Eighty-four years ago today

It was 1927 — over eight decades ago. That was the year Charles Lindbergh flew The Spirit of St. Louis across the Atlantic non-stop direct from New York City to Paris. His was the first solo trans-Atlantic flight.

It was 1927 — over eight decades ago.

That was the year Charles Lindbergh flew The Spirit of St. Louis across the Atlantic non-stop direct from New York City to Paris. His was the first solo trans-Atlantic flight.

In Canada, 78 children were killed in a fire at the Laurier Palace in Montreal from asphyxiation or from the stampede of frantic patrons fleeing their way to safety.

In the United States, 1927 was the year of the Great Mississippi Flood which affected 700,000 people and was then coined as the greatest national disaster in U.S. history.

Canada’s Prime Minister was William Lyon Mackenzie King.

The cost of living was fairly inexpensive, but when many were without work, even a nickel could seem like a king’s ransom.

A hand-cranked washing machine cost $15.95. Electric washing machines sold for a hefty $79. There were few who could afford them. The Kodak Brownie camera was a mere $2.29 and the pop up toaster was just invented.

This was a time when families gathered around the radio to listen to the Grand Ole Opry or Rambling with Gambling.

That radio was $74.95, or about $1,000 in today’s economy.

The first trans-Atlantic telephone call was made from New York City to London and Ford began selling his Ford Model A starting at $460.

Pope Benedict XVI was born on April 16. Gina Lollobrigida was born July 4.

Although it wasn’t a major event which shook the world, my mother, Rose Marie Stewart was born April 21, 1927.

Mom was born to a poor Swedish family in a tuberculosis sanatorium near Fort Frances, Ont. Her mother had contracted the then-deadly disease and was admitted to the sanatorium to finish out her pregnancy and eventually her life.

It never happened quite that way. Mom was born in the sanatorium, but grandma Amanda, to everyone’s surprise did the impossible and survived the tuberculosis.

Mom, however, was a sickly, premature newborn who needed a lot of attention. As often happens in some ethnic communities, Signe, a Swedish friend of the family offered to care for mom while grandma recuperated. Mom was kept warm in a blanketed shoe box by the wood stove and fed warm milk dripped from Signe’s fingers. They bonded. Mom grew stronger by the day.

When it was time for grandma to come home from the sanatorium, it was decided mom would stay with the childless Signe and her husband John. In the blink of an eye mom went from being Rose Marie Stewart to Rose Marie Englund.

Eventually, the Englunds moved from Fort Frances to Trail and then to Castlegar seeking better employment opportunities, and I suspect a fresh start away from her birth family.

By all accounts mom was adored by her adoptive family, which eventually, and to the great surprise of my adoptive grandparents, included fraternal twin boys. I think my mother was 10 when they were born.

Toward the end of her days mom frequently and fondly reminisced about growing up in Castlegar. She loved it here, which is why I moved here in 1977. She had faith in the city, its leaders and residents. She worked at West’s and Eremenko’s and is well-remembered by many of Castlegar’s elders.

She grew into a strong, beautiful and capable woman and often credited her neighbours and the community for her accomplishments.

Yes, mom was a product of all good things that happened in 1927. I would like to think that one day someone will say the same thing about me and 1952.

Happy birthday mom. You are missed.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Jumbo Valley to be protected, ending decades-long dispute over proposed ski resort

Development rights permanently retired for site of proposed year-round ski resort west of Invermere

FedEx distribution centre coming to Castlegar

Development permit for ground facility before council next week.

Castlegar fire chief asking residents to clear hydrants buried in snow

A visible fire hydrant will save precious time in case of an emergency.

Kootenay teams heading for curling provincials

Team Buchy and Team Nichols won the senior playdowns.

Hospital in Trail goes from zero to 100!

Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital is one of 4 service hospitals operating in Interior Health

Kids across Canada more at risk of hospitalization from flu this season: doctor

Dr. Theresa Tam said influenza B does not usually peak until February or later

Closed mills, housing surge support a positive forecast for lumber industries

B.C. lumber producers have closed mills accounting for 18% of province’s capacity, RBC report says

Good Samaritan pays part of rent for B.C. woman facing eviction in can-collecting dispute

Zora Hlevnjak, 76, supplements her pension by collecting cans and receiving public donations

Kelowna’s ‘Baby Mary’ finds biological parents after more than 30 years

Geneologist and DNA test helped her connect with her biological parents

Kelowna hotel to award couples for baby-making with Nooner deal

The deal includes a free stay every Valentine’s Day for the next 18 years

On the job hunt with Nelson’s Make A Change Canada

The employment charity is organizing next week’s Kootenay Patricks, Montreal Canadiens game

‘Scariest boat ride of my life’: Passengers trapped by ice on rocky B.C. ferry sailing

The Nimpkish docked in Bella Coola on Jan.12 coated in a thick layer of ice

B.C. pair ordered to pay $55,000 for oil tank discovered four years after selling home

Judge says defendants breached contract, despite being unaware of tank until basement flooded

Canada to give $25,000 to families of each Canadian who died in Iran plane crash

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also made it clear that Canada still expects Iran to compensate victims

Most Read