Leaving their respective homes in England and Australia far behind, Gertrude and Charles Parson arrived to settle in Golden in 1894.
Though Charles, who, like his predecessors before him, had chosen the seas as a way of life, fate had determined another path for him. Because an accidental explosion of a torpedo left him injured with a concussion and subsequent speech impediment, this young naval sub-lieutenant was forced to seek a new future. He married a young widow with a small child and together they immigrated to Canada to join his brother Harry. (Harry was employed by the government to help survey Banff National Park.) Upon arriving in Victoria, Charles was hired by Fred Jones to work as an accountant in Golden’s Columbia River Lumber Mill. He worked at this position until his death in 1941.
It is of historical interest that brother Harry joined him in Golden, and in addition to having the local General Store, owned property twenty miles south of Golden. During the days of river travel, a stop was made at the Parson’s farm for refuelling and replenishing fresh meat. It is from this old hog and cattle ranch locale that the town of Parson is now located.
Four children were born to Gertrude and Charles; Golden, Allan, Cecil and Phyllis. Cecil was the only one to stay and make his home in Golden.
In 1927 Cecil was married to Edel Kristine Myrthu. She was the daughter of a Danish family from Standard, Alberta. (Her father, Jens Myrthu, was one of four men sent out by the Lutheran Church from Iowa, USA to establish a new Lutheran colony near what is now Gleichen, Alberta. Instead, they settled in what is now the community of Standard.)
These were depression years and during this time Cecil was employed by the CPR and for a period acted as timekeeper during the construction of the Big Bend Highway. Finally he assisted his father in the post office, and upon his father’s death became postmaster. He continued to work here until his retirement in 1969.
Edel was a graduate nurse from the Calgary General Hospital, and in the 1950’s joined the local doctors to become the first nurse affiliated with the Golden Clinic.
Three children were born to Cecil and Edel; Gordon in 1928; Norman in 1930 and Diane in 1941. Edel and Cecile were very involved in St. Paul’s Anglican Church. Cecil was one of the original members of the Lion’s Club and an active long time curler.
It was during a dance at the Civic Center many years ago that Cecil and Edel’s daughter, Diane, met Sam Aylesworth when he, a budding musician, came to play at a local dance. He was obviously impacted by the meeting and continued to come to Golden, eventually marrying Diane.
The Cecil and Edel Parson Memorial Fund was set up by Sam and Diane Aylesworth to honour the memory of Diane’s parents, Cecil and Edel. Interest from this fund goes to the Golden Museum for the protection of the history of Golden and anyone can add to the fund. Only the interest from the fund can be used by the Museum and donors received tax receipts for their gifts.
To read the previous Turning Back the Pages titled, A creative stroke when looking for love click here.