Ladysmith teen performed with Rolf Harris in the U.K. – Chronicles From The Past

Ed Nicholson of the Ladysmith Historical Society shares the news from January 1913, 1938 and 1963 in his Chronicles From The Past column.

January 1913

New Technology: Elbert Hubbard,writing in the January Chronicle, related his experience as one of the first to use the typewriter at work: “An ad placed in the paper for men and women to run these machines had a post script, ‘Only those who can play the piano need apply.’“ At the subsequent training session, Hubbard recalled, “We all thought the typewriter was a very wonderful plaything, and the way the operator would print your name on a piece of paper and hand it to you made us think we had achieved fame. We folded up the precious slip and carried it away to show the folks at home.”

The Ladysmith Hardware Christmas draw winners were Mrs. Barnes (McLary Electric Range) and Mrs. Mrs. Musgrave, (Champion Washer). Mr. Rollston reports that both ladies were delighted with their new appliances.

Henry Altman, who has had many arguments with his neighbours over the weight of his two-year-old colt, finally agreed to settle the issue by having the pony weighed in town. Although the results were below Altman’s expectations, he has an explanation: “It was all on account of a mistake by my sons. I told them when they took the colt to town to have him weighed on the scales used to sell coal. Instead, they weighed him on the scales used to buy hay!”

January 1938

R.R. Hindmarch, owner of the Nanaimo Herald, announced he was selling his newspaper to R.J. Stewart, owner of the Nanaimo Free Press. The Herald will continue to be published as the Nanaimo morning paper, with the Free Press arriving in the evening. [NOTE: Bob Hindmarch was later the owner/publisher of the Ladysmith Chronicle from 1942 to 1954.]

Mayor W.W. Walkem was returned to office by acclamation in the January 1938 municipal elections.

The Ladysmith Shell station announced a new maintenance service for your car featuring “seven to 11 different lubricants applied using modern pressure guns to reach every spot.” As an indication of the changes to be made to the English language by the advertising industry, the process was called SHELLUBRICATION.

Dr. W. Plenderleith, Inspector of Schools for the Vancouver Island Region, gave a talk to the Ladysmith-Chemainus Teachers Association on the “New B.C. Curriculum.” Education in the future, he said, “would prepare students for a changing world, focusing on the practical and moving from a static to a dynamic state.” The inspector used vocabulary as an example: “We have determined that 3,000 words are all that is necessary to function in modern society, and students will be grounded in these.”

January 1963

Mr. and Mrs. Ken Weeks of Victoria Drive were the winners of the annual Ladysmith Christmas Home Lighting Contest sponsored by the chamber of commerce. The judges for 1962 were Orville Delcourt, Mrs. Bert Foster, Stan Heys and Mrs. Alan Johnson.  Mrs. Foster and Mr. Delcourt had disqualified themselves from entering that year, as they had both won the plaque previously.

The Odeon Theatre introduced the first in its series of filmed Operettas to be shown in Ladysmith in 1963. Rose Marie starred Howard Keel and Ann Blyth. The cost was $6 for the series or $1 per show. [NOTE: This immensely popular Broadway musical was filmed three times in less than 25 years. Although Ann Blyth had a beautiful soprano voice, the most popular film of the three was the 1936 version starring Nelson Eddy as the Mountie and Jeanette McDonald as the orphan girl.]

Daryl Quist, 17-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. Ernie Quist on Baden-Powell Street returned home for the holidays in Ladysmith. Daryl had been accompanying Rolf Harris on guitar at the Down Under Club in London. Daryl subsequently performed in Larry Parnes’s U.K. Lucky Stars Summer Show with Joe Brown, the Tornados, and Rolf Harris and the Diggeroos. In 1963, he recorded a hit single entitled Thanks to You. [NOTE: Harris, the Australian musician, composer, painter and TV personality released his famous holiday song Six White Boomers In December of 1962. However, he is best known for his theme song, Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport. Rolf Harris performed regularly at the Cave Supper Club in Vancouver.]

Compiled by Ed Nicholson, Ladysmith Historical Society

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