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Kimberley Families

The Bryant Family


as told by son Harry and daughter Gwen

Art Bryant first left Chippenham, England in 1901, coming directly to Lethbridge, where he got work on the C.P.R. He was firing an engine at the time the high level railway bridge was built.

He returned to England in 1908 to marry Edith Webb from Chippenham and returned to Lethbridge. A son, John, was born in 1909. He left the C.P.R. and moved to Diamond City, Alberta, to work in the coal mines as a steam engineer. A son, Harry, was born while they were there. When the mine at Diamond City closed down, Art moved his family to nearby Commerce. Two daughters, Gwen and Florence, and a third son, Art Jr., were born there.

In July of 1925, Art Bryant moved his family to Kimberley and they lived at 29 Wallinger Avenue, one of the few houses along Sullivan Creek. He went to work in the machine shop at the Mine and later became the maintenence boss at the Power House.

The Company ran the town until it was incorporated in 1944. Mr. Bryant was elected to the Council in 1948 and served two terms.

Harry Bryant

Art Bryant first left Chippenham, England in 1901, coming directly to Lethbridge, where he got work on the C.P.R. He was firing an engine at the time the high level railway bridge was built.

He returned to England in 1908 to marry Edith Webb from Chippenham and returned to Lethbridge. A son, John, was born in 1909. He left the C.P.R. and moved to Diamond City, Alberta, to work in the coal mines as a steam engineer. A son, Harry, was born while they were there. When the mine at Diamond City closed down, Art moved his family to nearby Commerce. Two daughters, Gwen and Florence, and a third son, Art Jr., were born there.

In July of 1925, Art Bryant moved his family to Kimberley and they lived at 29 Wallinger Avenue, one of the few houses along Sullivan Creek. He went to work in the machine shop at the Mine and later became the maintenence boss at the Power House.

The Company ran the town until it was incorporated in 1944. Mr. Bryant was elected to the Council in 1948 and served two terms.

Following his retirement from the Company in 1948, he spent two years operating a compressor plant for Bennett and White, a construction company that drove the first section of the 3700 level haulage tunnel. He was an ardent fisherman during his life and also travelled around the country. He passed away at age seventy in 1953. Mrs. Bryant passed away in 1961 after a lengthy illness.

Son John went to work for the Company when he left school and spent two years firing a boiler at the Top Mine. He then became a miner underground for the rest of his working years.

Harry quit school at seventeen and went to work for Lloyd Crowe in the grocery store where the Macleods store is now. After two years he applied for work with the Company and in May of 1929 started with them. He recalls the employment office was in the old freight sheds that stood next to the tracks across from the station. Ed Shannon was the personnel manager at the time.

Harry started work in the compressor room at the Mine, he also worked on the pipe gang and was a hoistman. He was finally promoted to chief hoistman, in charge of maintaining all hoists underground. In 1950he went on staff.

In 1933,Harry married Grace Jarrett and had two sons. Bobby is now married and living in Meadowbrook and works underground for the Company. Bill is also married and has one son. He is an electrician for the Company. These boys are the third generation of Bryants working for the Company. Grace passed away a few years ago.

Florence began working for Dr. Haszard. She worked in the cookhouse for a time and then was the cook for Aikmans Cafe until ill health forced her to retire in 1973.Florence still resides in the first house the family lived in on Wallinger Avenue. Gwen took a business course when she left high school and worked for Fabro's Lumber Company. She worked with the Daily Bulletin in the small quarters above Chatsons, later the Daily Bulletin moved into the Pioneer Block. She then went to work in the Mark Creek Store office until her marriage in 1938 to Robert (Bob) Dicken. While Bob was overseas in 1941,Gwen went back to work at the Mark Creek Store until his return.

Art left home at the age of eighteen and got work at Trail, later working at the coast as a welder. For a time he went into business for himself, doing excavations with his own equipment. When he sold out he worked for Kenworth, building trucks. He is now retired and living in Port Coquitlam.

In their early years, all three boys, John, Harry and Art, played softball, sometimes on different teams, so the competition became quite heated at times.

The school principal was Joe Morsh and he instructed gym classes in McDougall Hall and Harry recalls his brother Art, dropping a medicine ball on Mr. Morsh's head from the balcony above, almost knocking him out.

They remember when both the North Star and the Top Mine were reclaiming zinc ore from the mine dumps and both tramways were operating. At first, zinc was not classed as very valuable. When it became evident that it was a marketable ore, both mines spent several years reclaiming what had originally been discarded.

Harry retired in 1976.He keeps himself busy working around his home and he likes to fish. He has no intention of leaving Kimberley where he finds lots to do among friends and neighbors. His brother John and his two sisters Gwen and Florence also remain here.

The Bryants plan to hold a family reunion in August of 1978 and, if all come, there will be forty-six present.

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