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Kimberley Families

The Tait Family

as told by son, Archie

Archibald (Archie) Tait was born in Musselburg, Scotland near Edinburgh. He married Euphamia Pearson, sister of James Pearson, band master. It was the Pearsons' reports of this area that encouraged Archie to come out to Canada and search for work in Kimberley. He came in 1927 and began work with Company almost immediately as a mucker at the Concentrator.

The following year he sent for his wife and ten year old adopted son, Archie Jr. They had both been born in Kirkcaldy.

As a boy, Archie Jr. was a singer and sang in many of the concerts and won medals at the various Festivals held in those days. He was a trumpeter in his Uncle James Pearson's Brass Band. He recalls how very disappointed his uncle was when the Band broke up. The instruments and money were eventually turned over to the Selkirk Senior High School Band.

Archie Sr. was a member of his brother-in-law's Band but when Angus and Hamish Scott formed the Pipe Band he became one of the drummers and assisted them in teaching drumming to Davy Gold, Jock McMahon and Eric Bisgrove and others.

When they first came to Kimberley they lived in what was called French Town, now Lower Blarchmont. Several families of French people had built homes there - Rouleaus, Deschamps, Fontaines and Beauregards to mention a few. Hence the nickname French Town.

Archie Sr. worked at the Concentrator until 1952 when he retired. He had ben a skip tender for several years. He retired on a total disability due to severe arthritis. During the first World War he spent some time on a mine sweeper and at one time during that war he was gassed. He was not a well man and passed away in 1954. They were living in Marysville by this time. Mrs. Tait died three years later in 1957.

Young Archie started his apprencticeship with the Company in the Carpenter shop at the Concentrator in 1937, working under Jack McKim, Harold Andrews and Taffy Williams. In 1944 he transferred to the paint shop where he is still employed with only one year to go before he retires in 1979. Last year he had been with the Company for forty years.

Archie married Lylith Campbell in 1941, about the same time the new Orpheum Theatre opened on the present site of the Bank of Montreal.

They have three children: Irene, Beverly and Donald. Irene married Ron Cowie of Calgary and she has three daughters: Jayanne, Wendy and Robyn. She was widowed a few years ago and has now married again, to Douglas Krala. Beverley works in Thunder Bay, Ontario and Donny is married to Cheryl Cook and they have two daughters: Lisa and Shannon. Donny works as a motor mechanic for Marysville Motors.

Archie has been active in baseball for years, mostly acting as a coach. He organized the Marysville Junior Pony League for boys and umpires many of the games. When his daughter, Irene, and her group of girl friends decided to form a team, she asked her dad to coach them. He almost threw up his hands in dispair, figuring it was a hopeless case when girls were more concerned with how their hair looked or whether they should wear jeans or shorts. However, he did help them eventually win a few games. In recent years the Marysville Go Go Girls have made a name for themselves in the area.

Archie enjoys fishing and gardening and plans to remain right where he is when he retires. He says he wouldn't want to live anywhere else.

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