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Kimberley Families

The Hall Family
as told by Floyd

Floyd Hall was orphaned when only two months old, so the Tom Oakley family raised him. There were ten children in the Oakley family, Knute Oakley was one of them.

Born in Ontario and raised in Saskatchewan, he worked on a homestead, but did not like the life of a farmer. Floyd first came west to Creston, but finding no work there, he came to Kimberley in November, 1929. He was walking up the one block of main street and spotted a sign in the window of the L.D. Cafe: "Wanted, Dishwasher". He walked in and got the job. However, he was the dishwasher for only one day as the owners, Bill and Walter Ratcliffe, decided to put him on night shift, preparing all the vegetables for the next day. Floyd worked at the cafe for almost a year, for $35.00a month, plus room and board. The food was very good and he lived in a warm room on the main floor. He recalls the big July 1st celebrations in 1930. The cafe hired no extra help, so Floyd worked twenty hours without a stop. A full meal of soup, main course and dessert, cost 40 cents.

The Ratcliffes also owned and operated their own ranch near Wycliffe, where Floyd spent six years working for them. He also worked a couple of years for John Clark on his ranch, at Wycliffe.

In 1935 Floyd married Mary Jackson from Russell, Manitoba. In May of 1941, he started work on the labour gang at the Concentrator, gradually working up to oiler. Finally, he was put in charge of lubrication for all the machinery in the Mill. Bill Yuill was his predecessor. This way he got to know almost all the men that worked there.

He lived in Cranbrook and commuted back and forth daily; first with Stan McNeill's bus and then with the Cranbrook Co-op Transportation bus line which ran for the Company men living in Cranbrook and working in Kimberley.

The Halls have one daughter, Iris, who became a teacher; her first school was in Canal Flats. Married now, she is living in Toronto and is still teaching.

Floyd retired in 1968 after 27 years with the Company. III health forced him to quit before retirement age. One incident he calls to mind was a $5.00 bet he lost to Bim Barker. At the Concentrator, a friendly argument ensued about who could win a tug-of-war. Floyd's team lost, but the contest provided a lot of laughs for many of the workmen in the area, and Floyd took quite a bit of ribbing.

He enjoys gardening, but his pastimes are playing rummy, checkers, and horseshoes; and if there is a wager on the outcome, so much the better.

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