Tomomi Okutake originally immigrated to Canada in 1907, and was employed with the CPR in Vancouver. He then moved to Hardiville, Alberta in 1911, and resided there until enlisting with the Princess Pat Canadian Infantry in 1917. After serving two years in Britain and France, he was honourably discharged, receiving the British War Medal and Victory Medal.
Upon his return to Canada, Tomomi began his work in the No. 6 coal mine. In 1930, he travelled back to Japan to marry Tsuru Genka, and together they moved back to Hardieville where Tomomi continued his work.
The No. 8 coal mine site was moved to Lethbridge shortly after, where he continued as a miner until his retirement in 1953. Once Japanese citizens were allowed to live in Lethbridge, the couple moved into the city. Tomomi and Tsuru Okutake resided in the City of Lethbridge from 1961 until Tomomi’s passing in 1971.
Throughout his time in Alberta, Tomomi became a founding member of the Lethbridge Buddhist Temple and the Lethbridge Honpa Buddhist Temple. He also played a big part in being the interpreter or spokesperson for those who couldn’t speak English in the Okinawan community.
After Tomomi passed away, Tsuru enrolled at the Community College to learn English as a second language. She joined the Senior Centre and learned new skills such as weaving and dancing. In her final years, she lived in the Taber Long Term Care unit where she later passed away in 1990.
The Okutake family had two adopted daughters, Patricia Yuriko (Sassa) and Esther Tsuru (Ayukawa).
Scope and Content
2017.1025/001 Okutake Family Photographs: Tomomi Okutake, Tsura Okutake, Chiyoryo Ishimine, Toshiko Ishimine, Tomotaka Ishimine, Choryo Ishimine, Toshiko Higa, Chiyosei Genka, Yoneko Genka, Chiyotasu Genka, Dorothy Goshinmon, Chiyoki Okutake, Chotei Okutake, Art Okutake, Pat Okutake, Chokei Okutake, Guiso Oshiro, Vicki Okutake.
2017.1025/002 Citizens certificate, statement of service, passport, biography, etc.
2017.1025/003 Biographies of Issei Pioneers from Okinawa to Southern Alberta.
Meetings to support a library establishment in Lethbridge began in 1910, and a by 1911 a by-law was passed for a provision of a library that would be known as the Lethbridge Public Library. In 1919, the first library board was appointed with W.J. Nelson (Chair), H.W. Meech, and Rev. C.E. Cragg. The first librarians were also introduced that year, which included A.N. Filmer, L. McIndoe, and Arthur Frayne. At that time, a library service was opened in two rooms of the YMCA.
The Lethbridge Public Library building was officially opened on January 23, 1922 (building is currently occupied by the Southern Alberta Art Gallery). The new facility, downtown branch, opened in 1974.
In 2013, the Crossings Branch was opened on the west side of Lethbridge.
Scope and Content
2017.1026/001-019 Cash Books 1938-1973
2017.1026/001 Stocktaking Reports/Inventory: Withdrawn, lost, worn out, book count. 1923-1939.
2017.1026/002 Voucher Sheets. 1956-1962.
2017.1026/003 Operating Analysis. 1922-1958.
2017.1026/004-005 Charge Against Public Library. 1944-1958.
2017.1026/006-008 Book Acquisitions and Patron Inquiries 1919-1961.
2017.1026/009 Major Facilities Plan. 1985.
2017.1026/010-011 Book Acquisitions and Patron Inquiries 1923-1961.
2017.1026/012 Budgets. 1924-1988.
2017.1026/013 Book Orders: Contains lists and some financial information. 1926-1928.
2017.1026/014 Book Acquisitions and Patron Inquiries: 1924-1928.
2017.1026/015 LAC Meeting Prep: Correspondence and statistics. 1958-1978.
2017.1026/016-018 Book Acquisitions and Patron Inquiries. 1956-1961.
2017.1026/019 Union: Correspondence relating to the Canadian Union of Public Employees. 1920-2008.
2017.1026/020 Books Lettered and Repaired. 1934-1944.
2017.1026/021-023 Reading Room Patronage. 1923-1959.
2017.1026/024 Adult and Juvenile Information Supplied. 1936-1959.
2017.1026/025-026 Films. 1952-1961.
2017.1026/027 Records. 1954-1961.
2017.1026/028 Daily Mail Recordings. 1973-1974.
2017.1026/029 Corner Stones of Churches, Schools, Volcanic Rock Sign. 1977.
2017.1026/030 National Assurance Co. of Ireland. 1969.
2017.1026/031 Henderson Lake Streets etc. 1960-1979.
2017.1026/032 Fairfield Farm. 1974-1975.
2017.1026/033 Gardens at Henderson Lake. 1978.
2017.1026/034 Display Boards: RCMP, sugar beets, other Albertan cities, steamboats, etc.
2017.1026/035 Lethbridge History Cue Cards. 1867-1959.
2017.1026/036-040 Book Circulation: Adult and Juvenile. 1923-1974.
2017.1026/041 Master Plan of the Arts in Alberta. [1968?]
2017.1026/042 Map of Alberta showing proposed Regional Libraries; Booklet University of Lethbridge
Opening Ceremonies 1972; Invitations Old Timers Dances 1896-1898 address to Miss Miller, 1977 Opening ceremonies Provincial Building and Premier's Dinner; Individual
business cards. envelope label for Terril Floral Company and decal for MacLeod's
Mounted Police Jubilee 1949; 4 Booklets for the Coronation of Elizabeth ll - This Royal
Throne, The Coronation Ceremony and Ritual, oUR Queen is crowned, Her Majesty's
Coronation. Life Magazine dated June 15, 1953 Color Pictures of the Coronation, The
Illustrated London News Coronation Ceremony May 15, 1937, The Sphere Decenber 19,
2017.1026/043 Album with view of Japan, Japanese gardens and Japanese people. The item belonged to the Martin family (G. E. C. Martin) of Lethbridge.