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Kimberley Families

The Thomas Young Family
as told by Rachel

Tom Young and Rachel were married in their home town of Aspatria, Cumberland, England in 1907. As a youth Tom had tried his hand at farm- ing, coal mining, and even being a baker. They had eight children, but unfortunately three died at birth and that left Doris, Bill, Tom Jr., Robert and Renee. Doris and Robert also died very young.

In 1923 hard times really hit and Tom decided to travel to Canada on the special harvest fare. He worked at harvesting that summer and fall and, when winter came, he found work in the coal mine at Nordegg. By 1924, he was working for Pat Burns Company in Calgary and arrangements were made there to bring the family over. Fares were paid for Rachel and the three children, but an error was discovered when they were ready to sail. It appeared that only three fares were paid instead of four. A hasty decision was made and ten year old Tom remained behind with an aunt in st. Helens, Lancashire. The mix-up was straightened out when the rest of the family reached Calgary and, three months later, young Tom sailed by himself. His mother was very concerned about him, but on arrival he assured her he would do it again, as everyone had been very good to him.

Tom Young then found work at a sawmill in Cranbrook and Rachel was again left behind to manage. As they lived near the railway tracks on the outskirts of Calgary, many hobos riding the' rods would jump off the freight cars practically at their front door. One night Rachel was so frightened by a big character slinking around, peering in the windows and trying the doors, that next morning, she and the three children packed their few belongings and boarded the train for Cranbrook. Mr. Young barely recognized his family as they came up the platform, all carrying unpacked tools and household equipment. This was in December just before Christmas.

They managed to find a house in Slaterville, near the sawmill, which Rachel says was insulated inside with a thick coating of frost. Christmas Eve found them strangers, with neither food nor money, so they went to bed early to keep warm. Three times they were roused to answer the door to accept donations from people that had heard of the new family's plight. Christmas day, they were invited to dinner at the Patmore's home. This opened up an opportunity for Rachel and she went to work for Mrs. Patmore until Tom got another job at McCrindles Dairy, where he worked for a few months. When Ben Keer of Marysville needed a dairyman, he asked Matt McCrindle where he could get one in a hurry, and Tom chose to make the move. He worked at the Marysville Dairy for that summer and then got a job at the Kimberley Mine. The only house they could get was one of Gough's shacks with no shelves or cupboards so they soon moved to a house on the short street back of the site where Kootenay College now stands.

In the spring of 1929, they received a little money from England, so they purchased their first car, a Chevrolet Touring car. One morning, when Tom was on afternoon shift, they drove out past the Catholic Church, through Summers Sub- division into Meadowbrook. Rachel fell in love with the area and seeing a "For Sale" sign on some property, they inquired. They purchased ten acres of land with a small two-roomed dwelling on the place, from a Bill Snider. By September, they had moved into a new house built by Fabro's Company. Percy Lye was the carpenter and Bert Fontaine was his helper. In March of 1930 Tom was killed in a mining accident.

Tom's son, Bill, first started work delivering for Burn's Meat Market and then went to work at McClure's Dairy, before starting with the Com- pany. He married Lura Canfield, who lived on the property next door. They had one daughter, Joyce, just before Bill died of a brain tumor after only thirteen months of marriage. Joyce married Herb Shoemaker and they have seven children. Joyce now lives in Develin, Ontario, where she owns a farm and breeds Appaloosa horses.

Tom Jr. married Helen Allan and they have three boys: Alan, Robert and John. He worked for the Company for forty years, first in the rockhouse and later underground. He retired in 1973 and passed away in 1974. Alan now works at the Concentrator as a rubber vulcanizer. He married Kathie White and they have two children: a son, Graeme, and a daughter Janne. Robert is a carpenter in Kimberley as well as a musician. John is a male nurse in the Foothills Hospital in Calgary.

Renee married Bill Hardy who was born in Winnipeg and worked there for the C.P.R. for ten years before coming west, to Cranbrook, in 1937. He worked for Jostad and Nelson for four years and was helping Renee's brother, Tom, dig a well when he met Renee and they were married in 1941. This was the year he started work with the Company on the outside crew at the Concentrator. From there he went into the pipe shop and worked on flotation. He spent nine years at the scale house and also worked on the zinc driers. Bill retired in 1975.

Bill and Renee live next door to her mother, Rachel, so they can keep an eye on her. She is a spritely little woman of ninety-two with a keen memory. She used to keep busy knitting and crocheting for the hospital auxiliary. Two years ago she donated her piano to the Special Care Home. She has four grandchildren, nine great- grandchildren and three great-great- grandchildren. She has worked hard all her life and seen many, many changes take place.

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