My Memories For My Grandchildren

By Jennie George

 

My father's full name

Orville Harrison George

 

His birth date and place of birth

April 13, 1916
Lacombe, Alberta

 

My father's best story about growing up

Dad grew up in a large family - 11 children! Grandpa farmed for the most part, and also served as the town of Neepawa's blacksmith. When dad returned from the war, he went into the draying business delivering coal.

Dad would tell us about the time one of his brothers decided to imitate his dad killing chickens - chopping their heads. Unfortunately, he had one of his younger siblings heads on the block. Grandma noticed in time & saved the younger child!

Dad had to quit school in grade 8 to help work on the farm. Life was very different in those days.

 

My mother's full name

Evelyn Diana Catherine Neilson

 

Her birth date and place of birth

January 31, 1918
Gulu, Uganda

 

My mother's best story about growing up

Mum told us stories of the years she spent in Africa until she was sent back to England to boarding school at age 7 years. She shared stories of her illness - osteomylitis at age 9. She spent 2 years in hospital & had numerous operations. She was a very strong person emotionally, if not physically.

 

One of my most precious memories of my mother

When we were young, about 7 or 8 yrs, mum would help us build snow forts - complete with chairs & tables. She was an amazing artist, particularly animals.

On Judy and my 4th birthday, we received black & white teddy bears & went for the day to clear lake (along with another family). It was very exciting as we didn't own a car at the time.

When we were about 10 yr we came home for lunch & found mum had purchased our first T.V.!!

 

My favorite hiding place

When playing "hide & seek", my favorite hiding place was in the rhubarb patch.

 

The yard I played in

We had a big double yard with a huge garden - potatoes & vegetables. The front yard had pink rose bushes, the side yard had lilac bushes. Every year there were sweet peas & lily of the valley. On the boulevard in front was our baseball diamond (worn in the grass) - the entire neighborhood played for hours there every summer. I'm surprised the grass ever grew back! In the winter, we built snow forts & and were fortunate to live on a hill used for sledding. We spent hours outdoors.

 

Where we worshiped

We were raised in the Anglican church in Neepawa, St. James Anglican Church, and in Winnipeg, St. John's Cathedral. I was confirmed when I was 14 yr old. I taught Sunday school in my early twenties, and served on the Chancel Guild at St. John's, St. Alban's, and St. George's.

 

My earliest memory of home

We lived in a 4 room house built by my dad. It had a "pink" chimney. When the bathroom was added (I was about 8 yr old), the attic was developed into 2 bedrooms. Judy & I shared one & Bobbi had the other.

 

My childhood bedroom

Judy & I always shared a room both in the house in Neepawa (398 Davidson St) & the house in Winnipeg (27 Bannerman Ave).

 

The street I lived on

398 Davidson St. Neepawa, MB

Our house was built halfway up a hill with Lions Club Riverbend park at the bottom and the town centre about 2 blocks from the top of the hill.

 

Where I played with my friends

We played outdoors winter & summer as our homes were small. In summer we spent days at the park swimming in the White Mud river. In winter, we sledded on the hills & built snow forts.

 

My favorite store and why I loved to go there

We didn't go to the store often. However, I had "Martins" to browse in - it sold everything from candy to clothing. In the old days, it would have been referred to as an emporium.

 

Where my father worked

When I was very young, My dad owned a team of horses - Pat & Belle, that he used to deliver coal. When I was school age, he delivered milk by horse drawn wagon. He then worked for the town bakery & delivered bread out of town, by truck. When I was 11 or 12 dad started work for the government as a heavy equipment driver for the airport until his retirement at age 65.

 

What my mother did during the day

Mum was a homemaker & never worked at an outside job. Being a homemaker was very different in those days as there were very few conveniences - no automatic washers/dryers. Clothes were hung on a line outside to dry. Our first iron was heated on a wood burning stove. We had no indoor bathroom facilities until I was in school a couple of years.

 

The chores I had to do

We had to make our bed before school daily, as well as clear the table & do dishes. (we took turns washing) We also ironed clothes & helped clean house. In summer, we helped plant the garden & pull weeds. Before we got running water we got water from the well.