From the Editor's Computer
This past week I took a trip back in history as I read through some old papers that belonged to my paternal grandfather.
The collection included rough drafts of letters he sent, replies from government officials, receipts, invoices, newspaper clippings, and more. There was even a copy of the special supplement of the Swift Current Herald, dated November 11, 1918 (time: 7:30 pm) announcing that “Detailed Armistice Terms As Accepted.” There were catalogues and flyers from the 1040s. All in all, the dates ranged from the early 1910s to the 1980s.
It was an interesting experience going through the papers and such, reading about events that shaped the lives of my grandparents, aunts and uncles, and dad - events that have only been textbook history to me.
Some of the issues that were mentioned in the correspondence (particularly from the 1920s and 1930s) included homesteading (there were apparently underground noises that had to be investigated on Grandpa’s Saskatchewan homestead, these could not be resolved, so he took out a homestead in the Crow’s Nest Pass), relief (the requests for and rejections) and the difficulty in finding work during that period, minimum wage (the corruption of the Minimum Wage Act in the lumber mills) and the injustice of criminals roaming around free, while the innocent man is targeted if he dares to say anything.
It was fascinating to see the income tax forms from the early 1940s. Very simple to fill out...put down how much you made from your job, find that amount in the chart, go across to your status (single, married, dependents) and then submit the amount in the column. Piece of cake!
Some of the items raised more questions than they answered, but it was all a fascinating glimpse of a time past...not necessary a better time or easier time, but a different was of life for those who lived on the Prairies.