|Accession Number||Interviewer||SSI Historical Society Address|
|Date||October 9, 1990||Location||Central Hall|
|Media||tape cassette||Audio CD||mp3 √|
Unknown Speaker 0:00
Good afternoon, ladies and gentleman, Mary Davidson and John craft and have asked me to come and speak to you this afternoon about the sound archives project that I've taken on with the kind sponsorship of the Saltspring Historical Society and the archives. And with the help of Mary Davidson and Peggy Tolson, I'm going to begin by talking a bit about the value of oral history generally, and then I'll go on to describe how this project originated and what it involves. I'll be playing some clips from the interviews I conducted over the summer to let you hear the kinds of information and insights that will be contained in the new sound archives. After we've listened to some of this raw material of the archives, I'll be passing around a sample of the documentation that will accompany each of the 85 tapes, and I'll be describing how this documentation changes our collection of tapes into sound archives. Was it the last 25 years is the easy use of the portable tape recorder has provided the technology necessary to reproduce verbatim reports? There's been a resurgence in interest in oral history. There are a number of reasons for this. But the most important of these relates to the fundamental change and what historians are looking for when they look to the past. Most historians were primarily concerned with the lives of famous people, usually men, and the great events that they were involved with. The sources that historians used were the well established documentary ones that generally provided a version of the past, as seen by the powerful people about whom history was written. Over the past three decades, there has been a tremendous shift in interest, from the rulers to the rules, from the public to the private, and from the lives of great people participating in extraordinary events, to the day to day lives of ordinary people. In their attempt to portray history from the bottom up, historians have been scurrying to find new sources that will cast some light on these previously unexamined areas of the past. And with oral history, they found an excellent resource for more recent for the more recent history. Critics of oral history are quick to point out that people's memories are often faulty and that the subjective nature of information gathered through oral history interferes with the truth of the evidence given about the past. People who defend the use of oral history, however, argue that while all historical evidence must be submitted to rigorous examination, oral history has some very special attributes. First of all, it's potentially the largest single source of information about many subjects, from the nature of housework to the nature of union solidarity, that are some of the subjects that are of interest to modern historians. Secondly, the fact that oral history is inherently democratic, both in its approach and in its content allows everyone the opportunity of including their experience within the definition of history. And lastly, by allowing people to talk about their own experience, historians are better able to answer not only the question, what really happened in history, but also what did it mean to those
Unknown Speaker 3:05
Unknown Speaker 3:09
When I first approached Mary Davidson last winter, about doing some volunteer work for the Salt Spring Historical Society. Mary asked if I could help out by doing a number of interviews with some of the long term residents of the island. The Historical Society members, particularly Tony thar had been working away for some years gathering tapes of such interviews, and a collection of about 45 tapes was in the possession of the new archives. When I saw the extent of the collection, I became enthusiastic about the possibility of releasing them from their disorganized home in the bottom drawer of the filing cabinet, and cataloging and indexing them so that they would be as accessible to researchers as the well organized documents and photographs and the rest of the archives. When I began listening to the tapes, I became even more convinced that they should be properly treated as important to archival materials, for I discovered simultaneously that many of the tapes were irreplaceable sources of information, and that many of the cassettes were already seriously deteriorating in quality, and about the same time following up on a rumor, I decided to check the provincial archives for any recordings of Saltspring residents that they might have in their extensive sound archives. To my delight, I discovered 11 tapes, nine of which were part of the CBC Imbert orchard collection that had formed the background to the book, the Gulf Islanders, in which, which was one of the provincial archives sound Heritage Series, I was anxious to repatriate copies of these tapes to the archives. By this point, the project had grown in scope dramatically from its humble origins is a simple interviewing project. Not only did we want to get a good number of these new, a good number of new interviews, but we also wanted to create and implement a cat Logging and indexing system to make the collection accessible to researchers, a collection that had now grown to include between 80 and 90 tapes, and now seemed imperative that the whole collection should also be transferred onto the permanent sound recording medium recommended by the technical committee of the International Association of sound archives. So the purchase of some 85 reel to reel tapes was also in order, and the means of copying them all had to be found. Was it about this point in the project planning that Mary Peggy and I decided that the project had clearly grown to such an extent that it could not be completed entirely by volunteer labor, constituting, as it now did nothing short of the creation of a medium sized sound archives, we decided it was time to find some financing. And because of Marian Peggy's familiarity with the Heritage Trust, we decided to apply for a grant to them. We wrote a grant proposal that explained the obvious relationship that should exist between a brand new community archives, a group of wonderful for practically inaccessible taped interviews gathered by an enthusiastic Historical Society, and a person willing and able to undertake the work involved in the creation of a sound archives. To our great delight and relief. Heritage Trust, saw the force of our argument and agreed with it, and granted us the money that we needed for our project. Before I talk about the interviews I conducted over the summer, I'll just say a few words about the overall structure of the project. Marian, Peggy and I were in agreement, the top priority should be given to the new interview stage of the project. This was after all the original plan. And as Mary and Peggy had maintained from the outset, a certain urgency and formed this part of the project. So many of the people we wanted to interview were already in a considerable age, and no one could predict how long their present good health would last. The summer then was to be taken up with interviewing while the months from September to April, would be spent and cataloguing and indexing the whole collection. I've been doing all this work on a part time basis, spending about 12 hours a week on it. We also decided to have the cassette tapes copied onto reel to reel tapes during the summer before I began working with them indexing and cataloging their contents. I should say here that the reel to reel tapes are masters only and will not be used by researchers. The cassette will be the ones in use, but the masters will be made will be to make additional cassettes in the event of loss or damage. We were very fortunate to have the assistance of a volunteer to do this taping, which involved about 100 hours of time and the use of very good quality recording equipment. altogether. The community contribution to this project in donated volunteer time, stationery supplies, equipment use etc amounted to over $3,000 with the grant paying, paying a little bit over $5,000. At the beginning of July, I was ready to begin my interviewing Mary and Peggy had done a lot of work to find out who I should be talking to, and filling me in on details that I might need to know. In order to discover what line of questioning would be productive in each case. I was also able to use the archives files to do my preliminary research. I must say here that the absence of any written documentation about many of the families on the island was a constant reminder throughout the project of the value of the work we were doing. And wondering whether we may not have broken some kind of social science record with the proportion of people I was able to interview compared to the number I asked to be interviewed. Authorities in the field of social science research usually insist that a 50% turnout is excellent and much less than this is the norm. While there were many people I did not contact because of time restraints on the project under the 30 that I contacted, I interviewed an astounding 23 of those seven that I didn't interview for were too ill and two are too busy over the summer only one person simply wasn't interested in being interviewed. The enthusiasm, the enthusiasm for local history by these people should be taken as a very good sign by the community in general, and the Historical Society in particular, it should certainly give you a lot of reassurance that you made the right decision and going ahead with the establishment of the community archives because you're sure seem to have supported them community behind you. I was certainly fortunate to have the Historical Society in the archives behind me when I was approaching people to interview because I think I would have had a hard time, a hard time of explaining my right to come and talk to people about their lives otherwise. Because of of my affiliation with the historical society, people felt that they were doing something for their community. Well, the existence of the archives reassured many people that their memories would injure and injure in an environment where there'd be properly safeguarded against casual or improper use. I also must give a lot of credit they interviewed for the sets of the interviews of this interviewing stage of the project. I doubt that any other interviewer has had so many interviews with so few problems. Everyone was pleasant, helpful and generous. Have their time. And the kindness and generosity of spirit of those I interviewed made this a very positive experience for me as well as for the archives. Not that these interviews are easy on the contrary, though, they were the most rewarding part of the project, they were also the most challenging. Before I played some excerpts from the tapes, I'll just outline some of the theoretical issues that I felt had to be taken into account with each interview. As any historian will tell you, the most important part of any research is the questions that are asked of the materials at hand. In theory, I had the complete life stories of 23 individuals as my raw material, and my only limitations were imposed by my skills at drawing information out of them. Practically speaking, however, this was far from being the case. The nature of the project itself to collect taped interviews of longtime Saltspring residents in order to create a sound archives dictated that the interviews should be broad in scope while focusing on specific elements of Saltspring life. The time constraints of the project ensured that topics could not be covered in great depth. The fact that the interview situation itself is a social construct, and as such must conform to certain social conventions, conventions dictated that I should not ask questions of a very personal or confidential nature. Another factor that define that I should define what I should or should not ask was related to the function of the sound archives itself. Its role is to provide sources of information that can be used in conjunction with other sources in the archives, I felt that I should ask questions that would add to the information already provided by other documentary sources, filling in gaps and providing a different dimension to the other materials. After a lot of thought, I decided on a plan of action that involves dividing the interview into four separate but interrelated segments, each with a specific theme around which I could form questions. The first of these was about the lives of the grandparents or parents who first came to the island. Unlike the other areas of questioning. This area often involves stories told by other people, rather than the personal experience or the amount of the man or woman I was speaking with. The second area of questioning was concerned with the different stages of people's lives. My third area of questioning focused on the economics of the household, while the last concern the more public or social aspects of life on the island. I'll talk more about each of these areas as I play example. The first people you listen to, we'll be discussing the lives of those members of the family who came first to the island, excluding the direct experience of those I was speaking to, as you'll hear, there's a great variety of experience described. I'll just say quickly that these clips are not to be taken as representative of each person's life as a whole, just in case you recognize any of the voices. And I wish to they had about 24 hours here so that I could do a little bit more than just play snippets from each interview. But inadequate as they are summing up the whole interview, let alone people's whole lives. I'll let you listen a little while to the real people that this project is all about.
Unknown Speaker 13:19
England couldn't you couldn't make money. He was always
Unknown Speaker 13:29
assaulted. To do things, you know.
Unknown Speaker 13:37
He thought it was an opportunity for him.
Unknown Speaker 13:44
He saw it it was his chance to to make a living. He was a carpenter and cabinet maker. And he had a good job in England. Had to shed to come with him. But mother wouldn't come with it.
Unknown Speaker 14:04
So he decided he was going to immigrate to Canada. So 12.
Unknown Speaker 14:20
He left behind, later became my mother all the way over he got talking to a man. They said that there was an opportunity out on the West Coast he was going to stop on the prairies but to go to the West Coast, so he went to the west came to the West Coast.
Unknown Speaker 14:48
He came to craft and got a lunch. Somebody had told him on the bus Saltspring was quite a place My
Unknown Speaker 15:02
grandfather uncle cleared the place not to keep the Carolinas very little money, so I had to go out and work around the farm.
Unknown Speaker 15:20
But unfortunately grant the old school and he felt that the boys had to be home for tea at four o'clock. And so you had cases where there was rain coming up, the hay was being piled not in the bar. And then had to say I'm sorry, we have to go home.
Unknown Speaker 15:42
So what kind of Farming? Farming? Yeah. Now animals, pigs, cows, chickens. And we're going to count Holsteins in New Jersey's most mostly,
Unknown Speaker 15:56
how many of those did he have?
Unknown Speaker 15:59
Been? Yes, many to IBM. But, you know, when I was growing up, we had about six, I guess, and they had a lot more than that to start with. But you know, the farming never did pay, you have to do something on the side to make enough money to farm.
Unknown Speaker 16:15
Now, what did he What did he do? As well as
Unknown Speaker 16:23
anything he lost? Or, you know, it would be with the horse and so on. Live quite graciously. They used to go off to Victoria, January and stay in a hotel, because the farm was a bit cold.
Unknown Speaker 16:44
So they were subsistence farming. No, I don't think so.
Unknown Speaker 16:48
Unknown Speaker 16:50
didn't know what else they had on this arm. Do you remember? When you? Did he work at all on the farm? Do you know your grandfather? I'm sure. So it was maybe a hobby
Unknown Speaker 17:04
or something to do? No, I'm sure he never made any money. Or he never did anything.
Unknown Speaker 17:16
He was very just very loved playing chess and then right play bridge. But he has meetings as possible meetings, school board meetings, meetings in this church.
Unknown Speaker 17:28
What your mom and dad go out together?
Unknown Speaker 17:32
Yes, they would go out to various places. But they didn't they didn't dance dances they go to Christmas concert to chorus and things like that that go to West drives. Things they didn't drink they're both
Unknown Speaker 17:53
gay. Imagine that they obviously had to clear the land here.
Unknown Speaker 17:57
Even on the spot when we excavated for this big for roots from the days when they cleared I really don't know how they got all the work done. Because the whole place still have his wrongdoings all over the work that he put in.
Unknown Speaker 18:30
Rather than ask people what they were doing with their lives in a strictly chronological order, I found that people could more easily recollect the past when they were asked about activities surrounding a particular stage of their lives. For example, I had much better success when I asked people to describe their years at school than I would have had by asking them to reconstruct the year say 1924. Although I asked people questions about their teenage years, young adulthood, early marriage and parenthood and their middle years, all the examples I'm going to play now are taken from descriptions of childhood. This is the area that almost everyone talks a lot about. And it makes very good listening. So we'll listen to a few of these have to come
Unknown Speaker 19:18
and get when we were reading and you thought that you're a big part of the wheel of the wheel.
Unknown Speaker 19:30
What else would you do around the house did you do I mean around here? Did you do hoeing? weeding?
Unknown Speaker 19:47
That we had we were taught to take pride in what we did and we were also taught that it was important that what we did was we did this without it
Unknown Speaker 20:09
Did you have a favorite teacher? No.
Unknown Speaker 20:13
Did you have a least favorite teacher?
Unknown Speaker 20:16
Make any gestures played games versus the older ones they played six Rounders, what sticks are used to have a pile of sticks and they take sides across the line and they tag each other Gordon across that over to that side was gathering nuts in May was another one What was that was
Unknown Speaker 21:06
put away I think they called it
Unknown Speaker 21:13
who will come to pull her away girls would have sides she said and one would have to pull the other and the winner would pull the other over to that side that started
Unknown Speaker 21:36
as far as some people wasn't even Jenkins was just push
Unknown Speaker 21:43
Unknown Speaker 21:47
Pass be your speech or crap. Some point in land, spring water coming out rocks on the beach. And a trapper in Chaco. used to go there for a couple of weeks. A couple of days you could catch up crab oysters and things like that. But you didn't have to take much
Unknown Speaker 22:20
time actually, I did a lot of work. You know I was eight years old. My brother was left going 11 We went to work in the sawmill. And if you didn't have any higher talent you didn't have to pay. We did the work. What would you do? Well, we were taking the slabs off the back from the sawmill enslaving them along the rollers and getting rid of them somehow and getting getting the lumber off and carry it along the rulers or center rulers where the lumber comes off. Take the lumber off old rollers and put it piles up to get a pile big enough why then father would come over and help us move it onto the back of the truck. Straight again do same thing. So yeah, it was hard. It was hard work. But we could do quite a little bit on our own without without having anybody
Unknown Speaker 23:16
we went to school to Yeah,
Unknown Speaker 23:18
we did miss a lot of school time. From the time I was about eight until I was about 16 We didn't really didn't get too much.
Unknown Speaker 23:32
What did you did you did you enjoy school.
Unknown Speaker 23:37
I wouldn't say that.
Unknown Speaker 23:40
We have to walk all the way there and back home and go to work. I would chase and cheat with bare feet. Mow the garden. And then after supper, we'd have to sit down and do our homework by color.
Unknown Speaker 24:00
There used to be contracts that by the query for wood it had a steam boiler. And the query was run by steam, which is the bakery again yesterday. And my dad quite often took the contract for 50 cords of wood for a year. It all had to be delivered by a certain date. So he would cut the wood and split it in pilot. We loaded in the truck we'd hire a crowd guy with a truck to haul it to the creamery. But it was a hydraulic hoist and we did all scatter on the ground and tropical back from under load. And I was always with my dad piling at the Creamery my three sisters and the driver would load the truck again at home. But now and again, my dad would go back with the truck and I would be left with a pile a full load of wood while the truck was away. I was 11 years old
Unknown Speaker 24:56
in many ways we had we had a lot of fun, you know I mean we were We were a little demo, we were all into some kind of mischief. And we had all these equipment around the play with that had hung over from my father. Mostly days, you might say, well off days anyway, when he had a lot of equipment, we had a huge gas torch, I think it was a two gallon gasoline and go around in Washington. So you could throw a flame about 50 feet with that if you pump it up real well. We used to just steal a dynamite and caps and put a half a stick in one side of the stump and go around the other side and listen to the bank. This kind of enjoyment.
Unknown Speaker 25:43
So we were we were depressed.
Unknown Speaker 25:52
As you can already tell from listening to these few excerpts, there was a great deal of variety in in how much people wanted to talk about certain areas. And as you will have noticed, already, there was a great deal of overlap between the areas in which I focused our recollections of the past like life itself, did not appear within a series of well defined categories. The these are two of the reasons that I decided against using a survey type approach with these questions, asking exactly the same questions to everybody. In order to get what some would consider a more scientifically valid answer. I chose the loose structure I did precisely because it allowed people greater flexibility in remembering the past. For one of the greatest strengths of this type of history is the diversity of experience and insight that it reveals. My four areas of questioning allowed me to ask very specific questions and important clearly defined categories, while still allowing me to follow up on those productive digressions that are at the heart and soul of good oral history. Someone once said that the difference between an historian and the sociologist is that while the sociologist wants to find out what it is that makes everybody the same, the historian wants to find out what makes people different. And this is certainly the message given to us by oral history. My next area of question concerning the economics of the household. I'm careful here not to say occupation. Although this was always part of the economics of the household, like many rural communities in Canada life on Saltspring was based on on an economy very different from that in urban areas. And the nature of that rural economy is very badly misrepresented in the more traditional documentation available through census reports and tax rolls, etc. Oral history is one of the most important ways that we can find out about the nature and extent and there's none more of the non monetary contributions to the household economy contributions, which at certain times made all the difference between plenty and want. We'll hear examples of some of the various ways in which the household economy function for people here on the island
Unknown Speaker 28:02
I worked part of the first I worked there, they were building bunk houses. And I worked with Charles Gardner building a chimney for the bulk house. Then I got a job in the mill. At least on the boom actually. We had a drag saw permanent drag so you couldn't move it around. And we cut the logs if they were too long for the courage of the mill we cut them in half and then the winch man took them and dragged them up the slip onto the deck for the mill
Unknown Speaker 28:54
as I told you there, they had a thing called the door. Each man was accepted and to work so long on the government role to get a little bit of money. I don't think I don't think he really had much choice. We had a family. You had to be terribly proud not to
Unknown Speaker 29:20
pay taxes to
Unknown Speaker 29:24
you did you grow vegetables.
Unknown Speaker 29:28
We always got a new even after dad went way to the army. We all we always had a big Mother. Mother always raised we always had chicken. She always raised What 500 turkeys.
Unknown Speaker 29:46
So you tell us
Unknown Speaker 29:49
we used to sell so we used to sell locally and she used to ship them to Victoria
Unknown Speaker 30:06
And then they had
Unknown Speaker 30:07
they used to ship flower they had anemones and they shipped those over to flower flowers over to Vancouver
Unknown Speaker 30:21
just for sale for sale
Unknown Speaker 30:26
used to ship fresh vegetables they had one year they ship tons of potatoes which were grown on the marsh back of the farm they had to have spent a special tractor to go on that type of soil because there were cracks in
Unknown Speaker 30:52
the clay. Well, I will make
Unknown Speaker 30:57
it shook as you walked over. But with the year they had to have what they call a key track which is on wheels couldn't sink into the cracks. But when that was all cultivated, it was beautiful soil
Unknown Speaker 31:16
further around the mill, wherever they felt to. To the export companies like HR and Macmillan, and others that were brokering ties. It seemed at that time that only railroads in Asia and Africa. Countries were expanding their railroad lines and India and so there was a big market for doublers for ties overseas. So they moved us tie ties, ties off of soft green and
Unknown Speaker 31:59
our clothes were always patched. My mother had always had a great sewing machine. And he kept 100 Clothes patched.
Unknown Speaker 32:07
He used to have to wash everything and washed up and she had to carry the water to the house. He was on top of the stool packet to the washed up, scrub all of those on the scrubbing board and then rinse the same way and then hang it out on a clothesline to dry.
Unknown Speaker 32:23
Where does she get? Did you have a spring there are lots of water
Unknown Speaker 32:31
in the US to do today in the wintertime when the tide was loaded a coil lantern and walk from abundance road down to say Venice Beach and declare and bring home are clamoring to get back on their bag. Bag and we'd have clamored for days afterwards. But that doesn't cost anything all you do is walk and get it
Unknown Speaker 32:56
I know I used to make two trips a day to Victoria on lumber and ties from the sawmills here. Trucking. Get up in the morning. Catch the 815 ferry over to Ogden point. Unload. Come back in at noon. Go to the mill with 96 More railroad ties off the town again and back at night. Then go and load up again for the next morning.
Unknown Speaker 33:23
We found a refund if you do away from home and when we were down there we had chicken chicken what kind of cows did you most teachers
Unknown Speaker 33:36
we had some
Unknown Speaker 33:39
but we would have preferred to choose.
Unknown Speaker 33:42
And so what did you did you sell the cream we sold? We sold How much would you sell those 16
Unknown Speaker 33:54
And you've got peanut butter fat 1216.
Unknown Speaker 34:07
Blackberries and you could pick them in milk bucket
Unknown Speaker 34:19
Unknown Speaker 34:27
from things that you grew in your garden to supporting tomatoes
Unknown Speaker 34:37
and if you've got extra meat your body
Unknown Speaker 34:46
loads of apples in the fall they were putting them down on the wagon. It is to be a lot of coals shipped out there someone on the line someone killed wasn't putting them on the ships alive and takes us to
Unknown Speaker 35:17
this last group of tape clips that I'll play for you all concern are concerned with the more public and community oriented activities on the island on the tapes as a whole there's an awful lot of information about such things as very service descriptions of different parts of the island and please some examples here including some some that mentioned those things and that many people felt made made life on Saltspring island just a special type of life
Unknown Speaker 35:49
I don't know about the other part of the island were covered in those days they weren't cars and didn't really know what's going on the rest of the we knew what's going on at corporate that's
Unknown Speaker 36:03
what was the roadblock?
Unknown Speaker 36:16
Because normal me from here, from here. Yeah. And my grandparents that definitely no offense, but once or twice a year to go up there. Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. All Dates. I think my dad leave us up there. And then he come back and guess towards the end of the week or something. So it was difficult.
Unknown Speaker 36:42
We said dumpsters every Saturday night. When the ox came in. White flowers on blazers, you know wasn't like the jeans today. And the girls from hearing we have a three piece orchestra with really
Unknown Speaker 37:03
cool people playing in the orchestra
Unknown Speaker 37:07
The Hague's and then this is her while
Unknown Speaker 37:14
she playing the piano and a husband
Unknown Speaker 37:21
visiting between your parents has been an active social, a very
Unknown Speaker 37:26
lot of visting like
Unknown Speaker 37:33
kids always went
Unknown Speaker 37:37
to these things because I guess there weren't any babies made a lot of fun.
Unknown Speaker 37:49
What would you do
Unknown Speaker 37:50
for recreation say when your family was was young and
Unknown Speaker 37:55
well, we had a book. And we used to go out for lunch to the sailboat.
Unknown Speaker 38:02
No, no, no
Unknown Speaker 38:05
sail boat. Not to my husband and I had one when we came back. He retired. Then we went to sail but there was everybody there was a nice feeling of
Unknown Speaker 38:23
Unknown Speaker 38:28
People did things for each other.
Unknown Speaker 38:33
I recall one time.
Unknown Speaker 38:35
I mean, we had last week, we had a store. I remember when I was 14 years old this week 3435. And I always used to drive at home and we were going around the butcher shop. And of course those days we didn't have a cool room. We just sort of kept me cool and couldn't keep it over the weekend. And there's great shoulder view there. So get that out there. Wrap it up. So I got
Unknown Speaker 39:06
to go tell my uncle would like to see you please. I know. We consult shoulder belts and those should all reveal anyways we'll take it
Unknown Speaker 39:27
to Monday to kind of have tea with me. He used to make me to his house all the time for tea and for big dinner parties. And he used to love to have big dinner parties and about 20 people and his long table like that. And you'd have first of all, he started with the kitchen still haven't sorted he had we had one man anyway that worked for him. And then he started off on his own. Then he got there he decided to get boys from the orphanage in Victoria in Victoria. So he go down there and he gets a couple of boys or something and then one time he had four boys once they bought So be, they'd be just out of school, you know, they'd be about 90 years old, or maybe they're 18 or 19. And anyway, he had had these four boys all at one time. And at each one to do the cooking, he was he was really good cooks. And the other one would do the housecleaning and so on, and one would work on the farm. And then the other one, the other one deputy. And we had 40 time on the table, when he had dinner parties, and he loved to have dinner parties. And he would have an old quite frequently and had some courses. Have a great stuff like this. And then you have soup and you have fish and you have all these different causes and meat and vegetables. And then you have three wonderful desserts, and all these fancy desserts. And stuff like pies and things
Unknown Speaker 40:59
look good cooking
Unknown Speaker 41:06
what I've heard from people about life on the island that people used to just like they used to live here, and they used to have an island way of life and they do with what
Unknown Speaker 41:17
we had nothing. We had no toys, we used to use a rubber gumbo wrapped up in a blanket for adult one time. So men used we used to work in their time Mills came to our place. And they saw what we were playing with. And they were absolutely horrified. So they they went to Victoria again. And they came back with some dolls for us real nice, beautiful dolls. And we just thought that was so wonderful. And then our neighbors got burned out. What can we do for these kids, they have four of them? Well, I'll give them my doll.
Unknown Speaker 41:58
The tapes you've been listening to have has come from my own interviews this past summer. But these tapes who has only a small part of the whole collection, I'm going to hand out a sample of the documentation that's going to accompany each interview so that you can see what's involved in the process of turning the raw material of these tapes. As they are transferred into archival materials I've just handed out. An out I'll talk a little bit about them just to finish off. The sheets have given me or sounds as if the documentation that will be in each file folder accompany each interview. The interview information sheet contains as you can see, it's the first one on top there. It contains important basic information about the person being interviewed, the location of the interview and the interviewers name. Unfortunately, much of his basic information is missing from many of the tapes in our collection. The brief summary of the interview that appears on the bottom of the page is to provide a very general overview of the type of subjects discussed in the interview, as well as any information about the quality of the recording. The subject headings at the bottom of the page are a central part of the whole sound archives. The headings noted here are all contained on a central file card, and also referred to and refer to all the subject headings under which the interview is listed in our subject index file. Any researcher wanting information on a particular subject or about a particular person will be referred from the subject index to a particular file where he or she will be able to look at the time take Guide, which is the second page here. To discover whether or not it'll be worth worthwhile to listen to the whole or to part of the tape. I use this time tape guide in lieu of a transcript for each tape because I felt that while there was a clear advantage to a researcher to know in some detail what was on the tape before having to sit down listening to the whole thing through. I felt that there was something rather silly about creating a sound archives in which listening to the tapes was made redundant by the existence of the written transcripts. The last sheet is the legal release form which has three important functions. It lets people know to whom the recording belongs and it lets people know to what use the recording will be put. But perhaps most important that allows people the right to restrict the use to which all or part of the tape may be put. This can be a very important part of an oral history oral history project, especially ones that are concerned with personal or confidential or political matters, for it allows people to speak more freely about the past directly to the future, without fear of giving a sense to people in the present. In conclusion, I just like to say that the collection of tapes in the Saltspring archives contain some of the very best that that oral history has to offer. The men and women who shared their memories of Saltspring island life are not simply filling in the gaps, often very large gaps, however, left by other historical sources but with their insights and their observations are getting a texture and a meaning to our knowledge of the history that they helped to create thank you all for sharing that history with me