Eulogy for my Mother
I'm Bruce Hayward, middle son of June Florence Hayward, and C. Tupper Hayward.
I want to say a few words in memory of my mother.
Mom liked people, and enjoyed a good conversation.
Even after an evening out with a friend, upon returning they would often spend an additional hour out front, sitting in the car just chatting.
We had regular visits on the phone, and not short calls mind you, several times a week, for many years.
I’ll miss those calls.
Mom, being born in1930, to Priscilla Annie Sheane (her mother’s maiden name was Battley) and Albert Henry Cecil Sheane, was raised
with the work ethic of the day. Things were a tad different then. I’ll remember her saying, that they had the clothes that they were wearing, and a change of clothes.
She knew how to sew, as was the way. When she went for an interview just prior to graduation from high school for a job at the Grain Exchange, she wore a navy suit, a ‘real Navy’ suit which she’d altered. Her Aunt Gladys had been a W.R.E.N. in the services during the 1939 - 1945 war, and on discharge, gave Mom one of her uniforms.
She was an adventuresome and athletic person participating in the provincial track and field, running, swimming, roller skating, and skiing.
She Mountain climbed, and hiked while working in Banff. She even wrapped herself around a tree once following
some more experienced skiers on a hill named the “Corkscrew”.
Mom said it was aptly named.
Mom took the two and a half day journey by boat from the Redwood Bridge here in Winnipeg, from where she traveled north on Lake Winnipeg aboard the
S.S. Keenora as far as Warren’s Landing, where she transferred to the Chikama landing in Norway House to give her cousins Jim and Josie a hand with their children. A
Note here that she substituted at the local school until the regular teacher arrived for a two month period, really until the native children accompanied their parents to the trap lines.
This was not the subtle confines of a resort, but a land where a freighter canoe was used to go to the store, of dog sleds, and the fur trade. That was the adventuresome drive that was in our Mom, June Hayward.
This is where she met her husband, Charles Tupper Hayward, at Rossville, Norway House. They were married in February of 1950, in Winnipeg at Young United Church.
After they returned to the north where Tupper was Manager of the Maria Portage sub-post for the Hudson Bay Fur Trade, located nine miles from the main Post at Garden Hill First Nations. Island Lake is situated near the Manitoba/Ontario border.
They lived there on an island by themselves – Christopher reminded me that it was called Long Island.
Where Dad had the challenges of the fur trade, running the post, learning Cree, and some Ojibwa, Mom had new challenges, which aside from the pontoon planes, shanks mare, snowshoes, canoes, northern dogs, and climate. There was the learning and doing of the cleaning of fish, gutting a Partridge after its head and feathers were disposed of, were some of the new challenges. And of
course learning to make bread....well her first batch was rock hard when finished, so hard even the Husky sled dogs had trouble ripping it apart. According to Mom, and my own taste buds, she did improve, and enjoyed making our bread for many years.
Other northern food challenges were trying to figure out what to do with dried cabbage and dried onions. She experimented by using a ‘by guess or by gosh’ system, a little more boiling water, or, a little less boiling water, or let’s try soaking it overnight! The tin of powdered egg whites (with no instructions) offered yet another chance to prove ‘she could overcome’, and
eventually she conquered that.
Whole egg powder came in a little red box the size of paper muffin tin liners, containing the equivalent of one dozen eggs per box. This came with instructions, for baking purposes or scrambled eggs.
A note here that food supplies were ordered once a year, fifteen months worth at the time.
And just how did she do it without a microwave….
Even a more challenging future lay ahead.
– She had us three boys… We are glad that she decided to keep us…
Mom liked me best…
All three of us, each can say that, and it was true in each case. She did like each of us best, and we each knew that.
Do not think that because there were no daughters and that we were boys that she let us off easy with the household chores including the kitchen…
Not a chance…
We were not scurried out of the kitchen, but encouraged to try things. – Thanks Mom.
A lot of our shirts, and other garments were homemade in the earlier days. Nice, warm and comfortable... There were a few new things though, I can remember Mom hauling us to the Hudson Bay, for new moccasins each fall for the winter. I wonder if they still sell them?
Mom enjoyed putting out a spread for holiday meals that would have fed twice as many as were there, just in case an extra person would come. She would try to remember from year to year who liked what dish, and would ensure that it appeared again next year just the way that person liked it.
Mom was a person eager to learn.
In the early days of home computers, when most people were still afraid of them, she learned how to use one. Dennis helped Dad pick out a computer for her. I helped her feel comfortable on it.
This became an outlet for artistic talent in doing advertising posters for the St. James/Assiniboia Senior Centre, approximately 150 annually along with thank-you letters, reports, updating name lists, and at one time their newsletter.
She became an avid writer, describing her own life growing up, as well as other stories, some of them published. In the future, I will compile her life stories into one entity, and see where we can go with that, at that point in time.
She belonged to many groups, in the church, creative retirement, and the St. James/Assiniboia Senior Centre. She was a dedicated and giving person, who enjoyed being active.
Mom is survived by her husband: C. Tupper Hayward – 59 years married, three sons: Dennis , Bruce, and Christopher , six grand-children: Kyra, Nathanial, Rebecca, David, Maggie, and Tony, two great-grand-children: Tiger Lilly, and Ella, two brothers: James Sheane, and John Sheane, numerous nieces, nephews, and
extended family members..
One thing I should mention was her love for the dogs and cats that abounded through out her life. At one point when we three sons were children, there was five of us in a small house, PLUS two large dogs, a couple of cats, and several guinea pigs.
You can imagine, our neighbours loved us….
Thanks Mom, and thanks to you all for being here.