Sunday, 20 November 2011

Life in Burnaby, BC

The Great Depression brought about many changes for folk in Canada, including Thomas and Annie. In 1931, their address, in the Wrigley British Columbia Directory, is shown as 2017 Riverway, Burnaby BC. (The 1930 and 1932 directories for Greater Vancouver are not yet available). Riverway was renamed Marine Drive during the 1930s. This is an approximate location of their Burnaby address:

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and a current street view of their address:

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Annie and Thomas stayed at this address at least until 1940 (last available directory online).

In 1932, Thomas' occupation is shown as 'plumber'. In the 1933 directory, his occupation shown as a labourer at Shell Oil. While in 1934-1940, Thomas is again shown as a plumber, with no employer listed. Whether this meant that Thomas was self employed, I cannot positively determine without further research. Likely, the Depression meant work may have been less stable and secure for Thomas, as it was for everyone.

I do remember Dad telling me that Annie was always feeding someone at her kitchen table during the Depression and that Granddad and Thomas always worried about her safety and well being when the travelling poor came knocking at the door looking for a job or food. She always gave them a small job to do, usually in the garden, and fed them a meal, no matter how little was in the pantry for Thomas and herself. Dad said that she would say that the 'Lord would provide', and they managed to survive the Depression on the little that they had and shared with others. Dad recalled too that she had one of the most immaculate gardens in town.

Cheers, K.

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