50th Anniversary


Harry McGuire, Sr. was born in Barrhead, Scotland December 27th, 1887. For many years he claimed he was born on Christmas day, but when he finally got his birth certificate that was proven wrong.

I don’t know when he immigrated to North America… he was a very good bricklayer, and was able to travel around in the United States from job to job. He eventually moved  into Canada, and settled in the area of Edmonton, Alberta.

Winnifred Jane Clarke was born in Rugby, England, January 28th, 1897. She came to Canada with her family, but I don’t know the date. They settled in the same area. There were 5  girls and one boy in her family, so there were lots of unattached young men hanging around.

At one point of time, the community decided they needed to have  an official name, so they held a town meeting to decide what it would be.  Everyone had a different name for the area. Finally, someone picked Harry’s two brothers and told them to go in the back room and decide what it would be.  They were very original thinkers, so chose, what else… Barrhead, Alberta!

Harry and Winnifred  were married 16 October 1917 In Edmonton. They homesteaded, living in a cabin with a dirt floor. ..probably  in Mellowdale, Alberta, north of Edmonton. My husband’s birth certificate lists Mellowdale.

Eventually they moved to Vancouver, where they raised their family of three boys and one girl.

Their 50th wedding anniversary was approaching, so the family decided to celebrate the occasion by having an “open house”. You know, where you go and stay for a while, then leave… but no one left. We had wall to wall people in Ray’s house. One cousin even said “They think I’m a wall… they are leaning on me.”

I catered the whole party….  fancy sandwiches, petit fours, cakes and cookies. My sister-in-law,  Jessie, helped with  keeping the plates refilled with food.  It was a great success.

When my lace tablecloth was returned to me I was in for a shock. Having been put in a washer  and dryer, it was quite a bit smaller!


18 thoughts on “50th Anniversary

    • Good morning Norman, and welcome to our tea party. The kettle is boiling,so I’ll make a fresh pot. I appreciate your visit and comment and hope you will return often.

  1. I agree a great illustrated tale.Love the little cabin & seeing the styles of clothing worn in those days.
    It was nice of you throwing the party for your in laws Norma but too bad about your tablecloth.
    Have a great day & keep shining Norma!

    • Good morning Dianne. You are just in time to have tea with Norman and me! Isn’t it wonderful how the “miles apart” don’t exist here on my blog! Thank you for your visit and your ever welcome comment. It wasn’t just me that threw the party, Dianne. My brother-in-law and his wife supplied the house, and hosted the party. All the family took part.

  2. So nice to hear this story spanning 80 years of McGuire history! I hadn’t seen the claims cabin photo before and ‘Googled’ Shoal Lake to see its proximity to Barrhead, Mellowdale, and Paddle River (where my Dad was born). They obviously travelled around a fair bit; and when they moved to Vancouver it still wasn’t the end of their travels… living out their final days in Quesnel.

    I recall living in Calgary at the time of the 50th anniversary celebration, and wishing I could have come to it. That spread of goodies looks scrumptious and so beautifully set out on your lace tablecloth! You’ve not only been the family historian through the years, but the family caterer as well. I think you catered my ‘Trousseau Tea’, too, didn’t you… way back in 1959?

    • Good morning Carol. I just poured your tea so we can visit. Your Dad was born in Paddle River… then that has to be where the homestead was. Learning something new again!

      Yes, I did cater your ‘Trousseau tea’ way back then. That’s 53 years ago! My neighbour and I were the ones that did all the catering for special occasions at David Oppenheimer School, so I had some practice… and I loved doing it. I was told that some of the fancy sandwiches I made looked more like petite fours. I made petite fours, too!

  3. Morning, sitting here with my cup of tea and reading your post, also into genealogy, do you happen to have any Pattisons in your family as my husbands family also came fro Barrhead, Scotland and they were also bricklayers.

    Keep the stories coming as I love to read them.

    • Hi Lynda! What a coincidence that your husband ‘s family also came from Barrhead, Scotland! I never came across any Pattisons when I was tracing the family tree.

      I hope that cup of tea was still fresh wheny ou arrived! Love to have you visit, and comment. Does Bev or Judy read my blog? Would love to have a comment from them if they do,just to know they are “out there”. It’s been quite a few years since we were neighbours!

    • good morning Greg! So good to see you and to hear your comment. The tea was just made, so I’ll pour a cup for you.
      I hope you are getting out in this glorious sunshine and taking pictures for Flickr!

    • Great, Gary! (did you get a cup of tea?) We used to have a book on the history of Barrhead, Alberta, and I think this was part of that book. Don’t have it any more,

      Thanks for searching it out.. and for letting me know about it. And thanks for your comment!

  4. Homesteading took more courage than I think most people have today – exciting times with challenges we’ll never face. Wonderful story – and I love all the photos. Especially the cabin…..and the table of foodies! 🙂

  5. Hello Heather! The kettles boiling so we can have a cup of tea. Thanks for coming by, and for your comment!

    Did you see Gary’s comment, where he googled the town of Barrhead, Alberta? Interesting reading.

    • Good morning, Norma. Yes, I saw Gary’s comment this morning and will definitely check out that link! 🙂 Have a wonderful day – it looks nice out this morning. Yay!

      • Hello again Heather. you’re just in time for tea. Thanks for coming back, and your comment.. My Father-in-law was at that meeting when they named Barrhead. and he said it was his two brothers that were sent off to decide on the name… that would probably be Jim and Tom McGuire.

        I hope you are enjoying this lovely day!

  6. Hi Norma, have told Bev and Judy about your notes and how much I love reading them, guess I need to share your site with them.

    By the way, Mom has finally made the decission to move, yes she is leaving Muirfield Drive (it will be 60 years this fall that we moved in) she’s moving closer to us girls (2 in Surrey and 1 in Delta)

  7. Hi Lynda! Welcome to the tea party. I’ll pour one f or you. I do so appreciate your visits and your comments…. and yes… please share the site with Bev and Judy!

    I’m glad your Mom has mad the decision to move closer to you girls. Sixty years ago that we both moved into that area. I don’t suppose any of the other “originals” are still around? Say Hi to her for me.

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