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Kimberley Families

The Davidson Family
as told by Liz

Shotts, Lanarkshire, Scotland, was the birth place of Robert (Bob) Davidson. In 1923, a strike in the coal mines caused his parents, Mathew and Janet Davidson, to immigrate to Canada, bringing with them four sons, two daughters and a son-in-law. Work was obtained at the Black Diamond Mine near Edmonton.

Another family, Robert and Isabella McAndrews, had come there from Windygate Fife, Scotland, in 1912. Their daughter Elizabeth was five years old in 1914 when an aunt took her and her sister back to Scotland for a visit. They were there with their grandmother when war broke out and remained for the next five years. It was 1919 before they could rejoin the family.

Liz first went to work at Turner's Bakery in Edmonton. She took a business course and went to work in the mine office. Her father and young Davidson worked at the mine and this is where Liz met Bob.

He played football both in Scotland and Edmonton, and in 1929 Bob was enticed to come play football for Kimberley by another player that he met while sailing to Canada. That chap was Joe McLay.

Liz and Bob were engaged, so in July she spent her vacation visiting in Kimberley with the McLays. She returned in October to be married. Their first home was at the Top Mine where Bob worked. They were there for four years, and a daughter Isabel was born there. Liz was sorry when the Company moved everyone from the Top Mine in 1933. It was a happy, friendly place. Although all shopping and entertainment were in Kimberley, down the long two and a half mile hill, they would come down Saturday night to play whist, and enjoy a concert and dance all in one night and then walk back up in the wee hours of the morning.

One winter day, a neighbor, Helen Thor, offered to take Liz to town on a Swedish Chair. She had young Isabel on her lap and Helen's young son stood on the runners in front of his mother. Down they came, too fast for one sharp turn, and they all ended up in a snow bank. That was her first and last ride on a Swedish Chair.

When they moved into town from the Top Mine, they purchased the Roskilly house for $95, dismantled it and trucked it down to be rebuilt on a lot on Wallinger Avenue in upper Blarchmont. A son, Robert (Bobby), was born in 1934.

Bob was not only a football player, he had a beautiful singing voice. He and Liz both sang in the Presbyterian Church choir, where Bob was also an Elder. He sang at numerous concerts, funerals and weddings for many years. Their daughter, Isabel, began studying piano at the age of five with Mrs. Lauzon and later with Mrs. Glanville. Soon she was accompanying her father when he sang and they often sang duets, especially at Burn's Night celebrations. Isabel is now the organist for the Presbyterian church.

She married George Hogg and they have three children: David, Janet and Gary. David took an electrical apprenticeship with the Company and now works for a pulp mill at Campbell River. He married Shiela Maloney of Kimberley and they have two sons. Janet married Bob Chesham, an electrician for the Company and they have one daughter Alison. Gary married Vera Gammit and he is on transportation in the Mine.

In 1952, Bob was transferred to Tulsequah for five years, and Liz and young Bobby accompanied him. On their return they purchased a house on Kimberley Avenue near the Presbyterian Church. Bobby took an apprenticeship with the Company in Trail in the machine shop where he still works. He married a Trail girl and they have three children.

Bob was in the medical unit in the Air Force from 1942 to 1945, so during this time Liz worked at the Concentrator. Bob went into the Safety First Aid room underground on his return. He was active in First Aid and Mine Rescue competitions for many years. He retired in 1963. They loved to travel and visited relatives in Scotland several times, both before and after his retirement. They were on one of these trips in 1973 when Bob died suddenly. They had just stopped for tea near Middleton, on their way from England to Scotland, and were walking back to the car when he collapsed.

In 1976, Liz travelled to Williamsport, Pennsylvania, to watch her grandson from Trail compete in the Little League Baseball Championships.

Liz enjoys bowling and bridge and she still sings in the choir.

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