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Kimberley Families

The Jones (Richard) Family

as told by Mrs. Jones and daughter Dyllys

Richard (Dick) Jones was a coal miner in his home town of Cefnmauer, North Wales. He was wounded twice in the first world war. He married Lydia Ann Collier from Leigh, Lancashire. She worked as a cotton spinner. They were married in Westlian Chapel, Astley, Lancashire in 1920.

A sister, Mrs. Noah Thomason, living in Michel, encouraged them to come to Canada to live, so they arrived in Michel in 1922. Mrs. Jones had lost an infant daughter in England and lost another infant son in Michel. Her third child, a daughter, Dyllys, was born in Michel. Dyllys was only nine months old when they moved to Kimberley in 1925. Dick went to work first at the Rockhouse at the Mine and later went underground. He stayed in one of the bunkhouses for a few weeks while he looked for accommodations for the family.

Their first home was a small dwelling along the creek just behind the Mark Creek Store until they moved into one of the Company apartment houses on the Townsite, near the hospital. Another son, Gordon, was born but died in infancy. They eventually bought a house on the Townsite on 2nd Ave., and then they moved to 6th Ave.

Dyllys attended Kimberley schools, being active on the track team and the basketball team. Her childhood was a happy one. Townsite was filled with children around her age and everyone participated in such games like "run sheep run". The company provided open air skating rinks and ball parks for everyone, employing men to keep the ice flooded and cleared of snow, etc. Much rivalry existed between the groups of children from the Townsite, Town, and Chapman Camp. Dyllys says it has been a super place to grow up in.

She attended gym classes that Mr. Stanton in- structed in McDougall Hall. She remembers one twenty-fourth of May when the Company supplied cars to take the entire group to Fairmont Hot Springs where they put on a demonstration at the Meadows. They also put on a show during the 1939 Pioneer Reunion held in Kimberley.

Another memory is when the Company set aside certain hours when women could avail themselves of the solarium sun lamp treatments. These were supplied for the miners that worked underground all day. About five minutes would equal eight hours of sunshine.

Mrs. Jones recalls the 1948 flood when all the miners were called out to help. Mr. Jones was one of them. She remembers the Chinese laundry next door to the Sullivan Motors. It was under- mined by the raging Creek and the poor Chinaman was sitting on top of the house, most upset and unnerved.

When Mr. Jones retired in 1959, he and his wife moved to the coast but too much rain did not agree with their health, so after five years they returned to Kimberley where Mr. Jones passed away shortly after.

Mrs. Jones lived in the Pioneer Lodge until the Special Care Home, "The Pines", was built and she now resides there.

Dyllys trained as a telephone operator in the Kimberley exchange where she worked for awhile. She worked for Doug Corrie when he sold Imperial Life Insurance. She met Harold Leinwebber from Calgary, who had two sisters living in Kimberley: Mrs. Chris Sorensen and Mrs. (Blondie) Wilson. They were married in 1947 and Harold moved to Kimberley and drove Taxi for Sammy Luciani for two years before starting to work for the Company at the Concentrator. He is now timekeeper in the offices there. They have three children; a son, Loni, and two daughters, Judi and Deidre.

Loni still resides in Kimberley but works for the Government in Cranbrook on Pollution Con- trol. He is married with two sons of his own, Ryan and Tyler.

Judi is a physical ed. teacher for grade twelve in Nelson, B.C. and is now Mrs. Chapman. Deidre lives in nearby Fernie and is now Mrs. King.

In 1968 Judi was on the Canadian Olympic Ski Team while Loni was an examiner with the Canadian Ski Instructors Alliance. The family all enjoy skiing and participate in cross country and down hill events.

For the past twenty years Dyllys has been employed at the hospital working now in the X- Ray and Physio Therapy Departments. Dyllys still thinks Kimberley is a super place to live.

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