Here in Toronto, we’ve gone into lockdown again, and may or may not emerge before Christmas. The news of so many small businesses being hit hard is worrisome, to say the least. But it’s a necessary thing that we stay home to slow the spread of this awful virus.
If you’re thinking of giving books for Christmas, many small independent bookstores have done an amazing job getting set up for online sales or curbside pick-up. We hope you’ll support them, and think of our books too, for those lovers of history and family history who might be on your list.
In keeping the snowfall we received yesterday, here is a little gallery of wintry family photos featuring “characters” from our first book, The Occupied Garden. These images show our dad’s family in 1951, the year they first came to Canada from the Netherlands to start again after the Second World War. To me they capture the excitement the children felt about their new world — well, the boys, anyway — and how different it all was for them compared to where they’d come from. I wish the pictures were in colour, for Opa looks particularly stylish, and Oma’s “swing coat” was apparently bright green, sewn by a family friend. I think now how brave they were to have left everything they knew, and all of their family and friends. Their first stay with a cruel dairy farmer near Aylmer, Ontario, was disastrous, but they got themselves out of that horrible situation and persevered — something they’d become quite good at during war, and for which my sisters and I will always be grateful.
4 thoughts on “A 1950s winter: new Canadians”
Love these photos, many of which I have never seen. They all look so happy but it must have been so stressful trying to find their way in a “new” world. The kids trying and learning how to be like their new friends, the parents needing to make a good living for their new life.
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Yes, there are so many great photos. Thank goodness Auntie Rige has saved them all and taken the time to digitize them and label them. I can’t recall now who had the camera — maybe it was her? She’s always loved to take photos.
Well that was fun. Nick looks like he is going to chop his foot off. He always seemed a bit rambunctious to me but I think he was quite a good athlete in High School.
And yes those two grandparents of yours had gumption galore. One admires.
On Mon, 23 Nov 2020, 12:05 pm The Cowkeeper’s Wish, wrote:
> kristendenhartog posted: ” Here in Toronto, we’ve gone into lockdown > again, and may or may not emerge before Christmas. The news of so many > small businesses being hit hard is worrisome, to say the least. But it’s a > necessary thing that we stay home to slow the spread of this a” >
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It’s a good thing he missed his foot — although the family had plenty of experience dealing with such difficulties. 🙂