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Kimberley Families

The Robert Shaw Family
as told by Lornetta

Robert (Bob) Shaw was born in 1873 in Omemee, Ontario, and was the eldest of a family of ten boys and one girl. He moved west and settled in Oxbow, Saskatchewan, where he bought a business block and opened a barber shop. He married Marietta Shier in 1897and they had three children: Garnet, Clinton (Bill) and Lornetta.

When Robert's father-in-law, Wesley Shier, and his two brothers moved from Ontario to Saskatchewan, they brought their furniture, cattle, horses and farm machinery in railroad cars and enough staple food for one year. The section of land they settled on was known as "The Shier Settlement".

Marietta passed away at the early age of 35 years. Robert remarried in 1916 and his second wife was Kathleen Noble of Oxbow. They also had three children: Harry, Gordon and June.

About this time the first Ford cars were making their appearance on the prairies. Robert foresaw the future of the automobile and sold his business block and barber shop and went into the car, he gave the buyer free driving lessons. Robert's hobby was curling, and he and his team often took part in the bonspiels in Winnipeg and won many trophies.

When the depression hit the prairies, the farmers could not afford to buy or run a car. Horses were often hitched up to a car for transportation and were known as "Bennett Buggies". As the hard times progressed the cars were stored away.

Robert found it necessary to leave Oxbow and look for employment and came to Kimberley in the fall of 1923. He got a job as a carpenter and worked on the Company apartments, bunkhouses and office building.

Leo Johnson operated a barber shop in town and when he found out that Robert was a barber he offered him work in his shop. They worked together for a few years, then Robert opened his own shop on Spokane Street.

Robert Shaw and customer

He moved his family from Oxbow to Kimberley in the summer of 1926. Garnet and Clinton remained in Saskatchewan, working on a farm until Garnet suffered a broken leg when he was kicked by a horse. When he was discharged from the hospital, he moved to Kimberley in 1931. He started with the Company in 1937 and worked in the Concentrator Blacksmith Shop and Machine Shop tool room until he retired in 1969. In 1941 he married Grace Rozander of Carmangay, Alberta, and they have eight children, four boys and four girls. They are all married except the youngest daughter, and are living in Vancouver and Chilliwack, B.C.

Clinton (Bill) worked at various mining and farming jobs in Alberta and B.C. He worked for the Company in the Mine and for the Northern Construction Company on the low-level haulage tunnel in Kimberley. He made his home in Chase, B.C. prior to passing away in 1967.

Lornetta was a bookkeeper for the Kimberley Hardware when it was owned by five shareholders: N. W. Burdett, A. S. Williams, Pete Murphy, Wm. Lindsay and Wallace Lloyd. Wallace Lloyd was the manager and E. E. Jackson the accountant for the store. Mr. Jackson set up the bookkeeping system and instructed Lornetta how to keep books and she worked there for seven years. During this time Mr. Lloyd left the Kimberley Hardware and started his own hardware business on Spokane Street. Mr. Ralph Hamilton of Calgary succeeded Wallace Lloyd as manager and eventually Charlie Crisford took over the ownership of the store.

Lornetta married Jim Davis in 1935, and they have one son, Norman. Norman is married and lives in Vancouver and he and his wife, Dolores, own and manage a wholesale clothing business.

The circumstances at the time of Norman's birth made a memorable experience for the family. It was November and the first snowfall of the season had taken place during the night. Jim and Lornetta anticipated no problem as they left for the hospital about six o'clock in the morning. The road to the hospital went up the old front road to the Townsite in those days. Someone had stalled across the road and couldn't get going again. Jim had to stop and then he also couldn't get going. The taxi was called, but also became 'stuck. By this time the men were going to work at the Mine and more cars were stalled on the hill until it was impossible to go up or down. Lornetta was finally carried to the hospital by two of the men on a hand seat they made by clasping their wrists together.

Harry worked for Lloyd's Hardware for a short time and then started with the Company at the Mine. During the war he was attached to the Ordnance Corps and went overseas. On his return to Kimberley, he resumed work with the Company at the Concentrator. He worked as a motorman on the electric haulage system that operated between the Mine and the Concentrator until his death in 1976. Harry's hobbies were gardening and golf.

Gordon followed in his father's footsteps in barbering and worked in his father's shop. When his father retired, Gordon took over the barber shop. He and Joe Frodema (Little Joe) barbered together for several years and when Joe retired, Len Westnedge and Gordon became partners.

Gordon served in the Air Force as an aeromechanic during the war. His hobby was skiing and he was a member of the Ski Club executive.

Gordon sold his barber shop to Len Westnedge and moved to Hawaii in 1965.He has one daughter, Diane, who is married and living in California.

June attended Garbutt's Business College in Calgary and then worked in a R.C.A.F. Equipment Station. Returning to Kimberley she worked for the Company at the Concentrator Warehouse and was later transferred to the Concentrator general office. She took a training course at the Naramata Leadership College, and was an active worker in the Kimberley United Church.

June moved to Vancouver and worked for the B.C. Hydro for several years. It was here she met Tom Green, who was working for the Government Meteorology Division on a weather ship off the coast of B.C.

June and Tom moved to The Pas, Manitoba. They have two daughters: Kerri Ann and Cheryl.

Robert (Bob) Shaw passed away in 1950 and his wife, Kathleen, in 1954.

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