Gregory Hartnell to Larry Wartel on ‘Hartnell family history as I recall it’, Open letters of veteran Victoria activists, September 23, 2011

HARTNELL FAMILY AT 1346 ROCKLAND AVENUE, CIRCA 1978
[Charles LaVertu photo]
Brother John Hartnell, father of Martene and Alena (present owner of our father Peter George Hartnell‘s last Gaudi-influenced family home), Sister Maria Cabrera (nee Hartnell), mother of Alexander and Helena Chontos (eldest sister, now married to Julio Cabrera of Puerto Vallarta and Mascota, Jalisco), Brother Adrian Hartnell (deceased), Dear Mother Sheila Mary Margaret Hartnell (nee Turnbull, deceased, mother of nine Hartnell children, wife of Peter George Hartnell), Dear Father Peter (deceased, father of nine Hartnell children, husband of Sheila Hartnell), Brother Gregory Paul Michael Hartnell (firstborn son of Peter and Sheila Hartnell, brother to my eight brothers and sisters, Independent Pro-life Council Candidate, Oak Bay), Brother Justin Hartnell, quiet single scholar (youngest brother), Sister Roxanna Hartnell, devout single musician scholar (youngest sister), Brother Anthony Hartnell (father of Antonio, husband of Maria Hartnell nee Arom, of Palma Majorca, owner-manager of Queen Victoria, 655 Douglas), Sister Cecilia Dishaw (nee Hartnell, French teacher, mother of Maximilian and Sophia Dishaw, wife of father husband painter Paul Dishaw).  Our beloved Brother Jerome Henry Hartnell, may his soul rest in peace, was not with us for this photo.

Gregory Hartnell
GREGORY HARTNELL, INDEPENDENT PRO-LIFE CANDIDATE
OAK BAY DISTRICT COUNCIL ELECTION NOVEMBER 19
Dear Larry:
Yesterday was the 60th anniversary of my parents’ wedding at Saint Andrew’s Cathedral on September 22, 1951.
According to my sister Roxanna Hartnell, who has the artifacts, the wedding invitations to the Mass and reception were sent out by Thomas and Clare Turnbull, our maternal grandparents.
Grandpa Thomas Turnbull was a Glaswegian seaman who worked on the Great Lakes before becoming a bilingual manager at a textile mill in Valleyfield Quebec.
Because he was Catholic, not English, and spoke to the majority of the workers in their native Quebecois French, the mill workers loved him.
The enemy was a racist Anglophone Protestant management class that generally didn’t even bother to learn the language of the native francophone Quebecois Catholics.
Our Grandma Clare Phillips was a Lancastrian Catholic loom worker who met Thomas Turnbull in Valleyfield .
Peter George Hartnell and Sheila Mary Margaret Turnbull married each other, with Peter’s brother Herbert and his wife Zena Hartnell as best man and best lady.
These four are shown together in the formal wedding photos taken that day.
 The reception was held after the Cathedral Mass at the Hartnell family home on May Street near Cook.
The trolley car used to stop at Cook near May, and my self-employed carpenter father told stories of seeing the RCMP hiding in the bushes while they pretended to spy on him during the war years, while he waited to take the trolley to some construction job or other…
Grandfather Henry Hartnell, Dad’s father, worked for the provincial government as a civil servant.
I am not sure what ministry it was, but I don’t find it difficult to imagine that Dad’s fascist politics were a reaction against the probable unionism of his father.
I know for a fact that Peter’s brother Herbert, my late Uncle, was opposed in his politics to Peter, Herbert being a committed socialist who voted for the CCF and NDP, and took trips to the Soviet Union.
Whenever they got together, which was rare after they married, they would argue about politics over a beer or two.
Henry married Theresa or Therese Belleau, a school teacher and seamstress who came over to Victoria from Washington state.
We called our Grandma ‘Baba’ after hearing the term of endearment used by a Hungarian lady who stayed at the Thunderbird Motel, the first building Peter and Sheila built in the family business empire.
The Thunderbird [now Helm’s Inn under different ownership] is still there, at the corner of Douglas Street and Superior, opposite the entrance to Beacon Hill Park.
SHEILA MARY MARGARET HARTNELL (NEE TURNBULL)
WITH HER FIRSTBORN OF NINE CHILDREN, GREGORY PAUL HARTNELL
I was born in Saint Joseph’t Hospital not far away on October 24, 1952, and spent my first five years resident at the Thunderbird.
Thanks for the information about your own family, your interesting comments and other links you send me, my friend.
Shalom
Gregory
GENESIS
BY ‘GOYO DE LA ROSA’
Nom d’artiste de
GREGORY PAUL MICHAEL HARTNELL
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3 Responses to Gregory Hartnell to Larry Wartel on ‘Hartnell family history as I recall it’, Open letters of veteran Victoria activists, September 23, 2011

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