Sunday, August 31, 2014

Precious memories...20 years ago.

I find it hard to believe that it was 20 years ago this September that Matthew, our one and only, started school! And now here in BC, the teachers are on strike and so many little ones will miss their first day of school. I'm glad we had the finances to send Matthew to a private Christian school. He enjoyed his elementary school days there, and did very well. 
Here he is with flowers for his new teacher.
He was so little and so cute!

Miss Tiu; she and Matthew hit it off from day one!
He loved her and he loved Kindergarten. His classroom had a neat loft with a fire pole.
He had a schedule of attending full days on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays for one week, then alternating the next week. At least that's what I remember vaguely. It seems like such a very long time ago. Robert would drive him to school, and pick him up afterwards. In those days he had a flexible job! Then when Robert began to go on a lot of business trips, I would sometimes get Matthew by bus, or more often my parents would pick him up. Matthew always had a nap when he got home.
He just loved school and learning new things.
By Loretta Houben

Monday, August 25, 2014

Visiting the past in Cloverdale BC.

I'm rather behind in my blog postings this summer of 2014, due to the heat and humidity we have experienced for nearly four months. I don't really do too well in that kind of environment and turn into a limp dishrag! I've also been keeping up with household chores, gardening, taking care of my parents, and writing each month for the Renfrew Collingwood Community newspaper.
In between those things, Robert and I get away and do something different each weekend, as this summer due to his new job and the project he's working on, he doesn't get time off except for a day here and there.

Saturday August 23 we headed out to Cloverdale, just across the Fraser River one half hour drive from our home. While poking about online last year I discovered the

Volunteers have done a marvelous job re-building the Cloverdale Interurban Station.
Train 1225 is the one in the photo above. For $10 each you can ride it out into the countryside to Sullivan Station. The trains used to run out into Chilliwack! My Dad remembers riding on them as a youngster. This link shows the refurbishing of train 1225. What a great deal of work! And all by volunteers! Robert and I enjoyed our excursion immensely and we highly recommend it to all railway buffs!
By Loretta Houben

Monday, August 4, 2014

30 years ago today...1984

Will edit and post tomorrow.

20 years ago today....1994

Will edit and post later.

August 4, 2014 100 years ago...

One hundred years ago today, August 4th, 1914, Britain entered into the war to end all wars.
Pictured above is my paternal grandpa's younger brother, William Joseph Williams.
I've written a bit about him in past posts on this blog.
Today while browsing the Royal Welsh Fusilier's FB page, I asked a question about something I'd like to add to William's memory box I plan to assemble this month.
A kind reader replied. Here is his answer:

"He enlisted first week in September 1914. The 5 9 1915 date on his medal card is when he went to France. That's the date his battalion (11th) went over. A few months later the battalion went to Salonika. You'll know that he died of wounds on the 22nd Feb. The War Diary states he and two others were wounded on the 16th Feb during a patrol."

Every little clue helps. I don't know how to access the War Diary but it would be interesting to read it and discover these things. William seemed to be very patriotic. Another brother, Robert David, also enlisted, but in the navy. I don't know much about that brother. My grandpa, John Griffith, moved to Canada in 1910. I've never heard any stories of his trying to enlist in the war, and am not sure if he did so and was denied because of poor health. Who knows? No one in his family ever asked him, or if they did, no one told the next generation.

It may be gory to remember war, but I myself will not forget William Williams.

There's a RWF forum I'll have to join!

Here is a link to a WWI war diary, not any relative of mine though.

By Loretta Houben

Saturday, June 28, 2014

40 years Grandfather, John G Williams, died.

My paternal grandfather, John Griffith Williams, born on February 17, 1888 passed away on June 28, 1974, 40 years ago today. In my little diary I wrote: "Grandpa died. Aunt Audrey phoned up and told us Grandpa had an attack and they rushed him to the hospital and he died. So Dad is going to a graveside service." We had just arrived at my Uncle Ed's home in Oregon on that day for our summer vacation. Grandpa had been fine before we left. He had a heart attack. It turned out that no one was able to see Grandpa's body, and there wasn't a service after all, so my Dad didn't go back to Canada by train as he was thinking of doing. It was so expensive to travel in those days and having just arrived in Oregon we weren't going to turn around and go back right away for nothing. We stayed for two weeks. On July 11th I wrote: "Grandma is taking the death of Grandpa hard." She was 20 years younger than him; age 66. She died in July 2004; 30 years later.

My Grandfather was an adventurer. He was the only one from his family in North Wales to venture to the barren wilderness of the Canadian prairies in 1910. He lived for a while in Three Hills Alberta, and then moved to Spalding Saskatchewan in the 1920s. I love the photo above.

After his first wife, Ellen, died in 1926 along with one of his sons, he married Alma May in 1928 and had 7 more children. Here he is in Saskatchewan on his farm, with Jackie, Audrey and Harry.

The prospering family. Two more children came to join them after this time.
John, Audrey, Glenys, Jackie (my father), Harry and baby Ruth.

Photo taken in 2012. My grandparents final resting place, until we meet again on the farther shore.
By Loretta Houben