Betty Holland and Polly Potter have lived in Golden since the day they were born and there is no where else they would want to call home.
The sisters and their four siblings were the children of George (who served in the armed forces) and Johanna Richards.
Their grandmother came to Golden, and for 50 years never left the town other than one time when she went to the Donald area. She did not seem too impressed with it at the time.
“Our grandma used to call Betty a word that meant little devil. And really she was right,” Polly said laughing. “Our sister Bertha and her would have to go get wood in the wintertime and Betty would tell her to put her tongue on the lock. Bertha would do it.”
“I think we had a marvellous mother and father. Our door was always open and there was almost never a night where we didn’t have friends over. Mom would say we couldn’t keep it up because we had a big family, but dad would tell her to throw another potato in the pot because it didn’t make any difference,” Polly said.
“One less table spoon of porridge in each bowl would make it for someone else, was what our father said,” Betty added.
She went on to say her father would bring home people from the bridge guard to sleep in the house.
After the passing of their father the family also brought in different local children who they helped look after.
One of those boys who came to live with the family looked and acted a great deal like their father.
“He had big brown eyes and even clicked his hands in his braces like our dad,” Betty said. “My mom couldn’t believe it but she said she could believe in reincarnation because he was so much like our dad.”
After their father passed away the family was helped a great deal by their uncle, Joe Van Hoepen, who came over on Sundays, and the children would get to eat special deserts.
The sisters explained that for many years their uncle would bring them different types of food and meat.
“We ate bear until a night we saw it skinned and our sister Lena said it looked like a human being. We never touched it again,” Polly said.
The sisters explained that their mother was always trying to do what she could to help other people. She was very busy making things out of old clothes so they could be used by either her own children or family friends.
“The first toboggan we had was when Annie was working. She bought the toboggan for Christmas because our Christmas presents used to be men’s stockings that our mom would fill. The stockings would have two buttons and a nose with a wool mouth and we thought it was wonderful,” Betty said.
Another fun time for the girls was when one of the children would get to go to King’s Store with their mother.
“She would take one of the kids and she might buy us a dish of ice cream or a piece of pie. So we would have to wait six months to get this treat,” Betty said.
After a serious fall in a local store their sister Annie had to be sent to Calgary to have a broken hip looked after.
The doctor at the time explained to their mother that the injury needed attention quickly, because in the long run she could die from complications from her injuries.
“Our sister Lena heard this and went up to Annie, who was not quite 12, and told she was going die,” Betty said. Annie became quite upset until her mother explained that if she indeed was dying they would not be sending her to Calgary which did comfort her.
Betty and Polly said their family was full of love when they were growing up.
“Our mother had a heart of gold and so did our dad. I feel we grew up with parents who showed us what real love was and we may not have had a lot of things but by God we had love,” Polly said.