THOMAS BRINSMEAD JR. AND FAMILY 1914- 1937

- by Edna Elizabeth Brinsmead

Thomas Brinsmead Jr. came from Webwood, Ontario with his parents to Loverna in 1914. He did not go to war with his two younger brothers, he remained at home, and he and his father ran the Borderline Budget in Loverna for many years. He was very active in the affairs of the Community, curled and played hockey, baseball and coached a girls' softball team. Tom superintended the Sunday School for 8 years, sang in the choir and did so till he was about 76 years old, was very active in the Oddfellows Lodge, going through all the offices up to District Deputy. As a hobby he built radios and he and his brother Bert were camera fans, even developing their own films. Many a lonely, isolated bachelor came requesting help with a radio that did not work. Tom even went out to spend a few winter days with some of them, working until the radio was fixed. In 1929 Tom Jr. married Edna Lee of Grattle district. We then went to Ontario but due to the Depression of 1929-39 our plans did not work out so one year later we returned to Loverna. Our two sons, Gilbert George, and Ralph Edward were born there.

Thomas Jr. and I continued with the Borderline Budget until the seven years of crop failure and the depression of the Dirty Thirties drove us out in the fall of 1937. Our two little boys were 4 and 2 years old when we left and went to Wetaskiwin. Tom worked for a newspaper there for a year and a half. In the meantime we were negotiating a deal for the Bashaw Star. We moved there in March of 1939. We lived in Bashaw for 15 years. Here Brian John, our youngest son was born in 1945.

We went to Camrose for a year and then moved to Edmonton. Tom retired in 1957 at the age of 71. He helped various papers around the area for several years, helping out when someone was sick or felt in need of a vacation. His health however was not too good but he helped a friend with the Athabaska paper for three years, as she had inherited the paper and knew very little about it. Finally at age 77 we, his family, persuaded him to really retire.

In the meantime I had developed my career as a teacher. I taught the deaf and hard of hearing for six years. The rest of the time I taught in regular classrooms specializing in primary work and serving on the staff at the Athlone school for nine years. I retired in 1974 and spent the next few years caring for my husband, who was seriously ill with emphysema. Tom died on January 7, 1977 at the age of 90 years. I am continuing to live in our Edmonton home. I tutor children still, who have serious reading problems. I love my work and am a busy, healthy, and happy woman.

Tom Brinsmead and Edna Lee on steps of her family's farm home - 1929.

As for my impressions of Loverna and district, I say they are of a very friendly, closely knit little place with a fine community spirit. I have fond recollections of wonderful people, like the Joe Perrys, Peacocks, Knotts, Rev. Hasells, Hamiltons, Heiszs, and Gertie Wilson. The list could go on and on. I think a few fine farmers deserve mention. Andrew Anderson was five times awarded the title of Master Farmer, and his farm was the show place of the community. The Josephson family were still fine productive farmers and the Tisdale brothers left fine lasting impressions.

I recall with joy our western meadowlarks. Their friendly and cheery song will always mean ''Home'' to me. Also, the great flocks of Canada geese and wild ducks passed through the district in spring and autumn marked it as part of our north American flyways. Nothing higher than a rose bush or a thistle grew on our part of the prairie. The wild roses were everywhere.

(My schooling briefly):

Edna Brinsmead as an Edmonton school teacher

When I started at the Grattle school in 1914, at the age of 5 years, I was the only girl in attendance. There were 24 boys enrolled, two of them my older brothers Charlie and Jack. My first teacher was a man named Harkey Grooves, he taught me through the first three grades, and was the outstanding teacher in my life. I attended Grattle until I had finished Grade IX. My brother Charlie was my teacher for grade VIII and IX. I then went to Alsask for grade X and half of XI and changed to Loverna to finish my grade XI with Mr. Empey as teacher. I went to Nutana Collegiate in Saskatoon and also took my teachers training in that city. Much later, I took more teachers training in Edmonton.