The Cyples Family
The Canadian Adventure Part 3
207 West 3rd Street was to be our home for the next ten months. So much for the promised gift of our own house on arrival. Apparently, the sitting tenants sat a bit longer than L.J. had expected. There was also the added complication that my father was not quite as broke as L.J. had thought. Well, he had just disposed of almost all of his worldly goods, and so, in his wisdom, L.J. thought it would be better for my father to buy the house, instead of receiving it as a gift! He did, however, show his generosity by lowering the asking price.
My mother was understandably distressed by the conditions, in which she found herself living,( even after moving into the house she was still very unsettled.)
Christmas Day was spent at the home of some friends of L.J. One thing that stuck in my mind was that the hostess baked a lemon meringue pie and used six eggs to make it. This was unheard of in England, as food was still on ration, even though the war was over. I think that the allocation of eggs was something like two per person per week, and this woman was using six at a time!!! This was my first taste of lemon meringue and it certainly became one of my favourites, along with pumpkin pie.
After the holiday it was time to start our new life in earnest. First and foremost was to get started on the plastering and so begin laying the foundations for our promised prosperity and glorious future. There was one snag to this plan. It was rather major. The Canadian way of plastering and building practices bore no resemblance to the methods carried out in England! Gone was the golden opportunity, now that the new-found skills were not going to be put to use!
What was to be done now? Well something had to be done. We weren't on holiday. Within a day or two my father managed to get a job working in a local sawmill. This appeared to please L.J. somewhat, after the disappointment of his master plan not getting off the ground. The thrill was short lived, however, as the noise in the mill caused my father to go deaf. In those days there wasn't the use of ear-defenders or other protective gear as there is nowadays. If he was to regain his hearing, there was no alternative but to give up the job in the mill. This he did and within a short time his ability to hear was restored.
Well here we are again, unemployed and what about the golden opportunities in the "New World"? During the time that was spent in Canada (some 34 months) my father had ten different jobs including grave digging, emptying bins, landscape gardening and working for the Water Company. This last job involved being called out in the middle of the night during the winter months to smash ice, so that the city could be provided with drinking water.
My father was not a "lay-about", but did find it very difficult to stay in employment. He was not in the habit of chopping and changing his work on a whim. As a matter of fact he had held down his last job in England for many years, so this pattern of work was very strange and alien to him.