Julia Cundliffe was born in Golden and raised on a farm in Moberly.
“We basically lived off the land. My dad was off in the war and mom was a teacher,” she said.
Cundliffe shared her view on how things were in the area when she was growing up.
“We had friends and neighbours who helped whenever there was a need. I went to the Moberly school for one year. It was a one-room school that went up to Grade 8 I think.”
Going to school in a small one-room school house was an interesting experience for Cundliffe.
“I remember bawling going to school because in those days you didn’t have the nice wonderful boots with felt liners. We had rubber boots with multiple pairs of knitted socks. We would ski through a trail that we had to go to the school,” she said. “You would get to school and the ink well would be frozen because there was just a wood stove in there. The neighbour boy would come up to start a fire in the morning and get everything unthawed.”
Cundliffe went on and said the little school was used as a community building where people would gather for group lunches and the occasional party.
“That is where my sister met her husband at those little dances there,” she said.
After her first year of school near her home, Cundliffe then started taking the bus to come to school in Golden.
“It was exciting in a way. We were riding on a bus and getting to know the other kids,” she said. “It was nice because it was a change. In Moberly there were only two of us in Grade 1.”
After graduating from school, Cundliffe went to work at the hospital as a nurse’s aide.
“That is my one regret, is that I never took my nurses training. I loved doing it, and it was silly for me not to do it, but I met a guy and got married,” she said.
Over the years Cundliffe ran a couple of different newspapers in Golden, which led to challenges that were not always what you would expect.
“We once had a fire in our building. It was in the front part of the building and we were not there. It destroyed a lot of stuff and we only missed one issue. We did one issue out of a bedroom,”she said.
Even though she loved working in the newspaper business, a twist of fate would lead her in another direction.
After selling her newspaper she opened a shop that dealt with sewing and knitting.
She got her brother to build a log building and moved her store into it when it was moved onto her property.
Cundliffe has seen Golden grow and change gradually over the years.
“People come who haven’t seen Golden for a long time and say Golden has changed. I guess because when you are here you don’t see the subtle changes as much,” she said.
Cundliffe pointed to how businesses have expanded out of the downtown core to include more of the town.
“Otherwise it has stayed pretty small. It has not grown like some communities have. This is good and bad. It has kept this really nice, small town feeling, but it has been hard on businesses because they are dependent on the locals to support them for most of the year.”
As for being retired, Cundliffe does not see that ever happening.
“When do you retire? I just say changing focus. To some people retiring is going home and watching TV. That is not me. I enjoy hiking, skiing, volunteering and cats.”
Cundliffe also enjoys getting out and seeing the world.
“I have enjoyed travelling in many parts of the world including Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, England, South America, the United States. the Caribbean, and my next trip is Iceland in September,” she said.