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Kimberley Families

The Dakin Family
as told by Daughter, Marguerite

Charles Tupper Dakin was born in Digby, Nova Scotia, in 1878. He was a clerk in a store there when he married Maggie (May) Howe of Hillsdale, New Brunswick. May was a school teacher in Hillsdale. They moved to Ontario where Charlie and a brother took up farming at Rednersville, on the Bay of Quinte. Four children were born on this farm: Marguerite, Donald (Don), Josephine (Jo) and Doris. There was a series of moves around Ontario and a daughter, Phillis (Treva) was born near Frankfort and a son, David, in Wooller.

Charlie became interested in the west and leaving his family in Wooller, he started out to investigate. He spent the best part of a year travelling with short stops at Smithers and Prince Rupert, he almost purchased part of Denman Island. He finally settled on a ranch near Bull River. He went back to Ontario and brought the family west in the spring of 1921. In 1926, Charlie got work at Moyie for three years in the St. Eugene Mine testing department. He trans- ferred to Kimberley and worked in the Assay Office at the Concentrator. That winter of 1929, Alex Mennie and his son, Don, cut logs around Eimer's Lake and built a beautiful log cabin at the foot of the hill in Lower Blarchmont and the family moved there in the spring of 1930.

Marguerite had remained in Alberta with an aunt and attended school in Fleet. She went to Normal School one year in Edmonton while working for her board, and she also spent another year in Normal school in Calgary. Her first school was a little country one near Fleet where she taught for three years. She taught in Coronation for a time. She then wrote for her B.C. Certificate at Victoria and began teaching at TaTa Creek and later in Marysville in 1937. She met Geoffrey Beley when he was working for the Bank of Montreal in Kimberley. In those days a bank employee could not marry until they were making a certain wage, so he left the bank and went to work for the Bralorne Mines and they were married in 1938. He became a Deputy Government Agent at Lilloet for 14 years and Government Agent at Smithers. Marguerite was Secretary-Treasurer for the Library in Smithers. She attended University Summer School to study to be a Librarian, a position she held until 1972. Geoffrey passed away in 1971. They had four children: Michael, David, Molly and Anne. Michael is with a mining company in Langley, David became interested in flying and did some commercial flying for a number of years. Lately he has taken up building log houses in this area. Molly trained as a nurse and first nursed in Vernon and then worked in the Kimberley Hospital for seven years. She married Wayne Bradford and they live on the Airport road near Wycliffe. Wayne works at the Airport in summer but is with the Canadian Ski Alliance. He manages the ski school at the North Star and has several ski instructors under him. Anne became a teacher and married Michael Young, a teacher of sculpture at Kelowna College. They reside in Vernon.

Don Dakin worked for the Company at the Concentrator Carpenter Shop. He married Kate Sandberg and they had four children: Gordon, Gerry, Verna and Robert (Bob). Don passed away in 1945. Gordon now works at Parson, Gerry is a sawyer for Crestbrook. Verna went through for a teacher and married Art King. He was working for the Company at the Concentrator and is now with Sherritt Gordon, working north of Edmonton. Verna still teaches. Bob is in real estate in Vancouver.

Josephine (Jo), married Alex Mennie of Cranbrook. He was a man of many talents; a logger, mechanic, millwright, carpenter and an expert sawyer and axman. Alex passed away in 1961. They had six children: John, William (Bill) Nora Jean, Peter, Ian and Claire. John is a teacher of Industrial Arts in Cranbrook. Bill is now living in the Vernon area, Nora Jean is at Creston, Peter is a City fireman in Kimberley, Ian is in Edmonton and Claire lives in Courtenay. Jo now lives in Madeira Park, north of Vancouver, on the Sunshine Coast.

Doris married George Logan and they took over the home farm at Bull River. He was a cable splicer for the Company. George was working for the power company at Aberfeldie (which is near the farm) when he died. They had three children: James (Jimmy), Geoffrey and Margaret Jean.

Doris remarried to Harry Riddell, a miner for the Company, but his second occupation was big game guide and outfitter. He maintained a string of horses and used the farm as a home base. Doris also holds a Guide certificate.

Phillis (Treva) married Geoffrey Burton who worked with the B.C. Hydro, a job which entails a lot of moving around. They had four children: Donald born in Nelson, Sharon, born in Vernon, Pattrich was born in Quesnel and Bronwen was born in Golden. They are now retired and living in Windermere.

David Dakin became a pilot during the war and on his return, began the Kootenay Air Ser- vice teaching flying at the old Cranbrook Air- port. He managed the Airport at that time. He married Mabel Bakken of Cranbrook, and they had three children: David, Melanie and Norman. David bought out his father's ownership in the Kootenay Air Service. Melanie runs the Kitchen Boutique in the Cranbrook Mall and Norman worked in Mr. E's in the Cranbrook Mall, but is now working for Kootenay Airways with his brother David.

David and Mabel have now retired to the Coast, near his sister Jo, and has recently bought a thirty-five foot fishing craft which he is remodelling, and they live in a trailer near by.

Marguerite came back to Kimberley in December, 1976 and is living in Chapman Camp. Her mother just recently passed away in 1978. Mrs. Dakin spent ten years living with Jo and later came back to Kimberley to live with Marguerite. She was ninety-eight when she died. She was a very well-known person in Kimberley. She worked with the United Church and was superintendent of the Sunday School, and leader of the C.G.LT. for many years. She was an ac- complished artist and she wrote poetry. She was often seen riding her bicycle around town at 70 years old. At summer camp at Rock Lake she was the craft leader and favorite story teller for many summers. In the early years they used to hold musical evenings in the log cabin in Lower Blarchmont. Mr. Openshaw would play piano and there would be gatherings of musicians play- ing just for their own pleasure. The log house was recently sold.

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