Facts about early EFry and Manor

Writer seeks to clarify and add to knowledge of local services.

Dear Editor

Time has a habit of revising histories. I just want to set the record straight about the Elizabeth Fry Society’s establishment in Ashcroft.

In 1985, I believe it was, Sharon Bach of Ashcroft, whose husband had done some time back east years before, told me there was a need for an E. Fry Society in Ashcroft. Her husband worked with Ross Darlington, my late former husband. They were both employed as millwrights at the Highland Valley mine.

To get an E. Fry Society established here, money was needed for an office. Sharon and I canvassed all the organizations, explaining the function of E. Fry, to assist women and families in conflict with the law. The other functions, outlined in Wendy Coomber’s excellent article, were also noted. We went to a number of groups asking for funding. I can’t recall them all. We received enough money to rent a small office in the building which had once been our Lady Minto Hospital, and has since become the Village of Ashcroft office, and OAP meeting room. At that time too, a day care facility was conducted in the basement of the building. That will account for the wire fence still standing there.

Dolly Lowe of Ashcroft was appointed chair, after a hand vote, of the Society. To begin with, there were less than a dozen members. At that point however, the  mandate of E. Fry was uncertain. So Sharon Bach was asked to attend an E. Fry national conference being held in Edmonton, I believe. We needed the mandate information to qualify for financial support from the national body. She returned after attending this conference and advised us the conditions under which E. Fry could operate. One of them, of course, was dealing directly with women in conflict with the law, and the preventive and supportive measures needed to be undertaken by E. Fry. As a result of this information, Mrs. Lowe resigned, and Doris Bruno was appointed chair of the Society.

I resigned myself from E. Fry, but was glad when the Society’s mandate was being carried out as outlined by the  national body.

The small office that was initially rented from the village was eventually vacated, and E. Fry found a more suitable space in the location it is in now.

As for the Thompson View Manor, I attended the opening ceremonies when I had my newspaper, the Pioneer. The late Mario Battel and the late Joe Riech were the builders, and the late Oscar Johansen, then Postmaster and a former Mayor of Ashcroft and the Kiwanis group was instrumental in getting the funding. It was a major project. The community was more than grateful for the hard work that had to be done to achieve this fine facility, of which I am  now a grateful tenant. I took pictures of the opening of course, and they must be in the Ashcroft Museum archives. I believe the opening of the Manor was held in 1981.

I’m glad I’ve lived long enough to clarify these points and hope that they will be duly noted in the archives and records involved.

Esther Darlington MacDonald

Ashcroft

Just Posted

Highway 97 has reopened after single-vehicle incident

UPDATE (1:47 p.m.): The highway has reopened. CLEAR - #BCHwy97 at #BegbieSummit… Continue reading

McAbee Fossil Beds site ready to reopen to the public

Site was taken over by the Province and closed to the public in July 2012

Open houses will give residents chance to voice views on new Eco-Depot

TNRD will be answering questions, soliciting feedback about Ashcroft/Cache Creek Eco-Depot

BC Hydro scam targeting local businesses

Scammer claims to be on his way to businesses to cut the power unless payment is made

Ashcroft Village Council highlights

Dog park discussion, grant approval, Canada Day celebrations and more

10 facts about Father’s Day

Did you know that the special day for dads was first celebrated in 1910?

B.C. VIEWS: When farmland protection doesn’t protect farmers

Secondary residences aren’t mansions, families tell Lana Popham

Bombers down B.C. Lions 33-23 in season opener

Former Lion Andrew Harris leads Winnipeg with 148 rushing yards

Northern B.C. family remembers murdered Indigenous woman with memorial walk

Still no closure for Ramona Wilson’s family 25 years later

B.C. university to offer mentorship program for former youth in care

Students using the provincial tuition waiver program will soon be able to form a community at KPU

Cyclists competing in one of the toughest bike races on the planet pass through Fernie

Divide riders looking strong as they finish first leg of 4160 km race

You might not know these B.C. records are public

Hired a lawyer to file a civil claim? Those are published online

B.C. bus driver loses case to get job back after texting while driving full bus

An arbitator ruled that Tim Wesman’s phone usage was a “a reckless disregard for public safety”

B.C. Interior First Nation family ‘heartbroken’ over loss of young mom

RCMP have released no new information since the June 8, 2019 homicide

Most Read