Linda

Linda Henry: Memories of years past

Learn about Linda Henry's life in this month's seniors column.

Linda Henry was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and was the daughter of Gordon and Ethel Henry. During the war years, her father went overseas with the army, while young Linda and her mother moved to Lake Frances to live with her maternal grandparents, George and Beatrice Vidal, until the end of the war in 1945.

Before her husband’s return home, Ethel bought a house on a farm and moved there when he came back  from overseas. In 1946, Linda’s brother Art was born.

“In those days we didn’t have a car and every time we went to visit our grandparents, we had to go with the horse and buggy during the summer months and the horse and sleigh in the winter. We used to heat up a large log and wrap it up and put it in the bottom of the sleigh to keep our feet warm,” she recalls.

“We kept busy all year round. We had cattle that we used to sell and also we shipped and sold cream to other places, and my mother did the fruit and vegetable canning in the summer. She also canned deer meat hunt by my father. During the winter months, my dad used to trap muskrats to sell the furs in the spring.”

The family also raised chickens and a pig every year. And with the cold winters in Manitoba, it was not a problem for them to preserve the meat.

No doubt that life in the small Prairie communities was quite different from today’s life in most of the Canada we know nowadays, with no electricity, no running water, and no phones available in most rural areas, life centred around the family nucleus.

“I remember when I was six years old, they installed the first phone lines on our road and once we had the phones available, we didn’t know what to do at the beginning, so I would call my Vidal cousins up the road and sing songs over the devices. Also, maybe two or three years later, the hydro poles were set up, which made quite a change in our daily lives. No more oil lamps!”

The family had two wood stoves, one in the kitchen for cooking and another one for heat in their living room. And with no running water, Linda and her family had to go out every day to the pump house and pump water from the well. Although they owned a manual washing machine, they had to move the handle back and forth to do the washing.

Years later, the family acquired one with an electric motor.

“I remember that one day my brother, out of curiosity, put one of his fingers in the machine motor causing some damage in his finger which was soon healed by the doctor,” she said.

“My dad built a box around the motor, followed the accident.”

Linda learned to cook, knit and sew when she joined the 4-H Club in Manitoba.

“Learning how to sew helped me a lot years later in my life. For example, when my youngest daughter Janine got married, I made all the bridesmaids dresses for the girls, while my oldest daughter Deb, who also enjoyed sewing, made the wedding dress for her sister; and when my grandchildren were in dance classes, I sewed all the costumes for their dance performances.”

Linda’s maternal family came from Ireland and her paternal ones, Lillie, from Alyth, Scotland. It is interesting to know that her grandmother’s family, the Vidals, were originally from Spain and one of their relatives was a bishop in Toledo.

“I never met my Henry grandparents. My grandfather James died of blood poisoning before I was born, and my grandma Kate died three days after I was born,” she said.

Read part two in the November seniors section.

facebook.com/albernivalleynews

twitter.com/alberninews

 

 

Just Posted

Tyee Club celebrates 80 years in Port Alberni

James Clark wins Fisherman of the Year award

John Horgan promises action after fatal mid-Island bus crash

Premier cites students, local Indigneous community as reason to repair the road

BCHL: Alberni Valley Bulldogs rally for the win with five goals in third period

Port Alberni team has won two games in a row at home

Forestry watchdog warned B.C. government about Bamfield Road in 2008

Ombudsman’s specific concerns re-surface in wake of fatal bus crash

Swedish visitors celebrate steam donkey at McLean Mill—without the steam

Volunteers celebrate 90th birthday of mill’s vintage steam donkey

PHOTOS: Young protesters in B.C. and beyond demand climate change action

Many demonstaers were kids and teens who skipped school to take part

Walmart to quit selling e-cigarettes amid vaping backlash

U.S.’s largest retailer points to ‘growing’ complications in federal, state and local regulations

Former B.C. lifeguard gets house arrest for possession of child porn

Cees Vanderniet of Grand Forks will serve six months of house arrest, then two years’ probation

Crown alleges resentment of ex-wife drove Oak Bay father to kill his daughters

Patrick Weir alleged in his closing arguments that Andrew Berry is responsible for the deaths of his daughters

‘I’d do it again,’ says B.C. man who swam naked, drunk in Toronto shark tank

David Weaver, of Nelson, was drunk when he went to Ripley’s Aquarium in Toronto on Oct. 12 2018

How to react to Trudeau’s racist photos? With humility, B.C. prof says

‘We are now treating racism as a crime that you cannot recover from’

Victoria man spots online photo of his totem pole 11 years after it was stolen

Mark Trueman restored the pole himself before it was stolen off of his property in Duncan

VIDEO: Fire destroys Williams Lake strip club targeted by past arson attempts

Diamonds and Dust Entertainment Lounge destroyed by fire, as well as New World Tea and Coffee House

Trudeau seeks meeting with Singh to apologize for blackface, brownface photos

‘I will be apologizing to him personally as a racialized Canadian,’ Trudeau said Friday

Most Read