Saturday, 22 April 2017

Sawfish on the Prairies? "Queenie" Bushby (1887-1968)

When we would look at old photos, Randy would pass me some and point to something on the wall behind the person and say - "Look the sawfish!"
           

I thought he was teasing - how would a sawfish show up on a homesteader's house in rural Manitoba? Russ and Rick remember it came from their  Grandma Elsie's sister "Queenie".  It's still in the house somewhere they say!

Myra Elfrida Bushby (aka Queenie) was fifth child of James William Bushby and Patience Emily Wooler.  She was born almost exactly three years after Elsie in Milton, Hampshire, England. In 1923, Queenie left England for Vancouver where her younger sister Gertrude lived with husband Charles McIntyre.  Queenie was a buyer for the dry goods company Fraser-Paterson.  Shortly after, she filed this Declaration of Intention.


This Naturalization Document below is dated nine years later and even includes a grainy picture of Myra.  She never married and was always known as "Aunt Queenie" to the family. 


She was noted to be a buyer for a dry goods company on the 1930 Census when she lived as a lodger at 235 Boylston Avenue in Seattle, Washington.

In 1940, a business can be found at 1206 4th Ave in Seattle called Bushby Apparel Shop with Myra and one employee, Mrs. Lucille Frantz,  doing alterations.  She died (just months before her sister Elsie Boulton) in Seattle on the 12th of January in 1968 and is buried there in the Mount Pleasant Cemetery.

As for the Sawfish, Google found many listings of similar items of antique sawfish bills (also known as carpenter sharks) and are of a family of rays characterized by their long, narrow, flattened nose.  That's so ironic being that the Bushbys were a family of carpenters!

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