WhitecourtWeb.com


Twentieth Century Canada


by Joffre Cavell Hill

I was born November 18, 1916, the youngest of eleven, born to John Hill and Mary Wilson Hill. My birthplace was Golden Glow farm, eleven miles North East of Tyvan, Saskatchewan. Tyvan is located 50 miles east of Regina.

Growing up on the farm, I had many different pets - kittens, little piglets, a Fox Terrier pup and at the age of eight or nine, a pet calf that followed me all over. I made a rope harness for it and then hooked it up to my wagon. I got into the wagon and let the calf go. It took off like a scared rabbit and headed for a bunch of gas barrels in the yard which I thought would be a good way to stop, but I ended up hitting the barrels and the calf got away. No more wagon or pet calves for me.

Dad was very fond of music and wanted all of us to play the piano. I have fond memories of getting to and from music lessons in Tyvan every Saturday. In the summer we drove the horse and buggy and in the winter we went by sleigh.

We went to school in Latham, just four miles North East of home, and we travelled by horse and buggy summer and winter. The Latham School only went to grade nine and then we went to Tyvan. In 1927 my Dad sold Golden Glow farm and purchased another property closer to Tyvan. I had to milk cows morning or night, six of them. We sold milk in town and I had to deliver in every day. In summer, I delivered with the Model T car,* in winter by horse and sleigh or cutter. I began to play softball, hockey, and later curling. My first curling prize was a pair of pliers.

When I was in grade nine I met my girl friend, Roberta Buchan who was in grade 10. We started to date the last summer at school . In 1940 I went to Regina and signed up for the Air Force, however, I was sent home to gain some weight as I was only 130 Ibs. In February, 1941,1 was called up and my career in the service began. I was to become a pilot, however, after a power spin at about 3,000 ft. I decided to serve on the ground crew. After training in Engine Mechanics in St. Thomas, Ontario I was then sent to St. Jean's D'lberville, Quebec. Roberta joined me and we were married in Lachine, Quebec on December 5, 1942. I was discharged in 1945.

In the spring of 1946 I caught a bus to Edmonton and within two weeks had work with Western Lumber & Construction (now known as Millar Western) to work in the store in Whitecourt. A home was provided for the family and Roberta joined me with our small daughter, Sandra. Ration coupons for sugar, soap, etc. were still in effect at this time. After working for five years, I started my own business which was a Men's Wear and Variety Store. After a couple of years I sold this business and bought the Meat Market, which necessitated a move from the company house. By this time we had another daughter, Linda, and the four of us moved to the back of the meat shop for a few months. We moved into another home, increased our family again by adding Patricia, and from there we never looked back. Whitecourt has been good to us. Following my experience in the meat shop, I bought the Whitecourt Lumber Store and started the Red & White chain. In 1961 Western Grocers built the TomBoy and I moved over to it and sold the old store. In 1963 I returned to work at Millar Western as Office Manager and I remained there until my retirement 21 years later in 1982.