Dick Hunt's Blog

January 21, 2012

Letter to Kay about Uncle Jack and Buffalo Lake

Filed under: Current — Tags: , , , — Dick Hunt's Blog @ 11:26 am

Dear Kay;
I remember Uncle Jack very well as he lived with us at the Ranch when I was very young. I am aware that he married and his wife came with him when he came out from England. He was a professional Baker as was Aunt Dot. But I have no idea how long he was married to his first wife or when she disappeared from the picture. In the late thirties he married again to a widow in Vancouver called Lucy Bacon and they stayed with us at the Ranch for awhile one summer. They lived at #80, West 15th Ave. She was a lovely Lady and they were happy together. I stayed with them for two weeks in Vancouver early 1940 for a holiday and Uncle Jack came back to the Ranch with me that spring for a visit lasting into the early summer. When Aunt Lucy passed away he came back to the Ranch again for the summer, sometime after the 2nd world war and then went back to Vancouver again and was married a third time to a lovely Lady called ‘Aunt Judy’, I never knew her previously married name. I visited them at their home in Vancouver on occasion when Aunt Ruth and I were living on Mayne Island. I do know that when Uncle Jack passed away he was in his middle 90’s and only learned of his death from Uncle Bill who was the only one, apparently who learned of his death and the only family member who was at the funeral. I asked Uncle Bill at the time if he could give me ay information about the funeral, the name of the Minister and the place of the burial but he could not remember any of those details. So all that is locked up in history, unavailable to me.
I know a lot about Aunt Dot and Uncle Matt Mork. They were married at the Ranch , lived for a time just south of the Ranch headquarters or perhaps at the Ranch, when I was just a baby ad then bought land a little over three miles and a half mile east of the Ranch, built the buildings (Uncle Matt was a carpenter of Norwegian birth and well trained), he taught me a lot about Carpentry. After a few years on the farm, during which they had two daughters, Florence (my age), Alfred who passed away of a stomach ailment at the age of nine and then Nellie who had a very difficult life and became an alcoholic and we lost track of her altogether. Uncle Matt built a house in Endiang when he sold the farm and they lived there for years. That house is still lived in and is still a very substantial one to this day. Uncle Matt worked in Endiang at the blacksmith shop owned by Walter and Ed Keibel where he did all sorts of blacksmithing for many of the farmers around Endiang. June Keibel is married to Art ? and they live right near Scapa. Florence Mork, who we always knew as Flossie was a great part our family, staying with us at the Ranch every summer for years. She was very close to your Mom and Dad and they loved her dearly. She moved to New Westminster to find employment about the time the war started , met and married a goon called called “Eby”, who was cruel to her, she finally divorced him and she was instrumental in bringing her parents to New Westminster where she again married, to a man called Jack Smith who was a contractor and built quite a few apartment blocks and houses there. She and Jack lived in one his duplexes and her parents lived in the other suite. Floss had a son from her first marriage called Bob and he did fairly well but was not very bright. She then had a son by Jack Smith and he was a bit of a problem too. Floss worked extremely hard in managing the apartments and other properties, doing the bools and keeping the businesses flourishing. Eventually, Jack sold all the buildings and they moved to Loon Lake, B.C., east off Higjway 97 and a little south of Clinton. There Jack built a good house for the and a nice cottage for Uncle Matt and Auntie Dot. When Auntoe Dot passed away of a heart condition about the middle of January 1969 I was asked to go down to New Westminster and conduct her funeral.. IT was a winter of very heavy snow and cold weather. I went down from Williams Lake where were then living on the bus and did the funeral. There was still 30 inches of snow win the city and it was very hard to get around. When I got back to Williams Lake, I was met at the bus depot by one of Aunt Ruth’s co-workers in Indian Affairs who brought me a change of clothes, some cash and a return bus ticket to Calgary. I was told Aunt Ruth would look after things while I went to see my Mother who was on the brink of death. In the event, I arrived in Calgary at midnight to be met by my Brother Wilf who told me Mother had passed away that evening at ten o’clock. The temperature was minus 40 and stayed that way until after the funeral. The day before the funeral, Jack King wanted to see Mother in her coffin and I was elected to take him to do that. He wanted to put a red rose on her breast as “she liked red roses”. We stood looking down at Mother and he put the rose on her breast, then the big tears started to run down his cheeks and he choked out, “she doggone near got me going to church”. (but not quite, or ever). So Aunt Dot and Mother were buried just a week apart.
Yes, we did build a cabin on the south west corner of Buffalo Lake. We managed to buy a lot with a tiny demolished shed on it for $175.00, which gave us title to the water front lot. We got a loan from the Royal Bank and I built a cabin 24 feet square on concrete blocks with built in beds for six. We greatly enjoyed it in good weather but there was one problem. It was only 18 miles from home but well within the Parish area. As a result, people dropped in constantly when we were there, tracked sand into the cabin, helped themselves to our time and our food and then left us to clean up. About the third year we owned that, we were already four days into our holiday time and on our way out of town with our car and two wheeled trailer when Aunt Ruth said, “Oh Dick, I wish we could go somewhere and see something new.” Without giving the matter any thought I blurted out, “O.K,, let’s rent a Holiday Trailer and go on a trip.” When we got to the cabin, I went back to Town and looked for a rental trailer. There wasn’t one to be had. I went to a dealer and asked him to rent me a new one. He said, “don’t rent, just sell”. I said “Gordon the only thing I own is a cabin at the lake”. He said, “Trade you”. So we swapped, straight across. He got the best of the deal as the cabin and lot were a lot more valuable than the trailer. We used that trailer until we moved to Williams Lake in 1964. If you have any more questions, let me know how I can help. We have snow and black ice and so are treading very carefully.
Love, Uncle Dick.

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