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Kimberley Families

The Lloyd Family

as told by son Aubrey

Aubrey has spent his entire life in the hardware business. His father, Wallace Lloyd, worked for Ashdown Hardware in Calgary. He was the warehouse foreman and later became their salesman and travelled throughout the area. Sometimes the family would travel with him and camp near Cranbrook. Aubrey recalls his father bringing him to Kimberley and he would play with Chris Foote while his father was doing business.

Mr. Lloyd was born in Shrewsbury, England, near the Welsh border, and came to Calgary in 1912. Aubrey's mother came from Liverpool and they were married in Calgary where Aubrey and his sister, Dorothy, were born.

On one of Mr. Lloyd's trips to Kimberley, four members of the Company suggested he join them in starting up a hardware store. The town was growing and could certainly use one. Mr. Bill Lindsay, Art Williams, Norman Burdett, Pete Murphy, and Wallace Lloyd became shareholders. With Mr. Lloyd's knowledge of the hardware business he became the manager. The first store was in the building now occupied by Holmes Real Estate, and the Lloyd family lived in an apartment upstairs.

About three years later, at a board meeting, a motion was made to bring in a new manager and Mr. Lloyd seconded it. He had just voted himself out of a job. In the course of signing all the legal papers relinquishing his share of the business, he also had to promise not to open a hardware store in opposition for a number of years.

Aubrey Lloyd.

Mr. Lloyd liked Kimberley and, realizing its potential, did not wish to move away. However, as he wanted to get back in the hardware business, he overcame his agreement with his former partners by having his wife start up a store, with her husband as manager. Hence the Kootenay Hardware opened its doors for business, in 1928, in the building now occupied by Woogmans. This building was one of The Otis Staples holdings and they rented it for $100 per month.

This was the beginning of the family's complete involvement in the hardware business. Aubrey was delivery boy and after school he would be kept busy. His sister would clerk or help out in other ways.

Rather than employ a second delivery man, Aubrey quit school and worked full time. They owned a 1928 Oldsmobile sedan and he remembers tying mattresses to the roof, or a stove or washing machine on the front bumper by securing it to the radiator cap, and piling the back full of orders. It was soon evident that a truck was needed. Aubrey tells us he had a heavy foot and was remanded on more than one occasion for his fast driving. He obtained a new 1938 Plymouth sports coupe, the envy of all his friends, and for a few years held the speed record between Cranbrook and Kimberley. It was a narrow, winding gravel road and he boasted he could make the twenty miles in eigh-teen minutes. A terrific speed almost unheard of in those days.

Mr. Wallace Lloyd, like many other merchants during the depression years, helped needy families with extended credit. This paid off in the long run, as these families remained customers. When Mr. Lloyd wanted to retire, Aubrey just wasn't ready to take full responsibility of the business. Mr. Lloyd knew an enterprising young accountant, Murray Garden, that worked for the Mark Creek Store and approached him to take over. Murray Garden and Aubrey worked together in perfect harmony for over thirty years. Murray bought shares in the store and they operated it from 1945 until they both retired recently in 1975. Upon retirement, Aubrey and Murray sold the business to Merit Stores Ltd.

Aubrey said "there was no pot bellied stove to sit around and no cracker barrel to sit on, but their friends would stand around and chat long after they had made their purchases."

Aubrey married a Marysville girl, Jean Hodgson, in 1945. They had two children, a son, Jackie, in Vancouver and a daughter, Donna, also in Vancouver. His sister Dorothy lives in Cranbrook and is married to Bob Taylor of Gainer's Meat Packing Company.

Mr. Lloyd senior was one of the first alderman when the City was incorporated in 1944. He had been a member of the Board of Trade and had a real interest in the City developement, often personally supervising work that was being done.

Aubrey was away for two years during the war. He took his basic training in Vernon. His years of experience in the hardware business stood him in good stead and he remained in Montreal during 1942 to 1943, in charge of small arms in the main Ordinance Depot.

He is Past President of the Rotarians, has worked with the Handicapped Society and was a member of the Chamber of Commerce. He was a member of the Link Hardware Chain for fiteen years and President for three years for their Western Division including the Territories. This involved a weekly trip for ten years to their head office in Calgary.

He and his wife spend ten months of the year in Marysville but maintain a condominium in Puerta Vallarta in Mexico, where they enjoy the winter months. They like to spend Christmas in Marysville among their friends.

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