Stephan Clare




JACK CARBUTT: Good day, ladies and gentlemen. Again, it is our pleasure to have a member from the City of Prince George, who has lived in the district for some 33 years. One of the old-timers, Mr. Stephan Joseph Clare. Now, Mr. Clare, first of all, when did you reach the city?

STEPHAN CLARE: In June 1930.

JC: In June of 1930, from where?

SC: From Big Valley, Alberta.

JC: And what were you doing in Big Valley, and why did you come to Prince George?

SC: I was working in Big Valley on the CNR. Was transferred here in 1930.

JC: As what with the CNR?

SC: A machinistís helper, then boiler makerís helper, then boiler maker.

JC: The Boiler maker. Now, when you came here, the family was with you at that time?

SC: Yes.

JC: And what were your impressions, when you left, Alberta, did you know very much about Prince George?

SC: No, I was never up here in, before, so I didnít know any thing about it.

JC: You were born originally, Mr. Clare?

SC: I was born in Bexley, Kent, England.

JC: In Kent, England. Is that anywhere near-- Bexley, Kent, is that anywhere near Maidenhead? No.

SC: Maidstone, you mean?

JC: Maidstone! Thatís it.

SC: Thatís right. Not very far away.

JC: That--

SC: About 10 miles.

JC: About 10 miles away. These things come back. Anyway, Mr. Clare, when you came over, to Canada, what, uh, year was that, and how did you come?

SC: May the 20th, nineteen-aught-six.

JC: And by what boat, do you remember, by any chance?

SC: Scandinavian, I think it was.

JC: And, how long did it take you at that time?

SC: 10 days.

JC: Mm-hum. And you came into Quebec?

SC: Yes, Quebec.

JC: Mm-hum. And, where did you come at that, time? Did you stay, what portion of the--

SC: I, went to Toronto, from Toronto, I went to Lindsey, Ontario, for 6 years.

JC: Mm-hum.

SC: My ambition was farming. And, I worked in a farm in Ontario, for 6 years. And then I worked for, Turlock and Andersonís Implement Factory one winter. And then I came to Saskatoon in 1912. And I worked on a farm one summer, and then I went to, Yoho Valley, BC, near _______ [??], BC. And worked on the CPR, and Spirol tunnels, one winter. And I was on that extra gang, I mean, B and B gang for that whole summer. Then in the wintertime, I got laid off and I went into Calgary. And, didnít do anything that year.
And the next spring, we went out and, they wanted a bunch of men to go out and punch the, paint the, eye-level bridge in Edmonton. So I was on that gang for four or five months. Till the job was completed. And then we went to Rocky Mountain House and painted 2 or 3 bridges there. Mind you the bridge, I spoke about is the eye-level bridge in Edmonton. And, then the war broke out.
So, when we completed the job, we all went into Calgary, and _______[??] to enlist. And, of course, I got turned down, of course, on my heighth. Just a half an inch too short. So, I didnít enlist again until 1916. Oh, I bef-- Iím getting away from my story. I went to Tabor, Alberta, and stayed with my sister. And then I, worked in the blacksmith shop there. And I worked with an old Irishmen that taught me to shoe horses. And my job was to go down in the mine and shoe the horses when the shoe came off. And, then we just put a temporary shoe on, until they came up on top. And then we renewed the, the shoeage, you see.

JC: Mm-hum.

SC: And, then I, was there from 1916. I enlisted in, the 56th Battalion in Calgary, in January. And then we went overseas in, I think it was about the 10th of March. And, I was overseas for three years and three months.

JC: Mm-hum

SC: And, I got married over England. 1917. And, I went to France, in January of 1918. And went through the war in _______[??], relief and _______[??]. Went into Germany for 3 months. The army of Occupation. Then came back, and took my wife and daughter back to Canada in 1919. And I came to Tabor, Alberta, back. And the job I had was, the OB strike was on then, all over Canada. So I didnít get my job, so I made up my mind Iíd come to Big Valley, where my sister was. And I stayed there for a week or two with her. And then finally, I got a job in the blacksmithís shop till the strike was over.
Then, the foreman that I interviewed in CNR was named Disgrace, Degrace. And he promised me a job, soon as the, strike was over. So, I decided there on September the 5th, 1919. Course Iíd been laid off continuously. Once in a while, I was sent to Drumheller to work. And I was sent to, on a B and B department to work, when I was laid off in the shop you see, when there was no work. And then _______[unintelligible] in 1930, they asked me if Iíd like to go to Prince George, which I did. And I came to Prince George, 1930.
I only worked about a year. And I think, I got laid off in í31, and I went to Rupert (Prince Rupert) to work for 3 months. And when I came back, I worked here for a while again, and then they sent me to Kamloops, for 6 months work. And I just worked there for 2 months when I got laid off again.
And back again to Prince George. And then I went to Port Mann, 3 months. And I worked there for 3 months and then come back to Prince George again. And then I took another job, in 1936. Some man died here and I took his place. Which was boiler makiní and helpiní, and I stayed at that job Ďtil I was _______[?] in 1954.

JC: What do you feel the future of, Mr. Clare, of Prince George, since you have been here now for some 33 years? What do you actually feel in your own mind the future of this city and district?

SC: Well, I think that Prince George is a coming city in this, well, I wonít say North Country. Itís kind of the middle of B.C., you might say, center. And I think it is has every prospect of increasing in the next few years.

JC: What was one of the highlights maybe in your lifetime, in the City of Prince George? In the 33 years, youíve been here?

SC: Well, thatís pretty hard to explain, Jack, but I was very pleased to stay with my family, and raise them, and do what was what for ĎĎem. And I have one son that, two sons you know, Hilliard and Walter. Youngest son, heís a lieutenant command for the Navy. And he did very good here. And then I have a daughter that is a nurse. So, I was pretty proud of my family.
So, Iím very well satisfied since Iíve been in Prince George. So,

JC: Well, I want to thank you very much, Mr. Clare. Because right now, Iíd like to talk a while longer, but I just noticed that as we are taping this that we are just about running out of tape at this particular time. And, we have been speaking this last little while, ladies and gentleman, to Mr. Stephan Joseph Clare, who has resided in the City of Prince George, with a few off-jaunts to Port Mann, Kamloops, and way places, but always coming back to this city, for some 33 years. Thank you very much, sir, for being with us.

SC: Thank you very much, sir.

JC: Weíll be back, ladies and gentlemen, with another of the old-timers from the city and surrounding area tomorrow.