Friday, February 28, 2014

Narratives 15 WWII

In 1944 the Reverend Tingey took the Church services at Headlands school. He came from Cupar. Up til then we had been having the rector from Ituna.
Anglican congregation at Headlands school in later years. 1951.
In the summer of 1941 Cousin Bud joined the Canadian Army and went to England later that year. On January 19, 1943 Bill drove us to Lipton with the team and sleigh  . It was a cold morning with the temperature dipping down to 40 below zero. I took the train to Regina to begin my life in the army. The saddest part of my life came in September of that year when I got a letter from my brother Bill informing me of the death of our mother. My Major granted me ten days compassionate leave so I caught the midnight train from Wainright, Alberta where I was stationed at the time. I arrived the next morning in Ituna at ten a:m. I did not stop for anything to eat there figuring I would reach Keliher by dinner time. I headed West on what is now the grid road not realizing that Keliher was further North and I would not pass it. It took me 12 hours to walk home. Towards the end I sat down for a rest every now and then. I was hungry, not having eaten for 24 hours. 

Monday, February 24, 2014

Narratives 14 to 1942

In 1937 the Reverend Thomas started taking services at Headlands. In June of 1937 I had my first goiter operation and the second one the following January.
In May of 1938 I saw three deer on NW13, something I had never seen before. Bill had seen them when I was quite young. I remember Bill coming home for dinner and asking Mother and I to guess what kind of an animal he had seen. I guessed lions, tigers, and various others not seen around our hemisphere. So you can guess how old I must have been. I might add that I was rather disappointed in his not seeing something more thrilling.
On October 18, 1938 John Leslie sold out and moved from the district. He had been our faithful mail man for over 20 years. People coming home to our district from Regina knew that if they came to Lipton on Friday's train they could get a ride home with Mr. Leslie. John Fleming took over the post office (Headlands) until it was closed in 1947. On November 25 Bill recorded the sad death of Drizzly Inkblot Dwump, which was one of our cats. I was rather amused over the odd name Bill gave this particular cat.
On October 10, 1940, cousin Joy was confirmed in the Anglican Church in Ituna.
In May of 1942 the Reverend Frank Turnbull came and took Church services at Headlands. Cousin Donald was confirmed November first of 1942, also at the Anglican Church in Ituna.
In the spring of 1942 I had my first experience of working away from home when I worked for the Norths for two weeks while Tom North was laid up with the mumps.

Picnic at Winstanley Grove about 1934. Left to right: Arthur Nevard, Alice Nevard, Uncle Eddie, Horace Nevard, Roy Nevard, Don Nevard, Dick Nevard, Joy Nevard, Bill Nevard, Mary Nevard, Unknown, possibly Mrs. Hammil.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Narratives of the Nevards continued

In 1933 the Reverend Cleesby came to assist Reverend Badham.
In November of 1933 a steer got into a storage well that we had dug. The only way to get him out was with a rope around his neck which, unfortunately, strangled the steer. Bill skinned it. The same thing happened some years later but that time Bill and Uncle Horrie chopped a trench in the frozen soil and got the steer out. Wet and thoroughly chilled, but ok. That year of 1933 we had all bull calves born. Bill named them, Hero, Zero, Nero, Gay Caballero and Qinque.
On the night of August 17, 1934 the worst wind storm we had ever experienced occurred. Our threshing separator blew over and was rendered useless. Our stable was pushed out of plumb. Two haystacks had their tops blown off. An open bin on a rise was flattened. One wall was scattered for a quarter mile to the East. The wind came from the West. Bob Miller, six miles to the West of us, also lost his granaries, two in number. This was a dry year. We only dug ten pails of potatoes. The following year we dug 37 bags which was , I think, our best year ever.
Dad put new roofing on the chicken house. We called this building "the Jew shack" It had been on Uncle Arthur's South quarter and Mr. Fastofsky had originally homesteaded that quarter. He was of the Jewish faith. Bill also referred to it as "the Israelite's cottage".
In July of 1935 the Reverend Hillary came as our rector and held services at Headlands. On Sunday, September 17th Bill and I took cousin Roy to St. Michael's Church in Lipton for confirmation.
Down through the years the Nevard family had an assortment of dogs and cats. Rustler had a family of kittens. One was Little Vengeance, another was Sunflower . Possibly a ginger cat or tortoise shell. Bill named them all. I believe he got the names from Treasure Island, a novel by Robert Louis Stevenson. A story that Bill was very fond of. There were also two dogs, Bud and Snookums. Uncle Arthur had Bud and we had Snookums. We may have got them from Hobetzeders . Their rather short lives were ended by getting poisoned from a carcass on the way home from town.
Uncle Arthur also had a dog named 'Pants" . He got his name in the following manner. When he was a pup he was fond of grabbing and pulling on pants legs. Roy was just learning to talk and he said "Pants!" in disapproval. Uncle Arthur heard this and was highly amused. From then on he called the dog Pants. On December 21, 1935 Bill recorded: "Pants went to the happy hunting ground". And the following March, another obituary notice, "Sad demise of the venerable Grip from an attack by an unknown assailant. Grip had been Uncle Horrie's dog.
Christmas day of 1936 was spent at our home with the usual family gathering. That year we had a Christmas pudding made by Grandmother Nevard in England who was well up in her eighties at the time. She was the oldest resident living in the village of Lexden at the time.

 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Narratives 12, Into the 1930s

It was about the year 1927 when the Reverend Bowley left and Reverend Linder came and took the Anglican Church services at Headlands school.
In the spring of 1928 I caught pneumonia and Mrs. North kindly came and helped nurse me. My parents called the doctor. He got his car stuck in a mud puddle and Bill and the doctor walked up to Uncle Arthur's for a team of horses. Mr. Linder was there and so he drove them back to our place in his old Ford car. He came to a mud puddle and went flying through it with mud and water flying in all directions. He remarked for the doctor's benefit, "Thats the way to go through a mud puddle". The doctor said to Bill (and they were in the back seat) "some driver!"
Reverend Linder left in the fall of 1929 and the Reverend Horne came the following spring.
In December of 1930 Bill and Uncle Arthur took wheat to the flour mill in Keliher to be ground into flour.
In mid February of 1931 Mother and Aunt Daisy went to Regina hospital where mother had a goiter operation. This meant no school for me for a month. I stayed home to help Dad and Bill with the chores. Dad did the cooking. One of the puddings he made was so rich that it acted as an excellent laxative.
The Reverend Horne left in the spring of 1931 and the Reverend Robertson came to take his place for Church services at Headlands.
June the 14th was a Sunday in 1931 and Bud and I were confirmed in St. Michael's Church at Lipton. About ten others were also confirmed that day. Reverend Robertson only stayed one year. In 1932 the Reverend Badham came with Reverend Brown as his student minister and assistant.
June 27 was my last day of school. I had passed my grade 8 and it was time to helping Dad and Bill on the farm. It was a good year for Saskatoons and Mother put down 27 quarts of jam. On the third of January Bill and Bud took wheat up to the Keliher flour mill owned by Mr. Humphreys. They stayed the night in Hunter's livery stable.
This quote is from Bill's journal from January 13th, "Old Dan, Aunt Daisy's famous white horse died." February was a sad month for our district. Tommy Goff died at the age of 19 of pneumonia. The funeral was on February sixth, a bitterly cold day with the temperature down to 46 below zero. Aunt Daisy had an accident that injured her leg. Martha North came and nursed her. Aunt Daisy passed away very suddenly. Her funeral was February 25th. It was a nice bright day.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Narratives 11 School Days

A few days later Aunt Daisy took across Section 26 and the southeast of 35 to Headlands school which had been moved a mile east to the southeast quarter of 34 that winter. Aunt Daisy drove us with Dan and the buggy for a few days until we got to know our way. She put about 3 flags or rags on long poles to guide us. I did not go to school much the first year due to illness and other things. I did not learn much. The things I was most interested in were the songs and games. These were the things I told Mother about when I arrived home. Mother wanted to hear of the serious side of my education.
There was some excitement in the district that summer when some of the pupils came to school one morning telling us of a lunatic being at large in a nearby district. Mother had dad's rifle across a cream can although she did not know how to use it. Bill and Dad went to bed armed with clubs. One night Bill's club rolled off the bed on to the floor causing Dad to awake and wonder what was up.
The fall of 1924 was a wet one with lots of water in the sloughs. There were lots of ducks also and they raided the stooked wheat. Uncle Horrie was especially bothered as he had a big slough on his SW quarter of section 30. Some duck hunters came up from Regina and camped in Uncle Arthur's yard. Just at that time my cousin Joy was born. Mr. Cresweller, one of the hunters went in his car to phone for the doctor. Bill went with him to the gate with a stable lantern so the doctor could find his way in. They had just begun threshing our wheat but we were stopped for a wet spell.
Just after that I had my adenoids removed using the kitchen table as an operating table. There was no more school for me that year.
The Reverend Bowley started holding Church services in Headlands school. The first service was held on a week day evening in the fall of 1924. During the service, the lamp which was suspended from the ceiling, fell to the floor. Aunt Daisy grabbed Mrs. Creaser's coat and smothered the flames. Mrs. Creaser was not pleased over her coat being used for such a purpose.
Mr. and Mrs. Bowley slept at Uncle Arthur's and Aunt Daisy's home that night and did some visiting the next day.
In the spring of 1925 I started back to school again and attended more regularly. At Christmas that year I took part in my first Christmas concert. I had learned a recitation for the concert the year before but the weather was too cold for us to attend. I will never forget my first concert in 1925. I got so far and then got stage fright. I could not think of the next words. It seemed like ages before the teacher, Miss Mill, came to my rescue with the next word. Mother knew it by heart. Aunt Daisy said later that she should have come to my rescue and prompted me. In 1927 Aunt Daisy took seriously ill and went to a hospital in Winnipeg where they put her on a diet containing liver. In July of that same year my cousin, Donald, was born to Aunt Alice and Uncle Horrie. Mrs. Orford nursed Aunt Alice.
Arthur and Daisy Nevard

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Narratives Ten

That year Dad had a large steer butchered for beef. Charlie Gregory came to do the job. He shot Goliath (the steer) and the beast went down but did not stay down. Dad was standing close by and Charlie said , "jump on it". Dad was close enough but did not think they could have held down an animal that size. Goliath headed north for the bushes.  Charlie had a high powered rifle and used it. I think they used Tom, the horse, to drag the carcass back to the yard. Dad had the hide of Goliath tanned and lined and made into a robe.
That same fall we had a severe frost in early October and the potatoes were frozen in the ground.
In 1920 Uncle Horrie built his house and Dad helped. I was up there one day with Aunt Alice. The men were building the rafters when I asked, "Aunt Ack, is that where your children are going to play?"
That was the summer that the first plane flew over the district. Aunt Alice and Uncle Horrie were working on the house and were used to seeing planes fly over in England. Aunt Alice waved and called out, "have you any mail for us?"
Gordon Lawson came out and worked as hired man for Uncle Arthur. Dad had sciatica that year and was layed up for most of the summer. The sciatica never left him until he went to Regina and had all his teeth removed. He was never bothered with it after that. Dad never got dentures until many years later. He would cut the food up fine and was able to eat his meals faster than the rest of us.
Christmas day of 1920 the family gathering was at our house. The day after Christmas, boxing day, being Aunt Daisy's birthday, we all went to her house. Uncle Horrie and Aunt Alice stayed there.  On New Year's day of 1921 my cousin Roy was born. First child for Uncle Horrie and Aunt Alice. They got Dr. Hall from Fort Qu'appelle. Kelsey brought him up by car. Kelsey caught a coyote at our gate. Uncle Horrie held the coyote up to the window for Aunt Alice to see.
After a short stay at Winstanley Grove Uncle Horrie and family went to live in their new home which they called, "Silver Birches".
Alice and son, Roy Nevard in front of "Silver Birches"

In 1922 Dick Winstanley came out from England to work for Uncle Arthur. In the winter of 1922 there was a concert at Shawlands School. One item on the program was a play entitled "The Entomology of The Black Beetle". Thought up by Dick Winstanley. Bill watched them practicing and also saw it at the concert. I never saw the play but Bill related it all to me and it did not take long for me to have it memorized. The results, when Dick Winstanley came along I repeated the play to him. Mother said she did not think Dick was very pleased. He thought I was making fun of him, but such was not the case.
In the 1920s there was not the amount of entertainment that there is today. I remember hearing Aunt Daisy remarking to Mother that the Chautauqa had been in Lipton and May and and Annie Fox had gone to see it. She used a tone of voice that indicated this was a great society event.
One Sunday afternoon Harry Creaser came for a visit and entertained us with some of the popular music. He played some of them on my harmonica. "It Aint Goin To Rain No More" had sharps and flats and could not be played so he sang it instead.
In the fall of 1922 the Goffs and Nevards dissolved the partnership in the threshing outfit which had begun in 1910. We took over the portable engine and bought a smaller separator in 1923. That year we threshed for Bob Grainger and Syd Fox.
In the spring of 1924 cousin Bud (Sherwood Eric Holmden) came to make his home with Aunt Daisy and Uncle Arthur at Winstanley Grove.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Narratives 9 Home From The War

In 1917 Mr. Moffat left the parish of Fort Qu'appelle and the Reverend Cox came in his place and stayed until 1924. He was the first rector I can remember. He stayed at our home Saturday nights. I think Mr. Moffat did the same. I think I was about two or three when I told Mr. Moffat that I was going to harrow the summer fallow next year. I guess I had seen my big brother doing the job and wished to do likewise.
I am not sure when Bill began driving horses by himself but it happened in the following manner. Dad had gone over to Goff's so Bill told mother he was going for a load of straw. Mother was pretty worried. Bill was just pulling into the yard from one direction just as Dad came in from the opposite direction. mother said dad just looked. he could not believe his eyes. After that Bill was allowed to drive alone.
In the early days Mr. Lochead had the Headlands post office. When Bill was old enough he used to go for the mail. The Leslie homestead was on the northeast quarter of section 26. Bill used to call in at Leslie's on his way for the mail and he and Andrew Leslie used to go for the mail together. Bill would stop and have dinner at Leslie's and he and Andrew would play together. Bob Drever homesteaded a little north of Leslie's in 1910. Bill used to fetch mail for him. I think it was in the summer of 1911 that Mother baked bread for Bob Drever. Bob used to come for his bread on Sunday evenings. one Sunday Mother and Bill were visiting Mrs. McNeil. Bob was sitting on the doorstep waiting for them. His remark was , "They say Mrs. Nevard never goes visiting but I never find her home".
In April of 1918 Dad bought another quarter section of land. It was the northwest quarter of 13. I think he broke 22 acres that year. In the fall of that year the War ended. In the early spring of that year our dog Nell died from a kick from a horse. It happened at night. Next morning Mother saw Nell laying in front of our house. She looked as if she was asleep. I can still se her in my mind's eye. Mother went out and looked at the dog. Dad remarked, "Its no good". I guess had already been out and seen here.
Worse was to befall  us when two fine steers died of hemorrhagic septicemia. They either had to be buried deeply in the ground or burnt. The ground was frozen so Dad and Bill burnt them down on section 13. They made a large pile of straw and wood. Nell, some chickens and a pig were burnt at the same time.
Now to turn to a happier incident. When Uncle Arthur came back from overseas in the summer of 1919, I don't remember it but I do recall Uncle Horrie and Aunt Alice arriving at The Poplars on a bright and sunny September day. They had been married in England on January first of that year. At the time Dad and Bill were harvesting. Aunt Alice thought I looked rather puny. That evening after supper Mother had been down in the cellar emptying the cream. Aunt Alice was clearing the table and not noticing the open cellar door she tumbled down into it. She was bruised and shook up but nothing broken. The following Sunday we went to Church at Balrobie. I remember being disappointed that Aunt Alice did not come but she was feeling stiff and sore from the fall.
I was fond of Aunt Alice and used to tease her with an old alarm clock. When she was resting in her room I used to stand at the door and say "Aunt Ack can you hear me"? while setting off the alarm clock. There was an old Harry Lauder song called "Theres A Wee Drop In The Bottle For The Morning" and I used to sing it for her benefit because I knew she didn't like it.
Aunt Alice was very kind to me. I remember the next summer finding a wasp's nest and poking it with a stick when mischief got the better of me. When I came home crying from the stings Aunt Alice took me on her lap and got the bluing back and dabbed the sore spots with it. I never let on it was my fault.
Horace and Alice Nevard wedding photo

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Narratives 8 The War Years

On April 3, 1916 Uncle Horrie enlisted in the 195th battalion of the Canadian Infantry Corp. In November he sailed on the Empress of Britain for further training in the U.K. and by the end of the month he had landed in France to join the battle.
Uncle Arthur joined up in August of 1916 with the 238th Battalion of the Forestry corp and went to Scotland.
Reverend Moffat was now taking the Church services at Balrobie. He came in 1915 and had the loan of Uncle Horrie's horse, Captain. Bill was confirmed while in Regina in 1915 at Grace Church by Bishop Harding.
Around that time Dad built a log stable for the livestock. For the first years he had a sod stable. In 1917 he added on to the log stable. I was just beginning to get about outside by that time and very helpfully put my foot in the freshly mixed plaster Dad was using on the walls. He carefully washed my foot saying, "it would not do for your mother to see that".
Bill Nevard by new barn.

We had a dog named Nell and her pup, Frank. Mother said that when I was out playing with the dogs she could hardly tell boy from dog. In that year Mr. North bought a pair of pigs from us. They came for these one Sunday morning. Mr. North had his two sons, Tom and Ed with him. Tom Smith was also along with  him on this occasion.
That summer Aunt Daisy came up from the city for a while and lived in their house on the farm, Winstanley Grove. Our farm was named "The Poplars'. Mrs. McNeil had suggested calling it "the bluffs" but Mother did not agree. Mrs. McNeil had named their farm "Murdock" after a place in Scotland.
On the southeast quarter of section 12 just south of McNeils's lived Mr. and Mrs. Ferguson and their daughter Shatty. In 1917 at haying time Mr. Ferguson had his team run away with the hay rake and he suffered bad head injuries so Shatty came over to our place to get Dad to drive them to the station to catch the train for Regina. Mother had Shatty stay the nights at our place while her parents were away. That year we had Christmas at Fergusons. The next year they came to our place. Mrs. Ferguson said she was going to keep me. I thought she meant it and was quite worried. Actually I don't remember it, being aged two at the time, but have heard it referred to since.
Aunt Daisy held a picnic at her place in 1917 in aid of the Red Cross. I imagine all the neighborhood would be there. I remember hearing that the North family were there. Ed North told me that he remembers sitting on the running board of Tom Goff's Model T Ford.
                   Goffs and Nevards. Model T in background.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Narratives 7

That same year, Tom Goff and his  bride, Mary Elizabeth Lane were married in the Arthur Nevard home on November 27.
1911 was also the year of the earthquake. It happened on a Sunday afternoon. Dad, Mother and Bill were visiting at Braithwaite's (the farm that Hobetzeders bought later). There was an earth tremor that rattled the dishes in the pantry.
The Leslies homesteaded on the northeast quarter of section 26. They were burning some rubbish one day when the fire got away and traveled across Uncle Arthur's land and burnt his shack down. On the Sunday the Leslies followed the path of the fire finding out that Uncle Arthur's shack was no longer there. They paid him for it.
In 1911 the crop was hailed. Now the next paragraph will sound a little inconsistent but according to what I was told, Bill shoveled grain for Uncle Horrie. Uncle Arthur had an accordion and Bill played it so naturally he wanted one of his own. Uncle Horrie promised him that if he shoveled the grain for him he would buy Bill an accordion. Mother remarked that Bill got a little weary so Uncle Horrie would make the motions of playing an accordion to encourage Bill to continue on with his shoveling.
Aunt Daisy enjoyed company so one week a couple of young women came and spent a few days with her. When Mother and Dad got the mail and weekly paper there was a letter written by Aunt Daisy stating that there were lots of bachelors around and Aunt Daisy closed the letter with, "Come along girls".
I believe it was that fall when Uncle Arthur and Aunt Daisy went to live in Regina. The crops were hailed again in 1912. I think Dad worked in Regina that year. He worked on the jail one year, the Normal school another year , and lastly, the Regina General Hospital.

The Reverend H.A. Lewis came as rector of St. Johns Church in Fort Qu'appelle in 1911. He began holding Church services in Balrobie school. He came to our home Saturday evening, spent the night there and held the service the next morning. While here he would give Bill lessons. One day Mr. Lewis came along and Bill did not see him approaching while he was stooking. The stook fell down and Bill got rather angry at the miserable stook. Mr. Lewis said "too bad" and helped Bill to put the stook back up. They sat on some sheaves and Bill had his Sunday school lessons. Bill did all the stooking in 1913 when he was eleven years of age.
In 1914 Uncle Horrie worked in Regina. That was the year that war was declared in Europe. In February of 1915 Mother and Bill went to Regina. Bell went to Wetmore school until the end of June. Yours truly was born March 4, 1915 on Atkinson Street. I believe it was in the 2100 block. On the fourth of April I was baptized in Grace Church , Regina. That is where St. Matthews Church now stands. The Reverend Erp was the minister. Mother wanted Bill to be one of my god-parents but he was not well that Sunday as he had just his tonsils removed the day before. On the Monday, Mother and Dad brought me home to the homestead. Uncle Horrie was there to meet us and take us home from the train. The big item of news that day was the Jack Johnson-Jess Willard world championship heavy weight boxing match. As there were no radios in those days the news came over the rail station to telegraph wires. As the train stopped at each station they heard how the fight was progressing. The match was over before they arrived at Lipton so they were not kept in suspense. Jess Willard won in twenty or more rounds.
Dad made a cradle for me but I would not sleep in it. The cradle was used as a newspaper stand or holder instead. The Sunday following my arrival home was a nice day so Mother took me to Church at Balrobie school. The Reverend Lewis asked Mother about having the baby baptized. Much to his surprise Mother told him that it was already done. I understand the reason for my baptism in Regina was because they heard Mr. Lewis was leaving and there was a possibility of not having a replacement for a while.