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Kimberley Families

The Hutchison Family

as told by Bob

Andrew (Andy) Hutchison was born in Kinnaway, Scotland in 1890. He was a machinist by trade. He married an English lass from Hull, Yorkshire and they came out together in 1919. They first came to Vancouver where he started up a garage. It was not too successful, so he moved to Trail in 1921 and got work at the Smelter. A son, Robert (Bob) was born before they left Vancouver. Another son and one daughter were born in Trail, Ronald (Ron) and Doris.

In the spring of 1929, Andy was transferred to Kimberley when the Company was expanding the Concentrator and he was in charge of installing the new M. S. machines (mineral separators). In September of that year his family joined him in time for the children to begin school.

They first rented a house in Morrison Subdivision for less than a year and, in 1930, Andy purchased a home on Marsden Street, still referred to (in those days) as Pig Pen Alley, although, pigs had not been housed there for many years.

Andy was an ardent hockey fan, but unfortunately, he caught pneumonia in March of 1934 and died. His wife had to get housework to carry on.

Bob had a paper route delivering the Vancouver Sun all through lower Blarchmont, which was very scattered at that time. There were only two houses in French Town, The Deschamps that lived in what used to be Eimer's house and the Dakins that lived in a new log house.

Tom Burrell was Bob's cousin and in 1935 when Bob was barely fifteen, but tall for his age, they got jobs at Lumberton working in the bush for Joe Labie at Camp Two. They were building corduroy logging roads (roads built of logs) for the B.C. Spruce Mills, who were just beginning to use trucks that could carry three to five tons of sixteen foot logs, (now-a-days it's forty tons or more). Horses were still being used in the bush and four men made up a Gypo crew; Two fallers, one swamper and one skidder. The trucks were loaded by means of a jin pole and a team of horses to raise the logs onto the truck one at a time. Another job there, was shovelling sand into the flume to help fill up the cracks. The flume was seventeen miles long at that point and at one place it was one hundred and fifteen feet off the ground. Occasionally an exceptionally large log would smash the flume and the water would have to be stopped at the dam until it could be mended.

For a short time, Bob got a job under Mr. Redford, at the Chapman Camp swimming pool. He wasn't quite sixteen when he got work with the Company at the Concentrator as office boy, nicknamed gopher, because it was his job to "go-for" this or that. When he reached the age of eighteen, he began working in the machine shop.

He was in the 1st Scottish Regiment for two years. Trained in Camrose and Calgary, Alberta before going overseas. He saw action in Holland and Germany. He married Margaret Erickson of Cranbrook in 1944, just before entering the army. They purchased a house on four lots on Caldwell Street a short distance away from Marsden Street. There was still a lot of trees in the area in 1944. Margaret was a nurse, she trained in the St. Eugene Hospital and worked in the Kimberley Hospital a short time, but it was a long walk all up hill from their home, and with no transportation she changed jobs and went to work in the Concentrator while Bob was overseas.

During the 1948 flood in May, one of Bob's lots and many of the big trees along the banks went down the creek. Luckily the house was on the lot furthest from the creek, although the basement was filled with water.

Bob and Margaret have four children, Arla, David, Phillip and Nancy. All grew up and received their schooling in Kimberley. Aria married Ron Montieth, an electrician at the Pulp Mill. They have a home at Wasa Lake. Their two sons are named Stephen and Colin.

David entered the Navy for six years, but his first love was flying. He took private flying lessons and now works for a Charter Flight Centre at Sydney on Vancouver Island. He also teaches flying.

Phillip was a lad with wanderlust and spent a year back packing over much of Europe. He returned and worked two years for the Parks Board before taking off again to spend almost two years in Australia and New Zealand. He is now working on maintenance for the Kimberley School Board.

Nancy graduated in 1977 having taken the commercial business course and she is a Stenographer in the R.C.M.P. offices in Kimberley.

Bob's sister, Doris took a business course in Cranbrook. She lived at home and commuted back and forth on the Star Stages when Sammy Luciano ran it. She worked at the Concentrator office for a year before going to Vancouver where she worked for Ingledew's Shoe Store for a year. She entered the employment of the Trans-Mountain Pipe Line Company and she is now Executive Secretary and has been with them for twenty-seven years. Doris remains single.

Ronald (Ron) joined the Navy when only sixteen. He was on a Corvette on convoy duty during the war. He returned and worked in Vancouver for a time and came back to Kimberley and worked at the Concentrator for two years. His next job was in the C.P.R. Express office in Vancouver for seven years and he spent five years with a mining outfit. He was living at Canim Lake and working for the 100 Mile House School Board when he died of a brain tumor at age fifty-two, in 1978.

In 1974, Bob and Margaret sold their home in lower Blarchmont and built a new one at Wasa, near their daughter Arla. Bob is now retired after forty-two accident free years of service. He likes fishing and hunting. He has a basement work shop where he spends a lot of time as well as a nice garden. Bob works with the Parks Board at Wasa during the summer months.

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