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Other Name
“UNION MADE GWG”
Date Range From
1960
Date Range To
2000
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
COTTON
Catalogue Number
P20130004001
  1 image  
Material Type
Artifact
Other Name
“UNION MADE GWG”
Date Range From
1960
Date Range To
2000
Materials
COTTON
No. Pieces
1
Height
2
Length
160
Width
58
Description
GREEN CANVAS FULL-BODY COVERALLS, WITH METAL ZIPPER AT CENTRE OF CHEST. SIX POCKETS AT BREAST, HIP, AND SEAT. WHITE SQUARE LABEL ON LEFT BREAST POCKET READS “UNION MADE GWG RED STRAP” IN BLACK AND RED EMBROIDERED THREAD. BRASS COLOURED SNAPS WITH “GWG” LETTERING ON RIGHT BREAST AND HIP POCKETS. GENERAL WEAR OVERALL, WITH STREAKS AND SPLASHES OF BLACK, GREEN AND ORANGE PAINT INTERMITTENT ON LEGS, CHEST, WRISTS AND ARMS.
Subjects
CLOTHING-OUTERWEAR
Historical Association
PERSONAL CARE
History
THE COLLECTION OF OBJECTS BELONGING TO THE MEISSER FAMILY WAS DONATED BY JUDY WRIGHT, NIECE OF LOWELL MEISSER, WHO OPERATED A FARM OUTSIDE WARNER WITH HIS BROTHER ROME AS THE ‘MEISSER BROS’ FROM 1929 TO 1946. JUDY’S MOTHER WAS THE SISTER OF LOWELL’S WIFE ELINOR, AND SHE SPENT MUCH OF HER CHILDHOOD LIVING WITH THEM AND ROME MEISSER, DUE TO HER MOTHER BEING UNWELL. IN HER LATER ADULT LIFE, JUDY TOOK CARE OF “UNC” ROME AT HIS WATERTON RESIDENCE, AND BECAUSE ROME AND HIS BROTHER LOWELL DID NOT HAVE ANY LIVING DIRECT DESCENDANTS, JUDY WAS LEFT THE FAMILY BELONGINGS WHEN ROME DIED IN 2004. THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION ABOUT THIS ARTIFACT WAS EXTRACTED FROM AN INTERVIEW CONDUCTED WITH THE DONOR BY COLLECTIONS TECHNICIAN KEVIN MACLEAN ON NOVEMBER 14, 2013, AS WELL AS FROM A DOCUMENT WRITTEN BY HER AT THE TIME OF THE DONATION. WRIGHT SAID: “I CANNOT SPECIFICALLY REMEMBER [ROME] WEARING THESE COVERALLS BUT I JUST KNOW HE ALWAYS DID. HE WORKED IN THE SHOP; HE WORKED IN THE FIELD; HE WENT LOOKING AT HIS CROPS. HE ALWAYS WORE HIS COVERALLS. HIS CLOTHES WERE KEPT CLEAN, RIGHT UP UNTIL THE VERY END… HE WORKED. I CAME HOME WHEN HE WAS 96 OR SO AND HE WAS PAINTING THE HOUSE IN WATERTON HIS COVERALLS…HE WORE THEM AS HE STAINED THE COTTAGE AND THE GARAGE, AND PAINTED THE WINDOW AND DOOR FRAMES BRIGHT FIRE ENGINE RED. I WASN’T AROUND, BUT I’M SURE HE WAS IN HIS COVERALLS WHEN HE CUT THE GARAGE INTO TWO PARTS, MOVED ONE END BACK AND RE-BUILT THE MISSING SECTION SO THAT HIS NEW GOLD 1966 CADILLAC WOULD FIT… HE BARBECUED, MOSTLY, SOMETIMES IN HIS COVERALLS. HE WORKED AROUND THE YARD, AROUND WATERTON, HE PUT HIS COVERALLS ON IF HE MIGHT GET DIRTY. AND I JUST PICTURE HIM WORKING… YOU DIDN’T THROW ANYTHING AWAY, YOU FIXED IT. THERE WERE APPLIANCES THAT WERE RE-WIRED AND TAPED. EVERYTHING WAS FIXED BY HIM. YOU DIDN’T THROW ANYTHING AWAY AND IT WENT RIGHT TO WELDING AND EVERYTHING ELSE. HE COULD DO ANYTHING.” THE FOLLOWING BRIEF FAMILY HISTORY WAS DEVELOPED WITH INFORMATION FROM ROME MEISSER’S MANUSCRIPT ‘THE MEISSER’S AND OTHER RAMBLINGS’ AND DONATIONS OF FAMILY PAPERS MADE BY WRIGHT TO THE GALT ARCHIVES. THE MEISSER FAMILY PATRIARCH, MICHAEL MEISSER, WAS BORN IN SWITZERLAND IN 1830 AND IMMIGRATED TO ALMA, WISCONSIN IN 1846. HIS SON, JOHN LUTZI MEISSER MARRIED MARIE KINDSCHI ON APRIL 30, 1898 AND THEY MOVED TO WARNER, ALBERTA TO FARM IN 1910, LOOKING FOR A DRIER CLIMATE FOR MARIE, WHO SUFFERED FROM TUBERCULOSIS. THE COUPLE HAD FIVE CHILDREN: ORMA, LOWELL, JOHN (WHO DIED AT AGE TWO OF PNEUMONIA), ROME, AND MARIE. IN 1912, MOTHER MARIE DIED IN A TUBERCULOSIS CLINIC IN SALT LAKE CITY, AND FIVE YEARS LATER FATHER JOHN DIED FROM HEAD TRAUMA SUSTAINED IN A GRAIN ELEVATOR ACCIDENT. ONE OF THE CHILDREN’S PATERNAL AUNTS, FRENA, CAME TO WARNER TO HELP THEM WITH SCHOOLING AND RUNNING THE FARM. IN 1920, ORMA MARRIED LEE TENNEY AND IN 1926 LOWELL MARRIED ELINOR TENNEY, AND THE TWO COUPLES LOOKED AFTER THE TWO YOUNGER SIBLINGS UNTIL ORMA AND LEE MOVED TO CALIFORNIA IN 1931. THE YOUNGEST SISTER, MARIE, LATER JOINED THEM WITH HER SON JIM. LOWELL AND ROME FARMED TOGETHER FROM THE SEASON FOLLOWING THEIR FATHER’S DEATH (WHEN THEY WERE 17 AND 13 YEARS OLD, RESPECTIVELY) UNTIL 1945 WHEN THEIR LAND WAS DIVIDED FOR TAX BENEFIT. ROME NEVER MARRIED, AND IN 1928 HAD A SHORT STINT IN PILOT’S TRAINING BEFORE RETURNING TO FARMING PERMANENTLY. LOWELL AND ELINOR’S SON JERALD WAS BORN IN 1929. BY 1957 THE MEISSERS RETIRED FROM FARMING AND LEASED OUT THEIR LAND, AND IN 1958 THE FAMILY BOUGHT A CABIN IN WATERTON PARK, WHERE THEY SPENT ALL FOLLOWING SUMMERS. LOWELL AND ELINOR’S SON JERALD SPLIT HIS TIME BETWEEN FARMING IN SOUTHERN ALBERTA AND VARIOUS PROJECTS IN THE UNITED STATES. HE ENROLLED IN THE CATHOLIC SEMINARY IN SPOKANE, WASHINGTON, BUT PASSED AWAY IN 1990 BEFORE HE COULD BE ORDAINED. LOWELL DIED IN 1988, ELINOR FOLLOWED IN 1992, AND ROME PASSED AWAY IN 2004. THE FOLLOWING REMEMBRANCES OF ROME ‘UNC’ MEISSER WERE EXCERPTED FROM THE NOVEMBER 14, 2013 INTERVIEW WITH THE DONOR. WRIGHT SAID: “I LIVED WITH THEM AND WENT OUT TO THE FARM ALL SUMMER LONG EVERY YEAR FROM THE TIME I WAS FIVE OR SIX YEARS OLD… I JUST HONESTLY THINK THAT I AM WHO I AM TODAY BECAUSE OF MY UNCLE ROME. MY DAD WAS A STAUNCH OLD ENGLISHMAN AND HE COULDN’T RELATE TO ME. HE WAS 45 YEARS OLD WHEN I WAS BORN BUT HE COULDN’T RELATE TO ME. SO, MY UNCLE COULD… HE SHOULD HAVE BEEN MARRIED WITH AT LEAST A DOZEN CHILDREN. IN HIS EARLY NINETIES, WHEN I FIRST GOT THERE [TO WATERTON] WE’D GO GROCERY SHOPPING. I’D HAVE TO WAIT WHILE HE STOPPED AND CHATTED WITH ALL THE CHILDREN HE’D COME ACROSS. HE SHOULD HAVE HAD LOTS OF KIDS. HE JUST LOVED KIDS AND I WAS A LITTLE KID… I WAS THERE FROM PRACTICALLY BIRTH AND LIVED MONTHS AT A TIME WITH HIM… HE COULD AFFORD TO LOOK AFTER THE COMMUNITY AS WELL… HE GAVE GENEROUSLY TO [COMMUNITY ORGANIZATIONS]. HE GAVE TO THE MILK RIVER HOSPITAL. HE DONATED $200,000 FOR THE HOCKEY GIRLS’ RESIDENCE. THEY HAD NO MONEY AND THAT’S WHY WE NOW HAVE A HOCKEY GIRLS’ RESIDENCE THAT HAS A HUGE KITCHEN AND HOUSES UP TO 25 GIRLS, AND KEEPS OUR WARNER SCHOOL OPEN. SO THAT IS A VERY BIG GIFT, HIS DONATIONS. THEY ALSO STARTED A MEISSER SCHOLARSHIP IN 1967 AND TWO WEEKS AGO I WENT OUT AND GAVE THE TROPHY AND THE MONEY TO THE LAST GIRL THAT WON IT. AND IT WILL GO ON INDEFINITELY AS LONG AS THERE’S A SCHOOL…HE WAS VERY SUPPORTIVE OF CHILDREN AND EDUCATION. THE SCHOLARSHIP, THE HOCKEY GIRLS, KEEPING THE WARNER SCHOOL OPEN - BIG FOCUS FOR HIM – WAS EDUCATION AND CHILDREN… HE WAS ONE OF THOSE KIND OF PRACTICALLY ANONYMOUS DONORS IN THE PAST. HOWEVER, AS HE GOT A LITTLE OLDER, I THINK HE ENJOYED THE ATTENTION. THEY MADE A BIG DEAL ABOUT THE HOCKEY SCHOOL. THE RESIDENCE HAS GOT, HUGE, IT HAS HIS NAME ON IT BUT I DON’T THINK HE SAW THAT. AND THEY HAD HIM RIDE IN THE PARADE ONE YEAR, THE COMMUNITY RECOGNIZED HIM AS MUCH AS HE’D LET THEM RECOGNIZE HIM.” SEE PERMANENT FILE FOR A FULL TRANSCIPT OF THE INTERVIEW, WRITTEN DOCUMENTATION ON THE MEISSER FAMILY BY JUDY WRIGHT AND ROME MEISSER, OBITUARIES AND PHOTOGRAPHS OF FAMILY MEMBERS, AND FURTHER INFORMATION ABOUT EACH ARTIFACT COMPRISING THE DONATION.
Catalogue Number
P20130004001
Acquisition Date
2013-03
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail
Other Name
DUTCH CANADIAN CLUB FOLK COSTUME
Date Range From
1988
Date Range To
2004
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
LINEN, VELVET, PLASTIC
Catalogue Number
P20150005000
  2 images  
Material Type
Artifact
Other Name
DUTCH CANADIAN CLUB FOLK COSTUME
Date Range From
1988
Date Range To
2004
Materials
LINEN, VELVET, PLASTIC
No. Pieces
4
Length
75
Width
46
Description
.A – LONG-SLEEVED SHIRT MADE OF BLUE AND WHITE STRIPED LINEN, WITH RED COLLAR. COLLAR HAS CUFFLINK-STYLE CLOSURE WITH METAL BUTTONS THAT DEPICT A CREST AND TEXT READING “… TONANTI…”. SIX CLEAR PLASTIC BUTTONS DOWN FRONT AND ONE AT EACH CUFF. CHEST POCKET ON LEFT SIDE. OVERALL VERY GOOD CONDITION. 75 X 46 .B – RED LINEN LONG-SLEEVED JACKET. OPEN FRONT, WITH TWO RED BUTTON CLOSURES AT WAIST LINE HEM. OVERALL VERY GOOD CONDITION. 71 X 46 .C – BLACK LINEN PANTS WITH PLEATED WAIST AND WIDE LEGS. FRONT WAIST CLOSURE HAS TWO METAL BUTTONS WITH IMAGE OF BIRD AND TEXT READING “SPES NOSTRA ES DEVS”. BACK WAIST CLOSURE HAS TWO HOLES ON EITHER SIDE OF WAISTBAND. OVERALL VERY GOOD CONDITION. 101.5 X 49 .D – BLACK VELVET CAP, MADE FROM A STRIP OF FABRIC THAT TIES AT BACK WITH SIX GREEN RIBBONS THAT ARE SEWN INTO SEAM. INNER CAP IS BLACK VELVET AND LINEN SEWN TO BOTTOM SEAM OF OUTER EDGE. LENGTH OF GREEN YARN ATTACHED TO RIBBON WITH METAL SAFETY PIN. BOTTOM RIBBON IS FRAYED. OVERALL VERY GOOD CONDITION. 13.5 X 21
Subjects
CLOTHING-OUTERWEAR
Historical Association
ASSOCIATIONS
PERSONAL CARE
ETHNOGRAPHIC
History
THIS COSTUME WAS WORN BY WIM VONKEMAN DURING HIS PARTICIPATION IN THE EVENTS AND ACTIVITIES OF THE DUTCH CANADIAN CLUB OF LETHBRIDGE. BORN IN THE NETHERLANDS IN 1929, VONKEMAN IMMIGRATED TO CANADA IN 1981 WITH HIS WIFE TRUDY AND THEIR THREE CHILDREN, ANINE, ALWIN, AND HERWIN, SETTLING IN THE PICTURE BUTTE AREA. VONKEMAN WAS INSTRUMENTAL IN THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE DUTCH CANADIAN CLUB, AND WAS ACTIVE WITH THE GROUP UNTIL HIS DEATH IN 2004. ON JANUARY 21, 2015 COLLECTIONS TECHNICIAN KEVIN MACLEAN INTERVIEWED THE DONOR, TRUDY VONKEMAN, ABOUT THIS COSTUME AND HER HUSBAND WIM’S INVOLVEMENT WITH THE DUTCH CANADIAN CLUB OF LETHBRIDGE. SHE SAID: “MY HUSBAND’S FAMILY WENT [TO CANADA] IN 1952 – HE WAS THE ELDEST SON AND HAD A NICE JOB IN HOLLAND SO HE STAYED BEHIND. THEN WE MET AND MARRIED AND HAD KIDS, AND IN 1979 WE WENT ON HOLIDAYS [IN CANADA] WITH THE KIDS FOR FOUR WEEKS… THEY ENJOYED IT VERY MUCH AND WHEN WE WERE BACK IN HOLLAND I HEARD MY TWO SONS [SAYING] ‘AFTER SCHOOL WE GO TO CANADA’… I SAID TO MY HUSBAND, ‘LET’S GO THEN AS A FAMILY, I DON’T WENT TO SPLIT THE FAMILY LATER’… THERE WAS A BIG FAMILY WAITING [IN CANADA] AND MY PARENTS DIED [IN 1979 AND 1980] SO THERE WAS NO REASON NOT TO DO IT [WHILE] WE WERE STILL YOUNG ENOUGH. I WAS 47 AND MY HUSBAND WAS 51, BUT STILL WE MADE IT. THE WHOLE FAMILY LOOKED AFTER US [AND] THERE WAS A JOB ON THE FARM [OUTSIDE PICTURE BUTTE]... WE DIDN’T NEED TO IMMIGRATE BECAUSE IT WAS EVEN BETTER IN HOLLAND THAN WHEN WE CAME HERE. STILL, ONE OF THE LAST THINGS MY HUSBAND SAID TO ME [WAS] ‘WE HAD LESS MONEY HERE IN CANADA BUT I’M GLAD WE WENT.’” VONKEMAN CONTINUED: “IN HOLLAND, THE CHURCH WHERE I BELONGED TO, THE WOMEN WERE PASTORS. HERE, NOT. AND I STOPPED GOING WHEN… THERE WAS SOMETHING THE MEN HAD TO DECIDE AND THE WOMEN COULD [ONLY] GO TO THE KITCHEN AND MAKE COFFEE. I WAS SO MAD [I DECIDED] I’M NOT GOING ANYMORE… [BUT WIM], HIS BACKGROUND, WE DUTCH PEOPLE DO SOMETHING TOGETHER… HE WANTED TO BE ACTIVE TO SHOW SOMETHING ABOUT WHERE HE COMES FROM… HE MET SOME OTHER DUTCH PEOPLE [AND] SET UP THE DUTCH CANADIAN CLUB… HE STARTED WITH DICK VAN GROOTHEEST AND HERMAN SIEMENS AND HE TOOK THE INITIATIVE… HE WANTED TO ORGANIZE AND DO STUFF. HE WAS NOT ONE TO SIT AROUND AND READ A BOOK… HE WAS ALWAYS BUSY AND TRYING TO FIND NEW THINGS [FOR THE CLUB] TO DO… I WAS IN THE BACKGROUND, HELPING WITH THE ORGANIZING AND HELPING HIM THINK ABOUT THINGS… WIM STARTED [THE CLUB’S] MAGAZINE, ‘VAN DE HAK OP DE TAK’ [ROUGHLY TRANSLATES TO ‘DOWN THE GRAPE VINE’]… THE CLUB HAD A FOLK DANCE GROUP AND THEY HAD THIS SUIT FOR IT. [THE DESIGN] IS FROM A CERTAIN PART OF HOLLAND [CALLED] VOLENDAM… A LITTLE FISHER TOWN WHERE ALL THE MEN WORE THIS IN THE PAST… [THE CLUB’S DANCE GROUP] WENT AROUND AND DANCED IN OLD FOLKS HOMES… AND THEY HAD A CHOIR TOO, ALL DRESSED UP IN VOLENDAM COSTUMES, SINGING ON DIFFERENT EVENINGS… YOU HAVE EVENINGS WHERE YOU DANCE AND YOU HAVE A MEAL, AND DRINK A GLASS OF WINE, AND HAVE FUN.” ON JUNE 24, 2015 COLLECTIONS TECHNICIAN KEVIN MACLEAN INTERVIEWED WIM VONKEMAN’S DAUGHTER, ANINE. SHE SAID: “AFTER MY DAD PASSED AWAY, WE HAD [THE COSTUME] DRY-CLEANED… AND I COULDN’T GET RID OF IT. IT HAD TO GO BACK TO THE DUTCH CANADIAN CLUB, TO THE DANCERS, SO THAT SOMEONE ELSE COULD WEAR IT. MY DAD WAS PRETTY SHORT, AND IT WAS A SPECIFIC SIZE FOR HIM [AND] IT WAS PART OF HIM, SO I JUST COULDN’T GET RID OF IT… WHEN I KEPT IT, I KNEW THAT I WAS NOT GOING TO KEEP IT MYSELF FOREVER, AND THAT IT SHOULD GO INTO THE MUSEUM… BECAUSE MY DAD HELPED ESTABLISH THE DUTCH CANADIAN CLUB… IT SUCH A BIG PART OF THE WHOLE LETHBRIDGE STORY… HE SET UP THE ASSOCIATION IN CONJUNCTION WITH OTHER PEOPLE, IN AN EFFORT TO MAINTAIN A CONNECTION BETWEEN DUTCH CANADIANS, AND KEEP SOME TRADITIONS GOING, OR BRING SOME NEW TALENTS. AND HE DID A LOT OF STUFF CROSS-CULTURALLY WITH CANADIANS AND DUTCH PEOPLE, BRINGING CHOIRS AND DANCERS OVER FROM HOLLAND, DOING STUFF IN THE STATES WITH OTHER DUTCH ASSOCIATIONS, AND JUST TRYING TO CONNECT PEOPLE… THERE ARE MANY RURAL DUTCH-CANADIANS – FARMERS, FARMERS’ FAMILIES – BUT THERE’S ALSO LOTS OF PEOPLE IN LETHBRIDGE AND SMALLER COMMUNITIES. BUT THEY ASSOCIATE THROUGH CHURCHES, I THINK… AND MY MOM AND DAD LEFT THE CHURCH [SO] THAT COMMUNITY, FOR THEM, WAS NOT THERE. MY DAD LIKED SINGING IN THE CHOIR IN THE CHURCH, SO PERHAPS HE WAS FILLING A BUNCH OF HIS OWN NEEDS BY SETTING [THE DUTCH CANADIAN CLUB] UP, AND ALSO FOR OTHERS IN THE COMMUNITY.” SEE PERMANENT FILE FOR FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTS AND INFORMATION ON THE DUTCH CANADIAN CLUB OF LETHBRIDGE. FOR PHOTOGRAPHS SHOWING WIM VONKEMAN WEARING THE COSTUME, SEE GALT ARCHIVES 20150075. FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THE VONKEMAN FAMILY, SEE P20150022000.
Catalogue Number
P20150005000
Acquisition Date
2015-01
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail