From the Vault Friday: Wedding Invitation

Image: SPRA fonds 059

Todays “From the Vault Friday” features a wedding invitation from the Phyllis Stewart fonds (fonds 059).

Phyllis Evelyn Mattoon was born in Consort, Alberta to Fred L. and Mabel Mattoon. Mrs. Mattoon was the first woman editor of a newspaper (the Consort Enterprise) in Alberta in 1913. Her daughter Phyllis completed teacher training during the war and came to the Bezanson area in May 1946 to teach at the Bezanson School.

The Stewart family had arrived in the Bezanson area in 1912, coming in over the Edson Trail. George Alexander Stewart and his wife Sophia came from Sombre, Ontario with daughters May and Florence and sons Earl and Roy, and were later joined by son Charles H. and his wife Charlotte Thomas, also from Ontario. In 1923, the senior Stewarts moved to Detroit, Michigan along with Earl and Roy, leaving Charles H. on the farm in Bezanson. There were four children born to Lottie and Charles: Clara, George (Bud), Doris and Charles Bevan.

In 1947 Phyllis married Charles Bevan Stewart. The young couple lived on his father’s farm until they built their own residence on S.E. 35-71-3-W6 in 1949. They had four children: Cherry Lynn, Marvin Lee, Shannon Kelly, Creston Zane. Phyllis spent many years teaching in the East Smoky, High Prairie and County of Grande Prairie School Divisions, then completed a Bachelor of Education in 1976.

The family also raised Montodale Sheep, which for a time was the only flock of this breed in Alberta. They traveled with their sheep to many fairs and exhibitions.

Phyllis remained in the Bezanson area, in the family farm home, for well over 50 years. She was active in the community and in the Conservative party, and in 1983 she became a Councillor for the County of Grande Prairie, a position she held until 1992.

Read more about the Phyllis Stewart fonds (fonds 059) here.

View a selection of photos on Alberta On Record.

From the Vault Friday is a social media campaign that highlights interesting materials from the collections of the South Peace Regional Archives. This project was made possible by an Access to Holdings Grant from the Archives Society of Alberta.

Soldier Spotlight: Matthew “Scotty” Boyd

Image: The returning Sexsmith soldiers after WWII. Back – Bill Card, Dan Rycroft, Simon Haakstad, Jack Campbell, Andy Innes, George Cameron, Dale Harris, T. Copeland, Samuelson. Middle – J. Bond, G. Gerow, E. McDonald, G. Rix, Scotty Boyd, J. Siluch, Bryce Burns, L. Rasmussan, D. McNaughton, T. Forsythe Front – Jack Waters, H. Knight, B.Brown, L. White, C. Foote, C. Thomson, D. Wright, B. Murray, G. Kusyk, B. Moody, G. McQuitty, J. Thorpe. Photographer’s stamp: Art Craft, Grande Prairie, Alta. 1945 (SPRA 0644.01.08)

Matthew “Scotty” Boyd was born in Glasgow, Scotland, in 1904, the eldest of 9 siblings. At a very young age, Matthew showed talent for singing, and he was also active in cricket, running, and swimming. At 12 years he apprenticed to be a butcher while still pursuing his education and sports. In 1928 he was selected for the British Diving Team in the Olympics in Amsterdam. That same year he immigrated to Canada, going to work on a ranch near Peace River. This was quite a culture shock for him, and he was given the nickname Scotty because of his accent. Soon after his arrival in Canada he met Yukola, who he married. Scotty obtained work as a butcher and they moved to Beaverlodge in 1931. Over the years they lived in various areas: Beaverlodge, Grande Prairie, Hythe, Sexsmith, Peace River and Spirit River. Scotty won medals at the Grande Prairie Music Festival, and he joined the B.P.O. Elks No. 249 at Beaverlodge in 1938. He enlisted in the Canadian Armed Forces for 6 years, 3 of which were spent overseas. After 15 years in Canada he was able to visit his family in Scotland again. An interesting army prank (in Holland) was that Scotty and some pals stole a train and crossed the border into enemy territory, where they were captured by the Germans, and escorted on a tour of the city before being released and having to face their Staff Officers! In 1954 the Boyds operated Lee Borden’s locker plant in Hythe, and in 1958 they bought their own business which became Boyd’s I.G.A. in Spirit River. They had 4 daughters: Marion, Gladys, Yukola, and Sheila. In later years they enjoyed holidays together, and Scotty served in the Spirit River Town Council. Matthew died in December 1975, but even in his last days in the hospital he sang Scottish songs.

Source: Wagon Trails Grown Over (taken from Beaverlodge to the Rockies Supplement) pp. 578-581
Photos: pp. 1153, 1162, and 580

Soldier Spotlight highlights veterans from the Archives’ online Soldiers’ Memorial. Each week, our volunteers select a remarkable individual to showcase in this blog series. The Soldiers’ Memorial commemorates more than 1,100 WWI veterans and 2,300 WWII veterans from our region. Three dedicated volunteers have contributed over 1,200 hours to this project by researching and writing biographies. Our goal is to have all South Peace soldiers acknowledged for their service. If you know of someone who lived in the South Peace and should be listed on the Memorial, or would like to get involved by researching a local veteran, please contact the Archives.

from the Vault Friday: Nitehawk Ski Hill Map

Image: SPRA fonds 139

Todays “From the Vault Friday” features a proposed map of the Nitehawk Ski Hill from the Kinsmen Club of Grande Prairie (Fonds 139). The Kinsmen Club of Grande Prairie was chartered in 1942. The object of the club was “to promote and direct fellowship among young men of good character” in order to educate and encourage them regarding ethical business practices, the welfare of their community, tolerance and acceptance of all peoples, and service work in their community.

In 1977, the Grande Prairie Ski Club requested funds from the Kinsmen Club to finance 50% of the cost to install snow making equipment with the intent to have man-made snow on the slopes for the 1977-78 ski season. The equipment was purchased; but it is unclear who provided the funding.

Read more about the Kinsmen Club of Grande Prairie (Fonds 139) here.

Read more about the Grande Prairie Ski Club (Fonds 590) here.

From the Vault Friday is a social media campaign that highlights interesting materials from the collections of the South Peace Regional Archives. This project was made possible by an Access to Holdings Grant from the Archives Society of Alberta.

Soldier Spotlight: Private Robert Everett

Image: notes about Robert’s capture from his military service file (Library & Archives Canada)

Regimental Number: 447320
Rank: Private
Branch: 56th Battalion; 50th Battalion

Robert was born in Norfolk, England on April 8, 1890. He enlisted in the Canadian army in June of 1915. On November 18, 1916, Robert received a shrapnel wound to his left shoulder. He was captured that day and declared missing in action on November 19. In February of 1917, he was unofficially listed as a Prisoner of War, having been captured at the Somme. He was held in German prison camps at Wahn, then Aachen (in March 1917), Stendal (March – May 1917), Julich (May 1917), and Wittenberg. Robert was finally released in January of 1919. After the war he homesteaded on SE28-76-5-W6, east of Woking. Robert also worked as a forest ranger until 1939. He died on December 30, 1974 at the Shaughnessy Hospital in Vancouver.

Sources: Where the Red Willow Grew p. 303; Burnt Embers p. 303

Soldier Spotlight highlights veterans from the Archives’ online Soldiers’ Memorial. Each week, our volunteers select a remarkable individual to showcase in this blog series. The Soldiers’ Memorial commemorates more than 1,100 WWI veterans and 2,300 WWII veterans from our region. Three dedicated volunteers have contributed over 1,200 hours to this project by researching and writing biographies. Our goal is to have all South Peace soldiers acknowledged for their service. If you know of someone who lived in the South Peace and should be listed on the Memorial, or would like to get involved by researching a local veteran, please contact the Archives.

From the Vault Friday: WWII Post Cards

Image: SPRA 676.01.04.03.07a

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SPRA 676.01.04.03.02a                    SPRA 676.01.04.03.03a

SPRA 676.01.04.03.04a,                    SPRA 676.01.04.03.05a

 

Todays “From the Vault Friday” features a selection of WWII post cards from the Vader-Grimm Family fonds (fonds 676), from the Jim Vader War Records Sub Series 676.01.04

Read more about the Vader-Grimm Family fonds (fonds 676) here.

View a selection of photos on Alberta On Record.

From the Vault Friday is a social media campaign that highlights interesting materials from the collections of the South Peace Regional Archives. This project was made possible by an Access to Holdings Grant from the Archives Society of Alberta.

Soldier Spotlight: Flight Sergeant Walter George Bond

Image: A view of Beaverlodge’s main street, showing cars, numerous businesses, and a grain elevator, May 24, 1930 (SPRA 032.08.08.035)

Regiment/ Division: 358 Royal Air Force Squadron
Regimental No.: R/260658
Rank: Flight Sergeant
Force: Air Force

George Bond was born on February 25, 1924 in Dysart, SK. His parents were Walter and Edith (Bolingbroke), and he was the brother of Thomas Carlisle, Donald Gordon, Edith Hazel, Myrtle Munro, and Mildred Aida. The family homesteaded in the Beaverlodge, AB area. George was active in hockey, baseball, softball, football, and swimming. At age 19 George enlisted in the Air Force in Edmonton on July 2, 1943. Tragically he was killed in action in Burma (now Myanmar) on June 19, 1945. During his short WWII career George received the 1939-1945 Star, Burma Star, War Medal 1939-1945, Canadian Volunteer Service Medal and Clasp. Posthumously he was awarded the RCAF Operational Wing on March 19, 1947. He was buried in the Kranjii Memorial Cemetery in Singapore.

Source: Beaverlodge to the Rockies pp. 89-90

Soldier Spotlight highlights veterans from the Archives’ online Soldiers’ Memorial. Each week, our volunteers select a remarkable individual to showcase in this blog series. The Soldiers’ Memorial commemorates more than 1,100 WWI veterans and 2,300 WWII veterans from our region. Three dedicated volunteers have contributed over 1,200 hours to this project by researching and writing biographies. Our goal is to have all South Peace soldiers acknowledged for their service. If you know of someone who lived in the South Peace and should be listed on the Memorial, or would like to get involved by researching a local veteran, please contact the Archives.

From the Vault Friday: Soldier Land Grant

Image: SPRA fonds 589

Todays “From the Vault Friday” features an Attestation for Soldier Grant Entry form from the Donald Gordon Morrison fonds (Fonds 589).

Donald “Gordon” Morrison was born in Pipestone, Manitoba on April 14, 1896 to John D. Morrison and Katherine McKenzie. Gordon and his siblings John, Jean, Alex, Catherine, Melvina and Jessie all grew up in the rural community of Pipestone. He was working there as a clerk when he enlisted in the 200th Canadian Battalion at Camp Hughes, Manitoba on July 12, 1916 as Pte. D.G. Morrison #922617. He served in the 11th Reserve Bn based at Seaforth Camp, Sussex England, then in the 43rd Can. Bn. (Cameron Highlanders) in France. On his discharge certificate, dated March 24, 1919, he is listed as 22 years of age, 5′ 6″ tall, with blue eyes and fair hair.

After the war Gordon made his way back to Pipestone and spent some time with his family. His brother Alex had settled in the Morinville area and Gordon farmed with him. Although he enquired regarding land via the Soldiers Settlement Board soon after the war, it was not until November 30, 1929 that he filed on Section 26, Township 87, Range 9, West of the 6th Meridian in the Worsely area. By then he had moved from Morinville to Grande Prairie.

Gordon also worked as a truck driver, and one of his hobbies was horse racing. He never married and passed away October 17, 1976 in Dawson Creek, B.C.

Read more about the Donald Gordon Morrison fonds (Fonds 589) here.

From the Vault Friday is a social media campaign that highlights interesting materials from the collections of the South Peace Regional Archives. This project was made possible by an Access to Holdings Grant from the Archives Society of Alberta.

From the Vault Friday: Postcard

Images: SPRA fonds 164

Todays “From the Vault Friday” features a postcard from the Gabriel Basly fonds (fonds 164).

Gabriel (Gaby) Rene Basly was born on March 28, 1885 in Gennevilliers (Seine-St. Denis), France, a district on the Northern edge of Paris. In 1907 he immigrated to Canada with his sister Blanch Pivert and her family. Gaby and the Pivert family took out homesteads in Big Valley, Alberta, about 67 km east of Innisfail. In August 1914, Gaby was informed by the French Consulate that he should report for mobilization with his army corps, so with several other young men from Big Valley who were also French, he made his way back to France to “save the motherland.” It was in the Battle of Verdun that Gaby earned his “Croix de Guerre,” an award for bravery. In April 1917, he was granted permission to travel back to Canada on a three-week leave.

Gaby never went back to the war. His relatives and friends from Big Valley, who had also returned to France at the outbreak of the war had all decided that they would be fools to return. They had given three years of their lives and lost many good friends and former neighbours from Big Valley.

Gaby settled back into farming, and in 1926 headed for Grande Prairie with the Pivert family to start a new life. There he acquired many horses, working the land with them in the summer and hauling coal in the winter. He also worked as a “Bull Cook” for a lumber camp at Big Mountain.

Read more about the Gabriel Basly fonds (fonds 164) here.

View a selection of photos from the Gabriel Basly fonds (fonds 164) on Alberta On Record.

From the Vault Friday is a social media campaign that highlights interesting materials from the collections of the South Peace Regional Archives. This project was made possible by an Access to Holdings Grant from the Archives Society of Alberta.

Soldier Spotlight: Lieutenant Frederick Young

Image: notes about Fred’s wounds from his military service file (Library & Archives Canada)

Regimental Number: 49536; 79494
Rank: Lieutenant
Branch: Canadian Machine Gun Corps

Fred was born in Lac La Biche, Alberta on August 24, 1885. As a young man, he worked on the survey of the Northern Alberta Rail. It was at this time that he first came to the South Peace. In November of 1914, Fred enlisted in the Canadian Army. In September of 1916, he received shrapnel wounds to his right ankle. Fred was gassed on August 18, 1917 at Hill 70. He also suffered from multiple severe shrapnel wounds (chest, arm, legs, hand, and shoulder) in October of 1917 at Passchendaele; as a result of these wounds, Fred suffered from tetanus. He had only been back on duty for two days after the Hill 70 injury when he was wounded at Passchendaele. In January of 1918, Fred was awarded the Military Cross and, on January 18, was promoted to Lieutenant. In August of 1918, Fred’s right leg was amputated. X-rays are available on pages 119, 121, and 123 of his service file. When Fred returned to Canada, he traveled back to the South Peace and filed on land at NW 1-71-24-W5 and the eastern half of 2-71-24-W5 (1920). Around 1920, he married Jean Hopkins. In 1968, Fred and Jean retired and sold their homestead to the government to use as a park (Young’s Point Provincial Park). Fred died on September 12, 1971.

Sources: Across the Smoky p. 7; Where the Red Willow Grew p. 303

Soldier Spotlight highlights veterans from the Archives’ online Soldiers’ Memorial. Each week, our volunteers select a remarkable individual to showcase in this blog series. The Soldiers’ Memorial commemorates more than 1,100 WWI veterans and 2,300 WWII veterans from our region. Three dedicated volunteers have contributed over 1,200 hours to this project by researching and writing biographies. Our goal is to have all South Peace soldiers acknowledged for their service. If you know of someone who lived in the South Peace and should be listed on the Memorial, or would like to get involved by researching a local veteran, please contact the Archives.

From the Vault Friday: Military Exemption

Image: SPRA 006.01.01.6p05 

Todays “From the Vault Friday” features a Notice of Disposition of Claim for Exemption (Dated March 24, 1916), from the Pierre Lozeron family fonds (Fonds 006), in which Pierre was applying to be exempt from military service. The form lists his reason for requesting exemption as being his occupation as a farmer. Under the Military Service Act of 1917, all able bodied men between 20 and 45 years of age, who were bachelors or widowers without children, had to sign up for service. Many applied for exemption, and as a farmer, Pierre was granted his request. However, in 1918, the government cancelled all exemptions, and Pierre had to reapply. August 12, 1918 he was again declared exempt from service until November 1, 1918, when he would have to declare how many acres of arable land, how many acres of grain, hay, and pasture land, as well as the number of horses, cattle, sheep, and pigs. It is unclear if he was exempted again, but it’s unlikely that he served as the armistice was signed November 11, 1918, eleven days after the exemption expired.

Read more about the Pierre Lozeron family fonds (Fonds 006) here.

Visit the Soldiers Memorial here.

Image: SPRA 006.01.01.6p06

From the Vault Friday is a social media campaign that highlights interesting materials from the collections of the South Peace Regional Archives. This project was made possible by an Access to Holdings Grant from the Archives Society of Alberta.