Like Father……Like Daughter!

6 Mar
Showing off his new car to his parents outside the house in Ritchie!

Showing off his new car to his parents outside the house in Ritchie!

“Like Father…..Like Daughter”……. I had never realized how true this saying was until I caught myself telling a friend about “my cave” in the basement of my house. We have had a very long winter which began in late October and is still ongoing. The message on my phone says something about “not being available as I have gone into my cave until spring”. Well it isn’t really a cave, it is the cellar in my house. It has a cement floor and walls and you can barely stand up without banging your noggan on the floor beams, but it does have a furnace and is very warm and cozy in the winter. I  have spent considerable time down there the past few months. I have all my Genealogy Research Material, books, maps, stacks of notes  and binders spread out over many surfaces. I never have to put anything away. No one else except the cat ventures down there.  I  take my laptop down with me and turn on the TV for additional stimulation. I can lose myself for hours doing my research.

The connection with my dad goes way back. On those long winter nights, after he got home from work, he would go down to the cellar to listen to his ham radio and police scanner. I would go down to play with my toys and listen in to his conversations. My friends would also come over and we would play 78’s on an old RCA Record Player. Great entertainment in the 50’s and 60’s before all the other types of entertainment developed. I remember being excited when the mailman would bring cards confirming a contact he had made. His call letters were VE6 IR and he too would send these card to those he had connected with on his ham radio.

I often think how little I knew of my Dad. I was 33 years old when he died and to that point I guess I wasn’t all that interested in him as a person. He was just My Dad!

Tertius Bernard and his Dad, the Claybrooke Village Blacksmith (1906)

Tertius Bernard and his Dad, the Claybrooke Village Blacksmith (1906)

He was born in 1904 in Claybrooke Magna, a small village in the midlands of England just outside the city of Leicester. This city has made headlines in the past few months due to the discovery of the bones of Richard III under a car park in the city centre. On the site once stood the Grey Friars Priory. Something like this would really have raised his interest. I watched a CBC documentary last evening titled “The King in the CarPark” which told the story of finding the skeleton and thought, if he were alive, he too would have been watching. I do know that my Dad loved to read and learn new things. He loved doing math problems just for the sheer enjoyment of solving them. He tutored many of my friends for their Grade 12 Departmental Exams. I would often go with him to the Library to get books for myself. When I had read all the books in the Children’s’ Library,  I would use his card to get books in the Adult Library. In those days, I think you had to be 12 to borrow books from there, but you could use an adult’s card if you had their permission.

My Dad was 9 when he emigrated to Canada with his parents, John Thomas and Sarah Jane Perkins. They settled in the Ritchie area and he was one of the first students to go to Ritchie School when it opened in 1913. By age 16, he was delivering Telegrams for the Canadian Pacific Railway, a company that he was to work for his entire life. He wasn’t very athletic, but we did go for bicycle rides out to the country and at one time, I remember him going to wrestling matches when Gene Kiniski was fighting. He had a stamp collection, but was not very organized and the stamps were mostly loose in a box. I must have inherited this trait as my Genealogy Research is mostly loose papers in piles. Someday I will get organized……just not sure when! We were also at the opening of the Queen Elizabeth Planetarium in 1960, a first for Western Canada, and oddly enough, I now volunteer at the Telus World of Science just across the park from the Planetarium which has long been closed. It has the Margaret Zeidlar Star Theatre which offers a full dome immersive video experience. The Telus World of Science Edmonton was the first planetarium and science centre in Canada to showcase this new technology for domed theatres. (2008)

Dad retired in 1968 and by the next fall he had enrolled at NAIT, the local Technical Institute to take the Radio and TV Service Program. Guess he figured he would fix TV’s in his spare time or maybe he just wanted a chance to go to school to get a Diploma, something that he hadn’t been able to do as a young person. He probably knew more than all the instructors put together, but he had a great 2 years, socializing with the other students and likely doing some tutoring on the side.

Dad died in 1980 at age 76, way too young by today’s standards. I know he would have loved computers and the internet and would have been one of the first to embrace any new technology. For an Old Ham Radio Operator…… texting and tweeting would have been second nature.

5 Responses to “Like Father……Like Daughter!”

  1. david bruce March 7, 2013 at 8:18 AM #

    Hi Louise, Very Interesting account of your father. Another point in common is that your father was also born in ‘1904’ he in December around the 12th. My father was also adept at math which I was not which is why I am not good at Subuko. I did inherit from him my love of going out in the boat. He died however at the age of 66, which I am not far off from. I got my train ticket and should be leaving from Boston @9:30 am. I will try to sneak into work and sleep there on Sunday night in order to be at the bus/train station to catch an early i.e. 6:30 coach to Boston. Work is one exit away from the station. My Trak phone number is 207-798-2608. I hope we may speak while I am away. I can take pictures with this phone so I will try to send you some if I can figure it out. So it goes. I put a bird feeder out and it has attracted chickadees and others that look like them. I can watch from the south living room window along with Samantha. So I will talk to you at some point, hopefully somewhere it is warm. Love and Light, David

    David A.Bruce Date: Wed, 6 Mar 2013 18:43:29 +0000 To:


  2. Ann Bentley March 7, 2013 at 10:36 AM #

    Hi Louise, Thank you very much indeed for your e.mail yesterday, I will reply a.s.a.p.

    Have just sent you some photos from my g.mail. I prefer to use this e.mail on my I.pad as the computer I used to send the pictures is shared with my husband, but that was the only way I could use his scanner. Hope the pics. will be of interest.

    The “Watts Family” will be poor quality due to it being large and on card backing so could not lie flat in scanner, I hope to improve on that one, but it shows on left my gt. granny, Elizabeth Emma Haywood, nee Deakin (the lady on the right on your photograph) next to her my grandmother, Fanny Elizabeth Watts, nee Haywood, then my grandfather John James Watts, with young Kathleen Sarah Watts (the baby in your photograph). At the back Sarah Ann, nee Haywood, known as Sally, employed at Claybrooke Hall and her husband Henry Kent. I imagine Kathleen would be 18 months +, she was born in 1898.

    The picture of the Mothers Union has 1928 written on the back. Would there still be other members of the Sleath or Perkins family on it? As I think I’ve mentioned, my mother talked of a Mrs. Sleath. My granny is third from left, middle row.

    The ladies in costume were probably from Claybrooke and Ullesthorpe, no date for that. My granny third from left (again!) but front row this time. Her outfit probably was her mothers wedding dress. Final picture, Main Street, Ullesthorpe, the Watts house just beyond The Chequers. This is postmarked 22 May 1922 .

    I hope they will be of interest, not sure if they should go ‘public’ as so many individuals on them.

    Best wishes, Ann ( We have forecast of much colder weather and pos. snow coming, so I could do with a Cave right now! )

    Sent from my iPad


  3. PEARL NIELSEN March 7, 2013 at 3:18 PM #

    Hi Louise,

    Loved your article and was excited to see your name appear in my email box. Brings back those wonderful London memories.

    Armand & I are spending the winter in Florida. All our family have been down at least once & 1/2 a second time. I spend my time reading, playing bridge, entertaining, being entertained and yes, doing some genealogy. Mostly my work is with where I record pretty much everything. Highlight was making a connection with my 82 year old aunt’s birth family. Her & her husband just returned yesterday from Nanaimo where they spent 4 days in immersion with them. Auntie’s mother died from complications from childbirth. Her aunt was only 7 at the time, still living at 89. Such a delight for all concerned.

    Take care and enjoy your warm cave!!!

    xo Pearl


  4. Dean May 4, 2014 at 10:59 AM #

    Hi there. Do you know if any Perkins’ were left behind after the emigration to Canada? I believe there was a son left who was in the war. Could you shed any light on this as im tracking some perkins for private reasons. My G Granfather is who was in the war. And there is a few links in Canada I would like to investigate.

    Thanks in advance


    • weezie450 May 4, 2014 at 6:18 PM #

      My Grandfather’s brother remained in Claybrooke Magna with his children. His son William died at the Battle of Cambrai in 1917 and Thomas died in 1922 as a result of a war injury. They left no children. There were 3 girls, Elsie, Ellen and Margaret. Elsie has a son named Thomas in 1916 and he grew up, married and had a family in the village. Not sure about the other girls. Elsie later married a Denis Palmer and had more children. Hope this helps. If I can do a lookup for you here in Canada, let me know. Louise


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