In an earlier post, I showed a picture of my father as an RCMP recruit and noted that we had lost track of him after he and my mother divorced. This seemed unsatisfactory, and I became curious about what had become of Dear Old Dad.
But first, the photo above explains where the idea to sign up with the RCMP came from. My father’s father was Chief of Police in the tiny town of Shaunivon, Saskatchewan. Chief Jones Ross commanded a constabulary of at least one officer, other than my father who he apparently also put on the force. Nepotism.
Jones had been a farmer but he lost his wife in childbirth and was stuck out in the countryside with two boys to raise. Becoming Chief of Police probably looked like a good idea. Later, when Jones moved to B.C., he took up farming again … his first choice really … and I remember he was good at it.
Anyway, my Dad must have gotten the policeman idea from his dad, and then signed up for the national force. He never really became a working Mountie, though. There’s a family story about what happened. It’s amusing, but not for here.
Dad became a salesman and did very well. He was a good provider and I remember him as a caring father and a good influence. He taught my brother and me about fishing, hunting and camping.
Obviously, it was not all domestic bliss in our house, though. When my parents went their separate ways, the kids stuck with Helen and Bob forged a new life for himself. He went back to university in mid-life, studied to be a school teacher, got certified and went to work in Powell River. Great hunting and fishing around there. He remarried and apparently spent the rest of his days there.
The internet helped me discover how things ended. Jones lived into his late 80s and died in New Westminster in 1975. He was pretty old when I last saw him, still living on the front 5 acres of the farm. He’d sold the rest, figuring he wouldn’t be around forever. New Westminster was the nearest city and would have offered the hospital he needed. Bob lived to be 72 and died in Powell River in 1991. I haven’t located an obit yet.