFFED BY PRISONERS, AND NON-COMBAT POWS PRACTICED THEIR PRE-WAR PROFESSIONS AS MEDICAL DOCTORS AND DENTISTS. HOUSING AND RATIONS WERE THE SAME STANDARD AS FOR THE CANADIAN ARMED FORCES, WHICH SOMETIMES CAUSED RESENTMENT AMONG LETHBRIDGE CIVILIAN RESIDENTS, WHO WERE UNABLE TO OBTAIN MANY OF THE SAME SUPPLIES ON THEIR STRICT WARTIME RATION ALLOWANCES. WITH MANY YOUNG LOCAL MEN AWAY AT WAR, LOCAL FARMERS BEGAN TO REQUEST LABOUR ASSISTANCE FROM THE CAMP, ESPECIALLY FOR THE SUGAR BEET INDUSTRY. BY 1943 AN AGREEMENT WAS REACHED AND SOME OF THE PRISONERS WORKED ON FARMS THROUGHOUT SOUTHERN ALBERTA. MOST OF THESE PRISONERS WENT FROM THE CAMP TO THE FARMS DAILY, BUT SOME WERE KEPT AT 'LODGES' AT THE MORE DISTANT FARMS FOR DAYS AT A TIME, WITH MINIMAL GUARDING. FOR THEIR LABOUR, THE PRISONERS WERE PAID 50 CENTS PER DAY. WITH WAR'S END, CAMP 133 CLOSED IN DECEMBER 1946 AND ITS PRISONERS WERE SENT BACK TO GERMANY. THE AREA WHERE THE CAMP STOOD EVENTUALLY BECAME AN INDUSTRIAL PARK AND PART OF THE FEDERAL AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH CENTRE. FOR MORE INFORMATION INCLUDING A COPY OF THE OBITUARY AND LETHBRIDGE HERALD ARTICLES ON LETHBRIDGE CAMP 133, PLEASE SEE THE PERMANENT FILE P20150021000-GA.
Catalogue Number
P20150021000
Acquisition Date
2015-06
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail

9 records – page 1 of 1.