Banner Ad




Kimberley Families

The Bentley Family

as told by daughter Olla

Burpee Harding Bentley was born in 1882 at Five Islands, Nova Scotia. When he became a young man, he travelled west to Edmonton in ~1906, where he worked for a real estate office. Before he left, he met a school teacher, Lizzie MacFarlane, born in 1889, in Forest, Ontario. She taught in Ontario until 1912, then went to Winnipeg. Mr. Bentley went to Winnipeg to meet her where they were married and returned to Edmonton.

Two sons, Donald and Norman, were born there. In 1918 they moved to Vermillion, where he obtained work with the Alberta Dairy Pool. A daughter, Olla, was born there. When Vermillion was wiped out by fire, Mr. Bentley and his father started lumbering in a camp near Golden. North of Invermere, there still remains a Bentley Siding where lumber was transferred to railway cars. A daughter, Betty, was born in Golden.

In 1923, the Bentleys moved to Creston and continued in the lumber business, operating at Arrow Creek. A daughter, Isabel, was born in Creston.

Then in 1925 Mr. Bentley started work for the Company in Kimberley. His partner at the Concentrator was Johnny Walker. A new house was being built for them on what is now Burdett Street, just at the top of the then newly made road, called Blarchmont Hill. At the top was a sharp corner with a big hole on the turn. Olla remembers her first trip up the hill in a car with wooden frame work on the ceiling. When they hit this hole, her head hit one of the ribs on the ceiling, nearly knocking her unconcious. They found the plaster on the walls of the new house was not dry, so they boarded with the Ebenezer Taylor's for a few days. They had to get their water from a spring nearby. To this day this spring still causes problems for the City Maintenance crews on Blarchmont Hill. A daughter, Irene, was born in Kimberley.

Mr. Bentley retired from the Company, but continued working by selling Fidelity Life Insurance for a number of years. Mr. and Mrs. Bentley celebrated their Golden Wedding Anniversary in May 1962 and in June of that year, they both moved into the Dr. Green Home in Cranbrook where they lived until they passed away within a short time of each other.

Both Donald and Norman worked for the Company. Donald at the Concentrator and Norman in Trail. They both died in the prime of their lives.

Olla married Ralph Westgate, who has just completed forty years service with the company. He spent fifteen years at the Concentrator and for the past twenty-five years has been in the shop at the Fertilizer Plant. They have two children; a son, Lorne, married Sandra Evans and they have two boys Shane and Lance. Lorne also works at the Fertilizer Plant. Their daughter, Penny, married Ray (Skip) Holmes, a hockey player for the Nelson Maple Leafs. They live in Kamloops now and have a boy and a girl.

Betty, Olla's younger sister, married Nels Ingelbrigtson, who was a timberman in the mine until his death. They have three daughters. The oldest, Betty Ann, married Jerry Ogilvie, who works in the testing department at the Fertilizer Plant. Donna is now Mrs. Norman Blaine and resides in Cranbrook, Lynn is married to Jerry Fitzpatrick and he works in the mine. Betty worked as a clerk in the Hudson's Bay Store and later remained when Fields Store took over. She is now retired and still lives in Kimberley.

Isabel, Olla's other sister, is Mrs. Gordon McDermid and resides at Jim Smith Lake near Cranbrook. They have four children. Irene, the youngest Bentley sister, became Mrs. Reg Harmer and lives in Fort St. John with four children.

Olla says that, if added up, the number of years of Company service by the members of the Bentley and Westgate families would be quite impressive.

Twitter Facebook Google+


Banner Ad