Saturday, 31 December 2016

Elsie's Order of the Crocus - 1967

 The Order of the Crocus as explained on the Manitoba Historical Society website -
In June 1967, the Manitoba Centennial Corporation commemorated the 100th anniversary of Canadian Confederation by issuing a ceremonial scroll to 500 selected citizens over the age of 75 years. Each scroll featured a coloured drawing of a prairie crocus and was signed by Premier Duff Roblin, Provincial Secretary Stewart E. McLean, Manitoba Centennial Corporation Chair Maitland Steinkopf, and a local community representative.
Elsie with baby Randy 1960
Elsie Bushby Boulton (1884-1968) was Randy's paternal grandmother and I was pleased to find this certificate and learn that she was one of the 500 Manitobans chosen to receive this award 50 years ago.  She has been described to me as an incredible pioneer woman of bravery and determination and the more I learn about her, I have to agree.  The Order of the Crocus certificate was found among her son Frank's papers and he spoke fondly of her at every opportunity, doing his best to recreate how she spoke with her British accent for me!

Elsie Norah was the fourth child born to James and Patience Bushby in Eastbourne on the south coast of England.  Her father was a carpenter and undertaker and she had 6 siblings that survived infancy. Two of her older brothers emigrated to Canada in 1906 and after the death of her mother, Elsie along with her father and younger sister Gertrude sailed for Canada on September 11, 1913 aboard the SS Ausonia.  Her brother Arthur and his wife Lou were living in Reston where he was a carpenter.  Almost exactly one hundred years ago, Arthur built the Municipal Office that proudly stands on the corner of Third Avenue and Fourth Street today. 

Elsie met local farmer Thomas Boulton and they were married on May 14, 1914.  They raised a family of nine and built a successful farm and community at Kinloss, south of Reston.  This petite lady  not only had her own family to feed, clothe and look after but also extended family members and hired help without all the modern conveniences we take for granted.  In 1967, Elsie was 82 years old and I am glad she was recognized for her contributions to her family, community and adopted country. There are dozens of descendants today who should each proudly carry a little piece of her forward to the next generation.     
Elsie with some of her grandchildren in 1963

Thursday, 15 December 2016

Three More Books

Following up to this post in the summer, here are pictures and details of three more old books found in the Boulton house.  

The first is Titled Future Punishment or Does Death End Probation.  The alternate title is Materialism, Immortality of the Soul, Conditional Immortality Or Annihilationism, Universalism Or Restoration, Optimism Or Eternal Hope, Probation Or Purgatory, quite a mouthful!  Written in 1886 by William Cochrane, it is a compilation of papers written by many famous theologians of the time.  It is a huge book with 528 pages and several drawings as well. Internet research says it is a study of what really happens to those who commit sins on Earth after they die, although I didn't read it myself!
William Cochrane was a Presbyterian clergyman who was hired by the Zion Presbyterian Church in Brantford, Ontario in 1862 but was involved in Mission work in Ontario, Manitoba and B.C. so perhaps that is how his work came into the reading circle of the Boutlons. Cochrane is also well known for his books called the The Canadian Album; Men of Canada, biographies of the men who were influential in Canada's early days. 

It is available as a free ebook on Google Books here in case you are interested in reading it.  The book was reproduced in 2010 and a new copy is available on Amazon here for $30.95.  A few used ones like this are available online too for a wide range of prices, depending on condition. 

Next is the well worn copy of Light on Life's Highway by Wayland Hoyt.  It has a wonderful subtitle as well:
 for the despondent and the cheerful : the tired and the toiling ; the doubting and the believing ; for those under bright skies or grey, containing gems of knowledge and instruction. The most valuable truths and maxim; brightest thoughts from the brightest minds; light on all questions relating to daily life and conduct...embellished with a gallery of superb engravings from world-renowned paintings, executed by the great masters
At 605 pages, it is another hefty book and was published in 1891.  Online book sellers like abebooks have copies in similar condition for $40.00 but of course, they are not sold yet!  Wayland Holt was an American Baptist Minister and Author. 

This book is beautiful! There are so many etchings of so many subjects from Biblical figures and stories to ones showing life in the 19th century to the natural beauty of America... The author draws inspiration from history, his travels in the US and abroad and from daily life and ties it in with religious topics. He also includes a lot of poetry. 
The third book in this post is called Vivilore, the Pathway to Mental and Physical Pefection; The Twentieth Century Book for Every Woman written by Mary Ries Melendy in 1904. The book can be read online here but the 200 illustrations are not included. 

They are wonderful to flip through and a couple of examples are below. I don't think we can even imagine a time when access to information and pictures would have made this book a treasured possession.

The next two pictures from the Table of Contents show the vital information this book held for the Boulton household at the turn of the century.  Chapter 27, titled Childbirth Made Easy, and the following ones about care of infants would have been most important to Elsie  who had eight children beginning in 1915.  

Vivilore was also a beauty book, the equivalent to women's magazines like Good Housekeeping and Cosmopolitan of the next generation. Young women of today access the world's beauty information at the tips of their fingers.  In many ways, perhaps the world has not changed as much as we think.