Helen Ellis was born in 1922 to Ewart and Marjorie Ellis, who were early pioneers in the Grande Prairie area. Helen’s mother, Majorie Clark Ellis, came to Grande Prairie in 1914. She was the first stenographer in Grande Prairie, working for the Post Office and later the Land Office. Helen’s father, Ewart Alphonse Ellis, came to the Clairmont area over the Long Trail in 1911. He was an excellent violinist, a farmer and the operator of a Feed, Livery and Sales Stables in Grande Prairie, but best known for his pacers and their success in harness racing.
Miss Ellis’s interests evolved around sports, with the same love of horses as her father. When the Second World War broke out, Helen joined the R.C.A.F. Women’s Division 1941-1943 as a L.A.W.
After her return to civilian life, Helen prooved she had an exceptional flair for curling. She was often on the winning rink, be it ladies or mixed, and attented provincial bonspiels. In 1967, Helen played third on Gerry Fisher’s Peace River Rink to represent Alberta at the Canadian Playdowns in Quebec City. There they placed fourth in the competition.
The records were donated to Grande Prairie Museum by Helen Ellis in 1994. In 2000, they were transferred to the Grande Prairie Regional Archives.
Scope and Content
The fonds consists of photographs of Helen Ellis in the Air Force and as a member of various winning Curling Rinks, biographical notes on the Clark and Ellis families, and news clippings of Ewart Ellis and his race horses.
“Rocks Away!”, 1966 c. 1 photograph; b & w; 5 x 7 in. Curling team including (L to R): Simonne Flynn, Helen Henne, Gale Lee and Helen Ellis. Location: 1990.14.32
Rocks Away! For Diamond D Skips, n.d. 1 photograph; b & w; 5 x 7 “Rocks Away! For Diamond D skips, Simonne Flynn, Helen Henne, Gale Lee and Helen Ellis. Location: 1990.14.32
Helen Ellis, Canadian Air Force, 1943 1 framed photograph; b & w; 5 x 7 Helen Ellis was a member of the Canadian Air Force in the Second World War. Location: 1990.14.41
Curling Team, 1957 1 photograph; b & w; 5 x 7 in. 1957 curling team including (L to R): Gwen Turner, Helene Stretch, Myrtle Cook and Helen Ellis. Location: 1990.14.51a
Ladies Curling Team With Trophy, 1957 1 photograph; b & w; 4.5 x 6.5 Champion Ladies Curling Team with their trophy is made up Gwen Turner, Helen Stretch, Myrtle Cook and Helen Ellis. Location: 1990.14.51b
Race Horse Nellie C, n.d. 1 photograph; b & w; 5 X 7 Race horse Nellie C was owned by Ewart Ellis of Grande Prairie. Location: 1994.55.05
Race Horse Dolly S, n.d. 1 photograph; b & w; 5 x 7 Race horse Dolly S was owned by Ewart Ellis of Grande Prairie. Location: 1994.55.06
Race Horse Just Speed, n.d. 1 photograph; b & w; 8 x 10 Ewart Ellis holding the reins of race horse Just Speed in front of his “horse trailer,” a farm truck with “E.A. Ellis Grande Prairie” on it. Location: 1994.55.08
Race Horse Safanad, 1947 1 photograph; b & w; 10 x 12 Safanad’s first win under ownership of Ewart Ellis at Edmonton, August 23, 1947. He is shown here with Ewart (on right hand side of Safanad) and Helen Ellis (on the far left). Location: 1994.55.10
Race Horse Just Speed., 1954 1 photograph; b & w; 10 x 12 Ewart Ellis with his race horse Just Speed after his first win. Location: 1994.55.11
Horse Racing, n.d. 1 framed print; b & w; 8 x 10 Ellis family race horse in Edmonton. Location: 1994.56.04
Marjorie Clark Ellis, 1987 1 photograph; colour; 5 x 7 Photograph of Marjorie Clark Ellis (1897-1991) taken on her 90th birthday. Location: 1994.63.01