Banner Ad




Kimberley Families

The Spinks Family

as told by daughter Lois

Emerson Spinks was born at Fort Colonge, Quebec. Soon after, the family moved to Arnprior, Ontario. His mother died when he was eleven years old and they moved to Campbells Bay, Quebec.

Alberta Phillips was born in Kensington, England and after the death of her parents, she came to Canada with an older half-sister. Her half-sister, Frances Patter, entered nurses training at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Montreal, and Alberta was raised by relatives at Campbells Bay.

She met Emerson Spinks when she was just twelve years old and for some time it was a case of a young girl admiring her girl friend's older brother. He was employed by the J. R. Booth Lumber Company.

Alberta became a children's nurse in Ottawa and worked for a wealthy family whose daughter had polio.

Emerson and Alberta were married in Ottawa in 1912, and went to live on, and work, the "Spinks' Place" at Campbell Bay, after his father had moved west to Alsask, Saskatchewan. Two daughters, Eva and Lois, were born here.

In 1915, Emerson came west to attend his father's funeral and became entranced with the wide open spaces and large parcels of unused land. This resulted in the family moving to Sibbald, Alberta, in 1916. The land proved to be unproductive and they moved to Kimberley in 1921. A daughter, Gladys, was born in Sibbald.

They were met at Kimberley by Mr. and Mrs. A. A. Watkins as they had become friends while both families were living in Sibbald. The Watkins were living at the old Taylor Millsite, and the Spinks family were guests for a short time. Emerson found a small house which was directly behind the Parnell Block that had just been built by Mr. Armand Louis.

Emerson got work at the Stemwinder Mine the day after they had arrived and transferred to the Sullivan Mine later. In December of 1921, they moved to a newly completed home on Second Avenue on the McDougall Townsite. Their neighbors were George Plant, Bill Greene and, later, George Amos and Chris Olson. Lois remembers the Pete Murphys', Pontius Johnsons', Charlie Barrs', Hedquists', McLellans', Blezzards', Conds', Griffiths' and Oslies' that all lived near by.

Emerson and Alberta Spinks were both very active in church work and remembered when the services were held above Summers Store on Spokane St. Emerson helped build the first United Church on Deer Park Avenue, now the church hall.

The family moved to their third house, built on Fourth Ave. in 1924, they bought the Walter Glanville house next door when he retired to Vancouver.

A daughter, Ida, was born in 1926. Eva, Lois and Gladys were all married in Kimberley. Eva to Jack Eckersley, Lois to Paul Diemert and Gladys to Albert Littler. Ida married Herbert Huber in Calgary.

Eva and Jack were the only ones to make their permanent home and raise their family in Kimberley. Both their sons, Emerson and Jack Eckersley are employed by the Company, as is a grandson, Leonard.

Emerson Spinks retired early in 1949 and passed away in December of that same year. Alberta went to live in Kelowna with her daughter, Ida, and died in 1966. She is buried beside her husband in Kimberley's Cemetery.

All three remaining daughters and their husbands are retired now: Lois and Paul in Nanaimo, Gladys and Albert in Fernie, Ida and Herb in Kelowna.

Some of Lois' memories of early Kimberley are a Syrian man coming around with a pack of goods on his back, and her mother carefully choosing and measuring fabrics for their clothing. She remembers Ben Keer coming with his cart of milk containers and her mother going out to the road to get a supply for the day; of holidays at Dickson's Camp at St. Marys Lake, where her father had quite a reputation as a fisherman; of Mr. Mawson coming to their home with his portable organ to play hymns for them on Sunday afternoon; of carbide lamps and agate lunch pails and all the many things that went to make Kimberley what it is today.

Twitter Facebook Google+


Banner Ad