1910’s

16 Apr Jane Torresan’s story of Jo

16 - Baby Jo JaneJosephine Mary Ellerbeck (nee King), affectionately called Jo, was born in England on January 16, 1915. She was an only child and as an infant emigrated with her parents to Winnipeg. I never knew why. They had a very troubled family life. Lots of arguments, fueled by alcohol, led to a chaotic environment. Mom remembers being locked out of the house in her nightie in the middle of winter. Eventually her parents separated, and, when Jo was five, she and her mother Joyce traveled to Vancouver.
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16 Apr Suzanne Brazeau’s story of Vassilka

15 - Vassilika Yannis SuzRThe Macedonian village, Zeleniche, under Greek rule, welcomed the birth of Vassilka Shikleff around 1915. She was the third of four children born to Magda and Ristos Shikleff. Their eldest child, Alexandra, would thirty years later bring Vassilka to Canada. Their second eldest, brother, Turpche, would be cut out of her life when she learned how he had neglected and abused their mother. Her youngest brother Yanni . . . yeah, well, Yanni . . .
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16 Apr Kathy McColeman’s stories of Allison and Joyce

14 - Allison and KathyMy mom was born Allison Jean Swift in Moosejaw, Saskatchewan, on November 28, 1914. Her father, Arthur Swift, worked for the Canadian Pacific Railway and mother Ethel worked in the home. They lived not too far from the station, in a small house with a porch and yard. Mom was an only child. Just before it was torn down, Mom and her dad went to the old railway station and liberated a beautiful carved table that was going to go for scrap. It was her pride and joy, with a hand carved pedestal and four large curved and carved feet on wheels. I have it in my dining room today, and it always evokes memories in me of her clandestine adventure. Arthur Swift died on November 27, 1930, and Ethel died on May 17, 1937.
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16 Apr Margaret Birch’s story of Leola

Driving home to the farm one summer day in 1968, Mother spotted a small dog at the edge of the road by her turnoff. She rescued this lost puppy. It became apparent after several phone calls that it had been abandoned, so Pip Squeak (aka...

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16 Apr Marylee Stephenson’s story of Carey

11 - Carey MaryleeMomma, Carey Margaret, was born in 1914 in Memphis, Tennessee. Her mother was married to a man who, at 65, was 30 years older than she. There was already a sister, five, and a brother, nine. When she was two, her mother died of tuberculosis. Her father, feeling he could not care properly for the children, put them into an orphanage and visited them regularly. The institution served both as a foster home and an orphanage. Momma thinks she may have one memory of her mother – of someone with red hair (like her own) leaning over into her crib. After three years her father moved the children to a different orphanage. He told them he did so because he realized, when he visited the original one, that he had not heard children laughing. In fact, one of the ways children who wet the bed were punished there was to be plunged in a large tub of freezing water the next morning.
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16 Apr Esther Chase’s story of Leah

09 - Lenke EstherOur little house on Hoskins Road in North Vancouver was one of the first cabins built in the old-growth forests of the North Shore. There in the kitchen sat my mother – jet-lagged from her long flight from Australia, holding my newborn daughter in her arms, cooing and muttering a mixture of Yiddish and Hungarian blessings over her first precious grandchild. I was stunned by the vision of the immense cultural changes we three women had witnessed. My mother had grown up in a small village in Czechoslovakia, then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. They had no electricity; she never learned to ride a bicycle, let alone drive a car! And here was her grandchild on the threshold of a fantastic, unimagined digital age. My amazing mother had lived to see this earth-altering shift, which meant surviving through two world wars and the Holocaust.
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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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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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11 Oct Judi Fletcher and Lucidea Moore’s story of Raj-Kaur Poran

Writing our mother’s story was a wonderful opportunity for us to reflect upon her life.  And what a life she had.  Our mother was born in the small village of Mehta,in the Punjab in India.  The year would be a guess because no one kept birth or death records in her village, probably sometime around 1910.
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08 Oct Beate Sigriddaughter’s story of Sigrid

My mother, Sigrid Herta Rausch, maiden name Pietrzyk, was born on July 1, 1914, the fifth of nine children born to a chain of three consecutive married couples. Her mother had remarried when her first husband died. My mother was the first child of her mother's second marriage. They were landowners, raised horses, poultry, pigs, and owned a brick factory.
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