Fonds - Graham Family fonds

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Graham Family fonds

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  • Textual record

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  • 1917 (Creation)
    Graham Family
    Salmon Arm
    Date of death January 13, 2003

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Physical description

4 cm textual records

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Name of creator


Biographical history

Guy Graham was born February 10th, 1917 in Lynemouth, Northumberland, England. His schooling included a degree in History and Economics from Durham University where he was a member of the Officer Training Corps. He graduated in 1939, was immediately commissioned 2nd Lieutenant in the Lincolnshire Regiment, and soon found himself with thousands of others on the beaches of Dunkirk. He was seriously wounded, sent to a field hospital which was in turn shelled. He survived but was taken prisoner and spent five years in a prisoner of war camp.

To keep himself from going “camp crazy”, Guy applied for permission to take a correspondence course from Durham University. Permission was granted and he received twenty books. All examinations had first to go to Berlin where they were censored and then forwarded to England for marking. He was the first prisoner of war to get a degree - his bachelor degree in civil law.

Guy was liberated in 1945, demobilized in 1946 and immediately began teaching. In 1950 he emigrated to Canada and took his teaching certificate at UBC where he met Ethel Singleton, also an education student and they were married July 15, 1952 in Third Ave. United Church, Saskatoon.

Ethel Irene Singleton was born 20 Feb, 1925 in Radisson Saskatchewan, not far from Saskatoon. Her parents were John Milton Singleton and Edna Pearl DeWolfe. She attended elementary, secondary and normal school in Saskatoon. She taught elementary school in rural Saskatchewan for one year and then in the summer months for three years to earn money for her three years of university to earn a B.HSc. Ethel lived at home during these University of Saskatoon days. She then went to UBC for a B.Ed. Degree where she met and married Guy Graham.

The couple had three children - Lesley, Aidan and Davis. They celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in July, 2002.

Ethel and Guy settled in Salmon Arm in 1954 where Guy was a much-respected teacher and principal until 1977. Ethel taught Home Economics at J.L. Jackson School for four years and at Shuswap Junior secondary School for eight years from 1972 to 1980.

The Grahams were both very active in the United Church. Guy served as treasurer, board and choir member. He was a charter member of Rotary and he organized blood donor clinics in Salmon Arm. For several years in the 1970s, Guy wrote a weekly column on parenting and education (see ephemera) and was active in the Okanagan Valley Teachers Association. For several years, Ethel worked in the community teaching the preparation of nutritious and economical meals.

Guy died 13 January, 2003 at the age of 85 having suffered the tragedy of Alzheimer’s disease for several years. Ethel died in 2017.

Custodial history

Scope and content

The fonds is divided into four series and that contain addresses to graduating classes by Guy and Davis Graham, Salmon Arm Quee Coronation programs, Ethel Graham's 1939 autograph book, and examination records.

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      MS 29

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      Language of description

      • English

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