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Sophie King

Sophie King

Mrs. King speaks about her early life in the Sisters of St. Anne Convent, her work as a domestic; her marriage to Mr. King and subsequent work as a farmer and boat builder and mother.

7_King_Purser-Sophie.mp3

otter.ai

20.01.2023

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Unknown Speaker 0:00
I'd like just to start, you know, start with your early life and what was your name before you were married?

Unknown Speaker 0:07
Sophie parser parser.

Unknown Speaker 0:10
And you were born here?

Unknown Speaker 0:12
Yes. I was born on Beaver point.

Unknown Speaker 0:15
Where did where did the parents come from? Where did your father?

Unknown Speaker 0:18
My father came from England. Yes. Mother was a native.

Unknown Speaker 0:25
Tell me where he came from?

Unknown Speaker 0:27
Well, I don't know. What part of England he came from. But you know, when he came here knew who I never saw my father never even saw a picture of him. No.

Unknown Speaker 0:42
So you're you grew up here with your mother. And where did she come from? Where she from? Saltspring.

Unknown Speaker 0:48
Well, I grew up in the convent. I was put in the convent when I was about three years old. And stayed there until I was 17.

Unknown Speaker 1:00
Tell me, you don't remember anything of your life really

Unknown Speaker 1:03
before that?

Unknown Speaker 1:04
No, no, no.

Unknown Speaker 1:07
Tell me how do you remember the comment like that?

Unknown Speaker 1:11
Oh, I loved it. Loved it. I and never wanted to leave it.

Unknown Speaker 1:17
Who was running the company?

Unknown Speaker 1:19
Sisters of St. Ham.

Unknown Speaker 1:22
Tell me about it. Tell me about it. A lot of other native children there.

Unknown Speaker 1:26
Know, though. Well, there was about 40 girls. They weren't natives. No. Many of them. Were they scholars? This was at college. Yes. No. Well, between Duncan and? And COURAGING. Yes. Yes.

Unknown Speaker 1:57
What was the building?

Unknown Speaker 1:59
Is a very large building. And dormitory for 50. Girls. Big schoolroom. No boys. No, no worries. Now this would be the same building where the boy school? Yes, it's the same building. But it's enlarge. They put a wing on a tanto made it very much larger.

Unknown Speaker 2:24
It's a beautiful situation.

Unknown Speaker 2:27
Yes to test. Yes, it's on a farm. See?

Unknown Speaker 2:31
Yes. What would you have to do what you have to get? You have to work on the farm with all the girls at all?

Unknown Speaker 2:38
No,

Unknown Speaker 2:38
that was looked after by other

Unknown Speaker 2:40
people. They had hired men.

Unknown Speaker 2:44
What sort of things would you would you learn at school?

Unknown Speaker 2:47
Well, well, I used to I did fancy work, you know, embroidery. And sewing all by hand sewing by hand. And

Unknown Speaker 3:06
you were there. You didn't go away and holidays?

Unknown Speaker 3:08
No, no, I was considered an orphan. But then,

Unknown Speaker 3:17
when you left the convent, I mean, where did you go down?

Unknown Speaker 3:20
When I came back to the island. And then it was beginning to be a little more settled, you know? But there was only one horse and buggy on the island. When I came back. People still had the oxen

Unknown Speaker 3:39
what parts of the island country?

Unknown Speaker 3:41
Well, just where I was born, my brother was living there. Put the lake Stone Lake. That property all around there was a part of our home on the way in the road from here. Yeah. The first lake you passed from coming from Fulford.

Unknown Speaker 4:00
I see. Did you have any other brothers and sisters? Yeah, there were

Unknown Speaker 4:03
seven of us in the family. Were the others were older than Oh, yes. fact I didn't know my brothers. I had to be introduced to them many years after I left school.

Unknown Speaker 4:20
And then they sort of took over the farm.

Unknown Speaker 4:23
Well, my the oldest one in the family had the farm

Unknown Speaker 4:30
or any of your brothers and sisters living

Unknown Speaker 4:32
No. I'm the only one living and you were born when you're born. 1880 I'm 85 Okay, well. Everybody says so. atmosphere.

Unknown Speaker 4:53
But totally. Is there anything about the convent life we couldn't say anything that happened there in English. Because

Unknown Speaker 5:06
well, I was very happy there. And we had our exams once a year, you know, when only the district used to come in, like people from Duncan and all over, would come in, listen to the examination. And there was a Christmas and there was Easter. They were great days for us.

Unknown Speaker 5:30
What would happen to Christmas time when we had

Unknown Speaker 5:32
a Christmas tree in the schoolroom?

Unknown Speaker 5:38
There's always a big day as well. With maths in the morning.

Unknown Speaker 5:42
Oh, yes, I'm sure I read maths every morning.

Unknown Speaker 5:47
That does that pretty early in the morning

Unknown Speaker 5:49
seven.

Unknown Speaker 5:58
Well, when you got back onto the farm, tell me tell me about it. What happened and you lived there for a number of years for your marriage?

Unknown Speaker 6:08
Well, I'm about five years, I worked in Victoria. And I gradually moved around the place. I went to Seattle and Tacoma and worked everywhere. And I was just a domestic worker. If you liked that, and Victoria, when I was I worked seven years in Victoria. People were very good to me and nice kind

Unknown Speaker 6:33
of a any well known people in Victoria that your workflow?

Unknown Speaker 6:38
Well, yes, there was. Sydney Pitts. He was a wholesale man. And what I was three years with a family called tribe George tribe. He got drowned on one of the CPR boats going up to up north somewhere.

Unknown Speaker 7:04
When you were,

Unknown Speaker 7:06
well, then when you came back home here. Can you tell me anything that's happened in your life? You know, when you're what to do. After that you were out and then you came

Unknown Speaker 7:20
back again? Well, after I came back, I got married. Did you come back to get married? No. I just came back on my own.

Unknown Speaker 7:30
And where did you live?

Unknown Speaker 7:32
We lived right here. Right here. Your husband lived here before? Yes, this was his home.

Unknown Speaker 7:40
Nobody bought him. Where did he come from?

Unknown Speaker 7:43
His father was a Greek. And he got this as a homestead. And we raised a family here. And they went to school and beaver point

Unknown Speaker 8:01
of interest interesting. And

Unknown Speaker 8:07
then what? What did he do? What

Unknown Speaker 8:10
did your husband do here? Was he farming was that purpose?

Unknown Speaker 8:13
Well, he did a little of everything. He became a logger. He had his own camp, employed men and he had horses, logged with horses. Then he became a fisherman. He went to the Fraser River and fished Lenin the later years he became a boat builder. For quite a number of years we both of us we both helped to build boats, row boats and small launches. Where did he do the building? Down in a boathouse

Unknown Speaker 8:54
Did you ever go fishing

Unknown Speaker 8:55
with him? No, no, no. You stayed at home? Yes, I've stayed home and had the family had to look after we had six children

Unknown Speaker 9:11
see, no.

Unknown Speaker 9:11
Can you any incidents that happened in your early married life

Unknown Speaker 9:15
that would be worth recalling. Living in this space here? Did it seem lonely?

Unknown Speaker 9:23
Well, we had we lived in a log house when we first got married. It was the year when I own I came and then we built this house. And

Unknown Speaker 9:38
remember the Stephens family there?

Unknown Speaker 9:41
Next door to us.

Unknown Speaker 9:44
And next year whose mother was a very was she still alive? Yes. Yes. Very interesting woman I you know could you tell me about her you know what, how she stopped you and the way

Unknown Speaker 9:57
she while she was there? In the midst of everything whatever she said I did you know, I was frightened of her because I was brought up that way I was brought up by superiors you know and and she just managed me know it wasn't a very good plan my husband's father got after me and he said, Why don't you hold your own and he says sometimes so then I began to think that I wasn't doing right. But she was lovely just the same she was very good to me at times.

Unknown Speaker 10:46
Next set how he mother used to take them out and teach them off about things water and canoeing.

Unknown Speaker 10:57
She used to tell me stories just legends you know? And very interesting

Unknown Speaker 11:14
tell me more about that life here those early days

Unknown Speaker 11:23
Well, I manage the farm and just with the boys they were small when they were 10 and 12. But they tried to plow in on getting the crops the hay I enjoyed that life immensely. I never felt grieved about anything even when it was hard work. I loved it just the same I suppose that helped a lot too. If I liked it you know

Unknown Speaker 12:02
any incidents

Unknown Speaker 12:04
no no's we went along very smoothly the children grew up and left home till I was left all alone

Unknown Speaker 12:16
and they went away to work and different things was one of my sons joined the army and he's now being cared for by the government you know he's been he got hurt in the war

Unknown Speaker 12:37
What about the boat it'll be mature

Unknown Speaker 12:41
Well, the first boats we made we made our own lumber I did the first part of it but my husband finished it he planned it and got it in good condition. But the in making the boats I always was I don't know what would clinch the nails Yes, I almost left was my job. While I had to help him put the the lumber on we'd still mature no and he'd he'd be on one end and I on the other. And then after when he began kneeling I clenched all the nails some of the boats were riveted copper riveted

Unknown Speaker 13:35
in preparing the lumber you said it's on the Refresh.

Unknown Speaker 13:38
Yes well we both be down on the beach splitting the cedar and and when we bring it up I do the first part of it you know the rough part and then he'd finished to the plane you made the boat some split cedar the first two boats we made and then after we bought lumber are these clicker balls? No, they were what they call a carbon boat built boats. Cargo boats. Smooth and yes the whole site Yes.

Unknown Speaker 14:20
These would be a sailboat.

Unknown Speaker 14:22
No, we could sail I asked if you want to do one of the boats is down there in the creek now. It was the fourth boat that we built and is still good isn't it? Can marriages still Beautiful looking little boat?

Unknown Speaker 14:42
Oh, I would actually remember 50 years would be 40 Well, how long is water and beer have been here? You're

Unknown Speaker 15:03
well, when he came here, he bought the boat. I guess it was about the fourth or fifth boat we built. And it's still here and it looks beautiful yet. How big were the folks in 12 feet long? Robots. And, of course he didn't make a little launched into the soul that Kurt Moore's put an engine in it. He was a violinist. He played for dances my husband did and for 60 years. He played for dances.

Unknown Speaker 15:42
He didn't make his own.

Unknown Speaker 15:44
No, no. Where do you have the other children musical? Well, they never Yes, Vera plays the piano. She took lessons for that. But one of the girls one of the little girls was like my husband, she could play by ear. My husband played by ear for a long time until he played with the lady that played the piano and then he learned different

Unknown Speaker 16:16
Did he have any interesting experiences? boating or fishing lumbering?

Unknown Speaker 16:24
Well, I suppose he had many experiences on the Fraser River, gutting stones. In one thing, another net was overrun by passenger boats.

Unknown Speaker 16:39
Was there anybody else living around here in those days or is

Unknown Speaker 16:44
not close to us? Well, I would say about three or four miles away from us. Who would they be? They would be the records.

Unknown Speaker 16:55
Tell me about them in those early days. They

Unknown Speaker 16:57
came into the area on mass

Unknown Speaker 16:59
much before the time that you were born.

Unknown Speaker 17:05
They came later. They've been here good many years, though. I don't know. I must have been at school when they came here.

Unknown Speaker 17:17
What was the original record? I can't

Unknown Speaker 17:20
recall. Well, it was old Mr. Rocco. The father. What was his name? I suppose and Reagan.

Unknown Speaker 17:33
You seem to have a bit place over there.

Unknown Speaker 17:35
Oh, they have 1000 acres. And what are

Unknown Speaker 17:40
all those houses there? How did they cover?

Unknown Speaker 17:43
Their residents? They live in

Unknown Speaker 17:50
the family side of the sound of the houses as

Unknown Speaker 17:54
well? Yes. When When Mr. Henry Rako let's the young Henry he got married and he built his own home. And Alfred Rocco he built his own home and when he got married

Unknown Speaker 18:15
was that quite a quite a prosperous farmer a

Unknown Speaker 18:18
very prosperous farm. They have beef cattle and sheep. Hogs. They used to raise turkeys Now they only have chickens. They raise their own green. Hey.

Unknown Speaker 18:37
What kind of a farm was it originally?

Unknown Speaker 18:40
Quite good. Because first started before they bought it to number four, the old Mr. Rucker bought it. There was a man by the name of Mr. Curran that had it and it ever had a good start when Mr. Rocco bought it. But they still do today. Clearing it and building it up as they're getting on in years was to like keep clearing land and working it. They're wonderful people.

Unknown Speaker 19:25
The old Mrs. Rocco lives there now she's she's the widow of the original

Unknown Speaker 19:29
England. No, there isn't the no older to Mrs. recolour. She passed away first before Mr. Rucker.

Unknown Speaker 19:41
I thought there was a person.

Unknown Speaker 19:43
There's Mr. Henry Rocco and his family his wife and family.

Unknown Speaker 19:48
He's the oldest.

Unknown Speaker 19:51
Yes, well, Henry. Alfred was the oldest but he passed away he never had had a family. His wife was still living there and she's 92

Unknown Speaker 20:04
She says she's the daughter in law of religion

Unknown Speaker 20:09
yes yes

Unknown Speaker 20:17
anything about that family they're

Unknown Speaker 20:22
on their own very special family they helped in the district so much you know, everything that was in progress they they help to do it. Very kind. They help everybody was this a separate district this district here? No, this is beaver point yes because this is out of

Unknown Speaker 20:45
district by itself to some extent was the center here was their store

Unknown Speaker 20:50
here. The store was at Beaver point right down near the water has been taken away to Fulford.

Unknown Speaker 21:01
Were there any other people living down there

Unknown Speaker 21:03
besides the rubble? No. There's really just

Unknown Speaker 21:12
Well, there was a big family of McClellan's that lived further up from Pericles and Scotchman. He had a family to about six or seven children. He kept the post office know up the road. Yes, I was here before Volker. Oh yes. But as the years went by, we lost everything we lost post office and the store and the school school all went to Ganges you know the consolidated school and the post office from Beaver point went to forefoot and so did the store

Unknown Speaker 22:06
Why did four foot build up do you think rather than the beaver point

Unknown Speaker 22:12
well I suppose more central up there they have all the people in the valley which we call the value and Burgoyne road

Unknown Speaker 22:27
and I suppose somebody down there but so last two people so they've been building

Unknown Speaker 22:32
oh yes progresses probably didn't know they won't sell they won't sell any part no crash course they needed to they have cattle and sheep

Unknown Speaker 23:04
shape to a journal and I add more or take off some of it you know and and then I paint it. So painted. Do you do a straight painting? For like I mean on campus or? Yes, I've done a little I painted our view and some pictures