Monday, October 01, 2012

Ruby Tuesday In My Beloved Manitoba

for the last few weeks betty and mom golden and i have been thinking back to the good old days when we lived in my beloved manitoba...when dad golden was in the air force in manitoba, it was in a little town of rivers....the base was just outside of the town and that is where we lived.
well the last year one of the girls that grew up in rivers and went to the same high school as betty, teddy and I went to, decided to put together a book  "the history of rivers"...who ever wanted to could contribute a story to the book and so this is what we did!.
i will copy and paste here on this ruby tuesday the stories that we each submitted.

here is mom goldens'

I remember going to the base grocery store pulling two kids on a slay. in those days I would have to fill a whole cart of groceries and the cost was only sixty dollars!!

i really loved the Hudderites .They came quite often to our house on Dartmouth St to sell their farm produce.. They sold fresh eggs for a reasonable price.I had many of the crocheted circular mats that I bought from them.. I wish that I had saved a few but with the patter of feet from nine children on them, they all wore out before we left Rivers, to move to another air base, Uplands , Ottawa.
I went to Riverdale  hospital twice to have my babies..David and then my last child, Karen..David is in heaven and Karen is 47 years old...where has the time gone?
the doctor's name was Dr. Lovale, I believe
on the base we lived next door to the Collins and they,many years later visited us here in Welland on their way to nova Scotia.
the nicest sounds in rivers camp were the times I took afternoon naps and heard the music of children playing, hop- scotch, ring around the rosy, eevy ivy over, the ball is coming over, and many other childhood games that I remembered when I was a child!
We did a little shopping at Lil's variety and I remember the many dogs that Stu used to have. 
Teddy, my son would get them all barking by times in the MIDDLE of the night!
I made friends with a lady Mrs.Sikora and would you believe it?...I met her years later and found out that we were born in the same town, Dunnville, Ontario,
she lived only about 18 miles from Welland in the town of Dunnville when her husband  Wilf moved after he retired. The Sikora family lived in Wheatlands..
I am putting in here some of the pictures of my kids, my treasures into this write up..
The Rivers days were some of the happiest ones in my married life.
of course all of the nine children are grown and gone from home but my husband, Cecil Golden and I live in an apartment. Cecil will be 86 in November and I am a young lady of 82!...Ha!
Thank you Dora for letting me write this for the Rivers History book!.......Edna Kathaleen[Wells] Golden
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this is what betty wrote
It is hard to  believe that it has been over fifty years that my dad loaded us. [mom and seven kids] into the station wagon at Trenton Ontario and we headed west for the prairies.  We had been stationed to Rivers Manitoba,  a place that has remained in my memory until this day.  We were about to embark on the adventure of a life time!  Things were really different on the prairies.  My dad with the help of we  kids put a big garden in on a friends' property (Ron Hausse) and for once we were able to spend more time with our dad.  Mom used to take us down into a nearby valley to pick Saskatoon's and Choke Cherries and would later make jams and jellies.   Both dad and mom learned how to make bread to go along with the berry jams. The guys who dad worked with[the firemen] heard about dad baking bread and they would tease him "Hey Goldie, you are baking bread, eh?"
When we first arrived in Rivers my mom wanted a place to go to church, so we went over to a Baptist Church in Wheatlands.  They had no pastor there but a Mr. Davies came from another church in a neighbouring  town. We lost track of him and his wife after leaving Rivers. It is there that we met Joan Bennett who now still lives in the Rivers area with her husband.  We met her at the reunion six years ago. i do remember Mrs. Jay, Mrs. Muir and the Hogue family going to the Baptist Church too.
I was in my early teens, so of course I got to babysit the local kids including the Collins and the Colemans, the Dixons, the Costigans, the Aubes and  the Oberlins.  There were others too but I have forgotten their names. I have not forgotten the pay though..We earned 25 cents per hour and it mattered not how many kids you were looking after..It was 25 cents per hour!! If one was lucky enough to get a job for New Years, well the pay was $5.00 for the evening. i guess we couldn't complain though because 25 cents would get you a big bag of chips for 10 cents and a coke for 8 cents with a 2 cent deposit..and with the nickel left over you could get 15 black balls! we did this shopping at Lils' variety and at Lockarts.  
When we moved to Rivers in 1961, I was in grade eight and my teacher was Mr. Barkley. When think of Mr.Barkley, my mind goes back to the year when Janie Barkley and Donnie Gilchrist and Janet Ried were killed in a tragic car accident, just outside of Rivers. In those days there were no grief councilors for the students and so it was quite a long time until the children came to terms with their grief. Donnie Gilchrist used to play "The Last Post" every Remembrance day at Rivers Collegiate and Janet and Janie were both part of Mrs. Harris's cheer leader team in Rivers was a sad sad year for Rivers.
The year before my dad got transferred from Rivers to Ottawa, I left home to live in Brandon where I worked in a nursing home for 90 cents per hour! More than triple money that I earned from babysitting.! In Brandon, I had a room mate, Eunice Moon who at that time worked at the Salisbury Restaurant ..we decided to move to Trenton and so I left Rivers in 1965..the times I had worked at the nursing home gave me the desire to become a nurse and after moving from Trenton to Ottawa, where my family by then was living, I went to Ottawa Civic School of Nursing and graduated as a Registered Nursing Assistant.
I was married in 1972 and my name changed from Betty Jane Golden to Betty Belzner..I have five children..Rachel[39], John[37], Ryan[35], Matthew[31], Amy[29].
Rivers has so many special memories in my heart and I am so thankful that Carolyn Henderson created the Rivers Collegiate Reunion. 
And I am thankful for Dora for letting me have a little part of the Rivers History Book
I am including a few pictures here.
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and finally this is what i wrote..

In the fall of 1961, my dad, Mr Cecil Golden who was in the air force in Trenton,Ontario was transferred to Rivers Manitoba.and so he packed into his station wagon  his wife, Edna and his seven children, Betty, Terry, Teddy, Gary, Sandra, Grace, and Gail......"Go west young man!"
we lived at 41 Dartmouth at the camp,.
Dad worked as an air force fireman.[we saw his fire truck in the abandoned air force base a few years back]

I have so many happy memories of Rivers; Wheatlands, where Lil's chalet was and Lockarts where a kid could ,after four, buy a chocolate sundae or a chocolate milkshake for 25 cents[no tax!], 
I must tell you of one special moment.
We high school children used to wait at Lockarts for the school bus..One morning as we were all waiting for our ride to Rivers Collegiate, there came skipping  along a pretty little girl of about ten years old..One young man, Ken Martel remarked, "One of these days that girl is going to be a beauty queen. You mark my word!" Well! When that girl, Jewel McAvaney, who had in the mean time moved to another air base, in the year of 1969, was chosen the very first "Miss Teen Canada"!...What a joy it was for my husband and I to see her photo in the A&W restaurant"
in Brandon..After all she WAS once a rivers girl![please see photo].

i remember  the Wheatlands Baptist church where the nicest elderly lady attended, named Mrs. Jay.
Also on my mind is the Hutterites field which we crossed many times to go to  the town of rivers, where we went to the Hoyaks restaurant for Coka Cola and Orange Crush.

our most loved place on the base  during the hot summers was the swimming pool.
 A  few years ago my husband brought me to the camp and and we went straight away to the pool.
 In the picture, you can see what was left of the our beloved pool!....Very sad!

The times that dad took us to lake  Lake Wahtopanah for picnics and swimming bring back so many happy memories, and picking Saskatoon berries and choke cherries from which mom made jam to put on homemade bread was just something..The bread always rises higher in Manitoba than it does down east!.

The fields and fields of yellow canola flowers and the purple flax flowers can not be matched with Ontario fields. Nor can the beautiful Manitoba sunsets.

While we lived in rivers two children were born in the Riverdale hospital; David and Karen.

It was a sad day indeed when dad was transferred to Ottawa in october, 1966. I really believe that I left a large part of my heart in rivers, Manitoba, where all of my happiest childhood memories lie! 
When dad retired from the armed forces, the family moved to Welland, Ontario.

The two family photos are the before and after of the Golden family..."Before". being the time we lived in Rivers and the "After" is where we live now, in Welland, Ontario.

Yes the "Rivers" days will always remain precious to me and you know what? Sheila Runions faithfully sends to us  every week "The Rivers Banner"

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i guess there is a little bit of ruby  tuesday
 in this post,eh?..
.the beautiful albeit, deserted red fire engine
 that my dad used to be part of when 
he was a rivers base fireman.....and so i will say.
.have a happy ruby tuesday everybody....
.love terry