Today was a great day! I had spent some time this winter sorting family archives into a chronological order for posterity. Among the papers I had brought from my dad’s house was a note with the Section/Lot/Grave numbers of my maternal grandparents. William and Catherine Young had emigrated from Scotland in 1930 when my mother was 8 1/2 months old. Nov 20, 1935 Catherine died of peritonitis from a ruptured appendix and seven months later on June 18, 1936 William died of TB contracted from being gassed during WWI. Knowing we were driving across Canada this summer I did some web digging and located the cemetery in which they were buried here in Winnipeg.
This morning our first objective was to locate the graves of my maternal grandparents. GPS led us right to Brookside Cemetery. John located my grandfather’s grave which we knew was in a military section, but we looked at every grave in Section 54 and could not find a marker for Catherine. We went to the admin office and a lady showed us where it was on a chart. We had both suspected that there may not have been a marker since they were recent immigrants and probably had little in the way of money at the time. This proved to be correct. We did locate the cemetery plot number almost buried in the grass so I know now where both of my mother’s parents are buried.
I determined right then that my grandmother should have a marker and there was a memorial business across the street. We stopped in there and ordered a marker for Catherine’s grave. Family is important and should be recognized. It is very sad that she hasn’t had a “known” place for 79 years. They will email me a photo when it is installed. I also made an application to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission to get my grandfather’s date of birth added to his stone.
Next I wanted to see if the house my mother lived in when she was fostered with Alvin and Nelly Isaac (whom I knew as Grandpa and Grandma) was still standing. The little house at 272 Martin Street was still going strong. I have photos of my mother as a girl standing in the alley between her house and the neighbour’s. The owner of 272 Martin was a very nice young lady who had no objection to my standing on her front porch to have my photo taken at my mother’s childhood home.Objective number three was Lord Selkirk School. I wanted to give the school my mother’s 1942-43, 44-45, and 45-46 year books for their archives. The school she attended is gone, but there is a newer school with the same name on the same spot and the archivist in the office was thrilled to get my mother’s books for her records.
We had also wanted to visit the Firefighters Museum which was not far from my mom’s neighbourhood. Unfortunately it was closed without any explanation as to why.
Instead we went back to the hotel, parked the truck and walked to the Manitoba Legislative Building. Out back there is a lovely fountain and steps leading to an uninterrupted pedestrian walkway to The Fork, the local name for the meeting of the Assiniboine and Red Rivers. However, it is late spring and the rivers are high so the River Walk is under several feet of water! We made the trek to The Fork along city streets instead. A couple of blocks from The Fork is Union Station where John clearly remembers stopping in 1968 on his way to his father’s wedding in Ottawa.Today was a wonderful day of remembrance and recognition.