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Kimberley Families

The Martello Family
as told by Fred

Although Fred Martello spent only three years in Kimberley, from 1927 to 1930, he was such a well-liked teacher and coach, that all of his pupils have remembered him over the years.

His father came from Italy in 1900 and spent two years in Montreal before coming west to Rossland, working for the C.P.R. He married in 1906 and Fred was born in Trail in 1907, but grew up in Rossland.

He attended Normal School and graduated in 1925. As there were no job open for teachers that year, he worked in the Smelter at Trail and took senior matriculation the next year. In 1927 he ob- tained a position at the one-room school at the Top Mine in Kimberley, teaching nine grades. He stayed with the Schneider family, who also came from Rossland, and he ate in the cookhouse. He remembers Chappy Hughes the night cook; Sam Verneer, the dish washer; Sam Derbyshire and all the waitresses. He recalls Syd Smith was school secretary at the Top Mine and Joe Bell was the Mine accountant. Frank Fortier was the general Superintendent, August Skribe was on the School Board at the time, and David J. Anderson was the principal of the Central School in town until Harold Stafford took his place in January of 1930.

Fred taught one year at the Top Mine and was Vice-Principal for two years at the Central School in town. To be a good teacher, he stated, one should first like his job, and second, he must be interested in the welfare of all his students. One of his main interests was in physical fitness both for himself and his students. He won many awards in track and field. He coached several basketball teams and organized track and field competitions.

Fred Martello and some of his cups, 1930.

The Top Mine, Town and Chapman Camp teams played regularly in league competition. One girls' basketball team that he coached consisted of Lillian Blayney, Phyllis Holt, Agnes McKay, Dorothy Nesbitt, Dorothy Oliver, Margaret Whebell, Stella Patience and Kay Anderson.

George Salte~ was the recreation manager at the McDougall Hall at the time and Fred remembers when Herb Stanton arrived to take over. In 1928, Fred was one of the organizers of the East-West Kootenay Boundary Track Meet, the first in the area.

Fred remembers having a Hallowe'en Party for his class and the school was in a bit of a mess the next morning when the School Inspector, V. Z. Manning arrived unexpectedly.

In 1930, Fred moved back to Trail until 1933, and then moved to the Creston area to teach. That same year he married Margaret William- son, a Trail girl. In 1945 he became the Vice- Principal of the Creston High School and in 1957 he was made Principal, a position he held until his retirement in 1968, after forty-one years as a teacher. His Creston High School track team won the Championship consecutively from 1939 to 1951.

He and Margaret enjoy golf and gardening at their Creston home in summer and they spend two months each winter in Arizona. They have one daughter living in Burnaby and two grandchildren.

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