Patricia Simons was a prairie Girl. From 1922 when she was born in her Aunt Mary’s house in Wawota Saskatchewan, until 2008 when she passed on in the Alpine town of Revelstoke, B.C., Mom held that vast prairie sky dear to her heart. She loved the soul-searching, body drenching heat of the summers and the chest-numbing, breath-freezing cold in the winter. She loved big open blue skies. She felt hemmed in by the mountains and the sea. Hemmed in by Dad and his mother and possibly even all five of us kids. She loved the rough and tumble wide-open for anything sense of the prairie.
My influence. My inspiration. My Mother.
My mother was born on November 20 1955 in Whitehorse, Yukon Territories. Her parents met in Summerside, PEI, in the late 1940’s as members of the Royal Canadian Air Force. He was a pilot and she was a radar technician. The Commanding Officer disapproved, and transferred her father across the country to Whitehorse to prevent the marriage. Her mother demanded a transfer to follow him, and when denied, she quit the RCAF. Eventually she was given an honourable discharge, and moved to Whitehorse.
Virginia Louise Wilson was born August 24, 1929 in Saint John, New Brunswick. She was called Ginny for a couple of years until her older sister decided she would hereafter be known as Jeano. It might not be spelt the right way, but having a mother with a name like that goes along way to explain why I have always wanted to be Italian.
My mom is the best friend, hands down. Even when I was a rebellious teenager and she questioned where she had gone wrong as a mother, she was my best friend. I don’t think every kid can say that about a parent. The love I have for her is as vast as the ocean, as expansive as the sky.
Mary Alice Vanvolkenburgh (nee Trumpour) was born April 12, 1924 on a farm outside Adolphustown, Prince Edward County, Ontario. Her ancestor, Paulus Trumpour, was one of the original United Empire Loyalists who fled New England after the American Revolution, wintered in tents outside Quebec City and navigated the St. Lawrence River in open boats to the area around Picton, where they had been deeded land. Mary was proud to be a United Empire Loyalist descendent and attended many UEL functions in the area.
Dorothy Merritt was born on the 16th of May, 1904 in a suburb of Southampton, in Hampshire, England. Her birth record in the English web site, Free BMD, and RBS Worldpay provides the information that her birth was at South Stonegate, Hampshire. This may have been a little village in 1904 that is now a part of Southampton. She was named after one of her father’s old girlfriends in Market Lavington, Wiltshire.
Mother was born in Hampshire, England May 16, 1904. Her name was Dorothy May Merritt, the only daughter of Bob and Ada Merritt. Bob and Ada brought Percy, Dorothy’s brother and Dorothy, a baby just a few months old, across the Atlantic by ship in the fall of 1904. Percy sat on the trunk and Dorothy was held in her parents’ arms.
My mom, Adelene Ellen Alexander, was born October 23, 1920 in Victoria, B.C. Grandma raised her and her younger brother Tom. Ma’s family were among the first Black pioneers to settle on Salt Spring Island and in Victoria by invitation of Sir James Douglas, back in the 1850s.
No one seems to know why her parents gave her the name Beulah, but Beulah Violet Sweet was born in Vancouver, on November 28th, 1927, to George and Amy Sweet. Naturally, she didn’t go by that name once she got into her teens, but rather had everyone call her Bea or Boo.