|Peace River Bridge (Dunvegan) Opening, 1960|
speeches from government officials; youth; oldtimers
|Kay Trelle – Interview, 2006|
Interview with Kay Trelle by Josh Carlstrom and his mother, Shannon Nelson as part of Heritage Fair Display, 2006. Topics included Kay’s projects as an inventor and engineer -Triton and Poisidon Missiles, a Moon Buggy, and Triumf Meson Facility. The interview took place in May, 2006, in Wembley.
|Jack Nelson – Montrose House, 2006|
In the summer of 2006 Jack Nelson travelled here with Jane Pilling-Cormick who has been doing research on the military history of the men in the Nelson family and their life in Montrose House (ca. 1936-1947). Jack is the only surviving son out of the five sons of Ike and Lena Archibald. Ike was co-owner of the Nelson & Archibald Store in Grande Prairie from 1926-1947. This recording was made in the Archives with Mary Nutting as interviewer.
|Violet Patterson Interview, 2007|
Interview done for the Edson Trail Painters group Violet Patterson relates stories she heard from her husband’s family of travelling the Edson Trail. . Violet’s father was George Jebb, and her mother was Alice. They came over the Edson Trail with his parents and a cow and they first lived in a tent on the land they eventually proved up. Her oldest brother, Harry,was first a rough rider, breaking horses for a rancher and then was a cook on a boat that crossed Great Bear Lake. He was burned and drowned in 1932, after a storm came up and sparks ignited some fuel on the boat. Her other brother was a mechanic. Her father was a butcher by trade and her mother, a milliner. She wore the same hat for years just reshaped it. They settled beside the eleven mile corner on the highway to Wembley. They had a 1/2 section, farmed with horses and eventually bought a Ford tractor. Her father worked for the Municipality for years and at that time around Christmas, people would bring in their turkeys and geese they wanted butchered to the Elks Hall and her dad butchered them. He would go around and butcher for people. She has no idea what made her parents come up to this country but they had heard the Peace River country country being advertised so they tackled it. Her father had to travel back and forth to Edson for supplies. Her parents had both been ball room dancers in England; her father still had his “slippers” and any time he went to a dance he wore those “slippers”. By 1926 when the town of Lake Saskatoon had moved to Wembley, there were quite a few people in the area. Her parents often travelled with Mr. and Mrs. Clubine. Her mother had a wonderful garden and her father used to say all they needed was tea and coffee and sugar, and they could provide the rest. And they were both good walkers; her father would walk the eleven miles to Grande Prairie. When her grandmother was in Grande Prairie hospital, her mother would walk in to see her and walk home again.
|Norma MacGregor Interview, 2007|
Notes from Janet Enfield’s interview with Norma Mac Gregor. This is the David Thompson story. Norma relates stories remembered by her mother of travelling the Edson Trail. Norma’s mother was a child of five at the time and she had a sister and a little brother. Norma’s mother’s folks came from Oklahoma by train in about 1900 and came to Rabbit Hill in Edmonton where Norma’s grandfather worked in a coal mine. Grandfather Thompson came with some of his friends up to the Peace River country and he liked what he saw so they picked out a spot and then in 1911or 1912 they came with a covered wagon and grandmother’s 300 quarts of raspberries packed in blankets in the bottom of the box with mattresses on top to keep them from freezing. They brought three cows and at least four horses and chickens, and a dog. Spring came early and so they traveled up to Peace River and then on to Dunvegan where grandfather went ahead and tested the ice because there was water on the ice already. To get down the hills they had to wrap a chain around the covered wagon to use as a break so the sleigh wouldn’t run over the horses. Her mother remembered it as fun partly because every night when they would stop at a stopping place, there would be other settler and native children to play with. They travelled with other families. They often saw parts of a load abandoned alongside the road. Her mother remembers how much help the native people were to them. The trip likely took over a month. The Catholic priest met them and offered them a temporary place to stay in the church building (even though they were not Catholic) until they got their house built. They built a log house that is still there 1 mile south and 2 miles west of Rycroft. Across the river was were the mission was. Grandmother was quite self-sufficient, cooking, canning, sewing, outside work. The men often had to go away for supplies or work. The natives often helped supply them with wild meat. Mother only liked to do the inside work but her sister was the opposite and liked outside work better. The trip didn’t seem to shorten the childen’s lives – they all lived long lives. Norma has fond memories of her Grandpa Thompson’s place and has painted the house as she remembered it. Norma’s mother kept a diary which records details of farm life – when thy went to town, what they got for a dozen eggs or a pound of butter. Norma’s mother and grandmother were both good cooks. Her dad would never allow an argument at the table. Her mother was married when she was 16 and her Dad liked hunting and trapping and the children had trap lines too. Norma’s first coat that she wore to school was bought with her “fur” money. She went to Silverwood School and White Mountain School walking three miles to each. There were problems with fires in the fall when it was dry – especially south of their place – and they had to round up their stock. As kids they played ball, their dad loved it and they would play every night and with the neighbor kids too.
|Grande Prairie Marching Band, 1958|
Frank Redl taped 24 pieces of music performed by the Grande Prairie Marching Band in 1958 the tape was given to Guy Ireland who was the base drummer. # 18 solo is by Cec Morton, director of music for CFGP.
|Songs from the War Amps Military Heritage Series, n.d.|
A musical compilation featuring songs produced by Canadian artists for The War Amps Military Heritage Series
|Memories of Montrose and GCPHS Music Groups, 1979|
A musical and pictorial souvenir set of recordings made for the reunion in 1979 of Montrose School and Grande Prairie High School. Music groups. Groups performing include the Grande Prairie Composite High School Music Dept. including the Concert Chorale directed by Duane Emch , Jazz Ensemble and Band directed by Mike Townsend and the Orchestra directed by Norris Berg.
|Memories of Montrose and GCPHS Music Groups, 1979|
A musical and pictorial souvenir set of recordings made for the reunion in 1979 of Montrose School and Grande Prairie Comoposite High School. Groups performing include the Grande Prairie Composite High School Music Dept. including the Concert Chorale directed by Duane Emch , Jazz Ensemble and Band directed by Mike Townsend and the Orchestra directed by Norris Berg.
|The Alberta Story, 1979|
“The Alberta Story” was produced in celebration of Alberta’s 75th anniversary. It was revised and condensed from scripts written by Doreen Mierau, historical writer and researcher and member of the Saskatchewan Writers Guild. Narration is performed by Stan Sparling whose radio career spans a 25 year period. It covers Alberta’s history from the dinosaurs to Indians and fur traders, cowboys and homesteading, the Depression and oil discovery.
|St. Pierre Ferguson Interview, 1966|
St. Pierre Ferguson was the son of Daniel Ferguson, a Metis born in Fort Garry (Winnipeg) about 1840. Daniel came west to St. Albert with the Michele Normand family after his parents died. He worked for the Hudson’s Bay Company in Grouard and Slave Lake. While in Grouard, he married Genevieve Gladue. They had eight children, St. Pierre being the fifth and born on July 1, 1877. St. Pierre attended a Mission School till grade seven, and started working for the HBC when he was 16 years old. Three years later he was managing the store (at Grouard?). He remembered the Treaty 8 discussions and the signing of Treaty 8 in 1898. In October 1898, St. Pierre married Philomene Calliou, the daughter of Louis Calliou. Their first son, Henry was born in Grouard in 1900. In 1901 St. Pierre took a leave from the HBC and conducted the 1901 Census throughout the Peace Country. He did this on horseback, traveling all over the country. When he was offered a post at the Revillion Freres trading post at Spirit River Settlement ca. 1905, he took this position and filed on a homestead in the Spirit River area. Because of residence requirements for homestead land, he left his job with Revillion Freres. His other occupations included forest ranger, commissioner of oaths, justice of the Peace, RCMP interpreter, and road contractor. St. Pierre was also school trustee for the Spirit River (Rycroft) School, one of the first councillors for the Municipal District of Spirit River when it was formed in 1916, and a founding member of the Metis Association of Alberta. He was fluent in Cree and English. St. Pierre and Philomene had eight children (Henry, 1900; Mary, 1902; Charles, 1904; James, 1908; Anne, 1911; Margaret, 1914; Malcolm, 1917; and Florence, 1921) and had been married 72 years when she died in 1970. St. Pierre passed away in 1972 at the age of 94.
|Phyllis Stewart Oral History, 2006|
The series consists of an oral history of Phyllis Stewart recorded in the company of the Archives volunteer group along, with a written biography. Phyllis grew up in a T. Eaton house built on the prairies of southern Alberta. And has vivid childhood memories of life with her parents, brother and sisters, grandmother, and uncle. She and her sister, Patsy attended Ione school, sometimes staying with Grandma to avoid the 4 mile walk. Then the family moved off the dried-out farm and into town.
|Edith Burroughs Oral History, 2006|
The series consists of an oral history of Edith Burroughs recorded in the company of the Archives volunteer group, along with a written biography. Edie grew up the seventh child and fourth daughter of William and Mary O’Brien, in St. Peter’s Bay, Prince Edward Island. She lived on a big farm of 200 acres. Raised in the 1930s, she remembers money was scarce but food was plentiful. They grew potatoes, grain, and apples, and picked blueberries for sale. There were neighborhood parties, dances, and ball games in the summer. She took teacher training and taught for a couple of years but then joined the RCAF in 1942 and after training was posted to the Gaspe and later to Montreal where she graduated from a wireless course. Edie and six of her brothers and sisters were all inolved in the services so it was an anxious time for her parents. In the spring of 1946 she took nursing training in Charlottetown and then worked in a sanatorium, then in a hospital in Welland, ON. Next, Edie and two other nurses came to Calgary, decided it was to big and two of them headed for Grande Prairie. In 1950, she met Morris and they moved to a homestead in the Wanham area. They raised one boy, Shaun, and three girls, Beth, Maggi and Chris. From 1970-73, Edie went back to work at the Spirit River Hospital. In 1975, their house burned to the ground while the family was away. The neighbors came to the rescue with a house to live in while one could be built.
|Betty Welter Oral History, 2006|
The series consists of an oral history of Betty Welter recorded in the company of the Archives volunteer group, along with a written biography. Betty Smart was born in Bassano, AB, and moved with her sister and parents to the Flying Shot Lake area in 1928. She took her schooling at the one room school and started high school by correspondnce. In grade eleven, her mother died and Betty had to quit her studies and help with the farm work. She attended Vermillion Agricultural College from 1939-1941 and returned to Grande Prairie to work in the hospital. She married Jack Welter in 1944 and became the cook in the Grande Prairie High School Dormitory . They raised six children, 4 girls and 2 boys and also had boarders for many years so a bigger house on 103 Ave was required along with a large garden. Betty was active in theWomen’s Institute, Red Cross, Cancer Society, 4-H, Boy Scouts, Girl Guides, Grande Prairie Museum, and Golden Age Center. Jack died in 1987.
|Marie Mencke Oral History, 2006|
The fonds consists of an oral history of Marie Mencke recorded in the company of the Archives volunteer group, along with a written biography. Marie was born Marie Therese Helene Blanchet on the family farm south of Falher. For her primary grades she attended Ballater North School and for grades 4-7 she went to the St. Augustine Mission along the Shaftesbury Trail, skipped grade eight, came back to Ballater for grade nine and then Falher for grade ten. She worked in private homes, helping with child care and homemaking, then worked as a waitress for a year. She married Gaston Mencke in 1952. They raised eight children, one girl followed by seven boys. They retired to Grande Prairie in 1992 on their fortieth anniversary.
|Cathy Van Everdink Oral History, 2006|
The series consists of an oral history of Cathy Van Everdink recorded in the company of the Archives volunteer group, along with a written biography. Cathy was born in Poeldyk, Holland, the oldest of four girls. During WWII, when the Germans occupied many of the schools, her school was also a bakery and she was taught practical arts and German. After the war she was never without a job. She worked in a greenhouse, cleaned houses, clerked in a store. She joined a drama club and a gym and took first aid. In 1958 she met Theo who was vacationing in Holland. He had lived in Canada already for ten years. Six months later she was on her way to Grande Prairie to be married. Learning English was a challenge but her neighbors were helpful. In 1963, they moved to a farm in Wembley and Cathy had to learn how to be a farm worker as well as a mother to three boys, Peter, Ted and Tom. In 1969, a new house with running water and plumbing made life more pleasant. By 1998, their oldest son was ready to take over the farm and health problems made Cathy and Theo ready to retire to Grande Prairie.
|Martin Peterson Oral History, 2006|
The fonds consists of an oral history of Matin Peterson recorded in the company of the Archives volunteer group, along with a written biography. Martin was born in Nampa, Idaho in 1957. He started school when the family moved to Salt Lake City, and finished his high school after they moved to Peace River when he was 15. He worked at Canadian Propane doing a full shift while attending school. In 1975 he started work with C.N.as a Train Movement Clerk; then in 1980 moved to Edmonton to work as a Machine Operator handling Alberta and BC computer inputs. In 1994 the data center was centralizing so he accepted a severance and headed back to Peace River. A few years later, he and a friend started Riverside Family Foods but soon had to close for lack of sales volume. 2003 found him working at the Peavey Mart and in 2004 he suffered a stroke which left him without the use of his right arm and leg. He spent some time in Ponoka getting help and then found suitable accomodation in Grande Prairie.
|Interview with Elmer Borstad, March 27, 2008|
Interview notes with counter numbers accompany audio tape. Elmer Borstad left the Navy to come to Grande Prairie and started Borstad Cartage in the 1950s. He became an alderman and then mayor in the 1960s and then as an MLA he lobbied for parks for smaller cities. Procter and Gamble coming to the city along with the oil business and farming started Grande Prairie growing
|Interview with Nora Hassall, March 27, 2008|
Interview notes with counter numbers accompany audio tape. Nora was born in Grande Prairie and was in the hospital having her son when Grande Prairie became a city. She sees the most exciting developments as Muskoseepi Park, 214 Place, the College and Crystal Park School. She was involved in a pilot project for home care which involved training people to look after their sick family members, and later was involved in the VON. She started a loan cupboard which enabled patients to borrow items needed for recuperation.
|Interview with Paul Pivert, March 27, 2008|
Interview notes with counter numbers accompany audio tape. Paul was born on a farm near Grande Prairie and was still going to school when Grande Prairie became a city and remembers the city charter coming in. As a city councillor, he remembers the challenges planning for the stable growth of the city. Some vivd memories are the Co-op in its old location, the outdoor pool, and the memorial arena. Procter and Gamble and the forest industry had a major affect on the city. Paul was the owner manager of Panda Camera and House of Portraits and Studio on the Park from the late 1960s to the present.
|Interview with Frank Stoll, March 27, 2008|
Interview notes with counter numbers accompany audio tape. Frank was born in 1919 and farmed in the Pipestone Creek area. He was involved with the Grande Prairie Museum, 4-H, the Agriculture Society, and the PEP Program. He loved restoring old vehicles for the Museum. He played baseball and fastball and remembers Grande Prairie as a thriving town in 1958 and was excited by the preparation of the horses for the trip bringing the charter.
|Interview with Gordon Pearcy, March 27, 2008|
Interview notes with counter numbers accompany audio tape. Gordon Pearcy was born in Grande Prairie and remembers the establishment of the military training center here during World War II. He started a lengthy career in radio at CFGP, married and raised a family here and is now retired. He was involved with the Chamber of Commerce and was a radio contact for people of the Peace country, doing remote radio broadcasting for many years. He arranged for the visit of Prince Andrew and the Dutchess of York and remembers lunching with them. He witnessed the growth of the community, the arrival and impact of Procter and Gamble Pulp Mill, and the oil exploration.
|Interview with Jack Soars, March 27, 2008|
Interview notes with counter numbers accompany audio tape. Jack Soars has lived all his life in the Peace country and was part of the inauguration of CFGP, the first radio station in northern Alberta in the 1930s. He worked in programming and hosted an evening show called “Pioneera” which featured reading letters from pioneers relating their stories of settlement in this part of the north. He also hosted a morning radio talk show for many years. He remembers when radio was available for people to phone in and announce meetings or send messages to friends. He believes the pioneer spirit still lives in older people and that “people” really make the country.
|Interview with Violet Patterson, March 27, 2008|
Interview notes with counter numbers accompany audio tape. Violet is a long time resident of Grande Prairie, growing up on a farm east of Wembley. She has been involved with the IODE, Vial of Life, Meals on Wheels, Peace School of Hope, Book Mending, a companion to travelling ladies, and participated in fund raising auction teas. One of her most exciting memories was watching Billy Salmond’s cattle coming home, crossing the Wapiti River. As Mrs. John Patterson she saw her family’s farm become part of the city.
|Interview with Carol-Lee Eckhardt, March 27, 2008|
Interview notes with counter numbers accompany audio tape. One of Caol-Lee’s involvements after she arrived in Grande Prairie was with the Hot Air Balloon competitions. She was very involved with community activities, including serving as city alderman from 1992 – 2007. The 1995 Canada Winter games, hosted by the city was one ofher most memorable involvements.
|Interview with Helen Rice, March 27, 2008|
Interview notes with counter numbers accompany audio tape. Helen remembers coming to Grande Prairie on Halloween. Her early involvement with the community included the Welcome Wagon Club and United Way. She saw Grande Prairie as having big city assets with small town charm. She saw the population grow from 20,400 to 52,000. She has served on city council since ____. (the longest serving member)
|Interview with Douglas Cardinal, March 27, 2008|
Interview notes with counter numbers accompany audio tape. Douglas Cardinal was the architect who developed the master plan for the Grande Prairie Regional College to be built on the side of Bear Creek. A now famous Canadian architect, he belives in design matching functionality and the curving shapes of his buildings are his trademark. Despite the requests for a more conventional building, he perservered and the resulting GPRC building is a major attraction in the city. In 2007, the GPRC theatre was named the Douglas Cardinal Theatre in his honour.
|Interview with Margaret Bowes, Feb 20, 2008|
Interview notes with counter numbers accompany audio tape. Margaret O’Brien was born in Grande Prairie and she remembers having a great childhood. When Grande Prairie was becoming a city she was married to Bill Bowes and busy raising her children with no paved roads or sidewalks. She has been an extremely active community volunteer over many years including work for the United Church, the G.P. Museum, Grande Prairie Regional College, Odyssey House, the Hospital and the Mental Health Board, Prairie Gallery, and the Music Festival. She remembers celebrating many of the achievements of local young people which makes her believe that Grande Prairie has been a good place for people to develop skills in both athletic and cultural fields.
|Interview with Beth Sheehan, March 27, 2008|
Interview notes with counter numbers accompany audio tape. Beth was born on her father’s homestead in the lower Beaverlodge district in 1920. She went to school in the Lower Beaverlodge School and then took secretarial training at Alberta College and worked in Toronto for a few years. Returning home, she kept books for the Grande Prairie Livestock Co-operative Livestock Association and in 1943 married Everett Sheehan, a Clairmont farmer. She was living on the farm when Grande Prairie became a city and later became involved with the Trumpeter Swan Society, and the Hot Air Balloon Competitions. As Grande Prairie grew, she took thousands of photographs recording buildings and events. Her community involvement included the UFA, UFWA, Cubs, Home and School Association, Agricultural Society and various craft clubs. She remembers the opening of the Smoky River bridge in 1949 as exciting as well as the opening of the Grande Prairie Regional College in the 1974.
|Interview with Mina Poole, March 27, 2008|
Interview notes with counter numbers accompany audio tape. Mina was born in Beaverlodge and trained as a nurse. She came to Grande Prairie to work in the Health Unit and remembers long work hours and travelling bad roads, but the work was exciting, including starting to work with new mothers. Mina was involved with the United Church, later studying to become a minister and working part-time in the church in Grande Prairie. She was the first president of the United Church Women for the Peace River Country.
|Interview with Jenny Tetreau, March 27, 2008|
Interview notes with counter numbers accompany audio tape. Jenny remembers living on the northwest side of Bear Lake. The town seemed to almost stop growing during the War but the 1950s saw more comforts like roads and sidewalks. Her community involvement goes back to the beginning of live theatre with the Companion Players in Grande Prairie, and rental of the Bittersuite for a theatre. Then the Swan City Players emerged and they eventually dissolved and GP Little Theatre was created. Theatre groups and music groups cooperated on many productions. More recent offshoot ventures include the summer drama courses for children and Overture Dinner Theatre.
|Interview with Roger Field, March 27, 2008|
Interview notes with counter numbers accompany audio tape. Roger Field was born and raised in the Grande Prairie area. He was attending Montrose Elementary when the city charter was brought in. The growth of the city became a planning problem and G.P. became part of the South Peace Planning Commission. A big planning challenge was Procter and Gamble locating here. Roger trained as an architect and became part of the firm Field, Field & Field. Most of the schools, the ADAC Center, the Regional Hospital, the provincial building, Weherhouser, and oil and power company facilities in Grande Prairie were planned by their firm. Roger played hockey and was involved in theatre. He believes planning for future expansion has to take environmental concerns into account.
|Interview with Fern Gudlaugson, March 27, 2008|
Interview notes with counter numbers accompany audio tape. Fern was one of ten children born to John and Mary Keillor who arrived in the Last Lake district in 1915. She remembers living in a log shack with a sod roof while a log house was being built. As children they found their own entertainment: wading in the dam, building a house out of sticks, ball games. Their mother taught them to sing and dance. They started school when there was a teacher available and took correspondence after grade eight. In 1937 she married Oscar Gudlaugson, son of Icelandic parents who had settled in the Clairmont area. Oscar worked as a grain buyer at Gage, then Rycroft. In 1946 they moved back to the old farm in Clairmont and then bought the Hugh Thompson farm in 1951 in the Albright district. Their son Derril was born in 1941 and Craig was adopted in 1948. She remembers looking forward to going to the show in Grande Prairie and to Joe’s Corner Coffee Shop. Fern became very active in the Beaverlodge community , in the United Church, the Salvation Army, and the Beaverlodge Cultural Center.
|Interview with Roy Bickell, March 27, 2008|
Interview notes with counter numbers accompany audio tape. Roy was born in 1930 in the Debolt area and moved to Grande Prairie in 1941. When Grande Prairie became a city he was married and working in the forest industry. The Bickell family became involved in the lumber industry, establishing the Plywood Plant which eventually became the center for the Canfor operations in northern Alberta. Roy has been involved in the political arena, a major supporter of the Grande Prairie Museum and has a fascination with hunting for fossils. He owns one of the largest fossil collections in private hands in Alberta
|Interview with Pinday Syan, March 27, 2008|
Interview notes with counter numbers accompany audio tape. Parminder Syan immigrated to Canada from Kenya in _______. He has been involved in the real estate business in Grande Prairie since he moved here, starting with Grance Real Estate. He realized sales of over $4 million his first year. He was the first Camadian to be accepted for FRI (?) and then CRA(?). During the recession from 1970-1980, he became an appraiser. He saw the jobs created by Procter and Gamble and the building of the hospital in the 1980s as contributing to the growth of the city. His community involvement includes the Kinsmen Club, the Masons and Shriners, the Parks and Recreation Board, and the Assessment Appeal Board. As a member of the Seik church, he presides over weddings and funerals and has seen many of his fellow Seiks own businesses. The Seik culture, including dress and language is maintained within their temple but many have adopted western traditions outside the temple.
|Interview with Clem Collins, March 27, 2008|
Interview notes with counter numbers accompany audio tape. Clem Collins was born in Spirit River, his father having come into the country before WWI broke out. After returning home from WWII, Clem attended UBC and earned a Commerce Degree. Working in Edmonton he met his future wife, Muriel. He was offered a job as an accountant in Grande Prairie making $150 a month and promised his wife they would only stay a few years. In the 1950s, he borrowed $2000 to buy “Block X”, 88 Ave.and 100 St. and borrowed $600 to buy a 1950 Meteor car. He approached builders Durrant and Bloomfield about building a house from a picture Muriel had cut out of the paper. He remembers the liveliness of the 60s with new businesses, schools, churches, the museum. He became president of the Chamber of Commerce when the concern was expanding the airport,and roads south and north, the forest industry expansion with Canfor, Later, he became the Alberta Chamber President. In the mid 70s he was asked by Premier Lougheed to join a mission to Europe to promote more world trade. Clem and Muriel have been major supporters of the Grande Prairie Regional College and the Grande Prairie Museum.
|Interview with Tim Heimdal, April 3, 2008|
Interview notes with counter numbers accompany audio tape. Tim Heimdal was born and raised in Grande Prairie. He always wanted to paint and do theatre. He remembers playing a London Bobby in My Fair Lady, and also acting in Ballad of Knobby Clark aand painting sets for “All My Sons”. He made a transition from set painting to murals and created about 100 murals and as many set designs throughout Alberta including Hythe and Beaverlodge and about 20 in Grande Prairie, the most famous being the painting of Kakwa Falls on full height of the AGTbuilding. Grande Prairie Regional College made a big impact on his life with fine arts program adding to the community investment in art and drama.He also did the murals for the main gallery of the GP museum and scaled an incline into a gorge at Kakwa Falls to photograph winter persectives for the stairwell wall murals of the Grande Prairie airport. Tim continues to work as a visual artist in Grande Prairie.
|Interview with Jennie Croken, April 3, 2008|
Interview notes with counter numbers accompany audio tape. Jenny Tomshack was born on a homestead and started school in Clairmont only knowing Polish. They were a big family but always had a garden, cattle, pigs and chickens and wheat that could be taken to the mill in Sexsmith for grinding. She took grade twelve in Grande Prairie and got a job at the post office in Clairmont. She married Rudy Croken, the elevator agent, and lived in Clairmont for a time and then since her husband wasn’t well they moved to Grande Prairie. Rudy worked at Northside Oil and then in the liquor store. Jenny also had to work, first at a hotel and then she was working in the post office when McCullough brought in the Charter.
|Interview with Jillian Oliver, April 3, 2008|
Interview notes with counter numbers accompany audio tape. Jillian Oliver came to Grande Prairie from England in 1971 to work for the Grande Prairie School District. She was involved with the Child Development Center in teaching children with disabilities. She was involved with the establishment of Crystal Park School which combined but a regular program and a program for children with handicaps. She found living in Grande Prairie exciting, joining in skiing, curling and enjoyed Muskoseepi Park. Sh and her husband made best friends while here, but they returned to England in 1989.
|Interview with Fred Tissington, April 3, 2008|
Interview notes with counter numbers accompany audio tape. Fred Tissington was born in Grande Prairie . His grandfather came in the country over the Edson Trail having immigrated from England He was seventeen and in high school when the city charter came in. His father started a constuction business, a side line when a foreman at Highsteads and Fred worked for him. Later the business started to build modular homes, but the factory burned down in 1970. Fred became involved in building homes, land development and in the 1980s formed a partnership with cousin David Tissington, TWest Canada Developments, building Earl’s and Joey Tomatoes in Western Canada. One of his biggest challenges was building affordable housing. The planning process was onerous and there was a great challenge after the recession when interest rates skyrocketed. The building industry has done very well in the last years with the developmrnt of Country Club, Wedgewood, Country Side South subdivisions and Willow Place downtown. Fred also worked with the United Way, and for the Canada Winter Games in 1995.
|Interview with Angie Crerar, March 25, 2008|
Interview notes with counter numbers accompany audio tape. Angie was brought up by loving, supportive Metis parents who became her role models in later life, but she had to grow out of her early experience in the residential school system which had ben very depressing and had lowered her self esteem. Angie moved to Grande Prairie in 1966. She had eight children and was recently divorced. She had moved from Yellowknife for the health and welfare of her children. Grande Prairie offered more opportunities for growing children. One of her fondest memories is meeting her new husband and remarrying in 1967. He embraced her children and made her feel worthy and loved. They were able to establish a happy, secure life. Angie has been involved with many community programs including ones at the Friendship Center, In 2005 she received the Aboriginal Lifetime Achievement Award and the Provincial Centennial Award for volunteering. In 2007 she received the Governor General’s caring Award for spearheading the Aboriginal Elders Caring Shelter. She is an example of how strong dedication and willingness to work with others can create programs that change lives.
|Interview with Sam Mah, March 25, 2008|
Interview notes with counter numbers accompany audio tape. Sam arrived in Grande Prairie in 1950 with his brother Yuen and his mother. He was 16. His father had already come to Grande Prairiein the 1920s, spent some time in Dawson Creek and then returned to Grande Prairie. His father established the Palace Café on Richmond Ave. next to Croken’s Store and across from Macleod’s. Sam remembers working in the restaurant after school. When it rained he had to put on knee high boots to cross the street. In 1958 he took over the business and changed the name to New Palace. When the Hudson Bay burned they bought Sam’s property and he bought Croken’s store and made it his café. He remembers the cold day when the charter came to town, but it was a busy day in the restaurant. Most of the Chinese families that came to Grande Prairie at that time came from a small area of China so they spoke the same dialect. One of sam’s best memories was when Grande Prairie got natural gas. Before that they had to chop wood (later get coal) and get the furnace and the stove started. Natural gas gave him another hour of sleep in the morning. He married and raised his children here, living close to downtown and remembers never having a key to his front door.
|Interview with William Bowes, March 25, 2008|
Interview notes with counter numbers accompany audio tape. Bill joined the airforce and went overseas in 1942 as a navigator on Landcasters. When the war ended he became part of the occupation Air Force, stationed in Britain. He was discharged in 1946 and came home to Barry, Ontario where his brother , newly married was working in a newsapaper. He arrived in G.P. in 1950 with Orm Shultz to join his brothers, Jim, David and Howard Bowes, in the newsapaper business. In 1952 he married Margaret O’Brien. Later Bill had a desire to move out of the newspaper operation but maintain an interest in it and he bought a dry cleaning plant servicing a large area including the Bennett Dam constructipon workers and gradually looked for other businesses to buy. He built Nordic Court after giving up the idea of getting into politics. Later he built Windsor Court and then he decided to venture into the storage business as well. Jim moved to Ontario and then to Kelowna, staying in the newspaper business, David became a lawyerand Howard had a big newspaper operation in Leduc so Bill sold out his interest to Bowes Publishing. He also sold their dry cleaning operation to Canadian Linen. Bill has been very involved in the Chamber of Commerce, Rotary Club, Alberta Newspaper Association, Central Business Association, GPRC College Foundation, “D” Company Armouries, fund raising for Canada Winter Games, and the Province of Alberta Public/Private Advisory Committee. He received the “Citizen of the Year Award” in 1968.