Fonds - Bordessa family fonds

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Bordessa family fonds

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  • 1913-1936 (Creation)
    Bordessa (family)

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Textual records;25 prints

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Biographical history

Bernard Cuthbert Bordessa was born in Cheshire, England in 1887. He trained as a civil Engineer and immigrated to Canada, working on the engineering crew of the Great Trunk Railway in 1913. Early photographs reflect his time on the crew near Hazelton, BC.

In 1915 Bordessa signed up for duty at Vernon, BC and served in the Canadian Expeditionary Force. When he returned to Canada, he purchased land in Canoe, BC through the Soldier Settlement Board. The acreage was purchased from Will Kirk in 1921 and Bordessa appears as a fruit farmer from 1921 to 1924, and 1934-1936. He planted apple trees and put an addition on the original house.

From 1921 to 1937 Bordessa also served as a civil engineer in several locations in BC until he was permanently employed by Western Air Command and the B.C.E. (now known as BC Hydro).

In 1927 Bordessa married Edith Dorothy Denison [1893-1981], and the couple had two children, Bobby and Eileen. Bobby was born in 1930, missing a thymus gland and never grew properly. He was hospitalized in New Westminster at the age of five at a childrens hospital and lived until the age of 11. Unfortunately, BC Archives and Records Service has no death record for Bobby (or Robert) Bordessa. Some time prior to 1939 the Bordessa family sold their property and moved away to Vancouver.

Eileen was born in 1931 and speaks frankly about her brother's death. It was a painful event for her parents. She was never allowed to refer to him or ask questions about him for many years. At the age of nineteen she moved to Toronto to continue violin studies at the Faculty of Music, University of Toronto. She currently resides in Ontario.

The farm was eventually sold to the Abernathy family, who in turn sold the property to the Ackerman family. The house sits on property developed into a private golf course (Shuswap Golf Club, formerly Shannons) on Highway 1, east of Salmon Arm.

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Scope and content

The fonds is divided into two series. The first consists of 25 photographs. The second contains several pieces of correspondence re: Bernards 100th birthday and correspondence between M.F. Painter of the Assoc. of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists and the Okanagan Historical Society.

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BCAUL control number: SAM-3394

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