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Kimberley Families

The Turner Family
as told by Maggie

Joe and Edith Turner came from England. Their eldest son Ernie was just eight years old when they arrived in Fernie, B.C. in 1913. Joe got work in the coal mine until a strike put a stop to employment. He worked at Corbin but slack times made him search elsewhere. In 1926 they came to Kimberley with the five youngest children: Beth, Ethel, Lil, George and Albert. Ernie went to work in the mine at Michel and he married Margaret (Maggie) Blake of Fernie in 1924. Her parents came from London to the Baynes Lake area when she was seven years old.

Ernie played trumpet and joined the Michel band and in 1927 went to the Calgary Stampede. Their uniforms were miners' hats complete with lamp and dark shirts and trousers. They took first prize. They also travelled to Kimberley and played for the first of July celebration.

In 1929 work in Michel slacked off, so in August of that year Ernie came to Kimberley and got work at the Mine. In October, Maggie arrived with their three children: Joe, Alfred and Mary. Three more children were born in Kimberley: Stanley, Raymond and Louise. Housing was scarce and that first winter they survived in a small two room shack behind the Mark Creek Store. In the spring of 1930 they were able to buy a slightly larger place on Beale Avenue. In 1935, they lived in the garage for the summer while they tore down the house and built a new one with the help of Dave Simpson and others. Maggie still resides in this house.

Ernie retired from the Company due to ill health and they purchased a small confectionery store from Abe Baumbach, at the back of Woogman's on Wallinger Avenue. Ernie passed away in April of 1963 and Maggie carried on the business for another year before she sold out.

Their son, Joe, trained as a machinist with the Company. He is married with three children, one adopted. He was very active in the Boy Scout Movement in Kimberley and was promoted to the National Office in Toronto. Alfred lives in Cranbrook and is married with three children. Mary also lives in Cranbrook and she married Jim Scanland. They have four children. Stanley is a teacher in a Junior High School in Brooks, Alberta, and they have four children. Raymond is an Anglican minister in Oliver, B.C. and recently became a boys' counsellor. They have three children, two are adopted. Louise married Allen Hockley, the son of Jim Hockley. Allen works for the Kimberley Sand and Gravel Company and they have one son. Raymond won five scholarships the year he graduated in 1956. All the children graduated from high school with the exception of Joe, the eldest.

Maggie has eighteen grandchildren and five great-grandchildren in this year of 1978. She keeps busy knitting and sewing. She assists with the "Meals on Wheels" program, and the Pines shopping service. Her favorite sport is five pin bowling and was on the team that won the Canadian Championship in Saskatoon in 1977. She is an active member of the Ladies of the Moose.

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