The Lye Family
as told by son Roger
Arthur Percy Lye was born on August 21, 1884 at Hilperton, near Trowbridge, Wiltshire, England. He was apprenticed as a carpenter at age 13. At age 15 he went to the Boer War as a Bugler and by 16 he was a prison guard at St. Helena Island. His Uncle Charlie Lye lived in Canada at Walsh, Alberta. Following the War, Percy came to live with him for a short time. He was now twenty years old.
The next few years were spent working in Alberta with some Mormans from Utah, herding and shearing sheep and doing carpentry whenever it was needed. He met Jessie Prince, the daughter of one of these people and they were married in 1911 in the Morman Temple in Salt Lake City. They lived in Southern Alberta and the next three years brought them two daughters and a son. Freda was the first born daughter then came Lucy, then the son James. Arthur Percy Lye was born on August 21, 1884 at Hilperton, near Trowbridge, Wiltshire, England. He was apprenticed as a carpenter at age 13. At age 15 he went to the Boer War as a Bugler and by 16 he was a prison guard at St. Helena Island. His Uncle Charlie Lye lived in Canada at Walsh, Alberta. Following the War, Mr. Lye saw action during the war of 1914 - 1918. He was wounded on November 10, 1918, the day before the Armistice was signed but he did not return to Canada until April of 1919 when he arrived in Cardston, Alberta.
In 1920, the family moved to the Creston area where Percy worked at the Soldier's Settlement building homes for the returning men. A son Roger was born at Camp Lister as well as a daughter Joy. Mr. Lye came to Kimberley in 1923. The family followed in 1925. Upon arrival they stayed with the Dave Simpson family then moved into a duplex in Upper Blarchmont across the street from the Brock Markles and Dr. Tiffin. In the next few years three more children were born; Robert, Lorna and William, making a family of eight.
Mr. Lye has worked as a carpenter on many houses and buildings in Kimberley. He helped build the Church of Latter Day Saints and has been a staunch supporter as well as the Superintendent of the Sunday School for a number of years. He also spent some time work- ing for the Government on road maintenance. He was the unofficial recorder for the rain and snow fall in Kimberley for many years.
When he was young he had attended a night school class that taught inlay wood carving. This became a life-long hobby. One picture he created, "The Old Curiosity Shop", contains 197 pieces of different kinds of wood. Another hobby was stamp collecting. While he was overseas he sent many cards and letters from all over Europe and every place he ever visited since. His wife kept these for him and he accumulated almost 20,000 stamps for his collection.
Mr. Lye had a varied life and in his own written autobiography cites many accidents and mishaps during his lifetime. Never-the-less, he lived to be almost ninety. His wife, Jessie, passed away in 1958.
The eldest daughter, Freda, married W. H. Pearson and lived in Richmond. They have two sons and a daughter; Walter, Tommy and Lorraine.
Lucy started working for the Jack Sander sons when she was just 16. They operated the Kimberley Hotel for many years. When they moved to Vancouver she went with them. She is still employed by Mrs. Sanderson and has never married.
Joy is Mrs. James Allred and lives in Glenwood, Alberta on a farm with three boys and two girls. Her brother, James, lives and works with them and he, too, never married.
Robert won the Company scholarship and attended U.B.C. He went to work in the States. He was married with three sons; John, Ricky and Michael. He passed away in Chicago in 1976.
Lorna mapied Erling Hansen who worked for the Company at the Mine. They still reside in Kimberley and they have three boys and two girls; David, Ronald, Gregory, Susan and Patti- Rae. David works in Canal Flats for Crestbrook, Ronald is employed by B.C. Hydro in Kimberley and Gregory is in Victoria. The two girls are still in Kimberley.
William lives in Hirum, Utah and is the Dean of College and a Professor of English History. They have five children two girls and three boys.
Roger has been a resident of Kimberley ever since the family came in 1925. Before joining the Company he worked for Bill Parnell for one summer Lathing and plastering houses on Rotary Drive. The next year he worked for Irwin Brothers Contracting Company doing shingling. He once had a bitter contest with his father on who could shingle a roof the fastest. He won! His father, who prided .himself on his carpentry, never quite forgave him. He also worked for Moncrief, A Vancouver Contracting Co. that built the first extension on the back of the Mark Creek Store. In 1937 he was apprenticed in the Company carpenter shop. Between 1939 and 1945 Roger saw action in Europe in the Artillery Corps. He has been in the Militia for 32 years and was Commanding Officer of the Royal Canadian Engineers in Kimberley. They were disbanded in November of 1968. Since 1947 he has been employed in the Company design office.
While attending officers training school in Manitoba in 1938 he met Yvonne Gardner. There was a shortage of accommodations in the N.C.O. Barracks so some of the men were billeted in private homes. He was billeted at the Gardner's. Yvonne and Roger were married in 1943. She had heard such wild tales of Kimberley she was afraid to come here. She came. They have three daughters; Maureen, Rose Marie, and Diane; and, Yvonne now loves it here.
Maureen is Mrs. Bruce King and he is a Fireman for the City of Kimberley. They have two daughters; Chanin and Dede. Rose Marie is Mrs. Jim Hughes and lives in Ottawa with two daughters; Debbie and Nikki. Diane lives in Kitimat and, to date is unmarried.
Roger has 41 accident-free years with the Company and will retire very shortly. They plan to remain in Kimberley and enjoy life. Roger's hobbies are carpentry and gardening.