Helen and Harry Maxwell fonds - Fonds Description

Title Helen and Harry Maxwell fonds
Description Level Fonds
Fonds No. CR-136
Creator Maxwell, Helen and Harry
Material Type graphic material
sound recording
textual record
Date Range 1908-1996
Physical Description 1 cm textual records
204 photographs
3 audio cassettes
History/Biographical Harry Alvan Maxwell was born in Ladner June 30, 1919, and lived his life there and in Port Guichon. His father, William Alexander Maxwell (1877-1946), moved from his family home in Ontario to Ladner about 1906 or 1907. In 1914 William (Billy) purchased the Fashion Stable business and two lots (Lots 35 and 36 of D.L. 106) from J.M. Collinson, and operated a livery stable and coal and wood delivery business there until his death in 1946. Billy married Constance Tiller (?-1958) in 1916 and they had two children, Everett Lorraine (Raynie) born in 1918 and Harry Alvan in 1919. The family lived in a duplex on Georgia Street until sometime in the mid 1930s when Constance and Harry separated and Harry and the boys moved into the small house by Fashion Stables. Harry left school after Gr. VII and worked as a fisherman. His first boat was called “L’il Iodine”. In August 1941, Harry volunteered for the Fishermen’s Reserve which patrolled the Pacific Coast of Canada for enemy activity from 1939 to 1944. In 1944 Harry entered the Canadian Army and served in Europe aiding displaced civilians for the duration of the war. Harry returned to Ladner after the war and took up fishing again. In 1949 Harry and Helen Bradshaw were married. Helen Celeste Bradshaw was born August 19, 1927, in Prince George, the second of four children and sister to three brothers Laurie, Jackie and Donny. Her mother, Laure (nee Maigret) and father Herbert Bradshaw moved to Ladner in 1936 after the confectionery business that Herbert ran in Prince George went bankrupt. Herbert and Laure separated shortly after, leaving Laure to bring up the children. Laure found work picking berries and in the pea cannery and then established her own taxi business in 1941 with partner Jack Bavin. The taxi business thrived during World War II and was sold in 1947. Laure married Cal Clark in 1948, first moving to a farm near Tilbury Island and then in 1951 to Williams Lake. Helen’s teenage years had the added excitement of being near the air force base at Boundary Bay during World War Two. Helen graduated from high school in 1946 and worked at the Royal Bank. Harry and Helen lived in the small house by Fashion Stables for the first five years of their marriage. They moved to their first home in Port Guichon in 1955, purchased through the VLA. (4546 River Road; the house had been built by May and Murray Dobrilla about 10 years before). They also purchased a lot on the river (Lot 12, D.L. 96) where they could tie up Harry’s last fishing boat “Halary” built in 1958. Helen and Harry had three children: Alvan in 1950, Laurence Everett (“Babe”) in 1951 and Micky Marvin in 1965. When Micky was born Harry quit fishing, sold the boat “Halary”, and worked for the School Board as a custodian until he retired in 1976. Harry passed away in 1992. Helen had learned to sew from her grandmother and used her skills to work as a dressmaker in Ladner. She did very well at dressmaking, which gave her income to take up other activities such as curling. Helen had the double lot divided on which their first house was located and built a second more modern home next to it at 4538 River Road in 1989/90. This house was sold in 2006 when Helen moved into an apartment in Ladner.
Acquisition Source Donated by Helen Maxwell
Scope & Content Fonds consists largely of photographs of Harry Maxwell's childhood, military service in the Fishermen's Reserve in WWII, and life as a fisherman; oral histories collected from Helen Maxwell which tell about growing up in Ladner, her mother Laure Clark's life, and Helen's career as a dress maker; and photographs of Harry and Helen's children, parents, home and friends. The textual records support the stories told by the photographs: Harry's military service records, birth and wedding certificates, and deeds to land purchases in Port Guichon.
Accession No. 1985-136; 2003-047; 2009-040; 2009-041
Name Access William Maxwell ; Billy Maxwell ; Harry Maxwell ; Raynie Maxwell ; Constance Maxwell ; Helen Bradshaw ; Helen Maxwell ; Laure Clark

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