1959

The winter of 1959 was obviously a good one for snow. Charlie’s Big Birthday present in December 1958 had been a toboggan that we could share to coast down the hill behind our house into and across the hollow. The ride was worth the toil back up. As well as tobogganing, we could build forts- although that sort of snow wasn’t that good for making snowballs to defend them so we played something more peaceful.

As the report card shows, in February Linda’s class finished Grade 2 and started Grade 3, and Charlie moved on in Grade 1.

There were birth announcements and wedding invitations from friends and Fellows, and the spring brought Easter celebrations, Cyn’s birthday, and Mother’s Day. Carman and Leona Costain finished in Cambridge and returned to Canada to show off their son David and move to Penticton, British Columbia, where the astrophysicist Dr. C. H. Costain joined in setting up the Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory which opened in 1960.

C

In the spring, Charlie moved into Grade 2 and was in the Gym Display at school, and Linda advanced in Grade 3. (Note somersault.)

In June, Cec, as a member of the Canadian Association of Physicists, went to a conference in Saskatoon that allowed him to gather with old friends and fellow scientists, and also enjoy seeing his parents and brother Russell, who with Errol now had 5 children.

Cec came home needing to manage his own family, because Cyn had to go into hospital for a hysterectomy. There are Get Well cards, notes, and flowers were sent by friends, as well as a lovely Thank You letter from the Head Nurse of the ward she’d been on. They bought a comfortable chaise for the garden so she could take it easy outside that summer.

In July, Cyn and Cec celebrated their 10th wedding anniversary, Linda’s Grade 2/3 teacher got married, and in August Linda turned 8 and was given her own room, with new pink rosebud curtains. Presents arrived from England, and Cyn was sent pictures from her friend Nan, showing Barbara and Sandy in Cheshire.

When the 1959/60 school year started, Charlie’s Grade 2 accelerated class had a new teacher, and Linda’s class was a 3/4 split- half the accelerated bunch who would be in Grade 4 by November, and half Grade 3 beginners. The Principal of Fairfield was Mrs. Tufts (unusual at that time to have a woman in that position) whose daughter was in Linda’s class, and she came in each week to teach us English Grammar. There was also a separate teacher coming in for Music- choral singing- and for French classes.

For Hallowe’en, Cyn made us the best costumes which lived on in the dress-up box for years! We had a book from Cyn’s childhood about Robin Hood and Charlie had a bow with arrows tipped with suckers. Cyn made Linda a green dress that reached her ankles and braided red ribbons into her hair. Charlie had a green tunic and red tights, with a green cap and quiver to sling on his back. A neighbour took a picture of us on our Trick-or-Treating round on Hallowe’en- our pails of loot and Jack-o-Lantern battery lamps just visible.

As Christmas approached, the school was putting on Dickens’ “Christmas Carol”, friends were sending cards featuring their babies, and … the children went down with German Measles.

It wasn’t to be the last time that Christmas plans were scuppered but as I remember, we weren’t that sick this time and Charlie’s birthday and then Christmas was celebrated. Over the holiday, Cyn and Cec had prepared for an Open House party for friends on the 27th, only to have to call it all off, but there would be other opportunities in 1960.

The Rest of 1958

Physics Division, N.R.C. 1958. Cec back far L., Hin Lu, Boris Stoicheff and Dr Herzberg front R.

A quick overview of the rest of 1958.
School, in spite of an amazing 40 absences in March and April because of our West Indian trip, apparently went well for both of us, and come the summer, both of us successfully advanced to the next year.
However, Charlie, with his birthday in December, was the youngest in his Kindergarten class and so the school decided, at the end of his Kindergarten year, that he should go into the non-accelerated class of Grade 1. Our parents spent the summer brain-washing him into accepting the fact that he would not have Linda’s admired teacher, Mrs Rueter, but would have the teacher our babysitter’s boy, Johnny Lockwood, had had. So we went happily off to school in September 1958, and at the end of the first week, Charlie came home in tears- they were going to move him into the accelerated class! The brain-washing had to be reversed, Charlie was integrated into Mrs Rueter’s Grade 1 and everyone was fine with it- except Mrs Lockwood who was miffed!

The church had grown both in adult congregation and Sunday School. Although still housed in the school, there were dreams of building a Hall or a Church, and various organizations had been formed. The Ladies Guild would meet in the fall, and hear a talk on Fancy Cooking by Mrs. Cecil Costain!

On the relatives front, there was news on both sides of the family. Little Mona, of the unsuitable (and unknown) job, was married in May, with her brother’s bride of the year before as one of her attendants, and no doubt wedding presents from Cyn and Carol.

On the Costain side, Carman and Leona Costain in Cambridge not only had a son, David, but also Carman succeeded in bettering his performance in hockey! I’m sure his work, too, was going well.

In the summer, the Moors- Dix, Cec’s eldest sister Merle, and their family- came through Ottawa, and the cousins finally met. John and Lorne were teenagers and Bruce was 8, a year older than Linda. The adults enjoyed their visit, met up with the Atchisons- the other sister Lea and family- and at some point (perhaps this summer, maybe in the next couple of years) the Moors moved from Port Arthur to Brantford in southern Ontario, which was much more possible to visit! We adored the Big Boys and got on beautifully with Bruce (not always true of interactions with Darryl Atchison, also 8, whom we saw 4 or 5 times a year.) The older boys were very kind to the younger cousins and we all enjoyed being a big family.

6 Cousins! Patty Lu sitting on John, Linda, Darryl, Charlie, and Bruce.

Cec went to the Spectroscopy Conference in Columbus in the summer and in August Linda had her 7th birthday with a slide as the big shared present in the summer. Charlie turned 6 just before Christmas. Both continued to do well in school, in spite of Charlie being in hospital in the fall- since neither of us know why, it can’t have been that serious.

In England, there was more serious news among Cyn’s friends. Amy Stainthorpe, who was wont to make acid comments to Cyn and Carol if letters were delayed, died in Newcastle, and Dr. Stainthorpe- Charlie’s godfather who had given Cyn away at her wedding, with Ruth as her bridesmaid- and his daughter Ruth Haynes would have received sad letters from both Cyn and Carol.
Another death in Newcastle left no one to write to: little Stephen Mitchell was left without family when his grandmother Mrs. Scott died. His mother Irene – a dear friend of Cyn and Carol’s- and a year or two later his father, had died when he was a toddler- and his grandmother had been bringing him up, but their friends were horrified to hear that after her death the little boy of 6 had been sent to Australia as an orphan. Cyn, Dottie, and Nan had all moved away from Newcastle by this time, and no doubt heard of this after the event, but all worried about the fate of the boy. I am assuming this happened sometime in 1958 because Cyn’s Christmas parcel list, which had mentioned sending Stephen a ‘Frontier Set’ in December 1957, did not list him for 1958.

Nan’s move from Newcastle to Cheshire was recorded in Cyn’s scrapbook with a change-of-address card, and a picture of Sandy, whom I assume had successfully advanced to Grammar School in their new location.

The year ended with a happy Christmas for the Costains, with Dr. & Mrs. Herzberg and their adult children Agnes and Paul, coming for Christmas dinner.

Others’ Children in the Summer

It is likely that Cyn got photos of her friends’ children with their Christmas cards, but she put them in her scrapbook in amongst her fall events, although they have a summer vibe. No doubt she sent pictures of Linda and Charlie looking one year older as well!

First, however, her friend Anne sent pictures of the previous spring and summer, before her husband’s tragic death in Cambridge.

The summer of 1955, they seem to have gone to the beach! Cyn, enjoying her new sewing machine, was busy making mother-and-daughter skirts for Anne and Janita for Christmas.

Meanwhile, in Newcastle, the Sheedy boys were getting older too.

And Nan and Dick Heslop were obviously proud of their daughter!

Back in Canada, after their working summer, Merle and Dix sent a picture of their boys, John, Lorne and Bruce.

These would be the cousins we were closest to, but it would be a few years before we met them.