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Date Range From
1950
Date Range To
1970
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
STEEL, WOOD
Catalogue Number
P20150010005
  2 images  
Material Type
Artifact
Date Range From
1950
Date Range To
1970
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
Other Name
BALE OR HAY HOOK
Date Range From
1940
Date Range To
1995
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
METAL, WOOD, IRON
Catalogue Number
P20150010009
  2 images  
Material Type
Artifact
Other Name
BALE OR HAY HOOK
Date Range From
1940
Date Range To
1995
Materials
METAL, WOOD, IRON
No. Pieces
1
Height
11.0
Length
24.5
Width
12..7
Description
HAY CROOK OR BALE HOOK. METAL AND WOODEN HANDLE, WITH CAST IRON HOOK. MAIN PORTION OF THE HANDLE IS WOODEN, WITH A MEDIUM AND LIGHT GREY PAINTED FINISH. WHERE THE HANDLE ATTACHES TO THE HOOK IS SILVER COLOURED METAL, WITH A MEDIUM LIGHT BLUE PAINTED FINISH. THE HOOK ITSELF IS CAST IRON, WITH A RED PAINTED FINISH. OVERALL IN FAIR TO GOOD CONDITION. STRUCTURALLY THE HOOK IS IN VERY GOOD CONDITION, BUT THE PAINTED SURFACES ARE ALL VERY WORN. THE WOODEN HANDLE APPEARS TO HAVE BEEN FINISHED IN A LIGHT GREY FIRST, WITH A LATER ADDITION OF MEDIUM GREY PAINT. BOTH OF THE GREY FINISHES ARE VERY SCUFFED AND SCRATCHED AND THERE IS A LOT OF EXPOSED WOOD. THE MEDIUM BLUE FINISH OF THE METAL PORTION OF THE HANDLE HAS FLAKED OFF IN SEVERAL AREAS. SEVERAL MORE AREAS OF THE FINISH ARE LOOSE. THE RED FINISH ON THE CAST IRON IS VERY WORN, REVEILING BOTH UNFINISHED METAL AND A LIGHT BLUE PAINT.
Subjects
AGRICULTURAL T&E
Historical Association
SAFETY SERVICES
History
THIS HAY CROOK OR BALE HOOK WAS USED BY THE LETHBRIDGE FIRE DEPARTMENT. 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). ALL FOUR MEN AGREE THAT THE HOOK WAS USED TO HELP FIGHT HAYSTACK FIRES ON LOCAL FARMS. BROWN EXPLAINS THE DIFFICULTY OF DEALING WITH A HAYSTACK FIRE AND WHY THE HOOK WAS SO USEFUL: “WITH A HAYSTACK FIRE, ONCE IT STARTS ON FIRE, THE WHOLE STACK IS WRECKED, EVEN THOUGH IT DOESN’T BURN, BECAUSE THE SMOKE GOES THROUGH IT, THE HAY IS CONTAMINATED AND THE ANIMALS AREN’T GOING TO EAT IT, SO YOU PRETTY WELL HAVE TO KNOCK IT DOWN ANYWAY. AS SOON AS YOU PUT WATER ON IT, IT WILL SMOLDER, AND SMOLDER, AND SMOLDER. PROBABLY ONE OF THE HARDEST FIRES TO PUT OUT IS A HAYSTACK FIRE, BECAUSE YOU CAN’T GET THE WATER TO IT. … YOU PUT YOUR WATER, YOU SOAK ON TOP OF THE BALES AND IT JUST WON’T SOAK IN, SO YOU HAVE TO TAKE EVERY BALE APART, BREAK EVERY PIECE APART, EVERY LITTLE BALE, BREAK IT DOWN, HOSE IT DOWN, NEXT BALE, BREAK IT APART, HOSE IT DOWN, AND CONTINUE.” LAZENBY RECALLED SEEING THE HAY CROOK ON THE TRUCK WHEN HE FIRST STARTED AND EXPLAINED: “I’M NOT A FARM KID AND I DIDN’T KNOW WHAT IT WAS.” HE ASKED WHAT IT WAS, RECEIVING THE REPLY: “’WELL, IT’S A BALE HOOK’ AND I SAID, ‘SO I’M NOT TRYING TO BE A SMART ALECK HERE, BUT WHY DO WE HAVE BALE HOOKS ON THE ENGINE?’ THEY SAID, ‘WELL, IN CASE WE GO TO A HAY BALE FIRE.’ YOU KNOW, ASK A SIMPLE QUESTION, YOU GET A SIMPLE ANSWER, RIGHT? … I NEVER SAW ONE USED AND … THIS IS ONE OF THOSE PIECES OF EQUIPMENT THAT GOT PHASED OUT SHORTLY AFTER THE BEGINNING OF MY CAREER. … THIS WAS ONE OF THOSE PIECES THAT WE FOUND THAT WE JUST DIDN’T HAVE A USE FOR. YOU CAN MOVE HAY BALES WITH OTHER MEANS THAN TO HAVE A SET OF BALE HOOKS ON THE TRUCKS, SO THEY WENT AWAY.” PETIT RECALLED USING THE HOOK AND ADDED: “IT WAS USUALLY ON THE PUMP WHEN THEY RESPONDED TO GRASS FIRES … SOMETIMES WE’D TAKE THAT, NOT USUALLY TO FIGHT THE FIRE, BUT WHEN YOU HAD TO KNOCK [THE BALES] DOWN, YOU HAD TO DRAG THE BALES OUT OF THE WAY. OTHERWISE THEY WOULD START THE FIRE ALL OVER AGAIN. IT WASN’T USED THAT MUCH BUT WE DID GO TO QUITE A FEW FIRES, YOU KNOW, STACKS OF BALES.” DZUREN AGREED: “WELL, IT’S THE BAILING HOOK. AND THAT’S JUST TO MOVE ANY, WHETHER IT’S A BALE OF STRAW OR ANY OTHER ITEM THAT HAD TO BE MOVED AWAY FROM THE FIRE, OR JUST, YOU KNOW, SEGREGATED FROM WHAT WAS ALREADY BURNING.” HE RECALLED THAT IT WAS IN USE WHEN HE STARTED IN 1959 AND ADDED “IT WOULD HAVE BEEN ON ONE OF THE VEHICLES … PARTICULARLY … COUNTY VEHICLES THAT WOULD RESPOND OUT TO THE COUNTY, TO THE FARM FIRE.” SEE PERMANENT FILE FOR FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTS AND ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE LETHBRIDGE FIRE DEPARTMENT.
Catalogue Number
P20150010009
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
1950
Date Range To
1960
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
WOOD, METAL
Catalogue Number
P20160008001
  2 images  
Material Type
Artifact
Date Range From
1950
Date Range To
1960
Materials
WOOD, METAL
No. Pieces
1
Height
38.3
Length
121.5
Width
4.6
Description
SIGN. WOOD AND METAL. BORDER OF SIGN IS PAINTED MEDIUM/DARK BROWN. MAIN PORTION OF SIGN IS GOLDEN ROD YELLOW, WITH BLACK LETTERING. TEXT READS: “A SAFE WORKER IS A VALUABLE EMPLOYEE”. TWO METAL BRACKETS FOR HANGING ATTACH TO BACK OF SIGN. EACH BRACKET ATTACHES TO THE BACK WITH TWO FLAT HEADED BOLTS, WHICH ARE VISIBLE ON THE YELLOW SIDE OF THE SIGN. NUTS HOLD THE BOLTS ON THE BACK. HANDWRITTEN IN BLUE INK ON BOTTOM LEFT SIDE “317-9353”. REVERSE OF SIGN IS UNFINISHED DARK, ROUGH PINE BORDER. OVERALL IN GOOD TO VERY GOOD CONDITION. SIGN IS VERY DIRTY. SOME OF BROWN PAINT AROUND BORDER HAS SCRATCHED OFF, REVEALING BLACK PAINT UNDERNEATH.
Subjects
VISUAL COMMUNICATION T&E
Historical Association
INDUSTRY
SAFETY SERVICES
TRANSPORTATION
History
THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION COMES FROM A SERIES OF LETHBRIDGE HERALD NEWSPAPER ARTICLES AND AN INTERVIEW WITH THE DONOR CONDUCTED BY KEVIN MACLEAN. FROM JOHN’S INTERVIEW: JOHN STARTED WORKING AT THE FROG SHOP IN KIPP, AB IN 1992. HE DESCRIBED HOW IT WAS THAT HE CAME TO WORK THERE: “I WAS WORKING AS A SEASONAL MACHINE OPERATOR ON THE PACIFIC REGION, WHICH MEANT THAT IN THE SPRINGTIME EVERY YEAR, I GENERALLY START OUT SOMEWHERE NEAR THE FRASER CANYON AND OVER THE COURSE OF THE YEAR I’D WORK ANYWHERE FROM THERE TO SWIFT CURRENT AND FROM THE U.S. BORDER AS FAR NORTH AS [THE CPR HAD TRACKS, TO ROUGHLY ST. PAUL, AB]. THE LENGTH OF MY YEAR’S EMPLOYMENT WOULD BE DETERMINED IN MY SENIORITY AND THE AMOUNT OF WORK THAT WAS AVAILABLE. I WAS REAL TIRED OF BEING ON THE ROAD. THE YEAR PREVIOUSLY, THERE’D BEEN A TEMPORARY JOB – A COUPLE OF TEMPORARY JOBS THAT WERE BULLETINED AT THE FROG SHOP IN THE FALL, PROCESSING SOME SCRAP MATERIAL THAT WAS THERE. A FRIEND AND MINE BID THOSE JOBS AND GOT THEM. THAT MEANT WE WERE ON THE SHOP’S SENIORITY LIST AND WHEN THE OPPORTUNITY AROSE, THERE WAS A POSITION THERE BULLETINED – ACTUALLY A COUPLE OF POSITIONS BULLETINED THERE – MY FRIEND AND I BID THEM TO BE ABLE TO BE AT HOME AND HAVE A YEAR ROUND JOB. MIGHT NOT HAVE BEEN THE BEST IDEA EVER, BUT IT WAS GOOD TO BE HOME AND SLEEP IN MY OWN BED AT NIGHT AND WAKE UP AND SEE MY HORSES IN THE MORNING.” JOHN REMOVED THIS SIGN FROM HIS WORKPLACE WHEN THE CANADIAN PACIFIC RAILWAY ELECTED TO CLOSE THE FROG SHOP IN KIPP IN THE SPRING OF 2002. JOHN’S SUPERVISOR, GUY MITCHELL, KNEW THAT HE HAD AN INTEREST IN HISTORY AND OLD THINGS AND ALLOWED JOHN TO TAKE SOME ITEMS HOME. JOHN RECOUNTED THE EXPERIENCE: “WHEN I ASKED [GUY] WHAT WAS TO BECOME OF THE [SAFE WORKER] SIGN HE SAID, ‘YOU CAN HAVE IT, JOHN. THEY’LL JUST THROW IT AWAY. IT’S JUST JUNK AS FAR AS ANYONE ELSE CONCERNED.’ I ASKED HIM, ‘GEE, COULD I HAVE THE LITTLE PLAQUE OFF THE DOOR?’ AND HE SAID, ‘OF COURSE, YEAH, TAKE IT. IT’S GOING TO GET – SOMEONE ELSE WILL KNOCK IT OFF AND IT’LL GET BROKEN. SO MUCH THE BETTER. YOU WANNA SEE IT HANG IN THERE, GO FOR IT. IT’S ALL YOURS.’” JOHN EXPLAINED THAT THIS SIGN HUNG ON THE WALL: “IT WAS HANGING ON THE WALL WELL ABOVE THE DOORWAY, AND [I] PUT A LADDER UP AND TOOK THE TWO BIG SCREWS OUT OF THE WALL THAT HELD IT IN PLACE, AND TOOK THE TWO LITTLE TINY SCREWS OUT OF THE DOORWAY THAT HELD THE FROG SHOP SIGN IN PLACE. THAT WAS ONE OF THE LAST DAY – I THINK IT MIGHT HAVE BEEN EVEN THE LAST DAY THAT WE WERE THERE – AS I RECALL THAT’S THE CASE.” JOHN EXPLAINED WHY HE WAS SO INTERESTED IN THIS PARTICULAR SIGN: “BUT THE SIGN WAS SIGNIFICANT TO ME IN IT OF ITSELF GIVEN THAT WE SOMETIMES JOKED THAT THAT WAS THE ENTIRETY FOR A LONG TIME OF THE RAILWAY’S SAFETY PROGRAM – WAS A SIGN LIKE THIS. ON ALL THE MIRRORS IN ALL OF THE EMPLOYEES’ BATHROOMS, GOING BACK AT LEAST WHEN I FIRST WORKED FOR THE RAILWAY THE SUMMER OUT OF THE UNIVERSITY IN 1975, THE MIRRORS WERE ALL PAINTED WITH A SIGN ABOVE - AT THE TOP AND THE BOTTOM OF THE MIRROR THAT SAID, “YOU’RE LOOKING AT THE MAN MOST RESPONSIBLE YOUR SAFETY.” THOSE WERE QUITE OFTEN CHANGED BY EMPLOYEES TO SAY SOMETHING QUITE DIFFERENT, BUT YEAH, IT WAS SOMETHING OF A JOKE.” HE WENT ON FURTHER, SAYING THAT IN 1978 HE AND A FRIEND LOOKED INTO THE OLD ROUNDHOUSE AT THE RAIL YARD IN LETHBRIDGE AND “WAS MORTIFIED” TO SEE THE WORKING CONDITIONS: “WE PULLED UP BEHIND THE OLD ROUNDHOUSE IN THE OLD YARD HERE IN LETHBRIDGE, AND LOOKED IN THE DOORWAY. THAT’S AS MUCH AS I KNOW OF THE OLD ROUNDHOUSE, AND I WAS MORTIFIED TO SEE MEN WORKING IN A POORLY VENTILATED, ANCIENT, REALLY FALLING APART BUILDING. MORE PIGEONS THAN PEOPLE INSIDE, IN A CLOUD OF DUST AND WELDING SMOKE THAT YOU COULD NOT SEE THROUGH. THAT’S WHERE THIS SIGN CAME FROM.” IN COMPARISON, THE WORKING CONDITIONS IN THE KIPP FROG SHOP WERE MUCH BETTER, BUT JOHN EXPLAINS THAT THERE WERE STILL PROBLEMS: “WHEN I WENT TO WORK AT THE FROG SHOP IN KIPP IN EARLY ’92, A GREAT NUMBER OF PEOPLE WORKING THERE, AND THEN THERE WERE ONLY 12 EMPLOYEES THERE AND A SUPERVISOR, HAD WORKED THERE. CONSEQUENTLY, THAT FACILITY WAS LIGHT YEARS BEYOND WHERE THEY WORKED PREVIOUSLY, AND THEY’RE PRETTY COMFORTABLE IN THEIR ENVIRONMENT. THEY FELT THAT, YOU KNOW, THEY WERE DOING PRETTY WELL. THERE WERE A NUMBER OF US OVER THE COURSE OF THE NEXT COUPLE OF YEARS THAT CAME TO WORK THERE THAT HAD PREVIOUSLY WORKED ON THE SEASONAL WORK CREWS, AS MACHINE OPERATORS, WERE HAPPY TO HAVE A FULL TIME, YEAR-ROUND JOB. IT WASN’T A VERY PLEASANT PLACE TO WORK. IT WAS VERY DUSTY, VERY NOISY, AND DESPITE A RELATIVELY DECENT WELDING FUME VENTILATION SYSTEM, IT WASN’T A GOOD PLACE TO BE. AND WE LOOKED AT THE SIGN EVERY DAY AS YOU WALKED OUT. IN THE COURSE OF READING THE MSDS ON THE WELDING WIRE AND THE WELDING ROD WE USED, AFTER I WORKED THERE FOR MAYBE A YEAR OR SO – MAYBE A COUPLE YEARS – I SAW THAT THE WELDING WIRE MANUFACTURER – WELL THE WELDING ROD MANUFACTURER – SUGGESTED THAT PEOPLE HAVE AT LEAST ANNUAL BLOOD TESTS TO DETERMINE THEIR BLOOD LEVELS OF HEAVY METALS, IN PARTICULAR MANGANESE.” JOHN EXPLAINED THAT TOO MUCH MAGNESIUM IN THE HUMAN BODY CAN MIMIC PARKINSON’S DISEASE, A CONDITION CALLED PARKINSONISM. SUMPTION PUSHED FOR BLOOD TESTING TO BE DONE IN THE 1990S: “THAT STARTED US DOWN THE ROAD THAT RESULTED IN A STUDY BEING DONE BY A GROUP OF INDUSTRIAL MEDICINE SPECIALISTS FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF CALGARY, INCLUDING OF THE FOREMOST – THE WORLD’S MOST FOREMOST – MOVEMENT DISORDER SPECIALIST … . CONSEQUENTLY, WE ALL SPENT TWO DAYS IN CALGARY, GOT MRI, GOT BLOOD TESTS, AND THEREAFTER WERE REGULARLY SUBJECTED TO URINE TESTS.” THE RESULTS OF ALL OF THIS TESTING: “CONSEQUENTLY, THE VENTILATION SYSTEM WAS IMPROVED, THE DUST CAPTURE SYSTEM WAS IMPROVED FOR THE GRINDING PROCEDURES, AND ALL EMPLOYEES WORE POWER PURIFIED AIR RESPIRATORS THEREAFTER. SO WE HAD A MUCH SAFER WORK ENVIRONMENT.” JOHN NEVER SAW THIS SIGN HANGING IN THE ROUNDHOUSE AND HAD THE FOLLOWING TO SAY: “IT’S FAR TOO OLD TO HAVE BEEN MADE FOR THE FROG SHOP IN 1982. WHEN YOU LOOK AT THESE … BOLTS – HAVEN’T SEEN THEM DO LIKE THAT IN AN AWFUL LONG TIME. THIS IS HAND-PUNCHED – THIS IS HAND-CUT AND HAND-PUNCHED. LOOT AT THE WIDTH OF THE PINE PLANK THAT IT’S ON. IT’S NOT REGULAR, OLD CPR RED. THEY DIDN’T BUY THINGS. THEY ARE NOTORIOUSLY CHEAP. I REMEMBER THIS YELLOW PAINT. THIS IS THE SAME YELLOW PAINT THAT THEY PAINTED THEIR MOTOR CARS WITH – THE LITTLE, FREEZE-YOUR-ASS-OFF TRACK MOBILES WE USED TO TRAVEL ON WHEN WE’RE WORKING ON THE TRACK. YEAH, I WAS TOLD THAT. BUT I KNOW THEY WOULDN’T HAVE A SIGN PAINTED. I KNOW THEY WOULDN’T BUY ONE FROM ANYONE. AND THAT WAS WHAT I WAS TOLD BY ALL THE PEOPLE THAT I WORKED WITH THERE; SOME OF WHOM HAD A GREAT MANY YEARS. AND THERE WERE A COUPLE OLD GUYS THAT I WORKED WITH THAT RETIRED AT 35 YEARS, SHORTLY AFTER I ARRIVED IN THE FROG SHOP THERE IN ’92.” JOHN DESCRIBED WHERE THE SIGN HUNG IN THE FROG SHOP IN KIPP: “IT HUNG IN THE DOORWAY THAT LEAD OUT OF THE SHOP INTO THE HALLWAY INTO OUR CHANGE ROOM. I LOOKED AT IT EVERY DAY, AT LUNCHTIME, COFFEE TIME.” JOHN ADDED THE FOLLOWING ABOUT WORKER SAFETY: “I JUST THINK THAT THIS IS TO ME ILLUSTRATIVE OF HOW FAR WE’VE COME WHEN IT COMES TO WORKERS’ SAFETY. AND WHEN YOU TAKE A LOOK AROUND TODAY OF HOW HORRIFYINGLY FAR WE HAVE TO GO. TO THINK THAT THERE ARE PEOPLE, WHAT LESS THAN TWO WEEKS AGO, STANDING IN FRONT OF THE LEGISLATURE IN EDMONTON FIGHTING THE NOTION THAT FARM WORKERS IN ALBERTA SHOULD HAVE THE SAME PROTECTION THAT THEY DO EVERYWHERE ELSE IN THE COUNTRY AND HAVE FOR YEARS AND YEARS. TOO MANY PEOPLE DIE GOING TO WORK. IT’S TOO EASY TO HAPPEN AND IT’S EVEN EASIER NOW. IT’S SCARY TO THINK OF YOUNG PEOPLE. I’VE WORKED WITH LOTS OF YOUNG PEOPLE AS THE YEARS HAVE GONE ON. I’M OLD. I KNOW OLD PEOPLE - OLDER PEOPLE - LOOKED OUT FOR ME AND HELPED ME; AND I’M REALLY FORTUNATE FOR THAT. BUT IN THIS HURRY-UP WORLD, NOW AND PARTICULARLY AS YOU SEE UNION MEMBERSHIP DECLINING AND IT BECOMING MORE AND MORE DIFFICULT TO OBTAIN A UNION CONTRACT, TO RATIFY A UNION VOTE, GEE I DON’T WANT TO SEE ANYONE - ANYBODY ELSE GET HURT. AND I HOPE THAT THAT GETS BETTER. BECAUSE I’VE SEEN REALLY BAD THINGS HAPPEN TO PEOPLE AND IT WASN’T BECAUSE THEY WERE DUMB AND IT WASN’T BECAUSE THEY WERE CARELESS. FAR TOO OFTEN IT WAS BECAUSE THEY JUST DIDN’T KNOW AND SOMEBODY WHO SHOULD KNOW BETTER DIDN’T GET IN LINE.” RELOCATING THE RAIL YARDS TO KIPP IS COVERED IN DETAIL IN SEVERAL LETHBRIDGE HERALD NEWSPAPER ARTICLES, ESPECIALLY IN THE PERIOD OF 1980 TO 1982. THESE ARTICLES TEND TO FOCUS ON THE BENEFIT FOR THE CITY OF LETHBRIDGE AND THE ABILITY TO REDEVELOP THE YARDS. FOR EXAMPLE, AN OCTOBER 10, 1980 ARTICLE DISCUSSES REDEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITIES: “THERE MUST BE A GOOD CORRIDOR WITH A DIVIDED HIGHWAY THROUGH THE CITY TO ACCOMMODATE BOTH TRAFFIC THAT DOESN’T WANT TO STOP AND TRAFFIC THAT WANTS TO GET OFF AT DOWNTOWN LETHBRIDGE. RAILWAY RELOCATION GIVES ROOM FOR SUCH A CORRIDOR FROM THE RAILWAY BRIDGE THROUGH TO 13TH ST.” FOR MORE DETAILS, PLEASE SEE PERMANENT FILE. FOR COPIES OF NEWSPAPER ARTICLES AND FOR A TRANSCRIPT OF THE INTERVIEW, PLEASE SEE PERMANENT FILE.
Catalogue Number
P20160008001
Acquisition Date
2016-03
Collection
Museum
Images
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