Less We Forget Poppy


Less We Forget Poppy

1929 - 1930 - 1931 DIARY of Marie (Grégoire) Brooks of Bluesky Alberta

1929: February / March

Marie Grégoire Brooks
Marie Gregoire Brooks
Hubert Brooks "Papa"
Hubert Brooks

Editor's Note: My cousin Hubert Brooks has spent considerable time and effort in digitizing and translating the February 1929 to October 1931 historically preserved period of my great grandmother Marie Gr�goire Rousseau Brooks' DIARY.
In adapting Hubert's work effort for the web - translating to HTML language - I hope that no errors were introduced. THANK YOU Hubert for sharing your work effort with me.

This diary provides not only an interesting portal into my ancestors life in the 1929 / 1930 / 1931 period in the North Western Alberta Peace River area of Bluesky, but also the life of subsistance farming families across the nation with the constant fixation on the weather, farming activities and the remarkable extended-family community of neighbours who seemed to help each other when needed and drop-in on each other on a regular basis.
I have added an abridged family tree below such that the relationships between the principle players is clear.
My great grandfather, Fred Brooks and his wife Laura, by this time had moved to Ottawa and later Montreal. So the bulk of this diary revolves around Hubert (Rousseau) Brooks (Papa), Marie (Gregoire Rousseau) Brooks, Joe Brooks, Otto Brooks and to a lesser extent Aime Brooks.
In reading the diary for the first time, I was surprised at the supportive role played by Marie's brother Paul Grégoire (born: (Alfred) Hyppolyte ("Polyte") Grégoire) in coming to his sister's aide upon the death of her husband Hubert.
I was also surprised at how closely Theodore ("Chick") Knott worked with the various family members around the farm being paid a wage of $10/month. He was most certainly a backbone to mother Marie.
Hope you enjoy.


Commentary By Joe Brooks' Son HUBERT BROOKS

For years Marie Brooks (nee Gr�goire) maintained a daily diary.
The only known copy left has remained in the hands of the Joseph Brooks family from 1946 when we moved away from Bluesky to Falher, Alberta.
For context, Hubert (Rousseau) Brooks and wife Marie moved from St. John, North Dakota to LaFl�che, Saskatchewan arriving in Bluesky, Alberta in late 1915 to early 1916.
Sons Aim� and Alfred had preceded their arrival but eventually moved away.
The two daughters Nelida and Theodora (Dora) did not accompany their parents for the move.

The diary covers the period from Februay 1st 1929 to October 31st 1931.
By this time only the two youngest boys Joseph and Otto remained with them.
The diary is handwritten in French using a lead pencil. Much of the text has faded.
Regrettably , I as a child along with my siblings scribbled in it extensively. However, it remains in sufficiently good condition that I have captured close to 100% of its content. It is written in her vernacular with probable limited formal schooling. For the original French version I have reproduced the words exactly in the order written, with or without proper spelling, punctuation, accents etc. The English translation loses this quaint flavor but conveys the thoughts and narrative in an exact manner. The asterisks, parentheses and their content or inference, are mine.

Préparé par: A. Hubert Brooks (fils cadet de Joseph Brooks) mai 2015.

Hubert (Rousseau) Brooks (aka PAPA or DAD)
(b. October 4, 1862)
(d. January 23, 1928 )

(m. January 7, 1884) wife:

Marie (Grégoire Rousseau) Brooks
(b. November 03, 1867)
(d. September 3, 1944)

(Joseph) Alfred (aka FRED) Brooks
(b. Feb. 18, 1891)
(d. May 13, 1944)
Joseph (aka JOE) (Albert Antoine) Brooks
(b. Dec. 20, 1901)
(d. Jan. 8, 1982)
Otto (Hubert) Brooks
(b. Nov 10, 1903)
(d. Oct 26, 1969)
Aimé (Hubert) Brooks
(b. May 17, 1895)
(d. Jan 15, 1952)
Marie (Theodora) (aka DORA) Rousseau Brooks
(b. Sept. 25, 1887)
(d. Aug 8, 1970)
Marie Eugénie Nelida (aka "Nellie") Brooks
(b. Jan. 12, 1885)
(d. Oct 12, 1937)
Fred Brooks
Fred Brooks
Joe Brooks
Joe Brooks
Otto Brooks
Otto Brooks
Aimé Brooks
Aime Brooks
Dora Brooks
Dora Brooks
Nellie Brooks
Nellie Brooks

Month/Day Marie Brooks Bluesky Alberta Diary Entry
Fev 1
Vendredi fait encore bien froid
Nous avons encore le Dr pour dad
Otto est aller le ramener a Berwyn
  Friday still very cold.
the Doctor is here again for dad.
Otto drove him back to Berwyn.
Fev 2 Samedi fait pas aussi froid
les garcons scie du bois dans le bois
Nous parais un peu
  Saturday not as cold.
The boys are sawing in the bush it seems
Fev 5 jeanette flora Fait beau la *janette est arriv�
*jeannette et/ou narcisse
  It�s nice, the narcissus flower has arrived.
Fev 7 Fait pas aussi froid
le Dr revient encore pour dad
  It�s not as cold.
The Dr. has come back for dad.
Fev 9 Samedi fait une belle journ�
Otto est aller chercher la nurce
Dora est aller a Whitelaw avec les garcons
fait toujours assez froid mais les chemins sont toujours bons pour les autos
Nous sommes aller chercher la nurce pour Papa
  Saturday, it�s a nice day.
Otto went to pick up the nurse.
Dora went to Whitelaw with the boys.
It�s still quite cold but the roads are ok for the cars.
We went to pick up the nurse for Papa.
Fev 10 Beaucoup de visite pour Papa mais ne le voit pas
 Plenty of visitors for Papa, however, they don�t get to see him.
Fev 11 Nous avons le Dr encore pour Papa
 We have the Dr. again for Papa.
Fev 12 Fait beau et Papa est pas empir� malgr� qu�il est bien malade
  It�s nice out and Papa has not worsened although still very sick.
Fev 13 Joseph, Aim�, et Dora sont all� a Fairview
vente fort nous fesons un bon lavage moi et Nelida
 Joseph, Aim�, Dora went to Fairview.
Strong wind, Nelida and I do the washing.
Fev 14 Fait pas froid
Papa nous semble prendre du mieux
les garcons scies du bois, et neige le soir
 It�s not cold.
Papa seems to be getting better.
The boys are sawing wood, it snows in the evening.
Fev 15 Fait une grosse temp�te un froid terrible
nous allons pas a la malle
 Big storm, terribly cold.
We don�t pick up the mail.
Fev 16 Samedi fait encore bien froid les chemins sont bien mauvais
Papa prend du mieux
 Saturday, still very cold, the roads are real bad.
Papa is getting better.
Fev 17 Dimanche fait froid nous sommes ceux
Papa prend du mieux
 Sunday it�s cold, we are alone.
Papa is getting better.
Fev 18 Lundi fait un peu plus beau
Joseph est all� scier pour John Veale
  John Veale Info John Veale Monday, it�s a little bit nicer.
Joseph went to saw for John Veale.
Fev 19 Aim� la nurse sont parti
Otto est aller les conduire au chars
 Aim�, the nurse have left.
Otto drove them to the train station.
Fev 21 Jeudi une grosse temp�te un vent terrible du Nord Est
 Thursday, a big storm with a terrible North East wind.
Fev 22 Vendredi fait froid il faut voir la neige qu�il a tomb�
 Friday, it�s cold. The amount of snow that fell is something to see.
Fev 23 Fait une belle journ� un beau soleil
Papa se leve pour la premi�re fois et il est assez fort
Mr Foran est venu le soir
  Mr Foran Info A nice sunny day.
Papa is up for the first time and he is quite strong.
Mr Foran came in the evening.
Fev 24 Fait une grosse poudrerie mais fait pas froid.
Mrs Salmon nous a apport� du boeur
  Paul and Bea Salmond Paul and Bea Salmond Driven snow but it�s not cold.
Mrs. Beatrice (Bea) Salmon brought us some butter.
Fev 26 Les filles sont partis
il fait une petite temp�te en allant les conduire au chars
  The girls are gone.
There is a small storm when driving them to the train station.
Fev 27 Fait beau assez
John Veale est venu pass� une parti de journ�e
 It�s quite nice.
John Veale came to spend part of the day.
Fev 28Fait beau assez les garcons arrange le tamis pour moude
le mois est finit
 It�s quite nice, the boys fix the sieve for grinding.
The month is over.
Mars 1fait un gros vent du ouest terrible pour oppos� de moude
un vrai chinouk et l�eau coule partout nous sommes contant
  A strong and terrible West wind, enough to stop grinding.
A real Chinook, water running all over, we are happy.
Mars 2fait assez beau mais trop chaud dans la maison
Papa prend toujours du mieux
les garcons se d�p�che pour moudre
 It�s quite a nice day, but too warm in the house.
Papa is still getting better.
The boys hurry to grind.
Mars 3dimanche fait pas beau neige un peu et fait froid
une petite temp�te le soir
chez Foran sont venu faire une petite veill� soupe avec nous autres
 Sunday not a nice day, snows a bit and it�s cold.
Small storm in the evening.
The Forans came for supper and spent the evening with us.
Mars 4fait pas beau
encore une petite temp�te
Joseph est all� chez Salmond sci� leur bois
 It�s not nice out, another small storm.
Joseph went to Salmonds to saw their wood.
Mars 5fait une journ�e bien froide
nous fesons un gros lavage moi et Joseph
sa fond pas il en est loin
 A very cold day.
Joseph and I do a big washing.
It�s not melting, far from it.
Mars 6mercredi matin fait terriblement froid encore
je sais pas quand nous auronts un Chinouke pour nous donn� de l�eau
 Wednesday morning it is still terribly cold.
I don�t know when we will get a Chinook to provide water.
Mars 7un froid du diable encore et pas de chemin pour sortir
nous postons nos lettres chez Fortin
il fait une nuit bien froide
 Cold as the devil, the roads are blocked.
We mail our letters at (Joe) Fortin�s (store).
The night is very cold.

Editor's Note: (Joe) R.E. Fortin and his wife Mami were of French origin and operated a small store and the Lothrop Post Office located about 300 yards west of the East Burnt School. Odelia Gamache and his wife lived with the Fortin's and was the mail carrier. He made the trip to Whitelaw once each week with the outgoing mail returning with the incoming mail and supplies for the store.
Mars 8vendredi c�est pas aussi froid ce matin mais pas trop chaud encore
 Friday, not as cold this morning but still not very warm.
Mars 9whitelaw 1929 samedi fait beau mais sa fond pas
Otto est all� a Whitelaw avec 2 pigs
(PHOTO - Whitelaw circa 1929)
 whitelaw 1925 Saturday, it�s nice but it does not melt.
Otto went to Whitelaw with 2 pigs.
(PHOTO - Whitelaw circa 1925)
Mars 10dimanche fait beau encore mais sa fond pas
S--- Brooks* est venu nous visit�
* incapable d�identifier cette personne
 Sunday it�s still nice but it does not melt.
S_____ Brooks* came to visit us.
* unable to identify this person

(Editor's Note: Probably Samuel Brooks who lived just south east of Old Bluesky at Section 28 / Township 81 / Range 4 / Meridian 6)
Mars 11Lundi fait un beau vent du ouest sa regarde pour un Chinouke les garcons se pr�pare pour scier
 Monday a nice Westerly wind, it looks like a Chinook. The boys get ready to saw.
Mars 12fait une belle journ�e sa fond l�eau coule
les garcons sont all� a Bluesky cherch� la malle j�ai recue 6 lettres
 A nice day, it�s melting and the water is flowing.
The boys went to Bluesky to pick up the mail, I received 6 letters.
Mars 13fait beau encore l�eau coule
les garcons arrange le vieux cribbe* et fanning mill**
*tamiseur **ventilateur/s�choir
 Its nice, the water is flowing.
The boys fix the old screener and fanning mill.
Mars 14fait beau plus que jamais l�eau coule le soir dans la dam
 Nicer than ever, the water is flowing in the dam.
Mars 15vendredi fait beau les garcons sont a Whitelaw & Fairview
 Friday a nice day, the boys are in Whitelaw & Fairview.
Mars 16samedi fait encore plus beau
les garcons vont cherch� du bois chez le vieux Louis
Veale vient le soir
 Saturday a nicer day still.
The boys pick up wood from old Louis (?Turcotte?).
(John) Veale came in the evening.
Mars 17dimanche fait beau rien de plus beau
nous avons pas de visite du tout
 Sunday, a nice day could not be better. No visitors at all.
Mars 18Lundi fait beau mais un temps dol*
Otto est aller pour Veale lui amener une charge de bl�
*de l�anglais dull ou plate en fran�ais
 Monday it�s nice but a dull day.
Otto went for a load of wheat for (John) Veale.
Mars 19fait beau un gros vent du ouest
les garcons sont aller pour de la glasse chez Huntington
 Nice day with a strong Westerly wind.
The boys went to (Don) Huntingtons for ice.
Mars 20fait toujours beau sa fond mais l�eau coule pas dans la dam
les garcons sont all� chercher leur dernier voyage de glasse
 It�s still nice but the water is not flowing in the dam.
The boys went to pick up their last load of ice.
Mars 21fait bien beau les garcons vont cherch� un petit voyage de bois
chez Thompson vienne faire un tour aussi chez Albersworth
 It�s very nice, the boys went to pick up a small load of wood.
The (John and Anna) Thompson�s and (Eugene "Gene" and Jean) Albersworth�s come to visit.
Mars 22fait un gros vent bien froid du nord toute la journ�e
une grosse jel� le matin
les garcons vont a Whitelaw et Joseph se rend a Fairview pour du scrou*
*de l�anglais screw vis en fran�ais
 A strong and cold North wind all day.
A big frost in the morning.
The boys go to Whitelaw and Joseph goes to Fairview for screws.
Mars 23fait encore bien froid le matin
Veale et Albersworth vienne pour batte l�avoine de deux ans
le soir font boucherie finisse tard le soir
 Still very cold in the morning.
(John) Veale and (Gene) Albersworth come to thrash the two year oats.
Slaughter in the evening and finish late.
Mars 24dimanche fait beau mais pas trop chaud
Albersworth vient d�bit� la big sow*
 Sunday it�s nice but not very warm.
(Gene) Albersworth comes to cut up the big sow.
Mars 25Lundi fait beau vente du ouest
Joseph et Otto sont all� voir pour Albersworth
Papa va faire un tour dehors
moi je fait fonde 40 lbs de lard
 Monday a nice day with a West wind.
Joseph and Otto went for (Gene) Albersworth.
Papa goes for a walk outside.
I melt 40 lbs of pork fat.
Mars 26fait pas trop froid ni chaud
les garcons vont a Bluesky chercher la malle
 Neither warm nor cold.
The boys go to Bluesky to pick up the mail.
Mars 27fait froid une petite temp�te du Est avec un peu de neige
 Its cold, a small storm from the East with a bit of snow.
Mars 28fait pas aussi froid
les garcons charisse de la paille et Joseph va cherch� du boeur chez Salmond
 Not as cold.
The boys haul straw and Joseph picks up butter from the (Paul & Bea) Salmonds.
Mars 29une grosse jeler neige un peu pendant l�avant midi le vent est Nord East
le matin sa regarde mal pour le Vendredi Saint
 A big frost, snows a little in the morning, the wind is from the North East.
In the morning it looks bad for Good Friday.
Mars 30fait pas trop chaud
les garcons sont all� a Whithelaw revienne tard apporte la malle
Veale est venu veill�
 Not very warm.
The boys went to Whitelaw, come back late with the mail.
Veale came to spend the evening.
Mars 31Jour de P�ques fait beau mais pas une des journ�es les plus chaude
chez Salmond sont venu dinn�
 Easter Sunday, its nice but not one of the warmer days.
The (Paul & Bea) Salmonds came for lunch.


The Life and Times of Hubert Brooks M.C. C.D.

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