George and Constance Webb are Old Timers of this district. Both were born in England, Connie in Hazelmere , on November 6, 1895, and George in Cheshire, on November 26, 1894. George came alone across the Atlantic in (1909) 1910 when he was 15 to meet his Dad at Elko, B.C. where he worked in the lumber camps for two years. George prided himself on being a good cook. He said, "When the head cook was let go I learned fast.
His mother and two sisters came a year later. From there the family homesteaded in the newly opened homestead area south of Nemiscam.
George returned to England as a Canadian soldier during World War I, as a Corporal in the army. George joined the 31 st Battalion at Calgary and served in France, fighting at Vimy Ridge. He often spoke of the battle for Vimy Ridge, which was taken from the Germans by the Canadian Army on Easter Monday, 1917. George said, "One out of every 10 Canadians died."
The night that World War I ended, George walked 18 miles to see his girlfriend, who later became his wife. He said, "I walked that 18 miles many times each week". The couple who had been engaged for a year, put off marriage as George had said, "the army is no place for a married man in war time".
When the war was over he married Constance Furlonge r in England on January lst, 1919, and brought her back to Canada. George's mother, father, two sisters and young brother had come to Canada to farm in B.C. before George had gone overseas. When George returned to Canada with his new bride they also started farming in B.C. After a short time in B.C. George and his bride moved to Alberta to continue farming. They came to Pincher Creek to start with.
George worked with his father in England in dairying at a very young age. We expect it must have still been in his system as he spent most of his life in Canada in the dairy business. Mr. and Mrs. Webb came to the Lethbridge District in 1927 and started a dairy in 1932. We remember well the threshing days when George employed 13 men. George and his 13 man crew would help harvest the neighbours' crops in the Lethbridge area once they had completed his harvest.
In the days when the children were small, George had a cook house with a Chinese cook to prepare the meals. Once the men had eaten and returned to the fields the children were allowed to go to the cook house for meals. (We will always remember his great dumplings, stew and raisin pie!) A few years later Connie did all of the cooking. She would bake wonderful pies and send them out to the field with the men's lunches. She also had 9 children of her own to cook for. Connie made four meals a day back then. She was certainly a great cook and a very hard worker.
They built up a herd of registered Holsteins that topped records across Canada. Mr. Webb was President of the Dairy Producers and also President of the Calf Club which was a forerunner of the 4-H Clubs.
The Webbs had nine children, all active in the Calf Club. Their cattle took top prizes in the Lethbridge Exhibition for many years. Connie was a beautiful seamstress by trade before leaving England and used her skills for their nine children. Each Christmas Concert there was always a beautiful "hand smocked" dress for each of the girls.
Speaking of concerts, we recall the night we found out the real story of Santa Claus. We were all on stage when we heard bells and Ho! Ho! Ho! It was Santa with a sack on his back saying, "Stand back little children, my toes are very cold and I don't want you to step on them." He bent over and asked, "What do you want Santa to bring you on Christmas day?" When he bent over he held his beard back and we could see his tie. "Oh! It's dad! " It never occurred to us that Santa could have the same tie as the one our dad was wearing that night. A few years later when telling mother the story, she told us what we already knew, that dad and Mr. Parry had been Santa for several years at the White School.
George had mentioned on occasion that his friend, Mr. Charles Parry was the person responsible for him starting his children in the Calf Club Competitions. He had given my sister a Holstein calf and told her to enter it in the Calf Club, she did, and the calf won first prize. After that, each of the other children were given calves from their father and they too began to compete in the Calf Club competitions. The Calf Club competitions included showing, judging and milking events.
We remember thinking like children, the year the Hays Company from Calgary entered the Calf Club. "Oh! the Hays boys are going to be tough competition." They were from a larger city, and were big men beside us as we were much younger. We remember George saying, "If you work with your cattle and are good showmen, you can do it." He was right, we did just that.
After working so hard and winning our beautiful ribbons, we would lead all of our cattle around the race track on the final evening for the people in the grandstand to see.
We remember the last year my sister competed in the calf Club. She had a three year old bull that she had raised from a calf, and she took Grand Champion with him. The bull was then sold to the Hays Co. in Calgary. My sisters also showed white faced Herefords, One sister and a brother enjoyed racing and showing ponies.
George said he could not live without cattle - he had worked in the dairy business with his father in England. Some of his herd came from his friend Charles Parry, others from Hays Co. in Calgary, but most of the herd he had bred himself. George was a very successful business man.
Mr. Webb and his two sons had the only registered Holstein herd south of Calgary. They sold their dairy herd on August 15, 1951. George's plans were to go into, as he said, "white faced Herefords". That was what his sons chose.
After leaving Lethbridge Connie and George moved to High River where they enjoyed their lives. They had 38 grandchildren, 43 great grandchildren, and Connie lived to see three great, great, grandchildren. George died March 12, 1983 and Connie died March 13, 1991.
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