The Bova Family
as told by Josephine Bova
Josephine was born in Bovalina, Italy, in 1912, the second daughter of Carlo Garraffa. He had come to Cranbrook several years before and worked for the C.P.R., returning to Italy to visit his family a couple of times before they came out to join him in 1925. Mrs. Garraffa and her two daughters landed in Halifax and travelled to Montreal where their father met them. This was on March 15, 1925. They had just got settled in Cranbrook when Mr. Garraffa caught pneumonia and died on March 30th, leaving his family alone in a strange land. The girls never got to know their father.
A year later, in 1926, Mrs. Garraffa married Charles Cillis, who had worked with her husband on the C.P.R. They had a son Victor and a daughter Rosa. Josie was in her teens and helped to raise the two younger ones. She married John . Bova in 1931. John had come to Canada from Italy in 1927 and worked in Cranbrook for a while, then started work with the Company in Trail. He transferred to the Mine at Kimberley where he remained until his death in 1969.
They had five children, Rose, Dick, Bob, June, and Laura. Rose was born in Cranbrook and the other four in Kimberley, but all received their schooling here. Rose trained as a practical nurse, and spent some time working in the mental hospital in Essondale. She also trained as a telephone operator but when automation did away with the Kimberley exchange she returned to nursing, working in the hospital and later in the Medical Clinic. She married Tick Beattie, a hockey player for the Dynamiters. He used to work for Fabro but is now employed by the Pulp Mill at Skookumchuck. They purchased Woogmans Clothing store and Rose is the manager there. They have three children, Leane, Jodine, and Scott.
Dick Bova was a clerk in the Hudson Bay before going to work for Mason's Mens Wear. When Mr. Mason retired, Dick bought the business. He married an Alberta girl, Frances Thomason, and they have three sons, Michael, Blair, and Steven.
Bob spent his early working years at the Company Gardens, when Ab Lilley was in charge. He tried his hand in the butcher business, but this did not prove too successful so he went back to work for the Company in the carpenter shop. Bob married a Kimberley girl, Barbara Jones, and they have four children, Lori, David, Brian, and Darren.
June married Bill Kennedy from Vancouver and he worked for Holmes Real Estate. They are now living in Prince George. They have two children, Christopher and Heather.
Laura, the youngest daughter is married to Wayne Arkinstall. He managed a mens wear store in Elkford until the family moved to Kelowna. They have two children, Jason and Stewart.
Josephine's half brother Victor Cillis is now in Montreal and his sister, Rosa, is Mrs. Pascusso and living in Sirdar.
Josephine lives in a comfortable apartment on Swan Subdivision and enjoys life with plenty of visits from her sons and daughters and fourteen grandchildren.