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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


  1. My Grandmother, Annie Jack was awarded the order of the crocus in 1967, her certificate proudly displays on my wall at home in England. She was originally from Scotland and emigrated with my father when he was a small boy.

    1. Thanks for the comment, Dougie. They were both tough pioneering ladies I'm sure! Glad they were recognized in their day and also remembered today. The Manitoba Historical Society welcomes additions to the Order of the Crocus list here:
      Webmaster email address is at the top.