Ingrid Hambruch was born near Baden-Baden, Germany where she got her education, became a physiotherapist, and met the man who would become her husband, Paul Hambruch.
After the Second World War, Paul made the decision to move to Canada and came to Brisco.
“There was no problem because I had my career and I had someone who helped with the housework,” Ingrid said.
Three years later Ingrid and their daughter flew to Canada with Paul on a super constellations, a kind of airplane.
“We didn’t go by boat because the first time Paul came over he went by boat. Out of the 12 days he was on the ship he was seasick for 11 days. He didn’t do very well on boats and even though he had a bit of a problem flying it wasn’t as bad as the boat,” she said.
Ingrid said that when they all got to Brisco they stayed with a family who changed the way she viewed certain aspects of her life.
“That is where the appreciation of people helping each other and volunteering started as far as I was concerned. In those days it was such a totally different life here than there was in Germany. It took a bit of getting used to, but it was no problem because of the people who were around me,” she said. “They helped with everything that came up. There were so many people in Brisco who did help that I could not name them all.”
After building a cabin with four rooms the family spent their first winter in their new home.
“It was a very different experience for me because there was no electricity. We heated with wood and by the time I would have a wood fire going and thought I could start cooking the fire was out,” she said laughing. “I had never lived anywhere without running water and electricity but we were all young and we did it.”
After the first winter the family made the decision to buy a house that did have electricity, but needed a great deal of work done on it.
“The house needed repairs and Paul did most of it himself. We certainly did not have the funds to hire contractors,” she said.
As time went on Paul worked at a number of different jobs and Ingrid spent her time with their children.
“I was looking after the kids in the house. When you made up your mind this was what you were going to do it is not different than anywhere else. They had friends and there wasn’t any hardship,” she said.
One thing that Ingrid did miss was not having a greenhouse in the area. After Paul read an article about how to make a greenhouse out of polyethylene the couple’s future would be changed.
“Being Paul, he did that. So we had a little greenhouse for our own plants, and anything that was leftover people would come by to see if they could have some. It turned into a business and it was originally a hobby,” she said.
The family eventually moved to Golden for a numbers of reasons that included the fact that they were involved in many groups and activities in the town.
“We first tried out an apartment to see if we would like it and we did. It was because people were very friendly and it had a nice atmosphere,” she said.
After moving to Golden Ingrid took her idea of helping to many different groups in town.
She did counselling for seniors, worked with the hospital auxiliary, UCW, conducted keeping fit classes at the seniors centre, and anything else that came along.
Eventually Paul and Ingrid would become a part of the Rotary Club of Golden (which she is still a member of today).
She said the club gave both her and Paul another place where they could accomplish something great with hard working people.
“It is such an inspiring experience because of the energy and enthusiasm everyone seemed to have. You get infected with this energy from everyone around you,” she said. “You realize all the things that can be done and will be done because there is a group of people who say they are going to do things both locally and around the world.”