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Kimberley Families

The Twells Family
as told by son Wilfred (Nip) and daughter, Leona

In 1892, Joseph Henry Twells was born in Lincolnshire, England. In 1906 his father brought the family of three girls and two boys to Canada. A blacksmith by trade, he obtained work in Trail for the Company.

Harry, as he was now called, started work as a delivery boy for a grocery store in 1907, driving a horse drawn vehicle. Then in 1913, he went to Greenwood, where he clerked in another grocery store. It was here that he met a Post Mistress, Ruby Bryant.

For a short time he went to Calgary and worked as a warehouseman for the C.P.R., in the Ogden shops, but missed the pretty Post Mistress. So he returned and obtained work at Trail with the Company, as an apprentice in the electric shop. He made many trips to Greenwood. Ruby and Harry were married in 1916. Two children were born in Trail, a son Wilfred (Nip) and a daughter, Leona (Tiny).

In 1924 Harry was transferred to the Mine electric shop in Kimberley, where he was the supervisor of the locomotive repair shop.

He became chairman of McDougall Hall for a number of years and President of the curling club. He was on the committee that promoted the installation of artificial ice in both the curling rink and the arena. Harry was elected to council as an alderman for 1947-50 and in 1950 he was made locomotion foreman for the Sullivan Mine.

His keen interest in sports prompted him to act on the Parks Board for five years, from 1951 to 1955. He enjoyed curling in winter and lawn bowling and fishing in summer. Harry retired in 1957 after forty-two years service with the Company.

His wife, Ruby was active in the United Church and the Eastern Star. She passed away in 1958 at age 68. Harry married Harold Andrew's widow, but she died a year later. The Andrews and Twells had been neighbors in Trail years before. Not wishing to live alone, he again married, this time Martha Blair. Harry lived to be 81 and passed away in 1974. Martha died in 1976.

Harry Twells

The Twells' son and daughter, Nip and Tiny, received all their schooling in Kimberley. Nip worked in the electric shop, but joined the Armed Forces in 1941. He took pilot training in the Air Force and attended a special school in England to learn radar. Nip saw action in India, Ceylon and Burma with the R.C.A.F. before returning home in 1945.

While taking basic training in Calgary, Nip met a nurse, Elizabeth (Betty) Mathie, who worked in the Kimberley Hospital. They were married in 1946 and have a son and a daughter, Bryan and Pat. Bryan is an instrument technician and they live in Richmond, B.C. He married Judy O'Connor, whose parents are another pioneer family in Kimberley, and they have three sons. Pat married Ron McColl of Kimberley and they have two children, a boy and a girl. Pat and Ron and the family are now living in Kamloops. After Betty married, she continued in Home Nursing.

Nip was an electrician in the Mine for many years and worked up to a supervisor. He was President of the Project Society for three years, President of the Canadian Legion for two years and Zone Sports Officer for the past fifteen years. Nip has been very active in curling for many years and was President of the Curling Club for two years. Nip retired in 1977 and has added golfing to his list of activities.

Leona (Tiny) worked as a clerk in the Mark Creek Store when she finished school and then took a hairdressing course and operated her own shop for two years. She still does hairdressing fOr the residents of the Pines Special Care Home.

Tiny married Arthur (Duke) Downing in 1946. He worked on the mechanical department in the Mine and later transferred to guard duty. Duke passed away in 1967. The Downings have five children, three boys and two girls. Melvin (Mel) the eldest, works for the Company at the Concentrator. He married a Surrey girl, Carol Smith and they have two boys and a girl. Alice has one daughter and lives in Prince George, she is Personel Supervisor for Interior Diesel. Robert (Bob) works for Crestbrook Industries at the Skookumchuck Pulp Mill. Ruby worked for the Bavarian Society at the Information Hut in 1978. The youngest son, Billy, will graduate at Selkirk High School in 1979.

Both Nip and Tiny are active in community activities and are kept busy in the various organizations they belong too and plan to stay in Kimberley.

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