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Date Range From
1940
Date Range To
1950
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
STEEL, WOOD
Catalogue Number
P20150010005
  2 images  
Material Type
Artifact
Date Range From
1940
Date Range To
1950
Materials
STEEL, WOOD
No. Pieces
1
Height
2.5
Length
74.2
Width
18.2
Description
HAND SAW. WOODEN HANDLE, PAINTED MEDIUM DARK RED. STEEL BLADE WITH SERRATED TEETH. HANDLE IS ATTACHED TO BLADE WITH FIVE RIVETS, ALTHOUGH THE CENTRE RIVET IS MISSING. BLADE IS MARKED IN BLACK MARKER AND/OR PAINT NEAR HANDLE: "CITY LETH - 5 PT - #4 F.D." (THE "5" MAY ALSO BE AN "S") ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE BLADE, ALSO NEAR HANDLE IN BLACK MARKER OR PAINT: "#4". NEAR THIS, SCRATCHED INTO THE STEEL IS: "L.F.D. H.Q." OVERALL IN FAIR CONDITION. THE BLADE IS FAIRLY RUSTED, ESPECIALLY NEAR THE MIDDLE OF THE BLADE, ON THE SIDE SCRATCHED WITH "L.F.D. H.Q.". THE WOODEN HANDLE IS WELL WORN, WITH SEVERAL KNICKS AND SCRATCHES IN THE WOOD SURFACE, AND WITH SEVERAL AREAS WHERE THE RED PAINT HAS WORN OFF, LEAVING EXPOSED WOOD. CENTRE RIVET IS TOTALLY MISSING. ANOTHER RIVET IS MISSING THE SCREW PORTION OF THE RIVET.
Subjects
WOODWORKING T&E
Historical Association
SAFETY SERVICES
History
THIS HAND SAW WAS USED BY THE LETHBRIDGE FIRE DEPARTMENT, “PRIMARILY IN TRAINING … TO BUILD WOODEN PROPS, SHEDS, [AND FOR] TRENCH RESCUE SHORING”, ACCORDING TO JESSE KURTZ, DEPUTY CHIEF – SUPPORT SERVICES (RETIRED) IN A WRITTEN STATEMENT PROVIDED AT THE TIME OF DONATION. IN THE SUMMER OF 2015, COLLECTIONS TECHNICIAN KEVIN MACLEAN, CONDUCTED A SERIES OF INTERVIEWS WITH CURRENT AND FORMER MEMBERS OF THE FIRE DEPARTMENT, INCLUDING: CLIFF “CHARLIE” BROWN (HIRED IN 1966, RETIRED 2004), TREVOR LAZENBY (HIRED IN 1994), RAYMOND “RAY” PETIT (HIRED 1965, RETIRED 1998), AND LAWRENCE DZUREN (HIRED 1959, RETIRED 1992). NONE OF THE FOUR MEN CAN RECALL EVER SEEING THE SAW ON THE FIRE TRUCKS, WITH BROWN RECALLING “I REMEMBER SEEING IT IN THE HALL, BUT NOT ON THE TRUCKS … IT REALLY ISN’T AN EMERGENCY SERVICES TOOL … IF SOMETHING HAD TO BE OPENED, WE BROKE IT … IT WASN’T THAT WE WANTED TO BE DESTRUCTIVE … TIME WAS OF THE ESSENCE, AND IF YOU WANTED TO GET IN, YOU JUST SMASHED IT, AND FIXED IT LATER.” LAZENBY ELABORATES, SAYING THAT “WE HAVE RECIPROCATING SAWS ON THE JOB NOW … AND MOST OF THEM ARE CORDLESS … THESE [THE HAND SAW] PREDATED ME … WHEN I SHOWED UP FOR MY FIRST DAY, THEY ALREADY HAD CHAIN SAWS ON EVERY VEHICLE.” PETIT ADDED: “THE ONLY THING I CAN THINK OF THAT WE’D USE A SAW FOR, IS SOMETIMES AT A BUILDING, WE BOARDED A BUILDING UP AND OF COURSE, WE DIDN’T HAVE A TABLE SAW, SO I GUESS WE HAD TO CUT A BOARD TO FIT A WINDOW OR A DOOR. I CAN’T RECALL USING IT.” DZUREN AGREES, ADDING: “I DON’T EVEN REMEMBER SEEING THAT ON A FIRE TRUCK … NOW IT COULD HAVE BEEN USED ON ONE OF THE UTILITY VEHICLES, PROBABLY WAS. BUT I DON’T RECALL … HAVING TO USE IT.” SEE PERMANENT FILE FOR FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTS AND ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE LETHBRIDGE FIRE DEPARTMENT.
Catalogue Number
P20150010005
Acquisition Date
2015-02
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail
Date Range From
1930
Date Range To
1950
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
STEEL, BRASS
Catalogue Number
P19950038008
Material Type
Artifact
Date Range From
1930
Date Range To
1950
Materials
STEEL, BRASS
No. Pieces
1
Height
2.8
Length
10.4
Width
6.1
Description
BRASS PLATED STEEL CLIP HAS OUTLINE OF HORSESHOE ON FRONT. HAS CROWN ON TOP AND A DEPRESSED ROUNDED TRIANGLE BELOW. HAS A SLOT IN MIDDLE WITH A STRIP OF STEEL SUPPORT ALONG THE BACK. BACK OF CLIP HAS OPEN CIRCLE ON TOP WITH THE BODY HAVING COMING TO A POINT ALONG THE SIDES. BASE IS ROUNDED WITH A SCALLOPED BASE. HAS A SLOT IN THE BACK. IS PIECE OF RAW STEEL IN BETWEEN THE FRONT AND BACK. IS WOVEN THROUGH THE FRONT SLOT AND COMES OUT THE BACK SLOT. IS NOTCHED IN BETWEEN TO SECURE IN PLACE. SLIP HOLDS CLIP IN PLACE AND FORCES THE BOTTOM TOGETHER, THEY SEPARATE WHEN STEEL PIECES ARE PRESSED TOGETHER AT TOP. ENGRAVED IN TOP IS "SPENCERIAN". BRASS HAS PATINA AND PITTING. STEEL STRIP IS CORRODING AND HAS SURFACE DIRT. PLATING IS WEARING OFF.
Subjects
WRITING ACCESSORIES
Historical Association
BUSINESS
SAFETY SERVICES
History
DONATED ON BEHALF OF AGNES SHORT. SEE FILE P19950038001-GA FOR PERSONAL HISTORY. USED AT FIREFHALL IN CHIEF SHORT'S OFFICE. *UPDATE* IN 2016 COLLECTIONS ASSISTANT RUTHANN LABLANCE CONDUCTED A SURVEY OF CLOTHING, INCLUDING A BELT DONATED BY SHARON DEREK. THE FOLLOWING BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION WAS COMPILED USING ARTICLES FROM THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD. THE DONOR, SHARON DERRICK, IS THE NIECE OF AGNES SHORT. AGNES CHRISTINA SHORT WAS BORN ON APRIL 20, 1916 TO WILLIAM H. AND BERTHA SHORT (MAIDEN NAME UNKNOWN). SHE GRADUATED FROM LETHBRIDGE COLLEGIATE INSTITUTE AND THEN ATTDNED THE CALGARY GENERAL HOSPITAL FOR NURSING TRAINING, WHICH SHE GRADUATED FROM IN 1939. AGNES WAS THE SUPERVISOR AT THE GALT HOSPITAL FROM 1939-1945. SHE WAS IN CHARGE OF THE NURSING STAFF OF LETHBRIDGE SCHOOL DISTRICT #51 FROM 1947 UNTIL 1958. SHE WAS ALSO THE DIRECTOR OF NURSING AT THE LETHBRIDGE HEALTH UNIT FROM 1964 UNTIL HER RETIREMENT. SHE RETIRED IN 1980 AFTER 42 YEARS OF NURSING. AGNES PASSED AWAY AT THE AGE OF 78 ON OCTOBER 20, 1994. WILLIAM HENRY SHORT WAS AGNES’S FATHER. HE WAS BORN IN LONDON, ENGLAND IN 1889 AND MOVED TO CANADA IN 1909. HE INITIALLY WORKED FOR THE CITY WATERWORKS DEPARTMENT IN LETHBRIDGE FOR TWO YEARS, BEFORE SPENDING 51 YEARS IN SERVICE OF THE LETHBRIDGE FIRE DEPARTMENT. HE OVERSAW THE INTRODUCTION OF MOTORIZED FIRE ENGINES, SWITCHING FROM HORSE POWERED WAGONS, IN 1913. HE ALSO SAW THE DEPARTMENT GROW IN SIZE FROM ONLY 13 TO 49 MEN. HE PASSED AWAY AT THE AGE OF 84 ON NOVEMBER 18, 1974. WILLIAM’S WIFE BERTHA L. SHORT PASSED AWAY ON JULY 28, 1989. ACCORDING TO AN ARTICLE ABOUT AGNES’S LIFE, THE SHORT FAMILY LIVED IN NUMBER 1 FIRE HALL, WHERE WILLIAM WAS FIRE CHIEF. WILLIAM H. AND BERTHA ALSO HAD ANOTHER CHILD, WILLIAM D. SHORT. HE WAS BORN ON AUGUST 16, 1916 AND PASSED AWAY ON AUGUST 5, 1990. HE WAS MARRIED TO MYRTLE (NEE NELSON) SHORT AND THEIR CHILDREN INCLUDE THE DONOR, SHARON DERRICK. SEE PERMANENT FILE FOR COPIES OF THE ARTICLES FROM THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD. *UPDATE* IN 2018 COLLECTIONS ASSISTANT ELISE PUNDYK CONDUCTED A SURVEY OF BOXED TEXTILES AND ACCESSORIES INCLUDING A NUMBER OF ARTIFACTS DONATED BY SHARON DERRICK. ON 1 MARCH 2018, PUNDYK INTERVIEWED DERRICK REGARDING HER DONATION. THE INFORMATION BELOW HAS BEEN EXTRACTED FROM THAT INTERVIEW: A NUMBER OF ARTIFACTS DONATED WERE CONNECTED TO THE DONOR’S GRANDFATHER, WILLIAM H. SHORT AND HIS CAREER AS FIRE CHIEF IN THE NUMBER 1 FIRE HALL IN LETHBRIDGE. “YOU SEE, DURING THE YEARS THAT HE WAS THE FIRE CHIEF,” DERRICK BEGAN, “THEIR QUARTERS ACTUALLY WERE IN THE BACK OF THE FIRE HALL. SO STUFF KIND OF GOT ACCUMULATED THERE. THE WHOLE FAMILY [LIVED IN THE FIRE HALL]. WHEN I WAS LITTLE, I WAS THERE ALL THE TIME. MY FATHER [WILLIAM D. SHORT] WAS A CAPTAIN IN THE FIRE DEPARTMENT, BUT MY GRANDFATHER WAS THE FIRE CHIEF.” WHEN ASKED IF SHE HAD ANY MEMORY OF SEEING HER GRANDFATHER WEARING ANY OF THE ARTIFACTS, SUCH AS THE HELMET (P19950037014) OR THE FIRE PANTS (P19950037008), DERRICK RECALLED, “YES, BECAUSE LETHBRIDGE WAS SMALL AT THE TIME AND WHEN WE LIVED IN THE FIRE HALL AND THE BELLS WENT OFF, WE WOULD OFTEN WALK OVER TO HAVE A LOOK AT THE FIRE. I WOULD SEE MY GRANDFATHER OUT THERE, AND I’D SEE MY FATHER WHEN HE WAS ON SHIFT. THERE WERE SOME HUGE FIRES RIGHT DOWNTOWN. I CAN’T REMEMBER WHAT DATES – PROBABLY BACK IN THE LATE ‘40’S, EARLY ‘50’S. [IN ONE INSTANCE], MY DAD WAS ALSO ON THE BACK OF A FIRE TRUCK, SPEEDING TO A FIRE, AND ANOTHER TRUCK CAME ALONG AND HIT HIM IN THE BACK. HE SUFFERED VERY SEVERE INJURIES FROM THAT. AND I SAW THAT TOO. I WAS JUST ON MY WAY BACK TO SCHOOL.” “WHEN I WAS YOUNG, I WAS ALWAYS IN AND OUT [OF THE FIRE HALL],” DERRICK WENT ON, “THERE WAS A BELL TOWER THERE, WHERE THEY HUNG THE WET HOSES UP TO DRY. THERE WERE RICKETY OLD WOODEN STAIRS GOING ROUND AND ROUND ALL THE WAY UP TO THE TOP OF THE FIRE HALL TO WHERE THE BELL USED TO BE. I USED TO GO UP AND DOWN THOSE STAIRS, AND HOP AND PLAY. AND IN THE BASEMENT THERE WAS PRISON CELLS, BECAUSE IT USED [TO BE] THE POLICE STATION MANY, MANY YEARS BEFORE. IT WAS A COMBINATION OF FIRE AND POLICE. AND, THERE WAS A BIG FURNACE DOWN THERE. I USED TO GO DOWN AND WATCH THE FIREMEN PUSH COAL INTO THE FURNACE TO KEEP IT GOING. IT WAS AN INTERESTING PLACE TO BE AROUND.” “MY GRANDFATHER WAS ON THE INTERNATIONAL BOARD OF FIRE CHIEFS,” DERRICK CONTINUED, “HE WAS VICE-PRESIDENT IN NEW YORK. THEY HAD ASKED HIM TO COME UP AND TAKE THE PRESIDENCY, BUT AFTER MUCH CONSIDERATION, HE DECIDED HE DIDN’T WANT TO LEAVE THE FAMILY FOR THE TWO YEAR TERM IN NEW YORK, SO HE TURNED THAT ONE DOWN. THOUGH HE DID REMAIN ON THE BOARD FOR MANY YEARS.” AN ARTICLE IN THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD PUBLISHED ON SEPTEMBER 27, 2000 READS, “WILLIAM SHORT RETIRED AS LETHBRIDGE FIRE CHIEF IN 1962, ENDING A CAREER AS CHIEF WHICH BEGAN IN JANUARY 1945.” A HERALD ARTICLE FROM 1974 ADDITIONALLY STATES THAT SHORT “JOINED THE LETHBRIDGE FIRE DEPARTMENT IN 1911. HE WAS PROMOTED TO LIEUTENANT IN 1919 AND CAPTAIN IN 1922.” AN ADDITIONAL ARTICLE TITLED, “LETHBRIDGE WELL PROTECTED BY MODERN FIRE DEPARTMENT,” PUBLISHED IN 1967 IN THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD READS, “[IN 1910] THE FIRST FIREHALL THAT [WAS] LOCATED AT 4TH STREET AND 2ND AVENUE SOUTH WAS TORN DOWN. IT WAS A TWO-STOREY BUILDING. A THREE-STOREY FIREHALL WAS BUILT IN ITS PLACE ON THE SAME SITE. THAT EARLY BUILDING HOUSED THE FIRE DEPARTMENT EQUIPMENT, SERVED AS CITY HALL AND THE POLICE STATION…” WHEN ASKED ABOUT THE REASON FOR THE DONATION OF HER FAMILY’S ARTIFACTS DURING THE 2018 INTERVIEW, DERRICK EXPLAINED, “I WAS THE EXECUTOR FOR MY AUNT’S WILL AND WHEN SHE PASSED AWAY SHE [WAS LIVING IN] MY GRANDMOTHER AND GRANDFATHER’S HOME. ALL THIS STUFF HAD BEEN LEFT IN THE HOUSE, SO WHEN WE WERE CLEANING IT OUT FOLLOWING HER DEATH, WE CAME ACROSS ALL THESE THINGS. WHILE I KEPT SOME AS MEMENTOS, MY SISTER AND I [DECIDED TO DONATE OTHER ITEMS TO THE MUSEUM].” PLEASE PERMANENT FILE P19950037001, FOR MORE INFORMATION INCLUDING FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTION AND COPIES OF ARTICLES REGARDING THE FAMILY HISTORY.
Catalogue Number
P19950038008
Acquisition Date
1995-06
Collection
Museum
Less detail
Date Range From
1916
Date Range To
1920
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
IRON, STEEL
Catalogue Number
P20170034002
  2 images  
Material Type
Artifact
Date Range From
1916
Date Range To
1920
Materials
IRON, STEEL
No. Pieces
1
Height
1.3
Diameter
2
Description
IRON RING WITH WIDE BLANK SQUARE FRONT. RING HAS NO MARKING ON FRONT OR INSIDE. RING BAND WIDENS AT SQUARE FRONT AND NARROWS INTO BAND. RING IS TARNISHED ON INSIDE AND OUTSIDE OF BAND; OVERALL VERY GOOD CONDITION.
Subjects
ADORNMENT
Historical Association
MILITARY
PERSONAL CARE
History
ON NOVEMBER 20, 2017, COLLECTIONS TECHNICIAN KEVIN MACLEAN INTERVIEWED RITA BERLANDO REGARDING HER DONATION OF A GIFTED RING AND CRUCIFIX. BERLANDO WAS GIFTED THE OBJECTS FROM A PREVIOUS EMPLOYER, GLADSTONE VIRUTE, OF LETHBRIDGE. ON THE RING, BERLANDO RECALLED, “[THEY WERE FASHIONED FROM A BELL IN FRANCE OR BELGIUM] I HAVE NO IDEA…HOW THEY BECAME IN HIS POSSESSION. BUT TO HIM, HE MUST HAVE TREASURED THEM BECAUSE HE KNEW OF THE CHURCH THAT WAS BOMBED AND THE BELL THAT IT CAME FROM…WHEN HE GAVE THEM TO ME, I WAS INTRIGUED TO KNOW MORE ABOUT IT BUT HE DIDN’T HAVE TOO MUCH HISTORY ON THEM. NOT TO ME, ANYWAY.” ON GLADSTONE VIRTUE’S MILITARY SERVICE, BERLANDO NOTED, ““I DON’T THINK HE WANTED TO TALK ABOUT IT. I THINK HE HAD A PAST THAT HE WOULD RATHER NOT DISCUSS. IT WAS ALWAYS STRICTLY BUSINESS. IT WAS NEVER SITTING THERE AND DISCUSSING WHAT HIS LIFE WAS OR ANYTHING OF THAT NATURE.” “I DIDN’T KNOW TOO MUCH ABOUT HIM BUT I KNOW THAT HE WAS A MAN THAT PEOPLE RESPECTED, AND FOR HIM TO RESPECT ME, I THINK THAT WAS AN HONOUR.” “I WOULD LOVE TO KNOW HOW THESE TWO LITTLE ITEMS BECAME IN HIS POSSESSION AND WHERE WAS HE WHEN THEY WERE GIVEN TO HIM AND WAS HE PRESENT AT SOME TIME…I JUST FIND THAT HE MUST HAVE HAD THEM IN HIS POSSESSION FOR SOME TIME.” BERLANDO ELABORATED ON HOW THE RING CAME INTO HER POSSESSION, “[THIS ITEM] MEANS AN AWFUL LOT TO ME BECAUSE IT WAS GIVEN AT THE TIME THAT I WAS EMPLOYED WITH THE LAW FIRM OF VIRTUE AND COMPANY. IT WAS MR. GLADSTONE VIRTUE, SEMI-RETIRED WHEN I WAS EMPLOYED THERE, THAT HAD ASKED THAT I GO INTO HIS ROOM AND TAKE LETTERS [AND] NOTES FOR LETTERS THAT HE WISHED TO HAVE TYPED. I WAS HIRED AS A RECEPTIONIST, NOT FEELING THAT I WOULD HAVE THE RESPONSIBILITY AS A SECRETARY, SO I INFORMED HIM THAT I COULD NOT DO THIS DUTY. HE ASKED THAT I GET HIS SECRETARY TO TAKE HIS NOTES. AS THE MONTHS WENT BY, HE BECAME VERY – AND I USE THE WORD ‘ATTACHED’ – BECAUSE HE WOULD ALSO ASK ME TO DO SERVICES FOR HIM, WHICH I WOULD HAVE TO GO TO THE ROYAL BANK TO DO HIS BANKING [AND] HIS INVESTMENTS. WHEN HE WAS NO LONGER TO BE WITH THE FIRM, HE HANDED ME A LITTLE GIFT. THAT GIFT CONSIST[ED] OF A RING AND A CROSS THAT WAS MADE FROM A BELL OF A CHURCH THAT WAS BOMBED IN THE FIRST WAR. THAT MEANT AN AWFUL LOT TO ME SO I HAVE TREASURED IT CONTINUALLY AND [THE GIFTING] HAS TO DATE BACK TO [1965].” “[MR GLADSTONE VIRTURE] MUST HAVE KEPT IT AS A REMEMBRANCE FROM SOMEWHERE IN THE PAST THAT HE HAD THAT HE DID NOT [WANT TO] LEAVE IT TO HIS FAMILY, BUT [WITH] ME. THEREFORE, I DEFINITELY FELT THAT [IT] WAS A GIFT THAT I SHOULD TREASURE AND I HAVE TREASURED, AND I HAVE KEPT IT UNDER LOCK AND KEY. EVEN IN THE TRANSITION OF DOWNSIZING, I LIVED IN FEAR THAT FOR SOME REASON, THERE WERE ITEMS THAT I NO LONGER HAVE. I KEPT THINKING, ‘OH, DEAR LORD, I BETTER MAKE SURE I STILL HAVE THAT GIFT FROM MR. VIRTUE.’ WHEN I FOUND IT, THAT’S WHEN I REALLY SERIOUSLY THOUGHT I HAD TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT THEM.” “AT [THE TIME I WAS HIRED], FINANCES WERE DIFFICULT IN THE FAMILY HOME SO I APPLIED FOR THE POSITION OF RECEPTIONIST. THE POSITION REQUIRED NOT ONLY [WORKING] AS A RECEPTIONIST BUT AS A BOOKKEEPER AND AN OFFICE MANAGER. I HESITATED ONCE I WAS INFORMED OF THIS RESPONSIBILITY, BUT I UNDERTOOK THE POSITION AND DID ALL OF THE REQUIREMENTS THAT WAS EXPECTED OF ME. THE LAW FIRM AT THAT TIME CONSISTED OF CHARLES VIRTUE, WILLIAM RUSSELL, MR. GORDON AND THEN LATER ON, THERE WAS VAUGHN HEMBROFF THAT BECAME PARTNER AND GLENN MORRISON. IT’S ALWAYS MEANT A LOT OF THE PAST HISTORY OF MY LIFE. THINKING HOW I WAS HONOURED TO BE WITH THAT FIRM, THESE LITTLE ITEMS THAT WERE GIVEN TO ME JUST EVEN MEANT ALL THE MORE.” “BUT I REMEMBER DISTINCTLY THAT THEY SAID I COULDN’T LEAVE [IN 1964] UNTIL I HIRED SOMEONE THAT COULD REPLACE ME. THEY GAVE ME THE RESPONSIBILITY OF FINDING SOMEONE. MY INTENTION AT THAT TIME WAS TO LEAVE AND MOVE TO MONTREAL. I WAS LIMITED IN THE TIME THAT THIS RESPONSIBILITY WAS GIVEN, AND I DID SUGGEST A PARTICULAR PERSON BUT SHE ONLY WORKED THERE FOR A SHORT TIME AND THEY DIDN’T FEEL THAT SHE QUALIFIED AND COULD HANDLE THE WORK THAT I HAD TAKEN ON. THEN I HAD TO CONTINUE TO STAY UNTIL THEY FELT COMFORTABLE THAT THERE WAS SOMEONE THAT COULD REPLACE ME AND IT MUST HAVE BEEN 1965 [THAT I LEFT].” “EACH ONE OF THE LAWYERS HAD THEIR OWN PRIVATE SECRETARIES. ONE WOMAN IN PARTICULAR…MARY, WAS EXCELLENT IN TAKING LETTERS AND WAS AN EXCELLENT LAW SECRETARY, BUT COULD NOT DO THE BOOKKEEPING. I UNDERTOOK TO DO THE BOOKKEEPING FOR THE SECRETARIES AND THEREFORE, THERE HAD TO BE, AT LEAST FOUR EXTRA GIRLS AS SECRETARIES THERE. AS THEY INCREASED WITH STAFF, THEY WOULD ALSO HIRE MORE SECRETARIES.” ON MR. GLADSTONE VIRTUE, BERLANDO STATED, “I ADMIRED HIM BECAUSE HE DEMANDED RESPECT, HE DEMANDED PROFESSIONALISM. HE WAS VERY SERIOUS ABOUT HIS CLIENTS AND THEY HAD TO BE TREATED LIKE IT WAS AN HONOUR TO HAVE HIM AS THEIR LAWYER. HE WAS NOT A TALL MAN IN STATURE BUT HE STOOD OUT AS A SPECIAL PERSON…BUT HIS CLIENTS CAME FIRST. HE WOULD NEVER HESITATE TO MAKE SURE THAT IF HE HAD A CLIENT OR HAD AN APPOINTMENT THAT I HAD TO MAKE SURE THEY WERE TAKEN CARE OF. HE USED TO INVEST THROUGH THE ROYAL BANK AND HE WOULD HAVE ME GO DOWN AND MEET WITH THE MANAGER. [I WOULD] LET THEM KNOW THAT I WAS THERE ON BEHALF OF MR. VIRTUE AND PRESENT THEM WITH WHATEVER INFORMATION HE GAVE ME…THEY WERE TO TAKE CARE OF THAT. SO HE REALLY MADE ME HIS PERSONAL PERSON TO LOOK AFTER ALL OF HIS PRIVATE AFFAIRS, WHICH TO ME WAS AN HONOUR…EVEN THE LAWYERS HAD SO MUCH RESPECT FOR HIM. WHEN HE MADE A STATEMENT OR A COMMAND OR MADE INSTRUCTIONS FOR CHANGES, THEY WERE MADE AND THEY HAD TO BE ABIDED.” BERLANDO SPOKE ABOUT HER SENTIMENTS ON DONATING THE RING TO THE MUSEUM, NOTING, “AT THE AGE OF NINETY-ONE, WHICH I HAVE BEEN VERY FORTUNATE TO LIVE THIS LENGTH OF TIME, I HAVE TO TAKE INTO CONSIDERATION MANY ITEMS THAT I FEEL SHOULD BE INHERITED BY MY FAMILY…BUT NOT KNOWING THE IMPORTANCE OF THIS GIFT…[I WISH TO] LEAVE IT TO NO ONE OTHER THAN I FEEL THAT DESERVES TO HAVE IT, [WHICH] WOULD BE THE GALT MUSEUM. I DO WISH TO LEAVE IT TO SOMEONE THAT I THINK MAYBE COULD CARRY ON A LITTLE IMPORTANCE OF THE GIFT THAT WAS HANDED TO ME.” “I THINK THAT IT PUTS SUCH A TRUST IN ME, THAT I FEEL NOW, EVEN IN THE YEARS GONE BY, HOW I’VE ALWAYS WANTED SOMEONE, OR ANYONE THAT HAD ANY CONNECTIONS WITH ME, THAT THEY COULD TRUST ME. THAT I WOULD NEVER WANT TO HURT ANYONE AND I WOULD WANT TO CONTINUE TO HELP PEOPLE. WHEN I HEAR PEOPLE IN DISCUSSION OR IN COMMENTS THAT THEY CAN RECALL THINGS THAT I HAVE DONE FOR THEM THAT I CAN’T REMEMBER…I GUESS IT’S JUST MY NATURE TO BE THAT TYPE OF PERSON. [BUT] IF SOMEONE LIKE MR. VIRTUE COULD TRUST ME, AND THEN CLIENTS CAN TRUST ME, I THINK IT INSTILLED [A] TRUST THAT I’LL CARRY TO MY GRAVE.” ABNER GLADSTONE VIRTUE GRADUATED FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF ALBERTA IN 1913 AND BEGAN HIS CAREER IN LAW SHORTLY BEFORE THE START OF THE FIRST WORLD WAR. IN 1915, VIRTUE ENLISTED IN THE LETHBRIDGE MILITIA UNIT, THE 25TH FIELD ARTILLERY. UPON ITS FORMATION, VIRTUE ENLISTED AS A LIEUTENANT WITH THE LETHBRIDGE 61ST BATTERY THAT JOINED FRONT LINES IN FRANCE IN 1917. IN 1916, THE CARENCY CHURCH’S STEEPLE FELL FROM GERMAN GUN-FIRE. THE BELL FROM THE STEEPLE WAS RELATIVELY UNDAMAGED, AND MOVED TO BE BURIED IN VILLERS A ROIS FOR SAFETY. THE ARTILLERY BRIGADE OF THE 61ST BATTERY ARRIVED IN CARENCY, WHERE AMONGST THE CHURCH DEBRIS FRAGMENTS OF THE BELL WERE RETRIVED BY LETHBRIDGE FORCES. THE BATTERY FARRIER FASHIONED THE FRAGMENTS INTO SOUVENIRS THAT SOLDIERS RETURNED TO LETHBRIDGE WITH, INCLUDING GLADSTONE VIRTUE, WHO RETURNED TO LETHBRIDGE WITH A RING. AN ARTICLE FROM THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD PUBLISHED MARCH 24, 1931 ON THE FRONT PAGE REFERENCED "LIEUT. A.G. VIRTUE, WHO WAS IN CHARGE OF THE 61ST [ALBERTA BATTALION] WHEN IT WAS DEMOBILIZED, HAS ONE OF THE RINGS MADE FROM FRAGMENTS OF THE FAMOUS [CARENCY] BELL, SHOT FROM THE STEEPLE OF THE CHURCH BY GERMAN SHELL FIRE AND SHATTERED." VIRTUE RESUMED HIS LAW PRACTICE IN LETHBRIDGE FOLLOWING HIS RETUN FROM WAR, AND BECAME A SENIOR PARTNER IN THE FIRM OF VIRTUE, RUSSELL, MORGAN AND VIRTUE. THE BELL OF CARENCY CHURCH WAS RETRIEVED BY THE PARIS MUNICIPAL COUNCIL IN 1931, AND RETURNED TO THE CARENCY CHURCH. FOR MORE INFORMATION INCLUDING ARTICLES ON THE BELL AND VIRTUE’S INVOLVEMENT FROM THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD, AND THE FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTION, PLEASE SEE THE PERMANENT FILE P20170034001-GA.
Catalogue Number
P20170034002
Acquisition Date
2017-11
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail