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Date Range From
1950
Date Range To
1960
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
SILK, COTTON
Catalogue Number
P20120045006
  2 images  
Material Type
Artifact
Date Range From
1950
Date Range To
1960
Materials
SILK, COTTON
No. Pieces
1
Length
186
Width
60
Description
IVORY TABLE RUNNER WITH GOLD FRINGING AT BOTH ENDS; RUNNER HAS CREAM STITCHING AROUND EDGES. ABOVE GOLD FRINGE AT EACH END IS AN EMBROIDERED INDEPENDENT ORDER OF FORESTERS CREST. CREST IS ON A ROYAL BLUE FLOWER EDGED WITH GOLD, AND SHOWS THE ORDER CROSS, EDGED IN GOLD, WITH FOUR POINTS IN INDIGO AND RED, AND A WHITE CIRCLE IN CENTER WITH TEXT “I.O.F.” ON AN INDIGO BAR WITH GOLD EDGING ACROSS THE CENTER. TABLE RUNNER HAS DARK STAINING AND WEAR MARKS ON BOTH SIDES; RUNNER IS CREASED FROM FOLDS ON BOTH SIDES. OVERALL VERY GOOD CONDITION.
Subjects
HOUSEHOLD ACCESSORY
Historical Association
ASSOCIATIONS
History
ON AUGUST 21, 2018, COLLECTIONS TECHNICIAN INTERVIEWED LLOYD CAREFOOT REGARDING HIS DONATION OF MEMORABILIA RELATED TO COURT WINDY WEST (#562) LETHBRIDGE CHAPTER OF THE INDEPENDENT ORDER OF FORESTERS. CAREFOOT WAS ACTIVELY INVOLVED WITH THE FORESTERS WHILE HE LIVED IN EDMONTON, ALBERTA, AND CONTINUED HIS INVOLVEMENT FOLLOWING HIS MOVE TO LETHBRIDGE IN 1963. ON THE PURPOSE AND HISTORY OF THE TABLE RUNNER, CAREFOOT NOTED, “THAT WOULD BE A TABLE RUNNER. THAT WOULD BE [USED] WHEN THEY WERE…DOING [THE] RITUAL. WE DIDN’T USE THIS AT EVERY MEETING. THIS WAS A THING THAT THEY USED WHEN THEY HAD THE RITUAL WHERE THEY PUT ON THEIR HAT AND THEIR GOWNS.” “THERE WOULD BE MORE THAN ONE BECAUSE THEY HAD A TABLE WITH SOME OF THE [RITUAL] ITEMS ON…I NEVER WAS EVER INVOLVED WHEN THEY WERE DOING THAT.” “[MEMBERS STOPPED USING IT BECAUSE] SOCIETY HAD CHANGED ENOUGH THAT THEY DIDN’T WANT TO BOTHER WITH THAT RITUAL. I SUSPECT THAT’S WHY. [THE RITUALS WERE] KIND OF STRANGE TO ME. BUT I ACCEPTED IT BECAUSE THAT IS PART OF WHAT YOU DID.” WHEN ASKED ABOUT HIS TIME SPENT IN THE FORESTERS, CAREFOOT RECALLED, “WE [WIFE RUTH AND LLOYD] WERE INVITED TO [AN] ACTIVITY. [IN THOSE] DAYS THERE [WERE] SOCIAL PARTIES…SOMEBODY THAT I KNEW INVITED ME TO COME AND I HEARD WHAT THEY WERE DOING. IT WAS SOMETHING THAT RUTH AND I THOUGHT…WOULD BE SOMETHING WE’D LIKE TO BE INVOLVED IN…MY FATHER WAS A MEMBER OF THE CANADIAN ORDER OF FORESTERS WHICH WAS A STAGE BEFORE THE INDEPENDENT ORDER OF FORESTERS.” “I BECAME A MEMBER IN EDMONTON… I WAS ONLY AS ASSOCIATE AT THAT TIME. WHEN WE MOVED DOWN HERE, WE BECAME MEMBERS HERE…MY FIRST WORKDAY WAS THE SECOND OF JANUARY, 1963 [IN LETHBRIDGE]. I WAS A FULL-BLOWN MEMBER IN 1966.” “[I JOINED BECAUSE OF] THE SATISFACTION THAT IT’S A STRONG CHARITABLE WAY OF DOING THINGS TO GIVE BACK. THAT’S PART OF MY PHILOSOPHY; JUST GIVE A LITTLE BACK FOR THE GOOD LIFE I’VE HAD.” “I WAS THE PRESIDENT OF THE LEAGUE…OF [THE] LETHBRIDGE CHAPTER. AND [I] WOUND UP WITH [THE TRUNK] AND IN IT [WERE] THESE THINGS. IT PRE-DATES ME.” “MOST OF THOSE THINGS WERE FOR MY PERSONAL USE…EITHER IN EVENTS OR A POSITION I HELD IN THE FORESTERS. I LOOK AT [THE OBJECTS] AND I SMILE.” REGARDING HIS DONATION, CAREFOOT ELABPRATED, “THE FORESTERS IN THE COMMUNITY DID A LOT OF CHARITY WORK AND I THOUGHT IT WAS A WAY OF COVERING FOR THE FUTURE [ABOUT] THE THINGS THAT WE DID, OR STILL DO. THAT WAS, MORE THAN ANYTHING ELSE, MY REASON FOR [DONATING IT] – A WAY OF PASSING IT ALONG SO IT JUST DIDN’T GET SHOVED IN THE JUNK…TO SOMEBODY IN THE FUTURE, IT INDICATES SOMETHING OF WHAT WE DID AND SOME ILLUSTRATION OF THINGS THAT WE DID. FOR MORE INFORMATION INCLUDING THE FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTION, PLEASE SEE THE PERMANENT FILE P20120045001-GA.
Catalogue Number
P20120045006
Acquisition Date
2012-12
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail
Date Range From
1950
Date Range To
1960
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
COTTON
Catalogue Number
P20120045007
  2 images  
Material Type
Artifact
Date Range From
1950
Date Range To
1960
Materials
COTTON
No. Pieces
1
Length
54
Width
64.5
Description
SQUARE BURGUNDY TABLE COVERING; COTTON AND VELVET; EDGES ARE CURLING IN TO BACK. BACK IS STAINED AND FADED. TOP EDGE HAS FRAYING AND LOOSE THREADS; BOTTOM EDGE HAS LOSS OF THREADS AND LOOSENED FROM SEAM AT LEFT SIDE. LEFT EDGE IS TORN, HAS NO SEAM, AND IS CURLING TO BACK. FRONT IS FADED ALONG TOP EDGE INTO CENTER. OVERALL GOOD CONDITION.
Subjects
HOUSEHOLD ACCESSORY
Historical Association
ASSOCIATIONS
History
ON AUGUST 21, 2018, COLLECTIONS TECHNICIAN INTERVIEWED LLOYD CAREFOOT REGARDING HIS DONATION OF MEMORABILIA RELATED TO COURT WINDY WEST (#562) LETHBRIDGE CHAPTER OF THE INDEPENDENT ORDER OF FORESTERS. CAREFOOT WAS ACTIVELY INVOLVED WITH THE FORESTERS WHILE HE LIVED IN EDMONTON, ALBERTA, AND CONTINUED HIS INVOLVEMENT FOLLOWING HIS MOVE TO LETHBRIDGE IN 1963. ON THE PURPOSE AND HISTORY OF THE TABLE COVERING, CAREFOOT NOTED, “THAT’S THE TABLECLOTH WE USED…WHEN THEY SET THEIR TABLE…[THERE] WAS A CENTERPIECE THAT DEMONSTRATED THIS WAS THE INDEPENDENT ORDER OF FORESTERS.” “WHEN THEY SET UP THEIR ROOM, FOR THE RITUAL, THEY HAD LITTLE TABLES AND THIS WAS THE COVER FOR THAT LITTLE TABLE. THIS WAS CHIEF RANGER’S.” “[MEMBERS STOPPED USING IT BECAUSE] SOCIETY HAD CHANGED ENOUGH THAT THEY DIDN’T WANT TO BOTHER WITH THAT RITUAL. I SUSPECT THAT’S WHY. [THE RITUALS WERE] KIND OF STRANGE TO ME. BUT I ACCEPTED IT BECAUSE THAT IS PART OF WHAT YOU DID.” WHEN ASKED ABOUT HIS TIME SPENT IN THE FORESTERS, CAREFOOT RECALLED, “WE [WIFE RUTH AND LLOYD] WERE INVITED TO [AN] ACTIVITY. [IN THOSE] DAYS THERE [WERE] SOCIAL PARTIES…SOMEBODY THAT I KNEW INVITED ME TO COME AND I HEARD WHAT THEY WERE DOING. IT WAS SOMETHING THAT RUTH AND I THOUGHT…WOULD BE SOMETHING WE’D LIKE TO BE INVOLVED IN…MY FATHER WAS A MEMBER OF THE CANADIAN ORDER OF FORESTERS WHICH WAS A STAGE BEFORE THE INDEPENDENT ORDER OF FORESTERS.” “I BECAME A MEMBER IN EDMONTON… I WAS ONLY AS ASSOCIATE AT THAT TIME. WHEN WE MOVED DOWN HERE, WE BECAME MEMBERS HERE…MY FIRST WORKDAY WAS THE SECOND OF JANUARY, 1963 [IN LETHBRIDGE]. I WAS A FULL-BLOWN MEMBER IN 1966.” “[I JOINED BECAUSE OF] THE SATISFACTION THAT IT’S A STRONG CHARITABLE WAY OF DOING THINGS TO GIVE BACK. THAT’S PART OF MY PHILOSOPHY; JUST GIVE A LITTLE BACK FOR THE GOOD LIFE I’VE HAD.” “I WAS THE PRESIDENT OF THE LEAGUE…OF [THE] LETHBRIDGE CHAPTER. AND [I] WOUND UP WITH [THE TRUNK] AND IN IT [WERE] THESE THINGS. IT PRE-DATES ME.” “MOST OF THOSE THINGS WERE FOR MY PERSONAL USE…EITHER IN EVENTS OR A POSITION I HELD IN THE FORESTERS. I LOOK AT [THE OBJECTS] AND I SMILE.” REGARDING HIS DONATION, CAREFOOT ELABPRATED, “THE FORESTERS IN THE COMMUNITY DID A LOT OF CHARITY WORK AND I THOUGHT IT WAS A WAY OF COVERING FOR THE FUTURE [ABOUT] THE THINGS THAT WE DID, OR STILL DO. THAT WAS, MORE THAN ANYTHING ELSE, MY REASON FOR [DONATING IT] – A WAY OF PASSING IT ALONG SO IT JUST DIDN’T GET SHOVED IN THE JUNK…TO SOMEBODY IN THE FUTURE, IT INDICATES SOMETHING OF WHAT WE DID AND SOME ILLUSTRATION OF THINGS THAT WE DID. FOR MORE INFORMATION INCLUDING THE FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTION, PLEASE SEE THE PERMANENT FILE P20120045001-GA.
Catalogue Number
P20120045007
Acquisition Date
2012-12
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail
Other Name
RAILWAY SWITCH / C.P.R.
Date Range From
1970
Date Range To
1980
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
BRASS, COPPER, METAL
Catalogue Number
P20150023000
  2 images  
Material Type
Artifact
Other Name
RAILWAY SWITCH / C.P.R.
Date Range From
1970
Date Range To
1980
Materials
BRASS, COPPER, METAL
No. Pieces
5
Length
12.3
Width
2.1
Description
5 RAILWAY KEYS OR SWITCHES ON A KEYRING. .A: BRASS. 5.0CM X 2.4CM (L X W). SKELETON KEY. ROUND TOP, WITH A SQUARE HOLE IN THE MIDDLE. AROUND THE TOP EDGE OF THE CIRCLE, STAMPED "C.P.R.". "T" STAMPED BELOW AND TO THE LEFT OF THE "C". ILLEGIBLE MAKER'S MARK ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE KEY. .B: SILVER COLOURED METAL. 5.3CM X 2.5CM (L X W). ROUND TOP, WITH A SMALL ROUND HOLE NEAR THE TOP. EMBOSSED "103" ON ONE SIDE OF THE ROUND TOP AND STAMPED "CPR" ON THE OTHER. .C: COPPER. 5.2CM X 2.3CM (L X W). ROUND TOP, WITH A MEDIUM SIZED CIRCULAR HOLE IN THE CENTRE. AROUND THE EDGE, EMBOSSED WITH "R. M. CO." OPPOSITE SIDE HAS "C.P.R." EMBOSSED ALONG THE TOP, WITH AN "S" EMBOSSED BELOW AND TO THE LEFT OF THE "C". .D: BRASS. 5.0CM X 2.2CM (L X W). ROUND TOP, WITH A MEDIUM SIZED CIRCULAR HOLE IN THE CENTRE. AROUND THE EDGE, STAMPED WITH "C.P.R.". MAKER'S MARK STAMPED ON REVERSE: "...ITCHE... CANADA" .E: COPPER. 12.3CM X 2.1CM (L X W). ROUND TOP, WITH A MEDIUM SIZED CIRCULAR HOLE IN THE CENTRE. NO IDENTIFYING MARKS. TEETH OF KEY FORM A SIDEWAYS 'E'. ALL KEYS IN GOOD TO VERY GOOD CONDITION. TWO COPPER KEYS HAVE TARNISHED.
Subjects
HOUSEHOLD ACCESSORY
Historical Association
TRANSPORTATION
History
THESE RAILWAY SWITCH KEYS WERE USED BY THE DONOR, ARNOLD “RED” ERVIN, WHEN HE WORKED ON THE RAILWAY. IN JULY 2015, COLLECTIONS TECHNICIAN KEVIN MACLEAN, CONDUCTED AN INTERVIEW WITH ARNOLD AND HIS WIFE JOYCE ERVIN. THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION COMES FROM THAT INTERVIEW. ARNOLD WAS BORN IN 1932 IN NIPIWIN, SK AND CAME TO LETHBRIDGE TO PLAY JUNIOR HOCKEY IN 1950. HE GOT A GOOD JOB WITH THE RAILWAY AND DECIDED TO STAY IN LETHBRIDGE. JOYCE WAS BORN IN 1931 IN FOREMOST, AB, ATTENDED MOUNT ROYAL COLLEGE IN CALGARY AND WORKED FOR SEVERAL YEARS IN CALGARY. SHE WORKED FOR THE GOVERNMENT, IN DEFENCE PRODUCTION, THEN WENT ON TO SHELL OIL. SHE MOVED TO LETHBRIDGE IN 1954 TO BE CLOSER TO HOME AND SHE GOT A JOB WITH THE RAILROAD. ARNOLD AND JOYCE MET THROUGH THEIR WORK AND WERE MARRIED IN 1955. SAID ARNOLD ABOUT THE KEYS: “[THESE ARE] OLD RAILROAD KEYS, UNLOCKED EVERY SWITCH FROM HERE TO VANCOUVER…I DIDN’T HAVE TO THROW SWITCHES BUT THERE WAS TIMES WHEN SNOW WAS TOO DEEP, YOU WERE OUT THERE SWITCHING, MAYBE [A TRAINMAN] WAS SICK AND YOU HAD TO GET OUT AND DO THAT…THEY’RE ALL THE SAME KEYS EXCEPT THIS ONE HERE (KEY E). ON THE PASSENGER TRAINS YOU HAD THOSE - YOU DIDN’T NEED THEM, BUT ONCE IN A WHILE IF YOU WERE OUT THERE…JUST HAD A FEW LOCKS THERE THAT EVERYBODY, EVERYBODY THAT WORKED ON THE PASSENGER TRAINS COULD UNLOCK CERTAIN [LOCKS]. THE BOTTOMS BELOW THERE, THEY USED TO UNLOCK THEM.” ARNOLD STARTED WORKING FOR THE RAILWAY IN 1951 IN THE ROUND HOUSE, AFTER DECIDING TO NOT PURSUE HOCKEY BEYOND THE JUNIOR LEVEL: “THEY PUT YOU IN [THE ROUND HOUSE] TEAMED UP, STARTED UNTIL YOU WORKED YOUR WAY UP TO A FIREMAN – FROM FIREMAN TO ENGINEER.” HE CONTINUED TO PLAY HOCKEY FOR FUN: “I STILL PLAYED HOCKEY WITH A BUNCH OF PEOPLE THAT [I] KNEW AND YOU DIDN’T HAVE TO GO ON TO THE BIG LEAGUES BUT JUST ENTERTAINMENT. LETHBRIDGE WAS A GOOD HOCKEY PLACE. AND A NICE CITY TO LIVE IN.” IN RECALLING HIS FIRST DAYS AND WEEKS AT HIS JOB, HE SAID: “WELL, IT WAS WORKING IN THE ROUNDHOUSE. THE ENGINES WERE THERE AND YOU HAD TO GET UP AND THERE WAS COAL ENGINES AND YOU HAD TO SHOVEL THE COAL TO GET IT BACK INTO PLACES WHERE IT WAS SUPPOSED TO BE, SO ALL OVER. … YEAH, TECHNICALLY THEY CALLED YOU A WIPER. YOU HAD TO GO IN AND CLEAN THE WINDOWS … FOR THE ENGINEER COMING OUT EVERYTHING HAD TO BE CLEAN OR HE CALLED YOU BACK UP AND YOU DID IT OVER AGAIN. SO, IT WAS BETTER TO DO IT GOOD AND GET IT DONE.” ARNOLD CONTINUED: “I LIKED WORKING WITH THE RAILROAD, ENJOYED IT, AND STARTED IN THAT ROUNDHOUSE AND YOU WORKED YOUR WAY UP TO A FIREMAN AND UP TO AN ENGINEER AND THEN I WAS IN CHARGE OF ALL THE ENGINEERS. SO IT WAS A CAREER FROM NOT EVEN KNOWING WHAT THE RAILROAD LOOKED LIKE TO FIFTY/FIFTY-ONE WHEN I FINISHED. … IT WAS A PRETTY COMPATIBLE BUNCH OF PEOPLE AND AS IT TURNED OUT THE MANAGER OF THE HOCKEY TEAM WAS YARDMASTER HERE SO KNOWING THE BOSS KIND OF HELPED A LITTLE BIT. HE WAS LOOKING AFTER THE YARDS AND HE WAS THE MANAGER OF THE JUNIOR HOCKEY TEAM UNTIL HE RETIRED FROM THE RAILROAD. IT WAS A GOOD PLACE TO WORK, PEOPLE TREATED YOU RIGHT.” STEAM ENGINES WERE STILL IN USE WHEN HE FIRST STARTED: “[THE STEAM ENGINES] WERE WHEN I FIRST STARTED YES. FROM STARTING IN THE SHOP YOU GREW UP TO BE ON A FIRE AND THEN ENGINES AND JUST ABOUT THAT TIME THE DIESEL ENGINES WERE COMING IN AND OPERATING AND [IT WAS A] TOTALLY DIFFERENT RAILROAD FROM A HAND-FIRED COAL ENGINE TO A DIESEL LOCOMOTIVE. SO, IT WAS QUITE INTERESTING AND IT EITHER COULD BE AS GOOD AS YOU WANTED OR AS BAD AS YOU WANTED. KINDA HAD NO BOSSES IN THE RAILROAD - YOU WERE KIND OF THE CREW - YOU HAD TO LIKE THE JOB OR YOU DIDN’T STAY THERE. AND I LIKED THE RAILROAD, LIKED THE TRAVELLING, TRAVELLING IN THE ENGINES AND SOME PEOPLE WOULD GIVE THEIR EYE TEETH TO GET UP ON ONE OF THEM ENGINES, RIDE UP TO CROWSNEST AND IN THE MOUNTAINS.” HE WAS NOT DISAPPOINTED TO SEE THE STEAM LOCOMOTIVES GO OUT OF SERVICE: “IF YOU HAD YOUR CHOICE TO GO ON A STEAM ENGINE ON A TRIP, GETTING ON A DIESEL ENGINE WAS A LOT EASIER THAN GETTING ON AN OLD COAL ENGINE, COAL-FIRED ENGINE, WHERE YOU BASICALLY TOOK COAL AND THREW IT IN THE BOILER. YOU TOOK IT FROM A CAR RIGHT BEHIND YOU AND PUT THE COAL IN THE ENGINES THEN BOIL IT AND THAT’S WHERE ALL THE POWER CAME FROM.” BY 1975, ARNOLD WAS WORKING AS AN ENGINEER FIREMAN AND CONTINUED TO RECEIVE ON THE JOB TRAINING: “YEAH, ALL ON-THE-JOB TRAINING. MOST OF IT - THERE WAS OTHER THINGS GOING ON BUT THE BASIC THING WAS DOING TRAINING AS AN ENGINEER TO BECOME AN ENGINEER. IT WAS WHERE I WANTED TO BE, WAS AN ENGINEER, AND THE RAILROAD WORKS IN SENIORITY - THEY DON’T CARE IF YOU’RE EVEN BETTER, YOU HAD TO WORK YOUR WAY THROUGH. WHEN THEY NEEDED YOU, YOU GOT THE BEST JOB WHEN YOU GOT MORE SENIORITY. IT WASN’T NECESSARILY ALWAYS THE BEST GUY [THAT] GOT IT, SENIORITY PREVAILED ON THE RAILROAD AND YOU GOT YOUR JOBS AS YOU BECAME OLDER … THE BETTER JOBS BEING MAYBE A DIESEL ENGINES ON ONE JOB AND A FIREMAN ON THE OTHER JOB.” HE RECALLED A COUPLE OF ACCIDENTS WHILE WORKING ON THE RAILROAD: WHILE WORKING AS AN ENGINEER, ARNOLD’S TRAIN HIT A CAR ON THE TRACKS NEAR BLAIRMORE AND HE RECALLED SEEING THE EYES OF THE CAR DRIVER: “I LOOKED UP AND [SAW] HER EYES LOOKING AT [ME].” ARNOLD REMEMBERED THAT ONE OF THE SCARIEST ROUTES WAS THE ONE GOING TO PINCHER CREEK, WHERE THERE WAS A HILL WITH A 2.3 GRADE, WHICH MADE CONTROLLING THE TRAIN CHALLENGING. HE SAID: “YOU’D LIKE TO KNOW IF YOU’D SET THE BRAKE, YOU HAD CONTROL OVER IT BUT IT WAS SUCH A HILL AND SUCH A HEAVY TRAIN BEHIND YOU THAT IT WAS SCARY SOMETIMES … THAT WAS A VERY INTERESTING TRIP DOWN THERE THEN WITH THE DOWN 2.3 GRADE AND THEN 100,000 TON POTASH BEHIND YOU, PUSHING YOU. … YOU KNOW TRAINS STOP BUT IT TOOK A LONG TIME TO STOP … EVERY BRAKE ON THE TRAIN IS ON AND YOU’D STILL GO ANOTHER HALF A MILE DOWN THE TRACK. NOBODY COULD BELIEVE YOU WHY YOU COULDN’T STOP THAT THING – IT DOESN’T WORK THAT WAY – YOU COULD HARDLY EXPLAIN THAT IT TAKES THAT LONG TO STOP A TRAIN, BUT IT DOES.” HE ALSO RECALLED A RUNAWAY TRAIN THAT HE WAS CALLED IN TO HELP WITH: “THEY STOPPED AT COLEMAN TO SET A CAR OFF AND DIDN’T PUT THE BRAKES ON [AND] THE AIR SLEAKED OFF [OF] THE AIRBRAKES … YOU HAD TO HAVE THE COMPRESSORS WORKING TO KEEP THE TRAINS PUMPED UP TO KEEP [THE] BRAKES ON AND IT STARTED CREEPING DOWN.” HE CONTINUED SAYING THAT THE TRAIN STARTED “GOING BACKWARDS AND AS THE HILL GOT A LITTLE STEEPER [THE TRAIN] GOT GOING FASTER AND IT CAME DOWN TO LUNDBRECK WHERE YOU GO ACROSS THE RIVER THERE [AT] THE BRIDGE. [AT] THAT TIME, I WAS MANAGEMENT, [SO] I GOT IN A CAR AND WENT UP THERE AND TOLD THEM EXACTLY WHERE THAT TRAIN WAS GOING TO BE. [THE TRAIN WAS MOVING] TOO FAST TO GO ON THE REVERSE CURVE JUST COMING INTO LUNDBRECK AND IT FLEW LIKE A PLANE INTO THE RIVER THERE.” IT WAS ESTIMATED THAT THE TRAIN WAS TRAVELLING AT MORE THAN SEVENTY MILES PER HOUR. ARNOLD SAID: “THERE’S A REVERSE CURVE JUST BEFORE YOU GET TO LUNDBRECK. [THE TRAIN] LIFTED UP QUITE A BIT BECAUSE IT WAS GOING WAY TOO FAST AND THEN WHEN IT REVERSED THE OTHER SIDE, IT DIDN’T COME DOWN ON THE RAILS - IT LIFTED AND EVERY CAR ENDED UP IN THE LUNDBRECK RIVER.” FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION, INCLUDING DETAILS ABOUT JOYCE ERVIN’S TIME WITH THE CPR, AND INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT, SEE PERMANENT FILE.
Catalogue Number
P20150023000
Acquisition Date
2015-07
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail
Other Name
"MARQUIS HOTEL"
Date Range From
1928
Date Range To
2015
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
CERAMIC, PAINT
Catalogue Number
P20150037000
  1 image  
Material Type
Artifact
Other Name
"MARQUIS HOTEL"
Date Range From
1928
Date Range To
2015
Materials
CERAMIC, PAINT
No. Pieces
1
Height
5.08
Width
12.4
Description
BLACK, CERAMIC ASHTRAY. THE INSIDE OPENING OF THE ASHTRAY IS 6.4 CM. THE LETTERING ON THE TOP SAYS “THE MARQUIS HOTEL, LETHBRIDGE, ALBERTA, CANADA.” THERE IS AN ABSTRACTED FLORAL DESIGN ON EITHER SIDE OF THIS LETTERING. THE FLOWERS ARE PAINTED RED AND THEIR STEMS PAINTED GREEN. THIS WORDING AND DESIGN REPEATS ON THE OPPOSITE SIDE. THE LETTERING ON THE BOTTOM SAYS, “MADE IN JAPAN 29.” VERY GOOD CONDITION. USED WITH SOME WEAR APPARENT. BLACK PAINT IS WEARING OFF ON SOME PARTS OF THE SURFACE. SIGNIFICANT WEAR TO THE RED AND GREEN PAINT OF THE DECALS.
Subjects
HOUSEHOLD ACCESSORY
Historical Association
DOMESTIC
BUSINESS
History
ON DECEMBER 16, 2015, DONOR CHRIS MORRISON INFORMED COLLECTIONS TECHNICIAN KEVIN MACLEAN THAT SHE CAME INTO POSSESSION OF THE ASHTRAY WHEN SHE AND HER HUSBAND BECAME STEWARDS OF A WATERTON CABIN IN 1976. THE CABIN, LOCATED AT 103 CAMERON FALLS, WAS OWNED BY HER MOTHER-IN-LAW DOROTHY MORRISON (D. 1995). IT WAS AMONG ASSORTED FURNISHINGS LEFT BEHIND WHEN DOROTHY MOVED OUT AND CHRIS MOVED IN. THE DONOR’S RECOLLECTION OF THE ASHTRAY’S USE IMMEDIATELY PRIOR TO IT BECOMING HER PROPERTY WAS AS A CONTAINER. MORRISON SAID, “IT WAS IN A [CABIN] WASHSTAND AND USED TO HOLD LITTLE OBJECTS LIKE ROLLED UP KEROSENE LANTERN TAPE WICKS”. ACCORDING TO MORRISON, IT WAS ALSO KNOWN AS “GRANDPA’S ASHTRAY”. GRANDPA REFERS TO JAMES J. MORRISON OF LETHBRIDGE. “HE ONLY SMOKED CIGARS” SAID THE DONOR, WHEREAS HER MOTHER-IN-LAW DOROTHY DID NOT SMOKE AT ALL. THE ASHTRAY’S USE AS A CONTAINER FOR LANTERN WICKS AND SMALL ITEMS CONTINUED RIGHT UP TO THE DAY THAT IT WAS OFFERED TO THE GALT IN 2015. ACCORDING TO HER OBITUARY IN THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD, DOROTHY MORRISON, PASSED AWAY IN LETHBRIDGE ON NOVEMBER 26, 1995 AT THE AGE OF 83 YEARS. JAMES JACOB MORRISON, DOROTHY’S FATHER-IN-LAW, PASSED ON FEBRUARY 18TH, 1975 AT AGE 93. THE ASHTRAY IS MARKED WITH “MARQUIS HOTEL,” WHICH COULD REFER TO THE LETHBRIDGE HOTEL THAT OPENED IN JUNE 1928. REALIZING A NEED FOR A FIRST-CLASS HOTEL IN LETHBRIDGE, ESPECIALLY ONE WITH A BANQUET HALL, THE BUSINESSMEN OF THE BOARD OF TRADE COMMITTED THEMSELVES TO THE HOTEL IN 1927. AFTER ITS OPENING, THE BOARD OF TRADE WOULD HOLD THEIR REGULAR, NOON-HOUR MEETINGS AT THE HOTEL FOR MANY YEARS TO COME. THE HOTEL CLOSED ITS DOORS IN 1985 AND THE BUILDING WAS DEMOLISHED IN 1988. THIS INFORMATION COMES FROM LETHBRIDGE HERALD ARTICLES AND A WRITE-UP ABOUT THE HOTEL IN THE PUBLICATION TITLED "WHERE WAS IT? A GUIDE TO EARLY LETHBRIDGE BUILDINGS," BY IRMA DOGTEROM. PLEASE SEE PERMANENT FILE FOR MORE INFORMATION INCLUDING LETHBRIDGE HERALD ARTICLES AND A COPY OF THE INFORMATION FROM THE PUBLICATION CITED ABOVE.
Catalogue Number
P20150037000
Acquisition Date
2015-12
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail
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
Other Name
JAPANESE CERAMIC VASE
Date Range From
1923
Date Range To
1956
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
CERAMIC
Catalogue Number
P20160042001
  2 images  
Material Type
Artifact
Other Name
JAPANESE CERAMIC VASE
Date Range From
1923
Date Range To
1956
Materials
CERAMIC
No. Pieces
1
Height
32.5
Length
17.5
Diameter
17.5
Description
BLACK AND SILVER GLAZED, CERAMIC VASE WITH RED AND GOLD DESIGNS PAINTED ON OPPOSITE SIDES OF THE VASE. ONE DESIGN SHOWCASES A CRANE FLYING TOWARDS A TREE BRANCH, WHILE THE OTHER SHOWCASES TWO CRANES PERCHED ON A LARGE TREE BRANCH BENEATH A RED DISC/MOON. “MADE IN JAPAN” IS STAMPED INTO BASE OF VASE. CONDITION: THE LIP OF THE VASE HAS A 4.3 CM CHIP AND IS MISSING 7.6 CM ALONG TOP EDGE. LOOSE OF PAINT AND OVERALL FINISH OF DESIGN. SLIGHT CHIPPING AROUND BASE.
Subjects
HOUSEHOLD ACCESSORY
Historical Association
DOMESTIC
FURNISHINGS
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 THAT THIS VASE 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.” THIS VASE WAS VISIBLE THROUGHOUT MRS. NISHIYAMA’S CHILDHOOD. SHE EXPLAINED, “[THE VASE] WAS MORE AN EVERYDAY THING.” IT WAS PLACED BY THE DOOR OF THE FARM HOUSE. AND “[THE] ONLY THING THAT WAS IN THERE WAS [MY MOTHER’S] UMBRELLA.” OTHER TREASURES FOUND IN THE TRUNK WERE HER MOTHER’S HAIR ORNAMENTS AND COMB ALSO DONATED WITH THE VASE (P20160042002-004). 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
P20160042001
Acquisition Date
2016-12
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail
Other Name
"GALT SCHOOL OF NURSING"
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
CERAMIC
Catalogue Number
P20140049006
  1 image  
Material Type
Artifact
Other Name
"GALT SCHOOL OF NURSING"
Date
1979
Materials
CERAMIC
No. Pieces
1
Height
8.5
Length
12
Diameter
8.9
Description
A CREAM-COLOURED CERAMIC MUG. ON ONE SIDE IS THE INSIGNIA OF THE GALT SCHOOL OF NURSING, WHICH IS COLOURED YELLOW, GREEN, AND RED. IN THE CENTER OF THE INSIGNIA IS A RED CROSS. THE TEXT READS “GALT SCHOOL OF NURSING, LETHBRIDGE ALTA”, “FESTINA LENTE”, AND “1910-1979”. AROUND THE LIP OF THE MUG RUNS A GOLD RING. THE BOTTOM OF THE MUG READS “DECORATED IN CANADA BY …EMORE CHINA & GLASS” AND “CREEMORE, ONT”. VERY GOOD CONDITION: SLIGHT WEAR TO GOLD RIM.
Subjects
HOUSEHOLD ACCESSORY
Historical Association
ASSOCIATIONS
HEALTH SERVICES
COMMEMORATIVE
History
UPON DONATION TO THE MUSEUM, COLLECTIONS TECHNICIAN KEVIN MACLEAN ASKED MEMBERS OF THE GALT SCHOOL OF NURSING (GSN) ALUMNAE TO PROVIDE WRITTEN ANSWERS ON QUESTIONS PERTAINING TO EACH ARTIFACT DONATED IN THE COLLECTION. THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION HAS COME FROM THOSE RESPONSES CORRESPONDING TO EACH INDIVIDUAL ARTIFACT. ACCORDING TO THE HISTORY, “THIS IS A COFFEE CUP COMMEMORATING THE CLOSING OF THE NURSING SCHOOL. THE ALUMNAE PURCHASED THEM AND SOLD THEM… [THE MUGS] WERE DESIGNED AND MADE IN 1979.” IT CONTINUES, “[THE] GALT GRADS BOUGHT THESE MUGS… [AS] A MEMENTO OF THE CLOSING OF THE SCHOOL.” THIS ARTIFACT IS AMONG A COLLECTION DONATED NEAR THE END OF 2014, BEING THE SECOND WAVE OF GSN ARTIFACTS ACQUIRED BY THE MUSEUM THAT YEAR. WITH THE FIRST WAVE OF GSN ARTIFACTS COLLECTED IN SUMMER 2014, MACLEAN INTERVIEWED THE PAST ARCHIVISTS OF THE GALT SCHOOL OF NURSING COLLECTION, SHIRLEY HIGA, ELAINE HAMILTON, AND SUE KYLLO, ABOUT THEIR INVOLVEMENT WITH THE GSN ALUMNAE ASSOCIATION AND THE HISTORY OF ARTIFACTS DONATED. FOR THAT INFORMATION, PLEASE REFER TO P20140006001. PLEASE SEE THE PERMANENT FILE FOR MORE INFORMATION.
Catalogue Number
P20140049006
Acquisition Date
2014-11
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail

8 records – page 1 of 1.