Thursday, November 18, 2021

Kathleen Moore's History of 1955

Today is the one hundredth birthday of my dear mother Kathleen Lennox Moore, though she died in 1999 and isn't here to see it.  Recently I've been browsing in a diary she kept nearly each day for the year 1955, in a small book with room for just a few sentences each day. My parents, recent immigrants from Britain, were settling into life in Nelson, British Columbia with three children between 4 and 8, the youngest being me.

I have sometimes thought about my parents in those years, leaving their homes, crossing the ocean, having to find a new home and work and a community, all with small children underfoot. What delights me about the diary is how it presents them having a ball. The diary begins in January, about seven months after my mother arrived in Nelson with us, to join my father ("Vin"), who had gone ahead. I'm excerpting heavily here, but these entries are pretty typical.  

2 Sun Went to Mrs. Tawse for tea this afternoon. Got Vin to drive me as I didn’t want to drive on these bad roads. Mrs Tees there too.

4 Tue Back to school. Skated for an hour in the afternoon. Chris really improving and went for a few steps by himself.

5 Wed Went to see "White Christmas." Very funny film but evening out spoiled for me by bad roads. Don't think I'll go out at night until they're better.

14 Fri Drove to school to get some practice for next week. [My father was going out of town.]
 20 Thu Called to see the Tawses for a little this afternoon.

22 Sat Jack and Marjorie came in the evening and we played scrabble. Helen Fairbank called to ask us to their place next Saturday night.

29 Sat Feeling rotten myself but dosed myself well and felt better by evening. Went to the Fairbanks at Harrop. Ruth and Blake Allen also there and Jerry and Daisy Lee. Played bridge for a bit.

5 Sat Vin and I at Janie Stevenson's at night. Netta and Les Gansner and Ted and Agnes Baker also there and Dave Scott. Played bridge for a time.

8 Tue Blake Allen called in to ask us up for a game of bridge on Friday night. Bulganin succeeded Malenkov as the big chief in Russia.

9 Wed Went on to Nelson to shop. View from ferry down lake like something out of a technicolour film. Asked Irene and David Tees along in afternoon.

11 Fri Went up to Allens at night. Main road good but slippery up by their house. Had a good game. Called to see the Tawses for a time in the afternoon.

17 Thu Did some shopping and went to see the Williams before going home. Went to see "Caine Mutiny" but found it disappointing. Blake and Ruth in for coffee afterwards.
22 Tue Vin off to Trail again but back by 5 o'clock. Rotary Golden Jubilee party at night. Quite a "do"! Went to Gansners first. Got home about 2.30.

24 Thu Woke to find about ten inches of snow. Went to Nelson in the afternoon and Chris skated.

27 Sun Having peaceful Sunday lunch when phone rang. Horrabin from Vancouover wanting Vin down there pronto. To confirm tomorrow. Have decided we will all go.

28 Mon Snowed without stopping all day and think we're probably mad to think of motoring to Vancouver.


1 Tue Set off from house about 9 am. Sun shining. Roads a bit snowy to Castlegar. After that good and sometimes blacktop. 

Her diary entries give me a wonderful sense of a generation who had been children in the Depression and young adults in the Second World War and who, having survived both, felt like they had suddenly been handed the world and would make the best of it. Well, good for her.  She always had an adventurous streak. 

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