Story Archive

16 Apr Kathy Hill’s story of Olive

01 - Olive at BanffMy mother, Olive May Smallwood, was born in Nottingham, England, on May 10, 1903. She was the youngest of seven daughters and one of twelve children born to John and Mary Smallwood. She began school at age four at what was called the Infant’s School. She stayed in school until she was fourteen, since to advance would have meant travelling to another village, which she could not have done. So she repeated her last grade, rather than leave school altogether, and became the most literate of her family.
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10 Apr Linzi Martin’s story of Brenda

Brenda Martin wedding day 1949My mum's age was somewhat of a mystery, she lied on forms about it, she kept it secret from her daughters and having a face lift in her late 40's, she always did look younger than her true age. A sunny day 6th June 1927, a baby girl was born to the Dingley family in Winchester, Hampshire. Named Brenda Jean. Brenda was the 2nd girl, her older sister Eve, then would follow Joan and the youngest Rosemary, who would join Brenda to play in their parents garden. Four girls was a handful for George their dad, a respected Master builder. Most of the girls upbringing was done by the one I knew as 'gran'. I don't recall her real name as to my mum she was mum and to me she was that wonderful, smiling, friendly gran who baked delicious cakes.
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28 Nov Jodi’s story of Gail

Gail Harbour 2 My mother died on a Tuesday in September of a massive pulmonary embolism. She collapsed to her knees and took her last breath at the age of fifty-three. She had been born with a particular set of challenges and had augmented those challenges with poor choices.
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24 Jul Margo Prentice’s story of Bertha

The town of Elie, Manitoba was populated by French speaking people. A convent attached to a church was the focal point of all activity in Elie.  In 1917 the gossips speculated about the arrival of its newest citizen. This was the day Rose and Omar Brabant became the new parents of a baby girl.
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20 Jun Tamra Wilson’s story of Shirley

Shirley McManus TamraThe weeks that separate the dry winds of summer from the relentless howl of a prairie winter are few and pass quickly.  This is when my mother was born into a world falling headlong into the Great Depression.  On October 4, 1930, Shirley became the last of four children born to Rose and Ernest French of Herbert, Saskatchewan.  Her mother always called her Shirley Ann and it wasn’t until she applied for a passport in 1977 that she realized that she had no middle name after all.
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26 Mar Ray Baldwin’s story of Mary

Mary Baldwin[2]My mother was named Mary. She was born in 1919 in Mossimin, Saskatchewan, to a young couple Willem and Alexandra Benwick.   Willem was barely 20 and had emigrated from the Ukraine in 1915 and immediately entered the employ of the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR).  By 1917 he was able to help his even younger wife immigrate.   At that time the CPR had stationed him in Mossimin.  And that is where Willem and Alexandra established the first of many homes over their 60 year marriage.   Mossimin is also where they began a family.  By the end of their lives in 1998 the Benwick family numbered eleven children.
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04 Jun Karis Cooper’s story of Marcia

Marcia Penfold’s arrival into the world was recorded on a small piece of brown paper in curly whirly Burmese script on the 19th of November, 1935. I have omitted her middle name as she has never liked it!
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04 Jun Lucia Guteres Dearaujo’s story of Lorenca

My mom’s name is Lorenca Gutteres da Conceicão. She was born in small village called Suai in 1948. Lorenca’s father died a week before she was born. What a life for my grandma without a husband. She couldn’t do much to look after my mom and her sister, Aquilina. She was only a housewife without a job. When Lorenca’s mother’s mother heard the news, she went to Suai to bring my mother and her daughters to live with her in another village called Aitutu.
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04 Jun Brigida Silva’s story of Etelvina

My mother’s name is Etelvina Lopes. She was born in Sub-district Quelicai, District Baucau, on June 8th, 1933. My mother was the first baby of the family, born at the foot of Matebian Mountain, the second tallest mountain in Timor. Etelvina’s great grandfather was the Chief of Lacoliho Village in Quelicai. His eldest son replaced him after his death. The second, Etelvina’s grandfather, moved to Baguia to be the Chief of Ossuna Village, following the Rota, a traditional ruling tool. Thus, Etelvina grew-up in Baguia.
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