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Other Name
MAHJONG SET
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
PLASTIC
Catalogue Number
P20150028000
  2 images  
Material Type
Artifact
Other Name
MAHJONG SET
Date
1987
Materials
PLASTIC
No. Pieces
159
Height
9.6
Length
23
Width
23
Description
A – G: 7 STANDARD 6-SIDED DICE. 6 OF THE DICE HAVE BLACK DOTS ON A WHITE BACKGROUND, EXCEPT RED DOTS FOR THE ONE AND THE FOUR ON ALL DICE. THE SEVENTH DIE IS THE SAME AS THE FIRST SIX BUT WITH BROWN DOTS INSTEAD OF BLACK. THE DICE ARE 1.4 CM CUBED WITH ROUNDED EDGES. GOOD CONDITION: NORMAL WEAR FROM USE. H-I: A DIRECTIONAL PIECE CUBE (LIKE A DIE) AND A HOLDER. THERE ARE RED CHINESE CHARACTERS ON 4 OF THE 6 SIDES OF THE WHITE CUBE. THE DIE IS 1.2 CM CUBED. THE PIECE’S CIRCULAR HOLDER HAS A RED TOP AND A WHITE BASE WITH A CUBE INSERT IN THE CENTER OF THE TOP THAT FITS THE DIRECTIONAL PIECE. THE HOLDER IS IN FAIR TO GOOD CONDITION. IT IS WELL WORN AND THE EDGES ARE YELLOWING. FAIR TO GOOD CONDITION WITH SOME WEAR TO THE CHARACTERS AND THE CORNERS OF THE DIE. J-BBBBBBB: MAHJONG GAME SET. 144 TILES PLUS 4 BLANK SPARES (148 TILES TOTAL). THERE ARE 108 SIMPLE TILES (OF THE 3 SUITS: DOTS, BAMBOO, AND CHARACTERS), THERE ARE 28 HONOURS TILES (16 WINDS AND 16 DRAGONS), AND THERE ARE TWO SETS OF BONUS TILES (FLOWERS AND SEASONS) EACH WITH 4 TILES IN THE SET. EACH TILE IS 3.5 X 2.8 X 2.1 CM. VERY GOOD TO EXCELLENT CONDITION WITH SLIGHT SCUFFING ON THE TILES. CCCCCCC – DDDDDDD: GREEN RUBBERMAID PLASTIC CONTAINER WITH A WHITE PLASTIC LID FOR THE MAHJONG SET’S CASE. THE BOTTOM OF THE CONTAINER READS “RUBBERMAID 4 QUARTS” “J-3204”. THE DIMENSIONS OF THE CONTAINER ARE 23 X 23 X 9.6 CM. THE DIMENSIONS OF THE LID ARE 23 X 24.5 X 1.5 CM. GOOD CONDITION. THE OVERALL SURFACE OF BOTH THE CONTAINER AND THE LID ARE SCRATCHED. ON THE LID, THE TOP COATING OF PLASTIC IS PEELING OFF. THERE IS ADHESIVE TAPE RESIDUE IN ONE CORNER.
Subjects
GAME
Historical Association
ETHNOGRAPHIC
LEISURE
History
ON NOVEMBER 10, 2015, COLLECTIONS TECHNICIAN KEVIN MACLEAN INTERVIEWED RICHARD LOO AT THE GALT MUSEUM REGARDING A MAHJONG SET HE WAS DONATING TO THE MUSEUM. THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION HAS BEEN EXTRACTED FROM THAT INTERVIEW: MAHJONG IS A TILE-BASED GAME THAT ORIGINATED IN CHINA. LOO RECALLS ACQUIRING THE SET APPROXIMATELY 30 OR 40 YEARS AGO. HE SAID HE GOT THEM, “WHEN I WENT BACK TO HONG KONG. LET’S SEE – ’87. I WENT TO HONG KONG IN ’87. I BOUGHT SEVERAL [MAHJONG] SETS… TO GIVE TO THE KIDS IF THEY WERE INTERESTED. HERE, THEY ARE NOT AVAILABLE – NOT IN THIS CITY. YOU CAN GET IT IN CALGARY, BUT, IF I BROUGHT IT BACK FROM CHINA, IT’S A BETTER DEAL FOR ME… I STILL HAVE A COUPLE OF SETS AT HOME. I GIVE SOME TO MY FRIENDS; SOME TO THE KIDS.” WHEN ASKED ABOUT HIS USE OF GAME SET, LOO EXPLAINED, “I USE IT NOT TOO MANY TIMES… THEY COME IN A CASE – LIKE A BRIEFCASE - JUST FLIMSY STUFF. IF IT WAS USED SO LONG, IT WOULD JUST GO IN PIECES. SO I PUT IT INTO CONTAINERS – KEEPS A BETTER SHAPE, THAT’S ALL.” HE EXPLAINS THAT THE GAME IS PLAYED, “MOSTLY AT HOME. TO FOOL AROUND; JUST TO KILL TIME,” AND THAT THE SET DONATED WAS A PERSONAL SET THAT HAS ALWAYS BEEN AT LOO’S HOUSE. “THERE ARE SO MANY DIFFERENT STYLES OF PLAY. WHEN I CAME, IN THOSE DAYS, WE PLAYED A DIFFERENT WAY, AND AFTER YOU STAYED FOR A LITTLE WHILE, THEY PLAYED A DIFFERENT WAY… YOU PLAY THIS GAME MORE GENERALLY FOR ENTERTAINMENT, KILLING TIME; THE PURPOSE IS NOT TO MAKE MONEY… SEE, I REMEMBER THOSE DAYS, WHEN I WAS YOUNG – JUST A KID THOSE DAYS, IN THE OLD COUNTRY, OLD DAYS. IN THE NEW YEAR, I SAW FOUR OLDER GENTLEMEN PLAY THESE GAMES, BUT I DON’T UNDERSTAND…. WE CALL IT OLD STYLE. NOBODY IS INTERESTED IN PLAYING OLD STYLE ANYMORE. [IT IS] QUITE COMPLICATED... THEY PLAY THIS ONE, JUST LIKE YOU PLAY RUMMY, BUT YOU HAVE TO USE YOUR HEAD A LITTLE BIT. SOMETIMES YOU’VE GOT LUCK TOO." LOO SAYS HE DOES NOT MISS PLAYING THE GAME, “FOR MY AGE, NO. RIGHT NOW, NOT INTERESTED - [I'VE] GOT OTHER THINGS TO DO. YOU PLAY FOR SO LONG, AND THEN, [YOU ARE] NOT INTERESTED ANYMORE. WE USED TO PLAY THIS ON NEW YEAR’S EVE, TILL THE NEXT MORNING. [WE WOULD] START ON NEW YEAR’S EVE TILL TOMORROW MORNING, 6 OR 7 O’CLOCK. NOT ANYMORE. WE PLAYED AT ALBERT’S PLACE, BOW ON TONG…” THE FOLLOWING BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION ABOUT RICHARD LOO HAS BEEN TAKEN FROM THE ARTIFACT RECORDS P20110031*: LOO ARRIVED IN LETHBRIDGE IN 1953, HAVING LEFT THE MAINLAND OF CHINA IN 1949. LOO'S GRANDFATHER HAD MOVED TO CANADA IN EITHER LATE 1800S OR THE EARLY 1900S AND HAD HAD TO PAY THE HEAD TAX. HIS GRANDFATHER WORKED AS A COOK IN RESTAURANTS, EITHER IN LETHBRIDGE OR IN TABER (ACCORDING TO LOO, HIS GRANDFATHER WORKED THROUGH THE WAR YEARS IN TABER). LOO’S GRANDFATHER HAD PLANNED ON MOVING BACK TO CHINA WHEN HE RETIRED, BUT THEN THE COMMUNISTS TOOK OVER, AND HE ELECTED TO STAY. AT THAT TIME, HE INVITED LOO TO MOVE TO LETHBRIDGE AS WELL. LOO LEFT HONG KONG, AFTER LIVING THERE FOR 8 MONTHS, ON A FRIDAY AFTERNOON AT 2PM LOCAL TIME. HE ARRIVED IN LETHBRIDGE SUNDAY AFTERNOON. HE WAS LUCKY IN THAT HE WAS ABLE TO GET HIS FLIGHTS ON SALE. NORMALLY A TICKET FROM HONG KONG TO VANCOUVER WOULD HAVE COST $700, BUT LOO WAS ABLE TO SECURE A FLIGHT FOR ONLY $500. HE ALSO INDICATED THAT HIS FLIGHT TO LETHBRIDGE WAS ONLY $39.95. ON RECALLING HIS FIRST TIME IN LETHBRIDGE, LOO RECOUNTED THE FOLLOWING STORY: “SO, BY THE TIME I GOT TO THE AIRPORT, I DIDN’T KNOW HOW TO SAY [ANYTHING]. DIDN’T KNOW – MAYBE COULD SAY ‘GOOD MORNING’ – THAT’S ALL I COULD SAY, JUST HOW TO SAY ‘HELLO.' IN THE MEANTIME, THE FELLOW AT THE AIRPORT MUST HAVE KNOWN ZEKE, YOU KNOW ZEKE QUAN [OWNER OF] THE LOTUS INN [RESTAURANT], AND HE PHONED HIM UP. HE SAYS, ‘ZEKE.’ I DIDN’T KNOW WHAT HE WAS TALKING ABOUT – NOTHING. AND THEN HE SAYS, ‘HEY, THIS IS A CHINA BOY HERE. WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO WITH HIM?’ SO, ZEKE SAYS, ‘OH, JUST TAKE HIM TO CHINATOWN AND DUMP HIM.’ NOW, I DIDN’T KNOW THOSE, NOT UNTIL LATER ON. ZEKE’S SON GO TO SAME SCHOOL I DID – CENTRAL SCHOOL.” LOO INITIALLY LIVED IN THE NATIONAL LEAGUE SOCIETY BUILDING FOR SEVERAL YEARS, OCCUPYING A ROOM THAT HAD BEEN RECENTLY VACATED BY ANOTHER MAN NAMED LOO WHO HAD GONE TO WORK IN PICTURE BUTTE. LOO RECALLED THAT THE SOCIETY WAS A GOOD PLACE TO FEEL A SENSE OF COMMUNITY AND THAT IT WAS A WELCOMING PLACE FOR NEW CHINESE IMMIGRANTS, A PLACE WHERE THEY WEREN’T DISCRIMINATED AGAINST. PLEASE SEE PERMANENT FILE FOR MORE INFORMATION, INCLUDING FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTION
Catalogue Number
P20150028000
Acquisition Date
2015-11
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
IRON, WOOD, PLASTIC
Catalogue Number
P20170008000
  2 images  
Material Type
Artifact
Date
1930
Materials
IRON, WOOD, PLASTIC
No. Pieces
27
Height
67
Length
35
Width
35
Description
WOOD AND IRON COIN-OPERATED SLOT MACHINE. A: BODY OF SLOT MACHINE WITH FRONT MADE OF IRON WITH RELIEF DESIGNS INCLUDING STARS. DESIGNS ARE PAINTED RED, GREEN, AND ORANGE. TOP OF THE MACHINE HAS A COIN SLOT THAT READS “5¢” EMBOSSED IN THE CENTER OF AN ORANGE PAINTED CIRCLE. BELOW ARE THREE REELS PLACED ON THE INSIDE OF THE MACHINE, VISIBLE FROM THE FRONT THROUGH THREE HOLLOW WINDOWS. THE REELS ARE CREAM-COLOURED WITH VARIOUS IMAGES OF FRUIT VERTICALLY ON THE CIRCULAR REEL. BLACK TEXT IS OVERLAID OVER THE FRUIT. EXAMPLE: THE LEFT REEL IS STOPPED AT CHERRIES WITH BLACK TEXT READING, “JOY AWAITS… COMPANY IN TWINS”. TO THE RIGHT OF THE WINDOWS IS A SCORE CARD WITH THE FRUIT IN THE LEFT COLUMN AND THEIR CORRESPONDING SCORE IN THE RIGHT CORNER (“20” AT THE TOP TO “2” AT THE BOTTOM). BELOW THE REEL SECTION ARE TWO RECTANGULAR TEXT PANELS, PAPER BEHIND PLASTIC WINDOWS. BOTH PANELS HAVE TITLES IN ORANGE TYPE – THE LEFT READS, “WATCH REELS… FORTUNE,” AND THE RIGHT READS, “YOUR NICKEL…” INSTRUCTIONS BELOW THE TITLES ARE PRINTED IN BLACK TEXT. THE LARGEST SECTION OF THE METAL FACE OF THE SLOT MACHINE HAS A RECTANGULAR GLASS WINDOW (GLASS IS SEVERELY CRACKED AND DISCOLOURED). THE WINDOW IS INSET IN PART OF THE MACHINE THAT IS PAINTED GREEN WITH ORANGE AND BLACK DESIGNS. THERE IS ONE OVAL WINDOW ON EITHER SIDE OF THE LARGE RECTANGULAR WINDOW. THERE IS A SLOT FOR TOKENS TO COME OUT ALONG THE FRONT BASE WITH A RED, GREEN, BLACK DESIGN. THE SIDES OF THE MACHINE ARE MADE FROM A DARK-STAINED WOOD WITH A GOLD PAINTED BORDER WITH ORNATE CORNERS. “MILLS NOVELTY” STAMP IN RED PAINT ON THE UPPER LEFT OF LEFT SIDE. RIGHT SIDE IS THE SAME AS THE LEFT, BUT WITH A METAL PLATE NAILED TO SIDE TITLED, “O. K. VENDER… MILLS NOVELTY CO. CHICAGO, ILL.” WITH PATENT INFORMATION LISTEL. METAL CRANK SECURED TO THE CENTER OF THE RIGHT SIDE AND A METAL KNOB ON THE BOTTOM LEFT OF SAME SIDE. THE MACHINE IN SECURED TO A WOODEN BASE. INSIDE OF THE MACHINE HAS VISIBLE REELS AND COMPONENTS FOR MACHINE OPERATION VISIBLE. FAIR CONDITION: MODERATE TO SEVERE WEAR TO OVERALL SURFACE. SIGNIFICANT LOSS OF SURFACE PAINT. WHITE METAL CORROSION VISIBLE ON THE FACE OF THE MACHINE. THE LEFT REEL ARE MODERATELY DISCOLOURED. THE MIDDLE AND RIGHT REEL ARE SEVERELY DISCOLOURED. PAPER BEHIND PLASTIC WINDOWS HAS YELLOWED. THE CRANK AND KNOB ON RIGHT SIDE ARE RUSTING ON OVERALL SURFACE. PATENT LISTING PLATE IS BROKEN AT THE TWO RIGHT CORNERS AT THE NAIL HOLES. WOOD STAIN HAS BEEN LOST IN SOME SURFACE AREAS OF SIDES. INSIDE PARTS OF THE MACHINE ARE SLIGHTLY RUSTED. BOTTOM SCREW LOOSE FROM BASE WHEN LIFTED. B: REMOVABLE BACK COVER OF SLOT MACHINE MADE OUT OF PRESSED SHEET METAL. PAPER ATTACHED TO THE INSIDE OF THE COVER WITH TYPED TEXT READING, “MR. OWNER: ALWAYS BEAR IN … CREATE FRICTION.” DIMENSIONS: 50CM X 3CM. POOR CONDITION: THE PAPER ON THE BACKING IS SIGNIFICANTLY TORN AND DISCOLOURED, RENDERING MUCH OF THE MESSAGE UNREADABLE. SIGNIFICANT DISCOLOURATION SCUFF MARKS ON OVERALL SURFACE. C-AA: 25 PLASTIC TOKENS THAT READ, “LOANED FOR AMUSEMENT ONLY” EMBOSSED ON ONE SIDE AND “PROPERTY OF O.K. VENDOR” ON THE OTHER. DIAMETER: 2 CM; WIDTH: 0.2 CM. FAIR CONDITION: SURFACE DIRT ON SEVERAL COINS. GENERAL WEAR TO COIN SURFACES.
Subjects
GAME
Historical Association
BUSINESS
LEISURE
History
ON 24 FEBRUARY 2017, COLLECTIONS TECHNICIAN KEVIN MACLEAN CONDUCTED AN INTERVIEW WITH PAM PTYCIA, THE DONOR OF THIS SLOT MACHINE. THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION HAS BEEN EXTRACTED FROM THAT INTERVIEW: DESCRIBING WHY SHE CHOSE TO DONATE THE SLOT MACHINE TO THE MUSEUM AT THIS SPECIFIC TIME, PAM SAID, “BOTH MY PARENTS HAVE PASSED AWAY. MY DAD JUST PASSED AWAY IN DECEMBER. SO CLEANING OUT THE HOUSE AND EVERYTHING ELSE, WE DECIDED IT WAS TIME… [MY DAD WAS] PETO NICAS [OF] LETHBRIDGE.” SHE AFFIRMED THAT THE SLOT MACHINE BELONGED TO HER GRANDFATHER. PTYCIA'S FATHER THEN PASSED DOWN THE ARTIFACT AND INFORMATION TO HER. PTYCIA EXPLAINED, “THE SLOT MACHINE, I WAS TOLD, WAS IN HIS DAD’S RESTAURANT, THE WHITE LUNCH CAFÉ ON 5TH STREET HERE IN LETHBRIDGE… [HIS DAD’S] NAME WAS ANDREW A. NICAS, HE WAS COMMONLY KNOWN AS SHORTY NICAS HERE IN TOWN… IF THE SLOT MACHINE DID COME FROM THE WHITE LUNCH CAFÉ, I THOUGHT IT MIGHT BE OF SOME INTEREST… BECAUSE THE GREEK COMMUNITY HAS REALLY DWINDLED DOWN. IT’S JUST NOT LIKE IT USED TO BE… I GUESS IT’S JUST THAT IT’S PART OF OUR HERITAGE.” MACLEAN ESTABLISHED THAT PTYCIA WAS BORN IN LETHBRIDGE DURING THE 1960S AND THAT THIS ARTIFACT WAS IN HER CHILDHOOD HOME AS SHE WAS GROWING UP. PTYCIA RECALLED, “I JUST REMEMBER IT BEING DOWNSTAIRS… JUST IN THE AREA WHERE THE LAUNDRY ROOM WAS… I REMEMBER PLAYING IT. IT WORKED BACK THEN… YOU PUT THE COINS IN THE TOP PART. YOU JUST PULL THE LEVER AND LET IT GO AND IF YOU HIT SOMETHING, THE COINS CAME BACK OUT… WHEN I GOT MARRIED AND MOVED OUT, MY DAD GAVE ME [IT] AND IT SAT IN OUR GARAGE FOR 30 SOME YEARS.” DURING THE INTERVIEW, PTYCIA STATED THAT CHRIST GEORGE CHRISTOU WAS HER FATHER’S PARTNER IN THE WHITE LUNCH CAFÉ BUSINESS. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION ABOUT THE WHITE LUNCH CAFÉ, MACLEAN INTERVIEWED CHRISTOU’S SON, DR. VAN CHRISTOU, IN HIS HOME ON 27 FEBRUARY 2017. CHRISTOU BEGAN, “I REMEMBER [THE SLOT MACHINES] VIVIDLY. THEY WERE ALL LINED UP ON THE SOUTH WALL OF THE WHITE LUNCH CAFÉ… ON THE LEFT HAND SIDE, AS YOU WALKED IN… I PLAYED WITH THEM, AS A CHILD... MY DAD GOT THAT IDEA FROM MY UNCLE FRANK, WHO HE BROUGHT OVER TO LETHBRIDGE. [FRANK] OPENED UP A POOL HALL, ACROSS THE ROAD FROM THE RESTAURANT BACK IN THE EARLY DAYS – IN THE ‘20S, I THINK – AND THEN MOVED TO BANFF. HE HAD SLOT MACHINES IN THAT [POOL HAT], AND HAD THEM IN BANFF AGAIN AND [HE] TALKED DAD INTO HAVING THEM IN THE RESTAURANT – THEY WERE A GOOD SOURCE OF INCOME.” HE EXPLAINED, “PEOPLE WOULD STAND AT THE SLOT MACHINES… THE RESTAURANT WAS DESIGNED WITH A HORSE-SHOE COUNTER ALL THE WAY AROUND, AND IT LEFT ENOUGH SPACE FOR THESE TO BE ALONG THE WALL, SO IT WAS JUST ‘STAND UP’ THE WAY YOU DO IN THE CASINOS. THERE WERE NO STOOLS FOR THOSE, BUT THEY HAD THEM FOR A NUMBER OF YEARS.” CHRISTOU WAS A CASHIER AT THE WHITE LUNCH AT THE AGE OF FIFTEEN TO SIXTEEN YEARS. HE WORKED ONLY ON SATURDAYS, AND STATED HE ENJOYED IT. HE SAID, “I LEARNED A LOT ABOUT BUSINESS – GIVING CHANGE, AND CONNECTING WITH A LOT OF THE BUSINESS PEOPLE THAT WERE IN THE AREA, AND GOT JOBS WITH THEM… BY THE TIME I WAS CASHIER, THEY HAD STOPPED USING [THE SLOT MACHINE]. I THINK THEY WERE OUT-LAWED. I THINK THERE WAS A CIVIC BY-LAW THAT FORBADE SLOT MACHINES, SO THEY WEREN’T IN USE AT THAT POINT. IT WAS EARLIER, WHEN I WAS YOUNGER, THAT I REMEMBER THEM BEING USED.” THE SLOT MACHINES WERE A SECONDARY MEMORY OF HIS FATHER’S WHITE LUNCH CAFÉ. CHRISTOU EXPLAINED, “TO ME, IT WASN’T AN IMPORTANT PART OF THE RESTAURANT BUSINESS. THE THINGS THAT I REMEMBER ARE MY DAD MAKING BANANA SPLITS; HE HAD A WONDERFUL SODA FOUNTAIN. THE FRONT OF THAT HORSE-SHOE WAS A MARBLE SODA FOUNTAIN – A MARVELOUS SODA FOUNTAIN – AND HE LOVED DOING THAT – MAKING MILKSHAKES, AND ALL KINDS OF SUNDAES, AND BANANA SPLITS." CONTINUING, HE EXPLAINED, “MY FATHER STARTED THE WHITE LUNCH CAFÉ IN 1907… [IT] WAS LOCATED IN THE OLIVER BUILDING, ON FIFTH STREET SOUTH, WHICH WAS MAIN STREET AT THAT TIME… THERE’S A VERY INTERESTING STORY AS TO HOW HE FOUND HIMSELF IN LETHBRIDGE. HE HAD COME OVER FROM GREECE – FROM A LITTLE VILLAGE IN GREECE [THE CORINTHIAN VILLAGE OF LIMNES] – SENT BY HIS FATHER. AT THAT TIME, THE FATHERS, IN A VERY PATRIARCHAL ATMOSPHERE, CHOSE THEIR BRIGHTEST AND BEST SON, AND SENT THEM TO AMERICA TO HELP THE FAMILY, AND DAD WAS 15 YEARS OLD WHEN HE WAS SENT TO NEW YORK. HE ARRIVED AT ELLIS ISLAND IN 1900, AT 15 YEARS OF AGE, WITHOUT ANY MONEY. I THINK HE HAD $2.00 IN HIS POCKET, AND NOT ANY KNOWLEDGE OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE AT ALL. THERE WAS A TEAM HIRING YOUNG GREEK IMMIGRANTS TO WORK ON THE GREAT NORTHERN RAILWAY THAT MET THEM AT ELLIS ISLAND. DAD HIRED ON WITH THEM, BUT HE WAS SMART ENOUGH TO BUY A DICTIONARY WITH THAT $2.00 HE HAD. [HE] BECAME THE INTERPRETER FOR THE GANG, AND WORKED HIS WAY ACROSS AMERICA. HE HAD COUSINS WHO HAD PRECEDED HIM, AND WERE ESTABLISHED IN PORTLAND, OREGON, AND THAT’S WHAT HIS DESTINATION WAS, SO THE GREAT NORTHERN GOT HIM ACROSS AMERICA TO PORTLAND. HE ESTABLISHED A BUSINESS THERE – A GROCERY BUSINESS – BUT DIDN’T LIKE IT BECAUSE IT WAS TOO WET. [HE] WORKED THERE FOR 7 YEARS, UNTIL 1907, WHEN A FRIEND OF HIS IN CALGARY, FROM A NEIGHBORING VILLAGE, WROTE HIM AND SAID THERE WAS A GREAT OPPORTUNITY TO OPEN A DAIRY IN CALGARY, AND WHY DON’T THEY GO INTO PARTNERSHIP? SO, WOULD DAD COME AND VISIT HIM – AND HE DID. HE TELLS THE STORY OF HOW IT HAD BEEN RAINING FOR 2 WEEKS IN PORTLAND – RAINED ALL THE WAY TO VANCOUVER – AND WAS STILL RAINING ALL THE WAY TO CALGARY. [HE] MET WITH HIS FRIEND, LIKED HIM, LIKED THE PROPOSITION – TOLD [THE FRIEND] HE WOULD GO BACK TO PORTLAND TO THINK IT OVER AND LET HIM KNOW [HE] CAME DOWN THROUGH LETHBRIDGE. STAYED OVERNIGHT AT THE LETHBRIDGE HOTEL. WOKE UP IN THE MORNING TO BRIGHT SUNSHINE, AND SAID, ‘I’M STAYING HERE.’ AND HE DID. AND HE STARTED THE WHITE LUNCH CAFÉ IMMEDIATELY. HE’D MADE ENOUGH MONEY IN PORTLAND WHERE HE WAS ABLE TO OPEN UP A FIRST CLASS RESTAURANT, WHICH WAS LETHBRIDGE’S PREMIERE RESTAURANT FOR THE NEXT 40 YEARS. THE WHITE LUNCH WAS JUST HALF THE SIZE IT WAS EVENTUALLY, TO BEGIN WITH AS BUSINESS GREW, HE GOT THE CONTRACT WITH THE CPR TO FEED CPR EMPLOYEES WHO CAME THROUGH LETHBRIDGE, AND, AS SOUTHERN ALBERTA BECAME SETTLED, FARMERS CAME IN TO SHOP ON SATURDAYS. BUSINESS GREW, AND DAD DID VERY WELL... [HE] BROUGHT IN MR. NICAS IN 1922, AS A PARTNER IN THE BUSINESS, AND THEY WORKED TOGETHER FOR MANY YEARS, UNTIL HE DIED.” “[AS KIDS] WE WOULD STOP IN FOR A MILKSHAKE, AND A PIECE OF PIE… LOCAL PEOPLE WOULD RARELY EAT IN THE RESTAURANT,” CHRISTOU ADDED, “NOW, PICTURE THIS – THIS WAS IN THE ‘30’S – RIGHT AT THE DEPTH OF THE DEPRESSION – PEOPLE DIDN’T HAVE ENOUGH MONEY. DENTISTS WOULD COME AND EAT AT THE RESTAURANT, AND THEY WOULD SHARE A PLATE OF PANCAKES. THEY’D COME ON SUNDAY [AND] THAT WOULD BE THEIR ONE MEAL A WEEK – AND THEY WERE THE WEALTHY PEOPLE IN TOWN. THE COMMON PEOPLE DIDN’T EAT IN RESTAURANTS AT ALL. IT WAS REALLY THE WORKING PEOPLE – THE MINERS, AND THE RAILWAY PEOPLE, AND THE FARMERS THAT WOULD COME TO TOWN THAT USED THE RESTAURANT FACILITIES. AND BECAUSE OF THAT, THE MENU WAS STRICTLY A WESTERN MENU. [PYTCIA’S] DAD COULD HAVE PRESENTED A FULL GREEK MENU, BUT IT WOULDN’T HAVE FLOWN AT ALL. NO ONE KNEW WHAT GREEK FOOD WAS, EVEN.” CHRISTOU RECALLED MEMORY OF THE WHITE LUNCH CAFÉ, “WE DIDN’T GO TO THE STORE THAT OFTEN BECAUSE THERE WAS A REAL SEPARATION BETWEEN HOME AND BUSINESS. DAD WAS NOT THAT HAPPY IN THE RESTAURANT BUSINESS. HE WAS A REAL FAMILY-ORIENTED PERSON, AND MISSED BEING AT HOME FOR THE MEALS THAT WE HAD AT HOME. HE HAD TO BE AT THE RESTAURANT. HE BROUGHT IN MR. NICAS AS A PARTNER, AND THAT RELIEVED HIM SO HE HAD SOME TIME AT HOME, AND LATER THEY HAD A NIGHT MANAGER – IT WAS A 24 HOUR BUSINESS. PETE, THE NIGHT MANAGER, RELIEVED THEM SOMEWHAT TOO, SO THAT THEY SPENT A LITTLE TIME AT HOME, BOTH HE AND MR. NICAS... THEY HAD EXCELLENT CHEFS; MOSTLY CHINESE CHEFS, WHO WERE TRAINED BY THE CPR, AT THE VANCOUVER HOTEL. THEY’D BE THE MAIN CHEFS THAT THEY WOULD HAVE.” “IT WAS A VERY, VERY BUSY PLACE, SAY, ON SATURDAY NIGHT… LETHBRIDGE WAS VERY BUSY IN THOSE DAYS. THERE’D BE A SALVATION ARMY PLAYING DOWN THE STREET, IN FRONT OF THE ALEXANDRA HOTEL. THE RESTAURANT WAS HALF-WAY BETWEEN – JUST PICTURE THIS, MAIN STREET, THE BUSIEST STREET – STREETCARS GOING UP AND DOWN THE STREET ALL THE TIME – WALL-TO-WALL PEOPLE – VERY, VERY BUSY – AND LOCATED HALF-WAY BETWEEN THE ALEXANDRA BEER PARLOR, AND THE DALLAS BEER PARLOR, AT THE DALLAS HOTEL – SO THOSE WERE THE REAL FOCAL POINTS FOR MOST OF THE FARMERS WHO CAME TO TOWN – AND THEY WOULD SEND THEIR FAMILIES TO THE THEATRE – THE ROXY THEATRE WAS ON THAT SAME STREET, AND THE CAPITAL, DOWN ON THE NEXT BLOCK – AND THE WHITE LUNCH BECAME SORT OF THE 'HOME AWAY FROM HOME' FOR THOSE FAMILIES THAT CAME INTO TOWN ON SATURDAYS, MANY OF WHOM STAYED OVERNIGHT. IT WAS A VERY, VERY BUSY COMMUNITY, AND THE WHITE LUNCH WAS THE PREMIERE RESTAURANT – IT WAS THE ONLY RESTAURANT THAT HAD BANQUET FACILITIES [BEFORE THE MARQUIS] IN THE BASEMENT, AND THE ROTARY CLUB, AND KIWANIS, AND KINSMEN, AND SO ON, HAD THEIR MEETINGS THERE.” CHRISTOU DESCRIBED THE CLOSING OF THE BUSINESS, “DAD WASN’T WELL. WHEN THE DEPRESSION HIT IN 1928, DAD LOST A FORTUNE, AND THE RESTAURANT BUSINESS WENT DOWNHILL TERRIBLY, BECAUSE NOBODY HAD ANY MONEY. I STILL REMEMBER BOXES OF CHITS – PEOPLE’S IOU’S – TO PAY FOR MEALS, THAT WERE NEVER PAID FOR. IT WAS VERY TOUGH TIMES FOR THEM FOR THE NEXT FEW YEARS… HIS HEALTH FAILED DURING THAT TIME. DAD BECAME A SEVERE ASTHMATIC, AND WITH HIS HEALTH SO POOR, AND BUSINESS GOING DOWNHILL, HE FINALLY SOLD OUT IN THE ‘50S… IN THE MEANTIME MY MOTHER HAD COAXED DAD TO ACQUIRE SOME RENTAL PROPERTIES, AND THEY WERE ABLE TO MANAGE WITH THAT, BUT THEY WERE VERY DIFFICULT TIMES. ACTUALLY A GREAT BENEFIT TO ME, IN THAT I WAS OLD ENOUGH TO UNDERSTAND HOW DIFFICULT IT WAS FOR THEM, AND THAT I STARTED JOBS. I WORKED AS A CASHIER AT THE RESTAURANT, WHEN I WAS IN HIGH SCHOOL, AND WORKED AT OTHER JOBS AS WELL – AT THE THEATRE, AS AN USHER AND DOORMAN AT THE CAPITOL THEATRE, AND AT THE PARAMOUNT. [I] SAVED ALL THAT MONEY FOR UNIVERSITY. THE WORK ETHIC STARTED EARLY FOR ME, BECAUSE OF THE DEPRESSION.” IN THE INTERVIEW, CHRISTOU DESCRIBED IN DETAIL HOW HIS FATHER BECAME THE FIRST GREEK IMMIGRANT TO SETTLE IN LETHBRIDGE, “... [MY FATHER] WAS THE FIRST ONE TO SETTLE PERMANENTLY. HE WAS A VERY GREGARIOUS AND LIKEABLE PERSONALITY, A VERY CIVILIZED HUMAN BEING. [HE] WELCOMED ALL THE GREEKS WHO CAME AND DIDN’T MIND IF THEY WENT INTO THE RESTAURANT BUSINESS AT ALL. SEVERAL [GREEKS] THAT HE WELCOMED, OPENED UP RESTAURANTS. THE SAVOY CAFÉ WAS OWNED BY MR. HYT; THE SHASTA CAFÉ WAS OWNED BY THE GOLIS BROTHERS, AND THE MAPLE LEAF CAFÉ WAS OWNED BY THE AFAGANIS BROTHERS – THREE AFAGANIS BROTHERS.” IN COMPARISON TO OTHER GREEK COMMUNITIES THAT WERE ESTABLISHED IN NORTH AMERICA, LETHBRIDGE’S WAS CLOSE-KNIT REGARDLESS OF A FAMILY’S GREEK REGION OF ORIGIN. CHRISTOU EXPLAINED HOW HE CAME TO LEARN THIS: “I DIDN’T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT [THE NATURE OF OUR COMMUNITY] UNTIL I WENT ON, AFTER GRADUATING IN DENTISTRY. I WENT DOWN TO ROCHESTER, NEW YORK, WHERE I TOOK MY POST-GRADUATE IN/AT THE EASTMAN DENTAL DISPENSARY, IN ORTHODONTICS… THEY HAD TWO GREEK CHURCHES THERE, AND I FOUND OUT THAT THERE, AND EVERYWHERE ELSE THAT I RESEARCHED AFTER THAT, THE GREEK COMMUNITIES WERE SPLIT QUITE BADLY IN TWO, BETWEEN THE GREEKS WHO CAME FROM ASIA MINOR, AND THE GREEKS THAT CAME FROM THE MAINLAND. [IT] BECAUSE OF THE DIFFICULTIES THAT THE GREEKS IN ASIA MINOR HAD, IN MAINTAINING THEIR RELIGION AND THEIR CULTURE. THEY WORKED HARDER AT IT THAN THE GREEKS ON THE MAINLAND, AND WERE BETTER EDUCATED, AND WHEN THEY FINALLY HAD THIS EXCHANGE OF CITIZENS – AND THE GREAT EXCHANGE BETWEEN TURKEY AND GREECE IN 1921 – THE GREEKS FROM ASIA MINOR WERE ABLE TO COME TO THE MAINLAND AND TAKE OVER THE MAIN GOVERNMENT AND OTHER IMPORTANT JOBS, AND WERE RESENTED BY THE PEOPLE ON THE MAINLAND. IN LETHBRIDGE, NONE OF THAT EXISTED AT ALL. I THINK THAT WAS MY DAD’S DOING… THERE WAS NO DISCRIMINATION WHATSOEVER… [MY DAD] AND MY MOTHER BOTH CAME FROM THE MAINLAND… THE AFAGANISES, FOR EXAMPLE [CAME FROM ASIA MINOR]. AND I MARRIED ONE OF THEM [HELEN AFAGANIS]... YES, AND THE GOLIS’, AND THE DANGGAS’, MANY OF THE OTHERS WERE FROM ASIA MINOR.” SPEAKING ABOUT WHAT IT WAS LIKE GROWING UP IN LETHBRIDGE WITHIN THE GREEK COMMUNITY, CHRISTOU SAID, “WELL, AS CHILDREN, WE DIDN’T WANT TO BE DIFFERENT. WE REALLY WANTED TO FIT IN WITH THE WASP [WHITE ANGLO-SAXON PROTESTANT] KIDS THAT WE LIVED WITH. [WE] DIDN’T LIKE, FOR EXAMPLE, HAVING TO SPEAK GREEK AT HOME AND GO TO GREEK SCHOOL. OUR PARENTS SET UP A GREEK SCHOOL FOR US. THERE WAS [A] STRANGE DOUBLE-SIDED-NESS TO IT, WHERE WE WERE VERY PROUD OF OUR CULTURE, AND DID LEARN GREEK VERY WELL (BECAME FULLY BILINGUAL), BUT THERE WAS DISCRIMINATION AT THAT TIME. WE WERE THE ONLY FOREIGN-SPEAKING PEOPLE, ON THE SOUTHSIDE OF LETHBRIDGE. THAT WAS A UNIQUE SITUATION OF THE GREEK COMMUNITY. ALL OTHER NATIONALITIES, WHO SPOKE ANOTHER LANGUAGE, LIVED ON THE NORTHSIDE. THE SOUTHSIDE WAS WASP-VILLE SO THERE WAS DISCRIMINATION AND WE FELT IT. WHEN I LEFT TO GO TO UNIVERSITY, AT 17 YEARS OF AGE, THE ONLY THING I WAS SURE OF, WAS THAT I’D NEVER COME BACK TO LETHBRIDGE BECAUSE OF THE DISCRIMINATION I FELT… THEY HAD A WAY OF LETTING YOU KNOW THAT YOU ARE A SECOND-CLASS CITIZEN, AND THAT YOU REALLY BELONGED ON THE NORTHSIDE. THE INTERESTING THING IS THAT, WHEN I CAME BACK, AND I WAS ONLY COMING BACK FOR A YEAR, I FELL IN LOVE WITH HELEN. WE GOT MARRIED; BUILT A HOME ON FIFTEENTH AVENUE, AND THERE WAS NO DISCRIMINATION WHATSOEVER, IN ONE GENERATION.” AS STATED BY CHRISTOU, THE GREEK COMMUNITY BEGAN TO SHRINK IN SIZE AFTER THE SECOND WORLD WAR FOR VARIOUS REASONS: “AFTER THE WAR, IT WAS A DIFFERENT COMMUNITY ALL TOGETHER. THAT COMMUNITY WAS REALLY VIBRANT UP UNTIL THE SECOND WORLD WAR… BEFORE WE GOT THE UNIVERSITY HERE, MOST YOUNG PEOPLE WOULD LEAVE TOWN. VERY FEW STAYED. THE SPOULOS BOYS STAYED. I STAYED AND HELEN STAYED BECAUSE WE GOT MARRIED. HER BROTHER CAME BACK, BUT VERY FEW OTHERS. [THE COMMUNITY] GRADUALLY DIED OUT – JUST PASSED AWAY... WE ARE THE LAST REMNANTS – JIM SPOULOS AND I, HARRY AFAGANIS AND JIM’S SISTER, OLIVIA – ARE THE LAST REMNANTS OF THAT WHOLE COMMUNITY.” ACCORDING TO HIS OBITUARY, ACCESSED FROM THE MARTIN BROTHERS FUNERAL CHAPEL WEBSITE, PETO NICAS, THE DONOR’S FATHER WAS BORN IN LETHBRIDGE ON 2 JANUARY 1924. HE BECAME A LETHBRIDGE ENTREPRENEUR, LIKE HIS FATHER, OPENING MCGUIRE’S MEN’S WEAR FOR 50 YEARS. HE PASSED AWAY ON 20 DECEMBER 2016. AN OBITUARY PUBLISHED IN THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD ON 1 APRIL 1944 FOR ANDREW A. NICAS, STATES THAT HE WAS BORN IN ARGOS, GREECE, AND IMMIGRATED TO THE UNITED STATES IN 1900. IN 1911, HE MOVED TO LETHBRIDGE. A QUOTE FROM THAT OBITUARY STATES, “FEW RESTAURANT OPERATORS IN THE PROVINCE WERE MORE WIDELY KNOWN THAN A. A. ‘SHORTY’ NICAS, GENEROUS, GENIAL, AND HOSPITABLE.” HE PASSED AWAY IN LETHBRIDGE ON 1 APRIL 1944. ACCORDING TO THE OBITUARY OF AGNES A. NICAS, WIFE OF SHORTY NICAS, STATES THAT SHE WAS BORN IN GREECE, MOVING TO MONTREAL AND THEN TO LETHBRIDGE IN 1919 UPON HER MARRIAGE TO NICAS. SHE PASSED AWAY ON 3 MARCH 1988. FROM DR. VAN CHRISTOU’S OBITUARY, ALSO ON THE MARTIN BROTHERS FUNERAL CHAPEL WEBSITE, HE WAS BORN IN LETHBRIDGE ON 24 JANUARY 1926. HIS PARENTS WERE CHRIST (CHRIS) AND ANASTASIA CHRISTOU. IN 1948, HE GRADUATED FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF ALBERTA WITH A DOCTORATE OF DENTISTRY, AND LATER COMPLETED HIS POSTGRADUATE IN ORTHODONTICS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF ROCHESTER FROM 1948-50. HE RETURNED TO LETHBRIDGE TO PRACTICE GENERAL DENTISTRY AND LATER ESTABLISHED HIS OWN ORTHODONTIST PRACTICE. HE MARRIED HELEN AFAGANIS IN 1952 AND TOGETHER THEY HAD FOUR CHILDREN. HE PASSED AWAY ON 27 SEPTEMBER 2017. CHRISTOU PROVIDED A WRITTEN HISTORY TITLED “LETHBRIDGE’S GREEK (HELLENIC) COMMUNITY,” WHERE HE LISTED THE TEN PRE-WORLD WAR II GREEK FAMILIES LIVING IN LETHBRIDGE, INCLUDING THE CHRISTOU FAMILY AND THE NICAS FAMILY. A LETHBRIDGE HERALD ARTICLE FROM 11 OCTOBER 1946 STATES THAT THE WHITE LUNCH CAFÉ WAS SOLD IN 1946. PLEASE SEE PERMANENT FILE FOR MORE INFORMATION, INCLUDING FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTIONS, THE WRITTEN HISTORY OF THE GREEK COMMUNITY, AND LETHBRIDGE HERALD RESEARCH.
Catalogue Number
P20170008000
Acquisition Date
2017-02
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail
Date Range From
1935
Date Range To
1950
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
CARDBOARD, INK
Catalogue Number
P20190002002
  2 images  
Material Type
Artifact
Date Range From
1935
Date Range To
1950
Materials
CARDBOARD, INK
No. Pieces
2
Height
3
Length
6.8
Width
3.3
Description
A.CARDBOARD AMMUNITION BOX TOP, 6.8CM LONG X 3.3CM WIDE X 3CM TALL. BROWN CARDBOARD WITH PRINTED YELLOW AND BLUE LABELS ON TOP, BOTTOM, AND SIDES. TOP OF BOX HAS PRINTED TEXT “22 LONG RIFLE, SMOKELESS GREASED, CIL SUPER-CLEAN, MADE IN CANADA BY, CANADIAN INDUSTRIES LIMITED, “DOMINION” AMMUNITION DIVISION, MONTREAL, CANADA” WITH “CIL” LOGO AND IMAGE OF A BULLET ALONG TOP EDGE. FRONT OF BOX HAS BLUE TEXT ON YELLOW BACKGROUND, “THESE CARTRIDGES ARE PRIMED WITH “SUPER-CLEAN” NON-RUSTING PRIMING. IF THE RIFLE HAS FIRST BEEN THOROUGHLY CLEANED AND “DOMINION” “SUPER-CLEAN” .22’S ARE USED EXCLUSIVELY, THEY WILL NOT RUST OR CORRODE THE BORE.” BACK OF BOX HAS BLUE TEXT ON YELLOW BACKGROUND, “THESE .22” LONG-RIFLE “SUPER-CLEAN” GREASED CARTRIDGES HAVE BEEN SPECIALLY DEVELOPED FOR GAME AS WELL AS TARGET SHOOTING, AND WILL BE FOUND TO BE POWERFUL AND ACCURATE AND ALWAYS DEPENDABLE”. BOTTOM OF BOX HAS BLUE TEXT ON YELLOW BACKGROUND “MADE IN CANADA BY, CANADIAN LIMITED INDUSTRIES, “DOMINION” AMMUNITION DIVISION, MONTREAL, CANADA.” SIDE OPENING FLAP HAS BLUE TEXT AND “CIL” LOGO ON YELLOW BACKGROUND, “”SUPER-CLEAN”, .22 LONG RIFLE, 50 R.F., SMOKELESS, GREASED”. BOX HAS TORN AND MISSING OPENING FLAP ON LEFT SIDE; BOX HAS TEAR ON TOP IN UPPER-RIGHT CORNER; BOX EDGES ARE WORN AND BOX TOP IS CREASED AND DENTED; OVERALL GOOD CONDITION. B.CARDBOARD BASE OF BOX, 6.3CM LONG X 3CM WIDE X 2.8CM TALL. BROWN CARDBOARD BOX WITHOUT TOP; SIDES FOLDED INTO BOX CREATING BASE. BOX IS STAINED DOWN INSIDE FLAPS AND ON INSIDE BASE; TOP EDGES AND CORNERS ARE WORN; OVERALL VERY GOOD CONDITION.
Subjects
ARMAMENT-ACCESSORY
Historical Association
SAFETY SERVICES
History
ON JANUARY 10, 2019, COLLECTIONS TECHNICIAN KEVIN MACLEAN INTERVIEWED JEAN BUCHANAN REGARDING HER DONATION OF A REVOLVER AND FIREARM ACCESSORIES. THE FIREARM WAS USED BY BUCHANAN’S FATHER, EDWARD ETTERSHANK BUCHANAN, DURING HIS CAREER WITH THE ALBERTA PROVINCIAL POLICE AND ROYAL CANADIAN MOUNTED POLICE. ON HER FATHER’S REVOLVER AND USE OF AMMUNITION, BUCHANAN RECALLED, “[MY DAD] USED [THE SMITH AND WESSON REVOLVER]…STARTING IN 1932, WITH THE RCMP, MAY BE WHEN HE GOT THAT GUN. HE HAD IT REGISTERED IN 1940, AND GETTING ANOTHER 5 YEARS REGISTRATION IT MUST HAVE BEEN 1935. [THE GUN] WAS HIS SIDEARM…HIS SERVICE WEAPON…HE HAD THAT ALL THE TIME…IT WOULD GO RIGHT ON HIS BELT THERE.” “[DAD KEPT THE GUN] IN [MY PARENTS’] BEDROOM. RIGHT ON THE BEDROOM CLOSET DOOR, RIGHT OPEN. I NEVER TOUCHED IT, BECAUSE HE HAD GIVEN ME MY TRAINING AND LET ME USE IT WHEN I WAS YOUNG. I HAD RESPECT FOR IT, AND I HAD NO SPECIAL CURIOSITY, WHICH IS A GOOD THING. [DAD KNEW I WAS] AN ADVENTUROUS PERSON, BUT I NEVER EVER TOUCHED IT, OUT OF COMPLETE RESPECT FOR DAD AND WHAT HE HAD THERE.” “ALL I CAN REMEMBER [IS HE HAD TWO HANDGUNS OR SIDEARMS]…HE DIDN’T GO OUT PRACTICING VERY MUCH; HE DIDN’T HAVE TO. HE COULD PASS HIS MARKSMANSHIP, AND THEN, EVERY TIME THERE WERE THINGS AT REGINA DEPOT TRAINING COURSES (UPGRADING, REFRESHER COURSES) THEY DID THEIR MARKSMANSHIP THERE, TOO. THEY WERE ALWAYS TESTED ON THEIR MARKSMANSHIP, AT REGINA DEPOT.” “I THINK [THE REVOLVER HAD] QUITE A BIT [OF MEANING TO MY DAD], BECAUSE HE HAD IT IN HIS HOUSE. IT WAS REALLY STRANGE BECAUSE I ASKED HIM WHERE IT WAS, WHEN HE SHOWED ME THE PAPERS, AND HE HAD IT IN A SHOE BOX IN HIS BEDROOM CLOSET. YOU DIDN’T HAVE TO HAVE GREAT [HIDING] PLACES FOR IT IN THOSE DAYS, BUT THAT’S WHERE HE KEPT IT. HE MADE SURE IT WAS THERE, AND HE KNEW WHERE IT WAS.” “[I HAVE NO] KNOWLEDGE ABOUT HIM HAVING TO FIRE THIS WEAPON…AT ANYONE. IF HE WOULD HAVE, HE WOULD HAVE FIRED TO MISS SOMEONE, JUST AS A WARNING SHOT. HE DEFINITELY WENT FOR WARNING SHOTS, BUT HE NEVER SHOT ANYBODY WITH IT." “[HE WOULD HAVE STOPPED CARRYING THE GUN] AT THE VERY END OF 1950, WHEN HE RETIRED FROM THE R.C.M.P.” “[I’VE HAD THE REVOLVER] SINCE 1998—THE PASSING OF MY FATHER, BECAUSE I WAS THE SOLE EXECUTRIX. IT WAS AUTOMATICALLY MY RESPONSIBILITY TO TAKE ALL OF HIS FIREARMS, IN MY POSSESSION.” “I WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR [THE CARE OF] IT, AND IT WAS A REAL KEEPSAKE. [THE GUN WAS] WAS VERY PERSONAL, BECAUSE I’M SURE [MY DAD] OWNED THAT EVEN BY BACK IN 1935, [WHEN] HE WAS IN WESTLOCK, IN CHARGE OF THE DETACHMENT THERE FOR 10 YEARS. IT WAS OF SENTIMENTAL VALUE BECAUSE HE TOOK ME OUT (I’M PRETTY SURE I WAS 8 YEARS OLD, WHEN HE HAD ME IN THE BACKYARD)—WE HAD FARMLAND AND FOREST—AND HE HAD A TARGET PRACTICE OUT THERE. HE HAD ME USE THAT FIREARM. HE SHOWED ME HOW TO USE IT, HOW TO AIM, AND HOW TO HANDLE IT SAFELY. I ALWAYS RESPECTED THAT, AND THAT WAS GOOD. THAT’S THE ORIGINAL HOLSTER FOR THAT GUN, WHICH YOU CAN SEE IS LOOPED, TO PUT ON HIS BELT. HE ALSO CARRIED A .32 COLT SEMI-AUTOMATIC.” “I’VE ALWAYS APPRECIATED REVOLVERS, AND RIFLES. IT’S NEVER BEEN ANYTHING THAT I THOUGHT ANY DANGER OF. YOU LEARN THE SAFETY, AND YOU TAKE YOUR COURSE. I HAVE MY COURSE DONE, AND I PASSED IT WITH FLYING COLORS. I HAD MY PERMIT TO HAVE IT. I HAVE TAKEN IT OUT, ON MY OWN ACREAGE, AND FIRED IT A BIT, BUT IT ISN’T SOMETHING I WANT TO DO. IT’S A SENTIMENTAL THING THAT I CAN NOW FEEL I’D LIKE TO HAVE IT IN YOUR MUSEUM. I KNOW IT’S NOW IN A SAFE PLACE, SO I DON’T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT IT EVER FALLING INTO THE WRONG HANDS. AND, IF I WANT TO COME AND VISIT IT, I CAN COME AND SEE IT.” ON JUNE 8, 2018, MACLEAN INTERVIEWED BUCHANAN REGARDING HER FATHER’S CAREER WITH THE ALBERTA PROVINCIAL POLICE AND ROYAL CANADIAN MOUNTED POLICE. BUCHANAN ELABORATED ON HER FATHER’S HISTORY, “[MY DAD WAS EDWARD BUCHANAN, WHO RETIRED AT THE RANK OF] SENIOR STAFF SERGEANT…HE RETIRED IN 1950 FROM THE [R.C.M.P].” “HE JOINED THE A.P.P. WHEN HE WAS TWENTY AND HE WAS STATIONED OUT NEAR ST. PAUL. IN ’21, HE MET MY MOTHER IN EDMONTON…BUT HE STAYED AT ST. PAUL AND THEN AFTER, HE GOT POSTED TO GRANDE PRAIRIE. HE WAS GOING TO GO TO GRANDE PRAIRIE BUT THEN IN ’22, THEY GOT MARRIED. A.P.P. HAD NO RESTRICTIONS ON THEIR MEMBERS GETTING MARRIED, LIKE THE R.C.M.P. HE DIDN’T HAVE TO WAIT TO GET MARRIED…THAT’S WHEN THEY WENT OUT TO BRAINARD.” “EVEN IN THE A.P.P., TO START WITH, HE HAD SOME SERVICE DOWN HERE AT THE LETHBRIDGE PRISON…BRINGING PRISONERS DOWN AND THEN MAYBE, AT THE VERY FIRST WINTER AS A ROOKIE, HE WAS ON JOB TO BE ON GUARD AT THE STATION. IT WASN’T LONG AND HE WAS SENT OUT TO ST. PAUL AND INTO MORE OF THE REAL POLICING.” “WHEN HE WAS IN THE A.P.P. [IN 1932] HE WAS THE TOP CLASS OF [THE] A.P.P. THAT AUTOMATICALLY WERE ACCEPTED INTO THE R.C.M.P. HE WAS PUT IN CHARGE, WHEN HE WAS IN THE A.P.P.—FIRST HE STARTED OUT IN CHARGE OF BRAINARD—HORSE LAKE—A LITTLE PLACE NEAR THE HORSE LAKE INDIAN RESERVATION. THEY CLOSED THAT DOWN AND TRANSFERRED HIM TO WEMBLEY, A LITTLE VILLAGE, AND HE WAS THE ONLY ONE IN CHARGE, THE ONLY OFFICER IN CHARGE OF WEMBLEY. THAT’S WHEN THAT 1932 [CHANGE] CAME ALONG AND HE JUST CHANGED THE SIGN UP THERE FROM A.P.P. TO R.C.M.P. AND WENT FROM THERE.” “IN ’32, IT WAS R.C.M.P. AND THAT STAYED R.C.M.P. UNTIL ’34. THEN HE WAS TRANSFERRED TO TAKE CHARGE OF THE WESTLOCK DETACHMENT WHICH WAS A BIG AREA. [THERE] WAS NO DETACHMENT IN BARRHEAD. HE HAD A HUGE AREA THERE TO COVER.” “[A.P.P. MEMBERS] WERE NOT AUTOMATICALLY TAKEN INTO THE R.C.M.P. THEY HAD THREE CATEGORIES THERE, OF THE A.P.P. MEMBERS…[THERE WERE] ONES THAT WERE NOT ACCEPTABLE, THAT THEY HADN’T DONE A VERY GOOD JOB IN THE A.P.P.; THEY SHOWED UP, GOOFIN’ AROUND, DOING THINGS THEY SHOULDN’T BE DOING. THEY WERE NOT ACCEPTABLE. THEN THERE [WERE THE ONES THAT] COULD BE GIVEN A LITTLE TRIAL RUN. THEY COULD APPLY. THEN THERE [WERE] ONES THAT COULD GET IN FOR A FULL YEAR AND THEN RE-APPLY. THEY’D BE ACCEPTED FOR A YEAR. THEN THERE’S THE TOP GRADE AND [THEY] WERE AUTOMATICALLY ACCEPTABLE. DAD WAS RIGHT UP THERE IN THAT TOP GRADE.” “A.P.P. MEMBERS WERE TRAINED BY THE NORTHWEST MOUNTED POLICE, NOT SOME GOOFBALLS THAT DIDN’T KNOW WHAT THEY WERE DOING. THESE WERE TRAINED BY THE BEST-TRAINED POLICE OFFICERS.” “ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER HANCOCK KNEW DAD REALLY WELL, HE’D EVEN BEEN IN THE A.P.P. HE CALLED DAD INTO THE OFFICE AND HE SAID, “BUCK, [DAD WAS EDWARD ETTERSHANK BUCHANAN BUT THEY CALLED HIM ‘BUCK’, A LOT] I WAS GOING TO SEND YOU DOWN TO TAKE CHARGE OF THE RED DEER DETACHMENT BUT I’VE HAD SO MUCH PROBLEM GETTING SOMEBODY TO GO DOWN TO TAKE THE LETHBRIDGE DETACHMENT…YOU’RE THE ONLY ONE, I THINK, THAT CAN HANDLE THE SITUATION WE’VE GOT DOWN THERE. THERE’S A LOT OF PROBLEMS AND I’M SURE YOU’RE THE ONLY ONE THAT CAN HANDLE IT. WILL YOU GO?” “[WE CAME DOWN HERE IN] ’44…I NEVER HAD ANY PROBLEM [WITH THE MOVE]. I WAS ALWAYS ADVENTUROUS. I HAD LOTS OF FRIENDS BUT I WAS ALWAYS HAPPY TO GO.” “WE RENTED A HOUSE ON 538 – 7TH STREET. IT’S ALL TORN DOWN NOW. DAD HAD TO COME DOWN A MONTH OR SO AHEAD OF US AND THEN HE COULDN’T FIND A HOUSE READY, SO WE CAME DOWN AND STAYED IN A HOTEL FOR ABOUT TWO MONTHS. I HAD TO START GRADE TEN; I WAS ONLY FOURTEEN, HERE. THAT WAS, TO ME, THE ONLY SAD PART OF MY LIFE, LEAVING THE WESTLOCK SCHOOL AND STARTING LCI. THE PERSONALIZATION WAS GONE WITH THE TEACHERS.” “[DAD] HAD TO OVERSEE THE POW CAMPS…HE TALKED ABOUT THE POW’S IN THIS RESPECT, THAT THERE WAS A LOT OF VERY GOOD GERMANS THAT WERE IN THERE. [THEY] WOULDN’T HAVE CHOSEN TO EVEN BE IN THE GERMAN ARMY…THEY WERE CONSCRIPTED OVER IN GERMANY, THEY DIDN’T HAVE ANY CHOICE, AND THEY WERE VERY DECENT, GOOD GUYS. HE RESPECTED THEM FOR THAT AND HELPED THEM, [GAVE] THEM ADVICE, “YOU KNOW, YOU GOTTA GO BACK TO GERMANY AND THEN APPLY TO COME BACK.” THERE WAS A TRUST THERE TO LET SOME OF THEM OUT TO WORK…‘CAUSE THERE [WAS] A LABOUR SHORTAGE FOR THE FARMERS AND THEY NEEDED THAT HELP. SOME OF THOSE FARMERS WERE VERY PLEASED TO GET SOME OF THESE GERMANS, AND SOME OF THE FARMERS’ DAUGHTERS WERE VERY PLEASED TO GET THAT, TOO. THEN THERE’S SOME LATER MARRIAGES AFTER THAT. IT WOULD BE A SHAME TO CONDEMN ALL THOSE POW’S BECAUSE A LOT OF THEM WERE VERY DECENT, GOOD, MORAL FELLOWS THAT DIDN’T WANT TO BE INVOLVED WITH ANY KILLING.” “HE WAS A PLAIN STAFF SERGEANT, NCO, SECOND IN CHARGE OF THE SUBDIVISION.” “[THEN HE] WENT BACK TO EDMONTON [TO RETIRE IN 1950], HIS HOME CITY WHERE HIS PARENTS WERE AND A LOT OF FRIENDS. HE JOINED THE R.C.M. P. VETS BUT WITH HIS RECORD, THE ATTORNEY GENERAL’S DEPARTMENT WERE NOT GOING TO LET HIM LOOSE. THEY MADE IT A FIRST APPOINTMENT OF AN INSPECTOR OF JAILS FOR THE PRISONS OF ALBERTA WHICH, AT THAT TIME, THERE WERE ONLY TWO: LETHBRIDGE AND FORT SASKATCHEWAN. [THE] ONLY PLACE IN FORT SASKATCHEWAN WAS FOR WOMEN, SO [WOMEN] HAD TO GO ALL THE WAY TO FORT SASKATCHEWAN, EVEN IF [THEY] WAS FROM LETHBRIDGE. THAT WASN’T A VERY GOOD DEAL, SO DAD COULD SEE A REAL NEED [FOR WORK]. IT WAS A REAL MESS WHEN HE LOOKED AT THE PRISONS.” “HE REALIZED, BEING AN R.C.M.P., THAT MANY OF THE YOUNG CITY POLICE, TOWN SHERIFFS, SOME OF THESE MAGISTRATES, THEY MESSED THINGS UP. HE STARTED A TRAINING SCHOOL FOR THESE MUNICIPAL POLICE AND THAT JUST WENT TERRIFICALLY. THEY HAD [THE SCHOOLS] IN CALGARY AND IN EDMONTON TWICE A YEAR. THEY HAD A BIG GROUP FROM MEDICINE HAT COME UP AND [TAKE] THE SCHOOLING, LETHBRIDGE CAME UP, AND SOME OF THE PRISON GUARDS TOOK [THE TRAINING], TOO.” “[HE] WORKED ON THAT FOR FIFTEEN/SIXTEEN YEARS. AFTER TWELVE YEARS, HE WAS SO BUSY THAT THEY MADE HIM SUPERINTENDENT OF PRISONS BECAUSE…THE FIRST THING HE HAD TO DO WAS TO DEVELOP THE PRISONS FOR ALBERTA. TWO WAS NOT SUFFICIENT.” “[DAD’S] PERSONALITY WAS ALWAYS QUIET, FIRM, NO-NONSENSE, HUMOROUS, BUT HE WAS NEVER ARROGANT. I NEVER HEARD HIM SWEAR OR GET MAD AT ANYBODY, NOT EVEN PRISONERS. HE HANDLED THEM VERY QUIETLY, AND VERY FIRMLY. THE STAFF…ALL LOVED HIM. I [HAVE] LETTERS AND THEY CAME ALL THE WAY UP TO THEIR ANNIVERSARIES LATER IN EDMONTON…“YOU’RE THE BEST BOSS WE EVER HAD.” ALL HE HAD WAS A VISION OF WHAT NEEDED TO BE DONE…HE COULD GO AND EXPLAIN THE NEED FOR THE JAILS, WHAT IT WOULD COST AND WHAT IT NEEDED TO FIX THE PROBLEM. HE NEVER HAD PROBLEM GETTING EXACTLY WHAT HE NEEDED FROM THEM.” ON THE DONATION OF THE REVOLVER AND AMMUNITION, BUCHANAN NOTED, “MY DAD KNEW I WOULD LOOK AFTER [HIS BELONGINGS] AND WANTED TO GET IT TO A MUSEUM. [DAD KNEW] THAT I WASN’T ONE TO PUT IT IN MY BASEMENT TO HAVE GOODNESS-KNOWS-WHAT-HAPPEN TO IT. HE HAD LEFT ALL OF THAT IN CHARGE OF ME. I WAS THE SOLE EXECUTOR OF THE ESTATE.” “I AM NOW AT THE YOUNG AGE OF 88; I’M NOT WORRIED ABOUT LIVING ANOTHER 10 YEARS. I DIDN’T WANT THE CHANCE OF ANYBODY STEALING IT, OR GETTING THEIR HANDS ON IT, SO I WANTED TO MAKE SURE YOU GOT IT. AND, I DON’T NEED IT, SO WHY KEEP IT? IF I GET LONESOME, AND WANT TO SEE IT, I’LL COME TO THE MUSEUM AND LOOK AT IT.” “I’LL FEEL HAPPY, TO KNOW IT’S GOT A GOOD HOME. I DON’T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT IT.” FOR MORE INFORMATION INCLUDING THE FULL TRANSCRIPTIONS FROM INTERVIEWS AND LETHBRIDGE HERALD ARTICLES, PLEASE SEE THE PERMANENT FILE P20190002001-GA.
Catalogue Number
P20190002002
Acquisition Date
2019-01
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail
Date Range From
1935
Date Range To
1950
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
COTTON
Catalogue Number
P20190002004
  2 images  
Material Type
Artifact
Date Range From
1935
Date Range To
1950
Materials
COTTON
No. Pieces
1
Length
45.8
Width
27.7
Description
COTTON CLEANING CLOTH, WHITE WITH RED STRIPES DOWN AND ACROSS. BOTTOM OF CLOTH HAS SECTION CUT OUT OF FRONT LEFT SIDE. FRONT IS HEAVILY STAINED WITH BLACK AND BROWN RESIDUE; RESIDUE HAS WORN THROUGH CLOTH TO BACK. RED EDGING IS FRAYED. CLOTH IS HEAVILY CREASED DOWN AND ACROSS MIDDLE. OVERALL GOOD CONDITION.
Subjects
ARMAMENT-ACCESSORY
Historical Association
SAFETY SERVICES
History
ON JANUARY 10, 2019, COLLECTIONS TECHNICIAN KEVIN MACLEAN INTERVIEWED JEAN BUCHANAN REGARDING HER DONATION OF A REVOLVER AND FIREARM ACCESSORIES. THE FIREARM WAS USED BY BUCHANAN’S FATHER, EDWARD ETTERSHANK BUCHANAN, DURING HIS CAREER WITH THE ALBERTA PROVINCIAL POLICE AND ROYAL CANADIAN MOUNTED POLICE. BUCHANAN ELABORATED ON THE USE OF THE CLEANING CLOTH, NOTING, “[DAD HAD A BAG] BECAUSE, IN HIS YOUNGER DAYS, HE OFTEN HAD TO GO OUT ON HORSEBACK. HE’D BE GONE, HUNTING DOWN A MURDERER, AND HE MIGHT HAVE HAD A GUIDE WITH HIM. HE TOOK SOME OF HIS CLEANING EQUIPMENT FOR THE REVOLVER, AND HIS RIFLE, TOO…HE COULD PACK HIS LUNCH…KNIVES, SURVIVAL, AND HIS DIRTY OLD CLEANING CLOTH THAT HE USED, AND AN OLD BOTTLE OF GUN OIL, SO HE COULD CLEAN THE GUN IN CASE HE HAPPENED TO DROP IT IN SOME MUD. YOU NEVER KNOW [WHAT MIGHT HAPPEN] WHEN YOU’RE OUT…YOU HAVE TO KEEP YOUR GUN VERY CLEAN. HE KEPT EVERYTHING VERY CLEAN…YOU HAVE TO KEEP THE GUN CLEAN IF YOU’RE GOING TO USE IT, BECAUSE YOU COULD DAMAGE IT IF YOU HAVE ANY DIRT IN THE BARREL.” “[THE GUNS] WERE A TOOL OF HIS JOB, BUT HE CERTAINLY WASN’T ONE THAT WANTED TO EVER USE IT, BUT IF HE HAD IT, HE HAD TO, OR TO JUST MAINTAIN THE PEACE.” ON HER FATHER’S REVOLVER, BUCHANAN RECALLED, “[MY DAD] USED [THE SMITH AND WESSON REVOLVER]…STARTING IN 1932, WITH THE RCMP, MAY BE WHEN HE GOT THAT GUN. HE HAD IT REGISTERED IN 1940, AND GETTING ANOTHER 5 YEARS REGISTRATION IT MUST HAVE BEEN 1935. [THE GUN] WAS HIS SIDEARM…HIS SERVICE WEAPON…HE HAD THAT ALL THE TIME…IT WOULD GO RIGHT ON HIS BELT THERE.” “[DAD KEPT THE GUN] IN [MY PARENTS’] BEDROOM. RIGHT ON THE BEDROOM CLOSET DOOR, RIGHT OPEN. I NEVER TOUCHED IT, BECAUSE HE HAD GIVEN ME MY TRAINING AND LET ME USE IT WHEN I WAS YOUNG. I HAD RESPECT FOR IT, AND I HAD NO SPECIAL CURIOSITY, WHICH IS A GOOD THING. [DAD KNEW I WAS] AN ADVENTUROUS PERSON, BUT I NEVER EVER TOUCHED IT, OUT OF COMPLETE RESPECT FOR DAD AND WHAT HE HAD THERE.” “ALL I CAN REMEMBER [IS HE HAD TWO HANDGUNS OR SIDEARMS]…HE DIDN’T GO OUT PRACTICING VERY MUCH; HE DIDN’T HAVE TO. HE COULD PASS HIS MARKSMANSHIP, AND THEN, EVERY TIME THERE WERE THINGS AT REGINA DEPOT TRAINING COURSES (UPGRADING, REFRESHER COURSES) THEY DID THEIR MARKSMANSHIP THERE, TOO. THEY WERE ALWAYS TESTED ON THEIR MARKSMANSHIP, AT REGINA DEPOT.” “I THINK [THE REVOLVER HAD] QUITE A BIT [OF MEANING TO MY DAD], BECAUSE HE HAD IT IN HIS HOUSE. IT WAS REALLY STRANGE BECAUSE I ASKED HIM WHERE IT WAS, WHEN HE SHOWED ME THE PAPERS, AND HE HAD IT IN A SHOE BOX IN HIS BEDROOM CLOSET. YOU DIDN’T HAVE TO HAVE GREAT [HIDING] PLACES FOR IT IN THOSE DAYS, BUT THAT’S WHERE HE KEPT IT. HE MADE SURE IT WAS THERE, AND HE KNEW WHERE IT WAS.” “[I HAVE NO] KNOWLEDGE ABOUT HIM HAVING TO FIRE THIS WEAPON…AT ANYONE. IF HE WOULD HAVE, HE WOULD HAVE FIRED TO MISS SOMEONE, JUST AS A WARNING SHOT. HE DEFINITELY WENT FOR WARNING SHOTS, BUT HE NEVER SHOT ANYBODY WITH IT." “[HE WOULD HAVE STOPPED CARRYING THE GUN] AT THE VERY END OF 1950, WHEN HE RETIRED FROM THE R.C.M.P.” “[I’VE HAD THE REVOLVER] SINCE 1998—THE PASSING OF MY FATHER, BECAUSE I WAS THE SOLE EXECUTRIX. IT WAS AUTOMATICALLY MY RESPONSIBILITY TO TAKE ALL OF HIS FIREARMS, IN MY POSSESSION.” “I WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR [THE CARE OF] IT, AND IT WAS A REAL KEEPSAKE. [THE GUN WAS] WAS VERY PERSONAL, BECAUSE I’M SURE [MY DAD] OWNED THAT EVEN BY BACK IN 1935, [WHEN] HE WAS IN WESTLOCK, IN CHARGE OF THE DETACHMENT THERE FOR 10 YEARS. IT WAS OF SENTIMENTAL VALUE BECAUSE HE TOOK ME OUT (I’M PRETTY SURE I WAS 8 YEARS OLD, WHEN HE HAD ME IN THE BACKYARD)—WE HAD FARMLAND AND FOREST—AND HE HAD A TARGET PRACTICE OUT THERE. HE HAD ME USE THAT FIREARM. HE SHOWED ME HOW TO USE IT, HOW TO AIM, AND HOW TO HANDLE IT SAFELY. I ALWAYS RESPECTED THAT, AND THAT WAS GOOD. THAT’S THE ORIGINAL HOLSTER FOR THAT GUN, WHICH YOU CAN SEE IS LOOPED, TO PUT ON HIS BELT. HE ALSO CARRIED A .32 COLT SEMI-AUTOMATIC.” “I’VE ALWAYS APPRECIATED REVOLVERS, AND RIFLES. IT’S NEVER BEEN ANYTHING THAT I THOUGHT ANY DANGER OF. YOU LEARN THE SAFETY, AND YOU TAKE YOUR COURSE. I HAVE MY COURSE DONE, AND I PASSED IT WITH FLYING COLORS. I HAD MY PERMIT TO HAVE IT. I HAVE TAKEN IT OUT, ON MY OWN ACREAGE, AND FIRED IT A BIT, BUT IT ISN’T SOMETHING I WANT TO DO. IT’S A SENTIMENTAL THING THAT I CAN NOW FEEL I’D LIKE TO HAVE IT IN YOUR MUSEUM. I KNOW IT’S NOW IN A SAFE PLACE, SO I DON’T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT IT EVER FALLING INTO THE WRONG HANDS. AND, IF I WANT TO COME AND VISIT IT, I CAN COME AND SEE IT.” ON JUNE 8, 2018, MACLEAN INTERVIEWED BUCHANAN REGARDING HER FATHER’S CAREER WITH THE ALBERTA PROVINCIAL POLICE AND ROYAL CANADIAN MOUNTED POLICE. BUCHANAN ELABORATED ON HER FATHER’S HISTORY, “[MY DAD WAS EDWARD BUCHANAN, WHO RETIRED AT THE RANK OF] SENIOR STAFF SERGEANT…HE RETIRED IN 1950 FROM THE [R.C.M.P].” “HE JOINED THE A.P.P. WHEN HE WAS TWENTY AND HE WAS STATIONED OUT NEAR ST. PAUL. IN ’21, HE MET MY MOTHER IN EDMONTON…BUT HE STAYED AT ST. PAUL AND THEN AFTER, HE GOT POSTED TO GRANDE PRAIRIE. HE WAS GOING TO GO TO GRANDE PRAIRIE BUT THEN IN ’22, THEY GOT MARRIED. A.P.P. HAD NO RESTRICTIONS ON THEIR MEMBERS GETTING MARRIED, LIKE THE R.C.M.P. HE DIDN’T HAVE TO WAIT TO GET MARRIED…THAT’S WHEN THEY WENT OUT TO BRAINARD.” “EVEN IN THE A.P.P., TO START WITH, HE HAD SOME SERVICE DOWN HERE AT THE LETHBRIDGE PRISON…BRINGING PRISONERS DOWN AND THEN MAYBE, AT THE VERY FIRST WINTER AS A ROOKIE, HE WAS ON JOB TO BE ON GUARD AT THE STATION. IT WASN’T LONG AND HE WAS SENT OUT TO ST. PAUL AND INTO MORE OF THE REAL POLICING.” “WHEN HE WAS IN THE A.P.P. [IN 1932] HE WAS THE TOP CLASS OF [THE] A.P.P. THAT AUTOMATICALLY WERE ACCEPTED INTO THE R.C.M.P. HE WAS PUT IN CHARGE, WHEN HE WAS IN THE A.P.P.—FIRST HE STARTED OUT IN CHARGE OF BRAINARD—HORSE LAKE—A LITTLE PLACE NEAR THE HORSE LAKE INDIAN RESERVATION. THEY CLOSED THAT DOWN AND TRANSFERRED HIM TO WEMBLEY, A LITTLE VILLAGE, AND HE WAS THE ONLY ONE IN CHARGE, THE ONLY OFFICER IN CHARGE OF WEMBLEY. THAT’S WHEN THAT 1932 [CHANGE] CAME ALONG AND HE JUST CHANGED THE SIGN UP THERE FROM A.P.P. TO R.C.M.P. AND WENT FROM THERE.” “IN ’32, IT WAS R.C.M.P. AND THAT STAYED R.C.M.P. UNTIL ’34. THEN HE WAS TRANSFERRED TO TAKE CHARGE OF THE WESTLOCK DETACHMENT WHICH WAS A BIG AREA. [THERE] WAS NO DETACHMENT IN BARRHEAD. HE HAD A HUGE AREA THERE TO COVER.” “[A.P.P. MEMBERS] WERE NOT AUTOMATICALLY TAKEN INTO THE R.C.M.P. THEY HAD THREE CATEGORIES THERE, OF THE A.P.P. MEMBERS…[THERE WERE] ONES THAT WERE NOT ACCEPTABLE, THAT THEY HADN’T DONE A VERY GOOD JOB IN THE A.P.P.; THEY SHOWED UP, GOOFIN’ AROUND, DOING THINGS THEY SHOULDN’T BE DOING. THEY WERE NOT ACCEPTABLE. THEN THERE [WERE THE ONES THAT] COULD BE GIVEN A LITTLE TRIAL RUN. THEY COULD APPLY. THEN THERE [WERE] ONES THAT COULD GET IN FOR A FULL YEAR AND THEN RE-APPLY. THEY’D BE ACCEPTED FOR A YEAR. THEN THERE’S THE TOP GRADE AND [THEY] WERE AUTOMATICALLY ACCEPTABLE. DAD WAS RIGHT UP THERE IN THAT TOP GRADE.” “A.P.P. MEMBERS WERE TRAINED BY THE NORTHWEST MOUNTED POLICE, NOT SOME GOOFBALLS THAT DIDN’T KNOW WHAT THEY WERE DOING. THESE WERE TRAINED BY THE BEST-TRAINED POLICE OFFICERS.” “ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER HANCOCK KNEW DAD REALLY WELL, HE’D EVEN BEEN IN THE A.P.P. HE CALLED DAD INTO THE OFFICE AND HE SAID, “BUCK, [DAD WAS EDWARD ETTERSHANK BUCHANAN BUT THEY CALLED HIM ‘BUCK’, A LOT] I WAS GOING TO SEND YOU DOWN TO TAKE CHARGE OF THE RED DEER DETACHMENT BUT I’VE HAD SO MUCH PROBLEM GETTING SOMEBODY TO GO DOWN TO TAKE THE LETHBRIDGE DETACHMENT…YOU’RE THE ONLY ONE, I THINK, THAT CAN HANDLE THE SITUATION WE’VE GOT DOWN THERE. THERE’S A LOT OF PROBLEMS AND I’M SURE YOU’RE THE ONLY ONE THAT CAN HANDLE IT. WILL YOU GO?” “[WE CAME DOWN HERE IN] ’44…I NEVER HAD ANY PROBLEM [WITH THE MOVE]. I WAS ALWAYS ADVENTUROUS. I HAD LOTS OF FRIENDS BUT I WAS ALWAYS HAPPY TO GO.” “WE RENTED A HOUSE ON 538 – 7TH STREET. IT’S ALL TORN DOWN NOW. DAD HAD TO COME DOWN A MONTH OR SO AHEAD OF US AND THEN HE COULDN’T FIND A HOUSE READY, SO WE CAME DOWN AND STAYED IN A HOTEL FOR ABOUT TWO MONTHS. I HAD TO START GRADE TEN; I WAS ONLY FOURTEEN, HERE. THAT WAS, TO ME, THE ONLY SAD PART OF MY LIFE, LEAVING THE WESTLOCK SCHOOL AND STARTING LCI. THE PERSONALIZATION WAS GONE WITH THE TEACHERS.” “[DAD] HAD TO OVERSEE THE POW CAMPS…HE TALKED ABOUT THE POW’S IN THIS RESPECT, THAT THERE WAS A LOT OF VERY GOOD GERMANS THAT WERE IN THERE. [THEY] WOULDN’T HAVE CHOSEN TO EVEN BE IN THE GERMAN ARMY…THEY WERE CONSCRIPTED OVER IN GERMANY, THEY DIDN’T HAVE ANY CHOICE, AND THEY WERE VERY DECENT, GOOD GUYS. HE RESPECTED THEM FOR THAT AND HELPED THEM, [GAVE] THEM ADVICE, “YOU KNOW, YOU GOTTA GO BACK TO GERMANY AND THEN APPLY TO COME BACK.” THERE WAS A TRUST THERE TO LET SOME OF THEM OUT TO WORK…‘CAUSE THERE [WAS] A LABOUR SHORTAGE FOR THE FARMERS AND THEY NEEDED THAT HELP. SOME OF THOSE FARMERS WERE VERY PLEASED TO GET SOME OF THESE GERMANS, AND SOME OF THE FARMERS’ DAUGHTERS WERE VERY PLEASED TO GET THAT, TOO. THEN THERE’S SOME LATER MARRIAGES AFTER THAT. IT WOULD BE A SHAME TO CONDEMN ALL THOSE POW’S BECAUSE A LOT OF THEM WERE VERY DECENT, GOOD, MORAL FELLOWS THAT DIDN’T WANT TO BE INVOLVED WITH ANY KILLING.” “HE WAS A PLAIN STAFF SERGEANT, NCO, SECOND IN CHARGE OF THE SUBDIVISION.” “[THEN HE] WENT BACK TO EDMONTON [TO RETIRE IN 1950], HIS HOME CITY WHERE HIS PARENTS WERE AND A LOT OF FRIENDS. HE JOINED THE R.C.M. P. VETS BUT WITH HIS RECORD, THE ATTORNEY GENERAL’S DEPARTMENT WERE NOT GOING TO LET HIM LOOSE. THEY MADE IT A FIRST APPOINTMENT OF AN INSPECTOR OF JAILS FOR THE PRISONS OF ALBERTA WHICH, AT THAT TIME, THERE WERE ONLY TWO: LETHBRIDGE AND FORT SASKATCHEWAN. [THE] ONLY PLACE IN FORT SASKATCHEWAN WAS FOR WOMEN, SO [WOMEN] HAD TO GO ALL THE WAY TO FORT SASKATCHEWAN, EVEN IF [THEY] WAS FROM LETHBRIDGE. THAT WASN’T A VERY GOOD DEAL, SO DAD COULD SEE A REAL NEED [FOR WORK]. IT WAS A REAL MESS WHEN HE LOOKED AT THE PRISONS.” “HE REALIZED, BEING AN R.C.M.P., THAT MANY OF THE YOUNG CITY POLICE, TOWN SHERIFFS, SOME OF THESE MAGISTRATES, THEY MESSED THINGS UP. HE STARTED A TRAINING SCHOOL FOR THESE MUNICIPAL POLICE AND THAT JUST WENT TERRIFICALLY. THEY HAD [THE SCHOOLS] IN CALGARY AND IN EDMONTON TWICE A YEAR. THEY HAD A BIG GROUP FROM MEDICINE HAT COME UP AND [TAKE] THE SCHOOLING, LETHBRIDGE CAME UP, AND SOME OF THE PRISON GUARDS TOOK [THE TRAINING], TOO.” “[HE] WORKED ON THAT FOR FIFTEEN/SIXTEEN YEARS. AFTER TWELVE YEARS, HE WAS SO BUSY THAT THEY MADE HIM SUPERINTENDENT OF PRISONS BECAUSE…THE FIRST THING HE HAD TO DO WAS TO DEVELOP THE PRISONS FOR ALBERTA. TWO WAS NOT SUFFICIENT.” “[DAD’S] PERSONALITY WAS ALWAYS QUIET, FIRM, NO-NONSENSE, HUMOROUS, BUT HE WAS NEVER ARROGANT. I NEVER HEARD HIM SWEAR OR GET MAD AT ANYBODY, NOT EVEN PRISONERS. HE HANDLED THEM VERY QUIETLY, AND VERY FIRMLY. THE STAFF…ALL LOVED HIM. I [HAVE] LETTERS AND THEY CAME ALL THE WAY UP TO THEIR ANNIVERSARIES LATER IN EDMONTON…“YOU’RE THE BEST BOSS WE EVER HAD.” ALL HE HAD WAS A VISION OF WHAT NEEDED TO BE DONE…HE COULD GO AND EXPLAIN THE NEED FOR THE JAILS, WHAT IT WOULD COST AND WHAT IT NEEDED TO FIX THE PROBLEM. HE NEVER HAD PROBLEM GETTING EXACTLY WHAT HE NEEDED FROM THEM.” ON THE DONATION OF THE REVOLVER AND AMMUNITION, BUCHANAN NOTED, “MY DAD KNEW I WOULD LOOK AFTER [HIS BELONGINGS] AND WANTED TO GET IT TO A MUSEUM. [DAD KNEW] THAT I WASN’T ONE TO PUT IT IN MY BASEMENT TO HAVE GOODNESS-KNOWS-WHAT-HAPPEN TO IT. HE HAD LEFT ALL OF THAT IN CHARGE OF ME. I WAS THE SOLE EXECUTOR OF THE ESTATE.” “I AM NOW AT THE YOUNG AGE OF 88; I’M NOT WORRIED ABOUT LIVING ANOTHER 10 YEARS. I DIDN’T WANT THE CHANCE OF ANYBODY STEALING IT, OR GETTING THEIR HANDS ON IT, SO I WANTED TO MAKE SURE YOU GOT IT. AND, I DON’T NEED IT, SO WHY KEEP IT? IF I GET LONESOME, AND WANT TO SEE IT, I’LL COME TO THE MUSEUM AND LOOK AT IT.” “I’LL FEEL HAPPY, TO KNOW IT’S GOT A GOOD HOME. I DON’T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT IT.” FOR MORE INFORMATION INCLUDING THE FULL TRANSCRIPTIONS FROM INTERVIEWS AND LETHBRIDGE HERALD ARTICLES, PLEASE SEE THE PERMANENT FILE P20190002001-GA.
Catalogue Number
P20190002004
Acquisition Date
2019-01
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail
Date Range From
1935
Date Range To
1950
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
COTTON, STEEL, BRASS
Catalogue Number
P20190002005
  1 image  
Material Type
Artifact
Date Range From
1935
Date Range To
1950
Materials
COTTON, STEEL, BRASS
No. Pieces
2
Length
126.5
Description
A. CLEANING ROD ATTACHED TO STRING AND WEIGHT, 126.5CM LONG. STAINED WHITE CORD WITH BRASS CYLINDRICAL WEIGHT AT ONE END; CORD HAS WIRE BRUSH TIED 13CM DOWN; BRUSH HAS METAL BODY WITH WIRE BRISTLES WRAPPED AROUND IN SPIRAL; BRUSH IS ATTACHED TO CORD WITH METAL LOOPS AT ENDS OF BODY. CORD IS STAINED AND SEVERELY CURLED FROM LOOPING; CORD IS FRAYING; OVERALL VERY GOOD CONDITION. B. CLEANING ROD, 7.8CM LONG. BLACK WIRE BRISTLES WRAPPED IN SPIRAL AROUND BRASS BODY; BODY HAS THREADED SCREW FITTING AT ONE END AND HAS WIRES TWISTED TOGETHER ON OTHER END. WIRES OF THE BRUSH ARE FRAYING AND HAVE DEBRIS CAUGHTL OVERALL VERY GOOD CONDITION.
Subjects
ARMAMENT-ACCESSORY
Historical Association
SAFETY SERVICES
History
ON JANUARY 10, 2019, COLLECTIONS TECHNICIAN KEVIN MACLEAN INTERVIEWED JEAN BUCHANAN REGARDING HER DONATION OF A REVOLVER AND FIREARM ACCESSORIES. THE FIREARM WAS USED BY BUCHANAN’S FATHER, EDWARD ETTERSHANK BUCHANAN, DURING HIS CAREER WITH THE ALBERTA PROVINCIAL POLICE AND ROYAL CANADIAN MOUNTED POLICE. BUCHANAN ELABORATED ON THE USE OF THE CLEANING ROD, NOTING, “[DAD HAD A BAG] BECAUSE, IN HIS YOUNGER DAYS, HE OFTEN HAD TO GO OUT ON HORSEBACK. HE’D BE GONE, HUNTING DOWN A MURDERER, AND HE MIGHT HAVE HAD A GUIDE WITH HIM. HE TOOK SOME OF HIS CLEANING EQUIPMENT FOR THE REVOLVER, AND HIS RIFLE, TOO…HE COULD PACK HIS LUNCH…KNIVES, SURVIVAL, AND HIS DIRTY OLD CLEANING CLOTH THAT HE USED, AND AN OLD BOTTLE OF GUN OIL, SO HE COULD CLEAN THE GUN IN CASE HE HAPPENED TO DROP IT IN SOME MUD. YOU NEVER KNOW [WHAT MIGHT HAPPEN] WHEN YOU’RE OUT…YOU HAVE TO KEEP YOUR GUN VERY CLEAN. HE KEPT EVERYTHING VERY CLEAN…YOU HAVE TO KEEP THE GUN CLEAN IF YOU’RE GOING TO USE IT, BECAUSE YOU COULD DAMAGE IT IF YOU HAVE ANY DIRT IN THE BARREL.” “THIS [CLEANING ROD] WAS AN INTERESTING OLD ONE FOR A RIFLE—A PIECE OF STRING THAT HAD A HEAVY WEIGHT AT THE END, SO YOU COULD DROP THE WEIGHT DOWN THE BARREL, AND THEN PULL THIS CLEANING BRASS WIRE THING OUT TO CLEAN THE BARREL. HE MADE IT HIMSELF, I THINK.” “HE HAD A BEAUTIFUL BRASS ONE [FOR HIS REVOLVERS] THAT YOU JUST HAVE THE LITTLE LENGTHS—ABOUT 4 LENGTHS—AND THEN YOU TAKE THE 2, AND UNSCREW IT – AND YOU CAN USE THAT FOR DIFFERENT LENGTHS OF FIREARMS.” “[THE GUNS] WERE A TOOL OF HIS JOB, BUT HE CERTAINLY WASN’T ONE THAT WANTED TO EVER USE IT, BUT IF HE HAD IT, HE HAD TO, OR TO JUST MAINTAIN THE PEACE.” ON HER FATHER’S REVOLVER, BUCHANAN RECALLED, “[MY DAD] USED [THE SMITH AND WESSON REVOLVER]…STARTING IN 1932, WITH THE RCMP, MAY BE WHEN HE GOT THAT GUN. HE HAD IT REGISTERED IN 1940, AND GETTING ANOTHER 5 YEARS REGISTRATION IT MUST HAVE BEEN 1935. [THE GUN] WAS HIS SIDEARM…HIS SERVICE WEAPON…HE HAD THAT ALL THE TIME…IT WOULD GO RIGHT ON HIS BELT THERE.” “[DAD KEPT THE GUN] IN [MY PARENTS’] BEDROOM. RIGHT ON THE BEDROOM CLOSET DOOR, RIGHT OPEN. I NEVER TOUCHED IT, BECAUSE HE HAD GIVEN ME MY TRAINING AND LET ME USE IT WHEN I WAS YOUNG. I HAD RESPECT FOR IT, AND I HAD NO SPECIAL CURIOSITY, WHICH IS A GOOD THING. [DAD KNEW I WAS] AN ADVENTUROUS PERSON, BUT I NEVER EVER TOUCHED IT, OUT OF COMPLETE RESPECT FOR DAD AND WHAT HE HAD THERE.” “ALL I CAN REMEMBER [IS HE HAD TWO HANDGUNS OR SIDEARMS]…HE DIDN’T GO OUT PRACTICING VERY MUCH; HE DIDN’T HAVE TO. HE COULD PASS HIS MARKSMANSHIP, AND THEN, EVERY TIME THERE WERE THINGS AT REGINA DEPOT TRAINING COURSES (UPGRADING, REFRESHER COURSES) THEY DID THEIR MARKSMANSHIP THERE, TOO. THEY WERE ALWAYS TESTED ON THEIR MARKSMANSHIP, AT REGINA DEPOT.” “I THINK [THE REVOLVER HAD] QUITE A BIT [OF MEANING TO MY DAD], BECAUSE HE HAD IT IN HIS HOUSE. IT WAS REALLY STRANGE BECAUSE I ASKED HIM WHERE IT WAS, WHEN HE SHOWED ME THE PAPERS, AND HE HAD IT IN A SHOE BOX IN HIS BEDROOM CLOSET. YOU DIDN’T HAVE TO HAVE GREAT [HIDING] PLACES FOR IT IN THOSE DAYS, BUT THAT’S WHERE HE KEPT IT. HE MADE SURE IT WAS THERE, AND HE KNEW WHERE IT WAS.” “[I HAVE NO] KNOWLEDGE ABOUT HIM HAVING TO FIRE THIS WEAPON…AT ANYONE. IF HE WOULD HAVE, HE WOULD HAVE FIRED TO MISS SOMEONE, JUST AS A WARNING SHOT. HE DEFINITELY WENT FOR WARNING SHOTS, BUT HE NEVER SHOT ANYBODY WITH IT.” “[HE WOULD HAVE STOPPED CARRYING THE GUN] AT THE VERY END OF 1950, WHEN HE RETIRED FROM THE R.C.M.P.” “[I’VE HAD THE REVOLVER] SINCE 1998—THE PASSING OF MY FATHER, BECAUSE I WAS THE SOLE EXECUTRIX. IT WAS AUTOMATICALLY MY RESPONSIBILITY TO TAKE ALL OF HIS FIREARMS, IN MY POSSESSION.” “I WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR [THE CARE OF] IT, AND IT WAS A REAL KEEPSAKE. [THE GUN WAS] WAS VERY PERSONAL, BECAUSE I’M SURE [MY DAD] OWNED THAT EVEN BY BACK IN 1935, [WHEN] HE WAS IN WESTLOCK, IN CHARGE OF THE DETACHMENT THERE FOR 10 YEARS. IT WAS OF SENTIMENTAL VALUE BECAUSE HE TOOK ME OUT (I’M PRETTY SURE I WAS 8 YEARS OLD, WHEN HE HAD ME IN THE BACKYARD)—WE HAD FARMLAND AND FOREST—AND HE HAD A TARGET PRACTICE OUT THERE. HE HAD ME USE THAT FIREARM. HE SHOWED ME HOW TO USE IT, HOW TO AIM, AND HOW TO HANDLE IT SAFELY. I ALWAYS RESPECTED THAT, AND THAT WAS GOOD. THAT’S THE ORIGINAL HOLSTER FOR THAT GUN, WHICH YOU CAN SEE IS LOOPED, TO PUT ON HIS BELT. HE ALSO CARRIED A .32 COLT SEMI-AUTOMATIC.” “I’VE ALWAYS APPRECIATED REVOLVERS, AND RIFLES. IT’S NEVER BEEN ANYTHING THAT I THOUGHT ANY DANGER OF. YOU LEARN THE SAFETY, AND YOU TAKE YOUR COURSE. I HAVE MY COURSE DONE, AND I PASSED IT WITH FLYING COLORS. I HAD MY PERMIT TO HAVE IT. I HAVE TAKEN IT OUT, ON MY OWN ACREAGE, AND FIRED IT A BIT, BUT IT ISN’T SOMETHING I WANT TO DO. IT’S A SENTIMENTAL THING THAT I CAN NOW FEEL I’D LIKE TO HAVE IT IN YOUR MUSEUM. I KNOW IT’S NOW IN A SAFE PLACE, SO I DON’T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT IT EVER FALLING INTO THE WRONG HANDS. AND, IF I WANT TO COME AND VISIT IT, I CAN COME AND SEE IT.” ON JUNE 8, 2018, MACLEAN INTERVIEWED BUCHANAN REGARDING HER FATHER’S CAREER WITH THE ALBERTA PROVINCIAL POLICE AND ROYAL CANADIAN MOUNTED POLICE. BUCHANAN ELABORATED ON HER FATHER’S HISTORY, “[MY DAD WAS EDWARD BUCHANAN, WHO RETIRED AT THE RANK OF] SENIOR STAFF SERGEANT…HE RETIRED IN 1950 FROM THE [R.C.M.P].” “HE JOINED THE A.P.P. WHEN HE WAS TWENTY AND HE WAS STATIONED OUT NEAR ST. PAUL. IN ’21, HE MET MY MOTHER IN EDMONTON…BUT HE STAYED AT ST. PAUL AND THEN AFTER, HE GOT POSTED TO GRANDE PRAIRIE. HE WAS GOING TO GO TO GRANDE PRAIRIE BUT THEN IN ’22, THEY GOT MARRIED. A.P.P. HAD NO RESTRICTIONS ON THEIR MEMBERS GETTING MARRIED, LIKE THE R.C.M.P. HE DIDN’T HAVE TO WAIT TO GET MARRIED…THAT’S WHEN THEY WENT OUT TO BRAINARD.” “EVEN IN THE A.P.P., TO START WITH, HE HAD SOME SERVICE DOWN HERE AT THE LETHBRIDGE PRISON…BRINGING PRISONERS DOWN AND THEN MAYBE, AT THE VERY FIRST WINTER AS A ROOKIE, HE WAS ON JOB TO BE ON GUARD AT THE STATION. IT WASN’T LONG AND HE WAS SENT OUT TO ST. PAUL AND INTO MORE OF THE REAL POLICING.” “WHEN HE WAS IN THE A.P.P. [IN 1932] HE WAS THE TOP CLASS OF [THE] A.P.P. THAT AUTOMATICALLY WERE ACCEPTED INTO THE R.C.M.P. HE WAS PUT IN CHARGE, WHEN HE WAS IN THE A.P.P.—FIRST HE STARTED OUT IN CHARGE OF BRAINARD—HORSE LAKE—A LITTLE PLACE NEAR THE HORSE LAKE INDIAN RESERVATION. THEY CLOSED THAT DOWN AND TRANSFERRED HIM TO WEMBLEY, A LITTLE VILLAGE, AND HE WAS THE ONLY ONE IN CHARGE, THE ONLY OFFICER IN CHARGE OF WEMBLEY. THAT’S WHEN THAT 1932 [CHANGE] CAME ALONG AND HE JUST CHANGED THE SIGN UP THERE FROM A.P.P. TO R.C.M.P. AND WENT FROM THERE.” “IN ’32, IT WAS R.C.M.P. AND THAT STAYED R.C.M.P. UNTIL ’34. THEN HE WAS TRANSFERRED TO TAKE CHARGE OF THE WESTLOCK DETACHMENT WHICH WAS A BIG AREA. [THERE] WAS NO DETACHMENT IN BARRHEAD. HE HAD A HUGE AREA THERE TO COVER.” “[A.P.P. MEMBERS] WERE NOT AUTOMATICALLY TAKEN INTO THE R.C.M.P. THEY HAD THREE CATEGORIES THERE, OF THE A.P.P. MEMBERS…[THERE WERE] ONES THAT WERE NOT ACCEPTABLE, THAT THEY HADN’T DONE A VERY GOOD JOB IN THE A.P.P.; THEY SHOWED UP, GOOFIN’ AROUND, DOING THINGS THEY SHOULDN’T BE DOING. THEY WERE NOT ACCEPTABLE. THEN THERE [WERE THE ONES THAT] COULD BE GIVEN A LITTLE TRIAL RUN. THEY COULD APPLY. THEN THERE [WERE] ONES THAT COULD GET IN FOR A FULL YEAR AND THEN RE-APPLY. THEY’D BE ACCEPTED FOR A YEAR. THEN THERE’S THE TOP GRADE AND [THEY] WERE AUTOMATICALLY ACCEPTABLE. DAD WAS RIGHT UP THERE IN THAT TOP GRADE.” “A.P.P. MEMBERS WERE TRAINED BY THE NORTHWEST MOUNTED POLICE, NOT SOME GOOFBALLS THAT DIDN’T KNOW WHAT THEY WERE DOING. THESE WERE TRAINED BY THE BEST-TRAINED POLICE OFFICERS.” “ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER HANCOCK KNEW DAD REALLY WELL, HE’D EVEN BEEN IN THE A.P.P. HE CALLED DAD INTO THE OFFICE AND HE SAID, “BUCK, [DAD WAS EDWARD ETTERSHANK BUCHANAN BUT THEY CALLED HIM ‘BUCK’, A LOT] I WAS GOING TO SEND YOU DOWN TO TAKE CHARGE OF THE RED DEER DETACHMENT BUT I’VE HAD SO MUCH PROBLEM GETTING SOMEBODY TO GO DOWN TO TAKE THE LETHBRIDGE DETACHMENT…YOU’RE THE ONLY ONE, I THINK, THAT CAN HANDLE THE SITUATION WE’VE GOT DOWN THERE. THERE’S A LOT OF PROBLEMS AND I’M SURE YOU’RE THE ONLY ONE THAT CAN HANDLE IT. WILL YOU GO?” “[WE CAME DOWN HERE IN] ’44…I NEVER HAD ANY PROBLEM [WITH THE MOVE]. I WAS ALWAYS ADVENTUROUS. I HAD LOTS OF FRIENDS BUT I WAS ALWAYS HAPPY TO GO.” “WE RENTED A HOUSE ON 538 – 7TH STREET. IT’S ALL TORN DOWN NOW. DAD HAD TO COME DOWN A MONTH OR SO AHEAD OF US AND THEN HE COULDN’T FIND A HOUSE READY, SO WE CAME DOWN AND STAYED IN A HOTEL FOR ABOUT TWO MONTHS. I HAD TO START GRADE TEN; I WAS ONLY FOURTEEN, HERE. THAT WAS, TO ME, THE ONLY SAD PART OF MY LIFE, LEAVING THE WESTLOCK SCHOOL AND STARTING LCI. THE PERSONALIZATION WAS GONE WITH THE TEACHERS.” “[DAD] HAD TO OVERSEE THE POW CAMPS…HE TALKED ABOUT THE POW’S IN THIS RESPECT, THAT THERE WAS A LOT OF VERY GOOD GERMANS THAT WERE IN THERE. [THEY] WOULDN’T HAVE CHOSEN TO EVEN BE IN THE GERMAN ARMY…THEY WERE CONSCRIPTED OVER IN GERMANY, THEY DIDN’T HAVE ANY CHOICE, AND THEY WERE VERY DECENT, GOOD GUYS. HE RESPECTED THEM FOR THAT AND HELPED THEM, [GAVE] THEM ADVICE, “YOU KNOW, YOU GOTTA GO BACK TO GERMANY AND THEN APPLY TO COME BACK.” THERE WAS A TRUST THERE TO LET SOME OF THEM OUT TO WORK…‘CAUSE THERE [WAS] A LABOUR SHORTAGE FOR THE FARMERS AND THEY NEEDED THAT HELP. SOME OF THOSE FARMERS WERE VERY PLEASED TO GET SOME OF THESE GERMANS, AND SOME OF THE FARMERS’ DAUGHTERS WERE VERY PLEASED TO GET THAT, TOO. THEN THERE’S SOME LATER MARRIAGES AFTER THAT. IT WOULD BE A SHAME TO CONDEMN ALL THOSE POW’S BECAUSE A LOT OF THEM WERE VERY DECENT, GOOD, MORAL FELLOWS THAT DIDN’T WANT TO BE INVOLVED WITH ANY KILLING.” “HE WAS A PLAIN STAFF SERGEANT, NCO, SECOND IN CHARGE OF THE SUBDIVISION.” “[THEN HE] WENT BACK TO EDMONTON [TO RETIRE IN 1950], HIS HOME CITY WHERE HIS PARENTS WERE AND A LOT OF FRIENDS. HE JOINED THE R.C.M. P. VETS BUT WITH HIS RECORD, THE ATTORNEY GENERAL’S DEPARTMENT WERE NOT GOING TO LET HIM LOOSE. THEY MADE IT A FIRST APPOINTMENT OF AN INSPECTOR OF JAILS FOR THE PRISONS OF ALBERTA WHICH, AT THAT TIME, THERE WERE ONLY TWO: LETHBRIDGE AND FORT SASKATCHEWAN. [THE] ONLY PLACE IN FORT SASKATCHEWAN WAS FOR WOMEN, SO [WOMEN] HAD TO GO ALL THE WAY TO FORT SASKATCHEWAN, EVEN IF [THEY] WAS FROM LETHBRIDGE. THAT WASN’T A VERY GOOD DEAL, SO DAD COULD SEE A REAL NEED [FOR WORK]. IT WAS A REAL MESS WHEN HE LOOKED AT THE PRISONS.” “HE REALIZED, BEING AN R.C.M.P., THAT MANY OF THE YOUNG CITY POLICE, TOWN SHERIFFS, SOME OF THESE MAGISTRATES, THEY MESSED THINGS UP. HE STARTED A TRAINING SCHOOL FOR THESE MUNICIPAL POLICE AND THAT JUST WENT TERRIFICALLY. THEY HAD [THE SCHOOLS] IN CALGARY AND IN EDMONTON TWICE A YEAR. THEY HAD A BIG GROUP FROM MEDICINE HAT COME UP AND [TAKE] THE SCHOOLING, LETHBRIDGE CAME UP, AND SOME OF THE PRISON GUARDS TOOK [THE TRAINING], TOO.” “[HE] WORKED ON THAT FOR FIFTEEN/SIXTEEN YEARS. AFTER TWELVE YEARS, HE WAS SO BUSY THAT THEY MADE HIM SUPERINTENDENT OF PRISONS BECAUSE…THE FIRST THING HE HAD TO DO WAS TO DEVELOP THE PRISONS FOR ALBERTA. TWO WAS NOT SUFFICIENT.” “[DAD’S] PERSONALITY WAS ALWAYS QUIET, FIRM, NO-NONSENSE, HUMOROUS, BUT HE WAS NEVER ARROGANT. I NEVER HEARD HIM SWEAR OR GET MAD AT ANYBODY, NOT EVEN PRISONERS. HE HANDLED THEM VERY QUIETLY, AND VERY FIRMLY. THE STAFF…ALL LOVED HIM. I [HAVE] LETTERS AND THEY CAME ALL THE WAY UP TO THEIR ANNIVERSARIES LATER IN EDMONTON…“YOU’RE THE BEST BOSS WE EVER HAD.” ALL HE HAD WAS A VISION OF WHAT NEEDED TO BE DONE…HE COULD GO AND EXPLAIN THE NEED FOR THE JAILS, WHAT IT WOULD COST AND WHAT IT NEEDED TO FIX THE PROBLEM. HE NEVER HAD PROBLEM GETTING EXACTLY WHAT HE NEEDED FROM THEM.” ON THE DONATION OF THE REVOLVER AND AMMUNITION, BUCHANAN NOTED, “MY DAD KNEW I WOULD LOOK AFTER [HIS BELONGINGS] AND WANTED TO GET IT TO A MUSEUM. [DAD KNEW] THAT I WASN’T ONE TO PUT IT IN MY BASEMENT TO HAVE GOODNESS-KNOWS-WHAT-HAPPEN TO IT. HE HAD LEFT ALL OF THAT IN CHARGE OF ME. I WAS THE SOLE EXECUTOR OF THE ESTATE.” “I AM NOW AT THE YOUNG AGE OF 88; I’M NOT WORRIED ABOUT LIVING ANOTHER 10 YEARS. I DIDN’T WANT THE CHANCE OF ANYBODY STEALING IT, OR GETTING THEIR HANDS ON IT, SO I WANTED TO MAKE SURE YOU GOT IT. AND, I DON’T NEED IT, SO WHY KEEP IT? IF I GET LONESOME, AND WANT TO SEE IT, I’LL COME TO THE MUSEUM AND LOOK AT IT.” “I’LL FEEL HAPPY, TO KNOW IT’S GOT A GOOD HOME. I DON’T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT IT.” FOR MORE INFORMATION INCLUDING THE FULL TRANSCRIPTIONS FROM INTERVIEWS AND LETHBRIDGE HERALD ARTICLES, PLEASE SEE THE PERMANENT FILE P20190002001-GA.
Catalogue Number
P20190002005
Acquisition Date
2019-01
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail
Other Name
SMITH AND WESSON
Date Range From
1935
Date Range To
1950
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
STEEL, WOOD, NICKEL
Catalogue Number
P20190002001
  2 images  
Material Type
Artifact
Other Name
SMITH AND WESSON
Date Range From
1935
Date Range To
1950
Materials
STEEL, WOOD, NICKEL
No. Pieces
2
Length
29
Width
3
Description
A. HOLSTER, 28.5CM L X 12CM W. DARK BROWN LEATHER HOLSTER WITH FLAP COVERING TOP OPENING; FLAP SECURES TO THE FRONT OF HOLSTER WITH BRASS STUD AND HOLE PUNCHED THROUGH THE FLAP. HOLSTER HAS LIGHTER BROWN LEATHER CASING AT BARREL END STITCHED WITH LIGHT THREAD. BACK HAS LOOP FASTENED WITH SILVER STUDS FOR CARRYING ON A BELT. LEATHER IS CRACKED AND WORN; FRONT FLAP HAS GREEN CORROSION STAINS AROUND FASTENING HOLE; OVERALL VERY GOOD CONDITION. B. REVOLVER, SMITH AND WESSON, 29CM LONG X 3CM WIDE X 0.6 BARREL DIAMETER. REVOLVER HAS DARK WOOD HANDLE AND LONG BLACK STEEL BARREL, CYLINDER AND FRAME. BARREL HAS SIGHT PIN AT END OF BARREL. HANDLE HAS CROSS-HATCHED PATTERN ENGRAVED IN WOOD WITH SILVER TRIM ALONG INSIDE AND OUTSIDE OF HANDLE; HANDLE HAS ROUND SILVER PLATE WITH EMBOSSED “S&W” LOGO AT TOP OF HANDLE WOOD. REVOLVER HAS INSCRIPTION ON RIGHT SIDE BELOW CHAMBER “MADE IN U.S.A.”; REVOLVER TRIGGER HAS INSCRIPTION ON BOTTOM “REG. U.S. PAT. OFF.” LEFT SIDE BESIDE CHAMBER HAS “S&W”; BARREL HAS INSCRIPTION ON RIGHT SIDE “22 LONG RIFLE CTG” AND INSCRIPTION ON LEFT SIDE “SMITH & WESSON”. REVOLVER HAS STEEL CYLINDER RELEASE ON LEFT SIDE TO OPEN CHAMBER; REVOLVER HAS SIX CYLINDERS FOR CARTRIDGES. BASE OF HANDLE HAS METAL TRIM RUNNING ACROSS WITH INSCRIBED TEXT “638375” ON METAL. STEEL BARREL AND CYLINDER HAVE MINOR WEAR IN THE FINISH; HANDLE HAS MINOR WEAR AROUND BASE EDGES; OVERALL VERY GOOD CONDITION.
Subjects
ARMAMENT-FIREARM
ARMAMENT-ACCESSORY
Historical Association
SAFETY SERVICES
History
ON JANUARY 10, 2019, COLLECTIONS TECHNICIAN KEVIN MACLEAN INTERVIEWED JEAN BUCHANAN REGARDING HER DONATION OF A REVOLVER AND FIREARM ACCESSORIES. THE FIREARM WAS USED BY BUCHANAN’S FATHER, EDWARD ETTERSHANK BUCHANAN, DURING HIS CAREER WITH THE ALBERTA PROVINCIAL POLICE AND ROYAL CANADIAN MOUNTED POLICE. ON THE REVOLVER, BUCHANAN RECALLED, “[MY DAD] USED [THE SMITH AND WESSON REVOLVER]…STARTING IN 1932, WITH THE RCMP, MAY BE WHEN HE GOT THAT GUN. HE HAD IT REGISTERED IN 1940, AND GETTING ANOTHER 5 YEARS REGISTRATION IT MUST HAVE BEEN 1935.” “THIS WAS HIS SIDEARM…HIS SERVICE WEAPON…HE HAD THAT ALL THE TIME…IT WOULD GO RIGHT ON HIS BELT THERE.” “[DAD KEPT THE GUN] IN [MY PARENTS’] BEDROOM. RIGHT ON THE BEDROOM CLOSET DOOR, RIGHT OPEN. I NEVER TOUCHED IT, BECAUSE HE HAD GIVEN ME MY TRAINING AND LET ME USE IT WHEN I WAS YOUNG. I HAD RESPECT FOR IT, AND I HAD NO SPECIAL CURIOSITY, WHICH IS A GOOD THING. [DAD KNEW I WAS] AN ADVENTUROUS PERSON, BUT I NEVER EVER TOUCHED IT, OUT OF COMPLETE RESPECT FOR DAD AND WHAT HE HAD THERE.” “ALL I CAN REMEMBER [IS HE HAD TWO HANDGUNS OR SIDEARMS]…HE DIDN’T GO OUT PRACTICING VERY MUCH; HE DIDN’T HAVE TO. HE COULD PASS HIS MARKSMANSHIP, AND THEN, EVERY TIME THERE WERE THINGS AT REGINA DEPOT TRAINING COURSES (UPGRADING, REFRESHER COURSES) THEY DID THEIR MARKSMANSHIP THERE, TOO. THEY WERE ALWAYS TESTED ON THEIR MARKSMANSHIP, AT REGINA DEPOT.” “I THINK [THE REVOLVER HAD] QUITE A BIT [OF MEANING TO MY DAD], BECAUSE HE HAD IT IN HIS HOUSE. IT WAS REALLY STRANGE BECAUSE I ASKED HIM WHERE IT WAS, WHEN HE SHOWED ME THE PAPERS, AND HE HAD IT IN A SHOE BOX IN HIS BEDROOM CLOSET. YOU DIDN’T HAVE TO HAVE GREAT [HIDING] PLACES FOR IT IN THOSE DAYS, BUT THAT’S WHERE HE KEPT IT. HE MADE SURE IT WAS THERE, AND HE KNEW WHERE IT WAS.” “[I HAVE NO] KNOWLEDGE ABOUT HIM HAVING TO FIRE THIS WEAPON…AT ANYONE. IF HE WOULD HAVE, HE WOULD HAVE FIRED TO MISS SOMEONE, JUST AS A WARNING SHOT. HE DEFINITELY WENT FOR WARNING SHOTS, BUT HE NEVER SHOT ANYBODY WITH IT." “[HE WOULD HAVE STOPPED CARRYING THE GUN] AT THE VERY END OF 1950, WHEN HE RETIRED FROM THE R.C.M.P.” “[I’VE HAD THE REVOLVER] SINCE 1998—THE PASSING OF MY FATHER, BECAUSE I WAS THE SOLE EXECUTRIX. IT WAS AUTOMATICALLY MY RESPONSIBILITY TO TAKE ALL OF HIS FIREARMS, IN MY POSSESSION.” “I WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR [THE CARE OF] IT, AND IT WAS A REAL KEEPSAKE. [THE GUN] WAS VERY PERSONAL, BECAUSE I’M SURE [MY DAD] OWNED THAT EVEN BACK IN 1935, [WHEN] HE WAS IN WESTLOCK, IN CHARGE OF THE DETACHMENT THERE FOR 10 YEARS. IT WAS OF SENTIMENTAL VALUE BECAUSE HE TOOK ME OUT (I’M PRETTY SURE I WAS 8 YEARS OLD, WHEN HE HAD ME IN THE BACKYARD)—WE HAD FARMLAND AND FOREST—AND HE HAD A TARGET PRACTICE OUT THERE. HE HAD ME USE THAT FIREARM. HE SHOWED ME HOW TO USE IT, HOW TO AIM, AND HOW TO HANDLE IT SAFELY. I ALWAYS RESPECTED THAT, AND THAT WAS GOOD. THAT’S THE ORIGINAL HOLSTER FOR THAT GUN, WHICH YOU CAN SEE IS LOOPED, TO PUT ON HIS BELT. HE ALSO CARRIED A .32 COLT SEMI-AUTOMATIC.” “I’VE ALWAYS APPRECIATED REVOLVERS, AND RIFLES. IT’S NEVER BEEN ANYTHING THAT I THOUGHT ANY DANGER OF. YOU LEARN THE SAFETY, AND YOU TAKE YOUR COURSE. I HAVE MY COURSE DONE, AND I PASSED IT WITH FLYING COLORS. I HAD MY PERMIT TO HAVE IT. I HAVE TAKEN IT OUT, ON MY OWN ACREAGE, AND FIRED IT A BIT, BUT IT ISN’T SOMETHING I WANT TO DO. IT’S A SENTIMENTAL THING THAT I CAN NOW FEEL I’D LIKE TO HAVE IT IN YOUR MUSEUM. I KNOW IT’S NOW IN A SAFE PLACE, SO I DON’T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT IT EVER FALLING INTO THE WRONG HANDS. AND, IF I WANT TO COME AND VISIT IT, I CAN COME AND SEE IT.” ON JUNE 8, 2018, MACLEAN INTERVIEWED BUCHANAN REGARDING HER FATHER’S CAREER WITH THE ALBERTA PROVINCIAL POLICE AND ROYAL CANADIAN MOUNTED POLICE. BUCHANAN ELABORATED ON HER FATHER’S HISTORY, “[MY DAD WAS EDWARD BUCHANAN, WHO RETIRED AT THE RANK OF] SENIOR STAFF SERGEANT…HE RETIRED IN 1950 FROM THE [R.C.M.P].” “HE JOINED THE A.P.P. WHEN HE WAS TWENTY AND HE WAS STATIONED OUT NEAR ST. PAUL. IN ’21, HE MET MY MOTHER IN EDMONTON…BUT HE STAYED AT ST. PAUL AND THEN AFTER, HE GOT POSTED TO GRANDE PRAIRIE. HE WAS GOING TO GO TO GRANDE PRAIRIE BUT THEN IN ’22, THEY GOT MARRIED. A.P.P. HAD NO RESTRICTIONS ON THEIR MEMBERS GETTING MARRIED, LIKE THE R.C.M.P. HE DIDN’T HAVE TO WAIT TO GET MARRIED…THAT’S WHEN THEY WENT OUT TO BRAINARD.” “EVEN IN THE A.P.P., TO START WITH, HE HAD SOME SERVICE DOWN HERE AT THE LETHBRIDGE PRISON…BRINGING PRISONERS DOWN AND THEN MAYBE, AT THE VERY FIRST WINTER AS A ROOKIE, HE WAS ON JOB TO BE ON GUARD AT THE STATION. IT WASN’T LONG AND HE WAS SENT OUT TO ST. PAUL AND INTO MORE OF THE REAL POLICING.” “WHEN HE WAS IN THE A.P.P. [IN 1932] HE WAS THE TOP CLASS OF [THE] A.P.P. THAT AUTOMATICALLY WERE ACCEPTED INTO THE R.C.M.P. HE WAS PUT IN CHARGE, WHEN HE WAS IN THE A.P.P.—FIRST HE STARTED OUT IN CHARGE OF BRAINARD—HORSE LAKE—A LITTLE PLACE NEAR THE HORSE LAKE INDIAN RESERVATION. THEY CLOSED THAT DOWN AND TRANSFERRED HIM TO WEMBLEY, A LITTLE VILLAGE, AND HE WAS THE ONLY ONE IN CHARGE, THE ONLY OFFICER IN CHARGE OF WEMBLEY. THAT’S WHEN THAT 1932 [CHANGE] CAME ALONG AND HE JUST CHANGED THE SIGN UP THERE FROM A.P.P. TO R.C.M.P. AND WENT FROM THERE.” “IN ’32, IT WAS R.C.M.P. AND THAT STAYED R.C.M.P. UNTIL ’34. THEN HE WAS TRANSFERRED TO TAKE CHARGE OF THE WESTLOCK DETACHMENT WHICH WAS A BIG AREA. [THERE] WAS NO DETACHMENT IN BARRHEAD. HE HAD A HUGE AREA THERE TO COVER.” “[A.P.P. MEMBERS] WERE NOT AUTOMATICALLY TAKEN INTO THE R.C.M.P. THEY HAD THREE CATEGORIES THERE, OF THE A.P.P. MEMBERS…[THERE WERE] ONES THAT WERE NOT ACCEPTABLE, THAT THEY HADN’T DONE A VERY GOOD JOB IN THE A.P.P.; THEY SHOWED UP, GOOFIN’ AROUND, DOING THINGS THEY SHOULDN’T BE DOING. THEY WERE NOT ACCEPTABLE. THEN THERE [WERE THE ONES THAT] COULD BE GIVEN A LITTLE TRIAL RUN. THEY COULD APPLY. THEN THERE [WERE] ONES THAT COULD GET IN FOR A FULL YEAR AND THEN RE-APPLY. THEY’D BE ACCEPTED FOR A YEAR. THEN THERE’S THE TOP GRADE AND [THEY] WERE AUTOMATICALLY ACCEPTABLE. DAD WAS RIGHT UP THERE IN THAT TOP GRADE.” “A.P.P. MEMBERS WERE TRAINED BY THE NORTHWEST MOUNTED POLICE, NOT SOME GOOFBALLS THAT DIDN’T KNOW WHAT THEY WERE DOING. THESE WERE TRAINED BY THE BEST-TRAINED POLICE OFFICERS.” “ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER HANCOCK KNEW DAD REALLY WELL...HE CALLED DAD INTO THE OFFICE AND HE SAID, “BUCK, [DAD WAS EDWARD ETTERSHANK BUCHANAN BUT THEY CALLED HIM ‘BUCK’, A LOT] I WAS GOING TO SEND YOU DOWN TO TAKE CHARGE OF THE RED DEER DETACHMENT BUT I’VE HAD SO MUCH PROBLEM GETTING SOMEBODY TO GO DOWN TO TAKE THE LETHBRIDGE DETACHMENT…YOU’RE THE ONLY ONE, I THINK, THAT CAN HANDLE THE SITUATION WE’VE GOT DOWN THERE. THERE’S A LOT OF PROBLEMS AND I’M SURE YOU’RE THE ONLY ONE THAT CAN HANDLE IT. WILL YOU GO?” “[WE CAME DOWN HERE IN] ’44…I NEVER HAD ANY PROBLEM [WITH THE MOVE]. I WAS ALWAYS ADVENTUROUS. I HAD LOTS OF FRIENDS BUT I WAS ALWAYS HAPPY TO GO.” “WE RENTED A HOUSE ON 538 – 7TH STREET. IT’S ALL TORN DOWN NOW. DAD HAD TO COME DOWN A MONTH OR SO AHEAD OF US AND THEN HE COULDN’T FIND A HOUSE READY, SO WE CAME DOWN AND STAYED IN A HOTEL FOR ABOUT TWO MONTHS. I HAD TO START GRADE TEN; I WAS ONLY FOURTEEN, HERE. THAT WAS, TO ME, THE ONLY SAD PART OF MY LIFE, LEAVING THE WESTLOCK SCHOOL AND STARTING LCI. THE PERSONALIZATION WAS GONE WITH THE TEACHERS.” “[DAD] HAD TO OVERSEE THE POW CAMPS…HE TALKED ABOUT THE POW’S IN THIS RESPECT, THAT THERE WAS A LOT OF VERY GOOD GERMANS THAT WERE IN THERE. [THEY] WOULDN’T HAVE CHOSEN TO EVEN BE IN THE GERMAN ARMY…THEY WERE CONSCRIPTED OVER IN GERMANY, THEY DIDN’T HAVE ANY CHOICE, AND THEY WERE VERY DECENT, GOOD GUYS. HE RESPECTED THEM FOR THAT AND HELPED THEM, [GAVE] THEM ADVICE, “YOU KNOW, YOU GOTTA GO BACK TO GERMANY AND THEN APPLY TO COME BACK.” THERE WAS A TRUST THERE TO LET SOME OF THEM OUT TO WORK…‘CAUSE THERE [WAS] A LABOUR SHORTAGE FOR THE FARMERS AND THEY NEEDED THAT HELP. SOME OF THOSE FARMERS WERE VERY PLEASED TO GET SOME OF THESE GERMANS, AND SOME OF THE FARMERS’ DAUGHTERS WERE VERY PLEASED TO GET THAT, TOO. THEN THERE’S SOME LATER MARRIAGES AFTER THAT. IT WOULD BE A SHAME TO CONDEMN ALL THOSE POW’S BECAUSE A LOT OF THEM WERE VERY DECENT, GOOD, MORAL FELLOWS THAT DIDN’T WANT TO BE INVOLVED WITH ANY KILLING.” “HE WAS A PLAIN STAFF SERGEANT, NCO, SECOND IN CHARGE OF THE SUBDIVISION.” “[THEN HE] WENT BACK TO EDMONTON [TO RETIRE IN 1950], HIS HOME CITY WHERE HIS PARENTS WERE AND A LOT OF FRIENDS. HE JOINED THE R.C.M. P. VETS BUT WITH HIS RECORD, THE ATTORNEY GENERAL’S DEPARTMENT WERE NOT GOING TO LET HIM LOOSE. THEY MADE IT A FIRST APPOINTMENT OF AN INSPECTOR OF JAILS FOR THE PRISONS OF ALBERTA WHICH, AT THAT TIME, THERE WERE ONLY TWO: LETHBRIDGE AND FORT SASKATCHEWAN. [THE] ONLY PLACE IN FORT SASKATCHEWAN WAS FOR WOMEN, SO [WOMEN] HAD TO GO ALL THE WAY TO FORT SASKATCHEWAN, EVEN IF [THEY] WAS FROM LETHBRIDGE. THAT WASN’T A VERY GOOD DEAL, SO DAD COULD SEE A REAL NEED [FOR WORK]. IT WAS A REAL MESS WHEN HE LOOKED AT THE PRISONS.” “HE REALIZED, BEING AN R.C.M.P., THAT MANY OF THE YOUNG CITY POLICE, TOWN SHERIFFS, SOME OF THESE MAGISTRATES, THEY MESSED THINGS UP. HE STARTED A TRAINING SCHOOL FOR THESE MUNICIPAL POLICE AND THAT JUST WENT TERRIFICALLY. THEY HAD [THE SCHOOLS] IN CALGARY AND IN EDMONTON TWICE A YEAR. THEY HAD A BIG GROUP FROM MEDICINE HAT COME UP AND [TAKE] THE SCHOOLING, LETHBRIDGE CAME UP, AND SOME OF THE PRISON GUARDS TOOK [THE TRAINING], TOO.” “[HE] WORKED ON THAT FOR FIFTEEN/SIXTEEN YEARS. AFTER TWELVE YEARS, HE WAS SO BUSY THAT THEY MADE HIM SUPERINTENDENT OF PRISONS BECAUSE…THE FIRST THING HE HAD TO DO WAS TO DEVELOP THE PRISONS FOR ALBERTA. TWO WAS NOT SUFFICIENT.” “[DAD’S] PERSONALITY WAS ALWAYS QUIET, FIRM, NO-NONSENSE, HUMOROUS, BUT HE WAS NEVER ARROGANT. I NEVER HEARD HIM SWEAR OR GET MAD AT ANYBODY, NOT EVEN PRISONERS. HE HANDLED THEM VERY QUIETLY, AND VERY FIRMLY. THE STAFF…ALL LOVED HIM. I [HAVE] LETTERS AND THEY CAME ALL THE WAY UP TO THEIR ANNIVERSARIES LATER IN EDMONTON…“YOU’RE THE BEST BOSS WE EVER HAD.” ALL HE HAD WAS A VISION OF WHAT NEEDED TO BE DONE…HE COULD GO AND EXPLAIN THE NEED FOR THE JAILS, WHAT IT WOULD COST AND WHAT IT NEEDED TO FIX THE PROBLEM. HE NEVER HAD PROBLEM GETTING EXACTLY WHAT HE NEEDED FROM THEM.” ON THE DONATION OF THE REVOLVER, BUCHANAN NOTED, “MY DAD KNEW I WOULD LOOK AFTER [HIS BELONGINGS] AND WANTED TO GET IT TO A MUSEUM. [DAD KNEW] THAT I WASN’T ONE TO PUT IT IN MY BASEMENT TO HAVE GOODNESS-KNOWS-WHAT-HAPPEN TO IT. HE HAD LEFT ALL OF THAT IN CHARGE OF ME. I WAS THE SOLE EXECUTOR OF THE ESTATE.” “I AM NOW AT THE YOUNG AGE OF 88; I’M NOT WORRIED ABOUT LIVING ANOTHER 10 YEARS. I DIDN’T WANT THE CHANCE OF ANYBODY STEALING IT, OR GETTING THEIR HANDS ON IT, SO I WANTED TO MAKE SURE YOU GOT IT. AND, I DON’T NEED IT, SO WHY KEEP IT? IF I GET LONESOME, AND WANT TO SEE IT, I’LL COME TO THE MUSEUM AND LOOK AT IT.” “I’LL FEEL HAPPY, TO KNOW IT’S GOT A GOOD HOME. I DON’T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT IT.” FOR MORE INFORMATION INCLUDING THE FULL TRANSCRIPTIONS FROM INTERVIEWS AND LETHBRIDGE HERALD ARTICLES, PLEASE SEE THE PERMANENT FILE P20190002001-GA.
Catalogue Number
P20190002001
Acquisition Date
2019-01
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail

6 records – page 1 of 1.