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Kimberley Families

The Howe Family

as told by Helen

Henry (Harry) Howe left his home in Tottenham, London, England, when nineteen and came, via Montreal, to the west to Nelson with his mother and two sisters. His first job was a bell-hop at the Hume Hotel in Nelson. He was a waiter on one of the lake boats that carried passengers from Nelson to Kootenay Landing. He also worked in several of the small mines in the area until he met Alf Watson at Sandon.

Alf encouraged him to come and work at Kimberley. His first job was at the Stemwinder Mine in 1926 with Bill Miller as his partner. He then spent 4 years at Moyie and then back to Kimberley. His next job was at the Concentrator before he was sent to Big Missouri, in 1930, but was back in Kimberley in 1931.

Harry married Helena (Helen) Jensen on January 1st, 1932. Helen was the daughter of Peter and Paula Jensen of TaTa Creek. Peter was born in Breedmark Fynn, Denmark. Paula was born in Hays County, Nebraska, but grew up in the Wetaskiwin area of Alberta. They met when both were working at the Hanson Hotel at Wasa. This was a very posh stopping place in the early 1900's. Peter was a clerk and bartender and Paula was a waitress and laundress. Peter came into the area on horseback through Fort Steele, from Jennings, Montana. He worked on a paddlewheeler transporting lumber and did a lot of prospecting as well. Peter and Paula were married in February, 1909, and they purchased property at TaTa Creek from a Mr. McNair. Five children were born to them; Edward (Eddie), at Fort Steele, Helen on the lower farm at TaTa Creek, Susanna and Victoria (Susy and Tory), twins, were born in the Ft. Steele Hospital, and Fred on the upper farm. Peter passed away in 1949 and in 1950 the house burned down. Fred rebuilt it in 1957.

Helen came to Kimberley to work at the Chapman Camp cookhouse in 1929 where she met Harry Howe. They lived in five different rented houses before they bought one, in 1936, on Buchanan Street in Upper Blarchmont.

Helena and Henry Howe.

They had one son, Lawrence, who studied nuclear physics at university. He earned his Masters in Physics and was employed by Canada's first Nuclear Project at Chalk River, Ontario. He has been with the project for twenty-two years now, almost since the beginning. He met Lucy Parker, a Victoria girl working for the Vancouver Parks Board. Lawrence graduated in 1956 and they were married the same year and went straight to Chalk River. They reside in Deep River, nearby, and have four children; Gillian, Russell, Krista and Darren.

Harry worked for the Company for over thirty-six years before he retired in 1962. In the early 1950's he was sent to Arnprior, Ontario to learn accident assimilation. He was an Industrial First-Aid Man and this course was necessary to help first-aid teams work on what appeared to be actual accident victims. He was the safety officer at the Concentrator for the last ten years of his employment with the Company. Following his retirement he worked as a bookkeeper for a couple of years for the Co-op Garage in Cranbrook. He died in Cranbrook in 1966.

Harry and Helen used to do a lot of square dancing. They began when Jim Lindsay formed the Silver Slipper Club in Chapman Camp. They enjoyed it so much, that they began teaching square dancing and round dancing for both adult and children's classes. For several years they spent one week each summer attending the Banff School of Art and took lessons in teaching all the new steps and techniques. Harry was a member of the Masonic Lodge for forty years and Helen is a member of the Eastern Star.

Helen still lives in her home at Upper Blarch-mont. She keeps herself busy, still doing housework and babysitting wherever she is needed. She has played duplicate bridge for the past twelve years, which she enjoys.

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