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Unknown Speaker 0:00
Let me speak. I was first asked to do this some while ago. And of course, there's a long way off you readily agree. The last few days when I've been trying to get my thoughts together I wish I hadn't agreed. But at any rate, I let you decide whether I come up with anything that is new or different or as was suggested, I said that I would speak at the period 1927 to 1948. I was born in the lady mental hospital on Ganges Hill, on the 11th of March 1927, which was said to have been a large and healthy baby. So that was where things started for being on Salt Spring, and 1948 was the year I really ceased to be a regular resident of Salt Spring Island, otherwise often visited after that. My mother was Jessie Toynbee. She'd been a teacher before Mary taught in the old cranberry school with Ted Brown is one of her pupils. Berg going Central. She also spent one year at phirni As a teacher, and she also filled in as postless. Again, she's post office for a year as my father Richard Toynbee had, was trained in England where he came from as a mechanical engineer. He came to Canada, first of all together with four of his brothers around 1910. When I think his first job was a police car driver and then Coover cars were relatively new. Most of the policeman didn't know how to drive a car and so they had drivers. And then he had a garage down where the year where the marine building knows down. But his brothers who came with him had come to Ganges and are to Salt Spring and I'll tell you more about that later. But he came to Salt Spring quite often to visit his brothers and one of those time he got to know just the boat and he decided to do undergraduate business on Salt Spring instead. Now, my parents are married on the first of January 1924 and the old Methodist church that stood just across the street from those days. Here Here the my older brother Dick was born in 1925. My mother's father and mother had come to Salt Spring at 90 an ETA he five from the Shetland Islands. Mother was to be there the 10th of the 11 children born to Jane and Thomas Mowat. She I think, perhaps is the oldest living native of Saltspring at the present time having now the 96. My father had come to England as I mentioned with his four brothers. But his family were far away and I never got to meet many of these are quite large family. mother's family was a very close knit one grandfather died long before my birth so I'd have to know Him. Randy Mort was very much the head of the family as long as she lived. There was a large family. At one time I had 28 Lloyd cousins used to save sort of the boats and the the for the for the craft. I guess the boat soap did the craft instruct came to children perhaps.
Unknown Speaker 4:21
To have mentioned few of my father's brothers and sisters had children. I only had five twin because two of these were in in Southern Rhodesia, so I never had the pleasure of meeting them. My only 20 relative on Saltspring was Charlie Toynbee who was one of the islands characters very much loved uncle. He spent every Sunday with us as long as he did. So he was really part of the family. My earliest memories strange you know what sticks with you when you were small? I vote the earliest thing I think was when I was three years old. And we traveled from Ganges to Victoria on one of the CPR boots I think it was perhaps the Princess Mary or possibly the Nora it was a I stuck near him for several reasons. One reason traveling on the boat was first time I traveled on a boat like that I suppose it stuck with me. And I remember that we stayed at the at the Dominion hotel which in the past was we're all Salt Springs are most of those Salt Springs use to stay It was sort of the salt spray hotel, you go from Salt Spring at that hotel. And I remember one thing from that, for the first time in my life, I was that I could remember I was bathed. I don't know what it was in a sink. I think it was one of the old China dishes but it wasn't about ever been the way that I can remember. Stand up, stood up listening and my mother washed me down. funny the things you do remember. And another thing I remember with a more family Christmas I think it probably around 31. Then what town used to gather at granny motes, formerly known as the boarding house in Ganges. large crowd groups, excuse me 30 or 40 people would sit down for the Christmas dinner, they're prepared. And then we would go into Granny's big sitting room where Santa Claus would come and all the children particularly with get their gifts.
Unknown Speaker 6:55
Family Home was on Churchill road built in 1923. Before there was a road actually lumber hotels come in by barge. He was built in an area that even in those days, they were logging that had recently been logged off. Although fortunately, trees have been left along we see.
Unknown Speaker 7:20
There was much burning to be done. My mother seemed to happen. I hate to see stumps standing. And only remember all the back of the property was covered with stumps and we as children seem to spend half our time trying to burn out these stumps. And it was a long process to get past this I was certainly a teenager there were still some of your assumptions were huge. And stuff some of them quite tall that used to springboards on first sight it was a very happy childhood. We from an early age, we never expected to help round the home and look after the pets where we had our dogs and cats that feed the chickens carry on the fire would help with a garden. But there was also plenty of time for games and exploring beachcombing. An annual ritual every time later this is about April, we would build a new raft or your one would be built and it would be smashed up or gone anyway before the next year came around. This was really an important event we would find suitable suitable lugs we would go around and scavenge and find the planks for us and get some nails and make perhaps have a tire a very early age. What experience I should always remember in early released I guess pretty April we were starting to build the RAF to me, Dick and I went down to carry on and when we got down Dick found the investment the hammer behind the first number was very important because you've had to spike things together. And so he sent me being his young brother he sent me back to get the hammer but when I got down to the top of the bank for some reason I I yelled to Dick was down maybe 100 feet away. Not quite that much practice 75 feet away. And I said Dick What should I do with a hammer? He said throw it
Unknown Speaker 9:39
the claws but right into his head so that was one experience that we didn't soon forget. Fortunately, Doctor was cold but it was too serious. I might add one other accident that took place in a similar vein. In the deck was always a boy for climbing. Great One and climbing trees. I was too hefty. I was too Tubby is my big thing wasn't I went to school for climbing. He was small. He could climb any of the trees. And one day we were visited in store shopping and perhaps some of you will remember when the old well it was in the store. Upstairs you had a great open kept looking app. Do you see everything that was going on downstairs, they were just a sort of landing all the way around on the second floor where some things were sold. It was a long drop from that top floor down to the bottom one. But in a great Dick leaned over the balustrade. Last is and when hidden down and landed on the Great's of the furnace. And again, he got his head all banged up. He apparently had a very hard head because he survived both 1931 and 32 are remembered because of family tragedies. 1931 Our aunt Lydia tree, one of the boys died. And 1932 Gibby Ivan's younger brother, unfortunately, riding his bicycle and he stopped and wore the belt over and was found that these were part of many tragedies that were felt very strongly by so quickly I think by my grandmother who thought so much of all her children, grandchildren. Now as a result, the family decided that perhaps it's a good idea for granny to get away for a little while. And also one of her daughters Mary hadn't been too ill. And so they went to California. This meant that somebody had to look after the Ganges in and his mother had the sort of the smallest family. She was the one chosen to take the place of her mother and so for about seven months, I think it was we moved into the Ganges in and that became our home. It was a great experience for two little boys. Being in Ganges Gachi seems like quite a city, you know, and we would have liked to get over to the store all the time, but other had a rule only on Saturday afternoons and you can go and spend your five cents the rest of the time he would stay in Granny's garden. Granny's garden was where the Bank of Montreal is today
Unknown Speaker 12:54
Yankees in the 30s offered many many things of interest to young boys. There was the creamery at the bottom of the hill. Or that bakery now is this was a fine place because there are all kinds of smells, the buttermilk and the butter and machinery. And I know it was boys we used to go on watch wonder as they took out these great chunks of butter and they didn't two blocks. There was Mr. Mr. McCarthy's blacksmith shop. That was a really good place to go. Very you could see the the red hot metal coming out and being banged on top of the Forge shoeing of horses. We spend a great deal of time doing that. It was well placed of course because it was on the way home from school. And so it was easy to take a few minutes to spend there. Then there was Mr. Rankin shoemaking shop. Mr. Rankin was a very interesting man to us. He had all kinds of stories, but when he 30 days, the shop always had that smell of leather, you know it, it was a good place to go and visit. And then there was the boat waves that used to be on the side behind what store near where the Saudi shop is now you might say in that area where the fishing boats be brought up and people would work on them getting ready to go off from the fishing used to you to the I think we went to the Skeena River and preparing for going off to the Skeena there would be boats there having repairs made. Then there were three garages. I think my dad's one was particularly interesting because they're they were lathes and there was welding going on. Lots of action. Then there was the logging done. Oops. All along lower your Ganges road the waterfront there they were there at least three or four lugging drum dumps and the French of the front of those they were booming grounds. And there of course you saw had the interesting thing of seeing people running along logs that were turning you know and jumping from one leg to another. And for some of these as we got older, some of the boys would try doing this and not always be successful, sometimes getting a dip. Then they were the great piles of railway ties out in front of the front wants to see the truck on the oven put on the dwarfs, not the worst side looking over towards Grace point. Neighbor Mills several bills on the island and then that turned out ties and they were kept there until the front of poets until the scout came in to take them away. Further out on what is now a grace point it was then called the bullet point. There were places where they used to send slab wood that came off the troops same trees that made this ties and the other part for the bark on with the cut up the firewood and sent to Vancouver because those days Vancouver, there are still lots of people that used firewood in the kitchen and saved down shoots onto barges to be taken away. Then, of course, one of the big events, which we sadly missed nowadays, were the visits of the boat from Vancouver four times a week. People gathered from all over the island to see the boat come in. And for children, it was just Boost Post exciting. All kinds of things came on the go. Many things went away because of course in those days Saltspring Donnelly had things brought in and sent things out. Things came from different Vancouver there was also great cans of cream came from the other Gulf Islands here to Salt Spring to go to the Creamery and be turned into butter. Then there was the whole the more brothers store, especially the candy and the ice cream counters, which are very popular with children. We would like to spend much more time there that we were able to do with very young
Unknown Speaker 17:44
I began school in March of 1980s 1933. Sorry, you may say starting school in March was rather odd. I wasn't supposed to start till the following September. But my brother did. He was two years older than me, but he wasn't as big as I was. He was 30 all boats were about the same height because he weighed about 25 or 30 pounds less I guess than I did. And he had been walking to school but he had been afraid of some girls at the end of Churchill road. This is more house had a private school. And I think that they can bet no harm but Dick with being a bit younger than most of them. They would tease him on the way home and he would come home crying. And so mother decided that if I was at school and walked home with him, he would be so frightened because I was bigger than I could protect him. This is the only time I can ever remember my brother being a fade free to girls
Unknown Speaker 19:03
there were not many cars in the island
Unknown Speaker 19:11
I was paying too much. I would have mentioned that. When we started school you always got a nickname within a short time. I became known as Tubby, and I joined in with Dick royal who was called hippo you will know Dick at that time, back in the 30s there weren't really very many cars and Saltspring wonder why there could be three garages in downtown Ganges. The reason certainly as far as my father was concerned was his garage called the Ganges garage was because there was most of it work wasn't from cars but from logging equipment, sawmills fishing boats those days fishing boats most of them had cars that are engines that have been taken out of old cars and dad would fix them up so they could be used in a boat and he would make any extra equipment that was needed was various machines
Unknown Speaker 20:27
and one thing that with that business was that in 30s Many people were not able to pay cash and this resulted in us getting other things I can remember payment coming in and variety of fruit, vegetables, meat fish, and I don't believe fairness from the south end to the outage the pain walnuts get a great bag of walnuts been eating for months and months. The also you the there I mentioned Fisher Yes. But often there's usually one from Mill operators and from loggers was firewood. Firewood is readily available. It came brought in by horse and wagon, usually when I was quite young, later on by trucks now I recall mother one day she thought a great deal of her yard she liked to keep her yard nice and tidy and she watched it over a period of getting fuller and fuller of firewood. And one day three loads arrived and she had her dad got home that night she said Dick If You accept another load of firewood I'm going to leave home but my father my father felt that the he he didn't accept things he couldn't expect people to bring their work to him we kept a large vegetable garden of our own we had chickens I mentioned before but Dad said in the case of a cow no cow if you if we keep a cow What's Mr. King who brings our milk to us going to do how's he going to pay for getting his van fixed by me during the depression of course is somebody remember that better than I do there wasn't any social security's we're not our days they weren't food banks people like it even here in Salt Springs were hurting at times I guess that I don't think it really ever got to be the same problem that it was there in the in the city people living on a road new everybody else on the road. Park Yeah, I guess because of the party line on the telephone. You knew everybody's rings, whether it was too long and a short or want to shorten along. And when the phone rang, let's say late at night, you knew something was wrong, and you knew where it was wrong. And people would go and help out. The there was this neighborliness which brother last week, we needed each other those times for? I suppose you can say it nowadays. We don't really need it to each other quite so much.
Unknown Speaker 23:52
I remember when a family came to live on the road during the depression of 1933. I think it was Krebs family. Mr. Krabs had been a trapper up in northern BC there was no market for Hellz apparently at the time. And so he and his wife they had very, very long had a little boy over I guess either we're about to have a little boy arrived. And of course, we knew almost immediately they arrived because the nearest neighbor to them phoned us and said we got somebody new living on. Sound the family didn't have very much they come with a little more than the clothes they were wearing. And it was surprising how soon all the people in church wrote and found that they had extra things they didn't really need. And they would the house got furnished and they were made to feel part of the Churchill road. community. I think was that kind of feeling for one another that helped people on Salt Spring Come through the Depression, with less suffering than might have been expected that there was a great, there were local organizations, the yield of sunshine. And some of the churches helped where it was needed, needed. And of course, it was fortunate that we had the hospital where most many people had coverage, hospital wise for a very small annual fee. In many ways, I think it the depression brought out the best people. I remember a little bit of assistance I would say my mother gave me and deciding what was important. We went to one Sunday we were at church, there was a time in the winter, when in Saskatchewan, I believe particularly maybe Manitoba. Very bad winter, it was extra cold. And the church said that there was a call out for blankets, warm blankets, to help the people. And the next and as you know, we you have an extra blanket on it isn't too badly worn? Can you donate? Next morning, others said to me, that's my walk us go to Ganges, and to buy a blanket. So my little heads, good. Well, that means we're gonna have one new blanket, look away one of the old ones. So I said, Mother who is going to get the blanket, you're going to take it to where they're collecting blankets. We can get along with our old blankets. We can send our used blankets to people there who are having much more than we are. And it was a good lesson for a young person to get
Unknown Speaker 27:02
started place here. In 1934, we had an important year for our family for several months, my mother had been telling Dickon I that was to me that we were shortly going to have a baby sister. We were not at all sure that we will have the baby sister. We've never had much to do with the girls.
Unknown Speaker 27:33
So we were very, very happy when she turned out to be a boy. We're delighted. I always remember I was so excited that I couldn't get to school soon enough.
Unknown Speaker 27:48
I rushed to tell Norman West who is the head teacher of the two teachers school about this wonderful good luck. told him that mother went into the hospital only last night. And already she's got a baby brother for me. There's another lady in the hospital who's been there nearly a year and she still hasn't got a baby.
Unknown Speaker 28:18
Also in 1934, I made I had my first trip to Vancouver. I was about seven years old. We went because there my father had received a small legacy from England, which enabled my parents to buy furniture for our house we'd had furniture loved but not with the parents and spent all the money they had on building the house. And the furniture was furniture other members of the family donated. So there's a great mixture of furniture in the house when we were small. And mother had always said she wanted based on nice furniture. So I think it was something under $1,000 they had that with for that amount of money in those days you couldn't furnish a big house. And so we went to Vancouver, looking for to get shoes, the furniture. It was the first time we'd really seen it a big city. We'd been to Victoria a few times by then but not many times in the seeing the big city the tall buildings really impressed us briefly.
Unknown Speaker 29:30
In 1935, saw the end of an era with the death of granny mort. She was much loved and respected by her many children and grandchildren. She was also very highly regarded in the community. Her passing left a great gap in the family we were used to going to her to ask her advice. I'd often go to see her after school and she would perhaps say we just sit down she would give me a lot of rule and wrap it around by accident. After she's done the weaving the meeting the spinning, spinning because she had her as she had her spinner there. She was much this by the 1935. I remember, I think I have the right year, I won't promise. We had a great storm, which you might all remember trees all over the island, we're not down. And it just happened to be on the day of the school concert. Christmas concert. Now one would have thought and under such circumstances, not anybody would turn up. weren't that many cars, even the cars they had couldn't be used because everything down. I remember that on Churchill road we lived just after you get on Church Road. Nobody see our father and Fiat to do and so he said he will he would drive us as far as he could go. Well, when we got to this great pile of trees, we decided we couldn't go any further. And we went back to Ganges and got my uncle Charlie who had a boat at the time to put across. We got about my mother in their costumes, and went back. And that night and the band hall was packed. No those days a concert. It was a concert, you started with a dinner, where everybody sat down and had dinner and the concert and then of course the presents from sabotages. Once again, it's sort of showing what a community can do under very difficult circumstances. It was months and months before the trees were all dealt with.
Unknown Speaker 32:16
And very important part of our community then perhaps still now, I think they're often harder to spot or are the were the characters. Earlier I mentioned my uncle Charlie as being a character and those of you who remember him know how much of a character he was. He he could be annoying and frustrating, but you really couldn't help like there were lots of other characters. First, everybody's heard of Mr. Bullock and I get no you hear out there 101 stories about him. As a little boy, I remember one thing that struck us very funny was that I think I was late 30s John might remember but the first time I was one of the very first stop signs we got on on Saltspring. And of course the famous corner the corner of where lower Ganges road passes upper Ganges road by the harbor house. The first stop sign I think went in that corner. Now Mr. Bullock was a very law abiding man. But when it came to driving a car, I don't think you'd ever really mastered cars he was used to horse and carriage. Mr. Books driving was continuing search. It was just solely junk long, just with a very slow speed and jerk along you might say. So when this was done, Mr. Republic had real problems. He got him up that hill along after chatting to the organic road, and he couldn't stop there. And so he got used to always go on the middle of the road stuck and that we first stopped cars coming either way and stop for a minute or two and then he would proceed on his way to downtown Ganges. The one story I really remember most about Mr. Bullock was when my brother Tom was born. Mr. Bullock was rather different in his interests. Things were informed about. We were surprised one more day I guess it was perhaps the Sunday after Tom was born dad took us to meet our brother. See our mother. And when he got there, you will be at Minto there was Mr. Bullock sitting on mother's bed. Now, those of you who know Mr. Mr. Bullock know that he was anything but you A thin person. He was very large by white flowing here. And there he was telling mother what she must do when she got out of hospital the kind of foundation garment she should wear, what she should eat so far. It seems for somebody who perhaps had the largest Earth in the island to be lecturing somebody who was crazy, he said you must get your doctor whilst waste.
Unknown Speaker 35:37
But there were lots of other characters besides Mr. Bullock, Mr. Headley. A very interesting person. I got to know him because he happened to belong to the CCF and not when I was young. I was very great CCF supporter. So I never lots of things about Mr. Bullock, Mr. Heavy he he was quite a brilliant man as we did in the First World War was wounded. The head. Remember we shot we were told he had a metal plate and I said there's this sort of spring way he was a little different. But quite forgetful. And I know not getting the same way I feel for him. I remember one of the funniest things we were having a meeting of the CCF executive house down Ganges. And he said to me, oh, man, I'll give you I'll give you drive you home after me. And so anyway, afterwards. I went out with him and he had his car parked, he had to back up and turn around. So he said 20 You take the torch and hold it so I see where I'm backing and they didn't get in the car. He backed up and then he went straight ahead left me holding the torch
Unknown Speaker 37:16
there was short he Romberg as sweet, unfortunately rather given to drink. As he says he was much shorter. Often many, many times I remember finding him in the ditch when you walk by after having a little bit too much drink a very good carpenter when he was sober. That very interesting. Eric brekford I can't Jimmy Rogers Jimmy Rogers was a other one like shorty who had an alcohol problem. Then you are only Chinese lashes. Whenever only two Chinese are living full time on the on Saltspring Dan Yun was the quick round his old model T selling vegetables and also giving you information I remember that when the war was going on between Japan and China and he would bring you up to date data on the latest news and he was very Posterous the wave his hands whatnot. How the the Chinese were just drawing the Japanese in and then you're all in spoilers spoiler spoiler. Very, very colorful character. And there was one we thought a great deal of Jimmy chap. Nobody knew his last name. I don't think I've ever heard his last name but to everybody. Japanese people it's good. He would Jimmy Jam. Jimmy Jam went in For mainly cleaning houses and he was a very, very clean person. I don't remember him arriving and getting his white ate bread and putting it on his shoes at the door. And he was very good at cleaning windows. And those days we had a spring cleaning and a fall cleaning you know it was they were big occasions. And I know Jimmy always came for one day in the spring and one day in the fall. But Jimmy also rated all the people he had they weren't number one or number two or number three oh we have to number 12. The number 12 ones are ones that he wasn't very happy with. And he would say this is not Oh, she's number nine. I think the only one I ever heard of cotton. Well number one was granny bought. I think sometimes my mother made craps number two, but he had a he had a couple of number of quilts. I won't say what it means because some of you might but a very high price. And he had a great love for children. He was always bring when he came you could never get eaten with Jimmy YOU Paige and even had done the work and then back retrained would come something chocolate bars and so forth. Every Christmas all the people he worked for got a box of Japanese oranges was called ginning you up. ginning up. There was a man called Raj and I understand he was very good at Stepping Out ladies toilet, toes during dances. little short, too bad. I think that a very interesting character. We had some ladies to Mrs. Kingsbury
Unknown Speaker 40:35
most interesting a US person. This is not Charlie chorals mother, a wonderful lady. She is a mom truck driver in early days. She drove the logging trucks and bring them down into Ganges.
Unknown Speaker 40:57
She was a tiny person really but larger in the face she was full of them. She started our first place in the island where people can get cheap housing to rent cushion make you a bad little cottages put up simple for the rent for five or $10 a month, all the pensioners can make Vancouver's cheap accommodation. And there was one that I always rather like she was another asset. So did somebody come out with Mr. Stewart home. This is home. This was a delightful person, wonderful sense of humor, quite outspoken. I always remember the story was told of her the group of the admissions committee went to Victoria, to interview the bishop about a new Rector. The church is on the island. And according to the story goes quite believable. If you knew Mrs. Holmes, the bishop would start out by saying it was during the depression years that you couldn't the audit need a new record. And the minister the bishop said, Well, you know you don't offer very much in the way of pay and it's hard for a minister to get Rector to get by and pay. And so after Lu offices, George home said, Well, you know, where the rectory is it's a lovely farm chickens cows and you have a big garden and this would help a great deal with the supplement
Unknown Speaker 42:49
and so the bishop said Well, it seems to be this is homeless what you want is not a director. But do you want a farmer
Unknown Speaker 43:04
at this time what have you braced it really doesn't make much difference. The last one you sent us was a brewer
Unknown Speaker 43:17
I wasn't present for this but I was told I'm very good. I don't think anybody has this whole about this but it once again a real character. I remember to the CTR because we had characters used to call us the crazy islands run the crew we used to refer to it. And also it was saying if you aren't bad when you come to salt spreading soon are you 1936 There was another request from a from England. As a result, our family was able to purchase a new Chevrolet so that to replace our old Model A Ford the new car made possible a trip that my father had been dreaming of for years. She wanted to go to Saskatchewan to visit a cousin who were farming in Saskatchewan.
Unknown Speaker 44:35
Checking the figures they decided my mother and father decided they couldn't spend more than $100 for on this trip. Oh, oh covering ferry fares, gasoline staying and auto courts along the way. We were three days going three, three days came back and we were both weekend. Came back they counted up my He still had $2 and some odd cents left.
Unknown Speaker 45:09
It was a wonderful experience for us. We went over to the Glacier National Park on the way it was surprising how much you could do for nothing in those days and spent the day there the first time he'd ever seen lace years. I always remember that going driving, we went through the northern states because of course at that time the Canadian group wasn't Hey, by any means. barely passable. That I always remember. As we got nearer to Regina, where he stopped me for deer, we saw the lights, we've been driving along with a good afternoon, just it was getting dark. Very tired to become a long way that day. And my father kept saying, oh boy, is it just a little while now you can see the lights. And this went on hour after hour after hour. And finally about 11 o'clock at night. We got there. We got over the prairie. So like.
Unknown Speaker 46:16
In the late 30s, as the Depression began to taper off, there were fewer people go to work. Things started happening again on Saltspring hydro was brought in. And this made a great change people for the first time had electric lights. Most people think it was $3 a month to start with a flat rate. But more development could take place. roadwork was done in the roads improve. There was a decision or for years, they've been talking about changing the schools on the island instead of having small individual schools all over the island have a single school and is excited that they call it consolidated school that would take in all the elementary schools plus the High School in one building. Now, it was a hard time to raise money. And told as now that both provincial government and locally we'd have money we'd have the raise and the eventual the local party it was hard to take affecting a large sum of money because people hadn't really got over the depression. I remember my grant my uncle Gavin. Gavin thought he was largely responsible for the building of the school coming into our house and sank my parents. All right to ticket Jesse, you know, I put you down for $100. You know, that takes three weeks my garage to make $100. And he thought, Well, I'm sure you can do it. Of course, he got the $100 that way and through volunteer work, the school was put up without once the sense of death, no charge of taxes. The cost, I think a total of $38,000 to build a school not to say 10 classrooms school $38,000 Now they talked about but I think the thing was once again it showed that the island when it decided that something could work together. Those who couldn't give him money, worked on the building gave days of labor for no debt to be settled later on. As I mentioned earlier, I began to get interested in politics when I was quite young. And this was because during the 30s it was a very Livewire time for politics, you know the people the depression and worried people. A new party would come into being and clinical meetings really were exciting thing in those times. Our parents started taking us to physical leaves. I think we were just five, six years old. And so we soon became felt we were involved. Our family, the 20s were the French of the moments that weren't quite in mind the most traditionally were liberal, that very liberal. My uncle Gilbert caught rather remarkable man. For many, many years manager of all his working life, people As that manager what store used to regard Mackenzie King as the greatest man in the world since the time of Christ that shows you takes a lot to believe that but the 20s, as I say, turned out to be CCR and I grabbed this was very taken very badly by some of the others in the family too because the CCF held meetings on Sundays to a good Methodist family was not the thing done. family gatherings when all the families got branches the family got together were tremendous debates. Great. Oh, my arguments. Of course afterwards. Good friends. I remember well, the royal visit to Canada if King George the sixth, I guess was the now queen mother in the summer of 1939. I remember right? Crowd from Ganges or the party out and going down to Beaver point where the boat carrying them was going to go by all waving and singing God Save the Queen, the king waving our union jacks. And then the next day a boat was sent to take all the school children and parents to Victoria we went back to work again Geez and went to Victoria, where a great gathering was held and in the park. And we saw the King and Queen the distance is really really key and very well. That was a great event.
Unknown Speaker 52:06
When World War Two began. Our family was in Victoria for Labor Day. He didn't go to Troy very often but we went to spend the Labor Day weekend. We've been there for one night at the Dominion hotel and a plan to stay a second became down the stairs to hear me announce that war had started in Europe. And my father I know he heard this he said he must go home today. I think but it was he was concerned about two sisters and a brother who lived in the South of England and what was going to happen. Yeah. Back on Saltspring things started happening fairly quickly in some regards. The local Canadian Scottish soon certainly began to prepare for action. Other things went on as usual. school classes got underway normally it was we weren't moved into the new school just yet. Our last year of school up the hill the full year during the year the new school opened. consolidated school opened in the in just after Easter at 1940
Unknown Speaker 53:42
Soon after that my uncle Gilbert manager the store approached my mother and father to see if I couldn't be taken in that the store to help out because my cousin's Ivan and great boys and others Gilbert to prom but akmola are all going overseas and so I even though I was only 13 I was brought into the store much against the wishes of my parents really they gave way to me I wanted to be go there it was at the beginning of that experience this one for about five years
Unknown Speaker 54:39
shifted around here my first job at bought I remember it was in the butcher shop where I had this job of making sausages some something I knew nothing about whatsoever but I learned and then time i i got moved into many other jobs as well. At the that time that store was still a full fledged general store selling what literally everything from bobby pins to Ford cars if you had an eight during the war and recreate many of them for sale but every everything could be obtained there. And also of course the there was a Oh, the deliveries that had to be made to all parts of the island grain for the farmers though because Salt Spring has still a place for farming and lumbering fishing going on from I remember I started on a my wages for working on Saturdays, and they from eight o'clock in the morning till eight o'clock at night store hours was 75 cents a day. Which I had to pay 25 cents for my lunch which was we had the boardinghouse supper was free leisure I was to earn as much as 40 cents an hour which wasn't bad because three my father was only getting $1 an hour I got better stuff very quickly
Unknown Speaker 56:25
the early in the spring of 1942 I got pneumonia doctor Dr. Rush actually at the time said I spoke to Lady Mental Hospital where I got to be the host of hospital it was decided that I should get some of the new sorts of drugs it should just arrived. And it worked very well as far as getting rid of pneumonia. I was able to go home after three days but unfortunately during those three days that poisoned my kidneys and I took convulsions in the middle of the night and decided I must go to the Jubilee Hospital in Victoria and I barely remember because I was sort of a half como like but boy it's pickup truck which served as an ambulance those days took me down to Fulford. My parents we got on the theory pickup on the ferry ambulance better medicine Swartz Bay, took me to the hospital where I recovered over a period of a week or two. But I lost 25 pounds in the process, I could really, really stand to lose those. So my experience with self drug wasn't too happy. One part of the something that really touched me was the after the entry of the Japanese into the war, that the first of all, there had been the concerns. There could be damage done on the coast of BC and there was the there had been the shelling of the on Vancouver Island. We had blackouts Of course. There was the formation of the aeroplane spotters, the AARP, the Red Cross became active. We had the Pacific coast of Malaysia, that's your Rangers. And then came the part that really did upset me. The expulsion or I think it was called the rehabilitation or some such word of the Japanese residents the island. This bothered me for a number of reasons. One we're thinking they've been hard working honest people. They supported Island projects, the building at the New School, the building of St. George's Church. They were community minded people. I especially felt sorry for Jimmy Zhao and for the Mikado family show so like how do I have been my best friend in school from the time I started the school we throat the all my elementary school years. Mr. McAdams would work for us back coming down garden work once a week. A very fine man. This is Mikado and her daughter's round of laundry where we mother didn't often send food but sometimes she had too many she would. I always remember the other wonderful thing. Everything had was the same price whether it was a handkerchief, or a sheet or a tablecloth. are five cents apiece washed ironed and the thing that really hurt me most was that there weren't many islanders on hand to see them off. They went I got my father and I run the wharf. Yeah Geez. And there wasn't much of a crowd and I think breed it was that a lot of people just returned via this. They maybe they were afraid they might break down even some of them if they were present but they were sent away. And this Satan did upset me
Unknown Speaker 1:00:50
the death of Mr. Wag who was the caretaker of the store, meant that I was going to have a new position. I became a caretaker of a store. Now I was then about 16 and it was a it was a job that took along a lot of work or long hours. In addition to that, I was doing this in addition to my regular duties at the store because I had gone from just working one day a week to working every day after school as well as on holidays. Getting the oil tankers Senate votes lover Scout came in the middle of the night one had to meet these see that they were helped in unloading and what they brought so I got my night's sleep was short. I had to stay up to midnight keeping this make sure that the the furnace didn't go out and then up again at four o'clock in the morning to see it the building would be warm enough for the people coming into the store had to be swept out each night. Needed needless to say, all this resulted in my not putting as much effort on my schoolwork as it should have been doing that much homework I'm afraid