Corey Duncan came to Canada in the 1950s to get married and start a new life in British Columbia.

Golden Moments: Finding a little piece of Scotland on the shores of B.C.

Corey Duncan found Golden after moving to Canada from Scotland in 1955.

Corey Duncan was born in Airdrie, Scotland where she lived until 1955, when in her mid 20s, she came across the ocean to move to a small town on the west coast of Canada.

One of the toughest parts of coming to Canada for Duncan was the week she spent coming across the Atlantic Ocean.

“It took a week to cross a very rough Atlantic. I dined on crackers and ginger ale,” she said.

After spending a weekend in Montreal with her aunt and uncle, she took the train to head west to British Columbia.

“The first person I talked to on the train had a nice Scottish accent. He was the conductor on the train,” she said.

After three days she made it to Vancouver where she met her fiancée before heading to Kimberley to get married.

After the wedding, Duncan and her husband moved to Ocean Falls, a community on the central coast of B.C.

“We had to go in by plane or boat. It was an inlet surrounded by mountains. When I got off the boat there I felt right at home because most of the accents were Scottish because Crown-Zellerbach (mill owners in the town) advertised in the old country papers. Many people decided to come to Canada,” she said.

Although the community was isolated, Duncan said they had everything they needed in the town.

“There were fishing boats that would come in and stock things up. We had a Hudson Bay Company when I first went there. We had everything.”

While in Ocean Falls, Duncan had three sons who spent most of their childhood in the town.

“They were all swimmers because there were lakes, rivers and so much water out there. They learned to swim right from the age of being in their diapers,” she said.

While in Ocean Falls her sons, Keith and Charles (ages eight and 11 at the time), were awarded medals of bravery in Ottawa from the Governor General for saving a clergyman who had fallen into a river near the town.

“I had no idea what had happened. When they came home they were just soaked. I dumped them in a bath and it wasn’t until Rev. Betts came in and told me what had happened that I found out what they had done.”

In an odd twist to the story, the man saved in the incident had been a minister of the United Church in Golden before moving to Ocean Falls.

Duncan added that all of her sons were good athletes, not just in water, but in other sports as well. Her youngest son John played football in Kelowna before moving on to play at Bishop’s University in Quebec.

The family moved to Golden when a friend suggested they could work in the area.

“We knew someone here who worked in the mill in Golden and he had been up in Ocean Falls before,” she said. “He was the one who helped convince us to come to Golden.”

Duncan enjoyed many things about being in Golden when she first came to town.

“I worked at Barlow’s department store and that was great. They were so good to us. I was driving then too, which was nice because I did not drive in Ocean Falls.”

Over the years Duncan said she has become very comfortable living in Golden.

“There are good people who live here. I love the people and I have lots of friends,” she said. “I enjoy dropping by the bake shop to see friends.”

She said one of the things she has enjoyed using is the Pedestrian Bridge which expanded the area where she could walk around town.

Duncan said that over the years Golden has changed a great deal, but she still loves being in the town and enjoys the natural beauty in the area.

 

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