Wednesday, March 27, 2013


When my mother died,  I had the opportunity to read her diaries from when she first was married until my father was killed, and it gave me great insight into her journey and to some extent my own journey. 

Family is an important part of who you are and helps give you the attitudes, ambition, focus and outlook on life. Yet many of us do not know our family history as well as we should. Many families are blessed because they have one member who becomes a family historian and keeps the stories alive in the family memory.

 I am finding as I get older I value finding out "family facts", (family facts are not necessarily true but) they help create the myths and stories that shape our outlook on life. So for my grandson, who one day will read this I give you some family facts. First both sets of my grandparents were born outside of Canada, while your grannies family came from Newfoundland, which was not part of Canada when the came to BC, but Newfoundland joined Canada in 1949 and now is part of Canada.

My grandmother and grandfather on my fathers side were born in the United States of America and came to Canada in the 1920's and settled in Southern Saskatchewan, prospered as small farmers. I still have Aunts, Uncles and Cousins who live in Saskatchewan. My grandmothers family came from Ireland in the 1840's to escape the great famine and they settled in the Great Lake area.
My grandmother and my grandfather on my mothers side were both born in Romania and came to Canada in  the first 10 years of the 20th Century. My grandfather on my mom's side came to Canada when he was 14 with the help of the people in the village in which he lived, and he moved to  Southern Saskatchewan, where he homesteaded a medium sized farm. My grandmother also born in Romania, came to Canada when she was only one year. Her family settled in the US and worked as indentured farm hands until they could get the money to move to Southern Saskatchewan where her family also homesteaded a medium sized farm.

We are all travellers in life and should embrace our sense of adventure. We continue to spread out and to face new challenges. When my daughter (your mom) moved to Australia in her mid 20's to take on a new life with Adam (your Dad)  she may not have realized that she was following a grand tradition on her mothers side. 

My wife's great grandmother and her great grandfather were from Newfoundland. He came to BC to escape the need to kill baby seals for a living, and set up as a boat builder in New Westminster. My wife's great grandmother followed him to New Westminster a year later and they were married. Travelling across Canada in the very early 20th Century a challenge for anyone, but it most of been more difficult for a woman traveller. 

Canada provides an opportunity for all of its citizens to grow and prosper if they work hard, and I believe we as Canadians should continue to welcome all those who want to immigrate here.

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